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News& Sports For June 21st

News & Sports For Tuesday June 21st 2005

EPA Releases Wilkes Drinking Water Report
On Monday, the EPA released this year’s drinking water report for the town of Wilkesboro, giving an idea of how clean the water is. Overall the news was good, as there were no violations or contaminations reported over the past year. However one area of concern for Wilkes is the fact the Yadkin River was also cited as being highly susceptible to contamination, meaning that while nothing has been reported yet, current use of the river and the area around it could potentially pose a threat down the road. The report is released every year to help monitor the effect of businesses and other things on the environment.

Drugs Found At Millers Creek Home
Sheriff’s deputies searched a Millers Creek house on Friday, after receiving a tip that drugs were being sold from the residence. The people inside refused to open the door, so deputies were forced to break it down and begin their search. Inside the house they found several grams of meth and marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia. 47-yr-old Susan Warden Godwin was arrested and charged with possession of drugs with the intent to sell & distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a home for the sale of drugs.

Be Careful Who You Let Inside
Be careful who you let inside your home. A North Wilkesboro man learned why that’s a good idea this week after falling victim to thieves at his house. The man had just returned home, taking time to empty out his wallet and other items on the table when someone he knew came to the door and asked to use the bathroom. The homeowner agreed and minutes later after the second man left, he noticed that both his wallet and other items were no longer on the table. Included in the theft was the man’s black wallet and all the items inside, along with $80 in cash. Deputies have charged 23-yr-old Justin Charles Haynes with the theft.

Salmonella On The Rise Across North Carolina
Yesterday 3WC News told you about a recall of certain shredded cheese packages here in North Carolina, as portions of the product had tested positive for salmonella. Now comes word from the Wilkes Health Department that on the whole, cases of salmonella are on the rise across the state. Already this year, the state’s Public Health Department has detected more cases than in the past three years combined. Here in Wilkes, there has been a slight increase as well. Right now, we’ve had 6 cases reported so far this year, up slightly from 2004 where we only had 14 cases reported period. Now there are however several quick and easy ways of making sure you don’t fall victim to the bacteria. First, don’t eat any raw eggs or anything that contains raw eggs. Also be sure not only to buy clean eggs, but also keep them refrigerated. Just take a look before buying to make sure there are no cracks, as bacteria can spread quickly once you get them out of the store and into your vehicle. And most important, always wash your hands and any equipment you’re using before and after you cook with eggs. For more information you can call the local Health Department at 651-7450.

Domino Effect Causes Wreck On Hwy 18
A simple case of follow the leader was to blame for a wreck that happened Sunday on Hwy 18. Three cars were involved in the accident, which caused an estimated $4800 worth of damage as one of the vehicles had to be towed away. A Purlear woman had apparently stopped at a median in the road and was attempting a U-turn, but the vehicles behind her couldn’t slow down in time. The third vehicle slammed into the second, creating a domino effect as two of out the three were totaled. The third driver, 22-yr-old Jose Garcia, was charged with failure to reduce speed and not having an operators’ license.

Local Business Falls Victim To Break-in
Thieves broke into a Wilkesboro business over the weekend, walking out with virtually everything but the kitchen sink. Someone pried open one of the doors to Queen’s Garage, removing the padlock and walking right in. Included in the theft were several air ratchets, drills, socket sets and other tools with a total value estimated at just over $2700. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Stuff The Bus Program Begins July 1st
The annual Stuff The Bus program will get underway this year on July 1st, helping to provide needy kids with the supplies they need 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 Amie Blevins at Communities in Schools. Her number is 651-7830 extension #23. And once again that program kicks off next Friday July 1st.

Hays Home Shot Up By Vandals
A Hays man returned home over the weekend to find that someone had been by while he was gone. Portions of his house were riddled with holes from a BB gun, causing over $200 worth of damage. There is a suspect in the case, as neighbors witnessed a local teen shooting off his gun in the area, although no one actually saw him fire at the home. The investigation is ongoing.

Gas Thieves Hit Several Wilkes Businesses

As the price for gas continues to climb, some people in Wilkes are deciding not to pay at the pump. Two businesses in the county were the latest victims of gas thieves over the weekend. A truck pulled up to the Fast Track in Millers Creek Sunday afternoon, the driver got out, pumped in $20 worth of gas and then took off down the road. Down the road in Hays, the same thing happened at the Grocery Bag as a vehicle pulled up and pumped just over $20 before taking off. Employees at both stores were able to get the vehicle’s license plate and turned it over to deputies, along with a description of both the driver and vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

Just Rode Off With The Evidence
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a residence in Union Grove over the weekend, after a local man returned to find himself the victim of a break-in. Thieves had apparently come up to the man’s home and stolen his dirtbike, also taking with them the man’s helmet as well. There was no sign of a break-in and also no damage done to the property. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

People Get Sick At Greensboro Food Lion
Early Monday morning, a Greensboro store’s cleanup crew accidentally put four people in the hospital. The crew working at a Greensboro Food Lion had been using a gas-powered pressure washer to clean up the store, however due to the building’s poor ventilation, the fumes didn’t leave. After a few minutes, they overwhelmed several other people inside, who had to be taken to the hospital and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Three of the people were later released, while the fourth remained in the hospital for treatment of an unknown condition. No other information was released to the public.

Arrest Made In Chicken Parts Case
Officials in the Mount Holly area closed the books on a case of chicken theft this week. Over a month ago, a trailer went missing from Colonial Freight with almost 2000 cases of Gold Kist chicken parts as cargo. Over the weekend, police arrested and charged Walter Hicks Petty after receiving phone calls from Petty’s neighbors informing them that the man was selling frozen chicken out of a trailer at his home. Despite the evidence, Petty says he’s not guilty of the theft, as another man dropped off the trailer at his home.

North Carolina Teaching Rules Under Question
The standards for prospective teachers in North Carolina may be getting a little tougher, if officials with the State Board of Education have their way. Currently North Carolina is one of four states across the nation that doesn’t require fingerprint data from teaching prospects as part of a criminal background check. The fingerprints are run against an FBI database that would put up a flag if there was any criminal activity in the applicant’s past. North Carolina’s policy instead leaves it up to individual school districts, to decide how strict or loose they want to be when performing background checks. This has led to concerns that any teacher with a criminal past would be able to locate a job in a state where their history wouldn’t be discovered, potentially leading to more law violations down the road. Several officials with the State Board of Education are now calling for the rules to be changed here in North Carolina, although that won’t happen for at least a few months if then.

Former Deserter Apologizes
Former Army deserter Charles Robert Jenkins is finishing up his visit to North Carolina, but before leaving, he held a press conference on Monday to apologize for his actions almost fifty years ago. The 65-yr-old Jenkins said he was sorry for letting his fellow soldiers down along with the government and everyone else that had trusted in him. Jenkins was referring to his desertion in 1965, when he sneaked across the DMZ and into North Korea. After that, he spent the next four decades teaching English and taking part in propaganda films for the communist country. Released last year by North Korea, Jenkins was extradited to the US from his home in Japan. Later court-martialed and sentenced to 25 days in jail, he served his time and spent a week in North Carolina, visiting family members before heading back to his home. Jenkins also talked about North Korean leader Kim Jong II, saying that he was an evil man who only cares about his personal luxury.

Escapee Caught In Gaston County
A man who had escaped from the Gaston County jail is back in custody today, after being turned in by a relative. 28-yr-old Clinton Rucker was set to be released in three months before escaping Saturday night. He managed to gain access to a minivan at the jail and took off after hours. After a relative called in local officials and alerted them to where he was, Rucker gave himself up. Now he’ll face additional charges of stealing a car and escaping from jail, to go along with the three months left on his original sentence.

Sports Headlines

American Legion Baseball Tonight
The Wilkes Post 31 Patriots will be back in action tonight as they get set for their final home game of the regular season. The Patriots will take on Mocksville, as they’ll lock up a spot in the playoffs with a win. A loss however could mean the end of their season so everything is on the line tonight and we’ll be bringing you all the action right here on 3WC. Ken Byrd will be at the field for the first pitch at 7pm and we’ll go on the air tonight at 6:45 with the pregame show.

Appalachian To Make Changes For Football
Around the college scene, some changes are in store for Appalachian State’s football schedule, as all the games will be moved this year to 3:30pm. The four home games, Sept. 17th against Coastal Carolina, Oct. 15th vs. Georgia Southern, Oct. 29th against Chattanooga and finally Nov. 12th vs. Western Carolina have all been bumped to the later time, giving people more time to make it out to ‘The Rock’ and hopefully cut down on some traffic jams and other problems.

Minor League Scoreboard
In the minor leagues last night, it was Winston Salem losing against Fredrick 10-6. The Keys roughed up Warthogs’ starter Wes Whisler, as he gave up five runs in five innings of work. Over his past four starts, Whisler’s ERA has ballooned to 17.06. One bright spot for the Warthogs was Robert Valido as he extended his hitting streak to 16 games. His teammate Leo Daigle is starting a streak of his own as well, having hit in 11 straight games.

Health Questions Hurt McCants
In the NBA, we’re a week away from the college draft and while the stock of some players has risen, others are in free fall. Rashad McCants seemed to be a lock as a first round pick not even a month ago, but recent workouts have called into question his health once again. During workouts with the Magic and several other teams, McCants couldn’t finish the drills because he kept getting sick. While most teams say they’ll be making judgements on his entire career and not just his current status, McCants has quietly slipped from being a potential lottery pick to a late first rounder or possibly even dropping into the second round. McCants is scheduled to work out with the Bobcats this week.


News & Sports For Monday June 20th 2005

Fire Last Week Declared To Be Arson
A fire in the Boomer area late last week has been ruled as arson, according to Wilkes Fire Marshals. Severe damage was done to the home, located on the Gunters Hill Road during the blaze on Wednesday and after some investigation, fire marshals believe it was intentionally set. They believe the arsonist used materials from within the home itself, which was unoccupied as it was being renovated by the owner. Over $30,000 worth of damage was done to the home in the fire and the investigation is ongoing.

Cell Phone Leads To Wreck On 268
Answering a call when you’re on the road can prove to be deadly. A Wilkesboro man found this out the hard way late last week when he was involved in a two car wreck on Hwy 268. The man had been trying to use his cell phone and wasn’t paying attention to the traffic ahead, which had come to a stop. He slammed into the vehicle in front of him, which was carrying a boat. The man’s car was totaled in the crash and over $3500 worth of damage was done to the boat he rammed.

Veterans To Be Honored Next Month
Plans are being finalized for the unveiling of the Veteran’s Brick Walk this summer. The event will take place on Saturday July 9th at the Veterans Walk, which will lead into the new Wilkes Heritage Museum. For anyone who bought a brick before the May 30th deadline, that veteran will be honored during the ceremony. There will also be a car show during the event, tours of the Old Wilkes Jail and Robert Cleveland Log Home and a special concert put on by the NC Army National Guard Band. Once again that will take place Saturday July 9th at the Old Wilkes Courthouse.

Music Lovers Break Into Hays Home
Thieves broke into a residence in Hays late last week, leaving with several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. The homeowner returned from a funeral to find his front door had been kicked in and several items stolen including a Marlin .22 rifle, a Guild Acoustic guitar and a red burgundy pouch. Deputies have several leads in the case and the investigation continues.

