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News (823)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 06:58

Vale Teen Killed in Accident Monday Night

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19-year-old Michael Richards of Vale was killed at about 10:45 Monday night (November 24) in a single-car accident near Maiden.

Mr. Richards was driving a 1996 Nissan Altima on Salem Church Road after leaving a home where he had been visiting with his girlfriend. He reportedly crossed left of the centerline and ran off the left side of the road, overcorrected to the right and drove off the opposite side of the roadway before crashing into a tree.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says speed was a factor, though they did not release an estimate of the speed at which the Nissan was traveling. There is no evidence that alcohol was involved.

Mr. Richards died less than two weeks after his nineteenth birthday.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 06:53

Statesville Man Accused of Stealing & Forging Checks

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32-year-old John Michael Rickert of Hams Grove Road in Statesville has been arrested twice by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a number of charges. On November 18, he was charged with felony breaking & entering a motor vehicle, misdemeanor larceny, 14 counts of felony forging an endorsement on checks & securities and 14 counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense. On November 24, Rickert was charged with felony breaking & entering, felony larceny, two counts of felony forging an endorsement on checks & securities, and two counts of felony attempted obtaining property by false pretense.  

Events leading to the arrests began on November 14 when a citizen came to the Sheriff’s Office and filed a report regarding a vehicle break-in and the theft of checks from inside the vehicle. The victim said 14 checks had been cashed for various amounts from October 22 through November 13. The checks totaled approximately $11,000. Based on footage from various locations, the victim identified the suspect as a family member. Detectives verified that the suspect was John Michael Rickert

On November 17, Deputies received a call from a home on Hams Grove Road regarding a breaking & entering where two checks were stolen from the residence. The next day, Rickert attempted to cash the stolen checks for $1,600 at two separate banks in Statesville, but was unsuccessful.

Following his arrest, total bond for Rickert was set at $30,000, secured. He will appear in District Court on December 8 & 15 in Statesville.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:06

Charlotte Man Charged with Motor Vehicle Break-In

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54-year-old Gary David Hinson of Norwood Drive in Charlotte was arrested by Hickory Police at about 1:45 this morning (November 25) on one felony count of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count each of larceny and possession of stolen goods or property. He was also charged on a November 21 misdemeanor warrant from Mecklenburg County for failure to appear on a charge of assault on a female.

Hinson was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on December 1 in Newton and on January 12 in Charlotte.

No further details are available.

Governor Pat McCrory has announced a number of appointments to various state boards and commissions over the last two days (November 24 & 25), including several appointments from the Unifour and surrounding counties.

Raymond Hamilton of Catawba County was named to the Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees. Hamilton has been with Edward Jones since 1987.

The Supplemental Retirement Board of Trustees will administer the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan and the N.C. Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan. The term length is two years.

Gary Blevins of Wilkes County was appointed to the North Carolina Arboretum Board of Directors. Blevins is the owner of Blevins Nursery & Landscape.

The board is responsible for the sound development of the Arboretum, which is an affiliate institution of the University of North Carolina. The term length is four years.

William Brock of Gaston County was reappointed to the North Carolina State Board of Opticians. Brock is a licensed optician with the National Vision Center at Wal-Mart.

The board administers and enforces the licensing of opticians in North Carolina. The term length is three years.​

Dr. William O'Neill of Iredell County was named to the North Carolina State Board of Podiatry Examiners. Dr. O'Neill is a podiatrist and past president of the North Carolina Foot & Ankle Society.

Tanzy Wallace of Cleveland County was also appointed to the State Board of Podiatry Examiners. Wallace is a music & evangelism minister who recently completed an assignment with the N.C. DHHS & N.C. Fast program as a staff development specialist, offering onsite support at the Cleveland County DSS.

The board is responsible for licensing podiatrists in North Carolina. The term length is three years.

31-year-old Timothy Teen Gaddy of Moose Street in Gastonia and 42-year-old Garrett Michael Miller of Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road in Charlotte were arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers early this morning (November 25) and charged with one felony count each of trafficking methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana. Gaddy was also served an outstanding failure to appear warrant, while Miller faces an additional charge of felony maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance.

A buy & bust operation set up last night by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigators led to the arrests. An undercover Officer had infiltrated Gaddy’s trafficking organization and had made several purchases leading up to last night’s operation near the High Shoals community.

Investigators seized over one ounce of methamphetamine, valued at between $2,000 & $5,000, as well as $2,100 in cash. The suspects were arrested without incident.

