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NCHP: Let's Be Careful Out There This Weekend

The N.C. Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely they will also conserve fuel. There will be an increased presence of Troopers on the interstates and major four lane highways.

Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state.

State Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using LIDAR and other speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. Additionally Troopers will increase patrols on all interstates and major four lane highways during the holiday.

Last year in North Carolina, eight people died and 634 were injured over the July 4th holiday period. The 2009 July 4th holiday begins at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, July 2nd and ends at midnight, Sunday, July 5th.

Troopers will target aggressive drivers who tend to cause the most crashes. The aggressive driver has been identified as those drivers who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to: excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations, and other forms of reckless endangerment.

“I have instructed our troopers to crackdown on traffic violators on our interstates and to apply strict enforcement to those motorists who are traveling at dangerous speeds or in a careless manner,” said Colonel Walter J. Wilson Jr., Highway Patrol Commander. “Our Troopers will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, and other violators while patrolling throughout the state during the holiday week.”

Reuben Young, Secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, said, “We are committed to doing our part to reduce traffic collisions throughout our state. Motorists should do their part by obeying all traffic laws while traveling to their holiday destination.”

Troopers will be participating in the nationwide “Operation C.A.R.E.” (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). “Operation C.A.R.E.” is a coordinated education and enforcement effort involving all Highway Patrol and State Police agencies across the nation. These high visibility patrols during national holiday periods are designed to prevent crashes and ensure voluntary compliance with the motor vehicle laws.

Troopers will also increase their efforts to enforce the state’s litter laws. Troopers will crackdown on litter bugs and keep litter off of North Carolina's roads. Tougher littering laws passed by the N.C. General Assembly first-time offenders can be fined as much as $1,000 and be ordered to perform up to 24 hours of community service. Repeat offenders can get a $2,000 fine and 50 hours community service.

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Beautification maintains the website where litterbug reports can be submitted. The address is . The page can also be found by going to the SHP website at .

Citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.


USDA Celebrates Summer Food Service Program

USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton and Mr. Lanier M. Cansler, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services celebrated the Summer Food Service Program on June 24 at the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education’s Healthy Habits Camp in Raleigh, N.C. by having breakfast with the children. Low-income children from Kindergarten to the 5th grade will now benefit from breakfast, lunch and two snacks every day the camp is in session.

“Many low-income children suffer from a summer vacation ‘nutrition gap,’” Dr. Thornton said. “They receive nutritious meals from the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs (NSLP) during the school year but when school closes for the summer so do most school food service programs. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program helps close the nutrition gap and prevent hunger for children who participate at summer sites in Raleigh and throughout the country.”

During the school year, more than 18.5 million low-income children who participated in the NSLP benefited from free and reduced price meals each day. In the summer, about 1.2 million low-income children eat a school meal while in summer school. Almost 2.2 million more eat breakfasts, lunches or snacks through USDA’s SFSP at parks, schools, camps, churches and other locations. As part of the effort to feed children while on vacation, 1,200 faith-based, community and other private nonprofit organizations operate the SFSP at 7,350 sites across the country. As a summer feeding site, the Poe Center began participating in the program last year with Wake County Public Schools as the sponsor.

“The Summer Food Service Program is a perfect addition to our Healthy Habits camp, where students receive education in addition to nutritious foods,” said Pam Highsmith, CEO of the Poe Center. “The need for good nutrition is crucial for children to have safe and productive summers. This program helps us make the summer a nutritious and healthy experience for children in our community and provide them with nutritious meals they might not otherwise receive.”

The SFSP was created by Congress in 1968 to ensure that children in low-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months when they were not in school. Although the program has been operating for more than 40 years, there still aren’t enough sponsors and feeding sites in many communities. Even though more than 20,000 school districts operate the National School Lunch Program in more than 96,000 schools, only a small number of these school districts sponsor the SFSP. Children need good nutrition all year long. Organizations like the Poe Center are helping North Carolina children be prepared to start the new school year healthy, alert and ready to learn. To find out how you can help improve access to summer meals by becoming a sponsor or partnering with an existing sponsor in your community, contact the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at (919) 707-5799 or visit


Wilkesboro To Get $ For Water System Study

Senator Steve Goss announced today that the Town of Wilkesboro has been awarded a grant of $26,650 to fund a Water System Audit and Leak Detection Study. The grant comes from the North Carolina Rural Center.

