Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting this week, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires. Enrollment also begins this week for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. Local Producers signing up for these programs may contact the Wilkes Farm Service Agency at 207 W Main Street, Room 108 or by phone at 336-838-3622 ext 2.
No one was occupies the home, so a thief decided to take a couple of pumps. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was called this week to investigate a theft from a property on the Roaring Gap Road in Thurmond. The house is owned by a bank and no one is currently living there. The realty company checked on the property and discovered that someone had stolen the heat pump and the well pump. Stolen property is valued at 4500 dollars. The theft occurred sometime within the past two weeks; there are currently no suspects.
Together, they were valued at nearly 100 dollars and he just walked out the door with them. Reportedly, a white male came in the Sears store and was looking at some wrenches. The Sales Associate at the store told the man he had to step in the back for a minute but would be right back to assist him. When the store employee returned, the man and the wrenches were gone. Store surveillance video was pulled which showed the man stealing the tools. The video of the theft is being turned over to Wilkesboro Police who are investigating the incident.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating a couple of break-ins in which it seems nothing was taken. In the first report, a resident on the Mountain Valley Church Road came home to find damage to their mailbox and a window broken out of the home. However, both doors to the house were still locked and nothing was reported stolen. In the second report, a North Wilkesboro homeowner returned from work to find that someone had forced open the back door. The TV was moved out of place, but it was still there and nothing was reported stolen. No suspects were listed with either report.
Preparations are well underway for MerleFest 2014, presented by Lowe’s, which officially begins Thursday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 27, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Fans of MerleFest know to expect the unexpected with special surprises, spontaneous jam sessions and one-of-a-kind musical collaborations from the 130+ acts performing on 13 stages during the four-day festival. As in previous years, the list of performers fits the “traditional plus” definition originally offered by the late Doc Watson. Thursday is also a day for community outreach, with several MerleFest artists visiting and performing at local schools. The culmination of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest takes place on Friday. The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at www.MerleFest.org and available on the MerleFest mobile app; festival updates are delivered via Twitter (@MerleFest) and Facebook.
Notice of Public Meeting has been issued by the Wilkes County Board of Elections. North Carolina State Law requires the county board of elections to conduct a preliminary hearing on voter challenges filed. The Wilkes County Board of Elections will meet Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners Meeting Room of the Wilkes County Office Building. The purpose of this meeting is to consider voter challenges filed with the Board. If you have any questions or concerns about this notice please contact the Wilkes County Board of Elections.
The victims of North Carolina’s 1933 Eugenics Board (sterilization) Program have until June 30, 2014 to submit a completed claim form to the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims to be eligible to receive compensation under the Eugenics Compensation Program. As of March 31, 2014, the Office has received 376 claim forms from potential Eugenics Board sterilization victims. 199 of those claim forms have been forwarded to the NC Industrial Commission to determine whether the claimants are eligible for compensation. In Wilkes County, 100 sterilizations were performed, but to date, only 3 victims have been verified. For more information, including claim forms, please visit the Office for Justice of Sterilization Victims online or call 919-807-4270.
The N.C. Department of Commerce and Secretary Sharon Decker congratulate the winners and finalists in two contests that engaged North Carolinians in the work to develop a new brand for marketing the state. The winners were announced Saturday April 12 at a ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Sara Cowell from Greenville won first prize in the “What N.C. Stands For” contest, an open, crowd sourcing effort to capture the state’s brand in creative expression. The contest asked people to demonstrate what North Carolina means to them in any form they chose. Over 250 entries were received and included photography, poetry, songs, and videos. Ms. Cowell won $2,000 for her video entitled “Mountain Style”. Cardinal Marketing Group, a team of students from North Carolina State University won top honors and $5,000 in the second contest, a “BrandNC Case Competition” to develop a business case for the brand. More information about the Brand North Carolina Project, including the winning contest entries can be reviewed online at www.brandnc.org.
The North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are partnering to host a Women Veterans Summit and Expo on April 17, 2014. The Summit will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the NC National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Raleigh. The Summit will provide women veterans with access to counselors with expertise in claims, healthcare, eBenefits, education and training benefits, VA home loans, women’s business opportunities and more. The event is free and all women who have honorably served in the US military are invited to attend. All veterans are encouraged to bring a copy of their DD Form 214. Job seeking services will be provided by both nonprofit partners and the veteran job advisors from the NC Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions. This is the first statewide event dedicated to supporting women veterans in North Carolina. The venue is a secure facility and pre-registration is encouraged. Registration and more information can be found on the attached promotional poster, here, at www.NCVRAC.org or by phone at 1-(844)-NC4-VETS.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating a couple of thefts from the area. A Mulberry Mill Road resident called to report the theft of a trailer. It seems someone hooked up to and drove away with a tandom trailer parked at the victim's property. The trailer was valued at 3000 dollars; there is no word on suspects. Then a Millers Creek victim called regarding the theft of some money. The victim said that hundreds of dollars in cash were stolen from their house and from their car. There is a suspect in this theft and charges are pending.