A Democrat leader and a Republican leader both of North Carolina are coming together for tonight’s State of the Union Address. U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) announced that they will sit together during the President’s State of the Union address on January 25. In the past, Democrats and Republicans have sat in partisan blocs. “I look forward to sitting with Congresswoman Ellmers at the State of the Union,” said Hagan, who this week signed a letter pushing for bipartisan seating. “Sitting together at the State of the Union is an important symbol of bipartisanship among the North Carolina delegation. We are committed to working across the aisle for North Carolinians. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to put aside partisan differences and work together to make progress on the pressing issues facing our country.” Congresswoman Ellmers represents the 2nd District in North Carolina and one of the new members of the 112th Congress. “I gladly accepted Senator Hagan's kind invitation to sit with her during the State of the Union speech next week,” Ellmers said. “There have already been many “firsts” in the 112th Congress beginning with the reading of the Constitution from the House floor. As a citizen legislator I hope this continues and we can come together to agree on solutions to get the people of our state and country back to work.” So at least two Congressional Member from our state are reaching across the aisle for tonight’s speech.
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Wilkesboro Police are trying to determine who are stealing catalytic converters. They had two reports in the same day last week. One came in from Wilkes Community College. A Taylorsville woman arrived on campus at 2pm. When she returned to her car at 3:40, she noticed her vehicle was not making a loud noise. The woman contacted campus security who called Wilkesboro Police. The converter had been cut off the car. Earlier that day, Wilkesboro Police were called to Rose Glen Village. Two employees there watched a Direct TV van pull up and saw two white males get out and crawl under a car. The men quickly left the scene and even waved at the two employees as they left. This time the converter was damaged but not stolen. Police have a description of one of the men and are trying to track down the Direct TV van.
It was an odd hit and run on Hwy 421 near Winkler Mill Exit as the one that was hit was the one to leave the scene. Wilkesboro Police were called to investigate. A vehicle driven by Nancy Cianchetta of North Wilkesboro failed to reduce speed and hit a second vehicle driven by Arthur Dixon of Millers Creek. Dixon was the one hit from behind, but he was also the one to leave the scene. North Carolina Trooper Anderson located the Dixon near Hwy 16 North and instructed him to return to the scene. EMS was called and transported Dixon to WRMC for minor injuries. Cianchetta was charged with exceeding a safe speed. Dixon was charged with revoked tag, driving with license revoked, and hit and run.
Wilkes County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the Coffee House Express on Hwy 268 concerning a larceny. According to the loss prevention person at the Coffee House, they had suspected that an employee was taking money from the cash register. The suspect, Brandy Alsdurf, admitted to taking approximately 42 dollars over a two week period. Alsdurf was arrested and charged with one count of larceny by employee. She was being held under a 500 secured bond.
Yes, there have been several home break-ins in the county, but this theft from a home is a bit different. Nothing was reported stolen from inside the residence on the Statesville Road in North Wilkesboro; however, some things were stolen from the property. The homeowner called the Sheriff’s Department when he got up one morning to find that a ladder and 4 downspouts were missing. The missing items are described as a red aluminum 20-foot ladder and 4 12-foot gutter downspouts. Stolen property is valued at 300 dollars. There are no suspects.
When his car was stopped, he did not try to hide his crime or guilt from the deputies. He just confessed as he got out of the car that he had a needle on him. Deputies stopped a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Pleasant Hill Grocery. As a deputy approached the vehicle, the passenger exited the car and confessed to having the needle. The deputy did a pat down and found not one but two hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia. The man, Scott Sidden of Hays, was arrested and charged with two counts of drug possession.
A major employer in Wilkes County, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is now the first major food company to become a full member of the IMAGE program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). IMAGE is short for ‘ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers.’ The program enables businesses, if they meet rigorous standards, to voluntarily partner with the federal government to ensure they are employing people who are legally authorized to work in the United States. At a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., Tyson Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Ken Kimbro said, “We believe our participation confirms to our customers, plant communities and others that Tyson uses best hiring practices to maintain a lawful workforce. We also believe this partnership will enhance our ability to collaborate with government officials on immigration-related matters.” Tyson employs almost 100,000 people at locations throughout the United States. The certification process gave Tyson the opportunity to show how the company is already using best hiring practices. Since 1998, Tyson has voluntarily participated in the online government employment verification program currently known as E-Verify. The company also voluntarily uses the ‘Social Security Number Verification System,’ an online service that allows employers to verify the names and Social Security numbers of employees against Social Security Administration records.
Abortions were legalized by the US Supreme Court on January 22. 1973. More than 53 million unborn babies have died since Roe v. Wade 38 years ago. January is Sanctity of Life Month. Last week on Focus on the Foothills, I spoke with Susan Sturgill of the Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center. She says in addition to the free pregnancy and all the free services they provide, the Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center has a mission that’s 3-fold. The WPCC offers positive alternatives to abortion, sexual integrity in our community, and post-abortion recovery support. You may hear my complete interview as a podcast on our website: hometownchristianradio.com.
A coalition of more than 120 North Carolina groups delivered a letter to Gov. Beverly Perdue calling on her to “take a balanced approach” to the state’s budget crisis, including reform of the state’s outdated revenue system. Together NC, a coalition of nonprofit groups, service providers, advocates and grassroots organizations, urged Gov. Perdue to exercise leadership on the budget and reject a job-killing, cuts-only approach. “To pave a path to the future, you must take a balanced approach to our state’s fiscal crisis, which includes raising revenue,” the letter said. “And not just any revenue, but revenue solutions that are adequate, stable and fair.” The coalition asked the governor to “stand up for North Carolina” by preserving funding for vital public investments. All options, the letter said, should be on the table.
The Internal Revenue Service plans a Feb. 14 start date for processing tax returns delayed by last month’s tax law changes. The IRS reminded taxpayers affected by the delay they can begin preparing their tax returns immediately because many software providers are ready now to accept these returns. Beginning Feb. 14, the IRS will start processing both paper and e-filed returns claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A, the higher education tuition and fees deduction on Form 8917, and the educator expenses deduction. People using e-file for these delayed forms can get a head start because many major software providers have announced they will accept these impacted returns immediately. The software providers will hold onto the returns and then electronically submit them after the IRS systems open on Feb. 14 for the delayed forms. Taxpayers using commercial software can check with their providers for specific instructions. Those who use a paid tax preparer should check with their preparer, who also may be holding returns until the updates are complete. Most other returns, including those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), education tax credits, child tax credit and other popular tax breaks, can be filed as normal immediately.