The Hickory Police Department has been made aware of people going door to door telling victims of storm damage that the county was going to begin fining home owners in a couple of days for not having trees and debris picked up or cleaned up and offering to do the work right then. Hickory Police say this is a scam. In a news release, HPD officers the following tips from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office in reference to storm damage repair.
Keep the following tips in mind to avoid problems when hiring a tree removal service:
Don’t pay upfront. Be very wary of any request to pay deposits or other fees for tree work in advance. Out-of-state tree cutters have been known to collect deposits from entire neighborhoods and then disappear without performing any work. Only pay when the work is done and you are satisfied.
Avoid fly-by-night companies. Tree services that knock on your door or that just arrived in town from another state may not stick around to finish the job. Choose local companies with good reputations for the best results.
Check out the company. Contact our Consumer Protection Division and the Better Business Bureau to see if they have complaints against the company. Ask the company for local references, and look online for reviews of its work.
Make sure the company is insured. If a tree removal service claims to have insurance, don’t just take their word for it. Contact the insurer directly and ask them to send you a copy of the tree removal service’s certificate of insurance.
Find out a fair price. Be skeptical of any price that seems unusually high or low. To find out the going rate for tree removal, get written estimates from more than one company. Check with friends who’ve had tree work done recently to see what they paid and who they would recommend.
Don’t let anyone rush you. If an offer is only good “now or never,” find someone else to do the job. And if the tree isn’t on your house or blocking your driveway, you may be better off waiting a few days or weeks to have it removed.
Ask about debris removal, too. Will the company remove the tree from your property as well as cut it down? If not, you may wind up having to pay for debris removal.
If you have problems with a tree removal company or want to ask questions before hiring one, contact our Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. You can also file a consumer complaint or report possible price gouging online.
33-year-old Reginald Vernard Weathers of Oaklawn Avenue in Charlotte was arrested Thursday (October 26) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny and misdemeanor larceny. Weathers was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $3,500 bond. District Court dates are set for November 7 and 13.
34-year-old Audrey Leann James of Lyle Haven Drive NW in Conover was arrested Wednesday (October 25) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with two counts of trafficking, opium or heroin, along with single counts of possession of controlled substance on prison or jail premises, possession of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II and IV controlled substance. James is also charged by Hickory Police with injury to real property and also faces a count of failure to appear.
Following the arrest, James was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $57,000 bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for today (October 27) and November 7.
29-year-old Steven Wayne Smith and 29-year-old Angel Elaine Smith, both of the same Gabriel Lane, Lenoir address, were both arrested Thursday (October 26) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. Steven Smith is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. He was also served with an outstanding warrant for domestic criminal trespass. Angel Smith is charged with felony accessory after the fact. Authorities could not confirm if the charge against Angel Smith was connected to the charge against Steven Smith.
At 7:52 p.m. Wednesday (October 25), deputies were called to a parking lot at 1219 Highway 268 after being contacted regarding a shooting. Upon arrival they found one victim with a single, non-life threatening gun shot wound. The victim was reportedly treated and released at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. No further information about the victim is going to be released.
Before deputies arrived at the scene, Steven Smith reportedly left the scene in a silver Toyota Avalon. After an attempt to locate was sent out, officers conducted a vehicle stop on Creekway Drive and took Smith into custody around midnight.
Steven and Angel Smith were both placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center. Steven's bond was set at $250,000 secured, Angel received a $25,000 secured bond. They're both scheduled to appear in District Court November 16.
Preliminary information from the National Weather Service in Spartanburg has confirmed that an EF2 tornado touched down Monday (October 23) near the Hickory Regional Airport, destroying a hangar and planes inside. Initially, the tornado was very narrow, with damage localized to the one hangar.
The tornado downed some trees in Winkler Park, then continued northeast straddling the Caldwell/Catawba County line. While weakening to an EF1 classification, the tornado widened to almost three-quarters of a mile, with damage on either side of Lake Hickory in both counties.
Significant tree damage occurred with hundreds of trees downed, many on houses, cars and other structures. Additional tree damage occurred outside the tornado's path due to widespread intense straight-line winds. The tornado turned left, narrowed, and straddled the Alexander/Caldwell County line, again resulting in tree damage with some structural damage from falling trees.
The tornado shifted back to the northeast, finally weakening and lifting just south of the Alexander/Wilkes County line, west of Highway 16.
The storm had an estimated maximum wind speed of 125 mph and a maximum path width of 3,900 yards. It traveled a distance of 22.83 miles. An EF2 storm has wind speeds from 111 to 135 mph, while an EF1 has wind from 86 to 110 mph.
