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News & Sports For August 9th

ABC School Report Part 2: Middle Schools
With the State’s ABC results out for this year, Wilkes County schools have a grade to show for their end of course testing. Today we’re taking a look at the middle schools and how they measured up to the state requirements. All but one of the schools met or exceeded expectations, with that one exception being North Wilkes Middle. On the other side of the county, East Wilkes Middle was named an Honor School of Excellence, meaning that at least 90% of the students scored high on the testing and met the state’s requirements. Central Wilkes and West Wilkes Middle were both named as Schools of Distinction, which means that at least 80% of students met or exceeded state requirements. Those three schools, Central, East and West also all made high growth projections, exceeding the results from last year while continuing to develop. Tomorrow we’ll examine where the local high schools stand in all of this.

Reports of Forgery In North Wilkesboro
A North Wilkesboro man got a surprise over the weekend, when he received a call from his bank. It seems that several checks written to the man’s account had bounced, despite the fact he had never actually written them. All total, 25 checks had been taken from his home, along with $1600 in cash and $1500 in silver coins. It’s unclear exactly how the items were taken, as there hadn’t been any sign of a break-in during recent weeks and the man had just now noticed the items were gone. There is however a suspect in the case, as officials were identified of someone trying to cash one of the checks at a local store. The investigation is ongoing.

Open House At Different Schools This Week
With the first day of school less than a week away, it’s open house time around the county. Things get started tonight as North Wilkes Middle School holds orientation starting at 5:15 for rising 6th graders. Then later on at 7:15, it will be open house time for 7th and 8th graders. Also 7th & 8th graders at West Wilkes Middle can go by tonight starting at 3pm and pick up their schedules. For the other schools in the area, Thursday and Friday are the dates for this year’s orientation sessions. C.B. Eller, C.C. Wright, Moravian Falls, Mulberry, Roaring River, Traphill and Wilkesboro Elementary will all hold orientation sessions on Thursday night. Also the four high schools will all hold freshman orientation on Thursday, beginning for each one at 6pm. Mountain View Elementary will be holding their open house one day later, on Friday the 12th, as will East Wilkes Middle and Boomer Ferguson will hold a special orientation Friday night for Pre K and Kindergarten students, so they can meet the teacher. The final three schools are holding open house next week, beginning with Central Wilkes Middle School on the 14th, Mount Pleasant Elementary on the 18th and Millers Creek Elementary on the 25th.

Gas Thieves Hit Another Wilkes Business
Gas thieves hit another business in Wilkes this weekend, targeting the Grocery Bag on Boone Trail. A man pulled up in his vehicle, pumped just over $12 worth of gas into the car and then drove off without paying. A description of both the man and his ride were turned over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation is ongoing.

Farmers At Risk Of Losing Benefits As Deadline Extended

Some farmers here in Wilkes County could be at risk of losing state aid dollars unless a mistake is corrected. The aid money is scheduled to be sent out to any farmer who suffered crop losses or had to rebuild from last year’s hurricanes. However when filing out their information sheet, several hundred farmers throughout North Carolina refused to allow the state to share their information with federal agencies. This causes a problem because the Department of Agriculture is the one in charge of sending out the aid money & without that consent form, they don’t know who to send it to. The deadline to turn in a form is September 9th and you can pick one up at the Cooperative Extension office. To call for more information, their number is 651-7331.

Wreck On 421 Totals Two
Wilkesboro police were called out to a wreck on 421 over the weekend, after a driver ran a red light. A Wilkesboro woman was trying to turn left onto Hwy 421 when another driver ran the red light and slammed into her. That second vehicle, driven by a Boone man was totaled with damages placed at $4000. Meanwhile the woman’s car was also totaled, with estimated damages placed at $5000. Thankfully no one was hurt in the crash however 22-yr-old Robert William Bates was charged with a stop light violation.

Pregnancy Center To Hold Event This Month
The Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center has been helping people deal with unplanned pregnancies for the last 10 years. They also counsel women who are either considering abortion or have already gone through with one. Coming up next week, the Center is putting together a program to help minister to those who are struggling to come to terms with an abortion in their past. That will go on once again August 20th starting at 9am in the morning. For more information you can call the Pregnancy Care Center at 838-9272.

Tires Slashed While At A Business
A Wilkesboro woman called police over the weekend after coming out of the store to find her car had been vandalized. All four tires had been slashed, that along with other damage was estimated at a total cost of $500. There are suspects in the case, as employees inside the store witnessed two men doing something to the vehicle, but they couldn’t tell what. Names and a description of both men were turned over to police and the investigation is ongoing.

Head Start Orientation

As we get closer to the start of school, we’re also approaching the beginning of this year’s Head Start program. With that in mind, orientation for Head Start will take place at all three Wilkes County Centers this Friday. You and your child can come in anytime from 8am til 8pm, with officials on hand to answer your questions and show you around. Once again that will be held this Friday, August 12th at the Cub Creek, Lomax and North Wilkesboro Head Start Centers. For more information you can call Judi Mitchell at the BROC head office. Her number is 667-7174.

State News

Elderly Man Saves Soldier’s Life
A man in Fayetteville North Carolina saved the light of a soldier over the weekend. The soldier apparently had a seizure according to officials and lost control of his vehicle, which crashed into a gas pump. The car then burst into flames as the soldier’s wife and daughter were able to get out of the vehicle, however he was still pinned inside. 62-yr-old Richard Raynor heard the wife calling for help and managed to pull her husband, Adam Umland out of the car before it exploded. Umland sustained third degree burns across parts of his body and is currently being treated at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Pardons Come Slow For Freed Inmates
Problems are stemming up in North Carolina’s prison system, even after the inmates are freed. Recent evidence has led to freedom for at least four men in the state, however their permanent record still labels them as criminals. 54-yr-old Silvester Smith was wrongfully accused of being a child molester, however even after his release from prison, he has to register as a known sex offender. His case was thrown out of court due to testimony that proved he didn’t commit the crimes. With the offender tag, he’s been unable to find a job, despite his innocence. And several other similar cases are coming to light, all involving innocent men who still are labeled as criminals. Despite the problem however, Gov. Easley’s office hasn’t handed out any pardons. It’s not that he has refused, but his office says they’re reviewing the cases in question and there could possibly be a pardon issued by the end of this term.

Jobs Leaving High Point
Bad news today for people in the High Point area, as more jobs are heading out of town. Less than a week after the president signed the CAFTA bill into law, Henredon Upholstery announced plans to shut down their plant in the area. 45 jobs will be lost in the move as the company hopes to raise profits by combining the plant’s operations with another one in the area. Company officials said it was simply a plan to get better production from their factories.

North Carolina Man Breaks Drum Record
What does it take to be the world’s fastest drummer? A North Carolina man can tell you, as Cary resident Eric Okamoto broke the world record. Okamoto, a music teacher in the area, hit 1559 drumstrokes a minute, which broken down, means 26 strokes a second. The competition he took part in is called Extreme Sport Drumming, an event in which over 10,000 people have tried to break the previous record. The event is held twice a year and winners get their name entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Police Searching For Assault Suspect At NC State
Police around the NC State campus are searching for a suspect today, after he assaulted a student at the school. Over the weekend, a woman was walking on campus when she was grabbed from behind and tossed to the ground. She managed to escape and got a good look at her attacker, which a description was turned over to police. The man is believed to be in his 20s, around 5’7ft with brown hair and a strange body odor. Officials are asking anyone with information to call the local Crimestoppers before he strikes again.

Sports Headlines

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor league scoreboard from Monday, it was Delmarva beating the Hickory Crawdads 10-4. The game was called halfway through the eighth inning due to rain, as Crawdads starter Julio Guerrero got saddled with the loss. Guerrero gave up eight runs over four innings of work as Hickory falls four and a half games behind Delmarva in the hunt for the Northern Division title. Up the road in Winston the news was the same as the Warthogs lost to Wilmington 5-4. It took eleven innings to seal the deal as Warthogs reliever Juan Ovalles gave up the final run.

Kasay Unleashes Kicks

Fans who came out to the Carolina Panthers’ practice got some excitement earlier this week. Kicker John Kasay nailed several field goals beyond the fifty yard marker, hitting them from 59, 55 and 50 yards. So far, Kasay ranks third in league history in field goals made from beyond fifty yards, something that he attributes to God. He told reporters that it’s only by God’s grace that he can still maneuver and perform at such a high level.

Bobcats Schedule Revealed
The Charlotte Bobcats are still growing and developing into an NBA team, this being their second year in the league. Now at least they’ll know who to prepare for, as the schedules were released yesterday for the upcoming season. Tarheel fans will get their first chance to see the new Bobcats, Raymond Felton and Sean May on Saturday November 5th, when the team opens up the new arena against the Boston Celtics. Before that Charlotte starts off with two games on the road. First in Chicago on the 2nd and then in Philadelphia on the 4th.

Hurricanes Sign Another Player
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes added another piece to the puzzle by signing Ray Whitney. Whitney, who had played the last four years with the Florida Panthers, agreed to a two year deal with the team. The 33-yr-old will help revive a struggling Hurricane offense, which only converted 10% of its’ power plays in 2003.

Kahne Signs Extension
In NASCAR, Kasey Kahne has his future locked up, after coming to terms on a contract with Everham Motorsports. With Kahne gone from the free agent market, rumors are now flying around the DEI is going after a big name driver to race in the #15 next season. Michael Waltrip will vacate the driver’s seat as he’s announced plans to leave DEI after this year is over. The mystery driver is under 30, according to Earnhart officials and ran a good time in this week’s practice sessions. An official announcement isn’t expected for several weeks on the hire.


News & Sports For August 8th

North Wilkesboro To Hold Public Hearing
The way elections are held may be changing in North Wilkesboro. A public hearing will go on September 13th to determine if the town will continue holding partisan elections or primaries. Currently North Wilkesboro is one of only seven across North Carolina to have such elections, but that may change if Mayor Steve Foster has his way. Foster received approval last week from the town board to hear what the public has to say about the proposal. If it passes, the move would save thousands of dollars, as primaries routinely cost around two to three thousand dollars. Instead all candidates would move forward to the general election, where people could vote for whoever they choose, regardless of party affiliation.

Shots Fired At Wilkesboro Residence
Deputies are investigating a shooting that took place in Wilkesboro over the weekend. A local man was sleeping in his living room when he heard gunshots outside. Then seconds later a second round of gunfire ripped through his home, hitting him on the left side. The man was taken to Wilkes Regional, where he was reported to be in good condition. Deputies went to his home and found eleven shell casings outside the home and several more within, They were able to match the bullets to a 9mm weapon and are continuing the investigation.

Counterfeit Money Found In Wilkesboro
Wilkesboro police were called out to the Lovette Company late last week, after $20 in counterfeit money was discovered. Company officials told police that they had no idea how they got the cash, which was found when they made a deposit at the bank. This marks the second time in under a month that counterfeit money has been turned in by a local business and the investigation is ongoing.

Blood Drives Across County
1500 pints of blood are used in hospitals and emergency rooms every day to treat accident victims, deal with disease and perform surgery. With accidents and other injuries constantly in the news, Wilkes County’s blood supply continues to hover around the critical level. In order to help solve the problem, the Red Cross has organized two more blood drives in our area. The first will be this afternoon from 2-6:30pm at the Lovette Company. Then one hour later Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church will host a drive, from 3-7pm. Before donating, just remember that you must be at least 17 years old, weigh no less than 110 lbs and be in good health. To set up an appointment you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Attack Of The Video Game Bandits
A North Wilkesboro man called out sheriff’s deputies late last week, after thieves broke in. He had returned from work to find several hundred dollars worth of merchandise gone from the home, including a Playstation 2 and nine games. There was no damage done to the property and no sign of a break-in however. There is a suspect in the case, as the man believes the thief had a key to the house. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Local Businesses Fall Victim To Break-in

Two businesses in Wilkesboro fell victim to thieves late last week. Someone had busted through part of the cinder block wall in both locations, making a hole just big enough to get through. In Bestway, the thieves stole two Dell laptop computers and some employee files. An estimated $1500 worth of damage was done. Less than a few feet away, the thieves struck again at Go Wireless, busting in and causing $2450 in damage. However unlike in Bestway, nothing was taken from the store. Wilkesboro police are continuing the investigation.

