The Newton Police Department is warning citizens about a phone scam in which scammers try to solicit money from senior citizens. Several calls have been reported in which the caller tells the recipient they have failed to show up to court for jury duty or failed to pay a fine, and that they must pay a specified amount of money or face jail time.
Law enforcement agencies never call people by phone to solicit money for fines. Any legitimate fine would be court ordered. Paperwork for such fines would be issued by a judge, and the paperwork would be delivered by a law enforcement officer. If you have any questions or receive a call you believe may be suspicious, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the Newton Police Department 828-465-7430.
During the week of November 6, the Lincoln County Narcotics Officers charged ten people with various felony drug-related offenses. The charges were the result of several investigations into the sale, distribution and possession of methamphetamine, prescription medication and marijuana.
Detectives say undercover operations resulted in the seizure of various quantities of meth, Xanax, Adderall, marijuana and methadone. During one investigation, undercover Detectives purchased trafficking amounts of methadone on multiple occasions.
Officers say the investigations primarily took place in southern and western Lincoln County. More individuals will likely face charges for similar crimes in the coming few weeks.
Seven of the ten suspects charged thus far have been arrested.
42-year-old Stacey Loftin Duren of the Gastonia Highway in Lincolnton was charged with 14 felony counts of trafficking heroin or opiates and two felony counts of maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance. She was arrested on November 8. Bond was set at $604,000, secured.
56-year-old Susan Elaine Fitzgerald of Lincolnton was arrested on November 8 and charged with two felony counts each of for the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, sale & delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance. She was given a $27,500 secured bond.
41-year-old Crystal Gail Cooper of Palm Tree Drive in Vale was arrested on November 9 on one felony count each for the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, sale & delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule IV controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. Cooper’s bond was set at $30,000, secured.
23-year-old Brandon Lee Buchanan of Lawndale was charged with one count of felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested on November 7. Bond was set at $10,000, secured.
26-year-old Tait Richard Rogers of June Bug Road in Vale was arrested on November 10 and charged with two felony counts of trafficking heroin or opiates. She was jailed under a $100,000 secured bond.
16-year-old Dylan Thomas Doeppe of Highway 27 West in Vale was charged with two felony counts each for the sale & delivery of meth and possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance. He was released to the custody of a responsible adult.
21-year-old Jontavis Rayquan Duncan of Buffalo Shoals Road in Lincolnton was arrested on November 9 on one felony count each for the sale & delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and conspiracy to sell & deliver a schedule VI controlled substance. Duncan was given an unsecured bond of $7,500.
Three subjects are wanted and have yet to be located.
50-year-old Mickey Gene Mellon of Lawndale is wanted on one felony count each of possession with intent to sell & deliver meth and possession of a controlled substance in a jail or prison facility.
17-year-old Shane Emmanuael Cauthen of Lily Trail in Lincolnton faces one felony count each for the sale & delivery of a counterfeit substance, possession with intent to sell & deliver a counterfeit substance and conspiracy to sell a schedule VI controlled substance.
29-year-old Zachary McRae of Lincolnton is wanted on one count of obtaining property by false pretense.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Mellon, Cauthen or McRae should call Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.
37-year-old Bradley Wayne McCraw of Gaffney, South Carolina, was arrested Thursday (November 9) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, along with misdemeanor counts of carrying concealed weapons and possession of drug paraphernalia.
McCraw was arrested following a traffic stop Thursday afternoon shortly after 5:00 in the 300 Block of U.S. Highway 321. Officers found 37.9 grams of meth, drug paraphernalia, and brass knuckles. He was taken into custody without incident.
Following the arrest, McCraw was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (November 13).
The Hickory International Council (HIC) is currently accepting applications for grants of up to $500 for community organizations that provide programs supportive of the goals, purposes, and projects of the HIC. Proposals for the grants should be received by January 31 and awardees will be identified by the end of February 2018.
The mission of the Hickory International Council is to act, among other things, to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among citizens, internationally. These grants are not restricted to education, but to all community projects that promote the appreciation of the various international cultures represented in our community.
Grantees must provide a minimum of 50% of project support, either financially or via in kind donations, including significant volunteer effort. If volunteer effort is claimed to meet this requirement, the estimated amount of volunteer effort must be detailed in the grant application, as well as specific details as to how the applicant will use the grant monies and how the minimum 50% project support requirement will be met.
