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

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

HOFFMAN — A manhunt is under way for two inmates who escaped from Morrison Correctional Institution late Sunday night.
Jacob Pilkington and Frankie Noles — who both have a history of breaking and entering — broke out by climbing a fence sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight, according to Keith Acree of the N.C. Department of Publ

2 inmates on the run

HOFFMAN — A manhunt is under way for two inmates who escaped from Morrison Correctional Institution late Sunday night. Jacob Pilkington and Frankie Noles — who both have a history of breaking and entering — broke out by climbing a fence sometime between 10 p.m. and midnight, according to Keith Acree of the N.C. Department of Publ

ROCKINGHAM — Don't rule out a political comeback for state Sen. Gene McLaurin.
Two weeks after losing his seat in the North Carolina General Assembly to Republican school board member Tom McInnis, the former Rockingham mayor said he would consider seeking elected office again, though he has yet to make any firm decisions.
“I enjoy pub

McLaurin eyes future

ROCKINGHAM — Don't rule out a political comeback for state Sen. Gene McLaurin. Two weeks after losing his seat in the North Carolina General Assembly to Republican school board member Tom McInnis, the former Rockingham mayor said he would consider seeking elected office again, though he has yet to make any firm decisions. “I enjoy pub

ROCKINGHAM — A volunteer emergency responder says he was suspended Tuesday for sharing a story on his Facebook page.
Adrian Robson, a volunteer member of the Richmond County Rescue Squad, said he was suspended “until further notice” after sharing an online story about Tuesday's fatal shooting.
Along with the link, Robson posted:

Suspension challenged

ROCKINGHAM — A volunteer emergency responder says he was suspended Tuesday for sharing a story on his Facebook page. Adrian Robson, a volunteer member of the Richmond County Rescue Squad, said he was suspended “until further notice” after sharing an online story about Tuesday's fatal shooting. Along with the link, Robson posted:

Boston Marathon spectators didn't have to call their nearest and dearest or send a mass text message when two bombs exploded near the finish line in 2013. Facebook and Twitter allowed survivors to reassure frightened families with a few taps and swipes of their smartphones.
At its best, social media can be a vital tool to broadcast urgent news in

OUR VIEW No privacy breach

Boston Marathon spectators didn't have to call their nearest and dearest or send a mass text message when two bombs exploded near the finish line in 2013. Facebook and Twitter allowed survivors to reassure frightened families with a few taps and swipes of their smartphones. At its best, social media can be a vital tool to broadcast urgent news in

County certifies election results

ROCKINGHAM — It was a busy morning at the Richmond County Board of Elections as votes from the 2014 general election were authenticated. Although vote totals changed, elections officials say all outcomes remain the same. According to voting records, there were 149 over-votes during this year's election. Over-voting occurs when a voter choos

ROCKINGHAM — Although police have released few details in a fatal shooting Tuesday, court records identify the men involved and shed light on the dispute that led to the killing.
According to a search warrant, Eric Whitfield and Mack Dewey Smith III — who police were told both live at the Pecan Street home — got into an argument

Shooter, victim ID'd

ROCKINGHAM — Although police have released few details in a fatal shooting Tuesday, court records identify the men involved and shed light on the dispute that led to the killing. According to a search warrant, Eric Whitfield and Mack Dewey Smith III — who police were told both live at the Pecan Street home — got into an argument

HAMLET — Interim Police Chief Rodney Tucker will be stepping down two days before Thanksgiving.
Mayor Bill Bayless said Thursday afternoon that Tucker will resign as of Nov. 25.
“He didn't give us any reason for it,” Bayless said.
Tucker was appointed to temporarily fill the spot of Hamlet's top cop — taking the mantle Ma

Tucker will step down as interim chief in Hamlet

HAMLET — Interim Police Chief Rodney Tucker will be stepping down two days before Thanksgiving. Mayor Bill Bayless said Thursday afternoon that Tucker will resign as of Nov. 25. “He didn't give us any reason for it,” Bayless said. Tucker was appointed to temporarily fill the spot of Hamlet's top cop — taking the mantle Ma

ROCKINGHAM — Tim Pattan has been floating around the idea of opening a restaurant for the past 10 years.
Within the next two months, the idea will become a reality.
Pattan — with his eatery Pattan's Downtown Grille — will be the tenant of Hitchcock Place across from Discovery Place Kids on East Washington Street.
“To see

'A dream come true'

ROCKINGHAM — Tim Pattan has been floating around the idea of opening a restaurant for the past 10 years. Within the next two months, the idea will become a reality. Pattan — with his eatery Pattan's Downtown Grille — will be the tenant of Hitchcock Place across from Discovery Place Kids on East Washington Street. “To see

ROCKINGHAM — Police and prosecutors are working to determine whether to seek criminal charges in a Tuesday afternoon shooting that took a man's life.
R0ckingham police met with District Attorney Reece Saunders' office on Wednesday, but said no decision has yet been made on whether to charge the shooter. Police have been tight-lipped since re

Prosecutors weigh charges in killing

ROCKINGHAM — Police and prosecutors are working to determine whether to seek criminal charges in a Tuesday afternoon shooting that took a man's life. R0ckingham police met with District Attorney Reece Saunders' office on Wednesday, but said no decision has yet been made on whether to charge the shooter. Police have been tight-lipped since re

ROCKINGHAM — Police and prosecutors are working to determine whether to seek criminal charges in a Tuesday afternoon shooting that took a man's life.
Rockingham police Detective Sgt. Donavan Young said Wednesday morning that investigators are working with the Richmond County district attorney's office while the investigation continues.
R

Police, prosecutors weighing charges in fatal shooting

ROCKINGHAM — Police and prosecutors are working to determine whether to seek criminal charges in a Tuesday afternoon shooting that took a man's life. Rockingham police Detective Sgt. Donavan Young said Wednesday morning that investigators are working with the Richmond County district attorney's office while the investigation continues. R

ROCKINGHAM — Several communicable diseases are on the rise in Richmond County, according to a report from the county health department.
Health Director Tommy Jarrell presented statistics to county commissioners Monday night showing a list of 25 diseases and the number of cases dating back to the 2006-07 fiscal year.
Jarrell attributes the i

STDs on the rise

ROCKINGHAM — Several communicable diseases are on the rise in Richmond County, according to a report from the county health department. Health Director Tommy Jarrell presented statistics to county commissioners Monday night showing a list of 25 diseases and the number of cases dating back to the 2006-07 fiscal year. Jarrell attributes the i

ROCKINGHAM — A man is dead after being shot in a city home Tuesday afternoon, according to Rockingham police.
Police have not yet released the names of the victim or the shooter but say the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital following the incident.
A FirstHealth ambulance was at the scene, but police didn't say which hospital the ma

Man dies in shooting

ROCKINGHAM — A man is dead after being shot in a city home Tuesday afternoon, according to Rockingham police. Police have not yet released the names of the victim or the shooter but say the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital following the incident. A FirstHealth ambulance was at the scene, but police didn't say which hospital the ma





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