News: Local News

Dec. 25, 2014 @ 08:28 AM

Mother feels a void in the holiday

Katie Dula says there is a big hole in her heart where her son, Raoul “Oolie” Dula, 34, once occupied. Even though her remaining children are home for Christmas, Katie feels a conspicuous absence.


Dec. 25, 2014 @ 07:54 AM

A different Christmas wish

There’s no Christmas tree in the corner, no presents waiting for the grandchildren, no stockings hung waiting to be filled – only a small but festive candle on the corner of the coffee table.

But Wednesday, Patricia B. Austin, 68, cooked Christmas dinner anyway, ready to celebrate the holiday with family.

She wants something different for Christmas this year – she wants to be fired.


Dec. 24, 2014 @ 08:17 AM

Lenoir man accused of selling Oxycodone pills

A man living in a retirement community is accused of selling Oxycodone pills from his mobile home.


Dec. 24, 2014 @ 06:28 AM

Churches offer community Christmas lunch

Two churches are putting together lunches for Christmas Day to share Christmas with neighbors and make new friends.

Mount Zion Baptist Church in Sawmills begins their lunch at 11 a.m. Sandra Gibbs, who helps organize the meal, said this is the church's third year preparing a Christmas lunch.


Dec. 24, 2014 @ 06:22 AM

Trash bins form special holiday display

If you drive along Norwood Street near the Hudson city limit, four steel, industrial trash bins form a colorful, eye-catching holiday display, especially at night.


Dec. 24, 2014 @ 06:19 AM

Cajah's Mountain wants updated seal for chambers

Behind the desk of the Cajah’s Mountain Town Council, a section of a log hangs on the wall covered in lettering stating that it is the official town seal.


Dec. 23, 2014 @ 09:12 AM

Grant allows scientific experiments with the alphabet

The Patterson Science Center will start a new end-of-semester event combining letters and science.

The event will be related to “Letterland,” a make-believe world used to teach children in grades K-2 phonics, and will be called “Science Starts in Letterland,” with activities that encompass every letter in the alphabet.


Dec. 23, 2014 @ 08:18 AM

Former sheriff remembered on Christmas tree

December is a tough month for Kimberly Clark. It was on Dec. 20, 2006, that doctors learned her husband, then-Sheriff Gary Clark, had cancer. Less than two months later, he died.

Each year he is remembered at the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office with a Christmas tree donated by Larry Smith, the owner of Mountain Top Fraser Fir. Smith and Gary Clark grew up together in Whitnel and met while in the first grade.


Dec. 23, 2014 @ 08:49 AM

Theater group's cash box missing

After a sold-out performance of the musical “Annie” at CAST theater in Granite Falls, no one could find the cash box holding all the ticket, concessions and raffle sales had been stolen.


Dec. 23, 2014 @ 06:23 AM

Teacher for a Day: Musical emerges from mayhem at Happy Valley School

Just hours before the big annual Christmas musical at Happy Valley School, art/drama teacher Melissa Jaroszewski fretted over everything from the students forgetting their lines, missing costumes and the possibility that there would be no functioning spotlight until the matinee performance in front of family members. Not least of her worries, several students with speaking roles were home sick with the stomach flu, and more were turning pale.


Dec. 19, 2014 @ 06:18 PM

Sleek remodel of Wendy's aims for younger audience

The Lenoir restaurant was gutted and outfitted with more booths, free wi-fi, two flat-screen televisions, large display menu boards and high-tech soda machines – so-called “freestyle” Coke machines – that offer customers potentially more than 125 flavoring options for soft drinks. There also is a new outdoor patio out front and all-new kitchen equipment behind the scenes.


Dec. 19, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

2014 was rough, dry patch for some Caldwell County farmers

A sluggish grain and housing market joined with a dry spell in part of the county to give some Caldwell County farmers a few problems this year.


Dec. 19, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

Man's fiancée once again alone

A Gamewell man crossing Hartland Road to check his mail shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday stepped in front of an SUV and was killed.


Dec. 19, 2014 @ 06:14 AM

Caldwell Heritage Museum's new director ready to take over

“I’m hoping to just continue and push the museum out into the public and let folks in Caldwell know this is their museum and it’s here for them,” Colin Foust said.


Dec. 18, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

West Lenoir Elementary offers free ‘bookstore’ to students

The back room in West Lenoir Elementary School’s Media Center has been transformed into a jungle of books complete with monkeys, lions, elephants and giraffes. On Tuesday evening, the school celebrated the ribbon cutting of its new It’s Free to Read program.


Dec. 18, 2014 @ 04:18 PM

After 30 years in business, Babb's Jewelry owners retiring

The owners of Babb’s Jewelry on Morganton Boulevard have been in the jewelry business for a long time. But as soon as their store runs out of inventory, they’re calling it quits — mostly.


Dec. 18, 2014 @ 08:34 AM

Piedmont Cleaners sued by DENR for non-compliance

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Waste Management filed a complaint in Caldwell Superior Court claiming the owner of Piedmont Cleaners, Dan McGuuire, owes thousands of dollars in civil penalties for failing to properly store dangerous chemicals, namely perchloroethylene, not maintaining records of chemical purchases and storage data, and failing to seal waste containers.


Dec. 18, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Nine arrested in unrelated drug investigations

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested nine people Monday in unrelated drug investigations, resulting in a total of 40 felony drug charges.


Dec. 17, 2014 @ 04:42 PM

Wakefield named new Caldwell DSS director

With the new year, the Caldwell County Department of Social Services will get a new leader.

Will Wakefield, currently program administrator for Adult and Family Support Services, on Jan. 1 will replace Joyce Edwards, the current director of DSS, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the department. Wakefield’s appointment was approved Tuesday by the Caldwell County Board of Social Services.


Dec. 17, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

West Caldwell pumped up about new weight room

The West Caldwell High School weight room used to have equipment that was unsafe for the students to use, a gaping hole in the floor under the mats, and very little room for coaches and students to maneuver around each other. Now, the weight room boasts shiny new equipment, a new floor, painted walls and fun features to keep the students and athletes in shape and safe.


Dec. 17, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

Sawmills Public Works swimming in sewer costs

Sawmills will pay nearly 43 percent more than expected for a sewer project, so the town will have to postpone a separate water project.

Two years ago, the Sawmills Public Works Department budgeted $634,000 for construction of the Duff Drive Area Sewer Project, which will extend sewer access to 70 homes and upgrade the Mayfield pump station.


Dec. 17, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

Child abuse suspected after infant injured

A 3-month-old Granite Falls girl has six broken ribs, bleeding in the brain and a fractured leg, and state and local officials are investigating how the child was injured.


Dec. 17, 2014 @ 08:17 AM

Crash victim officially identified

The body of Jamie Lynn Branson Miller, burned beyond recognition in a crash Thursday, was identified by a medical examiner using dental records, the N.C. Highway Patrol said on Tuesday.


Dec. 16, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

Granite Falls house shines with holiday cheer

In Mark Kiser’s backyard are wooden reindeer 10 feet tall with LED reins leading back to a towering wooden ark. An inflatable Santa Claus sits on top where typically one would expect to find Noah. The ark is the newest addition to the Christmas extravaganza Kiser sets up in his front and back yards every year.


Dec. 16, 2014 @ 10:36 AM

County approves $110,000 in job incentives

Caldwell County will spend up to $110,000 on incentives for three companies expanding their operations over the next two years.

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved Monday night paying $2,000 for each new full-time job created by Associated Hardwoods, Timber Wolf Forest Products and Dafco Inc. The incentives are to be paid only after the jobs are created.