Hickory Police are investigating another robbery at the CVS store on 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory. The store was previously robbed on December 14. Based on a similar description, Police believe the same suspect is responsible for both robberies.
Shortly after midnight today (December 21), a male suspect entered the store, displayed a knife and demanded money. He was given an undisclosed sum of cash and left the store. It’s not clear if he left on foot or in a vehicle. No one was injured.
The suspect was described as a white male with a slim build, about 18-to-20 years old. He was wearing a black mask and a black hooded sweatshirt.
In the December 14 incident, the suspect did not display a weapon.
Anyone with information regarding the robberies should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.
The name of the officer involved in a shooting in southern Caldwell County earlier this week was released by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
On Monday (December 19) the SBI began it's investigation into an incident that occurred on Dudley Shoals Road. At approximately 1:00 a.m. deputies responded to the home of 52-year-old Roy Lee Minton. According to a news release from the State Bureau of Investigation, Deputies encountered Minton who was armed with a pistol. An confrontation ensued and as a result, Minton was fatally wounded by Deputy John Runion.
Immediately after the shooting, the command staff of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office requested the SBI to investigate the incident. District Attorney David Learner has been briefed on the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The SBI is conducting an independent investigation and will provide the criminal investigative report to the District Attorney when complete.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives have released the identities of the victims in the murder-suicide that was discovered Monday (December 19) in eastern Lincoln County.
The victims are 55-year-old Catherine Harfield Collins and 50-year-old Betina Lynn Johnson, both of 3016 Madison Lane, in Denver. The two women had lived at the address for the last six years. Ms.Collin’s body was found in the living room and Ms. Johnson’s body was found in a back bedroom. The weapon used in the incident was a shotgun.
Detectives were unable to determine how long the two women had been deceased. There were no signs of a struggle. All doors were locked and the home was secured.
37-year-old David Ray Carswell of U.S. Highway 321 in Granite Falls was arrested Tuesday (December 20) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and failure to appear. Carswell was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, December 21).
51-year-old Scott Anthony Sanborn of U.S. Highway 70 in Connelly Springs was arrested Monday (December 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense. Sanborn was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for January 9 in Lenoir.
A Lincolnton woman was arrested on 15 outstanding felony warrants. 33-year-old Helen Alise Blackburn of Proctor Street in Lincolnton was arrested Sunday (December 18) by Lincolnton Police Officers.
According to a news release issued Tuesday (December 20), Blackburn is charged with six counts of obtaining property by false pretense, four counts of identity theft, one count of financial card fraud, one count of forgery of an endorsement, one count of attempted uttering of a forged instrument, one count of conspiracy, and one count of possession of a counterfeit instrument. All of the charges are felonies.
The warrants were the result of a three month investigation conducted by Detective Tony Potts of the Lincolnton Police Department. The news release says Blackburn used a stolen credit card to obtain property at various businesses. Additionally, Blackburn attempted to open up a financial account in another person’s name. She was also connected to the passage of counterfeit money.
Blackburn was arrested without incident at her residence. She was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under $62,000 secured bond. Blackburn had her first appearance on the charges Tuesday in Lincoln County District Court. Her next District Court date is January 3.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (December 20).
Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda were all approved unanimously. Second readings included the acceptance of the bid and award of the construction contract with Two Brothers Utilities Inc. for the Geitner Basin Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project. The bid amount is just over $2.8 million. Second readings also included the approval of the installation of an all-way stop at the intersection of 9th Street NW at 4th Avenue NW.
Gavin Mitchell, president of the Downtown Development Association presented a proposal to make parking hours uniform in downtown. It would change all parking to 3 hours in public lots and on-street parking. They call it "three or free." Council approved the proposal unanimously.
City Council also heard an update of the City Walk and Gateway designs. Several residents of Catawba Springs spoke to council and questioned the the city's use of a right of way. Another citizen spoke to council and requested sidewalks between Hwy 70 and 127 for pedestrian safety.
Mayor Rudy Wright recognized retiring Public Services Director Chuck Hansen. Hansen was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor.
45-year-old Keith Allen Tester of Springs Road NE in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (December 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony probation violation out of county, identity theft, misdemeanor larceny, and resisting a public officer. Tester was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $11,500 bond. A Superior Court date is set for next Wednesday (December 28).
GKN Driveline announced today (December 20) that it intends to expand its Catawba County manufacturing facility again. The company plans to create at least 143 new jobs by the end of 2019 and invest more than $110 million in its Maiden location, marking the company’s second major expansion at the facility in two years. In 2014, GKN Driveline expanded the facility by committing to invest $122 million and creating 228 new jobs.
GKN Driveline’s expansion in Maiden is facilitated, in part, by an award to the company from North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program that was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee and announced today. Local incentives will be considered by both the Town of Maiden and Catawba County at their regularly scheduled meetings in January.
GKN Driveline, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GKN plc with U.S. headquarters in Michigan, is expanding several locations within North Carolina, including its Catawba County facility. Due to additional business volume, the expansion will include material flow improvements and the addition of new equipment for innovative processes.
The company currently employs 1,097 in its Catawba County facility. GKN employs an additional 1,534 people at companies in other counties in North Carolina, making North Carolina the state with the largest GKN presence in the country.
GKN Driveline is a leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems. As a global company serving the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, GKN Driveline develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline technologies. GKN Driveline operates in 23 countries at 46 locations, employing approximately 25,500 people.
For more information about GKN Driveline including job opportunities, visit gkn.com/Careers.
Hickory City Council meets in regular session tonight (Tuesday, December 20). Under new business, council will hold a public hearing to consider a vacant building revitalization grant performance agreement for property on 1st Avenue SE. There are several items under reaffirmation and ratification of second readings including the acceptance of the bid and award of the construction contract with Two Brothers Utilities Inc. for the Geitner Basin Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project.
