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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

DOBBINS HEIGHTS — “Faith, hope and charity. Of these three things, the greatest is love — charity.”
Those were the words of Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue as the town opened its doors for the third year in a row to help a local church give out turkeys to those in need.
A line of people stretched from the doors of Town

Meeting a need: Church, town team up for turkey giveaway

DOBBINS HEIGHTS — “Faith, hope and charity. Of these three things, the greatest is love — charity.” Those were the words of Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue as the town opened its doors for the third year in a row to help a local church give out turkeys to those in need. A line of people stretched from the doors of Town

ROCKINGHAM — Alltel customers in Richmond, Scotland and Anson counties will see the blue and white AT&T globe when they visit their local cellphone stores.
AT&T, which acquired Alltel in 2013, has transitioned some former Alltel retail locations in the greater Charlotte area and opened them under the AT&T brand, spokesman Josh Ge

Alltel stores reopen under AT&T name

ROCKINGHAM — Alltel customers in Richmond, Scotland and Anson counties will see the blue and white AT&T globe when they visit their local cellphone stores. AT&T, which acquired Alltel in 2013, has transitioned some former Alltel retail locations in the greater Charlotte area and opened them under the AT&T brand, spokesman Josh Ge

Judicial district reshaped; Brewer named chief judge

ROCKINGHAM — Although Richmond County's judicial district will soon be changing, its chief district court judge will not. Judge Scott Brewer was appointed to lead the newly formed Judicial District 16A by N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin, effective Jan. 1. “Judge Brewer has served ably and conscientiously as chief district

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County's unemployment rate dropped more than half a percentage point in October, according to a report from the N.C. Department of Commerce's Labor and Economic Analysis Division.
The report, released Dec. 9, show's a decrease of 0.6 percent from September to October, bringing it down to 7.2 percent. Over the course of

County jobless rate declines

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County's unemployment rate dropped more than half a percentage point in October, according to a report from the N.C. Department of Commerce's Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The report, released Dec. 9, show's a decrease of 0.6 percent from September to October, bringing it down to 7.2 percent. Over the course of

ROCKINGHAM — When filling out a ballot, voters may notice the office of soil and water conservation district supervisor and wonder: “What do they do?”

According to the mission statement listed in the district's annual report, it is “to take available technical, financial and educational resources and administer programs d

Tommy Deese joins soil, water board

ROCKINGHAM — When filling out a ballot, voters may notice the office of soil and water conservation district supervisor and wonder: “What do they do?” According to the mission statement listed in the district's annual report, it is “to take available technical, financial and educational resources and administer programs d

ROCKINGHAM — Aside from gift-giving, setting up and decorating an evergreen tree is one of the most observed Christmas traditions.
Some families head to the nearest retail store to purchase an artificial tree, sometimes pre-lit, to save on time and cleanup. But others would rather have the real thing.
AMVETS post 316 has the real thing.
Sa

Fraser fir fundraiser

ROCKINGHAM — Aside from gift-giving, setting up and decorating an evergreen tree is one of the most observed Christmas traditions. Some families head to the nearest retail store to purchase an artificial tree, sometimes pre-lit, to save on time and cleanup. But others would rather have the real thing. AMVETS post 316 has the real thing. Sa

HAMLET — One local police department is looking into taking advantage of a presidential proposal to provide funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body cameras.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama called for $75 million in federal spending to provide lapel-mounted cameras to record officers on the job, according to the Assoc

COPS WITH CAMERAS

HAMLET — One local police department is looking into taking advantage of a presidential proposal to provide funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body cameras. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama called for $75 million in federal spending to provide lapel-mounted cameras to record officers on the job, according to the Assoc

HAMLET — A former detective is suing the city and former city manager for wrongful termination, claiming racial discrimination.
In a lawsuit filed Nov. 24, made publicly available Thursday, Michael Veach claims that former City Manager Marchell David “wrongfully and illegally terminated (him) from employment on the basis of race.”

Racial police firing?

HAMLET — A former detective is suing the city and former city manager for wrongful termination, claiming racial discrimination. In a lawsuit filed Nov. 24, made publicly available Thursday, Michael Veach claims that former City Manager Marchell David “wrongfully and illegally terminated (him) from employment on the basis of race.”

School staffer assaulted in fight

ROCKINGHAM — A fight at a Richmond County school resulted in a student's arrest. According to a magistrate's order, Tenishara Lajah Ingram, 16, was involved in a fight Tuesday with another student at Leak Street High School. While attempting to break up the scuffle, Jackie Newell — who holds a clerical position at the alternative scho

HAMLET — An aging fire truck will soon be replaced.
The Hamlet City Council voted Tuesday to give Fire Chief David Knight the go-ahead to purchase a new truck after more than a year of searching.
“I'm proud to say that's going to become a reality,” Councilman Jesse McQueen said at the close of the meeting. “It's my commitm

Hamlet board green-lights new fire truck

HAMLET — An aging fire truck will soon be replaced. The Hamlet City Council voted Tuesday to give Fire Chief David Knight the go-ahead to purchase a new truck after more than a year of searching. “I'm proud to say that's going to become a reality,” Councilman Jesse McQueen said at the close of the meeting. “It's my commitm

Police: Woman burned man's clothes

HAMLET — A woman is accused of setting fire to a man's clothing and stealing his video game system. According to police, Lendon Graham came home Nov. 23 to find his clothes, including a work uniform, burned in the backyard. Police say Omega Harrington, 20, of 325 Buttercup Drive, originally told them she didn't know who did it. At the time,

