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Dr. Walter Hart, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools will head to the White House to the attend the “Connected Superintendents’ Summit” later this month. Dr. Hart recently received notification that he has been selected as one of only 150 superintendents from across the nation to attend the summit.

The U.S. Department of Education commended Dr. Hart for what he has done at Hickory Public Schools in providing valuable and inspiring learning opportunities for all students.

The Summit, hosted by the White House and the U.S. Department of Education, will be the largest gathering of district leaders committed to technological integration. Superintendents attending the event have been selected for the progress made in their districts.

Dr. Hart has led Hickory Public Schools since November 2011, building significant momentum with regard to technology upgrades and integration since that time. Hart, with support and collaboration from teachers, staff members, the community and the HPS Board of Education, developed a new strategic plan and vision for the system. A technology plan with challenging and specific progress measures was developed. Funding was redirected to support technology integration and quality professional development was implemented.

28-year-old Crystal Diamanta Linebarger of 12th Street Drive S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (November 17) on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Events leading to her arrest unfolded at 12:07 this morning when Police were called to the Save-More store on 1st Avenue S.W. in Hickory. Long View Police were there with Linebarger, who reportedly assaulted two Hispanic males with a box cutter.

She told Police she accepted a ride home from a relative’s house with the two men. She then became frightened because they didn’t take her straight home. Linebarger allegedly attacked the victims in the drive-through lane at the store.

The victims, a 38-year-old man from Hickory and a 30-year-old Claremont man, were both taken to Frye Regional Medical Center for treatment of lacerations to the head area. Their injuries were not life threatening.

Linebarger was arrested without incident and then confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today.

39-year-old Michael Joseph Trinka has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of felony breaking & entering, felony larceny after breaking & entering, safecracking, possession of stolen firearms and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Events leading to his arrest began on June 9 when a B&E and larceny was reported at the Captain’s Galley on the Turnersburg Highway in Statesville. Evidence was collected and video footage from a nearby business showed a white male suspect. The victim reported stolen items and property damage totaling approximately $11,000.

On November 7, a citizen contacted Statesville Police and gave them information regarding a possible suspect. Statesville Police shared the information with the Sheriff’s Office. The suspect, Michael Trinka, had recently been arrested by Statesville Police for allegedly stealing and selling cigars. He was also a suspect in another business break-in and larceny.  

Detectives spoke to the citizen who provided the initial tip and obtained further information including text messages and pictures of Trinka in possession of various weapons. Detectives learned that an Uzi shown in one of the pictures was stolen from New York several years ago.

On November 12, Det. Sgt. Cameron Jones obtained a warrant for Trinka’s arrest in connection to the Captain’s Galley break-in. When Deputies went to Trinka’s home on Hyde Lane, they found the house unlocked and a door standing open. Deputies searched the home for the suspect and to be sure that there had been no break-in there. In the process, they found the Uzi in a bedroom.

A search warrant for the house was obtained. That search turned up two assault rifles, an Uzi and a pistol, along with various types of ammunition and magazines. Also located in the home were various other types of property and evidence that linked Trinka to the cigar theft and possibly to a B&E and larceny under investigation by Statesville Police. A backpack was found containing various burglary tools, gloves, a police scanner and other items. Two of the guns were stolen from Folton County, New York during a 2005 residential break-in where Trinka was listed as a suspect at that time.

Trinka was arrested yesterday (November 13) and jailed under a $500,000 secured bond. He was due in District Court today. Trinka also has various court dates pending on a long list of charges in District and Superior court in Statesville.

The Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office, the Statesville Police Department and the Folton County Sheriff’s Office all continue to investigate. The agencies are working together and it is likely that Trinka will face more charges. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) has also been contacted and they will review the cases.

17-year-old Kristyn Carson, a senior trumpet player at Hickory High School, has been selected to perform in the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Carson will join 245 musicians and dancers representing all 50 states as they perform in the Great American Marching Band. Each performer was selected through a rigorous application process and recommendations. She was nominated by Carson Williams, a band teacher at Hickory High.

A trumpet player since the sixth grade, Carson will fly to New York for three days of rehearsal just prior to Thanksgiving Day. The band will be provided with new uniforms. On the day of the parade, band members will leave the hotel at 2 a.m. for a final rehearsal that will take place on the streets from 77th and Central Park West on the way to Sixth Avenue and Macy’s Herald Square.

In addition, Western Carolina University’s band will perform in the parade, including three Hickory High alumni. They are Christopher Leeper, Terence Hector and J.R. Brodie.

The live NBC broadcast will begin at 9 a.m.

