Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Lincoln County man. Authorities are searching for 32-year-old Riley Ray Higgins of North Street in Lincolnton. Higgins was last seen by his fiancée at approximately 7:30 a.m. Monday (April 15) as she was leaving for work. Higgins left his cell phone at the residence and did not report for work at a business on Highway 150 west of Lincolnton, NC.
Higgins is described as a white male, 6' 1", weighing approximately 190 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Higgins may be driving his purple 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS with a North Carolina license plate number of FJR-2862.
Anyone with information of Higgins whereabouts is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.
49-year-old William Robert Bulskis of Millet Drive in Stony Point has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff's Officers on one count of felony statutory sex offense with a child by an adult and six counts of felony indecent liberties with a child.
On March 22, the Sheriff’s Office took a report regarding a sexual assault involving a 14-year-old female. The victim’s mother said the suspect, William Bulskis, was living in the residence at the time of the assault.
Investigators interviewed the victim, who said William Bulskis had sexually assaulted her multiple times between September 2014 and September 2017. Bulskis had moved from New Jersey into the residence in December of 2013. Investigators interviewed the suspect and several other witnesses.
Warrants were issued and Bulskis was arrested yesterday (April 15). He was placed in the Iredell Co. Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond. His next appearance in District Court was set for May 6.
51-year-old Tim Dwayne Freeman was arrested today (April 16) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a weapon by a felon and misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun. Freeman was arrested at an address at Lenoir Road and Shadowline Drive in Morganton shortly after midnight this morning. He was not listed as an inmate in Burke County. No court date was listed.
58-year-old Charles Edward “Chucky” Mills of Mills Hill Lane in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on felony counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver crack cocaine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to sell a controlled substance.
Yesterday (April 15), Iredell Co. Narcotics Officers, along with the Sheriff’s Special Emergency Response Team and Patrol Deputies, executed a narcotics search warrant at Mills' residence, ending a month-long investigation. Investigators had received information regarding Mills' involvement in the distribution of controlled substances from the residence. Undercover Investigators conducted surveillance operations, identifying Mills as a suspect. Officers were able to purchase crack cocaine from the residence.
According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, Mills was involved in a similar investigation in June 2018. A search was conducted at that time, and Mills and others who were present were found to be in possession of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, and prescription pills. Mills faces several felony and misdemeanor charges as a result of that incident, all of which are still pending in court.
As a result of the current investigation, 5.2 grams of crack cocaine and $650 were seized from the residence. Mills was arrested and taken to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was held under a $20,000 secured bond.
38-year-old Jason Brad Earpe of Nutridge Lane in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police Officers yesterday (April 15) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and two misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana up to half an ounce. He’s also charged with fictitious or altered title, registration card, or tag; providing fictitious information to a police officer, driving while license revoked, and two counts of failure to appear. Earpe was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $64,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for May 6.
34-year-old Maston Howard Sanders of Apple Blossom Lane in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (April 15) on one felony count of possession with intent to sell & deliver methamphetamine. He’s also charged with two misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana paraphernalia, plus fictitious or altered title, registration card, or tag; possession with intent to sell non-taxed alcoholic beverages, driving while license revoked, and four counts of failure to appear.
Sanders was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $102,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled yesterday.
20-year-old Joshua Michael Shukis of Woodmont Court in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (April 15) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with four felony probation violations and one felony count of interference with an electronic monitoring device. Shukis was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center with bond set at $45,000, secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled today.
23-year-old Chase Nathaniel Webb of Hayes Street in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (April 15) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with one felony count of larceny of a firearm and one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm. Webb was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $9,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for tomorrow (April 17).
A bridge on Reepsville Road over Tanyard Creek in Lincolnton will be replaced as part of an $8.5 million contract awarded in 2017 to replace seven bridges in Cleveland and Lincoln counties.
According to a news release from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), contractor R.E. Burns and Sons Co. of Statesville will close Reepsville Road at 8 a.m. next Monday (April 22). The contract calls for the closure to stay in place through September 2020. Drivers can follow a posted detour from Reepsville Road to Cansler Road and June Bug Road, returning to Reepsville Road.
These other bridges are also being replaced under the contract: In Lincoln County, Laboratory Road over Indian Creek, Southside Road over South Fork of the Catawba River, Howards Creek Mill/Westwind over Howard’s Creek, and Alf Hoover Road over Howards Creek.
In Cleveland County, Oak Grove Road over Muddy Fork Creek, and Bethlehem Road over Beason Creek. All of the new bridges are scheduled to be completed by May 21, 2020.
25-year-old James Thomas Collins of Big Pine Key, Florida, was arrested Monday (April 15) by Hudson Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and on a felony fugitive warrant. Collins is also charged with misdemeanor resisting a public officer. The fugitive warrant is from Florida, where he faces unspecified charges. Collins was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $266,000 secured bond. A District Court date is May 6 in Lenoir.
Catawba County Commissioners met in regular session Monday night (April 15).
Public Health Strategist Zack King presented “The State of the County Health Report 2018” to commissioners. The report is a summary of the current health status of Catawba County and is a supplement to the community health assessment, which is a more comprehensive health analysis produced every three years.
