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News (823)

Monday, 15 December 2014 06:54

Earthquake Reported North of Lenoir

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According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake measuring 3.0 on the Richter Scale was reported about nine miles north of Lenoir at about 1:44 a.m. today (December 15). The fault line was 12 miles south of Newland. No reports of damages have been received at this time. 202 people reported the incident. The quake was felt in Avery, Watauga, McDowell, Burke and Caldwell counties and possibly beyond.

Monday, 15 December 2014 06:41

Missing Teen Found Safely in Statesville

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15-year-old Abril Mayte Hernandez Romero has been found, unharmed. Ms. Romero was located at a residence in Dogwood Estates in Statesville on Friday (December 12) at 4 p.m. She has been returned to her parents. Ms. Romero had left her residence on her own initiative and no criminal charges are being investigated.

Ms. Romero had been unaccounted for after she was last seen at Hardee’s on North Center Street around 4 p.m. on Monday, December 8.

Monday, 15 December 2014 06:37

Motorcyclist Killed Friday Night

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28-year-old Timothy Shyler Kincaid of Pipers Ridge Circle in Conover was killed in a motorcycle crash at about 10:45 Friday night (December 12).

A Newton Police Officer on patrol saw a motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed on Highway 16 South near Burris Road. The Officer estimated that the motorcycle was speeding. The Officer attempted to perform a traffic stop.

As the motorcyclist, Timothy Kincaid, approached a stoplight at Mt. Olive Church Road and Highway 16 South, he slowed and then went through the intersection, continuing south. The Officer then continued south in an attempt to locate the motorcyclist. When the Officer approached the intersection of Highway 16 South and Business 16, he saw that Kincaid had traveled across the intersection onto the East ‘P’ Street Extension, traveling west.

When the Officer arrived at the intersection of St. James Church Road and the East ‘P’ Street Extension, he saw that Kincaid had crashed, coming to a rest in a wooded area west of the intersection. The Officer called emergency medical personnel to the scene. Upon arrival, E.M.S. pronounced Mr. Kincaid dead.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to the scene for an investigation. Assisting were the Newton Fire Department, Catawba County E.M.S. and Newton-Conover Rescue.

Friday, 12 December 2014 14:35

Granite Falls Man Jailed on Long List of Charges

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30-year-old Bobby Ray Abshire of Poovey Drive in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office on felony counts of fleeing to elude arrest, possession of stolen goods or property and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of stolen goods or property, driving while license revoked, fictitious or altered registration card or tag, failure to stop for a stop sign or flashing red light and reckless driving to endanger. He was also charged with a misdemeanor probation violation.

Abshire was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $120,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on December 15 and January 8 and in Superior Court on January 12, all in Lenoir.

Friday, 12 December 2014 14:04

Early Morning Search Leads to Lenoir Drug Arrest

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27-year-old Travis Xavier Thomas of Conley Place in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police early this morning (December 12) on charges of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a schedule II controlled substance, felony maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, misdemeanor simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.     

He was arrested when the Lenoir Police Narcotics Unit & Special Response Team served a search warrant at Thomas’ residence. During the search, Officers found and seized 6.9 grams of crack cocaine, 20 grams of marijuana and $125 in U.S. currency. The drugs seized have an estimated value of $1,800.

The six-month-long investigation leading to Thomas’ arrest was the direct result of community complaints. Additional charges may be forthcoming.

Thomas was confined in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court on December 15.

Friday, 12 December 2014 13:49

Man Arrested for Firearm Theft in Iredell County

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21-year-old Samuel Franklin Holcombe was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on December 10 and charged with felony larceny of a firearm.

On December 1, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen firearm from Houpe Road in Statesville. The victim said a rifle valued at $240 had been taken from a closet inside the home. The responding Deputy searched for signs of forced entry and found none.

During the subsequent investigation, Detectives spoke with potential suspects and witnesses. Those interviews yielded the name of a possible suspect. Detectives then searched local pawnshop records and located the stolen gun and learned that the suspect had pawned the gun. The firearm was recovered.

