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News Index

News For Wednesday July 12, 2006

Today...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Hot with highs in the lower 90s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Scam Underway
The Wilkes County Sheriffs Department is investigating a scam going on in the county involving a man who is calling people at home and presenting himself as being associated with the Sheriffs Department. He then asks for a donation and a credit card number. Officer Greg Minton with the Sheriffs Department explained to 3WC News that you should not give the man ANY personal information and if you are contacted please call 911.

WRMC Scores High
Soon to be parents need to know that they do not have to go out of town to get the services of a highly rated OBGYN Department. Wilkes Regional Medical Center's OBGYN Department recently recieved a five-star rating from Professional Research Consultants, a nationally recognized analysis group. In addition the hospital recieved an overall 4 star rating. That puts Wilkes Regional Medical Center in the top 25 percent of hospitals in the country. According to officials at the hosptial, they say the awards are the result of efforts to increase customer satisfaction. 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
Law enforcement officers cracked down on 1,742 North Carolina motorists for driving while impaired during the “Booze It & Lose It: Operation
Firecracker” campaign June 29- July 9. Checkpoints and stepped-up patrols throughout the state marked the high-visibility enforcement effort. In addition to issuing DWI violations, officers arrested 284 fugitives and recovered 94 stolen vehicles. Law enforcement officers conducted more than 5,200 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols during the campaign. Counties with the highest number of DWI citations include Mecklenburg (154), Carteret (70) and Durham (69). In Wilkes County there were 26 checkpoints during the campaign that resulted in 10 DWI charges, 105 occupant restraint charges, and 30 total crimpnal violations. All total in Wilkes there were 504 criminal and traffic violations during the Booze It & Lose It campaign.
Health Department Offering Car Seat Help
As you just heard, there were over 100 occupant restraint charges during the recent Booze It & Lose It campaign, with many of those being child seats not installed correctly. In fact, 85% of child safety seats across Wilkes County are not installed correctly, according to the local SafeKids organization. While this is slightly lower than the national average, it’s still high enough for concern. However if you’re still trying to figure out what the right way to install one is, you don’t have to wait until the next safety check. The Wilkes Health Department is partnering with SafeKids to help show parents the right way to install the seats. To set up an appointment, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478.

Stuff The Bus Continuing
The annual Stuff the Bus program is continuing around Wilkes County. Several locations have been set up around the area to take donations. Each year, Communities in Schools attempts to help needy kids around Wilkes, by providing them with the supplies they lack for class. If you want to donate supplies, there are buses at several locations including Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off items at the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at651-7830.

Regional News
Yadkin County is looking for a replacement for County Manager Cecil Wood who resigned July 3rd. Yadkin County Commissioners will meet tonight with Willie Best, the former Guilford County manager, who was fired by a 7-4 vote of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners last month. Critics said that Best wasn't aggressive enough as a manager and had mishandled the budget. As Guilford's county manager, Best was paid $168,384 a year.
State News
State lawmakers approved a bill yesterday that would require public schools to set aside daily classroom time for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill now goes to Govenor Easley for his signature. The current law only "encourages" students to recite the pledge. The Senate and Hose both had their own version of bills concerning the pledge but in the end it was the House version that passed.

In other news from Raleigh. State lawmakers now want to make you buckle up even if you are riding in the back seat. Under a proposal passed yesterday, all North Carolina passengers would have to buckle up. Under current law, anyone under the age of 16 must use a seat belt no matter where they sit in a car, but older passengers only have to use a seat belt in the front seat. The new bill makes the back seat law a secondary violation, meaning law enforcement can't stop a vehicle solely for a seat belt infraction. The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.

United States Rep. Virginia Foxx took action today to protect Americans from the dangers of Internet gambling by voting to pass H.R. 4411, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. This bill cuts off funding for online gambling sites, increases criminal penalties for those who break the law and supports international anti-money laundering efforts. Americans spend approximately $5.9 billion dollars each year on unregulated, offshore, online casinos. Because online gambling sites are easily accessible, many people do not realize that they are illegal. H.R. 4411 was supported by a large number of organizations including the Family Research Council, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, Focus on the Family, the NCAA, the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and 48 of 50 state Attorney Generals.


News For Tuesday July 11th 2006

Today: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s.

Mill Creek to Be Protected
Some land bordering Wilkes in the Thurmond Community now has permanent protection. The Piedmont Land Conservancy acquired 75 acres, which is in the Mitchell River Watershed, through a grant awarded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The property now provides protection for more than 3,000 feet of Mill Creek, which flows into nearby Lake Laurel.

Advertising Campaign & New Signs
An advertising campaign is underway to bring attention to Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area plans to purchase newspaper inserts to promote the heritage of the Northwestern portion of North Carolina. The campaign focuses on five main themes - agriculture, Cherokee heritage, crafts, music and natural heritage. The campaign also includes new signage at main entrances of certain Heritage areas across the region. As for Wilkes County, interpretive signs are in the works for Stone Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge frescoes trails, and the Old Wilkes County jail.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly

Summertime can mean problems for the elderly, with rising temperatures leading to sickness and possibly death. With that in mind, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving away fans this summer to any senior citizen that meets their requirements. In order to get a fan, you must be at least 60 years old, live in Wilkes and be served by Duke Power. In addition, your home situation must present a threat to your life without the fans. Applications are being taken from 8:30am til 5pm at the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council office, located at 228 Fairplains School Road. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

3WC Nominated For More Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music in July the station has been honored with more award nomnations. The TOP 10 Nominees for The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2006 have been announced and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at

Bank Of Granite Profits Up
One of the newest banks in Wilkes County announced yesterday that net income rose for the second quarter of 2006. Bank of Granite Corporation says that it had a 14 percent increase in net income to nearly $4.5 million. Diluted earnings rose 5 cents to 35 cents a share. The bank said that the net-income growth came from an increase in loans and deposits.
Regional News
A furniture theft case in Surry County has been turned over to the SBI. The State Attorney General's Office will now take over the case against former Bassett Furniture employees accused of stealing enough furniture from the company to fill up five tractor-trailers. Over a seven year period officials believe the former employees of the Mt. Airy plant managed to steal millions of dollars' worth of furniture. So far, detectives have recovered about $2 million worth of the missing goods.

The town of Mocksville will soon be getting some new jobs. A garage-door maker will open a plant in the Davie County town that will bring 140 jobs to the area. According to Governor Mike Easley, the Amarr Company will invest $10.5 million in the area over the next three years.

Gasoline prices are up again including here in Northwest North Carolina. Triple-A of the Carolinas says the average price of self-serve unleaded regular is around $2.87 per gallon. That's about six cents a gallon higher than a month agoand about 76 cents higher than this time last year.
State News

The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to a $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage yesterday. The increase comes after the issue appeared dead in the water over a year ago due to opposition from small businesses. Some small business leaders in the state say that the increase will lead to shorter hours or layoffs.

Recall Of Insulin Syringe
This next bit of news is for anyone out there who takes insulin shots. Boca Medical Products has announced a recall of their Ultilet Insulin Syringes. All of the recalled products have 5GEXI displayed on their inside case. All total 3984 boxes were recalled from a ten state area including North Carolina. The reason is that some of the syringes are believed to be contaminated with a bacteria that can degrade & possibly break down the insulin, making it virtually useless. Everyone using one of these syringes are being asked to return it to the store for a full refund. If you have questions a hotline has been set up at 1-800-354-8460.

3WC Techwatch: Sniffing Out A Good Movie

The next time you’re in a movie theater, you might be able to smell what’s happening on screen, as we explain in today’s 3WC Techwatch. A Japanese company has developed “smellovision”, a new way for movie audiences to interact with the characters. When certain scenes appear on the screen, special machines under the seats release different fragrances. For an emotional scene, you might smell peppermint or for a joyful time you could smell a blend of orange and grapefruit. The idea is being tested out on Japanese audiences this summer and if it proves successful, could be coming to a theater near you by 2007.


News & Sports For Monday July 10th 2006

Blood Supply Goes Critical
Wilkes and the surrounding areas are facing a problem today with the blood supply. Due to extremely poor turnouts at recent drives and a number of accidents and other injuries over the July 4th holiday, the local supply stands at just above one day’s worth. According to Red Cross officials, a serious wreck could almost wipe out everything that’s on hand. Especially needed at this time are O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative. A drive is going on today at Peace Haven Baptist Church from 2-6:30pm. However before giving, please remember you must be at least 18 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs. To set up an appointment you can call 838-4563.

Vandals Target Wilkes County Church

Yet another Wilkes County church fell prey to vandals last week. This time the target was Beulah Land Baptist Church, which was hit sometime either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Vandals came up to the church on North Ridge Road and pulled the church sign out of the ground, rolled paper towels on the roof of the building and unhooked the parking lot chain, tossing it up on the roof as well. In addition, obscene phrases were spelled out using parts of the chain and other items were damaged, including the front porch light bulb. All total over $400 worth of damage was done and the investigation continues.

3WC Nominated For More Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music in July the station has been honored with more award nomnations. The TOP 10 Nominees for The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2006 have been announced and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at

Thieves Run Off With A Set Of Cards

Who would break in just to steal a set of cards? That’s what sheriff’s deputies are trying to determine. A local man sent out cards from his home based business, putting them in the mail two weeks ago. However before long letters started coming in from customers, wanting to know where the packages were. It turns out the same day the packages were put in the mailbox vandals targeted several other mailboxes in the area and it’s believed there could be a possible link. All total $350 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards were taken in the theft. That investigation continues.

Mailbox Vandals Target Local Home
Deputies are investigating another case of mailbox vandalism, this time on the Austin Little Mountain Road. A woman came outside Friday morning to find her mailbox had been smashed during the night. Despite the damage, no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything. An estimated $30 in damage was done and the investigation continues.