Cheese Packages Recalled
A recall has been announced here in Wilkes and across the state for a certain type of shredded cheese packages. The decision was handed down on Friday by the NC Dept. of Agriculture, as all one lb. packages of Queso El Nica shredded cheese were pulled from shelves. Samples of the cheese had tested positive for salmonella and while there have been no reports of sickness so far, the department decided not to take chances. Anyone who has bought the cheese is asked to return to to the store or throw it away. Salmonella poisoning can cause fever, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and in some severe cases, aneurysms or arthritis.

Owner Returns To Find Car Vandalized
A Wilkesboro man called sheriff’s deputies late last week after finding that someone had caused over $300 worth of damage to his car. The vehicle had been left at the man’s workplace and when he returned the next morning, vandals had sliced into the paint, leaving marks on both the right side and one of the doors. There are no suspects but deputies are continuing the investigation.

Roadside Assistance For Farmers
The Department of Agriculture has created a new program for farmers in the area, one that would help them market their products. The Roadside Farm Market program is designed to help farmers directly sell their fruits and vegetables to people who might otherwise buy the products at a store. Now for more information or to get involved with the program, you can contact Ross Williams at the NC Department of Agriculture. His number is 919-733-7887. Applications are also available at the Wilkes Cooperative Extension office.

Gas Thieves Hit Wilkesboro Business
Yet another business in Wilkes became the victim of gas thieves late last week. Someone pulled into the Fast Track on Hwy 421 in Wilkesboro, pumped $50 of gas in their vehicle and then drove off without paying. Employees in the store were able to get a description and turned that information over to Wilkesboro police. That investigation is ongoing.

Two Totaled In Curtis Bridge Wreck
A lack of concentration led to a wreck on the Curtis Bridge Road late last week. A North Wilkesboro couple were driving down the highway when suddenly a second car attempted to cut in front of them and make it into the parking lot of Northwestern Bank. He failed, instead leading to a wreck that totaled both vehicles and caused over $4500 worth of damage. The driver of the second vehicle later told police he hadn’t noticed the first vehicle when starting to turn.

Voting Continues For Gospel Music Awards
Voting continues to select the winners of this year’s Southern Gospel Music Awards, put out by online magazine In each category ten finalists are presented for voters to choose from and this year 3WC made the cut. As we announced last week, 3WC was named as a top ten finalist for Favorite Radio Station and morning show DJ John Wishon was selected as one of the Favorite Radio Personalities, in addition to making the list of Favorite Concert MCs. Now if you want to get involved and vote, you can log on to , click on Southern Gospel Music Awards 2005 and cast your ballot. All it takes is a working email address to be able to make your voice heard.

State News

North Carolina Employment Numbers Up
Good news today on the job market, as the latest employment figures were released this weekend. North Carolina saw unemployment across the state drop to 5.1% by the end of May, that’s down .2% from 5.3 in April. For the fifth straight month, employment rose in the state as over 16,345 people have been hired since April. All total in 2005, 76,371 new jobs have been created in North Carolina.

Filing Deadlines Not Extended
Despite requests to the contrary, the signup for this year’s tobacco buyout program will not be extended. Several farmers’ groups had asked for an extension, in order to reach people that they said hadn’t heard about the state’s deadline. Members of the Farm Service Agency decided however that sufficient time had been given to alert all farmers across North Carolina, as announcements have been made in the newspaper, radio and tv along with several community meetings. One of the concerns voiced by the groups was that officials had failed to contact local minorities.

Flight Delayed As US Air Experiences Problems
For those who have a fear of flying, US Airways didn’t do much to help alleviate it this weekend. Electrical and mechanical problems forced the airline to delay a flight heading out of Charlotte to Little Rock Arkansas on Saturday. Local firefighters were called out to help put out a fire in the plane’s cockpit, a situation that was caused due to problems with the air conditioning. Passengers were just getting set to board when officials noticed the cockpit was smoking and announced the delays.

Asheville Man Arrested For Fraud
An Asheville man must pay out over $1.8 million to his victims after being found guilty of computer fraud. 44-yr-old Todd Wilson Short will also spend the next 10 years in prison after being sentenced on Friday. Short ran a business that offered laptop computers for sale via internet auctions, much like Ebay. Would be customers paid the money after winning but never got the merchandise. Over 250 people were taken in by the scam before Short was discovered and arrested. Short’s defense was that he’s mentally ill and believed he was working for the CIA.

Sports Headlines

American Legion Ball
It was a rough weekend for the Wilkes Post 31 Patriots, as the team saw their playoff chances take a major hit with their loss to Lexington. The Patriots fell 6-1 on Saturday night and in doing so, fell back into the eighth spot in the conference, just barely ahead of last place East Rowan. One more Patriots loss this week and their chance at a playoff spot will be non existent.

UNC Tarheels Sign Another Football Recruit
Several days after losing part of their backfield to injury, the Tarheel football team may have found his future replacement. Shaun Draughn, a 6 ft. 195 lb running back at Tarboro High School has announced his decision to commit to Chapel Hill. The rising senior made his decision after being offered a scholarship from Coach Bunting during a summer football camp Draughn attended this month. Draughn is also a versatile talent, able to play runningback, linebacker, cornerback, safety, return kicks and also saw some time at quarterback. This past year Draughn rushed for over a thousand yards and scored 25 touchdowns, while also passing for five more.

Around The Minor Leagues
Taking a look at the minor league scoreboard from Sunday, it was the Winston Salem Warthogs beating Wilmington 6-3. Daniel Haigwood got the win for the Warthogs, giving up only two hits while striking out 11 in six innings of work. Warthog Robert Valido also continued his 15 game hitting streak, while teammate Leo Daigle got his league leading 80th RBI.

Panthers Sign Last Free Agent
In NFL news, the Carolina Panthers took care of business this weekend by signing the last of their free agents. Fullback Casey Cramer, the last exclusive rights free agent held over from last season, signed a one year deal to return to Carolina, worth $305,000. Cramer was signed from the Tennessee Titans practice squad late in the season and went on to contribute as both part of the offense and also on special teams. Now the team can focus on signing the last of its’ draft picks, including first rounder Thomas Davis.

Biffle Wins At Michigan
Greg Biffle took the checkered flag Sunday for the Batman Begins 500, his fifth win of the season. Tony Stewart was second, Mark Martin third, Matt Kenseth fourth and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. Points leader Jimmie Johnson finished out of the top ten, finishing 19th and now only leading Biffle by 49 points heading into next weekend’s race.

Turkey Call Sold For Thousands
For anyone that has a turkey call put away in some part of the house, it might be a good idea to pull that out and dust it off. A hunter in Charlotte sold a turkey call at auction recently for $55,000, the highest price ever paid, according to experts in North Carolina. The equipment in question was known as a “trumpet yelper”, an eight inch long antique made of wood, a turkey’s wingbone and the shell from a .30 caliber bullet.


News For June 17th

News For Friday June 17th 2005

National Guard Soldiers To Ship Out
Some soldiers from the Wilkes County area will be shipping out to Iraq later on this year. Company A of the National Guard’s 505th Engineering Battalion has received orders for a one year tour of duty overseas, beginning later this fall. Current plans have the unit shipping out for two months of advanced mobilization and force protection training in August. Once that’s complete the company, which includes several members from both the North Wilkesboro and Boomer areas, will be making the trip overseas. Once in Iraq, the unit will be helping to repair the Iraqi infrastructure by repairing roads, fixing bridges and building schools along with other duties.

Came In To Have A Look Around
Thieves broke into a Millers Creek man’s storage building earlier this week, but apparently didn’t find what they were looking for. After breaking the padlock outside, the would be thieves came in, looked around and left without touching anything. Nothing inside was damaged or disturbed, according to the building’s owner. There are no suspects but deputies are continuing the investigation.

Safekids Event Today
Throughout Wilkes County, around 85% of child safety seats are not installed or used properly. While this is slightly lower than the average throughout the state, it’s still high enough for concern. To help out local families, the Wilkes chapter of Safekids will be holding a safety checkpoint later today at Wal-Mart, from 2-4pm.

Wednesday Wreck Totals Two
A wreck Wednesday afternoon in Wilkesboro totaled two vehicles and caused over $3000 worth of damage. The incident happened on East Main Street, as a Roaring River teen failed to see the vehicle in front of her stop at a traffic light. Instead she plowed directly into the back of the car, causing over a thousand dollars worth of damage while totaling her own vehicle as well. No one was injured in the wreck.

Tobacco Deadline Today
Today is the last day that tobacco farmers here in the area can apply for the government’s buyout program. Under that plan, all tobacco growers will receive $3 for each pound of their crop grown from 2002-2004, then starting in 2006 payments will continue on a yearly basis. $3.9 billion has been allocated for farmers in North Carolina and as of Thursday state officials estimated that just over 90% of growers have signed up. If you are one of those 10% who still haven’t, you can do so by going to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency and filling out the paperwork today. To set up an appointment you can call the agency at 838-3622 extension #2.

Boat Stolen From North Wilkesboro Residence
Why would you only steal parts of a boat and not the whole thing? That’s what a North Wilkesboro man is asking today, after coming home this week to find that someone had stolen his sailboat. Actually the thieves had left behind the mast boom and also the rudder, but the rest of the ship had been carried off, in addition to the man’s trailer that had been used to carry it around. Despite the size of the ship, no one in the neighborhood could remember seeing it leave. The investigation is still ongoing.

Heat Relief Still Available For Wilkes Seniors
The humidity and rising temperatures have made it miserably hot over the past few days and while forecasters are calling for cooler weather this weekend, don’t expect it to stick around. With that being the case, many seniors can find themselves in an emergency situation, without air conditioning or anything else to help keep them cool in the summer months. For those seniors in need of aid, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving out fans to anyone who 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 910 C Street in Wilkesboro. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

Local Woman Charged After Break-in
Breaking up is hard to do. It’s even worse when your ex knows where valuable items are hidden and when you’ll be out of town. A Wilkes County man learned that the hard way this week after returning to find that someone had broke into his camper and stolen over a thousand dollars worth of merchandise. Included in the theft were two tvs, a .22 pistol, a gas powered air compressor and a DVD player among other things. With no damage done to the camper and no sign of forced entry, it appears the thieves managed to climb through one of the windows, which was unlocked. After some investigation, deputies charged 35-yr-old Pamela Darnell with the theft, in addition to breaking & entering.

Realtors Get Involved To Help Wilkes County
Every weekend, several yard sales go on across the county in hopes of raising money for different events. This week is no different, although one of the causes involved deals with the future of Wilkes. The Wilkes County Board of Realtors is sponsoring a yard sale to help the community. Money from the sale will go toward a billboard to be placed on the highway, encouraging people to come and check out what Wilkes County has to offer. And that fundraiser will take place this coming Saturday, June 18th at the warehouse behind Dwight Phillips Auto Sales. That’s 1031 River Road in Wilkesboro.

State News

Commissioners Canceling Trip
Across the state, commissioners from several different areas have announced their intentions to stay away from the annual National Association of Counties meeting. The weeklong event, which will be held in Hawaii this year, has an overall cost of several thousand dollars when you add in hotel and airfare costs, all of which are paid for by county tax dollars. As a result, one of Gaston County’s commissioners has canceled her trip, saying that it was a questionable decision in a tight budget year. Also Iredell, Cabarrus and Lincoln County officials said they never planned to go, in order to prevent locals from having that cost put on their shoulders. Still, for some that are planning to make the trip, they’d taken the cost out of their own pockets, including Gaston County Commissioner John Torbett, who’s using the occasion to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.

