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

ROCKINGHAM — A week after starting work as fire chief, Harold Isler Jr. made it official by taking his oath of office Friday afternoon.
Joined by his wife Tesha, daughter Destiny, parents Elizabeth and Harold Isler Sr., and mother-in-law Tammy Sanders, the new chief swore to uphold the constitutions of the United States and North Carolina an

New fire chief at home in Rockingham

ROCKINGHAM — A week after starting work as fire chief, Harold Isler Jr. made it official by taking his oath of office Friday afternoon. Joined by his wife Tesha, daughter Destiny, parents Elizabeth and Harold Isler Sr., and mother-in-law Tammy Sanders, the new chief swore to uphold the constitutions of the United States and North Carolina an

ROCKINGHAM — As Labor Day weekend begins, Terry Richardson's career with Richmond County comes to an end.
The county held a retirement celebration for Richardson on Friday, acknowledging his 30 years in the water maintenance department.
“Terry's definitely been a great asset to the county water system,” said Public Works Directo

County honors retiring water maintenance head

ROCKINGHAM — As Labor Day weekend begins, Terry Richardson's career with Richmond County comes to an end. The county held a retirement celebration for Richardson on Friday, acknowledging his 30 years in the water maintenance department. “Terry's definitely been a great asset to the county water system,” said Public Works Directo

Customers converged at the Rockingham Downtown Farmers Market Wednesday to sort through the selection of farm-fresh produce from local vendors.
Vendors offered a variety of fruits and vegetables ranging from watermelons to okra, field peas to peppers and softball-sized peaches and tomatoes.
The farmers market moved to its current location, the pa

Market offers farm-fresh food

Customers converged at the Rockingham Downtown Farmers Market Wednesday to sort through the selection of farm-fresh produce from local vendors. Vendors offered a variety of fruits and vegetables ranging from watermelons to okra, field peas to peppers and softball-sized peaches and tomatoes. The farmers market moved to its current location, the pa

Deputies: Purse stolen from car

ROCKINGHAM — A woman is accused of stealing a purse out of someone's car, according to Richmond County sheriff's deputies. Deputies say Hazel McAuley Ethridge, 59, of Bear Branch Road in Rockingham, broke into a car and stole the victim's purse. Ethridge was arrested Monday and charged with a felony count of breaking and entering of a motor

Labor Day changes trash pickup

ROCKINGHAM — Trash collection for the city will have an altered schedule next week due to the observance of Labor Day. Garbage on the Monday and Tuesday route will be collected on Tuesday and Thursday. Trash on the Tuesday and Friday route will be collected Wednesday and Friday. The department says that, as with any short week, street tras

ROCKINGHAM — Two men are facing charges related to the manufacturing and selling of marijuana in separate cases, according to Richmond County sheriff's deputies.
Deputies say Samuel Russell Smith, 44, of Rockingham, was manufacturing marijuana behind his Sandhills Road home. The sheriff's office didn't say whether he was allegedly growing ma

2 men facing marijuana charges

ROCKINGHAM — Two men are facing charges related to the manufacturing and selling of marijuana in separate cases, according to Richmond County sheriff's deputies. Deputies say Samuel Russell Smith, 44, of Rockingham, was manufacturing marijuana behind his Sandhills Road home. The sheriff's office didn't say whether he was allegedly growing ma

ROCKINGHAM — Brenda Diggs dips her thin paintbrush into a mixed-color swatch of light green, the hue to brush blades of grass.
Meanwhile, Flo Aiken spreads a sea of crimson against a white canvas for the backdrop of a still life, while Pat Halligan sketches out the setup on a drawing pad.
These ladies, along with Peggy Andersen, make up the

Different strokes: Artists' guild forms in Rockingham

ROCKINGHAM — Brenda Diggs dips her thin paintbrush into a mixed-color swatch of light green, the hue to brush blades of grass. Meanwhile, Flo Aiken spreads a sea of crimson against a white canvas for the backdrop of a still life, while Pat Halligan sketches out the setup on a drawing pad. These ladies, along with Peggy Andersen, make up the

