Over the Memorial Day weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation will pause most road construction activities that require lane closures on major routes across the state to help holiday travelers have smoother trips. NCDOT will suspend most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes from 6 a.m. Friday (May 25) until 9 p.m. next Tuesday (May 29).
There will be some exceptions, including one in Iredell County. Construction lanes will still be narrowed on I-77 near Mooresville from Exit 36 to Exit 11 going both directions. The other exceptions are as follows;
U.S. 421 will have two of four lanes closed in both directions near Wilkesboro;
I-85 will have two of four lanes closed nightly between Exit 173 (Cole Mill Road) and Exit 178 (U.S. 70);
I-85 between Henderson and the Virginia state line will continue to have traffic in a two-lane, two-way pattern;
I-40 westbound near Mocksville will continue to have its right lane closed for paving and patching between mile markers 173 and 168;
Cape Fear Memorial Bridge electrical and mechanical repairs will continue in Wilmington and one of two lanes will be closed for both directions of travel;
I-26 will have a lane closed in both directions between mile markers 12 and 18 near Weaverville; and
U.S. 74 near Columbus will have lanes closed in both directions between mile markers 168 and 174.
And for travelers heading to West Virginia via I-77, an extensive paving project in that state near the Virginia border may cause major traffic delays in both directions near the East River Mountain Tunnel.
Here are some tips for safely navigating the highways during the Memorial Day weekend:
Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible;
Stay alert. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones;
Be patient and obey the posted speed limit;
Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion;
Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available at www.DriveNC.gov, by calling 511, or by following NCDOT on Twitter;
Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks; and
Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
Also, be aware that the Highway Patrol and local law enforcement are taking part in the annual Memorial Day Click It or Ticket campaign, looking for drivers and passengers who are not using their seat belts.
27-year-old Zachary Gray Jenkins of Team Seller Road in Icard was arrested Wednesday (May 23) by Probation and Parole Officers. He's charged with five counts of felony probation violation along with one count of parole violation. Jenkins was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for next Tuesday (May 29).
46-year-old Jason Allen Lee of Sherrills Ford Road in Catawba was arrested Wednesday (May 23) by Claremont Police Officers. He's charged with failure to appear on a count of failure to change address as a sex offender. Lee was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $30,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 10.
35-year-old Jennifer Elizabeth Allred of Springs Road in Conover was arrested by Conover Police Officers. She's charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor child abuse. Allred was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (May 24) under $15,000 bond. A District Court date was scheduled today.
18-year-old Douglas Allen Shuford and 33-year-old Tabitha Brie Evans, both from the same address on Icard School Road in Connelly Springs, along with 18-year-old Justin Wayne Hatley of Simpson Avenue in Connelly Springs, have all been arrested in connection to an incident involving a firearm on school property in Burke County. Shuford was charged with possession of a firearm on educational property, a domestic violence protective order violation (issued on May 2) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Evans and Hatley were each charged with aiding & abetting possession of a firearm on educational property. All the charges are misdemeanors.
At about 9:17 yesterday morning (May 23), Burke Co. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call from a citizen who was driving by Icard Elementary School property. The caller said three subjects, two males and one female, were on school property. The three were reportedly in the middle of the road, pointing what appeared to be a rifle at the school and at the caller. The suspects went into the woods near a utility right-of-way, walking away from the school.
Burke Co. Narcotics Officers were nearby and arrived at the school within minutes. The Officers drove their four-wheel drive vehicle onto the utility right-of-way, searching for the suspects. Other Deputies cut the suspects off on another road that intersected the utility road about a half-mile from the school.
At 9:26 a.m., the Deputies heard a gunshot fired within yards of them. Within seconds, the Narcotics Officers found the suspects at the edge of a field, near the utility road. One of the male suspects fled with a .410 bore shotgun in hand, exiting the woods near the Deputies. He complied with Deputies’ commands to drop the gun and was taken into custody. The other two subjects were taken into custody by the Narcotics Officers. All three suspects were apprehended by 9:29 a.m.
Shuford was given a $30,000 secured bond and placed on a 48-hour hold for the D.V.O. Hatley was given a $1,000 secured bond, while Evans’ bond was set at $3,000, secured. Shuford has a court date set for May 29. Hatley and Evans are both due in court on July 9.
Approximately 15 Deputies responded to the scene and were assisted by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
33-year-old Gary Allen Hutchinson of Tallent Road in Morganton was arrested today (May 23) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on bills of indictment with three counts of felony larceny along with single counts of larceny by anti inventory device, habitual larceny, breaking and entering, and larceny after breaking and entering.
