Thursday, August 21st
Today's headlines from www.unifournews.com
Michigan man held under large bond in Unifour on multiple meth charges
A Michigan man is being held in Catawba County under a large bond after being charged with multiple methamphetamine offenses. 32-year-old Joseph Edward Morin of Lawton, Michigan was arrested Wednesday by the Catawba County Sheriff's Office. He's charged with manufacture methamphetamine, conspire to traffic methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute meth precursor. Following the arrest, Morin (pictured) was placed in the Catawba County Jail under $100,000 bond, a court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
Candlelight vigil held to honor lives of three murdered in Burke County
A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday night to honor the lives of three Burke County residents who were believed to be murdered as the result of a domestic dispute that occurred in home on West Concord Street nearly two weeks ago. On the lawn of the old Burke County Courthouse friends and family of the victims gathered with the community to share stories and remember the lives of the deceased as they were; full of joy and love. Those who spoke made sure to remind the crowd that those who had passed – Barbara Ann Johnson, Freddy Thompson, and Zakiya el Bey – were in a better place now, and that they would not want the community to mourn their lives, but rather to celebrate them. 56-year-old Donald Eric Kincaid is the suspect in the case.
Woman charged with break-in, other charges in morning arrest
A woman arrested this morning by authorities in Burke County is charged with a break-in, a false pretense offense, and with filing a false report. 35-year-old Gwendolyn Elizabeth Carter was arrested and charged with felony forced breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretense, and filing a false report with police. Following this morning's arrest, Carter was placed in jail under $20,500 bond, a court appearance is scheduled for Friday in Morganton.
Man jailed under large bond for violating house arrest
A Caldwell County man was jailed under a large bond amount for violating house arrest. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested 27-year-old Dorian Roshad Ferguson of Lenoir. He's charged with violation of house arrest order. Following Wednesday's arrest, Ferguson was placed in the Caldwell County Jail under $300,000 secured bond.
Felony drug charge filed
A man arrested this morning in Burke County faces a felony drug charge. The Burke County Sheriff's Office arrested 38-year-old Bradford Lydell Cash. He's charged with felony possession of schedule two controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Cash was placed in jail under $3,000 secured bond, a court appearance is scheduled for October 6.
Wednesday, August 20th
Today's headlines from www.unifournews.com
Possible suspect vehicle identified in fatal hit and run
A possible suspect vehicle in an accident in which a 35-year-old Mountain View man was struck and killed has been identified. The accident occurred early Monday morning on U.S. 321 south of Interstate 40 in Hickory and claimed the life of John Morrison. According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the vehicle is being processed for DNA evidence. For the purposes of the investigation, no other information is being released at this time. According to reports, Morrison was dropped off at River Road, Mountain View, and was going to walk to his girlfriend's house early Monday morning. He was last reportedly seen alive at 1:40 a.m. The accident occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m. Highway Patrol officials believe someone could have hit this individual without realizing it was a person and they are asking anyone with information to come forward. They also ask anyone who was in the vicinity of where Morrison was struck who may have information on the accident to call them at 828-466-5500.
Sex offense charge filed
A sex offense charge was filed against a Catawba County man. The Hickory Police Department reports the Tuesday arrest of 26-year-old Traviolieo Norshawn Grier of Claremont. He’s charged with one count of indecent liberties with a child. Following the arrest, Grier was placed in the Catawba County Jail under $10,000 bond, a court appearance is scheduled for September 8.
Murder charge dismissed after evidence lost
The case involving a Morganton man charged with his stepfather’s 2010 murder has been dismissed after a key piece of evidence was lost. The charge was in connection with an incident that occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2010. 40-year-old Filiberto Rubio was found dead from a gunshot wound at his home on Rhodhiss Road in Connelly Springs. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office reported Rubio and his stepson of nine years, then 28-year-old Timothy Paul Bumgarner had been drinking and got into an argument. Rubio reportedly tried to throw a snow globe at Bumgarner, who then picked up a gun and shot his stepfather, killing him. Bumgarner was taken into custody that day and was charged with murder. According to the Morganton News Herald, Assistant Capital Defender Victoria Jayne, who represents Bumgarner, said the defense was contending that her client shot Rubio in self defense just as he was about to throw the glass ball. The snow globe, referred to in court as a glass ball, then became an essential part of the defense. According to the published report, because the glass ball cannot be found in the evidence labs of the BCSO or the State Bureau of Investigation, Jayne said the case was dismissed.
New jobs announced at Burke Commissioners meeting
90 new jobs are planned to be available by September and a drug dog for the Burke County Public School system were topics covered in Tuesday night’s Burke County Board of Commissioner’s Regular Meeting. There were three scheduled public hearings in Tuesday’s meeting. County Manager, Bryan Steen, presented first an Economic Development Grant Match for Building Reuse and Restoration Grants for Richelieu Legwear. This grant was approved 4-0 and is expected to bring jobs into the area with at least 90 people being hired in the next month. Scott Carpenter, Deputy County Manager Planning Director, gave two presentations. The first on a Vested Rights Extension Request for Crescent Communities. The request did not propose any changes and was adopted 4-0. He also presented on a Zoning Text Amendment that would be in compliance with new regulations which was also passed 4-0. There was only one item for decision which was a MOU with Burke County Public Schools for Provision of a Drug Dog. The Burke County Public School System and the Sheriff’s Department believe a Labrador retriever to be a top candidate but would cost more than the $5,000 originally allotted for the purchase. The MOU between the county and the Board of Education was revised to reflect the Burke County Public Schools would provide one-time payment for the dog and training for the officer. The MOU was approved 4-0. Sheriff Steve Whisenant presented Lieutenant David Charles South for the Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate. Charles has 13 1/5 years of law enforcement experience and has over 1,700 hours of law enforcement training. There were no informal public comments and all twelve items on the consent agenda were approved.
