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April 4th, 2011

Police identify body found in river

April 4, 2011

Police have identified the body of the man found floating Sunday in the South Fork River near Maiden.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Monday deputies know who the deceased man is, but won't release the man's name until his family is notified.

Two men, Elliott Teague and Justin Collins, were in canoes when they discovered the man's body as they were floating down the South Fork River on Sunday about 2:30 p.m.

5-year-old struck by car

April 4, 2011

A 5-year-old girl is recovering Monday after being struck by a car.

The child was with her mother when she was crossing N.C. 127 near Third Street NE in Hickory about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

According to police, the mother was carrying an 18-month-old baby in her arms, and the girl stepped into traffic.

The mother and baby weren't injured in the incident, but the girl was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The girl suffered a broken leg, but is expected to recover.

No charges were filed Sunday at the scene.

2 arrested after high-speed chase

April 4, 2011

Two men were arrested Monday after allegedly robbing a store then leading police on a high-speed, three-county chase.

Daniel Ray Williams, 37, of Lincolnton, and James Hill, 39, of Winston-Salem, face charges of armed robbery and speeding to elude, said Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal.

The men allegedly walked into the Dollar General store on U.S. 70 SW in Hickory about 8:15 a.m. Monday and demanded money from the clerk. Deal said the men displayed a gun and were wearing fake beards to conceal their identities.

Woman found with $100 of heroin

April 4, 2011

A Maiden woman faces drug trafficking charges Monday after deputies allegedly found $100 of heroin in her possession.

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies were conducting surveillance off N.C. 150 East on Saturday when they noticed two suspicious vehicles in the area. The deputies saw the vehicles in the area before, which prompted them to make a traffic stop.

During the traffic stop, police seized about 10 grams of heroin, which is valued at $100.

Elisa swoons in court

April 4, 2011

Elisa Baker's feet shuffled unsteadily as she grasped for a chair Monday in Catawba County Superior Court.

Scott Reilly helped his client to a chair and poured water for her into a paper cup before proceeding with his arguments.

The pressure of an impending murder charge is apparently getting to Baker, who swooned in court Monday after Reilly complained his client was being "selectively prosecuted" and won't receive a fair trial in Catawba County.

Newton tackles 'unfair' water/sewer rates, minimum charges

April 4, 2011

After a Newton landlord said the city is unfair in its minimum billing practices for utility services, City Council is discussing the rate structure for water and sewer customers.
During a February City Council meeting, Newton landlord Tom Dixon questioned Newton's utility billing practices, and in particular, the minimum fees placed on low use customers.
"To get services from the city, you have to pay for all of them. You can't just have electricity, water, sewer or solid waste pick-up — you have to have all of them or you can't get any," he said during the Feb. 15 meeting.

DEVELOPING: Paddlers find body in river

April 4, 2011

Two men in canoes on the South Fork River have found the body of a man floating in the water.

Investigators hope an autopsy will help them determine the man's identity and how he died.

Elliott Teague and Justin Collins said they were in separate canoes Sunday when Teague spotted the body dressed in pants and work boots floating near a log on an isolated stretch of the river in Catawba County.

The body was found near U.S. 321 between Newton and Maiden.

Deputies say the body may have been in the river for as long as two weeks.

Grand jury to hear triple murder case

April 4, 2011

The case of a Hickory man who authorities say killed three people in a Catawba County trailer park will go before a grand jury.

Sheriff's officials arrested 32-year-old Everett Hewitt last month following a manhunt that involved 100 officers from several area law enforcement agencies.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Hewitt is being held at the Catawba County Detention Center on three counts of murder pending Monday's grand jury hearing. A public defender has been appointed.

April 1st

Councils meet Monday

April 1, 2011

Two Catawba County municipalities released their agendas for upcoming meetings Monday.
Catawba Town Council will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers. Maiden Town Council will also meet Monday at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Maiden Branch Library.

Maiden Town Council's agenda includes:
-A period for citizens requests and comments;
-Discussion on an agreement between the town and CBSA architects;
-Approval of surplus items.

Catawba Town Council's agenda includes:

Animal cruelty reports increase

April 1, 2011

Sitting inside Catawba County Animal Services manager Jay Blatche's office is a sign that says the greatness of a person can be judged by the way he treats animals.

More people in Catawba County appear to be acting on that principal judging from an increase in the number of calls reporting animal cruelty.

Blatche said the county's animal shelter has received more calls recently regarding allegations of possible animal abuse or neglect.

"People are being a lot more proactive, for whatever reason that may be," Blatche said.

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