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EDITOR’S NOTE: Wilkesboro Councilman Russell F. Ferree wrote the following as an open letter to North Wilkesboro Commissioner Andrew Palmer in response to Palmer’s guest column, “Be bold with change for a better future in Wilkes” (Jan. 17 issue).

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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The medical community and public are encountering early and frightening medical reports concerning those using e-cigarettes (vaping).

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When legendary NASCAR driver and team-owner Robert Glenn “Junior” Johnson Jr. died Dec. 20, memories of North Wilkesboro Speedway and of my father, the late John W. Hubbard, and his experiences covering racing for the newspaper, came flooding back.

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If Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro elected officials decide to look into any sort of consolidation, they need to give serious consideration to first combining certain services and collaborating in other ways before expecting to make one town out of two.

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I was going through a stack of paperwork piled up through the holidays, and found an article in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot I saved to re-read in less hectic times, which I did.

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The Mountain View/Hays area is getting a much-needed Wilkes Emergency Medical Services substation staffed 24/7, thanks to the cooperative efforts of Wilkes County government, the Wilkes County Schools and the Mountain View Ruritan Club.

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Over the last two years, the biggest issue for the Town of Ronda has been ensuring water quality in the years to come. Nothing else comes close to being as important.

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The recent addition of the Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT) in Wilkes County and elsewhere in western North Carolina to the state trail system should provide an extra push for expanding this asset along the Yadkin River from North Wilkesboro to Elkin.

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A recently-released coming-of-age novel about a family’s legacy of making moonshine is set in the Brushy Mountains of Wilkes County.

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Born in a place called Big Ivy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Wilkes County, my mother had a brother named Sheridan Miller, a World War I veteran. Sheridan had a son he named Kevin.

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The 2010s was a time of challenge and change for the Boy Scouts of America, but the organization’s Wilkes District finished the decade with two years of strong growth.

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In the days following New Year’s Day 2020, Facebook was full of people dressed in 1920s attire. Women wore “flapper” costumes to New Year’s Eve parties, with long necklaces, sparkly headbands, fish-net stockings and  knee-length dresses with dangles, and of course, sporting long cigarette ho…

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The 1920s were known as the “Roaring Twenties,” a decade when electricity, telephones and radios became commonplace and automobiles were not just for the rich. Aside from the unfortunate (for some) introduction of prohibition and the disastrous (for most) Great Depression that closed the dec…

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Outdoor recreation is a growing economic driver in western North Carolina and holds potential for Wilkes, especially considering the county’s close proximity to Charlotte, Winston-Salem and other urban areas.

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With the dawn of a new decade, “The Great State of Wilkes” stands at a crossroads with a decision to make. Will we continue to carry on with business as usual and hope things get better? Or, will we be bold, realize the old way wasn’t working and change for a better future?

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Wilkes Vision 20/20, an initiative launched in 1999 to help influence quality of life in Wilkes County in 2020, had a positive impact even though its four benchmark goals weren’t met.

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Over the past two years, Wilkes Community College has developed and begun implementing a strategic plan designed to improve the manner in which students are recruited, engaged in productive studies and offered a roadmap for employment after graduation.

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In what seemed to me was the blink of an eye—never mind that experts say we blink about 50 million times in a decade—the 2010s have come and gone. Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, we say hello to the 2020s.

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The annual “Appalachian Christmas” this Sunday afternoon at the Lutheran Church of the Atonement on Oakwoods Road in Wilkesboro is understandably a popular local holiday season event.

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I recently spent about 10 hours in the emergency room at Wilkes Medical Center, transported there by Wilkes Emergency Medical Services. My thanks goes out to all involved in my excellent care.

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The “machine gun” noise of engine compression brakes (“jake brakes”) on trucks in the U.S. 421 corridor in Wilkesboro is a public nuisance, especially if the trucks are improperly muffled.

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You know a movie is a good one when you hurry to “google” more information about the plot and main characters as soon as the movie ends. That was the case when I went to see  “A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood,” recently, the movie about Fred Rogers, and his television show, “Mister Roger’…

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NASCAR lost its most innovative and arguably best driver ever with the passing of Junior Johnson last week – and Wilkes County lost its most well known native son and a source of local pride.

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How would you describe the year 2019? I’ve pondered the just-right descriptive adjective and finally settled on the seldom used but highly appropriate word quarrelsome.

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Many of Wilkes County’s oldest residents recall that a little fruit and candy and in some instances a pair of shoes or other needed clothes were all they typically received for Christmas while growing up.

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Similar to 2019, the times were tumultuous politically and revolutionary socially in the United States 50 years ago. There were protests in the streets and sharp division over the nation’s continued involvement in the lengthy Vietnam War. The year 1969 also saw race riots, concerns about the…

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On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, my wife, Shari, and I always go to Ashe County with her family to get ourselves some choose-and-cut Christmas trees.

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Located only a few minutes’ drive from Statesville is Fort Dobbs — North Carolina’s only frontier fort during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War).

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The U.S. Census Bureau is working to address growing security concerns about the once-a-decade head count in 2020.

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A Wilkesboro musician played guitar and sang on an obscure 45-year-old record album that is trending because of an online article published Wednesday.

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You can be sure Christmas is right around the corner by looking at the Wilkes Journal-Patriot’s community events calendar. Churches all over the county are performing  plays and Christmas cantatas this weekend and next.

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is accepting comments on federal legislation that could have a severe impact on mentally and physically disabled clients of Wilkes Vocational Services (WVS), a nonprofit “sheltered workshop” in North Wilkesboro that has provided invaluable services for decades.

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Preliminary results of a survey conducted as part of a grant-funded study of public transportation limitations in Wilkes County indicate good opportunities for this service here if provided the right way.

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A recent forensic audit of Wilkes Transportation Authority led to two of its former executive directors (Michael Norwood and Robin Kipp) being charged with embezzling a combined total of over $130,000 from the agency, but another audit on WTA was recently completed.

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Thank you, Wilkes Playmakers, for getting my Christmas season off to such a great start. Your production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was a joy to watch. Its mixture of mirth, message and Messiah reminds us that we should love the unlovable, that Jesus is the reason for the season an…

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I am sure you will receive many responses to the article in the Dec. 3 issue, “Need for unity in Wilkes cited.”

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I applaud the plain and frank words of Larry and Diane Stone in the Dec. 3 issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot (“Need for unity in Wilkes cited,” speaking on the need for unity in Wilkes.)