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April 7th, 2011

Body identified, victim shot to death

April 7, 2011

The man found dead in the South Fork River on Sunday was murdered.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said 23-year-old Absalon Gomez was shot to death before his body was located earlier this week in the river near Maiden.

Gomez's family reported him missing Dec. 7 and had no contact with him since that date. Reid said it's "very possible" that Gomez has been dead since December.

The sheriff's office isn't releasing how many times Gomez was shot, and there are no suspects in the case. Reid said investigators have a few leads in the case that indicate the shooting was drug-related.

Videos to prevent distracted driving

April 7, 2011

If you're in a car crash, chances are, a distracted driver was involved.

Distracted driving, including using a cell phone, is a factor in about 80 percent of accidents, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Catawba County officials want to prevent that from happening.

Members of the Child Fatality Prevention Team, Community Protection Team and Catawba County Youth Council joined together for a distracted driving video contest that encourages teens to concentrate behind the wheel.

2 wanted in armed robbery

April 7, 2011

Hickory Police are looking for two suspects involved Thursday in an armed robbery.

Two black males walked into the Total Convenience Market on U.S. 70 in Hickory about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal.

One of the suspects showed a knife and demanded money from the three clerks who were inside the store at the time. Deal didn't know if customers were in the store during the robbery.

Employees emptied the cash register for the suspects, and the men escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash and several packages of cigarettes.

Commissioners approve incentives

April 7, 2011

Catawba County Commissioners approved an economic incentives package for a Hickory company in the hope that the business will bring much-needed jobs to Catawba County.

Furniture manufacturer Fairmont Designs will receive a $25,000 grant to help the company increase productivity and efficiency or relocate equipment. In exchange, the company agreed to create 200 jobs and invest $1.5 million.

BREAKING: Police search for suspects in armed robbery

April 7, 2011

Hickory Police are searching for two males involved in an armed robbery.
About 8:30 a.m. Thursday, two black males robbed Total Convenience Market on U.S. 70 in Hickory. The men left on foot and believe to be carrying a knife.
Both men appear to be in their late 20s and wearing black hood sweatshirts. One is of a large build, while the other is thinner. One male was wearing khaki pants, and the other was wearing a black head scarf and has a mustache.
Anyone who sees the men or has information about the armed robbery, call Hickory Police at (828) 328-5551.

April 6th

Crawdads’ season starts tonight

April 6, 2011

The Hickory Crawdads kick off the 2011 campaign tonight against the Asheville Tourists.

After the Texas Rangers made the World Series last season, the expectations are high for their minor league affiliate in Hickory.

Town continues Internet upgrade

April 6, 2011

Town of Catawba officials voted Monday to continue improving the town's online presence with an upgraded website.

The town will spend $1,200 on a program to add customization features to www.townofcatawbanc.org, a website that currently gives the town "a limited amount of flexibility," said Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett.

During the council's April meeting, Barnett showed council members the town of Elizabethtown's website, which will resemble Catawba's new website, once it is completed.

"It'll be the same concept, but it will be geared toward Catawba," Barnett said.

Bonnie, Clyde identified

April 6, 2011

Police identified the man and woman dubbed Bonnie and Clyde, and the pair faces several charges and $1 million bonds.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Michael Neal Bagwell, 35, and Diana Michelle Dayton, 35, both of Georgia, are facing numerous criminal charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony larceny.

Survivor speaks about tobacco dangers

April 6, 2011

His voice is hoarse and scratchy, like someone with a lingering case of the flu or an over-zealous sports fan.

But no amount of rest, cough drops or medication can cure his voice.

"Would you want to talk like this forever?" asked Fred Haywood, 55, a former smoker and cancer survivor, who now works as a tobacco educator at Frye Regional Medical Center.

1 airlifted after 3-car crash

April 6, 2011

A man wobbled unsteadily and lifted his arms for balance as North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers helped him to his feet, patted him down and placed him in handcuffs.

The man was involved in a three-car crash Tuesday on Interstate 40 that caused one victim to be airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Troopers on the scene said prescription drugs were involved in the crash.

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