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News Index

News & Sports For September 14th

Public Hearing Ends Without Answer

There was no answer last night after the town of North Wilkesboro’s public hearing. A meeting had been called to determine if the town should switch to non-partisan elections, a hot topic with a primary coming up a week from this Friday. Five years ago during the last primary, it cost taxpayers $2898. Counting North Wilkesboro, only seven areas throughout the entire state continue to run partisan elections. While members of the board were split on the issue, all agreed that it should be decided by a referendum. No vote was taken on the subject however, so it will be at least three weeks before any final decisions can be made. The board meets again on October 4th.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Once men reach a certain age, prostate cancer can become a serious problem. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
and coming up next week there will be a free clinic here in Wilkes, available for any men 45 and older. For more information about the disease itself or the clinic, you can call 838-5655.

Gas Thieves Hit Another Wilkes Business
Despite the drop in gas prices, some people here in Wilkes still refuse to pay at the pump. Gas thieves hit H.G. Greens on the Clingman Road on Monday. A man pulled up and pumped diesel fuel into several cans he had stored in the vehicle. Then after getting them loaded he took off down the road. A copy of the store’s video camera was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and there is a suspect in the case.

Focus On The Persecuted Church
For many of us, the closest we’ve been to a foreign country is when we sit at home and watch the news. But in some of the countries around the world, Christians are facing persecution and enduring trials for their faith. One such man of God is Pastor Aniel Rupnuran of Dundee South Africa. Pastor Rupnuran will be Brian’s guest this week for Focus on the Foothills, as they’ll be discussing the struggles of the persecuted church in the world. That’s coming up tomorrow on Focus, at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

The Grass Needed Mowing
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a home in Roaring River on Monday, after thieves ran off with over a thousand dollars worth of material. The homeowner went out to a storage building on the property, to discover that the lock had been broken and several weed-eaters, along with a chainsaw had been taken. There is a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Wilkes Students In National Semifinals
Two Wilkes County students have made it into the semi-finals of the National Merit Scholarship Program. Emily Wayne and Nicholas Frazer are both in the running for the scholarship. Emily Wayne is a senior at Wilkes Central High. She attended Governor’s School over the summer and works with both the debate and quiz bowl teams. Nicholas Frazer was also a Wilkes Central student until this fall, when he began attending Simon’s Rock College, the nation’s only college of arts & science designed for students of high school age. He was also a member of both the debate and quiz bowl teams. The two were part of 16,000 students who made the cut as semifinalists. Out of that number, 8000 will receive scholarships totaling $30 million next spring.

Tip Leads To Drug Bust In Boomer
Sheriff’s deputies received a tip over the weekend about drugs being sold at a Boomer residence. Once arriving at the residence on Boomer Road, deputies saw a man standing in the driveway. After a search, they found crack cocaine in his hip pocket. People inside the home told deputies they could come in and search the place, where they discovered bags of crack cocaine totaling over seven grams and drug paraphernalia. Marijuana was also found after a search of the vehicles. Geoffery Earp was charged with maintaining a dwelling for the sale of drugs, in addition to drug possession with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Kendra Moore, Robin Anderson and Charles Bullis were all charged with drug possession, while Benny Ferguson was charged with maintaining a vehicle for the sale of drugs and drug possession.

Free Food & Clothes Coming This Saturday
For people out there who are in need, this Saturday you can get some new clothes and a hot meal. The Wilkesboro Church of Christ is holding a giveaway, where people can come in, get a free breakfast and also pick up some clothes as well. There will be men’s, women’s and children’s sizes available at the church, which is located at 1103 Walnut Circle in Wilkesboro. That’s just behind Dwight Phillips Auto Sales. The event starts at 8am and continues until 11am. For more information you can call 838-5695.

More Disaster Relief Being Sent
The relief efforts continue throughout Wilkes County. Now from 3-7pm each day, people can drop off supplies at the old K-Mart Building. Several area churches have set up a donation drive there, with volunteers to organize the donations and get them ready to ship to Mississippi. There is still a need for volunteers, so if you have thirty minutes or three hours to spare, call Pastor Larry Adams and he’ll set that up. His number is 667-8660. Carolina West Wireless is also sponsoring a donation drive in connection with Wilkes Telecommunications, Parsons Trucking, Surry Telephone and Skyline Telephone. Until this Saturday, you can drop off supplies at Carolina West including water, diapers, baby supplies and toiletries. Also the The Brushy Mountain Chiropractic Center is working with the Red Cross to donate items for Hurricane Katrina victims. For every $20 donation given until September 27th, the Center will offer a free exam and x-ray. Those exams will be done on the 27th and only by appointment, on a first come first serve basis. Finally there will be a benefit concert held this Saturday at Peace Haven Baptist Church, with all funds being donated to World Vision, to help the hurricane victims. The concert will be free but a love offering will be taken up. Appearing at the church will be Living Well, Faithwalk, Jonathon Cox and Greg Cook w/ Set Free. The number to call for more information is 764-8616.
And if you missed any of these or other donation sites that we mention on the news, just call the 3WC Studios here at 838-9992 and we’ll be glad to get you that information.

State News

Man Arrested In Katrina Scam
In Jacksonville North Carolina an 18-year-old was arrested this week in yet another scam regarding Hurricane Katrina. However once the case was over, he found himself facing six different charges. 18-yr-old Jerod Edward Bates and his 15-yr-old accomplice broke into a Frito Lay truck on Monday, taking an estimated $500 worth of food from inside. Then they set up shop and attempted to resell the items, pretending to be raising money for the hurricane victims.

Evacuees Return To Coliseum
Some victims of Hurricane Katrina would rather stay at a shelter than go with family and friends. That’s the case today in Charlotte, as the Red Cross and Salvation Army see people return to the shelter within days of leaving. The city of Charlotte has set up a shelter in the old Charlotte Coliseum, providing medical care and food to victims at a cost of around $70,000 a day. Many don’t give reasons as to why they return, but some say that it’s because they’re out of money. Shelter officials are working to find long term housing for evacuees, in addition to permanent jobs and healthcare.

Lawmakers Bend But 't Break Rules
A two month investigation came to an end this week, as State Attorney General Roy Cooper found that lawmakers didn’t violate the state’s constitution. At the center of the dispute was the fact that $14 million had been set aside last year for certain legislators’ pet projects. Senate leader Marc Basnight and the co-speakers of the House, Jim Black and Richard Morgan, set aside the money from last year’s budget. Some money went to fund health care centers and historic buildings, while also helping to create a job that a friend of Representative Black was given in the Department of Cultural Resources. That position was created using $45,000 of state tax money and then Black’s friend was recommended for the job. Attorney General Cooper said that he could find no specific violation of the law, but was disturbed by the way things were handed. He recommended that from now on, all state spending be explained in detail before the legislature and announced to the public.

Robbery Suspect Hit By Car
In Asheville, a robbery suspect was killed as he was leaving the store. The man had jumped the counter at Oakley Food Center and took some cash from the register. Then he took off running out the door, followed by an employee of the store and a customer. The customer got into his car and after that the details become sketchy. Somehow the robber ended up behind the customer’s vehicle and was hit by the car. His injuries were bad enough to earn a trip to the hospital, where he died soon after. Authorities haven’t decided if any charges will be filed against the store customer.

Central NC Gets New Name
A name change for part of North Carolina has people up in arms today. The central part of the state has long been referred to as the Piedmont. Now it will officially have that title in North Carolina’s travel website. Some businesses are questioning the move however, saying that they believe the name should have been kept as central North Carolina, due to the fact it didn’t need to be explained. Regardless of the discussion, the new name will officially be introduced later this week.

Sports Headlines

Wake Forest Loses Basketball Player
In college basketball, Wake Forest is losing another member of its’ team. Senior guard Richard Joyce announced this week that he’s quitting the sport so that he can graduate early in December. The 6-5 Joyce missed most of last season recovering from a foot injury and now without him, Wake only returns six scholarship players. Seniors Eric Williams, Justin Gray, Chris Ellis and Trent Strickland are all returning, in addition to sophomore Kyle Visser. Those six will most likely be a strong part of the rotation, as no other players have much experience on the college level.

Duke Football Lands Offensive Recruit
On the football field, despite their blowout loss at Virginia Tech, there was some good news for Duke coach Ted Roof this week. Doug Weaver, a junior from Roxboro committed to the team for 2007. The 6-6 275 lb. junior, who plays offensive tackle turned down offers from Wake Forest and East Carolina to attend the school. He said that he wanted to play close to home and was also impressed with Coach Roof’s determination to rebuild the program.

Duke To Stick With Two Sided System
In other Duke football news, Coach Ted Roof announced this week that he’ll be sticking with the same two quarterbacks for the present time. Juniors Mike Schneider and Curt Dukes have taken all of the snaps this season but have posted up horrific numbers the first two weeks. Schneider tossed for 153 total yards over the first two games, with three interceptions and no touchdowns, while Dukes has only completed one pass for eight yards. The main reason Roof is sticking with the two is to give freshmen Gene Donne and Zack Asack time to study and perfect the playbook. Both were listed in the nation’s Top 40 quarterbacks last year as seniors.

Grasshoppers GM Leaving For A New Type Of Team
In minor league baseball, the Greensboro Grasshoppers are in the market for a general manager today, after Tom Howe quit. Howe resigned his position to join a different type of team, accepting a job with the Piedmont Baptist Association. He had served as the club’s GM since October of 2004, helping in the transition to the new stadium and the new name.

Carolina Hurricanes Get Back On Ice
The countdown has finally started for the return of NHL hockey. As the Carolina Hurricanes get set to take the ice, the team opened training camp this week at the RBC Center. Head coach Peter Laviolette has opened practice to the public, letting the people get to know their team. Then on Friday the team will suit up for their first preseason game against the Washington Capitals. The puck will drop at 7pm.


News & Sports For September 13th

Man Killed On Hwy 18 Monday Morning
Wilkesboro police are still investigating after a death on Hwy 18 Monday morning. In the early hours, a man was apparently crossing the road when he was hit by a car speeding down the highway. The man was killed instantly however police are still searching for any clues about the vehicle that hit him. Traffic was detoured for several hours as police blocked off the scene and cleaned up the area. We’ll have more details for you as they become available.

Relief Efforts Continue Throughout Wilkes
Relief efforts are continuing throughout the county today to bring aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Harvest Time Ministries continues to send trailers down to Mississippi and is still accepting donations. While all donations are appreciated, the most needed items are cleaning supplies, school supplies, diapers and baby bottles. Also if anyone has some spare toys, they would also be a great thing to give out to the children. People can come by and donate at any time and if there’s no one around, you can drop off items on the porch of Harvest Time Ministries, located at 501 C Street in Wilkesboro. If you have any questions, you can call Gene Shepard at 667-6071. Calvary Baptist Church continues to take donations as well in their Fellowship Hall, to send down to three Louisiana towns in need. In addition to regular donations, the church has also challenged local businesses if you haven’t gotten involved yet to act as a donation drop site. For more information you can call Jean Hodges at 973-4194. And if you missed any of these or other donation sites that we mention on the news, just call the 3WC Studios here at 838-9992 and we’ll be glad to get you that information.

Always Turn The Alarm On
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Hayes woman’s home over the weekend, after she woke up to see thieves had paid her a visit. While she was sleeping, someone gained access to her house and stole over $400 worth of items. Included in the theft was a pair of eyeglasses, in addition to $5 in cash and other items. It’s unclear exactly how the thieves got inside as there was no damage done to any part of the home. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Habitat For Humanity Building New Home
We hear stories on the news about the victims of Hurricane Katrina and how they lost their homes, but many others here in our own county find themselves unable to afford a house or trailer due to medical bills and other issues. Habitat For Humanity is working to solve that problem, as they have another house under construction, to give to a needy family. Volunteers are needed at the latest Habitat House, being built on Hwy 268 East. The home is ready for sheetrocking and volunteers are needed every Friday and Saturday. For more information you can call Habitat at 651-7817.