A local engineer has volunteered to help with the master plan for Riverside Park, town council members learned at a briefing meeting Tuesday evening.
Steve Howiler is offering to assist the town in preparing a development plan, including preliminary engineering work, drafting plans, assisting in the preparation of narrative documents and assisting

Council discusses plans for park, median

A local engineer has volunteered to help with the master plan for Riverside Park, town council members learned at a briefing meeting Tuesday evening. Steve Howiler is offering to assist the town in preparing a development plan, including preliminary engineering work, drafting plans, assisting in the preparation of narrative documents and assisting

ROCKINGHAM — A woman is accused of using someone else's child support card to go shopping, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say Kamia Lachelle Sloan, 36, of Tillman Road, Rockingham, used a child support card issued to another person without the victim's permission.
Sloan was arrested Monday and charged with obtai

Woman accused of child support card fraud

ROCKINGHAM — A woman is accused of using someone else's child support card to go shopping, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Deputies say Kamia Lachelle Sloan, 36, of Tillman Road, Rockingham, used a child support card issued to another person without the victim's permission. Sloan was arrested Monday and charged with obtai

El Niño making summer's dog days mild

ROCKINGHAM — Cooler temperatures throughout the month in Richmond County have made some days feel more like early fall than mid-summer. The Sandhills region has experienced 11 days of below normal temperatures, according to National Weather Service data. The first four days of the month ranged from four to 11 degrees cooler than usual. R

ROCKINGHAM — Theft is among the most common crimes plaguing Richmond County, police reports and court records show.
A collection of incident reports from the Rockingham Police Department and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office contain more than three dozen cases of larceny in the month of July alone.
Items stolen range from electronics 

Theft a constant crime

ROCKINGHAM — Theft is among the most common crimes plaguing Richmond County, police reports and court records show. A collection of incident reports from the Rockingham Police Department and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office contain more than three dozen cases of larceny in the month of July alone. Items stolen range from electronics 

ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff's deputies have charged a man with murder in the Monday shooting death of a 49-year-old Richmond County man.
Robert David Erby II, 40, of 103 Jayson St. outside Rockingham, is accused of killing Michael Gene Cain early Monday morning in a spray of gunfire inside Erby's home.
Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr. said the men we

Deputies: Man killed friend in spray of gunfire

ROCKINGHAM — Sheriff's deputies have charged a man with murder in the Monday shooting death of a 49-year-old Richmond County man. Robert David Erby II, 40, of 103 Jayson St. outside Rockingham, is accused of killing Michael Gene Cain early Monday morning in a spray of gunfire inside Erby's home. Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr. said the men we

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County officials say Cascades Tissue Group's decision to shift paper converting operations to neighboring Scotland County followed a prolonged recruitment effort to keep the 50-plus jobs here
County Manager Rick Sago said local leaders and state economic development officials negotiated with Cascades Inc. for two years

Richmond County courted Cascades project for 2 years

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County officials say Cascades Tissue Group's decision to shift paper converting operations to neighboring Scotland County followed a prolonged recruitment effort to keep the 50-plus jobs here County Manager Rick Sago said local leaders and state economic development officials negotiated with Cascades Inc. for two years

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team raided a room at the Budgetel Inn around 8:30 Friday morning to arrest a man wanted in Charlotte.
Deputies say they assisted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team in the arrest of 26-year-old Osco Lotharie Jackson.
Jackson was

Deputies nab wanted man in raid

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team raided a room at the Budgetel Inn around 8:30 Friday morning to arrest a man wanted in Charlotte. Deputies say they assisted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team in the arrest of 26-year-old Osco Lotharie Jackson. Jackson was

Armored vehicles roll down the street as men with assault rifles — wearing flak vests and helmets — stand nearby.
The air is filled with clouds of smoke as canisters of gas are fired all around.
Journalists are threatened with capture and death at gunpoint. Some are even arrested.
This isn't a military action in Afghanistan, Iraq or

'Warrior cops' or community policing?

