A meeting has been scheduled for next week to discuss a road project in Hickory. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is proposing the addition of turn lanes on the existing portion of N.C. 127 between 1st Avenue SE and 2nd Avenue SE.
The public is invited to attend a public meeting regarding this project next Thursday (May 10) from 4-7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building at 76 North Center Street in Hickory. NCDOT representatives will display maps of the proposed design, answer questions, and receive comments. You may also submit comments in writing by May 31.
For additional information contact Bryan Sowell in writing at NCDOT-Division 12, Project Engineer, P.O. Box 47, Shelby NC 28151. You can also call 980-552-4221 or e-mail email@example.com. A map of the proposed improvements can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings.
On Wednesday (May 2), a Caldwell County District Court Judge granted the State’s motion to revoke bond for a man arrested on two counts of possessing a gun on educational property.
Judge Wes Barkley revoked the $25,000 bond given to 50-year-old Blaine Francis Pennington III of Lenoir, following his arrest on Tuesday, May 1 by deputies with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Judge Barkley granted the motion made by Assistant District Attorneys Andrea Plyler and Nancy Lee pending a mental health evaluation for Pennington.
In addition, the Judge also granted the State’s motion to seize and secure Pennington’s weapon until results of the evaluation are available and reviewed, and he appointed Attorney T.J. Rohr to represent the defendant.
Pennington was on the campuses of Happy Valley Elementary School and Collettsville Elementary School on Tuesday with a weapon. In both instances he was confronted and left before later being stopped in his vehicle by deputies. He gave no legitimate reason to deputies for being on school property with a weapon.
There's a new name on the Burke County most wanted list.
Kenneth Charles Knight, whose age is not listed, is wanted on felony counts of uttering a forged instrument, forgery of an instrument, and obtaining property by false pretense. He's also wanted on a count of parole violation. Knight's last known address was 1412 Main Avenue Drive NW in Hickory. He was added to the most wanted list on April 26.
28-year-old Seth Dixon Stepp remains on the Burke County most wanted list. He's wanted on a charge of parole violation. The last known address for Stepp was 5540 Van Horn Road in Connelly Springs. He's been on the most wanted list since March 29.
32-year-old Jason R. Hill is also wanted by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with a parole violation. Hill's last known residence was 4876 Kudzu Lane in Morganton. He was added to the most wanted list on March 29.
You can see the entire list of suspects wanted by authorities in Burke County at www.burkesheriff.org. If you have any information on any of the suspects on the list, call the Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500. You can also e-mail information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to submit an anonymous tip you can do so through Morganton-Burke Crime Stoppers, their number is 828-437-3333.
32-year-old Mark David Smith was arrested today (May 2) by authorities in Burke County. According to the Burke County Police to Citizen website, Smith is charged with felony indecent liberties with a child. He was arrested shortly after 1 p.m. today. He was being held in jail in Morganton without bond. No court date was listed.
45-year-old Lesley Edward Greene of U.S. Highway 321 South in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:15 a.m. yesterday (May 1) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
His arrest is the result of a traffic stop conducted by Hickory Police on April 1, 2017 at Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard and Interstate 40. Three occupants were in the vehicle. Lesley Greene was the driver. He was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of Gaston County for driving while license revoked. In the vehicle, Officers found three grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, resulting in additional charges against Greene. The other occupants were not cited or charged.
Greene was taken into custody without incident yesterday at an address on Atherstone Street N.W. in Newton. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.
24-year-old Makenzi D’Shae Hare of Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 11 a.m. yesterday (May 1) on one felony count each of uttering a forged instrument and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Hare turned herself in on a true bill of indictment. Warrants for her arrest were issued on April 16.
She was processed at the Hickory Police Department and released under a $2,500 unsecured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today in Newton.
24-year-old Caine Anthony “Killa Caine” Morrison of Liberty Hall Circle in Winston Salem was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (May 1) on one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Morrison is the latest person arrested in connection to an incident that happened on Sunday, April 8 outside The Vault Bar & Lounge on the 200 block of 1st Avenue N.W. Over 100 rounds were fired by multiple shooters, striking four people. 20-year-old Antonio Knoshjun Watts of Claremont died as the result of his injuries.
Previously arrested were 21-year-old Carlos Car’tre Ikard of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory, who was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, and 24-year-old Keon Rashan Scott of 4th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory, who was charged with possession of a firearm by felon and a probation violation. Ikard was arrested on April 24 and Scott was arrested the next day.
Morrison turned himself in at the Hickory Police Department and was arrested without incident at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
Hickory Police anticipate that additional suspects will be charged and arrested in connection to the shooting. Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Inv. Carlos De Los Santos at 828-261-2621 or email@example.com.
35-year-old Shannon James Diehl was arrested Tuesday (May 1) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony counts of common law robbery and interfering with an electronic monitoring device along with misdemeanor counts of failure to appear and resisting arrest. Diehl was placed in jail in Morganton under $511,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (May 2).
The Burke County Community Development Department has been approved for a $400,000 Surface Transportation Block Grant/Direct Attributable Grant for the Fonta Flora State Trail (FFST) Linville Dam Boardwalk and Trail project. If the project is approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the boardwalk will be located on the Linville Dam on North Powerhouse Road at Lake James.
The project is a collaborative effort with Duke Energy to plan and design a new approximately 1,200 foot section of pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk and eight to ten foot wide trail for the portion of the FFST that crosses the Linville Dam. The new boardwalk will provide bicyclists and pedestrians a panoramic view of Lake James and the surrounding area as well as a safer way to cross the dam.
