North Surry cheerleaders learn about breast cancer | Mt. Airy News – Mount Airy News

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North Surry varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders pose with Lana Holder, who is in the center in pink.
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Students listen as Lana Holder speaks about breast health.
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Learning how to feel for irregularities.
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Bianca Betencourt, a JV cheerleader, gloves up to do an activity with a model breast that Lana Holder brought with her for the presentation.
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Mammography Technologist Lana Holder prepares to show the cheerleaders examples of healthy breast tissue as well as breast tissue with breast cancer.
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Seniors Mariana Ramos, Jacey Ward and Anahy Rincon pose for a picture with Lana Holder. She presented the seniors with a gift.
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October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the JV and Varsity cheerleaders at North Surry High School played a part in bringing that awareness to their school. For every game, home and away in the month of October, the cheerleaders wore pink socks and pink breast cancer-themed bows. They purchased breast cancer t-shirts to wear at school and the varsity squad has used pink pom-poms at the games.
During Spirit Week, held during the week of Homecoming, the varsity cheerleaders sponsored “Stick it to Breast Cancer” during lunch. They set up a selfie station where students could take pics and post on social media.
As the month was coming to an end, the cheerleaders invited Lana Holder, a mammography technologist with Northern Regional Hospital to present a program on breast cancer and breast health. Holder, being a former Greyhound cheerleader, was thrilled to return to her alma mater and work with these young women.
She started off her program asking the cheerleaders how many of them knew someone with breast cancer? Several of them raised their hands. The ladies had moms, grandmas, aunts and great-aunts that had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Emily Bruner, a varsity cheerleader, has had a personal experience with breast cancer. Her mother, Kim, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Emily shared that she was in the second grade when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Holder continued the program by telling the young women what effect COVID-19 has had on breast health. During the pandemic, women often put off their mammograms. Unfortunately, by the time many women made their mammogram appointments, many months had passed. For this reason, the mammography department has seen an increase in more advanced breast cancers that typically would have been caught early had ladies not postponed their mammograms.
Holder brought a portable X-ray viewer and showed the ladies images of what healthy breasts look like as well as images with actual breast cancer. She talked about breast tissue and explained that many women, especially younger women, have dense breasts. For several of the young women, they had never heard that term. Many of the young women were surprised to find out that breast tissue covered the area from just under their collar-bone, their entire breast and all the way around to their armpit. Holder told the young women that breast cancer could occur in any of that large area.
She discussed the importance of knowing how your breast feel normally so that you will be aware when there are unusual changes in your breasts. She emphasized how important early detection was, when it comes to breast cancer. Holder then divided the young women into small groups and with gloved hands, each cheerleader was able to see if they could feel any irregularities or lumps in several breast models.
Airam Casas, a varsity cheerleader said, “I really liked this. She told us we didn’t have to feel embarrassed and we could ask her anything. It was just truthful and raw. I believe it’s beneficial for girls our age. A lot of us didn’t even know what to look for. It helped us to see what was normal and what was not.”
Holder gave each of the cheerleaders a gift but wanted to recognize the three senior girls, Mariana Ramos, Anahy Rincon and Jacey Ward, with a breast cancer tote than had many items, including a water bottle and mask that both displayed the word, “Hope.” The cheerleaders also had a small gift for Holder which included a North Surry T-shirt.
Junior Varsity Cheerleading Coach Karen Romero said, “Having Lana come and talk to the cheerleaders about breast cancer was an awesome experience. She provided very valuable information to the cheerleaders about breast cancer and made them more aware of risk factors and self-examinations. I think they all have a better understanding of what breast cancer is and will use their roles in the school to help make others aware of the illness as well.”
Cedar Ridge hosts Breast Cancer Awareness event
Police reports
December 19, 2022
The spirit of competition and the aiding of a worthy cause proved to be a winning combination when former basketball players at Mount Airy High School got together for weekend alumni games.
Forty-one ex-Bears, both men and women, had signed up for the chance to display their skills once again Saturday afternoon in the same loud gym where they had thrilled fans during many a hoops battle over the years.
In addition to an enthusiastic group of players, fans packed the bleachers for the alumni games pitting squads designated as blue teams and white teams — conducted on a rotating basis with male and female units taking their turns on the court.
While those contests were simply exhibitions, the play was competitive and fast-paced, with each score greeted by appreciative applause from spectators.
“None of us really likes losing — that’s something we learned at Mount Airy,” explained Grant Routh, a member of its Class of 2021. He had played forward for the Bears and once again was running up and down the court Saturday as if he’d never left.
Routh, now a student at UNC-Wilmington, seemed glad to find himself back in the familiar confines of the Bears gym, which served as a time capsule for players from both the near and distant past.
“It’s fun to see all your friends and see who you watched in middle school,” he added during a break in the action.
Multiple players who suited up had graduated as far back as 1994 while others represented more recent years. The ladies competition featured members of the Bears’ state championship teams of 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
Boost for memorial effort
While the scores were kept just as they are for a regular basketball game, the real winner Saturday was a project to develop a memorial to fallen military members near the entrance to Mount Airy High School.
It is being spearheaded by Randy Moore, a U.S. Army veteran who serves on the city school board and launched the effort to provide such a fixture on campus grounds for the first time.
The memorial is to include a display honoring fallen soldiers with emblems of individual service branches, flags and possibly some fitting quotations. The estimated cost of the project is around $25,000.
Moore was unsure Saturday how much the alumni game fundraiser would generate, with all the proceeds still to be tallied.
“We’re going to be happy with what’s given,” he said, pointing out that the sum involved will be more than what memorial planners had on hand before the event.
But Moore did say in remarks to the spectators that everything seems to be falling into place for the project — “and we’ve got the end in sight.”
Donations will continue to be sought from both individuals and businesses to put the campaign over the top.
Moore said that aside from any financial considerations, the fact Saturday’s alumni game benefit was student-led is a gift in itself, with the school’s Technology Student Association (TSA) heavily involved. Garrett Howlett, a technical/career teacher at MAHS, directs that group and designed the memorial.
“That’s priceless,” he said of young people coming forward to support their school, the community and its military veterans.
“This is a terrific day to be a Granite Bear,” Moore told the crowd, which responded with a loud cheer.
December 19, 2022
The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Monday ordered a new election in the Town of Dobson Board of Commissioners.
J. Wayne Atkins and Walter White each had seemed to secure a successful re-election run, garnering the top two voting totals in a four-way race. Atkins received 184 votes, while White tallied 167, in the Nov. 8 election. John Jonczak was third at 159, while the late Sharon Gates-Hodges, who died during the campaign, recorded 106 votes.
However, two challenges were filled to the race — one by Jonczak. The local board of elections had, in a split vote, forwarded the case to the state with the recommendation a new election be ordered. That recommendation was upheld Monday and the state board of elections has ordered a new election be held on March 7.
The state said the same names will be listed in the same order the exception being the name of Sharon Gates-Hodges, who passed away before the general election. Her name will be removed and there will be no new filing period. That means no new candidates may enter the race that will now pit incumbents White and Atkins against newcomer and local businessman Jonczak.
The pair of challenges to the results were filed by candidate Jonczak and resident Jimmy Yokeley over the conduct of a poll worker. It was asserted, and never challenged, that a poll worker in Dobson had acted improperly by providing information on the candidates to voters.
Yokeley testified the poll worker told a couple in front of him in line at the Dobson polling location that a candidate had died, that the poll worker told him a candidate had died — and said the dead candidate was Jonczak —and resident Nancy Hill sent an affidavit that she was told by the poll worker a candidate had died.
Yokeley told the board the poll worker violated two state statutes which, “Changed the outcome of the Dobson commissioners’ race.”
Commissioners Atkins and White had filed appeals to the local ruling. In their appeals the two said the county’s hearing had been rushed, did not present enough evidence, and did not prove that the poll worker’s actions had any influence on the election.
The extent to which the poll worker’s conduct influenced the outcome of the election is unable to be determined. The board asked for election day data that showed Jonczak got the most in-person votes at the Dobson polling location, and indicated the poll worker in question — whose name has never been released by the Board of Elections — did work at the polling station all day on election day.
County elections chairwoman Michella Huff was asked by the board if the poll worker in questioned had been subpoenaed or asked to make a statement to the county board – she had not. The poll worker in question remained at her duty station even after Huff arrived for an in-person investigation on election day after the complaint reached her office.
The appeals from White and Atkins were dismissed by the state board in part for the claim they made that the county hearing had been rushed or presented partial evidence. Only what the county board sent to the state shall be considered in a hearing.
While the state board of elections may have agreed that hearing from the poll worker could have been illuminating, that ship sailed when the county board accepted the motion to advance the challenges to Raleigh with only the evidence they had in hand.
With the appeals of the challenges of the election results dismissed, the board then voted unanimously to hold a new election for the two Dobson commissioner seats. Early voting for the new Dobson commissioners’ race will begin Feb. 16 and the election will be held on March 7.
State board member Stacy Eggers said he knew that holding a new election would be challenging and an inconvenience, but he said that holding a new election “is the proper remedy.”
State Elections Board Chair Damon Circosta called the actions of the poll worker “unfortunate” and said of the decision calling for a new election, “We don’t do this lightly.”
State elections director Karen Brinson Bell told the state board there would be no problems with those date. Huff agreed saying her office had been aware these were the dates under consideration, and Surry County would be ready.
Atkins and White will continue to serve on the Dobson board in completion of their current terms, according to state election law.
In comments made later Monday after the board hearing, Huff said that if there were to be two polling places on election day, that cost plus early voitng and absentee voting would be less than $15,000.
Removal of board members?
The state board then held a prima facie hearing on a challenge filed from Bob Hall against two members of the Surry County Board of Elections in which he asks for their removal from the county elections board.
Much as when the county board heard the evidence from Jonczak and Yokeley, the state wanted to talk over the filing from Hall, the former long-time director of Democracy NC, in which he asked that Tim DeHaan and Jerry Forestieri be removed from the county board.
The two local board of elections members took umbrage with the 2018 ruling of Federal Judge Loretta Biggs that knocked down North Carolina’s voter identification law and wrote a letter containing strong language about their feelings on the judge and her ruling.
Hall asserted that the two board members could not execute their oath of office while making partisan statements such as when they wrote, “I don’t view election law per North Carolina State Board of Elections as legitimate or Constitutional.”
In his complaint to the state he wrote, “They take an oath when they begin service and it is an oath to uphold the state law, the state and federal constitution, and obey the authorities and rulings of the state.” For them to openly challenge the state’s authority to conduct elections is a step beyond the First Amendment, he contends.
First the state board must establish if Hall had any standing to make a challenge to Surry County’s board of elections as he does not live in the county. The state’s lawyer informed that in his opinion the wording of the statutes does allow for Hall to make a protest.
Hall said their conduct and language in a letter sent to their fellow board members was of such a charged partisan nature that it would seem to invalidate their oaths of office to execute the laws of the United States and North Carolina. “It can be hard for the people of Surry County to have confidence that people can serve in the manner they should,” he said when board of elections members take such strong public stances.
Members of the state board found the issue of the Hall complaint to be less cut and dried than of the appeals to the election results. The First Amendment protects free speech, and the county board members were within their rights to express an opinion on what Eggers said is a charged issue in this state.
He went on to warn of a slippery slope if the state board chooses to start bringing before them county board members to explain matters of their opinion and that it may have a “chilling effect” on other who may want to serve.
