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News & Sports For August

Notes From Commissioners Meeting
Wilkes County Commissioners met last night and discussed several items on the agenda. Six volunteers were recognized from different organizations in the county, for their service. They were Annie Wyatt from Hospice, Karen Clifton from the guardian child advocate program, Steve & Linda Minton from Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission, Mandy Markson from Communities in Schools and Ona Johnson from the Appalachian Senior Companion Program. All of these volunteers were given a certificate thanking them for their dedication and work ethic. Also at the meeting, county commissioners approved some budget amendments. To help refinance the Hanger loan, additional funds were approved for both the principal and interest payments of the county’s airport hanger. An increase of $1782 was established for the principal payment and the interest payment was increased by $4321. With the changes, the principal payment now stands at $25,882 and the interest payment is $8987. Also David McGrady from the Vocational Workshop spoke and outlined several problems the program finds itself facing. Over the past year, the workshop has found itself $385,000 in debt, partially from shrinking state funding. That has mainly been covered by cash reserves, which are drying up. Current cash losses were placed at $200,000 and there is only an estimated $50,000 in reserve. Proposals were presented to eliminate the debt, including getting rid of transportation to and from the workshop, which currently costs $85,000 a year. In addition, the café will be shut down, saving $25,000 and food will instead be offered by the Snack Shack, at a cost of $3 per meal. Director McGrady asked if the commissioners would consider increasing the amount of support provided by the county and if they could possibly subsidize transportation? Commissioners requested financial records from the organization and promised to take up the concerns in another meeting.

Mailbox Vandals Return To Wilkes
Mailbox vandals hit another home in the Wilkes County area this week. In Thurmond, a woman walked outside to find that her mailbox had been chopped down from its’ post and a hole had been punctured in it. $75 worth of damage was done, however no one can recall hearing or seeing anything during the night. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Focus On Music
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to start out as a musician? To juggle your music ministry with work, school and the everyday insanity of life? This week on Focus on the Foothills, Brian Carlton will be talking about all those subjects with musician and college student Wes Pickering, providing a snapshot of what the process is like, putting together a record and working to keep your grades up at the same time. To hear Brian's interview with Wes, you can tune in tomorrow for Focus on the Foothills. They’ll be discussing what’s involved if you want to get started in music, also providing some hints to help along the way. That’s tomorrow at 1:05pm, right after the midday stock report.

Ran Off With The Tire
Why would someone steal a tire? That’s what a Wilkesboro man is wondering today, after returning home to find his car was missing one. The man had parked his Chevy in the front yard six months ago as it didn’t work. After returning home this week, he found that one of the tires had been pulled off. Nothing else was stolen and no damage was done to either the car or the property. There are no suspects but the investigation is ongoing.

Medicare Forum To Be Held Tomorrow
It can be hard at times to understand all the legal language when going through an insurance contract. How much do you pay? What exactly is covered? It’s no different with Medicare, however coming up this week it’ll be a little easier to get some answers. There will be a public information session going on Thursday August 18th at the Wilkes Public Library. The session will go on from 11 am til 12 noon, with people on hand to answer your questions concerning Medicare Plan B. For more information you can call 670-2644.

Air Conditioners Stolen From Local Businesses
The heat is still affecting people around Wilkes County, who are looking for ways to cool off. But someone apparently decided he should have to pay to keep cool, as two air conditioners were stolen from the loading dock at Wilkes Heating & Air Conditioner. Over one thousand dollars worth of merchandise was taken from the business, however the joke is on the thieves as none of the units actually work. They had been set on the dock because of damages and were going to be looked at. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Retired Teachers In Wilkes To Meet
Retired teachers from around the Wilkes County area will come together for a meeting next Wednesday, August 24th. The event will be held at the Elks Club, starting at 12 noon. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss changes in the law, which will be done by Judge Gregory. In addition, Rev. Paul Huger will deal with any questions regarding Medicare Part D. Once again that will be going on August 24th at the Elks Club.

Illegal Dumping Becomes A Problem For Purlear Man
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Purlear man’s home, due to an unusual problem. Someone has been depositing their trash in his yard. No one has actually witnessed the dumping, but twice when the man returned from town this week, there was trash left on his property. There are no suspects, however deputies are continuing the investigation.

Wilkes Heritage Museum Holds Fundraiser
Old Wilkes Inc. continues to raise money to put into their renovation project of what will be the Heritage Museum. One way of doing that will be on display this weekend, when the group hosts a giant yard sale. The event starts Friday afternoon at 4pm and runs til 8pm that night, before starting back up Saturday morning at 8am and stretching on until 2pm. All kinds of items, from clothing, to art, to food will be available, with proceeds going to support the Old Wilkes renovation projects. Currently the organization is in charge of the Old Wilkes Jail, Robert Cleveland Log Home and Finely Law Office, in addition to the Old Wilkes Courthouse that is still under reconstruction. For more information or to get involved with the sale, you can call Laura Stroud at 838-4240 or contact the Old Wilkes offices at 667-3712.

Credit Card Stolen From Local Group Home
Deputies were called out to Rest Care this week, after officials at the group home discovered that a credit card had been stolen. The card, which was used to purchase items for the home, was discontinued so that the thief couldn’t use it. There were no reports of anyone attempting to use it and no suspects in the case.

State News

Greensboro Residents Asked To Dump The Pump
Tired of high gas prices? Well the city of Greensboro has come up with a possible solution called “Dump the Pump”. The city is suggesting that people give up cars for a ride on the bus. It costs two dollars for a roundtrip anywhere in Greensboro, less than the fee for just one gallon of gas. After seeing the latest round of skyrocketing prices, city officials said they felt the need to offer an alternative, to help people save money.

Town Forgets Own Birthday

Sometimes you accidentally forget a friend’s birthday and rush to make up for it. But for the town of Roxboro, nothing can make up for the celebration that would have been. The town turned 150 this past January, but local officials forgot all about the event. Instead, they were reminded just a few weeks ago after receiving a letter of congratulations from the state. Aside from the festivities involved, locals are upset over the missed marketing opportunities, which could have brought in much needed tourism dollars. To solve the problem, town commissioners have declared that January 9th in Roxboro will now be known as Founder’s Day, giving the town an official holiday to celebrate.

Man Gets Strange Sentence For Drunk Driving
A Waynesville judge handed down a unique punishment this week in the case of a drunk driver. Mark Calhoun had been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, after killing a 16-yr-old who was riding his bike. After a jury found Calhoun guilty, the judge ordered that he spend 90 days in jail, after which he has to pay $11,000 for the boy’s funeral and be placed under house arrest. In addition, the judge also ruled that for the next four years, Calhoun has to come back to jail, to serve a 48 hour sentence on the anniversary of the crash.

