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News Index
Wednesday
Apr232014

Stolen Checking Account Number and Fake Checks

She has no idea how they got her number.  A North Wilkesboro woman contacted the Wilkes Sheriff's Office this week concerning a case of fraud.  The victim found 3 unauthorized charges from her checking account at the Belk store in Wilkesboro.  Further investigation determined that someone was making checks using the victim's bank account number.  The name and address on the check was not the victim's, but the checking account number was hers.  Three checks were written at Belk totaling 402 dollars.  The Sheriff's Office is investigating but no suspects were given with the report.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Tools Stolen from Garage

Over 1600 dollars in tools were stolen from the garage of a home in Wilkesboro.  Police were called out over the weekend regarding the theft.  The tools including a DeWalt bench grinder, electric winch, generator, Stihl chainsaw, Wheelhorse plow, Blank & Decker Jig Saw, and Black and Decker hedge trimmer were stolen from a house on Fletcher Street.  The victim said some of the tools were in the unlocked part of his garage and others in the locked portion.  It is believed that the tools were stolen while the man was away from home during the daytime hours.  No suspects were listed with the report. 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Spending Easter in Jail

Looks like several around the area ended up spending the Easter Weekend in the Wilkes County Jail.  According to records from the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office, over 30 individuals were arrested since Friday on various charges.  Four people were apprehended on drug charges, 4 arrested for assault, and 4 taken in for vandalism.  Three were arrested for larceny and one for breaking and entering.  Nearly 20 other people were arrested on a variety of charges including child support, obstruction of justice, and probation violations.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Merlefest Starts Tomorrow

Preparations are well underway for MerleFest 2014, presented by Lowe’s, which officially begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday, April 27, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Fans of MerleFest know to expect the unexpected with special surprises, jam sessions and one-of-a-kind musical collaborations from the 130+ acts performing on 13 stages during the four-day festival. As in previous years, the list of performers fits the “traditional plus” definition originally offered by the late Doc Watson. Thursday is also a day for community outreach, with several MerleFest artists visiting and performing at local schools. The conclusion of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest takes place on Friday. The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at  www.MerleFest.org and available on the MerleFest mobile app; festival updates are delivered via Twitter (@MerleFest) and Facebook.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Fake FEMA Agents Stealing from NC Residents

State and federal disaster recovery officials caution North Carolina residents to be on the alert for scam artists using old and new tricks to take advantage of homeowners or to obtain vital information. The Rockingham Sheriff’s Office has reported thieves who pose as FEMA agents in order to rob residents.  According to news reports, the Sheriff’s Office states that while one thief distracts a homeowner, another enters the home to rob it. Last month, Governor Pat McCrory applied for and received federal financial assistance to help nine central North Carolina counties recover some of the costs associated with the March winter storm. People may pretend to be employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other government agencies or public utilities. By going door-to-door or by phone or on the internet, con artists may try to obtain personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers, or, as in the Rockingham County reports, to rob a homeowner. Remember: a FEMA shirt or jacket is not absolute proof of someone’s affiliation with the agency. 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Slow Down and Drive to Live Campaigns in NC

The Highway Patrol ended its Operation Slow Down campaign on Sunday, April 20th.  The campaign which began on Monday, April 14th, was focused on reducing speed related collisions on North Carolina highways. The campaign was conducted in combination with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program No Need to Speed campaign. Speed remains the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in North Carolina and across the country. Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 815 fatal collisions on North Carolina highways statewide. Of those, 208 deaths were contributed to speed.  In 2012, 242 deaths were reported. During the week long campaign, troopers issued over 16,608 citations for numerous traffic violations to include 7,359 speed-related charges. Despite the end of the campaign, troopers will continue to aggressively enforce the speed limits on North Carolina highways. In Fact Drive to Live began on Monday.  With the beginning of prom season scheduled beginning late April and early May, the North Carolina Highway Patrol launched Operation Drive to Live for this week through April 25. The operation will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. each day with the primary purpose of reducing the number of teenage related traffic collisions and deaths. 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Gov's Plan for Coal Ash Ponds

On April 16, Governor McCrory announced a plan that would address coal ash ponds and strengthen environmental and health regulations. The initiative would result in the conversion or closure of all the state’s coal ash ponds, close loopholes in state law to strengthen the state’s ability to regulate coal ash ponds, eliminate special exemptions for utilities and increase regulatory authority to ensure dam safety and protect water quality. “Since taking office in January 2013, my administration has discovered a number of long-standing shortcomings in state law that hamper our ability to adequately protect public health and the environment in addition to dealing with emergencies when they happen,” said Governor McCrory. The plan focuses on three main areas: the conversion or closure of coal ash ponds in North Carolina; increasing pond and dam safety; and protecting drinking and groundwater quality. The governor’s proposed budget for FY2014-15 will also include funding for 19 additional positions to help enforce environmental protections.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Gov Comments on Dropping NC Unemployment Rate

Governor Pat McCrory released the following statement after North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in March, adding over 10,000 jobs in the past month and 56,000 over the last year:  “The March jobs report is more welcome news, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said Governor McCrory. “The continued progress that we have made over the last 15 months is evidence that the policy changes we made are working,” continued Governor McCrory.  The number of people employed increased by 10,277 over the month and increased by 56,211 over the past year. North Carolina saw the second largest year-over-year drop in the unemployment rate – a 2.2 percentage point decrease to 6.3 percent. The last time the North Carolina unemployment rate was at or below 6.3% was in June of 2008. 

Tuesday
Apr222014

Drug Charges and Child Abuse

She was impaired when Police encountered her at Walmart, and she had a two-month-old baby with her.  Police were flagged down in the parking lot of the store and told about an impaired woman.  The Police questioned the woman.  They asked for and received consent to search her.  Some loaded syringes and pills were found in her purse.  The woman was initially charged with drug charges, but since she was so impaired at the time of her arrest, the woman was also charged with child abuse as the 2 month old baby was with her at the time.

Tuesday
Apr222014

WCC Student Awards

Wilkes Community College held its 17th Annual Student Awards Reception last week. The program was hosted in the John A. Walker Community Center, and students received a variety of academic, club and leadership awards. Dr. Gordon Burns, president of Wilkes Community College said, “The Student Awards Program provides an opportunity for us to recognize the hard work and talent of students…”  During his closing remarks, Thurman Padgett, president of the WCC Student Government Association, recognized Dr. Burns for his commitment to the students of the college during his 18-year tenure as president. The North Carolina Comprehensive Community College Student Government Association presented Wilkes Community College Student Government Association an award in recognition for its continued support and activity in the Western Division and for its outstanding service and achievements for the 2012-2013 year.  Wilkes Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System.