Former Cafeteria Worker Admits To Stealing
A Garner woman confessed this week to stealing more than $200,000 from the school where she used to work. 36-yr-old Frances Parker, who worked as a cafeteria manager at Garner Senior High, turned herself in this week and admitted to taking $217,000 from the school’s cafeteria program. The embezzlement came to light back in February when school officials discovered some things that didn’t add up. The investigation led back to Parker but until now she hadn’t admitted to doing anything wrong. It’s still unclear why she took the money, but Parker has made a deal to pay it all back.

New Budget Approved By The House
North Carolina’s House of Representatives approved a budget on Thursday, which would normally mean it could now go to the governor for his signature. The only problem is that the House and Senate have differing opinions on what should be included. In the House version, cuts that had been taken out of Medicaid were restored and overall, the two year plan would cause the state to spend $17.1 billion. That’s $154.8 million more than the one approved by the Senate. Also there were differences in how much the cigarette tax should be raised. The Senate version of the tax is raised to 40 cents, while the House version has smokers paying a tax of 30 cents. All this means that now, as the budget goes back to the Senate, it will probably be voted down and the process will have to go back to the drawing board. The new fiscal year begins July 1st.

Charlotte Douglas Airport Part Of New Security Plan
Charlotte Douglas International was one of ten airports selected to test a new type of security device called the puffer machine. When passengers are picked for a secondary screening, they will step into a walkthrough portal where air will be puffed onto them. That air is then collected and analyzed for any trace elements of explosives. The machine is expected to be in place by the end of the summer and is the same type of device that military operations & power plants throughout the world have used for several years.

Trinity Company Announces Closings
Bad news today for workers in the Trinity area, as Confluence Holdings announced plans to shut down its’ local facility come August. The organization plans to consolidate all operations into one location, in Easley South Carolina. The company, which manufactures products for water activities, said that an estimated 120 workers would be affected. A company spokesman said that consolidating everything into one location was the best way for the organization to grow.

Sports Headlines

Appalachian Reveals Basketball Schedule
Good news for anyone wanting to watch their favorite ACC team without making the trip to their home court. Some of them will be coming to a local gym for the upcoming men’s basketball season. The schedule was released this week for Appalachian State’s upcoming men’s basketball season and included on the list of opponents are some big name schools, including Wake Forest, Tennessee and NC State. Officials at the school said they wanted to upgrade the quality of their schedule, mixing in some tough opponents to help strengthen and develop their incoming players.

UNC Tarheels Lose Running Back
Some bad news coming out of Chapel Hill today, as the Tarheels will be without runningback Ronnie McGill for at least five months. McGill torn a pectoral muscle while lifting weights this week on campus. Coach John Bunting said that McGill is also considering redshirting this season to save a year of eligibility. The injury leaves UNC a little short on running backs, as Louisiana State transfer Barrington Edwards is the only one left in the backfield with any college experience.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, the losing ways continued for the Hickory Crawdads as they fell 8-6 against Kannapolis for their 11th loss in a row. Hickory starter Kyle Pearson was saddled with the loss after a big fifth inning that saw Kannapolis score three runs. Overall Pearson gave up 7 runs in the five innings he pitched. And up the road in Winston, the Warthogs rebounded with another offensive explosion, beating the Fredrick Keys 15-4 on Thursday. Charles Haeger got the win for Winston, striking out seven in six innings of work. Winston’s Leo Daigle also continued his own offensive torrent, hitting his 23rd home run of the season.

Panthers Take To The Links
The Carolina Panthers took some time off to play golf this week, as the team held their annual players-coaches tournament. Quarterback Jake Delhomme led the winning team, which consisted of himself, center Jeff Mitchell, guard Todd Fordham and defensive line coach Sal Sunseri. The group finished at 13 under par. Other groups didn’t fair as well, with John Fox leading a team bringing up the rear at six under par. Cornerback Ken Lucas, guard Mike Wahle and receiver Keary Colbert helped Coach Fox survive the loss.


News & Sports For June 16th

News & Sports For Thursday June 16th 2005

Focus On Life
When you hear the words Relay for Life, you might think of a charity event, something to do with running. But actually Relay for Life is a foundation put together to help raise money for cancer research through many different ways. You can hear Brian’s interview with Jo Dejournet later on today during Focus on the Foothills as we’ll be talking about the Relay organization, how you can get involved and some realities as to why it’s so important. That’s right after the midday stock report at 1:05pm.

Construction Company Falls Victim To Break-in
Members of a local construction company brought out sheriff’s deputies this week after discovering that someone had broke into one of their trailers and stole over a thousand dollars worth of tools. A trailer belonging to Vannoy & Sons Construction was broke into, after thieves apparently tossed a rock through one of the windows and walked in. They left with several thousand dollars worth of material, including a portable concrete saw, a cordless drill and a diamond blade. In addition, the thieves cut all phone lines to the trailer before making their escape. That investigation is ongoing.

Traffic Stop Leads To Weapons Charge
Running a red light is never a good idea, especially when there’s law enforcement following right behind you. A Traphill man learned it the hard way this week after speeding through a red light and then ignoring requests from the sheriff’s deputies to slow down and pull over. Eventually the driver stopped in the parking lot of McDonalds and as they approached, deputies could smell a strong odor of alcohol. The driver was clearly drunk and also, in between the seats he had a butcher knife sticking up with its’ handle extended. When deputies ran the vehicle’s tag, it came back as not having any insurance. 53-yr-old Roby Denver Simpson was arrested and charged with DWI, having alcohol in an open container, driving without insurance on the vehicle, running a red light and carrying a concealed weapon.

Broken Window Provides Opening
A North Wilkesboro man called sheriff’s deputies earlier this week after coming home to discover someone had paid him a visit while he was gone. One of the home’s windows had already been shattered but never repaired, so the thieves simply climbed through and went shopping. Included in the theft was a toaster oven, a hairdryer, a heating pad and a cassette radio. There are no suspects in the case but the investigation is ongoing.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Wilkesboro Home
Wilkesboro police were called out to a local residence earlier this week, after the homeowner returned to find he was the latest victim of mailbox vandals in the county. During the late night hours on Monday, neighbors reported hearing some kind of loud noises in the area, but neither the homeowner or anyone else went outside to check it out. The next morning the man came out to find $50 worth of damage done to his mailbox. There are no suspects however deputies are continuing the investigation.

Last Crop Report Deadline Coming Up
For local farmers, we’re less than fifteen days away from the second crop report deadline of this year. On June 30th, farmers have to report all corn, soybeans and other crops to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency. For any farmer who hasn’t yet filed their report, you can go to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency and get that taken care of today. If you’re unable to make it out to the agency, you can contact them at 838-3622.

Hit & Run In Hays
A Hays man called sheriff’s deputies after over $200 worth of damage was done to his car. The man had been driving down Traphill Road in Hays when another vehicle passed on the other side of the road and something was tossed out in his path. It turns out that someone had chunked a rock from out of the car and it hit the man’s windshield, causing several cracks and plenty of damage. This marks the latest of several similar cases in the Hays area, as locals have reported vehicles driving by and throwing rocks at oncoming cars. There are however no suspects in the case, but the investigation is ongoing.

Painkillers Stolen But No Crime Scene Found
A Millers Creek man reported a break-in and theft at his home, however deputies couldn’t find any sign of a crime scene. There was no sign of a break-in at the home, nothing damaged or taken except for a box of oxycodine painkillers. Also there was no witness to the crime, however the homeowner did have a suspect whose name and description he gave deputies. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

Davie County Churches Victims Of Vandalism
Davie County officials are investigating a series of crimes at local churches today. Nine different churches in the county have been vandalized over the past three weeks, with equipment being shattered and items stolen. In each of the cases, the thief used a crowbar to come in one of the church doors, then walked around causing damage while selecting things to steal. Included in the thefts were several televisions, some musical equipment and also some of the church’s money. Officials haven’t been left empty handed however, as evidence was left behind at the scene of each crime and the detectives are following up on several leads.

Men Charged In ID Theft Case
According to Charlotte officials, two men have been arrested and charged after they were linked with over 600 cases of identity theft. 24-yr-old Ben Gadson and 26-yr-old Juan Canales gained access to credit cards through their jobs at the Outback Steakhouse in Matthews. They would copy the personal information down while swiping the customer’s card, then used the information to run up a tab of almost a million dollars. The Secret Service has gotten involved with the case and are also investigating a similar situation at a Red Lobster restaurant in Gastonia.

Man Missing In Jackson County
Sheriff’s deputies are still searching today for a man who vanished into the Tuckaseegee River on Tuesday, so they can arrest him. Search crews combed the area in homes of locating the man, who dove into the water to escape police. However there is concern that a current strengthened after days of rain could have caught him and drug him to his death. Everything started when an SUV began swerving around Hwy 74, alerting a nearby sheriff’s deputy, who attempted to pull the man over. Instead, the driver continued on and increased speed, until he was stopped by spike stripes deployed when he crossed over to Hwy 116. As the tires went flat, the man jumped out and started running towards the river, where he disappeared. A rescue team from Asheville has been called in to help with the search.

Charlotte Investigating Two Wednesday Robberies
Two stores in the Charlotte area were robbed on Wednesday and local authorities are continuing the investigation today. One of the cases happened at the BB&T Bank on South Tryon Street, as an older man in his mid to late forties came in and told employees he had a gun, although he never showed one. Instead the employees followed his instructions and turned over an undisclosed amount of money, after which he walked out into a waiting Pontiac Bonneville. Around the same time, a second robbery occurred at an Eckerd drug storeon Belhaven Boulevard. Two men came in wearing ski masks and displaying their guns. They grabbed the cash drawer and ran out, escaping from the scene on a bicycle according to witnesses.

Jobs Leaving Durham
Some bad news today for people in the Durham area, as a local pharmaceutical plant announced that it would be cutting costs by getting rid of employees. Over half of Mylan Bertek’s 370 employees will be let go in the move, which company officials say is part of a larger nationwide plan to help restructure & cut spending. It appears the cuts could just be the first part of a larger restructuring in the area, as the company said plans are in the works to shut down one of its’ plants in the area, although a timetable for the closure hasn’t been set.

Sports Headlines

Post 31 Team Beats Concord
The Wilkes Post 31 Patriots rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to beat Concord last night 12-9 in a game marked by heated emotions and several ejections. During several periods the umpires had to halt play while issuing warnings to members of the Concord team, who continued to harass and criticize the officiating. The Patriots improve to 3-7 with the win as they head into tonight’s matchup on the road with Rowan County.

Minor League Scoreboard
And around the minors last night, the Winston Salem Warthogs came back to earth as they fell to the Fredrick Keys 9-4. Warthogs starter Fraser Dizard took the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. With four games left in the season, the Warthogs currently stand a game back of first place Kinston.