Always Keep Your Car Doors Locked
It’s never a good idea to leave your car doors unlocked. A Millers Creek woman learned that the hard way after several thousand dollars worth of money & merchandise was stolen from inside. The woman returned from a local store to find that thieves had been inside and stolen her wallet, $3800 and seven credit cards. There are no suspects but Wilkesboro police are continuing the investigation.

ABCs of School
Late last week, the results were released for this year’s ABC testing program. The grades of each school were made public by the state Department of Public Instruction and here in Wilkes, there was both good and bad. Today we’re taking a look at the elementary schools throughout the county. Eight of the thirteen elementary schools met state expectations and several even exceeded them. Four county elementary schools were named as Schools of Distinction. CC Wright, Mulberry, Ronda Clingman and Wilkesboro. CC Wright also made the list of schools making higher than expected growth, joining Traphill, Mulberry, Ronda Clingman and Boomer Ferguson. Two schools in the county were named as Honor Schools of Excellence, Traphill and Mountain View while Boomer Ferguson and Moravian Falls were both named Schools of Progress. Tomorrow we’ll go over the middle schools, explaining which ones made the cut and which ones didn’t.

State News

One North Carolina School Keeps Indian Name
Seventeen universities across North Carolina will be looking for a new mascot this year, after being told to make a change. The NCAA announced that all schools with an Indian mascot would have to find a new one, however there was one exception. UNC Pembroke gets to keep its’ name, a decision that has several groups up in arms. The NCAA said the exception was given because Pembroke was exclusively an American Indian school for 67 years and so was given preferential treatment. The change was ordered in the first place because groups have complained that the use of a Native American mascot is scary and intimidating to some, while seeming to be hostile to others.

Missing Greensboro Man Found
The search is over today for a missing Greensboro man. 84-yr-old Frank Rasche was found just a few miles from his home, dead in the woods. A teenager came across the body while looking for a missing cat. Deputies said that it appeared the man died of natural causes, but an autopsy has been ordered just to be sure. The 84-yr-old went missing during the last week of July when it’s believed he wandered away from home.

Search Is On For Hit & Run Driver
The search is on today for a hit & run driver in Winston Salem. A local man was walking near Bowman Gray Stadium when he was hit by a van speeding through the intersection. The man, Randall Lee Beougher died at Baptist Hospital. Officials have obtained a description of the van, labeled as a light colored vehicle with damage to the right front section. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 336-727-2800.

Jobs Coming To Winston
Good news for people in the Winston area, as some jobs will be coming in over the next three years. AGL Logistics announced plans this weekend to lease a warehouse near the new Dell plant, providing supplies for the plant as needed. 50 workers will be hired to run the warehouse, dealing with shipping and other issues as needed. The jobs will be open to anyone, as the company is posting employment information on its’ website

Budget Agreement Will Be Announced Today
Finally after several months of debate and discussion, a state budget will be officially unveiled later today. The two year plan comes as both parties have agreed to compromise. The cigarette tax will be increased to 30 cents on September 1st, then by this time next year it will increase five more cents. State employees will also get an $850 increase in pay, while teachers’ pay will be raised 2.4 percent.

Sports Headlines

Heels Lose Member Of Their Team
Up the road in Chapel Hill, the news wasn’t good for the Tarheels, who saw a member of their offense leave. However Vince Wilson decided to leave all on his own. Wilson, a 5-9 sophomore, announced that he was transferring from the school because he felt he wasn’t being used enough by the team. He sat down and talked with Coach John Bunting through the week before finally coming to the decision. The move however leaves North Carolina with a very inexperienced backfield. None of their halfbacks have ever carried the ball during a college game. Barrington Edwards, who transferred in last year from LSU, becomes the starter with freshmen James Arnold and Richie Rich backing him up

Duke Loses Kicker
Up the road in Durham, Duke’s football team is rushing to find a kicker today, after Alex Feinberg announced he would miss this upcoming season. Duke coach Ted Roof said that Feinberg told him the decision was made for personal reasons. Now with the season less than a month away, freshman Joe Surgan will take over kicking duties. As a high school senior, Surgan was ranked number four in the nation.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor league scoreboard, it was Hickory falling against Delmarva 7-6. Despite having the tying run less than 90 feet away at third base, the Crawdads couldn’t drive him in during the ninth inning. The news was better however for the Winston Salem Warthogs, as they beat the Fredrick Keys 12-3. Warthogs reliever Fraser Dizard got his fourth win of the year, giving up one run in three innings of work.

Jones Retires From Panthers

For the second year in a row, a free agent of the Panthers has retired without playing a down. Tight end Freddie Jones retired on Sunday, saying that it was in the best interests of his family. He also said that he looked forward to whatever God has planned for him during his retirement. With Jones gone, the Panthers have three tight ends on the roster. Veterans Kris Mangum, Mike Seidman and second year player Michael Gaines.

NASCAR Results
Tony Stewart took the checkered flag at yesterday’s Allstate 400. Kasey Kahne was second, Brian Vickers third, Jeremey Mayfield fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five. With the win, Stewart takes over the lead in points, 75 in front of Jimmie Johnson and 111 ahead of Greg Biffle.


News & Sports For August 5th

Schools Drop As Test Results Released
More bad news today for some parents of Wilkes County students. The state released final results from this year’s ABC’s of Public Education program, holding schools accountable for student performances in all of the end of grade testing and other plans. Here in Wilkes, six schools failed to meet expectations for the year. They were CB Eller Elementary, Millers Creek Elementary, Mount Pleasant Elementary, Roaring River Elementary and North Wilkesboro Elementary, in addition to North Wilkes Middle School. All others met state expectations, while some in fact exceeded them. We’ll go over this more in detail starting on Monday, breaking down each individual school by examining their scores from the state.

Be Careful Who Has Your Information
Be careful who you give out personal information to. That’s what a local man learned this week. Some of his personal information, along with one of his credit cards had ended up in the hands of his girlfriend without his permission. Checking his account, the man soon found that $30 had been spent in the last day alone. Because he hadn’t given permission, the man took out a warrant for the girl’s arrest. But that wasn’t all that deputies found when they brought her in. Inside her purse was her boyfriend’s credit card along with two others that he hadn’t noticed missing yet, in addition to a capital one card apparently stolen from her grandfather. 22-yr-old Amanda Marie Wyatt was arrested and charged with two counts of larceny and financial card fraud.

Wreck On Curtis Bridge Road Totals Two
A wreck on Curtis Bridge Road damaged two vehicles this week. A Moravian Falls woman was trying to merge from a side road but failed to see the oncoming traffic. She slammed into a Wilkesboro woman who couldn’t get out of the way in time. Both vehicles were totaled, with estimated damages placed at $3600. However after giving out her information, the first driver took off down the road. Jennifer Ann Rathburn was charged with hit & run, along with failure to yield the right of way.

Maple Hill Grocery Falls Victim To Vandals
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the Maple Hill Grocery on Wednesday, after employees came in to find that damage had been done to the place overnight. The building’s front window was shattered, with estimated damages placed at $300. There is however a suspect in the case, as a man in a white Chevy truck was seen in the parking lot doing donuts during the night. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Deadline Today For Filing
Today’s the final day for anyone who wants to put their name in the election race this year. The deadline is today at noon, after that the nominees are locked in and we start progressing toward the primaries for those races who need one. One of those will be for the Republican nomination for mayor of North Wilkesboro. Incumbent Steve Foster is running again as is his opponent from the last time around, Gerald Lankford. A primary date will be set and then the winner of that vote will go on to face Democrat George G. Church in the November election. One more name was added to the race for Ronda commissioner this week, as Patricia Hawkins entered the race. She’ll join incumbents Brison Combs and Ricky Cothren, along with Manuel Wood, Helen Porter, Wanda Blackburn and Holly Duplisea. Over the bridge in Wilkesboro, incumbents Mike Inscore and James Hartley will be running unopposed for their town commissioner seats, while in North Wilkesboro, Billy Joe “Crow” Church, Robert L. Johnson, Debbie Ferguson, Faye Cox and Eric Williams will all be vying for the two Democratic seats up for grabs.

Items Stolen From Forest Service
The local branch of the Forest Service found itself the victim of a break-in this week as thieves walked out with over $1500 worth of material. There was no sign of a break-in at the property and no damage done, however several boxes of tools were missing. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

3WC Healthwatch: A Stalk A Day Keeps The Cancer Away
This next bit of news is for everyone out there who doesn’t like eating vegetables. You might want to reconsider. In today’s 3WC Healthwatch, scientists from the Institute of Food Technologists have found that eating broccoli could help prevent bladder cancer or possibly slow its’ spread if you’ve already contracted the disease. Doctors told the Reuters news service that compounds in broccoli called isothiocynates aggressively go after cancer cells in the bladder, dramatically slowing their spread. While this is by no means a miracle cure, it can help patients slow the spread of their disease in some cases and for others who are cancer free, broccoli sprouts can help you stay that way. One thing to consider however is that this research is still in the early stages and it’s not yet clear how much broccoli you’d need to eat before seeing results.

Radio Stolen From Car

A Millers Creek woman returned from a trip to find that thieves had paid a visit to her house. The radio was ripped out of her car, however no other damage was done to the vehicle and nothing else was bothered on the property. There is however a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Relay For Life Later Today

When we hear the word cancer, the first thing we think of is death. But it’s not always a life-ending disease and with more research, it’s possible we could see a cure in our lifetime. To do that however, money has to be raised for the research, more than just the government can spare. One organization built to do just that is Relay For Life and this year’s Relay for Life event will be held at Wilkes Community College later on today. The event will begin at 6pm and continue on until 10am Saturday morning. For more information you can call Jo Dejournet at 838-3973.

State News

State Wanting Improvement In Failing Schools
The latest round of tests haven’t done much to improve North Carolina’s scores or standing in regards to education. With that being the case, Gov. Easley announced this week that he wants special teams to be sent into the 44 high schools that had low performance scores. These teams would be put together with workers from the state’s Department of Public Instruction and as a trial run, will start their program in 10 Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools. Each team will record data from the schools’ students and teachers, analyzing it while also taking a look at how schools in the area spent the money they were given. Then they’ll present goals for each school and recommendations on how to improve.

Minimum Wage Might Be Raised
Good news for people making minimum wage today, as your paychecks could be increasing. North Carolina’s House Finance Committee approved a bill Thursday morning that would raise the minimum wage here in the state to $6 per hour. That was part of a larger bill, creating a tax credit for all small businesses that give their employees health insurance. The bill will now go to the full House for a vote, after passing the committee 22-10. Opponents of the increase say that in order to keep increasing profits, companies would begin laying off workers to make up the difference. A similar bill failed to pass the House in June.

Reward Offered For Missing Guilford County Man
One week after a Guilford County man wandered off from his home and there’s still no sign of him. Officials used dogs over the weekend to track him and ended up at the Adams Farm shopping center, where the animals lost the scent. Now family members of 84-yr-old Frank Rasche are asking the public for help and have put out a $5000 reward for information. Residents living around the Guilford County area are being asked to search around any wooded areas near their homes, the most likely place for the man to be, according to county officials.

