34-year-old Kathy Lynn Strickland of White Street in Morganton was arrested Monday (June 4) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with three felony counts apiece of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance and sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance. Strickland was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (June 5) in Newton.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners adopted the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year budget at their meeting Monday night (June 4).
The budget, which maintains the current property tax rate of $0.575 per $100 of valuation, totals $248.78 million (a 4% decrease from the current year). The budget projects growth in both property tax and sales tax revenues due to continued growth in retail sales, residential development and business investment.
According to a news release issued in May by Catawba County Government, this growth in revenue allows for ongoing implementation of the Board of Commissioners’ strategic plan, which supports continued economic growth while maintaining the second lowest tax rate among neighboring area counties and the sixth lowest of the state’s 27 urban counties.
During his the budget presentation in May, County Manager Mick Berry highlighted the alignment of major budget investments with the Board of Commissioners’ strategic plan aimed at driving economic and population growth and improving Catawba County’s quality of life:
Economic Development: Fostering a positive business climate by maintaining competitive tax rate and development fees; investing $2.7M in Trivium Corporate Center land acquisition and development to stratify market-ready product offerings in partnership with the City of Hickory and the Economic Development Corporation; and continuing to support the recently completed speculative building developed in partnership with the City of Claremont
Education: A 2.6% increase in total per-pupil funding; a 4.8% increase in funding for Catawba Valley Community College; funding for a range of school capital and construction projects; and a second-year $1.3M commitment in support of the collaborative K-64 initiative
Community Health & Safety: Increased funding to City of Newton and Maiden Rescue Squad to support expansion of medical first response and rescue services in rural districts; increased funding to Conover and Cooksville fire services for equipment replacement and facility needs; and dedicated funding to support “right care, right place, right time” public safety needs
Water & Sewer: Significant investments to lead growth through targeted water/sewer projects in partnership with cities of Newton, Claremont and Conover
Parks: Funding to begin development of Mountain Creek Park Phase I, which will bring miles of hiking and mountain biking trails to the Sherrills Ford community
21-year-old Devin Keyvon Johnson of Kennedy Drive in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police early Sunday morning (June 3) on one felony count of trafficking heroin or opium and misdemeanor counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On June 2, Hickory Police responded to reports of a suspicious person at a restaurant on Highway 70 S.E. Officers located Devin Keyvon Johnson and a passenger asleep in a vehicle in the parking lot. Officers also found 10 grams of marijuana, 58 dosage units of acetaminophen/oxycodone hydrochloride, one dosage unit of oxycodone and $1,820 in cash.
Johnson was taken into custody without incident. He was processed at the Hickory Police Department and later released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today (June 4) in Newton.
38-year-old Christopher Allen Bost of 12th Avenue S.E. and 21-year-old Juan Resendiz of Main Avenue Drive N.W., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police Sunday morning (June 3). Bost was charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of larceny and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. Resendiz faces one misdemeanor count of possession of stolen property.
The two were arrested in connection to an incident on June 1 when Hickory Police responded to a used car lot on Highway 70 S.E. in reference the larceny of a cell phone. During the investigation, Bost provided Officers with a false name, resulting in the resisting charge. The felony drug charge against Bost was the result of an outstanding warrant.
Both suspects were taken into custody without incident yesterday at their respective residences. They were each processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released; Bost on a $10,000 secured bond and Resendiz on a $1,000 unsecured bond. Bost has a District Court appearance coming up on July 24, while Resendiz will appear in court on July 10.
27-year-old Joshua Arron Gibson, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police just after 4 p.m. yesterday (June 3) on one felony count of uttering a forged instrument. The warrant for his arrest was issued on April 16. The Clerk of Court in Burke County is listed as the complainant on H.P.D.’s arrest report.
Gibson was processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released about an hour later under a $10,000 unsecured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for July 9 in Morganton.
41-year-old Shirley Louise Rojas of Pathfinder Street in Newton was arrested today (June 4) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She was charged with felony larceny by employee. Rojas was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (June 5).
Filing periods begin this month for candidates for the Catawba County Board of Education, the Catawba County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Superior and District Court Judges in the November 2018 general election.
The Board of Education filing period got underway at noon today (June 4) and it will end at noon July 6. The Catawba County Soil & Water Conservation District filing period begins at noon June 11, and will end at noon July 6. Candidates for these offices file at the Catawba County Board of Elections office in the in the Catawba County Government Center at 25 Government Drive in Newton.
Candidates for Superior and District Court Judges will file with the North Carolina State Board of Elections in Raleigh from noon June 18 until noon June 29.
A truck hauling scrap metal overturned shortly before ten o’clock this morning on Highway 321 southbound, near the Falls Avenue bridge. Southbound traffic was impeded. The N.C. State Highway Patrol and the Granite Falls Police Department were still on the scene as of 11:30 this morning. Early reports suggest that no one was injured. No further details are available at this time.
