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News Index
Friday
Nov042005

News & Sports For November 3rd

Wilkes Unemployment Paints A Confusing Picture
The new unemployment figures for Wilkes County paint a classic case of good news/bad news. Unemployment dropped by the end of September, coming in at 5.4%. That's down from 5.8% at the end of August. However with the lowered unemployment comes a sign that more people are leaving the county. In August, the workforce here in Wilkes was listed at 32,504 people. By September, that number had dropped to 32110, meaning that 394 people had left the workforce and the county in search of a job somewhere else. Also out of that reduced workforce, fewer people are employed. In August, 30631 people had a job here in the county. Now that number has fallen to 30381, a difference of 250 people. By comparison, over in Caldwell County there are currently 38,117 people working and more coming in, with the workforce growing to 41669 as of the end of September.

Wilkes County Off The Hook For Teacher Raises
In October, 3WC News told you about the teacher pay raise which Gov. Easley approved. However at the time, there were questions being raised as to how local governments would be able to pay for the raises, without any increase in funds. Also at the time, state officials said that it would be up to the counties to provide that extra money. Now several weeks later, the Department of Public Instruction has released information saying that North Carolina will cover portions of the cost for this year's raises, giving each county $7 million to spend. When the full raise of 5% kicks in next fall, the state budget will have $150 million set aside for the project. Governor Easley's office said that a communications mixup was to blame for the confusion.

Red Cross Looking For Fundraising Help
The Red Cross finds itself in need of help as we enter the month of November. The local chapter continues to sell cookbooks, to help raise the money it needs to cover costs of daily operations, in addition to the funds used to help victims of the recent hurricanes. The cost of a cookbook is $10 and it contains recipes from chapter members along with their family and friends. For more information or to purchase one, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Wreck Just Off Cabin Creek Road Injures Local Man
A wreck just off Cabin Creek Road earlier this week injured a local man. The 21-yr-old was driving an all-terrain vehicle when he lost control and wrecked, in the woods near Cabin Creek. His injuries were bad enough that EMS contacted Baptist Hospital and the man was flown there to receive treatment. An update on his condition as well as the man's name were not available.

Focus On The Kitchen
When people can’t afford to buy food here in Wilkes, the Samaritan’s Kitchen lends a hand. The Kitchen, which has been in operation for over six years, is involved with several different programs throughout the week. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, the Kitchen finds itself in need of major support, both with food donations and volunteer help. If you can set aside thirty minutes or three hours, whatever you can spare, please contact Elizabeth Ferguson with Samaritan’s Kitchen. The number is 838-5331.

Pregnancy Center Needs Volunteers
As we start the month of November, the Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center finds itself in need of help. The Center is looking for volunteers however before someone can begin helping, they need to go through a training session. Coming up next week, there will be a three day session beginning November 10th and finishing Saturday November 12th. The sessions last for 2 ½ hours on Thursday and Friday, then wrap up with a three hour session on Saturday. For more information about what training involves or if you want to sign up, you can call the Center at 838-9272.

Focus On Hats
Women have to juggle a lot of different jobs, taking the role of cook, caretaker, banker and several others all to benefit their families. Coming up this Saturday, Fountain of Life Church wants to honor all the ladies with a special "Hats Off To Women" Service. Former Wilkes County resident and christian comedian Kim Coleman will be speaking at the event and she'll be Brian's guest this week for Focus on the Foothills as they'll be talking more about the event and also about Kim's own ministry as a Christian comedian. That's coming up later today at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Thieves Break Into Millers Creek Man's Vehicle
Sometimes even locking up isn't enough to protect your car from thieves. A Millers Creek man found that out earlier this week, after he got off work to find his car was damaged. Thieves had somehow managed to unlock the car, by using the partially opened passenger side window. After gaining access, they took 115 CDs from inside the vehicle, along with a portable CD player and the man's cell phone. The cell phone number and other information was given to Wilkesboro police and that investigation is ongoing.

Home Heating Series Pt.3
The things you don't do can be just as important when dealing with ways to heat your home. In part three of our Home Heating Series, we take a look at some things you might want to stay away from. First off, never use gasoline or starter fluid to ignite a fire in your fireplace. You'd be surprised how many people do that each year and cause a major blaze that puts the entire home at risk. Also fireplace chimneys commonly build up creosote, which is itself flammable. Be careful how much trash or paper you burn in your fireplace, as they are the number one cause of creosote buildup. Also be careful when using space heaters. They need to be kept on the floor, away from any combustible materials. Always unplug your heaters when going to bed or leaving the house and if you have a kerosene heater, never substitute gas or camp stove fuel. That could cause some serious problems you don't need. In tomorrow's final installment, carbon monoxide can be a major problem where furnaces and fireplaces are concerned. We'll take a look at some of the problems and offer some solutions.

Regional News

Search Is On For Man In Alexander County
Officials are hunting for a man in Alexander County accused of being involved with at least 12 seperate break-ins. Donta Miller is wanted by sheriff's deputies for breaking into several mobile homes in the area and also burning down two of them in the process. He was supposed to turn himself in on Monday, but instead went on the run. Alexander County Sheriff's Deputies are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call at 828-632-4658.

State News

Smoking To Possibly Cost More
Some bad news for smokers in North Carolina. Depending on where you work, it could cost more for you to smoke. Several companies in the state, including General Mills and Northwest Airlines, are raising the raises of their employees' health insurance. But only those who are identified as smokers will be seeing more taken out of their paycheck. Officials at several of the companies say they hope this plans will convince people to quit smoking.

Highway Patrol Asking For Help In Hit & Run
The Greensboro Highway Patrol is asking for help to locate a hit & run driver. Late Monday night, a man was hit while walking on the side of Business I-85 near the Groometown Road exit. Officials are still trying to identify him, as the man had no wallet or other form of ID on him. He was wearing a camouflage jacket, black pants, a hat and shoes and was hit by an early 1980s Jeep, either a Cherokee or a Comanche that had damage done to the right front side. Highway Patrol officers are asking anyone with information to call toll free to 1-800-445-8621.

Jobs Lost At Winston Plant
Bad news for workers in the Winston Salem area, as the Hanes company announced this week that it plans to lay off 144 workers at its' local plant. The Hanes Dye and Finishing plant will see its' workforce literally cut in half but company officials said they had no choice, citing the increasing number of cheaper textile imports coming here from overseas.

Take Your Junk To The Baseball Park
For anyone looking to get rid of those old electronics you don't use anymore, this Saturday might be a good day to do it. From 9am til 3pm, L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste And Electronics Collection. It's open to anyone, no matter where you live and any type of electronic equipment can be dropped off. The event is hosted by the Catawba County government with several different companies on hand to collect and dispose of the material. The only things not accepted at the event will be tires, any radioactive, biological, explosive or other form of truly hazardous waste. Once again that'll be going on at the L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the minor league Hickory Crawdads on Saturday from 9am til 3pm.

North Carolina Not A "Decent" Place To Work
According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, North Carolina isn't a "decent" place to work. A study was done of all fifty states, ranking them in regards to job opportunities, job quality and fairness in the workplace. Deleware was ranked number one, with New Hampshire second, Minnesota third and Vermont coming in fourth. North Carolina ranked 39th in job opportunities, and fairness in the workplace, while coming in 28th in regards to job quality. Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana were at the bottom of the list, with Louisiana dead last.

Sports Headlines

UNC Recievers Focus Of Concern
Concerns are being raised this week in Chapel Hill, after Tarheel wide recievers stumbled against Virginia and Boston College. Jesse Holley leads the Heels with 27 catches for 355 yards, that's more than double the production from anyone else on the roster. Combined, the other recievers, Jarwarski Pollock, Mike Mason, Wallace Wright and Derrele Mitchell have only caught 43 passes for 712 yards. That's an average of just 178 yards each. With the Tarheels needings wins in three out of their last four games just to qualify for a bowl bid, Coach John Bunting made that a focus of practice this week. The Heels will play at home against Boston College this Saturday.

Bad News Continues For UNC Charlotte
In college basketball, the bad news continues for UNC Charlotte as they get set for the season opener. The team will lose senior guard Marcus Bennett for about three weeks after he partially tore ligaments in his left thumb. Meanwhile four other members are also walking wounded. Guards Leemire Goldwire, De'Angelo Alexander and forwards E.J. Drayton and Courtney Williams, have all missed practice over the last few weeks. All five are expected to miss some, if not all of the preseason, including the BCA Invitational but plan to suit up for the home opener in Halton Arena Nov. 23rd.

East Carolina Names New Baseball Coach
A few weeks after suspending their baseball coach, East Carolina has found a replacement. Interim head coach Billy Godwin had the tag removed from his title this week, assuming full control of the Pirates' program. He'll be taking over for Randy Mazey, who was suspended from the team in October for unspecified reasons. Despite the suspension however, Mazey has yet to be officially fired. School officials said that they were impressed with Godwin's leadership since taking over.

Hurricanes' Staal Named Offensive Player Of The Month
For the first time since 1980, a member of the Carolina Hurricanes was named the NHL's offensive player of the month. 21-yr-old Eric Staal leads the league with 22 points so far in 11 games this year and was named the player of the month for October. Staal will put his six game scoring streak on the line later tonight when the Hurricanes play host to Toronto in Raleigh. So far this season, the 8-2 Hurricanes, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, are unbeaten at home.

Former Panther On List For Hall Of Fame
In the NFL, a former member of the Carolina Panthers is on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. Defensive end Reggie White, who suited up for the Panthers back in 2000, leads this year's list of former coaches and players. Also making it on the ballot was John Madden and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, among others on the list of over 25 names. The final 13 finalists will be announced later this year, with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony being held the day before Super Bowl 40, on Feburary 4th of 2006.

Wednesday
Nov022005

News & Sports For November 2nd

News From Last Night's Commissioners Meeting
Wilkes County could be looking at an increase in sales tax, after last night's commissioners meeting. The board of commissioners voted for Wilkes to be included in a resolution going before the General Assembly in February. 48 counties in North Carolina have their names on the resolution, which would give each of them permission to raise the sales tax a 1/2 cent in their respective areas. If the resolution is passed by the General Assembly, it would then come back and be voted on in November of 2006. According to County Manager Gary Page, the increase in sales tax would generate $2.4 million each year in revenue, just enough to pay for the county's portion of the new high schools. All five commissioners agreed that it should go to the citizens for a vote and approved the resolution. In other news from the meeting, a public hearing was set for December 20th to discuss using land near Hwy 421 West for a Truck and Used Farm Equipment Sales lot. And the Chesnut Acres Phase 2 subdivision was approved in Mulberry.

JobFair Later Today At WCC
For many people here in Wilkes, the economic problems of the area have made it hard to find work. It can be complicated at times. What companies are hiring? What skills are they looking for? The Wilkes Joblink Center was created to help answer those questions. And coming up later this morning, the Center will hold a Job Fair at Wilkes Community College. The event will be held from 10am til 1pm at the John A Walker Center. If you’re looking for a job, all you have to do is show up and over 45 different employers will be on hand for an interview.

Thieves Break Into Deejays
A Wilkesboro business fell prey to thieves earlier this week. At DeeJays resturant, the owner came in Sunday morning to find that her office door was open and over $4000 was missing. The door to the office had been forced open by the thieves and all information was turned over to sheriff's deputies. There are suspects in the case and that investigation continues.

