It's Election Day...Primary Election Day 2014 here in Wilkes and in North Carolina. Polls open at 6:30 this morning and close at 7:30 this evening. Of course, anyone in line to vote at 7:30 will be allowed to cast their ballot. There are still many challenges to the Voter ID Law that was passed by our state, but barring any changes to the law, beginning in 2016, North Carolina will require voters to show a photo identification (photo ID) when they present to vote in person. This change is a result of the Voter Information Verification Act or “VIVA.” (S.L. 2013-381). Until 2016, most voters will not be required to show any form of identification when they vote including today for the Primary. Local Wilkes County results from the voting today will be listed online at www.wilkescounty.net; just click on Elections and then Election Results. For state returns, visit www.ncsbe.gov
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A West Wilkes English Teacher is currently out on bond after being arrested for sex offenses with two students last week. Kimberly Waddell Macemore was charged with six felony counts of sexual offense involving two 17-year-old males attending West High. According to the Wilkes Sheriff's Office, Macemore also was charged with aiding an underage student obtain alcohol. It is believed the offenses did not take place on the high school campus. Macemore was arrested and given a 14,900 dollar bond. Her bond was posted over the weekend, and she was released from Jail. Macemore was in her second year as an English teacher at West High.
Investigation at the crime scene by Wilkesboro PD led then to a suspect. Sunday afternoon, Wilkesboro Police responded to 3C Automotive regarding a burglar alarm. The owner met Police and told them that some cash was stolen from the business. Police determined that the thief had entered along the west side of the building. Muddy footprints were left at the scene. Police photographed the point of entry and questioned the owner about any suspicious customers last week. The owner remembered one, and from a description, Police pulled up a picture that the owner identified as the man. Police seized other evidence at the scene and charges are pending.
Wilkes Community College Division of Continuing Education will offer a Kid’s College this summer. Parents should register students for classes before May 21. Costs for these courses vary from $30 and up, depending on supplies needed. Space is limited with a minimum class size of six students. All students must be at least 12 years old. “This is our third year of offering Kid’s College at Wilkes Community College. We decided that we would like to offer a Kid’s College to give local youth the opportunity to experience education on a college campus. Last year’s series was a great success, so we are offering it again this year,” says Jeff Shore, director of Occupational Extension.
Governor Pat McCrory over the weekend asked President Barack Obama to declare a disaster in four counties to expedite recovery from the tornadoes and severe storms that struck much of eastern North Carolina April 25. Teams from local, state and federal emergency management agencies spent the week surveying storm damage in Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. Initial reports indicate more than 100 homes incurred major damage or were destroyed by the storms, while 400+ others suffered minor damages. If the declaration is granted, home and business owners in the four affected counties and adjacent counties will be eligible to apply for federal low interest disaster loans or grants to help them repair their homes, pay medical costs, rebuild their businesses and begin the long recovery process. Nine tornadoes swept through the state last Friday, April 25, killing one and injuring 28 others. An EF3 tornado with winds of 150 miles per hour and two EF2 tornadoes – with winds up to 125 miles per hour –caused significant damage to Eastern NC with flooding roads, toppling trees and knocking out power to more than 6,000 residences and businesses.
Got any interest in a helicopter? In another step to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he has instructed the NC Department of Transportation to sell the state-owned helicopter on eBay. Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) wants to sell the state’s helicopter. He tweeted Friday "NC’s helicopter is too expensive, so we’re putting it on @eBay." The 12-passenger, 1998 Sikorsky S-76 cost $265,000 to operate and maintain in 2013 and it was rarely used - spending fewer than 15 hours in the air. It runs about $5,200 an hour to operate. “This is one more example of how state government is operating more efficiently by taking a close look at resources and finding ways to cut costs,” said Governor McCrory in a news release Friday. Proceeds from the sale would go to North Carolina’s general fund, according to the governor’s office. Gov. McCrory's office says the administration is trying to work out a deal with a private helicopter provider when a chopper is needed. There are two twin turbo-prop passenger planes and a Cessna Citation Bravo Jet in the fleet, which is managed by the N.C. Department of Transportation. No word on when the auction will begin.
He was selling pills in a local parking lot until arrested by Police. Wilkesboro Police received information last week about a man in the Walmart parking lot who was selling pills. Police arrived and found the suspect's car in the Creative Cuts parking lot. Police questioned the man and asked him to step outside of the car. When he opened the car door, Police saw that he had a pistol in a holster on his side. The man admitted to selling pills. More pills in a baggie were found in the vehicle along with over 450 dollars in cash. The man, Michael Couch of Roaring River, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver, sell and deliver, and maintaining a vehicle to sell a controlled substance. The pistol, cell phone, and money were seized and placed into evidence. The pills were sent to the SBI for analysis.
Congratulation to student winners from WCC. The second year radiography students at Wilkes Community College won the 75th Annual North Carolina Society of Radiologic Technologists Student Bowl in April. The team beat seven other North Carolina radiography programs to bring home the Rita K. Harlow Memorial Trophy. The team members are Johnathon Bumgarner, Ashley Dines, Michael Merritt and Eric Oakley. The other students that make up the second-year cohort are Kennette Church, Clara McGraw and Hannah Ruegsegger. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of the students, community and workforce.
Wilkesboro Police are working with Boone Police on filing charge against a Jacksonville, NC, man. Boone Police contacted Wilkesboro PD about the theft of a gas card that was used 4 times in Wilkesboro. The card was stolen from University Nissan. Warrants were issued for the fraudulent charges in Wilkesboro and sent to Boone where the suspect is being arrested on charges there as well.
Some changes have been approved for high school sports. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors completed its spring Board meeting on Wednesday at the NCHSAA offices. "The Board had a number of very difficult issues to address," said Davis Whitfield, commissioner. Among some of the items: approved football mercy rule: if point differential reaches 42 or more by halftime; approved basketball mercy rule; if score reaches 40 point differential at halftime; -approved change to use now a different course for those ejected or disqualified; and increased minimum eligibility standard for officials on tests. For the complete list of approved changes, you may visit the website: http://www.nchsaa.org