38-year-old Alberto Rodriguez of 4th Street Drive NW in Hickory was arrested Friday (November 4) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony solicitation of a child by computer for the purpose of committing a sex act. Rodriguez was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, November 7).
Early voting is over and it's almost time for those who did not cast ballots early to head to their polling places, Election Day 2016 is tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8). Citizens voted early in record numbers this year, more than 3.1 million North Carolinians chose to take part in one-stop voting, that represents an 11.8 percent increase over 2012.
As far as local races are concerned, many candidates are running unopposed after winning in primaries earlier this year. As far as contested races are concerned, in Catawba County there are ten candidates for three seats on the Board of Education. In Caldwell County there are four candidates for three seats on the Board of Education. In Burke County six candidates are running for three available spots on the Board of Commissioners. In Alexander County, three candidates are running for two seats on the Board of Commissioners, and three candidates are running for the District 4 seat on the Board of Education.
Citizens in Burke and Alexander County will have the opportunity to vote on measures related to alcohol sales. In the Burke County town of Glen Alpine, there is a referendum on the ballot to vote for or against the operation of ABC Stores. In Alexander County citizens can vote on county-wide mixed beverage, malt beverage, and unfortified wine sales, along with the permission for the operation of ABC Stores. In Taylorsville, there are referendums for malt beverage and mixed beverage sales.
In District 10 there is a U.S. House race between Patrick McHenry and Andy Millard. Virginia Foxx is squaring off against Josh Brannon in the District 5 U.S. House contest. In District 11, Mark Meadows is challenged by Rick Bryson. There are also contested races for the North Carolina State Senate seats in District 45 and District 46 and for North Carolina House Of Representative seats in District 86 and District 112.
Voters everywhere in the Hickory Metro will be able to cast ballots in the U.S. Senate race, Governor's race, and in the contest for U.S. President. The polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. WHKY Radio, 1290 AM and whky.com will have election updates starting at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday and Ralph Mangum will have results live at 10 p.m. on WHKY-TV News.
38-year-old Eduardo Timoteo Vasquez Puac of Short Road in Hickory was arrested Sunday (November 6) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with statutury rape, failure to appear, and driving while license revoked. Puac was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, November 7).
On Friday night (November 4), just before 9:30 p.m., Statesville Police Officers responded to a reported shooting at a residence in the 1000 block of Wilson Lee Boulevard. Upon arrival, Officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound.
Iredell County Ems responded to the scene and transported the shooting victim to Iredell Memorial Hospital for treatment. The victim was then flown to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem for further treatment. As of the time of the media release from Statesville P.D., the victim's condition was unknown.
The Statesville Police Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene to continue the Investigation. The shooting victim’s name had not been released.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert Friday Night (November 4) for a missing endangered man, 65-year-old Bill Boone.
Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for Bill Boone, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. He is a white male, 6'6", 185 pounds, with short black hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a ball cap with a red flanner shirt, blue jeans, and New Balance tennis shoes. Boone was last seen on NW Wilson Street at Carolina Oaks in Lenoir. He may have been heading towards 110 Ashe Street in Rhodhiss.
Anyone with information about Bill Boone should call the Lenoir Police Department at 828-757-2100.
The Hickory Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire early this morning (Friday, November 4).
At approximately 2:09 a.m. Hickory firefighters were dispatched to a fire at 2102 24th Street NE Lot #18, which is in the St. Stephens Mobile Home Park. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and two command units.
Upon arrival, firefighters found the occupant outside of the home and a mattress on fire in the bedroom. After ensuring everyone had evacuated, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire and clear the smoke out of the mobile home.
No injuries were reported and fire damages were confined to the bedroom and were considered minor. However due to the smoke damage, the Red Cross responded to the scene and will be helping the occupant, who was displaced as a result of the fire.
Fire investigators determined the fire was started by improper use of a candle that was too close to combustibles.
The Catawba County fire Marshalls office is investigating a mobile home fire in Claremont. At around 4:30 p.m. yesterday Catawba and Claremont fire departments responded to the scene, along with the Catawba rescue squad.
The fire departments were able to contain the fire within in 10 minutes but the home was a total loss. The property was abandoned, so no one was inside at the time of the fire, and no firefighters were injured at the scene.
The Hickory Police Department is investigating a Friday morning (November 4) traffic accident that resulted in a fatality. One of the drivers was killed in the wreck that occurred near 9th Avenue NE and 10th Street NE.
The accident reportedly involved two vehicles. The Hickory Police Department did not have any further information. The name of the person killed has not yet been released.
Failure to report a new address as a sex offender and admission of habitual felon status led to an active prison sentence for a Morganton man during Burke County Superior Court on Thursday (November 3).
33-year-old McGarrett Eugene McManus was given a prison term of five to seven years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, after entering his guilty plea.
McManus’ sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status, which includes prior felony convictions for larceny of a motor vehicle in Catawba County (2001), breaking or entering a motor vehicle in Catawba County (2003) and indecent liberties with a child in Lincoln County (2015).
Following his 2015 conviction for indecent liberties with a child in Lincoln County, the defendant was required to register as a sex offender. During a regular check, an officer went by McManus’ residence and found it to be empty. When the officer contacted the property owner, he was told that McManus had not been living there for about a week.