The suspect, Samuel Holcombe was taken into custody and given a $10,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on December 17 in Statesville.

Friday, 12 December 2014 13:45

Cornerstone Bakery Victimized by Scammer

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The Cornerstone Bakery on North Center Street in Hickory was victimized by a scam yesterday, listed on Police reports as a case of fraud, flim-flam, confidence games & trickery.

The incident occurred between 11 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. as someone called the business owner and said that Duke Power had not received the business’ last payment and would cut off the power unless she immediately obtained a Green Dot card and gave the caller the card number so that a cash payment could be made. The victim cooperated with the caller and provided the requested information over the telephone, resulting in the loss of an undisclosed amount of money from the business’ account.

The incident was reported at 1:25 p.m. yesterday. Hickory Police are investigating. Police remind the public to be aware of similar scams and never to give out sensitive financial information over the phone.

Friday, 12 December 2014 12:46

WHKY Announces Several Staffing Changes

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Several staffing changes are in the works at WHKY-TV and radio.

Jim Karas has announced that he is retiring after 17 years as news director and anchor of the WHKY-TV News. Karas has been a fixture at WHKY since he was hired in March of 1997. He plans to spend time in both the Washington, D.C. and Myrtle Beach areas to spend more time with his family. Karas’ last day at WHKY will be Christmas Eve.

Ralph Mangum, who has been with WHKY as a news reporter since November of 2009, will move into Karas’ position as news director and TV news anchor. Mangum will continue to host the popular Crime Report segment on the WHKY News.

Returning to WHKY after a five-year absence is Rob Eastwood. Eastwood, who has most recently been a news reporter and on-air personality at WMNC in Morganton, will report the news on 1290 AM WHKY radio and will contribute to the TV news, as well. Eastwood will assume his new position on December 15.

Fentress Chestnut, who started at WHKY as a summer intern earlier this year and later became a part-time reporter, has now assumed a full-time role. She will continue to report the news for WHKY-TV and will also work in a production capacity, performing many tasks behind the scenes to get the nightly TV newscast on the air.

Also leaving WHKY after 21 years is Eric Stafford, who worked in production and graphics and contributed a weekly entertainment segment to the TV newscast. Stafford remains in the Unifour area, having taken a job with Caldwell County where he and his family make their home.

Friday, 12 December 2014 12:13

Two Men Arrested in Hickory on Multiple Charges

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23-year-old Anthony Leon Poteat, Jr. of Presco Court in Charlotte and 24-year-old Michael Anthony Strother of Michelle Drive in Newton were both arrested by Hickory Police shortly before midnight last night (December 11). Poteat was charged with felony possession of heroin, felony possession of cocaine and simple possession of marijuana up to half an ounce. Strother was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He faces additional charges for possession of stolen goods or property and obtaining property by false pretense.

Both men were taken into custody without incident at the Fast & Fresh store on Main Avenue N.E. in Hickory. They have been incarcerated in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Poteat set at $19,550, secured, while Strother was given an $11,000 secured bond. First appearances in District Court were scheduled for today.

Friday, 12 December 2014 11:22

WPCOG Names New Executive Director

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Anthony Starr, current Assistant Executive Director of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), has been named the new Executive Director of the WPCOG effective January 1, 2015. The WPCOG Policy Board voted on November 25 to confirm the appointment during its Policy Board Meeting held in Newton. Starr will become the third full-time Executive Director since the creation of the WPCOG in 1968.

Starr, a Catawba County native, brings with him 19 years of local government experience and has directed budgeting, finance, GIS/IT, Aging Services, Small Business Administration Loans, and Section 8 Housing at the WPCOG since 2012. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Community & Regional Planning from Appalachian State University, a Master of Public Administration in Town, City & County Management from Appalachian State and the Municipal Administration Course at the School of Government, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

The WPCOG is a regional planning and economic development organization that serves 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties. The WPCOG is headquartered in Long View and operates with a staff of 49 professionals in six divisions.

For more information, visit www.wpcog.org.