Missing Radiation In North Carolina
Residents of Charlotte were warned yesterday of a possible health risk, as a device holding radioactive materials went missing. North Carolina’s Radiation Protection Section said that the device in question was a gauge, used to measure the amount of radiation in the area. It disappeared from a construction site where it was being used near Highway 74. According to officials, if not handled correctly, the gauge can cause both health and safety problems, so they’re asking people to stay at least 15 feet away if they spot it. Anyone who does locate the device is asked to call the NC Radiation Protection Section at 919-571-4141.

Bragg Deserter Arrested
An Army soldier from Fort Bragg has been arrested in New Hampshire, after deserting from his post. 40-yr-old Gerald Remacle had been missing for over a year when officials found him living in New Hampshire. He was arrested and charged with desertion, in addition to driving with a suspended license. He’s currently in custody awaiting extradition back to North Carolina.

Wachovia Trimming Jobs From Carolina Cities
Bad news today for Wachovia employees, as the company announced it plans to cut an estimated 150 jobs over the next few months. The cuts were made so that Wachovia can outsource the jobs to another company, Chicago-based Hewitt Associates in order to save money. Most of the affected positions here in North Carolina will be in Charlotte branches, but company officials said they haven’t made a final decision as to who will be terminated.

Sports Headlines

NC State Lands Transfer
NC State will have some help coming in the linebacker position, if they can just wait a year for him to get here. Pat Bedics decided to transfer from Penn State, giving up his eligibility this season in accordance with NCAA rules. The reason the 6 ft. 230 lb. Bedics chose State doesn’t have to do with football as much as it does family. His brother John is a defensive tackle for the Wolfpack, currently planning to redshirt his freshman year.

Shelden Williams Named To U.S. Team
Duke’s Shelden Williams finds himself keeping busy over the summer months. He was named this week to the U.S. team for this year’s World University Games, joining fellow NCAA players such as West Virginia’s Mike Gansy and Eric Hicks of Cincinnati. This year’s games will be held starting on August 12 and going through the 22nd in Turkey.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor leagues last night, it was Hickory blowing out the Lakewood Blueclaws 12-1. Crawdads starter Yoann Torrealba got his fourth win after giving up one run in seven innings of work. Meanwhile Hickory left fielder Anthony Bocchino led the offense with two home runs and six RBIs. Up the road in Winston however the news wasn’t as good, as the Fredrick Keys beat the Warthogs 9-4.

Former Hornet Takes Coaching Job
It’s been several years since the Charlotte Hornets packed up and moved to New Orleans, but locals still hold up some of their former players as icons. Many of those retired players have taken jobs within the new Charlotte Bobcats organization and one is stepping onto the court this year for the first time as a head coach. Muggsy Bogues was announced this week as the new head coach of the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting. The Sting, who have the worst record in the league at 3-21, found themselves in need of a coach after general manager Trudi Lacey stepped down from the position. Bogues says he wants to instill a strong defensive attitude and an up tempo style of attack, to bring the team out of last place.

Jarrett Testing Out New Ford Car
Dale Jarrett was out on the racetrack this week, testing out a new car. But Jarrett won’t be driving this car on a permanent basis, unless he switches teams. The Wood Brothers asked Jarrett to test Ford’s newest racing model car, the Fusion. Before signing on with Robert Yates, Jarrett had drove for the Wood Brothers and agreed to help them test out the latest product. If all goes according to plan, the Fusion could be out on the track by possibly next season.

Hurricanes Sign Second Free Agent
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes signed their second free agent in three days, locking up Oleg Tverdovsky. The 29-yr-old defenseman will help anchor a Carolina defense that is just getting to know each other and compete for a spot on the roster. The team restructured the defense after it fell flat during the 2003 season, helping them come to a last place finish.


News & Sports For August 4th

County Unemployment Numbers Released
Bad news today for Wilkes County residents, as the latest unemployment numbers were released. According to the State ESC, unemployment here in Wilkes skyrocketed in June, bouncing back up to 6%. That’s an increase of over 4%, as we finished out the month of May at 5.6%. As it stands now, Wilkes has a labor force of 32,566 people. Out of that number, 30,596 are employed with 1970 looking for work. Once again we’re over the state average, which was 5.3% at the end of June.

Thieves Run Off With Diaper Bag From Ferguson Home
On Tuesday a Ferguson woman called sheriff’s deputies after her car was broke into. Due to the heat outside, she had left the windows down while going into a local store. When she returned however, several items were missing. The thieves took a diaper bag, bottles and baby formula, along with bank checks and some personal papers that had been inside. There are no suspects but deputies are continuing the investigation.

Focus On Adoption
Over a thousand kids are currently in the custody of Social Services here in North Carolina, with eight hundred in need of foster parents. DSS can’t handle them all, so other agencies have popped up to help carry the burden. Today at 1:05pm we’ll have the rest of my interview with Ladonna during Focus on the Foothills. That’s coming up right after the midday stock report.

Lawnmower Stolen From Wilkesboro Residence
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Wilkesboro man’s home on Monday, after thieves rode off with his lawnmower. The man returned to find that someone had literally busted open the doors to a nearby storage building, removing the riding lawn mower in addition to a push mower and a gas tank. Estimated damages were placed at $500. There is a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Blood Drive Later Today
The blood supply in the county continues to fall in the critical category, despite repeated blood drives over the last few weeks. Poor turnout at many of the drives has kept the blood at its’ current level, with again a desperate need for Type O and Type B, both of which are under a day’s supply. Wilkes Regional Medical Center is holding a blood drive going on throughout the day. It starts at 7am and continues on til 11:30am this morning. Then after a short break it starts back up this afternoon at 1pm, stretching until 5:30pm. Before donating, just remember that you must be at least 17 years old, weigh no less than 110 lbs and be in good health. To set up an appointment you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Thieves Run Off With Gas

A Wilkesboro man returned home this week to find that someone had been driving through his yard while he was away. Also it appeared that thieves had paid him a visit, as several items from the home were missing. A gas can and a miter saw were both stolen, despite there not being any damage done to the home itself and nothing else taken from the property. There is however a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

So Where Did The Car Go?
A North Wilkesboro man came walking up to sheriff’s deputies to report a stolen vehicle. Apparently he was out at Foster’s Grocery earlier this week buying gas when the vehicle was taken. According to him, while he was inside, someone got into the blazer and drove off down the road. He then walked all the way from Ronda to report the crime. Deputies noticed that he smelled of alcohol but began an investigation. Portions of the vehicle’s bumper were found in Moravian falls, where it looks like the blazer had struck the bank. However there was no sign of the vehicle itself. Video footage is coming in from Foster’s Grocery and the investigation is ongoing.

BROC Head Start Continues

Applications are still being taken for this year’s Head Start program, a preschool plan designed to help 3 and 4 year old children with their education. The program, which is run by the BROC agency, is currently accepting new students at their three locations here in Wilkes: The Cub Creek Center, the Lomax Center and also the North Wilkesboro Center. To be eligible, children and their families have to meet certain guidelines, mainly concerning the household income. In addition, the program also accepts disabled or special needs children regardless of their family income. In order to be eligible, the child has to turn three years old by October 16th of this year. The program itself will run from August until May of 2006, 8:30am until 2:30pm Monday through Thursday. For more information you can call Judi Mitchell at the BROC head office. Her number is 667-7174.

Be Careful Who You Let Inside
A Millers Creek man learned why it’s a good idea to be careful who you let inside your home. Earlier in the week he had let in several acquaintances to his girlfriend’s house, leaving them alone for several minutes while dealing with some other issues. When he returned all three of them left the house, however several items from the home left with them. When the girlfriend returned later in the night, she found that over a thousand dollars worth of jewelry was missing from the house. The names of the two friends were turned over to sheriff’s deputies and an investigation is ongoing.

State News

Jobs Coming To Gaston County
Good news today for workers in Gaston County, as over 500 jobs are headed to the area. Dole Foods announced that a plant will be built in Bessemer City, to possibly open up within the next year. The plant, which will be located near NC 274 in the SouthRidge Business Park, will process vegetables for the company and employ 525 people by 2008. When the plant is up to full speed, three thousand workers will have jobs there.

US Air Jet Lands In Durham
A US Air jet had to land in Durham on Wednesday after strange odors began filling up the cabin. The flight had just taken off from Charlotte when the pilot said he began smelling a strange odor in the room. Minutes later the smoke alarms went off as well and the pilot redirected the flight to Durham. All 66 passengers on board were fine and there were no incidents with the landing. However officials still don’t know what caused the smell, as the smoke had evaporated by the time the plane reached Durham.

Lexington Schools Consider A Merger
Looking to help ease the tax burden on citizens, Lexington officials are considering a merger in their school system. The current proposal would have the entire city school system merge with Davidson County, but it has both supporters and critics. Supporters claim the move would help lower the taxes currently imposed on city schools, however opponents say that it would also cause the city to lose several million dollars in funding from the federal government. In particular the Lexington School Board has opposed the plan, saying that the current setup has allowed them to guide and raise the performance of students, so there’s no reason to change.

No Budget In Sight
With only a day before the current stopgap runs out, it doesn’t appear that lawmakers are any closer to a budget. In fact, House Speaker Jim Black came out on Wednesday, telling reporters not to expect any announcements regarding the budget, because negotiations have stalled. The main issues deal with the proposed cigarette tax increase and possible pay raises for state employees. With that being the case, yet another stopgap measure will be voted on and installed, so that the state can continue to pay employees. Black said that it was possible a deal could be reached by next Friday.

More Money Coming To Elizabeth City Schools

Some good news today for schools in the Elizabeth City area, as a judge has turned over $34,000 to the school system. Back in April, officers discovered the money stored in the back of the department’s evidence locker, gathered from arrests stemming back as far as 1989. After presenting the cash before a court, the judge in the case ruled they could use it to buy new evidence tracking software, among other things. Now however that same judge has reversed his decision, ordering police to turn over the money to the school system some three months later. The reason, said Judge J. Richard Parker, is because North Carolina’s constitution orders that all penalties and forfeitures have to go to the public schools. It’s unknown if the department plans to appeal or if they have already spent the money.

Lawmakers Give Two Million To Study Bridge Building
While lawmakers can’t come to terms on a new budget, they did find time however to award two million dollars for a study at East Carolina University. The study is designed to determine if it would be possible to build a 10-mile bridge over Currituck Sound. Such a move was deemed necessary due to heavy traffic near the southern end of the county, however opponents say the traffic won’t get lighter, as easy access will entice more people to move into the area. Overall the project would currently cost one hundred million if it actually goes forward, financed with taxpayer bonds. The study will begin this coming fall.

Sports Headlines

Wide Receiver Chooses UNC
The number is now 19 for Tarheel football coach John Bunting. Yet another high school recruit has committed to the Heels, this one from just down the road in Charlotte. Hakeem Nicks, a junior wide receiver at Independence High, announced that he’ll suit up for the Heels in 2006. The 6-2 Nicks said he never considered any other school besides UNC.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor league scoreboard, it was Winston beating Salem 4-2 on Wednesday as Warthogs starter Ray Liotta got his second win of the season. Liotta only gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings of work. With the win, the Warthogs move into a tie with Salem for first place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division. Up the road in Hickory, the Crawdads blew away the Lakewood Blueclaws 9-1. Crawdads starter Julio Guerrero gave up three runs in six innings to record his sixth win of the year.

Panthers Hit With Injury Bug Again
Some bad news for the Carolina Panthers, as they couldn’t make it out of camp without getting hit by the injury bug. Now linebackers Brandon Short and Chris Draft are nursing injuries. Draft had to be held out of camp on Monday after experiencing some problems with asthma, while Short is having pain in his knee. Also backup center Siitupe Peko’s out with a knee sprain. The only good news out of all this is that the injuries give some of the team’s free agents and draft picks a chance to develop with more playing time.

