Vidal Sipe has been named as the new chief of the Newton Police Department. Sipe was selected as police chief after an extensive assessment process that included interviews of candidates from across North Carolina. An announcement of his hiring was made to city staff, city council members, and the officers of the Newton Police Department on Monday (January 14). Sipe assumes the position of former Newton Police Chief Don Brown, who was elected sheriff of Catawba County in November.
Sipe has been employed by the Hickory Police Department since 2000. His most recent position there was as captain and commander of the department’s Support Services Division, where he directed and oversaw 116 sworn officers and 36 civilian staff. Prior to his employment with the Hickory Police Department, Sipe served in the United States Army and Army Reserve, where he obtained the rank of sergeant first class.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from American Military University and an associate degree in criminal justice technology from Catawba Valley Community College. He is a graduate of the North Carolina Justice Academy Management Development Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.
Newton City Manager Todd Clark said he was impressed by Sipe’s proven track record of forging relationships with the communities he serves, which is essential to community policing. Sipe is a native of York, Pennsylvania. He lives in Hickory with his wife of 20 years, Michelle. He has four children. Sipe will begin at the Newton Police Department on February 4.
30-year-old Christy Lynn Owens Rodriguez of Evanbrook Court in Lenoir was arrested Monday (January 14) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Owens was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (January 17).
23-year-old Austin Lane Ervin of Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (January 14) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. In addition, Ervin is charged on a bill of indictment with larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Ervin was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (January 17).
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, one significant project on Interstate 40 in Burke County is heading into the next phase. NCDOT officials were scheduled to shift westbound traffic from the existing lanes to a new bridge on I-40 over Berea Church Road tonight (January 15).
Crews were planning on limiting westbound traffic to a single lane during non-peak hours today in advance of the shift. A nighttime lane closure will be needed as well for westbound vehicles, and possibly eastbound traffic, heading into Wednesday morning (January 16).
NHM Construction, the contractor on this project, has been working on this bridge project since August of 2017 and anticipates completing the work in March of 2020. The crews are more than halfway through replacing the east and westbound bridges.
The next step of this $8.5 million project is to remove the 60-year-old westbound bridge and build the new span heading toward Old Fort.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the driver of the vehicle in this photograph. The vehicle was involved in a breaking and entering that occurred on January 10, off of NC Highway 18 South. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500 or Morganton/Burke Crimestoppers at 828-437-3333. All Crimestoppers tips are anonymous, and anyone with information leading an arrest may receive a cash reward.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a report Monday (January 14) concerning a missing man. Officers were told that 23-year-old Trevor Alan Drennen of Arden Drive in Lincolnton has not been heard from or seen since January 10.
Drennen is described as a white male, 5 feet – 7 inches tall and weighing around 135 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. Mr. Drennen will possibly be driving a black in color Honda Accord LX-S with North Carolina license plate TPC-6573. He frequents the Gaston County area.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Trevor Alan Drennen is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
61-year-old Eugenio Salgado Cabrera of Lama Lane in Lincolnton was arrested Saturday (January 12) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Deputies were dispatched to the 4700 block of Lama Lane in Lincolnton on Saturday after the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call regarding a person being shot in the hand. Detective Richard Calhoun was dispatched to the scene and learned that the two men had gotten into an argument because one of the roommates was playing his music too loudly. A news release says Eugenio Salgado Cabrera asked Oscar Aguilera to turn down the music and Aguilera refused. Cabrera then reportedly went into a bedroom and got a .22 caliber rifle and shot Aguilera striking him in the wrist.
Cabrera was taken into custody without incident. According to the news release, Detective Calhoun interviewed Cabrera and received a full confession in the incident. Cabrera was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $9,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for January 29. Aguilera was treated at CHS-Lincoln and released.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered Alexander County man. He is 23-year-old Paul Milton Simms, who is from the Taylorsville area. He is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Mr. Simms was last seen at the Ingram Planetarium on High Market Street in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. He is a white male; 6' 1" tall, weighing 185 pounds. Mr. Simms has long brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a camouflage coat.
