According to published reports, a federally-mandated advocacy and protection group is looking into allegations of abuse and neglect at the J. Iverson Riddle Development Center, a state-run facility in Morganton that cares for the disabled. According to those reports, state officials said eight employees were fired after officials received reports of misconduct at one of the cottages at the facility.
The Human Rights Advisory Council at J. Iverson Riddle has reportedly looked into some of the allegations involving those fired employees. The published reports say that the Department of Health and Human Services says those workers were fired for conduct that was unacceptable. The conduct of the eight workers was brought to light by other employees at the facility. State officials say no disabled residents received any injuries.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office investigation regarding the whereabouts of 36-year-old Jason Edward Shuford is still ongoing. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a missing person and spoke with the family members of Jason Edward Shuford. Shuford was reportedly last seen on August 27, 2018, in the Icard area of Burke County wearing blue jeans and a red T-Shirt.
Jason Shuford is a white male, 5'7", 180 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. His address is 7566 Spann Hill in Connelly Springs. Anyone with any information that may be helpful to the Sheriff’s Office in locating Jason Shuford would be appreciated. If you have information, call the Burke County Emergency Communications Center’s non-emergency number of 828-438-5500 or call Morganton-Burke CrimeStoppers at 828-437-3333.
A $500,000 North Carolina Rural Hope Grant has been awarded to a Caldwell UNC Health Care project that will create 50 new jobs in Caldwell County with an average salary of more than $54,000 per job.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Division announced the grant Thursday (October 18). Assisted by the Caldwell EDC and awarded to the City of Lenoir on behalf of Caldwell UNC Health Care, the funding will help in completion of the $7.2 million Behavioral Health Pavilion project.
The Rural Hope Grant will help fund the construction of the 17,200-square-foot facility, which will provide a 27-bed adult in-patient unit, an outpatient clinic and an outdoor “Healing Commons” area. The facility will be located adjacent to Caldwell UNC Health Care’s main facility on Mulberry Street in Lenoir.
In addition to the grant, the project funding will be matched by contributions from the Caldwell Hospital Foundation, the Cannon Foundation and $4 million in funding from the North Carolina General Assembly. Among the 50 new jobs that are scheduled for creation by 2020 are: a medical doctor, a psychologist, nurses, medical assistants, security officers and support staff. The total annual wages generated by the 50 new jobs will total more than $2.7 million.
31-year-old Angela Marie Dale of Ervindale Lane in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before one o’clock yesterday afternoon (October 17) on one felony count each of trafficking heroin or opium and possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance.
Dale was arrested in connection to an incident on July 22 of this year when Police responded to a possible overdose at a hotel on 13th Avenue Drive N.W. At that time, Police found 25 grams of methamphetamine and 5.8 grams of heroin.
Dale was taken into custody without incident yesterday on Old Shelby Road near I-40. She was processed and released on a written promise to appear. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
35-year-old Crystal Faith Lincoln of Iron Station Road in Dallas was arrested Wednesday (October 17) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with two felony counts of attempted common law robbery.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a white female entered Lynn’s Stop and Shop at 5161 E NC 27 Hwy and handed the clerk a note stating “put the money in a bag and no one would get hurt.” The store clerk told the suspect she could not get the cash register open. The clerk picked up the phone to call 9-1-1 and the suspect fled the store traveling southeast on E NC 27 Hwy in a dark colored Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
When detectives arrived on the scene still photos were obtained from security cameras in the store which depicted a white female with brown hair and wearing a blue tee shirt with the name of “King” and the number “01” in white characters on the back. During the investigation Gaston County Police found the woman a short distance inside Gaston County on the side of Highway 27.
Detectives responded to that location and positively identified the woman as the suspect. It was also discovered by Gaston County Police that the suspect attempted a similar incident at a convenience store in Alexis. After leaving that location the vehicle the suspect was driving ran out of gas.
Following her arrest, Lincoln was detained in the Gaston County Jail under $20,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in Gaston County District Court today (October 18).
43-year-old Lisa Rhom Barlow was arrested Wednesday (October 17) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony motor vehicle theft and misdemeanor probation violation. Barlow was arrested shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday at an address on Lloyd Beaver Road in Morganton. She was placed in jail under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date is Friday (October 19).
47-year-old Arney Lewis J. Bryant was arrested this morning (October 18) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Bryant was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. today and placed in jail in Morganton under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Friday (October 19).
37-year-old Amanda Kay Loftin of 4th Street SW in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (October 17) by Probation & Parole Officers. She's charged with two counts of felony probation violation. Loftin was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (October 22).