“Mr. Forestieri choosing not to proceed with the county canvass is concerning and I think it (is) what merits moving forward with a hearing. The distinction with Mr. DeHaan is he did in fact discharge his duties and proceed with the canvass certification,” Eggers said before the vote.
As this was a preliminary hearing on the Hall complaint there was no testimony or statements. Chair Circosta said that he, like Eggers, had questions about the validity of the complaints against DeHaan and Forestieri.
He said an actual hearing was needed to make a final determination as to whether their conduct rose to the level of removal, “I do not have my mind made up, but it is important we hear these issues.”
In a unanimous vote the board advanced the complaint on Forestieri to a formal hearing, they also advanced the DeHaan complaint in a 3-2 vote with members Eggers and Tommy Tucker voting no. The dates for these hearing are to be determined.
December 18, 2022
Surry Community College student Sabrena Hemric, 43, decided to enroll in Medical Office Administration classes and earn a degree because she was motivated to make a career change and continue to grow professionally.
After she graduated from Elkin High School in 1997, Hemric signed up for classes at Surry Community College to be a nurse.
“I decided not to continue because I was uncertain if that was what I wanted to do. I had my mind on salary and didn’t like dealing with blood. I realized there are better career options for me,” she said. “I started researching careers and knew I wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. I started a job at a CVS pharmacy in January of 2000, training as a pharmacy technician.”
Hemric worked for CVS in Yadkinville for 19 years in the pharmacy.
“The only experience I had was knowing how to operate a computer. At CVS, I loved working in a fast-paced environment and knowing I would play a part in keeping people happy and healthy, so I became certified within a year in 2001,” she said.
Hemric received on-the-job training to study for the pharmacy technician certification exam and earned her certification. She worked as a pharmacy technician for 12 years and then as lead pharmacy technician and inventory specialist for the remainder of her time at CVS.
A job opening in Elkin for a pharmacy technician at Revival, a pain management clinic, caught her attention. This office was opening a drug dispensary, and a pharmacy technician was needed to teach the doctors more about the drugs they would be prescribing in terms of how the drugs looked after being produced by different pharmaceutical companies.
“I prayed about it and took a leap and applied,” Hemric said. “It was a hard decision to make because I was comfortable in my old job, but the idea of this job was intriguing. I also liked the work schedule better because retail pharmacy work is so demanding.”
In 2011, she started working at Revival, and a patient room was made into a dispensary.
“I taught doctors what medicines looked like and taught them the process of dispensing,” she said. “It was so interesting and fun. This was my first experience working with doctors. I love to learn and experience different things.”
Dr. Ben Raines became Hemric’s mentor and advised her to further her education in the Medical Office Administration program.
“He saw abilities in me that I couldn’t see in myself,” she said. “He guided me and tested me daily. He asked me questions and even gave me an IQ test. He encouraged me to go to school and get the Medical Office Administration degree. He acted like I was one of his daughters. He checked in on me and called me ‘his kid.’ He complimented my work and pushed me to do even more.”
Hemric worked with the patients at check-ins and check-outs to verify they were using their prescription medicines, highly controlled narcotics, accurately. She did pill counts and examined the pills to make sure they were from the correct manufacturers.
“I enjoy helping people and working in a team setting,” Hemric said. “I like finding solutions, preventing problems and helping my team members. I learned the clinical setting of healthcare at the pain clinic. I was always willing to help in different areas. I wanted to learn everything I could. I shadowed the practice manager and would fill in for her whenever she was out.”
Northern Regional Hospital acquired the pain clinic after Hemric was on the job for about a year and a half. She worked for the pain clinic for 10 years.
“Northern Regional offers tuition assistance to employees. They are a fantastic company,” Hemric said. “They take care of their employees. They made a good impression on me. So, when they withdrew from the pain clinic, I decided to come with them.”
In fall 2020, she enrolled in Medical Office Administration classes at Surry Community College. She has taken all her classes online while working full-time. She plans to finish the degree in the spring.
At the end of September, she began working as a pharmacy technician at Northern Regional Hospital where she worked for two months before getting a promotion. She was encouraged to apply and landed the role of being the administrative leader for the hospitalists, a job which she began on Dec. 7.
“When they offered me the job, I was tickled to death. I thought, what amazing opportunities I am getting, and I haven’t even completed my degree yet,” Hemric said.
Hemric graduated from the Northern Leadership Academy, which is a competitive, internal program for employees of Northern Regional Hospital. This year’s academy had 20 applicants,with seven being accepted. Each member of the Northern Leadership Academy completes a case study. For her case study, Hemric put her problem-solving skills to work and formulated a process to improve communication between the hospitalists and staff, resulting in improved patient care, and decreased wait time for patients approved for release.
“I love challenges, and I love working for Northern. They want you to grow. They help you,” she said.
On Fridays, Hemric assists hospital operations in the administrative suite, which has helped her learn about another department of the hospital – its highest leadership.
“You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t be afraid – it made me nervous to change careers and get out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I did,” she said. “Earning my college degree is opening up job opportunities for me that I never thought were possible.
Hemric lives in Elkin with her husband, Chad, and daughters, Ashley, Lauren and Haley, and grandson, Ashton.
SCC’s Medical Office Administration program offers a degree, diploma and three certificates including Medical Office Administration, Medical Billing & Insurance and Patient Services Representative. The program prepares students for employment as medical administrative personnel in the areas of medical billing and coding, dental office, patient services, and medical documents.
Registration is open for spring courses. For questions about college application, financial aid, or class registration, contact Student & Workforce Services at 336-386-3264 or studentservices@surry.edu.
December 18, 2022
Surry Online Magnet School held its annual science fair recently, with high school science teacher Karen Romero coordinating the event.
As part of the fair, students were interviewed by judges Jennifer Lowe and Bretta Priddy, who asked questions about why they chose their project, what they learned, and was there anything they would have done differently” The judges then reviewed the projects and determined which projects would move onto the county science fair.
Bentley Snow won as the elementary representative, Ethan Hemmings as the middle school representative, and Cheridon Akers as the high school representative.
December 18, 2022
In recording deeds, the state of North Carolina does not require that the amount paid for a parcel be stated on the deed. However a tax stamp at the rate of $2 for every $1,000 in value is affixed to each deed.
Recent real estate transfers recorded in the Surry County Register of Deed’s office include:
– Charles Dean Eldridge and Vena Christine Freeman to Vena Chritine Freeman; 54 6/10 acres Dobson; $0.
– Estate of Effie Elizabeth Ceasar, Estate of Elizabeth Fulton, Estate of Effie Elizabeth Mills, Tina Lynette Ceaser, Bradley Ceaser, Effie Elizabeth Ceaser, Elizabeth Fulton and Effie Elizabeth Mills to Aisling Real Estate Solutions, LLC; tract Estate of Effie Elizabeth Ceaser file 21 E 675; $20.
– Naomi M. Dudley and Darryl K. Dudley to Edwin Wayne Johnson and Diane Miller Johnson; lots 31-34 block C Blue Ridge Acres subdivision PB 5 3; $0.
– Mark Edward Shelton to Jacob Ryan Zimmer and Pamela Santiyani; tract one 6.905 acres tract C and tract two 3.741 acres tract A Raymond Johnson estate PB 11 107; $700.
– Fred H. Susebach and Mary R. Susebach to Jonah Hooiser and Patricia Hooiser; 20.057 acres PB 26 185 Rockford; $800.
– Aisling Real Estate Solutions, LLC to Guadalupe Ramirez Pinon and Ramon Torres Matta; tract; $64.
– Gayle Steinbecker and Peter J. Tierney to Christopher S. Cooke and Naomi Cooke; 0.606 acres PB 41 194 Pilot; $700.
– Danny Felts and Amanda Felts to Hometown Capital, LLC; two tracts (Surry) (Yadkin); $107.
– Marty Dale Holt to Cynthia Phillips; 1.62 acres tract 5A Shoals; $0.
– Allen J. Lovill Trust Agreement, Robert J. Lovill III, Elizabeth J. Lovill and Allen J. Lovill to Jeffrey Louis Brucker and Joann G. Brucker; lots 48-50 Riverside Acres PB 6 75 Mount Airy; $120.
– Claire Kirkman Melton to BEHA Investments, LLC; $160.
– Donita Needham, Kevin Needham, Mark Hooker, Libby Hooker and Noretta Hooker to Mark Anthony Hooker and Libby T. Hooker; tract Mount Airy; $0.
– Rosy Johnson Dunevant, Rosy Johnson Evans and Samuel Dunevant to Joanie Evans Hodges; tract Franklin; $0.
– Nicholas Blake Draughn to Stacey Sheffield and Julie Sheffield; lot 48 section 3 Greenfield subdivision PB 8 16 Mount Airy; $350.
– Bonnie Gail Easter and Gail Williams Easter to Bradley Scott Parsons and Ashley Michelle Parsons; tract Mount Airy; $260.
– Elizabeth Carol Ramsey, Phillip Ramsey, Ezra Charles Hatcher, Ernestine C. Hatcher, Beverly Marie Dabney and James Christopher Hatcher to Daniel A. Dresser and Donna J. Dresser; tract Mount Airy; $250.
– Darryl Wesley Wilson and Durenda Lee Wilson to Fieldyn Grey Hawks; 0.93 acres PB 20 160 Mount Airy; $740.
– Todd Alan Akerlind and Karen Akerlind to Donna M. Gillespie and John T. Gillespie; 1.033 acres lot 9 Oxbow Rancho PB 8 93 Mount Airy; $498.
– Belinda Barker Sigmon and Jerome Douglas Sigmon to Matthew C. Burke and Madison L. Burke; 2.616 acres Bryan; $640.
– Jack L. Schaff and Wanda F. Schaff to Timothy Spaugh and Crystal Spaugh; tract one 10.36 acres and tract two 6.392 acres Franklin; $690.
– Timothy Chad Stanley, Erin Brannen Stanley, Adam Dunkley Stanley and Katherine Agatha Tsamis to Stanley & Stanley Enterprises, L.L.C.; six tracts PB 41 159 Stewarts Creek; $0.
– Jane Underwood and Steven E. Underwood to Joey Marsala and Carina Marsala; lots 7-9 block A H.D. Woodruff property PB 3 71 150 E Highland Avenue Elkin; $264.
– Estate of Rebecca Mae Atkins, Jerry Wayne Atkins, Ricky Dale Atkins and Rebecca Mae Atkins to James Derrick Bobbitt and Allison Atkins Bobbitt; executors deed tract one 1 1/2 acres and tract two 64/100 acres and tract three 45/100 acres Dobson estate of Rebecca Mae Atkins file 22 E 763; $165.
– The Lydia C. Ackerman Trust, Lydia C. Ackerman, Robyn Colleen Reagan and Morgan Ackerman Fisher to Jason McClamrock and Wendy McClamrock; 7,584 sq ft portion of lot 1 block 24 PB 1 204; $280.
– Rita Mordini to Todd Allen Alan Akerlind and Karen Akerlind; condominium deed unit 4A River Run Condominium phase 1 bk 1 193-203; $300.
– Kathryn Geraldine Pruett Personal Trust, Rachel Frances Eldridge and Kathryn Geraldine Pruett to Tonda R. Phillips; tract Mount Airy; $595.
– Elizabeth Brindle Creed to Matthew Zan Creed; quitclaim deed lots 6-8 Skyline Acres PB 8 46 Dobson; $0.