47-year-old Kevin Scott Creel of Buffalo Shoals Road in Lincolnton was arrested by Lincoln Co. Patrol Deputies yesterday (October 25) on one felony count of intimidating or interfering with a witness. He was also served a misdemeanor warrant from Mecklenburg County for communicating threats.
On October 24, a male subject filed a report with the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office stating that Kevin Creel’s co-workers had told him that Creel was attempting to solicit the co-workers to cause harm to the reporting party or his property. Detectives charged Creel accordingly.
Following his arrest, Creel was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under an $18,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in Lincoln Co. District Court today, with a Mecklenburg County court date coming up on October 31.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that an F2 tornado hit Burke, Catawba, Caldwell, and Alexander Counties Monday (October 23). Duke Energy reports that significant progress was made over the past 24 hours toward the restoration of all outages related to the Monday afternoon storm. At the height of this storm, outages for this area well exceeded 50,000. There were 5,852 total outages as of this morning. By county, there were 2,589 in Catawba, 1,601 in Burke, 1,141 in Alexander, and 516 in Caldwell.
In Caldwell County, as of this morning, 599 Homes were identified as having light to substantial damage. That number was expected to rise. 46 homes had sustained major damage, and five homes were destroyed. Two Assessment Teams were continuing to survey damage. It was estimated that teams have covered half of the damaged area so far. One serious injury was reported in Caldwell County. The Town of Granite Falls has declared a state of emergency.
The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office reports they are receiving reports from county residents who are receiving letters from a company claiming to be "Publisher's Clearing House," saying they have won several thousand dollars. The letter gives you a number to call and a claim number.
Once you call this number, you will be asked to give personal information and to pay a fee before your prize money is sent. These letters are scams, please discard the letter and do not call. As always, never give credit card, or social security numbers or any personal information over the internet or by phone to people you do not know.
41-year-old Andreana Kimberly Warren of 10th Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (October 25) by authorities in Guilford County on a charge filed on Catawba County. She's charged with felony conspiracy to sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance. Warren was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $1,500 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for November 6.
Hickory Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect in an armed robbery at the Boost Mobile store on Springs Road N.E. in Hickory.
At about 7:55 last night (October 25), Officers responded to an armed robbery call at Boost Mobile. The clerk said the suspect came into the store, displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect took money from the store and left.
The suspect was described as black male, 20-to-30 years of age, approximately 5’8” tall. He had facial hair and a bandage across his nose. He was wearing a white construction hat, sunglasses, a black hoodie, a red shirt, faded blue jeans and white tennis shoes. The suspect appeared to have a disability involving his right leg, causing his right foot to turn out at a severe angle as he walks. His right leg is significantly smaller than his left.
Anyone with information should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551 or contact Investigator Shanna Hudson directly at 828-261-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
19-year-old Ashleigh Chantel Caldwell of Cornelius Road in Mooresville was arrested last Friday (October 20) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of financial card theft and identity theft.
According to a news release issued today (October 26), on September 8, 2017, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received an incident report of financial card theft and identity theft. Detective Sgt. D. R. Getz with the Economic Crime Unit was assigned the case. According to the incident report the victims had hired a nanny to help with the children while they worked. The victims reported that after the nanny’s first day of working they noticed that a credit card was missing. After checking their account online they noticed a fraudulent transaction that had occurred that day.
During the investigation, records showed the fraudulent transaction was placed under the name of and shipped to the suspect, Ashleigh Chantel Caldwell. Following her arrest, Caldwell was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under $2,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for December 18.
40-year-old Michael Thomas Hiott of Shanna Lane in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers for failure by a sex offender to report a change of address.
On October 4, Deputy David Price was notified by a concerned citizen that a registered sex offender, Michael Hiott, no longer lived at his Shanna Lane address. Deputy Price immediately began an investigation. After speaking to a family member and neighbors, Deputy Price confirmed that Hiott was no longer living at his registered address.
Hiott was placed on the sex offender registry in 2002 after a 1998 conviction for kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child.
On October 20, Hiott, who had several other outstanding warrants, was located and arrested. He was given a $10,000 secured bond. Hiott will appear in Superior Court on October 30 for failure to register as a sex offender and failure to report a change of address. He’ll also appear on that date as an habitual felon. He has a court date in Cumberland County on November 9 for felony exploiting the disabled and felony conspiracy. Hiott has an additional Iredell Co. District Court date on November 27 for failure to report a change of address, felony obtaining property by false pretenses and misdemeanor larceny.
24-year-old Joshua Brian Price of Pearl Street in Granite Falls was arrested Wednesday (October 25) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with felony obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property. Price was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $2,500 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for January 8.
28-year-old Justian Ryan Pohoski of Crestridge Drive in Statesville was arrested last Friday (October 20) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to a news release issued yesterday (October 25), Deputies and Crime Scene Detectives responded to a break-in with larceny earlier this month on Crestridge Drive. The victim reported he found the garage door of the home open. The victim reported that he noticed a shotgun missing from the home, the gun is valued at $350.