Further investigation revealed that McManus went to California, and he was arrested there a week later. Isaac Propst investigated the case for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Frank Webster and Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
28-year-old Jonathon Paul Fender of 23rd Street Circle NE in Hickory was arrested Thursday (November 3) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony fail to notify change of address for a sex offender.
Hickory Police responded to a disturbance call Thursday at an address on 23rd Street Circle NE. The suspect was in an argument and while officers were there they were notified by telecommunicators that Fender had failed to register as a sex offender. He was required to register in Oregon, and had not since October of 2013.
Fender posted $3,000 secured bond, he was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Newton today (Friday, November 4).
26-year-old Garfield Kenney Wilson of South Center Street in Hickory was arrested Thursday (November 3) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony probation violaton, and misdemeanor counts of simple assault, assault and battery, and assault on a female.
On October 27 Hickory Police responded to a residence on 16th Street NE in reference to an assault. A female victim said her ex-boyfriend entered the home and attacked her and a man who was also inside the residence. Warrants were taken out on Wilson at that time. Catawba County EMS responded to the scene but the victims were not transported.
Wilson's bond was set at $5,600. A District Court date is scheduled for next Monday (November 7).
30-year-old Rumualdo Ricardo Hernandez of Pope Place in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (November 3) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine. Hernandez was confined at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (November 7).
46-year-old Darrell Eric Corpening of NW Scroggs Street in Lenoir was arrested Thursday by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with two counts of breaking and entering. In addition, Corpening is charged with five counts of resisting a public officer, two counts apiece of larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods, and single counts of assault on a female, breaking and entering to a motor vehicle, and habitual felon. Corpening was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $168,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
23-year-old Joshua Steven Greer of Brook Street in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (November 3) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of larceny by employee and obtaining property by false pretense. Greer was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets in regular session Monday morning (November 7). The meeting time and location have been changed to 7:30 a.m. at the Catawba County Government Center in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room. The changes were made so that the board could conduct a strategic planning work session prior to the regular agenda.
During the regular meeting Monday, an award will be presented to Barbara Beatty for 20 years of service as a County Commissioner. In addition, the board will hear presentations regarding the ncData Campus AT&T Fiber Ready Award, Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Excellence in Financial Reporting and Popular Annual Financial Reporting Awards, and Recognition of Mini-Course Graduates.
33-year-old Timothy Wayne Bolick of Lick Mountain Drive in Hudson was arrested Thursday (November 3) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of schedule IV controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule IV controlled substance. Bolick is also charged with failure to appear. Following the arrest, Bolick was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $6,450 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Thursday.
Unemployment rates dropped across the Greater Hickory Metro and across much of the state, according to the latest information released this week by the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The statistics reflect jobless rates for the month of September.
Catawba County's unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent in August. Alexander County has a jobless rate of 4.1 percent, down from 4.5 percent in the last report. Burke County is showing an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent for September, down from 5.1 percent in August. Caldwell County's jobless rate stands at 5 percent even, down from 5.3 percent.
The Unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA, is currently 4.7 percent. That's down from 5 percent even in August. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton is tied for the 7th lowest unemployment rate among 15 MSAs in North Carolina.
The statewide unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, down from 5 percent even. Unemployment rates decreased in 95 of North Carolina's 100 counties in September, increased in two, and remained unchanged in three. Scotland County has the state's highest jobless rate at 8.5 percent, while Buncombe County has the lowest at 3.6 percent.
A woman was hit by a train in Morganton on Thursday (November 3). According to published reports, 56-year-old Leigh Singley, was struck by a train while walking on the tracks in the vicinity of South Green and Beech Streets. Authorities said the Morganton woman was hit by a train heading eastbound.
The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday. After being struck, Singley was transported to Carolinas Healthcare System in Morganton with injuries that were believed to be life-threatening. She was later airlifted to Charlotte. Singley was last reported to be in critical condition.
The investigation into the incident is continuing by the Morganton Department of Public Safety and Norfolk Southern.
A guilty plea entered in Burke County today in a child abuse case resulted in a minimum six-year prison sentence. 25-year-old Brittany Nichole Hefner of Connelly Springs, who was charged with felony child abuse, entered a guilty plea in Burke County Superior Court. The charge stems from an incident in late January of this year in Connelly Springs, the victim was one of Hefner’s twin three-month-old sons. Hefner received a sentence of 72 to 99 months in prison.
36-year-old Brandon David Lail of Morganton, was given a prison sentence of five to seven years in Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (November 1). Lail pleaded guilty to felony larceny, possession of stolen goods and he admitted his status as a habitual felon.
The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, issued the active prison term for Lail, who will serve his time in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
Lail’s sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status, which includes prior felony convictions for financial transaction card theft in Cleveland County (2009) and obtaining property by false pretense in Burke County (2012 and 2015).
The victim reported in May 2016 that his motor vehicle had been broken into and that his golf clubs had been stolen. The clubs were located by officers at Hickory Pawn and Gun, and identified by the owner as those stolen from his vehicle. The pawn ticket provided information that the defendant had pawned the clubs the same day they were reported stolen, and video surveillance showed Lail pawning them.
Valdese Assistant Police Chief James Buchanan investigated the case, which was prosecuted by David Swanson and Michelle Lippert of the District Attorney’s Office.