Shoutbox

To Submit Info For The Trading Post

Email: tradingpost@hometownchristianradio.com,

Text: 336-355-4876

Mail to: PO Box 580, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.

You may also call during the show, Mon-Friday 9:10-9:30am,  Saturday, 9:05-9:30am 336-838-9992

Request Music

You pick them and Grady Johnson plays them Saturday from 7am-9am. 

Advertise On Hometown Christian Radio

Our advertisers get RESULTS! Contact us for all of the details on how to get your message out to the 3WC listeners. 336-838-1241

Reach the World

Ask us about a Saturday or Sunday ministry broadcast on Hometown Christian Radio 3WC. 

Public File

Follow Us on Twitter!
Join us on Facebook!
News Index

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

Monday
Jul242006

News & Sports For July 24th


Search Over For Florida Couple At Stone Mountain

The search is over for two missing hikers at Stone Mountain. 44-yr-old John R. Patterson and 35-yr-old Julia Martinez both disappeared last Friday around noon after going to the park for a picnic lunch. Officials spent most of the weekend searching for the two hikers, who were in Wilkes from Miami Florida visiting with family. Just after 10am this morning, the pair were located and taken to the hospital for evaluation. We'll have more on the story as it becomes available.


Fire Burns Local Home

Three fire departments were called out to a structure fire Thursday night in Traphill. The blaze happened at 3125 Traphill Road with Mountain View, Traphill and Mulberry departments all responding to the blaze. Wilkes Fire Marshal Nikki Hamby was also called out to the scene, to help determine what caused the place to go up in flames. According to Fire Marshal Hamby, lightning during Thursday’s storms struck the roof of the building and ignited the fire. Before firefighters could arrive on the scene, most of the roof and also portions of the living room had been burned to the ground. There were sections of the home left standing, but the damage is believed to be too extensive to repair. The fire was called in by a man who was mowing grass on the property. He had just left to go home when the lightning struck.

Blood Drives Going On Today

1500 pints of blood are needed each day in hospitals and clinics, not just here in Wilkes County but across the state. However as we approach the end of July, the local supply has fallen into critical levels. There is currently just over one day’s supply for O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative here in Wilkes. To help solve the problem, a blood drive is going on today at the Wilkesboro Civic Center from 2-6:30pm. You can either just drop by or set up an appointment by calling 838-4563.

Sprint Equipment Stolen On Hwy 421

Thieves ran off with several thousand dollars worth of Sprint equipment last Thursday. A Spring employee was working to repair the phone line at a residence on Old Hwy 421 when he left to get some needed tools. He returned about 10 minutes later and the equipment he had left behind was missing. Witnesses in the area gave deputies a description of a man in a blue car, who pulled up, grabbed the equipment and left. An estimated $3500 worth of equipment was stolen and the investigation continues.

Thieves Run Off With Local Man’s Mower
A North Wilkesboro man got a surprise when he went to cut his grass last Thursday. Someone had stolen his mower. The incident happened on the Fairplains Ridge Road but despite the theft, no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything. There was also no sign of a break-in and no damage done on the man’s property. That investigation is ongoing.

Gas Thieves Hit Local Home
A Millers Creek woman fell prey to gas thieves late last week. According to an eyewitness, a blond woman and a dark haired man walked up to the woman’s house on Tumbling Shoals Road and into her carport. They picked up a gas can and started pouring the gas into a container, before grabbing a lawn chair and running off. A description of both suspects and their vehicle were given to deputies and a short time later they were caught just off the North Minton Road. Along with the woman’s chair and gas there were items that had been stolen from several other local homes. 38-yr-old Ronnie Anglin and 24-yr-old Amanda Dawn Inscoe were arrested and charged with larceny.

Two Cars Totaled On Hwy 421

Two cars were totaled in a wreck last Thursday on Hwy 421 in Wilkesboro. The incident happened just before noon as a Chapel Hill woman was stopped at a red light. The driver behind her, a Jefferson man, didn’t realize that the light was red until it was too late to avoid a crash. Thankfully no one was injured in the wreck however an estimated $13,500 worth of damage was done.

More Toyota Vehicles Recalled
The bad news keeps coming for Toyota owners, as still more vehicles are being called back. The auto maker announced plans over the weekend to recall 157,000 pickup trucks due to a safety issue. All 2003, 2004 and 2005 models of the Toyota Tundra are involved in the recall. The problem is that some of the vehicles don’t have anchors so that child safety seats can be attached in the front seat. Customers can take the vehicles back to the dealer they got it from for a full repair.

3WC Up For Several Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting this month, the station has been honored with several more award nominations. The list of TOP 10 Nominees for The 2006 Southern Gospel Music Awards has been released and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at www.thesoutherngospel.com .

Vandals Strike Across Wilkesboro
Vandals targeted people staying at two Wilkesboro hotels over the weekend. At both the Red Carpet Inn and Addison Inn, customers came outside on Friday to find the tires had been slashed on their vehicles. All total, an estimated $650 worth of damage was done. No one could recall hearing or seeing anyone hanging outside in the parking lot at either location. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

Regional News

Surry Men Busted For Trafficking Meth
Two men have been arrested in Surry County on charges of trafficking meth. On Thursday of last week, police arrested 18-yr-old Martin Alejandro of Elkin and 24-yr-old Carlos David Soriano-Enriquez of Lowgap within 6 hours of each other. Both stand accused of trafficking meth after more than 28 grams of the drug was found in their possession. Both men are in the Surry County jail, with bond set at one million dollars.

State News

Jobs Coming To Catawba
There’s good news today for people in Catawba County, as more jobs are headed to the region. Target announced plans on Friday to build its’ regional distribution center in Newton, a project which will cost $90 million and bring in a reported 580 jobs. Construction will begin in the summer of 2007 with a target completion date set for June of 2009. The first 450 workers will be hired beginning in January of 2009 and if the company’s job targets are met, state officials have pledged an estimated $7 million in incentives.

Man Dies After Chase
The SBI is investigating today after a man died in police custody in Chatham County. Just after 5am Sunday morning, police were called out to the Chatham County Courthouse, as a man was reported to be causing a disturbance there. When officers got to the scene, 37-yr-old Shannon Johnson jumped into his truck and led them on a high speed chase down U.S. 64. Just west of Asheboro, Johnson lost control and wrecked his truck, being placed under arrest after a brief struggle. However soon after his arrest, Johnson started having problems breathing and fell unconscious, later being pronounced dead at the Randolph County Hospital. Johnson’s body has been sent to the Chief Medical Examiner’s office as the SBI and Highway Patrol investigate the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

John Deere Workers Out Of A Job
The high gas prices mean bad news for workers at one John Deere plant here in North Carolina. Officials at the Fuquay-Varina plant announced on Friday that the rising price of gas is cutting into their business and steps have to be taken to correct the problem. 500 workers are being asked to take a three month leave of absence without pay to help the company save money.

Teens Arrested For Stealing From Animal Hospital
Raleigh police have arrested two teens for stealing from the local animal hospital. Stephen Vorwerk worked at the Swift Creek Animal Hospital and used his position to steal an estimated $4000 worth of pain medication from the facility with the help of a friend, Kaylyn McCracken. Police are still unclear exactly how and when the medication was taken.

Sports Headlines

UNC Lands Football Recruit
The UNC Tarheels added another name to their recruiting list in football, as Chris Gray committed to the school. The rising high school senior from Landrum South Carolina is a 6’5 ft. 245 lb. offensive and defensive lineman. He runs a 5.0 in the 40 yard dash and was named to the All Region team by coaches. Gray is expected to play offensive tackle at UNC, turning down offers from Ball State and Gardner Webb to attend the school.

Heels To Lose Three Players

But the news wasn’t all good for the Heels, as they lost three other players from the football team. Defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell will not enroll at the university for his junior season due to some off field issues, according to the coaching staff. The 6’6 ft. 297 lb. Mitchell recorded 13 tackles and recovered two fumbles while playing in 11 games last season. Meanwhile running back Antwain Carey informed coaches that he’s given up on football, renouncing his scholarship to focus on running track. Fellow running back R.J. Waters has also left the team, as he’s transferring to Norfolk State.

Wake Forest Heading To The Bahamas

In college basketball, Wake Forest is heading to the islands. Skip Prosser announced last week that the team will be playing two games in the Bahamas on September 2nd and 3rd. Under NCAA rules, all teams are allowed to take a trip to a foreign country once every four years. Also the teams are allowed 10 practices before the trip, something that the Wake coaching staff desperately wanted with six incoming freshmen and five other underclassmen. Wake’s opponents for the games have not been announced.

Former Duke Player Gets Second Chance
In the NBA, a former Duke star is getting a second chance at his career. Jason Williams almost died in a motorcycle accident back in 2003 and the resulting nerve damage caused him to be released from his contract with the Chicago Bulls. Now the 24-yr-old Williams is back looking for another chance after extensive rehab. Over the past two months he’s worked out for 10 teams with two expressing their interest. If all goes according to plan, he’ll be in training camp this fall with either Cleveland or possibly the world champion Miami Heat.

