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State Representative Edgar Starnes of Granite Falls announced Monday that he was resigning, effective at noon today, to take a new position. Starnes will become the senior policy advisor and legislative liaison for the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer. Starnes, who is 58-years-old, has completed 10 terms as the N.C. State House representative for the 87th District. Starnes won election to an 11th term in November 2014, running unopposed.

At the State Treasurer’s Office, Starnes will replace former state Rep. Bill McGee, who retired last summer. Starnes’ replacement will be selected by the Caldwell County Republican Party’s executive committee and submitted to Gov. Pat McCrory. An official from McCrory’s office said the governor appoints whoever the committee selects. The Caldwell County GOP executive committee is scheduled to meet at 7:00 tonight (Tuesday, January 13) at the Caldwell County Library.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 05:17

Silver Alert For Missing Hickory Man Canceled

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The Silver Alert for Jay Richard Zeidel of Hickory was canceled, according to a news release issued late Monday night by the Raleigh-based N.C. Center for Missing Persons. According to reports, the man was found safe with his children. The Silver Alert was issued Monday for Zeidel, who is 50-years-old and was reported to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a Saturday night home invasion and assault in eastern Lincoln County. Robert G. Sholette II drove to the Kangaroo station at Highways 16/73 around 12:45 a.m. Sunday morning to call 911 and report the incident. According to a news release, he told detectives he had fallen asleep in his residence on Starboard Lane in Stanley when he was awakened shortly before midnight by a black male with dread-locks hitting him in the face with the butt of a shotgun. The home had been entered through an unlocked door.

During that time four other black males were going through items in the bedroom and demanding to know where his phone, wallet and guns were located. Mr. Sholette told Detective Kelly Paris that he was struck with the gun four or five times and told to keep his head under his pillow. The suspects located the rest of the guns in the house and fled the scene. Mr. Sholette said he stayed in the house for about 20 minutes before leaving to call 9-1-1. Mr. Sholette suffered cuts to his lip and face but refused treatment when asked if he needed to be checked by EMS.

Stolen in the break-in were firearms valued at $3,100, electronic equipment valued at $3,500, credit cards and about $1,000 in cash. One of the credit cards was used before the owner could contact the bank to cancel it. No suspects have been developed so far in the case. Detective Kelly Paris is continuing the investigation. Detective Lt. Tim Johnson urged residents to take all precautions to keep their home safe.

Monday, 12 January 2015 17:29

Silver Alert Issued for Hickory Man

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The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, 50-year-old Jay Richard Zeidel, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Mr. Zeidel is a white male. He is 6’0” tall and weighs 190 pounds. He has brown, medium-length hair and brown eyes.

Mr. Zeidel was last seen at 3515 12th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory. He may be en route to an apartment at 9945 Norwalk Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He may be traveling in a 1996 blue Honda with Pennsylvania license tag HXD8996.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Jay Richard Zeidel should call John Wienbrock at the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.

Monday, 12 January 2015 14:21

Harmony Man Faces Felony Drug Charges

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33-year-old Andrew Curtis Creech of Harmony has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two felony counts each of possession with intent to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, the sale of a schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for the sale of a schedule II controlled substance.

Events unfolded as Iredell County Narcotics Investigators received information from the community regarding possible drug activity in the area of 3133 Harmony Highway where an unknown person was selling prescription pills. Detectives conducted surveillance operations and developed further information on the suspect, Andrew Curtis Creech. Undercover drug purchases were made over the course of a few weeks resulting in the purchase of over $300 in prescription medication from the suspect.

After searching the suspect’s residence last Thursday (January 8), Creech was arrested and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for January 26.

Creech was also arrested last month in Iredell County on burglary and larceny charges, as reported December 30 on WHKY.

Monday, 12 January 2015 13:52

Claremont Man Faces Felony Cocaine Charge

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22-year-old Jonathan Garret Helms of Crestside Street in Claremont was arrested by Hickory Police just before midnight Friday (January 9) on one felony count of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine.

He was arrested when Officers responded to an annoyance complaint regarding the use of narcotics at Corner Pockets II on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Police saw the suspect vehicle and found the suspect, Jonathan Helms, inside the business.

Police asked Helms to come outside where they conducted a search of his person, leading to the discovery of 5.5 grams of powder cocaine and $1,055 in cash.

Helms was taken into custody without incident and later released under a $6,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (January 12) in Newton.

36-year-old Brian Keith Johnson of 24th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police Saturday morning (January 10) on felony charges of larceny and possession of stolen goods.

He was arrested in connection to an incident that was reported at about 8:45 on January 6 at the Taco Bell construction site on Springs Road. Sometime between 6 p.m. the previous day and the morning of the sixth, nine trench hydraulic jacks valued at $7,200 were taken from the site.

Johnson was identified as the suspect when he attempted to sell the stolen jacks to a local scrap metal dealer. It’s not clear if the stolen equipment was recovered.

Johnson was taken into custody without incident at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. He has been jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court today (January 12) in Newton.

Monday, 12 January 2015 12:17

Man Faces Felony Charge after Incident at Kohl's

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29-year-old Joshua Wayne Kirby of Cape Hickory Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:30 Saturday evening (January 10) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.

He was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard saw Kirby go to the electronics department where he selected a speaker. Kirby then allegedly removed the security device from the speaker and attempted to return it for a refund at customer service. The speaker was valued at less than $80.

Loss Prevention held Kirby until H.P.D. arrived and placed him under arrest. He was processed and later released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (January 12) in Newton.

21-year-old Matthew Levi Lewis Gibson of Parsonville Road in Taylorsville was charged and arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Officers on January 6 for failure by a registered sex offender to notify authorities of a new address.

Gibson is on the sex offender registry as the result of a January 2014 conviction in Catawba County for indecent liberties with a minor. The offense occurred in 2010 when Gibson was 16 years old. The victim was 10.

Following his arrest last week, Gibson was placed under a $5,000 secured bond with a first District Court appearance scheduled for today (January 12).

39-year-old Michael Aaron Knepp and 41-year-old Vickie Ann McPherson, both of Long View, have been arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a series of burglaries that have occurred in the Bethlehem community. They were both charged with one count of felony larceny and 12 counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary. Knepp was also charged with 12 counts of first-degree burglary.

The crimes were reported to the Sheriff’s Office on December 29 of last year. The homeowner said several items were taken from the home, including an antique silver tea service, several pre-World War II Lionel model trains, assorted jewelry, a U.S. Navy Officer’s sword that belonged to a Rear Admiral who won the Navy Cross and several other items. The total value of the antiques stolen was estimated at $200,000.

Several of the items were recovered after Detectives located some of the stolen silver at a business in Hickory. The items were listed on the online database “Leads Online.” Leads Online is a new database that allows Detectives to search pawn and second-hand stores nationwide.

Knepp was arrested and placed in the Alexander County Jail under a $1,031,500 secured bond. He was served with additional warrants from Mecklenburg and Catawba counties. McPherson, who was an in-home healthcare worker for the victim, was also jailed under an $807,500 secured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to make first appearances in Alexander County District Court today (January 12).