News: Local News

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 02:57 PM

County may get new mental health facility, save costs

Caldwell County may get a brand new mental health facility that won’t cost the county anything but could end up saving the county and Lenoir nearly $150,000 annually.

The county board of commissioners voted Monday night to apply on behalf of Smoky Mountain Center and RHA Health Services, two mental-health service providers, for a $750,000 grant from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency for the construction of a facility that would be the Caldwell County Mental Health Building, 2415 Morganton Blvd. SW and would be operated by RHA and Smoky Mountain.

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 02:08 PM

Bernhardt’s roots lie deep in Caldwell County

John Christian Bernhardt’s love of learning was surpassed only by his love for people, said his son.

“No one worked for him. They worked with him,” Alex Bernhardt Sr. said. “He loved the people. He loved the customers. He treated everybody as equals.”

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 01:40 PM

Granite Falls to clean up properties

Granite Falls will hire contractors to clean up three rundown, abandoned properties. Town Planner Greg Wilson told the town council that the properties ­— 3 McCall Place, 160 N. Main St. and 11 Sunset St. — are public safety violations and fire hazards.

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 01:39 PM

Lenoir police dogs to the rescue

The Lenoir Police Department expects the best from the best, and that goes for its K9 German shepherds as well. Mato, Nero and Cerick are all from bloodlines bred overseas.

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 07:11 AM

Jail overcrowding pinching county coffers

Caldwell County is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars more than originally expected to house local inmates in other counties’ jails.

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 02:13 PM

Memories of the Southern Furniture Market

Furniture companies from near and far trooped off to High Point last week to get ready for this weekend’s opening of the International Home Furnishings Market, where manufacturers show their latest and greatest to potential buyers.

People with local companies used to be able to stay at home.

It’s been 30 years since the Southern Furniture Market filled the streets of Lenoir with people, flooding local restaurants and other businesses with furniture buyers and salesmen from across the country.

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 02:10 PM

Gun-rights advocate visits Caldwell

Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff and a prominent gun-rights advocate, said in Lenoir on Saturday that with the way the federal government is handling business, “America will die” because it does not support the Constitution.

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 02:06 PM

Derby cars fly by gravity

A gigantic Jumbotron loomed near the starting line of the fourth annual Gravity Games. It was the newest addition to Google’s soap box derby race, allowing spectators and racers to see every second of each race as the cars flew down Ashe Avenue, running a stoplight and breaking the 20 mph speed limit. After each race, a Google Doc appeared on the screen, reporting times for each car and easily keeping track of the teams.

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

Students get chance to play legislators

Eating while driving. Mental health evaluations for children with divorced parents. Raising the dropout age to 18. Setting an age requirement to purchase pornographic literature such as “50 Shades of Grey.” Jamie Lewis’ Speech and Debate class of Hibriten High School wrote and debated bills on these topics and more at the annual North Carolina Youth Legislative Assembly.

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 12:32 PM

A show full of Southern heart

Apr. 05, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

Education in rural schools prepared Whisnant well

James Miller Whisnant walked into his first class at North Carolina State University nervous and concerned. He wondered how he would stack up against students from cities like Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. Born and raised in a rural, country setting between Whitnel and Baton, Whisnant thought that maybe his education at Hudson High School wouldn’t stack up at N.C. State. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Pisgah National Forest gains 212 acres in Caldwell

Public forestlands in Caldwell County continue to grow, as the U.S. Forest Service, partnering with The Conservation Fund,  added 212 acres near the Globe Township to the Pisgah National Forest.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

New tourism effort targets traditional music

Places in Caldwell County that host performances of traditional music are being invited to add their events to a new website targeting tourists interested in the music.

The site,, which formally launches next week but already is online, is currently the most visible part of efforts begun last year to create the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, this state’s counterpart to Virginia’s Crooked Road, a 333-mile-long trail through southwestern Virginia.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:15 AM

Masked gunman robs Ruby Tuesday

Police are looking for a man who robbed the Ruby Tuesday restaurant at gunpoint late Wednesday night.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:50 AM

Caldwell is Hiring draws hundreds for most diverse job set yet

Hundreds of people made their way through the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center Thursday for the Caldwell is Hiring job fair, sifting through the hundreds of available jobs – the most diverse grouping for the event since it started in 2010.

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 08:27 AM

Hudson man convicted of rape

A man who already was on probation from a 2004 conviction for molesting his 9-year-old daughter was convicted Wednesday on charges that he raped his son’s 15-year-old ex-girlfriend in 2009.

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 06:47 AM

'Nutra-Man' to the rescue, 8th graders creating wall mural

Watching over the eating students of Hudson Middle School, Nutra-Man -- part man but mostly Hudson hornet -- reminds kids about the importance of eating nutritious foods. He’s big, strong, bursting from a concrete wall, and nearly finished.

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 06:45 AM

Little's big footsteps forward for Robin's Nest

Alisha Little says she has always been running. It's one of the things she does for herself. Her job, and one of the things she does for others, is working with children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse. On April 24, she will blend the two and take on the Boston Marathon while wearing colors in support of Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center in Lenoir.

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 06:40 AM

Adaptation of "Alice" gives monster more time

Though film versions of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" focus much attention on the Queen of Hearts, the mythical monster the Jabberwock takes center stage in the adaptation that opens tonight at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

Mischief interrupted Tuttle's educational achievements

Getting expelled from school helped Magruder Hill Tuttle Jr. realize his love of learning. When Tuttle was in ninth grade in the mid-1920s, he and his friends took a cherry bomb firecracker and set it off outside a classroom at Lenoir High School. They laughed with glee as it exploded with a shocking boom, rattling the schoolhouse windows. Tuttle was expelled, but he eventually realized that school was where he needed to be.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

Smith Crossroads to get facelift

Smith Crossroads will get a slight facelift in coming weeks, thanks to a $120,000 agreement between Lenoir and the N.C. Department of Transportation approved by the Lenoir City Council on Tuesday night.

The money will be used to extend the retaining wall on the southwest corner the intersection farther south along U.S. 321 all the way to the entrance to the Broyhill House.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

U.S. Senate candidate strikes chord with Caldwell Tea Party

The crowd that gathered in the Caldwell County Library Tuesday night was inspired, enthused and even brought to tears by Mark Harris, a U.S. Senate candidate hoping to win a crowded Republican primary.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Man nabbed in sex sting convicted

A man arrested in a sex-crimes sting two months ago pleaded guilty Monday felony solicitation by a computer for sex.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 08:08 AM

Former teacher assistant convicted of meth charges

Not everyone buys thousands of matchbooks.

But Marc Delane Hodges, 51, at the time a teacher assistant at Caldwell Career Center Middle College, kept coming into a local store and buying large amounts of matchbooks, as well as liquid peroxide, prosecutors said.