Hurricanes Continue To Deal
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes continue to make deals and rebuild their team. They agreed to a one year contract with defenseman J.D. Forrest over the weekend. The 25-yr-old Forrest was a 6th round pick for the Hurricanes back in 2000 but opted to play overseas in Finland, where last season he scored six goals and recorded five assists.

NASCAR Results
On Sunday, it was Denny Hamlin taking the checkered flag in his first ever race at Pocono. Kurt Busch came in second in the Pennsylvania 500, with Jeff Gordon third, Brian Vickers fourth and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Friday
Jul212006

News & Sports For July 21st

Fire Burns Local Home
Three fire departments were called out to a structure fire Thursday night in Traphill. The blaze happened at 3125 Traphill Road with Mountain View, Traphill and Mulberry departments all responding to the blaze. Wilkes Fire Marshal Nikki Hamby was also called out to the scene, to help determine what caused the place to go up in flames. According to Fire Marshal Hamby, lightning during Thursday’s patch of storms struck the roof of the building and ignited the fire. Before firefighters could arrive on the scene, most of the roof and also portions of the living room had been burned to the ground.

Dr. Laws on Schools
Yearly progress reports were released this week for all public schools as part of the No Child Left Behind program. Overall the news was good for Wilkes County, with 17 out of the 21 schools in the district making adequate progress. Coming up today on the 3WC News, we'll be airing parts of Brian's conversation with County Superintendent Dr. Steve Laws, getting his reaction to the report and what is being done on a county level to correct the problems. Also they'll be discussing where we stand with the high school construction project and other achievements made during the past year.

Gas Thieves Target Neighbors
Gas thieves hit another Wilkes County business this week, targeting Neighbors’ Store. A man drove up in a silver Pontiac, pumped just over $35 in gas and then took off down the road without paying. Employees inside were able to get a description of both the driver and vehicle, which was turned over to deputies. That investigation continues.

Animals Need Help In Heat
With all the hot weather this week, it can be easy to forget that our pets have problems dealing with the heat. Cats and dogs don’t have sweat glands, so they succumb to heatstroke a lot quicker than humans. According to Animal Control, there are several heat related symptoms you need to look out for in pets. If your animal starts salivating a lot, excessively panting, experiencing dizziness or begins vomiting, he or she needs to see a vet immediately. Other signs of heat stroke are a high pulse rate and a glassy stare. During the hot weather, Animal Control says to never leave your pet in a car, even with the windows down. Also never leave your pet without food, shelter or water. Here in Wilkes the number for Animal Control is 903-7688.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly
Summertime can also mean problems for the elderly, with rising temperatures leading to sickness and possibly death. With that in mind, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving away fans this summer to any senior citizen that meets their requirements. In order to get a fan, you must be at least 60 years old, live in Wilkes and be served by Duke Power. In addition, your home situation must present a threat to your life without the fans. Applications are being taken from 8:30am til 5pm at the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council office, located at 228 Fairplains School Road. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

Thieves Run Off With Local Woman’s Medication
A run-in with several supposed good Samaritans turned problematic for a North Wilkesboro woman this week. Her car ran out of gas on the Winding Trails Road and soon after, a jeep pulled over and several men got out. They helped move the car to the side of the road and told the woman they could get her some gas. She gave them $5 for the gas and watched as they drove off down the road, never to return. Also she discovered that some pain medication inside the car had gone missing. A description of the men and their vehicle was turned over to deputies and the investigation is ongoing.

Money & Jewelry Taken From Ronda Home
How do you break into a house without leaving behind any evidence? That’s what a Ronda woman wants to know. She returned to her home on the Elkin Hwy Wednesday morning to find $50 in cash and a diamond ring had been taken. Nothing else was missing and there was no damage done to the property, also there was no sign of a break-in. Deputies are continuing the investigation.

3WC Celebrates Anniversary With Concert

Throughout the month of July, 3WC Radio has been celebrating its’ 12th anniversary by giving gifts to the listeners. That will continue tonight with a concert featuring the Greenes. The event will be held at Oakwoods Baptist Church in Wilkesboro free of charge, starting at 7pm. Once again that’s coming up tonight at Oakwoods Baptist Church. And also be sure to tune in August 1st to the John & Ted in the Morning Show, when three names will be randomly selected for trips to Chicago, New York and Atlanta. The names will be chosen from registration slips available at participating businesses.

Thieves Run Off With McGrady Man’s Car
A McGrady man had his car stolen earlier this week. He had gone swimming at an area on the Tumbling Shoals Road and climbed out of the water to find his keys were gone and the car was missing. Information about the car was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and there is a potential suspect in the case. That investigation is ongoing.

State News

FBI Work To Rescue High Point Missionaries
Two North Carolina missionaries being held for ransom were released last night in Haiti. The two men, Tom Barron and William Seastrum were on the way to church Sunday when they were kidnapped by a local group. The FBI worked in connection with State Department officials and people in Haiti to get the men released, as an estimated $100,000 was paid for their freedom. Barron, the pastor of the Mustard Seed church in Haiti and Seastrum are both natives of High Point. So far this month alone, 29 people have been kidnapped in the island nation.

North Carolina Law Deemed Unconstitutional
A North Carolina judge has deemed the state’s law against unmarried couples unconstitutional. Under current law, it’s illegal for an unmarried couple to live together here in the state but on Wednesday State Superior Court Judge Benjamin Alford ordered that to change. Alford said that it was unconstitutional for the state to regulate what happens between two consenting adults in their own home, citing as support a 2003 ruling by the Supreme Court which eliminated an anti sodomy law in Texas.

State Will Have Power To Screen Interpreters
North Carolina courts will soon have the power to perform background checks on interpreters, thanks to a new law. On Wednesday, state lawmakers approved a bill giving complete control of the interpreter program to the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. Currently interpreters are hired by individual judges and background checks are performed only at their request. In addition, there are no yearly evaluations performed and no mandatory screening process to go through. All that will change thanks to the new bill, which also allows court officials to discipline or fire interpreters if problems occur. Gov. Easley is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

Fort Bragg Contractors Under Investigation
Officials at Fort Bragg are investigating several local contractors, in the wake of Tuesday’s arrests at the base. 58 workers were caught trying to get on base with fake IDs and other falsified documents. Now base officials are targeting nine of the twelve companies at work on construction projects in the area. Included in the sweep of workers caught in the sting were a sex offender, a suspected gang member and three fugitives.

Gates Foundation Gives Money For Vaccine

Duke University received money from Bill Gates on Thursday, to help in finding a cure for AIDS. An estimated $46 million in grant money was given to the university, to help continue vaccine research and create a central lab to share data about the virus. The donation is part of an estimated $290 million given out to different groups, in hopes of developing a international network to find a cure.

Sports Headlines

Soccer Sign Up Tomorrow
For any kids wanting to play soccer this fall, the Tri-County League is holding registration. You can stop by the Elkin Recreation Department anytime to pick up a registration form, plus there will be two more days of open enrollment coming up later this month. The next one coming up will be tomorrow, July 22nd, as kids can walk into the Rec Department throughout the day and turn in their forms. There is a fee however. For the 10 and under groups, it’s $35 a person while for kids 11-14, it’s $45. For more information you can call 336-874-2398.

State Lands Baseball Recruit
The NC State baseball team got a shot in the arm this week with the addition of a new recruit. Crest High School star Dusty Quattlebaum announced that he was committing to the team. The 6 ft. 200 lb. third baseman hit 8 home runs this past year at Crest while batting .453. He turned down offers from North Carolina, Clemson and South Carolina to join the Wolfpack, saying that the State team just felt like family.

49ers Suffer Setback In Recruiting
In college basketball, the news wasn’t so good for the UNC Charlotte 49ers as the team may lose one of its’ incoming freshmen. The SAT score of forward An’Juan Wilderness has been red-flagged and officials are reviewing it, to make sure there was no cheating involved. Wilderness’ score went up by several hundred points over the last time he took the test, which caught the attention of SAT officials. If the review process isn’t finished within the next month, the 6’6 ft. 210 lb. freshman will have to sit out this season, as the first day of class is August 21st.

Duke Football Team Deals With Setbacks
The bad news keeps coming for the Duke football team, as one member was suspended this week and three others dismissed. Starting quarterback Zack Asack has been suspended for the season after it was discovered he had plagiarized another student’s work in the classroom. The sophomore won’t be eligible to step back on the football field until next summer, leaving the team with just two scholarship quarterbacks for the upcoming season. In addition, offensive lineman Joe Suder, safety Andreas Platt and wide receiver Deon Adams were all cut from the program for breaking team rules. School officials wouldn’t say what rules were broken.

Wake QB Transferring
The Wake Forest football team will be one man short next season after quarterback Allan Holland announced plans to transfer. The redshirt sophomore spent last season alternating between the third team and serving as a backup to starter Benjamin Mauk. He went 0-1 in his only performance last season, stepping in for a series against Duke and tossing an incomplete pass. Holland is transferring over to Eastern Kentucky and will be eligible to compete for the starter’s job.