This project will conduct a water audit and a leak detection survey of the water distribution system. Following the leak detection survey, a targeted audio investigation will pinpoint potential leaks. Wilkesboro is losing 12.5% of the water produced, but the loss percentage may be higher due to the complexity of the town's distribution system. Only 25% of the water produced is used by the town; 51% goes to industry and 24% goes to water associations.

Created in 1987, the North Carolina Rural Center operates a multi-faceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations. Its mission is to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. The center serves the state's 85 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center is a private, non-profit organization, funded by both public and private sources and led by a 50-member board of directors.

For further information: call Steve Goss (919) 733-5742, or go to


Elkin Trib: Residents aren't happy with road patch; maybe worse than before

A number of residents of Oak Grove Road clearly are not happy.

Their road recently underwent a repaving process called a "skin patch" and some residents say the job was poorly done and incomplete.

"From my understanding, (the Department of Transportation) put something down," Oak Grove Road resident Travis Hurt said . "All I know is, they put the blacktop down last week."

The Rev. James Hayes, who said he used to pave roads when he was younger, spoke of a conversation he had with the work crew.

"When the crew came through, were they prepared to pave?" Hayes said. "They didn't know. They were there to 'skin patch.'"

Hayes clearly was not impressed. To him, he said, the crew did not put a lot of effort into the job and called it a mess. He added that only a couple of passes were made with a roller to compact the asphalt; up one side of the road and down the other.

"It looks incomplete to me," he said. "The road looked better before."

Wallice Hairston was in agreement.

"It needs some work," he said. "More can be done."

According to Hairston, he spoke with a representative with the D.O.T. stationed in Dobson. He wanted to learn whether more would be done. He was told that no additional work would be done on the road, and that part of the reason was a lack of funding.

Curtis Riggins, with the D.O.T. , confirmed finances were an issue. However, the skin patch was all that had been scheduled.

"We do that to extend the life of the road," said Riggins.

He added that a more extensive repaving was done a number of years earlier, when the road was regutted, as another reason why no further work had been scheduled.

Mark Williams, with the D.O.T. in Dobson, disagreed with Hayes's assessment.

The work that had been done was because the road was beginning to break apart in a manner called "alligator cracking." He said it was similar when a patch of ground loses all moisture and becomes parched. The cracking begins to resemble alligator skin.

Williams also said the skin patch has a respectable lifespan.

"It can be down for several years," he said.

The only thing left to do, he said, was for the road to be restriped. Williams said he filed the paperwork and hoped that the striping would soon be done. He also said that sealant was applied, but that does not satisfy Hairston and others.

"The sealant makes it look good, but I'm not into cosmetics," said Hairston. "I just want whoever's responsible to monitor it to make it properly."

Hayes believes part of the problem is "attitude," and not just on the part of the D.O.T., but on the part of the City of Elkin.

Hayes said the predominantly-black neighborhood was the last to be incorporated into city limits, and in the process has been stigmatized. At one time, he said, Oak Grove Road was a part of CC Camp Road. Only after the bypass was built was the name changed.

Hayes pointed to a place in the bend of the road. A house used to be there. Now all that was left was a dangerous hole.

He spoke of one incident in which a neighborhood child fell into the hole while trying to retrieve a ball, despite the presence of a cloth fence.

Hayes said he has brought up the subject with the property owners and was that the owners could do with it whatever they wanted. He said he did not get any satisfaction about the issue when dealing with members of the town council. Hayes speculated that if the hole had been dug up in a more affluent neighborhood, the reaction would be much different. Hayes added that it always appears that in order to get anything done, the neighborhood has to sacrifice.

"We always have to give in order to get," he said.


NCHP Gets Re-Accredited with CALEA

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has successfully achieved reaccreditation according to the national Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.

In addition to the reaccreditation announcement today, the commission recognized the N.C. Highway Patrol as a Flagship Agency, one that is an extraordinary example of excellence in an accredited law enforcement agency.

The presentation of reaccreditation and the Flagship Agency certification will be made to the Highway Patrol in August at the CALEA annual conference in Hampton, Va. This is the second time the N.C. Highway Patrol has been named a Flagship Agency.