Young Workers Could Be Hit Hard By New Bill

Young workers in the Wilkes County area could see a major pay cut under a new bill in the state Senate. Friday morning, a Senate subcommittee passed a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour. But there is a catch, as all new employees or any workers 20 and younger would see their hourly wage drop to $4.25 an hour for the first three months the bill is in effect. The compromise was reached as a way to help families by increasing the minimum wage while at the same time helping companies cut their labor cost. The bill is set to go before the full Senate this week.

Wilkes County Native The Subject Of Vote
A Wilkes County resident and former County Manager for Wilkes County is at the heart of a controversy in Yadkin County today. Last Monday, Yadkin County Manager Cecil Wood resigned from the position he held for the last ten years, citing problems with certain county commissioners. The move left Yadkin County without a manager at a time when just over $400,000 needs to be trimmed from the budget. Last Thursday the situation spilled out during the commissioners’ meeting. Kim Clark Phillips accused three of her fellow commissioners , Brady Wooten, Allen Sneed and Leon Casstevens of forcing Wood to resign. Phillips made a motion that Wood be rehired and after a heated discussion, a vote was taken and the matter was defeated 3-2. The three dissenting votes were the same three commissioners Phillips had singled out earlier in the night. Yadkin County commissioners have frozen all capital and equipment purchases until they can find an interim county manager.

Regional News

A man who was shot in the head Friday afternoon in Surry County died Saturday morning at a Winston Salem Hospital and an autopsy is scheduled for today. According to the Surry County Sheriffs Department, 42 year old Hipolito Vargas was shot around 2pm near his US 601 address. Paramedics found Vargas lying outside and suffering from a gunshot wound. Authorities are questioning another man who was there, but no charges have been filed.

State News

Lottery Oversight Commission Created
Officials from across the state are growing concerned that as time goes on, profits from the NC lottery will be used for things other than education. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, the House created a new lottery oversight committee over the weekend. The panel will be in charge of tracking how lottery profits are used and to guarantee they aren’t supplanting money already in the budget. Each panel member would be selected by the Senate pro temp and the Speaker of the House, to form a group consisting of lawmakers, county commissioners and board of education members. The concept now goes to the Senate for final approval.

Toll Roads Could Be On The Way

North Carolina drivers could have to start putting in change before they step on the gas pedal. The state Senate has passed a bill that would allow North Carolina’s Turnpike Authority to charge drivers who travel on any road connected to or adjacent to a toll road. Currently state law doesn’t allow for tolls to be collected on existing highways, but the new bill would change that. The bill’s sponsor, Edgecombe Senator Clark Jenkins, said that the tolls are needed because of a lack of cash for road projects. If the bill goes through the House, I-485 is being considered for the first toll project.

Cabarrus County Set To Lose Jobs

A massive healthcare merger in Cabarrus County will end up costing over 100 people their jobs. Pathways Homecare Service is being merged by Northeast Medical Center with Advanced Home Care, a local nonprofit healthcare group. 129 people will have their jobs terminated in the move, marking the largest set of layoffs in the area since Pillowtex closed down back in 2003. Those laid off are personal care workers, who help people with bathing and preparing their meals. Advanced Home Care doesn’t currently offer those services and it was decided to do away with the program entirely. The jobs are expected to be completely phased out by September 8th.

Sports Headlines

Fall Soccer Registration Has Started
For any kids wanting to play soccer this fall, the Tri-County League is holding registration. You can stop by the Elkin Recreation Department anytime to pick up a registration form, plus there will be three days of open enrollment coming up later this month. This Saturday July 15th starts the open registration, with additional dates available on July 22nd and July 29th. There is a fee however. For the 10 and under groups, it’s $35 a person while for kids 11-14, it’s $45. For more information you can call 336-874-2398.

NCAA Names Raleigh As Tournament Spot
Taking a look at college basketball, the NCAA will soon be returning to North Carolina. In 2007, Winston Salem will host games for the first and second round of the tournament, then in 2008, the reins will be turned over to the RBC Center in Raleigh. Charlotte will also be a host city in 2008, as several regional matchups will be played there. Finally in 2009, Greensboro comes back into the mix as a host, for both first and second round action of the men’s tournament.

Bobcats Could Sign International Player
As summer league play gets underway in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats are looking to add another piece to the puzzle. Later this week, the team will bring in Walter Hermann for a tryout. The 6’8 ft. Hermann was a key player on the Argentinean basketball squad that won the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games. During the past three years Herman has been playing for a team in the Spanish league and wanted to give the NBA a shot. He’ll come in for a tryout and if it goes well, will be suiting up for the summer league squad with a chance to make the final roster.

Former State Star Getting A Chance
In other NBA news, a former NC State star is getting his chance this summer to make a roster. 6’4 ft. Cameron Bennerman went undrafted last week and has since signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat. Under terms of the contract, Bennerman will play on the Heat’s summer league squad this week and have a shot at making the final roster. Also on the Heat summer league team this year is former UNC Tarheel Joseph Forte.

Carolina Hurricanes Sign Two More
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes continue to wheel and deal, putting the pieces together for next season. Over the weekend, the team announced they’ve come to terms with defenseman Glen Wesley on a one year contract. Wesley had been considering retirement after the Canes won the Stanley Cup this season but decided to stick around one more year to defend the title. Also Trevor Letowski (Le-towl-ski) signed on with the club. The 29-yr-old Letowski played last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording 10 goals and 18 assists. He signed a two year contract to replace ring winger Doug Weight, who left to join St. Louis.

Talladega Will Be Tested
In NASCAR, some changes will be coming to the Talladega Superspeedway before drivers return this fall. The speedway is being repaved, with pit road being widened by an additional 12 feet. Also each race crew’s pit stall will be bigger, as they’ll have two additional feet to work with. In addition, NASCAR announced that the Talladega race could be the first on the Nextel Cup schedule to feature drivers using unleaded fuel. NASCAR had decided to put off testing on the Nextel Cup circuit until next season, but now officials are considering using the Superspeedway as a starting point when drivers make their way back this October.


News & Sports For July 7th

New Budget Will Affect Wilkes Families
There were some surprises in the new state budget, which was approved on Thursday, changes that could affect Wilkes County families. Under the current law, counties have to pay for a portion of Medicaid costs in their area and that share increases each year as the number of Medicaid recipients climbs. The new budget has put a stop to that, capping the counties’ share of Medicaid costs at current levels. What that means is for the next two years, Wilkes County won’t have to pay more than it currently does in Medicaid costs. Also a new health insurance credit was approved for small business owners, giving $250 for each employee covered under the company plan.

National Guard Helped By State Budget
There’s some good news for current and also former members of the National Guard in Wilkes County. In the current state budget, $500,000 was set aside to help provide assistance for Guard families who are struggling to pay bills while their loved ones are deployed. Also former Guard members could see a raise in their pension, as the maximum monthly pension amount was raised to $160.

Sex Offender Program To Become Reality
Last month, 3WC News told you about a program State Attorney General Roy Cooper wanted to create, which would help protect kids against child predators. The NC Sex Offender Watch Program is an email service. It would automatically warn people when a sex offender moves within a mile of a certain building, such as their child’s school. Inside each email there would be a photo and description, so people could recognize the offender and also a list of his crimes. In the budget that was passed on Thursday, lawmakers set aside $200,000 to get the program started. If all goes according to plan, parents in Wilkes and across the state could start signing up for the service by the fall.

Local Man Falls Victim To Forgery
Be careful who has access to your money. That’s the lesson a North Wilkesboro man learned earlier this week. The man had left for Kentucky on business, but before leaving he gave permission for a friend to pick up his paycheck and deliver it to his father. When he returned, the man discovered that no checks had ever been turned over to the father. Instead, the friend had forged his name on both and cashed them at the bank. Over $200 in cash was taken from the man’s account and warrants are pending in the case.

Raceway Park Celebrates Anniversary
There are very few businesses that can say they’ve been around for 50 years, let alone in racing. But this month the Wilkes Raceway Park is celebrating their 50th anniversary of operation. Coming up in today's 3WC Newscast, we'll be talking with track owner Danny Dunn about the area's history and also what's coming up during the celebration this weekend.

They Took Everything But The Kitchen Sink
A Millers Creek man got a surprise when he went to check on his boat this week, as thieves had gone on a shopping spree. Taken from inside were 13 roads and reels, worth over $700. The incident happened at the man’s home on Boone Trail, where his boat had been stored in the carport. However despite the theft there was no sign of a break-in or any damage done to the property. That investigation continues.

Thieves Break In While Homeowner’s Around
Someone tried to break into a house on Robys Road earlier this week, but couldn’t get past the door. The homeowner woke up and called deputies after hearing someone trying to kick down her front door. After several failed attempts the would be thief ran off, leaving behind an estimated $250 worth of damage. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Gospel Morning Coming Up At Heritage Museum
Tomorrow will be a treat for Southern Gospel music fans here in Wilkes County. The Wilkes Heritage Museum is holding a Gospel Heritage Morning on Saturday July 8th, featuring performances by Wise Men’s View and the Unity Baptist Church Youth Choir. The event is free to the public and gets underway at 10am, running til 12 noon. There is however a cost if you want to tour the Heritage Museum itself and 3WC will be on hand, broadcasting portions of the program live during the event. For more information you can give the museum a call at 667-3171.

State News

Budget Finalized & Sent To Easley
North Carolina lawmakers gave their vote of approval to the state’s budget yesterday, sending it on to Gov. Easley for his signature. The final bill stands at $18.9 billion, with spending rising almost 10% over last year. Included in this year’s budget is $206 million for school construction, $163 million for supplies and other needs of new students. Also the state will begin phasing out two sets of tax increases that were installed back in 2001. The state sales tax will be knocked down a half penny and the individual state income tax rate will be reduced 0.5%. The House voted in the plan 82-31 and the Senate followed suit by a vote of 31-15.

