William R. Toler

Position: Reporter - Government, public safety
Phone Number: 910-997-3111


About William R. Toler

City of Rockingham and Richmond County governments, crime and courts coverage, emergency services, General Assembly

Latest Stories by William R. Toler

OUR VIEW The county with a heart

Richmond County is small in population — with about 46,000 souls, we rank 57th of North Carolina's 100 counties. But when it comes to taking care of our neediest neighbors, residents here have some of the biggest hearts you'll find anywhere. Stories of selfless sacrifice and folks pitching in to help the down and out have warmed our hearts

DOBBINS HEIGHTS — For the ninth year in a row, a family shared their Thanksgiving meal with the rest of the community.
The Watkins-Kendall annual Thanksgiving dinner not only brought in family from out of town, but had plates delivered to other families in town.
Angeline David said the event was named after her parents, who both died when s

'COMMUNITY FIRST'

DOBBINS HEIGHTS — For the ninth year in a row, a family shared their Thanksgiving meal with the rest of the community. The Watkins-Kendall annual Thanksgiving dinner not only brought in family from out of town, but had plates delivered to other families in town. Angeline David said the event was named after her parents, who both died when s

HAMLET — One local restaurant decided to put profit aside and help others on Thanksgiving Day.
Ray Collins, co-owner of Divine Café, said God told him about a month and a half ago to feed the homeless — so he did.
“We're just doin' our part,” he said Thursday. “Just lettin' everybody know, even if they don't hav

Restaurant feeds less fortunate

HAMLET — One local restaurant decided to put profit aside and help others on Thanksgiving Day. Ray Collins, co-owner of Divine Café, said God told him about a month and a half ago to feed the homeless — so he did. “We're just doin' our part,” he said Thursday. “Just lettin' everybody know, even if they don't hav

ROCKINGHAM — Full bellies and falling temperatures didn't stop shoppers from lining up outside Belk Thursday evening.
Karen Steen and her niece Stevie, both from Hamlet, were first in line at the department store.
“We sucked it up and got here at 3,” she said. “We just came out here and camped out.”
Savannah and Jos

Early openings, long lines start shopping season

ROCKINGHAM — Full bellies and falling temperatures didn't stop shoppers from lining up outside Belk Thursday evening. Karen Steen and her niece Stevie, both from Hamlet, were first in line at the department store. “We sucked it up and got here at 3,” she said. “We just came out here and camped out.” Savannah and Jos

ROCKINGHAM — Shoppers will have a chance to get an even earlier start on Black Friday at several local department stores.
JC Penney will be opening its doors at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, with “doorbusters and big buys,” according to store manager Terry Greene.
“We opened at 8 p.m. last year and we had a very good response,&

Black Friday starting early

ROCKINGHAM — Shoppers will have a chance to get an even earlier start on Black Friday at several local department stores. JC Penney will be opening its doors at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, with “doorbusters and big buys,” according to store manager Terry Greene. “We opened at 8 p.m. last year and we had a very good response,&

ROCKINGHAM — Two friends are all smiles after winning the Richmond County Daily Journal's Golden Football Hunt.
Allie Turner and Jessica Brooks, both from the same home in Hamlet, strolled into the newspaper's office Tuesday afternoon clutching a plastic bag containing the formerly hidden pigskin.
Brooks was grinning and giggling the entire

Friends find golden football

ROCKINGHAM — Two friends are all smiles after winning the Richmond County Daily Journal's Golden Football Hunt. Allie Turner and Jessica Brooks, both from the same home in Hamlet, strolled into the newspaper's office Tuesday afternoon clutching a plastic bag containing the formerly hidden pigskin. Brooks was grinning and giggling the entire

ROCKINGHAM — An early evening wreck that turned an SUV on its side sent four people to the hospital Monday.
According to a report from the Rockingham Police Department, Bellaurit Montiel Alejandro was driving northeast on Midway Road and “didn't see the stop sign or vehicle two”— driven by Michael Anthony Ellerbe — wh

4 hurt in rollover wreck

ROCKINGHAM — An early evening wreck that turned an SUV on its side sent four people to the hospital Monday. According to a report from the Rockingham Police Department, Bellaurit Montiel Alejandro was driving northeast on Midway Road and “didn't see the stop sign or vehicle two”— driven by Michael Anthony Ellerbe — wh

William R. Toler | Daily Journal
Local storyteller J.A. Bolton drives his McCormick Farmall Super A tractor in the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade in Ellerbe on Saturday. The parade served as the kickoff for Farm-City Week, which concluded Monday. See page 6A for full coverage of the Farm-City festivities.

William R. Toler | Daily Journal Local storyteller J.A. Bolton drives his McCormick Farmall Super A tractor in the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade in Ellerbe on Saturday. The parade served as the kickoff for Farm-City Week, which concluded Monday. See page 6A for full coverage of the Farm-City festivities.

ELLERBE — Machines made for the fields made their way down Main Street Saturday morning for the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade.
John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and McCormick Farmall tractors made up the bulk of the parade, interspersed with entries from several local fire departments, church groups and scout troops.
Classic cars, modern motorcy

Farm-City Week celebrates agriculture

ELLERBE — Machines made for the fields made their way down Main Street Saturday morning for the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade. John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and McCormick Farmall tractors made up the bulk of the parade, interspersed with entries from several local fire departments, church groups and scout troops. Classic cars, modern motorcy

HAMLET — Leave it to a group of educators to win a spelling bee.
The Queen Bees, featuring four administrators from local elementary schools, came out on top in the inaugural fundraiser for Communities in Schools of Richmond County.
Although there were 10 total sponsorships, at $250 each, seven teams competed in the adult spelling bee Satur

School admins sweep spelling bee

HAMLET — Leave it to a group of educators to win a spelling bee. The Queen Bees, featuring four administrators from local elementary schools, came out on top in the inaugural fundraiser for Communities in Schools of Richmond County. Although there were 10 total sponsorships, at $250 each, seven teams competed in the adult spelling bee Satur

ELLERBE — Machines made for the fields made their way down Main Street Saturday morning for the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade.
John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and McCormick Farmall tractors made up the bulk of the parade, interspersed with entries from several local fire departments, church groups and scout troops.
Classic cars, modern motorcy

ELLERBE — Machines made for the fields made their way down Main Street Saturday morning for the 19th annual Farmers' Day Parade. John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and McCormick Farmall tractors made up the bulk of the parade, interspersed with entries from several local fire departments, church groups and scout troops. Classic cars, modern motorcy

ROCKINGHAM — James Pickard knows what it's like to be homeless.
When he was 16, the New Jersey native said his mother kicked him out of the house because he didn't want to follow the rules.
“That was the hardest decision she ever made,” he said. “I understand why, I was being a troubled kid.”
Pickard spent several m

Giving back: Former gang member feeds, clothes homeless

ROCKINGHAM — James Pickard knows what it's like to be homeless. When he was 16, the New Jersey native said his mother kicked him out of the house because he didn't want to follow the rules. “That was the hardest decision she ever made,” he said. “I understand why, I was being a troubled kid.” Pickard spent several m

William R. Toler | Daily Journal
J.B. Jeffery and Ken Everett with the city of Rockingham's Public Works Department paint the covering over the fountain in Harrington Square Thursday in preparation for Christmas on the Square, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

William R. Toler | Daily Journal J.B. Jeffery and Ken Everett with the city of Rockingham's Public Works Department paint the covering over the fountain in Harrington Square Thursday in preparation for Christmas on the Square, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

HAMLET — When Robbie Hill was approached about creating a picture for the 6oth anniversary of the CSX Hamlet Terminal, he said, “Sure.”
“They know I doodle around a bit,” Hill said.
Terminal Superintendent Kyle Hansley said, “What he calls doodling, I call art.”
Hill, a 16-year employee with CSX, said it

CSX cheers 60 years

HAMLET — When Robbie Hill was approached about creating a picture for the 6oth anniversary of the CSX Hamlet Terminal, he said, “Sure.” “They know I doodle around a bit,” Hill said. Terminal Superintendent Kyle Hansley said, “What he calls doodling, I call art.” Hill, a 16-year employee with CSX, said it

ROCKINGHAM — Swindlers are impersonating Rockingham police officers in a sophisticated phone scam that flashes the agency's name and number on intended victims' caller ID.
“While the police department has always notified the public about various scams, this one has a new twist,” Detective Sgt. Donavan Young said in a statement. &

Phone scammers impersonating Rockingham cops

ROCKINGHAM — Swindlers are impersonating Rockingham police officers in a sophisticated phone scam that flashes the agency's name and number on intended victims' caller ID. “While the police department has always notified the public about various scams, this one has a new twist,” Detective Sgt. Donavan Young said in a statement. &

HAMLET — Shopping local this holiday season could benefit more than just the businesses.
The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce is promoting the 2014 Shop and Dine Locally campaign, offering prizes to those who decide to make their purchases within the county lines.
Chamber President Emily Tucker said this is the first time Richmond County

Chamber: Shop local and win

HAMLET — Shopping local this holiday season could benefit more than just the businesses. The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce is promoting the 2014 Shop and Dine Locally campaign, offering prizes to those who decide to make their purchases within the county lines. Chamber President Emily Tucker said this is the first time Richmond County

ELLERBE — The Berry Patch was a stop on a literal field trip Monday for the 2014 Southeastern Strawberry Expo.
The event, usually held in the Raleigh-Durham area, is taking place in Pinehurst this year and will last through Wednesday.
“We were able to pull 'em down here,” said Lee Berry, owner of the Richmond County produce stan

Strawberry fields forever

ELLERBE — The Berry Patch was a stop on a literal field trip Monday for the 2014 Southeastern Strawberry Expo. The event, usually held in the Raleigh-Durham area, is taking place in Pinehurst this year and will last through Wednesday. “We were able to pull 'em down here,” said Lee Berry, owner of the Richmond County produce stan

Elections board to hold recount

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Board of Elections will hold a vote recount for a state judicial contest Wednesday. The board will recount the votes for the North Carolina Supreme Court associate justice race between candidates Cheri Beasley and Mike Robinson. Robinson requested the recount, which is allowed by state law when the margin be

HOFFMAN — With his thumb in the air and no shoes on his feet, Jake Brown is making his way across the country.
Brown passed through Richmond County Tuesday afternoon while hitchhiking to California to focus on training for an upcoming transcontinental run.
The former contractor from upstate New York developed an interest in long-distance ru

Charity runner hitchin' a ride

HOFFMAN — With his thumb in the air and no shoes on his feet, Jake Brown is making his way across the country. Brown passed through Richmond County Tuesday afternoon while hitchhiking to California to focus on training for an upcoming transcontinental run. The former contractor from upstate New York developed an interest in long-distance ru

ROCKINGHAM — Following a fairly warm day of rain and wind, a cold front is moving into Richmond County.
Temperatures are expected to be below or near freezing the entire week, according to Jonathan Blaes, science operations officer for the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
Despite Monday's rain and the overnight low temps, Blaes said bla

County braces for big chill

ROCKINGHAM — Following a fairly warm day of rain and wind, a cold front is moving into Richmond County. Temperatures are expected to be below or near freezing the entire week, according to Jonathan Blaes, science operations officer for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Despite Monday's rain and the overnight low temps, Blaes said bla





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