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News (819)

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:02

Man Accused of Obtaining 1,000 Pills Illegally

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38-year-old Tony Franklin Cline, Jr. of the Furnace Road Extension in Lincolnton was arrested yesterday (Tuesday, October 7) by Lincolnton Police on 17 counts each of trafficking in opiates by possession and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery.

The arrest was a result of a two-month-long investigation. Cline allegedly passed counterfeit prescriptions at local pharmacies for Roxicodone and Percocet, which are both opiate-based controlled substances. Police say Cline obtained over 1,000 pills with a street value of almost $12,000. All of the local pharmacies assisted in the investigation.

Cline was arrested at the Lincoln County Magistrate’s Office where he turned himself in. He was initially given a $50,000 secured bond. After Cline’s first District Court appearance yesterday, his bond was changed to $100,000, unsecured.

If convicted, Cline faces a punishment of 225 to 279 months in prison.

The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible.

(no photo available)

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:18

Fire at Century Furniture; Damages Minor

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At 10:16 last night (Tuesday, October 7), Hickory Firefighters responded to a fire at Century Furniture, 420 12th Street Drive N.W. Upon arrival three minutes later, Firefighters reported a fire in the boiler room across the street from the main plant.

The fire department responded with two engines, one ladder truck, one rescue truck and two command units. Two additional engines were called to assist with the incident. Personnel from Century Furniture, Catawba County E.M.S., Hickory Rescue and the Hickory Police Department also responded to the scene.

No injuries were reported. Damages were confined to the boiler room and were considered minor. According to a statement released by the fire department, the fire was accidental.

42-year-old Sheronn Zonta Mahatha of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early Tuesday morning on felony counts of breaking & entering, preparation to commit burglary, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen goods, as well as one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Events leading to Mahatha’s arrest began at 4:41 a.m. when Police responded to an alarm at K&M Collision on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Officers arrived on the site ten minutes later to find a front window broken out and items from the business in the parking lot.

They also found a man later identified as Sheronn Mahatha in an adjacent grassy lot with his bicycle. When Officers asked Mahatha to raise his hands, a pair of metal shears fell to the ground. A subsequent search of the suspect’s person turned up a glass pipe.

Further investigation revealed that a fence at the rear of the building had been cut and a back door to the business was damaged. Items in the parking lot included two flatscreen TVs and a wall mount, a computer equipment box containing a motherboard, an X-Box 360 and a router, all with an estimated value of $4,000. It’s not clear how the suspect intended to transport the items on his bicycle.

In addition, Police are investigating the possibility that Mahatha may be the suspect in an attempted break-in about four hours earlier at Allegra Print & Imaging on Main Avenue N.E.

Mahatha was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in a Hickory courtroom today.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 11:18

Hickory Woman Convicted of Felony Habitual Larceny

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44-year-old Todder Laurine Robinson of Hickory was convicted last week in Catawba Co. Criminal Superior Court for two counts of felony habitual misdemeanor larceny. Robinson was sentenced to no less than 19 months and no more than 32 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in June and November 2013 in Hickory and involved the theft of $75 and $420 of merchandise from local retail establishments. In each case, Robinson was apprehended on site by Loss Prevention and by Hickory Police. Robinson had previously been convicted of misdemeanor larceny in September 2004 in Catawba County, November 2004 in Forsyth County, September 2009 in Catawba County and in July 2012 in Catawba County.

Hickory Police Officers Kongpheng Lo and Jeff Jenkins conducted the investigations and Assistant District Attorney Brenda Brewer prosecuted the case. The Honorable Linwood Foust presided over the convictions.

Robinson will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.

44-year-old Dana Barbour McCall of Hickory was convicted this week in Catawba Co. Criminal Superior Court for felony habitual driving while impaired. McCall was sentenced to no less than 13 months and no more than 25 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crime occurred in December 2013 in Hickory. McCall was operating a vehicle with an expired registration. A subsequent vehicle stop resulted in the defendant’s arrest for driving while impaired. McCall had previously been convicted of D.W.I. on July 31, 2005 in Catawba County, July 31, 2007 in Federal Court and on March 22, 2010 in Alexander County.

Marcus Chapman of the Hickory Police Department conducted the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted the case. The Honorable Linwood Foust presided over the conviction.

McCall will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.

20-year-old Marcus Deontae Williams of Hickory was convicted last week in Catawba Co. Criminal Superior Court for felony robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Williams was sentenced to no less than 73 months and no more than 100 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in October 2012 in Hickory. Williams robbed and assaulted a female victim outside the Ridgeview Library using a landscaping block during the robbery. The defendant stole a laptop computer and a purse. He was later identified by video surveillance and information received from investigative interviews.

Hickory Police Sgt. Dustin Nowatka handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Al Reeder prosecuted the case. The Honorable Linwood Foust presided over the convictions.

Williams will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction in Raleigh for processing.

This morning, students and parents gathered at two different locations to participate in Walk to School Day 2014.

International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.

The event began in 1997 as a one-day event, and over time this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school.

Each year there is record breaking participation at schools all across the country, the event is always in October.

Oakwood Elementary School Principal, Ryan McCreary says "it's a great way for our students to exercise, and kick off an awesome day".  His school has participated in this event for several years, and today there were about 100 students walking to school.

The students met at the YMCA on 4th Street, and Trinity Holy Church on 6th Street in Hickory with signs and banners in preparation for another successful "Walk to School Day" event.

The City of Hickory’s Public Utilities Department has budgeted for evaluation and assessment of the downtown business district’s utility infrastructure.

Each of the drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer systems are approaching the end of their useful lives and will require rehabilitation. The city’s Utilities Department, along with Gavel & Dorn Engineering, PLLC, is performing a full evaluation on the utility infrastructure. The city intends to combine all rehabilitation and construction at one time to minimize any disturbance.

Work will begin on October 15. Crews will perform manhole and closed circuit television inspections on the sanitary and storm sewer systems. The evaluation project should be complete in two to three days.

The project area runs along 2nd Street and 3rd Street N.W., between 2nd Avenue and Main Avenue N.W., and includes Trade Alley N.W. and 1st Avenue N.W. Customers should not experience any interruption in water or sewer service during the evaluation project.

For more information, contact the Public Utilities Department at 828-323-7427 or by email at jreid@hickorync.gov.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 07:02

Bridge Replacement to Begin in Morganton

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On Monday, October 13, the N.C. Department of Transportation will begin replacing a bridge on Enola Road near Denton Avenue in south Morganton. Traffic will use an off-site detour while a portion of Enola Road is closed for the project.

Traffic headed south on Enola Road will be detoured around the construction site onto Old Colony Road, then Old N.C. 18 and back to Enola Road. Northbound traffic will reverse the route.

The existing bridge on Enola Road was built in 1963 and is considered functionally obsolete, which means the bridge was built to design standards no longer in use and needs to be replaced.

The project is scheduled for completion in early spring 2015. It is part of a $8.1 million contract to replace seven bridges in Buncombe, Burke, Madison, McDowell and Rutherford counties.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 06:57

Caldwell Social Services Seeks Missing Girl

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The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Caldwell County Department of Social Services are asking for the public’s help in locating 16-year-old Makayla Worley.

Ms. Worley was last seen on August 31 when she left a Youth Shelter in Gastonia. Ms. Worley, who sometimes goes by “Kayla,” has long brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5’8” tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds.

She is believed to be in the Gaston or Mecklenburg county area.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Makayla Worley should contact the Caldwell Co. Department of Social Services at 828-426-8292, the Gastonia Police Department at 704-866-6702 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.