Rush To Re-Sign With Bobcats
Kareem Rush will become the first Bobcats free agent to re-sign with the team, his agent announced on Wednesday. His agent said that Rush had talked with Denver and New Jersey, but committed to Charlotte after those deals fell through. Charlotte traded with the Lakers to get Rush during last season, as the team needed an explosive scorer.

Hurricanes Sign Free Agent
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes continued to restructure their lineup this week, coming to terms with free agent Cory Stillman. Stillman will take over for departed Jeff O’Neil, who was traded earlier this week. In 2003 playing for Tampa Bay, he put up 80 points. The Hurricanes are looking to revive a struggling offense that scored only 172 goals over the entire 2003 season, good enough for last in the NHL.


News & Sports For August 3rd

News And Notes From Commissioners Meeting
Wilkes County Commissioners held their monthly meeting last night and approved several items on the agenda. The commissioners approved a request that Rawhide Road be added to the state system, so that it can be maintained by the DOT. The road, near Oak Grove Church, needed to be added also so that some legal issues dealing with the right of way could be cleared up. That request will now go to the state for a final decision. Alex Hamilton was also appointed to another four year term as tax administrator. He gave commissioners an update on how collections went this year. Wilkes improved from last year’s totals, with 96.41% of taxes collected from citizens. That’s up from 96.08% at this time last year. Mr. Hamilton also mentioned that probably a year from now, he’ll present property values to the commissioners and allow them to decide if there should be any change in the property tax rate. In addition, Elizabeth Forester and Karen Clifton were both appointed to serve on the Public Library Board, with Joyce Anderson and William Warden Jr. being appointed to the regional library board. Faye Byrd also requested that before future hearings, consideration be made to do away with appointments and instead allow people to apply for the roles. And commissioners appointed chairman Zach Henderson as the Wilkes delegate to the North Carolina Association of Counties meeting.

More Enter The Races As Time Ticks Down

With three days left until this year’s filing deadline, more candidates are adding their names to the races for public office here in Wilkes. Democrat George G Church entered into the hotly contested race for mayor of North Wilkesboro, joining a campaign field that includes the incumbent mayor Steve Foster and his opponent, fellow Republican Gerald Lankford. Over the bridge in Wilkesboro, incumbents Mike Inscore and James Hartley still run unopposed for their town commissioner seats. However in Ronda, two more people joined the race for town commissioner. Helen Porter and Wanda Blackburn, both of which are running a non-partisan campaign, filed to run. They’ll join a crowded field of incumbents Brison Combs and Ricky Cothren, along with fellow challengers Manuel Wood and Holly Duplisea. The deadline for filing in this year’s race is Friday August 5th at noon.

Break-In At Local Business
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Millers Creek business this week after thieves came by to pay a visit. A vehicle near the business was damaged when thieves tossed a rock through the windshield, going inside but only stealing a cell phone. A crowbar was also stolen from the business, however nothing else was taken and no other damage was done on the property. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Two Cars Totaled In Wreck On 421
It always helps to look before you leap. A North Wilkesboro man found out this week that the same is true when driving. The man tried to merge into a lane on Hwy 421, despite the presence of oncoming traffic. He failed to make it, slamming into a vehicle driven by a North Wilkesboro woman. Both vehicles were totaled in the crash, with estimated damages placed at $6000. Thankfully however no one was injured in the wreck.

Lowes Hands Out Grants To Wilkes Businesses
Lowes Company announced this week that several grants have been awarded to local groups here in Wilkes, courtesy of its’ Charitable and Educational Foundation. Four groups benefited from the grants, including the Thankful Community Club, which was given $11,000 to repair and upgrade community facilities in order to expand their after school programs. Wilkes Community College received $1600 to digitize their slides dealing with local history, Relay for Life was given $1000 to support cancer research and the Senior Center got $4000 to purchase a quilting machine. These are the first set of Hometown grants handed out by the new committee, which was formed earlier this year. If your organization wants to apply for a grant, you can visit and fill out an application.

Damage Done To Rivers Edge Skate Park
Wilkesboro police were called out on Monday to Rivers Edge Skate Park, after several incidents of vandalism were discovered. Vandals had apparently pried open two locked doors at the park, then later breaking the front cover of a coke machine in the area. Nothing was taken and no other damage was done. Estimated damages were placed at around $800. There are no suspects but the investigation is ongoing.

Air Compressor Stolen From Roaring River Home
A man in Roaring River called sheriff’s deputies on Monday after thieves broke into his barn, stealing an air compressor. It’s not exactly clear how the thieves got inside, as no locks were broken and nothing else was damaged. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Relay For Life This Friday
When we hear the word cancer, the first thing we think of is death. But it’s not always a life-ending disease and with more research, it’s possible we could see a cure in our lifetime. To do that however, money has to be raised for the research, more than just the government can spare. One organization built to do just that is Relay For Life and this year’s Relay for Life event will be held at Wilkes Community College on Friday, August 5th. The event will begin at 6pm and continue on until 10am Saturday morning. For more information you can call Jo Dejournet at 838-3973.

Stuff The Bus Program Continues
The annual Stuff The Bus program is underway, helping to provide needy kids with the supplies they lack for school. There are several locations around the Wilkes County area for you to drop off supplies this year. Buses are stationed 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.

State News

Portions Of NC-18 In Catawba County Closed
Portions of NC-18 in Catawba County were closed throughout the afternoon on Tuesday as crews cleaned up a gasoline spill. Over 200 gallons of gas spilled onto the highway around 10am yesterday morning, as the tank flipped. The driver wasn’t injured and no one else was hurt in the incident, however several nearby homes had to be evacuated as DOT workers cleaned up the spill. It was reopened just after 4pm for drivers.

Two Killed In Amtrak Wreck
An Amtrak train derailed just after noon on Tuesday, slamming into a nearby dump truck. Both people inside the truck were killed, however the 180 passengers on the train survived without any serious injuries. The #80 train, coming in from Charlotte, was on its’ way to New York when the incident happened. It’s still unclear what exactly happened to cause the collision. Officials spent most of the afternoon at the scene cleaning up and trying to determine what went wrong.

Jobs Leaving Charlotte Area
Bad news for workers at Charlotte Douglas Airport, as the Transportation Security Administration announced it would be laying off security screeners. 54 workers are expected to be let go by the TVA as it continues to restructure personnel at the airport. More part time screeners will be hired to make up the difference, although company officials never explained why they wouldn’t let the already hired workers simply take a reduction in hours. The layoffs are expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Armed Robbery Under Investigation In Charlotte
Charlotte police are looking for help after an armed robbery at North Tryon Street Monday night. A man walked up to the counter of the Petro Express around 1am, pulled out a gun and demanded money. After getting almost $100, he took off running out the door. Police are going over the store’s surveillance tape but so far have no suspects. They’re asking anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

Rowan County Manager Fired After Public Outcry
Last week, Rowan County citizens learned that their tax dollars had been used to pay a detective agency to investigate a letter writing campaign. Now that decision has cost one employee his job as county manager Tim Russell was fired this week. Russell had served as the county manager for 21 years but commissioners decided they had no choice but to let him go. $23,000 was paid out to a detective agency by the county, who asked them to discover who was behind the letter writing campaign attacking the financial decisions that had been made.

North Carolina Group Accused Of Violating Religious Freedom
A Bible study course taught by a North Carolina company violates religious freedom, according to a group in Texas. The Texas Freedom Network came out this week against the course, which is taught in high schools across 37 states. The group said it was full of errors because it taught the Bible was inspired by God and that creationism is in fact a viable theory. The course, which was created by the North Carolina based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, is an elective which students can choose to take, but aren’t forced to. Pastor Ragan Courtney spoke out in defense of the Texas Freedom Network, saying that no student should have a religious belief forced on them.

Sports Headlines

North Carolina Lands Another Recruit
The recruits keep piling in for UNC Chapel Hill, as yet another high school player committed to play football as a Tarheel. Tony Elzy, a running back from Ohio, declared his commitment to the Heels this week, becoming the 18th member of next year’s freshman recruits. The 5-10 Elzy ran for 2511 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, twice running for 400 yards in a single game.

Former Wake Star Signs With Patriots
A former Demon Deacon came one step closer to NFL stardom this week, as Jason Anderson signed with the New England Patriots. Anderson, who was a receiver at Wake Forest until graduating last year, was cut last week by the Tennessee Titans. Facing some potential holes in their receiving corps, the Patriots signed him to a deal and he’ll now have the chance to make the team during training camp.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look around the minor league scoreboard, it was Winston Salem losing against the Salem Avalanche 6-3 Tuesday night. With the loss, Winston drops one game back in the race for the Carolina League’s Southern Division title. Warthogs’ relief pitcher Fraser Dizard got the loss, giving up five runs in only 2/3 of an inning. Up the road in Hickory, the Crawdads lost a heartbreaker 1-0 against the Lakewood Blueclaws.

Donnalley Takes Over New Team
Former Carolina Panther guard Kevin Donnalley opened up the first week of his new job on Monday, when practice began for high school players. Donnalley, who retired from the Panthers in 2004, took over this spring as head coach of Charlotte Christian School. Records were set during the first day, as 75 players came to try out for the team. Donnalley will have his work cut out for him however, as he takes over a squad that finished 0-10 last year.

New Drivers Coming Into Nascar
Bill France promised that new drivers would be entering the NASCAR circuit in the next few years and that is starting to take place. Paul Tracy, a racing star from up in Canada, will be testing out a Richard Childress car at Michigan International Speedway this coming week, with plans of entering the Nextel Cup race on August 21st. The 36-yr-old Tracy said he wanted to test out the car first before making an official entry into the race. If he comes in, Tracy will be racing for Childress.

Former DEI Chief Leaves For Everham
As the game of musical chairs continues at DEI, one employee has left for a competitor. Pete Rondeau, the former crew chief for Dale Jr., announced that he’s leaving DEI and switching over to Everham Motorsports, where he’ll be the director of research and development. Rondeau was removed halfway through the season from his job as crew chief, with Steve Hmiel taking over for the rest of this season.


News & Sports For August 2nd

3WC Ranks In Top Five
The first round of voting is over and the Top Five Finalists were announced on Monday for this year’s Southern Gospel Music Awards. 3WC made the list as one of the top five radio stations, joining Joy FM, WJBZ, WDJC and KKGM on the list. Over one hundred thousand people from over 70 countries cast their vote for their favorites in each category. Now the second round of voting begins and you can cast a ballot even if you did so the first time. Same as before, you just have to log on to , click on Southern Gospel Music Awards 2005 and cast your vote. All it takes is a working email address to be able to make your voice heard. Then the winners of this year’s awards will be revealed on October 29th during a ceremony at the LJVM Coliseum in Winston Salem.

Car Theft Turns Into Arson
A Thurmond woman called sheriff’s deputies over the weekend after her truck was stolen. The vehicle had been at the woman’s home when she went to bed, but the next morning it was gone. Deputies located the vehicle a few miles down the road, completely burned on the inside. The remains of a few matches were found inside, along with other evidence causing deputies to determine this was a case of arson. There is a suspect in the case while both sheriff’s deputies and the fire marshal’s office are investigating.

Wreck On 421 Totals One
A wreck on 421 over the weekend totaled one car and damaged another. A Wilkesboro woman was driving down the highway when the vehicle in front of her suddenly came to a stop. She couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting the car, slamming into the left rear fender before going off the road and into the nearby cables. The driver of the second car said she had stopped because of a bedliner lying in the highway. Estimated damages were placed at $5000, thankfully however no one was injured.

