Governor Pat McCrory applauded a new report issued by the Commission on Workforce Development that shows North Carolina can narrow the skills gap by increasing direct collaboration between critical industries and the state’s job training programs. The report was issued at the joint Education Cabinet and Commission on Workforce Development meeting on the North Carolina State campus. “As I travel the state and meet with businesses both small and large, sometimes a troubling theme is evident according to business owners – that workers don’t have the skills that employers need,” said Governor McCrory. North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker agreed that the data provided by the study will show clear direction for the state's workforce needs. Decker said, “We appreciate the findings of this study in helping us identify areas for improvement regarding the skills gap...” The Commission surveyed employers to find out why businesses found it difficult to fill certain positions. The Commission compiled results of the employer survey and developed recommendations on how to better train workers in the skill sets required by businesses.
In both break-ins about 1600 dollars in property was stolen. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was called to investigate a couple of home break-ins. The first occurred at a home in Millers Creek. The victim returned to find a back window to their house had been pushed in. The thief then took a gas monitor heater and a painting of Junior Johnson. Stolen property was valued at 1600 dollars. Then a property owner in North Wilkesboro reported a break-in and theft. This time the victim found the front door kicked open. The thief took a Gateway laptop, Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and a Mossberg 243 gun. Stolen property in this break-in was valued at 1650 dollars. No suspects were listed with either of these break-ins.
One reported the theft of electronics and medication and the other reported the theft of an air compressor. A Traphill resident called the Wilkes Sheriff's Office this week to report a break-in and theft. The victim came home to find his back door had been pried open. Once inside, the thief took 2 Samsung tablets and some prescription medication. Stolen property is valued at 360 dollars. Then a McGrady property owner called the Sheriff's Office concerning a theft. The man told Deputies that his air compressor had been stored on his front porch until someone stole it. The Porta-Cable 160 PSI Air Compressor was valued at 300 dollars. There is no word on suspects in either of these thefts. In a third theft report, there is a suspect and charges are pending. The victim called the Sheriff's Office when they discovered their wallet was missing. Someone stole the wallet from the victim's home along with cash and personal financial cards. Again, there is a suspect in this theft.
The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations. Through the end of July, the Red Cross did see an increase of 7.5 percent in the number of donors coming to give blood. However, despite the increase, blood products are currently being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in, maintaining the urgent need. Also, donations in the local Carolinas Blood Services Region fell short of expectations by 1,719 pints. To prevent a shortage and ensure an adequate blood supply for patients the rest of the summer, the Red Cross especially needs platelet donors and those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood. The next to give locally are at Welcome Home Baptist Church in North Wilkesboro on Monday, August 25 from 2 til 7; and one week from today at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church on Thursday, August 28 from 3 til 7:30.
It's time for back to school in Wilkes and time for "OPERATION EACH ONE REACH ONE" Back to School Bash. "City of Refuge" Community Church of Wilkesboro will have it annual "OPERATION EACH ONE REACH ONE" "Back to School Bash" Saturday August 23rd from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. at Smoot Park in North Wilkesboro. Pastor Jonathan Casstevens says that they will be giving away FREE backpacks, school supplies, haircuts and clothes to those who need these items while they last. They will also be having FREE hotdogs and drinks. For more information you may call the church office at 336-244-4626 or check out our website at www.cityofrefugecc.org.
Wilkes Community College kicked off its 50th Anniversary Celebration at the faculty/staff “Welcome Back Luncheon” held on Tuesday, August 19, at the Walker Center. It was also a time to formally welcome President Dr. Jeff Cox to the WCC family. Approximately 225 faculty and staff members and 35 retirees gathered for the celebration and a delicious meal prepared by Chef Brenda Osborne. Employees and retirees both shared stories of their memories of the college and the college family. The event closed with everyone gathering in the parking lot in front of the Walker Center to form a giant “50” and having a photo taken. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community and workforce.
The N.C. Board of Agriculture recently approved fees for woodland management plans, following a directive from the state General Assembly. The state budget approved by the General Assembly directed the N.C. Forest Service to start charging for woodland plans, commonly referred to as forest management plans. The budget bill also allowed the Board of Agriculture to review and approve the fees. “The North Carolina Forest Service has been helping protect, manage and promote North Carolina’s forests for nearly 100 years,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Woodland plans will have a base fee of $45. The NCFS offers a variety of forestry programs and services that are still free of charge. Landowners interested in state or federal cost-share programs typically need an approved woodland plan. Participation in many of these programs results in a cost savings of 40 percent or more, depending on the program. Landowners interested in forestry advice and a woodland plan should contact their local county ranger for more details. The Wilkes County NC Forest Service office is located on Browns Ford Road. The local number is 336-973-4104.
Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin will be appointed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Governor Pat McCrory made the announcement this week at a ceremony at the Old House Chamber in the State Capitol. Current Chief Justice Sarah Parker will be vacating the position at the end of August. "Chief Justice Parker has been a dedicated, just and reliable public servant, serving our state with great dignity and leadership, and holding herself to the highest of standards," Governor McCrory said. As required by the State Constitution, the governor announced Justice Parker's replacement. Governor McCrory is continuing tradition by appointing the Senior Associate Justice to the Chief Justice vacancy. Justice Martin authored more than 400 appellate decisions during his 20-year tenure on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. He is the only sitting judge in North Carolina who has served on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Superior Court. Also, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Judge R.N. “Bob” Hunter, Jr. as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Hunter will fill the seat of Justice Mark Martin, who will become the Chief Justice on September 1. Judge Hunter will take his seat on the Supreme Court on September 6.
Two people from Forsyth County were involved in a two-car collision that blocked part of Hwy 421 just after 7 morning. According to the NC Hwy Patrol, Brendan O’Conner, 20, of Kernersville, was driving a 2000 Honda and was traveling west when he attempted to pass another car. That other car was driven by Keschia Crockett, 43, of Winston-Salem who was in a 2000 Ford SUV. Mr. O’Conner hit the right side of Ms. Crockett’s vehicle causing her to lose control of her vehicle, which went off on the right and overturned multiple times. The car came to rest on its top at the shoulder of the road. Crockett was trapped in the wreckage until emergency personnel arrived. She was seriously injured in the wreck and was taken by Wilkes EMS to Baptist Medical Center in Winston. O’Conner was charged with driving while impaired, driving while impaired on a provisional license and failure to maintain lane control in the collision.
Heaters, tools, and guns....over 6000 dollars in property was stolen from a house in Millers Creek. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was called to investigate the break-in that occurred at a vacation home on Sheets Gap Road in which thieves got away with a truckload of stolen items. The theft occurred sometime between August 2 and August 16th. According to the investigation report, it appears someone forced open a back window to get inside the house. An extensive list of property was stolen including a propane heater and kerosene heater, Husqvarna chainsaw, Kobalt air compressor, two Miller welders and welding supplies, Troybilt pressure washer, hand and power tools, fishing gear, Makita drills, headphone radio, BB gun, Stevens rifle, Mosin rifle, and a deer skull mount. Again, the stolen property from this vacation home was valued at 6000 dollars, no suspects were given with the report, and Sheriff's Deputies are continuing to investigate.