At 2:53 p.m. Sunday (February 19), Hickory firefighters were dispatched to 1225 14th Street Drive NE. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and two command units.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy fire coming from the rear of the structure. Fire crews established a water supply and began to extinguish the fire on rear of the structure as other crews prepared to make entry into the residence to conduct a search to make sure everyone was out. All occupants were able to exit the structure and the fire was under control at 3:12 p.m.
Catawba County EMS was on the scene to provide medical rehab for the firefighters and Hickory Police Department assisted blocking the roadway. The cause of the fire was from an unattended illegal burn at the back of the residence that spread to the open back porch and rear of the structure.
No injuries were reported and the occupants are staying with family members.
34-year-old Dustin Ross Watson of Hayes Waters Road in Morganton was arrested Sunday (February 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony discharge a firearm into occupied property. Watson was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
27-year-old Ricky Chang Lee of 6th Avenue SE in Hickory was arrested Sunday (February 19) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lee was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
34-year-old Gerardo Barragan Loeza of Eagle Crest Drive in Hamptonville was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and sale and delivery of schedule II controlled substance. Loeza was jailed this morning (Monday, February 20) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court date is slated for March 21.
Hickory City Council meets in regular session Tuesday night (February 21).
Under new business, there is one public hearing, it's scheduled to receive comments on the consideration of a Vacant Building Revitalization Grant Performance Agreement with The Block 108, LLC, for property located at 26 1st Avenue SE. Also under new business, City Council will hear a report on the acceptance of North Carolina Industrial Development Grant Funds in the amount of $671,920. The funds would assist in the development of sanitary sewer infrastructure and entrance road development for Park 1764.
Under Reaffirmation and Ratification of Second Readings, there are nine items. All of the items were approved unanimously on first reading. Among the items listed on the agenda under second readings is the acceptance and award of the agreement with Willis engineers Inc. in the amount of $65,000 for evaluation and design of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Area Waterline Improvements Project.
Council will also hear presentations by community groups requesting appropriations from City Council during the next Fiscal Year.
Tuesday's Hickory City Council meeting begins at 7:00 in the Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building at 76 North Center Street in downtown Hickory.
30-year-old Eric Todd Driggers of Gold Creek Bay in Hickory was arrested Friday (February 17) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on bills of indictment with three counts apiece of sale of methamphetamine and possession with intent to sell and deliver meth. Driggers was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
A missing Lincoln County teenager has been located and is safe. 18-year-old Tamara Louise Stansford of 3845 Oakwood Circle in Iron Station was last seen at her residence on February 10.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detective Justin Link made contact with Stansford on Friday (February 17) and she is reported to be safe.
A Caldwell County man was killed in a weekend shooting in Greensboro. According to the Greensboro Police Department, 33-year-old Westley Tyler Tugman of Lenoir was the victim in the incident, which occurred Saturday afternoon (February 18) just before 1:30.
The news release from the Greensboro P.D. says that it appears Mr. Tugman was confronted by his assailant in the parking lot of Four Season Town Centre, a local mall, in what appears to have been an attempted robbery. During the confrontation, the suspect fired a weapon and Mr. Tugman sustained a gunshot wound. After the assault, the suspect fled the scene. Mr. Tugman was transported to a local hospital, where he passed away.
Detectives are currently reviewing witness accounts of the incident, as well as surveillance footage from the area, and will issue a description of the suspect once compiled. Detectives are asking for anyone that may have witnessed the incident, but left the area prior to police arrival, to please call detectives or Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000.
On Thursday night (February 16) at 11:34, Hickory firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire alarm at Fiberline at 280 Performance Drive. Initially firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and one command unit. However once on the scene, additional units were called to assist.
The first crew arrived to find fire in the exhaust system and the roof of the manufacturing facility. Firefighters also found the sprinkler system had activated and was working to contain the fire in the rest of the structure. Firefighters worked to extinguish the fire in the building and the ladder crew extinguished the fire on the roof.
Due to the fire location, they also had to remove roofing materials to access the fire around the duct. No fire injuries were reported and fire damages were confined to the duct/exhaust system.
47-year-old John Frank Martin of Morning Sun Drive in Mooresville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count each of manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana.
On February 8, Iredell Co. Narcotics Officers and Officers with the Sheriff’s Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) Team executed a search warrant at an address on Southway Lane in eastern Iredell County. The search was conducted after Investigators received information from a concerned citizen about a possible marijuana growing operation in area of River Hill Road and Chestnut Grove Road. A surveillance operation was established. Investigators identified the Southway Lane residence as the grow house.
As Investigators entered the home, they detected the very strong odor of marijuana. The search led to the discovery of 43 marijuana plants of various sizes, water pumps, fertilizer and indoor grow lights. In another room, they found more than 100 pots used to grow marijuana, power inverters, insulation, piping and a marijuana processing machine.
John Frank Martin is the second suspect arrested on February 14 in connection to the grow operation. He turned himself into Deputies and was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center under a $5,000 secured bond. Martin will appear in District Court on May 3.
The Burke County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7 in the County Board Room in the Burke County Services Building, 110 North Green Street in Morganton. The Board will also hold a 3 p.m. pre-agenda meeting that could run longer than an hour.
The purpose of the special meeting is to discuss the county’s draft animal ordinance. Action is not anticipated. The Sheriff's Office has the responsibility to enforce all North Carolina laws and Burke County ordinances that pertain to animals.
Citizens are welcome to attend; however, public comments will be not accepted at the March 7 special meeting.