Hickory May Lose Flights
Bad news coming out of Hickory today, as the city may lose it’s Delta Connection Center. Less than a year after getting the service up and running, officials from Atlantic Southeast Airlines said that they would possibly leave the area if profits don’t increase over the next two months. Currently around 40% of all seats on Delta flights are sold in Hickory, 10% lower than the company’s estimates. It’s unclear what, if anything can be done to attract more customers, as the company doesn’t plan to lower prices and Hickory can’t afford to offer any other services.

Police Car Thief Still At Large
The search continues in Winston Salem for a man who stole a police car. 31-yr-old Derrick Devon Reid had been arrested Monday on assault charges and put in the back seat of the vehicle. The officers left the sliding window between the back seat and front open, so that Reid wouldn’t burn up on such a hot day. However when the officers stepped out of the car, Reid managed to crawl in between the seats and drive off, as the keys were still in the ignition. Police later found the car abandoned on Claremont Avenue in Winston Salem.

Easley Makes Pitch To Keep Movies
Gov. Mike Easley has made a pitch that he hopes some movie company will pick up. Namely he hopes they pick up and move production to North Carolina. Included in the budget signed on Saturday, is an item called the film incentive package. Under the plan, any production company that spends at least $250,000 in North Carolina would receive a tax credit equal to 15% of the cost for all goods, labor and services it purchases in the state. The maximum benefit a company can be given is $7.5 million, which in turn would require the company to spend at least $50 million in the state.

Sports Headlines

First Game Of The Week This Friday
Around the high school scene, this Friday kicks off football season and 3WC will be on hand to bring you all the action with our Game of the Week. Ken Byrd and Keith Briand will be over at East Wilkes, broadcasting the Cardinals’ game against East Davidson. Also Brian Carlton will be in the studio, interviewing coaches and bringing you up to date scores from the other games going on in the area. That’s high school football this Friday starting at 7:15 with the McDonalds Pregame Show, then kickoff is set for 7:30. All on your home for local sports, 1240 3WC.

UNC Football Team Gains One But Loses Another
It’s a case of good news/bad news in Chapel Hill, as one Tarheel was cleared to rejoin the football team, while two more are leaving. Freshman Mark Paschal is returning to the squad after charges were dropped against him in criminal court. The 18-yr-old Paschal had been charged with assault, drunk & disruptive behavior and resisting arrest on the night of July 9th. However after he went through an alcohol and drug education program, the prosecution agreed to drop all charges. Coach Bunting said that he believes Paschal learned a valuable lesson and he was glad to welcome him back to the team. The news wasn’t so good for defensive end Xavier Rainey, who announced that he’s quitting football. Rainey had broke his leg during spring practice and rehab wasn’t going as well as he had hoped.

NC State Loses Two Players
Down the road in Raleigh, some bad news also hit the Wolfpack training camp. NC State will lose defensive ends Raymond Brooks and Chip Cross for the season, according to the athletic director’s office. It wasn’t made public why the two wouldn’t make the squad, however they will be missed. The sophomore Brooks was a big part of the team’s defensive line, seeing action in ten games last year. Cross had just rejoined the team after a year off as he’s heading into his senior season.

Duke Adds Another To Offensive Line
Over in Durham, an experiment is taking place during camp. 6-7 senior Demetrius Warrick is working on a position change, moving from defensive tackle to plug a hole on the offensive line. The 300 lb. lineman has never played on the offensive side before, but Duke coaches believe he could have an impact on the game. The only catch is that Warrick has less than a month to learn a position that can take up to three years to master.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem losing to the Wilmington Blue Rocks 4-2. There were only slim pickings for the Warthogs, who were led by Robert Valido’s one RBI. Valido also had a stolen base in the loss.

Former Duke Player Locked Up With Contract
In the NBA, one former Duke player has a bit of job security today, after coming to terms on a new deal. Point guard Chris Duhon will return for another year with the Chicago Bulls, after the team matched an offer put out by Toronto. The three year deal will keep Duhon with the team that drafted him out of the second round last year, where he averaged 5 points and 4 assists as a backup. He also helped guide the Bulls to their first playoff appearance in seven years.


News & Sports For August 16th

Fox To Meet With Chairman In Wilkes Today
5th District Congresswoman Virginia Fox will be in Wilkes this morning, to meet with U.S. Representative John Boehner. Mr. Boehner is the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and will be touring Wilkes Community College along with Congresswoman Fox, before meeting with local officials. The point of the meeting is to discuss the Higher Education Act and how it could possibly affect Wilkes County.

Deputy Assaulted By Break-In Suspect
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to an Elkin residence earlier this week, after reports came of a break-in. A man had apparently busted into the home, knocking open the door and damaging a wall. Once inside he screamed at the homeowner and her family before rushing out and climbing the roof. Within a few minutes the man disappeared, just before deputies arrived. However he returned once again, refusing to let the deputies out of their vehicle. He kept cursing at the deputies, swinging the car doors and trying to hit them. 37-yr-old Richie Holbrook was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, in addition to breaking & entering along with property damage. Estimated damages at the woman’s home were placed at $600 and it’s still unclear why the man chose that specific home to go into.

Gas Theft In North Wilkesboro
Gas thieves hit another business in Wilkes County earlier in the week, this time targeting the Run-In on Statesville Road. A man pulled up, pumped $36 worth of gas and then took off down the road, spinning tires while doing so. A description of both the man and vehicle were turned over to sheriff’s deputies and that investigation is ongoing.

Rabies Becoming A Concern This Year
As we close the book on summer, rabies is still a problem both in Wilkes and across the state. With a shortage of the rabies vaccine, officials are still concerned of a potential problem. The easiest way to fix things is to go and have your pet vaccinated, which at the local clinics costs $10. Keep in mind if that seems like a lot, humans can also contract the virus and it costs around $2500 to treat an infected person. If you’re not sure, call your vet and check that your animals all have up to date vaccinations. If you have any questions, you can call Animal Control at 903-7688 or the Wilkes Health Department at 651-7450.

Mower & Video Games Stolen
A Millers Creek man returned home earlier this week, only to find that someone had paid him a visit. Gone from inside was the man’s push mower, in addition to his X-Box game system. It appears that the thieves had pried open a side door with a pocket knife to gain access. Nothing else was stolen and no other damage was done to the home. There are several suspects in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Health Department Offering Car Seat Help
85% of child safety seats across Wilkes County were not installed correctly, according to the local SafeKids organization. While this is slightly lower than the national average, it’s still high enough for concern. However if you’re still trying to figure out what the right way to install one is, you don’t have to wait until the next safety check. The Wilkes Health Department is partnering with SafeKids to help show parents the right way to install the seats. To set up an appointment, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478. Or if you want to wait until the next safety check, there will be one going on September 17th.