Labonte Steps In For Leffler
In NASCAR, Terry Labonte got a new ride this week as it was announced he’ll be stepping into the #11 Chevy for the road course at Infineon Raceway later this month. Labonte will take over for Jason Leffler in the car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Team officials said they made the change because they wanted to make sure the car qualified for the race, something that hadn’t been guaranteed with Leffler behind the wheel. Leffler will remain the chief driver of the #11 as this is just a one race deal.

Countdown To Draft Continues
Around the NBA, the countdown continues to draft day, with rumors floating around of possible deals within the top five teams. The Charlotte Bobcats have dispelled all rumors that they planned to do a 2-1 deal, packaging the #5 and #13 picks in an attempt to move up. Meanwhile the team brought in some more players to work out, including Alabama’s Kennedy Winston and high school forward Gerald Green, both of which should be available when the Bobcats step up to the podium with the 13th pick. Several other players are scheduled for auditions in the coming weeks.

Nearly 500 lb Marlin Caught In NC
During the second day of this year’s Big Rock Blue Marlin competition, a man pulled in a 482 lb fish, good enough for second place in the tournament. The catch would have been good for third, as a 491 pounder had been grabbed earlier in the day, but the boat who caught it didn’t have a permit and so was disqualified. The current leader in the weeklong competition is the crew of the Gambler, a boat that brought in a 515 ½ lb. catch on Monday as the tournament began.


News & Sports For June 15th

Wilkes Sends Delegate To National Convention
Wilkes County will be sending a delegate to the National Association of Counties, when that organization’s yearly conference is held next month in Hawaii. County Commissioner Luther Parks will be this year’s delegate, taking part in presentations and programs on such issues as economic development and tourism. The convention itself has come under fire in recent weeks from taxpayers across the country and as a result, delegates from several states have backed out of attendance, including commissioners from Guilford and Davidson Counties in North Carolina. The main reason for the concern is due to the cost of attendance, as taxpayers will be picking up travel fare and room accommodations for their delegates, a move that will cost several thousand dollars. The conference is held in a different place each year, bringing together local officials to share ideas about how to improve their areas.

Tips Lead To More Drug Busts
Following more tips about reported drug activity in the area, sheriff’s deputies, along with members of the Special Enforcement Team searched a home on Parks Ridge Road this week. Inside the home they found traces of cocaine and marijuana, along with several books on how to make drugs and over four thousand dollars in cash. 15 different firearms were also seized from the property. 35-yr-old Grant Eugene Cowles and 26-yr-old Gloria Marguerite Davenport were arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a home for the sale of drugs.

Heat Leads To Local Break-In
For the second time in less than a week, Wilkesboro police were called out to the Cub Creek area, as yet another consession stand and the recreation office was broken into. But the joke was on the thieves, after they took the time to pull out the office air conditioner and went inside, they found there was nothing to steal. Local officials had already removed the money after weekend games and aside from that, the place was empty. Not willing to give up, the thieves then broke into a nearby consession stand, managing to steal several left over candy bars and around $50 in change. There are no suspects but the investigation is ongoing.

Gas Thieves Hit Another Wilkes Business
The Fast Track in Millers Creek was the latest victim of gas thieves in Wilkes County. Monday afternoon, a man drove up, put in $25 worth of gas and then took off without paying. Employees at the store witnessed the incident and were able to provide deputies with a description of both the man and his vehicle. That investigation is ongoing.

Tobacco Transition Payment Program
Wilkes County farmers have just two days until the deadline for this year’s Tobacco Buyout Program. Under the plan, growers would receive $3 for each pound of tobacco grown during the years 2002-2004 and then additional payments for the years following. $3.9 billion has been allocated for farmers in North Carolina and so far state officials estimate that 90% of growers have already signed up. If you are one of those 10% who still haven’t, you can do so by going to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency and filling out the paperwork today. To set up an appointment you can call the agency at 838-3622 extension #2.

Thieves Break Into Church Construction Site
Deputies were called out to the Calvary Baptist Church on Pads Road Monday morning, after thieves broke into a construction site on the property and stole over $600 worth of materials. Included in the theft were several aluminum ladder jacks, along with a 16 ft. ladder board. There was no damage done and it appears the thieves just walked in and took what they wanted. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly
The weather hit over 94 degrees in Wilkes County yesterday and many senior citizens are feeling the heat. This isn’t just a comfort problem, as the rising temperatures could lead to severe health problems. For those seniors in need of some relief, 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 910 C Street in Wilkesboro. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

Car Vandalized While Owner At Hospital
A Wilkes County woman called sheriff’s deputies earlier this week after returning home to find her car had been vandalized. The woman had been staying with her husband, who’s in the local hospital, in recent days and as such had no idea when the incident could have happened. Vandals scratched the car’s entire body while also stuffing dirt into the vehicle’s gas tank. Estimated cost of the damages were placed at just over $1000. There are suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Regional News

Local Girl Killed In Accident This Week
A wreck earlier this week in Elkin claimed the life of a 16-yr-old girl, according to the Highway Patrol. 16-yr-old Sara Williams was the passenger in a vehicle heading down C.C. Camp Road when the driver lost control and crossed the centerline before hitting a utility pole. The vehicle ended up on the other side of the road and despite wearing her seatbelt, Williams was killed in the crash. The driver however, 17-yr-old Kristin Draughn survived the wreck and charges against her are currently pending.

State News

Wake County Considers Year Round Classes
For students across the state, summer school has just started. But if some Wake County officials have their way, students in that area will be having less of a vacation come next year. School board members are considering a proposal that would make five of the Wake County middle schools and 15 of the elementary schools operate year round. The idea comes as 5000 new students are expected to enter classes in the area, some for the first time, this coming year.

Jobs Coming To Asheville Business
Good news for job hunters in the Asheboro area today, as a local company has been awarded a contract to make clothes for the government. Fox Apparel is looking to hire around 60 new people as they have been given a contract to make several thousand pairs of pants for the Forestry Department. The family owned company is taking applications for the jobs and could possibly add more workers later on this year as more contracts come in.

Over A Thousand Marijuana Plants Found In Durham
While doing a flyover last week, National Guard officials in Durham discovered 1300 marijuana plants sitting in a field near the highway. They informed sheriff’s deputies, who solved the problem this week by setting the entire place on fire. The plants, which had an estimated street value of over $7 million dollars, were destroyed by the deputies. An investigation is still going on to find out who originally planted the drugs.

Portions Of The Parkway Closed After Rains
For anyone looking to drive up on the Parkway this coming weekend, you may want to reconsider or at least plan on taking another route. Portions of the Parkway that stretch between N.C. Highway 80 and Mount Mitchell State Park have been closed until further notice. After this weekend’s rainfall, it was discovered that sections of the mountain slope and the roadbed had started to crumble. If you want to visit the park however, it’s still open, drivers just have to take the long way around and come in through Asheville. Engineers estimate it could take about a month to get everything fixed at the site. In addition, parts of the Parkway stretching from just north of Spruce Pine to the Linville Falls area have also been closed down for repairs. No timetable has been set for when that section will reopen.

Childress Racing Declared Lawsuit Winner
In Charlotte, a decision was finally reached in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the late Dale Earnhart, as a judge ruled in favor of Richard Childress Racing. After a 12-day session, the judge ruled that Omaha Life failed to share documents that would have determined if life insurance benefits should have been given out after the wreck which claimed Earnhart’s life. It’s now up to a jury to decide the amount, if anything, that will be given out under the policy.

Robber Needed Some Nicotine
Sheriff’s deputies in Rockingham County are looking for a robber who has a serious craving for nicotine. Monday night, a man came into Daniel’s Thrifty Mart, located in Reidsville, and demanded money from the employee on duty. He then pulled up his shirt to show that he was carrying a gun. Changing his mind, the robber then ordered the employee to lay down while he got some cigarettes along with cash from the store. Area officials are still searching for the robber.

Sports Headlines

Post 31 Falls To Rowan
Around the local scene last night, it was the Post 31 Patriots taking a beating from Rowan County 14-3. The Patriots managed to keep things even until the late innings, when Rowan exploded for nine runs to pull ahead for good. The loss drops Wilkes to 2-7 in conference play, just a half game ahead of East Rowan for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference. And 3WC Sports will be back on the air tonight to bring you the Patriots’ game against Concord. The first pitch will be at 7pm and we’ll go on the air with the pregame show around 6:45.

UNC Assistant Coach In Court
While most of the UNC Tarheel football team is practicing for next season, one of the coaching staff finds himself in court. Brad Lawing, who is currently serving as the school’s recruiting coordinator, faces charges that he offered money to a potential recruit and his high school coach while working at Michigan State. The coach, who is facing racketeering charges of his own, implicated Lawing as he was sentenced on Monday, saying that he was asked how much it would take to bring a local player to the Spartans. An investigation by the NCAA found nothing to back up the coach’s claims, instead the opposite was found. Lawing testified in court that the coach, Lynn Lang, demanded $200,000 to get one of his players to commit to the Spartans. Lawing refused and the team soon after stopped recruiting the player. The high school coach was sentenced to six months in prison on Monday and Lawing was cleared of all charges.

Former Wake Forest Star Moving Up
Less than a month after the draft and one local player has already gotten started on his professional career. Ryder Mathias, a catcher from Wake Forest, signed a deal this week with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and will start his climb to the majors with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the team’s affiliate in the New York-Penn League. If Ryder shows the same batting skills he did in college, Tampa Bay may be calling him up pretty quick. This season alone, he hit .316 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs. However one thing Ryder would probably like to keep at Wake Forest is the record he set for most times hit by a pitch over a season, as he was drilled 29 times this year alone.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues, the losing streak continues for the Hickory Crawdads as they fell to the Rome Braves 5-3. Hickory’s streak now stands at 10 games as the team failed to drive in the winning run several times with men left stranded on the corners. The news was better however for the Winston Salem Warthogs, as they beat the Fredrick Keys by what some would say is a football score. The Warthogs pulled out the 21-12 victory over the Keys as first baseman Leo Daigle hit for the cycle. This also marks the sixth straight game that Daigle has hit a home run.

Bobcats Could Take European Trip
Barring a lockout this summer, the Charlotte Bobcats could find themselves holding training camp in a European city in the near future. The NBA announced on Tuesday that beginning next season, four teams a year will hold training camps and play preseason matchups in European countries, as a way of developing the game’s international appeal. The two year trial program, sponsored by EA Sports, will continue a tradition began in 2003, when the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs went to Paris for a preseason game. It’s not yet known what teams will be involved with the program.


News & Sports For June 14th 2005

Local Health Food Recall
The Wilkes Health Department announced yesterday that over 63,000 pounds of beef have been recalled after traces of bacteria were discovered. Packages of Murry’s frozen ground beef and Murry’s meatballs have been called back after portions of the meat tested positive for Esherichia (eh-shur-ree-she-uh) coil. The bacteria is potentially lethal, as it can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and sometimes can lead to kidney failure. The specific products involved are all 20-ounce packages of Murry’s Gourmet Meatballs with the item code 63101. In addition, all 10-lb boxes of Murry’s Steaks 4B Wide All Beef Patties with the codes 01357 and 01340 were included as well. North Carolina was one of several states that the infected beef was shipped to and for more information, you can call the Food & Safety Inspection Service at 1-888-674-6854.