Tonight's Hickory City Council Meeting starts at 7:00 in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
33-year-old Jose Alberto Flores of Caldwell Street in Rhodhiss was arrested Monday (December 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to an automobile. Flores was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, December 20).
24-year-old Rebecca Nichole Larcinese of Hillcrest Avenue in Rhodhiss was arrested Monday (December 19) by Long View Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, resisting a public officer, and parole violation. Larcinese was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, December 20).
26-year-old Benjamin Lee Crews of 1st Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 this morning on felony counts of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. He was also charged with misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
Crews was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. Appearances in District Court were scheduled for December 22 and February 8 in Newton.
47-year-old Michael Gene Miller of 1st Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 this morning (December 20) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.
Miller was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office in Greenville County, South Carolina for failure to register as a sex offender. He is on South Carolina’s sex offender registry as the result of a July 1993 conviction for indecent liberties with a minor or sexual arousal with a child.
Miller was taken into custody without incident at his residence in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $200,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for December 22 in Newton.
48-year-old Timothy Glenn Hart of Shelton Mission Road in Greeneville, Tennessee has been arrested by Boone Police on one felony count each of soliciting a child by computer and appearing at the meeting place, dissemination of obscenity, attempted first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and indecent liberties with a child.
On Saturday, December 17, Boone Police and Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) concluded an Internet Crimes Against Children (I.C.A.C.) operation, resulting in Hart’s arrest. Hart had arranged a meeting in Boone with the intent of having a sexual encounter with a minor female. Hart traveled to Boone and Officers watched as he arrived at the meeting location. Investigators approached the suspect and conducted an interview. Hart was then taken into custody before he had any physical contact with a minor.
Hart was placed in the Watauga Detention Center under a $125,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for January 17.
The Boone Police Department and the S.B.I. are members of the North Carolina I.C.A.C. Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and the exploitation of children involving the internet.
An armed robbery at a Morganton grocery store is under investigation. On Sunday (December 18) shortly after 10:30 p.m., Morganton Publc Safety Officers responded to Food Lion at 1230 Burkemont Avenue after an armed robbery was reported. Responding officers were told that an unknown assailant had robbed the store.
Witnesses stated that the suspect entered the store and produced a small handgun and demanded access to the store safe and any cash at the store. Once the suspect obtained an undetermined amount of cash he fled the store on foot.
The suspect is described as a white male, wearing khaki pants, white shoes with black trim, and a black hooded jacket. He was also armed with a small black handgun.
The case is currently under investigation. If you have any information on the suspect please contact Morganton Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division at (828)432-2690 or Burke County Crimestoppers at (828)437-3333.
A case in Lincoln County is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide. A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Civil Deputy went to a residence in the 3000 block of Madison Lane in Denver at around 9 a.m. Monday (December 19) to serve an eviction notice but found two people deceased.
One of the victims was found in the living room and the other victim in the bedroom. Both of the victims were female and lived together in the residence. Detectives say both victims were in their 50’s and it could not be determined how long the two women had been deceased. Investigators say it appears to be a murder suicide.
The names of the victims have not been released pending notification of the next of kin.
49-year-old Timothy Dayton Spears of Ray Place and 50-year-old Christopher Ray Combs of Old Trenton Place, both from Lenoir, were both arrested by Caldwell County Sheriff's Ice Unit Officers Friday (December 16). They're each charged with felonious trafficking in methamphetamine.
According to a news release issued Monday (December 19), the two Baton Community individuals were arrested following an investigation led by the Ice Unit. The news release says that the two men were caught transporting over 31 grams of crystal methamphetamine in Spear’s 2013 Honda Accord. They were arrested at the intersection of Burke County Smokey Creek Road and Union Grove Road in Lenoir.
Authorities believed that the two men had been working together in bringing large amounts of methamphetamine into the county. The drugs have a street value of over $4,000 according to North Carolina State Guidelines.
Spears was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $40,000 secured bond. Combs bond was set at $20,000 secured. They were both scheduled to make first appearances in District Court on Monday.
34-year-old Tara Nichole Stevens of Connelly Springs will spend the next 20 years in prison following her plea to sex offenses and child abuse on Monday (December 19) in Burke County Superior Court.
Stevens pleaded guilty to statutory rape and was given an active prison term of 20-29 years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County. Judge Ervin also imposed a sentence of five to seven years for her felony child abuse plea to run concurrent with the active term.
Two weeks ago, Tara Stevens’ co-defendant and husband Richard Stevens pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory sex offense and one count of statutory rape. He was given an active prison sentence of 35 to 52 years. Richard Stevens engaged in sexual acts with the victims - now ages 18, 15 and 9 - and often recorded the encounters.
Tara Stevens told law enforcement that she knew what was taking place but did not do anything about it, and she assisted her co-defendant in production of the recorded sexual encounters.
The case was investigated by Isaac Propst of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from Beth Cali of the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center in Morganton. Frank Webster handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
The state’s “Booze It & Lose It” campaign is underway as the NCDOT and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) are working to keep the holidays joyful and prevent drunk driving accidents on North Carolina’s roadways.
Friday, December 9, the City of Hickory welcomed North Carolina Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson, GHSP Director Don Nail and Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant, as well as many local law enforcement Officers, to L.P. Frans Stadium for the “Booze It & Lose It” kick-off event.
The campaign is intended to remind partygoers to have a designated driver and make plans for a safe drive home. Taxicabs and app services are also encouraged as a means for safe travel. Law enforcement Officers will be watching closely for impaired drivers and numerous checkpoints will be set throughout the state.
Law enforcement will increase the number of saturation patrols and checkpoints. Impaired drivers could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees and other expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.