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March 30th, 2011

Man arrested for armed robberies

March 30, 2011

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.

Do sex offenders live nearby?

March 30, 2011

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.

March 29th

Man shot to death after dispute

March 29, 2011

A teenager was shot and killed after an alleged dispute in downtown Hickory, and police arrested a man for the teen's murder.

Hickory Police found Steven Darnell Simpson, 19, of Hickory, in a red Toyota Camry near the 300 block of First Avenue Southwest in Hickory about 9:30 p.m. Monday. Simpson was shot in the head.

Is the county safe from nuclear disaster?

March 29, 2011

Explosions and fires rocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan just days after the country was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in mid-March.

Weeks later, a large-scale nuclear disaster was avoided, for now. The near-catastrophe drew worldwide attention to nuclear power and the potential dangers of radioactive materials. The United States government recommended a 50-mile evacuation zone around the site to avoid harmful radiation in Japan.

1 injured in tractor-trailer crash

March 29, 2011

Lime green metal was twisted at odd angles, exposing the engine of a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes of U.S. 321 in Newton. Broken glass was scattered everywhere. The vehicle's driver dabbed at his head with a white towel, a stream of dark blood trailing from the man's forehead.

The twisted wreckage of the 18-wheeler's cab rested near U.S. 321 mile marker 37 after the vehicle struck another tractor-trailer driven by a student driver.

DEVELOPING: Man dies after Hickory shooting

March 29, 2011

One man was shot in the head while traveling in Hickory on Monday night.
The victim later died from his injuries.
Hickory Police received a call at 9:27 p.m. Monday for shots fired in the 300 block of First Avenue Southwest.
Steven Darnell Simpson, 19, was found with a gunshot wound to his head. Simpson was airlifted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he later died.
Hickory Police are conducting interviews involving the case. More information is expected later today.
Check back with www.observernewsonline.com for more details as they become available.

BREAKING: Startown Road reopens after wreck

March 29, 2011

Startown Road is reopened after a Tuesday wreck impacted traffic around Startown Elementary during the morning commute.
An overturned tractor-trailer truck forced closure of Startown Road near Startown Elementary School on Tuesday morning.
Details are still emerging in this story, and The O-N-E will deliver more information as it becomes available.
Check back with www.observernewsonline.com throughout the day for updates to this story.

March 28th

Electric fees could increase

March 28, 2011

Maiden electrical customers could see an increase in their rates after a decision from ElectriCities to pass on higher rates to municipalities.

The details of that increase are left to representatives from 19 cities and towns served by Electricities in piedmont and western North Carolina.

All North Carolina Municipal Power Agency 1 (NCMPA1) member cities and towns face a rate increase, and the decision falls on board members as to how much and when those increases will happen.

Store robbed at knifepoint

March 28, 2011

Police are looking for an unknown suspect who robbed a Conover store clerk at knifepoint.

A black male walked into the Kangaroo Express on N.C. 16 North shortly before midnight Saturday. A female clerk was behind the counter, and the male walked up to her, demanding money, said Conover Police Investigator John Little.

The man displayed a knife and asked the clerk to take money out of the cash register.

"He didn't threaten her," Little said. "He just told her what to do, and she complied."

2 arrested for metal theft

March 28, 2011

Two men were arrested Friday after stealing $3,000 in scrap metal.

Catawba County sheriff's deputies responded to the 1600 block of Mays Chapel Church Road in Newton about 5:05 p.m. after receiving a call reporting a theft in progress.

They arrived on the scene to find Bobby Franklin Leatherman, 55, and David Michael Henry, 29, both of Maiden, attempting to steal 1,580 pounds of miscellaneous scrap metal stored on a piece of property, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

The scrap metal was stored on the property of Tracey Matthews Sipe, 50, of Maiden.

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