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50 Years Ago in Burke County
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50 Years Ago in Burke County

50 Years Ago in Burke County

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Four charges result from high-speed chase

Gary Ronald Gray, 16, of the St. Stephens’ section of Hickory, was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail this morning after leading a Burke County deputy on a high speed chase at 2:35 a.m.

While on routine patrol, Deputy Tony Paterno stopped to check a car in the parking lot of Snack Bar No. 5 in Hildebran. The driver of the 1969 Ford saw the patrol car and immediately fled.

Paterno gave chase on U.S. 70 West. The chase continued on N.C. 10, where the speeding car spun out of control in the front yard of Glenn Huffman. The gray car then tried to ram the deputy’s car. Paterno backed off and gave chase again as the Ford took off.

Paterno chased the car through Hildebran at speeds more than 80 mph. Outside of Hildebran, the car spun out of control and wrecked in a ditch.

Gray was charged with having no operator’s license, speeding 86 mph in a 55 mph zone, reckless driving and speeding in order to elude an officer.

County authorizes two new deputies

A $155.24 budget for the Burke County Sheriff’s Department was tentatively approved last night by county commissioners after prolonged debate.

The approved budget included salaries for two additional deputies who would be employed at base pay. The additional deputies will facilitate the adoption of eight-hour shifts under a plan announced by Sheriff Alvin H. Wise at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The commissioners all agreed that Sheriff Wise was doing a fine job and that his reputation as an excellent law enforcement official was being borne out in his present office.

Points of contention, however, occurred over the roles and the county’s liability for special deputies, lack of continuous training for deputies and continuously rising uniform costs.

Black to head Burke United fund drive

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Otto H. Woerner, president of the Burke County United Fund, announced the appointment of James T. Black as general chair of the 1971-72 fund campaign.

Black is manager of the Morganton-Lenoir District of Piedmont Natural Gas Company.

Organizational work for the annual drive is already underway, and other key people in the campaign will be announced later.

This year’s chair has been active in the United Fund, holding several positions in the commercial division. He served as commercial division chair last year.

Black is a member and past president of the Morganton Rotary Club, past president of the Morganton-Burke Merchants Association, and past vice-president and director of the Burke County Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Mimosa Hills Golf Club.

He serves as chair of the board of deacons at First Baptist Church of Morganton, where he is a member, and has taught a 10-year-old boys’ Sunday school class there for 31 years. He was training union director for 15 years.

The Morganton native graduated from Morganton High School and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He was in the bottled gas business for several years before joining Piedmont Natural Gas in 1957. He and his wife, the former Margaret Ramsey of Valdese, reside at 219 Forest Hill St.

In the service

Pvt. Terry W. Reeves, 19, whose wife, Kathy, lives on Route 9 in Morganton, recently completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

He received instruction in drill and ceremony, weapons, map reading, combat tactics, military justice, first aid and Army history and traditions.

Reeves’ mother, Mrs. Lavada Morgartie, lives on Route 2 in Connelly Springs.

Airman Danny E. Isenhour, son of Mrs. Kathleen R. Isenhour of Rutherford Collee, has arrived for duty at Taipei Air Force Base in Taiwan.

Isenhour, a supply specialist, was assigned to a unit of the Air Force communications service, which provides global combat communications and air traffic control for the USAF. He previously served at England Air Force Base in Louisiana.

The airman, a 1965 graduate of Valdese High School, received a bachelor’s degree in 1969 from the University of North Carolina.

This article is sponsored by the History Museum of Burke County, where the archives of The News Herald are stored. Jimmy Rhyne is the researcher of the archives.

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