Armed Robbery Turns Out To Be A Hoax
A North Wilkesboro man called sheriff’s deputies on Sunday, informing him that he had just been robbed at gunpoint. But that was before he changed his story and said he had been dropped off and his ride never came back. Then he told deputies it had all been a lie, confessing that he and a friend had been out to buy drugs, when the friend let him out of the vehicle and drove off with $140 of his money. The man, 32-yr-old Thomas Allen Greene was charged with filing a false report and deputies are still searching for his missing friend.

Boomer Woman Victim Of Break-In
A Boomer woman was the victim of a break-in earlier this week. After returning home, she noticed that the back door to her house had been pried open and several items had been stolen including a handgun and her prescription of painkiller pills. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Concession Stands Vandalized At Cub Creek
Wilkesboro police were called out to Cub Creek Park on Sunday, after officials discovered someone had been to the concession stand after hours. Over a hundred dollars worth of damage had been done to the stands, as it appeared someone had tried to get in. They failed however, only managing to partially pry open one of the doors. Nothing was taken from inside and no other damage was done to the area. The investigation is still ongoing.

Search Warrant Yields Drug Bust
Acting on a tip, sheriff’s deputies got a search warrant and went through an apartment at Bell Court earlier this week. Inside they found cocaine residue, some marijuana, several boxes of baggies and other items of drug paraphernalia. The apartment’s occupant, 43-yr-old Fred Douglas Ferguson was arrested and charged with drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Realtors Get Involved To Help Wilkes County
Every weekend, several yard sales go on across the county in hopes of raising money for different events. This week is no different, although one of the causes involved deals with the future of Wilkes. The Wilkes County Board of Realtors is sponsoring a yard sale to help the community, as all proceeds will go toward building a billboard promoting Wilkes to local travelers. That fundraiser will take place this coming Saturday, June 18th at the warehouse behind Dwight Phillips Auto Sales in Wilkesboro. All the proceeds from this will go to the construction of the billboard itself, but there’s just one problem. A design is needed to get people’s attention and that’s where the Board is asking local people to step in. Now to suggest a creative design for the billboard you can call the Wilkes County Board of Realtors at 667-9331. If your proposal is chosen, it will be put up as the county’s billboard to any travelers passing by on their way to or from Boone. Once the money is collected from the sale and a design is accepted, the plan is to have the billboard put up possibly by the end of next month.

Return Of The Mailbox Vandals
Mailbox vandals struck again here in Wilkes, this time hitting two homes in the Millers Creek area. The homeowners returned to find while no damage had been done to their house or any other part of the property, both of the mailboxes had been smashed. Over $40 worth of damage was caused in the process. This time however there are suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Drug House Discovered By Deputies
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a tip on Speedway Road over the weekend and uncovered a drug operation in the process. Members of the Special Enforcement Team accompanied the deputies as they went to the home, hoping to interrupt a drug deal in progress. The dealer was caught and the deputies searched his home, finding 61 grams of marijuana along with various items of drug paraphernalia. 17-yr-old Christopher Allen Steele was arrested and charged with drug possession, intent to sell & deliver drugs, maintaining a house for the sale of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

State News

Lawmakers Call For Iraq Timetable
As lawmakers throughout the country call for a decision on when the troops will be coming home, several from here in North Carolina have added their voice to the mix. Republican Congressman Walter Jones has signed on as a sponsor of a new bill that would call for a timetable, detailing a plan to get our soldiers out of Iraq. Jones said that once the Iraqis are trained to fight, we should turn over control of the country to them. Jones serves the district that covers both Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point.

North Carolina Out Of The Forecasting Business
As the hurricane season picks up and other storms head our way, North Carolina finds itself partially blind, at least for the next few days. One of the buoys stationed in the Outer Banks to help predict the weather had to be taken out of service on Monday, after boats constantly failed to pay attention and ran it over. The buoy, which covered the southeastern part of the state, will have to be thrown away, due to the severe damage it sustained and the earliest a new one can be brought out by the government is mid August. That means for at least the next two months, portions of the state will be totally blind when it comes to weather detection.

Over 3000 Patients Treated With Hydraulic Fluid
Over 3000 patients of the Duke Health System were treated with hydraulic fluid over the past year, according to a recently finished investigation. The report found that medical staff at Duke Health Raleigh and Durham Regional accidentally washed their instruments in hydraulic fluid, confusing it for detergent. The mixup occurred after hydraulic fluid was drained after work on the elevators and poured into empty detergent barrels last year. Those barrels were then picked up and redistributed for use as a cleaner. Despite concerns from the medical staff about unusually slick instruments, the problem wasn’t investigated for several weeks. As a result, several dozen of the over 3000 patients that were exposed to the fluid have faced additional medical problems including fatigue, pain in their joints and some have had to go back into the hospital for treatment.

Largest Hat Collection Sold
A dream came to an end this week in Hillsborough as over 3000 hats were sold at auction. The hats had been part of what people are calling the largest hat collection in the world, owned by a local man who died in 2001. He had planned to one day open the National Hat Museum but died before that could become a reality. Now as family members continue to struggle with the debts he left behind, the hat collection was put on sale to raise enough money to pay the bills. Most of the collection was bought by a Virginia man and his son, who have a 30 thousand square foot warehouse back home loaded with their collectibles. Ironically enough after spending almost a hundred thousand dollars on the auction, the man said he had no idea what he had just bought.

Three Men Arrested In Drive By Shooting
Police in the Fayetteville area arrested three men in connection with a shooting Sunday night. The three had drove by a local home, pulled out a shotgun and fired at the two people sitting outside. Both of the victims were found by a friend and taken to a local hospital, where they’re receiving treatment. It’s not believed that any of the wounds are life-threatening. Police arrested 19-yr-old William Burkett, 27-yr-old Brian Odom and 32-yr-old Howard Hargett, charging each with attempted murder, felony conspiracy, aggravated assault and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. It’s still unknown what caused the trio to open fire in the first place.

Sports Headlines

Wilkes Patriots In Action Tonight
Later on tonight if the weather stays away, we’ll have some American Legion baseball for you on the radio. The Wilkes Post 31 Patriots will be at home to take on Rowan County, in a rematch that was delayed several weeks ago by rain. Gametime is set for 7pm and we’ll go on the air with the pregame show at 6:45pm. That American Legion baseball on your home for local sports, 3WC.

Local Athletes Make Conference Team
Both the Mountain Valley and Northwest 1-A released their all conference teams this week and several Wilkes County players made the list. In baseball, Todd Ballard, Drew Ward and Brandon York from West Wilkes made the squad, along with Chris Pollock from North, Robby Monday from East and a pair of teammates from Wilkes Central, Nathan Handy and Jake Johnson. On the softball field, it was Erica Call from Wilkes Central, Brittany Parsons & Casey Sheeler from West, Megan Bell & Teresa Rutledge from East and Natasha Brown, Ashley Harding & Amy Vogel from North Wilkes making the list.

Turning toward the all-conference squad in soccer, it was loaded with Wilkes County players as Katie Andreski, Tiffany Ashley, Emily Gustafson, Jessica Norris and Leslie Warren , all from Wilkes Central made the squad. Also Sarah Dengler from North Wilkes and Kassie Oiler from West. In tennis, it was David Murphy from East Wilkes, Phillip Brame Zeb Gambill, Andrew Huggins and Jay Snipes from Wilkes Central and Graylyn Byrd, JT Campbell and Matt Dave from North Wilkes making the cut. Central’s Phillip Brame was also tagged as the player of the year.
Finally on the track, it was no surprise that Wilkes had over 30 players in the all conference team. On the boys side, it was Kevin Boehum, Trey Bryant, Jesse Hanlin, Matt Smith and Andrew Wagoner from North Wilkes, along with Steven Branch, Evan McNeil, Wesley Scearcy and Matt Triplett from West and Phillip Curley from Wilkes Central. For the girls, it was Bree Tharpe and Taylor Welborn from East Wilkes, along with Kayla Branciforte from North Wilkes, Lauren Amick, Mallory Beck, Morgan Beck, Marcia Brooks, Amanda Davis, Melanie Fyre, Krista Goforth, Jessica Hendrix, Tiffany Upchurch and Emily Wright from West. And from Wilkes Central, LeighAnn Dickinson, Lindsay Groce, Melinda Lackey, Cadina McCurdy, Deidre Morrison, Amy Will and Amanda Younger all were named to the conference team. Emily Wright from West Wilkes also was named the athlete of the year in Mountain Valley 2-A soccer and her coach Mary Wright received coach of the year honors.

Winston Salem Beats Fredrick
And turning to the minor league scene, Winston Salem took care of business against the Fredrick Keys last night as they took the 12-4 blowout victory. Warthogs’ starter Daniel Haigwood his seventh win of the season while Jose Ovalles pitched the ninth for his second save.

Williams Staying A Deacon
Wake Forest fans can breathe a sigh of relief today, as one of their underclassman changed his mind about entering the draft. 6-9 Eric Williams, the Deacons’ starting center, said that he had decided to withdraw and come back for his senior year. Williams had previously said he wouldn’t stay in unless guaranteed to be a first round pick. But as it stands now, he wasn’t even on many of the draft boards as a second rounder.

Nascar To Have Name Change

Now that people have gotten used to calling it the Nextel Cup, it’s time for another change on the NASCAR series. Nextel merged with Sprint and now company execs are deciding what to call the new company and in turn, the racing series it sponsors. Nextel took over as sponsor from RJ Reynolds in 2003, ending a 31 year partnership between the racing series and the cigarette maker. A new name is expected to be announced within the next month. It’s still not clear what if any affect the switch in names and brands will have on ticket prices.


News & Sports For June 13th

News & Sports For Monday June 13th 2005

Chicken House Catches Fire In Storm
Over the past few days, several storms have hit Wilkes County, leaving their mark with both rain and damage. Now one of those storms may be responsible for a fire that happened early Friday morning. Firefighters were called out to a blaze on the Red White & Blue Road as a chicken house had caught fire. The call went out just after 5am on Friday but before fire crews could arrive on the scene, the building had already collapsed. Roaring River and Broadway crews responded to the fire, which had apparently been burning several hours before the call went out. An exact cause hadn’t been determined but fire marshals said it was possible the weather played a part in igniting the blaze.

Counterfeit Money Found In Deposit
Wilkesboro police were called out to the Northwestern Bank on Curtis Bridge Road late last week, after some counterfeit money was discovered. A bank teller had found fake cash in a local man’s deposit, which he exchanged for the real thing. The counterfeit bill was turned over to police, as the man had no idea how it ended up in his possession. There are no suspects but the investigation is ongoing.

Tobacco Transition Payment Program
This coming Friday is the deadline to sign up for the 2005 Tobacco Buyout Program. Under the plan, growers would receive $3 for each pound of tobacco grown during 2002-2004 and then additional payments for the years following. $3.9 billion has been allocated for farmers in North Carolina and currently state officials estimate that 90% of growers have already signed up. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so by going to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency and filling out the paperwork today. To set up an appointment you can call the agency at 838-3622 extension #2.