36-year-old Daniel Ray Chavez of 34th Street Place N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (October 17) on felony counts of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. He was also charged with three misdemeanor counts each of larceny and failure to appear, plus one count of driving while license revoked. Chavez was also charged on orders for arrest out of Lincoln County for possession with intent to manufacture, sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance and the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, plus additional orders for arrest out of Catawba County for driving while license revoked and fictitious or altered title, registration card or tag.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on June 26 of this year when Officers responded to a reported larceny at a grocery store on Springs Road N.E. in Hickory. Three days later, the suspect was identified as Daniel Ray Chavez, leading to his arrest yesterday.
Chavez was taken into custody without incident shortly after noon Wednesday at a convenience store on South Center Street. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $71,000 secured bond. District Court appearances were set for today and November 5. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled tomorrow (October 19) in Lincoln County.
North Carolina Department of Transportation contract crews will continue resurfacing a section of Interstate 40 East from mile marker 146 to 150, as part of a $34.4 million contract to improve 20 miles of the highway between Conover and Statesville. Weather permitting, lane closures will be in place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting tonight, (October 18) and continuing through November 15. A news release from NCDOT says drivers will have a smoother riding surface when work is completed.
26-year-old Robbie Octavion Little of 3rd Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested early this morning (October 17) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count each for possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Little was taken into custody without incident just before 2 a.m. today at an address on Highway 127 South in Hickory. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $15,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
20-year-old Hunter Logan Wise of Oak Ridge Road in Gaffney, SC was arrested today (October 17) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with felony larceny, misdemeanor larceny, and five counts of break or enter a motor vehicle. Wise was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (October 18).
19-year-old Robert Djuan Nelson, Jr. of 17th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:25 Tuesday morning (October 16) on one felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle.
Nelson was arrested in connection to an incident on October 1 when Officers responded to a residence on 8th Street Drive N.W. in reference to a stolen motor vehicle. During the investigation, Nelson was identified as the suspect and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident at the Hickory Police Department. Nelson was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $20,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today (October 17) in Newton.
Two residences were damaged in a fire early this morning (October 17). At 4:40 a.m. today the Hickory Fire Department was dispatched to Westminster Park Townhomes at 2705 North Center Street. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and one command unit. Upon arrival at 4:44 a.m., firefighters reported heavy amounts of smoke coming from the two story townhome complex.
Firefighters quickly worked to ensure that occupants were out of the burning structure, evacuate surrounding townhomes, and also worked to determine the source of the smoke. Additional firefighters responded to assist with the incident and firefighters from St. Stephen’s and Long View Fire Departments were asked to cover areas in the city. Catawba County EMS and the Hickory Police Department also responded to the incident.
The fire was under control by 5:29 a.m. No injuries were reported and two townhomes were damaged. Fire investigators determined the fire started in the upstairs bathroom and was caused by a lamp, which was too close to a curtain.
49-year-old Christopher Scott Rieger of Scenic Ridge Drive in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:15 last night (October 16) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering, plus one misdemeanor count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on August 23 of this year. At that time, Officers responded to a break-in at an unoccupied residence on Pinecrest Road N.E. A known suspect, Christopher Scott Rieger, allegedly entered the residence and took several items. Warrants for his arrest were issued.
Rieger was taken into custody without incident at the Silver Springs Terrace apartment complex on 20th Street N.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,500 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
More information has been released regarding the arrest of 47-year-old Ronald Ray Stroup of Kings Mill Road in Valdese, first reported yesterday on WHKY. Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers have charged Stroup with felonious restraint.
The felony charge stems from an incident on Monday, September 24. At that time, a female victim reported that Ronald Ray Stroup had held her at gunpoint against her will. The victim said Stroup had been using methamphetamine for a few days when the incident occurred and that he wanted to go to Valdese Hospital for an unknown reason. En route to the hospital, Stroup stopped near a church on Main Street in Valdese where the victim got out of the vehicle.
The following day, Stroup was arrested for violating a domestic violence protection order. He was given a $2,500 secured bond. Investigators also issued a warrant charging Stroup with felonious restraint. That warrant was served Monday (October 15) while Stroup was in custody. An additional $25,000 secured bond was assessed. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today (October 17).
Gastonia Police have arrested a man wanted in connection with the kidnapping of a Lincoln County woman and forcing her to attempt to withdraw money from a local bank.
42-year-old Reginald Aaron Ballard of Lincolnton is charged with felony 1st degree kidnapping, felonious restraint, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats. He was arrested by Gastonia Police Tuesday morning (October 16) as he walked down Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia. An off duty Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect and notified a Gastonia Police officer who took Ballard into custody.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives had been looking for Ballard since September 25. As WHKY previously reported, the victim reported that Ballard held her against her will at her residence on West Highway 27. She said the suspect held a pistol to her head earlier in the afternoon and demanded $5,000. She first refused but later drove Ballard to Carolina Trust Bank at 790 West Highway 27 in an attempt to withdraw the money. While at the bank she was able to notify bank employees that they need to call the police.
Ballard became suspicious and forced her to drive away from the bank. She drove around the nearby area and returned to the Bi-Lo parking lot across the street. The suspect tricked Ballard into getting out of the car. She locked the vehicle and began sounding her car horn. That got the attention of the bank employees who called 9-1-1. Ballard fled the area around Highway 150 and Highway 27 West intersection on foot and eluded officers.
Ballard was turned over to Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office detectives and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center without bond. He was scheduled to have a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (October 17).
47-year-old John Wayne Goins of Cat Square Road in Vale was arrested Sunday (October 14) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one felony count each of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was also charged with fictitious registration, driving while license revoked and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
A second suspect, 28-year-old Brian David Arnold, of Kings Mountain, was being sought by authorities. He's charged with one felony count each of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, and identity theft. He is also charged with one misdemeanor count each of simple possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
According to a news release issued Tuesday (October 16), Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies were on routine patrol at approximately 12:30 a.m. Sunday when they encountered a vehicle traveling east on West Highway 150 that had a burned out tail light. In addition, the driver failed to signal a turn. A traffic stop was conducted. Goins was the driver and Arnold was the passenger.
Because of a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car deputies asked Arnold if there was any marijuana in the vehicle and he said there was. A search of the individuals and the vehicle turned up a hypodermic needle, marijuana, and meth. Officers also found a pistol underneath the driver’s seat. Officers learned that both men were convicted felons and Goins was placed under arrest and transported to the magistrate’s office.
Arnold, who originally gave officers a fake name, told the deputy he swallowed methamphetamine and was feeling sick. Lincoln County EMS was called and was transporting Arnold to Gaston Memorial Hospital when he jumped from the ambulance near Dallas and fled on foot. Dallas Police and Gaston County Police searched for Arnold but could not locate him.
Goins was placed in jail under a $40,000 secured bond. His next District Court date is October 29. Anyone with information on Arnold’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
45-year-old William Douglas Higgins of Herman Road in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (October 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Higgins was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (October 17).
Early voting gets underway today (October 17) and there are several candidates on the ballot in the Hickory Metro counties. Early voting runs until Saturday, November 3.
In Alexander County the ballot includes contested races for County Commissioner, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, NC State Senate District 42, NC House of Representatives District 94, and U.S. House District 5. In Burke County there are contested races for County Commissioner, NC State Senate District 46, NC House of Representatives District 86, and U.S. House District 11.
In Caldwell County the ballot includes contested races for County Commissioner, Board of Education, Clerk of Superior Court, Sheriff, NC State Senate District 46, NC House of Representatives District 87, and U.S. House District 11. The Catawba County ballot features contested races for County Commissioner, Board of Education, Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, NC State Senate District 42, NC House of Representatives Districts 89 and 96, and U.S. House Districts 5 and 10.
For a full list of candidates in each county go to the Board of Elections website, sample ballots are available.
Early voting sites are as follows: in Catawba County at the Main Library in Newton at 115 West ‘C’ Street, Highland Recreation Center at 1451 8th Street Drive NE in Hickory, the Southwest Branch Library at 2944 South Hwy 127 in Mountain View, Conover Station at 403 Conover Station SE on the bottom floor of the library building, and the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road in Terrell.
In Caldwell County early voting locations are the Alden E. Starnes County Office Plaza in City/County Chambers at 905 West Avenue NW in Lenoir, and the Shuford Recreation Center at 56 Pinewood Road in Granite Falls. In Burke County the early voting locations are the Board of Elections in Morganton, Burke County Library & Senior Center in Hildebran, and Glen Alpine Town Hall in Glen Alpine. And in Alexander County you can vote early at the Board of Elections in Taylorsville, at the Bethlehem Community Fire & Rescue Department, and the Former Energy United Building in Stony Point.
Voting times do vary somewhat, check your county’s Board of Elections website or contact them to find out when you can cast your ballot. Election Day is November 6. WHKY Radio, WHKY TV and www.whky.com will have results throughout the evening on that date.