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News Index
Friday
Sep192008

ID Protection Tips for Seniors

After leaving a seminar for seniors on how to minimize the possibility of falling victim to scams and identity theft, James and Mary Willey planned to go home and take their Medicare cards out of their wallets. "I want you to remove all items with your Social Security number on them," Caroline Farmer, the deputy director of the N.C. Attorney General's Office, told those attending the "Scam Jam" program at Joel Coliseum yesterday. For seniors, Farmer said, that often means taking out the Medicare card because it has the Social Security number on it. The Willeys said that was certainly the case with them.The Willeys were among about 25 people who came to learn more about how to protect themselves at an education program sponsored by AARP North Carolina, the Better Business of Northwest North Carolina and such state agencies as the attorney general's office, the N.C. Department of Insurance and the N.C. Secretary of State's Office. It was held in conjunction with the second annual Region I Aging Conference.Farmer also offered such tips as freezing access to credit reports. For seniors who rarely open new credit accounts, that can prevent potential thieves from taking out new credit in their name.

Friday
Sep192008

Carter: "No-Energy" Bill A Good Compromise

Congressional candidate for the North Carolina’s 5th District, Roy Carter, released a statement this week in favor of the energy bill that was recently passed by the United States House of Representatives. Carter’s opponent, and current Congresswoman, Virginia Foxx, spoke out against the energy bill earlier this week, calling it a “sham.” Carter believes the bill will help the state of North Carolina in the long run. Another reason Carter said he supports the new bill is to keep offshore drilling farther away from the Carolina coast. He claims, "if we don’t do a renewal of the ban on drilling by the 30th, they can come within a mile of our coast and drill.”

Thursday
Sep182008

Woman Arrested for Shoplifting, Paraphernalia

A North Wilkesboro woman was arrested for shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia yesterday. Wal-Mart loss protection personnel say they observed 41-year old Rania Annette Mclaury as she put nearly 20 personal hygiene items worth almost 100 dollars in her purse and walk out of the store without paying. She was stopped outside the store and escorted back in. A police officer searched Mclaury before putting her in his patrol car. The officer says he found a bottle of prescription medication and several other items. When he arrived at the jail and was about to secure her purse, the officer noticed another prescription bottle in it. After she consented to him searching her purse, the officer says he found what appeared to be a crack pipe in her purse. Mclaury told the officer she didn't know how it got in her purse, as it was not hers. However, she was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia along with the shoplifting charge. She was jailed on a 12-hundred-50 dollar secured bond.

Thursday
Sep182008

Statesville Station Included in Latest Price Gouging Subpoenas

Attorney General Roy Cooper has issued subpoenas to nine more North Carolina gas stations as part of his investigation into possible price gouging at the pump. One of those stations is in Statesville.

 “It’s okay to make a profit, but it’s not right to run up the costs on consumers at a time like this,” said Cooper in a news release. “Our price gouging law is in effect, and we’re moving quickly to enforce the law.”

Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division issued the latest round of subpoenas demanding information from gas stations in Buncombe, Craven, Cumberland, Guilford, Iredell, McDowell, Montgomery and Yadkin counties, including Ricky's One Stop, on Davie Avenue in Statesville. The stations reportedly charged consumers more than $5.35 and as much as $5.99 per gallon for gas.

The subpoenas went out to Sheriffs’ Offices to be served on the gas stations’ owners. Retailers have 10 days to provide documentation to the Attorney General’s Office including information on their costs. “We’re investigating these cases carefully and we’ll take legal action if we find evidence that any retailer, distributor or wholesaler has gouged consumers,” Cooper said.

Price gouging—or charging unreasonably excessive prices in times of crisis—violates North Carolina General Statute 75-38, when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared or proclaimed by the Governor. On Friday, North Carolina’s law against price gouging was triggered by the declaration of an abnormal market disruption due to Hurricane Ike.