Walked Off With The Air Conditioner
The hot weather has led to several break-ins over the last few days, as local people try to find ways of staying cool. Thieves broke into a Millers Creek woman’s home late last week, taking her air conditioner along with some medication. Nothing else was taken from the house and no damage was done to any part of the property. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Blood Drive Later Today
The rain and wind over the past few days hasn’t just caused problems on the roads. It’s also severely lowered turnouts at the area’s blood drives. With the blood supply in Wilkes currently at critical levels, it’s important to come out and give the gift of life if at all possible. Later today Wilkesboro Methodist Church will be holding a drive from 2-7pm. In order to schedule an appointment you can call the Wilkes Red Cross at 838-4563.

Nicotine Fix Leads To Break-In
Thieves broke into the Run-In on Hwy 421 West late last week, stealing almost $3000 worth of merchandise. A window was shattered in the back supply room, allowing thieves to come in and take over a hundred cartons of cigarettes along with some cans of snuff tobacco. The store is monitored by video camera and the thieves were caught on tape. There are suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly
The recent heat has caused problems for many Wilkes County citizens, but especially the elderly. As the temperature is expected to climb back into the 90s this week, it’s important for every senior in the area to be taken care of. 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 910 C Street in Wilkesboro. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

Just Broke In To Have A Look Around
A Wilkes County man called sheriff’s deputies late last week after finding over $200 worth of damage done to his car. The vehicle had been parked outside his house and during the night, the man had heard several loud noises, but didn’t go to check them out. The next morning, he came out to find someone had shattered the car’s windows. Nothing was taken from the vehicle and no other damage was done. The investigation is ongoing.

West Park To Hold Dedication Tomorrow
Tomorrow a ceremony will be held to honor American soldiers and dedicate the new American flag at West Park. The event will be held Tuesday June 14th, beginning at noon with a special performance from the Liberty Grove Baptist Church Choir, in addition to tributes from the local VFW group and the Boy Scouts, who will be raising the flag into its’ new position. Once again all of this will be held at West Park in the Health Foundation area. For more information you can contact the Foundation at 838-1949.

Local Business Falls Prey To Vandals
Wilkesboro police were called out to Dooley’s late last week after vandals caused over $600 worth of damage to the business. Someone gained access to the building and managed to empty out the propane tank, releasing over a thousand lbs. of the gas into the area. There is a suspect in the case, as a black Dodge truck had been seen just outside a few minutes before and the driver yelled that everyone in the building would get what was coming to them. Witnessed provided descriptions of both the man and his vehicle to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation is ongoing.

Regional News

Jonesville Man Killed In Head-On Collision
A Jonesville man died last week after a wreck on Center Road, according to the Highway Patrol. 53-yr-old Danny Ivan Wilkins was killed after his car crossed the median and struck another vehicle carrying a local family. All three family members were taken to Baptist Medical Center, treated and then released without serious injury. It’s unknown what caused Wilkins to cross the center line, but drugs or alcohol were not involved.

State News

Police In Concord Searching For Scam Artist
Concord police are warning people to be aware of a group of con artists operating in the area. Over the past few weeks, a man has come up to local homes, pretending to be with the power company. He then asks to look at some trees on the homeowner’s property that might need to be cut down. While the homeowner goes with him to check out the property, a second man then walks into the home and steals whatever he can carry. Usually in the scam, the second thief also cuts the home’s phone lines before leaving. The only description police have is that the first man has a scar and acne on his face and drives a four door gray truck. Anyone with information is asked to call the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Department at 704-920-3011.

Pet Snake On The Loose
Johnston County officials are asking people in the area to help them locate a pet that escaped from its’ house recently. It’s hard to miss this pet, as it’s an 8-foot long boa constrictor. The animal escaped from its’ home in Pine Level and so far, there have been no reports of sightings. Still, animal control officers warn that boas like to climb trees or hide in tall bushes and the rising temperatures could have driven it into hiding.

Series Of Armed Robberies Hit Raleigh
Three armed robberies in the Raleigh area this weekend may have been linked, according to local officials. All three robberies happened in a one hour period that stretched from late Friday night to the early morning hours on Saturday. In the first robbery, a man was robbed in a Hillsborough Street parking lot by at least two men. Then 30 minutes later, a second man was robbed and shot on Friendly Street. The bullet only grazed him and he had no serious injuries. In the final incident, a man was robbed in a parking lot on North Harrison Avenue. In all three, the men are described as being in their early to mid 20s, about 6 ft and weighing 180 lbs. Also in all three incidents, the robbers drove a silver Nisan Altima with a 30-day tag on it. Raleigh police are still investigating.

Jobs Coming To High Point
Good news for people in the High Point area today, as American Express announced plans to open a new call center in the area. The move, which was announced this weekend, will bring 300 jobs to High Point over the next two years. A five year lease was signed by the company for the Piedmont Centre, where the business will be located. This call center will focus on helping business and corporate customers make their travel arrangements. It’s expected to be open by September.

Almost 200 Yr Old Church Burns Down
A church in Nash County that had stood for almost 200 years burned down over the weekend. A fire ignited in Peachtree Baptist Church shortly before 5am Sunday morning and by the time firefighters had arrived on scene, the roof had already caved in. The church was built back in 1909 and has stood ever since. Church officials said that God knows what He’s doing and they believe He has a reason for allowing the fire. Fire investigators say while unsure what caused the fire, there’s no evidence to suggest arson. Meanwhile the church will be meeting at a local Masonic lodge.

Sports Headlines

Wilkes County Becomes Turkey Land
Wilkes County finished out this year’s turkey season as the number one destination for hunters in North Carolina. For the second straight year, there were more turkeys bagged in Wilkes than any other place in the state. 334 birds were killed this year, 14 more than second place Caswell County. Overall, 9824 turkeys were killed this season by North Carolina hunters, up from 8846 last year.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues this weekend, it was Winston Salem beating Wilmington 4-2. Warthogs’ starter Ryan Rodriguez got his seventh win of the year, going seven innings while giving up two runs on five hits. Relief pitcher Rafael Flores got the save by throwing two innings of shutout ball. Down the road in Georgia, the Hickory Crawdads took the 3-2 loss as they fell to the Rome Braves. The loss put Hickory’s losing streak at eight games, a streak they look to end tonight in the second game of the series.

Edwards Gets Win At Pocono
In NASCAR over the weekend, it was Carl Edwards pulling ahead of the field and taking the win at Pocono. Brian Vickers came in second, Joe Nemechek was third, Kyle Busch fourth and Michael Waltrip rounded out the top five.

Minter Signs Extension
In the NFL, some good news for Carolina Panther fans, as the team announced this weekend it had signed an extension with safety Mike Minter. Minter, who came to Charlotte in the second round of the ’97 draft, will finish out his career as a Panther under the new four year deal. Terms of the extension were not revealed, however the numbers for Minter speak for themselves. He’s the team’s all time tackle leader with 790 and last year alone, he had 94 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Minter said he & his family had put down deep roots in Charlotte and wanted to play for the same team that had drafted him.


News & Sports For June 10th

Counterfeit Checks Continue To Pour In
A Wilkesboro man called out sheriff’s deputies this week after discovering that someone had attempted to re-open one of his old accounts. The man had found out that local stores were receiving checks written in his name to pay for things, checks from an account long since closed. The man’s signature was on each of the forged items, all of which totaled out to $198. There is a suspect in the case, although it’s unclear how access was gained to the checks. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

First Disaster Loan Deadline Today
With the new hurricane season upon us, it’s crucial for businesses to plan ahead just in case a storm was to hit in the local area. It’s just as important however to get the damage fixed from storms that have already passed through and that doesn’t always mean just physical repairs. Large storms can severely damage your bank account and the government has a plan in place to help business owners repair that problem as well. Today is the first deadline to obtain disaster loans from the government for any business that fell victim to Tropical Storm Francis. Wilkes is one of 61 counties in North Carolina where businesses are eligible for the loans, given out to those who are still struggling to financially recover from the storm. This is called an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which pays out up to $1.5 million if it can be proved your business suffered from the storm. These are working capital loans, which must be paid back over a 30 year period. For more information you can call the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Area Office at 1-800-366-6303 or visit their website at .

Never Loan Out Your Car
Be careful who borrows your car. A Wilkesboro woman learned that the hard way this week, after loaning out her vehicle to a friend. The man said he’d bring it back in the next two hours and that was three days ago. It also turns out that the friend had recently been released from prison. His crime? Auto theft. A warrant has been taken out for 29-yr-old Christopher Wilkins, who was last seen driving the 1994 Buick Century down River Street. Wilkesboro police are continuing the investigation.

Voting Continues For Gospel Music Awards
Voting continues to select the winners of this year’s Southern Gospel Music Awards, put out by online magazine In each category ten finalists are presented for voters to choose from and this year 3WC made the cut. As we announced last week, 3WC was named as a top ten finalist for Favorite Radio Station and morning show DJ John Wishon was selected as one of the Favorite Radio Personalities, in addition to making the list of Favorite Concert MCs. Now if you want to get involved and vote, you can log on to , click on Southern Gospel Music Awards 2005 and cast your ballot. All it takes is a working email address to be able to make your voice heard.

Second Time’s The Charm
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Millers Creek residence earlier this week, after someone vandalized the homeowner’s car. The man walked outside Tuesday morning, only to find his vehicle had been damaged during the night. Someone had come up to the car and let the air out of the tires, causing over $50 worth of damage. Nothing was heard or seen by anyone in the neighborhood and while there are no suspects, the investigation is ongoing.

Blood Drive Later Today
The rain throughout Wilkes yesterday didn’t help numbers at the local blood drive, as the county’s supply still hangs around critical levels. While it may not seem that important, blood is needed, especially now as we head into the summer vacation months. As one of their last drives this month, the Red Cross will be accepting donors today at Ryan’s Steakhouse from 2-6:30pm. If you want to give, you can either stop by or call ahead to make an appointment. To reach the Red Cross you can call their local number at 838-4563.

Ring Stolen From Local Woman
Wilkesboro police were called out to a local residence on Tuesday after getting reports of a break-in. When they arrived, the homeowner explained that a ring had been stolen from the house. After officers went through and found no signs of a break-in, she said that the theft had occurred sometime over the last three months, but she didn’t know when. She did however have a suspect and gave the woman’s name and address to the officers. All total an estimated $2000 worth of jewelry was taken from the home and the investigation is ongoing.

More Deadlines Upcoming For Local Farmers
Local farmers have just under three weeks before the second of this year’s filing deadlines. On June 30th, farmers have to report all corn, soybeans and other crops to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency.
Once again for any farmer who hasn’t yet filed their report, you can go to the Wilkes Farm Service Agency and get that taken care of today. If you’re unable to make it out to the agency, you can contact them at 838-3622.

State News

Tax Problem Linked To Computers
One small mistake on a computer program led to thousands of dollars being accidentally taken from taxpayers across North Carolina. It seems the system that handles automatic drafts had a glitch in it, one that caused 359 people to pay two, three or four times the amount of tax they really owed. The mistake was caught by North Carolina’s Revenue Secretary Norris Tolson and his office has been attempting to contact all those people who were affected, to return their extra payments. The state has also agreed to pay any bank fees stemming from the problem such as for overdrawn accounts. All those affected will be receiving either a telephone call or a letter in the mail within the next few days.

Whipped Topping Recalled
Over 700 cans of non dairy topping has been recalled today, after the company that makes it discovered some of the already shipped items had dairy products in them. Alamance Foods in Burlington is recalling their 7 ounce cans of Flavor Right Whipped Topping, the non dairy variety, after several people got sick from allergic reactions. Its’ unclear how the mixup occurred, but the company has sent out a release warning those with dairy allergies not to eat the topping, as a severe reaction is possible. The product code for the topping is 72205.