Car Stolen From North Wilkesboro Residence
It’s never a good idea to leave the keys in your car. A North Wilkesboro man found that out this week after waking up to find his vehicle had been stolen. In addition to the vehicle, there was a .22 revolver underneath the front driver seat taken as well. There is however a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Red Cross Offers Opportunity To Help
While supplies continue to be donated across Wilkes County, many people can’t afford to give money or other items. If you find yourself in that situation and still want to help, the Red Cross is offering the first of several training sessions later tonight. In order to volunteer for any type of disaster relief, people first have to complete the Red Cross training sessions. The first one will be held tonight from 6-9:30pm. To get more information you can call the local Red Cross at 838-4563.

Man Arrested After Elkin Break-In
An Elkin man called sheriff’s deputies over the weekend after returning to discover that thieves had broke into his cabin and stolen several thousand dollars worth of material. Later on over the weekend, another person noticed a car sitting in a field and reported it as suspicious after noticing a tv, muzzle loader and other items inside. Witnesses turned over the vehicle’s license plate to deputies, who tried to use it to track down the vehicle’s owner. Instead, they found the man’s 15 year old girlfriend, who admitted that she and her boyfriend did in fact commit the crime. The girl was charged as a juvenile and her 21-yr-old boyfriend, Jonathon David England was charged with breaking & entering, stealing a firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Debate Between Candidates This Thursday
With the North Wilkesboro Primary coming up in two weeks, voters will get their first chance to hear the candidates express their views in person. Challenger Gerald Lankford and incumbent Steve Foster will hold a debate this Thursday at the Wilkes County Library. The Republican candidates will discuss the issues starting at 6pm in a debate open to the public. The winner of this month’s primary will go on to face George Church in the November election.

Guns And Jewelry Stolen From Ronda Home
Thieves broke into a Ronda man’s home over the weekend and walked out with several thousand dollars worth of guns and jewelry. Included in the theft was the victim’s wedding ring, along with nine other rings and a Ruger .22 caliber pistol. Thieves gained access through a side door to the home. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

National Guard Program Gets NC Tryout
North Carolina will be testing out a new program designed to help families of its’ National Guard units over the next few months. Citizen Soldier is a new plan put out and funded by the Defense Department, who handed out $1.8 million dollars to put it to the test. The goal is to make it easier for families of National Guard soldiers to get help, organizing support services through different agencies. To learn more about the program and get the information you need, you can get in touch with your local National Guard unit. Here in Wilkes County,

NC Woman Accused Of Hurricane Fraud
With the influx of donation drives and contributions coming in to help the hurricane victims, there are also reports of fraud. A woman from Kernersville was arrested and charged this week with fraudulently soliciting money for the relief effort. 22-yr-old Heather Parrish posed as a member of the National Guard, requesting money from people to help evacuees. However that cover story was revealed to be a lie and Parrish was soon arrested. She had only received money from one person before her arrest. Parrish will appear in court on September 30th.

Durham Police Car Slams Into House
Homeowners in Durham received a wake up call Monday morning, when a police car slammed into the side of a house on Kent Street. The officer was assisting in the chase for a wanted felon when he lost control of the car. He swerved to avoid a car in front of him, jumping the sidewalk and crashing into the house. Both the officer and those inside the home were able to walk away uninjured, however both the vehicle and the building were seriously damaged. The Durham Police Department has opened up an investigation into the case.

Hurricane Ophelia Now Tropical Storm
People on North Carolina’s coast can breathe a little easier today, after Hurricane Ophelia was downgraded to a tropical storm. Winds from the storm have dropped to 70 mph but the hurricane warning has not been changed at this time. The reason being that officials from the National Hurricane Center said Monday night that the storm could head out to sea and gather strength. It’s been hard to track Ophelia mainly because it’s moving extremely slow, at times appearing to be stationary on the Carolina coast. Gov. Easley however refused to take chances and issued a mandatory evacuation of all non residents from Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks.

Murdock Outlines Kannapolis Plans
David Murdock has huge plans for Kannapolis and he outlined them in a speech Monday morning. Murdock, who bought the former Pillowtex #1 plant, wants to turn it into a research campus dealing with biotechnology. Groundbreaking for the complex should begin in roughly three months, with the finished product including 1.2 million square feet of technology space. In addition to the complex itself, about 700 homes and 350,000 square feet of retail space will be built. Gov. Easley and Senator Dole were on hand for the announcement, which state officials said had the potential to revitalize the North Carolina economy.

Sports Headlines

UNC Charlotte Lands Hoops Recruits
There are high hopes for UNC Charlotte’s basketball team as the school moves into their new conference. Now the university is reloading with more talent headed in next season. 6-6 guard Cameron Tatum committed to Charlotte over the weekend. The high school senior from Georgia, who averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds last year picked UNC Charlotte over NC State and Tennessee. Also Charles Dewhurst, a 6-6 guard from Charlotte Latin High School committed to play for the 49ers.

UNC Tarheels Add New Opponents
Steve Spurrier will be paying a visit to Chapel Hill in the near future. The South Carolina Gamecocks have agreed to play the Tarheels in a two game series starting in 2007. October 13th of that year the Gamecocks will make their way into Chapel Hill, but it’ll take three years to have a rematch. The Heels will head into South Carolina on September 18th 2010. The two teams signed the games as a way of filling that last spot in the schedule, now that the NCAA has added a 12th game on the season. Over the history of the two schools, they’ve met 54 times with North Carolina winning 34 of the games.

Bobcat Lends Hand To Victims
Several hundred victims of Hurricane Katrina have found their way to Charlotte North Carolina, most still hunting for friends and family members. But one member of the Charlotte Bobcats is doing his part to try and lend a hand. Rookie Sean May brought his family to the Charlotte Coliseum armed with t-shirts, socks, underwear and water, to give to the evacuees. They also handed out books to the kids and spent time listening to the stories shared by the victims. May said that he wanted to do something to help, because he felt it was his responsibility.

Panthers News & Notes
If the last second loss to New Orleans wasn’t bad enough, the Carolina Panthers will have to do without the services of defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. In Sunday’s game, Jenkins injured his knee and after getting it checked out, doctors determined the ACL ligament had been torn. Now Jenkins will miss the rest of the season.

US Baseball Falls Short
Some baseball news, as the USA fell just short against Cuba in the Pan American Junior Championships. Cuba won 2-1 in the gold medal game, landing their sixth straight title, while the US received its’ third straight silver medal. As a result of making it to the championship, both teams receive a spot in the World Championships, which will be held next year in Cuba.

USA Readies Another Olympic Bid
Just because New York lost out in its’ Olympic bid this past year doesn’t mean the USA has given up on hosting the games again. A group in Los Angeles announced over the weekend that the city would be putting in a bid for the 2016 games. One aspect of the bid that makes it especially attractive to voters is the fact it will be financed solely by private donations. No taxpayer money will be used.


News & Sports For September 12th

Red Cross Offers Opportunity To Help
While supplies continue to be donated across Wilkes County, many people can’t afford to give money or other items. If you find yourself in that situation and still want to help, the Red Cross is offering the first of several training sessions tomorrow night. In order to volunteer for any type of disaster relief, people first have to complete the Red Cross training sessions. Tuesday night the first one will be held from 6-9:30pm. To get more information you can call the local Red Cross at 838-4563.

Foxx Vote Raises Questions
How much of our government’s aid dollars will actually make it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina? That question was brought up late last week in the U.S. House by 5th District Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. Foxx asked why there wasn’t any guidelines as to what the $51.8 billion will be spent on, with no money set aside for rebuilding areas damaged by the storm. Instead all of the money as it stands now would be placed in the hands of state officials, to be spent on whatever they decide. As a result, Foxx was one of eleven members who voted against the bill. All of those members are calling for the bill to be revised, to provide relief directly to those families who were hit hard, instead of putting the money in the hands of the state. Members of the Democratic Party meanwhile have come out and attacked the eleven, saying that there was no reason to revise the bill and accusing them of abandoning the hurricane victims.

Deputies Discover Bombs And Drugs
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Wilkes County residence late last week to serve a warrant, only to later discover homemade explosives. Deputies announced their presence when they arrived at the home and heard people yelling inside, saying to hide it under the chair. Once they came inside they served the warrant for assault on one of the suspects, but also found two silver cartridges with fuses attached. Also found inside was a 30-06 rifle, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Marijuana seeds were later found along with plants being grown inside the house. Jason Howard Greene and Travis Nathaniel Pierce were charged with maintaining a dwelling for the sale of drugs, drug possession and possessing a weapon of mass destruction.

Early Morning Wake Up Call
A Roaring River man woke up early Thursday morning after a loud noise outside his home. He came out to find dents and damage to the side of the house, where a two by four had slammed against it. The board had been left by the vandals, with around $40 worth of damage done. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to help get men informed about the deadly disease and what can be done to diagnose it. September 23rd there will be a free clinic here in Wilkes, available for any men 45 or older. From 9am until 2pm, people can come in and get checked for the disease. For more information, you can call 838-5655.

Deputies Investigate Forged Checks

A Traphill woman noticed that her bank account was lower than it should be over the weekend. She checked and found that someone had been writing checks and forging her name. She contacted sheriff’s deputies and turned over the information, including a suspect’s name. That investigation is ongoing.

Always Keep Your Doors Locked
It’s always a good idea to lock your car doors when you leave. A Wilkesboro man learned that the hard way over the weekend, after he came back and found thieves had paid him a visit. The man had left $5000 in his car and forgot to lock the doors. He then walked into a nearby store and returned to find the money was gone. Wilkesboro police are investigating the case.

State News

Hurricane Ophelia Heading To NC
With the Gulf Coast still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, now people in North Carolina are being advised to watch out. Hurricane Ophelia is sitting just off the cost with wind speeds of 85 mph. By no means as strong as Katrina, the storm has still brought on hurricane watches for 250 miles of coastline. Governor Mike Easley declared a state of emergency over the weekend, but it’s not clear where the storm will turn. Officials from the National Hurricane Center said that it could drift on out to sea or make a move toward North Carolina. If it does head back toward land, that would be around late Tuesday night.

Job Fairs In The Works For Evacuees
More help is coming for hurricane victims in North Carolina. Later this week, there will be two job fairs set up in the Charlotte area, to help people find jobs. While details haven’t been finalized yet, over fifty different companies will be involved, including Coca-Cola and Home Depot. Those fairs will be open to hurricane victims only and identification will be checked.

Big Plans In Store For Kernersville
Good news for people in the Kernersville area, as plans are starting to take shape for the former Pillowtex building. It was purchased earlier this year by billionaire David Murdock, who announced he was going to transform the property into a biotechnology complex. Later today, Murdock will be at the plant to unveil the finalized plans and explain what exactly will be involved. Murdock, a California native, said that he hopes to revitalize the area’s economy by getting the complex up and running. 4800 people were left without a job when the plant closed down in 2003.

Hurricane Victims Robbed In Gastonia
If losing their home to Hurricane Katrina wasn’t enough, a family from Louisiana returned to their hotel room this weekend to find they’d been robbed. The family, who had been put up in a hotel by people in Gaston County, came back to discover $6200 worth of items had gone missing. Included in the theft were two cameras and $300, among other things. Officials said that the thieves gained access to the room by using guest keys, although it’s unclear why they were accepted. The investigation is ongoing.

Andy Griffith Makes Donation
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just became one of the largest collectors of Mayberry memorabilia. Andy Griffith announced over the weekend that he was donating film footage, manuscripts and other items stretching across his entire 55 year career to the school. The documents will be used as part of the university’s Southern Historical Collection, which currently holds more than 15 million items.

