News: Local News

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 06:43 AM

Williams brought life to funerals

In the final two years of his life, Norman Williams could be seen zooming down sidewalks and main highways on his way to work at Mackie Funeral Home on Duke Street in Granite Falls in his motorized wheelchair, decked out in stickers, reflectors and flags.

Funeral director Cordell Austin said, “We all thought he would be killed in the wheelchair (by it) turning over and find him in the road somewhere.” He shook his head, laughing.


Aug. 08, 2014 @ 06:04 AM

Stone: Budget a 'slap in the face'

The Caldwell County Schools will scramble to find almost $1 million to spare the jobs of 22 teacher assistants after that funding was cut in the state budget that Gov. Pat McCrory signed on Thursday.

Republican legislators say current teacher assistant positions were preserved, but funding for assistants fell by $85 million compared to last year.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 01:19 PM

4-H splishes, splashes at water ecology camp

Ten children strapped on life jackets and pulled on water shoes Wednesday morning before jumping into green canoes for a ride down the Yadkin River. Under the cloudy sky, the weather was chilly, but the excitement was warming.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

Ex-airport official seeks lighter sentence

The former administrator of Foothills Regional Airport says a federal judge made several errors in his sentencing, so he should receive a new sentencing hearing, according to an appeal filed in U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 08:35 AM

Ministry to expand food pantry

A truck loaded with 850 pounds of watermelons rolled up to the doors of the South Caldwell Christian Ministries on Wednesday, but with only 500 square feet of space in the agency's food pantry, director Deborah Thomas had to give most of the watermelons away to area churches for their Wednesday night suppers.


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

Harambee honors seniors at banquet

Throngs of senior citizens attended the Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet on Tuesday evening at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Plan could raise city's water rates

Even if the contract terms that the Caldwell County commissioners have proposed for buying water from Lenoir had been in place last year, the county would still have fallen short of its minimum water purchase.

But the amount would be so close — less than 14 million gallons — that at current rates, the county might pay less than $30,000 to make up the difference, instead of the $130,000 it paid this past fiscal year.

All water customers served by Lenoir and the county water system could wind up paying higher rates, however, since Lenoir would have to make up for that loss of $100,000 a year in revenue it now counts on to balance its water system’s budget, city officials said Tuesday.


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 08:11 AM

Motel death ruled suicide

A man found dead in Room 113 of the American Motel on Monday apparently hanged himself using a belt tied to a curtain box.


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 05:56 AM

Market educates kids on earthworms

Slimy, chilly, squishy earthworms writhed in a blue bowl at the Sawmills Farmers Market Kids Corner on Tuesday. Mazes, coloring pages, a book on worms, worm fact pages and a diagram of the worm’s body parts also sat on the table as part of Caldwell County Health Department’s “Earthworm Education” activity.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 04:37 PM

County disputes water contract

Caldwell County wants to change the terms of the contract it signed to buy water from Lenoir in 2007.

The agreement runs until 2022, but board chairman Clay Bollinger called it “monopolistic,” saying it’s “the most unfair thing I’ve seen in my six years” on the board of commissioners.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

Fire at fuel plant investigated

The Lenoir Fire Department is still trying to determine exactly what caused a small fire Friday evening at Foothills Bio-Energies on Virginia Street.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 08:08 AM

Arson suspected in Sunday fire

The Caldwell County fire marshal's office is investigating a fire believed to have been intentionally set at a former Shuford Mills building in Granite Falls Sunday morning.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Hit-and-run suspect also accused of choking dog

A man accused of driving into the side of the Pizza Hut in Lenoir and leaving without giving managers his name was found passed out on the steps of his house in a pizza-stained T-shirt, holding a slice of pizza in his hand, reports said.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

All smiles at Widows Breakfast

The sun was already baking Caldwell County and the fields of tall, green stalks of corn Monday morning before the start of the monthly Widows Breakfast at Johnny Wilson Farm, and the sun glimmered off the lake. Inside the small building on the lakefront, a group of women gathered for a hearty breakfast.


Aug. 06, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

CIS fundraiser collects 'tools' for students

The first and last days of school are always the most exciting. On the last day of school, students are looking forward to sleeping in and fun, summer activities. On the first day of school, students are eager to get back in touch with their friends and teachers they missed seeing every weekday over the summer break. There are stories to swap, friendships to rekindle and back-to-school goodies to admire.


Aug. 05, 2014 @ 06:15 AM

CCC&TI brews up a new course

With the number of breweries in North Carolina growing and interest in craft beers also taking off, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will offer a new program this fall that teaches students the art and work of creating their own brews.


Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:43 PM

Project aims to help Lenoir make better first impression

A group of local residents and city officials are taking the first steps to try to fix the the north Main Street corridor. The goal is to create a gateway to downtown Lenoir that puts the city’s best foot forward, improving the appearance and creating a safe, walkable area that makes a good first impression


Aug. 03, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Harambee kickoff unfettered by cloudy skies

Cloudy skies couldn’t dampen the spirit of Harambee Saturday, as the 42nd annual festival kicked off with Family Fun Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.


Aug. 03, 2014 @ 06:54 AM

Therapy puppy graduates first class

This is the second in an occasional series on a puppy’s path from adoption to becoming a therapy dog.

Peggy Hatley nervously fidgeted on her stool in the dog training ring. After six weeks of hard work, it was time for Raz to show off his skills for his final obedience test. If he passed, he would graduate to the intermediate course and be one step closer to becoming a full-fledged therapy dog.


Aug. 02, 2014 @ 04:26 AM

Crime report for Aug. 3, 2014


Aug. 02, 2014 @ 01:25 AM

4 to compete in Miss Harambee Pageant

The City of Lenoir and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center will present the 2014 Miss Harambee Pageant Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Lenoir High School Auditorium.


Aug. 01, 2014 @ 09:28 PM

Local briefs for Aug. 3, 2014


Aug. 01, 2014 @ 08:12 AM

Mountain oasis loses a 'strong force'

From the narrow, twisting, gravel roads snaking through the Globe community in northwestern Caldwell County the Starlite Trailer Lodge's RV park opens up like an oasis of neatly-manicured lawns, bright paint and window baskets of fresh flowers.


Aug. 01, 2014 @ 08:01 AM

Sawmills gets 21st-century sawmill and more

The Town of Sawmills once again has a sawmill.

But it’s going to be a sawmill that in many ways the town’s early 20th-century sawmill operators couldn’t have imagined.


Aug. 01, 2014 @ 06:26 AM

New principal welcomed to West Caldwell

Faculty, staff and school board members arrived at West Caldwell High School on a rainy Thursday to show their support for Andy Puhl, who took over as principal of the high school.

Puhl replaced Jeff Link and said the transition was quick but has gone smoothly.