– Perry Don Daughenbaugh and Megan Lowe Daughenbaugh to Bruce Jacob Golding and Kari Beth Golding; 2.20 acres Franklin; $29.
– Betty T. Gordon, Johnny Daniel Gordon, Jimmy Vestal Robertson, Beulah Robertson, Vestal David Robertson and Susan Robertson to Jimmy Vestal Robertson and Vestal David Robertson; 4.9 acres Stewarts Creek; $80.
– Ricky James Martin and Teresa M. Martin to Wyatt Austin Edwards and Makayla Mae Baker; 1 acres S. Westfield; $310.
– Michael Raeford Sumner and Janice Orithea Sumner to Mark Edward Westmoreland; tract one lots 15-18 and tract two 11-14 block B R.E Hollingsworth Estate subdivision PB 4 139 Mount Airy; $460.
– Catherine P. Hamby to William Colby Lowery; 1.12 acres Mount Airy; $580.
– Magnoir Castillo, Cristina Diaz and Alexandra C. Sierra to Michael Sean Beamer; .426 acres lot 3 Town and Country Woods section 6 PB 7 107 Mount Airy; $240.
– Brenda Collins Poplin to Diane Hamlin Hardy; lots 5-7 J.G. Wood Farm property section A Rockford; $28.
– Brett Jordan Bunker and Maddison Ryley James to Weston Bowe Meacham and Kenadee Morgan Meacham; 10.121 acres PB 41 97 Eldora; $180.
– Charlton Heath Foster and Jessica R. Foster to James J. Dobson; lot 48 Forest Knoll section 1 PB 6 168 and lot 24 section 2 Forest Knoll development PB 7 118-A Stewarts Creek; $608.
– Mark Edward Shelton to Jacob Ryan Zimmer and Pamela Santiyani; 0.451 acres Eldora; $0.
– Kevin Geovani Guerrerro and Brittany Jean Slate to Dylan Austin Southerland and Brittany Southerland; lot 18 section 7 Oakwood Estates PB 7 27 Stewarts Creek; $278.
– Becky T. Draughn and Rebecca T. Draughn to Ernest James Angel; lot 45 section IV Cedar Ridge subdivision PB 11 111 Mount Airy; $22o.
– Mark Andrew Herman and Stacey L. Herman to Matthew Jon Slawter and Renata Vasquez Slawter; 1.115 acres Elkin; $716.
– Ckeek’s Water Works, Inc. to Roger Brian Anthony; 25 acres Bryan; $400.
– Kathryn Geraldine Pruett Personal Trust, Rachel Frances Eldrige and Kathryn Geraldine Pruett to Geovanni Mondragon; 28.37 acres PB 9 51 Mount Airy; $220.
– Antonio Sierra Castillo and Angelica Castillo to Adrian Cruz Montoya; lot 40 section 2 Windgate subdivision PB 13 53-54 Dobson; $90.
– Charles Keith Rawley and Mary Ethel Rawley to Matthew France; lot 15 PB 6 17 Mount Airy; $24.
– Bruckie F. Ashburn and Reginia C. Ashburn to Michael John Farrar and Kathryn Sue Farrar; 12.46 acres; $1,000.
– Dalton Lane Osborne to Michael J. Osborne; tract Bryan; $0.
– Cheryl J. Marion to Benny and Diane Snow, LLC; 2.10 acres Dobson; $100.
– Cheryl J. Marion to Michael Culp and Susan E. Culp; 2.725 acres Dobson; $100.
– Barbara P. Blood and Laurence A. Blood Jr. to Nancy Nacar Martinez Estrada; lot 1 and A portion of lot 2 block D PB 1 84 Mount Aiy; $124.
– 917 Banner St. Trust and Catherine Snow to Noelia Martinez Hernandez and Alma Hernandez; .50 acres; $260.
– Bobby Wayne Bullins and Barbara Bullins to Department of Transportation State of North Carolina; deed for highway right of way bridge #850062 on SR 1350 over Stewarts Creek Mount Airy; $19.
– Heather Harbour Bedsaul, Maria Dianne Bedsaul, Roger Lee Bedsaul Jr. and Christopher Sean Bedsaul to Eaton Legacy, LLC; tract one tract B, C and D PB 12 41 and tract two Mount Airy; $0.
– Dennis Simmons to Susette Simmons to Guadalupe Castillo; lots 1-7 Baldwin development PB 1 72 Mount Airy; $290.
– John Grover Stanley Jr. to Gary Dean Potts and Jennifer Rose Potts; tract one lot 3 and tract two lot 4 Billy L. Simpson property Eldora; $130.
– The Glenn and Selina Dougherty Living Trust, Glenn Dougherty and Selina Dougherty to Jarad Dillon Payne; lots 17-20 PB 3 27 Mount Airy; $320.
– Robert Dustin Hunter and Kirby Owens Hunter to Stephanie C. Butner and Justin G. Butner; tract one 7.096 acres and tract two 4.305 acres PB 32 188; $1,300.
– Billie R. Wood Jr. and Glenda B. Wood to Colton Paul Richardson; 1.493 acres PB 42 18 Elkin; $488.
– John P. Barron to Margaret Hearn Wagoner, Matthew J. Wagoner and John P. Barron; tract Elkin; $6.
– James Walter Farnsworth, Mark Stephen Farnsworth and Christine Nolan Farnsworth to Scott M. Penny and April C. Penny; 25.898 acres tract one PB 41 177 Longhill; $280.
– Randy Marshall to Dawn Denise Caudle; 1.004 acres Cook land PB 41 150 Shoals ; $0.
December 18, 2022
The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:
– Christopher Blane Bowman, 34, of Surry County to Christina Aleeca Snodgraa, 35, of Surry County.
– John William Bradshaw, 29, of Surry County to Alena Marie Tarpley, 30, of Surry County.
– John Kyndall Harmon, 22, of Surry County to Madison Alexandra Wilson, 21, of Surry County.
– Clemente Galana, 22, of Surry County to Lilian Yolanda Antunez, 21, of Surry County.
– Robert Eugene Perkins, 26, of Greenville County, South Carolina to Kristina Lane Blackburn, 25, of Greenville County.
– Carlos Daniel Secundino, 27, of Surry County to Nelda Ruiz, 23, of Surry County.
– Jonathan Wesley Church, 30, of Surry County to Monica Iveth Santos Rodriguez, 29, of Surry County.
– Cody Dwayne Holt, 31, of Surry County to Kimberly Renee Snow, 34, of Surry County.
– Reginaldo Guerrero Gonzalez, 46, of Surry County to Victorina Marquez Hernandez, 46, of Surry County.
– Nicholas Alexander Johnston, 29, of Richland County, South Carolina to Taylor Jenette Mullins, 26, of Kershaw County, South Carolina.
– Brandon Eugene Childress, 42, of Surry County to Tammy Jo Burcham, 48, of Surry County.
– Dakota Joseph New, 27, of Patrick County, Virginia to Leigh Ann Zell, 24, of Patrick County.
– Anthony Hernandez Jr., 29, of Surry County to Estefani Joana Lopez, 28, of Surry County.
– Orlando Alexander Rodriguez Castillo, 25, of Surry County to Gabriela Cedeno Bidot, 24, of Surry County.
– John Garrett Stevens, 20, of Surry County to Sarah Michelle Callaway, 19, of Surry County.
December 18, 2022
North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Correction, is seeking information on the whereabouts of the following individuals:
• Zachary Brian Willis, 35, a white male wanted a post-release warrant who is on supervision for felony habitual felon, two counts felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance, two counts use/possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless driving;
• William Aaron Tinsley, 27, a white male wanted on a post-release warrant and probation violations who is on supervision for four counts felony breaking and entering vehicles, two counts felony larceny of firearms, felony identity theft and felony credit card theft;
• Christina Michelle Roberson, 45, a white female wanted on probation violations who is on probation for possession of a schedule II controlled substance, three counts use/possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of schedule VI controlled substance;
• Chrisopher William Turney, 38, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for assault on a female.
View all probation absconders on the internet at http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi and click on absconders. Anyone with information on any probation absconders should contact Crime Stoppers at 786-4000, county probation at 719-2705 or the Mount Airy Police Department at 786-3535.
December 18, 2022
The following divorces were granted in Surry County:
– Camilline Grace Hall and Caleb Aaron Hall; granted on Dec. 1.
– Jade Nicole Simmons and William Blake Haynes; granted on Dec. 1.
– Cecil Gale Hicks and Denise Lynn Hicks; granted on Dec. 1.
– Cassandra Lynn Bennett and Brandon W. Bennett; granted on Dec. 1.
– Mildred E. Cody and Gus A. Cody; granted on Dec. 1.
– Devon Myers Benjamin Krouse and Emily Anne Benjamin Krause; granted on Dec. 1.
– Beverly Lynn Higgins and William Bradley Higgins; granted on Dec. 1.
– Joey Holland and Lorrie Holland; granted on Dec. 1.
– Shanda Ann Bowman and Curtis Dean Bowman; granted on Dec. 1.
– Philicia Marion and Robert Henry Marion; granted on Dec. 12.
– Joseph Tyron Valentine and Stephanie Marie Simpson; granted on Dec. 12.
– Kathryn Spencer Moore and Justin Ernest Moore; granted on Dec. 12.
December 18, 2022
Last Saturday, the Mount Airy High School football team was huddling in Raleigh to capture the 1-A state championship — and five days later it blitzed the local Municipal Building for special recognition by city officials.
“You guys fill up a room,” Mayor Jon Cawley told the large contingent of players and coaches who gathered Thursday night during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
“And what you did in the last few weeks filled up a community,” Cawley said of the pride gleaned from the Bears’ title run that culminated with a 20-7 win over Tarboro in the championship game played at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“I want to thank you for giving our community so much to be proud of,” added the mayor, who read a city government resolution of recognition in honor of the team’s accomplishment last Saturday which capped a 15-1 season.
The resolution cites the qualities of commitment, hard work, athletic talent, teamwork and dedication to their sport that its members exhibited which creates a “positive image” for the school and local citizens.
Cawley presented a copy of the document to J.K. Adkins, the Bears’ head coach, which also will become a permanent part of the city government records.
Each player attending was given the opportunity to introduce himself during Thursday night’s program.
Coach Adkins also responded to the attention showed by city officials.
“I’m proud to be here tonight and be recognized,” he said, while pointing out that a true team effort was responsible for the Bears’ success on the gridiron.
“This was a great year made possible by a lot of different people,” Adkins explained, including much work by them behind the scenes.
“And this has been years in the making.”
Remarks from council
Along with the resolution, individual members of the city board offered comments expressing their appreciation to the team while surrounded by the sea of players.
“This was a great win for the high school and the city,” Commissioner Phil Thacker told them. “It was such a great season and now you’re the best in the state.”
“You are going down in history,” Commissioner Deborah Cochran advised the players and coaches, saying that many other teams “would love to be in your place right now.”
Aside from the physical skills that played a part in the victory were other traits noted by Mount Airy officials which contributed greatly to that outcome.
“I sat and watched the game with my husband,” said Commissioner Marie Wood, who admired the confidence, poise and grit the players displayed.
Wood also said the state championship was extra-special to her as a graduate of Mount Airy High School whose brother-in-law, Johnny Wood, was on a state championship team there in the late 1960s.
“Once a Bear, always a Bear,” the South Ward board member added. “So I’m a Bear.”
