News: Local News

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 08:47 AM

Accused killer Michael Whisnant shouldn't be executed, lawyers say

Prosecutors should not be allowed to pursue the death penalty for Michael Joseph Whisnant, a Lenoir man accused of beating his girlfriend to death, because he is intellectually disabled, the man's lawyers argued Monday in Caldwell Superior Court.

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

Former bank building gets 'facelift'

A large building that formerly was a Bank of Granite between the post office and Granite Falls Middle School off of Main Street used to be a big, plain rectangle of brownish-tan brick. The parking lot was full of fading yellow lines. The building's interior was as ragged as the outside, with torn-up flooring.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 08:08 AM

Lenoir deploys new weapon against blight

The job of keeping up with ramshackle housing, zoning violations and nuisance reports kept burning out Lenoir's code enforcement officers.

Last year, the police and planning departments received approval to split the former code enforcement officer into two positions with separate duties. The police added a position for a nuisance abatement investigator to handle such things as delapidated buildings, overgrown lots and junk cars.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 07:19 AM

Hospice officials say an hour of your time makes difference

Imagine being unable to leave your bed or your home. It’s not your fault. You can’t help growing older or becoming sick. Every day is the same. Except when your hospice volunteer comes to visit. He or she makes you lunch, reads your favorite book and tells you about everything that is going on in the community. The hours he or she gives help you feel better, energetic and loved.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 06:12 AM

Ethan Crump to kick Lenoir athletics into high gear

Ethan Crump likes to get people active. He likes to encourage kids and their parents alike to get out on the basketball court, baseball field or soccer pitch, helping them fight obesity, stay active and keep healthy.

Crump, 25, is the new athletic programs supervisor with Lenoir Parks and Recreation, a newly created position that oversees all the department's sports programming.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 01:58 AM

Local briefs for June 22, 2014

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 01:01 AM

Public records for June 22, 2014

Jun. 21, 2014 @ 09:09 PM

Signs of rebounding economy found in Caldwell County permits

Through May 31, 764 building permits had been issued for new construction valued at more than $40 million, and the number of permits issued so far in June is up compared to last year, said Sherri Marshall of the county permitting office.

In all of 2013, 1,993 building permits were issued for new construction valued at just under $60.2 million, and in 2012 there were 2,084 permits for construction worth a little more than $48.5 million.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

Love of speech becomes passion to teach

Matthew Malloy wanted to be a teacher since he was in first grade. In fact, he didn’t understand then why he could not successfully teach kindergarten since he had already learned all there was for kindergartners to know.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 08:11 AM

Drowned child called 'sweet, sweet boy'

Along with his family, those who knew 11-year-old Marcus DeBeve Jr. are mourning his drowning in his family's swimming pool Wednesday afternoon.

Shannon Pennell, a neighbor, said she has fond memories of her 6-year-old daughter, Lexi, playing with Marcus.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 06:46 AM

Blasting off to scientific learning

Pop! Plunk! Plink!

Empty pill bottles rained down on the hot sidewalk. Gleefully, kids raced to pick up the bottles and begged for more water and Alka-Selzter so they could make the bottles pop again.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 06:39 AM

Sawmills' elderly will not be forgotten

In May, two people in Sawmills who lived alone were found dead, but only several days after they had passed. No one knew to check up on them. No family members lived nearby to come calling. The sad scenarios tugged at Town Councilwoman Gerelene Blevins’ heart, and she told her fellow council members that the town could do better.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 06:36 AM

New recycling service coming to Sawmills

Starting Wednesday, new recycling bins will begin to arrive all over Sawmills.

In an effort to improve recycling services for residents, the town partnered with Republic Services, which will place the blue bins in front of residents’ homes Wednesday and Thursday.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 02:53 PM

Wreck knocks out power to 1,300

A wreck Thursday morning injured only the driver but left thousands without electricity for several hours.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 09:32 AM

Man runs shop for 'the love of skateboarding'

As a young skateboarder in Lenoir nearly two decades ago, Drew Lindley had to make the trip to Hickory any time he needed to visit a skate shop.

Today, Lindley just has to go to work.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 08:40 AM

Man on house arrest jailed

A man still awaiting trial on charges related to the shooting two Caldwell County Sheriff's Office deputies in 2008 was charged Tuesday with violating the terms of his electronic house arrest.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 06:17 AM

New manager says Rhodhiss going strong

Arthur “Art” Delaney drives an hour and 15 minutes to work as the new town manager of Rhodhiss because he believes the town has a bright future, despite significant budgetary challenges. He said he would not have taken the job if there was no hope.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 09:36 PM

Boy drowns in backyard pool

A 10-year-old boy drowned in a family pool Wednesday afternoon near Granite Falls.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 04:21 PM

Livestock proposal causing strife for Sawmills

Goats, donkeys, sheep and other livestock could be tramping through farms large or small inside the town limits of Sawmills if the town council can come to an agreement about the acreage that can support these animals.

But the details were a point of contention during a Sawmills Town Council meeting Tuesday night. The proposed livestock text amendment to the town’s zoning ordinances was tabled until further research can be done.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

City to borrow more for sewage plant repairs

Repairs at Lenoir’s Gunpowder Wastewater Treatment Plant will cost more than expected, so the Lenoir City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to borrow an extra $320,000 for the project, bringing the total to $4.17 million.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 08:23 AM

Man threatened to kill officers, investigators say

A Lenoir man vowed to get into a shoot-out rather than go back to jail but was arrested last Wednesday without any gun being drawn, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 08:16 AM

Mooresville man accused of running scam

A man posed as an energy audit specialist took money up front from people throughout Western North Carolina to install windows and insulation but never did the work, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

Connector road nears completion

At least twice a week, Nancy McCaslin ventures out from her home in Northlakes and heads to the Shoppes at Rivercrest, home of the Granite Falls Walmart and other retail outlets. But to get there, she must wait out the traffic at the intersection of  U.S. 321 and Grace Chapel Road.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

Caldwell schools lose millennium of experience

Lorrie Spencer, a teacher from Collettsville Elementary School, put it best when summing up how she shall spend her free time now that she is retiring after nearly 26 years in the classroom.

“In retirement, I plan to continue tending gardens, only gardens of a different type,” Spencer said. “I will no longer be a gardener of third-graders, who need love and nurturing in order to grow and blossom, but rather roses and vegetables shall be in my garden.”

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 02:24 PM

Pizza restaurant coming to the river

A restaurant will soon arrive in Rhodhiss with access to boaters on the Catawba River. Owned by Brad Cauldwell, the restaurant will serve a full menu upstairs but also will have a bar downstairs specifically for boaters and swimmers coming in from the river.