Detectives began an investigation and from talking to various neighbors and from the evidence collected it was Justian Pohoski was developed as a possible suspect. Detectives learned that Pohoski had borrowed a cell phone and listed the gun on Craigslist for sale. Pohoski sold the shotgun for $75, it has not been recovered.
It was learned that Pohoski was a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess any firearms. Detectives obtained warrants on Pohoski and arrested him last Friday. He was placed in jail under $30,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in District Court November 7.
19-year-old Quantavius Isiah Wilson of Boundary Street in Newton was arrested Wednesday (October 25) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Wilson was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (October 27).
With the departure of Andrea Surratt, an interim Assistant City Manager has been hired to assist during the transition time. Rick Beasley will begin work with the City of Hickory the first week of November.
Mr. Beasley has numerous years of city management experience, having served in management roles in Conover, Lenoir, and Scotland Neck, North Carolina. Following his years in local government, he went to work at Appalachian State University, where he was hired as the Senior Associate Athletics Director and was promoted to Deputy Athletics Director. In that role Mr. Beasley served as Chief Development Officer and managed many day-to-day operations.
For the last two years, Mr. Beasley has been the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development at Georgia State University, where he oversaw all aspects of fundraising and development for Georgia State Athletics. He has recently retired and will be relocating back to the Hickory area.
Hickory City Manager Warren Wood said in a news release from the city: “We welcome Rick to the City of Hickory and appreciate his assistance during this time of transition, his knowledge and expertise will go a long way in helping to ensure a smooth transition while we’re working to hire a new assistant city manager.”
Andrea Surratt, who had served as Hickory's Assistant City Manager from 2007 until earlier this month, stepped down from the position to become City Manager in Bozeman, Montana. Rick Beasley will begin serving as Hickory's interim Assistant City Manager on Monday, November 6.
According to the latest update from Caldwell County, National Weather Service representatives surveying storm damage in that county say a preliminary assessment indicates there was tornadic activity around the lake and in the Grace Chapel Road area surrounded by straight line winds on Monday evening (October 23). The survey work continued last evening (October 25), representatives were planning to study radar and other indicators to make a final determination. They expect to have a final determination in the next few days.
One injury has been reported in Caldwell County resulting from a fall from a ladder. Residents were continuing to have power restored. Grace Chapel Road was closed from North Lakes Academy up to Musket Drive. The closure was to allow power crews to continue their repair work. Damage assessment teams were planning to back out today (October 26).
The numbers as of late yesterday show 517 homes damaged in the Grace Chapel Road area, 42 with major damage and one home destroyed. The numbers do not include the Towns of Granite Falls, Rhodhiss and Bethlehem, they are handling their own power outages and debris clean up.
47-year-old Johnny Dale Miller of 12th Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:10 last night (October 24) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on February 20 of this year when Officers responded to a reported B&E at an address on 21st Avenue N.E. On October 20, the suspect was identified as Johnny Dale Miller and warrants were issued for his arrest.
Miller was taken into custody yesterday and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.
41-year-old Jon Edward Patterson of Old Highway 60 in Purlier, N.C. and 40-year-old Roger Lafayette Ramsey of 20th Avenue S.W. in Hickory were both arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (October 25). Patterson was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, while Ramsey was charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
The arrest warrant for Ramsey on the motor vehicle larceny charge was issued by the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office on October 9. The resisting charge was filed today after Ramsey initially provided Officers with an incorrect name.
Both suspects were taken into custody just after 2:30 a.m. at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. They were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Patterson set at $7,500, secured, while Ramsey was given a $5,750 secured bond. Patterson was due in District Court today. Ramsey has a court date tomorrow.
A Utility worker was killed in Alexander County early this morning (October 25). According to a news release from the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, at approximately 4:15 a.m. today, Alexander County 911 Center received a call of a tree falling on an individual near the intersection of Dover Church Road and Mountain Ridge Church Road in the Ellendale Community of Alexander County. Ellendale Volunteer Fire Department First Responders, Alexander County Rescue Squad, Alexander County EMS, Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, along with Alexander County Emergency Management responded to the scene of the incident.
Upon arrival at the incident, emergency personnel found 31-year-old Brian Keith Wilmoth of Wilkes County. Mr. Wilmoth is an employee of Asplundh Company. Mr. Wilmoth was pronounced deceased at the scene. The initial investigation shows that Mr. Wilmoth was operating a chainsaw and cutting a tree that had fallen on a power line. As he cut the tree in two, the power lines sprang upward, throwing the tree back onto Mr. Wilmoth. The investigation is continuing.