“This is a great honor for all of our employees – the uniformed officers, the civilian personnel, and all those who work so hard in support of this initiative,” said Colonel Walter J. Wilson, Jr., Commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. “Being reaccredited and recognized as a Flagship agency means that we have continued to achieve the goal we sought for so long – to remain one of the best in the nation.”

CALEA evaluates law enforcement agencies based on 459 standards including all policies and procedures, organization and management, law enforcement operations, personnel administration, and support services. After the on-site visit, the assessors submitted a formal, written report of their on-site activities to the Commissioners. The final report reflected compliance with all applicable standards and with required on-site activities.

CALEA has been in existence for more than 20 years. It was established by the nation’s four leading executive organizations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum. With its 2,300 employees, the Highway Patrol is the largest police organization in North Carolina to be accredited.


Duke Not Cheap For A Reason...

Coach K remains Duke University's highest-paid employee.

The school's most recent IRS documents were obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. They show that Duke paid men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski more than $3.6 million during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008.

The Hall of Fame coach made about $2.2 million during the previous year.

Krzyzewski's current salary is about 3½ times that of Duke's next highest-paid employee. Dr. Ralph Snyderman, the university's chancellor emeritus, made about $983,000.

Former women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors, who's now at Texas, also made the school's list of top earners. Duke paid her nearly $500,000 in deferred compensation.

The salaries were first reported by The Herald-Sun of Durham.


SC Gov Sanford Admits Affair And Reason For Being AWOL

After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. He apologized to his wife and four sons and said he will resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.

"I've let down a lot of people, that's the bottom line," the 49-year-old governor said at a news conference where he choked up as he ruminated with remarkable frankness on God's law, moral absolutes and following one's heart. His family did not attend.

The woman, who lives in Argentina, has been a "dear, dear friend" for about eight years but, Sanford said, the relationship didn't become romantic until a little over a year ago. He's seen her three times since then, and his wife found out about it five months ago.

He told reporters he spent "the last five days of my life crying in Argentina" and the affair is now over. Sanford, a rumored 2012 presidential candidate, refused to say whether he'll leave office.

"What I did was wrong. Period," he said.

Questions about Sanford's whereabouts arose early this week. For two days after reporters started asking questions, his office had said he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trial.

Cornered at the Atlanta airport by a reporter, Sanford revealed Wednesday morning that he'd gone to Argentina for a seven-day trip.

When news first broke about his mysterious disappearance, first lady Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press she did not know where her husband had gone for the Father's Day weekend.

Sanford's announcement came a day after another prominent Republican, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, apologized to his GOP Senate colleagues after revealing last week that he had an affair with a campaign staffer and was resigning from the GOP leadership.

Sanford, first elected governor in 2002, has more than a year remaining in his second term and is barred by state law from running again.

He emerged Wednesday afternoon at a news conference and it took more than a few minutes into his address before he got to the crux of what had happened. He spoke of his love of hiking and how he used to guide trips along the Appalachian Trail -- and only then tearfully apologized to his wife, his staff and his friends.

"I hurt a lot of different folks," he said, occasionally choking up throughout the news conference that lasted about 20 minutes.

A former three-term congressman, Sanford most recently snared headlines for his unsuccessful fight to turn aside federal stimulus cash for his state's schools. His vocal battle against the Obama administration -- and libertarian, small-government leanings -- won praise from conservative pundits. Ultimately, a state court order required him to take the money.

Sanford was born May 28, 1960, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the eldest of four siblings. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Furman University in 1983 and a master's of business administration from the University of Virginia in 1988.

After working for a couple of years in the


WXII: Kids Galore In WS Closes; Parents Left Holding Bag

Dozens of parents are upset, alleging that they paid hundreds of dollars to Kids Galore on Reynolda Road expecting loads of summer fun for their children, only to have the business close unexpectedly.

The parents said the business promised them games, activities, sports and classes to keep their kids busy.

Carol Turowski paid $720 for her 8-year-old daughter to attend summer day camp at Kids Galore, formerly known as The Little Gym. When she and other parents showed up Monday morning, the storefront was deserted and a "closed" sign had been hung on the door.

"It's very frustrating. You feel as if you have been duped," Turowski said. "Everybody had the same stunned look on their faces as if the rug had literally been pulled from under them."

Some parents said they paid as much as $1,700, when the business was known as The Little Gym, to enroll their children in camp for the entire summer.

The parents said that they were told the gym's owner and name were changing, but their contract would be honored.

