A Wilkes County civics and economics teacher completed Congresswoman Virginia Foxx’s week-long Teacher in Congress program on Friday, July 15. Dan Prouty, who teaches at East Wilkes High School, is the first teacher from Wilkes County to complete this teacher continuing education program run by Foxx’s office. “Mr. Prouty demonstrated a real enthusiasm for understanding the in’s and out’s of Congress and the federal government and it was a real pleasure to have him with me in Washington for the week,” Foxx said. “When school starts in the fall his students at East Wilkes will no doubt enjoy a first-hand account from the trenches of how Congress works.” Foxx created the program in 2007. The annual Teacher in Congress program allows one Fifth Congressional District school teacher to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week of intensive learning and curriculum development activities during the summer school break. “Getting to see your representative at work in the Capitol is far superior to reading about it in a text book,” Prouty said. “And spending the week in Washington doing research while trying to keep up with Congresswoman Foxx made for some vivid experiences that I’m eager to share with my students.” Prouty is in his second year of teaching at East Wilkes and plans to integrate his Washington experiences into his civics coursework. Prouty is a 2009 graduate of Appalachian State University and a graduate of North Wilkes High School. He currently lives in North Wilkesboro.
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Wilkes County School Superintendent Dr. Stephen Laws says that over the past 9 years dropout rates have decreased and graduation rates have increased. Ten years ago the graduation rate was only 62 percent. This year the graduation rate for Wilkes is above the state average as Wilkes graduated over 80 percent this past school year. Laws says several things factor in for the improving numbers including the one on one relationship with students and teachers and the extended day calendar. My complete conversation with Dr. Laws is on our website: www.hometownchristianradio.com
Some reports say that if you live or work in a city that you can be caught on a video surveillance camera as much as 300 times a day. Maybe 300 times is a little excessive for the Wilkesboro area, but a certain thief was captured at least 3 times in stores using a debit card that did not belong to him. Wilkesboro Police were called by a Purlear man who said several charges were made to his bank account through his debit card that he did not authorize. The man said he had last used his debit card at the Cash Points ATM near Lowes Hardware in Wilkesboro. He said he thought he left his card in the ATM when he retrieved his money. The man had a copy of the unauthorized transactions that were made. They included Food Lion, Walmart on 2 different occasions, and College Park Citgo. Two other charges were made in Clemmons and the victim was contacting the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department regarding those. Wilkesboro Police contacted Walmart and obtained video surveillance that showed a black male, wearing a red t-shirt, black shorts, and tan hat using the stolen debit card to purchase merchandise. The suspect was then see by a video camera in the parking lot leaving the store in a yellow Ford Mustang. Wilkesboro Police also contacted Food Lion on Westwood Lane. The same man was seen on surveillance camera there again using the stolen debit card and leaving the store in a yellow Mustang. Wilkesboro Police are currently waiting to receive video from Kohl’s parking lot in an attempt to get the car’s tag number. In the mean time, Police do have a description of the suspect and his car. Big Brother may not be watching but video surveillance cameras are.
If the motto is nothing runs like a Trane, then the motto for the competitor could be nothing disappears like a Rheem. A North Wilkesboro resident called the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department over the weekend to report the theft of two 2-ton heat pumps from a vacated residence on Jim McCarter Road. The victim has moved from the residence and was in the processing of cleaning up the property. Two people had been hired to help with the work at the property, and they contacted the victim to report the two outside units were missing. It is believed the theft of the heat pumps took place sometime between Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Both two-ton units are valued at 5000 dollars. Sheriff’s Officials are questioning suspects and charges are pending.
Community One Bank called the Wilkesboro Police recently concerning a forged check case that involves churches from the Mooresville area. In the report, an employee from the bank said a man came in and tried to cash a Community One Bank check issued to the account of Williamson Chapel in Mooresville. As the Wilkesboro branch employee ran the check, she realized the check had already cleared. The man became agitated and asked for the check back. When he left she called the Mooresville Branch of Community One Bank and was informed that many of the churches in that area had reported crimes involving checks. Mooresville Police were investigating. The Wilkesboro branch of Community One Bank is pulling security tapes to give to police in order to identify the man trying to pass the forged check.
Several people were involved in a verbal and physical altercation that left two injured and two arrested. Wilkesboro Police were called to Windemere Apartments over the weekend. When they arrived, several people were in the parking lot screaming and acting upset. One woman was on the ground crying from injuries to her leg. EMS arrived to attend to her. Others standing around had blood on their bodies and clothes. Apparently the fight ensued following a verbal confrontation between two women at the scene. One of the two women initially involved in the fight, Ashley Bartkowiak, said she was going to WRMC for her injuries. Police advised that she was under arrest and should turn herself in after leaving the hospital. The second woman, Rebeca Testerman, was arrested at the scene. Both were arrested and released on a 500 bond.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the first recipient of a new food safety award presented by the Association of Food and Drug Officials. The department received the Elliot O. Grosvenor Food Safety Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement by food safety programs within state departments of agriculture, natural resources, public health or environmental health. “We are honored to be the first state to receive this award for our food safety efforts,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Our Food and Drug Protection Division has worked hard to be a national leader in food safety through initiatives aimed at prevention, education and rapid response, and it’s great that our efforts have been recognized.” Agencies in the United States and Canada are eligible for the award.
Wilkesboro Police were called to investigate a common law robbery Sunday night. A woman told police that she had parked at the side of Lowes Foods on Hwy 421. A man exited another car and asked her for gas money. When she reached inside her camera bag for some cash, the man grabbed the bag and ran to a green Toyota Camry. When the woman pulled her cell phone from her pocket to call 911, the man threatened her and left the scene. Fearing for her safety, the woman left the scene and went to the Sheriff’s Department. The victim had cash, a gold tennis bracelet, earrings, VISA card, and prescription meds inside her bag. The man who stole the bag was described as a white male, wearing a red bandana, no shirt, and blue jeans. The driver of the car was also a white male with a goatee and wearing a white or tan hat. Police have issued a BOLO on the green Toyota Camry, and a search for the two men is still underway.
A local business suffered a total loss from fire on Sunday. According to Cricket Fire Chief David Webb, they received the 911 call about 1:30 to a fire at Poor Boys Service Center on Boone Trail. The fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived and spread into the attic space of the building. Chief Webb said a worker at Poor Boys was working on the gas line of a car when a spark ignited the gas vapors under the car and started the fire. Cricket, North Wilkesboro, and Millers Creek all responded and worked until about 5:30 Sunday evening extinguishing the blaze. Chief Webb said the employee at Poor Boys only suffered minor burns, and there were no other injuries. The building and equipment at the business were totally destroyed. Two cars inside the service center were burned out and two others will need to be re-painted. Damages estimates are from 150,000 to 200,000 dollars. Poor Boys Service Center is owned by Gene Roten. The fire was ruled accidental.
It started about 25 years ago as Wilkes One-On-One. Today they are known as Communities in Schools, but they still work with volunteers to provide one-on-one mentoring for Wilkes County students. Amy Rose of CIS explained how their Lunch Buddies program works. A volunteer agrees to eat lunch once a week at the school with a student from Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. Lunch Buddies new volunteer training is scheduled for this Wednesday, July 20 and for August 8. Training will be at noon on those days with lunch provided. For more information on CIS Lunch Buddies call 651-7830. They are also involved with their Stuff the Bus Campaign and encourage everyone to buy extra school supplies and put them in the drop boxes in area stores. The Stuff the Bus Supplies will be used for Wilkes County Students.