Sports Headlines

High School Scoreboard
Taking a look around the high school scene last night, it was West Wilkes beating Bishop McGuiness 24-7. With the win, the team heads into a bye week at 3-1, their best record in two years. Just up the road at East Wilkes the news wasn’t so good for Cardinal fans, as their team lost as heartbreaker 14-7, to drop in the standing to 2-2. And in our 3WC Game Of The Week, it was North Wilkes breaking a two year losing streak with a win against Alleghany 35-7, earning Coach Roy Carter his first victory as a Viking.

College Football Scoreboard
Around the college scene, it was a bad weekend for teams from North Carolina. The UNC Tarheels lost their opening game 27-21 to Georgia Tech, after a mistake filled afternoon. The Tarheels had a chance to come back and win the game, but quarterback Matt Baker was intercepted three times in the last six minutes. Meanwhile Appalachian State had a chance early, but saw their hopes die in the second half of a 36-8 loss against Kansas. Appalachian trailed by less than two touchdowns at halftime with the score 13-0. But the defense caved in the second half and Kansas soon took control. In Durham, the Duke Blue Devils didn’t have any chance, as they were clocked 45-0 by Marcus Vick and his Virginia Tech Hokies.

Panthers Fall In Season Opener
In the NFL, penalties and mistakes ended up costing the Carolina Panthers in their home opener. They lost 23-20 to the New Orlean Saints on a last second field goal by Saints kicker John Carney. The Panthers appeared to have some communication problems, as they were tagged eleven times for penalties totaling 84 yards. Stephen Davis and Steve Smith came out in full force however, as Smith had eight catches for 138 yards and Davis rushed 13 times for 81 yards in his return from knee surgery.

Parker Makes NFL Debut

The news was better however for a former North Carolina player. Third year running back Willie Parker made his debut for the Pittsburgh Steelers and racked up 161 rushing yards as the team cruised to a 34-7 victory. Parker was put into the starting lineup after injuries to both Jerome Bettis and Deuce Staley during the preseason.

Chase For The Cup Begins After Richmond
In NASCAR, the ten man playoff field has been set after Saturday’s Rock & Roll 400. Kurt Busch took the checkered flag and announced he was donating half of the night’s winnings to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Also he donated half of the night’s souvenir sales. Meanwhile Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhart Jr. are out, while Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield are in the race. So the Chase for the cup shapes up like this. It’s Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jeremy Mayfield, Rusty Wallace, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth. Now under the Chase rules, everyone is basically back at square one. First place Tony Stewart has only a five point lead over second place Biffle, with all other drivers also separated by only five points each.


News & Sports For September 9th

More Disaster Relief Springs Up In Wilkes
The people of Wilkes continue to come out in support of those affected by the hurricane. You can drop off supplies at Calvary Baptist Church from 10am until 2pm on Saturday. They’re accepting donations in the fellowship hall and as soon as they finish collecting, a mission team from the church will head down to Mississippi and start distributing. The church is also taking financial donations, which can be made out to the Calvary Baptist Disaster Relief Fund. All money will be used to buy needed items for the survivors. For information you can call Jean Hodges at 973-4194. Also on Saturday, Old Fashioned Baptist Church will be holding a prayer service all day long for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. You can show up any time from 8am til 9pm and lift up your prayers. For people who still have donations they wish to give, you can bring them to the old K-Mart Building, where volunteers will get them organized and ready to ship to Mississippi. Also if you want to volunteer, for one hour or however long you can, you can call Pastor Larry Adams and set that up. His number is 667-8660. The Wilkesboro Church of Christ, in connection with Empire Nissan, is holding a drive for items. Collection points are set up at Lowes Foods and Food Lion locations here in the county and you can also bring supplies to the church itself, located at 1103 Walnut Circle in Wilkesboro. Several thousand dollars worth of goods have already been sent down by the church to a shelter in Charlotte that’s housing about 800 hurricane victims. For more information you can call Tom Harrelson at 838-5695. And if you missed our reports of other donation drives in the county, just call our 3WC Studios here at 838-9992 and we’ll be glad to give you that information.

Thieves Break Into Millers Creek Market
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the Millers Creek Market earlier this week after thieves broke in and gained access to the safe. They broke in through a door in the back, then located and cracked the safe. Stolen from inside was just over $18,000 in cash and coins, along with a 9mm semi automatic. The thieves also busted open the video poker machines in the store and stole 60 cartons of cigarettes before leaving. There are suspects and the investigation is ongoing.

Wreck On 421 Totals Two
Two cars were wrecked in an accident Tuesday night on 421. A woman from Lutz North Carolina was attempting to turn onto the highway from a side road, but failed to notice the oncoming traffic. She slammed into a Winston Salem man, who couldn’t slow down in time to avoid the collision. An estimated $4000 worth of damage was done in the wreck, however thankfully no one was seriously injured.

Farmers Facing Deadline For Support
Time’s up for any farmers who haven’t sent in their information to the state. Money will go out today to anyone whose farm was damaged by the hurricane, regardless of if it was crop loss or rebuilding costs. However some farmers, when filling out aid sheets, refused to allow the state to share their information with federal agencies. No information means no money, since the Department of Agriculture is the one in charge of sending out the checks. Without that information they don’t know where to send the aid. According to the Department, over a hundred farmers, including some here in Wilkes, still haven’t given the ok to share that information. To do that, you need to go by the local Cooperative Extension office and pick up a consent form today. As long as you turn one in today if you haven’t already then you’ll be able to receive aid. To call for more information, their number is 651-7331.

Birthday Party Today For Our House
Later on this afternoon, the candles will be lit and the celebration will start as Our House celebrates 10 years in ministry. In honor of the occasion, there will be a floating birthday party of sorts, open to the public from 4-6pm with cake, ice cream and punch on the menu. But in addition, the organization is using this time to hold a diaper drive. This time of year is the United Way’s annual blackout date, meaning that any group involved with the charity has to suspend any type of fund raising. However because of the need involved, Our House has been cleared to hold a diaper drive today. Everyone is welcome to attend the event and for more information you can call Special Projects Coordinator Sherry Mayberry at Our House. The number is 667-5555.

Blood Drive Going On Today
We’ve all heard about the destruction throughout Mississippi and Louisiana and efforts are going on to send down supplies. But even if you can’t afford to donate food or clothes, you can help in another way. The Red Cross is holding a blood drive today, in order to send units down south. It will be held at the Moravian Falls Fire Department from 3-7:30pm. Just remember before giving blood you must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs.

Humane Society Holding Adoption Fair Tomorrow
For anyone who’s looking for a furry friend to take home, the Wilkes Humane Society will be holding an adoption fair on Saturday. The event will go on in front of GNC between Wal-Mart and Lowes Foods in Wilkesboro, from 10am until 4:30pm. There is an adoption fee, however that covers all cost for vet exam, all vaccines and spay/neuter charges. You can see for yourself what pets are available to adopt at

Just Came In For A Look Around
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Traphill residence earlier this week after neighbors noticed the door was wide open. The homeowner is in the hospital and people have been coming by to feed her dog, but when they stopped by earlier this week, the door was standing wide open. Nothing was taken from the home, but the freezer was also open, in addition to the medicine cabinets, where it appears someone had been searching. The homeowner’s safe had also been located and placed on the bed, but it appears the thief failed to get it open. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Wilkes Regional Has Website To Help Community
Medical information is just a click away now for people here in Wilkes County. Wilkes Regional Medical Center has launched their own website, keeping people informed about improvements at the hospital, different doctors coming in and also providing a medical library, where you can go online and look up answers to certain medical questions. The site, which is available in both Spanish and English, can be found at

WCC To Host Financial Class For Adults
Sometimes it can be a pain collecting on a debt. Regardless if it’s something owed by a neighbor or payment charged to your business. Coming up later this month, Wilkes Community College is holding a seminar, to help people understand what their legal rights are in such a situation. Such as what are your options for collecting a bad debt? What to do when a debtor skips town? The meeting is free, however you must register ahead of time to get in. To sign up, you can call WCC at 838-6210. That will take place on September 29th, sponsored by the Small Business Center of the college.

State News

Expect A Price Increase This Winter
It looks like the cheapest way to heat your home this winter will involve an axe.
Last week 3WC News told you about increases coming in natural gas this winter. Now comes news from several companies in the energy business that you can expect all forms of heating to go up in cost. Across the board, heating oil costs will rise an estimated 31% according to energy analysts, while natural gas will jump at least 40%. People who use electric heat won’t be safe either, as the cost of it will climb 17%.

Evacuees Make Their Way To NC
North Carolina appears to be the spot of choice for some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to those brought in by the Red Cross and other agencies, 200 more have come to North Carolina on their own. According to the Red Cross, several families walked, drove and did whatever necessary to make it to the Tarheel state. Most of them now have found temporary homes in Greensboro and plan to set up permanent residence in the area.

Jobs Going To Evacuees
People are up in arms throughout North Carolina, due in part to some controversial decisions involving jobs. With so many evacuees coming in from Louisiana and Mississippi, it’s just reality that they have to find ways of paying the bills. But several companies are offering permanent positions to these evacuees, a decision that has people who have stood in the unemployment lines looking for a job seriously upset. The Employment Security Commission is coordinating the job hunt with assistance from businesses around the state. Some people are calling into question how companies who had to lay off workers months ago are finding the money available to hire on new help.

Panthers Help Needy Fans
Some evacuees living in Charlotte will have a chance to forget about their problems for a few hours this Sunday. The Carolina Panthers have donated 350 tickets to this Sunday’s home opener to Saints fans who are in shelters in the city. The tickets for the sold out game were given by the panthers, donated by family and friends who had already paid to come but wanted to do something special for those in need. In addition, the team is holding their own Beads For the Bayou drive, collecting canned food and other items during the game. In return, people receive Mardi Gras beads.

The Return Of Fletcher

Just when you thought it was over, the legal battle continues in the school superintendent’s race. June Atkinson has already assumed her post and challenger Bill Fletcher says he doesn’t dispute that she won. However he still wants a judge to hear his challenge. This week, Fletcher filed papers requesting a new hearing in the case, saying that he’s not trying to take Atkinson’s job now, but wants to set a precedent for future elections. Fletcher’s argument is that provisional ballots cast out of the voter’s precinct are unconstitutional and shouldn’t be counted in any race. A judge has yet to decide if the case will be heard.

Sports Headlines

Friday Night Football
With clear skies in the forecast tonight, the 3WC Sports Team will make their way over to North Wilkes for our Friday night broadcast. Tonight we’ll have North Wilkes playing host to Alleghany, with Ken Byrd and Keith Briand over in Vikings Country bringing you the play by play action. Meanwhile Brian Carlton will be back at the station, keeping you up to date on the other games going on in the area, as Wilkes Central travels to Watauga, East Wilkes plays host to East Surry and West Wilkes has a home game against Bishop McGuiness. The McDonald’s pregame show goes on the air at 7:15pm and kickoff is set for 7:30 on your home for local sports, 1240 3WC.

Local Racetrack Holds Donation Drive
For all the racing fans out there, next week you can watch a great event and also help some families in need. Next Saturday the 17th, Friendship Motor Speedway is putting on a “Race For Relief” in connection with Tyson Foods. People coming in to watch the races are being asked to bring any and all donations, from canned food to hygiene products to any type of monetary gift. That will all be packed up in a car hauler and shipped down to an area in need. In addition, the high price of gas has caused some changes on the track’s schedule. Races will be held in Elkin now on every other week throughout the rest of the season. Alternating weeks like that, the track officials said they hope to cut down on some of the cost that drivers and fans alike will have to pay.