In addition, Hutchinson is charged with three counts apiece of larceny of a motor vehicle and break or enter a motor vehicle, two counts of misdemeanor larceny, and single counts of forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument, sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver schedule II controlled substance, and possession of stolen goods.
Hutchinson was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $120,000 bond. District Court appearances are scheduled for Friday (May 25), June 5, and July 6. A Superior Court date is set for Friday.
Three men were taken into custody this morning (May 23) after a shot was reportedly fired near an elementary school in Burke County. According to published reports, Icard Elementary was put under lockdown after the men allegedly came on school grounds with a loaded shotgun. All three suspects were taken into custody a short distance from the school after firing the gun. The lockdown has since been lifted, there were no injuries in the incident.
45-year-old Tami Farris Mcfall was arrested Tuesday (May 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of larceny of a financial transaction card and identity theft. Mcfall was arrested at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday at an address on Greenlee Drive in Morganton. She was not listed as an inmate in Burke County as of today (May 23). No court date was listed.
The Highway 127 bridge that connects Catawba and Alexander Counties in the Bethlehem community is open once again. The bridge was closed in both directions earlier this morning (May 23). The Hickory Fire Department reports that the cause of the shutdown was a bridge fire. No additional details were available.
The N.C. Board of Transportation has approved state and federal funds for much-needed improvements to 19 North Carolina airports. The $10.2 million in funding will be used to provide improvements such as better lighting, longer runways and repairs to hangars and terminal buildings.
Listed among the 19 airports to receive funding is Hickory Regional Airport. $915,000 has been allocated for reconstruction of the north ramp following tornado damage in 2017. Planes and vehicles were flipped over during the tornado in October of last year.
33-year-old Stephen Wayne Peyatt of Spring Lake Mobile Home Park in Granite Falls was arrested Tuesday (May 22) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with two counts of break or enter a motor vehicle and single counts of possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce and attempted larceny. Peyatt was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (May 23).
61-year-old Grover Denton of Taylorsville was arrested May 15 by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with a felony count of being an habitual felon. Bond for Denton was set at $5,000 secured. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for June 11.
55-year-old Timothy Keller of Taylorsville was arrested May 8 by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance, sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance, and conspire to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Bond for Keller was set at $20,000 secured. His next District Court date is July 16.
18-year-old Wynton Nehemiah Horton of Old North Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 22) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspire to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, and assault inflicting injury. Horton was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for June 12.
40-year-old Adam Starnes of Taylorsville was arrested May 14 by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts of felony probation violation and two counts of misdemeanor probation violation. Bond for Starnes was set at $30,000 secured. He's scheduled to appear in District and Superior Court on June 11.
29-year-old Royce Hall of Taylorsville was arrested May 13 by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with attempted first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and assault while minor present. No bond information was given for Hall. His next District Court date is June 4.
45-year-old Robin Diane Horn of Zebulon Drive in Conover was arrested Tuesday (May 22) by Newton Police Officers. She's charged on a bill of indictment with two counts of trafficking, opium or heroin. Horn is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting a public officer. Horn was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $27,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled today (May 23), a District Court date is July 6.
43-year-old Howard Lesley Redmon of Hickory, was given an active prison term of three to five years following his conviction for five counts of habitual larceny. Redmon entered a guilty plea during Catawba County Superior Court Monday (May 21).
The Honorable Casey Viser, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, imposed the prison term for Redmon, who will serve his sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. Redmon pleaded guilty to five separate larcenies that ranged from July 2015 to October 2017 at a grocery store and two different convenience stores. In each case, the defendant stole multiple cases of beer with a monetary value of less than $150.
The defendant had four or more prior misdemeanor larceny convictions from 2000 to 2009 in Alexander, Caldwell and Catawba counties that factored into his habitual larceny conviction. The incidents were investigated by officers with Hickory Police Department. Chad Smith prosecuted the cases for the District Attorney’s Office.
30-year-old Caira LeeAnn Pyrsock of 21st Street S.W. in Hickory was served bills of indictment by Hickory Police shortly after ten o’clock last night (May 21) on two felony counts of trafficking heroin or opium. She was also charged with a felony probation violation.
Prysock was taken into custody without incident on the 1,800 block of Highland Avenue N.E. in Hickory. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. Appearances in Superior Court were scheduled today and tomorrow in Newton.
18-year-old Jacquez Markle Burrell of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested Monday (May 21) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of attempted breaking and entering, breaking and entering to a building, larceny after breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods.
Burrell was arrested without incident shortly after 1 p.m. Monday at an address on the 600 Block of 12th Avenue N.E. in Hickory. Following the arrest, Burrell was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (May 22) in Newton.