Bobcats Sign Harrington

In the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats added another piece to the puzzle, coming to terms with forward Othella Harrington. The 6’9 ft. Harrington has averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds during his 10 year NBA career, having spent the past two with Chicago. GM Bernie Bickerstaff told reporters that Harrington was being brought in for more depth on the bench and also to serve as a mentor to the younger forwards and centers on the team.

Thursday
Jul202006

News & Sports For July 20th

Problems For Wilkes County Schools
There were some problems for Wilkes County schools this week, as Yearly Progress Reports were released. The reports are part of the No Child Left Behind Program, detailing how each individual school performed in regards to reading and secondary math. The math section of the report was delayed due to some mistakes at the state level and won’t be released until October 5th. But the reading reports were released late Tuesday night and show that several schools here in the county have work to do. 17 of Wilkes County’s 21 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress, according to the report, roughly 81% of the system. Out of those 17, 11 were elementary schools, 3 were middle schools and 3 were high schools. On the list of those who failed to meet expectations were CC Wright Elementary, Mulberry Elementary, Central Wilkes Middle and East Wilkes High School. Coming up on the news today, we'll hear from CC Wright principal John Worley and Mulberry principal Helen Johnson about what exactly the problems are and what steps are being taken to correct them.

Meet The Principal At Wilkesboro Elementary
Wilkesboro Elementary was one of the local schools that made progress, according to federal standards. Now the school’s PTO wants to celebrate that achievement and help welcome in the new principal with a meeting tonight. New principal John Parsons will be on hand to talk with parents and students, starting at 6pm. The event runs until 7:30pm tonight with refreshments available in the cafeteria.

Gas Thieves Hit Another Wilkes Business
Gas thieves targeted another Wilkes County business this week. The incident happened Tuesday morning at the Deep Ford Market, where a white man pulled up, pumped $15 worth of gas and then drove off in his car. A description of both the driver and his vehicle was turned over to sheriff’s deputies and the investigation continues.

Lawmakers Cast Votes On Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research has been a controversial topic both here in Wilkes County and across the nation, with both parties seemingly deadlocked on the issue. But one North Carolina senator surprised members of the Republican party this week by breaking ranks and voting to expand research into embryonic stem cells. Senator Richard Burr cast his vote for the measure, as part of the 63-37 majority that approved the bill and sent it to the president’s desk. Burr didn’t issue any press releases or give any reason as to why he voted for the bill. Fellow North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole voted against it and in the House, so did 5th District Representative Virginia Foxx. Wednesday afternoon, President Bush used his veto power for the first time to defeat the measure.

Foxx Aids Support To Fetal Protection Bill
Also in Washington, Congresswoman Foxx helped to pass a bill designed to protect unborn children. The Fetus Farming Prohibition Act would prevent researchers from harvesting fetal tissue from aborted babies that were conceived for that purpose. It later passed the House by a vote of 425-0. The congresswoman sent out a press release saying that she was proud to support a bill designed to “ban the despicable practice of growing human embryos for the purpose of harvesting them”.

Thieves Run Off With Pain Medication
A Ferguson woman was assaulted and robbed earlier this week. Tuesday afternoon, the victim was walking near her home on the Champion Road when she was stopped by another woman. The assailant then threw the woman to the ground and started beating her before grabbing some pain medication from her purse and running off. The victim was able to recognize her attacker and turned over the name and description to sheriff’s deputies. That investigation is ongoing.

Focus On The Internet
All the time we hear horror stories about kids talking with strangers on the internet and then being abducted. But how much of a problem are internet predators? Security expert Vicki Courtney will be Brian’s guest this week for Focus on the Foothills, as they discuss ways that parents and grandparents can keep kids safe while on the net. They’ll be talking about terms parents should know, sites they should be aware of and also some tips to keep the predators at bay. That’s coming up today at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Wilkesboro Man Arrested For Drug Possession
A Wilkesboro man was arrested this week under drug charges. Deputies found 25-yr-old Byron Anthony Parsons on the Elkin Hwy and went to pick him up, as there was a warrant out for his arrest. After getting consent to search, they found 9.5 grams of marijuana and 5.5 grams of crack cocaine in his pockets, along with $177 in cash. In addition to the earlier warrant, Parsons was arrested and charged with drug possession and possession with intent to sell and distribute.

Regional News

Elkin Schools Get AYP Report
Schools in the Elkin District also got a report card on their progress this week, with impressive results. All of the local schools met or exceeded federal requirements for the No Child Left Behind program. Elkin Elementary School met all 11 of its’ target goals, while Elkin High School achieved all 9 of the goals set out this year. The final results for Elkin Middle School have been delayed due to some incorrect data being sent in to state officials, but the preliminary report shows that the school met all 7 of their goals.

State News

Tropical Storm Moving Away
There’s good news for residents of North Carolina, as Tropical Storm Beryl is on the way out. Early predictions were proved wrong on Wednesday, as the storm continued to move away from North Carolina and out into the Atlantic. As of last night, the tropical storm was hitting sustained winds of 40 mph while heading north at a speed of 9 mph. Officials from the National Hurricane Center say that the storm is likely to strengthen over the next 24 hours but it’s unlikely to develop into a full blown hurricane. It’s expected to stay offshore before dissipating over the weekend.

Lawmakers Increase Money For Grant Program
North Carolina lawmakers increased the amount of grant money handed out this week. Due to the state’s Job Development Investment Grant, over 14,000 people have been given work within the last year. The program gives companies a cash grant which equals an amount up to 75% of state withholding taxes based on how many jobs they create. State lawmakers increased the amount of money in the program to $30 million, up from the current amount of $15 million.

Wrightsville Beach Changing The Rules
There’s going to be a change in the rules when people head to Wrightsville Beach next summer. Local officials cleaned up 21 truckloads of trash after the July 4th holiday, with beer cans accounting for most of the garbage. As a result, Town Manager Bob Simpson is ordering a crackdown on alcohol. From now on, police officers won’t ignore evidence of people drinking. If you’re caught with alcohol in hand at the beach, you’ll face possibly up to a $100 fine. During the summer season and on holidays, police will also be out performing random searches of those places deemed alcoholic problem areas.

State’s First Toll Roads Closer To Reality
North Carolina came one step closer to having a toll road this week, with the passage of a bill in the House. If the bill passes the Senate, a toll booth would be set up on I-540 when it’s finished next year. Tolls would also be charged on the segment of interstate in Durham and Wake County running from I-40 to the intersection with NC Hwy 55. The Senate, which has already given partial approval to the bill, takes it back this week for one final vote and then it’ll be sent to Gov. Easley’s desk to become law.

Sports Headlines

North Wilkes Has New Coach
The North Wilkes men’s basketball team finally has a new head coach. Mark Shumate was hired for the job this week, replacing Tommy Johnson, who left to take over the program at Canton Pisgah. Shumate inherits a Viking team that went 4-20 last season and will be playing for their fourth new coach in the last four years. Shumate is a North Wilkes graduate and was formerly an assistant on the varsity team, while also serving as head coach of the JV squad.

Wake Forest Adds Another Recruit

The Wake Forest football team added another recruit this week, as Jordan Williams committed to the school. Williams, a 6’2 ft. 180 lb. wide receiver from Florida received a scholarship offer after running a 4.5 time in the 40-yd dash during a Demon Deacon summer camp. He said that the school had everything he was looking for and also was a big hit with his parents.

Recruit Turns Down UNC For Fayetteville
Another college football recruit is getting recognition for who he turned down, instead of where he’s going. Quarterback Ben Williams from Olympic High School in North Carolina was being recruited by Appalachian State, Wake Forest, UNC Chapel Hill and Virginia. But he turned all of them down to play at Division II Fayetteville State. The 6 ft. 185 lb. Williams is a triple threat, able to play cornerback and wide receiver but he had his heart set on being a college quarterback. So when the Division I schools asked him to switch positions, he told them goodbye and took Fayetteville’s offer. Last season Williams tossed for 3041 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for 767 yards.

Panthers Super Bowl Pick Again
Yet another national organization has the Carolina Panthers picked to go to the big game. ESPN’s football crew handed out their picks for the upcoming season this month, selecting the Panthers and Denver Broncos as the two teams they expect to battle it out in the Super Bowl. As for who wins? The ESPN crew expects there to be another national title on the way to Carolina, as they have the Panthers walking away with the trophy.

Hurricanes Make Trade
The Carolina Hurricanes made a trade this week, picking up forward Scott Walker from the Nashville Predators. In exchange, Carolina sent out center Josef Vasicek, a bench player who never fully developed in the Hurricanes’ system. Walker gives Carolina a scoring threat off the bench, to replace the departed Matt Cullen. The 33-yr-old was the all time scoring leader in Nashville with 247 points in his career.

NASCAR Crew Chief Swap
In NASCAR, there will be a change in the pits for one team this weekend. The No. 21 Ford of Kenny Schrader will have a new boss, as Michael McSwain takes over as crew chief. No reason was given as to what caused the switch, as McSwain will be in the pit for this weekend’s race at Pocono.

