31-year-old Davie Wade Shuping of Woodburn Drive in Valdese was arrested Sunday (March 26) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with a felony count of being a registered sex offender on the premises of a school.
On Sunday, the Burke County Sheriff`s Office Criminal Investigation Division received an anonymous tip that a registered sex offender was on the property of Salem Elementary School at 1329 Salem Road in Morganton. Investigators responded to the school gymnasium and located Davie Wade Shuping.
According to records, Shuping was registered as a sex offender due to an April, 2014 conviction for indecent liberties with a minor. Following Sunday's arrest, Shuping was placed in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $15,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in court today (Monday, March 26).
One person was killed and two others were injured in a three-car accident in Catawba County. The crash occurred just before midnight Friday (March 24) on Keisler Dairy Road in Conover.
According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, a vehicle crossed the center line and hit another vehicle, before colliding with a second vehicle head-on. The driver of the second vehicle struck was killed.
WHKY spoke with the Highway Patrol this morning (Monday, March 27) and they did not release the victim's name. A published report over the weekend said the person killed was a 26-year-old woman from Claremont.
The two other people who were injured were transported to the hospital. The road was closed for several hours following the accident.
A Father and Son from Caldwell County were killed Saturday (March 25) in an RV crash while traveling to a race in Georgia. The crash resulted in the deaths of 53-year-old Chris Gragg and his son, 23-year-old Cody Gragg, both from the Collettsville Community outside of Lenoir. The crash occurred at around noon Saturday on Interstate 77 in the southbound lanes at mile marker 68 in Chester County, South Carolina.
According to Troopers, a tire on their RV blew out causing the driver to lose control. The RV went down an embankment before catching fire. The arrangements are as follows, the visitation will be Tuesday (March 28) from 6 to 9 p.m. and the funeral will be Wednesday (March 29) at 1 p.m. Both will be at Lenoir Community Church at 1002 Lower Creek Drive in Lenoir. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Collettsville Volunteer Fire Department.
The City of Hickory and its project partners have received the North Carolina Main Street program’s Award of Merit for Best Historic Rehabilitation Project. The city was recognized for the transformation of the Lyerly Full-Fashioned Mill into Transportation Insight’s corporate campus. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland and Executive Director of Economic Development Susan Fleetwood presented awards last week to 15 program participants.
The former hosiery mill was vacant since the mid-1990s before Transportation Insight acquired the property in 2014 and successfully adapted 17,942 square feet of the mill and surrounding property into its corporate headquarters. Lyerly Mill was constructed in 1930. It is Hickory’s only remaining two-story hosiery mill from that era. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in August 2007.
The property owner is OHM Holdings LLC, which developed the site to create the corporate campus. The building contractor was Neill Grading & Construction Company. The City of Hickory played a key role by developing a public parking area to serve the company’s employees.
Transportation Insight president and founder Paul Thompson said the company’s goal is to create North America’s largest and most reputable provider of value-based logistics services by January 1, 2020. The company employs more than 400 people at its Hickory location. Transportation Insight previously occupied several buildings in downtown Hickory.
This year’s Main Street award winners were chosen by a panel of judges from dozens of applications submitted by program participants from across the state.
55-year-old Gerald Robert Hipps was arrested Thursday (March 23) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Hipps was placed in jail under $6,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court Thursday.
32-year-old David Robert Masten and 25-year-old Sierra Elizabeth Barnette, both of Pea Ridge Road in Morganton, were arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (March 24). They are each charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense. The warrants for their arrests were issued on March 20 in Burke County.
Btoh subjects were taken into custody without incident at about 3:10 a.m. on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Masten was given a $2,500 secured bond and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. Barnette was processed and released under a $1,500 unsecured bond. They were both scheduled to appear in court today in Newton.
The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Human Relations Awards. The annual Human Relations Awards are designed to recognize any individual, youth, or organization/business that has gone “above and beyond” in promoting good human relations in the City of Hickory.
The community is encouraged to nominate individuals or businesses who meet and excel in the CRC’s mission of promoting positive human relations in the City of Hickory and beyond. Nominees need to be currently involved in promoting human relations within the City of Hickory.
Nominee applications can be found on the CRC’s webpage on the City’s website, www.HickoryNC.gov under Boards and Commissions. Completed applications are due to the Hickory CRC by May 1, 2017. Completed nomination forms should be sent to the attention of Chief Thurman Whisnant, 347 2nd Avenue, SW, Hickory, NC 28602 or e-mail email@example.com.
The winners will be announced and recognized at the annual Spring Human Relations Award event. Details of the Human Relations Award event are in the planning stages and will be announced in the near future.
For more information, please contact staff liaison Chief Thurman Whisnant at the City of Hickory Police Department, at (828) 261-2600.
25-year-old Wayne Scott Barber of Roundtree Lane in Lincolnton was arrested today (Friday, March 24) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce. Barber was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $3,000 bond. A District Court date is scheduled for Monday (March 27).
The Newton Fire Department will begin conducting annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing in the northeast quadrant of the city on March 27.
The northeast quadrant of the city includes areas north of A Street and east 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.
55-year-old George Mitchell Rhinehardt of 3rd Avenue SE in Hickory and 49-year-old Jeanine Francine Crossno of Old Lowman Street in Valdese were both arrested by Hickory Police Officers. They’re each charged with felony possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rhinehardt and Crossno were detained this morning (Friday, March 24) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond apiece. They’re both schedule to appear in District Court today.
