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23-year-old Joshua Lee Herron of the Coffee Creek Apartments in Charlotte has been arrested on one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, obtaining property by false pretense, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, breaking & entering a building, larceny and larceny after breaking & entering.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives, operating on a tip, located Herron, who was wanted in connection to two break-ins in eastern Lincoln County. Detectives Greg Hager and Frank Runyon traveled to Charlotte Monday (September 22) where Herron was taken into custody after a brief foot chase.  

He was charged on August 29 in connection to break-ins at two locations on the night of August 24. A number of items were stolen from a work truck and another business located on Highway 16 North. The suspect gained entry by cutting a hole in a chain link fence to access the truck and through a back window in the rear of the building.

On August 27, Detectives were checking pawn tickets and discovered that some of the stolen items were pawned at the Boger City Pawn Shop in Lincolnton and at Trading Post & Pawn on Highway 16 in Denver. Some of the pawned items were returned to the owners on September 2.

Detectives had made contact with the suspect, who previously lived on Clover Lane in Denver, on several occasions by phone, but he didn’t show up for scheduled appointments at the Sheriff’s Office.

After his arrest, Herron was placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $60,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on October 2.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 06:48

Some Claims Against D.A. Gaither Dropped

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Whitney Shaffer, the former assistant district attorney in the 25th prosecutorial district, is dropping some of her claims against current district attorney Jay Gaither, according to published reports.

Shaffer’s attorneys indicated that they will drop claims made against Gaither in his individual capacity for sexual harassment/hostile work environment, sexual harassment/quid pro quo, constructive discharge and defamation per quod. Altogether, eight claims and one alternative had been made against the Gaither. Three of those claims and the alternative will now be dropped.

Shaffer worked in the district attorney’s office during 2013. She filed a civil suit against Gaither in June. She is currently an assistant D.A. in district 29B, which serves Transylvania and Polk counties.

Gaither’s attorneys had previously filed motions to dismiss all the charges, but the claims against Gaither in his official capacity remain in place.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 15:38

Granite Falls Man Faces Felony Burglary Charge

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20-year-old Lonnie Phillip Bentley of Hillside Avenue in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (September 22). Bentley was charged with first-degree burglary. He was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on September 25 in Lenoir.

21-year-old Samantha Romero Monzote of Weyland Avenue in Charlotte was arrested early this morning (September 23) on one count of felony larceny and one misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked. She was taken into custody without incident on the 400 block of U.S. Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Monzote was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $9,275, secured. She will appear in District Court on October 15 in Hickory. A District Court appearance in Charlotte was scheduled for today on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.

36-year-old Douglas Lucian Salyer of Kingsport, Tennessee was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock Sunday night for felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was also charged with a felony probation violation.

He was arrested after Police were called in reference to a man sleeping in a vehicle in the parking lot at the Food Lion store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. While en route, Officers learned that the vehicle had been reported as stolen. They later discovered that the man, Douglas Salyer, was wanted on a warrant out of Tennessee for the probation violation.

After Salyer exited the vehicle, he attempted to flee on foot when Officers ordered him to put his hands behind his back. He was apprehended after taking a couple of steps.

Salyers initially said the vehicle belonged to his mother, who was in the store. The woman in the store was later determined to be a prostitute who was not related to the suspect. She was not charged.

Salyer was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $43,800 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court tomorrow (September 24) in Newton. Salyer will face extradition on the felony fugitive warrant from Tennessee.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 14:45

Exodus Ministries to Travel to Germany

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The Rev. Susan Smith Walker of the Exodus Missionary Outreach Church and its associated ministries will travel to Germany to facilitate a leadership retreat where she hopes to help participants develop greater empathy and compassion. Rev. Walker has developed an interactive program that highlights how the Exodus church, the prison ministry and Exodus Homes work together to make the community a better place to live for all people. She will also share other ways to make a difference at home and in the world, such as the Shelter Box program (www.shelterbox.org) and Compassion International (www.compassion.com).

Three years ago, a friend of Rev. Walker's who lives in Germany came to tour the Exodus ministries while in the United States after reading about it on Facebook. When she returned to her church in Germany, she convinced The American Protestant Church (APC) in Bonn to begin sending annual financial support to Exodus Homes. The APC is a diverse English-speaking congregation with 40% of its members from Africa, 30% from Germany and the rest from countries all over the world who are in Bonn to attend university or to work.

