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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mindful that this is the season for holiday scams, the Better Business Bureau compiled a list of the “12 scams of Christmas.”

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Wilkes County’s placement among the state’s 40 most economically distressed counties in an N.C. Department of Commerce report released last week should give the county commissioners added incentive for helping with the purchase of a large tract in Wilkesboro for economic development.

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The holidays can bring opportunities for shared memories, laughter and close times, often with those we care about the most.

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We venture to say Wilkes County is among the few communities of any size nationwide fortunate enough to have a music festival that raises over $450,000 annually for dozens of local non-profit organizations.

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Limits on the density of development on over 13,000 acres as a result of North Wilkesboro establishing a raw water intake on the Yadkin River are another reason the North Wilkesboro commissioners should seriously consider buying water from Wilkesboro instead.

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The inability of Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together for the public is grossly obvious in their failure to repair a glitch in the 2017 federal tax law that heavily increased taxation on survivor benefits for children of military personnel who died during wartime.

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Some of the struggles of early childhood development in Wilkes County are reflected in data released this week by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Among the many high school extra-curricular opportunities, none can offer as much to as many students – and as cost-effectively – as a strong marching band program.

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Veterans Day is a time for mindfulness and taking the time to show gratitude to all who served our country in the armed forces during war and peace.

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The open enrollment period for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) began Friday and continues through Dec. 15.

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Sometimes seen as an overlooked aspect of poverty, lack of reliable and affordable transportation often is a major reason people - especially older adults – don’t get the health care, food and other basics they need.

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In case you missed it, Oct. 21-27 was “Native Plants Week” in North Carolina.

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Tamara Lakey has something to offer people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of children in Wilkes County who have been abused or neglected.

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A new report on a National Audubon Society study says climate change threatens the survival of about two thirds of bird species in North America, including over 200 species in North Carolina.

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With the death of R. Tracy Walker on Monday, Wilkes County lost a native son who truly was a public servant.

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Despite improvements in the local economy, thousands of Wilkes Countians still live day to day with uncertainty about their next meals.

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Two aspects of the case in which Wilkes Correctional Center employee Michael Todd Holloway has been arrested on federal felony firearm offenses are especially disturbing.

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When he was about to retire from the bench in December 1998, Judge Julius A. Rousseau Jr. of Wilkesboro said in a newspaper interview that all he wanted professionally was to be remembered as fair.

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Kudos to the Wilkes Solid Waste Department for implementing an initiative that pays nonprofit organizations $3 per bag of trash picked up from secondary roads in the county.

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The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in downtown North Wilkesboro on Saturday celebrates the heritage of western North Carolina and one of many great things about living here - proximity to tree-ripened apples available directly from the families that grow them.

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Due to baby boomers retiring and recent economic growth, many local employers are more interested in young people knowing there are good career opportunities right here in their home county of Wilkes.

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The good news is that the Catherine Barber Memorial Homeless Shelter board has found a new temporary shelter location, plus it has opportunities for a new permanent site.

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New technology and carelessness may be driving factors behind a nationwide rise in motor vehicle thefts.

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Questions sometimes arise about what we do at the Wilkes Journal-Patriot and why.

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E-cigarettes are the suspected cause of at least six deaths and nearly 500 more people becoming ill nationwide in recent months, giving even more reason to avoid these products.

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Just before the 2019-20 school year started, the Wilkes County Board of Education decided to replace a program that has been praised for what it accomplished for students with serious mental health needs.

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Kudos to Wilkes County school officials for a soon-to-be implemented school threat assessment system that provides a way for school staff, students and parents to anonymously report safety-related concerns.

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According to the annual Point in Time (PIT) Count of the homeless and people involved in addressing homelessness, this issue is worse than ever in Wilkes County.

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It’s past time for representatives of the five local rural water associations to have seats at the table when important discussions are held concerning public drinking water in Wilkes County.

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In various forms, an onslaught of evil exists through social media and smartphone messaging.

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These days, few phrases are as politically charged as “climate change” and “global warming.”

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Strong schools make strong communities and the best schools are those with good community support.

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With K-12 students across the state returning to classes, the N.C. Department of Transportation issued some timely reminders about looking out for school buses and students on foot.  

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The terror was real when a man chased and pointed a pellet gun at customers and employees at the Dunham’s Sports and Walmart stores on U.S. 421 in Wilkesboro Saturday night.

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Generations from now, or even sooner, the Wilkes County commissioners’ approval of a new agreement that retains the county’s rights to water in W. Kerr Scott Reservoir could prove to be an investment of vital importance.

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Growing interest in privatizing liquor sales in North Carolina justifiably raises concern about an otherwise reasonable plan for building a new ABC store in Wilkesboro.

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Well before most people seriously imagined the Russians might attempt to interfere with U.S. elections, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law requiring that all voting machines used in the 2020 election and beyond generate a paper record showing how votes were cast.