Duke Energy, as a part of its comprehensive re-licensing agreement for the Catawba-Wateree Hydro-Electric Power Generation System, will also be developing a new park adjacent to the boardwalk with picnic and parking facilities, upgrading the existing Portage Trail, and adding more parking and restroom facilities at the Bridgewater Public Fishing Area. The design phase of the boardwalk project will take approximately two years to complete and will result in a shovel ready project for construction when all approvals are granted.
The FFST is a recreational trail for people of all ages and abilities. The long-term vision for the trail is to connect downtown Morganton to downtown Asheville, to add additional mileage to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and to be an ecotourism destination for the surrounding area.
The Newton Fire Department began conducting annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing in the southwest quadrant of the city on Tuesday (May 1).
The southwest quadrant of the city includes areas south of A Street and west of Main Avenue. Maintenance and testing will continue for several weeks. Residents in the area may experience a discoloration of their water due to minerals inside underground water lines being disturbed. If water discoloration is experienced, allowing water to run from any faucet for several minutes should eliminate the discoloration.
Fire hydrant testing is crucial to locating fire hydrants that are inoperable or need repair. In addition, the North Carolina Department of Insurance requires annual fire hydrant testing for the purposes of grading municipal water systems, which determines municipal insurance ratings.
The city of Newton apologizes for any inconvenience residents encounter during the testing period. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Newton Fire Department at 828-695-4314.
48-year-old Cathy Diane Elders, who is listed as a homeless person, was arrested Tuesday (May 1) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers on charges filed in Caldwell County. She's charged with failure to appear on counts of flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, speeding 100 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, and driving while impaired. Elders was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for June 4.
23-year-old Victor Contrell Stewart of South Ashe Avenue in Newton was arrested Tuesday (May 1) by Probation and Parole Officers. He's charged with felony probation violation. Stewart was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $225,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (May 7).
50-year-old Blaine Francis Pennington III of Post Place in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts of felony possession of a gun on educational property.
Tuesday at 11:26 a.m., The Sheriff’s Office received a report of an individual at the lobby of the Gymnasium at Happy Valley School. The individual was confronted and told to leave by School Personnel. The man was identified as Blaine Frances Pennington III. He was seen leaving the school in an older model dark colored Ford Truck with a white camper shell. Pennington agreed to leave the School and there were no altercations from the incident.
At 11:57 a.m. a call was received from Collettsville School of an individual that was in possession of a firearm on school property. The person was approached by school personnel and asked to leave the premises. School personnel noticed that the person had a gun in his possession. The individual left the Collettsville School driving an older model dark in color Ford truck with a white camper shell. School personnel were able obtain the license plate number for the vehicle and relayed the information to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. The License Number provided was also identified as belonging to Pennington.
Officers spotted the vehicle on Abington Road near the intersection of Beecher Anderson Road and conducted a vehicle stop and identified Pennington as the driver of the vehicle. He was taken into custody and a Taurus 380 semi-automatic pistol was found in his possession. When asked about why he was on school property he refused to provide an answer. Investigators have not learned of any reason that Pennington would have to be on the school properties.
Pennington was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $25,000 Secured bond. A District Court date is set for Thursday (May 3).
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday evening (May 1).
Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda were unanimously approved. Second readings included a traffic ordinance to increase the speed limit from 35 to 45 miles per hour along Startown Road within the city limits and increase the speed limit from 45 to 50 miles per hour along McDonald Parkway in the city limits.
There were also items related to speed limits on the consent agenda. Council approved amendments to traffic ordinances to designate the speed limit to 25 miles per hour on 12th Street NW between Main Avenue NW and 2nd Avenue NW and on 8th Street Drive NW between 6th Avenue NW and 9th Avenue NW.
Under new business last night, a public hearing was held and City Council approved a voluntary contiguous annexation of property owned by Graystone Enterprises, LLC, located at 2412 Century Place SE. A total of 3.603 acres will be annexed to create an expansion area for an existing medical office.
Taylor Dellinger of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments shared information about employment and population trends. Mayor Hank Guess declared May 13-19 as National Police Week in the City of Hickory. The month of May was also proclaimed as Building Safety Month in the City of Hickory. And Mayor Guess presented a proclamation for National American Public Works Week, May 20-26. City Council also appointed members to boards and commissions.
33-year-old Jennifer Walker Blake of Tin Mine Road in Lincolnton was arrested today (May 1) by Conover Police Officers. She's charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Blake was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,500 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (May 2).
30-year-old Jaron Monte Cornwell of 1st Street SW in Hickory was arrested today (May 1) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cornwell was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A District Court appearance is set for tomorrow (May 2).
Customers on Northwestern Drive in Morganton will be without water as city crews work to repair a six-inch water line break. Crews estimate that the affected customers will have water again at about 5 p.m. today (May 1).
36-year-old Tou Yang of Pitts Farm Drive in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11 a.m. yesterday (April 30) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
His arrest comes in connection to an incident on March 6 of this year when Hickory Police responded to reports of a motor vehicle theft at an apartment on 20th Street N.E. On March 12, the stolen vehicle was located at an address on 12th Avenue N.E. Police were able to identify Yang as the suspect and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Yesterday, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol notified Hickory Police that Yang had been detained in a traffic stop. The suspect was taken into custody without incident at an address on 10th Avenue Drive S.E.
Yang was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $7,500 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
44-year-old Joseph Bob Mays, Jr. of 13th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (April 30) on one count of possession of a schedule I controlled substance. Mays was taken into custody without incident at 5:45 p.m. Monday at a hotel on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $50,000, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
26-year-old April Denise Dale was arrested Monday (April 30) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. She's charged with felony sale or delivery of schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods. Dale was arrested shortly after 5 p.m. Monday and placed in jail under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (April 2).