A request was made for Clay Wilson & Associates, doing business as The Cognitive Connection to submit a grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for $500K in Federal funds over 3 years on behalf of the County to continue and enhance Catawba County Recovery Court. This request was approved.
The Policy & Public Works Subcommittee recommended to the Board of Commissioners the approval of a Pyrotechnics Permit to the JECO Pyrotechnics Inc. for a fireworks display in the Town of Catawba. The display would take place during the Catawba Town Festival May 11. Commissioners approved the request.
Commissioners presented the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) 2018 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to Budget & Management Director Jennifer Mace. Commissioner Hunsucker presented the Public Health Month Proclamation to Public Health Director Doug Urland, Assistant Director Jennifer McCracken, Strategist Zack King, and LiveWell Catawba’s Ashley Rink.
Commissioner Beatty presented the National Library Week 2019 Proclamation to Catawba County Library System Director Suzanne White. Commissioner Barnes presented the National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Proclamation to 911 Administrator Brian Drum, 911 Shift Supervisor Tammy Saunders, and Quality Compliance Coordinator Stephanie Westbrook.
31-year-old Daniel Joseph Chapman of Shell Lane in Valdese was arrested by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance, with that substance being methamphetamine.
According to a news release issued Monday (April 15), On April 1, 2019, Burke County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives initiated an investigation at a residence on Shell Lane in Valdese in reference to recent complaints of possible drug activity. Detectives made contact with several subjects at the residence and inquired about the recent complaints.
Upon further investigation, detectives found and seized methamphetamine from the residence and placed Joseph Daniel Chapman under arrest. Chapman was placed in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $3,000 secured bond. He remained in jail as of earlier today (April 16). A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (April 17).
26-year-old Jalen Tremain Crowell of 14th Street Lane N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (April 13) on one felony count of discharging a firearm into occupied property.
Crowell is the third suspect arrested in connection to an incident on March 2 when Officers responded to a "shots fired" call at the Waffle House on U.S. Highway 321 in Hickory. 21-year-old Trevin Ali Brown and 36-year-old Phalen Devon Izard, both of Hickory, were arrested previously; Brown on March 6 and Izard on March 27.
Crowell was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today (April 15) in Newton.
33-year-old Thomas Ray Whisnant of Devinny Street in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (April 13) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Whisnant was arrested in connection to an incident on April 13 when Hickory Police found a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Burke County. The vehicle was found at a convenience store on 2nd Avenue N.W. in Hickory. Whisnant was taken into custody at the scene. During the arrest, Officers found 17 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Whisnant was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $15,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today (April 15) in Newton.
20-year-old Ethan Trae Kistler of Wilson Heights Avenue in Morganton was arrested today by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony probation violation. Kistler was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $4,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is set for April 22.
61-year-old Gary Lynn Combs and 25-year-old Chelsey Lynn Combs of Stony Point, 22-year old Tiffany Amber Deel of Statesville, 54-year-old Perry Randall Miller and 51-year-old Lisa Whiteside Miller, both of the Wittenburg community, were all arrested Friday (April 12) by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers.
Gary Combs is charged with two counts of probation violation and one count of keeping a disorderly house. Chelsey Combs is charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Deel is charged with possession of marijuana, resisting arrest, and misdemeanor assault on an officer.
Perry Miller is charged with felony probation violation, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of methamphetamine, and maintain a vehicle or dwelling for controlled substance. Lisa Miller is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of methamphetamine, and maintain a vehicle or dwelling for controlled substance.
On Friday (April 12), members of the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office assisted the North Carolina Department of Probation and Parole in reference to searches of a pair of residences in Alexander County. The first search occurred on York Road in Stony Point. A search of the residence was conducted due to Gary Combs being on active probation for DWI.
The second residence searched was the home of Perry Miller in the Wittenburg Community on Shorty Miller Road. The search of the residence was conducted due to Perry Miller being on active probation for armed robbery.
All five suspects were transported to the Alexander County Detention Center. Perry Miller was held without bond. Lisa Miller's bond was set at $50,000 secured. Bond for Chelsey Combs and Deel was set at $15,000 secured apiece. Gary Combs received a secured bond of $11,500. Court dates for the suspects are scheduled for late April and early May.
43-year-old Bradford Lydell Cash of Eastview Street in Morganton was arrested Friday (April 12) by Lenoir Police Officers on one felony count of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle and one felony count of larceny. He’s also charged with one misdemeanor count of resist, delay, and obstruct a public officer.
Cash was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center with bond set at $17,500, secured. District Court dates were scheduled today (April 15) and for May 16.
32-year-old Casey Marie Hart of Emerald Place S.W. in Lenoir was arrested by Hudson Police Officers yesterday (April 14) on two felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance. Hart was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center with bond set at $25,000, secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled today.
36-year-old Robin Marie Whisnant of Harrisburg Drive in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (April 14) by Granite Falls Police Officers on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine. She’s also charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to appear. Whisnant was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $13,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for May 8.
26-year-old Cody Lee Smith of North Catawba Church Avenue in Morganton was arrested by Lenoir Police Officers Friday (April 12) on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle. Smith was taken to the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (April 15).