The second burglary was reported yesterday evening a bit after 5. John Ritchie says someone broke into an outbuilding at his Hamptonville home. He doesn't know when the break-in occurred, but he discovered a large, wheeled power washer, a chainsaw, a step ladder and a TV antenna, valued together at 660-dollars, had been stolen when he went in the building about noon Tuesday. The report does not indicate why he waited an additional day to make the crime report. In that case as well, deputies say they have no suspects.
The crime was originally reported April 27th. Neighbors spotted the trio outside the home on Highway 18 South, which is apparently in the process of being foreclosed on by Greentree Mortgage. The neighbor told dispatchers that the trip climbed into a pickup and sped off, and deputies arriving at the scene stopped a pickup matching the description given by the neighbor. Coffey was driving. His passengers, Marcia Coffey and Douglas Roten, were interviewed separately from each other, but their stories matched. They said they'd come with Coffey to steal the boat, but while he was trying to empty it of trash and belongings, they tried the door on the house and found it unlocked. They went in and gathered up a large trash bag of clothes and took it outside -- just as the sirens sounded. They dropped the bag and scrambled into the pickup, speeding of with Coffey. On the day of the original crime, Coffey was arrested for driving without a license, but because the interviews were not complete he was not charged in relation to the burglary. He was stopped this week near the courthouse, when deputies saw him driving once again. This time, they charged him with driving without a license, and a series of aiding and abetting charges, along with the attempted theft of the boat. Marcia Coffey and Douglas Roten face charges of breaking into the house and stealing the clothes.
There has been a worldwide shortage in cereal crops, such as rice, wheat and corn, due in part to the renewable fuel standard included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandated highly subsidized corn-based ethanol production.
“To meet this requirement, a substantial volume of our corn crop and our vegetable oils will have to be diverted into our fuel supplies, severely impacting food and feed prices,” wrote Dole and her colleagues. “We believe the EPA should begin the process of examining alternatives to ease the severe economic and emerging environmental consequences that are developing in America as a result of the mandate.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food costs are rising by 4.9 percent and studies suggest that the cost of food will continue to escalate over the next few years. Since February 2006, the price of corn has increased by more than 200 percent, thereby resulting in feed price increases that impact the cost of items such as milk, eggs and meat.
The banner race locally, of course was the sales tax issue, where county leaders had proposed a quarter-penny tax to be used to fund a technology program for Wilkes County Schools and improvements to both the county schools and Wilkes Community College. The measure failed on a 65-percent to 35-percent margin.
The Republican County commission race came down to the wire, and may not be over yet. Less than 100 votes separated the top two vote-getter, Keith Elmore and Gary Blevins. and just fewer than 200 votes separate #3 and #4, Charlie Sink and Fay Byrd.
In the non-partisan Board of Education election, the top three vote-getters are Coleen Bush, Peggy Martin and Rickey Langford.
In the Democrat presidential primary, Wilkes county ran counter to the rest of the state, handily giving Hillary Clinton the win. On the Republican side, John McCain was the winner, but Mike Huckabee received 15-percent of the local vote, while Ron Paul garnered about 4-percent.
Democrats gave the edge to Bev Perdue in the Governor's race and to Walter Dalton for Lieutenant Governor. Republicans in the county preferred Pat McCrory narrowly over Fred Smith -- only 32 votes separated the two. In the Republican race for Lieutenant Governor, Robert Pittenger garnered one of every two votes cast in Wilkes.
Foxx says she hasn't signed on to support the fair tax because she has serious concerns about the possibility of black-market sales to avoid tax, and she has fears someone would develop a loophole that would keep income taxes in place.
As you might guess, the couple has something of a history. According to Smoot, Royal has beat on her for a long time, and in the argument that led up to her attacking him, he had hit her in the head with a bottle of ice -- yes, a full bottle of frozen water, about the consistency of a club. She had the knot on her head to prove it, but she refused EMS treatment. The argument started after the couple came home from friends where they had been -- you guessed it -- drinking. They were going to gather up the laundry and take it to another friend's home to wash when for some reason, Smoot says, Royal decided she had no need of going along. That started the angry words, and the bottle of ice didn't have any cooling-off effect on the argument. It simply led Smoot to leave the room, and return five minutes later -- when he least suspected it -- and start in with the stick. The charge being sought against her is Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury. A charge of Assault on a Woman is being sought against him.