Governor Pat McCrory signed a state budget into law that puts the North Carolina Ferry System on a promising course for the future. The legislation eliminates the possibility of tolling for the Hatteras, Currituck, Cherry Branch and Pamlico River routes, and creates a recurring annual appropriation of $4 million for vessel replacement. “This budget is a big victory for the people of Eastern North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. The new budget also sets aside $3.65 million for the purchase of a passenger ferry that will carry pedestrian traffic from Hatteras directly into Ocracoke Village, which will help alleviate traffic and summertime congestion on the Hatteras Inlet vehicle ferries. The North Carolina Ferry System has seven regular routes that cross five different bodies of water, from the Cape Fear River to Currituck Sound. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, ferries carried more than 700,000 vehicles and 1.6 million passengers all over Eastern North Carolina.
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Governor Pat McCrory was joined by law enforcement, elected officials, advocates and the family of Jessica Lunsford this week at the Gastonia Police Department as he signed legislation to help protect North Carolina families. House Bill 1021 was named in honor of Jessica Lunsford, a nine-year-old girl who grew up in Gastonia and was kidnapped and killed by a convicted sex offender, shortly after she and her family moved to Florida. This bill clarifies that certain sex offenders are prohibited from visiting any place where children frequently congregate including, libraries, arcades, amusement parks, recreation areas and swimming pools. The bill also prohibits certain sex offenders from being on the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh when the State Fair is being held. These rules apply only to offenders whose victims were under the age of 18 and to offenders that have been found by a court to present or possibly present a danger to minors under the age of 18.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating some broken window reports in Moravian Falls. In one report, a resident on the Brocktown Road said they came to the residence and found some damages. A rock was in the living room floor where someone had thrown it through the front window. The glass in the storm door was also broken out. Damages are estimated at $600. Nothing was reported stolen. In the second report, Wilkes Sheriff's Deputies responded to a burglar alarm at a residence on Lithia Valley Road. This time a bedroom window was broken out. Again, nothing was reported stolen. No suspects were listed with the reports.
A North Wilkesboro resident reported the theft of a couple of checks. The victim told Wilkes Sheriff's Investigators that two checks were stolen from the checkbook in their vehicle. Before the theft was discovered, one of the checks was forged and cashed in the amount of $380. Sheriff's Deputies are trying to track down a suspect for questioning.
They broke in to steal and then left behind evidence. The thief was nice enough to leave a calling card in the form of a license tag. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating a home break-in at a house in North Wilkesboro. The house was forcibly entered and $2400 in cash was stolen. No other property was reported stolen. The homeowner found a license tag in the front yard that is believed to belong to the thief. Sheriff's Officials do have the name of the suspect from a trace on the license tag. An arrest and charges of larceny are pending.
Due to a decrease in student enrollment in Wilkes County Schools the state funding has also decreased. Funding is based on the amount of students in the system and the amount of students in Wilkes has deceased. So the Wilkes School Board has decided to not fill 28 positions in the school system left vacant by retiring or resigning staff members. The 28 vacated positions included 18 teachers and 10 teacher assistants. However, there is a need for food service workers and bus drivers in Wilkes County Schools. If you are interested in these positions, visit the website www.wilkescountyschools.org.
A NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN…A Public Meeting regarding elections will be held in the Hays area. The Wilkes County Board of Elections will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Mountain View Ruritan Building at 5504 Mtn. View Rd, Hays. The purpose of the hearing is to receive input from the voters of Rock Creek 1 precinct concerning a possible change of polling place location. The Wilkes County Board of Elections is considering changing the polling place to the Mountain View Ruritan Building from Mountain View School. If you have any questions or concerns about this notice please contact the Wilkes County Board of Elections.
Yesterday, North Carolina Corrections and Law Enforcement Officers began looking for inmate Stephen Singleton who escaped from New Hanover Correctional Center Wednesday morning. Singleton was discovered missing after a 5 a.m. count and is believed to have scaled a fence to leave the prison. Singleton, 34 and is from the Wilmington area, was serving sentences for habitual misdemeanor assault and larceny and was due for release in January 2018.
Governor Pat McCrory joined officials from the N.C. Transportation Department and CSX Corporation this week at the Port of Wilmington to announce the debut of the new Queen City Express, an intermodal rail service between the Port of Wilmington and CSX’s intermodal terminal in Charlotte. The term “intermodal” refers to the combining of at least two modes of transportation, such as trains, trucks and ships, to deliver goods. “The Queen City Express will be the only direct freight rail service into the Greater Charlotte area from a port in the Southeast,” Governor McCrory said. The Carolina Connector intermodal terminal, along with the Queen City Express, will lower transportation costs for businesses while taking trucks off the road which will improve safety and air quality. According to a recent North Carolina Ports survey, 90 percent of customers need intermodal service. The Port of Wilmington continues to see growth and recently welcomed its largest-ever container ship. The state budget signed by Governor McCrory includes $70 million over two years for modernization at the state ports.
They stole bees and honey. There are several beekeepers in the local area, one Wilkes resident reported that they had 2 bee hives, 100 pounds of honey, and 2 bee colonies stolen from a location off the Germantown Road. The theft was reported over the weekend. The bees and hives were last seen by the owner at 6:30 pm on Thursday and discovered missing at 10am on Friday. The stolen bee hives, bees, and honey were valued at over $1100. No suspects were listed with the report; the Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating.