NC Gov. Bev Perdue Thursday announced a sweeping proposal to restructure state government from 14 high-level functions to eight, marking the most significant change to North Carolina government in 30 years. Perdue proposed a four-step plan to better position state government for fiscal responsibility and an economic recovery. Step 1: Consolidate, and Privatize several departments into one. Step 2: Eliminate As a result of the structural consolidation, Perdue’s plan includes eliminating “back office functions” such as human resources, purchasing, training and administration. Specifics about these cuts, including the dollars saved, will be detailed in the governor’s budget. Step 3: Freeze Gov. Perdue called for a hiring freeze of non-critical positions in all of her cabinet agencies and asked Council of State and other agencies to do the same. And Step 4: Review Boards and Commissions She asks the General Assembly sign off on those that are justifiably needed. More than 400 boards and commissions exist, with over 4,000 appointees, and more than half of those receive support from state-funded agencies. Gov Perdue said, “We have the will – and the guts – and the resolve to do whatever it takes. We will set government straight and we will get it right. And North Carolina, our people, and especially our children, will be better for it.”
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A man was found dead at the Wilkes County Jail this week. According to Capt David Carsons of the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department, 31-year-old Billy Jack Deskins was found dead in his bunk by another inmate about 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. The inmate alerted jailers who called 911. Deskins was pronounced dead at the jail. Capt Carsons says the preliminary medical report shows no signs of obvious trauma, so Deskins’ body has been sent to Baptist Hospital for an autopsy. Deskins was only serving a 9 to 11 month sentence for probation violation, failure to appear, and non-support. He was allowed from time to time to work as a trustee doing some janitorial duties at the Sheriff’s Office. Deskins was not in with the general population. He was in a cell alone at the time of his death. Carsons says it could take months before the final autopsy results are received.
What started out as shoplifting ended up with drug possession. Wilkes County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the IGA on Hwy 268 recently regarding shoplifting. When the deputy arrived he found a woman in the store with a box of Pop Tarts under her coat. The woman was escorted to the front of the store where she was asked for consent to search her handbag. The deputy then found a syringe and a metal spoon. The woman was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Maybe it’s the poor state of the economy or just the time of year, but the shoplifting reports are steadily coming in at the Wilkesboro Police Department. Tuesday evening police were called to WalMart in reference to a shoplifter. The Loss Prevention Officer at the store told police that he saw a woman conceal four children’s watches and a large box of Goody powders before attempting to walk out the door without paying. The woman was arrested and transported to the Wilkes County Intake Center but was later released on a 500 secured bond.
Again maybe it’s the poor state of the economy or just the time of year, but the domestic disturbance reports are also coming in fairly regularly to the Wilkesboro Police Department. Just this week, there have been at least 3 different reports. In the first, a man and woman who got into an argument near Lowes Motel. Police were called when someone at the motel heard the woman calling for help. The officer offered to transport to woman to the SAFE House but she refused. Police did give her a domestic violence packet. Police were called out to a residence in town. A man and wife were fighting. Reportedly, the man had taken a large amount of pain medication over the course of the day and had begun acting in a threatening manner. The woman said she feared for her safety and that of the children in the house. The man agreed to go stay with other family members and again the woman was given a domestic violence packet. And then police were called to another local residence where a man and woman were fighting. Each had broken objects in the home but had not physically hurt each other. Both refused to leave and there were no visible signs of physical injuries, so the police gave the man and the woman a domestic violence packet. Sometimes domestic disturbances can escalate into dangerous and evenly deadly situations. It was just a few weeks ago on November 22 in Roaring River that a father and son argument ended with the son murdering his father. There is a domestic violence shelter in Wilkes called SAFE. It is a 14 bed facility providing 24 hour shelter to victims of domestic violence. You can call the SAFE crisis line anytime at 838-SAFE.
An autopsy has been ordered for yet another in Wilkes found dead in their home. Bernice Pennington was found in her home by her son and sister on Monday. Pennington did have several medical conditions and was on medication. The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department was called to the scene to investigate. The Wilkes Medical Examiner ordered that the body be sent to Baptist Hospital for an autopsy.
An employee of A.T. Nichols apparently foiled the plans of some robbers. When an AT Nichols employee arrived to work early Tuesday morning, he saw an unknown vehicle out front and got a tag number. The employee then went around behind the building to get his truck ready for work that day. That’s when he heard the unknown vehicle crank up and leave at a high rate of speed. When the employee went back to the front, he saw that the roll up door was partially open and that a gun safe had been moved to the front door. The owner arrived and verified that a pistol had been stolen. There is a suspect in this break-in and charges are pending.
Recently I had a conversation with Congresswoman Foxx during 3WC’s Focus on the Foothills program. Foxx says that the Republicans will have a laser focus in January for jobs. She stated that the government cannot create jobs but that they can create an environment for job growth in this country. Foxx says for example, the President should not have waited to the last minute at the end of the year to try and tackle the tax cuts expiring which would cause the largest tax increase in history. The complete podcast of our conversation can be heard at hometownchristianradio.com
Christmas is coming to the capitol in North Carolina. Gov. Bev Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves will participate in the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Dec.9 on the south side of the Capitol grounds. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with musical entertainment. The governor and first gentleman will hang wreaths on the Capitol’s south doors to begin the official tree lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Following the ceremony, there will be a holiday festival featuring musical groups, children’s activities, food, community mascots and Santa Claus at the Capitol. There will also be exhibits and activities for the children at the N.C. museums of History and Natural Science. The Capitol will also host holiday open houses featuring local performing groups from Thursday, Dec. 9, through Sunday, Dec. 12. Contact the state Capitol at 919-733-4994 for more information about self-guided tours.
They did break into the car and tried to break into the outbuilding but nothing was stolen. In a report filed with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department, a North Wilkesboro man stated that someone broke into his car that was parked in his driveway and went through his wife’s pocketbook. Someone had also attempted to gain entry into an outbuilding by damaging a lock on the door. However, entrance was obtained into the building and nothing was reported stolen from the vehicle or the outbuilding.