Wednesday
Jul192006

News & Sports For July 19th

Heat Affecting Wilkes County Food
The hot weather is hitting Wilkes County where it hurts, both in the wallet and out in the field. The U.S. Labor Department announced this week that the national producer price index climbed 0.5% in June, thanks in part to the rising price of food. That’s slightly higher than the climb of 0.3% , that national economists had predicted. Wholesale food prices rose 1.4% last month, something that economists partially attribute to hot weather damaging the crops. According to Wilkes Cooperative Extension agent Matt Millen, the products most affected here in the county have been corn and soybeans. But he cautions that anytime the temperature climbs above 95 degrees, it becomes harder to sustain crops for long periods. Millen advises to be sure that all plants have adequate water and also keep checking on livestock, to guarantee they don’t get dehydrated.

Heat Illnesses To Look Out For
As temperatures stay in the mid 90s, heat related illnesses can become a serious problem. The first sign of any illness is usually heat cramps. When you start sweating, the body’s salt and moisture are expelled. If too much of this happens without that moisture being replenished, cramps start to occur in the arms, legs or abdomen. This can be easily remidied by drinking two to four glasses of water for every hour you’re outdoors. A more serious illness is heat exhaustion. That occurs after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for several days without enough water. The warning signs for this illness are heavy sweating, muscle cramps, slight dizziness and you could possibly develop a headache. The best thing to do is immediately go inside to somewhere cool. Also be sure to drink plenty of water, to put the moisture back in your body. The final and most serious case of heat related illness is heat stroke. That happens when your body’s temperature suddenly rises and it’s unable to cool down, due in part to dehydration. If you’re suffering from heat stroke, your body’s temperature can reach 106 degrees within a period of 15 minutes. Warning signs for heat stroke are a throbbing headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and red hot skin with no sweating. If you are suffering from heat stroke, the Health Department advises that you should seek immidiate help from your doctor or the nearest hospital.

Focus On The Internet
All the time we hear horror stories about kids talking with strangers on the internet and then being abducted. But how much of a problem are internet predators? Security expert Vicki Courtney will be Brian’s guest this week for Focus on the Foothills, as they discuss ways that parents and grandparents can keep kids safe while on the net. They’ll be talking about terms parents should know, sites they should be aware of and also some tips to keep the predators at bay. That’s coming up tomorrow at 1:05pm right after the midday stock report.

Amendment Fails Despite Foxx Vote
Yesterday afternoon the U.S. House pushed aside a gay marriage amendment, falling short of the votes necessary to pass it on to the Senate. The vote was 236 for and 187 against, just 47 short of the needed two thirds majority. One encouraging sign for conservatives however was that the 236 votes were 9 more than the previous total. 5th District Representative Virginia Foxx, one of the bill’s original cosponsors, said that she was saddened by the bill’s defeat and told reporters why the Marriage Protection Amendment was necessary. The congresswoman said in a press release that "constitutionally defining marriage has become necessary due to the recent rulings of activist judges and the erosion of family values”. The bill isn’t expected to come up again before the November elections.

For A Few Quarters More
Deputies were called out to a Ronda home on Monday, after thieves broke in. The owner had returned to the home on Old Hwy 60 early Monday morning, to find the back door open to the house. Inside, there was evidence left behind from where someone had been sleeping in his bed and using his bathroom sink. In addition, $5 in quarters had been stolen from the bedroom. That investigation continues.

3WC Healthwatch: A Stalk A Day Keeps The Cancer Away
This next bit of news is for everyone out there who doesn’t like eating vegetables. You might want to reconsider. In today’s 3WC Healthwatch, scientists from the Institute of Food Technologists have found that eating broccoli could help prevent bladder cancer or possibly slow its’ spread if you’ve already contracted the disease. Doctors told the Reuters news service that compounds in broccoli called isothiocynates aggressively go after cancer cells in the bladder, dramatically slowing their spread. While this is by no means a miracle cure, it can help patients slow the spread of their disease in some cases and for others who are cancer free, broccoli sprouts can help you stay that way. One thing to consider however is that this research is still in the early stages and it’s not yet clear how much broccoli you’d need to eat before seeing results.

Toyota Issues Another Recall
There’s more bad news today for Toyota owners, as the company has ordered another recall. An estimated 420,000 vehicles across the globe are part of this latest callback, which includes the 2001 model of the Echo, Prius and Yaris. In some of these vehicles, a faulty engine part could lead to an oil leak, causing the machine to lock up. According to Toyota, there haven’t been any reported accidents and drivers can return the vehicles to the dealer they bought it from for a full repair.

Regional News

Crews Continue Search For Caldwell Boy
The search continued last night for a missing Caldwell County boy. The 17-yr-old hasn’t been seen since Monday night, when a neighbor watched him walk down Alfred Hartley Road. On Tuesday morning, a missing persons report was filed by the boy’s family and rescue crews were out late into the night. Their search included a five mile section in the Little River Community and as of last night, hadn’t uncovered any sign of the boy.

Jonesville Manager Could Take Yadkinville Position

Officials in Yadkinville are one step closer to selecting an interim town manager today. A proposal was put forth to Yadkin County commissioners this week to hire Ron Niland as interim manager. Under the plan Niland would put in four hours each day, five days a week in exchange for a $1000 weekly salary. Niland’s company, All American Associates, already helps the county with grant writing and managing certain projects. Commissioners are searching for a replacement for Cecil Wood, who resigned on July 3rd. No decision has been made on the position and commissioners are set to interview two more candidates later this week.

State News

Tropical System Grows In Strength
The second official storm of the hurricane season has formed off the coast of North Carolina. Tropical Storm Beryl hit sustained winds of 40 mph by Tuesday afternoon but forecasters from the National Hurricane Center say that it’s not expected to develop into a full blown hurricane. Currently it’s being tracked moving north at a rate of six mph but by this afternoon, officials expect it to turn and head northwest, while going inland. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the area north of Cape Lookout all the way to just south of Currituck Beach. A tropical storm watch means that a storm could hit within the next 36 hours.

Bragg Officials Net Illegal Immigrants
A joint operation between INS agents and officials from Fort Bragg led to the arrest of 58 suspected illegals. Most of the 58 were construction workers
and all had fake IDs or papers that were fraudulently obtained. The operation was part of an ongoing security effort at Fort Bragg to monitor what comes through the checkpoints. In addition, 14 vehicles were impounded for different offenses and four people were arrested on drug charges. Throughout the past year, over 150 people have been arrested at Fort Bragg for trying to gain access to the base through illegal means.

More Jobs Coming To Raleigh
Good news today for people living in the Raleigh area as more jobs are coming soon. Drug company Novartis announced plans on Tuesday to build a facility in Holly Springs. The building will serve as a vaccine manufacturing facility, helping to develop protection against the flu virus among other things. 350 new jobs will be created and $267 million will be invested into the area over the next five years, according to company sources. As a whole, North Carolina is currently ranked third in the nation in the number of biotechnology companies that have a home here.

Myrick Pushing For Charlotte Immigration Court

A campaign has been started to create a federal immigration court in Charlotte. On Tuesday, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph joined with Congressional Rep. Sue Myrick to announce the campaign. Under the new federal budget, the Justice Department has the funding set aside to create three new immigration courts, each of which would costs $383,000 a year to run. Pendergraph believes that Charlotte needs one of those three, due in part to the estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants living here in the state. Currently North Carolina’s immigration cases are tried in Atlanta.

Sports Headlines

UNC Football Team Lands New Recruits
The recruits keep coming for the UNC Tarheel football team, as two more committed to the school this week. Both Danorris Searcy and Fonterrian Ingram have joined the Heels’ list of recruits for the 2007-2008 school year. Searcy is a 6 ft. 195 lb. quarterback, runningback, linebacker and safety who was nicknamed “Baby Vick” for his skills. He runs a 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds and is also a member of the track team. Meanwhile Fonterrian Ingram, a 6 ft. 193 lb. safety from Atlanta also committed to the team. As a junior last season, Ingram also served as a running back and starting linebacker, in addition to being a kick returner. He recorded 77 tackles, four sacks and recovered three fumbles.

Duke Adds To Coaching Staff
The staff of Duke football coach Ted Roof got a little bigger on Tuesday, with the addition of four new faces. Drew Dayton and Bill Hambrecht will join the team as graduate assistants. Also Bruce Warwick takes over the vacant job of director of player personnel and development. He and his new assistant director, Terrell Smith, will have a hand in recruiting and continuing to rebuild the program’s high school scouting.

Bobcats Hire New President
In the NBA, a former Nike executive has joined the Charlotte Bobcats. Fred Whitfield was introduced this week as the team’s new president and chief operating officer. Whitfield, a Greensboro native, helped new owner Michael Jordan when he ran the Washington Wizards, serving as director of player personnel. In addition, he’s helped run Nike’s Brand Jordan division. He’ll take over the task of trying to market a team currently ranked 22nd out of 30 teams in attendance.

Bobcats Re-sign Burleson
The Charlotte Bobcats have resigned another member of their team for next season, coming to terms with point guard Kevin Burleson. The third string guard played sparingly last season behind Raymond Felton and Brevin Knight and became a free agent this summer. But with little experience, he didn’t attract a lot of attention on the open market and agreed to come back to the Bobcats. Team officials have said that it’s possible Burleson could spend this season in the Developmental League.

