The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was busy with several arrests over the weekend. There are usually a list of thefts to report here on 3WC News, and at least for this weekend, some of those local thieves were spending some time in the Wilkes County Jail. Several were arrested and charged with larceny including two people for the multiple heat pump thefts we reported on last week. Welcome Home Baptist Church, Thurmond Community Center, and other individuals reported heat pump stolen recently. Over the weekend, Wilkes Sheriff's Deputies arrested Billy Jay Walker age 32 and Beverly Sue Morrison age 30 in those heat pump thefts. Also, 7 individuals were arrested on drug related charges. The additional 19 arrests included 4 assault arrests, 3 for child support, 2 for possession of stolen property, one for burglary, and one for cyber-stalking.
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The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is looking for a stolen car. According to the Millers Creek victim, their 2006 Ford Taurus was parked in their driveway. They did leave the doors unlocked and the keys in the vehicle. The next morning, the car was gone. The stolen vehicle is valued at 5000 dollars; there are no suspects at this time.
You can rent one for a few dollars a day but if you lose one...the price dramatically increases. Wilkesboro Police were called over the weekend concerning a Redbox movie theft. A couple rented movie from Redbox and then went into Lowes Foods. After purchasing items in the store, the couple accidentally left the movie behind at the cash register. It wasn't until they got home that they realized the movie was gone. They returned to the store, but the movie had not been turned in. A call to the Redbox Company revealed that the couple would be responsible for the stolen movie at a cost of 100 dollars. Surveillance video at the store showed an unknown male pick up the movie and leave the store. The thief has not yet been identified.
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in April. The state’s seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, decreasing 0.1 of a percentage point from March’s revised rate of 6.3 percent. The national rate decreased to 6.3 percent from March’s 6.7 percent. North Carolina’s April 2014 unemployment rate was 2.2 percentage points lower than a year ago. Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in April and increased in one. All 14 of the state’s metro areas experienced rate decreases. Scotland County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 4.0 percent. Wilkes County's Unemployment Rate is now at 6.80%, compared to 7.60% in the previous month and 9.20% last year. So Wilkes' unemployment rate fell .8 percent in one month and 2.4 percent over the past year.
Wilkes Regional Medical Center says that they are answering the call of local citizens and that's why they have purchased land for a medical office in Rock Creek. The nearly one acre of land purchased by the hospital is near the Dollar General on Hwy 268 East and plans for construction of an outpatient medical center is already underway. Wilkes Regional has also signed a lease agreement with the West Wilkes Medical Center. The hospital plans to re-open that medical center later in the summer. West Wilkes Medical closed last summer due to a loss of state funding.
Students entering health care professions who are willing to work in Wilkes County, North Carolina are encouraged to apply for competitive awards through the Wilkes Health Foundation. Successful applicants win up to $1,500 per year. Students must be accepted into their program of study. Applications for 2014 scholarships must be completed by Friday, June 27th, 2014. If you have any questions or issues with the process, please don't hesitate to call our office at (336) 838-1949 or go online healthfoundationinc.org.
Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed June as Safety and Hazard Awareness Month to promote the safety, health and well-being of all state employees in the workplace. Since taking office last January, Governor McCrory has continued to focus on workplace safety for state employees. Governor McCrory said, “We need to continue to educate and empower our state employees on the dangers of workplace hazards, and also provide them with the tools they need to prevent harmful and costly injuries.” To address the issue of safety in the workplace, Governor McCrory created a Health and Safety Leadership Team last June. The team has made significant strides during the past year in addressing statewide issues of safety and hazard recognition in the workplace. This year the state is facing a projected 12,000 employee injuries, costing the state an estimated $140 million in workers' compensation costs. The Health State Steering Committee has created a new program that enables the employee to report and remedy the hazard before they or another employee are injured.
Governor Pat McCrory announced that Tyton BioEnergy Systems, a company based in Danville, Virginia, is restarting the former Clean Burn Fuels biorefinery in Hoke County as part of its strategy to convert tobacco, to be grown regionally, into ethanol. The new operation will generate 79 jobs and invest $36 million over the next three years in Hoke, Wake and other surrounding counties. Tyton’s partner, Tyton NC Biofuels LLC, purchased the facility and is planning to add the biofuels manufacturing jobs and restart North Carolina’s only commercial-scale ethanol refinery, which has been idle for more than three years in the city of Raeford. "Companies are establishing operations in North Carolina because our economic environment is strong and our workforce is extremely capable,” said Governor McCrory. Tyton BioEnergy Systems has developed a special energy tobacco plant that is a dedicated non-food fuel crop. Over the next five years, Tyton will work to grow its energy tobacco and establish local rural processing facilities to convert tobacco into sugar for ethanol and oil for biodiesel. Tyton energy tobacco will not compete with traditional tobacco, but rather offer farmers the opportunity to profitably grow a new energy crop in rotation with other row crops or on lands not ideal for other crops. For more information about Tyton BioEnergy Systems, please visit www.tytonbio.com/raeford.
Over 300 dollars in property was stolen from a Fairplains Road home last week. The homeowner returned to find that someone had forcibly entered his residence. Four Chrysler 300 wheels with tires, a window air conditioning unit, a backpack cylinder vacuum cleaner, and a blue hand truck were stolen. In another home break-in, only a computer was taken. A North Wilkesboro homeowner stated that someone had forcibly entered their home. The thief took a Compaq computer with monitor valued at 500 dollars. There is no word on suspects. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating the break-ins.
The incidents of copper thefts continued last week as did the incidents involving heating and air units. A North Wilkesboro victim reported that someone had stolen property from a second residence he owns on Elmore Road. The victim called the Wilkes Sheriff's Office to report the theft of some copper from a heat pump at his North Wilkesboro house. The victim does not live there full-time and the larceny occurred while he was away. Damages are listed at 200 dollars. Then a McGrady homeowner reported a break-in. According to that report, someone entered the house through an open window after they removed the window air conditioning unit. The thief also took water hoses, drop cords, and other items. Stolen property totaled 600 dollars. No suspects were listed with either report. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate.