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It’s easy to dwell on what a community lacks, but Monday night’s Wilkes County commissioners meeting included a look back over what has been accomplished.

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Grandparents and others not part of the foster care system rearing children whose parents became addicted to substances should be considered as plans are made for Wilkes County’s opioid lawsuit settlement funds.

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November is National Adoption Month and Nov. 20 is National Adoption Day, designations intended to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children and teens in foster care nationwide and encourage safe and loving families to consider adopting them.

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The Wilkes County school board’s revision of a board policy that addresses parental concerns about appropriateness of books and other educational materials in the schools sends a concerning implication.

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Efforts are being made to address huge backlogs of cases in the state medical examiner’s system and the state crime lab, but more is needed.

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This is National Forest Products Week (Oct. 16-22), an appropriate time to consider an industry that has had an anchoring presence in the Wilkes County economy since furniture factories and the C.C. Smoot & Sons Tannery were established in North Wilkesboro in the early 1900s.

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The spirit of community service and volunteerism remains strong in Wilkes County’s fire departments, but it is becoming increasingly harder all the time to staff them due to a variety of factors.

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The adverse impact of a 2018 state law requiring uniformity in early, one-stop voting sites appears to have worsened in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for voters in far eastern Wilkes County.

The need for a larger farmers market with longer hours in Wilkes County and potential for worsening food shortages made for a sobering discussion during the Sept. 6 meeting of the Wilkes County commissioners.

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One can only imagine the memories unleashed during the steady flow of visitors to the rubble now piled up where the Smithey’s Goodwill building once stood at the corner of 10th and D streets in downtown North Wilkesboro.

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Chief Justice Paul Newby of the N.C. Supreme Court offered 10 suggestion of professional responsibility for attorneys when he spoke to members of the bar from the judicial district that includes Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany and Yadkin counties at the Wilkes Heritage Museum on Aug. 25.

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One of the strongest arguments for passage of a county occupancy tax during an hour-long public hearing on the topic on Aug. 2 came at the very end after 13 other people had spoken.

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Wilkes County School Superintendent Mark Byrd said during Monday night’s school board meeting that he was “owning this decision” to end Battle of the Books (BOB) in the Wilkes County Schools, thereby saying he took full responsibility for the decision.

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A non-profit that stands out for protecting basic civil rights of some of the most vulnerable residents of Wilkes County and the entire state is also among the least known.

Many people may still be unaware of a new federal law designed to prevent patients insured by private companies from receiving surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers.

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Closure of unmanned recyclable collection sites at Wilkes County schools outside the Wilkesboros, effective June 30, makes it even harder to recycle in Wilkes. This is especially true for rural residents who don’t live within reasonable driving distance from one of Wilkes County government’s…

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Over 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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According to U.S. Census estimates released in late May, well over half (61%) of North Carolina’s 551 municipalities gained population from 2020 to July 2021.

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The decision of Wilkes County School central office administrators to end the school system’s participation in Battle of the Books (BOB) leaves a disturbing impression.

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North Carolina, including Wilkes County, is in the midst of a silent surge in COVID-19 cases.

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The Brookings Institute recently released results of research indicating significant student learning losses nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Wilkes County commissioners have taken a definitive step toward addressing the county’s roadside litter problem.

Wilkes County Emergency Medical Services reached a new milestone on April 28 when it began carrying whole blood for administration directly on the scene of emergencies and while transporting patients to trauma centers.

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An audit of Bridges Charter School by the State Auditor’s Office revealed more clearly the lack of appropriate oversight and accountability in North Carolina’s charter school system.

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Perhaps it has something to do with emerging from the hardships of a pandemic, but we can’t remember a time when there have been so many efforts with so much potential for positive change in Wilkes County.

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A team of local people representing health, legal, human service and other sectors of the community believes a recent sharp rise in child fatalities in Wilkes County could be partly the result of unsafe infant sleeping conditions.

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We enthusiastically concur with many of the Wilkes County Outdoor Action Plan’s recommendations, shared with local elected officials last week and in a community meeting from 4-6 p.m. today at the Stone Center in North Wilkesboro.

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Heart disease has replaced cancer as the leading cause of death in Wilkes County, according to the 2018 and the 2022 Community Health Assessment reports.

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The many matters of public interest that failed to get the attention they deserved due to the upheaval of COVID-19 include results of a study on workforce-related transportation needs in Wilkes County.

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You might say the Wilkes Soil and Water Conservation District is producing a good return on investments, considering its success in seeking grants over the past three years.

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Data indicating that COVID-19 caused more graduating Wilkes County high school seniors to enter the workplace and fewer to attend four-year public universities was shared with the Wilkes school board Monday night.

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Unprecedented amounts of federal funds distributed among local governments and availability of even more created opportunities that challenge the imagination.

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The tragically ironic thing about sexual exploitation of children is that the most likely victims are those in need of love and attention.

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The North Wilkesboro town board’s retreat Friday at the Wilkes Art Gallery was one of the more productive and promising such sessions this governing body has held.

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Icy road conditions Monday illustrated well the unpredictability of winter weather and of being alert for the unexpected.

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Although not representative of the entire pandemic, the difference in COVID-19 death rates of Wilkes County residents and those statewide in the last week or so is disturbing.

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It’s hard to not react with cynicism when the Wilkes County commissioners talk about addressing roadside trash, as they did Jan. 18 when a Cleanup Wilkes leader asked them to make the Wilkes Solid Waste Ordinance more effective with this problem.

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Heating equipment is by far a leading cause of winter structure fires in Wilkes County.

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COVID-19 testing is perhaps more important than ever during the post-holiday surge of the omicron variant of the virus.

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Here’s a wish list with a few things we’d like to see happen in Wilkes County in 2022.

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Wilkes County is in parts of the U.S. targeted by drug cartels engaged in industrial-scale production of methamphetamine, increasingly with fentanyl added.

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More is yet to be learned about the omicron variant, but one sure bet is that the impact of this highly transmissible version of COVID-19 will be most severe in counties like Wilkes with low vaccination rates.

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Wilkes County, like much of the rest of the state and nation, is facing a workforce shortage that has become a crisis in some economic sectors.

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The Wilkes County Christmas Parade on Saturday in the Wilkesboros was one of the largest and best editions of this annual event in recent memory.

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Conditions are ripe for wildfires in Wilkes County and the area, resulting in a ban on open burning until further notice.

No amount of money can make up for the lives lost, damage to families (in some cases for generations) and economic loss from unscrupulous efforts of pharmaceutical companies to increase profits through the sale of prescription pain medication.

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The Wilkes County Band Expo was started to showcase the four Wilkes high school marching bands and raise money for these programs.

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Seventeen Wilkes County children in foster care through the Wilkes Department of Social Services are waiting for the security of being part of a family — permanently.

In a dedication ceremony Saturday for a new nature and environmental education center at Camp Harrison in Boomer that largely resulted from his efforts, B Townes observed that the disconnect between young people and the outdoors worsened during the pandemic.