“You could just see the fight in these guys,” said Commissioner Chad Hutchens. “I couldn’t be there Saturday (in Raleigh), but I watched every minute on TV,” in addition to monitoring a local radio broadcast of the game when leaving his home.
While Commissioner Tom Koch said he was impressed by the squad’s strong play — including the cooperative effort exhibited when Tarboro ball carriers found themselves swarmed by tacklers on countless occasions — its sportsmanship also was noteworthy.
Koch mentioned the little things — how Mount Airy players respectfully handed the ball to game officials after being stopped rather than throwing it at them as others do, and the reaction to a Tarboro player taking a swipe at a Bear.
But instead of retaliating, he ignored the opponent’s behavior and went on with his business.
“The attitude of the players made my heart swell,” Koch said.
Cochran assured team members that in addition to enjoying the moment, they can use it as fuel in the future. “If you ever have self-doubts in your life, remember this victory.”
“We couldn’t be more proud of them,” Mayor Cawley said.
The resolution of recognition he presented to Coach Adkins also designates Sunday as “Mount Airy Bears Day” in the city.
This coincides with a parade to be held Sunday to highlight both the Bears football squad and the Mount Airy High School girls tennis team that also won the state championship this fall.
The event billed as the “Parade of Champions” will include a procession of those players, the school’s cheerleaders and its marching band departing from Mount Airy High and heading to the downtown area before returning to the campus.
December 18, 2022
This is a resolution of recognition prepared in honor of the Mount Airy High School football team winning the 1-A state championship — read during a meeting of the city commissioners Thursday night attended by players and coaches:
WHEREAS, the Mount Airy Granite Bears ended the 2022 football season with a 15-1 record; and
WHEREAS, the 2022 Mount Airy Granite Bears football team and their coaches have demonstrated the teamwork and drive necessary to produce a successful and winning season; and
WHEREAS, these football players have shown commitment and dedication to their sport; and
WHEREAS, the Mount Airy Granite Bears played at the highest level throughout the 2022 football season and finished with a 1-A state championship win over Tarboro with a winning score of Mount Airy 20, Tarboro 7; and
WHEREAS, the Mount Airy Granite Bears and their coaches have helped create a positive image for their school and the citizens of the city of Mount Airy:
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY OF MOUNT AIRY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IN OPEN SESSION THAT:
Section 1. The mayor and Board of Commissioners do hereby commend the Granite Bears football team along with Head Coach J.K. Adkins and all assistant coaches for their hard work, exceptional talent and success during this football season.
Section 2. The mayor and Board of Commissioners extend their heartfelt congratulations and sincere best wishes for the continued success for each member and coach of the Granite Bears football team in their future endeavors.
Section 3. The mayor and Board of Commissioners do hereby designate Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 as “Mount Airy Bears Day” in the city of Mount Airy and encourage all citizens to recognize the accomplishments of this team.
Section 4. Mayor Cawley is hereby authorized to present this resolution to the Mount Airy Granite Bears football team this the 15th day of December. 2022.
In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Mount Airy to be affixed on this the 15th day of December 2022.
Jon Cawley, mayor
Attested by Melissa N. Brame, city clerk
(The resolution will be in the permanent records of the municipality.)
December 18, 2022
New titles available at the Mount Airy Public Library:
Fiction
Jackal – Erin E. Adams
Secrets of the Nile – Tasha Alexander
Peg and Rose Solve a Murder – Lauren Berenson
The Witch in the Well – Camilla Bruce
The Furies – John Connolly
Devil House – John Darnielle
It Starts With Us – Colleen Hoover
Reminders of Him – Colleen Hoover
Nettle & Bone – T. Kingfisher
Jacqueline in Paris – Ann Mah
Ghost Eaters – Clay McLeod Chapman
Sometimes People Die – Simon Stephenson
Non-Fiction
American Sirens – Kevin Hazzard
The Year of the Puppy – Alexandra Horowitz
Over My Dead Body – Greg Melville
Large Print Fiction –
Next in Line – Jeffrey Archer
It Starts With Us – Colleen Hoover
Large Print Non-Fiction –
Making a Scene – Constance Wu – (biography)
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Storytime is here for kids of all ages. Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. is Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. is Book Babies for children ages birth to 2 years old; and on Thursday at 11 a.m. is Preschool Storytime for ages 4-5.
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STEAMed Up Tuesdays from 4 — 5 p.m. Interactive fun and learning for youth in grades 4 through 6.
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Hooked – Join our crochet and knitting club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Open for all skill levels. Bring your own yarn and make the group project or bring your own project to work on.
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Crimes and Crafts is the final Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. A new book club for adults that focuses on murder, mayhem, true crime and other tales of terror. The first meeting will be Dec. 20 and the first book will be “The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold.
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Tai Chi Fridays. Experience meditation in motion, 10 a.m. every Friday in the Multipurpose Room All skill levels are welcome.
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The Community Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. This month’s book is Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb.
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Chapters Book Club – meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30. Members discuss the different books they have read.
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Toy Trains from Grandpa’s Attic, a presentation by Eric Cook, will be Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. Learn about antique toy trains and see some examples from the 1890s to the 1950s.
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On Dec. 22 the Christmas movie “The Polar Express” will be played at 2 p.m., followed by Cookies with Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus at 4 p.m. will be on hand pictures with him and the missus.
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The library will be closed Dec. 23 – Dec. 27 for the Christmas Holidays.
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Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, https://www.facebook.com/groups/fmapl and https://www.facebook.com/mtapublibrary or our website https://nwrlibrary.org/mountairy/
December 17, 2022
DOBSON — Bailey Wood as joined the Cooperative Extension, Surry County Center as the county’s livestock extension agent.
Wood is from Stephens City, Virginia where she grew up raising livestock and being involved with 4-H and FFA. She graduated from Virginia Tech where she studied animal and poultry sciences and dairy science.
She will be working with local livestock producers to identify problem areas that limit long-term productivity. She will continue with the existing livestock program and incorporate educational programs that will address rising production issues. These programs will help livestock producers implement best management practices into their farming operations, develop strategic plans for sustainability, and incorporate new management skills into their operations.
Wood hopes to enable producers to better manage renewable resources, such as soil, water, nutrients, and crops. The programs will be open to anyone who is interested in livestock production no matter the level of their experience.
December 17, 2022
The Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education recently awarded 19 grants to school staff.
“Grants awarded will be used for the 2022-2023 school year to foster innovation and creativity in classrooms,” school officials said in announcing the award. “Through these grants, the district’s innovative efforts and student-centered classrooms will be enhanced and expanded to provide greater opportunities. The board strives to foster innovation in classrooms, empower ideas that Mount Airy City Schools educators have, and promote creative student involvement in their learning.”
With a record-breaking 41 proposals submitted, 19 grants were awarded. Seventeen of those are being fully funded with two receiving partial funding. The total amount of grants funded is $14,720.
“We are extremely excited and grateful to have dedicated educators that strive to advocate for our students and schools,” said Director of Innovative Programming Penny Willard. “These innovative projects will enhance the high-quality education our teachers aim to provide for all learners every day.”
Among the grants and what they will be used for are:
– At Jones Intermediate School, Ben Pendleton will develop a transformative garden with the implementation of an indoor greenhouse to support the sensory needs of the exceptional children population. This initiative will support hands-on learning to build learning connections to math, science, art, and the community;
– Candice Haynes, a fifth-grade teacher, will help her students dig deeper into the novel, “Blue.” “They will gain a better understanding of the author’s perspective by having a virtual author visit with Joyce Moyer Hostetter,” the school board officials said;
– At Mount Airy High School, New Beginnings, The Blooming Bear project will be fully funded to help teacher Ashley Pyles expand the already successful Blue Bear Cafe. This project will provide students with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals required to start a small business. In addition, students will gain workforce readiness skills through real-time work experiences in the newly developed mini-florist shop.
– The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program will provide students with new arts-based experiences by exposing them to the Hip Hop Nutcracker. This trip will be integrated into a college visit at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Krystal Tyndall, assistant principal, proposed this project, which will have widespread reach across the AVID cohort of Mount Airy High School;
– At Tharrington Primary School, teaching assistant Caitlin Edwards and the pre-kindergarten team will engage the district’s youngest learners through the Diverse Intelligent Achieving Leaders (DIAL) project. “Through high-quality literacy experiences, students will be exposed to stories that help them develop empathy as compassionate individuals who utilize their personal leadership skills to support a kinder world;”
– At Mount Airy Middle School, Amanda Sechrist will utilize hands-on resources to enhance student learning outcomes through co-teaching experiences within the seventh grade science classes. She has proposed “The Doctor is In!” as a way to expose students to tactile experiences while supporting the need to increase their academic vocabulary. “Through rich conversations and hands-on investigations, students will have a better opportunity to build learning connections around the human body system;”
– Also at Mount Airy Middle School, Brandy Hale will be utilizing graphic novels to explore historical fiction and help students relate to the learning material. Through the use of literature circles, learners will develop vocabulary, build reading stamina, and engage in literary analysis. “This project is a great example of a teacher’s advocacy to provide reading materials that make reading fun and engaging for all levels of readers;”.
The full list of BOE teacher grants are:
– BH Tharrington Primary School
• Caitlin Edwards — Pre-kindergarten — Diverse Intelligent Achieving Leaders (DIAL)- $1,000
• Beth Martin — First grade — Science of Reading Stresses the Importance of Teaching Vocabulary- $330
• Second grade teaching team — Math Toolkits for All- $600
• Ashley Crouse — first grade teacher — Full STEAM Ahead- $360
• Elizabeth Barrios and Cindy Gil — kindergarten DLI teachers — Centros de Ciencias: A STEAM center for kindergarten DLI- $850
JJ Jones Intermediate School:
• Gina Tompkins — interventionist — Building Bridges with Books- $1,000
• Ben Pendleton — exceptional children teacher — Transformative Garden – $800
• Ginnie Deaton — fifth grade teacher — IXL for Science $500
• Michele Wertman — fourth grade teacher — IXL for Science — $500
• Beth Bohart — exceptional children teacher —Beary Good Books — $1,000
• Candice Haynes — fifth grade teacher — Digging Deeper into Blue “Author’s Purpose and Perspective” — $600
• Christin Moreno — fourth grade DLI teacher — Celebrando el Mundo: A diverse classroom library in Spanish — $700
Mount Airy City Schools Micro-School:
• Catherine Dollyhite, micro-school facilitator and Brittany Branch, digital learning coach — Design Thinking With STEM Project — $650
Mount Airy Middle School:
• Brandy Hale — seventh grade teacher — Historical Fiction Graphic Novels Literature Circles- $980
• Amanda Sechrist — exceptional children teacher — The Doctor is In!- $550
• Penny Willard, director of innovative programming — submitted on behalf of Mount Airy Middle School — Bringing Back the Books for the Bears! $900
Mount Airy High School:
• Krystal Tyndall- assistant principal — AVID 4 Possibility — $1,800
• Ashley Pyles — exceptional children’s teacher — New Beginnings-The Bloomin’ Bear — $1,000
• Jennifer Jones — English teacher — Meta Magic — $600
December 17, 2022
Cobras are known for striking hard and fast, but the same kind of quickness has not accompanied a local economic-development project named for that snake which affects almost 100 jobs.
Project Cobra is a code name assigned to the endeavor to keep secret the name of an existing local company involved due to competition for the expansion by other states.
It involves plans by that entity to consolidate its warehouse/distribution operations at one of the three locations in the running. including a site in Mount Airy and two others in South Carolina and Alabama where the company also has operations.
