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Big Dawg News

WMNC News, Tuesday, September 30th

An Alexander County man faces child porn charges. According to a news release from the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 64-year-old John Robert Pacheco of Taylorsville has been charged with five counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Following the arrest, Pacheco was placed in jail under $300,000 secured bond. FBI investigators were notified and are working with the Alexander County Sheriff's Office on the case. Possible federal charges are pending.

Seven employees of an area prison have been fired following an investigation into the death of an inmate. According to the Hickory Daily Record, information provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on Monday revealed a total of seven employees at Alexander Correctional Institution were fired, in addition to two who resigned, because of the ongoing investigation into the death of a former inmate. Michael Kerr, a former inmate, was being transported from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to Central Prison in Raleigh on the morning of March 12. He was dead upon arrival in Raleigh, according to his autopsy report. According to the newspaper report, results of the autopsy concluded the cause of Kerr's death was dehydration, but the circumstances regarding whether or not he had access to fluids was unclear, according to the pathologist who completed the autopsy. A statement from the State's Department of Public Safety said Kerr had access to water in his prison cell's sink in the days preceding his death. An investigation of Kerr's death was launched by the N.C. Department of Public Safety. The SBI's investigation is ongoing. According to a report from April 9, five employees at Alexander Correctional Institution were fired because of the investigation of Kerr's death. Two others also resigned because of the investigation.

A man arrested Monday in Burke County is charged with failing to register a change of address. The Burke County Sheriff's Office arrested 35-year-old Jessie James Goin and charged him with one count of sex offender failure to change address. Following Monday's arrest, Goin was placed in jail under $25,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for today.

The 29th annual Oktoberfest is set to kick off in downtown Hickory Friday October 10 thru Sunday October 12. This year's headline performer will be The Edwin McCain Band who will take the Main Stage Saturday night at 9:30. McCain, from Greenville, South Carolina, was a touring companion with the Charleston based Hootie and the Blowfish before going on to record hits like "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More". His songs have over 25 million plays on myspace alone. He has performed at over 100 concert halls throughout the country every year, as well as the Super Bowl Village and fundraisers for Habitat for Humanity, the Wildflower Camp Foundation, Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang and many more.  The performance is free.  In other news from Oktoberfest, the 16th annual Castle of Cans will be built at the Oktoberfest celebration with all donated cans distributed to area food pantries and soup kitchens.    Cans can be donated to the Taste full of Beans in downtown Hickory, St. Alban's Episcopal Church, various Hickory schools and the Kidsfest Area of Oktoberfest  on October 10 or 11.  Last year 18,696 pounds of food was collected.  The Big Dawg 92.1 FM is a media sponsor of Oktoberfest.

A McDowell County man is charged with assaulting and choking a woman during a domestic dispute. Detective Paul Alkire of the McDowell County Sheriff's Office charged 48-year-old Monyon Edward Poteat of Marion with felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a female. It is alleged that, on Aug. 11, Poteat hit the victim, Dedra Phillips of Marion, and choked her with a clothes line during a domestic dispute. Poteat was charged that day but had been on the run from deputies since then. He was arrested early Monday morning.