Focus On Hats
Women have to juggle a lot of different jobs, being cook, caretaker, banker and several others all to benefit their families. Coming up this Saturday, Fountain of Life Church wants to honor all the ladies with a special "Hats Off To Women" Service. Former Wilkes County resident and christian comedian Kim Coleman will be speaking at the event and will be Brian's guest this week for Focus on the Foothills as they'll be talking more about the event itself and also about Kim's own ministry as a Christian comedian. That's coming up tomorrow at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Tag Stolen While Owner Shops
A Moravian Falls woman came out of the pharmacy earlier this week to find that someone had paid a visit to her car. There was no damage done to the vehicle, however the car's tag had been ripped off. Witnesses however saw what they described as a suspicious vehicle circling the area earlier in the day and turned that information over to Wilkesboro police. There are suspects and that investigation is ongoing.

Tickets Still Left For Inman Conference
Coming up this Sunday, the Friends of the Library will welcome in former tv anchor Bob Inman to speak at their annual dinner meeting. The event, which will be held at the North Wilkesboro Elks Club, will feature Inman discussing the experiences of his life as an author and journalist. There is a fee of $25 to attend this Sunday's dinner, with proceeds going to benefit the Wilkes County Library. However if you want to make reservations, you better hurry. Today is the last day to do that by calling 667-6910.

Eat Fast Food For A Good Cause
This Friday, you can help raise money for a good cause with every burger you eat. Communities in Schools is partnering up with the local Hardees' for Community Day. This Friday, a percentage of all the day's sales at Hardees will be donated to Communities in Schools, to help fund things such as their Lunch Buddy program. There's no paperwork involved, you don't have to request for your money to go to the organization. All you have to do is simply go in and eat this Friday throughout the day. For more information you can give Communities in Schools a call. Their number is 651-7830.

State News

Search Ends For Missing Girl And Grandmother
Officials in Craven County have finally laid to rest their search for 15-yr-old Heather Roberts and her grandmother. Their remains were found in the van that was brought up on Monday from the bottom of the Neuse River. The discovery ends a 10-month old search and begins what could possibly be a murder case. Just before the two disappeared, the house they had been living in caught fire and investigators still haven't been able to determine what caused it. Questions are now being raised if the fire and the disappearance is somehow linked.

North Carolina Families Starving
It turns out that North Carolina families are literally starving. In a study done at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, North Carolina households came in fourth in the nation in regards to the rate of hunger. 4.9% of North Carolina families classified as being hungry, that's just below Arkansas at 5.3 while Oklahoma is first in the nation with a hunger rate of 5.6%. Data for the study was taken from the Department of Agriculture, which also found that over the last five years, the number of hungry familes across the U.S. jumped by 43%.

Vandals Cause Thousands In Damage To Chapel Hill School
What possibly started out as a high school prank turned extremely costly for East Chapel Hill High. When officials came in to get things ready for the school day, they found vandals had been by during the night. All parts of the school, from the main building, to the parking lot and even the concession stands at the nearby football field were hit, with estimated damages placed at over $5000. The vandals did leave behind one piece of evidence, spraypainting the numbers "06" on the buildings, symbolizing next year's graduating class.

Valdese Company Closes Its Doors
Bad news for workers in Valdese, as Carolina Mills is cutting back both on the local plant's operating hours and on the staff. 100 of the 220 workers at the plant will be let go, an almost 50% reduction as the company moves to a five day workweek. Company officials blamed the changes on rising natural gas prices and competition from cheaper foreign goods.

Black Substance Appearing In Canton Water
Officials in Canton North Carolina are testing a strange black substance found leaking out into the water this week. Barrels containing the substance were found leaking originally over the weekend, then earlier this week firefighters were called out to clean up a 20 by 30 spill of the material in the local river. Residents of Haywood County have been asked to conserve water as lines were shut down leading into the town of Clyde. As a temporary measure, people in Clyde will be getting water from nearby Waynesville. There is still no answer as to what the substance is.

Sports Headlines

High School Sports Tonight
Around the high school scene, several matches will be going on tonight. In soccer, the state tournament has started and in the 1A division, both East Wilkes and West will have their teams on the field. The 11-10 West Wilkes Blackhawks will be on the road against South Stanly, while East Wilkes heads up to Bishop McGuiness for their first round battle. In the 2A division, Wilkes Central recieved a first round bye and won't know their opponent until later this week.

NC State Lands New Recruit
Some good news for the NC State Wolfpack. While this year's football season hasn't exactly gone as planned, 2006 is looking a lot better. The Wolfpack added another name to their recruiting class this week, as DeAndre Morgan committed to the school. The 5-10 Morgan, a defensive back from Florida, turned down offers from Wake Forest, Syracuse, Clemson and Purdue to join State. Morgan will join his older brother DaJuan at the school. DaJuan Morgan, also a defensive back, is a redshirt freshman this season.

Wake's Chris Barclay Takes Weekly Award
After running for 204 yards in the win against Duke, Wake Forest's Chris Barclay was named co-offensive player of the week by the ACC. He shares the honor with Miami's Tyrone Moss, who put up 194 yards against UNC last Saturday. Also Andre Brown, NC State's freshman running back was named the ACC rookie of the week, after running for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Southern Mississippi.

Panthers Make Roster Moves
Coming off their 38-13 win over Minnesota on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers made some roster moves. Gone is cornerback Garnell Wilds, who the team released. Taking his place on the roster is third round pick Atiyyah Ellison, who was brought up from the practice squad. The Panthers will be fighting for first place in the NFC South this week when they take on Tampa Bay.

NASCAR Standings
Taking a look at the Nextel Cup Standings, Tony Stewart increases his first place lead, holding a 43 point lead over second place Jimmie Johnson. In third is Greg Biffle, 75 point back and fourth place is occupied by Sunday's winner Carl Edwards, sitting 107 points behind Stewart. Ryan Newman is fifth, Mark Martin sixth, Matt Kenseth seventh, Rusty Wallace eighth, Kurt Busch is ninth and Jeremy Mayfield is bringing up the back of the pack in the Chase for the Cup. The next race will be the Dickies 500 this Sunday.

Wednesday
Nov022005

News & Sports For November 1st

People Turn Out To Say Goodbye To Fallen Soldier
Over 500 people turned out to pay their final respects Sunday to a fallen soldier from Wilkes County. Petty Officer Third Class Chris Thompson was laid to rest at the Mountlawn Memorial Gardens, with a 21-gun-salute and full military honors presents. The 25-yr-old Thompson was killed on October 21st while on his second tour of duty in Iraq. A homemade bomb exploded near a Humvee he was riding in just west of Baghdad.

Fugitive Picked Up In Wilkes
On Sunday of this week, sheriff's deputies saw a vehicle weaving over the center line while driving on the Bethany Ford Road. They pulled over the car and asked for ID from both the driver and passenger. The passenger, 55-yr-old Jose Torres it turns out, was wanted on charges in California. The SBI was contacted and Torres is sitting in the WIlkes County Jail awaiting extradition.

Structure Fire On East Church Street
The home of a Wilkesboro fireman burned to the ground Monday morning, after a structure fire gutted the building. Former fireman Tommy Michaels, who's out on disability and his family were able to get out of the house, located on East Church Street, without any injuries. The fire itself is believed to have been caused by a baseboard heater in the home which was accidentally turned on.

More Counterfeit Money In Wilkes
Wilkesboro police discovered some more counterfeit money over the weekend. A man and woman came into Wal-Mart and had tried to pay for their purchases with a fake $20 bill. When the cashier refused to accept it, the couple left their items and took off out the door. Security cameras and the cash itself were all turned over to Wilkesboro police and that investigation is ongoing.

Home Heating Series Pt. 2
Now that we're in November, the temperature is dropping down at night and we're starting to see the weather drop below freezing. With that in mind, part two of our 3WC Home Heating Series has some more tips on how to winterize your house. First, keep the damper closed on your fireplace unless you have a fire going. According to Duke Power experts, keeping it open is like opening up a window, as the warm air rises up the chimney. Another tip is to buy a humidifier, since heat clings to moisture in the air. A humidifier can help warm a room in your house by about ten degrees. Also check the filter in your furnace at least once a month and replace it at least twice a year. Finally, be sure and get a blanket for your water heater. That'll more than pay for itself when the temperature drops below freezing. Tomorrow in part three of our series, we take a look at some things you shouldn't do, when trying to get your home ready for winter.

Always A Good Idea To Wear Sunglasses
The sun caused a wreck in Wilkesboro over the weekend. Early Saturday morning, A Shelby man was pulling out of the Texaco parking lot on Hwy 421, but later told police he couldn't see where he was going because the sun got in his eyes. He slammed into a Wilkesboro man's car, causing an estimated $2500 worth of damage. Thankfully however no one was injured in the crash.

WCC Holds Program For Business Leaders
There can be a lot of headaches if you run your own business. What’s the requirement to qualify for overtime? What’s an appropriate amount of time to set aside for rest and meal breaks? How can you legally fire someone without putting your business at risk of a lawsuit? All those questions and more will be answered this afternoon during a seminar at Wilkes Community College. The event lasts from 1-4pm and will be held in Room 1112. For more information or to register, you can call the WCC Joblink Center at 651-2550.

Thieves Hit Home In Moravian Falls
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a home in Moravian Falls over the weekend, after thieves paid a visit. The homeowner returned to find Several hundred dollars worth of material was missing, including a Playstation, DVD Player, color TV and over $200 in coins. It's still unclear exactly how the thieves got inside however, as there was no damage done to the property and no sign of forced entry. That investigation is still ongoing.

Thieves Walk Out Of Best Way With Reciever
Thieves hit a Wilkesboro store over the weekend, walking out of Best Way with over $400 worth of merchandise. Apparently while inside, the suspect took a Techwood Surround Sound Reciever from the shelf and walked out the door with it. There was however a witness that saw the theft and a description of the thief, along with his name, was provided to Wilkesboro police. Warrants are being taken out in the case.

Last Week For Christmas In Wilkes Applications
After this coming Friday, no more applications will be taken for this year's Christmas in Wilkes program. November 4th is the cutoff date for parents to turn in the names of their kids. Every year, the names of needy kids are placed on Angel Trees throughout Wilkes County, so that people can provide the children with toys and clothes their parents otherwise couldn't afford. You can drop off applications at the North Wilkesboro Rotary Club Building, located behind Cooks in West Park. Today and Wednesday, you can come by from 11am til 7pm, then on Thursday and Friday, from 11am til 5pm. When coming to apply, parents or guardians must bring a picture ID, proof of their current income and social security cards for both the parents and children. For more information you can call Judi Mitchell with Christmas in Wilkes. Her number is 667-7174.

Thieves Desperate To Do Some Fall Cleaning
Thieves in the Boomer area apparently were desperate to do some fall cleaning over the weekend, as they ran off with a local man's vaccum cleaner. The back door to the man's home had been pried open and the shopvac, along with a blacak and decker drill were taken from the residence. Deputies do have a suspect in the case, as a green camero had been seen driving back and forth in front of the house. That investigation is continuing.

State News

Officials Find Link To Year Old Missing Persons Case
It was a case that puzzled investigators across the state, when 15-yr-old Heather Roberts and her 55-yr-old grandmother disappeared last winter. The pair had called relatives asking for help, saying that they were drowning in their van. But search teams could never locate the vehicle. Now however divers have located the vehicle, while on another missing persons case in the Neuse River. Officials with Craven County are taking their time pulling up the van, trying to preserve any evidence inside.

Massive Halloween Celebration Spills Out In Chapel Hill
Over 75,000 spilled out into Franklin Street Monday night, for Chapel Hill's annual Halloween celebration. Police shut down the area surrounding Franklin after 9pm and searched would be party-goers for any banned items. Alcohol, paint and fireworks were all banned from the event, which made the job easier for the 364 officers representing over 16 different law enforcement agencies, called out to maintain control.