26-year-old Amanda Danielle Forth was arrested this morning (Friday, March 24) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with identity theft and five counts of failure to appear. Forth was being held in jail in Morganton under a total bond amount of $163,500 secured. A court appearance was scheduled for today.
31-year-old Alicha Leann Hamby of Crescent Street in Granite Falls was arrested Wednesday (March 22) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine. Hamby was given a custody release. A court appearance was scheduled for Thursday (March 23) in Newton.
53-year-old Joyce Ann Atwood of Alphabet Lane in Sherrills Ford was arrested Thursday (March 23) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged on a bill of indictment with first degree arson. Atwood was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, March 24).
35-year-old Maurice Antoine Nichols of Woodside Drive in Kings Mountain was arrested Wednesday (March 22) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one felony count of burning personal property.
Nichols is charged with setting a fire in a trash container inside RSI Home Products on Lincoln County Parkway, which was the suspect's place of employment. Detective Justin Link was assigned the case following the March 7 incident and conducted the investigation. Managers on duty the night of the incident watched video and saw someone intentionally set the fire. The suspect was identified as Maurice Antoine Nichols.
According to a news release, Detective Link said Nichols tried to set the fire three times before the trash can ignited. Nichols left that location and returned a short time later operating a forklift. He summoned several other workers to help extinguish the blaze
The building where the fire started has 1.2 million square feet of space and contained a large amount of cabinets and cardboard. Detective Link said it is still unknown why he allegedly set the fire then helped put it out.
Nichols turned himself in at the Lincoln County Magistrate’s Office on Wednesday where he was processed and released on a $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for April 13.
Firefighters have completed burnout operations on the White Creek fire, increasing containment to 80%. The fire, which was reported Thursday March 16, is burning near Shortoff Mountain at the south end of Linville Gorge on the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The fire is now estimated at 4,355 acres. 155 firefighters are currently on scene. Law enforcement officials determined lightning to be the likely cause of the fire.
Fire managers took advantage of a weather conditions to finish burnout operations to secure fire lines. Unless conditions change, no additional burnout operations are expected. The most recent operations focused on securing private property on the south end of the fire. The fire continues to burn within containment lines, and firefighters are working to monitor and patrol the area. While smoke has decreased, it may continue to impact local communities through the weekend.
An area closure remains in effect for all U.S. Forest Service lands east of State Road 1238 (Old NC 105 / Kistler Memorial Highway), south of Conley Cove Trail (Tr #229), south of Table Rock Picnic Area, west of Back Irish Creek Forest Service Road #118 (Blue Gravel Road) and Roses Creek Forest Service Road #99, north of Highway 126. In addition, the following trails are closed: Shortoff Trail (Tr #235), Rock Jock Trail (Tr #247), Pinch-In Trail (Tr #228), Linville Gorge Trail (Tr #231) south of Conley Cove Trail (Tr #229), Mountains to Sea Trail (Tr #440) from State Road 1238 at Pinnacles to the Table Rock Picnic Area, and any social trails existing within the closure area. Public entry is prohibited within this area.
36-year-old Melvin Franklin Mull of 3rd Street SE in Hickory and 53-year-old Steven Louis Surratt whose address was not listed, were both arrested Thursday (March 23) by Hickory Police Officers. Both suspects are charged with trafficking, opium or heroin and possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce. Mull is also charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, resisting a public officer, and two counts of failure to appear. Suratt also faces a felony count of possession of cocaine.
Mull was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $120,750 bond. Surratt's bond was set at $100,000. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (Friday, March 24).
A delegation from the City of Hickory is in Washington, D.C. today as the city prepares to file its application for a TIGER Discretionary Grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). The group from Hickory includes Mayor Rudy Wright, Councilman Hank Guess, Councilman David Zagaroli, Interim City Manager Andrea Surratt and Staff Liaison Yaidee Fox.
The city is seeking a $13.5-million grant, an amount that would cover approximately one-third of the city’s $40-million bond projects. Those bond projects include the Citywalk, Riverwalk, Streetscapes & Gateways and Park 1764. This year’s application will mark the city’s third attempt to win a TIGER Grant.
The Hickory delegation has had the chance to meet briefly with U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx, and has also met with staff members from the offices of U.S. Senator Richard Burr and U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry. They have also met with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, seeking feedback on last year’s application.
The city’s grant application will be filed near the end of May or early June. Grants will be awarded in late July or early August of this year.
A Morganton man will spend at least 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree sex offense with a child during Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (March 21).
46-year-old Marty Baird Peters was given an active prison sentence of 11-20 years by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, following entry of his guilty plea. Peters will serve his sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
The offense involved a then 11-year-old female victim who reported to a school student resource officer that in January 2016 Peters had her watch pornographic movies with him and later used a sexual gratification device to touch her private area.
The Burke County Department of Social Services was contacted and made an assessment of the home, discovering pornographic materials that Peters said were his. He said he was the only person with access to them.
During a forensic interview conducted by Selena Moretz of the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center, the victim gave an identical narrative of the events that took place that she disclosed to the resource officer.
The defendant admitted to watching pornography with the victim and affirmed use of the device to touch her private area.
Det. Isaac Propst was lead investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, and he was assisted by Moretz. Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
46-year-old Jeannie Phillips Burns of D.R. Prestwood Mobile Home Park Drive in Hudson was arrested Wednesday (March 22) by Hudson Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Following the arrest, Burns was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
35-year-old Christopher Alan Townsend of Majestic View Place in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (March 22) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny. Following the arrest, Townsend was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for May 1.