Author Archives: WSTP News Dept

Police find pot in a Mason jar, man charged


Posted: Jan 29, 2015 9:40 AM EST Updated: Jan 29, 2015 9:40 AM EST



Typically, when it comes to their use in criminal activity, you may think of Mason jars being used to transport “white lighting,” but a Salisbury police officer discovered such a jar being used for a different purpose on Wednesday.

Several officers were working in the area of Ludwick Avenue in Salisbury because of a recent increase in calls from that area.  One officer spotted Dashon Hopkins, 20, in front of a house at 355 Ludwick Ave.  The officer went to talk to Hopkins and asked to see the backpack he was carrying.

According to the report, the officer found a Mason jar containing 28 grams of marijuana.  Hopkins was also carrying a set of scales.

Police say jars like that are often used because they help to hide the normally strong smell of the marijuana plant.

Hopkins was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and with having drug paraphernalia.  He was released from jail on $2500 bond.

Considered one of the best guitarists in the world, Phil Keaggy comes to Salisbury


Keaggy with Paul McCartney, photo from easyreadernews.comKeaggy with Paul McCartney, photo from

Posted: Jan 28, 2015 7:30 AM EST Updated: Jan 28, 2015 7:34 AM EST

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – Phil Keaggy is considered to be one of the world’s best guitarists, and that reputation is well deserved.  Next week he’ll bring his signature style to Salisbury with a performance at the Lee Street Theatre on February 6.

Over his career Keaggy has released more than 50 albums and has been the seven time winner of the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for best instrumental.

Keaggy’s career began in the midwest in the 1960’s when he played with various rock bands, most notably a band named Glass Harp that opened for such well known acts as The Kinks, Iron Butterfly, Yes, Grand Funk Railroad, and Traffic.

Keaggy’s first solo album was released in 1973 at a time when his Christian faith came to the forefront of his music.  As the Christian music industry began to grow in the mid to late 80’s, Keaggy won his first Dove award for the instrumental album The Wind and the Wheat.

Keaggy performs all over the country doing mostly acoustic shows and occasional concerts with a band, according to his web site.  “He is aware that God gave him a calling to deliver the Gospel through his music,” the site says.  “And for over 30 years, Phil Keaggy has been grateful to do just that, and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come.”

Keaggy’s stop in Salisbury takes place on Friday, February 6 at Le Street Theatre.  Tickets are limited.  Call 704-310-5507 for more details.

HUD’s “Point In Time” survey to determine number of homeless people in Rowan

Posted: Jan 29, 2015 7:03 AM EST Updated: Jan 29, 2015 7:03 AM EST

How many homeless people are there in Rowan County on any given night?  Information collected on Wednesday could help the community and local agencies to gain an accurate idea of how many folks are without homes.

Volunteers and Rowan County agencies that serve homeless individuals have been asking where people were they slept on the night of January 28. The volunteers are trying to identify homeless individuals and families.

HUD, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, asks each county in the U. S. to count homeless individuals and families on the last Wednesday night on odd numbered years.

In North Carolina the count is done each year. The count, officially called the Point-in-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) is organized locally.

The lead agency in 2015 in Rowan County is Rowan Helping Miniseries.

The count is for both Sheltered and Unsheltered individuals and families.

Since 2012 students from Catawba College, majoring in Sociology, interviewed guests at Rowan Helping Ministries. These students asked a series of questions of each guest in an effort to identify trends and needs common among this population.

This year HUD is focusing on Homeless Veterans and the Chronically Homeless as a target population. A person is Chronically Homeless if they have been continuously homeless for more than one year or homeless four times in the last three years.

The 2014 count showed 184 homeless individuals on that one night in Rowan County. The numbers for the 2015 count will not be final for several days.

Tickets for popular train excursion now on sale

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon

Posted: Jan 29, 2015 7:30 AM EST Updated: Jan 29, 2015 7:30 AM EST

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Historical Society and Museum will host a journey to our nation’s capital. The Capital City Special is a 4-day/3-night scenic excursion from the Piedmont of North Carolina to Washington, D.C., aboard two vintage rail cars, the St. Augustine and the Crescent Harbor. Slated for March 12-15, this year’s trip is expanded, with an extra day of sightseeing and travel.

Tickets are available by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 224 or online

Thursday, passengers will board at the Charlotte, Salisbury, Greensboro or Cary Amtrak stations.

Following a picturesque journey by rail, our travelers will arrive in Alexandria, VA, just outside of the nation’s capital. After a short stop at the hotel, motorcoaches will provide transportation into historic Old Town Alexandria for dinner. Passengers will then enjoy an exciting evening of sightseeing, as they explore the national monuments by moonlight.

Friday, visitors will start the day with a morning tour of Arlington National Cemetery, followed by lunch and an afternoon tour of Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington.  Dinner and shopping in Old Town Alexandria will follow, with an evening cruise along the Potomac River to see the nighttime sights.

Saturday morning features a second monument tour in the heart of D.C., followed by a late morning tour of Ford’s Theatre, site of one of the nation’s greatest tragedies.  Visitors will then have the opportunity to explore the National Mall, with time for lunch, shopping and touring the 10 Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery of Art or the National Archives & Records Administration.  The evening will conclude with a walking tour and dinner in Georgetown.