Police SUV Still Missing
Police in the Winston area are on the lookout today for a missing SUV, one that had been used by their own officers. Over the weekend, the officers parked the vehicle at a residence on University Parkway and minutes later it was gone. The white 2000 Ford Explorer has the license plate MWD-4124. There are no weapons inside however local police are asking people with information to call Crimestoppers at 336-727-2800.

Robot Helps Ocean Scientists
Scientists at UNC Wilmington have a new tool to help in exploring the Carolina coast. The Pelagia, a robotic submersible glider, is being used to gather information on the ocean environment. The robot records all biological and physical changes to the environment, allowing scientists to track incoming storms and also to see what impact hurricanes and other weather patterns have on the ocean.

Easley Reappoints Board Of Elections
There'll be no change when the State Board of Elections takes office this year, as Gov. Mike Easley reappointed all five members to a new term this week. Democrats had fought against the move, although it was never explained why. Currently three democrats, Larry Leake, Bob Cordle and Genevieve Sims and two republicans Lorraine Shinn and Chuck Winfree are on the board, with a new appointment that doesn't expire until 2009. The board was originally supposed to be appointed back in May, but infighting with the Democratic Party put off the process until now.

Sports Headlines

UNC Quarterback Ready To Play
There had been some concerns after Saturday's game if UNC quarterback Matt Baker would be able to play this week. Baker sprained his ankle during the loss to Miami and was kept out of the final minutes. Now however, Coach John Bunting says that he'll be ready to go when Boston College comes to town this week. What's not so good for the Heels, who have to win three out of their last four to have a shot at a bowl game, is the fact three of their defensive players might be out for a while. Linebacker Jeff Longhany pulled a hamstring, defensive lineman Melik Brown sprained his left ankle and defensive back D.J. Walker got a concussion during the loss against Miami. All are listed as day to day and will probably miss this Saturday's contest.

NC State Player Out For Season
Meanwhile some bad news out of the NC State camp, as defensive tackle John McCargo could be out for the year. McCargo, a 6-2 295 lb. junior, went under the knife to fix a stress fracture in his left foot. However even though the surgery was a success, it could take until spring practice to fully heal. In other Wolfpack news, Coach Chuck Amato announced that freshman runningback Andre Brown would get his first start of the season as the team goes on the road to take on Florida State.

Wake Forest Freshman Suspended
The Wake Forest basketball team will have to do wihtout one of their top recruits for a few weeks after freshman Kevin Swinton was suspended. Swinton was suspended by the coaching staff for 30 days, meaning that he'll miss two exhibition games, two games in the regular season and also the first two games in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament. It's still unclear what exactly Swinton did, as athletic department officials would only say that he violated team policy. Swinton was the top ranked recruit in this year's Deacon class, after taking Dudley High School to the state championship last season.

Panthers Almost Get A Clean Bill Of Health
As the Carolina Panthers gear up for next week's game against Tampa Bay, the team almost got a clean bill of health. The exceptions were Julius Peppers, who's still dealing with some broken bones in his right hand, which require a cast. Now comes news that linebacker Dan Morgan, who's dealing with a seperated shoulder, will also have some extra equipment for the rest of the year. In order to play, Morgan will have to put his shoulder in a harness so that it won't pop out. The injury will probably need to be surgically fixed after the season.

New Fuel Being Tested In IRL
Some changes could be coming in the racing community sooner than later. In the IRL league, officials announced this week that over the next two years, they'll be making a switch to grain based ethanol to power their cars. To begin with next season, cars will use a special blended gasoline that mixes in 10% ethanol before a totally new engine is installed in 2007. IRL officials said they made the move because ethanol is cheap in the Midwest, where the Series is based and with rising gas prices, they had to do something to keep ticket prices low. Depending on how the experiment goes, NASCAR could be making the switch as well. Testing continues but spokesman Ramsey Poston said that technicians haven't found the right formula to use on the cars yet.

Monday
Oct312005

News & Sports For October 31st

Share-A-Thon Success
It was a spirit-filled weekend here at the 3WC Studio's as the Fall share-a-thon was held for the Ebenezer Christian Children's Home. The weekend started with hopes that between 50 and 60 thousand dollars would be pledged, that was the amount needed to complete the Hope home project. Over the course of the two day event, over $67,300 was raised. Nearly 100 volunteers came together to make the share-a-thon a success. If you made a pledge over the weekend, you may mail it to:
The Home
PO Box 2777
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

Men In Christ March On Wilkes
115 men marched in Broadway over the weekend to signify the beginning of a new ministry. The Men in Christ Ministry held a march, starting at the Rickards Chapel AME Zion Church and going all the way down to the old Lincoln Heights School. The march began at 9am Saturday morning and was planned, ministry members said, to show that some men in the community want to help and do positive things.

Halloween Trick Or Treating Tips
With today being October 31st, a lot of kids will be going out trick or treating with their parents. Here are some tips for when you’re out and about tonight. Only go to homes of people you know or well lit houses with the porch light on. Also both adults and kids need to wear light colored or reflective costumes, so that people can see you when you’re near the highway. Keep your costume away from open fires and candles. The reason being is that a lot of costumes are extremely flammable. And be careful not to let kids eat any candy until you’ve had a chance to check it and make sure there aren’t any problems.

Money Stolen From Ronda Home
Be careful who you let inside your home. A Ronda woman found that out the hard way last week, after thieves ran off with $1900 from her house. A man had knocked on the door and asked if he could come in, saying that he was there to check on the floors. He asked the woman to help him measure the floors while another man went through the home and took the money. Then both took off running out the door. The victim gave deputies a description of one of the suspects and the investigation continues.

Two Cars Damaged At Fast Food Restaurant
A Wilkesboro woman was waiting in line at the local Burger King last week when she was hit by a drunk driver. 41-yr-old Melvin Bumpus was also pulling in but couldn’t slow down in time to avoid hitting the woman’s car. Estimated damage was placed at $500 to her car and Mr. Bumpus was charged by Wilkesboro police with DWI and driving with a revoked license.

Home Heating Series Pt.1
With the calendar turning towards November, the temperature is dropping and it’s time to start thinking about ways to heat your home. For the rest of this week, 3WC News will be presenting a Home Heating Series, giving you tips on safe ways to prepare your house for the winter months. First off, if you haven’t already, now is a good time to install blinds or curtains in your windows. They help keep warm air inside, preventing it from escaping. Also turn off any exhaust fans in your home unless you’re using them to cook or vent smoke. If left unattended, they suck the warm air out of your house. Another good idea before it gets too cold is to climb up in your attic and check the insulation. Over 10% of the warm air leaves your home through cracks and tears in the attic insulation. A quick patch job can help ensure that your home stays warmer through the winter. Finally today, check your doors and windows, to make sure there are no cracks where cold air can get in. Especially late at night, homes can freeze up as cold air blows in.

Car Vandalized In Store Parking Lot
A North Wilkesboro woman got a surprise while shopping last week. She walked out of the local Belk’s store to find that someone had damaged her car. The passenger side window had been busted out, with estimated damage totaling $200. However despite the damage, nothing was missing from inside. Wilkesboro police are continuing the investigation.

Child Abuse Prevention Conference Coming Up This Friday
Child abuse affects all of us in some way, in our churches, schools and even in the workplace. To help people better understand the problem, the Child Abuse Prevention Team here in Wilkes County is getting set to hold a conference coming up this Friday. Childhood depression and postpartum depression will be the topics addressed at the conference. People can sign up for a fee of $55. Along with the conference itself, breakfast and lunch will be included in that price. For more information you can call Our House at 667-5555.

Fire Department Sign Taken For A Ride
Halloween came a little bit early for members of the Little Brushy Mountain Fire Department last week as thieves ran off with the sign for their hayride. The sign, which stood next to the road, was across the street from the local Run-In. The store’s cameras caught the thieves as they ran off with the sign and all the information was turned over to sheriff’s deputies. There are suspects in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Job Fair This Wednesday
For many people here in Wilkes, the economic problems of the area have made it hard to find work. It can be complicated at times. What companies are hiring? What skills are they looking for? The Wilkes Joblink Center was created to help answer those questions. And coming up this Wednesday, the Center will hold a Job Fair at Wilkes Community College. The event will be held from 10am til 1pm at the John A Walker Center. If you’re looking for a job, all you have to do is show up and over 45 different employers will be on hand for an interview.

Vandals Hit North Wilkesboro Home
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a North Wilkesboro home late last week, after vandals came by for a visit. After the homeowner left for work, neighbors said they saw a green ford ranger pulled in and a few minutes later take off. When the homeowner returned, a window at the home had been shattered. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

Plant Closing In Murphy
Some bad news for people in Murphy North Carolina, as Western Forge is shutting down its’ plant. 170 people will lose their jobs in the move, which company officials said was caused by increasing competition.

Fugitives Being Hunted In Alamance
Officials in Alamance County are searching today for two fugitives that escaped over the weekend. Charles Turner and David Richards are both wanted an assault charges in Florida. The northwestern part of Alamance County has been blocked off from the rest of the state as roads have been closed and helicopters circle overhead.

State Fines Company Over Fair
North Carolina finds itself going to court once again, this time over the state fair. Several rides had to be shut down before the fair started, after they failed safety inspections. As a result, state officials fined Wade Shows $20,000 for violating their contract agreeement. Even after the fines, the company was paid $2.23 million for the fair.

ID Theft Case Broken In Lenoir
A woman who stole the identities of eight people is in a Caldwell County jail today. 31-yr-old Phoebe Davis of Burke County is accused of scamming over 20 businesses and impersonating eight different people. Officials originally had searched her home and found several birth certificates and credit cards but Davis herself had disappeared. Caldwell County deputies found her in Granite Falls.

Cumberland Deputy Charged With Drug Trafficking
A sheriff’s deputy in Cumberland County finds herself facing drug trafficking charges today. 26-yr-old Tirhonda Leach was arrested after officials found cocaine and marijuana inside her vehicle. The original target of the investigation had been Leach’s mother, but when she pulled up to the house, investigators searched her car and found 135 grams of marijuana and 53 grams of cocaine.

Blue Ridge Parkway To Stay Open Longer
It’ll be a longer season than expected for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Usually campgrounds, hotels and visitor centers on the Parkway close down November 1st. But due to temperatures only recently dropping into the 30s, officials have announced that the visitor centers will be open until November 13th and facilities at Mount Pisgah will be running until this Saturday.


Sports Headlines

High School Football Scoreboard
Taking a look around the high school football scene this weekend, East Wilkes blew out Alleghany 40-6 at home, bringing their record to 5-6 on the year with one game left. Also on the road against a tough Ashe County team, Wilkes Central fought hard but fell just short as they lost 13-7. The Eagles drop to 2-8 with the loss. And West Wilkes lost a heartbreaker to East Surry 20-17. West falls to 6-4 with the loss. And in a major upset, it was Mt. Airy knocking off Elkin 28-23. The loss was Elkin’s first this year.

Mathis Loses In Tennis Championship
In high school tennis, Wilkes Central’s Emily Mathis went all the way to the finals of the state’s 2A championship but fell just short, losing straight sets to Britney Cloer of Brevard. Cloer won 6-2, 6-1 for her third state title in three years.