While that project would involve the creation of 35 jobs, the consolidation would result in the loss of 63 jobs already here if another site besides Mount Airy is picked.
After both Mount Airy and Surry County officials approved incentive packages in November, including grants to the company, to entice it to remain here, a local industry recruiter working with the project speculated that this action might trigger a quick decision.
But a month has passed since Todd Tucker, then the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, offered that outlook. He since has left that post, in early December, for a new job, with Project Cobra a loose end remaining.
An Elkin-based firm, Creative Economic Development Consulting, has been contracted to oversee operations of the Surry Economic Development Partnership until a replacement for Tucker is hired.
Questions about the status of Project Cobra were referred Thursday to Crystal Morphis, who formed Creative Economic Development Consulting in 2012 and is serving as interim CEO of the county partnership group.
“There is nothing new to report,” Morphis said in regard to Project Cobra.
When then asked if this specifically meant no decision had been made about where the consolidation will occur, Morphis repeated that there was nothing new on the situation and offered no further comment.
County government spokesman Nathan Walls had the same response when contacted Thursday.
December 17, 2022
More details have been released about an alumni basketball game benefit today in Mount Airy, including players from former state championship teams being among the participants.
The fundraiser spearheaded by the Technology Student Association (TSA) group at Mount Airy High is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in the school gym. Proceeds will go toward a project to develop a memorial to fallen military members at the entrance of the campus.
Garrett Howlett, a career and technical teacher at the high school who leads the TSA there, announced Thursday that the competition involving men and women who played in the past will feature a number of notable figures.
The roster includes several members from the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 girls state championships teams at Mount Airy.
Jayme Brant, Katie McCrary, Eli and Kaleb Morrison, Robbie Rives, Logan Holder, Kay Allen and Elizabeth Heck are among the anticipated participants overall.
A former coach, Levi Goins, also will be involved.
In late November, a campaign was mounted to solicit players for the alumni benefit event and a total of 41 came forward, Howlett added.
The entry fee for the fundraiser is $5, with additional costs to accompany participation in certain activities.
In addition to the action on the court, this afternoon’s slate is to include to include a 50/50 contest, concessions, a raffle and a silent auction.
“There will also be a skills challenge and a three-point contest that anyone can sign up to do — however, there are limited spots available,” Howlett advised Thursday.
December 16, 2022
The North Carolina State Board of Elections will hold remote hearings Monday at 10 a.m. to hear five different appeals and complaints centered around the Dobson Board of Commissioner elections.
Two challenges were filed to the results of the race in the days after the race, then two appeals of those challenges were filed, and a new complaint against the actions of two county elections board members has recently joined the fray.
Poll worker conduct led to protests
Protests by candidate Jon Jonczak and Dobson resident Jimmy Yokeley that charged there was inappropriate behavior of a poll worker at a poll site were filed, resulting in the local board of elections forwarding the complaints to the state board, with the recommendation a new election be held. Subsequent appeals of those protests were filed by the two candidates who were declared the winner of the race, J. Wayne Atkins and Walter White, have followed in their wake.
Dobson had four candidates running for two commissioner’s seats, but that field was reduced to three after the untimely passing of candidate Sharon Gates-Hodges within two weeks of election day. However, as early voting had already begun her name still appeared next to Atkins, White, and Jonczak.
When the dust settled, White had eked out a win over political newcomer Jonczak for the second seat on the board by the slimmest of margins: eight votes, while Atkins claimed the most votes, and the other seat. A poll worker was accused of telling voters in one form or another that a candidate in the Dobson commissioners’ race had died, which Michella Huff of the county board of elections said should not have happened. Informing the voter of any information about a candidate could be perceived as an endorsement of a candidate.
The county board of elections heard the challenges from Jonczak and Yokeley about the poll worker’s conduct in sworn statements to the board from Nancy Hall, Jonczak, and Yokeley on Nov. 29.
“On Election Day, a poll worker broke her oath by pointing to a name on a ballot and talking about a certain candidate. I believe this unethical action by the poll worker influenced votes on that day. My appeal is for an untainted new election,” Jonczak said.
He referred to NC Statute 163-41(e) 163-42(a) which reads that “Officials will not in any manner… persuade or induce and voter for or against a candidate/proposition.”
Jonczak said that based on his interpretation of that statute and the subsequent statutes 163-33(2) and 163-41(a) that says in part, “Precinct officials must follow election laws and failure to do so violates their oath of office, warrants removal, and result in criminal liability” that the poll worker should have been removed from duty on election day rather than serve the entire day at the sole Dobson polling location.
Yokeley’s complaint alleged the worker told at least one voter, and possibly more, that it was Jonczak who had died, prior to the voter casting a ballot.
The county board sent both the Yokeley and Jonczak protests to the state board for consideration with a recommendation that a new race be held. Commissioners Atkins and White each filed appeals of those challenges with both citing the process of the county hearing as the main issue of contention.
Both filings said the hearing was rushed or hastily conducted and lacked in person testimony from Nancy Hill to give all necessary information, although she sent a sworn statement of such. It was Hill who was told by the poll worker on election day that Gates-Hodges had passed away and it was Hill who informed Jonczak of the conduct via email. Atkins also said in his complaint that he smelled collusion. “It was apparent that some board members had discussed and decided on their vote before the hearing.”
Board members challenged
In a lesser-known action, former director of Democracy NC Bob Hall filed a complaint against Surry County Board of Elections members Jerry Forestieri and Timothy DeHaan. Hall accuses the two of gross misconduct and dereliction of the oath they swore to when taking office and has called for their removal.
Hall asserts that county board members DeHaan and Forestieri, “Are both saying they do not accept the legitimacy of election law administered by the NCSBE or the legitimacy of the federal court’s ruling — which are statements that directly conflict with their oath of office and their responsibility to ‘execute the duties of the office… according to law.”
He noted in their letter to the state board they asserted the election in Surry County was conducted, “In full compliance with applicable laws as per NCSBE” (with one possible exception involving an election worker), but it ends by attacking ‘our election practices’ as untrustworthy and producing results that are not ‘credible’…. Both men disparage and oppose the administration of our election laws and should be removed from office.”
Forestieri and DeHaan both signed the letter that ends with, “I respectfully decline to certify these election results as credible.” They cite the ongoing issues with the challenge around the Dobson poll worker as the reason they cannot certify and then go on to speak at great length about Federal Judge Loretta C. Biggs and her ruling that overrode a voter ID requirement in the state in 2018.
The board members wrote that Judge Biggs is “delusional” and “the worst election denier in our state and the USA.” From their letter, Hall quotes the men who call the judge’s 2018 rulings “illegal” ones that are “perverting our elections practices.”
“It can be said without exaggeration that Judge Bigg’s rulings gave federal protection to felonious voter fraud thus raising the possibility of election theft, while decreasing the likelihood of getting caught. Consequently, I don’t view election law per NCSBE as legitimate or Constitutional.”
Hall says this statement is in direct conflict the NC Statute 160-30(e) and their responsibilities to, “execute the duties of the office… according to law.” In his complaint Hall wrote, “Both men disparage and oppose the administration of our election laws and should be removed from office.”
“Those statements are the worst I have seen and are not just an insult to the judge, they undermine the integrity of the (election) process,” he said by phone Thursday. He called the language of the board members “gross, irresponsible, dehumanizing, and outrageous.”
Comments from county elections board members of such a charged nature could cause confusion, “It can be hard for the people of Surry County to have confidence that people can serve in the manner they should.”
“They take an oath when they begin service and it is an oath to uphold the state law, the state and federal constitution, and obey the authorities and rulings of the state,” he said this week going on to say the men are in “breach of their oath.”
“It goes beyond just criticizing the judge’s ruling, which they are free to do, but to say that the administration of election law is illegitimate goes beyond. By calling the process illegitimate and results unconstitutional they are saying they no longer agree to their oath.”
Next action
Monday’s hearing will be only a preliminary one on Hall’s complaint and call to remove DeHaan and Forestieri which could be squashed where it stands Monday.
These hearing are being held remotely as they are only part of the whole agenda of the state board of elections. The state board invites any member of the public to observe the meeting by phone: 415-655-0003, enter access code 2433 716 9960#.
The meeting will also be broadcast on Webex, a link and meeting materials will be posted on the NCSBE website: https://www.ncsbe.gov/current-sbe-events.
December 16, 2022
Dec. 17, 1917 was a sunny frigid day in Elkin. Surry and Wilkes counties were in the grip of unusually cold weather, so cold the Yadkin was frozen solid to a depth of 8 inches. The extreme cold combined with war rationing of coal and other fuels made it difficult for people to heat their homes or produce the steam needed by the manufacturers of the county. Bannertown School closed the first week of December because officials couldn’t heat the schoolhouse.
But on that bright crisp morning, a group of 20-something friends saw a great opportunity for fun — they drove out onto the Yadkin and took a picture.
The group included Andrew Greenwood, a farmer who worked in the woolen mill; Grady Harris, a chauffeur who went on to manage a local trucking company; brothers Ernest and Grady Nichols, who would go on to found the Elkin Tribune newspaper; W. W. Whitaker, businessman and future Elkin fire chief; and auto mechanic Paul Eidson.
Surry winters of yore were regularly blanketed in snow and ice. Travel was treacherous on roads slick with mud or ice and work of any sort was difficult when temperatures dropped below freezing. County youth strapped blades to their shoes and boots to skate on frozen ponds and streams. Snowball battles were reported in local newspapers as many settled in to wait out the “evil days” as the Mount Airy News called the cold that year.
For others, late fall and early winter were a time to make money.
In the days before mechanical refrigeration, ice from frozen rivers and ponds was harvested commercially and by individuals throughout the winter. Ice houses, usually built into the side of a hill, were packed with straw and ice blocks — ice that would be used to keep perishables cool and be used to make lemonade cold come August.
Above ground, hundreds of mountain folks – men, women, and children – across western North Carolina counted on the income from “galackin” for W.M. Woodruff’s Son & Company. They picked evergreens that were largely unknown outside of the mountain regions. Plants such as mountain laurel, dagger ferns, and galax which lent its name to the activity, became fashionable in cities during the late 1890s.
Truman N. Woodruff and his father owned a general store in Lowgap. Over the years he added a shirt factory, ice house, and, famously, a greenery company. Woodruff wasn’t the only business shipping greens to the cities, but Truman was widely said to be a leader in the market.
“The Galax King (Woodruff) is a sovereign of the Lowgap mountain country to whom thousands of subjects owe an everlasting debt of gratitude for originating an industry which has come to mean so much to the mountain folk in the way of earning a livelihood through the medium of the modest and once valueless little mountain plant, the galax,” reported the Charlotte Observer in December 1923. Suppliers generally paid a quarter per thousand leaves at the time. It was said a good harvester could make between $1.25 to $1.75 per day which was about what a good factory job in the county would pay.
Woodruff related that he’d taken some galax to New York City on a buying trip for some business associates there. The plant turns a striking, deep bronze in the winter and holds that color for weeks after being picked making it an ideal base for Christmas roping, funeral wreaths, and winter wedding decorations. A florist saw the plants and struck a deal for more to be shipped.
“Galax leaves, with their lovely shades of red and bronze, have largely taken the place of ivy leaves,” according to Coleman’s Rural World magazine in 1914. “As Christmas decoration they stand pre-eminent.”