Gun Fired At Traphill Home
Deputies were called out to a Traphill residence after reports came in of shots fired at the house. The homeowner returned from church Sunday afternoon to find that his windows had been shattered and also parts of the siding on his home had been torn up as well, all this done by a shotgun blast. $2500 worth of damage was done to the property, however there are no suspects in the case. The investigation is ongoing.

“Spoofing” Pt. 1 Of Internet Safety Series
Virtually everyone is logging onto the internet these days, checking email and even working from home. However a new practice called spoofing can give you an online headache. The idea is a ripoff of an old practice, sending out fake emails that have the exact same information as a company you do business with, such as Wachovia, even down to the log-in screen. It’s even impossible to tell if the email is legit by looking at who sent it, as hackers can alter any portion of the message. First and foremost, if you get any emails from a company you do business with, log out and go directly to their website. Don’t click on any links that will connect you. While it may seem harmless, what that does in fact is link you with a hacker’s computer. Now he has a way into your system. Also the spoofed emails will always have a generic greeting, such as welcome Wachovia customer. Also realize that no legit company would ever ask for bank account, credit card or debit card numbers. They also wouldn’t ask for your drivers’ license or full name. These are all little tools hackers use to gain access to your information. The best thing to do is delete an email if it seems strange or if you think it’s hacked. Then if nothing else you can go directly to the website of the business in question and find out for yourself. It’s a lot cheaper than the alternative.

Thieves Leave Vehicle Behind At Heist
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a home on Hwy 16 North earlier this week, after reports of a break-in in progress. They arrived to find several tools had been stolen from the woman’s home, including a $200 pressure washer and $200 welder. Estimated cost of everything that was stolen was placed at $1400. However a vehicle was parked nearby, one that didn’t belong to anyone in the neighborhood. Deputies radioed in and got the information as to who owned the car and are continuing the investigation.

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 being 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, the number is 651-7331.

Never Leave Money Out In Plain Sight

A Wilkesboro man learned why it’s never a good idea to leave money in plain sight this week. He locked his car before going into a store, however when he came out, $60 that had been laying on the seat was missing along with his wallet. In addition the driver’s side door and driver’s side key lock were both damaged. Total damages were placed at $250 and the investigation is ongoing.

State News

Police Hunt For Wingate Robber
Police at Wingate are hunting for a robbery suspect today, after a government employee was assaulted. A driver for one of Union County’s transportation vans was pulling out of a nearby Burger King when a man rose out of the backseat and tried to beat him with a pipe. After a brief struggle, the driver was able to toss the man off, after which he jumped out the door and took off running. There were no injuries and nothing was stolen from the van. However police around Wingate are still attempting to locate the man, before he strikes again. He’s described as a skinny black male, last seen wearing a red shirt and black cap. If you have any information Wingate Police are asking for a call at 704-233-1697.

North Carolina In First Regional Cold Case Group
The state of North Carolina is taking part in a law enforcement organization that’s the first of its’ kind on the East Coast. Investigators from North Carolina, Delaware, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia are all coming together as part of the Mid-Atlantic Cold Case Association. The group will help each other out on cases, offering a fresh pair of eyes to a case that might have stumped law enforcement til now. David Cordle is the president of the group, in addition to being the chief investigator for the Anne Arundel County state attorney’s office in Maryland.

Man Shot After Robbery
Winston Salem police are investigating after a robbery Monday morning. The incident happened around 6:30am at the K&W Cafeteria on Hanes Mill Road. A 54-yr-old man was shot after a would be robber came up to him in the parking lot and demanded his money. It’s unknown what exactly happened after that, however the man was shot and the robber took off in a small green car. No one could provide any more details of the incident. The man however, 54-yr-old Marshal Norman, is currently in Baptist Hospital, recovering from surgery.

Broyhill Plant In Lenoir Shuts Down
Bad news today for people in the Lenoir area, as Broyhill Furniture officially closed down their Occasional 1 plant. A few workers are remaining on staff to help run the warehousing operations, which will continue until all the stock has been moved. Today is also the final day for Lenoir’s Harper plant, which closes down at the end of business. Overall 475 jobs will be lost, with an additional 285 people being forced to relocate in order to keep theirs. Both plants are currently up for sale.

Caldwell County To Hold Employment Event
Some good news for people without work in Caldwell County, as later this week a job fair of sorts will be going on. Called “Directions”, the program will be set up at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute from Wednesday through Friday. Times are set starting at 10am in the morning and wrapping up that evening at 6pm. The program is designed to help any out of work people find connections for assistance and possibly jobs before they leave. The event is free to everyone and on hand will be healthcare providers, food, clothing and school supply drives among other things. Once again that’s taking place Wednesday through Friday at the Caldwell Community College from 10am til 6pm.

Sports Headlines

Tarheel Player Considers Redshirting
This year hasn’t gone as planned for Tarheel runningback Ronnie McGill, who’s recovering from a torn chest muscle. Now as he faces at least four months of rehab before he can get back on a football field, McGill is considering redshirting and making his return next season. An official decision hasn’t been made yet, but McGill said he didn’t want to return for just a few weeks and cause any problems for the team.

Duke Lands Ahead Of North Carolina In Preseason Poll
Some surprises came out in the first national college football poll. USA Today released its’ first preseason poll and more surprising than who was left off was who got a vote. The Duke Blue Devils received a vote in the poll, one more than both North Carolina and Wake Forest despite only winning eight games in five years. The only other North Carolina school receiving a vote was NC State, who was ranked 31st, with 69 votes.

Giuliani To Play At Duke

A member of the first family is enrolling this fall at Duke University. The first family of New York that is. Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, will head to Durham this fall in hopes of making the golf team. The 19-yr-old doesn’t have a scholarship, but will instead try to make the team as a walk-on. In addition to Giuliani, Coach Rod Myers returns most of a team that won the ACC title last season. Giuliani said one of the reasons he picked Duke was because of his friendships with some guys already on the team.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look at the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem beating the Wilmington Blue Rocks 6-5. Winston starter Wes Whisler got his third win of the year, only giving up one run in six innings of work while striking out seven. Reliever Fabio Castro picked up his second save of the year in 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Noah Hall led the Warthogs’ attack, going two for three with a home run.

Panthers Win Comes With Price
Not everything went as planned for the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, as two more players were added to the list of walking wounded. Linebacker Brandon Short sprained his left foot and special teams captain Karl Hankton sprained his shoulder. Some good news however also came for the team, as cornerback Ken Lucas, receiver Keary Colbert and safety Mike Minter were all cleared to return to practice, after recovering from injuries.


