News: Local News

Jul. 27, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

Friend dead, husband in jail

Forty-one-year old Teresa Hall Sparks' face wrenches tightly when she talks about Sammy William Sturgill. The two, in her words, were "running partners" for most of the three years leading up to his stabbing death on June 24. But the one man she says she truly loved, Bobby Dean Sparks, sits in jail charged with murder in Sturgill's death.

The last time she saw either of them was as she was being loaded into an ambulance.


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 09:37 PM

Community calendar for week of July 27


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 08:38 PM

Local briefs for July 27


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 07:21 PM

Crime report for July 27, 2014


Jul. 26, 2014 @ 03:28 PM

Woman recovering from poisonous snakebite

The sharp pin-pricks drew a trickle of blood, but Nancy Mitchell figured the injury was from a holly bush leaf that stuck her finger as she reached down to switch off a garden light at her backyard patio. But the sight of unmistakeable brown-red markings quickly slithering away soon convinced her otherwise.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 01:51 PM

Summer camp teaches robotics, engineering

In a classroom at the Patterson Science Center this week, everywhere you looked there were robotics in the making — Lego robotic puppies, copper spiders and moving paper hands.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 01:51 PM

Beach coming to Caldwell County

The first SunTrust Summer Bash will bring a bit of the coast to the foothills, complete with sand, beach music and shag dancing.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 01:48 PM

Scam makes people think electric bill overdue

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. is warning about a scam that seeks to get customers' debit card or credit card information.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 08:15 AM

Four accused of trying to escape police

Four Lenoir residents are accused of trying to get away from police Wednesday night by speeding away in an SUV, then running off when it wrecked.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 01:01 PM

Lenoir man charged in Burke break-in

A Lenoir man is accused of breaking into a convenience store in Morganton and stealing a large number of cigarettes.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 09:16 AM

Granite Falls hit by fruity graffiti

They are easily seen as you drive along Main Street in Granite Falls. Three neon-pink-and-yellow peaches, about 3 feet in diameter, have been spray-painted on the walls of businesses. Police do not know who is responsible.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 06:47 AM

Sawmills Veterans Park restroom bid approved

The new restrooms for Sawmills Veterans Park were ordered on Wednesday. CXT Inc. will ship the restrooms and install them within 90 days.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 06:42 AM

Straight from the farm to the Bistro

Tina Nordan's goal is for her restaurant to get as much of its food and ingredients from local sources as possible.

She has found that can sometimes be a challenge.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 05:45 AM

Kids pop with excitement for pop-ups

“This is about you guys being as creative as you want,” Erica Lein, youth services librarian, told the children gathered around the tables of paper, markers and scissors at the Lenoir branch of the Caldwell County Public Library.

However, creativity was not the problem at Wednesday’s make your own pop-up craft. It was actually understanding the instructions.


Jul. 24, 2014 @ 05:41 AM

Study of local agriculture extends to fish bellies

Underneath the murky brown water, prehistoric-looking creatures swam with gaping mouths and aimlessly staring eyes. Their bodies were long and bony with flat fins and long noses. They moved about in huge cement pools, swarming underneath the mouths of automatic feeders, at a warehouse in Happy Valley.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 01:58 PM

Farmers market provides food and play

Jarae Garcia, 6, and Harold Garcia, 4, ran in the grass at the Sawmills Farmers Market under a sky of thick, rolling clouds. They were celebrating Physical Activity Day at Kids’s Corner, a special tent for children at the farmers market, hosted by the Caldwell County Health Department.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 01:33 PM

Relatives: Killing could have been avoided

Among the frustrations felt by relatives of Bobby Dean Sparks is that the man he is accused of killing on June 24, Sammy William Sturgill, might have been in jail awaiting trial in a stabbing but had been released less than three months earlier for reasons that officials will not explain.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 09:24 AM

Building a new home for the homeless

Elizabeth Norris pointed through walls made only of two-by-fours, telling a group of visitors that this space, now only concrete and bare walls, will be a kitchen, a dining room, a sleeping area — a home for Lenoir’s homeless.

Norris led a tour Tuesday evening of the new LEOS Place, or Lenoir Emergency Outreach Shelter, the only homeless shelter in the area.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 09:22 AM

Eola Beer Company set to open next week

The old Lenoir bus station on Harper Avenue has sprung back to life in recent weeks, with interior walls coming down and new equipment going up, transforming the building into what its owner hopes will be a first-rate gastropub.


Jul. 23, 2014 @ 08:12 AM

Car going 100 when it crashed, trooper says

A Caldwell County man was driving about 100 miles per hour down U.S. 321 north of Lenoir when he lost control of the car late Monday afternoon and wrecked, the N.C. Highway Patrol reported.


Jul. 22, 2014 @ 08:24 PM

New rules on paving divide Sawmills' council

Sawmills now will take over a private road only if all of the property owners agree in writing, which for the first time will require the property owners to pay half the cost of paving the road, according to new private street acceptance procedures the town council approved Tuesday night.


Jul. 22, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

Granite Falls festival to have beer garden

This year’s Granite Falls “Festival on Main” in September will have its first beer garden.

Seth Eckard, president of the Granite Falls Rotary Club, presented the Granite Falls Town Council with a petition for a beer garden, which was unanimously approved at Tuesday evening’s meeting.


Jul. 22, 2014 @ 08:28 AM

Car crash 'was like a jet coming at us'

Geralene Patterson cannot wipe the horrible, deafening screech of crunching metal from her mind, nor the moments after she learned that she and her friend Adrienne Campbell were the only survivors of the crash last Wednesday evening in Gamewell.


Jul. 20, 2014 @ 08:54 AM

Japanese weed a growing problem at Wilson Creek

In the 1920s, Bill Crump ordered a packet of seeds from a Sears Roebuck catalog to help him stave erosion after a flood washed through his woodworking mill in Cary’s Flat, near the headwaters of Wilson Creek.

In the 70 years since then, the plant that grew from those seeds, Japanese knotweed, has multiplied exponentially, migrated down the creek and taken up residence along uninhabited stream banks.


Jul. 20, 2014 @ 06:34 AM

Sawmills is fired up for kickball

The heat of the July sun baked the field and players at Sawmills Veterans Park. A small crowd cheered encouragement from the sidelines, including the mayor of Sawmills, Bob Gibbs, sitting in a fold-out chair with a floppy sunhat on his bald head.