35-year-old Jammy Lee Carswell was arrested Sunday (January 14) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny of a financial transaction card and misdemeanor failure to appear. Carswell was arrested shortly after 8:30 p.m. Sunday and placed in jail under $6,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (January 16).
51-year-old Rebecca Meyers Watkins of 19th Avenue SE in Hickory was arrested Friday (January 12) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged on bills of indictment with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods. Watkins was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for March 5.
23-year-old Samantha Jean Taylor of Little Road in Newton was arrested today (January 15) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with the sale of heroin and methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin and meth, and eight counts of failure to appear. Following the arrest, Taylor was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $160,001 total bond. Superior Court appearances are scheduled for Tuesday (January 16) and February 19.
24-year-old David Lynn Henson Jr. of Turner Road in Granite Falls was arrested Friday (January 12) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of stolen goods and misdemeanor injury to personal property. Henson was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Tuesday (January 16).
A local utility company has established a program to assist customers who are having difficulty paying their bills. Higher energy bills for many consumers across the region are resulting from North Carolina’s sustained cold temperatures causing increased heating needs. The number of days with lows below 10 degrees was at nearly an all-time high and the first seven days of 2018 were reported to be the coldest such period on record for most climate stations in western North Carolina.
Blue Ridge Energy is offering help and additional assistance for its members and customers. Many are seeing relief by spreading payments using Budget Billing or customized payment arrangements, as well as FlexPay for more flexible payment plans. As a special effort to help members directly with these uncommon expenses, Blue Ridge Energy is re-establishing its "So No One Goes Cold" campaign. This campaign asks members who can afford to help to contribute and utilizes local helping agencies to identify families in need that can be helped with Operation Round Up crisis heating funds during this critical time of need.
Blue Ridge Energy electric members and propane and heating fuel customers are eligible to apply through local helping agencies in each county. A full list of helping agencies is available at: www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com/WeCare. For those who would like to contribute to So No One Goes Cold to help with crisis heating assistance, please donate online at: www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com/WeCare or mail a check payable to the Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation to Blue Ridge Energy, PO Box 112, Lenoir, NC, 28645. All donations are tax deductible and every penny goes to help those in need.
Blue Ridge Energy serves 75,000 electric cooperative members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany counties as well as parts of Alexander, Wilkes and Avery counties.
The Caldwell County Board of Education has chosen the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) to help facilitate its search for the next superintendent of the Caldwell County School System. As part of that process, the board is seeking direct input from interested members of the staff and community to help shape the search process and assist in defining the qualities and characteristics of the next superintendent. The following avenues for input are available to the community and staff:
Community survey. The board invites parents and community members to participate in a short community survey that can be accessed and completed online at caldwellschools.com. Paper copies of the survey also may be found at the Education Center. Completed paper surveys should be returned to the Education Center’s receptionist by Thursday, February 1. The survey results will be compiled, summarized, and presented at by NCSBA at the regular Board of Education meeting on Monday, February 12.
Staff survey. In addition, all district employees will have an opportunity to complete a separate online staff survey.
Public comment. On January 24, 2018, the Board will hold a specially called meeting to hear from stakeholders as follows:
Noon until 1 p.m. Members of the Business Community and Chamber of Commerce
4 p.m. until 5 p.m. Faculty and Staff School
5 p.m. until 6 p.m. Parent Leaders, PTA/PTO Council, Education Foundation, and CCC&TI
6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Principals and Assistant Principals
All meetings are scheduled at the Education Center in the Board Room, located at 1914 Hickory Blvd. SW in Lenoir. Citizens must sign up to speak before the meeting begins.
Another avenue for input is through statements from groups or organizations. Groups or organizations that would like to submit statements regarding the leadership qualities that they consider important in the next superintendent may submit such statements to Allison Schafer via mail at NCSBA, P.O. Box 97877, Raleigh, NC 27624, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via fax at 919-841-4020. These statements should be received no later than Thursday, February 1.
41-year-old Teddi Renee Stamey and 37-year-old Gregory Nelson Grubb Jr., both of the same Elizabeth Street NE, Lenoir, address, were both arrested Friday (January 12) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with two felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine. Both suspects were jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $250,000 secured bond. They're scheduled to make first appearances in District Court Tuesday (January 16).
