Wilkes Unemployment Paints A Confusing Picture
The new unemployment figures for Wilkes County paint a classic case of good news/bad news. Unemployment dropped by the end of September, coming in at 5.4%. That's down from 5.8% at the end of August. However with the lowered unemployment comes a sign that more people are leaving the county. In August, the workforce here in Wilkes was listed at 32,504 people. By September, that number had dropped to 32110, meaning that 394 people had left the workforce and the county in search of a job somewhere else. Also out of that reduced workforce, fewer people are employed. In August, 30631 people had a job here in the county. Now that number has fallen to 30381, a difference of 250 people. By comparison, over in Caldwell County there are currently 38,117 people working and more coming in, with the workforce growing to 41669 as of the end of September.
Wilkes County Off The Hook For Teacher Raises
In October, 3WC News told you about the teacher pay raise which Gov. Easley approved. However at the time, there were questions being raised as to how local governments would be able to pay for the raises, without any increase in funds. Also at the time, state officials said that it would be up to the counties to provide that extra money. Now several weeks later, the Department of Public Instruction has released information saying that North Carolina will cover portions of the cost for this year's raises, giving each county $7 million to spend. When the full raise of 5% kicks in next fall, the state budget will have $150 million set aside for the project. Governor Easley's office said that a communications mixup was to blame for the confusion.
Red Cross Looking For Fundraising Help
The Red Cross finds itself in need of help as we enter the month of November. The local chapter continues to sell cookbooks, to help raise the money it needs to cover costs of daily operations, in addition to the funds used to help victims of the recent hurricanes. The cost of a cookbook is $10 and it contains recipes from chapter members along with their family and friends. For more information or to purchase one, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.
Wreck Just Off Cabin Creek Road Injures Local Man
A wreck just off Cabin Creek Road earlier this week injured a local man. The 21-yr-old was driving an all-terrain vehicle when he lost control and wrecked, in the woods near Cabin Creek. His injuries were bad enough that EMS contacted Baptist Hospital and the man was flown there to receive treatment. An update on his condition as well as the man's name were not available.
Focus On The Kitchen
When people can’t afford to buy food here in Wilkes, the Samaritan’s Kitchen lends a hand. The Kitchen, which has been in operation for over six years, is involved with several different programs throughout the week. As we get closer to Thanksgiving, the Kitchen finds itself in need of major support, both with food donations and volunteer help. If you can set aside thirty minutes or three hours, whatever you can spare, please contact Elizabeth Ferguson with Samaritan’s Kitchen. The number is 838-5331.
Pregnancy Center Needs Volunteers
As we start the month of November, the Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center finds itself in need of help. The Center is looking for volunteers however before someone can begin helping, they need to go through a training session. Coming up next week, there will be a three day session beginning November 10th and finishing Saturday November 12th. The sessions last for 2 ½ hours on Thursday and Friday, then wrap up with a three hour session on Saturday. For more information about what training involves or if you want to sign up, you can call the Center at 838-9272.
Focus On Hats
Women have to juggle a lot of different jobs, taking the role of cook, caretaker, banker and several others all to benefit their families. Coming up this Saturday, Fountain of Life Church wants to honor all the ladies with a special "Hats Off To Women" Service. Former Wilkes County resident and christian comedian Kim Coleman will be speaking at the event and she'll be Brian's guest this week for Focus on the Foothills as they'll be talking more about the event and also about Kim's own ministry as a Christian comedian. That's coming up later today at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.
Thieves Break Into Millers Creek Man's Vehicle
Sometimes even locking up isn't enough to protect your car from thieves. A Millers Creek man found that out earlier this week, after he got off work to find his car was damaged. Thieves had somehow managed to unlock the car, by using the partially opened passenger side window. After gaining access, they took 115 CDs from inside the vehicle, along with a portable CD player and the man's cell phone. The cell phone number and other information was given to Wilkesboro police and that investigation is ongoing.
Home Heating Series Pt.3
The things you don't do can be just as important when dealing with ways to heat your home. In part three of our Home Heating Series, we take a look at some things you might want to stay away from. First off, never use gasoline or starter fluid to ignite a fire in your fireplace. You'd be surprised how many people do that each year and cause a major blaze that puts the entire home at risk. Also fireplace chimneys commonly build up creosote, which is itself flammable. Be careful how much trash or paper you burn in your fireplace, as they are the number one cause of creosote buildup. Also be careful when using space heaters. They need to be kept on the floor, away from any combustible materials. Always unplug your heaters when going to bed or leaving the house and if you have a kerosene heater, never substitute gas or camp stove fuel. That could cause some serious problems you don't need. In tomorrow's final installment, carbon monoxide can be a major problem where furnaces and fireplaces are concerned. We'll take a look at some of the problems and offer some solutions.