NFL Sets Up Rule Changes
Things will be different in the NFL next season, as league officials have agreed to some rule changes. As of this year, all defenders will be penalized and possibly fined for hitting a quarterback below the knee. This comes after Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer was knocked out of the playoffs after a defensive lineman landed on his knee during a game. Also the league has banned any touchdown celebration that includes a prop or involves the player lying on the ground. Fines and possibly suspensions could be handed out if the new rule is violated.

Monday
Jul172006

News & Sports For July 18th

Gearing Up For Hottest Week Of The Year
If you didn’t like Monday’s weather, you may want to stay indoors the rest of the week. According to the National Weather Service Wilkes County is set for the hottest week of the summer, with temperatures expected to hit the mid 90s from now til Thursday. Humidity levels are also expected to climb, as a tropical system continues to form off the coast. What does that mean for people in Wilkes? Those most at risk according to the Department of Health are infants, small children and those age 65 and older, in addition to those dealing with weight issues. Health officials are asking that people drink two to four glasses of water per hour if you’re outside working, due to the salt and minerals lost from sweat. Gov. Easley has also sent out a release asking people to stay indoors if at all possible, to protect against any heat related illnesses. Coming up on tomorrow’s newscast we’ll take a look at what exactly these illnesses are and how you can tell the symptoms.

Proposals Handed In For Hospital
On Monday afternoon, lease proposals were turned in for Wilkes Regional Medical Center. However out of the seven companies that had expressed interest in leasing the property, only three turned in a proposal. The current hospital operating board submitted one, as did Novant Health and Community Health Systems out of Tennessee. Both the hospital board and Novant Health are non profit groups, as opposed to the for profit status of CHS. Town Manager Hank Perkins Jr. cut open the boxes which contained each proposal before the nine people in attendance, saying that he wanted to make it clear this was the first time each one had been examined. He also explained where the process goes from here, as each proposal will be turned over to the town board of commissioners for review. After that, the commissioners will decide which, if any of the companies they want to hear more from and a presentation will be set up. Mayor George Church told reporters that he was surprised there were only three proposals, as he expected more. A deadline of September 15th has been set for a proposal to be selected and negotiations to begin.

Recall Ordered Of Battery Charger
A recall has been ordered of several thousand battery chargers across the nation. Pelican Power is calling back an estimated 231,000 of its’ Brick Battery Charger. The problem comes due to a malfunction in the charger’s circuit board, which can lead to overheating and possibly a fire hazard after extended use. Customers are asked to call Electro Source LLC to receive a replacement at 1-800-263-1156 or through the website www.powerbrickrecall.net.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
One local man’s good deed has caused him nothing but headaches, several dollars worth in fact. An acquaintance came to the man’s home, located on the Suncrest Orchard Road Sunday morning and asked to borrow some money. The homeowner agreed and took the borrower’s wallet and ID as collateral until he could pay it back. Several hours later, the man returned to pay back the loan, collecting his wallet and deputies believe, several other items. Later in the day, checks were written from the victim’s account at the Grocery Bag by the same thief. The name and description of the thief was turned over to sheriff’s deputies, along with the make and model of the car he took off in.

Thieves Target Foster’s Grocery
Deputies were called out to Foster’s Grocery Sunday morning, after some would be thieves dropped by. During the night, the Pepsi drink machine outside was damaged as it appeared someone was attempting to get inside. When that failed the would be thieves apparently started kicking the machine before taking off. All total an estimated $400 in damage was done and store employees turned over tape from the security camera. There is a suspect as the investigation moves forward.

3WC Healthwatch: The Problem With Beef
Before you fire up the grill this week, you might want to make some changes to the menu, as we explain in today’s 3WC Healthwatch. A study done by the American Association for Cancer Research found that a compound that can be formed when barbequing meat actually raises the risk of prostate cancer. The compound, called PhIP, is created when meat is cooked at very high temperatures, until it’s charred. Once ingested, that charred meat can act as an ignition switch, possibly leading to prostrate cancer. Now that doesn’t mean you have to toss out the grill, just be careful when cooking your meat. The Association recommends that you marinade meat before cooking, using about 4 fluid ounces of marinade for every 1 lb. of meat. That cuts down on the amount of carcinogens inside, possibly up to 90%. And while using the marinade, be sure and turn the food over from time to time, to make sure all areas are covered. Also another way to protect against cancer is to cut the fat off meat before cooking it and then also cutting off any charred or burned pieces before you start eating. It might mean a few extra minutes before supper is ready, but that could also be the difference between a clean bill of health and a trip to the hospital for cancer treatments.

Items Stolen From Construction Site
Thieves ran off with over $5000 worth of tools from a construction site over the weekend. The incident happened at a site on Fishing Creek Road, as members of the work crew came by to pick up some items, only to find them missing. Taken in the theft was a generator, an air compressor, three sets of drop cords and a 4-wheeler. There are suspects in the case and the investigation continues.

Red Cross Looking For Fundraising Help

We’ve talked a lot here on the news about the need for blood in Wilkes County. But thanks to last year’s hurricanes and the cost of relocating survivors, the local Red Cross needs help of a different kind as well. The local chapter continues to sell cookbooks, to help raise the money it needs to cover costs of daily operations. The cost of a cookbook is $10 and it contains recipes from chapter members along with their family and friends. For more information or to purchase one, you can call the Red Cross at 838-4563.

Mailbox Vandals Hit Local Home

Mailbox vandals took aim at another Wilkes County home over the weekend. A woman on the Rock Creek Church Road called deputies Sunday morning after waking up to the sound of a vehicle in her driveway. She went to the window and watch as a man got out of a truck, grabbed a baseball bat and started smashing the mailbox. A description of both the vandal and his truck were turned over to sheriff’s deputies as the investigation continues.

State News

Bragg Troops Set To Leave For Border
Several North Carolina troops are packing up again, but this time they’ll be staying in the country. 200 soldiers from the 252nd Combined Arms Battalion have started training to protect the U.S. border. On August 5th, the troops will ship out to Arizona, where they’ll spend two weeks as part of a rotation to guard against illegal immigrants. Under the plan, a new National Guard unit will move in every two weeks, to keep the troops fresh.

North Carolina Considering Change In Law
A 200-yr-old law could soon be off the books in North Carolina if the ACLU has their way. The state chapter of the organization has filed a lawsuit, arguing that North Carolina’s law against unmarried couples living together is unconstitutional. Attorney General Roy Cooper has said the lawsuit has no basis because it was filed as a challenge to a criminal statute and that can only be done if there’s a criminal case currently going on. Opening statements in the case were heard yesterday.

Shipwrecks Found In Currituck Sound
Archeologists have possibly uncovered several pieces of North Carolina’s history. Officials from the state’s Department of Cultural Resources announced over the weekend that divers have located the remains of two shipwrecks in Currituck Sound. Portions of the steam freighter Undine, which sank back in March 1912 were discovered in the Sound with most of the structure still intact. In addition, the remains of a sailing vessel dating to before the Civil War was located by divers near Monkey Island. State archeologists plan to study the debris and possibly attempt to raise what’s left.

Church Attendance Streak Going Strong
Records are celebrated in all kinds, from sports to politics. But one North Carolina woman has made her own mark by simply going to church. This past Sunday, Mary Payne recorded her 2766th consecutive week in the pew. The Charlotte resident and preacher’s daughter celebrated her 53rd birthday by attending service at Berryhill Baptist Church, where she was honored for attending every Sunday since birth. Church officials told about how Payne was hit by lighting last June on a Friday night. Despite the requests of her doctors, she made it to church that Sunday. Before that, back in 2004, she had surgery following a car wreck and that Sunday, she was in the pew being wheeled in by a nurse.

Mecklenburg Restaurants Go Without Inspection
If you eat in a Mecklenburg restaurant, it might be a good idea to exercise caution. County officials admitted to reporters on Monday that not all restaurants get a full inspection because of a lack of funds. On average, county officials estimated that 62% of Mecklenburg eateries are inspected the required four times a year, with most getting just one or two visits. There are currently 14 full time inspectors in the county, with plans on track to add 11 more by the end of this year. County commissioners said in a statement that the issue should have been dealt with earlier but was never a top priority.

Sports Headlines

Little League Results
It was a busy night for Wilkes County baseball teams. In the 11-12 year old division, Wilkes County’s All Star team beat Watauga 8-7. Meanwhile in the 13-14 year old division, it was Wilkes beating Caldwell County 8-5. With the victory over Caldwell, Wilkes remains undefeated in the double elimination tournament and now advances to the next round.

UNC Gets Yankee Money
Switching gears to college baseball, the UNC Tarheels are getting help in rebuilding their stadium from an unlikely source. The Heels have received one million dollars from new York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, to use in renovating Boshamer Stadium. UNC baseball teams have played at the park since 1972 and in recent years it’s started to show its’ age. The New York Yankee organization has a connection to the park as well, as they played against a UNC team in several exhibition games back in the late 70s. Also Steinbrenner’s daughter Jenny and her husband Stephen Swindal are both graduates of UNC Chapel Hill.

