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News Index

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

Monday
Sep072009

Some Wilkes Inmates to Go to Other Jails

Wilkes County will send some of its jail inmates to other jails.

That's to help avoid overcrowding and putting the county at risk of liability. The Winston Salem Journal reports that Wilkes County Sheriff Dane Mastin asked of and got permission from county commissioners to house some inmates at other jails and pay those jails to keep the prisoners. Commissioners agreed, Mastin said Allegheny County only charges 49 dollars a day per inmate, and they're the least expensive. He says they have room for about 25 inmates. Mastin says the money would come from money set aside for new jail construction in Wilkes.

Friday
Sep042009

Friday Jail Meeting "Productive"

Wilkes County Commissioners have seen the light, Sheriff Dane Mastin believes, when it comes to the problem with crowding at the Wilkes County Jail. It may have taken last week's forced closure of most of the Yadkin County jail to make it happen, though. Commissioners and Mastin held a special meeting today to discuss the jail issue. Though commissioners could not vote because it was a work session, Mastin says the meeting moved toward a resolution:

It's possible, with a long holiday weekend ahead, that officials could reach that point this weekend. If it happens, arrangements are already in place with Allegheny county to take Wilkes' surplus inmates. Monday on 3WC news, you'll hear the entire interview with Sheriff Mastin, in which he explains what would happen to reach the point of needing to transfer inmates, what solution is being looked at in the near-term, and what he sees down the road for local governments to deal with in relation to the inmates being shifted from state to local custody for budget reasons. That complete interview will be posted to our news blog over the weekend. You can listen to that at 12403wc.com.

Friday
Sep042009

Jail Issues Bubbling UP: Wilkes Commissioners Hold Special Meeting to Discuss Overcrowding

Jail issues are causing problems for Wilkes and Yadkin counties. This morning, Wilkes County Commissioners have called a special meeting at the request of Sheriff Dane Mastin to talk about what will be done locally concerning jail overcrowding. Zach Henderson, chairman of the county commissioners, said the meeting would focus on "what to do with jail (inmate) overflow for the short term." Sheriff Mastin told the Journal-Patriot, "A new jail is off the table as far as I am concerned, so what are we going to do with the inmates in the future…. We have given our best recommendation," he said, referring to the work of a committee that has been developing plans for a new jail and law enforcement center since members were appointed by Henderson about three years ago. Among the recommendations he'll make today: a jail annex, of sorts -- a 35-hundred square foot facility that would house up to 50 inmates. Biggest cost for that would be the jailers -- at least a quarter of a million dollars a year that isn't in the county's current budget. He said he's also already contacting sheriff's departments in other counties about housing some of his inmates, which carries a cost of at least $45 per inmate per day.

Friday
Sep042009

Yadkin Commissioners Continue Jail Disagreement as Inmates Now Shuttle to Other County Jails

Yadkin county is in the position of having most of its inmates housed out-of-county right now -- many being taken to the Watauga county jail. Several sections of the Yadkin county jail were closed last Thursday. The number of persons who can be held at the Yadkin County location is between three and seven, depending on whom you ask. Out of 28 beds, seven beds may be used at this time. The Sheriff’s office intends to keep the majority of this space available for new arrests.

Meanwhile, commissioenrs are split about whether to build a new jail on Hoots Road. At their last meeting, the split boiled, with Commissioner Tommy Garner making a motion that Brady Wooten be placed in charge of a new jail committee. The motion failed for lack of a second. Garner then verbally attacked Wooten. “Brady we all know that you are working with the Hoots Road Gang. At this point in time, I really am ready to let you put up or shut up and let all your cronies know what you’re up to and Mr. Austin with you.” Garner previously made a motion before the Board at the Aug. 17 commissioner’s meeting, to close the jail.

Commissioner Kevin Austin stated that he would be more than happy to work and assist to achieve the goal that Sheriff Cain outlined. “He is absolutely correct. We need to get this issue behind us and move forward. I remain confident that thoughtful planning and quick action can meet our current and future needs in a seamless fashion that will be within the means of our budget and taxpayers."

According to information provided to the Yadkin Ripple by the Sheriff’s Office, the cost of housing inmates for approximately the last three years was $664,903.80. Other options are being researched.

Thursday
Sep032009

NCHP: Slow Down!

Watch your speed as you drive this holiday weekend...

North Carolina Highway Patrol will be out to empty your wallet a bit if you don't. Patty McQuillin is the spokeswoman for the Highway Patrol and she says it could be a dangerous weekend if history proves true.