News & Sports For August 15th

Where Did You Come From?
A Wilkesboro man was walking through his home over the weekend when he noticed a woman in his kitchen. He asked who she was, only to see her run out the door. There was no damage done to the house and it didn’t appear that anything was stolen. However the man later found that his billfold had been taken, along with $60 in cash and his drivers’ license. A description of the woman was turned over to deputies and an investigation is ongoing.

Wreck On Oakwoods Road Wrecks Two
It’s always a good idea to keep your eyes on the road. A Moravian Falls man found that out the hard way over the weekend, as he was driving down Oakwoods Road. After looking away for a few seconds, he glanced up to see the vehicle in front of him had come to a stop. Unable to follow suit in time, the two cars collided, causing an estimated $10,500 in damage. The Moravian Falls man was taken by ambulance to Wilkes Regional.

Local Church Holds Youth Conference
Emmanuel Church is celebrating its’ 13th year of operation in 2005 and portions of the church’s youth are working to honor that achievement. A conference will go on this week at the church, located in North Wilkesboro, where the target is to bring 250 teens together to honor and worship God. The name of this year’s conference is Raising the Crop. If you want to get involved and help, you can do that as well. The church is accepting any donations of time, food or whatever you can give to help support the conference. They are located at 708 F Street in North Wilkesboro and once again the number to call for information is 903-0693.

Always Helps To Lock Your Doors
A High Point woman called Wilkesboro police over the weekend after discovering that thieves had been inside her car. The woman had left her vehicle while going to different businesses in the area, keeping a camera inside with the doors unlocked. However when she returned, the camera was missing. That investigation is ongoing.

Upcoming Abortion Conference
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 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 this Saturday, August 20th starting at 9am in the morning. For more information you can call the Pregnancy Care Center at 838-9272.

Air Conditioner Stolen From Local Home
The heat apparently got to at least one person over the weekend, as a Wilkesboro man returned home to find that thieves had stolen his air conditioner. Damage was done throughout the house, with the final bill estimated at around $500. There is however a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

Roadside Assistance For Farmers

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

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.

State News

Deputy Fired After Stealing Weed Eater
Normally law enforcement officers watch surveillance tapes, but for one Craven County sheriff’s deputy, he was the subject of one. Sgt. James Teel was fired from his job after being found guilty of stealing a weed-eater. The man was caught on tape walking over to a local storage shed, then kicking down the door and grabbing the trimmer. He pleaded guilty in criminal court, but didn’t give any reasons for his crimes. The 10-year law enforcement vet was given 45 days in a suspended jail sentence, along with 18 months of probation. This marks the fourth employee fired from the Sheriff’s Department in Craven County over the last week.

Bad News For College Students
While North Carolina finally has a state budget, that could actually be a bad thing for college students. In the $17 billion dollar budget, funding for state colleges & universities was cut 1.72%. Now what that means is schools are going to have to make up the difference themselves, which for many means a choice between cutting staff or increasing tuition. College officials across the state said the decision will be different for each school, but also said increasing tuition was the more likely choice.

Reward Offered As Hunt Continues
Officials in Winston Salem are hunting today for a hit & run driver and are offering a reward for information. A four year old boy was hurt last week after walking on the sidewalk of his street and being hit by a speeding car. The vehicle was described as a red convertible with a black top, but no other information could be provided by witnesses. After slowing down, the car kept on going down the road. The boy suffered a broken leg in the incident and now his parents are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. If anyone has information about the case, you can call 336-727-2800.

Marines Return Home
Some good news for military families in the state this weekend, as 900 Marines returned home to Camp Lejeune. The 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine group had left for Iraq in January, where they helped to train the Iraqi army. Also while over there, the soldiers confiscated 125 weapons caches and 26,000 rounds of ammunition. On Sunday, families started arriving at 9am, with over 500 eventually crowding around. The soldiers said they were most proud of helping to calm the violence, as attacks were down almost 50% from January til July. 210 attacks went on in January, compared with 65 in July.

State Finally Has A Budget
One week after it was passed by state lawmakers, North Carolina’s budget became official as Governor Easley signed it into law. The $17.2 billion plan will stay as it was originally conceived, with over $600 million coming in via new tax plans. Several projects within the budget have been called into question, including $400,000 to pay for a Teapot Museum in Sparta and $1 million to help pay for an equestrian center in Rockingham County. Despite the concerns, Easley did in fact sign the budget into law.

Sports Headlines

Results Of Local Golf Tournament
Around the local scene, this weekend was the Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home Golf Tournament, played at Oakwoods Country Club. The winning team from the first morning flight included Bradley Eller, Burn Gregory, Todd Felts, John Battle, while second place went to Kerry Cook, Scott Prevette, Matt Reneger and Gray Burchette. On the second flight of the morning, it was John Burchette, Marsh Lyall, Mark Church and Don Rhodes taking first place, with Keith Huffman, Bob Simmons, Steve Ellis and L Tomlin. Later on during the afternoon, it was the team of James Mathis, Jeff Shoemaker, Jim Wiles and Jim Barlow finishing first, with Barry Byrd, Ed Snyder, Brian Bonette and Kent Sherrill coming in second. Then on the final flight of the day, it was Kevin Lyall, Erine Drumm, Mark Jolly and Brandon Jolly finishing first, with Bruce Miller, Josh Welborn, West Minton and Arthur Lankford wrapping up second place.

Under 21 Team Fails To Get Gold
It was a rough weekend for the U.S. Under 21 team, as they were knocked out of the running for a gold medal. Canada beat the U.S. by a score of 93-90 on Friday, a game that went into overtime. The U.S. rebounded on Saturday, winning the consolation game 99-79 over Puerto Rico. Justin Gray from Wake Forest had 16 points for the U.S., while Duke’s JJ Redick was ice cold, only scoring three points.

Minor League Scoreboard
Around the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem losing against Fredrick 3-2. Ray Liotta got his first loss of the season, giving up three runs in seven innings of work. With the loss, Winston falls two games back in the race for the Southern Division title. Up the road in Hickory the news wasn’t any better for the Crawdads, who fell against Lake County 3-2.

Former 49er Gets Major Chance
Hurt by injuries, the Baltimore Orioles made a call to the minors for pitching help over the weekend. After one game, it seems they made a good decision. Former UNC Charlotte pitcher John Maine made his first start in the majors this season, tossing five innings of shutout baseball against the Toronto Blue Jays. The plans were to have Maine sent back down after one game, but club officials were so impressed they’ve added him to the roster.

Panthers Win Opening Game
In the NFL, it was a good start for the Carolina Panthers, who took their first preseason game 28-10. Playing against the Washington Redskins in front of just over 61,000 people, the Panthers put on a show both on and off the field. During halftime, they retired the jersey of former player and linebackers coach Sam Mills, who died earlier this year from cancer. Coming up next for Carolina is a matchup against the Giants, this Saturday at 8pm.