Possible destinations include Myrtle Beach, S.C., Oak Island, N.C. and Hiddenite, N.C.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Paul Milton Simms should call the Sunset Beach Police Department at 910-253-7490.
22-year-old Adarion Decoda Parsons of Summerfield Circle in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police late Friday night (January 11) on one felony count each of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny after breaking & entering, plus one misdemeanor count each of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.
He was arrested after Police located a suspicious person at a convenience store on Springs Road N.E. in Hickory. The suspect, Adarion Decoda Parsons, matched the description of the suspect from a vehicle break-in that was reported earlier. During the arrest, Officers found one gram of marijuana and 12 dosage units of Xanax.
Parsons was taken into custody without incident at the convenience store. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton, with another court date coming up on February 12.
58-year-old Barbara Ann Caldwell-Hooper of Roy Caldwell Street in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 Friday evening (January 11) on two felony counts of habitual larceny.
She was arrested after Officers responded Friday to a reported larceny at Sam's Club on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. One of the habitual larceny charges is from an arrest warrant issued on July 9 of last year.
Hooper was taken into custody without incident at Exit 119 on I-40 westbound in Hildebran. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. Appearances in District Court and Superior Court were scheduled today (January 14) in Newton.
The City of Lenoir Fire Department responded to a large structure fire on Virginia Street Sunday night (January 13). As of Monday morning (January 14), firefighters had the blaze under control and were monitoring the scene. The fire started Sunday afternoon at an old plant at 515 Virginia Street SW, off Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir.
The building was the former Broyhill Occasional plant. It is currently vacant, and a company was working to salvage materials and clean up the building. The Lenoir Fire Department (LFD) received the fire call at around 4:50 p.m., and 55 City of Lenoir firefighters responded. After arriving on scene, the LFD command staff asked the Lenoir Police Department to shut down Morganton Boulevard and Virginia Street to run fire hoses. Lenoir firefighters had the blaze under control and contained around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, and the majority of the crews returned to their stations around 1:30 a.m.
Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Hair said preliminary reports suggest the fire was started by workers using torches to cut steel pipe and beams out of the roof. Hair said he suspects some roof material may have caught fire and had been smoldering unnoticed when the contractors left. The majority of the fire was the roof burning, he said. The building is predominantly steel and concrete.
There were a few explosions during the incident caused by pressurized acetylene and oxygen tanks on site. The building’s roof also collapsed during the fire. Several agencies provided mutual aid during the incident. Hudson, Gamewell, and Valmead fire departments went on standby to respond to calls in Lenoir. Hudson responded to a couple calls in the Whitnel area during the fire.
Granite Falls Fire Department brought their fire drone to the scene and helped monitor the fire and locate hot spots. Gamewell Volunteer Fire Department brought an Air Truck to the scene to help refill air tanks. The City of Lenoir Public Utilities Department responded to ensure firefighters had good water flow, and the Lenoir Police Department responded to close roads and direct traffic.
Chief Hair said his crews will continue to monitor the scene while the property owner coordinates site cleanup. No one was injured during the fire.
41-year-old Shannon Neil Childs of 1st Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon (January 12) on two felony counts of larceny by anti-inventory device. He was also charged by the Catawba Co. Sheriff's Office with two counts of failure to appear on indecent exposure charges. Those charges are from 2017.
He was arrested in connection to incidents dating back to last year. On November 18, Police responded to a larceny call at the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory. The suspect allegedly stole from the store on October 9, November 9 and November 11. The suspect was identified and warrants for his arrest were issued.
Childs was taken into custody without incident at the store. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $22,500, secured. An appearance in District Court on the larceny charges was scheduled today (January 14) in Newton. Childs will also appear in court on the indecent exposure charges on January 22.
The Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public's help regarding the theft of a vehicle from a Statesville business.
Last Monday (January 7), the Sheriff's Office took a report regarding the larceny of a motor vehicle from Castillo Auto Sales on Jane Sowers Road in Statesville. The suspect reportedly gained entry into a 2004 Ford F-450 tow truck at about 9 p.m. on January 6. According to the business owner, the tow truck was locked and the owner is in possession of the keys.
