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News (802)

An accident last night (July 16) in Caldwell County on Highway 18/64, also known as Morganton Boulevard, has resulted in three fatalities. The accident occurred at about 5:45 p.m. in Gamewell.

Killed in the crash were 29-year-old Sabrina Handy of 209 Wilson Street in Lenoir, her four-year-old son Carson Handy and her grandmother, 75-year-old Carolyn Handy. Sabrina Handy had just picked up her grandmother from the hospital where she was treated for pneumonia. Ms. Handy was traveling to her mother's house in Morganton when she turned around on Morganton Boulevard and began driving back toward Lenoir at speeds estimated at 80 MPH.

Carolyn Handy was in the front passenger seat with Carson in the left rear seat. Troopers speculate that Carolyn Handy may have had a medical problem and Sabrina Handy was trying rush her back to the hospital.

The 2007 Kia Spectra driven by Sabrina Handy reportedly swerved across the centerline before crashing into a westbound Lexus driven by 66-year-old Geralene Patterson of Kannapolis. Adrienne Caldwell of New York was a passenger in the Lexus.

The Handys were ejected or partially ejected from the vehicle. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Ms. Patterson and Ms. Caldwell were taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital. Patterson was listed in good condition today with cuts on her hands. Caldwell was later taken to Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. No update on her condition was available.

It’s not clear at this time if any charges will be filed.

McDowell County Sheriff’s Office Investigators are looking for three men believed to have stolen items from a Nebo residence over the weekend.

A Marion man reported on Monday that someone entered a house under construction on Landis Lane in Nebo sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Monday. The culprits stole $1,373 worth of hand and power tools.

All three men were caught on camera at the home.

Anyone with information concerning the crime or the identity of the suspects is asked to call Detective Jason Grindstaff at the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 828-65-CRIME (828-652-7463).

The Caldwell County Health Department has been involved in the Quality Improvement 101 program (QI) through the Centers for Public Health Quality since April of this year. Processes at the department have been evaluated to identify areas where waste, such as long wait times, non-value added forms and extra steps may be an issue.

The QI team has been working on improving the Family Planning Clinic flow. The aim of the project is to decrease the appointment time clients experience during a family planning visit, which includes annual and new physicals. A family planning visit currently takes an average of an hour and fifty minutes. Officials anticipate that changes made through the QI program will better serve clients and decrease the time they spend at the department during visits.

Among changes brought about by the QI program, patients will now be seen in the order of appointment time. Scheduled patients who arrive on time will be given top priority.

From July 22 to July 25, a representative from N.C. State University will visit the Health Department to help facilitate and test a number of different changes to the clinic.

QI is an ongoing process. Changes will continue to be made after the program ends. The Health Department is eager to hear from the community and patients. Comments from clients will allow more changes to happen at the Health Department to improve the quality of care that is given.

For more information, contact Brittany Dobbins at bcrump@caldwellcountync.org or 828-426-8413.

Two Catawba Valley Community College students were recently awarded scholarships by the Foothills Chapter of Credit Unions through the CVCC Foundation, Inc. The recipients are Kaitlyn Stephens of Hickory and Gavin Huffman of Hickory. On hand to present the scholarships were Debbie Whittington, president of the Foothills Chapter and operations manager of the Shuford Federal Credit Union; and CVCC President Garrett D. Hinshaw.

The Foothills Chapter of Credit Unions is comprised of credit unions from North Wilkesboro to Statesville. The Foothills Chapter has awarded scholarships to deserving CVCC students for three years.

The North Carolina GOP District Office will hold an Open House at Catawba County GOP Headquarters from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, July 19.

Interested persons are invited to come out and meet local, state and national candidates and officeholders. Free food and drinks will be provided.

The local GOP is headquartered at 930 Tate Boulevard S.E., Suite 106 in Hickory.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:03

Public's Help Sought in Boone Scrap Metal Theft

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On July 10, Boone Police received a report that a large amount of scrap metal was stolen from a demolition site at 545 Highway 105 Extension in Boone. The site is adjacent to Papa John’s Pizza. The crime occurred sometime between the hours of 4:45 a.m. on July 9 and 7:45 a.m. on July 10.