Thursday
Sep182008

Yates Becomes Permanent Wilkes County Manager

The interim Wilkes County manager has been given the job permanently. County commissioners have offered John Yates the position he's held since Gary Page left in May. A contract, including salary details, will be prepared for approval at the commissioners' next meeting on Oct. 6. As interim manager, Yates was a contract employee being paid $70,000 a year with no benefits.Charlie Sink, the chairman of the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners, tole the Winston-Salem Journal commissioners have been pleased with the job Yates has done and that the county was fortunate he was available. "I wouldn't have thought we'd be that lucky," Sink said. "He's done a great job." Commissioners talked to county department heads and other employees to get their input.Yates said he has had good support from commissioners and department heads while he was interim manager. Major projects on the horizon include the new county jail and a joint water intake with other local governments. Yates says he sees the county playing a big role in economic development.

Thursday
Sep182008

Services Set for Murdered WIlkes Man

Funeral services have been set for the Wilkes man who died of a gunshot wound his son admitted to deputies he'd fired. Miller Funeral Service is handling arrangements for Joseph Wesley Smithey, Sr. The funeral will be held 2:00 tomorrow afternoon at Miller Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Mace Johnson and the Rev. Jonah Parker officiating. Burial with full military honors by the Fort Bragg Honor Guard will follow at Mountlawn Memorial Park. The family will be at Miller Funeral Service from 1:00 until 2:00 o'clock on Friday, prior to the service, and at other times at the home, off the Brushy Mountain Road. Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Wilkes, P.O. Box 306, North Wilkesboro. Smithey's son, Jeffrey Allen Smithey, is being held without bond, charged with the murder of his father.

Wednesday
Sep172008

"No Energy" Bill Passes House, But Margin Won't Survive Veto

Democrats rammed a new bill regarding offshore drilling through the House, in spite of strong opposition from Virginia Foxx and others who decried its back-door handling and the prohibition of amendments on it. The bill will keep North Carolina from receiving revenue from new oil drilling off the Carolina coast. The bill passed in the House with a 236 –189 vote. According to the bill, all revenue from new offshore drilling leases will go strait to the federal government instead of going to the state. Even before the vote, President Bush vowed a veto...and the margin falls far short of the two-thirds needed to override.

Wednesday
Sep172008

Tickets Being Sold for October Playmakers Production

Tickets are now on sale for Wilkes Playmakers’ production of “Moonshine & Thunder - The Junior Johnson Story.” Performances are the first two weekends of October -- Thurdsay, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nighs of each weekend -- at 7:30 p.m. “Moonshine and Thunder - The Junior Johnson Story” covers the early moonshine and racing career of NASCAR legend, Junior Johnson up to his big super speedway win in 1960 at the Daytona 500. The story is told with a mixture of live onstage performances by local actors, filmed performances by local actors on a large screen and actual racing footage from The NASCAR Archives as well as from Enoch Staley’s personal collection - courtesy of his son, Mike Staley. The show will be presented outdoors at The Forest Edge Amphitheatre on Hwy 421 N in Fort Hamby Park. The park will open to audience members each evening at 6:30 p.m. The 850-seat Amphitheatre has comfortable molded chairs and coffee and other concessions will be sold.

Wednesday
Sep172008

Secure Your ID

Better Business Bureau is hosting its second “Secure Your ID” Day this Saturday in the main parking lot of the LJVM coliseum at the Winston-Salem Entertainment-Sports Complex. Residents and small businesses are encouraged to attend the event and take a key step in identity protection by shredding and properly disposing of their sensitive documents. BBB staff will be on-site to provide expert advice and tips for identity theft protection. The first BBB “Secure Your ID Day” event earlier this year yielded the largest single-day consumer turnout of this kind in national history, shredding more than 500,000 pounds of sensitive documents in one day - and officials say the event this Saturday promises to be even larger.Last year alone, 8.1 million Americans became victims of ID theft, resulting in the loss of $45 billion, according to a 2008 report from Javelin Strategy and Research. The report notes that the majority of ID theft occurs when the thief has direct contact with the victim’s personal information, through a stolen or lost wallet, rifling through a personal mailbox or trashcan, or even lifting documents from inside a home or business.

Wednesday
Sep172008

NW Business Burglarized

A North WIlkesboro business is recovering from a break in over the weekend. Ebenezer's Attic, a nonprofit thrift store on Main Street in North Wilkesboro was broken into sometime between Friday the 12th and early Saturday the 13th. According to reports, the burglar got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to call North WIlkesboro police, who continue their investigation of the case.