Warren Wood was officially sworn in and began his role as Hickory’s City Manager today (April 10).
Wood has served as the town manager of Waxhaw, N.C. since March of 2015 and was previously with the City of Hickory for 22 years, working in a variety of professional and management positions. His final position in Hickory before moving to Waxhaw was Assistant City Manager and Chief Financial Officer, overseeing the city’s Administrative Services, Police, Fire and Parks & Recreation departments, as well as budget development and budget administration.
A native of Hickory, Wood began his career as Town Manager of Badin, N.C. in 1991 before beginning work for the City of Hickory in 1993.
Wood holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Administration degree from Appalachian State. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Municipal Administration Course at the UNC School of Government, an ICMA Credentialed Manager and holds a North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Certification.
Wood is married to Dr. Amy Browder Wood, who is Assistant Provost and Dean of Graduate and Adult Education at Lenoir-Rhyne University. They are the parents of three
children; Gracyn (18), Isabelle (14) and Turner (11).
23-year-old Jamie Lyn Basinger of Manley Clark Road in Morganton has been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and child abuse.
Her arrest comes in connection to an incident on Wednesday, March 15. Burke County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence on Hopewell Road in Morganton in reference to what appeared to be a small child lying on the front porch. Deputies found a three-year-old male deceased on the porch.
Detectives launched an investigation, conducting several interviews, processing the crime scene and executing several search warrants. The results were reviewed with the District Attorney’s Office and last Monday (April 3), the Grand Jury of returned a true bill of indictment on Basinger.
Basinger was arrested and given a $100,000 secured bond. A court date was set for May 15.
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office and the D.A.’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Burke County Emergency Medical Services and the Salem Fire Department all participated in the investigation.
39-year-old James Antonio Anthony of Hickory will spend at least the next four years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to breaking & entering. He was also convicted as an habitual felon. During Catawba County Superior Court today (April 10), the Honorable Casey M. Viser, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, imposed an active sentence of four years, nine months to six years, nine months for Anthony.
Anthony’s sentence was enhanced by prior felony convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon in Anson County (March 2002), first-degree burglary in Anson County (March 1996) and possession of stolen goods in Anson County (October 1991).
Anthony’s conviction comes in connection to a June 2015 case in which he kicked in the door of the victim’s Hickory home, setting off an alarm. Hickory Police responded and found Anthony still inside the residence, hiding under a bed.
Hickory Police Officer Ryan Stephens investigated the case and Scott Lippert handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
23-year-old Jordon Bree Piercy of 10th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested shortly after three o’clock Saturday afternoon (April 8) on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon.
She was arrested in connection to an incident on February 15 when Officers responded to Piercy’s residence in reference an assault with a knife. Upon arrival, Police found a 50-year-old black male victim with a puncture wound to his upper abdomen. Jordon Bree Piercy, who was the victim’s girlfriend, was taken into custody without incident Saturday.
She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where she is being held without bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today (April 10) in Newton.
45-year-old Leroy Allen Loper of 10th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 4:45 Saturday afternoon (April 8) on one felony count each of first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual offense and kidnapping. He was also charged with non-support of a child by the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office.
Loper was taken into custody at his residence and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $100,000 secured bond, plus a $2,000 bond on the non-support charge. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (April 10) in Newton.
62-year-old Everette Bryson Chester of 17th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (April 9) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Chester was wanted in Richland County, South Carolina for a probation violation in connection to what is listed on the Magistrate’s order as a “family offense”.
Chester was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court this morning in Newton.
23-year-old Dontray Tyrell Cumberlander and 23-year-old Greydon Keith Hansen, both of 18th Street Place N.W. in Hickory, were each charged this morning (April 10) with an additional count of murder. The latest charge comes in connection to the death of 21-year-old Quajuae Alexus Kennedy of Newton, who passed away Saturday (April 8) in Winston-Salem.