NASCAR Hall Has New Director
NASCAR held a press conference in Charlotte yesterday to introduce the new director for its’ Hall of Fame. Radio broadcaster and Duke Energy vice president Winston Kelley was named to the post, as officials said he was the right man for the job. Kelley has worked in radio since the 1980s, broadcasting races as a pit reporter for the Motor Racing Network. He was also a key part of the effort to bring the Hall of Fame to Charlotte, getting involved to recruit businesses and individuals. Construction on the Hall will get started next spring with an estimated price tag of $155 million.

Incoming Duke Students Get Free $50
Incoming freshmen at Duke University will get a welcome surprise this fall in the form of a $50 bill. “Durham Dollars” is a new program created by the school to help introduce students to the community. Students can use the money to eat out at restaurants and interact more with people around the area. There is however a catch for anyone thinking of using the money for something else. Each bill is specially marked so that it can only be used at restaurants around the Ninth Street area in Durham. An estimated 1600 students will take part in the program this fall.

North Carolina Woman Facing Extortion Charges
A North Carolina woman is facing charges of extortion today, after trying to blackmail a security company. 35-yr-old Laura Holdren-Nowacki (No-wacky) had worked as a vehicle manager for the Blackwater security company until 2004, when four of the company’s guards were killed in Fallujah. According to Blackwater, Nowacki then began demanding one million dollars in order to keep her mouth shut, saying that she would release supposedly “damaging” information on the four men otherwise. After being charged in Elizabeth City, Nowacki denied the claims but told reporters that when court begins Friday afternoon, she’ll have plenty to say.

Wanted Teen Surrenders To Police
A teenager wanted in connection with a shooting spree earlier this week has turned himself in to police. 18-yr-old Justin Perry had been on the run since Wednesday, when police believe he and an accomplice walked up to four teenagers sitting by a Durham house and opened fire. The incident happened just before 6pm Wednesday night, with one of the four victims dying en route to Duke Medical Center. The other three are recovering from gunshot wounds, with two of them in serious condition. Perry gave himself up peacefully on Thursday and police are still searching for the second suspect, 20-yr-old Darien Taylor. There’s still no motive for the crime.

Winston Man Accused Of Making Steroids

A Winston Salem man is at the center of a steroid investigation today. 26-yr-old Ernest Jason Tedder was arrested and charged recently with the manufacturing of drugs, maintaining a home for the sale of drugs and drug possession with intent to manufacture. All of those charges come as a result of an investigation by Winston Salem detectives into a steroid ring. Undercover operatives bought steroids from Tedder’s home on two occasions, later returning with a search warrant. Inside they found supplies of human growth hormone, syringes, a vial of steroids and the supplies to make more. It’s believed that Tedder was distributing the drugs at both the bar he worked at and a local gym.

Sports Headlines

NC County Trying To Bring Soccer Association
One North Carolina county is looking become the new home for a national soccer association. Cabarrus County officials have put in a bid for the National Soccer Coaches Association, inviting the group to tour the area and consider moving in. Currently the Association is based out of Mission, Kansas but recently announced that they were considering a move. All total, there are 15 counties looking to bring in the association, which is considered one of the largest coaches’ groups in the country. A decision is expected by September.

NC Players Sign Minor League Deals
Two more Tarheels are one step closer to the major leagues today, after signing contracts. Jay Cox was drafted in the 22nd round of the June draft by the Colorado Rockies and came to terms on a deal with his new team. Last season as a junior, Cox hit 15 home runs and recorded a career high with 65 RBIs for the Tarheels. He was also named to the All-Tournament team for both the Regional playoffs and the World Series, after collecting 21 RBIs in the postseason. His former teammate Jonathan Hovis also signed a free agent deal this week with the New York Yankees. Hovis was left undrafted last month despite putting up a 1.17 ERA over 69 1/3 innings, the 5th best average in school history.

Hurricanes Re-Sign Cole
The Carolina Hurricanes guaranteed that another piece of their championship team would be back next season, agreeing to a deal with left winger Erik Cole. The 27-yr-old signed a three year deal worth $12 million after a season where he set career highs with 30 goals, 29 assists and 59 points. Cole sat out the final month of the regular season with a fractured vertebra but bounced back to play in the last two games of the Stanley Cup finals.

Bobcats Sign First Round Pick

Adam Morrison is officially a member of the Charlotte Bobcats. The team announced on Thursday that they’ve signed their first round pick to a contract and will have him on the court starting Monday in the summer league. As a junior last season with Gonzaga, the 6’8 ft. Morrison averaged 28 points and has already got an invitation to try out for Team USA starting July 19th. Morrison released a statement on Thursday saying that he was glad to sign his first contract and looked forward to helping the Bobcats take the next step as they build toward a championship.

Said Wants To Be A Regular
On the Nextel Cup circuit, one driver is hoping his temporary ride becomes a little more permanent. Boris Said is currently driving under a four race deal with help from Jack Rousch, which expires after the August 13th race at Watkins Glen. But after finishing 4th in the Pepsi 400 and 9th the week before at Sonoma, Said is pushing for a permanent seat. However it might not be with Rousch, who is pushing the limit of four cars allowed in one operation by NASCAR.


News & Sports For July 6th

Update Given From Wilkes Economic Development
Wilkes Economic Development Director Don Alexander presented an update to county commissioners last night, detailing the program’s process since he took over back in March. In those four months, Wilkes Economic Development has worked with 10 local businesses to help create an additional 169 jobs. That growth came thanks in part to a variety of incentives totaling $7.5 million. Also the corporation is currently in talks with 19 other businesses to discuss a potential move here to Wilkes. Collectively, the potential businesses would bring in an estimated $484 million to the area along with 1645 new jobs. Director Alexander told commissioners that while he didn’t expect to land them all, he is confident that several of the businesses could end up with a Wilkes County address. Members of the board also inquired about Fibrowatt, as to when they would name a site here in North Carolina. Director Alexander said that at the most a site announcement will be coming within the next two months and could possibly be a matter of weeks.

Wilkes County Facing Forestry Problems
The growth and development of new homes in Wilkes County could lead to problems, according to the Forestry Service. County Forester Jody Brady gave his annual report to county commissioners’ last night, outlining some issues Wilkes is facing. He explained that the seasons cycle between rain and drought, with 2006 on the drought side. Already there have been 69 forest fires in the county, burning over 1000 acres with an estimated $40 million in damage. There was some good news however as the Forestry Service has replanted 2100 acres over the past six months.

Positions Up For Consideration At Meeting
Several positions were up for consideration at last night’s commissioners’ meeting. Last month, Tom Gorich resigned from his position with the Airport Authority, citing the demands of his personal business. As a replacement, the Authority nominated Jim Faw and brought that recommendation before county commissioners last night. It passed through a unanimous decision. Two people were also recommended for positions in the Wilkes Library Board, to replace the expiring terms of Rose Herring and Glenda Adams. Arnold Lakey and Joe Samuel were nominated to replace them by the board but county commissioners held up the appointment. Commissioner Faye Byrd brought up the fact that there was no one on the board to represent the eastern or western parts of the county, requesting after a brief discussion that consideration be made to other candidates. Commissioners agreed to table the vote and send it back to the Library Board.

Other News From Commissioners’ Meeting
In other news from last night’s commissioners’ meeting, the weekend of August 4th & 5th was selected as Relay for Life weekend. During that time, events will be held at Wilkes Community College, starting at 6pm on August 4th. Money was also transferred from the fund balance to help pay for construction of the bathrooms and concession stands at Lowes Park. The money had been set aside in last year’s budget for the project, but when construction didn’t start by July 1st, it went back into the fund balance. $105,000 was transferred in, bringing the current total for the project to $165,000.

Thieves Target Ferguson Store
Thieves stole money from a Ferguson store early Wednesday morning. A witness saw the thieves drive up to Michelle’s Market on Mt. Pleasant Road and then walk up to the drink machines beside the business. The thieves used a key to unlock each machine, then ran off with an estimated $60 in change from inside. A description of the thieves was turned over to deputies and the investigation continues.

Focus On Freedom
Despite what you hear and read today, the founding fathers didn’t all want God out of government. As we celebrate our Independence this week, an organization in Wilkes County wants to remind people that faith played a major part in the founding of our country. Chuck Houchins has helped create Founding Quotes, to explain through their own words how the founders felt about religion. Mr. Houchins will be Brian’s guest this week for Focus on the Foothills as they’ll be discussing his research into the founders, talking about their faith and hearing their very words on the subject. That’s coming up today at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Car Stolen From Behind Burger King
A Purlear man got a surprise when he came back to pick up his car this week. He had left the vehicle parked at the Wilkesboro Burger King Monday night, departing with friends. Then the next day he returned to find the vehicle missing. None of the store employees could recall seeing the vehicle and there’s evidence of any shattered windows or other damage. Information about the vehicle was turned over to Wilkesboro police and the investigation continues.

Duke Fan Goes Crazy For A Hat
For one Duke fan, nothing was going to stop him from getting a hat. The man walked into the Run-In on Oakwoods Road Tuesday morning, walking around the store for a few minutes. Then an employee saw him pull a Duke Blue Devil hat off the rack and stuff it into his shorts, before running out the door. The man then sped off in his car, but not before employees were able to get a description of both him and his vehicle. The evidence, along with a security camera video was turned over to Wilkesboro police.

Thieves Run Off With Local Man’s Tools
A local man went back to his house on Tuesday only to discover that thieves had paid a visit. A lock had been pried off a storage building on the property, allowing thieves to walk inside and go shopping. They ran off with a floor jack and chainsaw, worth an estimated $240. That investigation is ongoing.

State News

Budget Gets Initial Approval
North Carolina came one step closer Wednesday night to having a budget in place, as it received tentative approval from both the House and Senate. Gone is the proposed increase in the minimum wage, which would have brought it to a flat $6. Teachers and the school system however were a major focus of the budget, as an 8% average raise for public school teachers was approved. Also a 6% raise was handed out for community college and university staff. University officials were also given a one time bonus in the form of an additional 2% raise. State workers will also see a 5.5% raise in pay. Coming up later today we’ll have more details about the budget, which still has to pass through another vote of North Carolina lawmakers.

Another Contender Steps Into Political Race
Yet another contender has tossed their name into the lieutenant governor’s race here in North Carolina. Canton Mayor Pat Smathers announced this week that he’s strongly considering entering the race, saying that he’s probably going to run. The 52-yr-old former attorney and Duke football player told reporters that he grew interested in the job while helping his town recover from natural disasters over the past two years. Smathers said he wants the focus of his campaign to be about creating new ideas and new programs in North Carolina for energy, healthcare, tax reform and transportation. He enters a potentially loaded field with six others considering a run. Among them are Winston Salem Republican Ed Broyhill and Surry Representative James Harrell.

Well Known NC Pastor Dies
A Baptist pastor who stood at the front of the civil rights movement has died this week. The Rev. W.W. Finlator was a well known champion for civil rights, a white pastor who supported racial integration in the 60s and 70s. Finlator was the pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, serving from 1956 to 1982. During that time he called on people to reach out and help the poor and also was an opponent of the death penalty. Friends and supporters remember him as a man of God who stood for what’s right, even if it was dangerous to do so. He passed away Monday after a battle with pneumonia. Pastor Finlator was 93.

Animals Homeless Due To Road
Animals in Rockingham County are searching for a home today, after the DOT announced plans to destroy their old one. The Veterinary Hospital in Reidsville is set to be bulldozed within the next two years to make way for an expansion of Highway 87. DOT officials made the announcement on Wednesday, saying they have no choice but to knock down the hospital as it’s in the way of the proposed project. Rockingham County leaders are working with hospital officials to find a new home for the animals as soon as possible.

Sports Headlines

Raleigh High School Makes History
One high school in Raleigh is getting set to make history by fielding a football team. Word of God High School has never put a varsity football team on the field, content to play their junior varsity. But after last season’s 7-1 record with the JV team, school officials have reconsidered and announced this week that a new varsity squad will be added in the fall. There’s no word yet as to which conference the school will join.

NC High School Players Invited To National Tryout
Two high school players from here in North Carolina are on their way to tryout for the national baseball team. The U.S. Junior National team has extended invitations to Wake Forest-Rolesville catcher Mac Williamson and Apex High School third baseman Corey Thompson. Both were part of a Wake County team that finished 4-3 in the USA Junior Olympics East Coast Regional. They caught the eye of team officials by batting .400 or better during the event, with Thompson putting up a .458 average and Williamson right at .400. 36 players will try out for the team, which will start playing August 4th in the Youth Pan American Championships, held this year in Venezuela.

Appalachian Invited To San Juan
Taking a look at college basketball, there’s a trip to the islands in the future of the Appalachian State team. The Mountaineers have been invited to take part in the San Juan Shootout , which will run December 17-22nd. Appalachian joins a loaded field including Utah, Virginia, Central Florida, Tennessee Tech, Vanderbuilt and the native Puerto Rice-Mayaguez team. Games and times will be announced later on this summer.

UNC Charlotte Lands Recruit
In other college basketball news, UNC Charlotte has officially landed another recruit for next season. High school senior David Booker, a 6’7 ft. forward from Mississippi, signed on with the team. As a senior for Moss Point High School, Booker averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds a night, scoring 50 points in the school’s first round game of the state tournament.

NASCAR Could Steal Driver From F1
A driver from the Indy car circuit could be making the switch next year to NASCAR. Canadian racer Jacques Villeneuve announced this week that he’s considering making the move to stock cars next season as he’s losing his current ride with BMW. The 35-yr-old Villeneuve is being replaced by a 21-yr-old developmental driver from within the team’s minor league system, leaving him without a ride and seeking a challenge. He hasn’t started talking to teams just yet though, saying that he’ll have to consider how his family feels about possibly moving to the United States.


News & Sports For July 4th

Hottest Day Of The Year Hits NC
The temperature gauge might not have registered it as such, but yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far here in North Carolina. Temperatures hit the mid 90s with it reaching 95 degrees in Wilkesboro. The problem was the humidity, which pushed the local heat index up past 100 for the day. Weather forecasters do offer some hope for the rest of the week, with a chance of rain and temperatures not expected to reach above 90 degrees. However until the hot weather dies down, the state’s Health Department is suggesting to keep children, elderly adults and pets inside as much as possible, to avoid excessive heat exposure.

Celebrations Planned For Tonight
Wilkes County is planning to celebrate July 4th in a big way, with events going on throughout the night. At 8:45pm tonight, the annual Emergency Vehicles Parade will get underway. The parade will start at West Park, then head onto West D Street and continue on in a loop until it reaches the new Board of Education offices on Cherry Street. Following the parade, the Wilkes Law Enforcement Association will start setting off fireworks from their normal spot at Memorial Park.

Break-In At Greene Lumber

Sheriff’s deputies were called out to Greene’s Lumber on Sunday, after thieves broke in. Someone shattered a window at the business and climbed in to do some shopping. However once inside, the thieves left almost everything where they found it. No money was missing and nothing else was damaged inside. The only things taken were several papers that contained information about the business. Deputies were later able to track down the papers and return them to the owner. The investigation into the break-in continues.

Rocket’s Red Glare Lights Up Traphill Mailbox
A Traphill woman got a little more than she expected in the mail over the weekend. Sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning the mailbox exploded, thanks to a firecracker that had been placed inside. This marks the 12th time in the past fives years that vandals have targeted the house, located on Traphill Union Road. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

3WC Healthwatch: Beware of Fireworks
Before you light up that sparkler tonight, there are some things you need to be aware of, as we explain in today’s 3WC Healthwatch. Over the past ten years, an estimated 85,000 kids have been treated in the ER for fireworks related injuries. Last year alone, sparklers were responsible for nearly half of the injuries to kids five and younger. In order to have a safe 4th of July celebration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a list of suggestions on how to prevent fireworks from getting out of control. First only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface, away from the house and any dry leaves or other flammable material. Also be sure to throw away any fireworks that didn’t ignite correctly. Otherwise could come by and pick them up, leading to a trip to the emergency room. Above all else, be sure that your kids are supervised. The information shows that children are 11 times more likely to get injured if they’re on their own and not under adult supervision. The information comes from a study set to be published in the July edition of Pediatrics.

Medication Stolen From Roaring River Home
Thieves broke into a Roaring River home over the weekend, running off with several hundred dollars worth of medication. A woman and her husband had gone to visit her mother, dropping off some medicine that was needed. She put the medicine in the kitchen and within a few hours it was gone. Taken in the theft were several bottles of the painkillers Roxycodine and Oxycotin. There is a suspect and the investigation is ongoing.

Vandals Target Moravian Falls Home
Vandals took aim at a Moravian Falls house over the weekend. The homeowner was asleep Saturday afternoon when he heard glass breaking and came to check it out. As he got to the front door, a vehicle was speeding off and he noticed that one of the windows had been shattered. Information has been turned over to deputies regarding a possible suspect and the investigation continues.

Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest
A routine traffic stop led to an arrest for Wilkesboro police recently. Officers pulled over a man for having an expired tag on his vehicle. When they called in the tag, it was reported back as being a fake. In addition, the driver didn’t have any insurance for the vehicle and the inspection sticker had expired. 26-yr-old Christopher Justin Spencer was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of having a fictitious license and not having insurance, along with one count of driving with an expired inspection sticker.

DOT Warns Drivers To Move Over
As we’re celebrating July 4th, the DOT is offering some advice for drivers. Even though construction is shut down for the holiday, drivers will be assessed a $250 penalty for speeding through a marked work zone. Even though the workers won’t be there, speeding though such places can be dangerous there could be sections with just one lane open. Also the DOT advises to leave early if you have to be somewhere, not just to get a head start but also to avoid driving at times with a lot of traffic congestion. For anyone wanting to see what road conditions are like before leaving the house, you can dial the state’s travel information line at 511 or log on to

State News

Preparations Continue For Bush Visit
Preparations continued on into the night at Fort Bragg for the President’s scheduled visit today. He is set to arrive at the post this afternoon and spend most of the day there before heading back to the nation’s capital tonight. The visit will be Bush’s third to Bragg within the last five years. In 2002, he spoke to the troops about the war in Afghanistan and then in 2005 came back to discuss why we needed to enter Iraq. Republican lawmakers voiced their approval of the President’s decision to return, citing Fort Bragg’s heavy involvement in the war on terror.

More Jobs Coming To Edgecombe County
There’s some good news on the way to Edgecombe County, as more jobs are headed to the region. Blue Hawaiian Fiberglass Pools announced plans over the weekend to building a manufacturing facility in Edgecombe. The move will bring in 69 new jobs over the next three years and was made possible by a $45,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. Blue Hawaiian officials said they chose North Carolina for the site because of its’ highly trained workforce and good location.

Company Sets Up Family Reunion For 4th
One company in Greensboro is helping families get in touch with their loved ones for the 4th. During today’s Fun Fourth Festival in Greensboro, people will be able to speak to soldiers in Iraq via Webcast, talking to people that for some haven’t been seen in over a year. Grassroots Productions is helping to sponsor both the festival and the webcast. Company officials said they wanted people to see what life is really like over there and to let the troops know that they have support back here at home. The Webcast runs today from 9:30am til 1pm.

Meth Lab Uncovered In Randolph County
An abandoned residence in Randolph County has been condemned by the Health Department, after officials found a meth lab operating inside. A complete lab was discovered at the home on Old Thomasville Road, with deputies carrying off loads of chemicals and meth paraphernalia. Because of the chemicals and the potential hazard they pose to residents, the local Health Department has condemned the building and the investigation continues.

Sports Headlines

Cremins Returns To The Sideline
A former Appalachian State head coach will be back on the sideline this fall as Bobby Cremins has joined up with the College of Charleston. He was formally introduced during a press conference on Monday after agreeing to a six year contract with the Cougars. Cremins had been out of coaching since 2000, when he retired as head coach of Georgia Tech. Before that he got started at Appalachian State back in 1975, putting up 100 wins during his six years in Boone. Cremins will be coming back to the site of his first coaching job this season with the Cougars, who play at home and away against Appalachian State as part of the Southern Conference schedule.

Bobcats Sign Another Player
The offer was mentioned earlier in the month, but on Friday it became official. UNC Charlotte forward Curtis Withers will be joining the Charlotte Bobcats for their summer league team, receiving an invitation to try out and make the roster. As a senior last year, Withers averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds for the 49ers, displaying an impressive rebounding ability. The first summer league game is set for next Monday.

Familiar Faces On Bobcats Roster

As far as the rest of the Bobcats summer league roster goes, there are a few familiar faces making an appearance. The team’s draft picks this year, Adam Morrison and Ryan Hollins will be on board, along with current third string point guard Kevin Burleson. Also making his first appearance on the court in over four months will be forward Sean May, who is still working himself into game shape. Emeka Okafor will also be practicing with the team, to help rehab his own injury. Mini-camp started yesterday at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

Hurricanes Lock Up Free Agents

In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to bring back most of their championship team next season. To do that, the Canes announced deals with four of their free agents over the weekend. 21-yr-old forward Eric Staal was inked to a three year deal after a season where he led the team in scoring, putting up 100 points during the regular season. In addition, defenseman Mike Commodore and right winger Chad LaRose were both resigned to two year contracts and goalie Cam Ward has a new backup, with John Grahame coming over from Tampa Bay.

Possible Changes On The Way For NASCAR
There could be some changes on the way for NASCAR, according to chairman Brian France. Talking with reporters over the weekend, France said that officials are looking at some alternations to the Nextel Cup circuit, which would take effect next season. The major change that’s being considered is an increase in points handed out to the winners of each race, to award victory and not just consistency. Also the number of spots in the Chase for the Cup could climb, as currently the top ten drivers have a shot at the title. That could expand to possibly 12 or even the top 15.


News & Sports For July 3rd

Local Church Wins National Award
One local church has been honored with a national award. Celebration Church was selected this year as one of 46 ministries nationwide to receive Church Health Awards. The awards are handed out each year by Purpose Driven Ministries, honoring churches across the globe that adopt the model spelled out in Pastor Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Church”. Using the model, churches have to decide what will be the five major points of their ministry. For the Wilkesboro based Celebration Church, those five points are connecting for fellowship, growing for discipleship, honor for worship, serving others and reaching out in evangelism. Since the church’s beginnings back in 2004, 400 people have come to know Christ through the ministry outreach and on a normal Sunday over 300 people are there for worship.

Celebrations Planned For Tomorrow
Wilkes County is planning to celebrate July 4th in a big way, with events going on throughout the night. As soon as it gets dark tomorrow, the Wilkes Law Enforcement Association will start setting off fireworks from their normal spot at Memorial Park. Also at 8:45pm, the annual Emergency Vehicles Parade will get underway. The parade will start at West Park, then head onto West D Street and continue on in a loop until it reaches the new Board of Education offices on Cherry Street.

New Law To Hit North Carolina
A new law finally went into effect on Saturday, one that will be taking more money from the pockets of Wilkes County smokers. On July 1st, the cigarette tax here in North Carolina climbed an additional 5 cents as part of a bill that was passed earlier this year. In addition, motorists who don’t move out of the way of emergency vehicles will now be facing some heavy fines. As per the new “Move Over” law, anyone who doesn’t change lanes or at least slow down when passing by a stopped emergency vehicle will receive a $250 fine. Previously the fee was only $25.

Thieves Run Off With Local Woman’s Gun
Thieves targeted a home on the Congo Road last week, running off with several weapons from inside. The homeowner returned early Friday morning to find that her front door was standing wide open, as was the door to the back bedroom. Taken from inside was a 30-06 Smith & Wesson rifle, along with a nearby scope. Information about the gun was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation continues.

Gospel Morning Coming Up At Heritage Museum
This Saturday will be a treat for Southern Gospel music fans here in Wilkes County. The Wilkes Heritage Museum is holding a Gospel Heritage Morning on Saturday July 8th, featuring performances by Wise Men’s View and the Unity Baptist Church Youth Choir. The event is free to the public and gets underway at 10am, running til 12 noon. There is however a cost if you want to tour the Heritage Museum itself and 3WC will be on hand, broadcasting portions of the program live during the event. For more information you can give the museum a call at 667-3171.

Video Games Stolen From North Wilkesboro Home
A North Wilkesboro man got a surprise when he returned home last Thursday. Someone had pried open a back window at his house, on the Congo Road, and climbed in to do a little shopping. However the only thing taken from inside was a Playstation 2 video game system, worth an estimated $150. No one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anyone near the property but that investigation continues.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly
Summertime can mean problems for the elderly, with rising temperatures leading to sickness and possibly death. With that in mind, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving away fans this summer to any senior citizen that meets their requirements. In order to get a fan, you must be at least 60 years old, live in Wilkes and be served by Duke Power. In addition, your home situation must present a threat to your life without the fans. Applications are being taken from 8:30am til 5pm at the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council office, located at 228 Fairplains School Road. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

One Car Totaled In Wreck On Curtis Bridge Road
One car was totaled after an accident last week on Curtis Bridge Road. The incident happened Thursday afternoon just before 2pm, as a Glade Valley man got lost looking for Brookwood Drive. He spotted the road just as he passed by, slamming on the brakes before attempting to back up. However what the man didn’t see was a vehicle behind him, driven by an Elkin man. That second car couldn’t get out of the way in time to avoid a collision. Thankfully no one was hurt but an estimated $2000 worth of damage was done. The first driver, Oliverio Bautista Otero was charged with driving without a license by Wilkesboro police.

State News

North Carolina Finally Has A Budget
State lawmakers have finally come to terms on a budget for this fiscal year. Details on the final plan won’t be released until later today, but state officials said over the weekend that both certain parts of the state’s sales and income tax rates were trimmed in the compromise. However the proposed minimum wage increase appears to have been left out, along with a gasoline tax cap. A final vote on the bill is expected later this week.

Easley To Send Guard out West
Governor Easley announced over the weekend that he’s planning to send North Carolina troops to help with border control. 300 members of the state’s National Guard will be sent out to sections of the Mexican border with Texas and Arizona, a move Easley says is necessary to keep our country safe. The Department of Defense asked that more Guard units be sent out west, where soldiers are helping battle wildfires.

Another Community College In Hot Water
Yet another community college here in the state is facing problems today. The State Auditor has released reports detailing problems in 13 of the state’s community colleges with one of the most notable being Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge Community College lost an estimated $33,000 on athletics alone last year and also claimed $1.9 million more in federal aid than it actually possessed. In addition, the school overstated its’ unrestricted assets by an estimated $3.3 million, giving people the idea there was more money than was available. Blue Ridge’s head baseball coach has also been put on probation for violating school policy. He put $7298 from work study checks into a personal account, which was later used to help pay for his players’ housing needs.

Former NC Senator Says We Need War On Poverty
A former North Carolina senator is calling for a different kind of war today. John Edwards, who also served as the Democrats’ vice presidential candidate in 2004, suggested over the weekend that instead of targeting other countries, the U.S. Government needs to declare war on poverty. During a speech over the weekend in Portland, Oregon, Edwards cited several examples of how the U.S. can help eliminate poverty. He called for an increase n the minimum wage, an expansion of the earned income tax credit and also changes to allow more workers the ability to join a union or form their own.

New Town Created in Davidson County
For people driving through Davidson County, there’s something new to catch your eye. Over the weekend, the town of Midway was officially formed and incorporated. Area leaders had been talking about creating a new town for years, but the threat of annexation by a larger city such as Winston Salem caused them to act. It can be located by driving past Winston Salem and into Davidson County on Highway 52. Mayor Norman Wilkes says he’s busy searching for someone to take the positions of town clerk, town manager and town attorney.

Sports Headlines

Fall Soccer Registration Has Started
For any kids wanting to play soccer this fall, the Tri-County League is holding registration. You can stop by the Elkin Recreation Department anytime to pick up a registration form, plus there will be three days of open enrollment coming up later this month. On July 15th, July 22nd and July 29th, kids can walk in, hand over their forms and get registered to play. There is a fee however. For the 10 and under groups, it’s $35 a person while for kids 11-14, it’s $45. For more information you can call Shawna Bogart at 336-874-2398.

No Expansion For NCAA
There won’t be any changes coming for college basketball, at least not this year. The men’s basketball committee shot down a proposal over the weekend that would have almost doubled the NCAA tournament’s size from 65 teams to a whopping 128. The committee said that expansion wasn’t needed and said that things wouldn’t change any time soon.

Linebacker Commits To Duke
The Duke football team got another shot in the arm, as linebacker Justin Wilkerson has committed to the school. The 6’3 ft. 230 lb. Wilkerson also plays tight end and fullback in his high school system. He told reporters that the coaching and the system Duke plans to use is a good fit and he also was impressed by the academic side, saying that a Duke degree will help him land a good job after college. Wilkerson turned down an offer from East Carolina to join the Blue Devils.

Panthers Land New Scouting Director
In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms with Don Gregory, making him their new director of college scouting. The 50-yr-old Gregory has worked for the Kansas City Chiefs the last four years as a national scout and before that was a scout for San Diego. He’ll take over control of the team’s college draft preparations from Tony Softli, who left last month to join the St. Louis Rams.

ACC Players Land NBA Contracts
In the NBA, several ACC players were able to lock in contracts after the draft. Wake Forest center Eric Williams will be suiting up for the New Jersey Nets next season. The 6-9 Williams went undrafted on Wednesday night, but on Thursday, found himself with a contract offer from the Nets. His former teammate, Justin Gray, will also be suiting up, except he’ll be heading up north to join the Toronto Raptors. Both players will take part in their new teams’ summer league squads when play starts later this month.

NASCAR Results
Taking a look at the NASCAR scene this weekend, it was Tony Stewart pulling into victory lane after the Pepsi 400. the Busch brothers were right behind, with Kyle Busch finishing second and Kurt Busch in with third place. Boris Said was fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.


News & Sports For June 30th

Fly-In To Be Held This Saturday
As Wilkes County gets set to celebrate the 4th of July, a tribute of a different kind will be held tomorrow. The 15th annual Fly-In will go on at the Wilkes County Airport, with all types of aircraft up for display. The event, which begins at 9am and lasts til 3pm in the afternoon, will feature planes from World War II, a Blackhawk helicopter will be on display and also Army paratroopers will perform jumps at 11am and 1pm. There’s also going to be games for the kids with an air walk, several ball games, a money in the hay search and other activities. The Mountain View Ruitan Club also plans to have live music performing during the event.

Stuff The Bus Begins Tomorrow

The annual Stuff The Bus program will get underway tomorrow, helping to provide needy kids with supplies for school. There are several locations around the Wilkes County area for you to drop off supplies this year. There will be buses at Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off supplies at Dollar General, Super 10 and the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at 651-7830.

Local Woman Falls Victim To Credit Card Fraud
A Roaring River woman got in touch with deputies on Wednesday, after discovering that someone had been impersonating her. Sometime during the last week the woman’s credit card had disappeared. Now it turns out the thief had been pretending to be her and using it at local businesses, to the tune of $3695. Information is still being collected as the investigation goes forward.

Thieves Break In Just To Hear The News
A Lenoir man came to check on a camper he owned off of Livingston Road earlier this week, only to find that thieves had beaten him there. One of the windows had been damaged, along with parts of the camper’s siding. Taken from inside were two portable radios, along with a Troybuilt generator. There is however a possible suspect in the case and that investigation continues.

Toymaker Orders Recall
This next bit of news is for all parents and grandparents out there, as a recall has been ordered of a specific toy. About 3500 models of the Primary Sounds Toy Vehicles, sold from Kohl’s Department Store, are involved in the recall. That includes the yellow taxi, police cars and fire engine models. All are about 6 inches long and 5 inches wide. The problem stems from the hubcaps on the toy’s plastic wheels, which can come off and present a choking hazard. Customers are being asked to get in touch with the manufacturer, Kids Preferred LLC, for a full refund. The number to call is 1-866-763-8869.

Wreck On Main Street Totals Two
Two cars were totaled after an accident Wednesday afternoon in Wilkesboro. The incident happened on East Main Street, as a Wilkesboro woman was preparing to turn off onto a side street. The driver behind her, a North Wilkesboro man, didn’t see her slow down in time to avoid a collision. No serious injuries were reported from the crash, but both cars were totaled with estimated damages placed at $5000.

3WC Healthwatch: The Road To A Clear Mind
The way you eat could be a strong defense against Alzheimer’s disease, as we explain in today’s 3WC Healthwatch. Doctors at the Columbia University Medical Center have released information about a study they performed, involving older patients and their diet. They discovered that people who eat from a Mediterranean style diet are 40% less likely to develop Alzheimers. 2258 elderly people were part of the study, done over a four year period in New York. That type of diet includes eating a lot of vegetables, fruits, cereal and fish, while limiting how much meat and dairy products that you eat. In addition, people on this type of diet try to stay away from foods rich in saturated fats, as much as possible. The information was recently published in the online version of the Annals of Neurology.

Thieves Go On Spending Spree With ATM Card
A North Wilkesboro woman got a surprise when she checked her bank account earlier this week. Not only was it empty, but someone continued to charge things on the account, running up overdraft fees. All total, the combined money stolen and fees from the bank totaled $1041. It’s still unclear exactly how or when the woman’s ATM card was stolen, as she hadn’t even noticed it was missing. There is a possible suspect and the investigation continues.

Two Hospitalized After Wreck On Hwy 421
Two people were sent to the hospital after an accident Tuesday night on Hwy 421. A Wilkesboro man was heading east on the highway when suddenly another driver cut in front of him, causing a collision. Debris from the accident also hit a third car, which was in a nearby lane. The first two drivers were both taken by EMS to Wilkes Regional, while estimated damages were placed at $19,350. The driver who cut in front, 71-yr-old Thomas Prevett, was charged with unsafe movement by Wilkesboro police.

State News

Bush To Visit NC Troops
President Bush will be back in North Carolina on July 4th, celebrating with the troops at Fort Bragg. The White House announced the visit yesterday, saying that he plans to speak at their holiday event. This will mark the third time since 2001 that the president has been to Bragg. Back in March of 2002 he spoke about fighting the Taliban and then in June of 2005, he explained why the war in Iraq was necessary.

Beachgoers Ignore Rip Current Warnings
So far this summer season, 153 people have been rescued from rip currents at North Carolina beaches. The problem, say rescue officials, is that beachgoers are ignoring the warnings, both those posted up and also from lifeguards. At Wilmington’s Wrightsville Beach alone, 108 people have been saved from the deadly current, which pulls people out into the ocean as it returns from the shore. Right now the beach is on track to break last year’s total, which stood at 122 people.

Guilford County May Have Link To Missing Person
One Guilford County resident could have found a link to help investigators solve a missing persons case. On Wednesday, a man came out to some property he owned in Summerfield to find a skull sitting in the driveway. After deputies were called to the scene, they did a search and found the rest of the remains nearby. Now the body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office, to get a positive ID. Officials said that they were still trying to determine the cause of death and the case hasn’t been labeled as a homicide.

NC Community College Strained By Workers
The recent influx of workers going back to college has brought one community college in the state to a breaking point. Officials from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College announced this week that their resources are almost tapped out, due to a massive increase in students, most of which are unemployed textile workers. The college has since received a warning from its’ main accrediting agency, which was concerned because full evaluations of both the teachers and programs weren’t done this year, due to a lack of funding. Cabarrus has been given one year to turn in the evaluations or the school could be placed on probation.

Former Cafeteria Manager Gets Almost Four Years
A sentence was handed out yesterday in the case of a Wake County cafeteria manager who stole money from her school. Frances Parker pleaded guilty earlier this month to taking over $200,000 from Garner Senior High School’s nutrition program and going on a spending spree with the money. Thursday morning, a Wake County judge sentenced her to at least 44 months in prison. Parker also agreed to refund the school for what she took.

Sports Headlines

South Caldwell Pitcher Commits To Tarheels
A high school pitcher from within the region will soon be suiting up for the Tarheels. South Caldwell pitcher Madison Bumgarner announced his decision this week. The junior helped lead his team to the State 4A championship and along with way he picked up a 12-2 record with a 0.99 ERA. The 6’5 ft. Bumgarner, who’s lefthanded, has impressed scouts with a fastball that reaches speeds of 97 mph at times. He’s also not bad at the plate, batting .392 this past season with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs.

Boateng To Leave Duke
In college basketball, the Duke Blue Devils will be one man short when the season starts next fall. Center Eric Boateng has announced that he plans to transfer from the school. The 6’10 ft. Boateng saw limited time with the team this season, averaging .7 points and .6 rebounds in 20 games.

State Player Has Hearing Postponed
The fate of one NC State basketball player is still up in the air today. The immigration hearing for Wolfpack forward Gavin Grant has been delayed until July 11th, due to scheduling conflicts. Grant stands accused of entering the U.S. illegally as a child and if found guilty, he could be forced to leave the country. Grant’s legal team meanwhile says that the player did in fact enter through legal means and has the paperwork to prove it.

ACC Players May Get Opportunities
In the wake of last night’s NBA draft, several players from North Carolina schools were on the outside looking in. Wake Forest guard Justin Gray went undrafted, as did his teammate forward Eric Williams. In addition, UNC Charlotte forward Curtis Withers was left off the list. For two out of the three, there’s still hope their future could be in Carolina. Before the draft, the Bobcats told Withers that if he wanted it, there would be a spot for him on their summer league team. Charlotte has also expressed interest in Gray, possibly to bring him in as the team’s third point guard, who could one day serve as the backup to starter Raymond Felton.

Two More Hurricanes To Try Free Agency
The changes keep coming for the Carolina Hurricanes. Two more members of the team have announced they plan to test the free agent waters this summer. The contracts for Matt Cullen and Aaron Ward are set to expire this Saturday, when the new business year officially starts in the NHL. Both said they’re interested in returning and the team wants them back, however some other things could be in play. The 29-yr-old Cullen is also considering a potential deal with the Minnesota Wild, who play in his home state, after a season where he scored a career high 25 goals. Meanwhile the 33-yr-old Ward has been linked to the Detroit Red Wings, who he played for earlier in his career.

Around the NASCAR circuit, one team has been locked up for a few years. Jimmy Elledge agreed to a contract extension with Chip Ganassi Racing, extending his tour of duty on the No. 41 Dodge, driven by Reed Sorenson. Ganassi said that Elledge has been a key part in developing the organization’s young drivers and believed that assistance should be rewarded.