Woodruff expanded the company to include oak and magnolia leaf clusters, palms, and similax from Florida. His real claim to galax-fame was a color-enhancement and dying and preservation process he developed that made his stock more desirable.
Of course, what would this time of year be without gatherings of family, friends, and church?
Breaking Up Christmas is an old tradition dating at least to the mid-1800s in the region around Surry County. Folks would gather at neighbors’ houses to spend time, play music, and dance from Christmas to New Year’s.
The area’s many factories and companies, clubs, and volunteer fire companies were well-known for the family Christmas parties that were held each year. Elaborate decorations and visits from Santa were a regular part of the celebrations. Many photos, programs, and other records of these events were scanned as part of the Surry Digital Project with the museum, Surry Community College, and county libraries over the last few years, preserving these memories for future generations.
But the most iconic Christmas images may be of the various church Christmas programs with children’s choirs and little ones dressed as angels. There are many celebrations this time of year. If you have photos or other records, please consider allowing the museum to borrow and scan them so they become part of the historical record.
In the meantime, however you celebrate this time of year, we at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History wish you joy and peace, love and good fortune.
Kate Rauhauser-Smith is a volunteer for the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History with 22 years in journalism before joining the museum. She and her family moved to Mount Airy in 2005 from Pennsylvania where she was also involved with museums and history tours.
December 16, 2022
A round-up of recent North Surry basketball games.
Greyhound Girls
North Surry’s varsity girls split meetings with Ashe County and Wilkes Central.
The Greyhounds traveled to Ashe County on Dec. 7, then hosted Wilkes Central on Dec. 9.
North Surry and Ashe County (7-1), ranked No. 5 in the 3A West, stayed about even through the first two quarters of action. After being tied at 20-20 at halftime, Ashe County outscored North 31-10 in the second half to win 51-30.
Sadie Badgett had five in the third quarter, including her third 3-pointer of the game, but a free throw from Reece Niston was the only Greyhound point of the fourth quarter.
“We have developed some chemistry but are looking to improve our consistency with some details,” said Greyhound coach Shane Slate. “Those little things will be key to our success going forward.”
Scoring vs. Ashe County
North Surry – 10, 10, 9, 1 = 30
Ashe County – 11, 9, 17, 14 = 51
NS: Sadie Badgett 17, Reece Niston 4, Kayln Collins 3, Josie Tompkins 3, Zarah Love 2, Callie Robertson 1
AC: Paige Overcash 16, Abigail Tones 10, Lexie Dawson 10, Morgan Phipps 8, Abby Sheets 4, Abby Eller 3
The Hounds bounced back two days later with a 72-13 win over Wilkes Central. The win moved North Surry to 2-0 in the Foothills 2A conference, having previously defeated North Wilkes.
North Surry (3-3, 2-0 FH2A) nearly surpassed its point total from the Ashe County game in the first quarter against Wilkes Central. Six Hounds scored in the opening quarter, led by 7 from Badgett.
The Greyhounds knocked down seven 3-pointers in the game.
Scoring vs. Wilkes Central
Wilkes Central – 4, 5, 0, 4 = 13
North Surry – 22, 18, 22, 11 = 72
NS: Sadie Badgett 19, Sarah Mauldin 11, Kayln Collins 10, Peyton Utt 9, Jaxie Draughn 7, Callie Robertson 6, Josie Tompkins 6, Reece Niston 2, Zarah Love 2
WC: Anna Rollins 6, Jayla Smoker 4, Taylor Munsey 2, Payton McManus 1
Greyhound Boys
North Surry, ranked No. 1 in the 2A West, continued its dominance with a pair of 40-plus point wins against Ashe County and Wilkes Central.
The Greyhounds had 50 combined assists in the two games with just 10 total turnovers.
“This is a really fun team to coach, and now one cares who scores,” said coach Tyler Bentley. “We are sharing the ball, competing at a high level and having a lot of fun so far.”
Eight different Greyhounds scored at least eight points against Ashe County, with five of those in double figures. No player had more than 19 points.
Kolby Watson had 11 of his 15 points in just the first quarter, which was more than all but one Ashe County player had in the game.
North Surry knocked down 11 3-pointers in the win.
Scoring vs. Ashe County
North Surry – 28, 29, 20, 21 = 98
Ashe County – 6, 15, 13, 12 = 46
NS: James McCreary 19, Jahreece Lynch 17, Kolby Watson 15, Kam McKnight 11, Fisher Leftwich 11, Cam Taylor 9, Jackson Smith 8, Isaac Johnson 8
AC: Jake Grub 25, Bryce Little 7, Sawyer Eller 6, Austin Grogan 6, Colin Peterman 2
North continued to show out in their second FH2A game of the season. Facing Wilkes Central, the Greyhounds (6-0, 2-0 FH2A) once again went up by 20 points in the first quarter.
Four Hounds scored in double figures this time, with James McCreary going off for a career-high 33 points in the conference victory. All 33 of McCreary’s points were scored in the first three quarters.
North had another night making at least 10 3-pointers against Wilkes Central.
Scoring
Wilkes Central – 7, 13, 11, 10 = 41
North Surry – 28, 20, 20, 17 = 85
WC: Kamen Smith 16, Tyson Owens 6, Anthony Graham 5, Noah McNeil 4, Aiden Parks 4, Aithen Allen 3, Brady Scott 2, Layne Broyhill 1
NS: James McCreary 33, Kolby Watson 17, Kam McKnight 11, Cam Taylor 11, Jahreece Lynch 5, Fisher Leftwich 5, Keaton Leonard 3
December 16, 2022
A round-up of recent Surry Central basketball games.
Golden Eagle Girls
Surry Central dropped its Foothills 2A Conference opener to Wilkes Central on Dec. 13.
The Golden Eagle boys opened conference play on Dec. 9 against West Wilkes, but neither the JV girls nor varsity girls competed that night.
Surry Central drops to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play after starting the season 4-0.
Surry Central got off to a hot start against Wilkes Central, going up 13-5 after the first quarter, but then posted back-to-back quarters of single-digit scoring. The Golden Eagles shot just 14-of-53 (26%) from the field, 2-of-16 (13%) from beyond the arc and 7-of-14 (50%) from the line.
Despite a poor shooting performance, Surry Central was still in the game late and led 24-22 entering the fourth quarter. A 19-point fourth quarter from Wilkes Central gave the home team the victory.
Scoring vs. Wilkes Central
Surry Central – 13, 5, 6, 13 = 37
Wilkes Central – 5, 11, 6, 19 = 41
SC: Ashley Santamaria 13, Layla Wall 8, Ragan Hall 6, Ally Crotts 3, Mallie Southern 3, Gaby Montero 2, Brianna Wilmoth 2
WC: Individual stats not available on MaxPreps
Golden Eagle Boys
Surry Central extended its hot start to the 2022-23 season with double-digit victories over West Wilkes and Wilkes Central.
Prior to this season, Surry Central’s best start since 2006 was 3-0 in 2014-15. This year’s team has already surpassed the 2014-15 team’s win total for the season as Central went 6-18 that season.
The Golden Eagles are currently ranked No. 2 in the 2A West, trailing only their Foothills 2A Conference foe North Surry.
“It is just a special group of guys who enjoy being around each other and work their tails off every day,” said Eagles coach Marty Behrens. “Everyone has accepted their role and does not care who gets the credit as long as the team succeeds.
“I am lucky to have a group like this who are not only great athletes but are better people. Every day is a joy to work with them.”
Four Golden Eagles combined to outscore West Wilkes’ entire team in Surry Central’s Foothills 2A Conference opener: Tripp McMillen led the way with 21, followed by Josh Pardue with 19, Mason Jewell with 12 and Jacob Mitchell with 12.
Despite shooting just 6-of-28 (21%) from deep, Surry Central finished with a field goal percentage of 40% by making 23-of-45 (51%) 2-point attempts.
Mitchell had a double-double in the win with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while McMillen fell one rebound short of a double-double and Pardue finished three rebounds and four steals away from a triple-double.
Scoring vs. West Wilkes
West Wilkes – 12, 11, 15, 24 = 62
Surry Central – 16, 20, 18, 23 = 77
SC: Tripp McMillen 21, Josh Pardue 19, Mason Jewell 12, Jacob Mitchell 12, Ayden Wilmoth 9, Landon Johnson 3, Brian Williams 1
WW: Individual stats not available on MaxPreps
The Golden Eagles had another efficient shooting night inside the arc in the 71-46 win over Wilkes Central. The team made 21-of-40 (53%) 2-point attempts, marking their sixth game of the season shooting better than 50% from the field.
By making 27-of-63 (43%) total field goal attempts, Surry Central has shot at least 40% from the field in all seven games this season.
Mitchell filled the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals – leading the team in all four categories. McMillen also had four steals, while finishing second in the other three categories with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Eagles also had seven blocks as a team, with Mason Jewell leading the way with three, Pardue recording two, and McMillen and Brian Williams each recording one.
Scoring vs. Wilkes Central
Surry Central – 18, 19, 17, 17 = 71
Wilkes Central – 6, 14, 16, 10 = 46
SC: Jacob Mitchell 16, Tripp McMillen 13, Josh Pardue 12, Adam Hege 12, Ayden Wilmoth 5, Mason Jewell 5, Mason Cox 4, Landon Johnson 2, Brian Williams 2
WC: Kamen Smith 13, Tyson Owens 10, Gavin Cheek 5, Noah McGuill 4, Aiden Parks 4, Hunter Wyles 2, Gus Keener 2, Anthony Graham 1
December 16, 2022
WALNUT COVE — Mount Airy became the final team in Surry County to open basketball season with games at South Stokes on Dec. 13.
The season was delayed due to the football team’s run to the 1A State Championship. The girls team had already been practicing for a month before playing their first game, while nearly two-thirds of the boys team only had one official practice before playing their first game.
Mount Airy girls at South Stokes
The Lady Bears began their quest to repeat as Northwest 1A Conference Champions with a 68-61 double-overtime victory on the road.
“It was great to finally get on the court and compete with someone besides each other,” said Mount Airy coach Angela Mayfield. “We did some good things, but the game also provided plenty of learning opportunities and exposed some things that we can work on to get better. South obviously had more game experience this season and played us very tough.
“It was definitely a battle and we are thankful to get that conference win on the road.”
Mount Airy graduated its leading scorer from a year ago, Grey Moore, who also won NW1A Player of the Year Honors, as well as two of team’s three remaining All-Conference selections.
Returning All-Conference player Morgan Mayfield led the Granite Bears with a career-high 29 points in the victory, while junior Alissa Clabo also posted a career-high with 19 points.
Clabo scored 10 of her 19 points in just the first quarter. The Bears led 29-22 at the half, and that lead grew to 43-31 at the start of the fourth quarter.
South’s Sage Stovall outscored Mount Airy herself in the fourth quarter with 11 points. The Sauras scored 21 in the fourth to force OT tied 52-52.
The teams were still knotted up at 57-57 after the first OT. Mount Airy and South Stokes (4-4, 1-1 NW1A) combined to make just one field goal in the second overtime with most of the action taking place on the free throw line. The Bears made 9-of-14 attempts in the second OT, while South made 4-of-6.