Some of the previous grant winners include the Boy Scouts of America International Camp Staff at Camp Bud Schiele, Southwest Elementary School’s multicultural event, Hickory High School’s foreign language program, Hickory Museum of Art’s refugee exhibit, and The Hickory Public Library’s international film series.
Grant applications, additional rules, and criteria are available on the HIC website at www.HickoryInternationalCouncil.com or by contacting Gretchen Oetting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All branches of the Caldwell County Public Library will be closed today (November 10) through Monday (November 13). The closures today and Saturday (November 11) are in observance of Veteran’s Day. Monday's closure is for a staff development day. All branches will reopen for regular business on Tuesday, November 14. For more information, contact Caldwell County Public Information Officer LouAnne Kincaid at email@example.com or 828-759-7879.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting regarding the proposed projects to make improvements to the I-40 interchanges at Jamestown Road (Exit 100), Drexel Road (Exit 107) and Carolina Street (Exit 111). The projects would make improvements which may include reconfiguring the interchanges.
The meeting will take place next Thursday, November 16 at Mt. Home Baptist Church, 2722 Mt. Home Road in Morganton from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Interested citizens may attend at any time during the meeting hours. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments regarding the projects. NCDOT wants citizens to be aware that no formal presentation will be made. Citizens will also have the opportunity to submit comments and questions in writing by December 6, 2017. Comments received will be taken into consideration as the project develops.
The public can view maps displaying the location and design of the project as they become available online at ttp://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings. Anyone desiring additional information may contact Division 13 Project Development Engineer, Cole Hood, 55 Orange Street, Asheville, NC 28801, by phone (828) 251-6171 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments must be received no later than December 6.
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Ms. Diane Wilson via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (919) 707-6073 as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.
39-year-old Andrew Thomas Watts of Clarks Loop in Morganton was arrested Tuesday (November 7) by Burke County Narcotics Task Force Officers. He was charged with felony trafficking methamphetamine.
The arrest was made Tuesday at approximately 11:00 p.m. According to a news release from the Burke County Sheriff's Office, Watts was a passenger in a Honda Civic traveling on Jamestown Road. An officer with the Morganton Department of Public Safety initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle pulled into the parking lot of the Colonel’s Pantry. During the stop, officers located approximately two ounces of methamphetamine in a plastic baggy inside Watts’ pocket.
Watts was arrested and transported to the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility. He was placed in jail under $75,000 secured bond. As of earlier today, Watts remained in jail. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday (November 8), his next District Court date is scheduled for November 29 in Morganton. The news release says Watts has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1999.
52-year-old Robert Alan Nichols of Playmore Beach Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (November 9) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver oxycodone and marijuana, and maintain a dwelling to keep or store a controlled substance.
On Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office Ice Unit and Detectives executed a search warrant at Nichols' residence, 3477 Playmore Beach Road in Lenoir. Nichols was arrested earlier this year and charged with the sale of marijuana. Agents have continued to investigate him, believing he may be continuing to sell marijuana.
The search warrant was issued after several undercover purchases of marijuana from the residence. Nichols was the only person home at the time the warrant was executed. Agents searched the residence and located approximately one-half pound of high grade marijuana and a prescription bottle containing twenty eight oxycodone pills. The street value of the drugs is approximately $5,200 according to North Carolina Drug State Guidelines. Agents additionally seized $2,130 cash, and assorted items of drug paraphernalia.
Nichols was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court in Lenoir is scheduled for next Monday (November 13).
We have more information on an arrest we first reported yesterday (Thursday, November 9). A Catawba County man has been arrested in connection with the theft of a push lawnmower from a Lincoln County residence. 28-year-old Michael Anthony Alvarez of West 10th Street in Newton was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers Wednesday (November 8) on charges filed in Lincoln County. Alvarez is charged with one felony count each of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods.
On October 4, 2017, a homeowner reported the theft of a push mower from the enclosed carport at her home on the Maiden Highway. Because the home owner was able to provide deputies with the serial number of the mower, Detective K. Paris discovered a transaction where the mower was sold to a Catawba County pawn shop by Michael Anthony Alvarez.
Alvarez was given a $57,000 secured bond on the Lincoln County charges and an additional $12,900 secured bond on four failure to appear charges and a charge of resisting a public officer in Catawba County. He was scheduled to appear in District Court Thursday.