Anyone with information regarding the theft should call High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. All information will be kept confidential.

High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information that leads to arrests; the recovery of stolen property; the seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 11:26

Consolodated 9-1-1 System in Burke County

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Burke County's new consolidated 9-1-1 communications center will answer emergency and non-emergency calls. The center is designed to help streamline emergency responses to life-threatening situations across the county, but the change will alter the process for answering non-emergency administrative calls after hours.

Non-emergency and administrative calls include calls about power outages, water outages, cable television issues, downed electric lines, trees & limbs on lines and more. Morganton residents can call the city about those non-emergency issues during business hours. If a Morganton resident has a water issue, they can call the city Water Department directly. If a resident has a power issue or cable issue, they can call the Electric Department or CoMPAS Cable directly. Those non-emergency numbers are listed in the phone book and on the city website.

According to Public Safety Chief Ronnie Rector, the new consolidated 9-1-1 center should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency services. Any person who calls for emergency services should be able to receive seamless services anywhere in the county.

Rector said that although there may be a learning curve for

telecommunicators in the beginning, he believes that over time the staff will be able to quickly dispatch non-emergency calls after hours.

As always, if residents have a life-threatening emergency, they should dial 9-1-1.

28-year-old Michael Gerard Berry, Jr. of Cornelius has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of identity theft and financial transaction card fraud.

Events leading to Berry’s arrest began on July 8 when the Sheriff’s Office received a report involving transaction card fraud. The victim, who lives in Maryland, said he received notifications from his bank that his debit card had been used at several locations in Iredell County. Investigators learned that the victim’s debit card number had been encoded onto a counterfeit card.

The suspect attempted to purchase merchandise from the Wilco-Hess Travel Plaza in Troutman and made a successful transaction at the Walgreens located on River Highway in Mooresville. Detectives reviewed surveillance footage and learned that the same person used the card at both locations.

Mooresville Police helped to identify the suspect following the incident in Mooresville early in the morning on July 8. A clerk at Walgreens noticed a customer who attempted to use four different cards before one was successful. The clerk found the incident to be suspicious and contacted Mooresville Police, who stopped Berry’s vehicle.

Berry was arrested on July 14 by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. He was given a $10,000 secured bond. Berry will appear in an Iredell County courtroom on August 14.

Iredell County Sgt Scott Maple credited the alert store clerk for notifying law enforcement and helping to identify the suspect.

Newton Police and Investigators with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation are progressing with the investigation into Maggie Daniels’ death. Through the process of interviews conducted with over 100 persons, Investigators have eliminated several potential persons of interest. Investigators are continuing with the interviews as a process of elimination.

Investigators are searching and reviewing all potential social media sources for additional information and leads. They are also seeking any information from the public as to whom Ms. Daniels may have had contact with during the week leading up to the discovery of her body on June 28.

Investigators identified and interviewed one person who had been mentioned on social media as a person Maggie Daniels had issues with in the past at her apartment. The individual was interviewed at Newton Police Headquarters and cooperated fully with investigators. At this time, the individual is no longer considered to be a person of interest.

Ms. Daniels was a teacher, coach and counselor with Newton-Conover City Schools, most recently serving as a counselor at Discovery High School.

Investigators will continue to follow up on all tips and leads as they are reported. Anyone with information regarding the case should contact the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.



Precincts Reported:  94 of 94

CANDIDATE                   TOTAL    PERCENT

David Learner               8,968    61.81 %
James (Jay) Gaither, Jr.    5,541    38.19 %

(In the May 6 Primary Election, David Learner finished with 39.37% and Jay Gaither with 31.11%.)


Precincts Reported:  40 of 40

CANDIDATE                      TOTAL   PERCENT

Kim Richards Sigmon      5,801     60.45 %
Tammy Huffman West        3,795    39.55 %

9,921 or 12.85% of eligible voters in Catawba County cast ballots.

(In the May 6 Primary Election, Kim Richards Sigmon finished with 38.83% and Tammy Huffman West with 29.72%.)