News: Local News

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 03:53 PM

Number of local jobs goes up

The total number of Caldwell County residents who have jobs increased in July even as a seasonal swing in the job market statewide caused the local unemployment rate to inch slightly higher, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Company gets belated formal welcome to Lenoir

Bakers Waste opened its Lenoir plant last year, but on Wednesday morning, city and county officials, economic development representatives and the company's top staff gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to celebrate the company’s success and formally welcome the company to the area.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 08:12 AM

Using Facebook sends man to prison

A former Lenoir man who twice had been convicted of sex offenses with children is back in prison for starting a Facebook account, which as a sex offender he was not allowed to do.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 05:01 PM

Shooting believed to be self-inflicted

Granite Falls Police say that a man found with a gunshot wound Wednesday afternoon may have shot himself.

Police did not release the man's name or details about his wound.He was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 09:35 AM

Autistic artist speaks out against bullying

D.J. Svoboda will not look you in the eye. He will not reach out to shake your hand when you meet him. He speaks in an upbeat tone similar to that of a young child. However, Svoboda is 31 years old.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Cajah’s Mtn. no closer to manager decision

Members of the Cajah’s Mountain Town Council agree that they learned a lot from the forced resignation of the former town manager, but they continued Tuesday night to have trouble moving forward on how the town government should be managed.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 11:13 AM

Asheville man lost eye in wreck at Lenoir fire station

Ryan Oneal Jeffries, who crashed a car into the Lenoir Fire Department building downtown while fleeing drug investigators in October, will serve 18 to 23 years in prison. Jeffries, wearing a black eye patch because he lost his right eye from injuries in the crash, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Caldwell Superior Court to three counts of trafficking in opium, one count possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and fleeing to elude arrest.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Crime report for Aug. 27, 2014

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:58 AM

Lenoir wants better option for Smith's Crossroads

Lenoir officials hope to come up with better ideas than the state has proposed for replacing the interchange at Smith’s Crossroads, they said at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday. The plan for a wide interchange and overpass would displace more than 20 businesses.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:55 AM

Cajah's Mountain no closer to manager decision

Members of the Cajah’s Mountain Town Council agree that they learned a lot from the forced resignation of the former town manager, but they continued Tuesday night to have trouble moving forward on how the town government should be managed.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Mayor Bob Gibbs of Sawmills resigns

Sawmills' mayor resigned Monday morning, one week after turning himself in to Hudson police to face charges related to more than $11,000 in unauthorized checks on an account belonging to his father.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 07:22 AM

1 of 3 arguments defending DA Jay Gaither dropped

One of the three arguments for dismissing a sexual harassment lawsuit against District Attorney Jay Gaither was dropped, and the words "sexual needs" were dropped from another, when N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper submitted an amended version of his dismissal motion late Friday, two days after the original filing.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 06:20 AM

5-car pileup blocks N.C. 18

Two people were taken to the hospital Monday morning after a five-car accident on Morganton Boulevard in Gamewell that smashed a pickup and left the road littered with shattered glass and car parts.

Brandi Harris, 21, of U.S. 70 in Morganton was driving her 2003 Dodge pickup south on the road near Pineburr Road shortly before 8 a.m. when she hit the back of a black 1994 Toyota pickup driven by Kristen Hartley, 33, of Doe Hill Place in Lenoir, said Master Trooper K.W. Milligan of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:15 PM

Eddie Boyden Francum pleads guilty to stabbing neighbor

Eddie Boyden Francum, 62, of Hudson man pleaded guilty Monday in a severe stabbing attack on a neighbor, though his attorney said in court that the neighbor no longer is certain who stabbed him and didn’t want to pursue the case.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 08:34 PM

Valdese man drowns at Lake Rhodhiss

Gregory Bordelau of Valdese drowned at Lake Rhodhiss shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday while swimming with two friends, officials said.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 08:03 PM

Granite Falls man convicted of raping teen relative

A trembling Phillip Matthew Bright wiped his eyes with the collar of his orange jail suit as he was sentenced to 38 to 51 years in prison for repeatedly raping a teenage relative over a three-year period.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 07:13 PM

Rail crossing on N.C. 18 to become walking path

The dilapidated railroad crossing over Morganton Boulevard between Virginia Street and Harrisburg Drive in Lenoir will be removed and turned into a pedestrian crossing.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

Expiration of tax credits could slow local development

Historic properties in Lenoir like the Center Theater and the old Blue Bell factory on College Avenue may be facing tougher paths to rehabilitation, as special tax credits that help property owners are set to expire at the end of the year.

If the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are allowed to expire at the end of this year as planned, it could put a damper on the development of historic buildings all over North Carolina, including Lenoir and Caldwell County.

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 06:02 PM

Man drowns on Lake Rhodhiss

A 40-year-old man drowned just before 4 a.m. Sunday on Lake Rhodhiss after either slipping or jumping off some rocks above the Rhodhiss dam, said Capt. B.J. Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

Aug. 23, 2014 @ 07:41 PM

Crime report for Aug. 24, 2014

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:44 PM

6 from Caldwell get college scholarships from electric company

Six Caldwell County students received scholarships from Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 02:43 PM

Raw sewage leaks from broken pipe in Lenoir

A broken pipe released about 1,700 gallons of untreated sewage into a creek off Harper Avenue on Thursday, the City of Lenoir announced Friday.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

Club-wielding men ransack disabled man's house

The three strokes 55-year-old Johnny Staley endured left him mostly wheelchair-bound, so when two men carrying clubs and wearing hoodies and gloves forced their way into his Starcross Road home Wednesday night, he feared for his life.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

Mother and son a constant presence at soup kitchen

Seventy-five-year-old Dorothy "Dot" Ruppard adjusts her hair net, slips on a white apron that ties in the front and wriggles her hands into the thin latex gloves. It is 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, and the line into the Lenoir Soup Kitchen stretches out the door and beyond. Soon after, her son, 43-year-old Marshall Ruppard, a Lenoir master police officer, strides in to keep order.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:17 AM

Livestock in Sawmills town limits now legal

Sawmills residents who own livestock within the town limits are no longer automatically breaking the law.

An amendment to town ordinances approved Tuesday by the Sawmills Town Council specifies livestock that are allowed, including horses, cows, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, mules, donkeys and swine.