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News Index

Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.


Flags at Half-Staff on 7th Anniversary of Terror Attacks

All state and federal offices are flying flags at half staff today in recognition of Patriot Day. Congress authorized the federal observance to honor victims and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on our nation. “We can never forget those who lost their lives on 9-11,” said Governor Easley yesterday. “We honor their memory along with the heroes who responded that day. I ask all citizens to join me in this tribute by displaying the American flag at half staff at their homes.” The president has asked all states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to join in this effort and asks all Americans to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City.


Bus Routes Meeting Held in Ronda

Some parents are still not happy about the changes in Wilkes school bus routes. That could be seen easily by the attendance at a town meeting on the subject in Ronda. Critics circulating petitions protesting the changes tell the Journal-Patriot they've picked up more than 700 signatures. Much of the angst is being expressed in the eastern part of the county, but several commenters at the meeting said the problems they noted, which allegedly include buses going down dead-end roads, are happening all over the county. School officials say they continue to adjust the routes in response to parent concerns about safety issues. And the campaign for one county commissioner seat is playing a role in the whole thing, according to the paper. Roaring River school bus driver Joe Anthony is running for Wilkes County Commissioner this year, and he claims to have started the whole protest movement. “I really admire what you all are doing. I’ve been fighting this thing for four weeks now," the paper quoted him saying at the Tuesday meeting. Anthony also protested the route cutbacks at the annual school bus driver breakfast the day before school opened Aug. 25. At the time, he suggested to the bus drivers that he could make the school system pay for bus fuel out of the annual local supplement to schools.“I’ve even talked to some of the county commissioners about supplementing the school system on a line-item (basis),” he told the group. “I say, put a line-item clause in this thing, so some of this money will go toward the buses.”­Wilkes Schools began the shortened bus routes Aug. 25, saying that continued high diesel prices had created a shortfall in state transportation funding. It’s not yet clear how much money the new routes are saving.


Burglars Caught in Jonesville

Two people caught in Jonesville have confessed to a number of burglaries in several counties including one fairly significant crime in Wilkes. Local deputies were following up on the theft locally when they were contacted by deputies from Jonesville, who had arrested Scott Brandon Wyatt and his girlfriend Nina Ann Mullis at a motel there. the motel room was full of stolen property, including some from the break-in at Monty Chipman's home in Traphill last Thursday. As they interviewed the pair, deputies learned they had cut up a number of rings taken from Chipman's home to sell at a jeweler in Elkin. That business had kept the ring pieces, and returned them to the owner. A couple of other items, including the 52-inch flat screen TV originally reported stolen, had been sold to a local man, who turned the property over to deputies. Chipman's total actual loss in the break-in was nearly 3-thousand dollars. Much of it has been returned, although the rings have lost most of their value due to the hack job. Wyatt and Mullis are being held in Jonesville presently, and face multiple charges there as well as in Wilkes.


Alleged DWI Prompts Child Abuse Charge

A Wilkes man has been charged with misdemeanor child abuse after police determined he was intoxicated and driving around with the infant in the car seat. It happened Friday evening, and started at the Fast Track on Highway 421. Employees there called in the possible intoxicated driver, and an officer arrived just in time to see the person leave, nearly hitting the curb as he made an erratic right-hand turn out of the driveway. The officer followed the car to Old Browns Ford Road, where he pulled the driver over after watching him have trouble maintaining his lane of travel at about 30 miles an hour. 35-year old David Wade Shumate was slurring his speech and repeating himself, and when asked to get out of the car, he failed several points of a sobriety test. Another officer found prescription drugs in the car, which the passenger said were for her back pain. The 21-month old child was sitting contentedly in the child seat. Shumate did not have a valid license, and neither did the woman, who is the little boy's mother. So an officer waited for a responsible adult to come and drive mom and baby home while the other officer took Shumate to jail, to face a child abuse charge along with driving while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license charges.


