Downtown Newton has a new, high-tech feature: a solar-powered charging station for phones, laptops, and any electronic devices that can be charged through a USB port.
Newton is one of the first communities in North Carolina to partner with Soofa, a technology company, to provide a sustainable charging station for visitors and residents. Positioned at the corner of Main Avenue and 1st Street, Newton’s charging station is conveniently located next to a street bench and has USB ports to charge up to two devices simultaneously. The charging station is free to use, and users need to bring their own USB charging cords.
City of Newton staff began researching innovative street features after hearing from Newton-Conover High School and Discovery High School students that sustainable technology was important to them in the revitalization of Downtown Newton. The charging station’s red base adds a bright pop of color to the 1924 Courthouse Square, the solar panel that powers the device requires no regular maintenance, and the device converts solar to electrical power at no cost.
47-year-old Aaron Wayne Douglas Sr. of Buccaneer Way in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (June 21) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with possession of a firearm by a felon. In addition, Douglas is charged with misdemeanor larceny. Douglas was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $1,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for July 13, a Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 24.
27-year-old Jeffrey Scott Ohmer of Putnam Street in Morganton was arrested Wednesday (June 21) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Ohmer was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled for today (June 22).
41-year-old Christopher Lee Killian of Ole Country Lane in Claremont was arrested Wednesday (June 21) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with the sale of heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin. Killian is also charged with two counts of failure to appear on various charges. He was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,000 bond. A District Court date is set for July 21, a Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 24.
37-year-old Duane Byrd of Detroit, Michigan was arrested Wednesday (June 21) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with trafficking, opium or heroin, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I controlled substance. Byrd was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $200,000 bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for yesterday and next Monday (June 26).
45-year-old Donald Arthur Stewart III of Detroit, Michigan, was arrested Wednesday (June 21) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of trafficking, opium or heroin, along with single counts of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Stewart was arrested shortly after 3:00 Wednesday at an address on Old Conover Startown Road in Newton. 29.3 grams of heroin were seized in the arrest. Stewart was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $250,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (June 22).
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in connection to the theft of a backpack leaf blower from the yard at a residence on Low Bridge Road.
The homeowner told Officers he was in the back yard mowing grass on May 31 when a vehicle stopped in front of his house. A male got out of the vehicle, picked up the leaf blower, ran back to his vehicle and sped away.
The serial number on the Stihl leaf blower is 94240800191. The suspect is believed to be a young white male who was wearing a black shirt, black skinny jeans and flip flops at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity or the whereabouts of the stolen leaf blower should call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202.
33-year-old Henry Pham of 23rd Avenue Place N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon (June 20) on one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
Events leading to his arrest began on June 13 as Officers responded to assist Catawba County E.M.S. at an apartment on 23rd Avenue Place N.E. Officers identified Pham and found a firearm in his residence. They confirmed that Pham was a convicted felon and seized the firearm. In addition, 18 dosage units of Alprazolam were found.
Pham was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center for treatment. Upon his release, Pham was served with the arrest warrants at the hospital and taken into custody without incident. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,500 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton. Another court date on the drug charge was scheduled for July 12.
The sighting of a black bear this morning in downtown Hickory was confirmed by the Hickory Police Department. The bear was first spotted along Highway 321 and it then traveled down 2nd Avenue into the downtown area. Published reports say the bear stopped near the ABC Store on 1st Avenue Southwest and climbed up a tree where it stayed for a couple of hours. It then came down and walked around the parking lot. North Carolina Wildlife Officers responded to deal with the situation. Hickory Police were aware of the situation but they cannot interfere with the bear or any wildlife.
45-year-old Charlotte Kay Hoyle of Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:25 a.m. yesterday (June 20) on two counts each of felony breaking & entering a motor vehicle and misdemeanor larceny, plus one felony count each of forgery of bank notes, uttering a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretense.
She was arrested after Officers responded to the Chesterbrook Academy on Highway 127 South where a vehicle break-in was reported. Through investigation, Hoyle was identified and arrested.
Hoyle was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $17,500 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.
39-year-old Sue Ann Chambers of McCall Town Road in Granite Falls was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after nine o’clock last night on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny.
Yesterday, Officers responded to a larceny call at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. where a suspect pushed a cart full of items past the last point of sale and exited the store. Chambers was identified and taken into custody without incident at the store.
She was processed and released under an $18,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for June 26 in Newton.
38-year-old Horace Lamar Morton of Campbell Road in Newton was arrested at about 11:15 last night (June 20) by Hickory Police on one count each of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce. He was also charged with six counts of failure to appear for shoplifting and vehicular offenses.
Morton was taken into custody without incident at the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry on 1st Avenue S.E. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $32,500 secured bond with a first appearance in District Court scheduled for June 26 in Newton. Additional court dates were set for June 27 and August 9.
More information has been released on a case first reported this morning (June 21) on whky.com and WHKY Radio.
34-year-old Rey David Blanco-Palmar of Kanewood Trail in Lincolnton was arrested Tuesday (June 20) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with four felony counts of indecent liberties with a child, three felony counts of first degree sexual offense with a child under 13 years old, one count of felony attempted first degree sex offense and one felony count of second degree kidnapping.
