News: Local News

Dec. 18, 2014 @ 08:15 AM

Piedmont Cleaners sued by DENR for non-compliance

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Waste Management filed a complaint in Caldwell Superior Court claiming the owner of Piedmont Cleaners, Dan McGuuire, owes thousands of dollars in civil penalties for failing to properly store dangerous chemicals, namely perchloroethylene, not maintaining records of chemical purchases and storage data, and failing to seal waste containers.

Dec. 18, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Nine arrested in unrelated drug investigations

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested nine people Monday in unrelated drug investigations, resulting in a total of 40 felony drug charges.

Dec. 17, 2014 @ 04:42 PM

Wakefield named new Caldwell DSS director

With the new year, the Caldwell County Department of Social Services will get a new leader.

Will Wakefield, currently program administrator for Adult and Family Support Services, on Jan. 1 will replace Joyce Edwards, the current director of DSS, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the department. Wakefield’s appointment was approved Tuesday by the Caldwell County Board of Social Services.

Dec. 17, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Sawmills Public Works swimming in sewer costs

Sawmills will pay nearly 43 percent more than expected for a sewer project, so the town will have to postpone a separate water project.

Two years ago, the Sawmills Public Works Department budgeted $634,000 for construction of the Duff Drive Area Sewer Project, which will extend sewer access to 70 homes and upgrade the Mayfield pump station.

Dec. 17, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

Child abuse suspected after infant injured

A 3-month-old Granite Falls girl has six broken ribs, bleeding in the brain and a fractured leg, and state and local officials are investigating how the child was injured.

Dec. 17, 2014 @ 08:17 AM

Crash victim officially identified

The body of Jamie Lynn Branson Miller, burned beyond recognition in a crash Thursday, was identified by a medical examiner using dental records, the N.C. Highway Patrol said on Tuesday.

Dec. 16, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

Granite Falls house shines with holiday cheer

In Mark Kiser’s backyard are wooden reindeer 10 feet tall with LED reins leading back to a towering wooden ark. An inflatable Santa Claus sits on top where typically one would expect to find Noah. The ark is the newest addition to the Christmas extravaganza Kiser sets up in his front and back yards every year.

Dec. 16, 2014 @ 10:36 AM

County approves $110,000 in job incentives

Caldwell County will spend up to $110,000 on incentives for three companies expanding their operations over the next two years.

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved Monday night paying $2,000 for each new full-time job created by Associated Hardwoods, Timber Wolf Forest Products and Dafco Inc. The incentives are to be paid only after the jobs are created.

Dec. 16, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Earthquake ‘almost like an explosion’

The earth moved early Monday, and it created quite a racket.

At 1:44 a.m., the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 3.0-magnitude earthquake centered nine miles north of Lenoir. An earthquake measuring 3.0 to 3.9 is often felt and can even cause noticeable shaking of household objects but rarely causes damage.

Dec. 16, 2014 @ 08:33 AM

Caldwell school board dropped from civil suit

The Caldwell County Board of Education was dismissed Friday as a defendant in a lawsuit by the family of a former high school wrestler who was severely injured during a match at Hibriten High School in 2011.

Dec. 14, 2014 @ 08:33 AM

Family believes woman died in crash

Highway Patrol troopers weren't positive who it was who was killed and then burned beyond recognition in a head-on collision on Morganton Boulevard Thursday morning, but Barbara Bowlin felt sure it was her granddaughter, Jamie Lynn Branson Miller.

Dec. 14, 2014 @ 07:11 AM

Man continues tradition of placing wreath at site of daughter's killing

Since 2002, Horace Harshaw has honored the life of his daughter, Dekonna Harshaw, 23, who was shot in the head on Dec. 12, 2001, at the intersection of Finley Avenue and Healan Place.

Dec. 13, 2014 @ 05:09 PM

Black residents called to get involved

A “die in” in front of St. Paul AME Church followed more than an hour of speeches, song, poetry and prayer at #BlackLivesMatter, Lenoir’s contribution to a nationwide day of activities speaking out about recent grand jury decisions to not indict officers in the deaths of Brown and of Eric Garner of Staten Island, N.Y.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 03:10 PM

Antique nativity scene gains notice

Along Hartland Road, motorists are slowing down to catch a glimpse of a nativity scene that is back on display after more than 50 years in storage.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 03:08 PM

Speakers and ‘die-in’ add to larger discussion

This Saturday, people will gather in Lenoir to voice their response to recent grand jury decisions against indicting police officers in the deaths of black men and one young boy, and in support of the victims’ families.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Garon Mabe denies buying stolen jewelry

A jewelry store owner accused of buying stolen jewelry from an undercover officer said in a phone interview that he never was told the jewelry was stolen.

Dec. 12, 2014 @ 08:08 AM

Wreck kills one, severely burns another

A head-on collision between a pickup and a tractor-trailer Thursday morning on Morganton Boulevard killed the passenger in the pickup and left its driver in critical condition and badly burned.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

Rhodhiss gambles on waiting

Rhodhiss officials are teetering back and forth on whether to raise water and sewer rates another 30 percent because problems at the state level have delayed the grant money they are relying to pay for expensive and much-needed water and sewer repairs. But by holding off on raising rates, the town risks not having money available to fix a large break in the lines, Town Manager Art Delaney said.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

Service brings people together in spirit of Christmas

In 1971, about a dozen people gathered for a church service to show their unity and support for each other after a trying time of civil unrest and racial tensions in Lenoir.

It featured no sermon, no collection plates, no denomination and no prejudices.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

Woman pleads guilty for role in DWI death

A woman who drove a drunken man away from a bad car wreck he caused will be on probation for a year and a half but will not spend any time in jail.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

Greer Labs drops Hazel Hayes lawsuit

Following an out-of-court settlement reached last month, Greer Laboratories' lawsuit against longtime employee Hazel Hayes has officially been dismissed, but a separate lawsuit stemming from the embezzlement allegations will continue.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 06:19 AM

'Personal experience' for parents at Toy Store

Toys of all sizes, shapes and colors fill nearly every inch of what used to be a bomb shelter underneath the First Baptist Church in Hudson and is now called the Toy Store. Today, the church opens the doors to parents who have signed up to pick out eight items for each of their kids to leave a special surprise under the tree on Christmas morning.

Dec. 11, 2014 @ 06:17 AM

Arts Council wishes students Merry Christmas with 'Christmas Carol'

Jeremy Webb morphed from narrator to Ebenezer Scrooge to Bob Cratchit and most of the other characters from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center on Wednesday in a show for students, who laughed, screamed and applauded this version's fun, upbeat retelling of the famous seasonal story.

Dec. 10, 2014 @ 08:44 AM

Joseph Scott Roland convicted in Ralph Michael Prestwood's death

A man accused of fleeing a wreck in 2011 that grievously injured a Lenoir man who later died avoided a possible murder conviction by pleading guilty to reduced charges Tuesday in Caldwell Superior Court. Before being sentenced, Joseph Scott Roland, 31, of Union Baptist Road in Oak Hill turned in the courtroom to address the family of his victim, Ralph Michael Prestwood, 58, of Countryside Drive.

Dec. 10, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

Caldwell County employment hits 6-year high

There are more people working than in any month since October 2008, according to the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of people reported with jobs was more than 36,400 in October 2014, compared to a little more than 35,100 in October 2008.