16-year-old Hayden Nathaniel Roland of Rockwell Loop in Mooresville was arrested Wednesday (May 23) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a weapon by a prisoner.

On Wednesday an officer at the Iredell County Detention Center was assaulted by an inmate while he was conducting medical rounds with the nurse. During the investigation it was learned that inmate Hayden Nathaniel Roland had altered his prescription reading glasses into a sharp object.

According to a news release issued by the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, when the victim called for Roland’s cell door to be opened, the suspect charged at Corporal Moreland and struck him in the upper chest area with the makeshift knife. The officer did not sustain any injuries and was able to subdue Roland and prevent him from injuring anyone else.

Bond on the assault and weapon charges was set at 250,000 secured. Roland was originally being held on a misdemeanor damage to property charge under a 1,000 dollar secured bond. District Court dates were scheduled today (May 25) and June 11.

22-year-old Tyler James Angel of 10th Street Boulevard NW in Hickory was arrested today (May 25) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling or moving vehicle and felony conspiracy. Angel is also charged by Probation and Parole with misdemeanor probation violation. Angel was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. District Court dates are set for next Wednesday (May 30) and June 4.

The City of Hickory and the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance invite the public to attend a ribbon cutting for the Lake Hickory Trails on Friday, June 1, at 11:00 a.m., at the beginner loop trailhead.

The ceremony will celebrate the completion of the Lake Hickory Trails, a system of mountain biking trails at Hickory City and Rotary-Geitner Parks, which include a 1.8-mile beginner flow trail, a 4-mile intermediate loop, a pump track for both advanced and beginner riders, and an advanced jump line for more skilled riders.

In early 2017, Hickory citizens, Kirk Brittain and Brad Stevens, approached the City, seeking to adopt the trails between Hickory City Park and Rotary-Geitner Park, and spearhead an effort to improve the existing trails so that mountain bikers of all skill levels could enjoy them. Brittain and Stevens are both members of the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance. The project and funding were run through The Alliance for its expertise in this arena, and non-profit status.

Brittain and Stevens raised over $100,000 locally from corporations, small businesses, and the public to fund the project. Some of the major sponsors include the Broyhill Family Foundation, HSM Solutions, Rock n Road Bicycles, Defeet International, Vesco Toyota Lift, Corning, and the Beaver Foundation. Professional trail contractors, Terra Tek Trails, were hired to build the trails to create what is now called the Lake Hickory Trail System.

S&P Global, the world’s leading provider of credit ratings, has raised its long-term general obligation debt rating on Catawba County from “AA-” to “AA.” S&P Global Ratings are opinions about issuers’ capacity and willingness to meet their financial obligations in full and on time. Much like someone’s credit score, a higher credit rating means Catawba County will pay less interest on its debt.

Catawba County’s S&P score now means out of the 20 North Carolina counties with a population between 100,000 and 250,000 people, Catawba County has the second-highest rating possible, tied with Iredell, Cabarrus, and Johnston counties. The only North Carolina counties in this population category with a higher rating are New Hanover and Orange counties.

According to S&P Global’s findings, this upgrade reflects the County’s improved general creditworthiness based on an assessment of several key indicators, including their view of the County’s stable and improving local economy. This economic outlook is attributed to the County’s continued economic development and expansion, a diverse local tax base that has been trending upward since the recession, and increasing new residential and commercial development.

Other indicators supporting the raised rating included the County’s "very strong flexibility and liquidity, and very strong management which has contributed to strong budgetary performance and surplus operations in recent years,” according to S&P Global’s findings.

Earlier this month, the Catawba County Library System received a Community Partnership Award from Catawba Valley Community College.

CVCC’s School of Academics, Education & Fine Art recognized the Catawba County Library System for exceptional collaboration on programming for the college’s 2017-18 Interdisciplinary Read selection "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. CVCC recognized the Library and the Historical Association of Catawba County as being led by individuals who create opportunities for CVCC students and the community to learn, grow, and create hope.

The Catawba County Library System was honored for its outstanding efforts in hosting presentations, films, and community discussions on various aspects of "Just Mercy." Those events promoted conversations around the difficult topic of criminal justice reform.

The Historical Association of Catawba County was honored for its partnership with the college and the CVCC Foundation that created the “Historian in Residence” program. This initiative has fostered numerous innovative collaborations, including production of “Miracle,” a documentary about the 1944 polio epidemic. Others include a classroom at the History Museum where a variety of CVCC history courses are taught, and the recent exhibit “Unpacking: How Many Cultures Make Catawba Home.”

Suzanne White, Catawba County Library System Director; Sybil Stewart, President of the Board of Directors of the Historical Association of Catawba County; and Dr. Amber Albert, Executive Director of the Historical Association of Catawba County, accepted the awards.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office is continuing to seek information on a woman who has been missing for almost four years. Toasha Nicole Rice, also known as Nikki Green on her Facebook page, was last seen leaving a friend’s home on Eaker Road in western Lincoln County. She got into a black four door sedan with a white female driver on May 26, 2014 and has not been seen since.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives have interviewed family members and a number of people she was known to associate with but no one has any information about the missing woman. In the months after Toasha went missing, officers used a K-9 search team in a large wooded area off Sorrells Baxter Road and Eaker Road in western Lincoln County, around the old Massapoag Mill in Lincolnton and several other locations outside Lincoln County. All leads were exhausted with no signs of the woman.

Detectives followed up on all leads received in the case but nothing in the lengthy search has led them to Toasha Rice. She is a white female and was 27-years-old when she disappeared. She is 5' 6" tall and weighs 140 pounds.

Anyone with information about the missing woman is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Detectives will follow up all leads. Callers can remain anonymous and if your tip leads to the case being solved, you could receive a reward of up to $1,000.

26-year-old Eliceo Lee Chavez of Highland Avenue in Hickory was arrested Thursday (May 24) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with three counts of break or enter a motor vehicle. Chavez was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $5,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled Thursday.

35-year-old Christopher Gene Crawford of North Main Street Parallel in Granite Falls was arrested Thursday (May 24) by Granite Falls Police Officers. He's charged with felony violation of electronic house arrest order. Crawford was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for July 23 in Lenoir.

62-year-old Rafael Gonzalez Flores of Hard Luck Hill Drive in Harmony was arrested Tuesday (May 22) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child.

According to a news release issued Thursday (May 24), on Tuesday March 20, a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a child being sexually assaulted at a local convenience store. Deputies responded to the location and identified and interviewed several individuals. Evidence was gathered from the scene and surveillance footage from the store was also reviewed.

The case was then assigned to the Special Victim’s Unit for further investigation. The victim was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Based on the interview, additional witness were identified and interviewed. Rafael Gonzalez Flores was identified as the suspect. He was interviewed with the help of an interpreter.

Flores was given a $75,000 secured bond. His next District Court date is June 13.



Meetings are scheduled for next month to discuss proposed road projects in the region. The meetings affecting Hickory Metro area counties will be held between June 11 and June 25. Starting June 4, North Carolinians are invited to express their opinions about which regional and local transportation projects should be top priorities in the State Transportation Improvement Program or STIP. This is a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects and schedules them for construction.

The N.C. Department of Transportation combines data and local input to determine which projects will get built, using a formula established in the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law to focus funding on projects that will reduce congestion, improve safety and promote economic growth.

During a public comment period that runs from June 4 through July 9, NCDOT will collect feedback from citizens who express their views at public meetings, online, by phone or in writing. NCDOT's 14 local transportation divisions will host informal meetings to present proposed projects and to receive public comment.

At each meeting, citizens are invited to stop in and provide input on how the division plans to rank its project priorities. Please note that these meetings are not for maintenance projects, such as patching potholes, resurfacing roads or improving ditches. In addition to the public meetings, NCDOT is offering other options for citizens to provide input starting Monday, June 4, through the STI website, ncdot.gov/sti. Citizens can complete a short, interactive survey to identify priority projects, or send a message to their local division planning engineer.

The meeting to discuss upcoming road work in Division 11, which includes Caldwell, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties will be held from 4-6 p.m. June 11 at the NCDOT Division 11 Office at 802 Statesville Road in North Wilkesboro. Projects in Division 13, which includes Burke, Buncombe, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey counties will be discussed June 14 from 5-7 p.m. at Lake Tomahawk Park in the Lakeview Clubhouse at 401 Laurel Circle Drive in Black Mountain. The meeting to discuss upcoming road work in Division 12, which includes Catawba, Alexander, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell and Lincoln counties will be held June 25 from 5-7 p.m. at Maiden Town Hall at 19 North Main Avenue in Maiden.

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