The retreat will be held 80km from Bonn at the The Familienferiendorf Hübingen in the mountains of the Nassau Natural Park in Westerwald. Rev. Walker leaves for Germany on September 30 and will return on October 6.

For more information, contact Rev. Walker at revsusanwalker@gmail.com or 828-962-8196 or contact Pastor John Carrick at pastor.john@apcbonn.de.

According to published reports, 43-year-old Herbert Spencer Kidwell of North Main Street in Drexel has been sentenced to at least 50 years in prison and will most likely spend the rest of his life in confinement. Kidwell pleaded guilty to statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Kidwell’s victim was a 14-year-old middle school student from Burke County. Prosecutors said Kidwell used a popular messaging app in an effort to establish relationships with underage girls. He presented himself online as an 18-year-old from Texas. Following several months of online communication with his victim, Kidwell had sex with the girl on multiple occasions after convincing her to leave her home.

Prior to his arrest in November of 2013, Kidwell was employed as a Loss Prevention Officer at a local K-Mart store.

At their meeting yesterday (September 22), the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved a request from the county's Department of Social Services for an allotment of four new full-time temporary positions. The new positions will assist Social Services in processing its recently-increased workload.

The Board also heard a report from Caldwell County Schools superintendent Dr. Steve Stone and Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute President Dr. Ken Boham who both shared budget updates with the Board.

Additionally, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners formally recognized and awarded Kathy Greene, Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, with the Howard Holly Outstanding Clerk of the year award. Ms. Greene has been involved with the Caldwell County government since 1994 and is a member of the American Business Woman's Association, Yokefellow Ministries and the Lenoir Service League.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 11:25

City of Morgtanton Repaints Water Tank

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The City of Morganton recently repainted a three-million-gallon drinking water storage tank (a.k.a. clearwell) at the city’s Water Treatment Plant. The project is designed to extend the useful life of the tank.

Water Resources Director Brad Boris said that maintaining the city's water and sewer assets is crucial to managing a sound water system. After 18 years of service, the clearwell was showing definite signs of aging and weathering, although the structure is still in good physical shape.

In order to maintain and extend the life of the tank, Boris proposed that the tank be refurbished and repainted with a coating that would not only protect the tank, but would also improve its appearance. The City Council agreed, and in August, the Council contracted with the Carolina Management Team (CMT) to do the work at a cost of $51,263.

CMT started on the project in late August and finished the job on September 3. They patched cracks and defects on the exterior of the tank, coated the tank with concrete paint and then applied an acrylic paint.

The clearwell was built in 1996 and is the largest of 13 existing water storage tanks in the city’s water system. It's made of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete. Concrete tanks can deliver 30 to 50 years of use, depending on several factors such as environmental conditions, etc.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 07:06

Lincolnton Woman Arrested for Prescription Fraud

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44-year-old Frances Rene Blancher of Lantern Ridge Drive in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on charges of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or forgery and attempting to traffick opiates by possession.

At about 11:15 on September 14, Lincolnton Police Officer Brent Heavner went to Walgreens Pharmacy on East Main Street in Lincolnton in response to a report of a subject attempting to pass a forged prescription. The suspect, Frances Rene Blancher, allegedly attempted to pass a forged prescription for Hydrocodone.

Officer Heavner obtained warrants for Blancher’s arrest. Walgreens personnel assisted in the investigation.

On Friday (September 19), Blancher was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers. She was jailed in Catawba County under a $100,000 secured bond. Blancher was then transferred to Lincoln County where a first appearance in District Court was set for today (September 23).

Blancher has prior convictions for the delivery of cocaine, obtaining property by false pretense, forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument, possession of cocaine, public consumption of alcohol, littering, solicitation of prostitution, trespassing, intoxicated & disruptive, assault on a government official, criminal contempt of court, loitering for prostitution, injury to personal property, resisting a public officer, defrauding an innkeeper, disorderly conduct, misuse of the 9-1-1 system, larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, providing fictitious information to an officer, DWI, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, solicitation for crimes against nature and several traffic charges.