"We had no inkling whatsoever there was any problems," Turowski said.

Melissa Schrock, the business's former manager, said she hasn't received a paycheck in more than a month and that the new owner told her she would have to sue to get it.

Efforts by WXII to find paperwork identifying the name of the new owner were unsuccessful.

Documents at the Forsyth County Register of Deeds contain no record of a business named Kids Galore. There are documents that show that The Little Gym was owned by Dana Holloway.

Holloway said she sold or transferred the business in May to her half-brother, Nick Coley, who was supposed to file the proper paperwork with the city.

Calls to Coley were not immediately returned late Wednesday afternoon.

Holloway said she feels sorry for the dilemma the parents are finding themselves in, but said she no longer has anything to do with the business.

"We are all scurrying around at the last minute, desperate for child assistance," Turowski said.


Elkin Trib: New Health Service In Surry Co

When Eldon Rogers took ill, an important service to many came to a temporary halt.

Rogers had coordinated the North Carolina Worker Health Program for Surry County, a health clinic for migrant workers laboring on farms in Surry, Yadkin and Stokes counties. When his health necessitated his stepping down in December 2007, a void was created that was not filled until April 2008, when Richard Contreras was appointed farm worker coordinator.

For Contreras, this was his first job in the public sector.

"I had never done this before," he said.

He faced a steep learning curve, with much to learn in order to bring himself current and up to speed. Consequently, it was not possible to get the necessary arrangements in place to conduct the health clinic for 2008; something Contreras was not pleased about.

"They (the migrant workers) would ask me, would they have a night clinic?"

Clinics in the past were held in the evening because harvesting was (and is) done during daylight hours.

A year later, the health clinic has been re-established, and Contreras will be assisted by summer intern Lisa Carroll, who currently is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning dual degrees, one a master's in public health, and an M.D. degree.

"We're starting this health clinic two nights per month," said Carroll.

The clinic is for agricultural workers only, she said, and the cost starts at $15 and is on a sliding scale.

"A person has to bring a check stub or some sort of proof they work in agriculture," said Carroll. "If they don't have a pay stub, a letter from the farmer stating his name, plus the name of the employee and how much he or she is paid is acceptable."

Carroll added that in addition to the clinic, a health fair will be conducted from 1 - 4 p.m. July 5 at Iglesia Baptist Bethel Church, 1313 Tennessee Street, Yadkinville.

At the health fair, information on health and nutrition, as well as mini-health assessments (such as blood pressue monitoring) will take place. The health fair will be conducted in conjunction with the Surry and Yadkin county health departments said Carroll.

In addition to the twice-monthly health clinics and the health fair, Contreras provides assistance to migrant workers through an outreach program in which he goes to farms and conducts on-site assessments. Some of which he does in that capacity is help address health concerns, as well as coordinate matters such as arranging and providing transportation.

Health clinic dates/hours

All clinics will be held from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Surry County Health and Nurtition Center, 118 Hamby Road, Dobson. Dates are:

• July 8

• July 22

• Aug. 12

• Aug. 26

• Sept. 9

• Sept. 23

• Oct. 14

• Oct. 28

For more information on the clinics and the health fair, please call 401-8573


Wilkes County Extended School Days

“Thinking outside the box” is how NC Senator Steve Goss described the proposal by Wilkes County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Laws to extend school days to save money and hopefully save jobs.

There is a proposal by Wilkes County School Supt. Steve Laws to extend the school day 45-minutes. This morning, I talked with NC Senator Steve Goss who is working on the proposal. Senator Goss says this is because of the downturn in the budget and the need to save teacher's jobs by saving money. Wilkes is one of the largest counties with the much money spent each year on bus routes. By lengthening the days by 45-minutes they could shorten the school year by 18 days. This would provide for longer holidays, too, such as a week for Thanksgiving and a 4-day Memorial Day weekend.

Goss is working on the new proposal as a "Pilot Program" that would be attached to the current NC Budget also being debated at this time. If attached to the budget and passed the new Pilot Program would begin in August of this year.

The budget process is ongoing. Goss was in Wilkes on Saturday and met with about 25 citizens. He explained the about the current budget debate and took note of concerns from people in Wilkes.

Goss is still working on the "Pilot Program" for the schools in Wilkes with the extended days. It hasn't been finalized yet