Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the alleged kidnapping of an eastern Lincoln County woman for the second time since mid-July.
At around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday (October 19) the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call from a resident on Cowan’s Ford Road. The caller said that a man broke into the residence, assaulted him and kidnapped 22-year-old Kaitlin Victoria Greene of Cowan’s Ford Road in Stanley.
The suspects are identified as Jacob Alan Houser, a white male and ex-boyfriend of the victim, who already faces a number of charges in connection with the first alleged kidnapping and a black male accomplice. The accomplice remained in the vehicle while Houser allegedly went inside the residence and forcibly brought Ms. Greene out of the home and placed her in the car. They fled the scene in a black vehicle believed to be a Honda Civic.
Houser was wearing a white shirt, khaki shorts, dark hat and black shoes. The second suspect was described as wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, with black hair and a short black beard. Deputies searched a number of areas in and around Old Plank Road in Stanley, where Houser lives but did not locate him. However, Ms. Greene was located safe and officers also found Houser’s accomplice.
Houser faces charges in connection with the Wednesday incident including felony first degree kidnapping and felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The case is still under investigation and further charges are pending. The accomplice was not named by authorities and the charges against him, if any, were not included in the information released by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
The first incident occurred on July 16. On that date deputies were dispatched to the Cowan’s Ford Overlook after a passing motorist reported a male was assaulting a female at that location. The motorist told officers he was driving past the Overlook when he spotted a female in distress. The female was screaming and waving her arms as a male subject was screaming at her. The male then ran to the edge of the hill at the overlook and disappeared over the edge. The victim in that case was also Kaitlin Victoria Greene, she told police she had been kidnapped from her home. Houser was charged with multiple offenses in connection with that incident.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jacob Allen Houser is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
24-year-old Laurin Brooke King of 28th Street SW in Hickory was arrested by Long View Police Officers. She's charged with possession of stolen goods or property, and possession of drug paraphernalia. King was jailed this morning (Thursday, October 20) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court date is set for next Monday (October 24).
One-stop early voting starts today (Thursday, October 20) for the November 8 general election. Early voting takes place today through Saturday, November 5.
One-stop early voting will be offered at the following five locations in Catawba County: The Newton Main Library (in lieu of the office), at 115 West C Street in Newton. The Highland Recreation Center at 1451 8th St. Dr. NE in Hickory. The Southwest Library at 2944 South NC Hwy 127 in Hickory. The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road in Terrell. And Conover Station at 403 Conover Station SE in Conover. If you vote in another county check your Board of Elections website for early voting information.
Catawba County early voting sites will be open every day from October 20 through November 5 during the following times: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. A full list of locations and voting hours at each location may be found online at the Catawba County Government website, www.catawbacountync.gov/elections. Early voting will not be offered at the Board of Elections office.
If voting on Election Day, November 8, registered voters must cast their ballot at their designated precinct location. Specific precinct location information and sample ballots may be found online at the previously mentioned website.
Due to recent changes to election laws, photo identification will not be required to cast a ballot. If first-time voters do not provide identification information on their NC Voter Registration form, they will be asked to show ID the first time they present to vote. Accepted forms of identification are a current and valid photo ID, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Absentee ballots may be requested by any registered North Carolina voter by November 1. Requests must be made in writing on an official State Absentee Ballot Request Form, which is available from the Catawba County Board of Elections office or online by going to the Catawba County Government website.
An early morning break on a 12-inch water main on Hopewell Road in Morganton and a second leak on an eight-inch line drained millions of gallons of water from the City of Morganton’s water system and has left some customers in the area with low water pressure.
Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Jason Green said he can’t be sure when the breaks occurred, but he thinks the leaks got worse sometime during the night. The water plant was able to keep up with the leaks while demand was low. However, when demand picked up this morning, the city’s main water tanks started losing volume.
Just after six o’clock this morning, when use started to peak, the water level in the Dale Circle and Valdese Avenue tanks started to drop dramatically. More than 15 feet of water in the tanks was lost in less than an hour, according to Green. At least three million gallons drained out of the water main before city workers could locate and isolate the leak.
In addition to the 12-inch line break on Hopewell Road, city workers also discovered a leak on one of the water lines feeding Morganton Heights. Green said he and other Water Resources staff were trying to determine why Morganton Heights’ pressure was still low, even after isolating the 12-inch break. The Distribution & Collection Supervisor started checking the lines feeding the shopping center and discovered a second leak.
