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News Index

Your Hometown Christian Radio Station. WWWC Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Thursday
Mar112010

Daylight Saving Time Starts EARLY Sunday

Its time to spring ahead! Yes, its that time again. What? You say "too soon". No, its been changed...by the government. Daylight saving time starts this coming Sunday at 2 a.m. no matter what time zone you're in. It was moved a couple of years ago to help save energy: make it a week earlier and you'll have a little more daylight so you won't have to turn your lights on inside quite so early. And fire officials remind you that now is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detector. So before you go to bed Saturday night, set your clocks a head one hour!

Thursday
Mar112010

Tools Stolen, Later Recovered from Logging Site

A trailer owned by a local logging company was cut into from the top, according to sheriff's deputies, and several hundred dollars of property was taken. When employees of Jerry Huffman Sawmill and Logging arrived at work at the job site on Sheets Gap Road yesterday morning, they discovered the break-in and opened the trailer to find a number of tools missing. They followed a couple of sets of boot tracks through the brush and found the stolen property piled a short distance away. Deputies say there was additional property in the stash that did not belong to the company. The sheriff's department has seized it as evidence. No suspects have been identified so far.

Thursday
Mar112010

Trying to Find the Road Between the Potholes

Drive an inch, find a pothole -- at least that's how it seems after one of the worst-ever winters for roads in our area. Potholes -- caused by water running into cracks in pavement, freezing and shifting the pavement, and traffic rolling over the shift, breaking up the pavement -- seem to be about everywhere. And the unpaved roads in the county -- we have the second-most miles of unpaved roads in the state -- are really ugly, with ruts and a big need for more gravel. All that will come, DOT officials tell the Journal-Patriot, but first it has to dry out some more, especially for gravel placement on the unpaved roads. They are using temporary patching material -- cold asphalt tamped into place -- to fix the potholes as they can now. It will be late spring before permanent repairs can be done, after the asphalt plants fire up for the season and hot-mix asphalt is available.

Thursday
Mar112010

Hatch Act Impact on Local Races Cheked Before Deputies Filed

The Hatch Act, which prohibits those in federally-funded positions from running for partisan political office, is briefly making an appearance in local elections in Wilkes. A Hatch Act complaint alleges that a candidate for sheriff and one for county commissioner, both of whom are employed by the sheriff's office, have violated the act. It's quite routine in North Carolina for Chief Deputies to run for sheriff when a sitting sheriff decides to retire, and Chris Shew was the first person to announce for sheriff in this election cycle. Deputy David Gambill is a candidate for county commission. Federal officials have not confirmed filing of the complaint, a copy of which was delivered to the Record, but Sheriff Dane Mastin says they've already run both deputies' candidacy past the relevant people in the office of Special Counsel and been told there is no violation.

In a letter sent by the OSC specifically regarding Shew's candidacy, Hatch Act Unit Attorney Amber A. Bell stated: “We have concluded that you are not subject to the political activity restrictions of the Hatch Act, and thus, the Act would not prohibit you from being a candidate for partisan public office.” The complaint alleges a violation because the sheriff’s department receives money from the Justice Assistance Grant through the U.S. Department of Justice and money from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a service contract to patrol W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir. The Hatch Act is directed at federal employees, but has been used in other places to cause campaign problems for direct recipients of large grants.

Wednesday
Mar102010

Utility Bills "Astounding"

The Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission in North is seeing lots more people needing help because they're seeing very high utility bills. BROC Director Dare Stromer said bills have doubled and tripled. She said quote -- It's terrible and is making matters so much worse." The Wilkes Journal Patriot reports that Stromer said BROC does not have funds to help everyone who needs help with utility bills. Wilkes Department of Social Services supervisor for food and nutrition services and energy assistance said people have been quote -- "astounded at the amount of the increase." Lynne Cox said its more than lots of people can deal with. A state official said people may have to get used to the higher bills.