Local Teams Advance In Track
Taking a look around the track this weekend, it was Wilkes Central’s Lindsay Groce winning the West 2A Regional. Groce took the race in 18:56, while her teammate Sabrina Ashley finished third with a time of 19:37. Melinda Lackey of Wilkes Central finished ninth and Kay;a Branciforte of North Wilkes came in 14th. Overall in the 2A Regionals, Wilkes Centrals girls placed third and advanced to the state championships while Kayla Branciforte from North Wilkes qualified as an individual. In the 1A Regional, Anna Hayes from East Wilkes won with a time of 20:10 and overall East Wilkes finished second, advancing on to the state championship. Also Derek Cleary from the East Wilkes boys squad and Amanda Davis from the West Wilkes girls team each advanced to the state level as individuals.

ACC Scoreboard
In college football this weekend, it was Wake Forest beating Duke 44-6, improving to 4-5 on the year. During the game, Wake’s Chris Barclay broke the all time school record with 204 yards on the day. He passed James McDonald with 3903 yards rushing so far in his Deacon career, also good enough for eighth all time in the ACC with two more games in the season. Duke meanwhile drops to 1-8 on the year. NC State beat Southern Mississippi 21-17 as freshman Andre Brown rushed for 248 yards and two touchdowns, just 3 yards short of the Wolfpack’s single game record set back in 1977. The 3-4 Wolfpack keep their bowl hopes alive. And speaking of bowl hopes, North Carolina’s got a little dimmer after losing to Miami 34-16. Matt Baker only had 74 yards passing as the Heels drop to 3-4.

NCAA Scoreboard
Around the rest of the NCAA, it was East Carolina falling to UCF 30-20. Coastal Carolina beating VMI 38-14, Western Carolina beating Elon 31-26 and Gardner-Webb beating Liberty 21-16. Finally Appalachian State beats Chattanooga 35-25 as quarterback Richie Williams throws for 256 yards. The Mountaineers improve to 6-2 with the win and take over sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference.

Panthers Blow Out Vikings
In the NFL, the game was over in the first quarter as the Carolina Panthers beat the Vikings 38-13. Wide reciever Steve Smith caught 11 passes for 201 yards, most in Carolina history and quarterback Jake Delhomme tossed for 341 yards and three touchdowns. The win brings Carolina to 5-2 on the year as they move on to face Tampa Bay next week, in a battle for first place in the NFC South.

Edwards Wins In Atlanta
Finally in the Nextel Cup, it was Carl Edwards taking the win at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Jeff Gordon came in second, Mark Martin third, Dale Earnhart Jr. was fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

Thursday
Oct272005

News & Sports For October 27th

Murder In Roaring River
One man was killed and a suspect is in custody today after a fight in Roaring River. The incident happened late Tuesday night at 581 Mtn. Scenery Road, where an argument broke out between 19-yr-old Christopher Lee Caudill and 28-yr-old Charlie Randall Nance. Somehow during the argument Nance pulled out a knife and stabbed Caudill in the bedroom of the house. The victim's sister,LeeAnn Caudill, who was also in the home called EMS and Christopher was taken to Hugh Chatham Hospital, where he died as a result of the stabbing wounds. Charlie Randall Nance was arrested and charged with murder and is currently being held in the Wilkes Detention Center.

Child Advocacy Study Highlights Whats Needed
Throughout this week, we've been going over a study put out by the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. In today's final part, we break down the recommendations that the study suggested should be put into place. On the economic side of things, the institute believes that more financial help for parents will mean better development for their kids. Among the economic suggestions was a request to raise the minimum wage until it reaches "a living wage" and guarantee health benefits to all workers, no matter how big or small the company. Also the study called for child care to be subsidized by the state and for North Carolina to install an Earned Income Tax Credit. As far as child safety goes, the institute called for universal health care for all children, regardless of their financial situation, while also creating better health and safety education programs in the local school systems. Finally to cut down on the abuse that is seen throughout the state, the study called for a decrease in the amount of time kids spend in the foster care system and instead finding a permanent family to take the children in. As with the rest of this week's information, you can go online and check it out at www.ncchild.org.

Paychecks Stolen From Stone Mountain Country Store
Thieves broke into the Stone Mountain Country Store late Monday night, running off with over a thousand dollars in payroll checks and cash. When employees came in the next morning to open up, they found that someone had already invited themselves in. The door was wide open, but there were no signs of damage and it didn't appear to have been forced. The box which contained over $500 in payroll checks and over $700 in cash had gone missing. There are suspects in the case and that investigation is still ongoing.

Illegal Dumping Discovered In Union Grove
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a piece of property in Union Grove this week, after telephone workers found bags of trash in their area. Someone had piled ten bags of garbage in the area belonging to Yadkin Valley Telephone. No one in the area can recall hearing or seeing anyone make the dump, but deputies are continuing the investigation.

Blood Drive Later Today
1500 pints of blood. That's how much is used each day by doctors here in North Carolina to treat patients in the local hospitals. But with so much having to be sent down to the Gulf Coast, the local supply constantly stays at critical levels. To help build it back up, you can go out today to a drive at North Wilkes High School. It's starting at 8:30 this morning and will run til 2pm this afternoon. Just remember before giving however, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs. For more information you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Diamonds Stolen From Wilkesboro Residence
Be careful who you invite inside your home. A Wilkesboro woman learned that lesson the hard way this week. She held a party at her house, allowing people to come and go wherever they wanted. Later on while cleaning up, she found that they took what they wanted as well. Two diamond rings were missing, which totaled just over $1200 in value. She had no idea as to who could have stolen the rings, due to the amount of people that came through the house. That investigation is continuing.

Focus On Jobs
For many people here in Wilkes, the economic problems of the area have made it hard to find work. It can be complicated at times. What companies are hiring? What skills are they looking for? The Wilkes Joblink Center was created to help answer those questions. To hear more about the Joblink Center and the upcoming Job Fair, you can tune in for Focus on the Foothills later today. Brian will be talking with Beth Foster and Rick Cornejo from the Employment Security Commission. That's coming up at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Be Careful Where You Put Your Keys
It's usually a good idea to keep your car keys in a secure location. A Wilkesboro man found that out earlier this week, after his car was stolen. The man had let a friend come and go in his house, also allowing her to see where he kept his keys. Earlier this week he left her at his house while taking a carpool to work, to save gas. When he returned that night however, both the friend and his car were gone. A description of both were turned over to sheriff's deputies and that investigation is ongoing.

Child Abuse Prevention Conference Coming Up Next Week
Child abuse affects all of us in some way, in our churches, schools and even in the workplace. To help people better understand the problem, the Child Abuse Prevention Team here in Wilkes County is getting set to hold a conference coming up next week.
That conference will take place Friday Nov.4th and people can sign up for a fee of $55. Along with the conference itself, breakfast and lunch will be included in that price. For more information you can call Our House at 667-5555.

Wreck On 421 Totals Two
A North Wilkesboro woman failed to slow down for a red light Tuesday afternoon on 421, causing a two car pileup. A Moravian Falls woman was turning left, with the green light on her side, when the second woman's car slammed directly into her, hitting the driver's side. 25-yr-old Samantha Mae Perkins was arrested for driving with a revoked license and running a red light. Both drivers and their passengers were taken by EMS to Wilkes Regional, however the first vehicle's driver and a passenger in the second refused treatment.

State News

Jobs Possibly Coming To Greensboro
Over a thousand new jobs could be coming to Greensboro, according to local leaders. Guilford County officials announced this week that they were negotiating with a Fortune 500 company to build a new plant in the area. No details were revealed as nothing has been finalized, but it's believed that an official announcement could be coming within the next month.

North Carolina Troops Coming Home
Good news today for some military families, as members of one Fort Bragg unit are returning home this week. Portions of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment's First Battalion will be coming back to the base later today. The rest of the 700 soldiers in the regiment will be following behind sometime in the next month.

Portions Of Parkway Close For Snow
Winter came early this week for the North Carolina Mountains and as a result parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway have been closed down. Sections of the road near Mount Mitchell State Park and also part of the road near Asheville has been shut down due to snowfall. Once road crews are in place and everything is cleaned up, those sections of highway will be reopened later today. Weather forecasters and ski resort operators alike say the early snow has them expecting a white winter throughout the mountain counties.

Schools In Guiford County Hit With Music Theft
Officials in Guilford County are trying to figure out who's behind a series of thefts in some of the local schools. Six instruments were stolen from one of the schools, all total an estimated $10,000 worth of material. That goes along with recent incidents including buses that have been damaged and concession stands that have been broken into. Now locals have put up a $2000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Black Says He's Staying
Despite the recent investigation into his campaign, State House Speaker Jim Black announced on Wednesday that he plans to stay at his position. Black accused the press of treating him unfairly, in the wake of revelations that the FBI is investigating political donations made to his office by the video poker industry and the fact his political director was a consultant for a Scientific Games, a lottery company. Black said that he doesn't expect to step down any time soon, regardless of the controversy.

Jobs Coming To Durham
Some good news for workers in the Durham area, as 360 new jobs will be coming over the next five years. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced this week that they plan to build an office in the area, with an expected opening date of July 2006. The move will bring 360 jobs such as computer programmers, database administrators and CPAs to Durham, with an average salaray of $53,500 a year plus benefits. The company could recieve just under $7 million in tax breaks if it meets certain job creation goals detailed by Governor Easley.

Sports Headlines

Randolph To Regain Starting Job
There's not going to be a quarterbaack controversy in Winston Salem, Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe announced on Wednesday. When senior Cory Randolph is 100% healthy, he'll take over the reins of the team. Randolph has been cleared by the Deacons' medical staff to practice, two weeks after spraining an ankle in the loss against Boston College. Still, Grobe said he didn't expect Randolph to be ready to start when Wake Forest heads to Durham this Saturday for a game against Duke. The senior could be on hand if needed however. Duke and Wake Forest kick off at noon on Saturday.

Tarheels' Game Affected By Hurricane Wilma
Another ACC football game this weekend has been changed thanks to Hurricane Wilma. The UNC Tarheels were on the schedule to play the number six ranked Miami Hurricanes, with kickoff set for 3:30pm. However the recent storm damaged the lights in the Orange Bowl, so the game will have to be bumped up on the schedule to a noon start. The 3-3 Tarheels will be flying into Miami on Friday, looking for a repeat of last year's 31-28 upset.

Bobcats Make Final Cuts To Roster
The Charlotte Bobcats made the final cuts of the preseason, trimming their roster down to the required 15 players on Wednesday. Center D'or Fischer, a rookie free agent and former North Carolina forward Jason Capel. The team is also considering adding another player to the list, as rookie Antonio Meeking hasn't been able to stay on the court without fouling in the preseason and he's last on the depth chart in an already loaded Bobcat frontcourt. The NBA regular season gets started next Tuesday November 1st.

Hurricanes To Retire Ron Francis' Jersey
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes announced plans on Wednesday to retire the number 10 jersey of former captain Ron Francis later this year. Francis retired during the offseason, ending a career that saw him finish second only to Wayne Gretsky in assists and fourth in points scored. He'll also finish out as the franchise leader in goals, assists, points and games played. Francis will be honored and see his jersey retired during a home game in Raleigh on January 28th.

Smith An Early Pro Bowl Favorite
In the NFL, things are looking good for the Carolina Panthers, who head into this weekend with a 4-2 record. And for the first time in his career, one of the team's wide recievers is a favorite to make the Pro Bowl. Steve Smith leads the team with 39 catches for 596 yards, good enough for sixth in the league. He also leads the NFL with seven TD receptions so far, which has placed him front and center in the voting for the Pro Bowl. Fans can go online to nfl.com and cast votes for your favorite player and the Panthers will be back in Charlotte this Sunday to take on Minnesota.