Search Is On For Man In Alexander County
Officials are hunting for a man in Alexander County accused of being involved with at least 12 seperate break-ins. Donta Miller is wanted by sheriff's deputies for breaking into several mobile homes in the area and also burning down two of them in the process. He was supposed to turn himself in on Monday, but instead went on the run. Alexander County Sheriff's Deputies are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call at 828-632-4658.
Smoking To Possibly Cost More
Some bad news for smokers in North Carolina. Depending on where you work, it could cost more for you to smoke. Several companies in the state, including General Mills and Northwest Airlines, are raising the raises of their employees' health insurance. But only those who are identified as smokers will be seeing more taken out of their paycheck. Officials at several of the companies say they hope this plans will convince people to quit smoking.
Highway Patrol Asking For Help In Hit & Run
The Greensboro Highway Patrol is asking for help to locate a hit & run driver. Late Monday night, a man was hit while walking on the side of Business I-85 near the Groometown Road exit. Officials are still trying to identify him, as the man had no wallet or other form of ID on him. He was wearing a camouflage jacket, black pants, a hat and shoes and was hit by an early 1980s Jeep, either a Cherokee or a Comanche that had damage done to the right front side. Highway Patrol officers are asking anyone with information to call toll free to 1-800-445-8621.
Jobs Lost At Winston Plant
Bad news for workers in the Winston Salem area, as the Hanes company announced this week that it plans to lay off 144 workers at its' local plant. The Hanes Dye and Finishing plant will see its' workforce literally cut in half but company officials said they had no choice, citing the increasing number of cheaper textile imports coming here from overseas.
Take Your Junk To The Baseball Park
For anyone looking to get rid of those old electronics you don't use anymore, this Saturday might be a good day to do it. From 9am til 3pm, L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste And Electronics Collection. It's open to anyone, no matter where you live and any type of electronic equipment can be dropped off. The event is hosted by the Catawba County government with several different companies on hand to collect and dispose of the material. The only things not accepted at the event will be tires, any radioactive, biological, explosive or other form of truly hazardous waste. Once again that'll be going on at the L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the minor league Hickory Crawdads on Saturday from 9am til 3pm.
North Carolina Not A "Decent" Place To Work
According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, North Carolina isn't a "decent" place to work. A study was done of all fifty states, ranking them in regards to job opportunities, job quality and fairness in the workplace. Deleware was ranked number one, with New Hampshire second, Minnesota third and Vermont coming in fourth. North Carolina ranked 39th in job opportunities, and fairness in the workplace, while coming in 28th in regards to job quality. Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana were at the bottom of the list, with Louisiana dead last.
UNC Recievers Focus Of Concern
Concerns are being raised this week in Chapel Hill, after Tarheel wide recievers stumbled against Virginia and Boston College. Jesse Holley leads the Heels with 27 catches for 355 yards, that's more than double the production from anyone else on the roster. Combined, the other recievers, Jarwarski Pollock, Mike Mason, Wallace Wright and Derrele Mitchell have only caught 43 passes for 712 yards. That's an average of just 178 yards each. With the Tarheels needings wins in three out of their last four games just to qualify for a bowl bid, Coach John Bunting made that a focus of practice this week. The Heels will play at home against Boston College this Saturday.
Bad News Continues For UNC Charlotte
In college basketball, the bad news continues for UNC Charlotte as they get set for the season opener. The team will lose senior guard Marcus Bennett for about three weeks after he partially tore ligaments in his left thumb. Meanwhile four other members are also walking wounded. Guards Leemire Goldwire, De'Angelo Alexander and forwards E.J. Drayton and Courtney Williams, have all missed practice over the last few weeks. All five are expected to miss some, if not all of the preseason, including the BCA Invitational but plan to suit up for the home opener in Halton Arena Nov. 23rd.
East Carolina Names New Baseball Coach
A few weeks after suspending their baseball coach, East Carolina has found a replacement. Interim head coach Billy Godwin had the tag removed from his title this week, assuming full control of the Pirates' program. He'll be taking over for Randy Mazey, who was suspended from the team in October for unspecified reasons. Despite the suspension however, Mazey has yet to be officially fired. School officials said that they were impressed with Godwin's leadership since taking over.
Hurricanes' Staal Named Offensive Player Of The Month
For the first time since 1980, a member of the Carolina Hurricanes was named the NHL's offensive player of the month. 21-yr-old Eric Staal leads the league with 22 points so far in 11 games this year and was named the player of the month for October. Staal will put his six game scoring streak on the line later tonight when the Hurricanes play host to Toronto in Raleigh. So far this season, the 8-2 Hurricanes, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, are unbeaten at home.
Former Panther On List For Hall Of Fame
In the NFL, a former member of the Carolina Panthers is on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. Defensive end Reggie White, who suited up for the Panthers back in 2000, leads this year's list of former coaches and players. Also making it on the ballot was John Madden and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, among others on the list of over 25 names. The final 13 finalists will be announced later this year, with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony being held the day before Super Bowl 40, on Feburary 4th of 2006.