Scoring
Mount Airy – 18, 11, 14, 9, OT1 5, OT2 11 = 68
South Stokes – 12, 10, 9, 21, OT1 5, OT2 4 = 61
MA: Morgan Mayfield 29, Alissa Clabo 19, Niya Smith 5, Jalaya Revels 4, McKenna Watson 4, Kancie Tate 3, Addie Marshall 2, Da’Nya Mills 2
SS: Rebecca Amos 24, Sage Stovall 19, Tyla Whitehead 10, Savannah Wilson 6, Olivia Amos 2
Mount Airy boys at South Stokes
The Granite Bear boys faced a tough test in their first game of the season by taking on the defending NW1A Champions, which returned almost all their players from this past season, on the road.
The Sauras (6-2, 2-0 NW1A) jumped out to an early lead and never let up, going on to win 71-44. MaxPreps has South Stokes ranked No. 4 in the 1A West, with their only losses coming against the 2A West’s top-ranked team: North Surry.
“It’s impossible to overcome the challenge of only having your whole team for one practice before playing, especially playing a team as good as South Stokes,” said Bears coach Bryan Hayes. “There’s not enough time to accomplish anywhere near what you want or need to accomplish.
“We played hard, but we were not ready to compete at that level yet. We will get back in the gym and work. We will watch film and learn. We will get better every day.”
The experience factor showed in Tuesday’s game. Not only had South played seven games coming into the clash with Mount Airy, but the Bears come into the 2022-23 season having graduated eight seniors from a year ago.
Scoring
Mount Airy – 6, 9, 9, 20 = 44
South Stokes – 13, 25, 23, 10 = 71
MA: Tyler Mason 22, Zach Goins 5, Carson Hill 3, Ethan Clabo 3, Logan Fonville 3, Chad Johnson 2, Taeshon Martin 2, Jourdain Hill 2, Caleb Reid 2
SS: Carson White 19, Isiah Lash 10, Jonah Fie 10, Barry Hairston Jr. 9, Ethan Moran 6, Brendon Bradford 5, , Trey Wilmoth 3, Ian Clark 2, William Tilley 2, Larsen Gallimore 2, Jake Lozzi 2
December 16, 2022
Six area men were recently recognized with the Advanced Firefighter Certificate, one of the highest awards which can be bestowed by the North Carolina State Firefighters Association
“This certification is the highest recognition a firefighter can earn within the state of North Carolina,” according to information provided by the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department, which recognized the six individuals during its recent annual awards ceremony. The certification is “…equivalent to an advanced law enforcement officer’s version but just under the Longleaf Pine or Heroism award.”
The six local individuals recognized were:
– Charlie Ray Hampton — retired deputy chief of Winston-Salem Fire Department and retired from his post as a Surry Community College instructor. He also is a member of the Rural Hall Fire Department, with 40 years of experience. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials and has completed 2,401 training hours;
– Jason Paul Lawson, also known as “Bubba” — Surry Community College instructor and board of directors member with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials and has accumulated 4,864 training hours;
– Mathew D. Hutchens — full-time City of King firefighter and part-time with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Career/Volunteer Firefighter credentials, with 2,529 training hours;
– Glenn Thomas Lamb — 1st Lieutenant and safety officer with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds the Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials with 2,758 training hours.
– Mathew Allen Martin – deputy fire chief and rescue chief with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials, with 1,820 training hours.
– Jordan Thomas Smith — captain with Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. He holds Firefighter II, Haz-mat Level I, Technical Rescuer, and Volunteer Firefighter credentials with 1,129 training hours.
In order to be eligible for consideration of the advanced professional certificate, a firefighter must meet five core competencies or qualifications: hold a valid Firefighter II certification issued by the North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission; hold a valid Hazardous Materials Level I (Operations) certification issued by the commission; hold a valid Rescue Technician or Technical Rescuer (any level) certification issued by the commission or be certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or higher, issued by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services; be a sponsored member in good standing with a state recognized fire department, county fire marshal’s office or state fire marshal’s office within in North Carolina and be a current member of the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association; and have at least four years of experience as a firefighter.
After meeting the core criteria above, a firefighter can then qualify for the Firefighter’s Advanced Professional Certificate with a combination of formal education, continuing education training and experience.
The six were recognized during the recent awards ceremony, along with other firefighters and volunteers who received various awards. In attendance at the awards dinner were a number of local and state officials, including Rep. Kyle Hall, Surry County Sheriff Steve Hiatt, Surry County EMS Director Eric Southern, and several other officials with county EMS, the county commissioners, and Surry Community College.
December 16, 2022
Christmas is getting closer
The season of Christmas time is drawing near and Christmas Eve is only a little more than a week away. The approaching days before Christmas are always filled with excitement and expectations as we look forward to all the events that lead up to Christmas. It is our hope that the season of Christmas will always be near and dear to all of you and be filled with memories of love, joy and peace!
Two of winters longest nights
Two of the longest nights of the year will be with us in only a few days from now. On Wednesday, Dec. 21, we will experience the longest night of the year as winter begins. One bright spot of winter’s longest night is that for the next six months after this night, we will enjoy one minute of extra day light each evening. The second of longest nights in the minds of children occurs on the night of Christmas Eve which is Saturday, Dec. 24. To excited children and also many parents excited we can understand why this would be the longest night of the year!
Legend of the Christmas apple
Apples have always been a part of Christmas treats and also of Christmas desserts and decorations. In Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, they decorate mantels, tables, and windows with apples and other fruits. Apples grow in almost every state in America. Their long shelf life paves the way for them to be an important part of many Christmas traditions and customs. One apple tradition says that if you check the apple tree on Christmas Day and the sun shines through its branches, the harvest of next season will be abundant.
Red Delicious apples make Santa decorations
Red Delicious apples are as red as Santa’s suit and here is how to make a Red Delicious “Santa” centerpiece for the coffee table or to give to kids and grandkids. For each Santa, you will need one Red Delicious apple, a bag of cotton candy which is available at must supermarkets, a pack of roley poley craft eyes, small Santa hats and orange and red M&Ms. Glue the eyes on the apple, glue a red M&M for the mouth and an orange M&M for the nose Use cotton candy or real cotton to form a nose, beard and moustache and for around middle of the apple. Make a hat with a piece of red felt or purchase a small Santa hat at a craft shop. Place the Santa in a foil pie pan. Circle it with greenery and several small candy canes and Christmas Hershey’s kisses.
Making a colorful Christmas Waldorf salad
Apples and Waldorf salad go together like peaches and cream. The apples that add tartness to Waldorf salad are McIntosh apples peeled and cut into half-inch cubes stirred into two teaspoons of lemon juice and three teaspoons of sugar. Add one jar of drained red maraschino cherries and one jar of green maraschino cherries, cut the cherries into halves, one can Bartlett pears cut into cubes, one can mixed fruits, one can fruit cocktail, drained. Mix all fruits together and add one three ounce box of Jello instant vanilla pudding mix, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one teaspoon apple pie spices, one tub of Cool Whip and fold into the fruit mixture. Keep refrigerated.
A journey back to the old general store
On the top of the hill from grandma’s Northampton County house, there was a general store that had a post office with a row of mailboxes in it and a fish market that was open all day each Friday. Fish and oysters were delivered fresh from the coast. One person cleaned the fish as they were ordered, wrapped them in sheets of newspapers and placed them in a bag. Collard greens, sweet potatoes and other produce were displayed outside the store. Fresh eggs, country hams, side meat, fatback meat, bacon slabs and fresh cut meats. There were cloth bags of flour and cornmeal in twenty five pound bags. A soda pop cooler featured bottles of soda for a nickel. A candy counter was there with a large selection to choose from.
The outside parking in front of the store was not paved or covered with gravel but completely covered with pop bottle caps. We remember the ordeal of walking on them with bare feet in the summer months. This type of store is a vanishing breed but still survives today if you search a bit to discover them. We are fortunate to have some in our area including Main Street Mount Airy, Virginia Produce in Cana, Virginia, Mast General Store on Trade Street in Winston-Salem and Ronnie’s Country Store on Cherry Street in Winston-Salem, and John Brown’s Country Store in King. All these vintage stores feature many special Christmas treats at Christmas with old fashioned candies, fruit cakes, hams, special items available to stir up Christmas cravings.
Searching for the spirit of Santa Clause
While growing up in eastern North Carolina in the 1950s, many events at Christmastime centered around a small Baptist Church. We took part in kids’ Christmas plays and Sunday School parties and get-togethers. The highlight of the Christmas celebration was on the Sunday night before Christmas when the Adult Christmas pageant was presented. As a “grand finale,” Santa would appear and pass out treat bags of goodies to kids and adults. The Men’s Brotherhood was always responsible for seeing to it that Santa was there.
On this event, the would-be Santa had the flu. This presented a huge problem for the Men’s Brotherhood and they turned to my father for a solution. Dad pondered the situation, and my mother suggested that he ask uncle Jesse if he would be “Santa” for us. Uncle Jesse consented to be our “Santa.” Uncle Jesse loved kids but he had no kids of his own. Uncle Jesse was not a member of our church. At that time, he was known take a little “toddy for the body.” On the night of the pageant, he was red-faced and jolly so he made a great Santa.
The other Baptist down the street was also having their Christmas event. Uncle Jesse dressed in his Santa suit and was driving his 1953 Plymouth down by the other church, windows down and shouting, “Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas.” That congregation thought he was their Santa, but he drove right on by still shouting “Merry Christmas Ho, Ho.”
Uncle Jesse (Santa) arrived at the church and walked in with the same “Ho Ho, Ho.” All the kids thought, “Surely he’s the real Santa we’ve never heard that voice before!” If they had gotten a little closer, they would have smelled Christmas “toddy” and a “nip” in the Christmas air. “Santa” passed out treat bags and left the church with several “Ho, Ho, Hos.” Uncle Jesse died at Christmas time in 1988. Inside his hospital room was a small decorated Christmas tree placed there by my mother.
Christmas tree memories: The perfect tree
Picking just the right Christmas tree was always an important task each year. As my brothers and I grow up in eastern North Carolina, we romped and fished along the Roanoke River. After Halloween, our thoughts turned toward Christmas. We would search the paths and trails along the river and seek out what we thought was the perfect tree. After a long and exhaustive search, we found a beautiful red-heart cedar. We marked it so we would know its location. When the time came to cut it in mid-December, we cut the tree and brought it home. It was definitely not perfect, because we discovered it had two tops on it. My mother knew just what to do to solve the problem, she took a roll of black tape and rolled it around the twin tops and placed a star in the tree to top it off.
Candles part of Christmas decor
At grandma’s backwoods home in Northampton County, there was no electricity, no running water or indoor plumbing. At Christmas time the house had the smell of candles, oil lamps and burning wood. The house glowed with light from oil lamps and candles in every room. The Christmas tree glowed, not with lights but but with holly with red berries, mistletoe with white berries, strings of popcorn, popcorn balls, long leaf pine cones, running cedar and paper chains. Candles glowed in the living room, but strangely enough no candles were on the kitchen table. We always thought it was because there would be so many relatives around the table, the lighted candles would always be a hazard. For memories of an old-fashioned Christmas, we like to light a few candles, especially votive candles and enjoy the glow and smell from them.
Making country egg nog
At Christmas, our uncles at grandma’s house would always make a bucket of egg nog on Christmas Day. They used fresh eggs from grandma’s hen house. The finished product was always golden yellow as a result of the fresh eggs. They had their own special recipe that included two and a half dozen beaten eggs, one and a half gallons of milk, four cups of sugar, three teaspoons of real vanilla, two teaspoons of nutmeg, two teaspoons of cinnamon, one teaspoon of cloves and four teaspoons of rum flavoring. The uncles always used plenty of real rum!
