The charge is blackmail and the investigation is being conducted by the Wilkes Sheriff's Office. A 22-year-old white male came to the Wilkes Sheriff's Dept this week to report that he was being blackmailed. According to the report, the victim was recorded video chatting with someone. The recording was posted online. The victim said he was told to give the suspect money in order to get the video removed, and the suspect threatened to send links to friends and family of the victim. The name of the suspect has not been released pending further investigation of this possible blackmail.
Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
Two people were injured after a car hit a tractor Tuesday night. Wilkesboro Police investigated the accident. According to the report, James Vannoy of Jefferson was traveling west on Hwy 421 when he collided with a John Deere Tractor. The tractor was traveling below the posted speed limit but did have on hazard lights and flashers at the time of the wreck. Vannoy said he did not see the tractor in time to stop. The tractor did overturn off the side of the road. Vannoy was treated by Wilkes EMS and the tractor driver was taken to WRMC by Wilkes EMS. Vannoy was charged with failure to reduce speed.
With only one week until the start of MerleFest 2016, the town of Wilkesboro is buzzing with activity. Starting next Thursday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m., and running through Sunday, May 1, approximately 75,000 participants will gather at this annual homecoming of musicians and music lovers at Wilkes Community College for the nation’s largest celebration of American roots music. With over 100 artists on 13 stages throughout the college, participants at MerleFest know to expect the unexpected. Late night jam sessions, band competitions, special guests onstage, and one-time-only musical collaborations are all a part of the musical event. In addition to music, MerleFest offers special activities and shopping. The Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally-located shopping village that features demonstrating artisans, vendors, convenience foods, official MerleFest memorabilia and services, and Internet access. The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at merlefest.org/lineup and available on the MerleFest mobile app; festival updates are delivered via Twitter (@MerleFest) and Facebook. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music.
The building named after the late Johnson J. Hayes of Wilkes County, who served as a Federal Court Judge, is for sale. The 26,626-square-foot Johnson J. Hayes Federal Building on Main Street, Wilkesboro, is for sale. The U.S. General Services Administration has declared the building surplus property and is selling it by online auction. The Wilkesboro Post Office is the only remaining occupant of the building. The U.S. Postal Service did not want to purchase the property but would be interested in continuing to lease from the new owners, if possible. Federal agricultural agencies and the Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District were in the Hayes Building until moving to the new Wilkes County Agricultural Center last year. Federal bankruptcy court was held in the Hayes Federal Building until moving in June 2014 to Statesville. The Wilkes County Court moved to the new Wilkes County Courthouse in 1998. The JJ Hayes Federal Building was built in 1969 on the former site of the Wilkesboro High School building. The building was named for the late Judge Johnson J. Hayes, a Wilkes County native and federal District Court judge.
The North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans and the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission have unveiled the state’s new Strategic Plan for Supporting and Enhancing North Carolina Military Missions and Installations. The Strategic Plan provides a framework for state, local governments, agencies and other stakeholders to work together to sustain and enhance the current military posture in the state while pursuing opportunities to expand the military missions and economic impact on North Carolina. Military-related activities in North Carolina provide a $66 billion economic impact to the state, which represents the state’s second largest economic sector, making up nearly 15 percent of North Carolina’s gross state product. The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to ensure North Carolina is in an advantageous position as the Department of Defense adjusts to budget constraints. The full report is available on the department’s website at: http://www.milvets.nc.gov/
Out west is not the only place with fire danger threats. Here in NC, the Whipping Creek Fire in Dare and Hyde counties has burned a total of 9600 acres to date and is estimated to be 30% contained. Rapid growth of the fire has been due to low humidity and winds. Fire fighters anticipate rapid growth to the south and slow continued growth to the northeast and east along HWY 264. Yesterday, a NC Forest Service Type 2 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Whipping Creek Fire. Yesterday, portions of US Highway 264 remained closed for public safety. Whipping Creek Fire is currently impacting Private Lands, NC Wildlife Resources Commission Gamelands, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, the US Air Force base, and The Nature Conservancy.
A body was found in the Yadkin River yesterday afternoon and is believed to be the man local authorities were searching for 2 weeks ago. The man, Ronald Leonard Watson III, 26, of Purlear, entered the river behind the ABC Store in North Wilkesboro back on April 5. Local authorities searched for a week and Watson was presumed drown although his body was never found. A family member was walking the Greenway on Tuesday afternoon and saw something in the water. Local emergency rescue crews arrived and pulled the body from the Yadkin near Blair’s Island between the Wilkesboros. Initial indications are that the body found yesterday is that of Watson.
Several things were stolen from a summer home in the Purlear area. The property owner called about the break-in. The victim lives out of the county and uses the Purlear property as a vacation home. A neighbor was checking on the house for the victim and found that the back door had been pried open and various items were stolen from the residence. No suspects were listed with the report. It is believed the theft occurred sometime over the weekend.
Some bold thief or thieves took property while the property owner was at home. The victim called the Wilkes Sheriff's Office concerning a theft that occurred a short time prior to the call. The victim said that she heard a car outside her residence about 10pm. When she went outside to look around about 11pm, she noticed a battery charger was missing from her front porch. The woman did not get a description of the car or of any suspects. The investigation is continuing.
The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, April 14, in Beacon Building on the Wilkes Campus of Wilkes Community College. The board approved the transfer of title of the Herring Hall property from the WCC Endowment Corporation to the college and recommended that the State Board of Community Colleges approve the transfer. The board approved the Walker Center auditorium roof replacement project and gave the building and grounds committee authority to approve the vendor contract. The existing roof is original to the building and has been patched multiple times. The estimated replacement cost is $150,000. The 2015-2016 WCC Annual Fund drive began July 1, 2015, with the faculty, staff, endowment board members and trustees. The goal is $60,000 for the campaign. As of March 30, 2016, $52,500 has been contributed. The priorities this year are SkillsUSA, Doc Watson Fund, Panama-Service Learning Project and unrestricted funds. The WCC Board of Trustees also voted to approve a three-year contract with a salary increase to $220,000 to continue Dr. Jeff Cox’s employment as president of WCC. Dr. Cox’s salary is currently making $193,884. The board agreed to renew the president’s contract for three years with the increased salary and approved that the president’s housing allowance continue for 12 months or until his home in Alleghany County sells.