HAMLET — Motorists driving down Poplar Street will see several houses and yards decorated with Christmas lights.
But as you approach the end, just before the intersection at Austin Street, and tune your radio dial to 88.5 FM, you'll be treated to a holiday light show, complete with music.
Scott Davenport has been providing the spectacle for

Light show attracts Santa's helpers

HAMLET — Motorists driving down Poplar Street will see several houses and yards decorated with Christmas lights. But as you approach the end, just before the intersection at Austin Street, and tune your radio dial to 88.5 FM, you'll be treated to a holiday light show, complete with music. Scott Davenport has been providing the spectacle for

ROCKINGHAM — Four blocks of two downtown city streets will soon get a makeover.
The Rockingham City Council approved a plan Tuesday that would install new trees and correct settling problems that have been “ongoing maintenance issues.”
The project area for the improvements include the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of East Washington S

City to replace downtown trees

ROCKINGHAM — Four blocks of two downtown city streets will soon get a makeover. The Rockingham City Council approved a plan Tuesday that would install new trees and correct settling problems that have been “ongoing maintenance issues.” The project area for the improvements include the 200, 300 and 400 blocks of East Washington S

ROCKINGHAM — From City Hall to the halls of the state Senate, Gene McLaurin has worked to make Richmond County a better place for its residents.
Business leaders recognized McLaurin's tireless service to his community Monday by naming him the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Citizen of the Year.
Rotary Club President Dale McInnis

McLaurin named Citizen of the Year

ROCKINGHAM — From City Hall to the halls of the state Senate, Gene McLaurin has worked to make Richmond County a better place for its residents. Business leaders recognized McLaurin's tireless service to his community Monday by naming him the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce's 2014 Citizen of the Year. Rotary Club President Dale McInnis

ROCKINGHAM — A wide grin spread across 4-year-old Lexie Reep's face when she saw Santa Claus.
Lexie ran to the jolly old elf, who scooped her onto his lap and wrapped her in a tight hug before asking her what she wanted for Christmas.
Visits with Santa in the Richmond Community Theatre were a highlight for many young children and their pare

Crowds brave rain to share in Christmas cheer

ROCKINGHAM — A wide grin spread across 4-year-old Lexie Reep's face when she saw Santa Claus. Lexie ran to the jolly old elf, who scooped her onto his lap and wrapped her in a tight hug before asking her what she wanted for Christmas. Visits with Santa in the Richmond Community Theatre were a highlight for many young children and their pare

ROCKINGHAM — A historic estate in the southern end of Richmond County is back on the market.
The doors of the large, white brick home were open this past weekend for prospective buyers to tour, led by Keller Williams real estate agent Roxanne Holly, who works out of Pinehurst.
Included in an information packet, which lists room sizes and ot

Mill owner's manor up for sale

ROCKINGHAM — A historic estate in the southern end of Richmond County is back on the market. The doors of the large, white brick home were open this past weekend for prospective buyers to tour, led by Keller Williams real estate agent Roxanne Holly, who works out of Pinehurst. Included in an information packet, which lists room sizes and ot

ROCKINGHAM — Derrick McRae's future now rests in the hands of Superior Court Judge William D. Lee.
Following closing statements in a three-day evidentiary hearing, the judge will render a decision in the near future as to whether or not McRae will have a 1998 murder conviction overturned and/or be granted a new trial.
McRae — along wi

'JUSTICE THIS TIME'

ROCKINGHAM — Derrick McRae's future now rests in the hands of Superior Court Judge William D. Lee. Following closing statements in a three-day evidentiary hearing, the judge will render a decision in the near future as to whether or not McRae will have a 1998 murder conviction overturned and/or be granted a new trial. McRae — along wi

ROCKINGHAM — Released from his handcuffs and ankle chains, Derrick McRae sat with his legal defense team through another day of testimony at an evidentiary hearing Tuesday in Superior Court.
The team — featuring Jamie Lau, Jim Coleman and Theresa Newman — is from the Duke University School of Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic, whic

Day 2 of hearing sees former police chief, DA on stand

ROCKINGHAM — Released from his handcuffs and ankle chains, Derrick McRae sat with his legal defense team through another day of testimony at an evidentiary hearing Tuesday in Superior Court. The team — featuring Jamie Lau, Jim Coleman and Theresa Newman — is from the Duke University School of Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic, whic

ROCKINGHAM — A legal team from Duke University is hoping to overturn the conviction of a Richmond County man who has spent the past 18 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit.
An evidentiary hearing began Monday in Richmond County Superior Court following the filing of a motion for appropriate relief filed on behalf of Derric

Murder convict innocent?

ROCKINGHAM — A legal team from Duke University is hoping to overturn the conviction of a Richmond County man who has spent the past 18 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit. An evidentiary hearing began Monday in Richmond County Superior Court following the filing of a motion for appropriate relief filed on behalf of Derric

ROCKINGHAM — A drive-through window for utility payments and a modern, energy-efficient suite of offices have long been on Richmond County leaders' wish list.
Now they're on the shopping list.
County commissioners approved a tentative agreement Monday night to purchase First Bank's 1401 Fayetteville Road branch for $1.7 million. The facilit

County to buy bank building

ROCKINGHAM — A drive-through window for utility payments and a modern, energy-efficient suite of offices have long been on Richmond County leaders' wish list. Now they're on the shopping list. County commissioners approved a tentative agreement Monday night to purchase First Bank's 1401 Fayetteville Road branch for $1.7 million. The facilit





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