NASCAR Results
Tony Stewart took the checkered flag at Sunday’s Sirius at the Glen. Robby Gordon was second, Boris Said came in third, Scott Pruett was fourth and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five. With the win, Stewart moves ahead of second place Jimmie Johnson by 95 points in the race for the Cup.


News & Sports For August 12trh

Orientation Continues Tonight
With only three days left before the first day of class, orientation continues tonight at several of the local schools. At Mountain View Elementary, there will be an open house for Pre-K, kindergarteners and first graders from 4-5pm. Then from 5-6pm for 2nd and 3rd grades and finally 6-7pm is when 4th and 5th graders can come in and tour their new classes. Up the road at Boomer Ferguson, a special open house will take place at 7pm, so that Pre-K and kindergarteners can meet their teachers. For the rest of Boomer Ferguson’s students, open house will take place on August 22nd at 7pm. Over at East Wilkes Middle School, orientation starts at 6:30pm for all rising 6th graders. As for the rest of the county, Central Wilkes Middle School is holding orientation this Sunday from 3-5pm for all rising 6th graders and all other new students. Then Mount Pleasant Elementary will hold open house on the 18th and Millers Creek Elementary on the 25th.

Thieves Clean Out Local Store
The Outdoor Sportsman store in Wilkesboro was the victim of thieves this week, with $3378 worth of items either stolen or damaged. The thieves pried open on the of the doors at the business and walked in, carrying off pretty much whatever they could find, Included in the theft was a Dish Network TV box, several fishing rods, some reels, boxes of seed, buckets of minnows and other items. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Ebenezer Holds Tournament Tomorrow
Tomorrow is the date for this year’s golf tournament, to benefit the Ebenezer Garden Christian Children’s Home. The event will take place at Oakwoods Country Club, with morning and afternoon flights. The format for the tournament this year is four man captain’s choice, with over $50,000 in prizes up for grabs. The entry fee is $75 per person and only a few spots remain. All of the proceeds from the event will go to the Home, for use as needed. One of the projects that will be helped by proceeds from the event is the 4th home at Ebenezer called Hope, which is currently under construction. Once again there are a limited number of spots still open for the afternoon tournament. To sign up or for a brochure you may call the Home at 667-5683.

Broke In To Have A Look Around
Thieves broke into a Wilkesboro woman’s home this week, only they left the place just as they found it. Nothing was missing from the house, also no damage was done, except to a window. The would be thieves had apparently shattered a window and climbed inside, but didn’t find what they were looking for. Clothes had been scattered and tossed throughout the house, but there was no other evidence of a break-in. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

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 today. 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’s going on today, 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.

Wreck On River Street Totals One
It’s always a good idea to get a good night’s sleep before you drive. A Wilkesboro man found this out the hard way on Wednesday, as he fell asleep at the wheel. The man’s car skidded off the road and into a power pole. The car was totaled, with estimated damages placed at $3800, however thankfully the man walked away unhurt.

Drink Machines Across the Area Hit For Change
Wilkesboro police are investigating a series of break-ins today, where drink machines across the area were targeted. Machines at four different businesses were vandalized and then the thieves also either attempted to or succeeded at stealing the change inside. In one of the cases, a mysterious tip led police to the scene of the crime apparently minutes after the incident occurred. It’s unknown exactly how much money was stolen from the machines, however damages were placed at over $800. The investigation is ongoing.

Stuff The Bus Program Wrapping Up
With only a few days left before the start of school, it’s important for kids to get all the supplies they need for class. However with economic times not being the best here in Wilkes, many kids will enter the school term without the simplest things such as paper, pens and calculators. Communities in Schools wants to help solve that problem, with their Stuff the Bus program which is going on right now. You can drop off school supplies at several locations around Wilkes, including Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. There are also drop off spots at Dollar General, Super 10 and the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, so anything you can donate would be welcomed. For more information you can call Amie Blevins at Communities in Schools. Her number is 651-7830 extension #23.

Weed-Eater Stolen From Purlear Home
A homeowner in Purlear came home earlier this week looking to take advantage of the sunlight outside and get some mowing done. However when he went out to get the mower, he found it was missing. In addition, thieves had also ran off with his weed-eater that had been lying nearby. No lock had been on the door next to which the materials were kept and it appears thieves just walked right in and helped themselves. That investigation is ongoing.

State News

School In Charlotte Falls Victim To Break In
Some hungry thieves broke into the Coulwood Middle School in Charlotte early Thursday morning. Police estimate that around 1am, thieves somehow gained access to the school through the doors, but without leaving behind any damage or evidence they were there. Instead, they made their way to the vending machines inside, smashing them open and then running off with both snacks and money.

Jobs Coming To Gaston County
Some good news today for people in Gaston County, as more jobs are heading into the area. Dole Foods announced plans this week to build a packaging plant in the area. The plant will be built in Bessemer City, with construction to begin later this year. Company officials are opening the doors to anyone who’s looking for a job. If you want to put in an application, you can go online and do so at the Dole website, which can be found at

Farmer In North Carolina Supplying White House
A Farmer in North Carolina will be supplying the White House this Christmas. A Laurel Spring man has been selected to provide this year’s White House Christmas tree. Now there are some requirements that have to be met here. The tree must stand 18 ½ feet tall at least. In October, the man’s farm will be visited by a member of the White House staff, who will have to approve the tree. Once that’s finished, the tree will be cut down at Thanksgiving and sent to Washington to be decorated.

Winston Police Need Help In Finding Missing Man
Officials in the Winston area are asking for help in locating a man who went missing Wednesday afternoon. 78-yr-old Willard Warren left home just passed noon on Wednesday and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. It’s believed Warren could be driving a tan 2001 GMC Sierra, with the license plate NZV-5013. The situation is serious because Warren has Alzheimer’s and may be disoriented. If anyone sees the man, officials are asking that you call 911.

Minimum Wage One Step Closer To Increase
North Carolina came one step closer on Thursday to raising the minimum wage, as a new bill passed through both the full House and a Senate committee. In the House, a bill was passed that would raise the minimum wage to $6. The vote was a tight one, as it came through 62-56. Afterwards the bill was passed on to the Senate, who will consider it along with their own measure, which recommends the exact same thing. The only difference between the two bills is that the House version also would add tax credits for all small businesses that give health insurance to workers. That provision isn’t in the Senate version, which instead wants to reduce corporate and income tax rates, while raising the cigarette tax by another five cents. Currently over 100,000 people in the state earn less than $6 an hour, according to the NC Justice Center.