Marlin To Take Over At MB2
Taking a look at the Nextel Cup, some changes are coming next season for Sterling Marlin. He announced this week that he'll be switching teams next year, heading over to MB2 Motorsports. Marlin will replace driver Scotty Riggs, who is leaving to become the third driver in owner Ray Everham's garage. Marlin said that with the new team also comes a timetable as he plans to race two more seasons and then call it quits.

Wednesday
Oct262005

News & Sports For October 26th

BREAKING NEWS: Murder In Roaring River
One man was killed and a suspect is in custody today after a fight in Roaring River. The incident happened late Tuesday night in Roaring River. The victim, 19-yr-old Christopher Lee Caudill died of knife wounds at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital later that night and 28-yr-old Charlie Randall Nance was been arrested and charged with the crime. We'll have more details coming up on the news at 5pm.


Child Advocacy Study Raises Questions

On Tuesday, 3WC told you about a new study that's been released by the NC Child Advocacy Institute. The study highlighted current facts about life here in Wilkes and how it's affecting the children of the area. Today we're taking a look at the education data the study put out. The study found that in 1990, 62.6% of local kids finished high school in four years. Now more than ten years down the road, unfortunately that number has dropped to 59.1% or roughly 541 students. Some good news however as local schools at both the 3rd and 8th grade level have seen comprehension increase for the end of grade testing in math and reading. Back in 1998 during the last study, only 65% of 3rd graders and 74% of 8th graders could understand and pass the test. Now that number has climbed to 79% for both classes. Also the dropout rate has decreased here in Wilkes. Ten years ago, 10.4% of high school students were quitting. Now that number is down to 7.9% or 251 students. That's still slightly higher than the state average of 5.2%. Coming up on tomorrow's newscast we'll take a look at what the Institute found from their study and what recommendations are being used. Also to check up on the facts yourself, you can log on to www.ncchild.org

Police Still Looking For Hit & Run Driver
Wilkesboro police are searching for a hit & run driver today, after an incident Monday night near the Cub Creek Apartments. A Moravian Falls woman intentionally hit another vehicle in the parking lot that was driven by a local man. After hitting the car she then drove off before officers arrived at the scene. No one was injured, however estimated damages to the car were placed at $1200. The woman's name and description were given to Wilkesboro police and that investigation is ongoing.

Food Drive Going On At West High
For anyone going out to the West Wilkes football game this Friday, the school's Key Club is asking that you bring some items along with you. The club is holding a food drive to benefit the BROC agency here in Wilkes and wants people to donate two cans of non perishable items when they come. In exchange for that donation, each person will get a ticket to be entered in a raffle taking place at halftime of the game. The prize is a $100 shopping spree at the Lowes Foods store on Hwy 18 North. Also students from West Wilkes Middle School are holding a drive as well. Taking place this coming Thursday, October 27th, people can drive by the school and drop off canned food donations from 5:30-7pm. In exchange for the food, you can pick up some candy in return.

Credit Cards Stolen From Local Woman
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a Wilkesboro woman's home earlier this week after she discovered several credit cards had gone missing. After checking less than a day later, her statement showed that the cards had been used several times all across the Piedmont area. Currently over $17,000 has been charged on the cards. It's unknown exactly how the cards were stolen, as there hadn't been any sign of a break-in at the home or any damage done on the property. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Assault With A Deadly Rock
A Wilkesboro man called sheriff's deputies earlier this week after returning to find his car had been damaged. During the day, someone had come by the house and tossed rocks at the vehicle, shattering one of the side windows. Estimated damage was placed at $100. Despite the damage however, no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything during that time. The investigation is still ongoing.

Lunch Buddy Training Session
Communities in Schools again finds itself short on volunteers as we near the halfway part of the school semester. Over a hundred kids are still on a waiting list, hoping to be paired up with a lunch buddy for the rest of this year. By joining the program, adults agree to meet up for about one hour a day with a kid at one of the local schools. The pair eat lunch together and get to know each other, giving the child a friend that otherwise they might not have. Coming up later today, a training session for the lunch buddy program will be held from 12 noon til 1pm. That will go on at the Communities in Schools office, just off School Street on College Ave. here in Wilkesboro. For more information you can call Amie Blevins, the program’s director. Her number is 651-7830 extension 23.

More Car Vandalism At Wilkesboro Home
A Wilkesboro man got a surprise when he came home earlier this week. Someone had been by the home and left a calling card on his jeep. Two of the vehicle's tires were slashed and the entire driver's side had been keyed. No one in the area could recall seeing anyone come near the home, however that investigation continues.

3WC Healthwatch: Prolonged Smoking Can Shrink Braincells
Some bad news for anyone who's been smoking for a while. Keep that up and your braincells will start shrinking. That's the news in today's 3WC Healthwatch. Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that nicotine, the addictive element in cigarettes, can damage your brain functions over time. The reason being that nicotine once absorbed into your system, can build up after long periods of use and limit the bloodflow to your brain, while also cutting off oxygen. While small amounts of nicotine in the study did help the subjects to be more alert and focused, after extended periods those feelings began to reverse. Long term memory and verbal reasoning skills were the two things most affected by the nicotine. Researchers said that there's no way to stop the problem, except for quitting or cutting down on your cigarette habit.

State News

Chapel Hill Condemns Iraq War
According to one town here in North Carolina, the war in Iraq is illegal. The Town Council in Chapel Hill passed two resolutions during a meeting on Monday night, condemning the current conflict in Iraq and demanding that President Bush put an end to it. Officials from the council and people in the area explained that they believe the war is draining our resources and taking away money that could be used here in the United States. The resolutions will be sent to both the President and Congress, in hopes that they would act on it.

Officials Hunt Escaped Con In Siler City
Officials in Chatham County are hunting an escaped prisoner today. 38-yr-old Sean Wheeler ran off from a work release program on Monday, heading into the nearby woods. Officials from the Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections and the Siler City Police Department all joined in the search, but they hadn't been able to locate the convict. Wheeler had been serving a six year sentence for kidnapping that started in 2002. It's believed he could be heading home to Greensboro.

More Water Problems For City Of Hickory
The city of Hickory had to swim through some more water related problems this week, after work crews hit a water line. Portions of Highway 321 were closed down Monday night while work continued on the problem. The crews had originally been out to do repairs on the sinkhole near Old Lenoir Road and 321 but workers hit a water line buried underground, shooting water over one hundred feet into the air. The crews had been informed about a water line nearby, but didn't realize how close it really was. With the line repaired, cleanup is expected to continue for at least the next several weeks on the sinkhole.

Two North Carolina Plants To Shut Down
Nearly two hundred workers in Robbins North Carolina will find themselves on the unemployment line this Christmas, after two local furniture plants shut their doors. Company officials from Klaussner Furniture said they hoped to grow their business by shifting resources to the retail side and away from production. 188 people worked at the two Klaussner plants. Now they either have to relocate to another of the company's plants in North Carolina or accept a severance package.

Former College Quarterback Running For Congress
A former college quarterback has announced his plans to run for Congress here in North Carolina. Former University of Tennessee quarterback Health Shuler, who also played for the NFL's Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, has decided to run for the Democratic nomination in the North Carolina district where he now lives. Shuler will be going up against Republican incumbent Charles Taylor in the race. He said that he wants to be in Congress to help as many people as he can.

Church Robbed During Social Dinner
The members of Anchor Baptist Church in Charlotte gathered together for a meal this week, to officially dedicate their new building. While the members were eating however, thieves were busy stealing their wallets, cash and credit cards from the pocketbooks and briefcases that had been left in the sanctuary. Within a few minutes, purchases were being made with the cards all across town. The church does however have a surveillance camera and officials are taking a look at it for evidence.

Sports Headlines

New Quarterback For NC State
There'll be a new face under center this weekend for the NC State Wolfpack. Senior Jay Davis has been replaced by sophomore Marcus Stone, as State looks to recover from a 2-4 start. Saturday's game against Southern Mississippi will be Stone's first start in his college career. Coach Chuck Amato said that while Davis played well, it was time for a change.

Duke Lands Another Recruit
While this season hasn't gone as hoped for the Duke football team, next year is already looking better. The team landed yet another recruit this week, as New York linebacker Vincent Rey committed to the school. The 6'1 260 lb. Rey has 86 tackles so far this season while also running the 40 yard dash in 4.8 seconds. Having already graduated from high school, Rey will become the 14th member of Duke's 2006 recruiting class after finishing up this season at a prep school.

Grant Hill Suffers Another Injury
In the NBA, some bad news for a former Blue Devil. Grant Hill had to go back to the doctor after yet another injury. The injury plagued Hill, who last year made a return from a career threatening ankle problem, has now strained parts of his abdomen working out with the team. Tests so far aren't showing any tears or other damage, however just to be sure, team officials set up appointments both in LA and also at Duke Medical Center. If surgery is necessary, Hill would be out for up to three months, derailing any playoff hopes his team the Orlando Magic had.

Carolina Panthers Update
Some good news however on the injury front for the Carolina Panthers. Virtually the entire staff has a clean bill of health, heading into Sunday's game with Minnesota. Fullback Brad Hoover, linebacker Dan Morgan and defensive end Julius Peppers are all set to play on Sunday, despite suffering injuries in the game against Detroit. Meanwhile, Peppers revealed that he'll be playing the rest of the season with a broken bone in his right hand, wearing a cast to protect against further injury.

NASCAR Considering Changes After Wilma
Hurricane Wilma could be bringing some changes to the Chase for the Cup. Homestead Miami Speedway was front and center as the hurricane passed over, with significant damage done to the area. Light poles, portions of the garage, the grandstands and sections of the catch fencing were all damaged by the storm, with the major problems coming from the lighting system. A replacement track will be considered if repairs can't be made in time for the Ford 500, the Nextel Cup's season finale planned for November 20th.

Tuesday
Oct252005

News & Sports For October 25th

Wilkes County Kids Rising Out Of Poverty
Some mixed news today for Wilkes County families, as a study was released from the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. The good news is that families here in Wilkes are improving their situation, with only 13.7% of those with children currently living in poverty. That's a drop from the year 2000, when 13.9% lived in the same conditions. The bad news however is that the families are moving out of poverty but are still dependent on governmental assistance. Families with children who are on the Food Stamp program increased 22.3% over the last five years and the number of children enrolled in Medicaid here in Wilkes has risen 17%. The condition of families was another problem cited by the study, as here in Wilkes only 70% of all children are raised by a two parent household. That's a decline of 6% over the last ten years. While the number of two parent families has fallen, the amount of children here in the county has actually increased. As of last year, 15191 children were living in Wilkes, with over 80% of those kids 14 and under. On tomorrow's newscast we'll go over the education rates here in the county and examine if the graduation rate has climbed since the last study was done. Then on Thursday we'll go over the Institute's recommendations and what's being done about them.

Counterfeit Money Continues To Flow In
Over the weekend, more counterfeit money continued to pour into Wilkes County, although this time there's a face to go with it. A white man in his mid 20s walked into the Fast Track on Winkler Street in Wilkesboro, bought some cigarettes and paid for his purchase with what turned out to be a fake $20 bill. Then later on Sunday, an older white man came into the KFC in Wilkesboro and did the same thing, paying for his meal with a fake $50 bill. When asked about the money, the man took off running out the door. In both cases, security cameras were able to take a picture of the suspects and the information was turned over to Wilkesboro police. That investigation is still ongoing.

Wreck On 421 Totals One
Two cars were involved in a wreck on Hwy 421 earlier this week. A North Wilkesboro woman was sitting in her vehicle, waiting for her light to change from red when another car slammed into her from behind. That second vehicle was driven by a Lexington man, who didn't slow down in time to avoid a collision. Estimated damage in the wreck was placed at $3100. Thankfully however no one was injured in the crash.