North Carolina Sets Lineup
In college football, with time ticking down until their matchup Saturday against Georgia Tech, The UNC Tarheels announced their starting lineup on Thursday. Most of the spots had already been decided, such as Matt Baker taking over at quarterback, but two players were knocked out by challengers who performed better during the preseason. Senior strong safety Mahlon Carey will take over from sophomore Timane Goddard. Also junior linebacker Larry Edwards won the starting job over senior Jeff Longhany. Coach Bunting said that Carey and Edwards were the better players on a defense that he said was stronger and better prepared than last season, when the Heels gave up 36 points a game.

Minor League Scoreboard
The season came to an end last night for the Winston Salem Warthogs, as they were swept in the first round of the playoffs. Kinston beat the Warthogs last night 8-1, after Warthogs’ starter Ray Liotta gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. The Warthogs took the lead in the second inning, after a home run by Travis Hinston, but surrendered it in the fourth and never scored again.

Davis Sets Goal In Return
For some, just returning to the field after surgery is a big deal, but not for Panthers running back Stephen Davis. Having been cleared to play and after winning the starting job, Davis has already set a goal for himself this season. He wants to carry the ball at least 300 times. He said after rehab, he feels stronger than he has in two years and is ready to run 20 to 25 times a game, whenever the team needs him. Coming off microfracture knee surgery, Davis will split time in the backfield with Deshaun Foster and Nick Goings, both of whom took over after he went down last season. The Panthers take the field Sunday against the New Orlean Saints.

Crocker Makes Debut
In NASCAR, tonight is the night for Erin Crocker. She’ll make her debut in the Busch Series as teams head into Richmond. Driving for Everham Motorsports, Crocker, who has several top ten finishes under her belt in the “minor leagues” so far, hopes to validate the company’s trust by excelling at the Busch level. Everham officials said that if she does well over the last few races this season, Crocker might make an appearance or two in the Nextel Cup in 2006.


News & Sports For September 7th

Donations Continue To Be Taken
As the need continues to grow throughout the Gulf Coast, more relief efforts are springing up here in Wilkes County. The State Employees Credit Union, in connection with the Red Cross, is taking up donations of both supplies and money. You can drop that by over the next few days and all those donations will be turned over to the Red Cross to send down. Harvest Time Christian Ministries is preparing to send down another trailer filled with supplies to people devastated by the storm. Four trailers have already been delivered to the different relief sites and the ministry hopes to send more in the coming days. Right now the fifth trailer is parked at Harvest Time Ministries, located at 501 C Street in Wilkesboro and being loaded. Everything is needed with the exception of clothes. After their latest shipment, relief workers told the ministry that there were more than enough clothes to go around, however food and other necessities are still desperately needed. People can come by and donate at any time and if there’s no one around, you can drop off items on the porch of Harvest Time Ministries. If you have any questions, you can call Gene Shepard at 667-6071. Calvary Baptist Church has opened their Fellowship Hall as a drop site for any items to be donated. You can come by and give from 5-7pm today and Thursday, then also this coming Saturday from 10am til 2pm. A mission team from the church will then take those supplies down as soon as they can get them loaded, to be divided between three towns in need: Roberts Louisiana, Amete Louisiana and Springfield Louisiana. Also financial donations will be taken to buy food for the survivors. If you want to give that way, please make checks out to Calvary Baptist Disaster Relief Fund. For more information you can call Jean Hodges at 973-4194. Finally Union United Methodist Church is collecting healthcare and baby supplies to send down. The church, located on Curtis Bridge Road will have someone available from 9am til 5pm on Wednesday and from 9am til noon on Thursday. For more information you can give them a call at 667-8670.

Notes From Commissioners’ Meeting
The Wilkes County Commissioners met last night and approved several issues. A moratorium of six months was issued, preventing any sex based businesses from entering the county until the end of that period. During that time, county officials will be working on plans to regulate such businesses, to prevent any problems and deal with concerns. The 4th week of September was also designated as Wilkes Cares Recognition and Appreciation Week, while Make a Difference Day was announced as being October 22nd. This year’s budget has set forth $9850 to pay for materials in the day’s plans. The week of September 17th through the 23rd was set aside as Constitution Week, honoring the 223rd anniversary of the drafting of the constitution.

Deadline Fast Approaching For Farmers
There are two days left for Wilkes County farmers to receive state funds if their property was damage by hurricanes last year. State aid money will be sent out this Friday, September 9th to anyone who suffered crop losses or had to rebuild from last year’s storms. However when filing out their information sheet, several hundred farmers throughout North Carolina refused to allow the state to share their information with federal agencies. This causes a problem because the Department of Agriculture is the one in charge of sending out the aid money & without that consent form, they don’t know who to send it to. The deadline to turn in a form is September 9th and you can pick one up at the Cooperative Extension office. To call for more information, their number is 651-7331.

Focus On Foxx
Every day when we drive to the pump, people wonder why gas prices are so high. What got us to this point? Congresswoman Virginia Fox believes that some of our past decisions are catching up with us. The Congresswoman will be Brian’s guest during Focus on the Foothills this week, as they’ll be discussing the gas shortage, what the lottery will mean for North Carolina and other issues that affect the 5th District. That’s coming up tomorrow at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Break-In At Traphill Home
A Traphill woman called sheriff’s deputies earlier this week after returning home to find someone had beaten her there. Thieves had broke in through the front door and gone through the house, but only ran off with a ouija board and $300 worth of cards. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Our House To Hold Birthday Celebration This Friday
This Friday the candles will be lit and the celebration will start as Our House celebrates 10 years in ministry. In honor of the occasion, there will be a floating birthday party of sorts, open to the public from 4-6pm with cake, ice cream and punch on the menu. But in addition, the organization is using this time to hold a diaper drive. This time of year is the United Way’s annual blackout date, meaning that any group involved with the charity has to suspend any type of fund raising. However because of the need involved, Our House has been cleared to hold a diaper drive on Friday the 9th. Everyone is welcome to attend the event and for more information you can call Special Projects Coordinator Sherry Mayberry at Our House. The number is 667-5555.

More Stolen Gas
Even as gas prices start to drop in the county, some people in the area are refusing to pay at the pump. Gas thieves hit Foster’s Grocery over the holiday weekend, as a woman pulled up to the pump, put in $45 into her vehicle and then drove off without paying. A description of both the driver and car were turned over to sheriff’s deputies. That investigation is ongoing.

Ran Off With The Weed-eater
The high gas prices apparently lead to a theft in the Boomer community this week. A man walked out to his storage building on Monday, only to find that the door was open and some items were missing. Taken from inside was a weed-eater along with a half full gas can. There are no suspects and it’s unknown how someone gained access to the building, as no damage was done, despite the homeowner’s declaration that he had locked it. That investigation is ongoing.

State News

Package Left Behind By Hijacker Destroyed
On Monday night, Charlotte police evacuated the Greyhound bus terminal on West Trade Street after reports came in of an attempted hijacking. As passengers were getting off a man jumped into the driver’s seat holding a package and announced he was going to drive the bus to Washington. Police detained the man and took the package, which was addressed to the White House. They later detonated the box, although it was never determined what was inside. The suspect is now at Carolinas Medical Center where his mental state is being evaluated. No decision has been made as to if he’ll face charges.

More Katrina Evacuees Head To NC
More evacuees made their way to North Carolina on Tuesday, as 500 people arrived in Greensboro. 500 more are expected in Guilford County by the end of the week. Until homes can be found for temporary housing, all of the evacuees will be staying in the Greensboro Coliseum. Along with those arrived earlier in the week, Gov. Mike Easley welcomed them to North Carolina. The state government is working to get all the students into schools and colleges, while also finding jobs for the adults. FaithAction, a religious group out of Greensboro is coordinating the placement of the people and developing care teams for each family. Those teams will help determine what medical care is needed, assist in setting up food stamps for those who are eligible along with Medicaid and dealing with other needs. The group is still needing congregations to help, if not to house people then to be part of the care teams. For more information you can call 336-379-0037.

North Carolina Under Emergency State
North Carolina finds itself under a state of emergency today, as President Bush made the announcement on Monday. Placing North Carolina under the state of emergency means that both state and local governments will have access to federal funds in helping to relocate and support the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Senator Elizabeth Dole spoke after the President’s announcement, thanking him for helping the state to provide the best assistance possible.

More Jobs Headed To Surry County
Good news today for people in Surry County, as more jobs are headed to the area. Poli-Twine Inc., a company that makes synthetic rope is planning to build their first U.S. factory in Pilot Mountain. The move, which comes after a grant of $200,00 from Easley’s One North Carolina Fund, will generate 80 new jobs in the area. The Canadian company bought the Wellington Leisure Products plant and will begin renovations on October 1st. Company officials hope to have the plant up and running by February of next year. For job applications you can go to the Mount Airy office of the Employment Security Commission.

Terror Suspect Kills Wife & Daughter In Hendersonville
A mother and daughter from Hendersonville are in the hospital today after a suspect from the terrorist watch list attacked them both over the holiday. 22-yr-old Mohammed Al-Hilo is an Iraqi suspected of having ties to terrorist networks. He, along with his common law wife and baby daughter had been living in Hendersonville. Police received a phone call Monday night from the address, as a little girl told them that her daddy had just killed her mommy. Al-Hilo was arrested a few minutes later, after he had just tried to kill both his daughter and himself. He failed however and now all three are in the hospital. The wife and daughter are in critical condition while Al-Hilo is in serious condition.

Sports Headlines

Wake Forest Injured List Grows
Some bad news today for Wake Forest football fans, as several members of the team were placed on the injured list. Starting linebacker Jon Abbate pulled his hamstring in last Saturday’s game and may miss the trip to Nebraska this week. Abbate, a sophomore who led the team last year with 101 tackles as a freshman, will most likely be a gametime decision. A player who will definitely miss Saturday’s game and might not return this season is sophomore Brodie Overstreet. The guard is heading back to the doctor and possibly will need surgery to repair some damage in his right eye. The problem has been there for the last two years but has become worse with time. It’s unknown if Brodie will ever suit up for the Deacons again.

Duke’s Practice Put On Hold
Practice was suspended on Monday for Duke’s football team, as players attended the funeral of a teammate’s father. James Moravchik, the father of senior offensive lineman Jim Moravchik, died last week of a heart attack. Coach Ted Roof flew into Wisconsin to be with the family for the funeral. Practice will start back up today to get ready for Saturday’s first game against an ACC opponent, as the team will play Marcus Vick and Virginia Tech.

North Carolina Lands Another QB
The football season hasn’t even started yet for the UNC Tarheels, but coach John Bunting has to be smiling about what’s in store for next year. The Tarheels got their 24th commitment this week, as QB Anthony Parker-Boyd agreed to play next season. Parker-Boyd, a high school senior in Pennsylvania, tossed 15 touchdowns and threw for 1815 yards last season, while also rushing for 950 more. During his high school career he’s returned kicks and served as a running back while also running the offense. Boyd said that family ties to the area and confidence in Heels coach John Bunting helped him make the decision. Despite the competition, the senior says he believes he can come in and win the starting job during training camp.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, Winston Salem pulled out the victory in the Carolina League’s play-in game. They beat Salem Virginia 6-5 on Tuesday night, winning the southern division title for the second half of the season. Ryan Rodriguez gave up two runs over 5 2/3/ innings of work for his 13th win of the season, while Fabio Castro recorded his sixth save. Now the team advances into the playoffs tonight, with a best of three series against Kinston for the divisional championship. The first pitch is set for 7pm tonight in Winston.

Hurricanes Bring In Players For Tryout
In the NHL, the clock is ticking down til the first game and the Carolina Hurricanes are still busy assembling their roster. The team sent 21 players to the rookie tournament this week, to determine who they want to keep and who gets sent down to the minor leagues. The tournament will go on through Friday, with decisions made on who stays and goes early next week.