Cumberlander and Hansen had previously been charged with two counts of murder following the deaths of 21-year-old Justin Michael Aiken of Newton and 21-year-old Cody Manood Bouphavong of Conover. All three victims were shot early Friday morning (April 7) in the parking lot outside J. McCroskey’s Irish Pub & Grill on 29th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory.
Both men continue to be held without bond in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. They were scheduled to appear in court today on the latest charge, with another court date set for April 28.
Hickory Police are continuing to investigate. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident should contact Investigator Jeff Pruett at 828-261-2617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office has conducted its second-annual child support warrant round up. The operation was conducted in the early morning hours this past weekend. The persons targeted failed to pay their child support through the court system.
Several individuals had been hiding from Sheriff’s Deputies for several months. One of the individuals located was also a fugitive wanted by another jurisdiction.
Sheriff Darren Campbell said the total amount of back child support owed at the beginning of the operation was in excess of $98,000. At the conclusion of the weekend’s operation, the 12 parents arrested owed a total of $22,772.84.
The following persons were charged with failure to comply with payment of court ordered child support, with the amount owed shown in parenthesis:
· Christopher Berryman - Carlyle Road, Troutman ($700)
· Scotty Eugene Hartness - Dishman Lane, Statesville ($685.38)
· Joshua Wayne Seagro - Cricklewood Lane, Mooresville ($1,421.71)
· Christopher Darnell Rucker - Cunningham Road, Statesville ($2,254.45)
· Heather Ryan Nesbitt - Brevard Street, Statesville ($1,600)
· Jeremy Williams - Barracuda Loop, Statesville ($1,411.20)
· Travis Sheely - Cascade Street Statesville ($1,900)
· Cindy Garnder – J.C. Circle, Mooresville ($420)
· Edward L Massey III - Regency Road, Mooresville ($140)
· James E. Vanwert - E. Lowrance Avenue, Mooresville ($800)
· Dravey Mayfield - Holland Street, Statesville ($6,864)
· Devin L. Bates - Castle Creek Road, Statesville ($4576.10)
29-year-old Hank Elliott Hefner of George Henry Drive in Hickory has been arrested by Hickory Police on true bills of indictment for trafficking in methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver meth.
Hefner was jailed Saturday (April 8) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for today (April 10) in Newton.
38-year-old Robin Nicole Piedlow, who is listed as a homeless person from Triplett Farm Road in Newton, has been arrested by Hickory Police on charges of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and four counts of habitual larceny.
Piedlow was jailed yesterday (April 9) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
The Downtown Hickory Farmers’ Market will open on Saturday April 15. The Market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Events will include an Easter Egg Hunt from 10 to 10:30 a.m., music by Kathryn Waters and Kevin Smith and the Crumley Roberts Kid's Zone, featuring the Bicycle Rodeo.
The Downtown Hickory Farmers’ Market will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from April 15 through November 25. Hours on Wednesdays are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information is available at www.hickoryfarmersmarket.com.
Vendors include: Anything that Blooms, Sonny's Produce, Daphaine & Sons Asparagus Farm, Wood Farm, Hoffman Farm, Kim's Kitchen, Windy Wool Windings, Russell Family Farm, In Living Color, Oma's Kettle Korn, Summer Fresh Flowers, Freedom Farms, Avaline's Farm, Mai's Farm, Bigelow Silver, Jim's Turned Wood, Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy, Foggy Mountain Pasta, Tumbling Shoals Farm, Catawba Valley Vineyards, Flora Ridge, Beam Family Farm, Russhehaus, Sam's Spoons, The Bearded Farmer, Bee Kind Farm, Back 2 Basics Farm, Phinest Tea, Three Trees Designs, Bluebird Farm, Raby's Greenhouses, A Blast from the Past, Lu-Lu's Designs, D's Food Co., Manna, Lather's Skin Essentials, Moonshine Farm, Hunters Sauces, Connie's Non-Gmo Baked Goods, Taste Full Beans, Wood & Button, The Dog House, Shady Oaks Farm, The Gypsy Peddler, Essie & Olive, Selina's Succulents, Isabella's Oils, City Farm Project, Rippetoe Farm, Roaming Bee Candles and Terrell Miller Arts.