Blood Drives Later Today
The Wilkes chapter of the Red Cross continues to stage blood drives as we head into the home stretch of the summer months. All blood types are needed, but especially type O and Type B. There will be two drives going on today. One is at Gardner Glass, starting at 11am and going on til 3:30pm this afternoon. The next will be at the VFW Post 1142 Hall, next to the Department of Transportation on Hwy 115. That’s from 2-6:30pm. Before donating, just remember that you must be at least 17 years old, weigh no less than 110 lbs and be in good health. To set up an appointment you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Clothes Ignited At Local Business
Deputies were called out to Chip’s Bargin Barn over the weekend along with the Mulberry Fire Department. The reason was that someone had gained access to the store and decided to set the clothes on fire. Some of the women’s clothes hanging on a rack were in flames as firefighters arrived on scene. All total over $200 worth of damage was done. It’s unclear how the vandals got inside, there is however a suspect in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Heatwave Leads To Theft In North Wilkesboro
A North Wilkesboro man returned over the weekend to find a house he was renting out had its’ air conditioner stolen. Deputies were called out and the renter was questioned, eventually admitting to stealing the unit and later pawning it. It also turns out that immediately after pawning it, the renter had reported it stolen. 21-yr-old Kevin Marlow was arrested and charged with larceny, in addition to filing a false report. The air conditioner was tracked down and returned to its’ owner.

Pregnancy Center To Hold Event This Month
The Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center has been helping people deal with unplanned pregnancies for the last 10 years. They also counsel women who are either considering abortion or have already gone through with one. Coming up later this month, the Center is putting together a program to help minister to those who are struggling to come to terms with an abortion in their past. That will go on August 20th starting at 9am in the morning. For more information you can call the Pregnancy Care Center at 838-9272.

Never Leave Cash In Your Car
A Taylorsville woman discovered why it’s not such a good idea to leave money in your car over the weekend. Parked her car at Tyson and went to work inside. However during the day, someone opened the car door and took her wallet from inside, stealing her driver’s license, credit cards and an estimated $61 in cash. There are no suspects but deputies are continuing the investigation.

Woman Arrested At Jerseys’ For Drug Use
Deputies responded to a call at Jerseys’ over the weekend, in regards to some possible drug use. Once there the manager pointed out a girl who had been seen snorting cocaine in the bathroom. Deputies searched the woman and found a pen that had been hollowed out and had cocaine residue inside. Also the woman had ½ of a hydrocodine pill in her pocket, along with several other pills and a smoking pipe. 35-yr-old Laura Danette Hodges was arrested and charged with drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

State News

Lawmakers Continue To Battle Over Budget
North Carolina still doesn’t have a budget, over a month after the new fiscal year began. Stopgap measures have been voted in to keep the state running, as lawmakers continue to disagree over taxes. Originally the main problem was the fact Republicans and Democrats are ten cents apart on the cigarette tax increase. However now those differences span healthcare and money for education, along with taxes. Lawmakers have til Friday to come to an agreement, as the latest stopgap measure ends Friday night.

Reason For Derailment Possibly Discovered
Officials in Davidson County think they may have found out what caused a train to derail last week, spilling ground glass and limestone in the Tuckertown Reservoir. They believe the heat was to blame, as a manager from the Winston Salem Southbound Railway took a look at the site this weekend. The manager said that high heat caused the tracks to bend, which in turn led to the derailment. Cleanup is still continuing from the wreck.

Parts Of UNC Chapel Hill Catch Fire
Firefighters were called out early Monday morning to a blaze on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. The Phillips Hall Annex was in flames, as a fire had started between the second floor ceiling and the roof. Damages to the building were placed at $50,000 while one firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and released. It’s unknown what exactly caused the blaze at this time, although heat could be a factor.

Missing: One Bald Eagle
People in Charlotte are on the hunt today, looking for a creature that escaped over the weekend. Garibaldi the eagle flew the coop this weekend after a thunderstorm damaged its’ habitat at the Carolina Raptor Center. The bird has been sited several times, most recently on Sunday, but officials haven’t been able to catch him. The bird needs to be found quickly because he has a wing injury that prevents him from soaring through the air and will only last two weeks without the proper food and treatment.

New Evidence Could Help Solve Case
Good news today for the police department in Rich Square, as new evidence could help solve a five year old murder. Joe White, the former police chief in Rich Square, was killed during a traffic stop in 2000. A man has been arrested and charged with his murder, but no trial date has been set as the locals continue to put together evidence. Now something investigators found over the weekend may help solve the case, according to local officials. They wouldn’t go into detail, but the district attorney has requested the death penalty for Jason Herbert, who stands accused of White’s murder.

Sports Headlines

Gray To Get First Shot
With Chris Paul gone to the NBA, Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser finds himself with a hole at the point guard position. Prosser has come out now this week and said that rising senior Justin Gray would have the first shot at taking over the position this year. If he fails, incoming freshmen Harvey Hale and Shamaine Dukes will both get a shot.

Duke Class Ranked Number One
While last season saw the Blue Devils fall a bit short in the NCAA tournament, this year’s class gets rave reviews from college scouts. The new freshman class for Duke was ranked number one in the nation and Coach Krzyzewski said that with the talent in this group, one or more of the freshmen could break into the starting lineup. 6-10 forwards Josh McRoberts and Eric Baoteng will vie for time at the power forward and center position, with the loser backing up returning senior Eric Williams. Also guards Greg Paulus and Martynas Pocius will look to win the point guard spot. Regardless, Coach Krzyzewski said that he wanted this year’s team to use more of an uptempo fast break style of play while looking to limit turnovers. Whoever fits the definition the best will start, regardless if they’re a senior or freshman.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, it was Winston Salem beating Salem 2-1. It took ten innings, but the Warthogs moved into a tie for first place in the Carolina League’s southern division with the win. Fabio Castro got his fourth win of the season after pitching two innings of scoreless relief.

Mills Uniform To Be Retired
The Carolina Panthers announced on Monday that they’ll be retiring the jersey of Sam Mills this season. Mills, who was both a player and later a coach for the team, died from intestinal cancer at age 45 earlier this year. The team will honor Mills during a ceremony at halftime of their preseason game August 13th. In other team news, the Panthers announced that linebacker Mark Fields is undergoing treatments for Hodgkins’ Disease and so far is progressing well.

Hurricanes Trade Star Player
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t waste any time making deals now that it’s open season. The team traded Jeff O’Neil to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a pick in next year’s draft. O’Neil was one of the team’s original players, helping them make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002. However due to the new salary cap, O’Neil’s contract requests couldn’t fit with other players still left to sign. O’Neil had asked that if he was traded, he’d like to end up back home in Toronto and the team granted his request.


News & Sports For August 1st

Armed Robbery In Elkin
Police in Elkin are investigating an armed robbery that happened Friday afternoon. A man entered the Wachovia Branch on North Bridge Street in Elkin around 1pm, pulled out a handgun and demanded money. After receiving the cash he walked out into a minivan that was in the bank’s parking lot. Witnesses said the man wore a green ski mask, blue jeans, a blue shirt and hiking boots. Police are now viewing the bank’s security cameras, which caught the man as he pulled in & out of the lot. If anyone has information regarding the robbery, officials are asking that you call the Elkin Police Department at 835-9822.

Soldiers Honored During Sunday Ceremony
Wilkes County said goodbye to its’ National Guard troops on Sunday, as they prepared to leave for Iraq. A ceremony was held at the Walker Center at 10am Sunday morning, as family and friends stood and cheered in support. In attendance were the mayors of both Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, Norman Call and Steve Foster. Senator John Garwood and Representative Tracey Walker were on hand, along with Wilkesboro commissioner Gary Blevins, North Wilkesboro commissioner Robert Johnson and county commissioners Zach Henderson, Charlie Sink, Faye Byrd and Keith Elmore. Lieutenant Colonel Matt Rosseau spoke to the troops, calling for dedication and asking them to be prepared, while Lil Ingram, wife of Major General Ingram, spoke to the families abut the burden put on them while the soldiers are away. Finally both the commander of the 505th, Captain Mark MacMahon and Major General Ingram both spoke, thanking people for the support given and reminding those in attendance that we are a nation at war. The 505th Engineering Battalion, along with 30 members of the 823rd Detachment’s Quarry Team from Elkin will leave this week for extended training, then will pack up and ship off for at least a year in Iraq.

Drug Bust At Ferguson Home
Sheriff’s deputies went to a Ferguson home over the weekend, responding to a tip about possible drugs being sold inside. The homeowner told them they could come in and search, after which deputies found smoking pipes, crack cocaine, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia. In addition, an eighteen year old girl was found inside, clearly drunk. She informed deputies that the smoking pipes were hers. 31-yr-old Jerry Ray Bowman was arrested and charged with drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a home for the sale of drugs. Also 18-yr-old Jamie Evone Whitley was charged with underage drinking, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Break-In At Wilkes Honda
Wilkesboro police were called out to investigate a break-in at Wilkes Honda late last week. Someone tossed concrete through one of the front windows at the business, walking right in. Stolen from inside was a red & black Honda dirt bike. There are no suspects, however estimated damages to the business were placed at $750. Officers are continuing the investigation.

Never Leave Your Keys Inside

A Traphill man learned last week why it’s not a good idea to leave your keys in the car. After parking his car, he left the keys inside while going into his house. The next morning, the man walked out to find the vehicle was missing. There weren’t any noises during the night or anything else to indicate someone was near the house. Two days later, the car was found in a nearby hay field, abandoned but without any damage done. The only things missing from inside was a pair of sunglasses and some CDs. Neighbors told deputies they didn’t see or hear anything unusual, despite the presence of the car inside the hay field. The investigation is ongoing.

Wilkesboro Woman Falls Victim To ID Theft
A Wilkesboro woman got a surprise when she checked her bank account online last week. Someone had withdrawn $159, which went over the limit as she didn’t have that much money inside. Apparently thieves had used her information to obtain four VISA credit cards, taking the money from the account. There are no suspects at this time.

Fox To Have Wilkes County Office
5th District Congresswoman Virginia Fox wants people of the area to know that she’s available to help whenever possible. With that in mind, the Congresswoman will be opening an office here in Wilkes County that will be in operation portions of the week. On the first and third Friday of each month, the Congresswoman will have representatives available at the Wilkes County office building from 2 til 4pm. If you’re not able to make it out during those hours, you can also send your comments or concerns to the congresswoman via her website, which is located at

Schools Set Open House Dates
With school just around the corner, it’s time for students to get their schedules and attend orientation. At East Wilkes High School, incoming 9th graders will have orientation on August 11th from 6 to 8pm. During that time students can check out the classrooms, talk to teachers and get information about different activities offered at East Wilkes. Then at West Wilkes Middle School, 7th and 8th graders can pick up their schedules next Tuesday, August 9th from 3 to 6pm. Orientation for incoming 6th graders will be held two days later on August 11th at three different times. Students can come in at either 3pm, 4 or 5pm.

Upcoming Teacher’s Conference
For teachers in Wilkes, summer is a time to relax and recover from the grueling demands of the other ten months in the year. In place to help meet those demands is a group called RESA, the Regional Educational Service Alliance. RESA helps teachers work on building the educational credits they’re required by the state to receive. Coming up tomorrow here in Wilkes, a conference will be going on that can help teachers do just that, before all the chaos of the classroom sets in. From August 2nd through the 4th, RESA will host “Focus on Diversity” a conference dedicated to helping teachers work with students of all educational, social and ethnic backgrounds. To register for the conference, teachers can call the RESA office here in Wilkes. Their number is 667-2191 or you can drop by their office, located just above the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department on Curtis Bridge Road.

State News

Errors Found At Randolph Community College
Federal officials have finished an investigation of Randolph Community College, uncovering several financial and administrative mistakes at the school. Letters had been sent out to several students who received too much money from the federal Pell Grant, ordering them to repay the school. Federal investigators said that was inappropriate and also blamed the school for not properly determining how much money the students should receive. As a result, the excess money may have to be repaid out of the school’s own funds.