"Last year there were 1140 crashes with 582 injuries and 13 fatalities and that was statewide. Those were accidents investigated by the Highway Patrol during the Labor Day Holiday period."

NCHP says they want to see those numbers way down this year from last. They suggest that even if you get where you're going late, but not speeding you'll have a better chance of getting there.

Thursday
Sep032009

$50 Liquor Rebates This Weekend

Labor Day weekend not only marks the end of summer, it also kicks off big sales on just about everything.

And here's a really surprising sale: a $50 rebate at state owned liquor stores. But the ads that ran in newspapers yesterday are not from the state's alcoholic beverage commission, rather from the biggest liquor distributor in the world, Diageo. Diageo distributes all the name brand liquors like Captain Morgan's Rum and Johnnie Walker Scotch. WXII TV reports that a spokesman for the state ABC Commission said the rebates are in response to the poor economy, which led many drinkers to choose cheaper brands of liquor.

Thursday
Sep032009

Oakwoods Pro Shop Break-In Nets $7,000 in Cash, Causes $2k Damage

A burglar caused significant damage and was thorough in their quest of money when they hit the pro shop at Oakwoods Country Club early yesterday. When employees arrived for work yesterday they found the phone lines cut and the side window of the clubhouse broken out. The door next to it showed that a burglar had spent a considerable amount of time trying to pry it open, based on the heavy presence of scratch marks on the door and frame. Sheriff deputies say once inside, the thief ripped the alarm keypad from the wall and a speaker from the ceiling, broke several interior doors, and shattered the glass door to the pro shop. Once in there, the thief took a safe containing about 7-thousand dollars, according to employees, and waltzed out the back door after unlocking it. Deputies tally the total damage and monetary loss at over 9-thousand dollars. No suspects have been identified so far.

Thursday
Sep032009

Confrontatoin With Corn Thief Ends with Owner Cut by Machete

A Ronda man says he was attacked early Tuesday by a man who was stealing corn from the field next to his house. Sheriff's deputies were called to Marcas Garcia Bautista's home on North River Ridge Road about 2:30am Tuesday, according to a crime report released yesterday. he tells deputies he found the man taking corn from his field and confronted him. Bautista said the thief then attacked him with a machete, slicing him in the right torso. that wound required stitches. The machete also cut and broke the victim's right thumb and severely cut and broke bones in his right forearm. Bautista didn't know the thief, another Hispanic man, according to the report, and deputies report no leads in the case.

Thursday
Sep032009

Jail Overcrowding Focus of Work Session Tomorrow

Wilkes County commissioners have scheduled a work session tomorrow to discuss what to do about overcrowding at the men's and women's county jails. The meeting comes at the request of Sheriff Dane Mastin, who tells the Journal-patriot he wants to meet with commissioners because of persistent and worsening overcrowding at the men's and women's jails and the lack of progress toward building a new and larger county jail. Mastin said he also wanted to discuss possible options for a satellite jail facility developed by him and his staff, but he emphasized that there is no money in his budget for this. He said these satellite jail plans include capacity for as many as 50 inmates.

The state mandates 70 square feet of jail space per inmate, meaning a facility with at least 3,500 square feet of floor space would be needed to house 50 inmates. Mastin said jail staff salaries would account for much of the cost of a satellite jail and estimated this annual cost at $250,000 to $350,000 for a facility with capacity for 50 inmates. Plans for a new jail and law enforcement center have been in limbo since commissioners on April 23 voted 5-0 to reject general contractor bids when it became obvious there was no majority consensus on borrowing up to $26.1 million for the project.

He said he's even more concerned about overcrowding in the two Wilkes jails because the state's financial problems are resulting in county jails having to house inmates that previously would be in state prisons. He said he's already contacting sheriff's departments in other counties about housing some of his inmates, which carries a cost of at least $45 per inmate per day, because of an anticipated influx of inmates when the next Superior Court session starts.

Wednesday
Sep022009

EWMS Receives Grant for Running Focus

East Wilkes Middle School is receiving a grant for a program meant to combat childhood obesity. According to a news release from ING, the financial-services firm that is making the grant, East Wilkes Middle School will receive 2-thousand dollars. The company's ING Run for Something Better program, which is run in conjunction with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, is helping introduce fifth- through eighth-graders to the benefits of running.

East Wilkes Middle School is participating int he program, and has received the grant to get its startup efforts. The program, according to the release, will last at least eight weeks, and will end with a mass running event to celebrate the students' achievements. The program, which is a series of lesson plans developed by the National Association, also includes activities such as a distance log and a running journal to keep the kids engaged. Grant funds from ING have been distributed to nearly 300 schools nationwide that are starting the program this year.