It’s odd how thieves go from stealing one thing to another. Here in Wilkes, some of the items that top the list of thieves are copper, prescriptions, and recently….batteries. Over the weekend, a Millers Creek resident reported the theft of two diesel truck batteries. The stolen batteries valued at 200 dollars were taken from a vehicle parked inside his garage at the time of the theft. There are no leads or suspects at this time. As 3WC has already reported, a victim from Hays told Sheriff’s Deputies that there had been multiple thefts from his property including one last week where 3 batteries were stolen off his road tractors parked on his property in North Wilkesboro. Also a Boomer man returned home with his father and brother when he saw two men attempting to steal the batteries from his dump truck. Those two men were captured and arrested by Sheriff’s Deputies.
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Speaking of odd things to steal, how about a stolen radiator? Maybe the thief needed the part for his motor or maybe they just wanted to sell it for scrap. In either case, a Boomer resident called the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department when he discovered the theft. The radiator was cut off the victim’s 4-cylindar generator that was in his shed. There were tracks leading to the shed and nothing else was reported stolen. The stolen radiator is valued at 150 dollars.
The Child Abuse Prevention Team and Our House "COATS FOR KIDS" drive is underway through the end of the month. You are asked to donate any size new or slightly used coats, jackets, and sweaters. Simply bring the coats to either of the Drop-off points which are: Wilkesboro Cleaners and both locations of Hourglass Cleaners today through October 31, 2011. When all the coats, jackets, and sweaters are collected and cleaned then Hope Ministry will distribute them during their annual Toy Store. For more information concerning Coats for Kids call Our House at 667-5555.
The Wilkes County Board of Education is meeting tonight in the Lakey Boardroom of their offices on Cherry Street in North Wilkesboro. There’s some good news on the agenda including recognition of the Wilkes County Little League Softball Team. Members of the team will be at there. Wilkes County’s Outstanding Elementary Math Teacher will also be named and honored at tonight’s meeting. Some action items on the agenda of the Board of Education meeting this evening include beginning a teacher support plan, community use of facilities policy, Mulberry land transfer, and purchase of land at East Wilkes High. On the calendar this month for Wilkes County Schools: the first grading period ends October 12, optional teacher workday on October 13, no school October 14, and the second grading period begins October 17.
In a press release from North Carolina Right to Life--the ACLU, Planned Parenthood of Central Carolina, and various abortionists filed a suit last week against North Carolina’s recently enacted Woman’s Right to Know law. The law requires abortionists to turn the ultrasound image toward the mother, but does not require her to look at the image. The description of the image is supposed to be scientifically accurate and consistent with what the image shows. The abortionist must offer the mother the opportunity to hear the heart tone of her unborn child but does not force her to listen to it. The Woman’s Right to Know law, supported by the majority of North Carolinians, would have taken effect beginning on October 1, 2011.
Wilkes County isn’t the only place where copper is being stolen at an ever increasing rate. Believe it or not, copper wire thefts are increasing to the point that Department of Homeland Security has gotten involved. DHS officials warn that copper thefts from critical infrastructure and key resource sectors in the United States are on the rise. Record copper prices have resulted in an increase of at least 50 percent in thefts in 2010 compared to the previous year. Here in Wilkes we have also had an increase in copper thefts including reports that have come in this week. Wednesday Wilkesboro Police responded to a call from Pizza Hut on School Street. Someone had broken into two trailers at the construction site for Pizza Hut. Locks had been cut off and doors pried open. Taken in the theft was 11 complete rolls and 2 partial rolls of copper valued at 1500 dollars. DeWalt power tools and batteries were also stolen. In all nearly 3000 dollars in property was stolen with 250 dollars in damages. Wilkesboro Police were also called to Wilkes Telecommunications. Someone had cut the fence to get in to the back of the property. Thieves attempted to pry open the doors on utility trucks but were not successful. The only thing stolen was a 300 dollar roll of copper wire. Damages to trucks were estimated at 500 dollars. A screwdriver was found at the scene and seized as evidence. Wilkesboro Police are going to review a surveillance video for possible leads on suspects. Then, a Wilkesboro resident who has a house under construction on the Oak Grove Church Road called the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department to report a theft. Some time Tuesday night, someone stole a 1000 dollars in copper wire from the new house. There are no suspects; the Sheriff’s Department is investigating. According to the NY Times, copper reached an all time high this year of 4 dollars a pound which is up from just over a dollar per pound in 2009.