Wolfpack Land Wide Receiver
Good news for the NC State football team, with another recruit signing on. Rising high school senior Stewart Howard has committed to the school. Howard, a 6’3 ft. 185 lb. wide receiver from Olympic High School, turned down scholarships from Wake Forest and Vanderbilt to play for the Wolfpack. As a junior last season, Howard had 49 catches for 748 yards to go along with 8 touchdowns.

NC Golfer Ranked Number One

In the golfing world, one Wake Forest student is on the rise. Wake Forest golfer and Raleigh native Webb Simpson is the new No. 1 player in men’s amateur golf, according to the latest rankings from Golfweek. A rising college junior, Simpson has finished second in both the Northeast Amateur and Dogwood Invitational tournaments, capping things off with a win at the Sunnehanna Amateur. Simpson, who’s majoring in religion, told reporters over the weekend that he plans to stay two more years and get his degree before trying out for the PGA Tour.

Issue Arises For Montoya
When Juan Montoya makes the jump to NASCAR next season, he’ll be facing several new obstacles. An announcement was made by Nextel Cup officials over the weekend that when Montoya takes over from Casey Mears, he’ll only have the points exemption available for the first five races. After that, Montoya will have to qualify on his own or be left out of the field. He’ll make his debut for Chip Ganassi Racing in next season’s Daytona 500.

Rudd Possibly Coming To Gibbs Racing
A familiar face could be popping up at the Joe Gibbs racing garage next season. Gibbs is in talks to add a fourth car to the team and is trying to recruit Ricky Rudd for the job. Rudd is no stranger to the Gibbs team, as he drove for Tony Stewart last month. But Gibbs isn’t the only one trying to land Rudd, as Team Red Bull also has an offer out to the veteran driver.

Friday
Jul142006

News For Friday, July 14th

Today...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms May produce heavy rainfall. Highs in the upper 80s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Wreck Update
The name of the driver of a tractor trailer driver who lost his life on US 421 North at the upper sandpile has been released. The accident happened on Wednesday night around 10pm. 32 year old Iziah D. James of New Jersey was carrying a load of liquid detergent that weighed around 40,000 pounds in large shipping containers. Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol says the load went through the front of the trailer and the cab. James was on his way to West Babylon, N.Y. Champion Fire Department, First Responders, the Rescue Squad, and Emergency Management all responded to the crash.
Ronda Budget Approved
The 2006-2007 budget for the Town of Ronda was approved on June 20th during an unannounced meeting. The commissioners approved a budget of $206,450, which leaves the tax rate at .40 cents for every 100 dollars of property valuation. Presiding over the meeting was Ronda mayor Howard Prevette, who had resigned his seat a week earlier. The town's administrator said that the mayor's resignation was not "official" because it was not in writing.
Start of School Around The Corner
The summer break is winding down for students in Wilkes County who are scheduled to go back to school on August 8th. Teacher workdays will begin on August first. The 2006-2007 School calendar has 6 snow days built into the calendar and also one "no day" on February 5th in which students and 10 month employees do not attend school. The day was built into this year's calendar to be used as Snow Make-Up day if needed.
Blood Supply Goes Critical
Wilkes and the surrounding areas are facing a problem today with the blood supply. Due to extremely poor turnouts at recent drives and a number of accidents and other injuries over the July 4th holiday, the local supply stands at just above one day’s worth. According to Red Cross officials, a serious wreck could almost wipe out everything that’s on hand. Especially needed at this time are O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative. There are several more chances to give blood this month including a drive open to the public on July 24th at the Wilkesboro Civic Center. Also, a drive is going for Lowes Companies employees July 19th & 20th. However before giving, please remember you must be at least 18 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs. To set up an appointment you can call 838-4563.

DOT Warns Drivers To Move Over

As we’re right int he middle of Summer travel season, the DOT is offering some advice for drivers. You will will be assessed a $250 penalty for speeding through a marked work zone if you are caught. Also the DOT advises to leave early if you have to be somewhere, not just to get a head start but also to avoid driving at times with a lot of traffic congestion. For anyone wanting to see what road conditions are like before leaving the house, you can dial the state’s travel information line at 511 or log on to www.ncdot.org/traffictravel
Stuff The Bus Continuing
The annual Stuff the Bus program is continuing around Wilkes County. Several locations have been set up around the area to take donations. Each year, Communities in Schools attempts to help needy kids around Wilkes, by providing them with the supplies they lack for class. If you want to donate supplies, there are buses at several locations including Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off items at the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at651-7830.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly

Summertime can mean problems for the elderly, with rising temperatures leading to sickness and possibly death. With that in mind, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving away fans this summer to any senior citizen that meets their requirements. In order to get a fan, you must be at least 60 years old, live in Wilkes and be served by Duke Power. In addition, your home situation must present a threat to your life without the fans. Applications are being taken from 8:30am til 5pm at the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council office, located at 228 Fairplains School Road. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.
State News
Heavy thunderstorms moved through the Northwest Piedmont of North Carolina last night knocking down trees and power lines in several counties. Damage was so bad in Walnut Cove that Police Chief Barry Conaway closed the town because of extensive storm damage. At one time during last night's storms, Duke Power had over twenty thousand people without power.

Legislation approved by the state House Thursday would create a pool of money to provide special health insurance for people who can't afford or do not qualify for traditional health insurance plans. The pool would be funded through premiums, along with a fee on insurers of up to two dollars per each traditional customer. The "North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool" would guarantee coverage to patients, with premiums that cost no more than 150% the rate of an individual covered by a standard health care plan.

People who have the responsibility of taking care of an elderly family menber will soon have another way to research the quality of care given in nursing homes and assisted-living homes across North Carolina. Beginning this Fall the Department of Health and Human Services said it will post information on it's website. Caregivers will be able to log onto the website and see the facilities that have been hit with serious violations and fines.

Thursday
Jul132006

News For Thursday July 13th, 2006

Today...Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms Hot with highs around 90. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Tractor Trailer Accident Claims Life
A tractor trailer accident at the upper runaway truck ramp sandpile on US 421claimed the life of the driver of the truck last night around 9:30pm. The driver, whose name has not been released, was carrying a load of hand cleaner that spilled into the road and on to the side of the road. Emercency Management was dispatched to take care of the clean-up. Champion Fire Department, First Responders, and the Rescue Squad all resopnded to the crash. The investigation into the accident is continuing.
Seat Still Vacant
The Wilkesboro Town Council heard from Jacob Bumgarner during the pubilc comment portion of their meeting this week. Bumgarner is the son of the late Tommy Bumgarner, council member who passed away in January and left a vacant seat on the council. The younger Bumgarner told the council that he felt that his mother, Bobbie, should fill the seat left vacant by her husband. Other names mentioned during the meeting included Joe Samuel, Skipper Solomon, and Marty Moore. The vacant seat on the council does not expire until 2007. Mrs. Bumgarner has formally told the board in a letter that should she be asked to serve, that she would accept.
Several Items Taken
The Wilkes County Sheriffs Department is investigating the theft of several items from a residence on NC 18 South of Wilkesboro. Items stolen included a grass trimmer, a rifle, and a pair of boots. In addition to the $1000 worth of items stolen there was damage to a window and door that totaled $360. The investigation is continuing.
Fire In Ronda
A fire in Ronda yesterday morning destroyed a mobile home. The blaze happened around 3:30 Wednesday morning near North Hoots Road. Ronda Volunteer Firemen responded to the blaze quickly but the fire had already spread through the home. The resident and owner of the home, Bill Hawkins was able to escape from the fire unharmed. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Items Stolen
A resident of Half-Mile road reports to the Wilkes County Sheriffs Department the theft of several items from their home. Taken in the theft were a VCR, a television, and a heater. The items taken are estimated to be worth around $125. The investigation is continuing.
Wilkes County Weekend At Horn In The West
Horn in the West is having a special weekend, July 28th through the 30th, all residents of Wilkes, Alleghany, Surry, and Alexander Counties get into “Horn in the West” for half price of only $7.50. Now in our 55th consecutive season, Kermit Hunter’s Revolutionary war drama, Horn in the West explodes onto the stage in the remodeled Daniel Boone Amphitheatre in Boone, NC. The drama tells the story of a group of American patriots fighting tyranny and religious prosecution. This year Horn in the West returns to a more traditional theme and the story as portrayed in the 60’s and 70’s. Horn in the West is the nation’s oldest Outdoor Drama with a Revolutionary War theme. This story of war, love, American Indians and America’s early struggle for freedom is told with all the song, dance, pyrotechnics, and pageantry of a Broadway performance. The drama is brought to life Tuesday through Sunday at 8:00 pm in downtown Boone, NC. For ticket information call 828-264-2120 or go to www.Horninthewest.com
Another Break-In
Several items were taken when a residence on Russell Street was broken into earlier this week. Taken from the home were a television, sattelite system, lawn mower and other items valued at over $800. Entry was gained to the residence through the kitchen window. The investigation is continuing.