Greensboro Police Searching For Man
Police in Greensboro are hunting today for a local man who vanished over the weekend. 84-yr-old Frank Rasche disappeared from his home early Sunday morning and hasn’t got in touch with any family or friends since. He appears to be wandering around on foot and officials were able to track him down near the Adams Farm Shopping Center, before the dogs they were using got tired and lost the scent. The only distinctive marking on the man is a six pointed star tattooed on his left arm. If anyone notices the man, officials ask that you call 911.

Durham Concert Cancelled After Wreck
The Christian group Newsong was scheduled to perform in Durham on Sunday, but that event had to be cancelled after an accident early in the morning. The details weren’t released, however it has been confirmed that no one in the group was hurt. Still the incident was severe enough for them to miss the concert, which was to be held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, before a USA baseball game. The game went on as scheduled at 5pm.

Attempted Robbery In Greensboro
A Dry Cleaners store in Greensboro was almost robbed over the weekend with a toy gun. A man walked in, pulled out a gun and ordered the manager to give him some money. After the manager opened up the register, she realized the gun was fake and tried to wrestle him to the ground. He was able to escape and take off running, however officials were able to retrieve the toy gun and are examining it for fingerprints.

Church Plans To Picket Marine Funeral

On Tuesday, 32-yr-old Marine Sgt. Bryan Opskar will be laid to rest in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead. However aside from friends and family, the man’s funeral will also play host to a group of picketers. Members from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas plans to protest at the funeral, because they believe the Marine’s death is linked to the gay agenda here in America. Sgt. Opskar died after an explosion in Iraq, however the church believes that the bomb was similar to one that was detonated at its’ compound in the early 90s, proof they say of a national attempt to stop the anti-gay movement. Police will be on hand to provide security at the funeral, in case of any conflict that breaks out.

Sports Headlines

Appalachian QB Receives Preseason Award
The season hasn’t even started yet and Richie Williams is already getting awards. Williams, the starting quarterback for Appalachian State, was named as the Southern Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. The award is voted on before each season by the conference coaches. Williams is coming off a year where he tossed 24 touchdowns and threw for 3109 yards. He was also named starting quarterback of the first team in all conference selections. Appalachian will kick off their season September 3rd on the road against Eastern Kentucky.

North Carolina Players Cut
Two players from North Carolina schools saw their NFL dreams take a hit this week, as Davon Fowlkes and TA McLendon were both cut. Fowlkes, who had been working out with the Indianapolis Colts, was released by the team this week so that they could fill his spot with another running back. Fumbles were the main problem for McLendon however, as he couldn’t hold on to the ball. Local media reported that he had fumbled constantly during the last two days of practice. Left untouched in the draft, McLendon had got on with the Falcons and received an invite to training camp. However that fumbling problem was apparently not something that Coach Jim Mora Jr. wanted to deal with, so he released the former NC State star.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, it was Hickory falling against Charleston 8-6. The loss was the Crawdads’ third in four games as starter Derek Hankins only went three innings, giving up five runs on three hits. The news wasn’t any better for the Winston Salem Warthogs, as they fell against Potomac 6-4. Warthogs starter Wes Whisler gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings of work, for his sixth loss of the season.

Durham On Sportscenter
North Carolina will take the spotlight on ESPN later today, as Sportscenter continues its’ 50 States in 50 Days tour. Today Sportscenter makes a stop in Durham, at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The show will be broadcast live from the field before the Durham Bulls minor league game at 7pm, against the Charlotte Knights.

Hurricanes Pick On Defense
After a yearlong labor dispute, the NHL came one step closer to getting back on the ice this weekend, holding their annual amateur draft. The Carolina Hurricanes had the third pick and selected defenseman Jack Johnson, who experts think could be a potential franchise player.

Kahne Wins Court Battle
In NASCAR, Kasey Kahne won his court battle against Ford this week. Kahne had been sued by the automaker, who said that he violated their sponsor agreement when he went to race in the Nextel Cup circuit for Everham Motorsports. A federal judge heard the case this week and ruled in favor of Kahne, unable to find a foundation for the case. The 25-yr-old will look to get back into the Chase for the Cup when the Nextel circuit resumes with the Allstate 400 on August 7th.


News & Sports For July 29th

Troops To Be Honored This Weekend
This weekend, people in Wilkes and the surrounding areas will be turning out to honor our troops before they ship out. The 505th Engineering Battalion of North Carolina’s National Guard have received their orders and will depart for Iraq in the fall of this year. Before that however, the troops have to go to another base out of the area for training. They’ll leave for that extended training session after the ceremonies, which will take place in separate parts this weekend. The battalion is made up of several different units from all over the area, some of which have been broken up with the skills of some soldiers required elsewhere. A ceremony for the Lexington, Mocksville and Mount Airy units will be held at 10am Saturday morning at the Vance Auditorium in Lexington. Later on in the day, the Kings Mountain unit, along with portions of the Elkin group will hold their send off. That will take place at 2pm at Kings Mountain High School. Here in Wilkes a ceremony will be held Sunday at 10am honoring the North Wilkesboro unit at the Walker Center. Finally at 2pm Sunday afternoon, portions of the Elkin group will join with the Gastonia unit at the First Baptist Church in Gastonia for the final send off. It’s not been defined as to how long the troop is expected to be overseas, although estimates are placed at around one year.

More Counterfeit Money Comes Into Wilkes
Counterfeit money continues to flow into Wilkes County, the latest incident taking place at the Northwestern Bank in Millers Creek. While bringing in the deposits on Wednesday, bank employees noticed that several of the bills were in fact fake. A $1 and a $5 were proved to be counterfeit, although there’s no way of knowing who made the deposit. The evidence was turned over the sheriff’s deputies, who are continuing the investigation.

Voting Nearing An End For Gospel Awards
There’s only three days left if you want to cast a ballot for this year’s Southern Gospel Music Awards. The awards are put out by online magazine and the Top Five Finalists in each category will be announced this coming Monday, August 1st. 3WC is in the running for Favorite Radio Station and morning show DJ John Wishon was named as one of the Favorite Radio Personalities, in addition to making the list of Favorite Concert MCs. 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. Then the winners of this year’s awards will be revealed on October 29th during a ceremony at the LJVM Coliseum in Winston Salem.

Gas Theft In Traphill
With the temperatures skyrocketing this week, it’s no surprise that drivers have been burning more gas than normal, keeping the air conditioner going in their cars. A couple in Traphill however decided they shouldn’t have to pay for it. A car pulled up to the Pleasant Hill Grocery in Traphill, the driver pumped $27 worth of gas and then took off without paying. Store employees were able to get a description of both people in the car as well as the vehicle itself and turned all the information over to deputies. That investigation is ongoing.

How To Beat The Heat Part Four: In The Kitchen
Now that the temperatures have dropped and we have a small break from the recent heatwave, it might be a good idea to starting thinking about taking precautions for the next one. In today’s fourth segment of our Summer Series, we take a look at some problems with food in the heat. Something to think about when putting food in the refrigerator, keep the temperature too hot or too cold and either way you can end up spreading bacteria. The Department of Health says that cold foods should be kept at a minimum of 45 degrees. Any higher and you risk bacteria setting in. Also be sure to wash your hands with hot soapy water before and after handling food. While it might not seem like a big deal, bacteria can grow into a virus causing you some problems later on. Also when cooking, be sure to turn the temperature up to at least 140 degrees if using the stove, or the high setting on your microwave. That will guarantee that any bacteria on the food will be killed. Finally never eat anything that’s been left out for more than one hour, if the temperature climbs above 90 degrees. While it might not smell or taste funny, that bacteria can quickly get into your body and wreck havok.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Again

For the second time in less than a week, mailbox vandals hit a home in the Wilkes County area. Except this time it appears they were trying to keep the homeowner out, not get in. Deputies were called out to a Wilkesboro residence on Wednesday, after the woman came home to find someone had put a masterlock on her mailbox, sealing it shut. There was no damage done to the box and nothing else disturbed on the property. Also no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anyone come by the home while the owner was gone. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Drove Off With The Mower
A Ronda man called sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday after discovering that his riding mower had been stolen. The vehicle had been parked near the side of the house the night before, but when the homeowner woke up, he found it was missing. There is a suspect in the case, as people in the area saw a local man at the house the night before. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

BROC Head Start Continues
Applications are still being taken for this year’s Head Start program, a preschool plan designed to help 3 and 4 year old children with their education. The program, which is run by the BROC agency, is currently accepting new students at their three locations here in Wilkes: The Cub Creek Center, the Lomax Center and also the North Wilkesboro Center. To be eligible, children and their families have to meet certain guidelines, mainly concerning the household income. In addition, the program also accepts disabled or special needs children regardless of their family income. In order to be eligible, the child has to turn three years old by October 16th of this year. The program itself will run from August until May of 2006, 8:30am until 2:30pm Monday through Thursday. For more information you can call Judi Mitchell at the BROC head office. Her number is 667-7174.

Never Leave Your Home Unlocked
It’s always a good idea to lock up before you leave. A Millers Creek family found that out this week, after returning to discover that thieves had paid them a visit. While the family was out, thieves came in and took a stereo from the home, in addition to $4200 in cash that had been hidden away in an envelope. Nothing else was missing and there was no damage done. The doors hadn’t been locked however, so the thieves just walked right in and took what they wanted. Neighbors however couldn’t recall seeing or hearing anyone near the home. The investigation is ongoing.

State News

Pender County Athletes Won’t Pay
Some good news today for student athletes in Pender County, as the board of commissioners shot down a proposal that would have forced them to pay in order to play. County officials had presented a plan earlier this month that would have forced students to pay a fee of at least $15 if they wanted to take part in school athletic programs. That idea was conceived after the local school system found itself with a $500,000 shortfall in the budget. So instead, now officials are planning to cut the funding for the library in half and chop $170,000 from the school materials and supplies budget.

Firefighter Charged With Arson
Officials in Union County have arrested a junior member of the Lanes Creek Fire Department, charging him with arson. 17-yr-old Matthew Oates is suspected by detectives of setting fire to two empty houses in the area along with a storage building and a mailbox. The teenager is currently being held in the Union County Jail after the arson spree, which detectives believe started last year. Oates didn’t provide detectives with any idea why he committed the crimes.

Woman Robbed While Jogging
Be careful what you wear when out jogging. That’s the lesson a Charlotte woman learned Wednesday night after being robbed while out on a run. A man came walking up to the woman and demanded that she hand over $1500 worth of jewelry that she was wearing. After handing over the jewelry, the woman watched as the man walked off, getting into a nearby Toyota Camry and driving off.

Jobs Leaving Pleasant Garden
Opponents of the CAFTA agreement were in shock as the bill passed through Congress this week, despite severe arguments against it by several members of the House, including 5th District Congresswoman Virginia Fox. Now opponents of the bill are concerned that their argument has been proven true, as layoffs were announced at yet another manufacturing plant in North Carolina. 280 people will be out of work this fall as Hooker Furniture announced that they will be shutting down their plant in Pleasant Garden this coming October. Company officials said that they couldn’t compete with overseas labor and would rely more on imported goods for their customers.

Cleanup Continues At Train Derailment
Cleanup continues today at the site of a train derailment at the Davidson/Rowan County line. Several rail cars jumped the tracks and fell into a nearby reservoir, where the limestone cargo started leaking out. In addition, another of the cars held ground up glass, which also spilled into the water. It’s unclear exactly how the derailment happened, but thankfully none of the crew was injured. However local authorities estimate that it could take days to clean up the area. While the limestone won’t hurt the environment, it could be dangerous to animals that come to drink at the reservoir.