If it’s the first weekend in October, then it must be Apple Festival time in North Wilkesboro. The Annual Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is one of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. Over 100 civic, church and other non-profit organizations participate in the festival. The streets of downtown North Wilkesboro, NC are filled with over 425 arts and crafts, 100 food concessions, 4 different music stages consisting of Blue Grass, Country, Folk, Gospel, and Appalachian Heritage. There’s live entertainment, Appalachian Heritage crafts are highlighted, and there is apples, apples, and more apples. Local apple growers set up throughout the festival selling their apples, apple cider, and dried apples. The Annual Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is free and is Saturday in downtown North Wilkesboro, NC from 8 AM to 5 PM. Pre-festival activities begin with “Apple Jam" at 6:00 PM tonight with "live entertainment" at the Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club’s Brushy Mountain Apple Festival Park on the corner of 10th and Main Streets downtown North Wilkesboro.
For a number of years, Wilkes County has been at the forefront of the epidemic of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdoses. In North Carolina in 1999 there were 3.5 accidental overdose deaths from prescription meds per 100,000 people. By 2008 that number had jumped to 11.5 per 100,000. According to the CDC, something is considered an epidemic when it exceeds 8 deaths per 100,000. So, since 2003 NC has been at epidemic levels of preventable prescription drug deaths with Wilkes County leading the way statistically. However, several in the community including local law enforcement, the Health Dept, local churches, Child Abuse Prevention Team, DSS, Wilkes County Schools, and Project Lazarus have responded to the problem in Wilkes. One solution was to prevent doctor shopping locally where someone can get multiple prescriptions for pain medicine. Doctors in Wilkes are now all using a database system that logs each prescription for everyone. Yesterday, a Community Forum was held at the Stone Family Center to provide a time of reporting, defining how and what has been accomplished, acknowledging those involved, revealing the current status of the county and state, and our next steps in battling the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. According to Nabarun Dasgupta of Project Lazarus, Wilkes is now headed in the right direction. The number of overdoses and ER visits is greatly reduced. The things learned here in Wilkes through our battle against prescription drug abuse are now being shared through Project Lazarus with other counties in the state in hopes of eliminating this epidemic statewide. Several people attended Thursday’s Forum including pastors, local law enforcement, and State Representative Shirley Randleman.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1142 Commander Pat McNeil and the Ladies Auxiliary have announced the kick off of this year’s Patriots Pen Essay Competition. Students in 6 – 8th grades in public, private, home, and parochial schools are eligible to compete to win thousands of dollars in US Savings Bonds and a trip to Washington, DC. Each year more than 120,000 students participate in the Patriot’s Pen Competition where they write a 300 to 400 word essay on a patriotic theme. This year’s theme is “Are You Proud of Your Country?” Deadline is November 1. Interested students and teachers should contact Maebelle Nance, VFW Ladies Auxiliary Youth Activities at 984-4292.
The N.C. Department of Transportation seeks proposals starting Oct. 3 for private engineering firms to design replacements for 187 bridges. NCDOT will commit $450 million over two years on state-funded bridge projects. Bidding out the design contracts for 187 bridges in more than 40 counties stimulates the private sector economy, and will help these projects move quickly. Gov. Perdue said, “Workers are needed to do design and construction, and these projects improve our ability to move people and goods efficiently, expanding our economy.” One of those bridge projects is local as the DOT is planning to replace bridge no. 5 over Little Hunting Creek on SR 2418 (Mitchell Mill Road) in Wilkes County. This is a 0.1 mile long project on a two lane road and will utilize an off-site detour for traffic control. The tentative schedule shows the right of way date is February 2013 and the Let date is August 2013. In addition to the design work being advertised now, NCDOT will initiate improvement, enhancement or replacement of another 1,000 bridges during this same two-year period. For a complete list of bridge projects go to www.ncdot.gov .