News & Sports For June 29th

State Health Director Wants Wilkes Smoke Free
If North Carolina’s health director has her way, all Wilkes County businesses could be smoke free by next year. Dr. Leah Devlin is calling for all businesses across the state to ban smoking inside their respective buildings. Devlin’s call comes after a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General was released on Tuesday. It found that nonsmokers who were exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of heart disease by up to 30% and their risk of developing lung cancer also goes up to 30%. That could cause problems here in North Carolina, where an estimated 23% of all adults smoke and 43% of the entire population is exposed to secondhand smoke. Already across the state, 39 hospitals are completely smoke free, including Wilkes Regional. Dr. Devlin also wants people to know that North Carolina has a program to help people quit, which you can learn about at or by calling 1-800-784-8669.

Local Woman Falls Prey To Forgers
A Boomer woman got a call from her bank earlier this week, as several suspicious checks had come in that supposedly she had signed for. When she went to take a look at her account, the woman noticed that several of her checks had gone missing. The two people who were attempting to cash the checks had apparently done some home repairs for the woman in recent days and that’s when it’s believed they took the checks. The account was closed and information was turned over to sheriff’s deputies. That investigation continues.

Wilkes County Bridges In Need Of Repair
Wilkes County bridges could use a facelift. That’s according to AAA of the Carolinas, who released their annual list of the most dangerous bridges in the state. Wilkes County had four rank in the Top 650. The bridge over Reddies River on US 421 Business came in at #231, while the one over Mulberry Creek on Hwy 268 fell right behind at #305. The bridge over Cub Creek on State Road 1001 was also labeled as hazardous, being ranked #381 worst in the state. And finally coming in at #644 was the bridge over Bugaboo Creek on Hwy 268. In general, bridges across the state are in worse shape now than in January of 2005. Last year, 30.5% of all bridges in NC were labeled as substandard or dangerous. In 2006, that number has increased to 31.2%. Money for bridge repair comes out of the state’s highway trust fund, which has been raided in recent years by lawmakers. Money that was supposed to go for replacing roads and bridges has instead been used on pet projects, to the tune of $250 million being taken out each year.

Focus On The Family
As we near the midpoint of election season, who’s looking out for issues affecting the family? Here in North Carolina, the Family Policy Council is dedicated to doing just that. Coming up on today's Focus on the Foothills, Brian will be interviewing John Rustin, the Director of Government Relations for the FPC. They'll be discussing where North Carolina stands in regards to certain issues such as gay marriage, the lottery and where funds are being directed in the state budget. They’ll also be talking about how people can get involved and help make a difference in each of these issues. That’s coming up today at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

All This Just To Watch TV
Thieves broke into a Traphill woman’s home earlier this week, running off with a DVD Player and a television. The incident happened sometime early Monday morning on the Traphill Ridge Road. However despite the theft, there was no sign of a break-in and no damage done to the property itself. Neighbors were able to give deputies a potential suspect, as it’s believed the thief had a key and walked right in. That investigation is ongoing.

Mentor Training Today
Currently just over 60 kids are on a waiting list at Communities in Schools, as the need for a mentor is greater than the supply. If you have a few extra hours in the week and want to make a difference in a child’s life, a volunteer training session is being held today. The session will last just one hour, from 12 noon til 1pm at the Communities in Schools office. If you’re interested in signing up or just want more information, you can give them a call at 651-7830 extension #21. The Communities in Schools office is now located at 613 Cherry Street in what used to be the old Lowes complex.

Golf Tournament To Benefit Respite Care
For all you golfers out there, how would you like to play the game you love and help a good cause at the same time? Coming up later today, a golf tournament will be held at Stone Mountain Golf Club, with the first prize winner walking away with 4 tickets to the Bank of America 500 at Lowes Motor Speedway. It costs $50 per person to enter and all the proceeds from today’s event will go to benefit Respite Care of Wilkes. The starting time is set for 1pm this afternoon with a free lunch provided beginning at 11:30am. All you have to do to sign up is pull in at the Stone Mountain Golf Club’s Pro Shop and they’ll be able to get things squared away.

Baby Teethers Recalled
Before you give that teether to your baby, there’s some news you need to hear. A recall has been ordered of five different styles of teethers, put out by The First Years Inc. 500,000 of the teethers have been called back due to a possible contamination of bacteria inside. The company has learned that in several liquid filled teethers, the bacterias aeruginosa and putida can be found. If somehow the teether gets punctured and a baby ingests the liquid, that can cause serious illness. The recall involves all Disney Days of Hunny Soft Cool Ring Teethers, all Disney Soft Cool Ring Teethers, the Sesame Beginnings Chill and Chew Teether, the First Years Cool Animal Teether and the First Years Floating Friends Teether. A hotline has been set up to get more information at 1-866-725-4407. You can also get information from the company’s website at

Dog Stolen From Purlear Home
A Purlear woman came home on Monday to find that her dog had been stolen. The incident happened on the Dockery Road, as witnesses told deputies that the thief walked right into the back yard, unchained the dog and carried it off. The name of the suspect along with a location where he lives was given over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation continues.

State News

State Lawmaker To Resign
One North Carolina lawmaker plans to give up his seat in the midst of controversy. Durham Representative Paul Miller gave House Speaker Jim Black his official letter of resignation last Friday, but offered no explanation as to why he was quitting. Miller stands accused of mail fraud, after being arrested earlier this month by federal authorities. He’s believed to have sent the U.S. Department of Education fake checks which he tried to pass off as proof that he had repaid over $20,000 in student loans. Larry Hall, the Democratic nominee for Miller’s seat in the upcoming elections, is expected to be the party’s recommended choice to take over for the remainder of the term.

Evidence In Massive Drug Bust Burns
Sheriff’s deputies in Wake County recently found an abandoned 18-wheel truck just off US 64. The keys were still in the ignition and the engine was running, but no driver could be found. Once they looked inside, deputies found over one ton of marijuana along with 25 pounds of cocaine. The sheriff’s department has since incinerated most of the drugs involved and are continuing the investigation to find the missing driver.

NC State To Pay For Toxic Dump
NC State is going to have to spend millions of dollars over the next few years to clean up one of their mistakes. Between 1969 and 1980, the university’s agriculture and science labs dumped acids, dead animals which contain radioactive waste and chemicals into a 1.5 acre site near the school. Over time that site has become one of the most polluted areas in the United States, with contaminated water seeping into the nearby Richland Creek. Cleanup was supposed to begin 10 years ago, but State requested time to prove to the EPA that the chemicals would dissolve on their own. That plan failed and so now university officials have to fork out money for 17 extraction wells on the site, which will be used to pump out the tainted water and clean up the toxins. All total the cleanup is expected to cost $3.8 million and could take up to 30 years to finish.

Jacksonville Residents No Longer At Risk
The rainfall earlier this week proved to be both a blessing and a curse for residents in Jacksonville North Carolina. While the local crops needed the water, heavy rains damaged a privately owned dam in the area and led to some residents being evacuated. The road near the dam’s spillway was washed out by the water and officials Tuesday morning started warning people to consider evacuating just in case the dam should collapse. Now after two days of sun, the danger has passed and people are being welcomed back in. Jacksonville officials said their main focus now is to work on repairing the damage left behind, estimated to be in the millions.

Jobs Coming To Guilford County
More jobs will be coming to Guilford County over the next three years, as a sports equipment company plans to move in. Legacy Paddlesports, makers of kayaks and canoes, will bring with it 244 jobs when the company’s new plant is built. The move comes thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from North Carolina and company officials said that the state’s well trained workforce was another major factor in the decision. Construction is expected to begin on the plant within the next two months.

Sports Headlines

NC State Lands Another Recruit
Another day and another recruit in the fold for the NC State football team. Henry Lawson, a 6’3 ft. 290 lb. junior from Charlotte Catholic High School has committed to the team. The offensive lineman was a key part of a Charlotte Catholic squad that has a 32 game winning streak heading into next season and State coaches believe he could possibly compete for a starting job as a freshman. Lawson turned down offers from Wake Forest and Boston College to join the Wolfpack, who have locked up seven recruits for their 2007 class from North Carolina. Last year they had just six.

Winthrop Coach Changes Schools
In college basketball, Winthrop’s streak of making it to the NCAA postseason tournament might be ending. Head coach Gregg Marshall announced this week that he’ll be leaving, to take the coaching job at College of Charleston. Over his eight year career at Winthrop, Marshall built the Eagles into a contender, putting together 165 wins and six appearances in the NCAA tournament. Now Marshall will return to the school where he began his coaching career, looking to improve on the Cougars’ 18-10 record last season.

Bobcats Select
With the third pick in last night’s NBA draft, the Charlotte Bobcats chose Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison. The 6’8 ft. junior averaged 28 points a game last season and earned the nickname “Ammo” for his ability to hit shots from anywhere. In the second round, Charlotte went for a defensive presence by choosing UCLA center Ryan Hollins. The 7 ft. Hollins is a shot blocker and rebounder who was a big part of the Bruins’ run to the title game last season.

ACC Players Picked Up In The Draft
There were also several ACC players picked up in yesterday’s draft. Duke’s Shelton Williams went with the 5th pick to the Atlanta Hawks while his teammate J.J. Redick was chosen with the 11th pick by Orlando. NC State’s Cedric Simmons found a home with the New Orleans Hornets, who drafted him 15th. And in the second round, UNC Tarheel forward David Noel went to Milwaukee with the 39th pick.

Hurricanes Continue To Make Changes
Some changes will be coming for the Carolina Hurricanes next season. The team will be losing backup goalie Martin Gerber, who told the Canes that he plans to test the free agent market, in pursuit of a starting job and also a raise. As a starter this season with Carolina, the 31-yr-old Gerber went 38-14, but was replaced by Cam Ward after a poor performance in the playoffs. Ward would go on to win the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup finals.


