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News Index

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


Wilkes Property Taxes Due Jan.5th

The taxman cometh...and really soon!

Yeah, like January 5th soon. That's the deadline to pay your Wilkes County property taxes so you don't pay a penalty. Wilkes Tax Administrator Alex Hamilton said a two percent penalty is assessed on billsd that are not paid by 5 p.m. on January fifth. He said after that, three quarters of a percent will be added each month that taxes are not paid. Hamilton said he does expect there will be late payers.


Wreck Injures Four, Prompts Charges

Highway patrol officials say a car wrecked and burned early this morning on Boomer Road southwest of Wilkesboro. Charges are being filed in connection to the crash. Troopers say 20-year old Millers Creek resident Zachary Robert Testerman has been charged with three counts of felony serious injury to a person while driving under the influence, driving while impaired, a provisional license violation, reckless driving and a seat belt violation. Testerman and three passengers were seriously injured in the wreck, which happened shortly before 1:30am. The other three in the vehicle were identified as 21-year old Joshua Minton of Moravian Falls, 18-year old Stacy Ashley of Boomer and 18-year old Timothy Minton. He was airlifted to Baptist with a head injury while the other were taken by ambulance to Wilkes Regional Medical Center before being transferred later to Baptist. According to a crash report, Testerman was northbound and went off on the right. The car struck and uprooted two trees before overturning. All four people climbed from the wreckage moments before the car caught fire. it was destroyed.


Group Points to Minn. Environmental Fine Against Fibrowatt

An environmental group wants state regulators to consider Fibrowatt LLC's problems with its poultry-waste burning plant in Minnesota when the company applies for permits to operate its three proposed plants in North Carolina, including one in Surry County. Fibrominn, the Fibrowatt plant in Benson, Minn., will pay a $65,000 fine and install a sulfur-dioxide monitor that will cost nearly $80,000 as part of an agreement it reached with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The fine and agreement will resolve the company's past failure to comply with state air-quality rules and permit conditions, according to the Minnesota agency.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has sent letters to Marion Deerhake of Raleigh, a member of the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, and Robert Gruber, the executive director of the public staff for the N.C. Utility Commission. David Mickey, a spokesman for the league, urged Deerhake and Gruber to consider Fibrowatt's experience in Minnesota "and avoid the problems encountered there." Fibrowatt and utilities are facing deadlines, but Fibrowatt has not applied for any state permits for its planned plants near Elkin and in Montgomery and Stanly counties because it has not reached purchase agreements with Duke Energy Corp. and Progress Energy Corp. The General Assembly passed a law in 2007 that requires utilities to begin getting some energy from hog and chicken manure by 2012.

State Rep. Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy represents Surry and Alleghany counties in the N.C. House. Stevens said she is considering adding an amendment to a bill in the General Assembly next year that would suspend the law that requires utilities to get some energy from animal waste by 2012. Stevens said that the measure may be necessary because Fibrowatt has not applied for any state permits to operate its planned plants, and she doubts whether the company or the utilities will meet the goals outlined in the law.


Smoking Ban Starts Saturday

As of this coming Saturday, you can't light up in NC restaurants.

The smoking ban goes into effect on January 2nd, but its not making bar and restaurant owners breathe easier. Many are not happy that they no longer have the choice to be a smoking or non-smoking establishment. Legislators saw to that when, as the Winston-Salem Journal reports, they made the decision instead of leaving it the owners of the eateries. Many who own restaurants that are now non-smoking, say they have not seen the drop in business that they thought they would. They're telling owners who allow smoking not to worry -- patron will still eat there -- and smoking will be allowed outside bars and restaurants.