Boone Police are investigating a death that occurred as the result of injuries suffered in an assault. Shortly before 2 a.m. yesterday (April 9), Boone Police responded to 137 Stoneybrook Court in Boone regarding a traumatic injury resulting from a reported assault. The victim was transported to Watauga Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
The suspect is the son of the victim. The names of the suspect and victim are being withheld pending notification of family.
No charges have been filed at this time. According to Boone Police, the suspect is cooperating with Police and is not believed to be a danger to the community.
A third victim has died as a result of the shooting that occurred near J. McCroskey’s Irish Pub & Grill on Friday (April 7). 21-year-old Quajuae Alexus Kennedy of Newton passed away at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem at about 6:45 Saturday evening (April 8). The incident took place in the parking lot outside the bar at about 2:15 a.m. Friday.
23-year-old Dontray Tyrell Cumberlander and 23-year-old Greydon Keith Hansen, both of 18th Street Place N.W. in Hickory, will each face an additional murder charge. They are both in custody in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where they are being held without bond. Cumberlander and Hansen will appear in District Court on April 28.
Both were charged with the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Justin Michael Aiken of Newton and 21-year-old Cody Manood Bouphavong of Conover. A fourth victim, 20-year-old Cole Brady Ervin of Claremont, was treated for gunshot wounds at Frye Regional Medical Center and released.
Hickory Police are continuing to investigate. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident should contact Investigator Jeff Pruett at 828-261-2617 or email@example.com.
During the next several months, Hickory Firefighters will implement their annual hydrant inspection and maintenance program throughout the city’s service area. Firefighters and public utilities personnel will work near busy streets while flowing water from the hydrants. For the safety of all, motorists are encouraged to reduce their speed and exercise extreme caution.
There are more than 2,000 hydrants in the city. The process will take several months to complete. Most of the work will take place on weekdays from 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. At times, Firefighters may have to make various checks during weekends and after-hours.
The maintenance ensures that each hydrant is verified for usage in the event of a fire. Firefighters will calculate the amount of pressure and available water. The program also helps the city maintain its current fire insurance rating.
In addition, flushing hydrants helps maintain water quality. As a result, the operation sometimes causes brief discoloration. If discoloration occurs, citizens should call the City of Hickory at 828-323-7500 to flush the main line. After the main line is cleared, homeowners should turn on an outside spigot to clear up the water inside the residence. Refrain from using hot water as soon as possible after noticing discoloration to prevent the hot water heater from becoming discolored.
For more information, call the Hickory Fire Department at 828-323-7420 or the city’s Public Utilities Department at 828-323-7427.
39-year-old James Fletcher Smith, Jr. of Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 11 o’clock last night (April 6) on one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He also had outstanding warrants on true bills of indictment for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance, plus another warrant for possession of methamphetamine. In addition, Smith was charged with a felony probation violation. The warrants were issued in July 2016 and in February and March of 2017.
His arrest yesterday came as Officers on foot patrol at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory encountered a suspicious white male in the parking lot. Officers approached the man after he entered a room at the hotel. They identified the man as James Smith and learned that he had outstanding warrants for his arrest. During the encounter, Police found 1.7 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the room. Three other subjects in the room were not charged or cited.
Smith was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $49,500 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. Additional court dates were set for April 10 & 19, May 25 and June 5.
23-year-old Dontray Tyrell Cumberlander and 23-year-old Greydon Keith Hansen, both of 18th Street Place NW in Hickory, were both arrested this morning (Friday, April 7) and charged with two counts of murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.