News & Sports For June 28th

Changes Approved For Wilkes County Schools
There will be some more changes coming for Wilkes County schools this fall. The Board of Education met on Tuesday afternoon and approved some more personnel changes for next year. Rebecca Mastin will be taking over as principal for Moravian Falls Elementary. For the middle schools, there will be several new faces taking over as well. Sharon Shoupe becomes the new assistant principal at East Middle, assuming the role formerly held by Cynthia Altmueller, who left to become the principal at West Middle School. Speaking of West Middle, Ramona Hemric is the new assistant principal, taking the job of Wesley Wood. Mr. Wood left to take the assistant principal’s job at North High. At Central Wilkes Middle School, Stephanie Williams steps in as the new assistant principal. In addition, Katherine Cater will be the new assistant principal at East High. She takes over for Eric Barker, who left to become principal at Ronda Clingman. And finally Terri Wilson is the new assistant principal at West High. All of these changes will take effect in the fall.

Stuff The Bus Program Begins July 1st
The annual Stuff The Bus program will get underway this Saturday, helping to provide needy kids with supplies for school. There are several locations around the Wilkes County area for you to drop off supplies this year. There will be buses at Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off supplies at Dollar General, Super 10 and the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at 651-7830. And once again that program kicks off in three days on July 1st.

Just Trying To Keep Cool
Some thieves broke into a building on the Rock Creek Church Road this week, apparently just trying to keep cool. They ran off with the homeowner’s air conditioner, along with 50 VHS movies, 20 books and several small tools. An estimated total of everything stolen came out to be $1065. There is a suspect in the theft, as a man was seen hanging around the property by witnesses. That investigation is ongoing.

Focus On The Family
As we near the midpoint of election season, who’s looking out for issues affecting the family? Here in North Carolina, the Family Policy Council is dedicated to doing just that. Coming up on Thursday's Focus on the Foothills, Brian will be talking with John Rustin, the Council's Director of Government Relations. They'll be discussing where North Carolina stands in regards to certain issues such as gay marriage, the lottery and where funds are being directed in the state budget. They’ll also be talking about how people can get involved and help make a different in each of these issues. That’s coming up tomorrow at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Thieves Drill In To Get What They Want
A man came out to check on his vacation home this week, only to find that someone had beaten him there. Thieves had drilled into a sliding glass door on the property, located on the Brushy Mountain Road, pulling the door off track and walking right in. Everything but the kitchen sink was taken from inside, including furniture, several tools and even some of the wall fixtures. Despite the massive theft, no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anyone near the property. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

3WC Healthwatch: Better Living Through Venom
Scientists may have found a way to cure brain cancer, as we explain in today’s 3WC Healthwatch. The Henry Ford Health System is conducting a series of tests using a treatment derived from scorpion venom. In the procedure, doctors flood the venom with low level radiation and then inject it into a patient’s bloodstream. Once the mixture comes in contract with a tumor, it kills the cancer cells. Reports of the trials have been released this week at the Health Physics Society meeting in Rhode Island, with doctors claiming that the treatment is showing promising signs of working. Officials say however that it’s too early to determine if the venom can be used as a cure.

Keys Stolen From Local Residence
Some thieves were kind enough to return part of what they had stolen from a local residence this week. Last month, residents of the home on Greenhorn Road had lost their keys outside. Monday afternoon, they returned to find the keys on the kitchen counter, although some of them were still missing. A house key and a four wheeler key had been taken from the set. Aside from that, several things had been moved around inside but nothing else was taken. That investigation continues.

Car Stolen From Traphill Residence

Thieves took off with a Traphill man’s car earlier this week. On Sunday, he had parked the vehicle at a house belonging to his girlfriend’s aunt and left. When he returned on Monday, the vehicle was gone with a witness telling about a tow truck that had pulled up to the truck and carted it off. Deputies tracked down the wrecker driver, who said that he had been hired to tow the truck away from the house. The owner of the house told deputies she had nothing to do with the towing, however there is a suspect in the case and the investigation continues.

Regional News

Watauga Sheriff Facing Additional Lawsuit
More accusations are coming out against current Watauga County Sheriff Mark Shook, as he’s become the target of yet another lawsuit. On Friday of last week Patricia Shook filed suit against the sheriff, claiming that she lost her job because she complained about sexual comments he made toward other female workers. Shook worked as the chief of communications for Watauga and also claimed that she was told her job would be on the line if she kept complaining about another worker’s poor performance. This comes in the wake of another lawsuit, filed back on June 13th by former chief deputy Paula Townsend, who accused the sheriff of firing her after she turned down his request for a date.

State News

Storm System Could Cause Problems
A storm system just off the North Carolina coast could potentially spell trouble later on this week. The National Hurricane Center is watching a low pressure system that’s about 90 miles south of Cape Fear and drifting towards North Carolina. Officials say that the conditions exist for the system to become a tropical depression at any minute. Even if the system doesn’t turn into a tropical storm, the National Weather Service says to expect periods of heavy rain and wind over the next two days.

Jobs On The Way To Davie County
There’s some good news for people in Davie County as more jobs could be on the way. County officials have been alerted about a manufacturing company who wants to move into the area, there’s just one catch. In order for the town of Mocksville to land the business, they and the county have to put up at least $100,000 in economic incentives. A public hearing will be held in the county to discuss the issue on July 10th, but until then officials aren’t releasing the name of the business. Over 100 new jobs would come into the area with the new company if the incentives are approved.

Fayetteville Standoff Leads To Arrest
A standoff that lasted for several hours in Fayetteville finally came to a close yesterday afternoon. Cumberland County officials had been searching for 29-yr-old Kennard Meshawn Fisher, who was wanted on robbery, kidnapping and drug charges. They found Fisher inside a trailer at a mobile home park off of Highway 301, armed and refusing to come out. Also inside the home were several of Fisher’s family members. Eventually they helped convince him to give up and turn himself over to deputies, who took him in peacefully. Fisher now faces charges of maintaining a dwelling for the sale of drugs, robbery, first degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

Son Arrested After Duke Athletic Director’s Boating Accident
The son of Duke University’s athletic director is facing charges today after an accident that injured his father. Athletic director Joe Alleva (Ah-Leev-ah) was out with his son on Hyco Lake when the boat they were in ran aground on some rocks. The athletic director had to be taken to Person Memorial Hospital to be treated for a head injury, while his son was asked to and refused to take a breathalyzer test. 27-yr-old Joseph David Alleva was driving the boat and officials have charged him with operating a motorboat while impaired. Joe Alleva has since been released from the hospital and is expected back at work this week.

New Commander Takes Over NC Marines
North Carolina’s Marines will soon have a new general in command. Major General Keith Stadler has been nominated for a promotion to lieutenant general and with that comes an assignment to lead the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, stationed at Camp Lejeune. Stadler will come over from Quantico Virginia, where he currently serves as commander of the Marine Training and Education Command. He’ll be taking over from Lieutenant General James Amos, who is being reappointed to a position at Marine headquarters in Washington.

Sports Headlines

49ers Building New Stadium
Another stadium is getting set to go up in the Charlotte area, this time for a local university. UNC Charlotte has announced plans to completely overhaul their baseball facilities, putting $5.9 million into the project that officials say will be one of the best baseball stadiums in the entire Southeastern United States. The new 1,000 seat stadium will hold a press box for both radio and television, brand new dugouts, hospitality suites and a picnic area near the right field foul line. Construction starts this coming August and Hayes Stadium is expected to be finished by the time the season starts next spring.

State Lands Another Football Prospect
The NC State football team added another piece to the puzzle this week, as defensive tackle Justin Whaley committed to the school. Whaley, a 6’4 ft. 260 lb. junior from Wilson Hunt High School in North Carolina, told reporters that this was a dream come true as he’s been a Wolfpack fan all his life. State coaches want to utilize Whaley’s size and have him play on both sides of the ball, working on the offensive line as well. The commitment is State’s sixth for 2007.

Panthers Reset Their Return Game
In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers are planning to make some changes for the upcoming season. Wanting to protect wide receiver Steve Smith from injury, the team is pulling him from doing kick returns. Instead, rookie tailback Deangelo Williams has been getting most of the reps as a member of the return team, along with cornerback Chris Gamble. Williams actually volunteered for the job, as he wanted to be used wherever he could help the team.

NBA Draft Coming Up Tonight
In the NBA, the clock is counting down for several former ACC players, as they wait to see who will take them in tonight’s draft. Duke’s Shelton Williams is expected to be a top five pick while his former teammate J.J. Reddick is also projected to go in the top ten. Meanwhile NC State’s Cedric Simmons is also expected to be a first round choice. Also some other ACC players are on the bubble, waiting to see if they’ll be picked up in round two. Wake Forest’s Eric Williams, his teammate Justin Gray, UNC Tarheel David Noel and UNC Charlotte’s Curtis Withers are all in the mix as the draft tips off tonight at 7pm.

Hurricanes Offer Contracts To Free Agents
On the ice, the Carolina Hurricanes are taking steps to bring back their team for another shot at the title. The team’s five free agents were all given qualifying offers on Monday, that had a 10% raise attached from this year’s salary. Eric Staal, Erik Cole, Justin Williams, Mike Commodore and Chad LaRose will all see their contracts expire on June 30th, but under the current labor agreement, they can’t accept the terms until July 1st as they won’t technically be free agents before then. Also by extending the offer, Carolina is allowed to match any contract the players might get from other teams on the free agent market.

Hunting To Become An Official Sport
For all you hunters out there, it might be time to get out that rifle and start practicing. The World Hunting Association has announced plans to create a competitive hunting tour starting this fall. Over $500,000 would be up for grabs in the tournament, which would take hunters around the world in competition. During the tournament hunters will use tranquilizers to shoot white tailed deer and other animals, beginning with the first competition this fall at the Lost Arrow Ranch in Michigan. An official date for the competition has yet to be set.