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Statesville man arrested for child sex crime

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ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer A Statesville man was arrested Wednesday afternoon for sending inappropriate messages and photos to an 11-year-old Lincoln County girl, deputies said. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Tim Johnson and Detective Dan Renn arrested Erik Paul Collins, 42, of 110 Bancroft Lane in Statesville without incident. Collins…

City Council members share vision for Lincolnton’s future

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer Lincolnton’s City Council gathered for a special called meeting Wednesday, with members holding their first Strategic Planning Meeting of the fiscal year. At a City Council meeting earlier this summer, council members expressed an interest in developing a strategic plan or vision for the city’s future,…

UPDATED: Police suspect bank employee in fraud

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ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer The Lincolnton Police Department issued a press release on Thursday clearing the original suspect officers identified in a recent bank fraud in Boger City. The suspect, whose photograph was distributed by the department, was thought to have committed bank fraud by withdrawing $2,000 from an elderly…

UPDATED: Missing Lincolnton teen found safe

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UPDATED (Aug. 27): The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Tyler Lee McNeil was located safe and unharmed in Burke County on Tuesday. ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing 15-year-old who, it is believed, may be in the Burke…

Thieves hit 2 Denver tobacco stores

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ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is investigating break-ins at two separate tobacco outlets in Denver that occurred within 30 minutes of each other on Tuesday. Thieves gained access to Tobacco and Beer Outlet at 3598 N. North Carolina Highway 16 and Denver Smokes at 120 S.…

Highway Patrol looking for driver in fatal hit-and-run

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UPDATE (08/19, 9 a.m.): The Highway Patrol has confirmed that a vehicle has been taken into custody and is being processed for DNA transfer. An autopsy of the victim, John Morrison, 35, of Mountain View, will take place around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. More information to follow as it becomes…

Man drowns in Lake Norman

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UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office has identified the drowning victim as Richard Terry Locklin, 53, of 4699 Dick Wilson Road in Denver. Staff report A 53-year-old man has drowned in Lake Norman, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said. The man’s body was found in the lake, near Dick Wilson Road in…

Vale man gets federal prison term for soliciting arson

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Staff report A Vale man is expected to serve nearly three years in prison on a federal arson charges, according to Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Zulfiqar Ali Kacho, 40, was sentenced Wednesday to serve a 33-month sentence in federal prison. Based on…

Silver Alert cancelled for missing Lincolnton man

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ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer A Silver Alert issued on Thursday has been cancelled after a Lincoln County man was located in a Statesville hospital. Johnny Cecil Brooks, 68, of 3659 Gastonia Highway in Lincolnton, was last seen by a neighbor on Aug. 4 at his residence. Unable to contact Brooks,…

Cherryville man charged for stealing motorcycle

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ANNIE BLACKBURN Staff Writer A Cherryville man was placed under arrest early Thursday morning after attempting elude a Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy on a stolen motorcycle. Coley Phillip Craft, 43, of 207 Bell Street in Cherryville, was charged with one felony count each of operating a motor vehicle while attempting…