Armored vehicles roll down the street as men with assault rifles — wearing flak vests and helmets — stand nearby. The air is filled with clouds of smoke as canisters of gas are fired all around. Journalists are threatened with capture and death at gunpoint. Some are even arrested. This isn't a military action in Afghanistan, Iraq or

ROCKINGHAM — A bill addressing the coal ash controversy following a spill into the Dan River earlier this year is on its way to the governor's desk.
Lawmakers passed the Coal Ash Management Act late Wednesday before the General Assembly adjourned for the rest of the year.
The bipartisan legislation sets up a commission to oversee the manage

Coal ash cleanup bill passes

ROCKINGHAM — A bill addressing the coal ash controversy following a spill into the Dan River earlier this year is on its way to the governor's desk. Lawmakers passed the Coal Ash Management Act late Wednesday before the General Assembly adjourned for the rest of the year. The bipartisan legislation sets up a commission to oversee the manage

ROCKINGHAM — Police say they caught two men with meth and meth ingredients in a stolen pickup truck.
Rockingham police say James Russell Hash, 33, and John Richard Patrick, 40, both of Rockingham, were seen at Walmart in a truck that had been stolen the previous week from Jacob's Auto Sales.
After the two men were taken into custody, police

Police: Men had meth in stolen truck

ROCKINGHAM — Police say they caught two men with meth and meth ingredients in a stolen pickup truck. Rockingham police say James Russell Hash, 33, and John Richard Patrick, 40, both of Rockingham, were seen at Walmart in a truck that had been stolen the previous week from Jacob's Auto Sales. After the two men were taken into custody, police

ROCKINGHAM — A Maryland-based biofuels company wants to build several new facilities in the region, including one in Richmond County.
Enviva, a biomass fuel producer, has proposed the construction of wood-pellet plants in Richmond and Sampson counties, as well as one in South Carolina, the company said Monday.
The three plants would export

Enviva sets sights on Richmond Co. too

ROCKINGHAM — A Maryland-based biofuels company wants to build several new facilities in the region, including one in Richmond County. Enviva, a biomass fuel producer, has proposed the construction of wood-pellet plants in Richmond and Sampson counties, as well as one in South Carolina, the company said Monday. The three plants would export

ROCKINGHAM — Police have accused a man of stealing school supplies and nearly causing a wreck with an officer's car.
Arrest warrants state 52-year-old Thomas Lee Smith carried off “an assortment school supplies” valued at $50.26 from Maxway Store No. 1408 on Tuesday.
A Carline Street address, as well as “streets of Rocking

Police: Man stole school supplies

ROCKINGHAM — Police have accused a man of stealing school supplies and nearly causing a wreck with an officer's car. Arrest warrants state 52-year-old Thomas Lee Smith carried off “an assortment school supplies” valued at $50.26 from Maxway Store No. 1408 on Tuesday. A Carline Street address, as well as “streets of Rocking

ROCKINGHAM — Two Richmond County men are accused of selling cocaine on multiple occasions, according to sheriff's deputies.
Last Friday, deputies arrested Tamangus Antwan Martin, 30, of Rose Street in Dobbins Heights and Derek Devon Gathings, 22, of Gales Town Road in Rockingham in separate incidents.
Deputies say Martin had sold cocaine to

2 accused of selling cocaine

ROCKINGHAM — Two Richmond County men are accused of selling cocaine on multiple occasions, according to sheriff's deputies. Last Friday, deputies arrested Tamangus Antwan Martin, 30, of Rose Street in Dobbins Heights and Derek Devon Gathings, 22, of Gales Town Road in Rockingham in separate incidents. Deputies say Martin had sold cocaine to




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