Pregnancy Center Needs Volunteers
As we reach the end of October, the Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center finds itself in need of help. The Center is looking for volunteers, to work two to three hours a week. However before someone can begin helping, they need to go through a training session. Coming up next month, there will be a three day session beginning November 10th and finishing Saturday November 12th. The sessions last for 2 ½ hours on Thursday and Friday, then wrap up with a three hour session on Saturday. For more information about what training involves or if you want to sign up, you can call the Center at 838-9272.

Purlear Woman Falls Victim To ID Theft
A Purlear woman got a surprising call from her bank over the weekend, asking about some purchases made in St. Petersburg Florida. Apparently someone had gone on a spending spree, using her bank information to do it. The total bill added up to $5966. Wachovia has started their own investigation into the case and believe this situation is tied in with several other cases of ID theft that have gone on over the past few months. The account has since been closed and sheriff's deputies are continuing their investigation.

Car Stolen From Moravian Falls Home
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a home in Moravian Falls over the weekend, after thieves drove off with the homeowner's vehicle. The woman stepped outside and noticed the vehicle was missing during the night, despite there not having been any noise as it was driven away. There was also no signs of a break-in or any damage left behind. Deputies however found the vehicle, wrecked and abandoned on Highrock Road in Boomer. It's still unclear exactly how the vehicle was taken or who stole it.

Drive Through Flu Clinic Coming Up
With the cold weather moving into Wilkes, flue season's not far behind. To plan ahead this year, the Wilkes Health Department is holding a drive through flu clinic next Saturday November 5th. People can just drive up in their car, receive the shot and then take off down the road. For adults or children on Medicaid, there is no charge, however for everyone else, there is a cost. It will cost $20 for an flu shot and $33 for an pneumonia shot, that's for both adults and children. There is no sign up sheet or reservations, you just drive up to West Park Medical Center on Nov. 5th anytime from 8am til 3pm. For more information you can call the Health Department at 651-7450.

Everything Taken But The Kitchen Sink
A Traphill couple got a surprise when they walked outside earlier this week. One of their cars had been damaged and portions of it were missing. Gone was the car's bumper, one of the headlights and all four tires. Also one of the passenger windows had been smashed. There is a suspect in the case and sheriff's deputies are continuing the investigation.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Another Wilkes Home
Yet another home here in Wilkes fell victim to mailbox vandals earlier this week. A Millers Creek woman walked outside her house to find that someone had literally ripped her mailbox out of the ground. Gone was both the box and the post, however no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anyone during the night. That investigation is still ongoing.

Coats For Kids Still Going Strong
A lot of people have coats in the closet that never get worn. If you want to give those coats away, Our House has somewhere that’ll take them. The organization, in connection with Christmas in Wilkes, is running their annual Coats For Kids drive. Any and all coats are welcomed, new or used, child or adult size, whatever you have to give will be used and appreciated. Two locations here in the area are accepting the coats, Wilkesboro Cleaners and Hourglass Cleaners in North Wilkesboro. Donations can be dropped off any day between now and October 28th. During the week, you can drop off coats from 11am til 7pm Monday through Wednesday, then from 9am til 5pm on Thursday and Friday. For more information you can call Sherry Mabry at Our House. The number is 667-5555.

State News

Undercover Operation Nets 20 Dealers
Officials in Durham are cracking down on the drug trade in the area, thanks to a 16-month undercover operation. Durham police announced this week that 20 of the top level dealers in the area have been arrested as a result of the sting with more possibly to come. Those already arrested could face up to 20 years in jail.

Harnett County Celebrates Milestone
A special milestone in history was observed this week in Harnett County, as the area celebrated its' 150th anniversary. Locals held a religious ceremony at Campbell University to celebrate, including hymns and a special prayer time. During the event, locals also honored their Scottish heritage with a presentation of Tartans, fabrics with designs to represent different families in the area.

Katrina Refugees In NC Face Problems Thanks To FEMA
More problems have popped up with the FEMA administration, this time affecting refugees here in North Carolina. Several hundred refugees here in the area are facing eviction after their federal relief checks were lost in the mail, with some being sent to their old address in New Orleans and others turning up in Charlotte. FEMA officials say that workers have been sent out to correct the problem and that such glitches should be expected with such a massive operation.

Samaritan's Purse Offers Help To Pakistan
Help is on the way to Pakistan today, as a North Carolina group flew out Monday afternoon with supplies. Samaritan's Purse,. The organization led by Franklin Graham, packed 120 tons of supplies such as blankets and food into a 747 Monday afternoon before departing. An estimated 79,000 were killed in the October 8th earthquake and now with snow falling in the area, more lives are at risk unless supplies are provided.

Garbage In & Money Out
North Carolina could be seeing a ton of garbage heading this way in the near future. Several tons in fact. Officials from different sections of the state are negotiating for five landfills to be built across the Piedmont, with most of the trash coming from other states like New York. Current target areas include Camden County, Hyde County, Richmond County, Columbus County and Brunswick County. Some state officials are concerned however because the extra garbage will help fill the already shrinking landfill space here in the state, which experts predict will only last 18 years at the current rate.

Sports Headlines

Local Teams Move Up In Soccer Rankings
Around the high school scene, several high school teams climbed the ranks in this week's top ten poll from the NC Soccer Coaches Association. Wilkes Central jumps one rung up the ladder to sixth place, after their 8-0 win last week over Surry Central. The 13-1-1 Eagles could be one win away from breaking into the top five. Meanwhile East Wilkes retains their spot at number 10, after a 1-0 loss last week against Elkin.

Powder Puff Football Coming Up Tonight
There will be football of a different type taking place tonight at East Wilkes. For anyone who wants to come out and watch, the annual East Wilkes Powder Puff game will kick off at 6:30pm. Admission is $3 and all proceeds will go to the school.

Duke Leads ACC Preseason Polls
With the college basketball season just a few weeks away, more preseason polls are being released. In the ACC, the Duke Blue Devils have been picked to win the conference. Wake Forest comes in third, followed in fourth by the NC State Wolfpack. Last year's champions, the UNC Tarheels, fall all the way to sixth place, just ahead of Miami.

Wolfpack Recovering
As for the NC State Wolfpack, they might have to start the season without one of their starters. Senior guard Tony Bethel won't be able to start practicing until next Wednesday, as he's still recovering from a groin injury sustained this past summer. Meanwhile two members of the Tarheels are also coming back from the injured list. Freshmen Michael Copeland and Marcus Ginyard have both been held out of practice so far. Copeland is returning from knee surgery and is expected back by next week, while Ginyard still has a cast on his left hand. He's not expected back for at least another two weeks.

Chase For The Cup Standings
After this weekend's race at Martinsville, the Nextel Cup standings have been slightly shaken up. Tony Stewart sits alone in first place, 15 points head of second place Jimmie Johnson. Ryan Newman is in third, with Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards rounding out the top five. The bottom have of the Chase starts with Rusty Wallace in sixth place, followed by Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeremy Mayfield.

Hurricanes Beat Senators
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes pulled out a close one, beating Ottawa 3-2. The win brings Carolina up to 5-2 on the season and continues their unbeaten streak at home. The loss was the Senators' first this season.

Monday
Oct242005

News & Sports For October 24th

Wilkes Man Killed In Iraq
A Wilkes County Navy corpsman was killed last Friday in Iraq. A roadside bomb attack killed 25-year-old Chris Thompson of Millers Creek. Thompson was assigned to a Marine unit and was serving his second combat tour in a job similar to an Army medic. Thompson and another Marine died in the blast about 25 miles west of Baghdad. Chris is the son of Larry and Geraldine Thompson also of Millers Creek. The Thompson's were home around 9:30 on Friday evening when two Navy officers arrived at their house to deliver the bad news.

Christmas In Wilkes Taking Applications
Starting today, applications will be taken for this year’s Christmas in Wilkes program. The program helps each year, by providing needy kids with clothes and toys their parents couldn’t otherwise afford. People can apply from now until Nov. 4th at certain times during the week. You can drop off applications at the North Wilkesboro Rotary Club Building, located behind Cooks in West Park. Monday through Wednesday, you can come by from 11am til 7pm, then on Thursday and Friday, from 11am til 5pm. When coming to apply, parents or guardians must bring a picture ID, proof of their current income and social security cards for both the parents and children. For more information you can call Judi Mitchell with Christmas in Wilkes. Her number is 667-7174.

Assault & Robbery At Wilkesboro Business
Wilkesboro police were called out to the Fast Track on Hwy 421 late last week after a fight broke out in the parking lot. A Boomer man had been assaulted in the parking lot, with the robbers taking his wallet. Witnesses described both the suspects and the vehicle they drove off in. After viewing the security cameras and getting a positive identification, warrants were taken out on 31-yr-old Michael Dewitt Ferguson Jr for strong armed robbery, assault and trespass.

Gas Thieves Hit Another Wilkes Business
Despite gas prices dropping around the area, some people here in Wilkes are still refusing to pay. Late last week gas thieves hit the Run-In on Oakwoods Road. A man came into the store, told employees he didn’t have enough money to pay for his gas and left his driver’s license as proof that he’d be back to pay. Instead he drove off down the highway and didn’t come back. Later on that night, Wilkesboro police tracked him down on Hwy 268, where he admitted that he wasn’t planning on returning, despite having left his license. 19-yr-old Tyler Ian Wray was arrested and charged in addition to the gas theft, with drug possession after deputies found marijuana inside his car.

Truck Stolen From Millers Creek Home
Be careful where you leave your vehicle. That proved true for a Millers Creek man last week, after his truck was stolen. He had parked the vehicle near a local store, then carpooled to work. However when returning that night, the vehicle was missing. No one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything, however the investigation is ongoing.

Lunch Buddy Training Session
Communities in Schools again finds itself short on volunteers as we near the halfway part of the school semester. Over a hundred kids are still on a waiting list, hoping to be paired up with a lunch buddy for the rest of this year. By joining the program, adults agree to meet up for about one hour a day with a kid at one of the local schools. The pair eat lunch together and get to know each other, giving the child a friend that otherwise they might not have. Coming up this Wednesday, a training program for the lunch buddy program will be held from 12 noon til 1pm. That will go on at the Communities in Schools office, just off School Street on College Ave. here in Wilkesboro. For more information you can call Amie Blevins, the program’s director. Her number is 651-7830 extension 23.

Wreck On Collegiate Drive Totals One
A wreck late last week on Collegiate Driver damaged one car and totaled another. A Boomer woman was driving down the road and had to slow down for oncoming traffic. The vehicle behind her, driven by a Wilkesboro woman, couldn’t slow down in time to avoid a collision. That second vehicle was totaled, with estimated damages placed at $2500, while $500 worth of damage was done to the first car. Thankfully however no one was injured in the wreck.

Pistol Taken From Open Car
Always lock your car when you leave. A Wilkesboro woman found out last week that’s especially true when you have a pistol in the vehicle. She had secured the weapon, then left the vehicle unlocked while going to visit relatives. When she returned to the car, the pistol was missing. A description of the weapon was given to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation continues.

3WC Healthwatch: Stress Kills
This next bit of news is for all the men in their 20s and 30s. Your job could literally be killing you, as we explain in today’s 3WC Healthwatch. A study released this weekend by researchers in Finland discovered that stress at work leads to problems in men’s arteries. Just over one thousand people were tested for the study, which found that men with high stress levels usually showed signs of artery disease. That’s where the artery narrows, preventing blood from getting through and leading to a heart attack or stroke. The same study found however, that the problem was unique to men and that women of the same age didn’t suffer the same way, although it was unclear why. The best way to prevent the arteries from narrowing, according to the study, is to make yourself take a day or two off from work at least every two months. That way you can relax and the strain won’t continue to build.

