32-year-old Rodney Matthew Cline, who is listed as a homeless man from Lincolnton, was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule III controlled substance, sale of schedule III controlled substance, and delivery of schedule III controlled substance. Cline is also charged with three counts apiece of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, sale of marijuana, and delivery of marijuana.
Cline was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Wednesday, March 8) under $105,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (March 7). The city's boards and commissions made their annual presentations to council. These boards and commissions have a variety of purposes that includes everything from increasing the recycling rate, guiding the future of parks and recreation, to assisting with economic development and beautification grants. All groups are made up of citizens from different wards and diverse backgrounds. Find more information about the boards and how to get involved at hickorync.gov or call City Clerk, Debbie Miller at 323-7400.
Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda were all approved unanimously. Among the items listed under second readings was the acceptance and award of a proposal for the West Hickory Elevated Tank and Distribution System Project and completion of the City's Distribution System Model in the amount of $71,200.In addition, under second readings, the acceptance and award of the Professional Services Agreement with Hulsey McCormick and Wallace in the amount of $91,000 for completion of the Sodium Hypochlorite Generation Replacement Project.
A public hearing was held to receive feedback on the consideration to close a portion of 1st Street NE. There were no speakers in opposition to the closure, one person spoke in favor of it. City Council approved the street closure unanimously.
Interim City Manager Andrea Surratt presented an update on the bond projects. She discussed the progress of the 321/70 gateway and the City Walk. Council shared their ideas and provided feedback on the proposed gateway at 321 and 70.
A shooting incident in Catawba County resulted in the death of a woman and injuries to her boyfriend. According to various published reports, the incident occurred Tuesday evening (March 7) at a residence on Topaz Drive in Maiden.
The reports say that the Catawba County Sheriff's Office received multiple 911 calls with different versions of what occurred. A SWAT team was brought to the scene.
It is believed that it was domestic-related shooting involving a boyfriend and girlfriend. A rifle has reportedly been recovered from the home. The reports say the woman was killed and the man was shot in the face.
The names of those involved have not been released and the condition of the man who was shot had not been revealed. The investigation is ongoing and it's expected that more details will be released later today (Wednesday, March 8).
18-year-old Jimmy Drew Peeler of Rhoney Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor count of assault inflicting serious injury. The warrants for his arrest were issued on February 24 of this year in Burke County.
Peeler was taken into custody without incident at about 6:45 a.m. at the Hampton Inn on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for March 14 in Morganton.
As construction on U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock continues at a brisk pace, a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will be closing the intersection at the highway and Rock Road for up to three weeks.
A portion of Rock Road near the intersection was closed starting yesterday (Monday, March 6) in order for crews to perform a variety of tasks, including grading, initial paving and realigning of the intersection. The changes will improve safety and the flow of traffic to and from the highway.
A detour marked with signs will direct traffic one-half mile north to Pinnacle Road by Canyons Restaurant so motorists can continue up to The Blowing Rock, Gideon Ridge Inn or neighborhood homes.
Favorable weather conditions during the winter have allowed construction crews to make significant progress on the project at several locations including the area near Rock Road.
Motorists are encouraged to pay attention when approaching work zones, obey the posted speed limit and allow extra time to safely reach destinations in the Blowing Rock area.
Visitin DriveNC.gov for real-time traffic information and follow NCDOT on Twitter.
The Newton Fire Department is currently conducting annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing in the northwest quadrant of the city.
The northwest quadrant of the city includes areas north of A Street and west of Main Avenue. Maintenance and testing will continue for several weeks. Citizens residing in the area may experience a discoloration of their water due to minerals inside underground water lines being disturbed. If water discoloration is experienced, allowing water to run from any faucet for several minutes should eliminate the discoloration.
Fire hydrant testing is crucial to locating fire hydrants that are inoperable or need repair. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Insurance requires annual fire hydrant testing for the purposes of grading municipal water systems, which determines municipal insurance ratings.
The city of Newton apologizes for any inconvenience residents encounter during the testing period. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Newton Fire Department at 828-695-4314.
20-year-old Carlos Car’tre Ikard of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 3:30 yesterday afternoon (March 6) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a schedule II controlled substance, plus one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. He also faces a number of additional schedule II narcotics charges dating back to last year.
Ikard was taken into custody without incident at a residence on 8th Avenue Drive S.W. in Hickory. He was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest. Ikard was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $60,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton. Another court date on the previous charges was set for April 3.
53-year-old Sherrie Shawnte Reed of Upper Rochester, NY, was arrested Monday (March 6) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony trafficking of cocaine by possession and felony trafficking of cocaine by transportation. She's also charged on a fugitive warrant from Florida with larceny.
On Monday members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) Team conducted a traffic stop on a Toyota Rav 4 on Interstate 77 northbound at mile marker 65. According to a news release, While speaking with the driver and sole occupant, Sherrie Shawnte Reed, deputies noticed several items in the vehicle which they asked her about and she was reportedly evasive in her answers. She told deputies she had been in Florida and was traveling to another state. She also stated the car was a rental but offered no paperwork confirming this.
During a search, officers located a large amount of money in a jacket. Deputies also found several vacuumed sealed blocks which were white in color and they believed to be cocaine. Reed was taken into custody and transported to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigation Unit Office for questioning.
During the investigation, it was discovered Reed also had a Fugitive Warrant out of Florida for theft. Officers found a total of eleven pounds of cocaine and more than $1700 in cash. The cocaine is valued at $1,250,000.