One More Step Toward New Yadkin Jail

Yadkin County is one step closer to building a new jail on Hoots Road. County commissioners have signed off on an agreement with Yadkinville that will provide the site with water. The Yadkinville town board will consider the agreement at its meeting on Jan. 4. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that it's likely little will be done with the proposed jail site by Jan. 8. That's when commissioners appear before Superior Court Judge John Craig to explain delays of the jail's construction. The county's current jail is closed -- and has been since August, when state health officials shut it down because of unsanitary conditions. Inmates have been placed in jails in nearby counties. Officials hope that Craig might look favorably on the agreement, but doubt that any other construction decisions could be made by the hearing date, in part because of the holidays.


Wilkes Animal Shelter in Compliance with New State Laws

State inspectors say Wilkes was not among 21 counties that have failed to comply with a new state policy on animal euthanasia. A recent inspection by the state found the Wilkes County Animal Shelter in compliance with the new rules. Animal Welfare Section inspectors found 21 other animal shelters across the state were out of compliance with the rules, which took effect in July, during visits this fall. The shelter uses two methods for euthanasia: lethal injection and carbon monoxide. Procedures at the shelter are well documented, according to inspectors, and in their observation each animal death occurred within the times and procedures defined in state law. According to the Journal-Patriot, a couple of enclosures in the shelter were noted to have large cracks in the concrete floor, and an inspector said some of the frames around the gates of the primary enclosures are in need of repair.


Icy Forecast for Tonight

Santa Claus might need to watch his step on rooftops tonight as forecasters predict up to a half-inch of ice for part of Wilkes by Christmas morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the mountains and foothills north of Asheville from Thursday evening through Friday morning, including cities like Boone, Wilkesboro and Morganton. Forecasters say a low moving in from the west will bring rain across the state, while enough cold air stays in the northern mountains to keep temperatures below freezing. Our meteorologist, Wayne Marcus, says the ice accumulation will be heavies in Western Wilkes and Surry counties. The weather service says a quarter to half-inch of ice could accumulate on power lines, trees and bridges, creating major travel problems and possible power outages.


Swine Flu Detected in NC Pigs

A federal laboratory has confirmed the presence of the 2009 novel H1N1 flu virus in samples taken from pigs at two N.C. farms. North Carolina is the 10th state with identified cases of H1N1 in animals.

The animals have been under the care of a private veterinarian and have recovered from the illness.

“The herd veterinarian noticed signs of mild illness in the pigs and conducted tests to determine the type,” State Veterinarian David Marshall said. “Confirmatory tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, indicated the virus was H1N1.

“Pigs are subject to flu viruses just like humans, so it’s not unexpected to find it in a herd,” Marshall said. “These cases show that our surveillance system is working.”

People cannot contract H1N1 from handling or consuming pork or pork products, according to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. meat inspection system provides an additional safeguard by inspecting all animals presented for slaughter.

Dr. Tom Ray, director of livestock health at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said it appears the pigs at both farms caught the virus from humans. The herd owners indicated that workers who had contact with the animals had exhibited flu-like illness in the days preceding the animals’ illness.


Rainbow Center Need Continues Year-Round

We've been talking this week about the need for donations for Christmas Gifts for the foster children served by the Rainbow Center of Wilkes. April Nichols of the Rainbow Center says the need goes on when the holiday is over, and one of the largest needs is something you may not even think of:

To donate, call the Rainbow Center at 667-3333.


Meat Handler Workshop Soon

Licensed meat handlers, food entrepreneurs and others interested in preventing food recalls are encouraged to attend a Jan. 26 workshop, “Preventing a Recall -- Protecting Your Food Business.” The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City.

The workshop is designed for small food entrepreneurs and food producers who sell directly to the public, meat handlers producing and selling meat products, individuals interested in developing food recall plans to protect their businesses, and those who want to expand market outreach and are required to obtain liability insurance to enter new markets. Topics to be covered include the economics of food recalls, lessons learned from the peanut products recall, and procedures for issuing a recall.

Following lunch, there will be a tabletop exercise where instructors will walk participants through the scenario of a Class I food recall. The workshop is limited to 30 participants and the deadline to register is Jan. 19. Cost is $30 and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information, contact Annette Dunlap, agribusiness developer, at (919) 733-7887.