In another encouraging sign for North Carolina’s economy, Governor Pat McCrory announced that state revenue collections are $191 million ahead of projections through the first third of the fiscal year. The surplus is driven by more people working and earning more. “At a time when neighboring states ended the fiscal year with steep revenue deficits, our continued economic growth, job creation and responsible financial management have helped North Carolina post another revenue surplus,” Governor McCrory said. According to the latest revenue figures, total General Fund revenues for October were $46.3 million or 2.6 percent above target. The primary drivers of the upward revisions are higher than anticipated growth in personal income and franchise tax revenues due to higher than expected wage growth and business profits.
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Low Income Energy Assistance is available through the Wilkes DSS. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is accepting applications for the state's Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) beginning today. Households with someone aged 60 or older or with an individual receiving disability benefits are eligible to apply for assistance from Dec. 1 - 31. All other households may apply from Jan. 1 - March 31, 2017, or until funds are exhausted. The energy assistance program is a federally-funded and provides a one-time payment directly to the utility company to help eligible households pay their heating bills. For more information, Wilkes Department of Social Services.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating reports of: doors forced open and property stolen. In the first report, a North Wilkesboro resident returned home to find a door kicked open. The thief took $450 in property including an xBox with games, charger, and stereo speakers. There is a suspect and charges are pending. In Wilkesboro, property owners returned to find their home and an outbuilding broken into. The front door of the house and building were forced open. Stolen items included money, boxes of checks, Black & Decker power tools, and a SnapOn Toolbox full of tools. Stolen property is valued at $3400. No suspects were given with that report.
A Millers Creek man has had tools stolen. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was contacted this week to investigate the theft of a siding brake valued at 1334 dollars and a Poulan wood shark saw valued at 100 dollars. The tools were taken from outside the residence at Millers Place in Millers Creek. The stolen property has been listed with NCIC. There is no word on suspects.
Unemployment rates increased in 44 of North Carolina’s counties in October, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34 including Wilkes. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent. When compared to the same month last year, unemployment rates decreased in 92 counties, increased in seven, and remained unchanged in one. In Wilkes County, the unemployment rate was the same as last month at 4.5, but the current rate is lower than one year ago when it was 5.4.
Governor Pat McCrory is thanking firefighters and emergency management officials for containing the Party Rock Fire which burned more than 7,100 acres. Also, Governor McCrory has reached out to the Tennessee Governor to offer support to crews battling fires there. While outdoor burning remains banned in 47 western counties, fire officials will reevaluate as rain moves through the region this week. The Party Rock Fire had an estimated cost of $7.65 million. Governor McCrory is reminding citizens that despite rain forecasted for portions of western North Carolina, the threat for fires remains high as dry conditions will return after rain moves through the region. Crews in North Carolina continue to monitor wildfires in Burke, Clay, Graham, Macon, McDowell, Transylvania and Watauga counties.
Governor Pat McCrory’s Hurricane Matthew Recovery Committee held its fourth regional meeting yesterday in Pitt County to discuss relief efforts, community outreach assistance and plans for long-term recovery for the communities affected by the storm. During the meeting the governor announced that six more eastern counties now qualify for temporary housing assistance through the federal government. To date, $79.9 million has been distributed to over 75,000 qualified individuals affected by Hurricane Matthew throughout the state, including $1.8 million for individuals in Pitt County. The committee has one additional regional meeting, scheduled for Friday in Kinston. Governor McCrory said after the last regional meeting, he will submit proposals to the North Carolina General Assembly to address in a special session in December concerning Hurricane recovery.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of a gun from a residence on Preacher Field Road in Elkin. According to National Data, guns are one of the mostly commonly taken items in home break-ins is firearms. In this recent report, the victim said they left their Remington Mag Rifle in the living room floor with some hunting equipment. He was in and out of the house several times and the door was unlocked. It is believed someone just walked in and took the gun. There is no word on suspects. The camo colored rifle was valued at 2000 dollars.
Something or someone caused 1500 dollars in damages at a local church. The Pastor of Closer Walk with God Church on Ridge Street discovered the damage over the weekend. The corner of the church roof including the guttering was hit and damaged. Someone reported seeing a Fedex truck turn around in the parking lot, but it is unknown if they were responsible for the damages. Wilkesboro Police are investigating the incident.
The 2016 Wilkes County Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3rd at 3:00 p.m. The theme for 2016 is “Christmas in Toyland.” Sponsors for the 2016 Parade include Tyson Foods, Town of North Wilkesboro, Town of Wilkesboro, and Wilkes Chamber of Commerce. The Wilkes Chamber of Commerce makes the plans, secures parade sponsors, completes the marketing, creates and distributes applications and orchestras the County Parade annually. Participates are asked to incorporate the “Christmas in Toyland” theme. Parade line-up and float construction begins at 11:00 a.m. on the CDB Loop between Sixth and Ninth Streets. All participants are asked to check-in at the registration table at the Corner of Ninth and CDB Loop. Linda Cheek, President of the Chamber, asked that all entries be in place by 2:00 p.m. and be ready to begin the parade by 3:00 p.m. 2016 Parade Grand Marshals are J.C. and Judy Faw of Wilkesboro.