On June 6 Detective Kelsey Harrington received a report from the Lincoln County Department of Social Services regarding the sexual assault of two children. The victims, who are related to the offender, disclosed details of the incidents during interviews with the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center. The incidents occurred between October of 2009 and August of 2014. The children, a male and female, were ages five and 11 when the incidents started.
Blanco-Palmar was arrested following an interview at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office during which he reportedly admitted to the incidents. He was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond. A first appearance in Lincoln County District Court is scheduled for Friday (June 23).
19-year-old Christian Tashaun Holmes of Startown Road in Newton was arrested this morning (June 21) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of first degree burglary, along with single felony counts of larceny, larceny after breaking and entering, and second degree kidnapping.
Holmes was arrested without incident at an address on Highway 70 West in Conover just before 1:30 this morning. The Hickory Police Department report states that the Alexander County Sheriff's Office was notified that the suspect was apprehended and that the victims in the case would be notified of the arrest.
Holmes was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $549,500 secured bond. District Court dates are listed for the suspect for next Monday (June 26) and July 11.
32-year-old Dustin Paige Reinhardt and 30-year-old Cassie Jade Hartsoe, both of Hallman Mill Road in Vale, were arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Narcotics Officers yesterday (June 20). They were each charged felony counts of manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to manufacture, sell & deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.
The couple was arrested for having a marijuana growing operation near the 3400 block of Hallman Mill Road. Narcotics Detectives made the arrests following a tip they received through Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers.
Detectives say the couple used an outbuilding behind their residence to grow marijuana. They used fans, special lighting and a special enclosure to enhance growth. Detectives dismantled and seized three plants and other items. The marijuana plants were valued at up to $15,000, depending on how it was packaged and sold.
Following their arrests, Reinhardt and Hartsoe were each given a $50,000 secured bond. First appearances in District Court were set for June 23.
45-year-old Frances Denise Carroll of Charles Street in Kings Mountain, N.C. was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 5:30 Monday afternoon (June 19) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.
She was arrested after Officers responded to the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory. Carroll allegedly obtained an item from the store and attempted to return it to customer service without having paid for the item.
Carroll was taken into custody without incident at Kohl’s. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. She has since been released. Carroll will appear in District Court on June 26 in Newton.
37-year-old Melvin Franklin Mull of 3rd Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 11 p.m. Monday on one count of felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Mull was taken into custody without incident in a 2017 KIA Soul on South Center Street in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was set for July 11 in Newton.
Also in Catawba County, Mull has a Superior Court date on June 26 for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine, plus a District Court appearance on July 17 for hit & run, filing a false report and fleeing to elude arrest. In addition, he’ll appear in a Burke County courtroom on July 12 for assault on a female, making harassing phone calls and stalking.
37-year-old Jon Clayton Willett of Barrett Ridge Lane in Taylorsville was arrested Tuesday (June 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possess, sell, or buy an altered gun serial number. Willett was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (June 26).
The North Carolina Department of Justice has issued a warning to state residents about a new online scam which uses a tobacco settlement in an attempt to bilk citizens out of their money.
Almost 20 years ago, the major tobacco companies agreed to a “Master Settlement” with state and local governments. The agreement, which has pumped billions of dollars into anti-smoking campaigns and other efforts to improve health, has also helped recover the cost of treating tobacco-related diseases. Now, crooks are trying to lure potential victims by claiming that they can receive some of that settlement money.
In this online scam, the flim-flam artists say that consumers can receive ongoing tax-free monthly payments of $2,300. The money is allegedly generated by tobacco revenue bonds. The fine print reveals that in order to learn how to get the money, a subscription to a newsletter must be purchased. The cost for this subscription can be anywhere from $5 to $129 for the first month, and the online form includes a place to enter a credit card number. But once they’ve signed up, consumers may find it difficult to cancel their subscription or get a refund.
Under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, funding goes to 46 States, 5 territories and the District of Columbia. The agreement contains no provisions for money to go to individuals. If you encounter this or any other scam, you can report it to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Consumer Protection Division online or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.
During their meeting last night (Tuesday, June 20), Hickory City Council approved a policy that would allow permitted mobile food vendors to operate in certain City of Hickory parks and some downtown parking lots. According to a news release from the city, in an effort to craft a broad food truck policy, City Staff reviewed the policies of other cities, held four stakeholder meetings to receive feedback, and also created an online survey, which yielded 764 responses. While there were some concerns, the public feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of food trucks on public property with the least amount of restrictions possible.
Both pushcarts and motorized vehicle food units will be allowed in designated parking lots in the downtown vicinity, which is the only area where public parking lots exist in the city limits. A map will be posted on the City’s website, which details the parking lot locations, as well as the maximum number of vendors allowed in each lot.
Both pushcarts and motorized vehicle food units will also be allowed to operate at Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park, Henry Fork River Regional Park, Kiwanis Park, Neill W. Clark, Jr. Park, Stanford Park, and Taft Broome Park, with a limit of two vendors per park. Allocation of both the parking lots and park locations for vendors is on a first come basis.
Vendors are required to complete an annual permit application to the City’s Planning and Development Services Department for review, as well as submit a $25 fee, proof of insurance, and complete a background check. The vendors will also be expected to comply with all applicable laws, including public health regulations. The City does not regulate food trucks on private property and arrangements may be made between property owners and food truck vendors.
Interested mobile food vendors who wish to operate on public property can contact the city’s permit center at (828) 323-7410 for policy details and to receive an application.