WMNC News, Thursday, October 30th
A Catawba County doctor charged with a felony drug offense made a first court appearance Wednesday in Newton. Dr. John Kessel is accused of drug trafficking after the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said they found more than 200 pills of Oxycodone in his car during a traffic stop. Kessel is charged with trafficking opium, the charge was filed after Deputies said they found those pills inside his car during a traffic stop less than a mile from the medical clinic and pharmacy where he worked in Hickory. WSOC reports that Kessel can no longer prescribe medication after surrendering his DEA registration number. Kessel's probable cause hearing is scheduled for November 19.
Voter turnout in Burke, Catawba, and Caldwell Counties has been very steady since the beginning of early voting last Thursday. As of Wednesday, 6,971 voters had cast ballots in Burke County, 5,482 in Caldwell, and 11,554 in Catawba. Early voting continues until 1 p.m. Saturday. In Catawba County, four of five early voting sites close at 7 p.m. Friday, the Newton Library location will remain open until 1 p.m. Saturday.
A heroin charge has been filed against a Burke County woman arrested this morning in Catawba County. 24-year-old Angela Marie Grater of Morganton was arrested by the Hickory Police Department and charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following this morning's arrest, Grater was placed in the Catawba County Jail under $3,000 bond, a court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
Authorities are warning residents of an area county to be aware of a scam. McDowell County sheriff's deputies are advising local residents to be aware of con artist callers posing as IRS employees. The culprits are telling folks that they have penalties against them, and they need to send a money order to the IRS. It's a scam, and citizens shouldn't fall for it. "The IRS does not call people and ask for money," said Capt. Shanon Smith. "They will send any correspondence through the U.S. Postal Service." A couple of cases have been reported in McDowell. If you have any questions or for more information, call the McDowell County Sheriff's Office at 652-2235.