Drug trafficking charges filed
A Catawba County resident is charged with multiple drug trafficking counts. Records at the Catawba County Jail show the Tuesday arrest of 19-year-old Isaac David Moose of Newton. He’s charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in opium or heroin, sell or deliver schedule two controlled substance, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule two controlled substance. Following the arrest, Moose was placed in the Catawba County Jail under $30,000 bond.
Burke tourism industry a "pacesetter" in state
According to a news release issued Tuesday, Burke County's tourism industry is a pacesetter in North Carolina, ranking first in percentage of tourism job growth and second in the increase of visitor spending. According to figures released by the NC Division of Tourism, Burke County had the largest increase in direct tourism employment from 2012 to 2013. The county experienced a 5.8% surge in tourism jobs, easily topping Buncombe County, which saw a 5.0% increase. Burke now generates $12.2 million in payroll for 660 employees in the tourism industry. Meanwhile, the county received a healthy 7.6% increase in visitor spending last year, trailing only Buncombe's 8.0% increase. Visitors to Burke County spent $86.6 million in 2013, the latest year for which data is available.
Tuesday, August 19th
Today's headlines from www.unifournews.com
Man charged in Daniels murder indicted
The man charged in the murder of Discovery High School teacher and counselor Maggie Daniels has been indicted. The District Attorney’s Office announces the Indictment of 34-year-old Sharman Howard Odom of Newton for Felony Murder, Felony First Degree Sexual Offense and Felony First Degree Kidnapping. The 18 member Catawba County Grand Jury was presented with evidence by investigators from the Newton Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation. The indictments are the result of an ongoing investigation into the death of Margaret Elizabeth Daniels (pictured) on June 27 of this year. The defendant is currently incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond and will be scheduled for Administrative Superior Court in Catawba County on October 6.
Search continuing for driver in fatal hit and run
The search is continuing for a driver after troopers say a man was hit and killed along Highway 321 in Catawba County Monday morning. According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, a man was walking south along Highway 321, just south of Interstate 40 in Hickory, when he was hit by a car. The driver left the scene, the man was killed in the collision. The incident occurred at around 6:45 a.m. Monday. Troopers initally believed debris in the median, including the front bumper of a car and paint chips from the vehicle, were left from the wreck. Now they think the debris may have been there from a previous collision. Investigators are not sure what kind of vehicle they are looking for but say the windshield of the vehicle would be cracked or shattered. There were no witnesses to the accident who could assist officers in the investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation will collect evidence at scene before turning back over to the highway patrol.
Fire destroys home in eastern Burke
Fire destroyed a home in eastern Burke County Monday. The fire occurred at a house at 6591 Maple Grove Avenue in Connelly Springs. Several area fire departments responded to the blaze, which occurred late in the afternoon. An adult and a child were in the home at the time and got out safely, no injuries were reported to firefighters. The house is believed to be a total loss, the cause of the fire is under investigation. (Photo of fire truck is a Unifournews.com file photo.)
Burke man charged with break-in to business
A Burke County man is charged in connection with a break-in to a business. On Monday officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to a report of a breaking and entering into the Tire Specialists II store at 380 E Fleming Drive in Morganton. Evidence was gathered that led to the arrest of 61-year-old Roger Dale Brown Jr. of Morganton. Brown was charged with Breaking and Entering into a business with the intent to commit a larceny. Brown was also charged with breaking into a motor vehicle and larceny from a vehicle located at the business. Some of the property and currency was recovered. More charges are pending. Brown was placed in the Burke Catawba Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.
Trafficking charge filed, more than five pounds of meth seized
A Caldwell County man charged with meth trafficking following an investigation by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office is being held under one-million dollars bond. On Monday Sheriff Alan Jones announced that an investigation into a large scale meth distributor ended with the arrest of a Hudson man at his house in Lick Mountain Estates. The suspect, 25-year-old Stephen Roger Dean was arrested and charged with Felony Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Maintain a Dwelling to Keep/Store Controlled Substances. Agents with the Sheriff’s Office Ice Unit executed a search warrant at Dean’s residence as a result of several undercover operations. Officers with the Granite Falls Police Department assisted in the investigation. As a result of the search warrant, more than five pounds of crystal methamphetamine was seized by law enforcement. The methamphetamine has a street value of $370,800 according to NC State Drug Guidelines. During the search, Agents also seized items such as numerous digital weighing scales, packaging materials, drug ledgers, and assorted paraphernalia. Other items were also seized. Following the arrest, Dean was placed in the Caldwell County Jail under one-million dollars secured bond. He made his first court appearance Monday.
Caldwell Commissioners approve funding for recruitment study
At the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday County Commissioners approved funding for a retail recruitment study that should help developers expand the retail sector within the county. With this project, local developers anticipate establishing a strong retail presence along the highway 321 corridor which should not only increase revenue and job creation for the region but also bolster advertising and tourism for the city of Lenoir and Caldwell County as a whole. Also during the meeting, Financial Manager Tony Helton and Economic Development Director Deborah Murray both presented reports to the Commissioners that reflected stable economic factors and a marked growth of industry during the first half of 2014.
Catawba Commissioners approve grant to help with mobility for seniors, disabled
During their meeting Monday night, the Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved the submission of a Federal 5310 Grant Application for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. Catawba County Department of Social Services Program Director Tami Hefner says the funds will help seniors and disabled citizens a great deal. In addition, the board approved the Water and Sewer Capital Feels Adjustment and the purchase of 1985 Startown Road for Catawba Valley Medical Center. Two people involved with Hickory Cardiology spoke during the public comment period about their concerns regarding cardiology services being transferred to Catawba Valley Cardiology.