Stuff The Bus Continuing
The annual Stuff the Bus program is continuing around Wilkes County. Several locations have been set up around the area to take donations. Each year, Communities in Schools attempts to help needy kids around Wilkes, by providing them with the supplies they lack for class. If you want to donate supplies, there are buses at several locations including Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off items at the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at651-7830.
3WC Nominated For More Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music in July the station has been honored with more award nomnations. The TOP 10 Nominees for The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2006 have been announced and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at www.thesoutherngospel.com
State News
A police officer in Lexington fell 21 feet through a skylight yesterday and sustained multiple broken bones. Detective Jeremy Parks was on the roof of a vacant building searching for two thieves when the accident happened. Parks suffered a broken pelvis, leg, knee, jaw and facial bones. He underwent surgery yesterday afternoon and is listed in serious condition at a Winston Salem hospital.

Under leglislation passed yesterday in the North Carolina House, motorists under the age of 18 caught using a cell phone could face a $25 fine and an extension to their graduated driving period. The bill allows phone use to speak with parents, law enforcement and spouses. According to the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for North Carolina teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17.

If a Senate committee get's it's way there will not be any new landfills in North Carolina in the next 18 months. State officials say the time will allow for a study of the impact of solid waste disposal in North Carolina. The announcement comes as waste management businesses are planning four major landfills around the state, which have the potential to double North Carolina's waste capacity.

Wednesday
Jul122006

News For Wednesday July 12, 2006

Today...Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Hot with highs in the lower 90s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Scam Underway
The Wilkes County Sheriffs Department is investigating a scam going on in the county involving a man who is calling people at home and presenting himself as being associated with the Sheriffs Department. He then asks for a donation and a credit card number. Officer Greg Minton with the Sheriffs Department explained to 3WC News that you should not give the man ANY personal information and if you are contacted please call 911.

WRMC Scores High
Soon to be parents need to know that they do not have to go out of town to get the services of a highly rated OBGYN Department. Wilkes Regional Medical Center's OBGYN Department recently recieved a five-star rating from Professional Research Consultants, a nationally recognized analysis group. In addition the hospital recieved an overall 4 star rating. That puts Wilkes Regional Medical Center in the top 25 percent of hospitals in the country. According to officials at the hosptial, they say the awards are the result of efforts to increase customer satisfaction. Medical information is just a click away now for people here in Wilkes County. Wilkes Regional Medical Center has launched their own website, keeping people informed about improvements at the hospital, different doctors coming in and also providing a medical library, where you can go online and look up answers to certain medical questions. The site, which is available in both Spanish and English, can be found at www.wilkesregional.com.
BOOZE IT & LOSE IT
Law enforcement officers cracked down on 1,742 North Carolina motorists for driving while impaired during the “Booze It & Lose It: Operation
Firecracker” campaign June 29- July 9. Checkpoints and stepped-up patrols throughout the state marked the high-visibility enforcement effort. In addition to issuing DWI violations, officers arrested 284 fugitives and recovered 94 stolen vehicles. Law enforcement officers conducted more than 5,200 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols during the campaign. Counties with the highest number of DWI citations include Mecklenburg (154), Carteret (70) and Durham (69). In Wilkes County there were 26 checkpoints during the campaign that resulted in 10 DWI charges, 105 occupant restraint charges, and 30 total crimpnal violations. All total in Wilkes there were 504 criminal and traffic violations during the Booze It & Lose It campaign.
Health Department Offering Car Seat Help
As you just heard, there were over 100 occupant restraint charges during the recent Booze It & Lose It campaign, with many of those being child seats not installed correctly. In fact, 85% of child safety seats across Wilkes County are not installed correctly, according to the local SafeKids organization. While this is slightly lower than the national average, it’s still high enough for concern. However if you’re still trying to figure out what the right way to install one is, you don’t have to wait until the next safety check. The Wilkes Health Department is partnering with SafeKids to help show parents the right way to install the seats. To set up an appointment, you can call Jean Edwards at the Health Department. Her number is 651-7478.

Stuff The Bus Continuing
The annual Stuff the Bus program is continuing around Wilkes County. Several locations have been set up around the area to take donations. Each year, Communities in Schools attempts to help needy kids around Wilkes, by providing them with the supplies they lack for class. If you want to donate supplies, there are buses at several locations including Wal-Mart, CVS, Eckerd, Staples and also between the First Baptist and First United Methodist Churches in North Wilkesboro. You can also drop off items at the Communities in Schools office. All different types of school supplies are needed, everything from paper to pens to calculators. For more information you can call Communities in Schools at651-7830.

Regional News
Yadkin County is looking for a replacement for County Manager Cecil Wood who resigned July 3rd. Yadkin County Commissioners will meet tonight with Willie Best, the former Guilford County manager, who was fired by a 7-4 vote of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners last month. Critics said that Best wasn't aggressive enough as a manager and had mishandled the budget. As Guilford's county manager, Best was paid $168,384 a year.
State News
State lawmakers approved a bill yesterday that would require public schools to set aside daily classroom time for students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill now goes to Govenor Easley for his signature. The current law only "encourages" students to recite the pledge. The Senate and Hose both had their own version of bills concerning the pledge but in the end it was the House version that passed.

In other news from Raleigh. State lawmakers now want to make you buckle up even if you are riding in the back seat. Under a proposal passed yesterday, all North Carolina passengers would have to buckle up. Under current law, anyone under the age of 16 must use a seat belt no matter where they sit in a car, but older passengers only have to use a seat belt in the front seat. The new bill makes the back seat law a secondary violation, meaning law enforcement can't stop a vehicle solely for a seat belt infraction. The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Easley for his signature.

United States Rep. Virginia Foxx took action today to protect Americans from the dangers of Internet gambling by voting to pass H.R. 4411, the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act. This bill cuts off funding for online gambling sites, increases criminal penalties for those who break the law and supports international anti-money laundering efforts. Americans spend approximately $5.9 billion dollars each year on unregulated, offshore, online casinos. Because online gambling sites are easily accessible, many people do not realize that they are illegal. H.R. 4411 was supported by a large number of organizations including the Family Research Council, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, Focus on the Family, the NCAA, the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and 48 of 50 state Attorney Generals.

Tuesday
Jul112006

News For Tuesday July 11th 2006

Today: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s.

Mill Creek to Be Protected
Some land bordering Wilkes in the Thurmond Community now has permanent protection. The Piedmont Land Conservancy acquired 75 acres, which is in the Mitchell River Watershed, through a grant awarded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The property now provides protection for more than 3,000 feet of Mill Creek, which flows into nearby Lake Laurel.

Advertising Campaign & New Signs
An advertising campaign is underway to bring attention to Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area plans to purchase newspaper inserts to promote the heritage of the Northwestern portion of North Carolina. The campaign focuses on five main themes - agriculture, Cherokee heritage, crafts, music and natural heritage. The campaign also includes new signage at main entrances of certain Heritage areas across the region. As for Wilkes County, interpretive signs are in the works for Stone Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge frescoes trails, and the Old Wilkes County jail.

Heat Relief Available For Elderly

Summertime can mean problems for the elderly, with rising temperatures leading to sickness and possibly death. With that in mind, the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council is giving away fans this summer to any senior citizen that meets their requirements. In order to get a fan, you must be at least 60 years old, live in Wilkes and be served by Duke Power. In addition, your home situation must present a threat to your life without the fans. Applications are being taken from 8:30am til 5pm at the Wilkes Senior Citizens Council office, located at 228 Fairplains School Road. For more information you can contact them at 651-7811.

3WC Nominated For More Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music in July the station has been honored with more award nomnations. The TOP 10 Nominees for The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2006 have been announced and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at www.thesoutherngospel.com

Bank Of Granite Profits Up
One of the newest banks in Wilkes County announced yesterday that net income rose for the second quarter of 2006. Bank of Granite Corporation says that it had a 14 percent increase in net income to nearly $4.5 million. Diluted earnings rose 5 cents to 35 cents a share. The bank said that the net-income growth came from an increase in loans and deposits.
Regional News
A furniture theft case in Surry County has been turned over to the SBI. The State Attorney General's Office will now take over the case against former Bassett Furniture employees accused of stealing enough furniture from the company to fill up five tractor-trailers. Over a seven year period officials believe the former employees of the Mt. Airy plant managed to steal millions of dollars' worth of furniture. So far, detectives have recovered about $2 million worth of the missing goods.

The town of Mocksville will soon be getting some new jobs. A garage-door maker will open a plant in the Davie County town that will bring 140 jobs to the area. According to Governor Mike Easley, the Amarr Company will invest $10.5 million in the area over the next three years.

Gasoline prices are up again including here in Northwest North Carolina. Triple-A of the Carolinas says the average price of self-serve unleaded regular is around $2.87 per gallon. That's about six cents a gallon higher than a month agoand about 76 cents higher than this time last year.
State News

The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval to a $1-an-hour increase in the minimum wage yesterday. The increase comes after the issue appeared dead in the water over a year ago due to opposition from small businesses. Some small business leaders in the state say that the increase will lead to shorter hours or layoffs.

Recall Of Insulin Syringe
This next bit of news is for anyone out there who takes insulin shots. Boca Medical Products has announced a recall of their Ultilet Insulin Syringes. All of the recalled products have 5GEXI displayed on their inside case. All total 3984 boxes were recalled from a ten state area including North Carolina. The reason is that some of the syringes are believed to be contaminated with a bacteria that can degrade & possibly break down the insulin, making it virtually useless. Everyone using one of these syringes are being asked to return it to the store for a full refund. If you have questions a hotline has been set up at 1-800-354-8460.