26-year-old James Mitchell Dickinson of Deerpark Drive in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police at 4:40 Friday afternoon (June 1) on one felony count of attempted breaking & entering, two felony counts of breaking & entering and one misdemeanor count of injury to personal property.
He was arrested after Police responded to a break-in in progress at a residence on 8th Street Court N.E. Upon arrival, Officers found the suspect, James Mitchell Dickinson, in the front yard where he was taken into custody without incident.
Dickinson was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $33,500, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (June 4) in Newton.
65-year-old James Marion Benfield of Taylorsville and 46-year-old Martha Elizabeth Dixon, whose address was not listed, were both arrested by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. Benfield is charged with three felony counts of embezzlement and Dixon is charged with three felony counts of conspiracy to commit embezzlement.
On May 29, 2018 the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office received a report from an officer with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 84 in Alexander County in reference to an embezzlement. Investigators found that a member of the organization had embezzled approximately $5,800. The incidents occurred from August 2017 until May 29, 2018. The suspect was identified as James Marion Benfield, who was the treasurer in the DAV.
Investigators learned that Benfield was also an officer in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion, both in Alexander County. Officials with those organizations also met with investigators. Both organizations also discovered that Benfield embezzled from them during the same time period. Many transactions were ATM withdrawals and he used checks from the DAV to pay his bills.
Benfield told police that his girlfriend, Dixon, also used the ATM to withdraw money for their use. Investigators interviewed Dixon and she admitted to taking the money for personal use. Bond for each suspect was set at $15,500 secured. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (June 4).
24-year-old Autumn Marie Burhans was arrested Sunday (June 3) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. She's charged with felony counts of motor vehicle theft and probation violation along with a misdemeanor count of parole violation. Burhans was arrested at an address on South Sterling Street in Morganton at 4:40 p.m. Sunday. She was placed in jail under $35,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (June 5).
26-year-old Brittany Lynna Palmer was arrested today (June 4) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Palmer was arrested at 4:15 a.m. today and placed in jail in Morganton under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today.
24-year-old Christina Marie Allen of Deal Mill Road in Granite Falls was arrested Sunday (June 3) by Granite Falls Police Officers. She's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Allen was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (June 5).
41-year-old Heather Renee Winkler of Poplar Street in Lenoir was arrested Friday (June 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of identity theft, uttering a forged endorsement, obtaining property by false pretense, attempt to obtain property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense, and felony conspiracy.
Winkler was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (June 4).
36-year-old John Douglas Pierce of Mineral Springs Mountain Road in Valdese was arrested Sunday (June 3) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony speed to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. Pierce was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (June 4).
28-year-old Steven Michael Nelson of Bridges Avenue in Connelly Springs was arrested last Thursday (May 31) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering with intent to terrorize or injure and misdemeanor second degree trespassing. Nelson was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $5,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for June 29.
36-year-old Roger Allen Haynes of R H Road in Hickory was arrested Saturday (June 2) by Troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine, reckless driving to endanger, and hit and run, leave the scene with property damage. Haynes was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $27,500 secured bond. District Court dates were scheduled for Tuesday (June 5) and June 15.
21-year-old Dylan Kyler Tolbert of Playmore Beach Road in Morganton was arrested Saturday (June 2) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting a public officer, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, Tolbert is charged with failure to appear on counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, felony probation violation, and three counts of second degree trespassing.
Tolbert was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $57,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (June 5).
Hickory City Council meets Tuesday night (June 5). Under new business, a public hearing will be held for the consideration of the City of Hickory's Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget. The recommended budget totals $103,801,956 for all City operations, capital improvements, and debt service requirements for the upcoming year. The property tax rate will remain the same.
In the City’s General Fund, its main operating fund, property tax revenues are expected to increase 3.5% over the prior year. This is due to commercial and residential growth in the City’s tax base over the past twelve months. Additionally, sales tax revenues are projected to increase by 4.0%, as Hickory continues to be a hub of retail activity in the region.
In the Water and Sewer fund, which is fully supported by user fees, a 2.1% increase in utility rates is recommended based on the Consumer Price Index and to maintain its infrastructure. In an ongoing effort to promote self-sufficiency within the Solid Waste Fund, the monthly sanitation rate will increase from $20.50 to $22.50, while still maintaining a lower cost than many municipalities across the state. With this increase, the Solid Waste Fund will be 100% self-supporting in Fiscal Year 2018-2019.
The consent agenda for Tuesday's Hickory City Council meeting includes the approval of a resolution for the cancellation of the Tuesday, July 3 City Council meeting. This meeting in July has traditionally been cancelled by City Council. Also under new business on Tuesday's agenda, there are several appointments to boards and commissions. The agenda also includes a closed session during which minutes from the April 17 closed session will be approved, and a personnel matter will be discussed.
Tuesday's Hickory City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building at 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
40-year-old Michael Shaun Worley of Airport Rhodhiss Road in Hickory was arrested Saturday (June 2) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with fail to register as a sex offender. Worley was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (June 5).