Fire activity on the Whipping Creek Road Fire of Hyde and Dare counties in Eastern NC has been declining for several days. Infrared flights have shown few hotspots; those spots have been dealt with individually and directly by water drops and hand crews. Since the fire complexity and activity level have decreased, the need for resources, including both people and equipment, has also declined. As a result, state teams are being replaced by local units. With the forecast weather of rain and low wind, the fire is not expected to increase in size from its current 15,453 acres. However, firefighters will take no chances and will continue to monitor and mop-up until infrared flights indicate there is no heat at all. Current containment is almost 80 percent.
Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
North Carolina is proactively settling workers’ compensation claims that will result in more than $24 million in cost savings. “We owe it to the people of North Carolina to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” said Governor McCrory. To facilitate the settlement of these claims, a $2 million Workers’ Compensation Settlement Reserve Fund was created to augment settlement funding available from individual agencies. So far, seven claims have been approved by the Industrial Commission and paid in full. By closing just these seven claims, the state has achieved nearly $5 million in future cost avoidance. By increasing oversight and enhancing the claims management process, the State of North Carolina has succeeded in reducing the payout for workers’ compensation claims.
MerleFest 2016 begins today, Thursday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m., and runs through Sunday, May 1. Approximately 75,000 participants will gather at this annual homecoming of musicians and music lovers at Wilkes Community College for the nation’s largest celebration of American roots music with over 100 artists on 13 stages. The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at merlefest.org/lineup and available on the MerleFest mobile app; festival updates are delivered via Twitter (@MerleFest) and Facebook. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music.
A 16-year-old Wilkes Central High School student was arrested this week for possession of a weapon on school grounds. According to Brandon Absher of the Wilkes Sheriff's Office, the girl and her brother came to school in their Dad's truck. They all forgot that a gun was in the truck. Then at break, the 16-year-old girl found the gun and took a selfie of herself and the gun. No one was harmed or even threatened by the teen or the weapon; however, the Wilkes County School System and the Sheriff's Office has a zero tolerance for possession of weapons on school grounds. The girl was charged with felony possession and is awaiting her court date.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating a couple of thefts. In the first report, a Purlear resident reported that someone had stolen a pressure washer off their front porch. In the second report, a Millers Creek victim reported that someone over the past week had taken a weed eater from an outbuilding. No suspects were listed with either report.
The Whipping Creek Road Fire in Dare and Hyde counties in Eastern NC remains at 15,449 acres in size and containment has increased to 62%. A perimeter flight, on Monday, using infrared camera technology revealed minimal heat on the fire. The locations identified were hit with helicopter water drops supported by firefighter direct attack on the hot spots. A follow up infrared flight was Tuesday morning. Fire crews continue to monitor weather and fuel conditions for their daily planning of suppression tactics. Minimal fire growth is expected now even though increased fire weather conditions prevail. The incident now has 146 firefighters and fire managers assigned to the fire, primarily from the North Carolina Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The State Highway Patrol concluded Operation Drive to Live after a week-long education and enforcement campaign. The campaign was last week and was focused on promoting safe driving awareness to teenage drivers. During Operation Drive to Live, Troopers enforced all traffic laws around the state's high schools and conducted traffic safety education programs. Troopers were actively looking for violations such as speeding, following too closely, careless and reckless driving and any violation of the motor vehicle laws that can result in serious injury or death. In addition, troopers presented over 125 traffic safety education programs to students across the state. In 2015, the Highway Patrol investigated over 58,812 motor vehicle collisions involving drivers and passengers who were between the ages of 15 – 19. Of those collisions, 10,501 injuries were reported and 107 resulted in one or more fatalities. Last week, the NC Highway Patrol were at 517 high schools. Patrol Officers handed out: Seatbelt Violations: 1,378; Speeding Violations: 4,189; and nearly 6000 other traffic violations. Although the campaign has ended, troopers across the state will continue to educate and closely monitor teenage drivers with one goal in mind; to save lives.
Governor Pat McCrory issued a statement following the ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder upholding all parts of the state's voter ID law: "This ruling further affirms that requiring a photo ID in order to vote is not only common-sense, it's constitutional," said Governor McCrory. "Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and thankfully a federal court has ensured our citizens will have the same protection for their basic right to vote."
The controversy over NC HB2, better known as the bathroom bill, continues this week. There was a protest against the bill and a rally for the bill on Monday with several from Wilkes in attendance at the support rally. According to Governor McCrory's Office: The anonymously-funded, national smear campaign led by the Human Rights Campaign is grossly misrepresenting information about the petitions delivered to State Capitol Tuesday. Contrary to the media reports, the activists only delivered enough petitions to fill two boxes and the overwhelming majority of signatures were from out-of-state. In comparison, a photo posted online by a reporter at the HRC press conference showed that there were 26 boxes delivered in protest to the bill.