Broke In To Get The Wallet
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a North Wilkesboro residence over the weekend, after thieves ran off with the homeowner’s wallet. There was no sign of damage done to the property and also no clear indication as to how thieves got inside the home. However the homeowner’s wallet, along with his driver’s license and social security card was missing. Nothing else was stolen from the home. There is however a suspect and deputies are continuing that investigation.

State News

Storms Aid Recovery Of Ancient Ship
The recent storms on the Carolina coast may have helped solve a longstanding question. The wind and rain unearthed some medical supply bowls, two cannons and other debris from the shipwreck some believe to be The Queen Anne’s Revenge. While recent dives haven’t been able to officially determine the ship’s identity, the medical bowls and other collected debris could.

FBI Looking Into NC House Speaker
Less than a week after his political director was accused of violations, State House Speaker Jim Black finds himself under investigation. The FBI this weekend seized records related to Black’s political meetings at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte and also obtained records of Black’s campaign finance reports. Officials say that it’s part of an ongoing investigation into the video poker industry but didn’t specify further.

Jobs Coming To Newton
Some good news today for people in Newton, as 150 new jobs will be coming into the area. Flowers Foods, a Georgia company, has bought out what used to be the Harvest States plant. The area will be expanded to 150,000 square feet over the next four months and 150 new jobs will be created as a result.

More Inmates Possibly Up For Parole
More of the inmates in North Carolina prisons could soon be out on the street, now that a new law has taken effect. Under the new law, the Parole Commission has to attempt to release at least 20% of the eligible inmates that were sent to prison before 1994. Officials say the change will help to free up room for newer inmates, who are more of a threat to society. Just under 4000 prisoners will be effected by the new law.

People Arrested After Dumping Gas
Throughout the area, people have been searching for cheap gas. However over the weekend in King North Carolina, police arrested two men for pouring it out. The two men drove up to a local McDonald’s and poured 60 gallons of gas down a storm drain, before being arrested for illegal dumping. No reason has been given as to why they decided to dump the gas.

Jobless Rate Takes A Fall
Some good news for the North Carolina economy, as the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5% at the end of September. That’s down from 5.6% in August and it continues a rebound from the all time high this year, which was 5.7% in July.

Sports Headlines

High School Scoreboard
Taking a look around the high school scene, it was Wilkes Central beating North Surry 10-7. With the win, Central improves to 2-7 on the year. Meanwhile a tough break for West Wilkes, as they fall to Mount Airy 16-0. Mistakes and dropped passes caused problems for the West offense, as the team falls to 6-3 with the loss. Next up they'll take on East Surry, looking for win number seven on the season. And North Wilkes falls against Surry Central, losing 47-12. With the loss, North drops to 1-9 on the year. And finally East Wilkes took care of business on Friday, beating South Stokes 24-0.

ACC Scoreboard
Wake Forest took a step toward fixing their season with a 27-19 win over NC State. Chris Barclay ran 36 times for the Deacons, racking up 117 yards. Wake improves to 3-5, while State falls to 2-4 and drops into last place in the ACC’s Atlantic Division. Up the road in Chapel Hill, the defense was solid all day for the Tarheels, as they beat the 23rd ranked Virginia Cavaliers 7-5. Ronnie McGill, in his first full game back from injury, ran 23 times for 118 yards. The win pulls Carolina up to 3-3 on the season, tied with Miami for second place in the Coastal division of the ACC. Finally Florida State beat Duke 55-24, in the most competitive game played between the two schools in over five years. Duke freshman Requan Boyette rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown as the team drops to 1-7.

NCAA Scoreboard
Taking a look around the rest of the college scene, it was Memphis beating East Carolina 27-24, dropping the Pirates to 3-4 on the season. It took triple overtime but Gardner-Webb pulled out the 55-52 victory over VMI. Elon was blown out by Furman 45-6 and Appalachian State clocked Wofford with a 49-17 win. Richie Williams tossed for 249 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 73 more. With the win, the Mountainers improve to 5-2, good enough for second place in the Southern conference.

Gordon Wins At Martinsville
It was Jeff Gordon taking the checkered flag Sunday at Martinsville. Points leader Tony Stewart came in second, Jimmie Johnson third, Bobby Labonte fourth and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.

Hurricanes Blow Out Capitals
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes improved to 4-2 on the year with a blowout 4-0 victory over Washington. The Hurricanes took 41 shots during the game but lost rookie goalie Cam Ward, who sprained his left arm after a collision at the net.

Wednesday
Oct192005

News & Sports For October 19th

Teachers Leaving Wilkes County

Bad news for Wilkes County schools, as just over 10% of our school teachers leave the area each year. By far that wasn’t the highest total in the state last year, but still gives cause for concern. The Department of Public Instruction released the figures for 2004 on Tuesday, highlighting the escaping teachers as one of the state’s main problems. Overall, North Carolina schools averaged a 12% turnover in 2004, which Wilkes fell just short of. Out of the 769 teachers here in the county, 81 left this past year for a job in another school district. That percentage actually places Wilkes near the bottom of the list, in regards to teachers leaving. Harnett County had the highest rate, as 28% of their teaching staff left the county for a new job in 2004. Meanwhile around the area, Elkin schools averaged 19% turnover, while for Avery it was 11%, Alleghany 12% and Surry County was tied with Wilkes at 10%. Clay County had the smallest rate of turnover, with just 3% of teachers leaving the area. To help solve the problem, the State Board of Education plans to make changes in the next year. Among those plans are better working conditions and increased compensation for teachers.

More Counterfeit Money In Wilkes

Counterfeit money continues to pour into Wilkes County, this time the victim was the Pizza Hut in Wilkesboro. Earlier this week, Wilkesboro police were called out to the restaurant, after a manager discovered fake money in with the day’s receipts. While it’s unclear exactly who gave out the fake cash, the money was turned over to police, who are continuing the investigation.

Child Safety Check Coming Up Today

Here in Wilkes, 85% of all child safety seats in vehicles were not installed correctly. Too often, such a problem can lead to serious injuries if the vehicle that the child’s riding in is involved in a crash or even something as normal as a sudden stop for traffic. To help teach parents and other caregivers the right way to install them, a safety seat check is going on today at the Wilkes Health Department. Certified technicians will help show you the right way to install the seats at any time between noon and 1pm. If you want some more information before going out, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478.

Car Stolen From Traphill Home

Never leave your keys inside the car. A Traphill woman found that out the hard way this week, after being picked up at her home. Her keys had been left inside her car, which was capable of being driven. When she returned later in the day, the car was gone. No one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything throughout the morning, despite the missing vehicle. That investigation is ongoing.

Focus On The Troops

Here in Wilkes and across the country, people want to show their support of the troops. But to get the soldiers what they need most, items such as fans and phone cards, it usually costs and arm and a leg to ship. That’s where Operation Gratitude steps in. Jennifer Cooper White will be Brian's guest this week for Focus on the Foothills, as they’ll be talking about the program and how local churches and other groups can get involved. That’s coming up this Thursday at 1:05pm, right after the midday stock report.

Thief Gives Back For What He’s Stolen

A Roaring River man parked his truck at home and went inside earlier this week, with half a tank of gas still in the vehicle. The next morning he got in it to go to work and found it was having problems trying to start. After repeated attempts at getting it to start, the man called a mechanic friend. He discovered that all of the gas had been drained from his truck’s tank and replaced with water. There is a suspect in the case, as a local man had been trying to sell gas to people in the area that same morning. The investigation continues.

Fundraiser For Museum With Opening Date Announced

There is less than a month to go before the Wilkes Heritage Museum opens its’ doors to the public. But you don’t have to wait til November 15th to see inside. Old Wilkes is hosting a fundraiser on November 12th, where people can come by the old courthouse, listen to music and also see the finished product inside. Tickets are $25 for the event, which starts at 7pm on the 12th. You can buy them at Minton Pawn and Music, Old Wilkes Inc. and also at the Heritage Museum itself. For more information you can contact Old Wilkes at 667-3712.

Coats For Kids Still Going Strong

A lot of people have coats in the closet that never get worn. If you want to give those coats away, Our House has somewhere that’ll take them. The organization, in connection with Christmas in Wilkes, is running their annual Coats For Kids drive. Any and all coats are welcomed, new or used, child or adult size, whatever you have to give will be used and appreciated. Two locations here in the area are accepting the coats, Wilkesboro Cleaners and Hourglass Cleaners in North Wilkesboro. Donations can be dropped off any day between now and October 28th. During the week, you can drop off coats from 11am til 7pm Monday through Wednesday, then from 9am til 5pm on Thursday and Friday. For more information you can call Sherry Mabry at Our House. The number is 667-5555.

Traffic Stop Leads To Drug Bust

A traffic stop by sheriff’s deputies led to a drug bust earlier this week. Deputies had set up a checkpoint on Hwy 16 North when a driver pulled up. They asked both the passenger and driver for identification. The passenger refused and continued yelling at the deputies after they asked for the car to be pulled over. He then got out of the car and came toward the deputies, at which point they pulled their weapons and ordered him to stop and show his hands. Drugs were found on his side of the vehicle, both a small amount of marijuana and also some drug paraphernalia. 31-yr-old Scottie Ray Hamby was arrested and charged with drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Regional News

Dobson Man Wanted By Police

Officials in Dobson are searching today for a local man who was running a meth lab out of his house. 43-yr-old Glen Spicer is wanted by the Surry County sheriff’s department on charges of manufacturing meth. It’s believed that Spicer is driving a gray Dodge pickup and deputies are asking anyone with information to call 336-401-8900.

Congresswoman Fox To Hold Business Workshop

Government contracts are handed out each year to companies throughout the nation. But why can’t small businesses get involved? Congresswoman Virginia Fox wants to solve that problem, but holding a workshop for businesses in the 5th district this Friday. During the workshop, government contracting methods will be explained and also local businesses will be shown how they can get involved and compete for bids. Also if your business is ready to compete right now, people will be on hand to help get you started. The first 200 people will be accepted for the workshop, so to register you can call Aaron Church in the congresswoman’s office. The number is 336-778-0211.

State News

North Carolina Among Top 20 In Traffic Deaths

Some disturbing figures from the latest auto safety study. North Carolina was ranked 19th out of the 50 states in regards to tractor trailer related deaths. In 2004 alone, 198 people were killed in accidents that involved tractor trailers, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. That breaks down to 2.3 deaths for every 100,000 people on the road.

School Closed Down Due To Mercury Scare

A strange student prank led to a school in Granville County shutting down on Tuesday. South Granville High School was closed for safety reasons while officials performed an air quality inspection. Concerns were raised after mercury was released into the air during a science class. A student exposed the mercury and then shared it with others in the class.

Jobs Leaving Asheville

Bad news for people in the Asheville area. 200 people will be on the unemployment line after Unilever shuts down in 2006. The plant has received almost $6 million in incentives from local governments over the last 12 years, but company officials said it would be more cost effective to shut down the plant and outsource the work to Canada.

Skeleton Discovered Near Linville Falls

Officials in Burke County are investigating a discovery at Linville Falls. Two people hiking in the area Monday night came across some skeletal remains just off one of the main trails. Investigators believe that it could be the body of a camper who disappeared last year in the area. There was however no indication how the person died.

Illegal Immigrants In Custody

35 workers at a Durham plant were arrested Tuesday morning, after INS agents found they were in the country illegally. The company the illegals worked for, Cree Inc., is a major contractor with the Department of Defense, helping to build and design radar systems for the military. The immigrants, from counties such as Pakistan and Kenya, are currently in a Johnston County jail cell awaiting deportation.

