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News (819)

30-year-old Matthew Lee Elmore of Lakeview Terrace in Hickory was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (July 17) for violation of release order conditions. Elmore was released from prison in September of 2012 after serving just over 13 months following a July 2011 conviction in Catawba County for felony manslaughter.

After his arrest yesterday, Elmore was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

Friday, 18 July 2014 14:41

Hickory Man Found Asleep in Stolen Vehicle

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22-year-old Edwin Silva Garcia of 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested early this morning (July 18) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Events leading to his arrest began on July 3 when a 37-year-old man from 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory left his vehicle at his son's residence at the Celery Stalk Apartments on 10th Avenue Drive N.E. before going on a trip. When the man returned on July 7, his vehicle was gone. He reported the theft to Police on the seventh.

This morning, Hickory Police responded to reports of a man asleep behind the wheel at the Fox Ridge Apartment complex on 4th Street Drive N.W. That man was Edwin Garcia and the vehicle he was in was the one stolen from the victim.

Garcia was arrested and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court Monday (July 21) in Newton.

At 9:45 on Thursday night (July 17), Hickory Firefighters responded to a structure fire at 300 17th Street S.W. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder truck, one rescue truck and one command unit. On arrival Firefighters reported light smoke coming from the apartment. The fire was reported under control about eight minutes after Firefighters arrived on the scene.

No injuries were reported and damages were considered minor. Fire Investigators determined the fire was caused by unsupervised candles or incense.

Catawba County E.M.S., Hickory Rescue and Hickory Police also responded to the scene.

25-year-old Timothy Blake Hampton of Chase Cole Lane in Zionville has been arrested by Watauga Co. Sheriff’s Officers and charged with one count of first-degree attempted sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.

On June 14, the Sheriff’s Office received a report involving possible inappropriate sexual touching of a three-year-old in Watauga County. The Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Unit, along with the Watauga Co. Department of Social Services and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation into the incident. As a result of their investigation and interviews conducted with various individuals, Hampton was taken into custody.

He was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate on July 10 and placed under a $350,000 secured bond. Hampton will appear in District Court on August 12 in Boone.

The Rotary Club of Morganton is sponsoring a summer reading program at Mountain Crest Elementary School. The reading program runs July 7 through July 24 this year and focuses on children who need a little extra reading help or have English as their second language.

The club donated $2,000 to the program. Members commit to spending time with students to help improve their reading skills and keep them on track during the summer. This is the Rotary Club of Morganton’s fifth year sponsoring the summer reading program.

22-year-old Demarcus Kashaun Pollard of 12th Street Drive S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about eight o’clock last night (July 18) on one felony count each of breaking & entering, obtaining property by false pretense and possession of stolen goods or property.

His arrest comes in connection to a case dating back to June 28 of this year in which Hickory Police assisted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police when a stolen iPad “pinged” in Hickory. Some jewelry stolen at the same time was pawned by Pollard, leading to the latest charges against him.

Pollard was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

Barnes & Noble is hosting a Bookfair today in support of the AAU Lady Phoenix Basketball team. The event takes place today (Friday, July 18) from noon until 5 p.m.

Those attending will see the basketball team host a storytime and will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with a Phoenix player in uniform.

A percentage of Barnes & Noble purchases will benefit the Lady Phoenix.

For those unable to attend, visit bn.com/bookfairs by July 23 and enter the Bookfair ID number 11399995 at checkout.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the “GI Bill.”

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is marking the anniversary by offering financial mortgage prevention help to veterans attending school under the GI Bill. It is a second step in less than a year to make the Agency’s N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund more user-friendly for the state’s military population. Earlier, the agency ensured that returning veterans enrolled in vocational training or rehabilitation programs would be eligible.

Designed to help North Carolina homeowners recover from job loss and other temporary hardships, the Fund has made mortgage payments for more than 16,000 homeowners while they look for employment or retrain. Funds are available to assist an additional 4,000.

Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for up to 36 months ($36,000) while the homeowner looks for work or completes a job search or training program. It was created in North Carolina in 2010 because of high unemployment, which continues to exceed the national average in three-quarters of North Carolina counties.

The assistance is offered as a zero-interest, deferred loan, with no payments due as long as the homeowner lives in the home.

Veterans who study on the GI Bill or participate in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25% of their household income.

To qualify for assistance through the Fund, a veteran must be separated from service on or after January 1, 2008; provide a DD214; have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill; and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent on mortgage payments to qualify.

Veterans and civilians can apply for assistance from the Fund through more than 40 HUD-approved counseling agencies including the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, which can be reached by calling 828-485- 4226.

Interested persons may also visit www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov or call 888-623-8631.

The Asheville Savings Bank at 5 Olde Eastwood Village Boulevard on U.S. Highway 74 East in Asheville was robbed at about 3:20 yesterday afternoon (July 17).

The North Carolina Bankers Association is offering a reward through its Robbery Reward Program for information leading to the arrest and indictment of any individuals who were involved. Anyone with information concerning the robbery should contact the FBI, confidentially and toll-free, at 800-209-2293 or submit a tip through the https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov website.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday (July 21) in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by several property owners and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation to rezone approximately 174 acres between Robinwood Road and Startown Road from R-20 Residential to Planned Development-Industrial Park-Conditional District for the new purpose of a creating the 1764 Business Park. That park has been opposed by members of a group called Concerned Startown Residents.

The Board will consider a request to approve an interest cap on variable interest rate bonds for Catawba Valley Medical Center. The Board will consider whether to pursue “electing county” status for another year for the Department of Social Services, which gives the department greater control over local welfare policies and available funding.

The Commissioners will consider accepting three state grants awarded to the County Library, which would be used to implement a long-range strategic plan for the library, new technology to improve tracking of library inventory and development of a robotics camp for young adults to promote science, technology, engineering and math career paths.

The Board will consider declaring two Ford Crown Victoria automobiles as surplus and donating one to the Newton-Conover Rescue Squad and one to the Propst Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department. The Board will consider amending the County Personnel Code to allow County employees to appeal a written warning to the County Manager. The Board will consider a proposed travel policy for the Catawba County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and they’ll consider waiving normally charged permit fees applicable to the 2014 Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn.

Finally, the Board will recognize two National Association of Counties Achievement Awards presented to the County’s Department of Utilities and Engineering for its Commercial Recycling Program and Rapid Access Permit Terminal and they will honor retiring Sheriff’s Deputy Tammy Johnson with the traditional presentation of her badge and service weapon.