40-year-old James William Smith of Log Cabin Road in Statesville, along with 39-year-old Nick Richard Shelton, 33-year-old Eric Wayne Brown, and 32-year-old Amanda Krug, all of the same Flower House Loop residence in Troutman, were arrested Friday (January 12) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Smith is charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver methamphetamine and misdemeanor maintain a dwelling for controlled substance. Shelton, Brown, and Krug are all charged with misdemeanor counts of maintain a dwelling for controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
After receiving numerous complaints from citizens about a residence on Flower House Loop in Troutman possibly being a drug house, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigation Unit conducted surveillance operations to verify the information. Officers determined that the activity at 240 Flower House Loop was consistent with activity at a drug house and began an active investigation. Narcotics detectives were able to intercept drugs leaving the residence and determined heroin was being sold out of this residence. Undercover narcotics detectives were able to purchase heroin at the residence during a month long investigation.
On Friday January 12, 2018, members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office S.E.R.T. (Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team) executed a search warrant at the residence. During the search, methamphetamine, marijuana and Xanax were discovered inside of the residence, along with needles, small balloons (used for packaging heroin), scales, and plastic baggies. The four suspects were arrested.
Smith's bond was set at $20,000 secured, Shelton and Brown received bonds of $2,500 secured, and Krug's bond was set at $4,500 secured. Smith has a District Court date scheduled for Tuesday (January 16). Shelton, Brown, and Krug are all scheduled to appear in District Court February 13.
44-year-old Edward Lajuane Robinson of B & W Lane in Conover was arrested Saturday (January 13) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of larceny and breaking and entering, misdemeanor injury to real property, and failure to appear on a count of non-support of a child. Robinson was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $251,000 bond. Court appearances are scheduled for Tuesday (January 16) and Thursday (January 18).
44-year-old Lee Allen Shuler of 2nd Street SW in Hickory was arrested Saturday (January 13) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny, and habitual larceny. In addition, Shuler is charged with misdemeanor larceny, injury to real property, and resisting a public officer. Shuler was confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $340,000 bond. District Court dates are scheduled for Tuesday (January 16) and February 28.
Hickory City Council meets in regular session Tuesday night (January 16) in regular session. The agenda includes the approval of minutes, reaffirmation and ratification of second readings, and the consent agenda.
The consent agenda includes the approval of a contract to purchase approximately 1.35 acres of property adjacent to the Northeast Wastewater Treatment Facility on 1st Street Place NE in the amount of $125,000. The property would be purchased from Porter Auto Sales LLC.
Under new business at tomorrow night's Hickory City Council meeting there are three public hearings scheduled. The first is to hear comments regarding the consideration to amend Article II in Chapter 4, Animals and Fowl of the Hickory City Code of Ordinances. This pertains to the seizure and impoundment of animals and fowl.
There will also be a public hearing to hear comments regarding the consideration to amend Chapter 24 of the Hickory City Code of Ordinances to consolidate and codify regulations regarding solicitors, peddlers, and panhandlers into one chapter. A third public hearing will be held to hear comments regarding the consideration of a resolution directing that a street improvement project be undertaken for curb and gutter along property located at 1440 8th Street NW.
Tuesday's Hickory City Council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
29-year-old Sharon Renee Davis of Knox Avenue in Statesville was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon (January 11) on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest with two aggravating factors, plus misdemeanor counts of driving while license revoked and providing false information to an Officer. The felony warrant for her arrest was issued in November of last year in Catawba County, while the misdemeanor warrants came from Burke County in April 2017.
Davis was taken into custody without incident at the Hickory Police Department. She was processed and released under a $1,000 secured bond and a $500 cash bond. An appearance in a Catawba County courtroom was scheduled today in Newton, with a Morganton court date coming up on January 30.
21-year-old Marquez Jayshun-Jerome Ikard of 7th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was served true bills of indictment by Hickory Police at 12:15 yesterday afternoon on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, plus additional counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, discharging a firearm in the city limits and injury to real property. He was also charged with failure to appear in connection to charges of discharging a firearm in the city limits and injury to real property.
The arrest comes in connection to an incident on September 28 of last year when Hickory Police responded to a shots fired call on the 900 block of South Center Street. During the investigation, Ikard was identified as the shooter and warrants for his arrest were issued. Ikard was initially arrested on September 29, 2017.
He was taken into custody without incident yesterday at his residence. Ikard was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $35,000, secured. A Superior Court date was scheduled today, with a District Court appearance coming up on February 19, both in Newton.