Missing Money Tied To Housing Authority
A fraud investigation has linked people within the Durham Housing Agency with over $3000 in missing money. A supervisor with one of the agency’s programs noticed the money was missing and informed his superiors, who began an investigation. That $3000 is just a rough estimate and agency officials said that number could grow as the investigation continues. A former employee that had been released in recent days is being considered as a possible suspect.

Dead Man Responsible For Fire
Winston Salem fire investigators have concluded that a dead man was responsible for a recent boarding house fire in the city. 43-yr-old Kenneth Crump, who died in the fire, is believed to have been the one to start it, according to investigators. The fire department said this came out after evidence proved Crump was directly involved with starting the fire that led to his own death. Crump was the only one who died in the fire, which burned the boarding house to the ground.

East Carolina Being Investigated
Allegations of tampering and fraud surround East Carolina’s financial aid office and a state SBI unit has been called out to investigate. The school had began its’ own investigation late last year and then turned things over to the Justice Department after a possible misuse of state funds was discovered. It’s unclear exactly what the charges are or who was involved. The SBI are still putting together the evidence in the case.

Sports Headlines

Post 31 In Action This Weekend
Around the local scene, if the rain holds off this Saturday, we’ll have some Post 31 baseball for you as the Wilkes Patriots get set to take on West Forsyth. Gametime is set for 7pm with the pregame show going on the air at 6:45pm. Ken Byrd and Keith Briand will be on hand to bring you all the play by play action from the home of the Eagles, as we’ll be broadcasting live from Wilkes Central. That’s American Legion baseball here on 3WC.

UNC Says Goodbye To Football Player
Taking a look at college football, the UNC Tarheels are short one player today after Terry Hunter was released from the team. Tarheels Coach John Bunting announced his decision Wednesday afternoon and said the choice was made after the end of spring practice. Hunter, a defensive lineman in the program, had several run-ins with the law this past year including an arrest for possession of marijuana. Bunting said that the team had tried to help Hunter with his problems and now he has to find a way to help himself.

Williams Leaning Towards College
With the NBA draft a few weeks away, several college players will be making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. June 21st is the deadline for players to back out of this year’s draft and still be eligible to return to college. One of those players is Wake Forest center Eric Williams, who talked to reporters on Thursday and said now more than ever he’s leaning towards pulling out of the draft and heading back for his senior season. He said the only guaranteed way he’d stay in the draft is if he was a lock as a first round pick. That’s extremely doubtful as most scouts have him in the late second round, if being drafted at all.

Jones Gets Word On Injury
Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones went in on Thursday for an examination by Dr. Robert Anderson, a Charlotte foot & ankle specialist. Depending on what the exam results reveal, it’s possible Jones could have to undergo surgery. Until that’s determined however, the third baseman has been fitted with a walking boot and told that even without surgery, he’ll have to miss at least a month while the damage heals. Initial results showed that Jones suffered a partial ligament tear and severe bone bruise in the leg.

More Shakeups In Racing
In the world of racing, some more shakeups happened on Thursday as Scott Riggs was left with a new crew chief. MB2 Motorsports announced that Doug Randolph, Riggs’ former chief, has now been bumped up to race coordinator for the team, while Rodney Childers takes over Randolph’s old job. Around the rest of the MB2 garage, Joe Nemechek will keep his crew chief Ryan Pemberton, but Pemberton will also assume the duties of team manager.


News & Sports For June 9th

News & Sports For Thursday June 9th 2005

Weapons And Drugs Seized At Local Home
Sheriff’s deputies searched a North Wilkesboro residence on Tuesday, responding to a tip about possible drug activity in the area. Along with members of the county’s Special Enforcement Team, deputies performed a search of the house and found 30 grams of cocaine, in addition to drug paraphernalia, several weapons and $461 dollars in cash. 30-yr-old Jerry Andrew Eller was arrested and charged with maintaining a dwelling for the sale of drugs, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Wilkes County Trail Gets New Status

A wilderness trail here in Wilkes County was recognized this week by the federal government. The Dark Mountain Trail, a seven-mile trek that runs beside Kerr Scott Reservoir was selected by the Department of the Interior as one of 37 new National Recreation Trails in the nation. Gale Nortion, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior made the announcement this week and as a result, a certificate of designation and national trail markers will be placed along the path. Dark Mountain was one of three trails in the state to get the designation. The other two were the Scuppernong River Boardwalk on the coast and a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Mountains To Sea Trail.

Wilkes Deputies Called To Investigate Smell
Residents of an Elkin neighborhood became concerned earlier this week when strange smells began coming out of a local man’s home. The man hadn’t been seen for several days and didn’t answer his door, so locals called out sheriff’s deputies to check the place out. Deputies also reported smelling a foul odor in the home, with no visible cause. The homeowner wasn’t inside and the only living thing in the area was the pit bull that had been guarding the place. The homeowner soon returned and couldn’t give an explanation as to what caused the home to smell so bad. The homeowner promised to do his own investigation as to what caused the odor.

Blood Supply Going Critical
As expected, the onset of summer hasn’t helped the local blood supply. In fact the supply here in Wilkes is quickly approaching critical levels again.
Later today there will be a drive going on at the Traphill Volunteer Fire Department from 3-7:30pm. To give blood, you can call the Wilkes Red Cross for an appointment at 838-4563 or drop by their offices, located at 104 West Street in Wilkesboro. And if you do plan to give, just be advised that there are some requirements. You must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs to donate.

Focus On Fox
Stem cell research is a hot topic around the country. With supporters promising potential cures for disease, solutions for aging and ways of healing faster, it’s no wonder why the bill passed the U.S. House. Still, one thing you may not know. Before the bill was passed, some members of Congress asked for proof that embryonic cells could be used and they had none to give. That’s one of the subjects I’ll be talking about later today in my interview with Congresswoman Virginia Fox as we discuss stem cells, Social Security and other issues affecting this district. That’s at 1:05pm today on Focus on the Foothills after the midday stock report.

Mailbox Vandals Strike Again
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a North Wilkesboro residence on Tuesday after yet another case of mailbox vandalism. This time however the vandals didn’t just stop with the mailbox. When the homeowner returned, she found over $800 worth of damage done to her trailer, with both the siding and the underpinning partially damaged. Also her mailbox had been ripped up and smashed with what appeared to be a hammer. There are several suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

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 910 C Street in Wilkesboro. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

Fact From Fiction: Open Forum Today
Over the past year, there have been several conflicting reports about the air quality here in North Carolina. Is it safe? Is it polluted? Should we stay indoors and take precautions? Well later today Wilkes Open Forum will help you put an end to the guessing as Dr. Roy Cordato from the John Locke Foundation will be on hand to discuss the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report. That will go on tonight at 6pm in the Wilkes Public Library.

State News

NC State Faces Repair Bill Of Almost $1 Million
NC State officials received one large repair bill this week, after damage estimates were done on Reynolds Coliseum. The historic area, which had stood on campus for over forty years, was partially damaged during an electrical fire two weeks ago. Two classrooms were burned down and the rest of the building sustained heavy smoke damage. Estimates costs of the repairs, which have already begun, were placed at $900,000. That includes money for the classrooms to be completely rebuilt and other needed repairs throughout the complex. School officials however say that they’re confident the building will be ready by the time students arrive later this fall.

Broyhill Announces Massive Cuts
The job market in Caldwell County took a major hit this week, as Broyhill Furniture announced that it will be laying off a little more than 1,000 employees in the next two months. In addition, two plants in Lenoir will be closing down and another one in Rutherfordton will also be shutting its’ doors. The Harper Plant and Occasional 1 Plant, both in Lenoir will be shutting down and Plant 68 in Rutherfordton will as well. All of this will begin the week of August 13th with 1009 workers losing their jobs in one of the largest mass layoffs this year. Broyhill officials said staying competitive was the main reason they had to make the cuts. With imports from overseas taking a good part of the business, people had to be let go so that the company could remain viable. Certain departments at the plants, such as shipping, will stay open for several additional months, with a target closing date of around November 12th. After that time, all the doors will be shut and the property will be put up for sale.

Middle School Janitor Facing Charges
A Greensboro man is facing charges of embezzlement today after police say he stole $3000 from the middle school where he worked as a janitor. 34-yr-old Willie Lee resigned from Mendenhall Middle School last month and after an investigation, local police have charged him with embezzling from the school. It’s not been explained how Lee gained access to the money or why he decided to steal it. He was released this week after promising the judge in writing that he would appear in court when needed.

Charlotte Police Hunt Robbery Suspect
Police in the Charlotte area are trying to track down a man they believed robbed a bank on Wednesday and took off. The First Citizens Bank on Albemarle Road was robbed early Wednesday morning by a man who wore a bandana over his face. He ordered everyone to lie down on the floor, then took a bag of cash and left. Police describe the suspect as a black man in his mid 30s to early 40s, around 5’ft 9inches. He also wore safety glasses and a blue hard hat. The FBI is helping local authorities to investigate and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Car Crashes Into Winston Grocery Store
Shopping for food became deadly for people in Winston on Wednesday, as a driver crashed into the Food Lion on Reynolda Road. Local authorities say that the driver was an elderly woman, who first slammed into a nearby Ford Explorer. Then she shifted into drive and hit the gas pedal, plowing into the store. Damage was mainly contained to the checkout area and several people had to be treated for what authorities called minor injuries.

Bomb Threat Proves To Be A Hoax
The Charlotte bomb squad was called out early Wednesday morning to investigate a mysterious package that appeared at the Bob Walton Plaza in Center City. Several security workers discovered the package while doing rounds that morning. They alerted authorities and that entire section of street was shut down, all the way to the interstate entrance ramp for I-277. Once on the scene, bomb squad members took a water cannon and destroyed the box. When they looked inside however, all they found was an empty package.

Sports Headlines

Former Blue Devil Makes Comeback
A former Duke Blue Devil is getting set to make a comeback in the NBA, almost three years after a wreck nearly ended his life. Former Duke point guard Jay Williams is training and looking to get invited to an NBA training camp this fall. Williams had just finished his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 2003 when he crashed while riding his motorcycle. A nerve was severed in his left leg, ligaments were torn in his left knee and he also suffered several broken bones. Now after surgery and a strenuous rehab assignment, he’s working with Michael Jordan’s former trainer to get back into game shape. Williams has also been playing pickup games with friends Raymond Felton, Dee Brown and his former Duke teammate Chris Duhon. So far all the reports are good, but now it becomes a waiting game until after the draft, when teams make those final roster moves.

Manuel Out In Chicago
Taking a look at some other news from the NBA, Jackie Manuel won’t get a chance to put on a show this weekend in Chicago. Instead the former Tarheel will be watching from the stands after turning his ankle in practice. Reports from the camp trainers say that the injury didn’t look good and could sideline him for several weeks, meaning Manuel might not be able to work out for any teams before the NBA draft. And Julius Hodge explained why he declined an offer to play in the predraft camp, saying that he believed the personal workouts he had done for several teams was good enough to lock up a spot as a draft pick.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor league scoreboard last night, rain put a stop to Hickory’s matchup against the Greensville Bombers. The game was called before teams took the field in the third with Greenville holding a 1-0 lead. The game will be made up tonight, beginning at 6pm.
And the news wasn’t really any better for the Winston Salem Warthogs, as they lost to Potomac 10-9. The Nationals scored six runs in the fourth inning alone and managed to hold off a Warthog rally in the ninth inning. Winston starter Wes Whisler was yanked after just 3 1/3 innings of work, giving up seven runs off eight hits.