News & Sports For September 6th

Gas Shortage Not Affecting Wilkes Schools
With the cost of gas staying above three dollars a gallon, there have been questions raised about its’ effect on the school system. On Friday 3WC News talked with David Johnson from the school’s transportation office about the problem. Currently school buses here in Wilkes consume 1,000 gallons of fuel a day, meaning that the county is spending just over 3200 dollars daily. However according to Johnson, the problem isn’t as bad as it could have been, thanks to new policies installed over the last year. The school board eliminated backtracking, meaning that for the most part only one bus runs through a route. Granted it does mean that some students have a longer ride home, but several thousand dollars has been saved through the practice. In addition, the county has reduced the time buses idle, starting them up just as class is getting out among other things. Still with the higher gas prices and longer rides, Johnson says he expects to see fewer kids riding buses here in the county. And with gas supplies lower than normal, he says the school system will be limiting extra activities, such as field trips and other events to help save fuel. The school day however will remain as is, with no current plans to shorten it due to the gas supplies.

What To Do If You Are Searching For Loved Ones
While Hurricane Katrina didn’t hit Wilkes physically, many people here in the county have family and friends who disappeared in the storm’s wake. Now the Red Cross has put together a way for you to track down your missing loved ones. Called the Family Links Registry, it’s available either by phone or the internet. You can call 1-877-568-3317 or log on to Either way you can find out if your relative or friend has already been registered and learn where they’ve been evacuated to. The Red Cross can also help you get in touch with them. In addition, there are several other registries that you can sort through to get in touch with family members. The National Next of Kin Registry at will match located evacuees with family members. Also katrinaconnections at is available to be used.

Red Cross Looking For Volunteers
While many people here in the county have donated food, clothes and money the Red Cross still finds itself short in one category, that of volunteers. The Red Cross needs volunteers to go down and work in the medical field, also to help hand out supplies and deal with other issues. For anyone who’s interested in doing this, there will be training classes going on throughout the week at several locations. Here in Wilkes, you can call the local chapter for information at 838-4563.

Blood Drives Going On Today
We’ve all heard about the destruction throughout Mississippi and Louisiana and efforts are going on to send down supplies. But even if you can’t afford to donate food or clothes, you can help in another way. The Red Cross is holding two blood drives today, in order to send down south. The first is at the VFW Hall this afternoon from 2-6:30pm and across town, there will be another one at 6the Wilkesboro Civic Center from 2-6:30pm as well. Just remember before giving blood you must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs.

License Check Leads To Drug Bust
A license check on Hwy 16 led to a drug bust for sheriff’s deputies over the weekend. As deputies approached the car, it had a strong smell of alcohol coming from inside. The driver was asked if deputies could search the car, which he agreed to. Once inside, they found two bags containing 1.1 grams of cocaine and another bag holding 3 grams of marijuana. 22-yr-old Latosha Ann Boyd was arrested and charged with drug possession.

Gas Thieves Respond To Shortage
As gas prices rose last week, it’s no surprise that some people in Wilkes found less than legal ways of filling up the tank. The Neighbor’s Store on Hwy 268 fell victim to gas thieves late last week. A person drove up in a white SUV, pumped 51$ worth of gas and then drove off without paying. A description of both the vehicle and its’ driver were turned over to sheriff’s deputies and that investigation is ongoing.

WCC Continues Small Business Series
With unemployment rising here in the county, it could be a good idea to start thinking about running your own business. Wilkes Community College is trying to help you get all the tools to start one, as they’re hosting a series of seminars over the next five weeks. The first was held last week and now coming up this Thursday, the second in the series will be held in the Student Resource Center. The topic of this week’s seminar deals with your ideas for a business, asking “Is My Business Concept Viable?” That will go on from 6-9pm in Room 1110 of the Student Resource Center. Even if you missed the first one, you can still join in the seminar. There is no cost but school officials ask that you call ahead and register at 838-6210.

Always Keep Your Doors Locked
It’s always a good idea to lock up before you leave. A North Wilkesboro man learned that the hard way last week, as he returned to find thieves had walked right into his house. The man had left the doors unlocked, only to return Thursday morning and find $800 worth of material stolen from inside, Included in the theft was a gas powered pressure washer and a craftsman air compressor. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Cattlemen’s Association To Meet Thursday
For any cattle owners here in the county, the Wilkes Cattlemen’s Association will be meeting this Thursday. The event will take place at 6:30pm at the Farm Bureau Building in North Wilkesboro. However if you are planning to attend, it’s asked that you call ahead to make reservations. The number to call is 651-7331.

Gun Stolen From Hays Home
A Hays man returned home over the weekend to find that someone had broke in and stolen a gun from inside. There was no sign of a break-in and nothing else stolen from the house, however there is a suspect in the case. A local man had come by a few days earlier, wanting to talk about the weapon. The joke appears to be on the thief however, as the gun was missing a pin that rotates the cylinder. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Thieves Go Shopping At Ronda Home
A family in Ronda came home over the weekend to find that thieves had paid them a visit. Despite there not being any sign of a break-in, a 23’ tv, DVD player, several videos and an air conditioning unit were taken from the home. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

State Testing City Water
Officials from the state health department are testing the drinking water in several North Carolina cities, after reports came in of possible lead contamination. Durham and three other cities, which weren’t named, are all being tested for lead in the drinking water. This comes after high levels of lead were found in the blood of two children under the age of six, both of whom became extremely sick. The testing will continue over the next two months, as officials try to determine where the lead came from.

U.S. 321 To Shut Down
People traveling through Lenoir on U.S. 321 will have to make alternate plans today, as portions of the road will be closed for repairs. The section of 321 leading to Blowing Rock from Caldwell County will be closed from noon til 2pm, between Kirby Mountain Road and Blackberry Road. The DOT has put up detour signs, leading from Lenoir on Hwy 18 through Wilkesboro, before turning off onto U.S. 421 towards Boone. Blasting is going on to help widen the highway.

North Carolina Designated As Primary Recovery State
With refugees continuing the pour out of Louisiana, North Carolina has been designated as the primary recovery state. Officials from FEMA made the announcement on Monday. What that means is any evacuees who can’t find friends or family will be taken to places here in the state. 500 people arrived in Charlotte Monday night and 400 more were taken to Raleigh. More are expected in Greensboro later this week.

Gas Prices Hit North Carolina Economy
The high gas prices hit North Carolina hard over the weekend, cutting down tourism during Labor Day. Holiday travelers at the beaches decreased by 50%, with most averaging just under 600 people for the entire weekend. Overall Triple A of the Carolinas estimated that tourism across the state would drop at least 15%. However good news is in the forecast for the rest of this month. The main pipelines that supply North Carolina are back online as of Friday and with repairs continuing, we could see lower prices within the next two weeks. As far as the gas supply itself, while some stations have run out across the state, refills should be coming later today.

Minor In Christianity Offered At UNC
For the first time in school history, UNC Chapel Hill will be offering a minor in Christianity. Students can start signing up for the curriculum, which is called Christianity and Culture, this coming spring. The idea came about thanks to Christian Smith, a sociology professor at the school. He did a four year study on the spiritual lives of teens, in which he discovered that most know nothing about Christianity, despite the fact they call themselves members of the faith. In a quiz handed out to students at the beginning of a New Testament class, over 50% usually fail.

Sports Headlines

Friday Night Football Results
Around the high school scene this weekend, it was West Wilkes beating North Wilkes 35-7. With the win, the Blackhawks improve to 2-1, their best record since 2003, while the Vikings fall to 0-3. For the Blackhawks, they go on to face Bishop McGuiness at home this week, while we’ll be making our way out to North Wilkes, as they host Alleghany. In our 3WC broadcast Friday night, it was the East Wilkes Cardinals beating Wilkes Central 42-0, in a game highlighted by penalties and missed opportunities. The Eagles now fall to 0-3, while the Cardinals move on up to 2-1. This week Wilkes Central goes on the road against Watauga, while East will host East Surry.

UNC Chapel Hill News & Notes
In college basketball, Mike Copeland Jr. officially became the latest member of the UNC Tarheels this week, after being approved by the university’s admissions office. Copeland becomes the fifth member of this year’s recruiting class, a 6-7 235 lb. forward who will have a chance to start if he performs well in the coming weeks of practice. The class of new Tarheels includes 6-9 Tyler Hansbrough, 6-5 Marcus Ginyard, 6-5 Danny Green and 6-3 guard Bobby Frasor.

UNC Wins Basketball Exhibition
The 2006 season started off on the right foot for Coach Roy Williams and the Tarheels. The team went on the road over the Labor Day weekend, flying in to take on a club team in the Bahamas. The Heels won 106-85 on Sunday, thanks in part to 27 points from Reyshawn Terry. Earlier on Saturday, the Heels won their first game in the islands 100-66 over the Real Deal Shockers, a team from a local league. The news wasn’t all good for the team however, as they committed 38 turnovers during Saturday’s game.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, it was Winston Salem falling to Potomac 8-5. Warthogs’ starter Wes Whisler was credited with the loss after giving up six runs in five innings of work. With the loss, Winston falls into a tie for first place with the Salem Virginia team. A one game playoff has been set up for later tonight at 7pm, to be held in Virginia.

In Wake Of Race Gordon Falls
After Kyle Busch’s first win as a NASCAR driver, teams are gearing up for the last race before the Chase for the Cup. The 20-yr-old Busch took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Sony HD 500 while Rusty Wallace clinched the eighth playoff spot. Now that leaves five drivers fighting over two spots. Jeff Gordon fell out of the tenth spot, losing it to Matt Kenseth as he finished 21st. Now Gordon, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Elliot Sadlier and Kenseth are all fighting for the final two spots as the race heads to Richmond this Saturday.


News & Sports For September 2nd

Gas Shortage Scare
A gas shutdown in the area turned out to be a hoax. Several people have called the 3WC Studios over the past 24 hrs, asking about a supposed gas cut off that was to take place at 3pm Thursday afternoon. What got this started is partially due to a nationwide protest effort that is asking people not to buy gas over the Labor Day weekend. The protesters are asking that for either one day or the entire weekend, people abstain from buying gas. According to Brandon Tabor, creator of the Slow Pump Movement, this is supposed to be a way to cut down on the oil companies’ profits. That movement, combined with Gov. Easley’s request for citizens to conserve gas, is what helped to create the panic. While supplies are running low here in the area, several companies confirmed that there isn’t going to be a shutdown and as long as gas keeps coming in, they’ll keep selling it. You could experience long lines at the pump, but for the most part that’s the extent of the problem. If however you believe that one of the stations in your area is trying to gouge you with high prices, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has set up a place on her website to report it. You can go to and look on the right side of the page. Coming up in state news we’ll have more about Easley’s remarks and how they might affect your Labor Day plans.

Hold On To Your Checkbook

A Wilkesboro man learned this week why it’s a good idea to hold on to your checkbook. He accessed his bank account, only to find that checks had been written in his name, which he had never cashed. It turns out that the man’s ex-wife had gotten his checkbook somehow and had gone on a spending spree. It’s not clear exactly how much was taken from the account, as there are several more checks pending. That investigation is ongoing.

Voter Registration Deadline Today
Time’s almost up if you haven’t registered yet to vote this year. At 5pm today, voter registration for the North Wilkesboro Primary will be over. If by that afternoon you aren’t registered to vote, then you won’t be able to cast a ballot. The same goes for the November elections. All registrations have to be turned in to the Board of Elections by 5pm. However if high gas prices make it impossible to get to town, you can mail in your registration with a postmark of today’s date.

Signs Stolen From Taco Bell
The Taco Bell in Wilkesboro fell victim to thieves this week. However the suspects didn’t want food or money, instead all they ran off with was a sign in the window. Two advertising signs, that had been put up on the inside of the dining room were taken by customers as they left the restaurant. Witnesses provided identification of the suspects and that information was turned over to police. The investigation is ongoing.

