City of Morganton Water Resources workers planned to shut off water service to a section of Frank Whisnant Road this morning (Thursday, November 17), to repair a water line break.
A customer reported the break, near 3119 Frank Whisnant Rd, at about 7 a.m. today. About 100 customers will be affected on Frank Whisnant from Avery Road to Canoe Creek Farm, Cambridge Drive, Kinglet Drive, and any side streets.
Workers planned to have the line repaired by early to mid afternoon, barring any unforeseen problems. For more information, call the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
63-year-old Susan Janette Hopper of Robin Lane in Boone was arrested Wednesday (November 16) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen property. Hopper was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, November 17).
37-year-old Tisha Lasha Isaacs of Hickory Grove Road in Gastonia was arrested Wednesday (November 16) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony embezzlement.
On Monday (November 14), deputies responded to a framing shop on Cross Center Drive reference to an employee allegedly stealing money. The owner told officers the employee took money from a customer while acting as an employee but was conducting business on the side while she was being paid an hourly wage.
Isaacs' bond was set at $2,000 unsecured. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Thursday, November 17).
A new development in the murder trial of a Lenoir woman led to a continuance of the case just before the completion of jury selection and start of opening statements on Wednesday (November 16) in Caldwell County Superior Court.
Eleven of the twelve jurors needed to begin the trial of 59-year-old Nancy Benge Austin were seated when defense counsel asked the Court to continue the case. Within the last three weeks, a situation developed regarding a potential witness, leading to a need for certain records to be subpoenaed from a healthcare provider. Those records were received on Tuesday, which necessitated the trial being continued to a later date to allow both parties to make further evaluation and inquiry.
Austin is accused in connection to the shooting death of 20-year-old Dylan Joseph Short on December 26, 2013, at her Tara Place home in Lenoir. Prior to the homicide, Austin worked as a school bus driver in Caldwell County. The presiding judge granted defense counsel’s request, informing the jury members already seated that things not anticipated sometimes happen in trial settings, and there was no fault on the part of either party in this delay. The trial will be rescheduled at a later date, which had not yet been determined.
38-year-old Brandon Shawn Pendley of McDowell Church Road in Morganton was arrested Sunday (November 12) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on warrants from Caldwell County with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
According to a news release issued Wednesday (November 16) by the Burke County Sheriff's Office, on Sunday, Burke patrol deputies received information in reference to a red pickup truck being involved in several crimes within the county. While on Morning Star Church Road, deputies noticed a red pickup truck parked in a driveway at 4701 McDowell Church Road with a fictitious tag.
Although deputes believed the residence was occupied no one would answer the door. Detectives with the Burke County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division were contacted to assist and began their investigation. It was learned that numerous vehicles were stolen last week in Caldwell County and Brandon Pendley was the suspect.
Since last Friday afternoon (November 10), at least three of the vehicles stolen in Caldwell County had been recovered in Burke County. After securing a search warrant for the McDowell Church Road residence, Burke deputies found three individuals inside. One of those people was the suspect, Brandon Pendley. He was arrested on the two outstanding felony warrants from Caldwell County. Pendley's bond was set at $35,000 secured and he made his first court appearance yesterday (Wednesday, November 16).
Burke detectives are currently investigating several crimes throughout the county in connection to Pendley and the red pickup truck. Additional charges and arrests are pending as the investigation continues.
Firefighters are continuing to battle western North Carolina wildfires including the Chestnut Knob fire in Burke County.
The fire at South Mountains State Park is currently estimated at 5,689 acres in steep terrain with an estimated containment of 30%.
According to Inciweb, additional resources have been ordered to support suppression efforts and are arriving daily. Day shift and night shift crews are continuing burn-out operations, mop-up, and patrolling fire lines.
A community meeting is scheduled for tonight (Thursday, November 17) at the Enola Fire Department on Enola Road in Morganton at 7:00 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to attend. This meeting will be recorded and posted on the Burke County Website and Burke County social media sites.
The plans for fighting the Chestnut Knob fire today include mopping up and holding the fire line in Divisions B, C, D, and K. Continue line improvement and burnout operations in Divisions I and J to prepare for the upcoming frontal passage. There are currently 214 personnel on the scene with 24 engines and 4 dozers.
17-year-old Esan Mekhi Brawley of North Center Street in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:40 last night (November 15) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arrested after Police responded to an anonymous call reporting drug violations at the Celery Stalk apartment complex on 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory. Officers found two black males and a white female in the laundry room. No outstanding warrants were found, but Officers did find 7.2 grams of cocaine in Brawley’s book bag. The other two subjects were not charged.
Brawley was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
34-year-old Jennifer Elizabeth Allred of Springs Road in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police just before nine o’clock last night (November 15) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.
She was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at Walmart on Highway 70 S.E. saw the suspect making her way through the store, concealing various items on her person. The items included nine shirts, five pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes and two bras, all with a combined value of $167.
Allred was detained after she went past the last point-of-sale without paying. She had previously been banned from Walmart.
Following her arrest, Allred was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled today.
39-year-old James Fletcher Smith of Lyle Haven Drive NW in Conover was arrested today (Wednesday, November 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methampetamine and possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce. Smith was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for tomorrow (Thursday, November 17).
