News: Local News

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.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 08:24 AM

Fire destroys couple's mobile home

David Snyder Jr. and his wife, Pauline, started Tuesday celebrating their ninth anniversary. Their day was actually on March 29, but he finally had money this week to buy her a necklace and take her to lunch at AJ's Family Steakhouse.

Apr. 02, 2014 @ 06:33 AM

CCC&TI celebrates 50 years

Today is Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute's birthday. Sort of. The college's charter was signed on this day in 1964. But in 1964, there was no campus.

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 08:25 AM

Former EMS director apologizes for racial slurs

A former Caldwell County Emergency Management Services director apologized in court Monday to a former employee for nearly five years of racial slurs he made at work.

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 08:22 AM

Local officials question area's low ranking in health survey

The metropolitan statistical area that includes Lenoir rates among the worst places in the country in terms of the overall well-being of its citizens, according to an annual report issued Friday.

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area ranked 185th out of 189 areas in the 2013 Gallup-Healthways State of America Well-Being Report. The report is based on a survey of 531,630 people nationwide about their quality of life, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access to health facilities.

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 06:13 AM

Students put final touches on race cars

At Hibriten High School, Charlie Davis, Hunter Justice and William Kent gathered with pride and beaming smiles around the mostly finished car they are building. The fire-engine-red body shimmered in the light from the recently applied spray paint. The car still had no steering wheel, and two of the wheels will be replaced with more road-friendly tires.

Mar. 30, 2014 @ 08:07 AM

Sheriff candidates agree to debate

The two Republican candidates for Caldwell County sheriff appeared to agree Saturday to a debate, though there was no discussion of where or when it might take place.

Mar. 30, 2014 @ 07:59 AM

Classrooms' future cast in bluish light

Dim, bluish lights often glow in John Spicer’s darkened U.S. History class at Hibriton High School. The overhead fluorescent lights overhead are off. You couldn’t see what you were writing in your notebook. But none of the students have notebooks before them.

In fact, there are no papers, pencils, pens or erasers either. Instead, students sit with a lightweight Google Chromebook before them, lighting their faces in a soft, bluish glow. In Spicer’s class, they do not need anything else.

This is the type of scene Caldwell County Schools officials are pushing for in all their classrooms. It's a way to bring learning materials straight in the student and, they hope, make them more eager to attend class because of the hands-on technology available to them.

Mar. 30, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

New business rising in downtown Lenoir

Dustin Hartley stood with his sleeves rolled up and hair falling in his face as he bent over a throttle body, working to take it apart. Even before the grand opening of his new auto garage in downtown Lenoir, Hartley was hard at work on one of his passions.

Hartley hopes soon to his new auto garage in a long-unused garage site. The building's address is 118 Lewis Price Blvd., but the entrances faces the back of the Lenoir Fire Department on the lot below the street. The place still needs a lot of work -- as Hartley worked, nearby picture frames at the edge of the dusty floor leaned against the battered brick walls, and two large toolboxes overflowed with tools, batteries, papers and cough drops -- but compared to what it was, Hartley has made significant improvements.

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 01:01 AM

Heritage Home closing another N.C. plant

The longtime Pearson Co. home furnishings plant in High Point will close later this year, the third plant in the area that will be closed by the company that took over the lines of bankrupt Furniture Brands International four months ago. This time, 86 employees will be affected.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

Hit and run suspect surrenders

A woman police who police say struck a man riding a motorcycle in October, nearly killing him, turned herself in to police on Wednesday, nine days after a Caldwell County grand jury indicted her.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

Three arrested after house searched

After a months-long investigation, officers with the Lenoir Police Department and the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested three Lenoir residents when the house of two of the suspects was raided Monday morning.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 10:46 AM

Suspect sought in Village Inn Pizza robbery

Lenoir police are still looking for a person who broke into the Village Inn Pizza on Morganton Boulevard on March 7 and stole an undisclosed amount of money.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 08:39 AM

Food stamp snafus linger

The ability of Caldwell County Yokefellow, a crisis assistance agency, to serve its clients with food is under greater stress than ever. In the first two months of 2013, the pantry provided food assistance to 4,427 clients. During the first two months of 2014, it served 6,117 clients, a 38-percent increase.

Yokefellow director Sharon Osborn blames ongoing problems with NCFAST, the state's system for processing food stamp cases.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 02:55 PM

Bernhardt Furniture, still locally owned, reaches milestone

Alex Bernhardt Jr., now the chief executive officer and president of Bernhardt Furniture, and his cousin Rountree Collett, the company’s chief operating officer, both emphasize their company’s deep roots in the community – not the roots of the family that founded the company 125 years ago, but the roots of the workers, many of whom have followed parents and grandparents into the company’s factories here.

Bernhardt Furniture is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding – which was at 2 p.m. March 28, 1889 – with birthday cakes and balloons at each of its factories and its headquarters today.

Mar. 28, 2014 @ 08:36 AM

Changing seasons

The Rev. David Smith looked out at the rows of pews on a sunny, brisk Wednesday, four days before he was to deliver his last sermon from the tall, white pulpit of First Baptist Church in Lenoir.

As the sunlight burned through the stained-glass windows of the sanctuary, he remembered the faces and lives that have filed in and out of the rows of burgundy cushions in front of him.

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 05:44 PM

Metal detector leads to a wallet lost 40 years ago

Lisa Ward’s ears perked up when her metal detector sounded a “hit” on an object beneath the dirt last weekend in the woods on on Vaiden Street near the Caldwell Heritage Museum in downtown Lenoir. The land once was the homestead of Dr. Alfred A. Kent, a wealthy medical doctor and state legislator.

After digging down nearly a foot, they found a leathery flap, turquoise on one side. Digging farther, they uncovered more flaps and eventually realized the ragged pile once had been a wallet.

Mar. 27, 2014 @ 09:07 AM

Grayson Walker home and on the mend

After a month of being in a Charlotte hospital, recovering from being hit by a car, Grayson Walker came home Wednesday.

To the sight of “Welcome Home” balloons bouncing in the wind outside his family's house in Hudson, Walker, 15, walked in wearing a blue helmet over the spot where he is still missing a section of skull, and a bright smile on his face.

Mar. 26, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Caldwell County Republican candidates voice platforms

Caldwell County Republican candidates gathered Tuesday night at Caldwell County to discuss the upcoming May primary, which is all but certain to decide the races for sheriff, district attorney and county board of commissioners because no Democrats filed.

The Caldwell County Republican Women hosted the forum that allowed candidates a five-minute introduction and three audience questions for each group of candidates.

Mar. 26, 2014 @ 09:14 AM

'Holy Scorpion!' Students teach science to their peers

Volcanoes erupted. Small black scorpions turned blue. Mouse ribcages were plucked from owl pellets, and all the while, Buff the stuffed owl watched over the “Scorpions, Owls and Bears, Oh My!” science festival.

Mar. 26, 2014 @ 09:11 AM

Clash of the (literary) titans

The questions thrown at the teams of Caldwell County fourth- and fifth-graders in the annual Battle of the Books focus on "little tiny details," making contest moderator Rebecca Poer shake her head Tuesday and marvel at the students' ability to answer the questions.

Mar. 26, 2014 @ 08:52 AM

Rhodhiss residents upset with rate hikes

Rhodhiss resident Ed Logan sat before the Rhodhiss Town Board of Commissioners and asked, “Why be a town?” At a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to help pay for $3.1 million in needed repairs to water and sewer services, Logan and a handful of other residents were more interested in talking about the recent 30 percent rise in water and sewer rates.