Bond for Gaddy was set at $85,000, secured, while Miller was jailed under a $75,000 secured bond. They were both scheduled to make first appearances in District Court today.

A trafficking conviction will result in mandatory prison time.

Abigail Cotton of Hickory has been awarded the 2014 R.C. McQuilkin Scholarship, which is a full-tuition scholarship to Columbia International University. Ms. Cotton received the news on her 18th birthday in a voicemail message from University President Bill Jones.

Ms. Cotton, who is home-schooled, participated in the R.C. McQuilkin Scholarship Weekend competition November 13-15 on the C.I.U. campus. She was joined by 60 other high school seniors from 10 states, plus one from Japan and one from Ukraine. They took part in intense interview sessions, group activities and social events.

Ms. Cotton says she will likely major in Intercultural Studies, but is also interested in C.I.U.’s new Honor’s Program, English and possibly a graduate degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Her long-term goal after graduation is doing missionary work in the Middle East.

Ms. Cotton attends Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory. She is the daughter of Dr. Michael and Miriam Cotton.

Founded in 1923, Columbia International University is private, Christian and multidenominational institution.

50-year-old David Floyd “California Dave” Blanchard of South Drive in Morganton was arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers Saturday (November 22) on felony charges for larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Events leading to Blanchard’s arrest unfolded in October and November as Burke County Sheriff’s Detectives investigated four separate larcenies from a bridge construction site off of Morrison Road. Items stolen during the first three larcenies consisted of miscellaneous metals such as rebar and fence posts. On Wednesday, November 19, the victim reported a $30,000 skid steer stolen.

On Saturday (November 22), Detectives received information that led them to a suspect’s residence near the construction site. Inside the suspect’s garage, Detectives found the stolen skid steer. Blanchard was taken into custody without incident.

Blanchard was jailed in the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on December 15 in Morganton.

Previously, Blanchard had made bond following a June 10 arrest on charges of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to manufacture and manufacturing methamphetamine. A Superior Court appearance on those charges was set for January 12.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) will close its Hickory license plate agency on Tuesday, December 2, and Wednesday, December 3, to conduct customer service training.

The NCDMV is currently holding statewide customer service training courses for all office locations. The Hickory agency will reopen on Thursday, December 4, at 9 a.m.

Agencies located in the immediate area will remain open to provide vehicle registration services. The following locations will be open during the training:

Lenoir - 1408 Blowing Rock Boulevard, 828-758-1528
Morganton - 603 South College Street, 828-437-4505
Newton - 803 West Conover Boulevard, 828-464-6878
Taylorsville - 85 East Main Avenue, 828-632-4463

License plate agencies offer vehicle registration services and title transactions, as well as vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. Currently, 122 license plate agencies operate across North Carolina.

44-year-old Kerri Elaine Giles of Berry Road in Icard was arrested shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday (November 22) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer and driving while license revoked. She also faces a misdemeanor larceny charge on a warrant issued in September.

Events leading to her arrest unfolded as Officers on patrol on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. near 10th Avenue Drive S.E. saw a 2009 Dodge Avenger stopped at a stop sign and a female outside the vehicle, arguing with a male inside the vehicle. The vehicle did not appear to be operational, but as an Officer approached the female, the driver was able to start the vehicle. The Officer asked him to pull into the parking lot at Hickory Used Cars.

The Officer asked both subjects for their names and conducted a search of the vehicle, leading to the discovery of two hydrocodone pills. A paper copy of a citation against the female was also found bearing a different date of birth than she gave to the Officer. When the Officer realized he had been given fictitious information, he obtained the female’s correct name – Kerri Giles – and found the outstanding larceny warrant for her arrest.

The male was not charged.

Giles was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,900 secured bond. She has since been released. Giles will appear in District Court on January 13 on Saturday’s charges and on January 29 on the larceny charge, both in Hickory.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 07:13

City of Newton Hires New Public Information Officer

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The City of Newton has announced that Alex Frick of Hickory has been hired as its new Public Information Officer. Frick previously was a reporter for the “Hickory Daily Record.”

A native and lifetime resident of Catawba County, Frick is a 2006 graduate of St. Stephens High School. He also is a 2010 graduate of Davidson College where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English.

Frick says he became interested in local government as a result of his involvement with the Hickory City Youth Council and “looks forward to helping city staff share their work with Newton’s citizens.”

Frick joined the city in his new job effective yesterday (November 24).

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