A community meeting has been scheduled for residents living in the areas affected by the fire in South Mountains State Park.
The Florida "Green" Incident Management Team will be hosting a public meeting Thursday (November 17), for the communities affected by the Chestnut Knob Fire. This meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Enola Fire Department at 2510 Enola Road in Morganton. The community is encouraged to attend to receive information and ask questions.
24-year-old Tesla Dawn Lynn of Warlicks Church Road in Connelly Springs was arrested today (Wednesday, November 15) by Long View Police Officers. She's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Lynn was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $9,500 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today.
32-year-old Tabitha Brie Evans was arrested Tuesday (November 15) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of stolen goods. Evans was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Wednesday, November 16).
22-year-old Darscha Jamahl Nichols of Old Conover Startown Road in Newton was arrested by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with two counts of break or enter a motor vehicle, along with single counts of larceny of a firearm, felony probation violation, simple possession of schedule III controlled substance, misdemeanor larceny, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Nichols was jailed this morning (Wednesday, November 16) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $63,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
26-year-old Michael Lamar Brice of Gilly Road in Maiden was arrested Tuesday (November 15) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of cocaine and resisting a public officer. Brice was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for January 3.
Firefighters continue to battle several wildfires in western North Carolina. The Chestnut Knob fire which is burning at South Mountains State Park in Burke County is currently estimated at 4,600 acres in steep terrain. Inciweb's most recent update, which was issued last night (Tuesday, November 15), says active fire behavior is making firefighting efforts difficult.
According to the inciweb report, containment of the Chestnut Knob fire is estimated at 30%. Residents along Bob Knob Road were advised to evacuate. A shelter is open at Collett Street Recreation Center in Morganton. Aircraft dropped more than 12,000 gallons of fire retardant Tuesday to assist fire crews on the ground with containment efforts.
Donations are being accepted at Foothills Higher Education Center 2128 South Sterling Street in Morganton between the hours of 12-7pm daily. Items needed include beef jerky, protein bars, breakfast bars, 16 ounce bottled water, 12-16 ounce Gatorade, socks, hand wipes, hand lotion, foot powder, hand warmers, bandanas, toboggans/wool caps, wipes and gloves.
Plans for today (Wednesday, November 16) were to continue burn out operations along Rich Mountain Road while improving the line from Rich Mountain Road to upper CCC Trail. In addition, structure protection and triage were also to be continued today.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (November 15).
Public Utilities Director Kevin Greer presented a request for Council to accept a bid & contract with Hickory Sand Company for sanitary sewer improvements for the Central Business District Rehabilitation Project. Council approved the bid and award of the contract unanimously.
In addition Tuesday night, minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda all approved unanimously. Second readings included the approval of the Community Relations Council's Fall 2016 grant recommendations, the approval to award the contract to Buckeye Bridge LLC for the construction of the Random Woods Sewer Project, and the approval of a change order for engineering services for sanitary sewer in multiple subdivisions
Residents of Catawba Springs questioned the the city's use of a right of way that would open access to a property outside city limits. Public Services Director Chuck Hansen showed a map of the property and explains the property could at some point be annexed into the city. The city is not paying for the road/driveway to be constructed. All costs are the responsibility of the property owner. In the past, when property owners have asked that an unopened right of way be opened, the city has obliged. City Council and staff plan to do more research on the topic, have further conversations with the residents, and revisit the issue.
Also during last night's Hickory City Council meeting, Chief Fred Hollar gave an update on the Western NC wildfires and their impact on Catawba County. Council did go into closed session, no action was reported.
21-year-old Michelle Renate Beck was arrested today (Tuesday, November 15) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession with intent to sell or deliver controlled substance. Beck was placed in jail in Morganton under $2,500 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for December 12.
23-year-old Alison Zoe Reuteler of Hunting Court in Matthews was arrested today (Tuesday, November 15) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Reuteler was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,500 bond. A Superior Court date is set for December 15.
22-year-old Jalen Michael Foote of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before midnight Friday (November 11) on one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arrested after Officers responded to reports of possible drug violations at Hickory East Apartments on 20th Avenue Drive N.E. Officers located and approached the suspect vehicle, detecting the odor of marijuana as they did so.
A search of the vehicle turned up a Springfield Armory .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen from Alexander County. 2.1 grams of marijuana and a marijuana pipe were also found.
Jalen Foote was the driver. A male passenger in the vehicle was not charged.
Foote was taken into custody without incident. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday (November 14) with another court date coming up on November 29.
23-year-old Landon Scott Treadway of 11th Street Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police Saturday (November 12) on one felony count of possession of a schedule I controlled substance.
He was arrested after Police responded to a single-vehicle accident with injury at Highway 321 N.W. and 2nd Avenue N.W. Officers found the vehicle on the median on Highway 321 where it had hit a “Do Not Enter” sign.
Treadway, the vehicle’s only occupant, was unconscious. Officers saw a bag containing 0.3 grams of heroin and a syringe. E.M.S. arrived and administered Naloxone, which is an opiate antidote. Treadway was revived and taken to Frye Regional Medical Center.
Upon his discharge from the hospital, Treadway was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday (November 14). Another court date was scheduled today for D.W.I. and other traffic violations.