Huge Marijuana Bust In Stantonsburg

Over one million dollars worth of marijuana was seized in a bust earlier this week in Stantonsburg North Carolina. The plants were found on the border of Wilson and Greene Counties by hunters, who then alerted authorities. Over one thousand plants were cut down and destroyed at the site and officials are still tracking down those involved with the operation.

Sports Headlines

Tarheel Freshman Out With Injury

Some bad news for the UNC Tarheels, as they may be missing a player when the season begins. Freshman Mike Copeland tore the cartilage in his knee during a scrimmage late last week and had to undergo arthroscopic surgery. The 6-7 forward will miss at least the next four weeks while rehabbing, leaving just nine scholarship players on the roster. The Heels have their first exhibition game November 4th against Fayetteville State.

Duke Searching For Backup QB

The Duke football team will be one man short against Florida State this Saturday, as backup quarterback Mike Schneider is out. Duke officials wouldn’t explain what was wrong with Schneider, only saying that he was being treated at Duke Hospital for internal problems. However they did say the injury wasn’t life threatening.

Former Deacon Out With Season Ending Injury

In the senior circuit of the NFL, the news wasn’t any better for a former member of the Demon Deacons. The Arizona Cardinals announced on Tuesday that defensive end Calvin Pace, a first round pick out of Wake Forest in 2003, will miss the rest of the season after falling through a window at his home. Pace had to undergo surgery after slicing his arm on the window. He is however expected to make a full recovery.

Childress Officially Changes Drivers

In NASCAR, Richard Childress officially made a change this week, announcing that Clint Bowyer will take over as driver of the car that Dave Blaney currently runs in. Also with the new driver comes a new crew chief, as Gil Martin takes over duties on the car. As for Blaney, he doesn’t plan to retire, but currently doesn’t have any offers to drive next year.

NBA Issues Dress Code

Changes are coming in the NBA this season. This week, the league sent out a letter discussing the new dress code. Players have to appear in what league officials are calling business casual attire before and after games. Gone are the necklaces, rings and ballcaps. Instead come November 1st, the players will be walking out in suits and ties.

Tuesday
Oct182005

News & Sports For October 18th

Robbery Monday At Millers Creek Fast Track

Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the Millers Creek Fast Track on Monday, after an attempted robbery. A man came inside the business, pulled out a knife and demanded all the cash in the register. After taking the money, the suspect ran out the door and into a waiting truck, a description of which was turned over to deputies. Officials located the truck near Mountain Valley Church Road and engaged in a high speed chase exceeding 90 mph at times. After turning onto Elledge Mill Road, the suspects lost control and flipped their truck. 24-yr-old Andrew John Rhodes was arrested and charged with armed robbery, while 21-yr-old Luke Harden Luffman was charged with aiding and abetting armed robbery along with fleeing to elude arrest.

Healthwatch Pt.2: How To Protect Against Bird Flu

Flu season can last as long as seven months here in the U.S., which is why there is such concern over the bird flu. The virus, which currently has no vaccine, is in portions of Asia and Europe, affecting both humans and animals. Now as for your own family, there are some precautions you can take. Don’t use raw or soft boiled eggs in foods that aren’t going to be cooked. Also cook all of your meats and eggs thoroughly. That can help eliminate most strains of bacteria inside. Finally the quick and simple solution is to always wash your hands when coming inside and make sure they stay clean. For more information you can call the Wilkes Health Department at 651-7450.

Traffic Stop Leads To Drug Bust

Deputies were performing a license check on Hwy 16 North earlier this week, when a man pulled up and said he didn’t have any registration. After smelling marijuana inside, deputies brought over the K9 unit, who detected drugs in the vehicle. 46 grams of marijuana were discovered, wrapped in six packages behind the driver’s seat. Also two smoking pipes and more drug paraphernalia was found inside. 25-yr-old Jason Michael Crews was arrested and charged with drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a vehicle for the sale of drugs.

Highway Patrol Out In Force

If you see a school bus slowing down on the highway, it might be a good idea to follow suit. Otherwise, there could be blue lights in your rear view mirror and a ticket waiting with your name on it. This is “Stop Arm Violation Week”, as the highway patrol is out looking for drivers who pass stopped school buses. If you’re caught breaking the law this week, five points will be added onto your driver’s license and a $200 fine will be handed out.

Identity Stolen In Another Country

A Wilkesboro woman got a surprise phone call from her bank over the weekend. It seems that someone had been using her debit card..in Spain. The bank had got concerned after the purchase in Spain appeared minutes after the card had been used in Millers Creek. It’s unknown exactly how someone was using the card, seeing as it’s still in the woman’s possession. The information has been turned over to sheriff’s deputies and that investigation is ongoing.

Another Gas Drive Off

Despite the recent drop in gas prices, thieves continue to hit local stores here in Wilkes. Over the weekend, the Run-In on Elkin Hwy was the latest to be a target. A couple pulled up and the woman pumped gas, while the man bought some items in the store. Then without paying, they drove off down the road. Employees inside the store however were able to get a description of both the people and their vehicle, along with a license tag. That information was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation is ongoing.

Hunting Safety Class Coming Up Tonight

If you’ve been wanting to get your hunting license, this is the time. Coming up over the next three days, there will be a class on hunting safety at the Kerr Scott Ranger Station. The class will last three hours and 20 minutes each night with a test at the end. Once participants pass the test, they can receive their certification. There is no minimum age to attend, however you must be at all three classes in order to take the exam. So if you miss tonight’s class, you fail the entire course. To pre-register for the class, you can call 919-733-7191. Or for more information, you can call Officer Mark Minton of the Wildlife Resources Commission. His number is 336-957-3061.

Car Stolen From North Wilkesboro Residence

A North Wilkesboro man left over the weekend for an out of town trip, only to find his car had gone missing when he returned. No damage was done to any part of his property and there was no sign of a break-in. The vehicle’s tag was later found by deputies near Suncrest Orchard Road. Apparently whoever had taken the car was later involved that night in a hit & run accident, which damaged the vehicle bad enough that the thieves abandoned it. It was later towed to a nearby garage, leaving behind just the tag. That investigation is still ongoing.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Another Wilkes Home

Mailbox vandals hit another home in the area over the weekend, this time targeting a North Wilkesboro residence. The woman had gone inside Saturday afternoon, then looked out a few hours later to find the mailbox had been ripped off the post it was on. Despite the noise no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything. There is a suspect in the case however and the investigation continues.

Volunteers Needed For Special Olympics

North Carolina’s Special Olympics program finds itself in need of help today. The organization is looking for 700 more volunteers to lend a hand during the games, which go on from November 4-6th in Winston Salem. There are different jobs involved, from keeping score, to setting up tents, line judging or presenting medals. There are plenty of openings to do whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to help, you can either call 1-800-843-6276 or log on to www.sonc.net In addition, if you just want to come and watch the games, it won’t cost a thing and you can watch 1200 athletes take part in several competitions including golf, soccer and tennis. Once again that will go on November 4-6th.

State News

Third Sewage Spill In Wilmington Causes Problems

Water has been cleaned up in Wilmington, after sewage line burst for the third time this year on Sunday. Officials were still trying to determine on Monday what caused the spill, as fifteen thousand gallons of sewage flowed out into the Cape Fear River. Officials are saying that the drinking water in the area is safe, however they are asking residents to avoid the area until it’s cleaned up. In July and then again in September, portions of the sewage system burst, spilling wastewater into the river.

Police Still Investigating School Bus Shooting

Officials in Salisbury are still investigating who shot at one of their buses over the weekend. A bus carrying football players back to Salisbury High from an away game was hit by gunfire late Friday night. One person was injured but all the students walked away unharmed. Descriptions of the suspects were turned over to police and the investigation continues.

Natural Gas Prices Going Up Again

Bad news if you heat your home with natural gas. Prices are set for yet another hike. On Monday afternoon, PSNC Energy asked the state Utilities Commission if they could raise residential rates by 11%. That would mean, if approved, homeowners would see their gas bill skyrocket by an estimated $60 a month. Last year during the winter months, the average bill was $112. This year under the new increase, it would climb to $174. The company said they had no choice but to pass their rising costs along to their customers. A decision will be made when the commission meets October 31st.

Wake County Widow Suing Gun Shop

A lawsuit was filed this week that could affect all gun shops in the state. Patricia Tucker, widow of Wake County sheriff’s deputy Mark Tucker is suing both her husband’s killer and the gun shop that allowed him to buy a weapon. The killer, Matthew Grant, is currently serving a life sentence for the murder, which happened while he was drunk. Mrs. Tucker is suing the gun shop because she claims they should have done a background check before selling the weapon. Had they done so, they would have discovered the man was an alcoholic and had a history of mental illness. The gun shop owner however says that he followed the law and isn’t legally responsible.

Historic Reunion Held Between Raleigh Churches

On Sunday, two churches in the Raleigh area came together for a historic service. Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, which was formed by freed slaves, celebrated its’ 138th anniversary this week and held a service with nearby Cedar Fork Baptist Church, where many of the founding members came from. Both congregations gathered for song, testimonies and prayer as they pledged to continue in the spirit of unity that brought them together. Several more joint services will be held in the future.

Sports Headlines

Tarheels Lock Up Another Prospect

More good news for the UNC Tarheel basketball team, as yet another recruit has committed for 2006. Brandon Wright, one of the top five high school players in the nation, agreed to put on the Tarheel uniform in 2006. The 6-9 Wright, who averaged 20 points 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots as a junior last season, turned down offers from Duke and Kentucky to join the Heels.

North Carolina Teams Top Big South

As the preseason basketball polls continue to come out, several North Carolina teams are standing tall in the Big South conference. Winthrop University was the unanimous choice to finish in first place, one year after winning both the regular season and tournament title. Coastal Carolina came in second, UNC Asheville third, Liberty fourth and High Point rounded out the top five. The tournament will be held February 28th-March 4th and the championship this year will be broadcast on ESPN.

Bobcats Beat Hawks In Preseason

The Charlotte Bobcats took care of business on Monday, beating the Atlanta Hawks 94-88 in a preseason matchup. Brevin Knight put in 22 points and had seven assists, while Melvin Ely had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Raymond Felton added 12 points for the Bobcats, who improve to 2-2 this season.

Update On Panthers

The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Carolina Panthers, as several players are walking wounded after Sunday’s game against Detroit. Quarterback Jake Delhomme was shaken up, according to team doctors, who wouldn’t confirm if he had a concussion or not. Also Linebacker Dan Morgan has a dislocated shoulder, wide receiver Kerry Colbert injured his ankle and defensive end Julius Peppers broke a bone in his hand. The Panthers are off until October 30th when they take on the Vikings.

NASCAR Standings

In the wake of Jimmie Johnson’s win Saturday, the standings in the Chase for the Cup have been reshuffled. Johnson is now tied with Tony Stewart for first place, 11 points in front of second place Greg Biffle. Ryan Newman is 17 back in fourth, with Mark Martin rounding out the top five. Carl Edwards, Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch round out the field. Drivers head to Martinsville this coming Sunday for the Subway 500.

Braves To Possibly Lose Coach

Just over a week after being eliminated from the postseason, the Atlanta Braves may be losing another battle off the field. Hitting coach Terry Pendleton is being interviewed this week as a potential candidate to take over as manager of the LA Dodgers. If selected, Pendleton would take over the clubhouse from the since fired Jim Tracey, who was let go after the team failed to make the playoffs. The Dodgers hope to name a manager before the end of the week.