Another Rowan County Official Quits
Less than a month after a scandal came to light in Rowan County, yet another public official left office. County attorney John Holshouser resigned his position, upset that action hadn’t been taken against the man who he believes caused all of this, current county commissioner Arnold Chamberlain. It was revealed earlier this month that Rowan County had spent $23,000 to hire a private investigator, in order to determine who was writing letters that criticized local government. That investigation found that Chamberlain had written the letters, a charge he denies. However because no action was taken against him, Holshouser resigned the position he had held for the past 16 years. In his resignation, Holshouser called the current county government a charade and said that people deserved better.

Sports Headlines

Duke Lands 10th Recruit
It’s been a good offseason so far for Duke’s football program. The team added another piece to the puzzle this week as Andrew Holoman announced his commitment to the school. Holoman, a 6’2 202 lb. linebacker from Virginia, accepted the school’s offer of a scholarship, saying that it had the mixture of academics and athletics that he wanted. In doing so, he turned down an offer from his father’s alma mater Virginia and also Georgia Tech.

Under 21 Team Advances
And in college basketball, you can chalk up yet another victory for the U.S. Under 21 team, thanks in part to a player from North Carolina. Last time it was a Blue Devil, but in this case a 49er stepped up to the plate, as Curtis Withers from UNC Charlotte led the team to a 82-79 win over Slovenia. Withers had 15 points as he helped rally the team back from a 13-point deficit. With the win, the U.S. team will match up later today, against the winner of the game between Israel and Canada.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look around the minor leagues last night, it was Winston Salem beating Wilmington 3-1 in a game that took ten innings to finish. Warthogs’ starter Lance Broadway had a good game despite not getting a decision, going six innings and striking out seven, without giving up a run. Reliever Fabio Castro got his fifth win of the season, after throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Hurricanes Sign Another Player
The free agent period continues for the Carolina Hurricanes, as they agreed to a deal with right winger Justin Williams this week. Williams signed a one year deal with the team, after helping Canada win the gold medal at the World Hockey Championship.

Panthers Sign A Cornerback
In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers added another player to the roster, signing Dwight Anderson. Anderson had been released earlier in the week by the St. Louis Rams, after he missed curfew over the weekend. Despite Anderson being a model citizen otherwise, Rams coach Mike Martz cut the young cornerback, who had a shot at possibly cracking their starting lineup this year. Anderson will compete for time with Ricky Manning Jr. in the nickel back position.

In Nascar, it didn’t take Michael Waltrip long before his name was associated with another team. Now that it’s public knowledge Waltrip is leaving DEI, reports have come out that he might sign a deal soon with Joe Gibbs, filling the spot of recently fired Jason Leffler. Officials close to the situation say that an announcement could come in the next week.


News & Sports For August 11th

Wreck On Hwy 16 Shuts Down Traffic
Highway 16 Mountain was closed down for portions of the afternoon and into the evening hours yesterday, after a tractor trailer wrecked. It’s unclear how many other vehicles were involved, although one person was airlifted by chopper and another was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The incident happened around 2:40pm at the Ashe County/Wilkes County line. DOT workers shut down the road for most of the day as they cleaned up the wreckage.

Fox Meets With Local Vets
5th District Congresswoman Virginia Fox was in Wilkes County on Wednesday, holding a meeting with local war veterans. The meeting took place in the county commissioners’ room, with Fox promising the vets that she would stay on top of issues that affected them. She also asked for any concerns they had, dealing with problems she could help with. They cited a lack of veterans’ clinics in the area, with the closest one being in Winston Salem. Also the question of health benefits was brought up, namely how can all veterans get the coverage they need? The congresswoman promised to look into all of the subjects brought up at the meeting and said she hopes to have conferences like this several times a year at least.

Local Man Falls Victim To ID Fraud

A North Wilkesboro man found himself the victim of identity theft this week, after his card was declined at a local store. He soon discovered that someone had been using his name and social security number to get a credit card and run up debt. The name of the suspect was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation is ongoing.

Focus On Schools
With the new school year fast approaching, it’s time to start getting ready for class. But for students in the local high schools, it may also be time soon to move into a new building. Today on Focus on the Foothills, Brian will be talkign with Dr. Steve Laws, superintendent for Wilkes COunty Public Schools. They'll be discussing the renovations planned, also dealing with the ABC testing results and talking about where Wilkes County stands as a public school system. That’s coming up at 1:05pm, right after the midday stock report.

Gas Theft At Run-In
Another Wilkes County business fell victim to gas thieves this week. A man pulled up to the Run-In store in North Wilkesboro, pumped $59 worth of gas into his vehicle and then drove away. A description of both the man and the vehicle were turned over to sheriff’s deputies. That investigation is ongoing.

Orientation Tonight At Local Schools
The countdown to the first day of school continues tonight, as orientation sessions are being held across the county. C.B. Eller, C.C. Wright, Moravian Falls, Mulberry, Roaring River, Traphill and Wilkesboro Elementary will all hold orientation sessions tonight. Also the four high schools will all hold freshman orientation, beginning for each one at 6pm.

Always Keep Your Windows Locked
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Hays residence on Wednesday, after reports of a break-in. The homeowner had returned to find that someone had broke in through an unlocked window. There was no damage done to the property and the only things taken in the theft were several bottles of pills from the woman’s medicine cabinet. There are no suspects but the investigation continues.

Golf Tournament This Saturday
The Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home is gearing up for their annual benefit golf tournament, which will be held this coming Saturday, August 13th at Oakwoods Country Club. The format will be four man captain’s choice, with over $50,000 in prizes up for grabs. There are still a few spots open for the afternoon flight and to sign up or for a brochure you may call the Home at 667-5683.

Ran Off With The Steak

The Food Lion in Wilkesboro was the victim of thieves this week, as someone tried to run out the door with a pack of steaks. The man had come inside holding a large black bag, which he used to pick up three family packs of steaks and walk out the door. He then went across to Wilkes Family Pharmacy and tried to sell the steaks to employees. They turned him down and helped provide a description of the suspect. All total $50 in food was stolen and the investigation is ongoing.

Health Department Offering Car Seat Help
85% of child safety seats across Wilkes County were not installed correctly, according to the local SafeKids organization. While this is slightly lower than the national average, it’s still high enough for concern. However if you’re still trying to figure out what the right way to install one is, you don’t have to wait until the next safety check. The Wilkes Health Department is partnering with SafeKids to help show parents the right way to install the seats. To set up an appointment, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478.

State News

So Close To A Budget
North Carolina apparently doesn’t have a budget. While the details behind one were announced this week and lawmakers appeared ready to vote it in, Governor Easley has sent everyone back to the drawing board. Easley has said that he’ll veto the budget if raises for state employees aren’t taken out. The reason for the challenge is that Easley assigned a spending cap to the budget and with the employee raises, it crosses over his limit by a few thousand to finish at $17.2 billion. However some Republicans are coming out in support of the governor’s veto, because they feel that there are too many pork barrel projects in the budget. Several projects have been slipped in from different senators and representatives, all benefiting their districts. The added projects exceed $100 million dollars, according to Senate Republicans. More meetings are scheduled for the rest of this week as lawmakers try to cut down the number to one that Easley agrees to sign.

