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Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.


Nurseries: You May Be Eligible for SBA Help Due to Drought

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds nurseries that they may be eligible for low-interest drought assistance loans offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The loans are available for all qualifying small businesses affected by the drought.

“Loans are now available for eligible nurseries because of three recent federal disaster declarations,” Troxler said. “Most North Carolina counties are included in the program, and I encourage nurserymen to contact the Small Business Administration if they are interested in this program.”

Eligible small businesses may qualify for loans up to $1.5 million. Loans are available at 4 percent interest rates. Loan amounts and terms are determined by the SBA. Agricultural producers are not eligible for loans under this disaster declaration.

To find out more about the program, contact the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s Web site at The deadline for applying for this loan program is May 12.


Robbery Reported at Wilkes Home

Deputies are following up on a reported strong-arm robbery Monday afternoon. They received a call form 44-year old Garry Johnson, Junior, who lives outside North Wilkesboro, about 3:30 in the afternoon. He was visibly intoxicated when they arrived at the house, deputies say. Johnson told them someone had come by the house trying to sell him illegal drugs. When he told the person,w ho he claims he didn't know, that he had no money, Johnson says the man punched him in the face and took his wallet. It contained his ID and about 440-dollars. The alleged robber is a black male in his 20's, about 5-feet 10-inches tall, 170 pounds. Johnson was not able to offer a clothing description.


Computer Stolen from Kitchen Table

A rural Wilkesboro woman will have to replace her computer, and may have some concerns about identity theft, after the laptop was stolen from her home Monday. Mary Jean Hodges called sheriff deputies Monday afternoon, reporting that someone had broken into the house between 7:30 that morning and about noon, by prying open the back door. The Dell Laptop, which is worth about 12-hundred dollars, was sitting on the kitchen table when she left. The break in caused about 150-dollars damage to the door frame. Hodges gave deputies the name of a woman she believes might be the culprit, but she has not been arrested yet. The case remains under investigation.


Hay Plan Announced by Easley

Drought-stricken farmers who are running out of feed for their cattle and horses will be able to take part in a state program that will provide up to $3.5 million to bring in hay from other states. “We can use the state’s purchasing power to get much-needed hay at the lowest price possible,” Governor Easley said in a news release yesterday. “This way we can sell it to the state’s farmers, who must be able to feed their 800,000 head of cattle and horses, help them keep farming and avoid selling off their herds.”

The statewide drought left fields dry and farmers without the hay harvests they would normally need to make sure cattle and horses are fed through the winter. It was estimated that the state needs about 100,000 rolls of hay at a cost of about $30 per roll.

Late this summer hay production was predicted to be 897,000 tons, a 45 percent drop from last year. Many farmers whose corn and soybean crops have been ruined by the drought, are using it for silage and selling it for animal feed.

The Council of State unanimously voted to authorize state Budget Director David McCoy to use up to $3.5 million to purchase and transport the hay to North Carolina. Easley said he will work with a variety of state and federal agencies, including the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and the state’s Department of Agriculture, to find the most cost effective ways to locate the hay and get it to the state, including exploring the use of the National Guard. Farmers would pay the direct costs of the hay, so the state would eventually be reimbursed for its spending.


NC Teachers Lead the Nation

North Carolina continues to have more nationally-certified teachers than any other state, according to a news release today from Governor Easley. With 12,770 teachers across the state now certified, nearly 15 percent of North Carolina teachers have achieved National Board certification. "We are proud that more than one-fifth of the nation's 64,000 National Board Certified teachers work in North Carolina classrooms," Easley said. "Our state supports and applauds these educators who are crucial to our efforts to prepare students for college, a career and success in the 21st century."

National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession, requires an extensive series of performance-based assessments including teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough reviews of the candidates' classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge, as well as their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

North Carolina supports teachers’ efforts to achieve National Board Certification in the following ways:

* Payment up front of the $2,500 assessment fee. (Teachers are obligated to teach in the state the following year whether or not they achieve certification.)
* Three paid release days from normal teacher responsibilities to develop their portfolios.
* A 12-percent salary supplement to the teachers’ regular salary, good for the 10-year life of the certification.
* 15 continuing education units (CEUs) awarded to the individual for completing the National Board Certification process.

