Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, this week was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of legislation to improve K-12 education by replacing No Child Left Behind. “As a grandmother, educator and former school board member, I know America’s students are best served when those at the local level are the driving force behind improving education,” Foxx said. The House passed H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, by a vote of 218 to 213 in July. The legislation is a long-term solution to prevent future federal overreach into elementary and secondary education, support effective teaching in the classroom, provide parents a stronger voice in education and restore local control. The Senate passed a separate education bill. In her role as a House conferee, Foxx will work with her Senate and House colleagues to produce the final version of the bill.
Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index has ranked North Carolina’s tax climate 15th most competitive in the nation. Following historic tax reform in 2013, North Carolina’s business tax climate improved from 44th to 16th in the nation, the largest single rate jump in history of the Tax Foundation rankings. “Historic tax reform has significantly increased our competitiveness and strengthened North Carolina’s economy by putting more money into the budgets of working families,” said Governor McCrory. The State Business Tax Climate Index is published by the Tax Foundation annually to give taxpayers, businesses and policymakers a way to measure how their state’s tax systems compare. The Index shows how well states structure their tax systems, and provides a road-map for improvement. In 2013, Governor McCrory signed historic tax reform that reduced the personal income tax, reduced the corporate income tax and eliminated the death tax. According to the Governor's office, these reforms are projected to save hard working North Carolina families and business owners $4.4 billion during the first five years of tax reform.
First Responders and Fire Departments were called to a tractor trailer wreck on Hwy 21 late last night. Apparently in the heavy rains and foggy conditions, the big rig carrying a load of Christmas trees wrecked coming down the mountain from Sparta. Reportedly, the driver was not seriously injured. At this time, emergency crews are back on the scene trying to remove the overturned trailer from the side of the mountain. Both lanes of travel are blocked and traffic is being re-routed. The wreckage is below the Lookout on Hwy 21. State Road and Traphill fire departments are on the scene.
More reports of financial card fraud are coming in to the Wilkes Sheriff's Office. The latest victim is from Wilkesboro. According to bank statements, someone has used his credit card information without his permission. If you've lost your credit or debit card, suspect it was stolen or think someone has lifted your number off the Internet, call your card issuer immediately. Credit cards offer the greatest protection against fraud. Most card issuers provide zero-liability fraud protection, and federal law says once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. Your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office has a couple more stolen prescription cases to investigate. A 63-year-old North Wilkesboro victim reported that 60 tablets of her prescription medication were stolen from her home. Also a Millers Creek woman reports that her prescription medicines were stolen from her vehicle during the overnight hours while parked at her residence. No suspects were listed with either case. The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the drug problem in Wilkes which has a history of issues with prescription meds being sold illegally and overdose deaths. Project Lazarus is a secular public health non-profit organization established in 2008 in response to extremely high drug overdose death rates in Wilkes County, North Carolina (four times higher than the state average). In 2007, Wilkes County had the third highest drug overdose death rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Having expanded statewide in partnership with Community Care of North Carolina, Project Lazarus enables overdose prevention by providing technical assistance to create and maintain community coalitions, and help them create locally tailored drug overdose prevention programs, and connect them to state and national resources.
A fire earlier this week is being investigated as arson. The fire was reported early Monday and was in a wooded area off Vannoy Road in McGrady. Several local firefighters and members of the Forest Service worked all day to contain and extinguish the blaze which burned about 50 acres. No homes were damaged and no injuries were reported Monday. This fire came just one day after a 40-acre brush fire on Widow Mountain on the other side of Hwy 18 in McGrady. No cause for either of the fires has been determined, and again, the Monday fire is being investigated as arson.
Every year since 1976, the third Thursday in November marks the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to quit for the day and make a plan to quit for good. Thanks to increased awareness, research, and other efforts, smoking rates have dropped dramatically in the past several decades, from about 42% of adults in 1965 to about 18% in 2012, the latest year for which numbers are available. Still, about 42 million adults currently smoke cigarettes, and tobacco remains a major killer, responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States, and at least 30% of all cancer deaths. The first Great American Smokeout occurred on November 18, 1976, when the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly one million smokers to quit for the day. The Society took the program nationwide in 1977.
Tuesday afternoon, the ten Republican members of North Carolina's U.S. House of Representatives delegation released a statement in response to Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris and Governor Pat McCrory's request that the Obama Administration cease sending Syrian refugees to North Carolina. The joint statement included Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5) here in Wilkes and 9 other NC Congressmen and said: “Last Friday we were horrified to watch the terrorist attacks unfold in Paris...we have been deeply troubled to learn one of the terrorists who committed this atrocity may have come to Europe posing as a Syrian refugee.... As a delegation, we join with Governor McCrory in calling for the Obama Administration to immediately cease sending Syrian refugees to our state. We believe this is a common sense step and applaud Governor McCrory for his leadership on the issue." The 10 Republican members from NC also said that: "Blocking the flow of Syrian refugees until we can better understand and address security risks they may pose is a necessary step to protect our state and homeland.”
Governor Pat McCrory reiterated his opposition to the federal government sending more refugees from Syria to North Carolina until more secure screening procedures are in place and more information is shared with the states. A White House conference call late Tuesday afternoon with governors and other state officials explaining the refugee process did not allay Governor McCrory’s concerns. Thus far, there has been no commitment from federal officials to share more refugee information directly with state law enforcement officials. The federal government does share some information with third party service providers, but the governor pointed out those agencies do not have public safety responsibilities. While White House officials on the call expressed confidence in its refugee screening process, FBI director James Comey recently told the U.S House Committee on Homeland Security in October that the federal government does not have the ability to conduct thorough background checks on all of the 10,000 Syrian refugees the Obama administration plans to admit to the United States. The governor also noted that the Homeland Security Committee’s September report “Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel,” reported that members of terrorist groups, including ISIS, publicly bragged they are working to sneak operatives into the West posing as refugees. “Protecting the safety of North Carolina citizens is my top priority,” Governor McCrory said.
Wilkesboro Police are investigating $1500 in damages with a local bank. Police were called this week by Yadkin Bank concerning damages at the ATM on Winkler Street. A customer called Yadkin Bank about damages to a sign at the ATM. Upon inspection, a sign and the ATM was damaged. The bank is getting surveillance video for Police to try and determine a suspect. There are no suspects at this time and the investigation is continuing.