Buckner Stays For Another Year
Good news for fans of the Carolina Panthers today, as defensive tackle Brentson Buckner announced this week that he’ll be staying with the team for at least another season. After the year ended, Buckner had considered retirement, with a possible job as a radio or television analyst. The 33-yr-old said he decided to come back after looking at all the talent returning for this year’s squad, which he believes could put together another long run into the playoffs. The new team has got him so excited in fact, team officials told the media that Buckner was working out at the Panthers’ facilities a month before the off season program officially started.

In NASCAR, the Joe Gibbs Racing team made some changes on the field, replacing crew chief Dave Rodgers with Mike Ford. Ford will now take over as the crew chief for driver Jason Leffler, less than a month after being fired as the crew leader for Dale Jarrett’s team. Leffler has fallen out of the top 35 in points, with only a 12th place finish as the best of the season. Team president J.D. Gibbs said the move was needed to enhance the performance of both car and driver.


News & Sports For June 8th

News For Wednesday June 8th 2005

Wilkesboro Puts Hold On Mountain Sale
Plans to lease Gobbler’s Knob came to a halt this week as Wilkesboro officials announced the deal was off the table. The town had been in talks with Vulcan Materials to lease the top 200 feet of the mountain in exchange for a yearly payment of $7500 and royalties for each ton of rock taken out. Despite the announcement, it doesn’t mean that the deal is finished. Town officials announced at a meeting on Monday that they’ll continue to take a look at their options and possibly in the near future an amended offer will be extended to Vulcan. While the town could make over $1 million from the lease, concerns have been voiced about the ecological impact, especially after Monday’s presentation showed that there is a possibility a local watershed would be affected. In addition, the mountain can be seen from most portions of the county and could present an eyesore for any tourists driving through the proposed state visitor center which would be on U.S. 421.

Decision Handed Down On School Funds
Yesterday the Wilkes County Commissioners held their monthly meeting and one of the issues on the agenda dealt with the school system. Commissioners approved a measure that would refund $2 million to the school system for the costs involved with drawing and developing plans related to the upcoming school improvements package. As soon as those plans are drawn, bids will be taken and then commissioners will vote on approving the contracts. A target date for the plans to be finished hasn’t been set, although it’s expected to take at least the next four months.

Local Man Robbed In His Home
A Roaring River man called sheriff’s deputies earlier this week after being robbed in his home. At around 2am Sunday morning, the man woke up to find two other people in his house. One of them demanded money and after being told the man didn’t have any, hog-tied the homeowner and drug him into the kitchen, where the robbers proceeded to start beating him. One of the two walked through the house, apparently trying to find something but failing as the two soon left. The only thin taken from the residence was $65 from the homeowner’s wallet. The man only sustained minor injuries in the incident and deputies are continuing the investigation.

One Stop Shopping
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a residence in Ferguson earlier this week, after thieves broke in to do some shopping. The homeowner returned to find his front door had been kicked in and over $1200 worth of merchandise taken. Included in the theft was a 27 inch tv, a Winchester shotgun, a Regal guitar and several other items. That investigation is ongoing.

West Park To Hold Flag Dedication
A ceremony will be held next week to honor American soldiers and also to dedicate the new American flag at West Park. The event will be held Tuesday June 14th, beginning at noon with a special performance from the Liberty Grove Baptist Church Choir, in addition to tributes from the local VFW group and the Boy Scouts, who will be raising the flag into its’ new position. Once again all of this will be held at West Park in the Health Foundation’s park. For more information you can contact the Foundation at 838-1949.

Just Drove In And Took The Camper
How do you drive off with a camper top without anyone noticing? That’s what a Wilkesboro man is trying to find out today, after coming outside to find his had gone missing. The man had heard noises during the night but didn’t think anything of them. The thieves gained access to the camper top by smashing one of the vehicle’s windows and prying it off. Nothing else was damaged on the property and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Time To Play Kick The Car
Thieves broke into a Millers Creek man’s car earlier this week, ripping out the radio before causing over a hundred dollars worth of damage to the vehicle. Dents had been kicked in almost every section of the car, with quarter panels smashed in and other sections battered as well. The vehicle had been parked in the man’s driveway and despite the noise, he didn’t wake up during any part of the vandalism. There are suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Focus On Fox
With all the problems facing our government, certain issues are either being ignored or pushed under the radar. Stem cell research falls into the second category, with a bill that recently passed through the U.S. House allowing for extended use of embryonic cells. Congresswoman Virginia Fox was one of a slim few who voted against the bill and late last week she called in and explained why.
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Now to hear more of my interview with Congresswoman Fox, you can tune in this coming Thursday for Focus on the Foothills. That’s tomorrow at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Thieves Go On Listening Spree
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Millers Creek residence recently after broke into a local man’s car and stole over $200 worth of merchandise from inside. Included in the theft was just over $150 worth of music CDs, a camera and $5 in change. The doors had been left unlocked so thieves just opened them up and took what they wanted. There are suspects in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Case Of ID Theft Causes Headache For Deputies
A Ronda man called sheriff’s deputies earlier this week after discovering that someone had been writing checks in his name. Several local stores had contacted the man in recent weeks, informing him that his checks had bounced. However the man himself hadn’t been out shopping in over a month. After some investigation, deputies tracked the theft to a female family member, who admitted having the checks, however she claimed that she hadn’t been the one to use them. She then provided deputies with information regarding several others who could have committed the theft. There are several suspects in the case and deputies are still continuing the investigation.

State News

Missing Fisherman Located
Three days after he had gone missing, Rowan County authorities found the body of a missing fisherman. Monday night, searchers were able to locate the body near Cow Island on High Rock Lake. Over the past three days, volunteers have searched the water around High Rock Lake, looking for a local man who fell out of his boat late Friday evening. He had been fishing with his 10-yr-old son and two friends, who watched as the man fell into the water.

Thomasville Furniture To Begin Cuts

Bad news today for Thomasville Furniture employees, as the company announced the largest layoff in its’ history Tuesday afternoon. 620 employees will be fired before the end of this year, according to company officials, starting with the closing of Plant A in Thomasville. Davidson County workers have also been informed that 302 support jobs would be removed from the area, with more to follow. All of these cuts will begin in August as the company continues its’ restructuring plans. A lower demand for furniture and overseas competition were cited as two of the main reasons for the move. All released workers can file for federal benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act.

Modeling Agency Goes Under The Knife
The Face Modeling Agency has shut down in recent weeks, but that didn’t stop the Attorney General in North Carolina from issuing an order to the company. All of the company’s former clients have to be paid back for work that was never done. The Face Agency has been accused of corruption for several years, with several newspapers and TV stations doing investigations. At last estimate, the state attorney general’s office says that 512 people were scammed by the would be talent agency, who promised magazine covers and tv show spots to its’ clients. While money was paid out, the promised roles never materialized. A list of the scam victims had been given to the Attorney General and they plan to contact each one, forcing Face to give each one a refund.

Several Hundred Foster Kids Now Homeless
A shocking study was released this week that showed North Carolina’s foster care system has some serious holes in it. The reason? Almost 500 kids were released from foster care in 2004 after they turned eighteen. Out of that number, one in eight are now homeless. The study, which was supported by independent coordinator Youth Homes Inc., found that most foster kids in the system have a hard time surviving on their own due to having little money and also in some cases, no skills to get a job with. $1000 is given to former foster kids to pay for their housing each year and $500 a year is given out for living expenses such as food and clothes. That runs out three years after they turn eighteen and leave.

Vietnam Memorial Going On Tour In Caldwell
Each year, it’s estimated that at least 3.5 million people travel to Washington and pay a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For some here in North Carolina who can’t afford to make that trip, the Memorial is going on tour. In September, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience will come to Caldwell County. The traveling memorial is a three quarter scale version of the original that goes around the country from California to New York City. The wall will be up for viewing at the Lenoir Mall from September 9th through the 11th.

Attack Of The Killer Bees
With summertime on the way, bees are out and about in North Carolina, but usually in manageable numbers. However that wasn’t the case for a Greenville woman, who saw 20 bees swarming around one of the walls in her house and got some spray, thinking she’d solve the problem. Instead, she discovered over 10,000 of the bees living in the walls, an entire colony that had taken up residence at her house. A local bee keeper was called out and quickly took care of the problem, extracting the bees using his own customized vaccum. Now the colony has a new home in his personal backyard collection, along with several thousand more of the insects.

Sports Headlines

NC State Lands Another Recruit
NC State continues to restock its’ basketball program, as yet another junior recruit committed to the Wolfpack. Larry Davis, a 6-3 shooting guard from New York City, picked State over Villanova and Pittsburgh. Last year as a junior, Davis averaged fourteen points, seven rebounds and eight assists while also keeping a 4.0 GPA. Davis said he picked State because he thought it was the best school to help him achieve his full potential.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor league scoreboard last night, it was Hickory losing a close one 3-2 against the Greenville Bombers. The Bombers drove in the winning run on an RBI single from center fielder Bret Levier and then held off a Crawdads rally to take the win. Despite not getting a decision, Hickory starter Derek Hankins pitched a good game, going six innings while only giving up two runs on six hits.
The news was better however up the road in Potomac, as the Winston Salem Warthogs beat the Nationals 7-2. Ryan Rodriguez got his sixth win of the season, going six innings and only allowing one run on six hits. With the victory, Winston stands a half game behind first place Kinston.

Major League Draft Begins
Tuesday was the first day of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft, with two North Carolina players taken in the first round. Cameron Maybin, from TC Robinson High School was picked 10th by the Detroit Tigers. Maybin, a center fielder with Roberson who is also the cousin of former Tarheel Rashad McCants, will be looked to provide some help for the Tigers’ shaky defense in the near future. He also brings some pop to the lineup, as Maybin set a state record last year with a .662 average in his senior season at Roberson. And Braves fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because some help for that much maligned bullpen could be on the way soon. Atlanta picked Joseph Devine, a right handed pitcher from NC State with the 27th pick in yesterday’s draft. Depending on how quickly he signs, some scouts are saying that Devine could be in an Atlanta uniform as early as next summer.

North Carolina Players Go To Camp
As the NBA’s draft day gets closer, some North Carolina players were invited to this week’s workout camp in Chicago. Eddie Basden from UNC Charlotte, Jackie Manuel & Jawad Williams from the Tarheels, Eric Williams from Wake Forest and high school senior Brandon Rush from Durham Mount Zion Academy were all invited to take part in workouts at the event, which serves as a chance for lesser known athletes to have a chance to shine and possibly move up on draft day. One surprise from the camp was that NC State’s Julius Hodge announced that he had been offered an invitation but turned it down. A reason for Hodge’s decision wasn’t given. UNC Tarheel Marvin Williams along with teammates Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants are all scheduled to hold private workouts with interested teams this week.