News: Local News

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:58 AM

Lenoir wants better option for Smith's Crossroads

Lenoir officials hope to come up with better ideas than the state has proposed for replacing the interchange at Smith’s Crossroads, they said at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday. The plan for a wide interchange and overpass would displace more than 20 businesses.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:55 AM

Cajah's Mountain no closer to manager decision

Members of the Cajah’s Mountain Town Council agree that they learned a lot from the forced resignation of the former town manager, but they continued Tuesday night to have trouble moving forward on how the town government should be managed.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Mayor Bob Gibbs of Sawmills resigns

Sawmills' mayor resigned Monday morning, one week after turning himself in to Hudson police to face charges related to more than $11,000 in unauthorized checks on an account belonging to his father.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 07:22 AM

1 of 3 arguments defending DA Jay Gaither dropped

One of the three arguments for dismissing a sexual harassment lawsuit against District Attorney Jay Gaither was dropped, and the words "sexual needs" were dropped from another, when N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper submitted an amended version of his dismissal motion late Friday, two days after the original filing.

Aug. 26, 2014 @ 06:20 AM

5-car pileup blocks N.C. 18

Two people were taken to the hospital Monday morning after a five-car accident on Morganton Boulevard in Gamewell that smashed a pickup and left the road littered with shattered glass and car parts.

Brandi Harris, 21, of U.S. 70 in Morganton was driving her 2003 Dodge pickup south on the road near Pineburr Road shortly before 8 a.m. when she hit the back of a black 1994 Toyota pickup driven by Kristen Hartley, 33, of Doe Hill Place in Lenoir, said Master Trooper K.W. Milligan of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:15 PM

Eddie Boyden Francum pleads guilty to stabbing neighbor

Eddie Boyden Francum, 62, of Hudson man pleaded guilty Monday in a severe stabbing attack on a neighbor, though his attorney said in court that the neighbor no longer is certain who stabbed him and didn’t want to pursue the case.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 08:34 PM

Valdese man drowns at Lake Rhodhiss

Gregory Bordelau of Valdese drowned at Lake Rhodhiss shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday while swimming with two friends, officials said.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 08:03 PM

Granite Falls man convicted of raping teen relative

A trembling Phillip Matthew Bright wiped his eyes with the collar of his orange jail suit as he was sentenced to 38 to 51 years in prison for repeatedly raping a teenage relative over a three-year period.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 07:13 PM

Rail crossing on N.C. 18 to become walking path

The dilapidated railroad crossing over Morganton Boulevard between Virginia Street and Harrisburg Drive in Lenoir will be removed and turned into a pedestrian crossing.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

Expiration of tax credits could slow local development

Historic properties in Lenoir like the Center Theater and the old Blue Bell factory on College Avenue may be facing tougher paths to rehabilitation, as special tax credits that help property owners are set to expire at the end of the year.

If the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are allowed to expire at the end of this year as planned, it could put a damper on the development of historic buildings all over North Carolina, including Lenoir and Caldwell County.

Aug. 24, 2014 @ 06:02 PM

Man drowns on Lake Rhodhiss

A 40-year-old man drowned just before 4 a.m. Sunday on Lake Rhodhiss after either slipping or jumping off some rocks above the Rhodhiss dam, said Capt. B.J. Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

Aug. 23, 2014 @ 07:41 PM

Crime report for Aug. 24, 2014

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:44 PM

6 from Caldwell get college scholarships from electric company

Six Caldwell County students received scholarships from Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 02:43 PM

Raw sewage leaks from broken pipe in Lenoir

A broken pipe released about 1,700 gallons of untreated sewage into a creek off Harper Avenue on Thursday, the City of Lenoir announced Friday.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

Club-wielding men ransack disabled man's house

The three strokes 55-year-old Johnny Staley endured left him mostly wheelchair-bound, so when two men carrying clubs and wearing hoodies and gloves forced their way into his Starcross Road home Wednesday night, he feared for his life.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

Mother and son a constant presence at soup kitchen

Seventy-five-year-old Dorothy "Dot" Ruppard adjusts her hair net, slips on a white apron that ties in the front and wriggles her hands into the thin latex gloves. It is 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, and the line into the Lenoir Soup Kitchen stretches out the door and beyond. Soon after, her son, 43-year-old Marshall Ruppard, a Lenoir master police officer, strides in to keep order.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:17 AM

Livestock in Sawmills town limits now legal

Sawmills residents who own livestock within the town limits are no longer automatically breaking the law.

An amendment to town ordinances approved Tuesday by the Sawmills Town Council specifies livestock that are allowed, including horses, cows, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, mules, donkeys and swine.

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

College ban on handguns eased slightly

Weapons will now be allowed on Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute’s campus, but still not in college buildings.

The college’s board of trustees updated the weapons policy Wednesday to allow concealed-handgun permit holders to keep handguns “in a closed compartment or container within the individual’s locked vehicle.”

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 11:14 AM

Park’s slope sliding away, could pose risk

The side of the large hill near the veterans monument at Sawmills Veterans Memorial Park is slowly sliding off the hill and could soon pose a danger of a landslide, a town engineering consultant said.

The slope failure is causing a “sloughing effect,” according to Benji Thomas, engineer.

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

DA's sexual advances were 'welcomed,' document says

A lawsuit alleging that the District Attorney Jay Gaither sexually harassed an employee should be dismissed because the employee welcomed Gaither’s sexual advances, according to one of the arguments in Gaither’s defense by the N.C. Attorney General’s Office.

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

Fire damages Granite Falls house

A fire that may have been intentionally set caused serious damage to a vacant house on Archer Street in Granite Falls early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

Aug. 21, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Sawmills mayor indicted

William Robert "Bob" Gibbs III, mayor of Sawmills, turned himself in on Monday after he was indicted on 12 felony counts of forgery and uttering.

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Google brings state’s first Googlefest to Lenoir

Google will be taking over the J. E. Broyhill Civic Center in a few weeks to host a free conference, teaching area educators, emergency responders, seniors, nonprofits and small business owners the ins and outs of several Google products.

Experts will be on hand to teach the newest and best Google has to offer, from the wearable computer Google Glass, to Google apps, Gmail, Google Drive and more.

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 09:33 AM

LINK Center to be revitalized for new programs

The underused LINK Center, a city recreation facility in Lenoir's West End community, is being brought back to life thanks to the work of Upward Movement Ministries, a nonprofit organization looking to start youth programs at the center.

Aug. 19, 2014 @ 05:03 PM


Thirteen-year-old Acacia Scott gets some public practice in Monday afternoon on the Hogwaller Stage in Lenoir. Scott plays with the band "Columbus Agenda."