36-year-old Amanda Michelle Watts and 40-year-old Alfred Wayne Watts, Jr. of Springfield Drive in Lincolnton have both been cited by criminal summons as overage persons aiding & abetting possession of alcohol by underage persons.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Propst served the summons yesterday (November 13) in connection to a party at the Watts’ residence on November 1 that involved underage drinking. The couple allegedly allowed the consumption and possession of alcohol by underage persons. The summons states that alcohol was made readily available to underage persons with the Watts’ knowledge and consent. Amanda Watts is a substitute teacher in the Lincoln County School System.

The parents of some of the underage persons reported the incident to Lt. Propst on November 10. Interviews revealed that the party was attended by a mixed group of adults and teenagers.

The Watts will appear in Lincoln Co. District Court on December 5.

29-year-old Shannon Renae Hodge of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 4:35 yesterday afternoon (November 13) for felony larceny by servant or other employee.

Hodge was an employee at the McDonald’s restaurant on Highway 70 N.E. in Hickory. Management at McDonald’s called H.P.D. after they suspected Hodge of taking cash from the register.

McDonald’s was able to provide video surveillance footage implicating Hodge. She allegedly took about $1,800 on several occasions, possibly starting in early October of this year.

Hodge was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

22-year-old Marcus De Shawn Mayfield of 3rd Avenue Court S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:40 last night (November 13) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Mayfield was arrested after a vehicle he was in was involved in a three-vehicle accident on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Witnesses told Police they saw Mayfield open the trunk and throw several guns off the overpass that crosses Interstate 40. Police recovered at least two firearms: a shotgun and a pistol.

Mayfield was arrested on the scene without incident. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $35,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge has been named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission. The designation comes in recognition of the system’s exemplary clinical performance in multiple specialties. Top Performers are recognized for attaining excellence in using evidence-based processes that are shown to improve care. Blue Ridge is ranked among the top 33% of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that reported accountability measure performance data for 2013.

Blue Ridge was recognized for achievement in several areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. To be named as a Top Performer, the hospital achieved the highest levels of performance in providing evidence-based care in those areas. Evidence-based practices include giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients, giving antibiotics one hour before surgery and identifying pneumonia in patients early in their hospital experience.

Across North Carolina, 39 hospitals were named to the Joint Commission’s Top Performer list this year. They are among 1,224 hospitals recognized this year.

Friday, 14 November 2014 11:38

Hickory Man Faces Multiple Assault Charges

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20-year-old Raheem Shaiquan Harper of 6th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:20 yesterday afternoon (November 13) on one felony count of assault inflicting serious injury and misdemeanor counts of assault by pointing a gun, assault & battery, communicating threats and second-degree trespass.

He was arrested after Police responded to a domestic dispute at about 8 a.m. yesterday. A 20-year-old female victim told Officers she was assaulted by Harper, who had run away before Police arrived. The victim had red marks on her face, chest and neck. Her injuries were not life-threatening and did not require medical attention.

Warrants were issued for Harper’s arrest. Police spotted Harper at about 2 p.m. on foot near the Ridgeview Recreation Center. He walked towards the Hillside Gardens apartment complex where he was taken into custody without incident. Harper was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond on the domestic assault charges. Bond was set at $300, secured, on the trespassing charge. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

The Hickory Police Department has started collecting toys and monetary donations for the Cops for Tots “Christmas Wish House”. The program began in the early 1980s and served approximately 12 families. Cops for Tots has expanded over the years and, in 2008, almost 2300 children benefited from the program.

The Christmas Wish House will be at the Winkler Park Activity Center (next to L.P. Frans stadium) on Clement Boulevard on December 15, 16 and 17. The hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. each day.

City of Hickory residents can attend on the 15th. Catawba County residents can attend on the 16th and Hickory addresses in Burke, Caldwell or Alexander counties can attend on the 17th.

Participants will be required to show proof of address such as a utility, cable or phone bill. In an effort to allow more children in need to receive toys, families who are serviced by the Christmas Bureau in 2014 will not be able to shop at the Christmas Wish House. A parent or guardian of the child must present a photo I.D. of themselves, along with the birth certificate or Medicaid card for each child. Children from birth to 16 years of age are eligible to receive toys. No social security cards will be accepted. No children are allowed inside.

Collection boxes for new or slightly used toys have been placed at the following locations: the lobby at Hickory Police Department; Viewmont Elementary, Jenkins Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co. on 13th Avenue Place N.W.; Scruples H.A.I.R on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard; the U.P.S. stores on North Center Street and Highway 70 S.E.; Lou Lou’s Corner on Union Square and the NAPA Auto Store on Highway 70 S.E.

Monetary donations can be mailed to: Cops for Tots, Hickory Police Department, 347 2nd Avenue S.W., Hickory, N.C. 28602. Make checks payable to “Cops for Tots”. 100% of monetary donations are used to purchase additional toys.

For more information, call 828-261-2642.