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When a committee authorized by the Wilkes County commissioners starts studying ways to improve library services in Wilkes, close consideration should be given to bringing back bookmobile services.

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Congratulations to the North Wilkesboro commissioners for approving two new grant programs that promote job creation and tax base growth last week.

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Recent studies documenting the long-term ill health effects of COVID-19 should help convince those not yet vaccinated to get the shots.

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Spring is here, which means it’s time for home improvements and an increase in home improvement scams.

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Data released last week by N.C. Child, a nonprofit organization that promotes policies helping every child in the state have the opportunity to thrive, reveal mixed progress toward this goal in Wilkes County.

Knowingly or not, people who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19 without legitimate health reasons are relying on others to bring about herd immunity and end the pandemic instead of doing their part.

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The COVID-19 pandemic and state budget decisions apparently combined to make roadside litter more severe locally and statewide this spring.

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North Carolina’s new social studies standards are a much-needed step toward helping students think critically about important issues and consider a wider spectrum of views.

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Terri Parsons bears the title of Wilkes County film commissioner, but she is equally an ambassador for Wilkes.

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Fifteen of North Carolina’s 100 county governments don’t impose an occupancy tax on places of lodging and Wilkes is one of them.

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The North Wilkesboro commissioners are justified in being cautious about a landowner’s recent request for adding 33 non-contiguous acres adjoining N.C. 268 East and River Road/Liberty Grove Road to the town through satellite annexation.

If you’re still not convinced, the increasing presence of COVID-19 mutations is another reason to always wear a facial mask when social distancing isn’t possible.

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As COVID-19 vaccination rates slowly increase, it’s important to know that wearing a mask remains just as important.

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The American Red Cross has had a strong presence in Wilkes County for well over 50 years and Red Cross volunteers have helped Wilkes people get through some of their most trying times.

Junior Simmons of Thurmond, Wilkes County’s animal control (now animal services) director for nearly 25 years, retired at the end of 2020.

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The Wilkes Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic was among the first public clinics in the state offering the vaccine.

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The Boone-based Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) announced last week that completion of two conservation easements in Wilkes County allowed it to reach a benchmark of 22,000 acres of protected land in northwestern North Carolina in the final days of 2020.

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Protecting individuals — especially those most vulnerable — obviously is important, but the larger goal of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign is to achieve herd immunity.

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Christmas is a time when needs of others should take precedence.

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Details about the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine expected in North Carolina next week are a bright light at the end of one of the darkest tunnels this state has experienced in generations.

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Wilkes School Superintendent Mark Byrd brought attention to the challenges teens have faced recently during last month’s Wilkes Economic Development Corp. board meeting.

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Gov. Roy Cooper’s orders requiring face masks in public when social distancing isn’t possible and limits on the number of people in indoor settings need to be enforced in Wilkes County.

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Veterans Day should be a time of national unity as we honor the men and women in uniform who have served and defended the United States.

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A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in rural North Carolina has raised concern about the possibility of small town hospitals becoming overwhelmed this winter.

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Except perhaps immediately before and during the Civil War, it’s hard to think of a time when Americans have been more polarized than now.

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Not surprisingly, there has been an unprecedented rise in reports of adults pressuring minors to produce sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves during the COVD-19 pandemic.

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The recent COVID-19-related death of a sophomore at Appalachian State University, followed by a spike in virus cases in Boone, has many people in that college community calling for stronger safety measures.

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A report released last week documents the tremendous pent up demand for rental and for-sale housing in Wilkes County and should prompt action by county and town elected officials.

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The good news is that retail sales tax revenue rose in May and June in Wilkes County, despite expectations of a drop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The reasons to vote before Election Day (Nov. 3) are more compelling than ever this year and North Carolinians have two choices for doing so: by absentee ballot or during the early, one-stop voting period.

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With this year’s MerleFest, Brushy Mountain Apple Festival and other fundraising events canceled due to COVID-19, local nonprofits are facing big financial challenges.

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The North Wilkesboro Board of Adjustment botched a good opportunity to provide the Catherine H. Barber Memorial Homeless Shelter a long-term home last week.

It becomes harder to maintain diligence in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the pandemic drags on.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking the public’s input for developing a plan for connecting existing greenways and other trails across the state.

Rainwater runs downhill when it hits the ground and can’t evaporate or soak into the soil, particularly in towns like North Wilkesboro built largely on slopes rising from a floodplain.

“Why Wilkes,” a marketing campaign on social media launched by the Wilkes Economic Development Corp., makes a strong case for visiting or living in this county.

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The governments of Wilkes County, Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro should do more to meet certain outdoor recreation needs.

Despite the importance of students being in their classrooms, Wilkes County school officials appropriately decided to join at least half of the state’s school districts by starting the 2020-21 academic year with everyone engaged in remote learning.

Many more Americans than normal are expected to vote absentee by mail this fall due to the pandemic.

The State Board of Elections office addressed misconceptions about the security of absentee voting by mail by releasing a statement Thursday, July 30, listing 12 reasons why absentee by-mail voting is safe and secure in North Carolina.

Public health officials have repeatedly said more COVID-19 testing is essential to preventing the virus from spreading, but challenges to accomplishing this persist.

Anyone who doubts the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic should read Marty McGee’s recent article in the Wilkes Journal-Patriot or watch the companion video on the newspaper’s website about a Wilkes County family’s nightmarish experience with the virus in May.

Numerous times over the years, board and committee appointments have become controversial for the Wilkes County commissioners.

If you receive a phone call about a problem with a computer from someone purporting to be from a familiar tech firm like Apple or Microsoft, security experts say the best thing to do is immediately hang up.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the hardest of hard times for most nonprofit organizations, so much so that many are expected to go out of business nationwide.

Considering that COVID-19 is spread primarily by infected people expelling virus-laden respiratory droplets when they talk, cough or sneeze, wearing a face covering in public is common sense.

Although public access to government records and meetings is protected – with limitations - under North Carolina law, a bill in the legislature sponsored by Catawba County Rep. Mitchell Setzer would make that a right under the N.C. Constitution.

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It’s always important to get the annual flu shot, but public health officials are saying it might be essential this year.