Sunday morning, passengers will stroll through Old Town Alexandria, once home to George

Washington and Robert E. Lee.  Tour guides will provide entertaining stories as they share the town’s rich history.  Passengers will travel to the Alexandria Amtrak Station later in the morning for the return trip home.

Tickets include the round trip ride to Alexandria, motorcoach transportation, hotel accommodations, monument tours, Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theatre, the Smithsonian Museums, Mt. Vernon, and Old Town Alexandria, as well as the Potomac River cruise.

There are two choices for seating options.  Deluxe Coach Class features comfortable coach-configuration seating aboard the St. Augustine passenger car at a cost of $760 per person for double occupancy or $900 per person for single occupancy. Lounge seating is available aboard the Crescent Harbor Lounge Car with passengers enjoying a relaxed atmosphere, seated in the front lounge area or private compartments as space allows. Lounge Class seating is $910 per person for double occupancy and $1050 per person for single occupancy.  Both classes feature comfort seating, access to the Amtrak cafe car, and an optional box lunch for an additional charge.

Tickets are non-refundable. If an emergency arises and passengers are unable to attend, they are asked to contact the N.C. Transportation Museum for information on converting the ticket purchase into a charitable donation. Passengers are also welcome to gift or sell their ticket to other individuals, though prior notification is required in order to coordinate hotel reservations.

Ticket discounts are available to family-level members of the N.C. Transportation Museum at the time of purchase, by phone or online.  Discounts are also available to members of the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society and Museum by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 224.

This trip is not handicap accessible.  Historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment, like that used on this excursion, is exempt from ADA regulations under U.S. Code: Title 42:  Section 12184.  While all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate differently-abled passengers, platforms, boarding areas, stairs, step-stools, seating, doorways, passageways, aisles and onboard restrooms may not accommodate all passengers.

The N.C. Transportation Museum Foundation and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical

Society and Museum reserve the right to cancel trips with full refunds if the minimum capacity requirements are not met.

About the N.C. Transportation Museum

The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway repair facility is located just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, N.C., and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by former Salisbury Mayor and now Secretary Susan W. Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of State Archives, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

Sweet Meadow Cafe opening to draw more business downtown?


Posted: Jan 28, 2015 3:00 PM ESTUpdated: Jan 28, 2015 5:01 PM EST

Saturday, NC (WBTV) – On Sunday the Sweet Meadow Cafe will be open for business in the new location in the old Bernhardt’s Hardware building.

“Oh my gosh I am so excited to get this restaurant open it’s ridiculous,” owner Heather Teeter told WBTV.

The opening is highly anticipated due to the reputation the restaurant had already established from years in the location around the corner in the 100 block of W. Innes. Now there is hope that Sweet Meadow could also be attractive to developers and other new businesses on N. Main.

“I’d like to think that we could act as a magnet to bring more businesses, more attention, more vitality to the 100 block of N. Main St in particular and downtown as a whole,” Teeter added. “I am very much a downtown advocate.”

Across the street at Guitars USA, partner David Brown agrees that the Sweet Meadow opening will be a key in revitalizing an area that still has a lot of empty storefronts.

“I think that’s one of the great things about our revitalization downtown and so forth, to get back to the point where we get the community together and enjoy these things and the services provided,” Brown told WBTV. “We’re excited about the people across the street because not only are they friends but once again it adds another piece to the puzzle, or the cog that builds the downtown to say hey you can come down there and have an enjoyable time.”

Guitars USA has been opened for just over fifteen months and Brown says business is good. The store offers all kinds of musical equipment and instruments, lessons, and personalized service.

“It’s doing pretty well, we’ve had a real good first year, we need to keep definitely building the business and getting better known in the area,” Brown added.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in our downtown and I’m excited,” said Mark Lewis, President of Downtown Salisbury Incorporated. Lewis says the Sweet Meadow opening and the revitalization of the Bernhardt’s building is a good example of what can be accomplished. “There’s a lot of good things going on but the economy is still been rather tough,”

Even with the good news there are glaring examples of businesses that did not make it and plenty of empty storefronts that Lewis would like to see filled.

“People ask me why we see businesses going out of business in our downtown and I tell people it’s not just the downtown,” Lewis added. “Businesses go out of business everyday and new businesses come in behind them. The truth of the matter is that a lot of our older buildings in the downtown, the per square footage lease rates are lower than they would be say at at Lowe’s Super Plaza, so we have folks who are just trying to get into business showing up and they’re often times not as well capitalized, don’t have business plans, etc.”

Sweet Meadow is just such an example, according to Lewis. The restaurant began in the small W. Innes location, then developed a business model that clearly worked and made the restaurant successful enough that it needed more space.

Other large scale locations like the Washington Building on N. Main, and the old hotel on S. Main have their own challenges, according to Lewis.

“There are two or three pivotal properties, one of those is the Empire Hotel and it’s a 100,000 square feet,” Lewis added. Downtown Salisbury owns that and we’re trying to market it for redevelopment. The street level spaces, they can still be occupied but nobody is going to spend any money there, we can’t sign a long term lease because we’re trying to redevelop the building, so that in and of itself creates an issue.”

Still, Lewis says the interest that is being shown right now in downtown is encouraging.