North Carolina has led the nation in the number of nationally board certified teachers since 1994. The other states in the top 5 ranking are Florida, 10,875; South Carolina, 5,729; California, 3,878; Ohio, 2,757.


Man Shoots Himself While Hunting

A Traphill man is recovering from an accidental shooting that happened yesterday while he was hunting. 22-year old Jamie Jackson tells sheriff deputies he had shot a deer while out hunting on the family's property in Mountain View, and was tracking it through some heavy brush not long before sunset. He guesses he accidentally knocked the safety off, and the gun discharged, leaving him with a through-and-through injury to his left foot. The rifle was a .22 Remington semi-auto. The injury, while painful, was of a nature that he was able to drive himself to Wilkes Regional Medical Center for treatment.


WCHS Student Dies at Home

Sheriff deputies investigating the death of a Wilkes Central High School student have found some paraphernalia that may indicate drugs played a role. 16-year old Zachary Lowe's mother found him yesterday afternoon, laying on his bed unresponsive and not breathing. Emergency responders quickly determined he was dead, and had been for some time. His mother tells deputies she said good night to him about 9:30 Sunday night, and at that time he was falling asleep, nodding off in mid-conversation, and mumbling heavily. She told deputies about six months ago, he had admitted to being on "ladder bars," a street name for benzodiazapines, a group of anti-anxiety or tranquilizing drugs that includes Xanax, Valuim, Ativan and Versed. Lowe apparently fell asleep in the middle of a conversation on his cell phone, as the phone was found laying on his chest, open. Deputies seized a straw and a spoon with burned residue, often a sign of drug use. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, but lab results on the drug tests won't be back for several weeks. Deputies indicate no signs of foul play in their report.


Soda Machine Broken into at Dr. Church's Office

Wilkesboro Police are investigating another soda machine break-in. Officers were called to Dr. Keith Church's office on Industrial Drive Friday around 11am. Dr. Church told them when he'd left the night before, the drink machine outside was fine, but when employees of the office arrived Friday morning, it had been broken into. The thief had used a pry bar to try and break the lock on the machine, but it held. Still, the thief was able to bend the door enough to access the coin box and change tray, empty out the money, and put the change tray back in the machine. Damage to the machine is the largest loss, valued at 400-dollars. The amount of change taken from the machine is estimated at about 10-dollars. There are currently no suspects.


Shoplifters Arrested

What two Wilkes men likely intended as a quick in-and-out shoplifting incident ended with them jailed for the weekend facing both new and old charges. Deputies were called to the Food LIon on HIghway 16 North Saturday evening, after the store manager had confronted 27-year old Michael Smithey as he left the store. Employees had reported seeing Smithey stuff nearly 125-dollars worth of steaks into his jacket and try to leave the store without paying. When the manager confronted him, Smithey took off across the parking lot to a waiting car driven by 34-year old Robert Smithey. But employees pulled Michael back out of the car before he could leave, and detained both of them for deputies to arrive. A quick check found the steaks still in his jacket, and a call on the radio confirmed there were warrants out ordering the arrest of both on earlier crimes. They were booked into jail on the old warrants, and on new charges related to the misdemeanor theft.


Fire in Pickup Intentionally Set

Fire and police investigators are still looking into a case that started a couple of weeks ago, and ended with a 17-year old boy's pickup truck on fire. The fire happened back on the 24th, and investigator Nick Hamby released the report yesterday. In it, he says 17-year old Ronda resident Charles Tyler Sale was visiting a home on Barker Road late the evening of the 24th, and was alerted by some neighbors that his pickup was on fire in the driveway. Earlier in the evening, the pickup and trees were covered with toilet paper in a juvenile prank, but no damage occurred. The pickup was in good repair, according to Hamby, and showed no signs of fire in the engine compartment or of an electrical nature. Only the passenger compartment had caught fire, and it was damaged heavily. the loss estimate on the 1994 Toyota pickup is 4-thousand dollars. None of the people in the area at the time were able to identify any possible suspects, or offer a guess as to why Sale's pickup might have been targeted. The investigation continues.