The leak has been stopped. At last report, the main water tanks were starting to fill and water pressure at Morganton Heights was expected to return to normal.
Residents are still encouraged to conserve water where possible while the system recovers. The city water treatment plant produces and distributes an average of 8.8 million gallons of drinking water per day.
For more information, call the city’s Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
22-year-old Ashlyn Dawn Buckner of Herman Road in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine resisting a public officer, shoplifting with concealment of goods, and failure to perform community service hours. Buckner was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,460 bond. District Court appearances are scheduled for November 9, 15, and 17.
26-year-old Destinee Knicole Jones of Herman Sipe Road in Conover was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony break or enter a motor vehicle and misdemeanor larceny. Jones was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,000 bond. A District Court date is set for next Tuesday (October 25).
24-year-old Edith Paige Johnson was arrested Tuesday (October 19) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture schedule II controlled substance. Johnson was placed in jail in Morganton under $15,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
23-year-old Joshua Matthew Parkhurst of 9th Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 p.m. yesterday (October 18) on one felony count of hit & run.
His arrest stems from an incident on July 25 of this year. Parkhurst allegedly fled the scene after he rear-ended another driver on Highway 321 N.W., near Clement Boulevard N.W. The victim, a 59-year-old woman from Lenoir, was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center for treatment.
Witnesses gave information that led to Parkhurst’s identification. A warrant for his arrest was issued on October 13. He was taken into custody without incident at his residence yesterday. Parkhurst was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
A break on a 20-inch water main on Hopewell Road in Morganton has left customers without water service. The break occurred at six o’clock this morning (October 19). The cause of the break is unknown. Workers were able to isolate the break. As of 8:40 a.m., only about five customers were affected.
City workers shut off water service to the line this morning. Some customers in the Hopewell Road area will be without water service until repairs can be made. The repairs may not be completed until this evening due to the large size of the pipe.
Customers are asked to conserve water as much as possible today until the line is repaired.
For more information, call the city’s Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
47-year-old Tracy Lynn Kaylor of Chester Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property and probation violation. Kaylor was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday October 19) on the stolen goods charge, a Superior Court date is set for next Monday (October 24) on the probation violation charge.
37-year-old Michael Peter Blanch of Silver Springs, Florida, was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, and maintaining a place to keep controlled substance. Blanch was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, October 19).
46-year-old Denaita Jean Love of Shoups Grove Road in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with trafficking opium or heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin, possession of controlled substance on prison or jail premises, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Love was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, October 19).
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (October 18).
Public Services Director Chuck Hansen presented a proposal for the acceptance of the grant-in-aid allocation of $250,000 appropriated by the NC General Assembly. These funds would be used to mitigate structural damage to Highway 70 as a result of the failed 96 inch storm drainage pipe at the site of the sinkhole. The proposal passed unanimously.
Minutes and second readings approved unanimously. Included in second readings were three items related to the acceptance of a temporary construction and permanent sanitary sewer and storm drainage easement for the property of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, for installation of utilities infrastructure.
The consent agenda was approved unanimously as well, council did remove two items at the request of Councilman Lail. The two items removed are both related to grants for Park 1764. Council discussed those items, then approved them as well.
Assistant City Manager Rodney Miller presented the quarterly financial report. Paula Hodges, Audit Partner with Martin Starnes & Associates, presented the 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Mayor Rudy Wright recognized staff for receiving the 20th consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. In addition, Communications and Marketing Manager, Dana Kaminske presented an update to Council regarding the branding and marketing of the city.
37-year-old Robert Christopher Cannon of Central Avenue in Granite Falls was arrested today (October 18) and charged with trafficking oxycodone pills.
Following an undercover investigation, Narcotics Agents with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s I.C.E. Unit took Cannon into custody without incident after he was caught in possession of 50 oxycodone pills with the intent to distribute them. Cannon did not have a prescription for the pills. He was arrested in the parking lot at the China King restaurant in Granite Falls. The pills have a street value of approximately $750, according to North Carolina state drug guidelines.
Cannon was incarcerated in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Lenoir.
The 33rd Annual Southeastern Classic band competition will be held this Saturday (October 22) at Newton-Conover High School’s Gurley Stadium.
17 marching bands are currently confirmed, with exhibitions planned by the host band and by Lenoir-Rhyne’s Spirit of L-R Marching Band.
Gates will open at 12 noon with the opening ceremony slated for 1:30 p.m. An awards ceremony is scheduled at the completion of the event at 9 p.m.
Admission is $7. For more information, call Newton-Conover High School at 828-495-0920.