22-year-old Chandra Katlin Patrick of Zion Church Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 4 p.m. yesterday (November 8) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor counts of concealment of merchandise, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also charged with misdemeanor failure to appear on charges of misdemeanor larceny and first-degree trespassing. The failure to appear warrant was issued earlier this month in Lincoln County.
Patrick was taken into custody at the Goodwill Thrift Store on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $8,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
45-year-old Tonia Isenhour Miles was arrested Wednesday (November 9) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony non forced breaking and entering, larceny, and felony speeding to elude arrest. Miles was placed in jail in Morganton under $54,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for December 4.
28-year-old Sara Brooke Norman was arrested Wednesday (November 9) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with a felony count of possession of a weapon by a felon. Following the arrest, Norman was placed in jail in Morganton under $60,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for November 13.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week regarding a project to improve a section of N.C. 127 between Cloninger Mill Road north of Hickory and Richey Road north of Bethlehem. The project will improve operations and safety by widening the existing roadway from two lanes to four lanes with a median, and replacing the existing bridge over the Catawba River.
The meeting will be held next Tuesday (November 14) at Mount Bethel United Methodist Church, 9042 N.C. 127 in Taylorsville from 4 to 7 p.m. Interested citizens may attend the meeting at any time, as no formal presentation will be made. For residents who cannot attend the meeting, comments can be submitted in writing, by phone or email through Nov. 28.
Contact NCDOT Project Manager William Zerman for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 707-6069 or 1010 Birch Ridge Drive, Raleigh, N.C., 27610. Information and materials can also be viewed as they become available online at http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings.
An arrest has been made in connection to a fatal shooting in Burke County yesterday (November 8). 38-year-old Steven Adam Taylor was arrested Wednesday by Burke County Sheriff's Officers and charged with murder.
According to a news release from the Sheriff's Office, they received a call at 7:41 a.m. regarding a breaking and entering in progress at 6003 Gold Mine Road in the Dysartsville section of Burke County, southwest of Morganton. Deputies arrived and found a white male dead from a gunshot wound. A search warrant was obtained for the scene and the SBI was requested for assistance.
Taylor is the homeowner, he allegedly fatally shot 33-year-old Kevin Lewis McSheffrey Jr. of Dysartsville Road in Morganton, A news release says Taylor called 911 and reported the incident.
Taylor was placed in jail in Morganton without bond. He was scheduled to make a first court appearance today (November 9).
29-year-old Andrew Benson Jennings Jr. of Dallas Street in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (November 8) by Hudson Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering along with a misdemeanor count of injury to real property. Jennings was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (November 9).
45-year-old Christopher Matthew Hambrick of Floral Drive in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (November 7) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of forgery of an instrument and uttering a forged instrument, along with a misdemeanor count of possession of stolen goods. Hambrick is also charged with failure to appear on a felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for January 8.
44-year-old Aaron Eugene Shell of Waterfalls Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (November 7) by authorities in Caldwell County. He's charged with felony fail to notify change of address for a sex offender. Shell is also charged as an habitual felon. Bond for Shell was set at $5,000 secured. A Superior Court date is set for next Monday (November 13).
28-year-old Michael Anthony Alvarez of West 10th Street in Newton was arrested Wednesday (November 8) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, and resisting a public officer. Alvarez is also charged with resisting a public officer. Following the arrest, Alvarez was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $69,900 bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for today (November 9), November 17, and January 12.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal shooting earlier today (November 8).
According to a news release, the Sheriff’s Office received a call at 7:41 a.m. to a breaking and entering in progress at 6003 Gold Mine Road, Morganton. Deputies arrived and found a white male dead from a gunshot wound. A search warrant was obtained for the scene and the SBI was requested for assistance.
The investigation is continuing and more information will be released when possible.
41-year-old Michael Edward Gwaltney of Highway 73A in Lincoln County has been arrested on one felony count of larceny of a financial transaction card and five felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Gwaltney is accused of stealing a Bank of America credit card from his mother and using it to obtain money.
On November 6, Gwaltney’s mother reported that the card had been taken from her residence. The following day, a Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detective began an investigation. The bank informed the victim that her stolen credit card had been used five times to obtain cash at two banks in Denver. Michael Gwaltney, who lives with his mother, admitted to her that he committed the crime.
Gwaltney was arrested on the seventh and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $27,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in Lincoln County District Court today. (November 8).