26-year-old Jalisa Nicole Jones of Spring Lake Road, 28-year-old Thomeka Jernaiya Collins of Laberth Drive and 30-year-old Jessica Louise Mungo of High Meadow Lane, all from Charlotte, are each facing charges in Lincoln County in connection to a fraudulent prescription scheme. All three were charged with felony conspiracy and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by forgery or fraud. Jones was also charged with obtaining a controlled substance by forgery or fraud. Jones is currently in custody. Collins and Mungo remain at-large.
The incidents involving fraudulent prescriptions occurred on January 23 & 24 at different pharmacies in Denver, N.C. Detectives say the women conspired to produce fake prescriptions using the names of Charlotte businesses and forged the prescribers’ signatures. The prescriptions were for highly addictive opioid-based pills, including Oxycodone. During one incident, the women were able to get away with 60 tablets.
Lincoln County Narcotics Detectives obtained surveillance video of the transactions and were able to identify the suspects. Following an investigation, arrest warrants for the three women were issued yesterday (February 16). Jones is currently in jail in Iredell County on similar but unrelated charges. The other two women have not yet been taken into custody. Jones will appear in an Iredell County courtroom on February 24. No Lincoln County court date is currently listed.
Detectives say the investigation is ongoing and more charges may be forthcoming. Anyone with information regarding the case or the whereabouts of Collins or Mungo should call the Drug Tip Line at 704-736-8606 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. All callers may remain anonymous. Each tip will be investigated.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets Monday night in regular session. The board will consider appropriating $591,030 from General Capital Fund Balance and awarding the bid for VHR Simulcast Radio System upgrade to Wireless Communications. They'll also consider appropriating an additional $393,181 for the Oakwood Elementary renovation project, which will be funded by a future renovation project planned for Hickory High School. The board will also consider the transfer of remaining funds from the Longview Elementary School project.
In addition, the Board will consider awarding a construction contract and appropriating $24,675 from capital fund balance to add to funds already appropriated for the construction of a concrete reinforced observation platform at Riverbend Park; a supplemental appropriation of $48,000 to fully fund a $83,000 contract with North Star for the development of a Catawba County community brand platform, and consider ordering the County’s Tax Collector to advertise all unpaid real property taxes, as prescribed by North Carolina General Statutes.
The Board will also consider adopting a resolution which will confirm previously approved County expenditures for Park 1764 may be used for the required match for grant funds applied for by the City of Hickory for this project and will receive reports from the County Manager on budget transfers he has authorized as well as an update on the County’s Strategic Planning process.
Monday's Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room at the 1924 Courthouse, 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Lincoln County teen that was last seen at her home a week ago. 18-year-old Tamara Louise Stansford of 3845 Oakwood Circle in Iron Station was last seen at her residence on February 10.
Relatives say Stansford could possibly be in Charlotte. She is described as a black female, 5 feet- 2 inches tall and weighing approximately 175 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair with red dye highlights. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
26-year-old Jeremy Harrison Blackwell of Boundary Street in Hog River, N.C. has been arrested by Hickory Police on one felony count of larceny by servants or other employees.
Blackwell is a former employee of Unifour Fire & Safety on Tate Boulevard in Hickory. According to Police, Blackwell was separated from the company and failed to turn in various items that belonged to his employer.
Blackwell was taken into custody without incident at about 2:40 yesterday afternoon (February 16) at Unifour Fire & Safety. He was processed and released under a $1,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
31-year-old Dustin Rick Durham was arrested Thursday (February 17) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Durham was placed in jail in Morganton, his bond is $30,000 secured. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (February 20).
35-year-old Joshua Thomas Bowman of Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (February 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of schedule I controlled substance along with misdemeanor counts of larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to appear. Bowman was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $12,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for March 6.
24-year-old Shawn Forrest Thornburg of Berry Road in Icard was arrested Thursday (February 16) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Thornburg was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (February 20).
27-year-old Jeffery Scott Ohmer and 21-year-old Samantha Leanne Brook Mclean, both of the same White Tail Drive, Lenoir, address, were both arrested Thursday (February 16) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. Ohmer is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Mclean is charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place to keep controlled substance. Ohmer was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. Mclean's bond was set at $10,000 secured. Both suspects are scheduled to appear in District Court for March 9.
29-year-old Cody Allen Kidd, who is listed as a homeless man with no city of residence specified, was arrested by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He's charged by Public Safety with felony larceny of a motor vehicle. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol charged Kidd with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, driving while impaired, and no operators license.
According to a news release issued Thursday (February 16), Morganton Public Safety Officers responded to a report of a motor vehicle theft in progress at Wall Lumber Company. An employee of Wall Lumber, Kenneth Hunt, saw the business work truck driving towards the gate. Hunt realized that the vehicle was being stolen and got in another work truck and called 911, while following the truck. Hunt spoke with the Burke County Emergency Communications Center and relayed their current location/direction of travel.
Hunt reported to dispatchers that the truck was turning onto Interstate 40, East bound. Hunt stated that stopped traffic on Interstate 40 caused the thief to exit the interstate at exit 106. Public Safety Officers, Burke County Deputies and Highway Patrol Troopers attempted to intercept the stolen vehicle. According to Hunt, Burke County Deputies and NCSHP Troopers spotted the suspect and tried to block the roadway at Bethel/Drexel Road.
Hunt said the suspect drove around the patrol cars and headed back towards I-40, but turned into the convenience store at Bethel Road. When the thief realized he was blocked in, he surrendered and was arrested. Kidd's bond was set at $26,000. He was not listed as an inmate in Burke County as of earlier today (Friday, February 17). He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.