Kody Pugh of Conover has won $100,000 in the North Carolina Education Lottery’s Powerball game. Mr. Pugh bought the winning ticket at the Citgo Food Mart on East Conover Boulevard in Conover. The drawing was held on December 30.
Mr. Pugh’s winning ticket beat odds of one in 913,129. He claimed his prize Thursday (January 11) at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, he took home $69,501. Mr. Pugh said he plans to use some of the money to buy a new car, and he wants to take his mother on a Las Vegas vacation.
For details on how lottery funds have been used in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties, click on the “Impact” section of the lottery’s website, nclottery.com.
The Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter of the American Red Cross announced today (January 12) that Scott Loudermelt has been named the new Executive Director. Loudermelt comes to the Red Cross from Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley where he served as director of development since 2013. His first day on the job will be Monday (January 15).
Loudermelt previously served as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Iredell County. Before joining Habitat for Humanity, he served as campus administrator with Sipes Orchard Home in Conover and as program director with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Catawba Valley.
Loudermelt graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree majoring in political science from Lenoir Rhyne University. He has been active in his communities, serving as chair of United Way Pacesetter Committee, chair of Iredell Chamber of Commerce Leadership Statesville Program, member of Newton Conover City Schools Board of Education for ten years, of which he served as chair for four, and he is a member of the Newton Conover Rotary Club.
55-year-old Danny Lee Critcher of SE Triplett Drive in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (January 11) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule VI controlled substance, and one felony count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Critcher was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $30,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Tuesday (January 16).
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office has released more information on the arrest of a Stanley woman, initially reported yesterday on WHKY, along with the arrest of a second suspect.
36-year-old Tammy Lynne Erickson of Pinetop Drive and 48-year-old Donald Lee Davis, Jr. of Hines Circle, both from Stanley, were each charged with one felony count each of trafficking cocaine by transport, trafficking cocaine by possession and possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule IV controlled substance.
The two were arrested Wednesday (January 10) by Lincoln County Narcotics Officers. The arrests came during a traffic stop near the 6,900 block of Sifford Road in Stanley. Detectives stopped the vehicle after it was spotted left of the centerline. The vehicle also had an expired registration plate.
Investigators say the driver and passenger were behaving nervously. Detectives found cocaine as they conducted a pat down of both subjects’ clothing. A search of the vehicle turned up both powder and crack cocaine, various prescription pills and over $25,000 in cash. The cocaine weighed 30 grams (just over an ounce).
Erickson was jailed under a $110,000 secured bond, while Davis’ bond was set at $60,000, secured. Erickson will next appear in District Court on January 23. Davis has a court date on January 11.
The Boil Water Advisory has been lifted for all Caldwell County water customers that were affected by the water line break near the town of Granite Falls.
All tests have come back normal and County water customers may resume normal use of their water. Around 150 Caldwell County water customers were affected by the water line break in Granite Falls on Wednesday (January 10).
46-year-old Brian Pechet Smith of Blacksnake Road in Stanley was arrested Thursday (January 11) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one felony count of identity theft fraud and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.
On January 5, Travis Lambert reported that he lost his debit card at Midtown Sundries in Denver, NC a few weeks earlier and had recently discovered that someone had used the card to make purchases at several businesses in Denver and one business in Gastonia.
Detective Richard Calhoun investigated the case and arrested Smith, who was employed as a server at Midtown Sundries at the time of the incident. According to a news release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the suspect gave a full confession. Smith stated he found the debit card on the floor at the restaurant. The victim paid in cash which he pocketed and Smith used the card to pay the bill. He waited a few weeks before using it at the other locations.
Smith was released after posting a $9,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
39-year-old Damon Latario Huntley of McIntosh Road in Stanley was arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers Thursday (January 11). He's charged with one felony count each of trafficking opium or heroin by possession and felony possession of cocaine. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Huntley's arrest came after detectives, with assistance from Charlie District patrol deputies, conducted a search at a residence near the 6500 block of McIntosh Road in Stanley. During the search, detectives seized a trafficking amount of opioid based pills (hydrocodone), powder and crack cocaine, marijuana, a handgun, over $700 in cash, and drug paraphernalia. The search came as a result of an ongoing investigation into the possession, distribution, and sale of various drugs from the residence.
Huntley was jailed under a $65,000 secured bond. No court date was listed. The investigation is ongoing and more charges and arrests may be forthcoming. Anyone with information concerning illegal drug activity is urged to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Drug Tip Line at 704-736-8606 or Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. All tips are investigated and callers can remain anonymous.