3WC Techwatch: Sniffing Out A Good Movie

The next time you’re in a movie theater, you might be able to smell what’s happening on screen, as we explain in today’s 3WC Techwatch. A Japanese company has developed “smellovision”, a new way for movie audiences to interact with the characters. When certain scenes appear on the screen, special machines under the seats release different fragrances. For an emotional scene, you might smell peppermint or for a joyful time you could smell a blend of orange and grapefruit. The idea is being tested out on Japanese audiences this summer and if it proves successful, could be coming to a theater near you by 2007.

Monday
Jul102006

News & Sports For Monday July 10th 2006

Blood Supply Goes Critical
Wilkes and the surrounding areas are facing a problem today with the blood supply. Due to extremely poor turnouts at recent drives and a number of accidents and other injuries over the July 4th holiday, the local supply stands at just above one day’s worth. According to Red Cross officials, a serious wreck could almost wipe out everything that’s on hand. Especially needed at this time are O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative. A drive is going on today at Peace Haven Baptist Church from 2-6:30pm. However before giving, please remember you must be at least 18 years old and weigh no less than 110 lbs. To set up an appointment you can call 838-4563.

Vandals Target Wilkes County Church

Yet another Wilkes County church fell prey to vandals last week. This time the target was Beulah Land Baptist Church, which was hit sometime either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Vandals came up to the church on North Ridge Road and pulled the church sign out of the ground, rolled paper towels on the roof of the building and unhooked the parking lot chain, tossing it up on the roof as well. In addition, obscene phrases were spelled out using parts of the chain and other items were damaged, including the front porch light bulb. All total over $400 worth of damage was done and the investigation continues.

3WC Nominated For More Awards
As 3WC celebrates 12 years of broadcasting Southern Gospel Music in July the station has been honored with more award nomnations. The TOP 10 Nominees for The Southern Gospel Music Awards 2006 have been announced and 3WC is a Finalist for favorite radio station. 3WC's John Wishon is also nominated as favorite Southern Gospel DJ. In addition to the radio station's nominations, Singing in the Foothills has been nominated for Concert Event of the Year. If you have a valid email address you may log on and vote now at www.thesoutherngospel.com

Thieves Run Off With A Set Of Cards

Who would break in just to steal a set of cards? That’s what sheriff’s deputies are trying to determine. A local man sent out cards from his home based business, putting them in the mail two weeks ago. However before long letters started coming in from customers, wanting to know where the packages were. It turns out the same day the packages were put in the mailbox vandals targeted several other mailboxes in the area and it’s believed there could be a possible link. All total $350 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards were taken in the theft. That investigation continues.

Mailbox Vandals Target Local Home
Deputies are investigating another case of mailbox vandalism, this time on the Austin Little Mountain Road. A woman came outside Friday morning to find her mailbox had been smashed during the night. Despite the damage, no one in the area could recall hearing or seeing anything. An estimated $30 in damage was done and the investigation continues.

Young Workers Could Be Hit Hard By New Bill

Young workers in the Wilkes County area could see a major pay cut under a new bill in the state Senate. Friday morning, a Senate subcommittee passed a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour. But there is a catch, as all new employees or any workers 20 and younger would see their hourly wage drop to $4.25 an hour for the first three months the bill is in effect. The compromise was reached as a way to help families by increasing the minimum wage while at the same time helping companies cut their labor cost. The bill is set to go before the full Senate this week.

Wilkes County Native The Subject Of Vote
A Wilkes County resident and former County Manager for Wilkes County is at the heart of a controversy in Yadkin County today. Last Monday, Yadkin County Manager Cecil Wood resigned from the position he held for the last ten years, citing problems with certain county commissioners. The move left Yadkin County without a manager at a time when just over $400,000 needs to be trimmed from the budget. Last Thursday the situation spilled out during the commissioners’ meeting. Kim Clark Phillips accused three of her fellow commissioners , Brady Wooten, Allen Sneed and Leon Casstevens of forcing Wood to resign. Phillips made a motion that Wood be rehired and after a heated discussion, a vote was taken and the matter was defeated 3-2. The three dissenting votes were the same three commissioners Phillips had singled out earlier in the night. Yadkin County commissioners have frozen all capital and equipment purchases until they can find an interim county manager.

Regional News

A man who was shot in the head Friday afternoon in Surry County died Saturday morning at a Winston Salem Hospital and an autopsy is scheduled for today. According to the Surry County Sheriffs Department, 42 year old Hipolito Vargas was shot around 2pm near his US 601 address. Paramedics found Vargas lying outside and suffering from a gunshot wound. Authorities are questioning another man who was there, but no charges have been filed.

State News

Lottery Oversight Commission Created
Officials from across the state are growing concerned that as time goes on, profits from the NC lottery will be used for things other than education. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, the House created a new lottery oversight committee over the weekend. The panel will be in charge of tracking how lottery profits are used and to guarantee they aren’t supplanting money already in the budget. Each panel member would be selected by the Senate pro temp and the Speaker of the House, to form a group consisting of lawmakers, county commissioners and board of education members. The concept now goes to the Senate for final approval.

Toll Roads Could Be On The Way

North Carolina drivers could have to start putting in change before they step on the gas pedal. The state Senate has passed a bill that would allow North Carolina’s Turnpike Authority to charge drivers who travel on any road connected to or adjacent to a toll road. Currently state law doesn’t allow for tolls to be collected on existing highways, but the new bill would change that. The bill’s sponsor, Edgecombe Senator Clark Jenkins, said that the tolls are needed because of a lack of cash for road projects. If the bill goes through the House, I-485 is being considered for the first toll project.

Cabarrus County Set To Lose Jobs

A massive healthcare merger in Cabarrus County will end up costing over 100 people their jobs. Pathways Homecare Service is being merged by Northeast Medical Center with Advanced Home Care, a local nonprofit healthcare group. 129 people will have their jobs terminated in the move, marking the largest set of layoffs in the area since Pillowtex closed down back in 2003. Those laid off are personal care workers, who help people with bathing and preparing their meals. Advanced Home Care doesn’t currently offer those services and it was decided to do away with the program entirely. The jobs are expected to be completely phased out by September 8th.

Sports Headlines

Fall Soccer Registration Has Started
For any kids wanting to play soccer this fall, the Tri-County League is holding registration. You can stop by the Elkin Recreation Department anytime to pick up a registration form, plus there will be three days of open enrollment coming up later this month. This Saturday July 15th starts the open registration, with additional dates available on July 22nd and July 29th. There is a fee however. For the 10 and under groups, it’s $35 a person while for kids 11-14, it’s $45. For more information you can call 336-874-2398.

NCAA Names Raleigh As Tournament Spot
Taking a look at college basketball, the NCAA will soon be returning to North Carolina. In 2007, Winston Salem will host games for the first and second round of the tournament, then in 2008, the reins will be turned over to the RBC Center in Raleigh. Charlotte will also be a host city in 2008, as several regional matchups will be played there. Finally in 2009, Greensboro comes back into the mix as a host, for both first and second round action of the men’s tournament.

Bobcats Could Sign International Player
As summer league play gets underway in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats are looking to add another piece to the puzzle. Later this week, the team will bring in Walter Hermann for a tryout. The 6’8 ft. Hermann was a key player on the Argentinean basketball squad that won the gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games. During the past three years Herman has been playing for a team in the Spanish league and wanted to give the NBA a shot. He’ll come in for a tryout and if it goes well, will be suiting up for the summer league squad with a chance to make the final roster.

Former State Star Getting A Chance
In other NBA news, a former NC State star is getting his chance this summer to make a roster. 6’4 ft. Cameron Bennerman went undrafted last week and has since signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat. Under terms of the contract, Bennerman will play on the Heat’s summer league squad this week and have a shot at making the final roster. Also on the Heat summer league team this year is former UNC Tarheel Joseph Forte.

Carolina Hurricanes Sign Two More
In the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes continue to wheel and deal, putting the pieces together for next season. Over the weekend, the team announced they’ve come to terms with defenseman Glen Wesley on a one year contract. Wesley had been considering retirement after the Canes won the Stanley Cup this season but decided to stick around one more year to defend the title. Also Trevor Letowski (Le-towl-ski) signed on with the club. The 29-yr-old Letowski played last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording 10 goals and 18 assists. He signed a two year contract to replace ring winger Doug Weight, who left to join St. Louis.

Talladega Will Be Tested
In NASCAR, some changes will be coming to the Talladega Superspeedway before drivers return this fall. The speedway is being repaved, with pit road being widened by an additional 12 feet. Also each race crew’s pit stall will be bigger, as they’ll have two additional feet to work with. In addition, NASCAR announced that the Talladega race could be the first on the Nextel Cup schedule to feature drivers using unleaded fuel. NASCAR had decided to put off testing on the Nextel Cup circuit until next season, but now officials are considering using the Superspeedway as a starting point when drivers make their way back this October.