Video surveillance showed that the suspect stayed in the vehicle for several minutes before he drove out of the parking lot and turned right onto Jane Sowers Road, then turned left into the rear parking lot at a shopping complex on the Turnersburg Highway. A blue, four-door B.M.W. was seen in the parking lot minutes before the theft, and it was seen waiting in the area until after the truck was stolen.
Anyone with information regarding the theft should call Iredell/Statesville Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340 or call the Sheriff's Office at 704-878-3180.
24-year-old Colby Ray Price of Playmore Beach Road in Morganton was arrested Friday (January 11) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Price is also charged with attempted larceny of a motor vehicle, injury to personal property, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Bond for Price was set at $15,000 secured. A District Court date was scheduled today (January 14).
51-year-old Wendy Lenora Lorick of Pellion, South Carolina and 49-year-old Jerry Vance Whitaker of Lexington, North Carolina, were arrested Friday (January 11) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with two felony counts apiece of trafficking in methamphetamine and conspire to traffic in methamphetamine along with one felony count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance.
Both suspects were detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $150,000 secured bond apiece. They were each scheduled to appear in District Court today (January 14).
44-year-old Amy Michelle Kapinski of Ellison Place in Lenoir was arrested Friday (January 11) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony fail to report a new address as a sex offender. Kapinski was brought to the Caldwell County Detention Center, bond was set at $20,000 secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (January 14).
Social Security numbers are our most important personal information. These numbers, which can be used to open new credit cards, take out loans, even set up a new identity, are a scammer’s dream. That’s why they work so hard to steal your Social Security number.
The North Carolina Department of Justice reports that they’ve been hearing about a new uptick in scammers posing as Social Security Administration (SSA) employees and calling people and threatening or misleading them in an attempt to steal their Social Security number. These scammers calls show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213), but that’s not the SSA calling.
Here’s what you need to know: Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer, without exception.
Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.
Scammers are always looking for new ways to access sensitive information. If you encounter someone seeking to get this information from you, report it to the state's Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at ncdoj.gov.
A fire at a Caldwell County plant is reported to be under control. Firefighters responded to the large fire Sunday afternoon (January 13). The fire at the plant on Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir started around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. According to reports, the factory, located at the corner of Morganton Boulevard and Virginia Street, is a former Broyhill Furniture facility.
Fire officials said several roads were blocked while crews attempted to fight the fire. One published report said flames shot through the roof. According to the Lenoir Fire Department, as of early this morning (January 14) the fire was under control and all firefighters were safe and back in service with the exception of a couple of crews who stayed on the scene to monitor several hot spots.
No details regarding the cause of the fire have been released.
A second person entered a guilty plea in a child sexual assault case in Lincoln County. The incident was reported in September of 2018.
On Friday (January 11) in Lincoln County Superior Court, 27-year-old Ashley Nichole Lattimore of Koliha Lane in Maiden pleaded guilty to first degree statutory sex offense and felony child abuse involving a sexual act. Lattimore was sentenced to a minimum of 240 months and a maximum of 348 months, or 20 to 29 years. That will be followed by 30 months supervised probation when she is released from prison. Lattimore must also register as a sex offender for the remainder of her life. A permanent no contact order has been put into place preventing Lattimore from ever having contact with the victim.
As WHKY reported last week, 29-year-old Douglas Glenn Queen, Jr., of Koliha Lane in Maiden appeared in Lincoln County Superior Court on charges first degree statutory sex offense, indecent liberties with a child and felony child abuse in the case. He entered a plea of guilty to all charges and was sentenced to a minimum of 276 months to a maximum of 392 months, or 23 years to 32 years, eight months. When he is released from prison Queen will also receive 30 months of supervised probation and will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and be subject to satellite monitoring.
Sheriff’s Detective Kelsey Harrington said the victim in the case was between the ages of one and three years old at the time of the offense and is related to Lattimore and Queen.
28-year-old Curtise McCoy Trivette of Park Drive in Cherryville was arrested Friday (January 11) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle along with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Trivette was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (January 14).