Reed was placed in jail under $250,000 secured bond and is also being held on the Fugitive Warrant pending an extradition hearing. A District Court appearance on the cocaine charges was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7).
21-year-old Israel Jonathan Wise, who is listed as a homeless man from Hickory, was arrested Monday (March 6) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods. Wise is also charged with misdemeanor first degree trespassing.
Following the arrest, Wise was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7).
43-year-old Sami Price Driggers of Slanting Bridge Road in Sherills Ford was arrested today (Tuesday, March 7) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, simple possession of schedule II and IV controlled substances, possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce, two counts of possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Driggers was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $23,900 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
27-year-old Kenneth Earl Buchanan was arrested Monday (March 6) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture schedule II controlled substance. Buchanan was placed in jail in Morganton where bond was set at $200,000 secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7).
34-year-old Charlene Ann Dockery of Trout Pond Road in Claremont was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance on prison or jail premises, carrying a concealed gun, possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce, and fictitious or altered title, registration card, or tag. Dockery was detained this morning (Tuesday, March 7) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $21,000 bond. District Court dates were set for today and May 1.
33-year-old Reshella Denae Wrede of Old Highway 10 in Hickory was arrested Monday (March 6) by Long View Police Officers. She's charged with habitual larceny and obtaining property by false pretense. Wrede was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7).
28-year-old Courtney Elaine Harmon of Ponderosa Drive in Hickory was arrested Monday (March 6) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged on bills of indictment with two counts apiece of possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, and selling methamphetamine. In addition, Harmon is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule I controlled substance, sale and delivery of schedule I controlled substance, and manufacture, sell, deliver, or possess a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.
Harmon was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $150,000 bond. District and Superior Court appearances were scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7).
The District Attorney’s office has issued a response to a story released by the Associated Press regarding two prosecutors in the 25th District being accused of obstructing an investigation into abuse at a church. The AP article says at least a half-dozen times over a period of twenty years, authorities investigated reports that members of the Word of Faith Church were being beaten.
The report says according to former congregants, the orders came down from church leaders to lie to protect the sect. According to the AP report, Frank Webster and Chris Back, assistant District Attorneys in the 25th District were ministers with the church. They allegedly provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.
District Attorney David Learner issued a response to the story yesterday. He said “I am aware of The Associated Press article released Monday, March 6, 2017, regarding two of my Assistant District Attorneys in Burke County, Mr. Frank Webster and Mr. Chris Back. The story pertains to their involvement with Word of Faith Fellowship located in Rutherford County, N.C."
“Regardless of allegations contained in the story, at this time to the best of my knowledge, there has been no complaint filed with the North Carolina State Bar against either Mr. Webster or Mr. Back. Likewise, neither of them have been charged with any criminal offense. I am not aware of any ongoing investigation by law enforcement or the State Bar. It is my policy not to discuss personnel issues.”
41-year-old Wendy Sue Blodgett of Swinging Bridge Road in Conover was arrested Monday (March 6) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Probation and Parole Officers also charged Blodgett with felony probation violation. She was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $45,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 7), a Superior Court date is set for next Monday (March 13).
The N.C. State Highway Patrol has released more information regarding a pedestrian fatality on Interstate 40 in Catawba County Sunday night (March 5).
The accident occurred at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday, near mile-marker 124. An eastbound 2010 Lexus driven by 47-year-old Jeffrey Lee Griffin of Hickory struck 42-year-old Tracy Robert Cornellier, who has no listed address.
The Highway Patrol is conducting an ongoing investigation. At this time, it’s not clear why Mr. Cornellier was on foot on the Interstate. A Trooper told WHKY that Mr. Griffin (the driver) was not impaired and that excessive speed did not appear to be a factor. No charges have been filed at this time.
The Lexus sustained damage to its bumper, hood, windshield and right side.
45-year-old Jorden Earl Adams of Emerald Isle Drive in Sherrills Ford was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers Sunday (March 5) on an outstanding felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He was served a warrant dating back to last year for driving while license revoked.
Adams is wanted in Independence in Grayson County, Virginia for a probation violation. He was on probation for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Following his arrest yesterday, Adams was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond on the fugitive warrant set at $8,000, secured. A District Court date was set for March 10. He was also given a $265 bond on the driving while license revoked charge with another court date on April 21.
37-year-old James Dereck Starnes, who is listed as a homeless person from Gaston County, has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on four counts of felony larceny and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses. He was also held on a felony fugitive warrant from Lancaster County, South Carolina, where he was wanted for shoplifting.
Starnes was taken into custody today (March 6) and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $70,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on the fugitive warrant on March 13, with a Superior Court date on the other charges scheduled for May 1 in Newton.
Two prosecutors in the 25th District have been accused of obstructing an investigation into abuse at a church. According to a report issued by the Associated Press, which was published on numerous websites, at least a half-dozen times over a period of twenty years, authorities investigated reports that members of the Word of Faith Church were being beaten. The report says according to former congregants, the orders came down from church leaders to lie to protect the sect.
According to the AP report, Frank Webster and Chris Back, assistant District Attorneys in the 25th District were ministers with the church. They allegedly provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.
According to information in the AP report, under North Carolina law, prosecutors cannot provide legal advice or be involved in outside cases in any manner. Violation of those rules can lead to ethics charges, dismissal and disbarment. The Word of Faith Church has 750 members in Spindale, NC.