Local Churches Pitching In To Help Relief Effort
With the death toll rising and supplies desperately needed, several churches here in Wilkes are lending a hand to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Oak Grove Baptist Church, on the Rock Quarry Road in North Wilkesboro is leaving on Friday to take some supplies down to Mississippi. Several members of the church family are in one of the towns affected by Katrina and Oak Grove is going down to bring them back. In addition they’re taking supplies to give out to anybody who needs them. That includes canned goods, clothes, deodorant and any other emergency supplies you want to donate. They’re leaving tomorrow morning around lunchtime, but will be taking donations at the church until 9pm tonight at the Fellowship Hall and then early tomorrow morning. Celebration Church is also putting together a trailer full of items to take down. They leave early tomorrow morning, to head down. For the rest of the night, they’ll also have a trailer set up at the church, located in what used to be the old Union School. All donations are welcome, but the church is mostly looking for clothes, food and healthcare items such as deodorant and bandaids to take down. And as we get information in about other donation drives, we’ll be sure and let you know.

Wreck Sends Two People To Hospital
A wreck earlier this week on the Brushy Mountain Road sent two people to the hospital. Dr. Mary Small was traveling down Brushy Mountain Road when she lost control of her car. The vehicle ran off the road and she jerked the wheel, bringing it back onto the highway. The car then crossed the center line and went directly into the path of a man coming from the other direction. Both cars were totaled in the crash and both drivers had to be taken to Wilkes Regional for treatment. An update on their condition was not available at this time.

WCC To Host Financial Class For Adults
Sometimes it can be a pain collecting on a debt. Regardless if it’s something owed by a neighbor or payment charged to your business. Coming up later this month, Wilkes Community College is holding a seminar, to help people understand what their legal rights are in such a situation. Such as what are your options for collecting a bad debt? What to do when a debtor skips town? The meeting is free, however you must register ahead of time to get in. To sign up, you can call WCC at 838-6210. That will take place on September 29th, sponsored by the Small Business Center of the college.

Drugs Found After Traffic Stop
A traffic stop in Wilkesboro this week led to an arrest for drug possession. Officers were on patrol when they observed a car driving past, a vehicle whose driver was known not to have a license. They pulled over the woman, who confirmed that her license had expired. Officers asked if they could search the car and she agreed. However upon the search they found a set of scales, marijuana leaves and some baggies, in addition to $780 in cash. 18-yr-old Savannah Lynn Webb was arrested and charged with drug possession with intent to sell, not having a license and possession of drug paraphernalia. Later after being searched at the intake center, 34 grams of marijuana was found on her person.

State News

Easley Urges Conservation
Gov. Easley held an emergency press conference on Wednesday, asking people to conserve gas during the Labor Day weekend. His request comes due to the fact that North Carolina is one of nine states that receive most of their fuel supplies from the Gulf Coast, a section hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. 90% of North Carolina’s gas comes from this region. With most of those oil refineries off line until repairs can be made, only 30% of the normal gas supply is making its’ way into North Carolina. Gov. Easley said that North Carolina isn’t out of gas, but supplies are running low, so he urged people if possible to stay in this weekend and save gas for important trips. He also asked that people cancel their Labor Day plans and stay home when possible, to help the state get through the weekend. By next week, the Department of Energy plans to have the gas supply up to 50%, which will alleviate some of the concerns. Triple A of the Carolinas says that the problem won’t be gas running out but rather people panicking.

More Oil Headed To NC
Good news however for North Carolina drivers, as more gas will be on the way this weekend. Colonial Pipeline has confirmed that they’ve managed to restart their main supply lines, which will start pumping at about 35% of normal today. By the end of the weekend company officials hope to have that number up to 60% but say that it will take some time to bring things back up to normal.

“Sin” Taxes Begin Today
Expect another hit to your wallet this weekend, as the so-called “sin” taxes take effect. As of Thursday morning, a pack of cigarettes costs 25 cents more than normal, as the tax rose to 30 cents. Meanwhile the cost of a carton also rose to $3 more than usual. Opponents of smoking say that the increase is a good thing, as they hope it will cause people to quit smoking. In addition higher taxes on candy, alcohol, satellite and cable television will all take hold.

Jobs Headed To Wilmington
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for people in Wilmington, as more jobs are headed into the area. General Electric announced plans on Thursday to expand its’ jet engine and nuclear power companies to include new plants in Wilmington. The move is expected to generate 200 jobs in the area over the next five years. $3.4 million in incentives was handed out by the state to attract the business, with most of that coming from the Job Development Investment Grant, a program that gives money out to businesses that help generate new jobs. The bad news is that 50 of those new jobs will be transfers from other positions in Tennessee and California.

Cold Medicine Now Harder To Come By
For anyone who has sinus problems or fights cold symptoms, North Carolina could be making it harder to do so. The state House passed a bill yesterday that would limit access to medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that’s found in items like Sudafed. The drug is also a major ingredient in creating methamphetamines. Once this bill becomes law, any tablet form medicine that contains the drug would be available only as a prescription. All gel caps and medicine for children would originally be left on shelves, but the state reserves the right in this bill to restrict those to prescription at a later date. And for those left on the shelves, you can only buy three packages each month. If Gov. Easley signs the bill into law, which he hasn’t indicated one way or the other, it would take effect January 15th. Attorney General Roy Cooper said the bill was an important step in getting meth off the streets. Once the law takes effect you will only be able to buy the medicine by showing

Lawn Mower Races Offending Neighbors
An Alleghany man is having to go to court in order to keep racing. Neighbors of Ronnie Woodie was taking the man to court because they feel the lawn mower races that he holds on his property “doesn’t fit” with the surrounding area. Some of Woodie’s 50 neighbors have also accused him of trying to intimidate them by putting up signs in his yard and firing guns for no reason. For the last four months, Woodie has held lawn mower races in his backyard, with the proceeds going to benefit local organizations. So far, he’s donated $1000 to the Glade Creek Fire Department and $700 to the local elementary school. Woodie said that he and the other families who take part are just wanting to have a good time while helping out the community at the same time. A court date has yet to be announced.

Sports Headlines

High School Sports
Around the high school scene last night, it was West Wilkes beating North 20-0 in JV football. Also Wilkes Central beat North 9-0 in tennis. In jv volleyball North beat Wilkes Central 2 games to none and in the varsity match it was North winning 3 games to none. If high gas prices have put a damper on your Friday plans you can tune in tonight and join the 3WC Sports Team as we’ll be out at Wes Steele Stadium for our Football Friday Night broadcast. Wilkes Central will play host to East Wilkes in a battle of the birds. The Cardinals come in with a record of 1-1, while the Eagles look to rebound from an 0-2 start. Ken Byrd and Keith Briand will be on hand to bring you the play by play, while Brian Carlton will be back at the station, giving you updates on all the other games going on in the area. Kickoff is set for 7:30 with the pregame show going on the air at 7:15. All this on your home for local sports, 1240 3WC.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem beating Kinston 5-1. Warthogs starter Gio Gonzalez picked up the win after going seven innings and allowing only one run. The Warthogs are also working with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina to collect supplies to send down to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. For anyone heading out to tonight’s game, the team is asking that you bring drinking water, cleaning supplies, canned goods or flashlights and batteries. They’ll be putting all of this together to send with the latest shipment from the Second Harvest Food Bank this weekend.

Panthers Final Preseason Game
The Carolina Panthers let most of their starters have the day off on Thursday, so they could take a look at those players left on the bubble. It showed in the final score, as they lost to Pittsburgh 21-17. Stefan Lefors spent most of the night at quarterback for the Panthers, completing 7 of 11 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Drew Carter meanwhile caught 7 passes for 107 yards in the loss. Next week the Panthers will open the regular season at home against the New Orleans Saints.

Erin Cocker To Make Busch Debut
NASCAR’s Busch Series is going to get another addition coming next week. Erin Crocker, the 24-yr-old woman who races for Evernham Motorsports, is expected to make her debut when the series heads to Richmond Virginia on the 9th. Crocker has been racing in the Automobile Racing Club of America series, finishing second in one race and coming in third two other times. Depending on how she performs, company officials said she could make an appearance on the Nextel Cup circuit next season.


News & Sports For September 1st

Big Climb In Local Unemployment
Bad news for Wilkes County’s economy, as the local unemployment numbers were released for July. During the month, unemployment here in Wilkes soared to 6.6%, up from 6% in June and continuing a climb started back in May, when the rate was at 5.6%. Currently here in the county there are 33,197 people listed as being part of the workforce. Out of that number, 30,998 are employed while 2199 are still hunting for a job.

Hurricane Relief Being Organized

As the death toll continues to climb in Louisiana and Mississippi, people are working to make sure food, water and other needs are provided for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Here in Wilkes there two operations currently going on, the first organized by the Red Cross. They’re taking up money donations, to help buy supplies for those still living. You can drop a donation of any amount to the local Red Cross office, located on 104 West Street here in Wilkesboro. Or you can also mail a donation in to American Red Cross, Wilkes-Alleghany Counties Chapter 104 West Street Wilkesboro NC 28697-2433. If you do mail it however please make sure you label it as a donation to the hurricane relief effort. The other operation is being run by the United Way, which has set up a Hurricane Katrina Response Fund, not just for the present time but also for the long term recovery needs. This is also just accepting monetary donations. You can drop off donations to the United Way, but just make sure that you explain that it’s for the hurricane relief fund. As we get the details regarding other operations here in Wilkes, we’ll be sure and let you know.

Focus On Veterans
They are called America’s greatest generation. The veterans of World War II gave all they had to protect this country, leaving behind family and friends to fight across the ocean. Now members of the Wilkes VFW Hall want to honor our local vets by taking them on a free trip to the World War II Memorial. Rex Eldrith will be my guest today for Focus on the Foothills, as we’ll be talking about the upcoming trip, what’s involved and how anyone can take part. That’s right after the midday stock report at 1:05pm.

Got In To Have A Look Around
A Millers Creek man called Wilkesboro police this week, after discovering that his car had been vandalized. The driver side door had been damaged, with the actual door lock hanging outside of the vehicle. Estimated damages were placed at $150, however nothing was stolen or broken inside the vehicle. Security cameras at the store where this happened gave police a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Primary Elections One Month Away
On September 27th, Wilkes County voters will head back to the polls and select a candidate in two primary elections. In North Wilkesboro, the race is for the Republican nomination for mayor, between incumbent Steve Foster and his challenger Gerald Lankford. Lankford was Foster’s opponent in the last election as well. Whoever wins will then move on to face George G. Church in November. North Wilkesboro is also holding a primary for town commissioner. Two people out of the five running can be selected to represent the Democratic ticket in this year’s election. Those five are Billy Joe “Crow” Church, Faye Cox, Debbie F. Ferguson, Robert L. Johnson and Eric Williams. Faye Cox and Robert Johnson are the incumbents, each running for re-election.

WCC To Hold Start Up Business Classes
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a business? Maybe you have questions about what’s involved, what paperwork you have to fill out and what hoops you have to jump through. Starting tonight, Wilkes Community College is offering a series of seminars focusing on developing small businesses. The first takes place tonight, from 6-9pm in Room 1110 of the Student Resource Center. There is no cost, but college officials ask that you call ahead to pre-register. The number to call is 838-6210.

State News

Amber Alert Cancelled As Girl Discovered
Good news today as the Amber Alert has been called off for 12-yr-old Jodie Collie. She was found shortly after 9pm Tuesday night, at a bus station in Des Moines Iowa, unharmed and in good health. There was no sign of the man she had left with, 27-yr-old Phillip Daniel Denkler. Collie had called her grandfather, who then got in touch with the FBI on Tuesday, to go pick her up. She said that she had been dropped off at the bus station by Denkler and other then being shaken up, appeared to be physically and mentally ok. Police later arrested Philip Denkler, charging him with felony child abduction and violating parole.