Chemical Spill In Forsyth
Portions of U.S. 52 were shut down in Forsyth County on Thursday after a chemical spill. The incident happened Thursday morning, when a tractor-trailer flipped, spilling its’ 50 gallon cargo of hydrocide. The chemical, which is sprayed on buildings to help repel water, covered parts of the area, causing one lane of the highway to be shut down while cleanup crews came in. No one was hurt in the accident.

Sports Headlines

UNC Locks Up Another Prospect
The UNC Tarheels added another piece to their football puzzle this week, after Morgan Randall committed to the school. Randall, a 6’6 245 offensive lineman, from Greenville Rose High School said that he picked Carolina in part because of a great combination of athletics and academics that the school offers, but also because of the family ties he has in the area. Every member of his family that had gone to college graduated as a Tarheel and he wanted to continue that tradition. The move marks the 16th commitment UNC has for 2006.

Randolph Will Sign NBA Deal
It seemed like Shavlik Randolph made a mistake, giving up his senior season at Duke to enter the NBA draft. It looked like more of one after he went undrafted. Now however Randolph will get a chance at proving himself after signing a free agent contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 6-10 Randolph will be at summer camp with the rest of the team when they meet next week.

Bobcats Trade With Phoenix
The Charlotte Bobcats made a trade yesterday, sending a second round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for 27-yr-old center Jake Voskuhl. Voskuhl, who served as the backup to Amare Stoudemire, will add some depth to a Bobcat team coming into just their second season in the league. The team plans to use him as a backup to starting center Primoz Brezec.

Minor League Scoreboard
In the minor leagues last night, it was Winston Salem falling against Potomac 8-6. Warthogs’ starter Ryan Rodriguez got a no-decision, despite striking out seven and only giving up four runs in six innings. Rodriguez left in the sixth with a 6-3 lead, but Winston relievers got shelled by the Potomac attack. Javier Ortiz got his first loss of the season.

Panthers Trade For One, Sign Another
This was a busy week for the Carolina Panthers, as team officials were wheeling and dealing. They traded a conditional draft pick to the Washington Redskins, in exchange for former Clemson wide receiver Rod Gardner. The 27-yr-old Gardner was no longer in the Redskins’ plans, despite a reputation as a physical playmaker like former Panther Mushsin Muhammad. In addition, the Panthers came to a deal with fourth round pick Stefan Lefors. Lefors signed a four year deal with the team and will compete to be Jake Delhomme’s backup this season.


News & Sports For July 28th


Shooting Under Investigation
Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a shooting that happened Tuesday afternoon in North Wilkesboro. A 15-yr-old boy was found in a pool of his own blood at the home, with a rifle lying nearby. The boy was still alive and tried to fight with EMS workers as they transported him to Wilkes Regional. He was later airlifted to Baptist Hospital, where he’s currently being treated. The boy was alone in the house, with no sign of a break-in or anyone else being present. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Wilkes Open Forum Tonight
The war in Iraq has touched all of us to some degree. We either have family and friends serving over there or know someone who does. To help discuss the situation and the impact of it on Wilkes County, a special Town Hall version of the Wilkes Open Forum will be held later tonight. That will take place at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish House beginning at 7pm. Everyone is invited to the church, which is located on Cowles Street in Wilkesboro.

Mailbox Vandals Strike Again
A Purlear man was the latest victim of mailbox vandals this week as he returned home to find it had been wrecked. It appeared as though someone had repeatedly smashed the box, causing an estimated $59 worth of damage. Despite the noise such an event would cause, none of the neighbors could recall hearing or seeing anything. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

No Child Left Behind Part Two: Middle & High Schools
As school officials go over the results from this year’s No Child Left Behind tests, Wilkes County has to deal with several problems. Yesterday in part one we covered the elementary schools, now we take a look at the middle and high school scores. East Wilkes Middle School was the only one in the county to meet the requirements, with Central Wilkes right behind at 96%. The middle schools at West and North were slightly behind however, as both finished with a grade of 88.2%. Up on the high school level, two of the county high schools met the federal standard. Those were Wilkes Central and North Wilkes. Both East and West High fell slightly back, as East registered a 90% grade while West came in at 92%. Tomorrow in the final part of our County Schools series, we go over some of the positives from this year’s report and Kaye Lamb explains where the school system plans to go from here.

Always Keep Your Doors Locked
It’s always a good idea to lock your car doors when going into the store. A Hays woman found that out the hard way this week, after coming out of Wal-Mart to discover that thieves had got inside her car. The woman’s CD player, several tapes and a few CDs were stolen from the vehicle, totaling just under $100. Video camera footage is being handed over to sheriff’s deputies to see if they can locate the suspect.

Blood Drive Going On By Appointment
Around 1500 pints of blood are used each day in North Carolina, to deal with the aftermath of car wrecks and sickness. Here in Wilkes County, the blood supply is still hovering around critical levels, despite the recent string of drives over the last few weeks. Especially needed is Type O and Type B blood, both of which are under less than a day’s supply. There will be another blood drive going on today at New River Behavioral Healthcare, however if you want to donate it’s by appointment only. To set up an appointment, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563. Just remember before giving blood, you must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs.

How To Beat The Heat Part Three: Home Invasion
Heat exposure has killed eight thousand people in the last twenty years and most died in their own homes. So how can you keep the heat out of your house? In today’s third installment of our Summer Series, we’re examining quick and easy ways to sunproof your home. First check to make sure your attic is properly ventilated. If insulation or anything else is clogging the vents, the attic temperature can climb as high as 150 degrees. Also turn off all lights you’re not using, such as in other areas of the house. That won’t just cut down on heat, but also on your power bill. Make sure that all blinds and curtains have been pulled down as well. That alone could help the temperature drop more than ten degrees in your home. Finally just like in your cars, don’t immediately crank your air conditioner up to the high setting. Instead start it off at the low level and then after a few minutes turn it up. That will help lower the strain on the machine and prevent costly burnouts.

Traffic Backed Up After Car Catches Fire
Firefighters were called out to the Fore Brothers gas station in Wilkesboro yesterday, to put out a car fire. The incident happened near the intersection of Woodfield and Westwood Hills as traffic was backed up for over an hour. Officials were out directing traffic while firemen put out the blaze, however it’s unknown at this time what caused the car to ignite. Thankfully no one was inside when the vehicle caught fire.

Focus On Discipleship
It can be hard for kids to determine what they want to do in life. Even moreso if they feel called to the ministry. But a program called Extreme Discipleship here in Wilkes is working to help solve that problem, by allowing teens to work in different types of ministry opportunities. To hear from the Pastor and some of the kids involved in the program, you can tune in for Focus on the Foothills. That’s coming up later today after the midday stock report at 1:05pm.

State News

Clerk Prevents Robbery But May Face Charges
In High Point, a clerk at a local store stopped a robbery from happening, but now may face criminal charges in response. A man walked into Whites Fast Food around 8:30pm Tuesday night, demanding money. Instead of agreeing, the clerk pulled out a gun of his own and shot the would be robber in the face. The robber was taken to High Point Regional, where he’s receiving treatment but now questions are being raised if the clerk might face charges of his own for the shooting. Local officials didn’t rule out the prospect, but they haven’t said he would either.

Newspaper Under Fire For Inventing Quotes
The media is supposed to just report the news, not create it. A newspaper in Reidsville stands accused today of crossing that line, inventing quotes for a story that ran earlier this year. The Reidsville Review runs a feature each day called Two Cents Worth, where local people are asked a question and their pictures are listed, along with the answers to the question. According to the newspaper’s corporate sponsor Media General Inc., the feature went beyond simple news in May, as people were pictured next to quotes they never said. In addition, none of the so called locals that were displayed even lived anywhere close to Reidsville. It’s unclear what if anything will happen as a result.

ACLU Takes North Carolina To Court
Witnesses may no longer have to put their hand on the Bible in court, if the ACLU has their way. The group filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina this week, demanding that instead of just a Bible, any religious text should be allowed on the stand. The move comes after a ruling in Guilford County, where a judge said that it would be illegal for a Muslim to take an oath by putting his hand on the Quaran. They first asked the Administrative Office Of the Courts to make such a practice legal, but were refused. The AOC said that it would be up to either state lawmakers or the court system to approve such a change, so the ACLU filed suit. Under current law, witnesses have to take the oath of truth by putting their hand on a “Holy Scripture” in order to be recognized.

Greenville Minister Arrested Again
Last week, 3WC News told you about a Greenville minister who was arrested for videotaping people at the beach. Now the man is in jail again, this time charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Details weren’t released after officers picked up Harris from his home. The minister currently sits in the Pitt County jail, with a court date set for later today.

A Computer Mistake Causes School To Fail
Not all of the schools that failed the No Child Left Behind requirements are to blame for their test scores. That was determined on Wednesday after it was revealed that a computer glitch, rather than student grades, caused one high school in Johnston County to fail. Smithfield-Selma High failed due to the fact three students with disabilities were given the wrong code on their tests, which made it appear they had failed. In reality, the students had passed and Selma should have received a 100% score from the federal test. However it may be several months before the problem can be corrected, as the State Board of Education has to meet and hear the complaint. After such a meeting, then the Board will decide if the school’s grade should be changed.

Power Out In Graham
Thanks in part to the current heat wave, parts of the Triad went to bed without power last night. In Graham, 911 service was knocked out, in addition to traffic lights. The reason for the outage? A substation failed, after the constant strain being put on the system. According to Duke Power, the heat has caused a record amount of energy to be used, a demand that in some places the system finds itself unable to handle. Work crews spent a good part of the night fixing the problem and most everyone should have their power back on this morning.

Sports Headlines

Prospect Chooses Pirates Over Wolfpack
NC State lost out on a top football prospect this week, as Fayetteville Byrd graduate Doug Palmer announced he was going to East Carolina to play next season. Palmer had originally signed with the Wolfpack, but didn’t make the grade on his college board scores. Since the ACC won’t accept student athletes who fail the boards, Palmer was free to choose another school and he did. The 6-3, 290 lb. defensive lineman will suit up as a member of the East Carolina program this year, choosing to play now instead of spending a year at prep school to build up his scores.

ACC Unveils Instant Replay Plan
The ACC unveiled its’ plans for instant replay this week, hoping to make a seamless transition to the rule. Just like in the NFL, there has to be irrefutable proof of a mistake before a call can be overturned and certain plays, such as holding or pass interference, can’t be challenged at all. Over $400,000 was spent on equipment to make the idea a reality in ACC football. Instant replay takes effect this coming season.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at last night’s scoreboard, it was Winston Salem continuing their winning streak as they beat the Lynchburg Hillcats 8-4. Fernando Hernandez picked up the win after throwing two shutout innings in relief. Up the road in Hickory, the Crawdads rode a great pitching performance of their own to take the 7-1 win over Kannapolis. Hickory starter Julio Guerrero only gave up one run in eight innings of work, to get his fifth win. Since the All-Star break, the Crawdads are 20-12, moving back into contention for the top spot in the South Atlantic Conference.

US Team Takes Game One
The US National Team won their first match at the Under 21 Global Games on Wednesday 119-64. UNC Charlotte forward Curtis Withers led the team with 22 points, as J.J. Redick added 14.

Original Bobcat Heading To Sacramento
As the Charlotte Bobcats prepare for their second season of existence, one of the team’s original players from last year finds himself headed out the door. A deal is almost done that will send point guard Jason Hart to the Sacramento Kings, in exchange for a second round draft pick. Hart, who started 27 of the Bobcats’ games last year, will be replaced in the lineup by Raymond Felton, who the team took with the 5th pick in this year’s draft. The trade won’t become final until next week, when the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement is finalized.