Highway In Hickory Shut Down
Portions of Highway 70 in Hickory had to be shut down late Tuesday night, after a nearby sinkhole flooded and spilled over into the road. The sinkhole at Buffalo’s Southwestern Café filled with water due to constant rain in the area. The water soon began to pool up and spill into the nearby highway, creating a dangerous situation for drivers. The road has since been reopened, however as nothing has been done about the sinkhole, local DOT officials said to expect the same problem when it rains again. A decision has not yet been made as to what to do with the sinkhole and more important for some making that choice, who’s going to pay for it.

Street Racing Leads To Power Failure
The lights went out in Charlotte on Tuesday night, thanks in part to some nighttime racers. Several street racers were driving on Independence Boulevard when they lost control and hit a power pole. That in turn created a domino effect, breaking a nearby underground water main and tearing down several power lines in the area. Duke Power crews spent all Tuesday night and part of Wednesday morning repairing the damage, which caused two lanes of Independence Boulevard to be shut down. Officials are still searching for the drivers involved.

Police Know Who Abducted Thomasville Woman
The search is on today for a Thomasville woman, however police believe they now know who took her. 23-yr-old Kimberly Tripp went missing on Saturday after calling her mother to tell her goodbye. She also said that her ex-boyfriend was planning to send her home in a body bag. That was the last time anyone saw the woman. Her ex, 23-yr-old Anthony Duncan is now wanted for questioning in her abduction.

Inmates Brought Back To Prison
Two inmates are heading back to prison today in Granville County, after being discovered late on Tuesday. 19-yr-old Noel Waff and 17-yr-old Kristen Whitaker were both picked up by officials on the side of the road, after they saw them walking along Highway 15 South. No details have been released as to how exactly the two managed to escape early Tuesday morning. Waff was in jail on second degree burglary and larceny charges, while Whitaker had been arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle.

North Carolina Sued By Asheville
The state of North Carolina finds itself in legal trouble today, after papers were filed by the city of Asheville. Asheville officials are suing North Carolina, after a dispute with Buncombe County. In June of this year, state lawmakers made it illegal for Asheville to charge different water rates to residents outside city limits. They also made it illegal to spend money set aside for water maintenance on anything else. Now city officials are calling the laws unconstitutional, saying that the state is attempting to regulate trade and is denying Asheville equal protection under the law. It’s unknown when a hearing on the subject will go forward.

Sports Headlines

Student Chooses College Over Pros
For most student athletes, the promise of dollar signs far outweighs the chance at a degree. But one Black Mountain student turned down a major league team to pursue his education this week. Steven Hensley was drafted in the 44th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals. But instead of signing on the dotted line and getting his career started, Hensley announced that he’s enrolling at Elon University. The Black Mountain Owen grad says that he wants to develop his pitching arm and get a degree, while also helping Elon reach the regional NCAA tournament. When he does decide to enter the draft, there won’t be a lack of interest. Hensley has great control over his arm and throws in the early 90s, recording a Western North Carolina record of 153 strikeouts this past season.

North Carolina Players Shine In World Championships
Several players from around North Carolina are turning heads in the Under 21 World Games this year. Duke shooting guard J.J. Redick scored 22 points in the U.S. team’s win over Nigeria 113-78 this week. Redick tied a tournament record by hitting six three pointers in the game. Wake Forest guard Justin Gray also got in on the action, putting in 11 points.

Minor League Scoreboard
In the minors last night, it was Winston Salem falling against Wilmington 10-5.
Warthogs’ starter Wes Whisler was roughed up in the loss, giving up nine runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work.

Bobcats Sign Three
From the NBA, the roster continues to fill up for the Charlotte Bobcats. The agent for point guard Brevin Knight said that his client and the team have come to terms on a deal, however it won’t be finalized until the first of next week. Also the team signed deals with two of its’ summer league players, Antonio Meeking of Louisiana Tech and Alan Anderson from Michigan State.

One Hurricane Sticking Around
Despite all the turnover and trades in the NHL, one Carolina Hurricane will be coming back for another season. Kevyn Adams signed a new deal with the team, locking him up for at least the next two years. The 30-yr-old Adams says that he wants to finish out his career in Raleigh and hopefully bring the Stanley Cup to the Carolinas.

In NASCAR, Ryan Newman became the latest driver to sign a new deal this week. Newman agreed to stay with Penske Racing, signing a three year extension with the team. Currently Newman is seventh in the points hunt with five races left before the playoffs.


News & Sports For August 10th

Theft At Foothills Grocery
Sheriff’s deputies were called out to Foothills Grocery on Monday, after thieves broke into the business. Glass in the front door had been shattered, allowing the thieves access into the building. Nothing was stolen from inside except for 30 packs of Marlboro cigarettes. Estimated damages were placed at $300. There is a suspect in the case and deputies are continuing the investigation.

ABC Pt.3: High Schools
With new buildings in the works, Wilkes County’s high schools are at a crossroads. For the most part, the results from this year’s ABC testing showed that they’re headed in the right direction. East & West High were both named as Schools of Distinction, meaning that scores grew as expected and at least 80% of students passed the tests. At East Wilkes the number was 82%, while at West it was 85.6%. West Wilkes was also named a school of high growth, meaning that their scores this year exceeded expectations from the state. As for the other two area schools, Wilkes Central finished as a School of Progress, coming in at 79%. The same was true for North High, who finished at 79% as well.

Pull Over Before Lighting Up
A North Wilkesboro woman learned why it’s a good idea to pull over before lighting up a cigarette. She was driving down Edgewood Road in Wilkesboro when she attempted to light her cigarette. Taking her eyes off the road for a few minutes, she glanced up to see her vehicle was headed off the road. The woman slammed into a guardrail and was knocked unconscious. 911 was alerted to a wreck in the area and help soon arrived. The woman was taken to Wilkes Regional, where she received treatment. The vehicle was totaled with estimated damages placed at $8500.

Health Department Offering Car Seat Help
85% of child safety seats across Wilkes County were not installed correctly, according to the local SafeKids organization. While this is slightly lower than the national average, it’s still high enough for concern. However if you’re still trying to figure out what the right way to install one is, you don’t have to wait until the next safety check. The Wilkes Health Department is partnering with SafeKids to help show parents the right way to install the seats. To set up an appointment, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478.

