Archive - Mar 30, 2011 - News Article
Richard Clifford Gaither Jr. stared straight ahead Wednesday as a judge told him he is charged with murder.
Catawba County District Court Judge Amy R. Sigmon read the charges against Gaither, 23, during his first court appearance after he allegedly shot and killed a Hickory teenager Monday night.
Police found Steven Darnell Simpson, 19, in a red Toyota Camry about 9:30 p.m. Monday near downtown Hickory. Simpson was shot in the head, and he later died from his injuries. Police later arrested Gaither and charged him in connection with Simpson's death.
After the possibility of some calendar changes, Catawba County Schools students will still start school Aug. 25.
Superintendent Glenn Barger encouraged the Board of Education during its Monday meeting to stick with the previously adopted calendar for the 2011-12 school year.
"The General Assembly has not passed the bill that was introduced," said Barger, adding the bill will allow school systems flexibility in their start and end dates. "The bill was delayed because of other things (available for the legislature's consideration)."
Prevention is key in child sexual abuse, and Catawba County accepts a challenge to train residents to stop the realm of abuse.
The Children's Advocacy Center and Children's Protection Council kicked off a prevent-a-thon Wednesday morning with a breakfast and seminar to alert area officials, law enforcement, school leaders and business owners of the importance of training the community to stop sexual abuse. Catawba County is the first community in North Carolina to start the Darkness to Light training.
Police arrested a man they say could be responsible for a string of armed robberies throughout Catawba County.
Emanuel Marshall Whitted, 38, of Conover, was taken into custody Wednesday at the Catawba County Detention Center after being arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Hickory. Although Whitted currently faces only one armed robbery charge, police said Wednesday it's possible Whitted is responsible for several more similar crimes.
"We've had a couple more robberies that might be related (to Whitted's arrest)," said Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal.
Two hundred twelve registered sex offenders live in Catawba County.
Their crimes range from indecent liberty with a minor and computer solicitation for sex to first-degree sex offense and second-degree rape.
Catawba County Sheriff's Office is charged with monitoring sex offenders and their compliance with the conditions of their offenses.
Sex offenders are required to register with their county's sheriff's office, and sheriff's deputies then compile the information and enter it in the registry database, said Catawba County Sheriff's Office Lt. B.L. Baker.