Burlington Man Faces More Charges
Earlier this week 3WC told you about David Lee Martin Jr., a 22 yr-old man who was facing 46 different charges for crimes he committee over the last four months. The warrants however continue piling up for the man, as Martin is now wanted for an additional 47 charges of theft in the Burlington area, bringing the grand total to 93. He’s now facing charges of grand theft auto, breaking into a coin machine and taking part in a dogfighting ring, among other things. Martin is currently being held in Alamance County under what’s now an $180,000 bond.

Former Duke Star Raising Money
Former Duke point guard Chris Duhon has seen his hometown devastated over the last few days, as Hurricane Katrina poured over Slidell Louisiana. His childhood home was destroyed and several friends are now homeless as well. To help take care of the need, Duhon has created the Chris Duhon Hurricane Relief Fund, working in connection FEMA to distribute any donated clothing, food and other supplies to the 25,000 people left in Slidell. Several family and friends are staying with the point guard at his house in Chicago, as he gets set to enter his second season in the NBA. Anyone wanting to donate to the Chris Duhon Fund, can send supplies to the Stand Tall Foundation c/o Chris Duhon 1151 North State Street Box 249 Chicago IL 60610.

Bill Becomes Law Without A Vote
A mistake made by the State Senate last week allowed a bill to go into law without being voted on. The proposal, which dealt with new restrictions on auctioneer licensing, appeared to have made it through the Senate and was given to Gov. Easley to sign. He did so earlier this week and the bill became law. However now it seems that bill never made it past the House. The House had approved it and sent it earlier this month to the Senate for consideration. Due to a clerical error, the paperwork stated that it had in fact passed and was ready to be signed. The solution is almost as confusing as the problem itself. In order to bring the bill to the Senate, first it has to be challenged and then repealed by the General Assembly. Otherwise it’ll stay as part of state law.

Gas Prices Hit Government Officials
Officials in Buncombe County announced that travel is being limited due to shrinking gas supplies. Throughout Buncombe, only essential services such as EMS and law enforcement will be allowed to continue using county funds due to higher prices and fear of a possible shortage. Buses, social service operations and other county jobs may have to find alternative ways of getting to work, as cars provided to them could be taken away. County officials are also asking residents not to make any unnecessary trips, in order to help conserve gas. This marks the latest incident stemming from the damage left behind due to Hurricane Katrina.

New Jobs Coming To Thomasville
Good news for people in Thomasville, as more jobs are headed to the area. Imaflex Inc, a Canadian plastics company, will be bringing 50 new jobs with it when it opens up later this year. The company has bought the Tyco Plastics building and after some renovations this fall, will be open for business. The move comes after $125,000 was given as a grant from Gov. Easley’s One North Carolina Fund, to help with moving expenses. Average wages at the plant will be $550 a week and applications are currently being taken. You can send one in at the Employment Security Commission.

Sports Headlines

Bobcats Lock Up Another Player
Turning toward the basketball court, the Charlotte Bobcats added another piece to the puzzle on Wednesday, signing shooting guard Matt Carroll. Carroll was picked up by the Bobcats last year from the developmental league and earned rave reviews for his defense, free throw shooting and scrappy style of play. With his signing, the team now has 12 players under contract, with camp just a few weeks away. Negotiations are still going on with small forward Gerald Wallace.

Panthers Make SI Cover
For the last few years, making the cover of Sports Illustrated has been a good sign for NFL teams on the road to the Super Bowl. Now the Carolina Panthers hope that tradition continues. The Panthers were selected as this year’s pick by SI to win the Super Bowl, as they predict it’ll be Carolina over Indianapolis by a score of 31-27. There is some history on their side in this, as SI correctly predicted that the Patriots would walk away with the trophy last season. Now, coming off a 7-9 year, the Panthers hope to rebound and prove that their 2003 appearance in the big game wasn’t a fluke.

Panthers News & Notes
In other Panther news, the team released two more players to drop down to 76. Long snapper Adam Johnson and rookie safety Ben Emmanuel were released, while receiver Micah Ross was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring pull. This Saturday another round of cuts will hit, as NFL rosters have to be trimmed down to 53 players. That being the case, today’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will make or break the chance of some players to be on the team. Coach Fox said on Wednesday that most of the starters will sit out the game, while those not guaranteed a roster spo t will have most of the attention.

Countdown Is On
In NASCAR, time is ticking down for those drivers still in the hunt for the last three playoff spots. Six drivers are in the running, with the other seven spots already locked up. Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are currently in those last three spots, but Matt Kenseth, Elliot Sadler and Jamie McMurray are knocking on the door. With two races left before the Chase for the Cup starts, teams have to put in a solid performance this week or see their championship hopes crumble. This Sunday teams head up to California Speedway for the Sony HD 500.


News & Sports For August 31st

Woodward School Has New Owner
On Monday night, the Wilkes County School Board met and went over several items on the agenda. The board officially severed their ties with the old Woodward Middle School property, accepting a bid from the Brushy Mountain Baptist Association to buy it. Lawson Horton from the Association says that the Association has several plans for the building. Aside from bringing in their own offices, the Association is putting together plans for a school, also hoping to move in their Upwards basketball program and several other groups. The Association is talking with Habitat for Humanity and Samaritan's Kitchen among others, who want to be part of the new facility.

License Check Leads To Arrest
Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man near Edgewood Road this week after nearly being hit by his vehicle. The deputies were performing a license check when a vehicle came up and refused to stop. The driver then aimed the car at one of them, who was able to barely move out of the way in time, hitting the driver’s side door with his flashlight. Deputies then pursued the man on NC 115 in what became a high speed chase, with speeds reaching above 80 mph. The man went through the parking lots of two different stores before deputies lost him. However they had been able to get the man’s license plate number and tracked him down at home. 39-yr-old Clyde Grady Nickelson Jr. was arrested and charged with DWI, assault with a deadly weapon and fleeing to avoid arrest.

Blood Drive Later Today
Wilkes County’s blood supply is in a critical stage as we head into September. All blood types are in critical levels, with Type O & Type B especially needed. This could cause serious problems as we move on through hurricane season. Even though Katrina passed us by, we still have several months left in the season, without enough blood to last through a major storm. To solve that problem, the Red Cross is asking people to come out and give today during their blood drive at Community Alternatives. It starts at 10am this morning and runs until 2:30 this afternoon. Just remember before giving, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs. If you want some more information before heading out, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Just Wanted To Look Around
A North Wilkesboro woman got off work this week to find that someone had been inside her vehicle. The lock had been torn off her car’s trunk, but nothing was missing and no other damage was done to the vehicle. An estimated $400 worth of damage was done in the incident. There are several suspects in the case.

Voter Registration Deadline This Friday
Time’s almost up if you haven’t registered yet to vote this year. At 5pm Friday, voter registration for the North Wilkesboro Primary will be over. If by that afternoon you aren’t registered to vote, then you won’t be able to cast a ballot. The same goes for the November elections. All registrations have to be turned in to the Board of Elections by 5pm or if you’re out of town, you can mail it in with a postmark of this Friday’s date. Tomorrow on the 3WC News we’ll take a look at the upcoming primaries in the area.

Jewelry Stolen From Ronda Home

Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Ronda woman’s home this week, after thieves took off with several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. Despite all the items missing, there was no sign of a break-in and no damage done to any part of the property. Included in the theft was a $600 diamond ring, a $500 gold rope necklace and several other items. There are suspects in the case however and the investigation is ongoing.

Gas Savers Part Three
With gas prices continuing to go up, it’s more important than ever to conserve fuel. Today in the third part of our gas savers series, we take a look at some other ways to save you time and money at the pump. First of all, keep your engine in tune. That may seem like a small thing, but an out of tune engine can lower your gas mileage by about 4%. Also be on the lookout for worn out sparkplugs. They can drop your car’s gas mileage by 30%. Be sure and replace the car’s air filter when needed. A clogged filter can cost you an additional 15 cents a gallon. Finally make sure to check your tires. Underinflated tires wear down quick, offering more resistance and forcing your engine to work harder. The gas mileage on underinflated tires can drop by 15% or more in some cases. It may seem like a long list of things to do, but it’ll be worth it when you can spend more time away from the pump.

Focus On Veterans
They are called America’s greatest generation. The veterans of World War II gave all they had to protect this country, leaving behind family and friends to fight across the ocean. Now members of the Wilkes VFW Hall want to honor our local vets by taking them on a free trip to the World War II Memorial. Rex Eldrith from the VFW Hall will be my guest tomorrow for Focus on the Foothills, as we’ll be talking about the upcoming trip, what’s involved and how anyone can take part. That’s tomorrow after the midday stock report at 1:05pm.

State News

North Carolina Has A Lottery
North Carolina is no longer the only state without a lottery. Tuesday afternoon, the Senate held a special session and voted on the measure, passing it by a vote of 25-24. The Senate was deadlocked, with the absence of two members, John Garwood of Wilkes, who’s recovering from illness and Harry Brown of Jacksonville, who decided to miss the session to start his honeymoon. With their absence, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue exercised her executive powers and cast the deciding vote. The bill earlier passed in the House so now it goes to Gov. Easley for his signature and will be made law.

Fugitive Found At UNCC
After over a week of searching, a North Carolina fugitive is behind bars. Robert Windsor stands accused of kidnapping then murdering his girlfriend, before leaving her body in the trunk of her car. He later abandoned the vehicle on I-77 and disappeared. Over the weekend however, reports came in that he had been sighted in University City, hanging around the UNC Charlotte campus. Campus police found the man on Monday, walking near the main entrance to the school. He was arrested and quickly brought back to Catawba County. It’s still unknown why he went to UNC Charlotte, as he had no ties to the school.

North Carolina Students Get Boost In SATS
Good news for North Carolina students, as the average SAT score here in the state has improved over the last year. According to figures released on Tuesday by the College Board, the class of 2005 improved by four points over the year before. Students here in the state averaged a score of 511 on the math section, that’s up from 507 in 2004. However the verbal test scores stayed the same, with students averaging 499. Virtually every demographic group increased their scores with the exception of Hispanic students. Despite the progress, North Carolina still lags behind the national average, which rose also this year to 520 in math and 508 on the verbal.

Bus Shooting Under Investigation
Officials in Durham are investigating a shooting today, after someone fired on an occupied Transit bus. The incident happened Monday afternoon as the bus was traveling down Holloway Street. Witnesses at the scene described a man standing in the yard of a nearby house, pulling out his gun and opening fire. Three bullets hit the bus windows, but no one was injured. It’s believed at this time the bus wasn’t the target, but rather a vehicle that had passed in front of it. Officials are continuing the investigation at this hour.

Man Who Died Not Criminal
After investigating further, it appears an innocent man died during a police chase in Belmont. Over the weekend, police at a DWI checkpoint saw a vehicle do a U-turn, let out a woman and then take off down the road. The woman told police she had been kidnapped and later raped, a story that would turn out to be false. Police pursued the driver, who eventually lost control of the vehicle and crashed, later dying from his injuries. Now the woman has admitted that she made up the whole story, because she was scared of being arrested. The man had let her out and turned around because he’d been drinking and didn’t want to be caught.

Sports Headlines

Volleyball Scores From Tuesday Night
Around the high school scene, some volleyball action on your Tuesday night. It was Forbush beating North Wilkes in JV action 2 games to nothing. In both games Forbush took the win 25-20. In varsity action, Forbush also pulled out a clean sweep 3 games to nothing against North Wilkes.