Shoplifting Cases Lead to Other Charges

Twice this weekend, a reported shoplifting incident led to people being arrested on other, unrelated charges. The first case happened Friday at JC Penneys. A man was stopped outside the story shortly after police were called to the shoplifting report, and he was found to have a number of the items that had been reported missing, both in the pickup he was driving and on his person. His story was that he'd borrowed the truck from a family member in Lenoir to come to Tyson and try to find work. Of course,t he two businesses aren't close together, so that raised some suspicions. Well, he said, he had been at Penneys because there were some sheets on sale, and just before he was going to purchase them he decided to put them back and not buy them. The items in his truck had supposedly been bought by his relative -- something that was not borne out by the register records at the store, which showed the items had not been paid for. In the process of the investigation, it was learned that 36-year old Boushana Fontanta was driving without a drivers license, because it has been revoked. He ended up being taken to jail for that and the shoplifting. All of the nearly 260-dollars worth of clothing was returned to the store.The second incident happened Sunday morning at Lowes Foods. One of the Lowes employees had detained Robbie Roberts as he tried to leave the area behind Subway, and the Subway manager told police he'd seen Roberts try to stuff some steaks into a plastic shopping bag after he'd some out of the grocery store and hidden behind Subway. Lowes employees indicated he had left the store without paying for the ribeye steaks, worth 64-dollars. During a pat-down, police discovered drug paraphernalia on Roberts and that he had an outstanding warrant for missing a court appearance. So he was hauled off to jail on those charges, along with the count of misdemeanor theft.


Stolen Purse Found, ID Intact

Good news for a Wilkes woman whose purse was stolen from her car while she was picking up her children from school. Sheriffs deputies report Sandy Roten was called by a person who found her purse over the weekend. The purse was stolen Friday afternoon at Mulberry Elementary School, and was found by the man Friday evening along Baptist Home Church Road. After looking through the purse, Roten realized all that had been taken or disturbed was the cash, about 160-dollars, that had been in it. Her ID and various debit and credit cars and check books were still there. Roten called deputies yesterday to report the purse had been found. They list the investigation of the theft as still in progress.


Pendry Web Site Poll: Job Recruitment is Most Important Issue

An online poll conducted by a Wilkes county candidate for the North Carolina House indicates respondents believe job recruitment to be the most important issue their representative in Raleigh can address. In a news release, Larry Pendry says half chose job recruitment, while 22-percent viewed making government accountable as the most important issue. Health care followed at 17-percent, and the environment beat education in importance, scoring 8-percent to education funding's 2-percent. The poll was conducted among an undisclosed number of people who chose to answer the questions on Pendry's campaign web site, and cannot be considered statistically reliable.


Monday Wreck Injures One

A crash yesterday afternoon in Wilkes injured a Watauga motorcycle rider. Wilkes County dispatchers confirm the wreck was reported about 2:35 pm on 421 near the Lewis Fork Bridge. 45-year old Beth Cramer of Watauga apparently hit the rear of a stopped car and was thrown from the motorcycle, according to local officials. The highway patrol report on the wreck is incomplete, according to the local patrol office, so it's not clear if the car stopped suddenly or what actually happened to cause the wreck. Cramer was airlifted to Baptist Medical Center. The name of the person in the other vehicle is not available, but we do know she was not transported anywhere by EMS.


WCS Trying New Program for Students New to U.S.

Wilkes county schools have announced a new program that's being tried at schools in the northern part of the county, which is ment to help children who are new to the United States. Dr. Wanda Hutchinson said in a news release that North High, North Middle, and Mulberry Elementary were picked for the pilot because those are the schools where more immigrant students have enrolled int he past year. The program is being funded through a mix of local and federal funding. The pilot is small, having only one teacher, whose salary is funded locally. He goes to each of the schools on a rotating basis. Denise Daniels, who is Wilkes County Schools ESL director, told the Journal-Patriot many school systems have so-called “newcomer” programs, but this one is being customized for Wilkes County’s needs. Students learn a new language faster in a low stress environment, she said, citing recent studies on the problem. Having consistency among the three schools will be key to the program’s success, she said.


Property Stolen from Unlocked Cars

Wilkes deputies are working two cases of theft from over the weekend that aren't really related, but they happened for the same reason. In both cases, the theft occurred because someone left their car unlocked and items unsecured within the vehicle. One happened on Friday afternoon at the Mulberry Elementary School. Sandy Roten left her car open with the windows down and her purse in it while she went into the school to pick up her children. During the time she was in the school. someone reached in and grabbed the purse, making of with it and a number of ID and credit cards, checkbooks and other personal property. While the total value of the missing items, including cash form the purse, is a bit over 200-dollars, the potential loss is much higher because of the identity and account information the thief now has access to. No one at the school or in the parking lot saw anyone near the car. The second case happened Saturday evening, but wasn't reported until yesterday. Grady Marley reported an unknown person took two Johnny Cash CDs from his unlocked pickup, which was parked in front of his home in a local mobile home park. Again, the windows were down and the vehicle was unlocked, and in spite of it sitting right next to the house, Marley did not see anyone in or near the truck.