Two armed robberies 30 minutes apart under investigation
Two armed robberies that occurred a half-hour apart are under investigation. On Tuesday, Hickory Police Officers responded to the two crimes. The first of the robberies occurred in the parking lot of Valley Hills Mall at approximately 5:40 p.m. when a tall, slender, black male with dreadlocks in a red hoodie approached a female displaying a weapon demanding money and or property from the victim. The victim was forced to drive to an ATM to obtain money for suspect and was then released at which time she notified authorities. The second robbery occurred at 6:10 p.m. in the parking lot of Office Max off of Highway 70 when the victim was approached by a tall, slender, black male in a red hoodie. The suspect demanded money and property from the victim at which time the victim refused and an argument ensued. The victim yelled for help and the suspect fled the scene in a silver, four-door passenger car. This investigation is ongoing and if anyone has any information about this case please contact the Hickory Police Department at (828) 328-5551.
Local candidates elected in Tuesday's midterm voting
Election Day was Tuesday and there were races of local, state, and national importance. In Burke County Steve Whisenant defeated Stacy Buff to remain Sheriff. Wayne Abele and Maynard Taylor were the winners in the race for two seats on the Board of County Commissioners. In Glen Alpine, voters approved measures to allow for the sale of Malt Beverage and Unfortified Wine in the town limits. In Caldwell County, four seats were filled on the Board of Education. Teresa Branch, Joe Sims, Duane Knight, and Dottie Darsie were the winners. Voters in the Town of Hudson approved the sale of Malt Beverage, Unfortified Wine, and Mixed Beverage in the town limits. In Catawba County, the winners in the Board of County Commissioners race were Randy Isenhower, Kitty Barnes, and Sherry Edmonds Butler. In Alexander County, the three winners in the Board of Commissioners race were Milton Campbell, Josh Lail, and Ronnie Lynn Reese. The top vote receivers in the Alexander County Board of Education District 2 race were David Odom and Sallie Hartis. Marty Pennell won the District 4 Board of Education race in Alexander County. In McDowell County, Tony Brown, Matthew Crawford, and David Walker gained seats on the Board of Commissioners, and Terry Frank claimed the Board of Education seat in the Glenwood District.
Tillis wins U.S. Senate seat, Meadows re-elected in 11th District
Thom Tillis defeated Kay Hagan in the U.S. Senate race. In a closely contested race, Tillis earned 48.88 percent of the vote to Hagan's 47.20 percent. In the U.S. House 11th District race, Mark Meadows was the winner. Virginia Foxx claimed the U.S. House 5th District. Patrick McHenry won the U.S. House 10th District seat. in the State House, Hugh Blackwell was the winner in the 86th District. Josh Dobson claimed the seat up for grabs in the State House 85th District race, and Jay Adams won the State House District 96 race. State Senate seats went to Warren Daniel in the 46th District, Dan Soucek in the 45th District, and Andy Wells in the 42nd District.
Close to half of registered voters turn out in Unifour, state
Nearly 44% of the state’s registered voters turned out in yesterday’s midterm election. The high turnout for an off year election was bolstered by the counties of the Unifour who also saw good turnouts. In Burke County some 42.38 percent of registered voters cast ballots, while 49.75 percent in Alexander County voted. 43.44 percent of registered voters in Catawba County cast ballots. 39.58% of voters in Caldwell County voted in the midterm election while 39.16 in McDowell County voted.
Aycock claims District Court seat
Former prosecutor David Aycock will join six others on the bench for the 25th Judicial District. Aycock defeated F. Wesley Sigmon 52.97% to 47.03% to earn the seat. Mark Killian, Sherri Wilson Elliot, Wes W. Barkley, Robert A. Mullinax, Jr, Clifton Smith and Amy Sigmon Walker all ran unopposed for seats on the 25th Judicial bench. In the North Carolina Superior Court 25-A seat, Morganton attorney Dan Kuehnert posted a 54.48% victory over C. Thomas Edwards who received 45.2% of the vote. In Superior Court 25-B, Gregory R. Hayes won 56.73% of the vote. Challenger Jason White had 43.27%. Morganton Attorney Sam J. Ervin IV won a seat as a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice. Ervin received 52.60% of the vote while Bob Hunter received 47.40%. North Carolina’s Constitutional Amendment received a nod from voters. The amendment passed by a 53.07 to 46.93 % margin. Two local bond issues were also on the ballot. Hickory voters passed the streets and sidewalks bonds 60.08% to 39.92%, as well as the Hickory Economic Development Bonds which passed 55.51% to 44.49%.
Controlled burn scheduled
The U.S. Forest Service will conduct a controlled burn today northwest of Morganton in Burke County. The burn will be conducted in the Back Creek Area close to Table Rock Fish Hatchery. The burn will cover 100 acres and it's expected to be conducted between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Board of Education calls for special meeting
The Burke County Board of Education called for a special meeting to appoint a new board of trustee to Western Piedmont Community College on Tuesday morning. There were seven original applicants for the board of trustee position. Three were selected individually by the board for interviews. These three were Rod Harrelson, Bill Lennon, and Bruce Hawkins. Each applicant was asked a variety of questions regarding their motivation in applying for the position, strategies to increase enrollment, and future plans for the college. After each of the selected individuals went through the interview process, the board voted on Bruce Hawkins as the new appointment to the Western Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees. Hawkins, who described himself as a vocal advocate for education, promised to be a working trustee if appointed. A budget amendment was added to the agenda for the purchase of a new sign for Draughn High School. The amendment was accepted and approved.