Guns And Cash Stolen From Local Residence
A Roaring River man returned home earlier this week to find thieves had paid him a visit. Missing from the house were several hundred dollars worth of antique coins and money, along with a 9mm handgun and a red bike. After returning home however, he received a call letting him know where some of the stolen property was. The man alerted sheriff’s deputies, who went to the home and found the stolen merchandise. 21-yr-old Wayne Everette Combs and 19-yr-old Bobby Ray Blackburn Jr. were both arrested and charged with felony break-in and felony larceny.

Blood Drives Continue
Earlier this week 3WC News told you about the continuing need for blood here in Wilkes. That need is still a problem today, with the supply at critical levels less than a week before school. As school starts, there also comes the possibility for wrecks and other injuries in the classroom. To help make sure there’s enough blood for all needs, a drive will be going on today at Wal-Mart from 1-5:30pm. However you can only take part in it by appointment. To set up a time to give, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Chemicals Tossed At Local House

A Wilkesboro couple heard a noise outside their house on Monday and went out to investigate. They found a bottle lying a few feet from the home, with smoke pouring out. Some sort of clear liquid was also inside. They called sheriff’s deputies, who soon discovered the compound was a mixture of flammable chemicals that could have caught fire. There is a suspect in the case, as local teens saw someone running from the property and got their license plate. The investigation is ongoing.

Money And Other Items Stolen From Car
A Moravian Falls woman came outside on Monday to find that someone had broke into her car during the night. Crowbars had been used on the vehicle, to rip open the trunk and also to shatter a window. Over $400 in merchandise was missing from the car, along with $80 in cash. Total damages were placed at $450. In addition, the woman’s work permit and social security card were both taken. Despite all the damage however, nothing was heard or seen by the woman or anyone else in the neighborhood. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

State News

Bank Robbery In Charlotte
Police are investigating a bank robbery that happened Tuesday morning in Charlotte. The RBC Centura Bank on John Delaney Drive was robbed around 9:15am, when a man came in with a gun and demanded money. After bank tellers handed over the cash, he then took off running out the door. The man is described as wearing a long blonde wig, a gray hat, a blue blazer and blue khakis. Local officials are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

Thief Makes Slippery Getaway
Deputies are looking for a would be thief today in Rowan County, one that made a slippery getaway. Officials were called out to the Blue Bay restaurant in Tuesday morning, after reports of a break-in. From evidence at the scene, it appears the thief gained access to the building by climbing down through the fryer vent in the roof. However things didn’t go as planned once he got inside. The man apparently fell into a vat of hot grease, stumbling out and slamming into a nearby wall. After that sudden impact set off the alarm, the man limped out the front door, leaving behind foot and handprints that investigators are using to track him down.

Atkinson Gets Vote Of Confidence
June Atkinson came one step closer to being named the state superintendent of public schools on Tuesday. A report was turned over to the legislative committee put in charge of settling the dispute, stating that Atkinson won the race and should be allowed to assume her post. The 10-member committee will now hold a vote and make a recommendation of their own to the full General Assembly later this week. After that lawmakers will hold a joint session and vote to appoint a winner in the race. Atkinson beat her opponent, Republican Bill Fletcher by 8535 votes in last November’s election. Fletcher however refused to concede the race, saying that 11,000 people cast their provisional ballots illegally. A final decision could come by the end of the month.

Billy Graham To Call It Quits

One of the most beloved ministers in our time is calling it quits. The Rev. Billy Graham is officially ending his crusade ministry, according to daughter Anne Graham Lotz. Lotz said that her father was at total peace with his retirement and would only come out to possibly speak at one of his son Franklin Graham’s festivals.

Judge Rules In Favor Of Patients
A judge in Durham has opened the door for lawsuits against a local company. Earlier this year it was announced that surgical instruments at Durham Regional and Duke Health Hospital were cleaned with hydraulic fluid instead of soap. That led to some complications for patients recovering from surgery and others in the hospital. Attorneys for the companies involved said that it was an accident and their clients didn’t mean to hurt anyone, so due to that fact they requested that punitive damages be dropped. The judge refused, instead saying that the victims can in fact sue both Cardinal Health and Automatic Elevator Company for pain and suffering.

Sports Headlines

Surprise Entry Into UNC Camp
The Tarheels got a surprise addition to camp this week, after freshman Mark Paschal showed up ready to play. Paschal had been sent home by Coach Bunting after being charged with assault, resisting arrest and drunk & disruptive behavior. The freshman is still expected in court on August 15th but has been cleared to play until further notice.

Duke Lands More Recruits
Up the road in Durham, some good news today for the Duke football program as Jeremy Ringfield committed to the team. Ringfield is a 6-5 wide receiver from Georgia who was named last year to the all-state team in 4-A. During his senior season, Ringfield will also be learning how to play cornerback, preparing for possibly a dual role on the Duke team in 2006. By committing to Duke, Ringfield turned down offers from Maryland and Louisville, saying that he liked the combination of academics and athletics found in Durham.

Minor League Scoreboard
Taking a look around the minor leagues, it was Winston Salem beating Wilmington 8-2. Warthogs’ starter Ray Liotta got his third win of the season, giving up one run in five innings of work. Leo Daigle also hit his league leading 27th home run for Winston, one of the Warthogs’ 11 hits on the day. Over in Hickory, the Crawdads beat Delmarva 4-2. Crawdads starter Yoann Torrealba got his fifth win after going seven innings and giving up two runs. With the win, Hickory moves three and a half games back of Delmarva in the race for the Northern Division title.

Injuries Continue To Plague Panthers
Injuries continue to plague the Carolina Panthers as they get set to wrap up training camp. Linebacker Chris Draft is still receiving treatment for asthma, after suffering a series of attacks during practice. Draft said that he hoped to be back on the field later this week, although doctors still don’t know what triggered the attacks. Meanwhile rookie Thomas Davis had to be held out of practice after a bout with what could possibly be the flu, although team doctors aren’t sure.

Leffler Fired By Gibbs Racing
In NASCAR, Jason Leffler is looking for a new ride today, after being fired by Joe Gibbs Racing. Leffler, who drove the #11 Chevy, will be replaced by a series of fill-ins for the rest of the year. J.D. Gibbs said that the decision was made due to the fact the car and driver failed to meet expectations. Currently Leffler is 35th in the points race. This week Terry Labonte will take over, with several Busch drivers on tap for the rest of the year.

Busch To Swap Rides
A major shakeup in the Nextel Cup circuit, as Kurt Busch announced he’ll be leaving Roush Racing. Busch has signed a deal with Penske Racing South, beginning in 2007, however he’s asked Roush to let him go a year early from his contract, so that he can possibly take over for Rusty Wallace next season driving the #2 Dodge. Roush officials said they haven’t made a decision on Busch’s request and would take an indefinite amount of time to do so.


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.