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News Index

Foxx: Anti-Bailout Measure "A Coup"

There's dissension concerning whether the House's approval yesterday of a bill sponsored by Fifth-District Representative Virginia Foxx was purely symbolic, or actually had meaning. As we told you yesterday afternoon, the bill passed overwhelmingly, by a 270-to-155 margin. Congresswoman Foxx says the joint resolution now goes to the Senate for consideration, but national media are reporting the action by the Senate last week has already preempted the House move. Foxx, in an interview with 3WC's Angela Henley yesterday, said the passage still sent a strong message:

She went on to explain the lack of oversight in the bailout bill:

The confusion over the meaning of the vote comes from Senate action approving the bailout payment last week. But Foxx believes that because fiscal bills are required by the Constitution to originate in the House, the Senate will have to hold another vote to support or deny the House's action.


Foxx "Bailout Stopper" Bill Passes House

The legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) that would remove Congressional approval for the second $350 billion of the $700 billion TARP bailout, passed the House of Representatives today. The bipartisan legislation passed the House by a vote of 270-155. The legislation is designed to take advantage of a provision in the 2008 bailout law that allows Congress to “disapprove” of the second half of the bailout.During debate on the measure, Foxx had this to say:

If taken up and passed by the U.S. Senate the bill would bring the TARP bailout to an end. A similar measure in the Senate failed last week on a mostly party-line vote.


High School Musical in Wilkes

Tonight, Wilkes Playmakers production of Disney's "High School Musical" opens at Benton Hall. “This is the most excited I’ve seen the teenagers in a long time,” said Karen Reynolds, who directs the show. “They have begged me to do it for years." Tickets are $15 for Adults and $12 for students and seniors and group rates are available for groups of 10 or more upon request. And ticket sales are “brisk,” according to Reynolds. Evening shows are set for Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm the next two weeks, with Sunday afternoon performances both weeks at 2pm.


Big Business Has Started in Wilkes; Now Officials Want to Help Small Businesses

North Wilkesboro could become a hub for entrepreneurs, if an effort to start a business incubator succeeds. An incubator provides some services to startup businesses, including such things as secretarial help, advice and counseling, and sometimes other services. One of the biggest advantages for the small business owner taking part in an incubator is in the access to other small business owners. Oftentimes starting a business can be a lonely experience, and the support of others doing the same kinds of things can make all the difference int he world to an entrepreneur. North Wilkesboro's effort would put to use a building that currently site empty on Cherry Street. The town board agreed this week to allow manager Hank Perkins to seek informal proposals to start a business incubator. "The concept is if you can create 10 businesses that employ 10 people each, that's the same as a business that employs 100 people," said Commissioner Jeffrey Elmore, who presented the concept to his fellow commissioners at their monthly work session Tuesday. "If one of those 10 businesses goes under, you only lose 10 jobs," he said. "That’s versus a big entity going out of business."The Journal-Patriot reports that a small business incubator exists at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, which helped create several small businesses there and would serve as a model for an incubator in Wilkes County. A feasibility study costing between $2,500 and $5,000 will need to be conducted by the town before the incubator can be established. Elmore said the incubator would need someone on staff to run it, who could come from Wilkes Community College or another government agency.


NW Adult Day Care Center Signs VA Contract

The Black­burn Adult Day Care Center in North Wilkesboro has agreed to a contract with the Veterans Administration to cover the daily cost of adult care for veterans. In a news rlease, center director Kim Bridgeman said, "this has been a major breakthrough for veterans in Wilkes and surrounding counties. Many families struggle with caring for their loved one, but there is help available." The center, at 1915 W. Park Drive, is a nonprofit agency that opened last fall. Hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.


Group Wants to Rescue Some Pit Bulls

Best Friends Animal Society, one of the country's largest animal sanctuaries, is offering to pay an expert to assess more than 127 pit bulls owned by Wilkes County, to spay or neuter those dogs deemed adoptable, and to network with rescue groups to place the dogs in homes. The dogs were seized from the owner of Wildside Kennels, Ed Faron during a raid Dec. 10 at his house off Mertie Road in Wilkes County. The county now owns the dogs after Faron to meet a deadline a week ago to pay 53-thousand dollars for their care. County officials have said that if Faron is convicted of dogfighting, the dogs will be euthanized. He's due in court in March. The Winston-Salem Journal reports tha animal-advocacy groups differ about whether pit bulls bred or trained for fighting can be successfully adopted as pets.


United Way to Fall Short of Goal

They set an aggressive goal, given the economic times, and Wilkes United Way officials report they believe they'll fall short this year. Several companies have yet to complete their campaigns, and Executive Director Rick Stegall says that and a general tightening of donations because of the economy will leave them somewhere around 150-thousand dollars or more short of their one million dollar goal. If they miss the goal by 20-percent, Stegall tells the Journal Patriot as many as 5-thousand people may not receive the help they need. The United Way board will meet Friday to determine how much to allocate for distributing among recipient agencies. Another meeting Monday will help determine amounts for individual agencies. “It’s a tough market,” said Stegall. “It’s difficult to ask people to give in this environment but I know that the citizens of Wilkes County are generous. We take care of our own. If we all work together, we reduce the number of our neighbors who will have to do without the help they need.” Although the 2008-09 campaign officially ended on Dec. 31, he said, “gifts are still being counted and accepted. We fund raise year-round.” The previous year’s campaign raised $1,008,357, about 95-percent of their goal.


Two Shoplifters Arrested

Wilkesboro police have arrested two people for shoplifting, after incidents reported within hours of one another recently at Wal-Mart. In reports released yesterday, police detailed the arrests which happened a week ago today. In both cases, store security personnel had detained a person who had picked up several items and then tried to leave the store without paying. 28- year old Michael Smithey was arrested for allegedly taking more than 100-dollars worth of clothing from the store, mostly jeans. Smithey had been banned from the store after a previous shoplifting incident, so he was charged with trespassing in addition to the theft. 26-year old Brittny Chante Carlton was arrested for allegedly stealing a DVD and two batteries for a cordless phone, together worth 35-dollars.


Mailbox Vandals 

For some time, we've had other things going on and haven't been able to get around to reporting an ongoing crime problem in Wilkes -- mailbox vandalism. Deputies reported two cases recently, in reports released yesterday. The first was last Thursday at a home on Pleasant Ridge Road owned by Nick Woodruff. he called deputies early Thursday morning to report damage to the mailbox, which he says was fine when he saw it about 6:30 the evening before. Someone had come by int eh night and hit the mailbox with something -- deputies don't know if it was a bat, a stick or some other object. Woodruff doesn't report hearing anything during the night, and deputies presently have no suspects.Monday morning about 10, Ralph Langley walked outside to find his mailbox had been stolen off the post in front of his home on Colony Drive North. Deputies say he found it a short distance away, and was unable to offer any suspect information.


Cigarettes Stolen in Store Burglary

A person delivering newspapers was the first to come upon evidence that a local business had been broken into recently. Deputies were called to the Junction, a store in the 68-hundred block of White Plains Road, about 5:15 in the morning last Thursday. Someone had used a claw hammer to force entry to the store -- then left the hammer laying behind on the counter as they ran off. Deputies are trying to fingerprint the hammer to give a clue as to who might have broken in. The store reports 48 cartons of cigarettes stolen, along with lighters and another 40 or so individual packs of smokes. Total loss in the burglary is more than 2-thousand dollars, including the damage to the door frame. A deputy says he had checked the store several hours earlier and found it secure, so the time of the break-in is sometime between 1am and 5am last Thursday. So far, deputies have identified no suspects.