Wednesday
Mar102010

Duffie Charged in Weekend Burglaries

Sheriffs deputies say a Wilkesboro man is responsible for at least three burglaries in the Brushy Mountain community this weekend. As we reported yesterday, 42-year old Joe Henry McDuffie was pulled over on unrelated charges Monday, after deputies saw him driving a vehicle that had been seen near two of the crime scenes. According to a crime report released today, McDuffie had some items in his possession taken in a burglary in Alexander county. Deputies searched the apartment shared by McDuffie and his girlfriend Amanda Cockerham and recovered several items reported stolen from the three Wilkes homes he allegedly broke into. About half the stolen items have not yet been located. Cockerham gave a statement to deputies that McDuffie had brough home the items on Sunday without an explanation of where they had come from. Deputies have secured warrants in three cases.

Wednesday
Mar102010

Foxx: Implement Needed Health Care Reforms One at a Time

Democrats in Washington continue their halting efforts to pass the massive takeover of health care, so far to little success. Fifth District Congresswoman Virginia Foxx says the reforms needed in health care are simple, and could be dealt with one-at-a-time in small bills, rather than a behemoth that no one really understands:

She compared the added costs to those experienced by a driver who has had multiple wrecks. Foxx' comments came during her recent Focus on the Foothills program.

Wednesday
Mar102010

Arrest Made in 2009 Shooting Death

Wilkes authorities have arrested a man suspected of killing another man who he said had been shot in self defense. Not that test results are back from the state lab, authorities arrested Bryan Jeffery Bare this week for the first-degree murder of Randall Call. Bare was being held yesterday without bond in the Wilkes County jail.

Call was killed the night of May 4. Authorities found his body when they arrived at Bare's house on Statesville Road after getting a call about a home invasion. Bare told authorities that Call entered through an unlocked door shortly before and had a weapon. Bare said he took the weapon away and shot Call with it, according to a sheriff's office report. Call was shot several times and was dead when authorities arrived. Authorities would not confirm rumors that the case was a drug deal gone sour.

State records show that at the time of the shooting, Bare was on probation for felony drug charges that included maintaining a place for controlled substance. Call, who lived in Purlear, had a history of drug-related convictions.

Tuesday
Mar092010

Boone Woman Faces Attempted Murder Charges

A Boone woman faces attempted murder charges for shooting an eleven year old boy. Police say Pattie Hatcher Campbell was arrested during the investgation in Cabarrus County. Sheriff's officials there say Campbell went to the home of a family she knew, stopped her car in their driveway Friday night and pulled a gun and fired at the child as he came out of the house. The boy suffered a single gunshot wound to his shoulder and neck. He and his brother successfully wrestled the gun from Campbell. The boy was taken to the hospital in stable condition Friday and Campbell was arrested on Saturday and faces several charges..

Tuesday
Mar092010

Deputies Investigating Burglary Spree

Wilkes Sheriff Deputies are still working to determine the extent of an apparent series of burglaries from homes in the Moravian Falls area in the past few days. They've taken reports of at least four homes being broken into in one area since Saturday, and arrested a Wilkesboro man on driving-related charges who may be connected to the crimes. The first report was called in about 11 Sunday morning in the 32-hundred block of Bethany Church Road. The burglar had kicked in a door and caused damage inside the vacation home while taking a total of about 300-dollars worth of property including two weapons and jewelry. In a crime which was reported about 1 Sunday afternoon on Brushy Mountain Road, two antiques worth about 300 dollars together were taken after the burglar kicked in a door. The man whose home had been broken into had also reported a similar crime on Saturday at another location. In both cases he saw an unfamiliar vehicle with an out-of-state plate on it. Sunday he followed the vehicle and got the plat number, along with a description of the two occupants, who were said to be black males.

A deputy stopped a vehicle yesterday afternoon that matched the description of the white pickup seen in the area over the weekend, and recovered a Rhode Island tag matching the number identified by one of the victims. The driver, identified in a crime report as 42-year old Joe Henry McDuffie of Wilkesboro, was arrested after he was found to be driving on a revoked license and that the pickup had no insurance. The report describes McDuffie as a heavy-set black male.

Yesterday evening, another homeowner, who had been alerted to the burglary spree by his neighbor who had been a victim, called deputies to report the door had been kicked in at his vacation home and the thieves had stolen two mounted hunting trophies and a target deer, together worth over 11-hundred dollars. Deputies are still contacting area homeowners and have yet to formally charge McDuffie with anything more than traffic offenses.