This morning at approximately 2:15 Hickory Police responded to a report of shots being fired at 1423 29th Avenue Drive NE. Upon arrival officers located one victim on the scene and at 2:23 a.m. additional victims were reported at Frye Regional Medical Center. The victims and the suspects had been patrons of J. McCroskey’s Irish Pub and Grill prior to a verbal altercation that began in the parking lot of the business. There is no known connection at this time between the victims and suspects. During the shooting the suspects fired upon the victims while they were inside their vehicle in the parking lot.
21-year-old Justin Michael Aiken of Newton and 21-year-old Cody Manood Bouphavong of Conover were killed in the shooting. Aiken was pronounced deceased upon arrival to Frye Regional Medical Center, Bouphavong was pronounced deceased at Carolinas Medical Center. Two others were injured, 21-year-old Quajuae Alexus Kennedy of Newton, who was transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem and was last reported in critical condition. And 20-year-old Cole Brady Ervin of Claremont who was treated for gunshot wounds and released from Frye Regional Medical Center. 21-year-old Pablo Castillo Hernandez of Conover was the driver of victim’s vehicle who sustained no injuries.
Long View Police stopped the suspect's vehicle in the 2200 Block of 1st Avenue SW. Hickory Police Officers arrived and arrested the two men. Cumberlander and Hansen were placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. They made first court appearances today, they're scheduled to make their next appearances in District Court April 28.
The Hickory Police Department is continuing this investigation and asks anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact Inv. J. Pruett at 828-261-2617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
34-year-old Andrew Urena was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one count of sexual offense against a child by an adult offender, and twelve counts of indecent liberties with a child.
On March 1 a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a child being assaulted by a family member. The report was assigned to Detective Patrick Dixson of the Special Victim’s Unit. The child was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Several additional witnesses were identified and interviewed.
Urena was taken to the Iredell County Detention center where bond was set at $250,000 secured. He's scheduled to appear in District Court April 20.
45-year-old Brian Kelly Ferguson of Rankin Street NW in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (April 6) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with possession of methamphetamine and with being an habitual felon. Ferguson was given a custody release. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for May 1.
Unemployment rates dropped across the Greater Hickory Metro area and across all of North Carolina. That's according to the most recent report issued this week by the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The report details the February unemployment rates.
As far as the Hickory Metro counties are concerned, Alexander County has an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, down from 4.5 percent in January. Burke County's jobless rate is 4.7 percent, down from 5.2 in the previous report. Caldwell County has an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, down from 5.6 percent in January. Catawba County's jobless rate is 4.7 percent, down from 5.1 percent.
The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA has an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, down from 5.2 percent in the last report. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton is tied for the 5th lowest unemployment rate among 15 MSAs in the state.
The statewide unemployment rate is 5 percent even, down from 5.5 percent in January. Jobless rates decreased in all 100 of North Carolina's counties. Hyde County has the highest unemployment rate at 15.3 percent, Buncombe County has the lowest at 3.9 percent.
22-year-old Dustin Lane McDaniels of Statesville was arrested last Friday (March 31) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with a felony count of sex offender on social media.
According to a news release issued yesterday (Thursday, April 6), on March 27, Deputy David Price of the Iredell County Special Victims Unit was notified by Detective Clanton of the Alexander County Sheriff’s office of a possible sex offender violation. Detective Clanton advised Deputy Price that Alexander County Deputies had responded to a domestic incident that involved Dustin McDaniels, a registered sex offender from Iredell County. While at the call the Deputies learned Mr. McDaniels had a Facebook account.
Through further investigation Deputy Price was able to determine that McDaniels did indeed have a Facebook account under the name “Rusty Lamb”. Since McDaniels is a registered sex offender and is not allowed on social media that allows juveniles access, he was charged with sex offender on social media.
Last Friday McDaniels was arrested for the pending charge at an address on Loggerhead Road in Statesville. Bond was set at $5,000 secured. His next District Court date is April 17. McDaniels has prior convictions of misdemeanor Larceny and Sexual Battery, and he is currently on probation.