Panthers Sign Another Pick
The Carolina Panthers came one step closer to getting all their draft picks signed on Tuesday, as the team came to terms with Atiyyah Ellison on a deal. Ellison, one of the team’s two third round picks from this year’s draft, signed a contract for three years, worth around $1.3 million. The 6-3 303 lb. Ellison will be competing for a spot as part of the defensive line. With only three picks left unsigned, General Manager Marty Hurney said he believed all the players would be in the fold when camp opens up this Saturday.


News & Sports For July 27th

No Child Left Series Part One
Nothing has attracted controversy like the No Child Left Behind program. With the official results in from this year’s tests, there is a mixed bag of information awaiting local instructors. Over the next few days we’ll be taking a look at the results from Wilkes and the surrounding areas, going over them and explaining what they mean. These federal regulations are based on several different factors, targeting separate groups of kids, each based on different racial and economic factors, among other things. If just one of these groups fails to meet the percentage federal officials declared adequate in math or reading, then the entire school fails in that part of the program. Taking a look at the data, only six of the county’s thirteen elementary schools met the program’s requirements. Those schools were Traphill, Ronda-Clingman, Mountain View, Mount Pleasant, CB Eller and Roaring River. However those who failed usually did so by one or two points. As an example, Boomer-Ferguson Elementary failed to meet the standard, despite finishing 92% of the program’s goals. In fact only three elementary schools finished below 90% and that was Millers Creek at 88%, Wilkesboro Elementary at 88% and Moravian Falls Elementary who came in last at 84%. During the news today associate superintendent Kaye Lamb will be explaining what the data means for our county. Then tomorrow in part two of our series, we’ll take a look at the problems as they relate to the middle and high schools, then on Friday in the news Kaye will talk about some of the good things to come out of the report and where we go from here.

Wreck On 421 Totals One
A wreck on 421 Monday afternoon totaled one car and caused several hundred dollars worth of damage to the other one. A North Wilkesboro woman was turning onto the highway from a side road but didn’t notice the traffic coming on. She pulled out and slammed into another vehicle, causing them both to spin out. Estimated damages were placed at just under $6000. Thankfully however no one was hurt in the accident.

Just Came In To Borrow A Few Things
A Wilkesboro business was the victim of a break-in earlier this week. Employees at Tarheel Lumber came into work on Monday to find that some things were missing from a utility trailer. There was no sign of a break-in and no damage done to the property. $100 was taken, in addition to a cell phone and a nail gun. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Shots Fired At Jonesville Home
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Jonesville residence on Monday after reports came in of shots being fired. An argument had gone on a few minutes earlier between two people at the home, which ended after one of them took off in his car, saying he’d be back. The man returned minutes later, armed with two handguns. He started shooting at the home, hitting the front door and a car that was parked nearby. Then after being let inside by the homeowner, the man continued shooting until he hit his target in the leg. Afterwards according to witness reports, the man and two friends began beating the victim. The victim and his girlfriend, who was also in the home, managed to escape and call 911, after which he was taken to Hugh Chatham Hospital. The homeowner Shannon Moose was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and second degree kidnapping, while 34-yr-old William Rodney Thomas was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a felon and discharging a weapon into occupied property. Andy William Norman was arrested and charged with assault on a female, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Lunch Buddies Holds Training Session Today

When the new school year arrives, just under a hundred kids will be on a waiting list for the lunch buddy program. The reason for that is simply the need has been greater than the response. Now if you want to change that and becomes a friend to a local child, the Wilkes Chapter of Communities in Schools is holding a Lunch Buddy Training Session later today. The session will be held from 12 noon until 1pm today at the Communities in Schools office, located at 1260 College Avenue in Wilkesboro. For more information you can call their office at 651-7830 extension #23.

Summer Heat Series Part Two
It was another scorching hot day across Wilkes, with temperatures hitting the triple digits. Now all this heat isn’t good for your car, but what can you do to solve the problem? In part two of our 3WC Summer Series, we’re taking a look at ways you can protect your car against the weather outside. First, in heated conditions, make sure to keep your car filled with antifreeze. If you’re running low, fill it up before you take off, otherwise your car could overheat before you get where you’re going. Also open your car doors and let the air circulate before starting it up. That won’t just help the car, but also make it a little easier for you to bear the drive before the AC kicks in. And speaking of the air conditioner, never crank it all the way up to full blast when first starting the car. Instead start off at the regular or mild setting, to give the vehicle a chance to get started. Otherwise you run the risk of straining the air conditioner’s capacity while the car won’t be getting cooler any quicker. If possible, put a sunshade on your car’s windshield when you get out. It will help cut down on the car’s temperature by reducing the heat buildup inside. And finally, more important than the car is your safety, so be sure and bring water with you on a hot day, to avoid getting dehydrated. And if you find yourself in need of help on the road, dial * HP so the highway patrol can help you out. Tomorrow in part three of our series, we’ll be going over some more ways to keep your home cool.

Heatwave Leads To AC Theft
As the temperature climbs here in Wilkes, some people refused to tough it out. A Hays man returned home on Tuesday to find that someone had decided to help themselves to his air conditioner. In addition, a CD player, microwave and some cash had been stolen from the home. It’s unclear exactly how the thieves got inside, as there was no sign of a break-in. There is a suspect however and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Focus On Generation Next
Ministry can come in many forms, from tent revival meetings to providing food for the needy. One church here in Wilkes is expanding on that, helping to serve as a training ground for the next generation. Pastor Keith Nix of Restoration Worship Center has developed what he calls the Extreme Discipleship Program. To hear more about the Discipleship program, you can tune in for this week’s Focus on the Foothills. I’ll be talking with Pastor Nix about the program and some other parts of the ministry that he’s involved in. Plus we’ll be talking with some of the kids serving with the group this year. That’s coming up tomorrow on Focus, just after the midday stock report at 1:05pm.

Regional News

Blackberry Festival This Saturday
This coming Saturday, people from across the state will be making their way into Lenoir for the annual Blackberry Festival. This marks the fourth year the event has been held, with food and games scheduled throughout the day. Things will start at 10am in downtown Lenoir, with the Blackberry Princess pageant. Then country bands will be on hand throughout the day performing along with eating contests and a special ceremony to honor the troops at noon. For more information you can call the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce at 828-726-0616.

State News

Weapons Seized In Wilmington
Attempting to make a drug bust on Tuesday, Wilmington police instead uncovered over a half dozen guns. One officer went over to talk with a group smoking marijuana in the downtown area on Tuesday, but as he came closer they went their separate ways. He caught up with two of the men, only to see a weapon fall out and hit the ground. Other officers came over to help detain the men, after which the officers searched the men’s vehicles. Inside they found a nine-millimeter handgun, a .380 revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun and two SKS assault rifles, all of which were loaded. Neither man could provide officers with a reason why the loaded guns were in the cars. Both Antoine Graham and Eric Bullard were arrested and taken to jail. In addition, police found out that Bullard was already wanted on drug trafficking charges.

Tax Money Used To Spy On Citizens
How would you like it if your tax dollars were being used to spy on you by the local government? That’s what people in Rowan County are upset about today. A private investigations firm has come forward, saying that County officials paid them over $23,000 to track down local citizens. The reason? Officials wanted to know who was writing letters that criticized county spending policies. Now several county commissioners have stepped forward and tried to defend the policy, saying that it was a matter of security. However no one could point to any threats or other charges made in the letters that would have been cause for concern. The private investigations firm, Kirker Investigations, said that they checked out more than seven local citizens over the past five years, being paid $23,044 by the county to do so. Everyone named as a possible suspect is planning to file suit against Rowan County.

More Money Coming To Lee County Schools
Some good news today for Lee County schools, as it turns out they’ll have a little more money to spend than planned. The Department of Transportation cut into the parking lot for East Lee Middle School while working on the 421 Bypass. As per state law, the DOT paid the school to get the damage fixed, however local officials were able to get things repaired for almost $100,00 less than was paid out. The DOT gave Lee County $455,000 to cover the costs and the county only spent $339,000 of it. That means $116,000 will go into the school budget, to pay for books, equipment upgrades and other things as needed.

North Carolina To Sue TVA
North Carolina is going to court against the Tennessee Valley Authority. State Attorney General Roy Cooper made the announcement on Monday after repeated attempts failed to convince TVA to clean up its’ coal power plants. Emissions from the plant drift into the western mountains of NC, and studies have found that these toxins have damaged the health of both people and plants. The Clean Smokestacks Act, which was signed into law in 2002, makes suchs fumes illegal in North Carolina. TVA meanwhile says that billions are being spent on cleanup, but refuses to show how or where the money is being used. Cooper said that the case could go to court within the next month.

Thieves Strongarm Home in Wayne County
Officials in the Wayne County area are looking for some thieves who had to be pretty strong to pull off this heist. A homeowner returned to find that their 900-lb safe had been ripped out of the house, along with over $320,000 in cash, guns and other items. There are no suspects and police in Goldsboro are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 919-735-2255.

That Sinking Feeling
The rainstorms from several weeks ago may seem like ancient history to people in Wilkes, but officials in Hickory are still dealing with the storm’s after effects. Two sinkholes were formed at Hickory businesses, at McGuffey’s and Buffalos’ Restaurant. Now officials are concerned that one of the sinkholes may be expanding to engulf portions of the road. While the sinkhole at Buffalos’ had originally swallowed only the restaurant’s parking lot, now parts of the sidewalk are crumbling and officials are concerned that it could expand to take parts of nearby Highway 70 as well. Despite the concern however, nothing has been done to fix the problem, unlike at McGuffey’s down the road. Work crews have begun what is expected to be a two month project, rebuilding the drainage system and the parking lot in hopes of solving the problem.

Sports Headlines

UNC Lands Another Running Back
The Tarheels locked up another position player for their 2006 squad, as running back Johnny White committed to the team. White, a 6 ft. 195 back from Asheville High agreed to play for the Heels, saying he loved the school and thought it would be a great place to go to college. He’ll enter Chapel Hill ranked as one of the top ten seniors in the nation, turning down offers from Arkansas, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Tennessee. Last season as a junior, White rushed for 2184 yards and 39 touchdowns while marking a time of 4.4 in the 40 yard dash.

Deacons Name Starting QB
Just up the road in Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons finally have decided on a quarterback. Sophomore Ben Mauk will be the starter when the season starts, having beaten out senior Cory Randolph in practice. The news couldn’t come at a better time for the Deacons, as the team lost running back Chris Barclay for at least the first game of the year. Barclay was suspended by both the school and the athletic department, for an unspecified violation. He’ll be eligible to rejoin the team for their game September 10th.

Wake Forest Coach Qualifies For Race
One of the Wake Forest coaches will be in Helsinki during the World Track and Field Championships, as a competitor. Matt Kerr, an assistant coach for Wake’s track and field team, qualified as a member of Team Canada’s squad. He ran with the team during a meet in Belgium, running the 3000 meter steeplechase in 8 minutes, 20 seconds.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues last night, it was Hickory getting blown out by Kannapolis 10-1. Hickory starter Derek Hankins got the loss after giving up six runs in seven innings of work. The bullpen also collapsed for the Crawdads, giving up four runs in the last three innings. No Crawdad player got more than two hits in the game. The news was better up in Winston, as the Warthogs beat Lynchburg 18-8. Warthogs starter Wes Whisler got his second win of the season, despite giving up six runs in five innings of work. Winston was led by Noah Hall, who had two home runs and a triple.

Carolina Hurricanes Unveil New Season
After a lockout that wiped out last season, the Carolina Hurricanes will take to the ice again this year as the team released its’ preseason schedule this week. The NHL preseason has the ‘Canes playing eight games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and several other teams to get ready for their first official matchup in over a year. The first game is set for Sept. 16th in Raleigh against the Washington Capitals.