Friday Night Football
When the wind and rain expected to depart by Thursday, all the local high schools will be back in action this week. Right here on 3WC, we’ll be back out at Wes Steele Stadium for a game between Wilkes Central and East Wilkes. The Cardinals come in off a win against North at 1-1, while coach Jeremy Funderburk and the Eagles look to rebound from an 0-2 loss. Ken Byrd and Keith Briand will be on hand to bring you the play by play, while Brian Carlton will be back at the station, giving you updates on all the other games going on in the area. Kickoff is set for 7:30 with the pregame show going on the air at 7:15. All this on your home for local sports, 1240 3WC.

Blackman Starts For State
With a few days before their first game of the season, NC State finally named a starting running back. Sophomore Darrell Blackman will get the start, beating out fellow sophomore Bobby Washington, junior Reggie Davis and freshman Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene. The coaching staff said that Blackman got the nod due to the fact he can catch, block and also is a talented runner, a triple threat that none of the others could match.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem falling to Kinston 10-5. Warthogs starter Lance Broadway was roughed up for eight runs in four innings of work. Robert Valido and Leo Daigle led the Warthogs with three hits each.

Former Tarheel To Get Start
A former UNC Tarheel will get his chance to make an impact in the NFL on Opening Day. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker, who was signed as a rookie free agent by the team, will replace Jerome Bettis in the starting lineup. Bettis injured his right calf muscle and so Parker, who graduated two years ago from UNC, will step in and take his place. The 5-10 209 lb. Parker will line up behind the tackles for Pittsburgh’s game September 11th against Tennessee.

NASCAR Facing Gas Problems
NASCAR officials are facing a problem that can’t be fixed with testing or a suspension. Rising gas prices are causing car owners to consider several options, to avoid losing profits. Some of the teams who have been considering adding a third driver will most likely put that off for another season. In addition, teams are worried that the high prices will keep fans away not just during the Chase For The Cup, but also into next year.


News & Sports For August 30th

Update On Katrina
As the winds die down from Hurricane Katrina and it’s downgraded to a tropical storm, officials in North Carolina continue to keep an eye on the situation. Here in Wilkes, Duke Power issued a statement warning people to be careful around creeks, rivers and other bodies of water. Western North Carolina may be out of the storm’s path, but we can expect several inches of rain and possibly some flooding along with it. Several Duke Power personnel are on standby in case we do get severe weather and they ask that if you are having problems with the electricity, to call when it happens instead of waiting til later. In addition, they ask that anyone who sees a downed power line or some other wire, don’t come near it. You can however call 1-800-POWERON for more information or if you have questions.

Gas Thieves Hit Two More Wilkes Businesses
As prices go up at the pump, it’s no surprise that some people are refusing to pay. Gas thieves hit two more businesses in Wilkes County, first at the Millers Creek Market and then at the Grocery Bag. At the Millers Creek Market, a man drove up to the pump, put in $12 worth of gas and then took off down the road without paying. Employees inside the store were able to get his car’s license plate however and also provided deputies with a description of the vehicle. Then another man pulled up to the Grocery Bag #2 in Traphill, pumping $10 worth of gas before driving off. A description of that vehicle was also turned in and the investigation in both cases is ongoing.

Gas Savers Part Two: Keeping Your Cool
Have you ever got in your car and started it up, only to notice that the gas needle had dropped since you had turned it off? As the August rays beat down on your car, they also suck up gas from inside. In part two of our 3WC Gas Savers series, we’re explaining some more ways to help save money at the pump. First try and park your car in the shade. Parking in sunlight will help your car’s gas evaporate quicker on a hot day. While storing it in the shade won’t solve the problem, it will make the evaporation process go a lot slower, saving at least part of your gas for the ride home. Also make sure your gas cap is tight. Each year, an estimated 147 million gallons of gas are lost due to misplaced or loose gas caps. Air conditioning might seem like a vacuum, draining your gas dry and your wallet too. But studies have shown that while driving on the highway, most cars are actually more efficient when the air conditioning is on, as long as you don’t go too far. Cranking it on full blast won’t get things cool any faster, but what it will do is put a drain on both your battery and gas. When you have an open window, it produces more resistance for your car to fight against, meaning that the engine has to work harder to keep up to speed and that translates into more gas being burned. Coming up tomorrow in part three of our series, we’ll tell you how the right tire can keep you away from the pump for a few more days.

Police Searching For Hit & Run Driver
A North Wilkesboro woman was driving down 421 earlier this week when suddenly a car slammed into her. The vehicle had pulled out of a side street, not paying attention to traffic and totaling both cars in the process. That second driver fled the scene on foot before anyone arrived and apparently with good reason. The car had been stolen a few hours earlier from its’ owner. Estimated damages were placed at $8000 and no one was injured. Wilkesboro police are continuing the investigation.

WCC To Hold Start Up Business Classes
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a business? Maybe you have questions about what’s involved, what paperwork you have to fill out and what hoops you have to jump through. Starting this Thursday, Wilkes Community College is offering a series of seminars focusing on developing small businesses. The first takes place this Thursday, from 6-9pm in Room 1110 of the Student Resource Center. There is no cost, but college officials ask that you call ahead to pre-register. The number to call is 838-6210.

BROC Holding Educational Event Today
Do you have questions about the BROC operation? What exactly is their senior meal plan? How can I sign up for programs? What are the requirements? Coming up later today, members of the Maple Springs Senior Citizens group will be out at Bojangles on Curtis Bridge Road from 11am til 2pm. They’ll be discussing the BROC agency, handing out literature, talking about the different programs and giving out door prizes. Portions of Bojangles’ sales today will go directly to BROC.

High School Students Buckle Up Or Lose It
Here in Wilkes County and across the state, a new type of program is being offered to help keep the roads safe. R U Buckled is a new initiative in 53 of the state’s high schools, including all four in Wilkes County. Under the new plan, students have to wear seat belts at all times. If they’re caught on campus without one on, their parking privileges will be revoked and they’ll have to get a ride for any school activities for the rest of the year. This was put into practice due to the fact that 63% of all 16-to-20 yr olds who were killed in traffic accidents weren’t wearing seat belts.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Traphill Home
Mailbox vandals hit another home in the Traphill area this week. On Sunday, a local man returned home to find his mailbox had been trashed, marking yet another vandalism case in the area. None of the neighbors could recall hearing or seeing anyone come around the property, however estimated damages were placed at around $30. That investigation is ongoing.

State News

Easley Opens North Carolina Up To Refugees
With so many left homeless at least temporarily because of the storm, Gov. Mike Easley has opened North Carolina up as a safe haven. Three National Guard armories across the western part of the state have been opened for use as shelters. Over ten thousand people fled their homes in the face of the hurricane and any of those without a place to go can take shelter in the armories. There is one in Charlotte, right off I-77 on West Boulevard, another in Gastonia on Robinwood Road and finally one in Asheville on Shelborne Road. Two National Guard troops have been assigned to each shelter, to assist the full time staff on scene.

Alamance Man Arrested After Four Month Operation
22-yr-old David Lee Martin Jr. was arrested this week by Alamance County authorities for stealing. When all was said and done, they had charged him with 46 different crimes after what police say has been a four month crime wave. Over the last four months Martin stole everything from a Frito Lay truck to a piece of candy from a store. He’s currently being held in Alamance under $100,000 bond after being arrested at the scene of his latest crime.

Prisoner Gets Another Chance At Freedom
Clifton Spencer has been sitting in jail for years, serving time for a murder he claims he didn’t commit. IN 1990, someone killed a waitress in Manteo and after a brief investigation, Clifton was arrested and charged with the crime. He pled no contest at the time, saying that he was pressured to do so by his lawyer, who told him there was no way he’d get a fair trial. Now an old washcloth found at the scene might prove his innocence. The cloth was used by the killer to clean up after he disposed of the victim, leaving DNA traces behind. Those traces have a man’s DNA on them, but not that of Clifton Spencer. With no other evidence linking him to the scene, Spencer will get another trial possibly by the end of this year and could be a free man in 2006. It’s unknown why he was pressured by the lawyer, as the plea of no contest was about the only thing held up as evidence.

Natural Gas Prices Set To Climb
If you think the price at the pump is bad, wait til this winter. Piedmont Natural Gas announced this week that it plans to raise rates by 14%. That means overall, the cost to heat your home could climb by as much as $200 and that’s if the winter season is a normal one. A bad winter could mean upwards of $300 extra for natural gas, leading some people to cancel their gas service and break out the axe to solve the problem the cheap way.

Durham Bulls Do Their Part For Storm Victims
With people across the country struggling to do their part to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, one North Carolina baseball team is giving up their paychecks. The Durham Bulls announced before last night’s game that all proceeds from the event will be donated to disaster relief efforts. In addition, all of the team’s food supplies left over from this homestand will be donated as well. Monday was the last game of the season for the team and officials said this was the quickest and best way they could think of to help.

Sports Headlines

Maybin Still Won’t Sign
Around the minor leagues, the cousin of former Tarheel Rashad McCants still finds himself without a team. Cameron Maybin, who was drafted as the 10th pick by the Detroit Tigers this year, continues to hold out for a better deal. Maybin, who graduated this past year from Roberson High, wants a signing bonus of about one million more than the Tigers are willing to pay. He’s already lost the chance of playing this season and will likely have to wait until spring training if he does sign, as the fall league is coming up quick. If negotiations don’t go the way he hopes, Maybin has also said he’s open to the possibility of going to a community college and then re-entering the draft next year, in hopes that some team will give him the money he wants.

Minor League Scoreboard

Around the minor leagues, Winston Salem moved back into first place after beating Salem 6-0 Monday night. The Warthogs got six shutout innings from starter Ray Liotta, who earned his sixth win of the season. Tom Collaro led the Warthogs, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

Panthers Announce Cuts
The Carolina Panthers lowered the axe on 11 players Monday, trimming their roster to 79. By 4pm today, the team has to cut another three in order to get down to the NFL limit of 76. Included in the cuts were Rod Rotherford, last year’s practice squad quarterback who lost a battle with fourth round pick Sefan Lefors for the third string job. Also wide receivers Taylor Stubblefield and J.R. Toliver made the list, along with tight end Chad Mustard, running back Nick Maddox and defensive tackle Omari Jordan. Cornerback Dwight Anderson and linebacker Marcus Lawrence were let go, along with linemen Bill Ferrario, Chase Johnson and Michael Watson. The team has to release an additional 23 players on Saturday, when league rosters have to be trimmed down to the maximum of 53.

Former Winston Salem Player Waived By Bills
Monday was also the end of the line for a former Winston Salem State player, as Tory Woodbury was released by the Buffalo Bills. Woodbury, the school’s all time passing leader, had been working as a quarterback, safety and special teams player for the Bills, but just barely missed the cut. This marks the third team in the last three years to release the 27-yr-old Woodbury.

NASCAR Moving To Canada?
Nascar is considering an expansion for next season, moving into uncharted territory. Plans are coming together to add a race in Montreal, taking over from the Indy car Champ races held each year at the Formula One road course. As the Champ series has one more year on its’ contract, 2007 is the most likely date for the expansion to begin, unless a buyout can be reached. It’s not been decided yet if another race will be added to the schedule, or if a track in the U.S. will lose one of their races to Canada.

Busch Driver Accused Of Cheating
A driver from the Busch Series finds himself in trouble today along with possibly the car’s owner. After the race it was discovered that the tires on Reed Sorenson’s car had been illegally soaked, meaning that they were softened with chemicals to have a better grip on the raceway. Both his crew chief and tire specialist face not only fines but possible suspensions as well. Also NASCAR officials were looking into possible fines being handed out against car owner Chip Ganassi, who some believe okayed the move. The cause for concern comes from the fact that rubber is degraded when chemicals are used on it, meaning that while it might hold traction better for a few minutes, there’s a greater chance the tire could blow during a race and create a wreck.