27-year-old Thomas Sherrill Graham of Parkview Lane in Sherrills Ford has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of felony breaking & entering a motor vehicle, felony larceny and injury to personal property.
Graham was arrested in connection to an incident at about ten o’clock Friday night (October 14) on Trollingwood Lane in Mooresville. The victim reported that numerous items were taken from their unlocked vehicle. The victim said that bags filled with Karate gear were stolen with a value of over $2,600.
As Officers were taking the report, a neighbor reported damage to two screen windows in his home. The victim told Deputies he believed that a family member might be responsible for the damages to his home, as well as the vehicle break-in next door. Officers learned that the suspect, Thomas Sherrill Graham, has an extensive criminal history and is currently on probation with additional charges pending in court.
Detectives discovered that the property stolen from Trollingwood Lane was in Graham’s possession at his residence in Catawba County. Detectives went to Graham’s home where they recovered all the stolen property. The property was returned to the owner. Graham denied any knowledge of the incident and said that some friends gave the stolen property to him. He refused to provide any names.
Graham was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond on the Iredell County charges. He was also charged in Catawba County with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, driving while license revoked and simple assault, with an additional $1,500 secured bond on those charges. He was scheduled to appear in an Iredell courtroom today, with a Catawba Court date on November 29.
46-year-old Sandra Lynn Gaul of Clarence Beam Road in Cherryville and 59-year-old Billy Steve Schronce of Fairview Drive in Lincolnton were both arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. Gaul is charged with one felony count each of breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm, possession of stolen goods and possession with intent to manufacture schedule II controlled substance. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Schronce is charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
Investigators were in the area of the Gastonia Highway on Monday (October 17) when they recognized a passenger in a passing vehicle as a woman wanted on several felony charges.
The officers stopped the vehicle on the Gastonia Highway near Gaston-Hillside Drive. The woman, Sandra Gaul, was taken into custody.
A search of the woman and the vehicle turned up methamphetamine packaged for sale and a glass pipe. When the driver of the vehicle was asked for his identification he handed the officers his wallet. In addition to his identification detectives found a small amount of meth in his wallet.
Gaul is charged in connection with an October 10 break-in at the residence of Galan Peterson of Dave Peterson Lane in Vale. Stolen in the break-in were 32 rifles, shotguns and handguns and a credit card. Warrants were obtained on Gaul after she attempted to use the stolen credit card at several stores in Gastonia. She was identified on store security systems when she attempted to use the credit card.
Gaul was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate and placed under a $50,000 secured bond. Schronce was placed under a $10,000 secured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Tuesday, October 18).
None of the firearms, valued at $21,300, have been recovered. Anyone with information about the firearms is asked to call 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. If your Crime Stoppers tip leads to an arrest you could receive a reward of up to $1,000.
The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a complaint of vandalism and littering at a local church. Grace Baptist Church, located at 627 Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem, was the recent target of vandals who threw empty beer bottles and beer cans in the church’s front yard.
The vandalism is an apparent protest of the church’s stance against the upcoming alcohol referendum. The bottles, which bore a printed white label that read, “If we can’t have the tax, you can have the trash,” were thrown into the churchyard sometime between Thursday evening (October 13) and Friday morning (October 14). 15 beer bottles were recovered from the scene and will be processed for any latent evidence.
Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in solving the case. Anyone with information should call the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-1111 or the Alexander County Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 828-632-8555. Callers may remain anonymous.
The City of Newton is offering curbside leaf collection starting October 24. Collection will continue until January 13.
The city will have two trucks operating this leaf season. Collection will begin at the south end of the city and the trucks will travel in a grid pattern. The trucks will run a route through the entire city and then will restart at the beginning of the route. The process will continue until leaf season is over. City staff anticipates a route will require three weeks to complete.
Residents are asked to ensure that tree limbs, sticks and metal are removed from the leaf piles. Yard debris other than leaves will clog or damage the machine, slowing down the collection process. Also, please keep leaves out of the roadway by raking them behind the curb. Leaves should be placed in the utility strip adjoining your property. Leaves placed behind the sidewalk or in ditches will not be collected. Please note that the vacuum truck cannot reach leaves that are raked beside parked cars.
For more information, call the Newton Public Works and Utilities Department at 828-695-4310.
34-year-old Jeffrey Michael Brown was arrested Monday (October 17) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture schedule VI controlled substance. Brown was placed in jail in Morganton under $15,000 secured bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, October 18).