Christmas hard mix triggers childhood memories
One of the great memories of Christmas past and present is the Christmas hard and filled mixes of fruity, spicy and peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. Each piece tastes like Christmas of long ago. Brach’s still produces this special treat every Christmas. This special mix can be purchased at many country stores and produce markets in our area. It is there and displayed in five gallon wooden kegs that you can scoop out and bag yourself.
December 16, 2022
The season of Christmastime is getting closer
The season of Christmas time is drawing very near and Christmas Eve is only a little more than a week away. The approaching days before Christmas are always filled with excitement and expectations as we look forward to all the events that lead up to Christmas. It is our hope that the season of Christmas will always be near and dear to all of you and be filled with memories of love, joy and peace!
Two of winters longest nights of the year
Two of the longest nights of the year will be with us in only a few days from now. On Wednesday, Dec. 21, we will experience the longest night of the year as winter begins. One bright spot of winter’s longest night is that for the next six months after this night, we will enjoy one minute of extra day light each evening. The second of longest nights in the minds of children occurs on the night of Christmas Eve which is Saturday, Dec. 24. To excited children, and also many parents, we can understand why this would be the longest night of the year!
Checking out legend of the Christmas apple
Apples have always been a part of Christmas treats and also of Christmas desserts and decorations. In Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, they decorate mantels, tables, and windows with apples and other fruits. Apples grow in almost every state in America. Their long shelf life paves the way for them to be an important part of many Christmas traditions and customs. One apple tradition says that if you check the apple tree on Christmas Day and the sun shines through it’s branches, the harvest of next season will be abundant.
Red Delicious apples make Santa decorations
Red Delicious apples are as red as Santa’s suit and here is how to make a Red Delicious “Santa” centerpiece for the coffee table or to give to kids and grand kids. For each Santa, you will need one Red Delicious apple, a bag of cotton candy which is available at must supermarkets, a pack of roley poley craft eyes, small Santa hats and orange and red M&M’s. Glue the eyes on the apple, glue a red M&M for the mouth and an orange M&M for the nose. Use cotton candy or real cotton to form a nose, beard and moustache and for around the middle of the apple. Make a hat with a piece of red felt or purchase small Santa hat at a craft shop. Place the Santa in a foil pie pan. Circle it with greenery and several small candy canes and Christmas Hershey’s kisses.
Making a colorful Christmas Waldorf salad
Apples and Waldorf salad go together like peaches and cream. The apples that add tartness to Waldorf salad are McIntosh apples peeled and cubed into half inch cubes stirred into two teaspoons of lemon juice and three teaspoons of sugar. Add one jar of drained red maraschino cherries and one jar of green maraschino cherries, cut the cherries into halves, one can Bartlett pears cut into cubes, one can mixed fruits, one can fruit cocktail, drained. Mix all fruits together and add one three ounce box of Jello instant vanilla pudding mix, one teaspoon vanilla extract, one teaspoon apple pie spices, one tub of Cool Whip and fold into the fruit mixture. Keep refrigerated.
A journey back to the old general store
On the top of the hill from grandma’s Northampton County house, there was a general store that had a post office with a row of mailboxes in it and a fish market that was open all day each Friday. Fish and oysters were delivered fresh from the coast. One person cleaned the fish as they were ordered, wrapped them in sheets of newspapers and placed them in a bag. Collard greens, sweet potatoes and other produce were displayed outside the store. Fresh eggs, country hams, side meat, fatback meat, bacon slabs and fresh cut meats. There were cloth bags of flour and cornmeal in twenty five pound bags. A soda pop cooler featured bottles of soda for a nickel. A candy counter was there with a large selection to choose from. The outside parking in front of the store was not paved or covered with gravel but completely covered with pop bottle caps. We remember the ordeal of walking on them with bare feet in the summer months. This type of store is a vanishing breed but still survives today if you search a bit to discover them. We are fortunate to have some in our area including Main Street Mount Airy, Virginia Produce in Cana, Virginia, Mast General Store on Trade Street in Winston-Salem and Ronnie’s Country Store on Cherry Street in Winston-Salem. John Brown’s Country Store in King. All these vintage stores feature many special Christmas treats at Christmas with old fashioned candies, fruit cakes, hams, special items available to stir up Christmas cravings.
Searching for the spirit of Santa Clause
While growing up in eastern North Carolina in the 1950’s, many events at Christmastime centered around a small Baptist Church. We took part in kids Christmas plays and Sunday School parties and get-togethers. The highlight of the Christmas celebration was on the Sunday night before Christmas when the Adult Christmas pageant was presented. As a “grand finale”, Santa would appear and pass out treat bags of goodies to kids and adults. The Men’s Brotherhood was always responsible for seeing to it that Santa was there. On this event, the would be Santa had the flu. This presented a huge problem for the Men’s Brotherhood and they turned to my father for a solution. Dad pondered the situation, and my mother suggested that he ask uncle Jesse if he would be “Santa” for us. Uncle Jesse consented to be our “Santa”. Uncle Jesse loved kids but he had no kids of his own. Uncle Jesse was not a member of our church. At that time, he was known take a little “toddy for the body.” On the night of the pageant, he was red-faced and jolly so he made a great Santa. The other Baptist down the street was also having their Christmas event. Uncle Jesse dressed in his Santa suit and was driving his 1953 Plymouth down by the other church, windows down and shouting. “Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas.” That congregation thought he was their Santa, but he drove right on by still shouting “Merry Christmas Ho, Ho.” Uncle Jesse (Santa) arrived at the church and walked in with the same “Ho Ho, Ho.” All the kids thought, “Surely he’s the real Santa we’ve never heard that voice before!” If they had gotten a little closer, they would have smelled Christmas “toddy” and a “nip” in the Christmas air. “Santa” passed out treat bags and left the church with several” Ho, Ho, Ho’s.” Uncle Jesse died at Christmas time in 1988. Inside his hospital room was a small decorated Christmas tree placed there by my mother.
Christmas tree memories: The perfect tree
Picking just the right Christmas tree was always an important task each year. As my brothers and I grow up in eastern North Carolina. We romped and fished along the Roanoke River! After Halloween, our thoughts turned toward Christmas. We would search the paths and trails along the river and seek out what we thought was the perfect tree. After a long and exhaustive search, we found a beautiful red-heart cedar. We marked it so we would know its location. When the time came to cut it in mid-December, we cut the tree and brought it home. It was definitely not perfect, because we discovered it had two tops on it. My mother knew just what to do to solve the problem, she took a roll of black tape and rolled it around the twin tops and placed a star in the tree to top it off.
Candles are a huge part of Christmas decor
At grandma’s backwoods home in Northampton County, there was no electricity, no running water or indoor plumbing. At Christmastime the house had the smell of candles, oil lamps and burning wood. The house glowed with light from oil lamps and candles in every room. The Christmas tree glowed, not with lights but but with holly with red berries, mistletoe with white berries, strings of popcorn, popcorn balls, long leaf pine cones, running cedar and paper chains. Candles glowed in the living room, but strangely enough no candles were on the kitchen table. We always thought it was because there would be so many relatives around the table, the lighted candles would always be a hazard. For memories of an old-fashioned Christmas, we like to light a few candles, especially votive candles and enjoy the glow and smell from them.
Making country egg nog at Christmastime
At Christmas, our uncles at grandmas house would always make a bucket of egg nog on Christmas Day. They used fresh eggs from grandmas hen house. The finished product was always golden yellow as a result of the fresh eggs. They had their own special recipe that included two and a half dozen beaten eggs, one and a half gallons of milk, four cups of sugar, three teaspoons of real vanilla, two teaspoons of nutmeg, two teaspoons of cinnamon, one teaspoon of cloves and four teaspoons of rum flavoring. The uncles always used plenty of real rum!
Christmas hard mix triggers childhood memories
One of the great memories of Christmas past and present is the Christmas hard and filled mixes of fruity, spicy and peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. Each piece tastes like Christmas of long ago. Brach’s still produces this special treat every Christmas. This special mix can be purchased at many country stores and produce markets in our area. It is there and displayed in five gallon wooden kegs that you can scoop out and bag yourself.
December 16, 2022
It’s that time of year again to buy a tree, blow the dust off the Christmas lights, and hang the stockings with care and all the other necessary stuff; listen to your kids tell you what they want Santa to bring them although you trip over every toy you might think of when you get home from work; and for going to the in-laws, company parties and don’t forget Grandma’s house.
I heard a story about a woman who was doing her last-minute Christmas shopping at a crowded mall. She was tired of fighting the crowds. She was tired of standing in lines. She was tired of fighting her way down long aisles looking for a gift that had sold out days before. Her arms were full of bulky packages when the elevator door opened full of shoppers. The people in the elevator tightened up to allow a small space for her and her load.
As the doors closed she blurted out, “Whoever is responsible for this whole Christmas thing ought to be arrested, strung up, and shot!” A few others nodded their heads or grunted in agreement. Then from somewhere in the back of the elevator came a soft single voice that said, “Don’t worry. They already crucified Him.”
We need to remember who is responsible for Christmas. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Propitiation means satisfaction. Because God is a holy God, His anger and justice burns against sin. And He has sworn that sin will be punished. There must be a satisfactory payment for sin. But God said in a sense, if I punish man for his sin, man will die and go to Hell. On the other hand, if I don’t punish man for his sin, my justice will never be satisfied. So God, became our substitute. He would take the sin of mankind upon Himself in the agony and blood of the cross, a righteous judgment and substitute for sin.
It’s our Lord who is responsible for giving eternal life to those that believe. It’s our Lord Jesus who is responsible for giving us mercy instead of death because He loves us. It’s our responsibility to praise Him, thank Him no matter how busy we get at Christmas or any other time.
There is always that question that separates Christians from non-Christians no matter what time of the year is. Would you consider yourself to be a good person? Non-Christians would say “yes” because they are basically good they will get into heaven. Evolution teaches that mankind is basically good and as we develop we continue to improve and become better people. Liberal “Christianity” teaches the social gospel, that through our own good efforts we can make this into a good world.
The truth of the Bible teaches different. Psalm 53:2.God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. 3. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Don’t say that a loving God is going to send you to Hell, He’s not. The thing that’s going to send you to Hell is that you’re a sinner and you don’t want to admit it. (J. Vernon McGee)
It’s my prayer that those who are lost would receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ this Christmas. No matter how old you are or how young, God hears the prayer of repentance from the heart of a sinner. Don’t put it off another day. There is no better time than right now because, if you should die today, tomorrow would be too late.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Ask Christ into your life if you haven’t. Do it today. Romans 10: 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
December 15, 2022
The Hope for the Holidays concert series culminates in Hilda’s Place Second Annual Holiday Fundraiser to be held Sunday, Dec. 18, at Hilda’s Place located at 127 W. Main St., Suite B, in Pilot Mountain. The performance space is located above Yadkin Valley Tea Trade and doors will open for this holiday show at 5 p.m. for the performance that starts at 6 p.m.
The show is being touted as an intergenerational event by Hilda Willis, owner and proprietor of Hilda’s Place said. A show that is featuring festive holiday music and songs of faith for the holiday season. Willis has two local performers that have graced her stage before in Betty Tilley and Kinston Nichols. Tilley was the oldest performer and Nichols the youngest of her “Living Your Arts Showcase,” Willis said.
Part of the mission of Hilda’s Place is to give performers and artists a place to display their talents for the community. She said her slice of the arts scene in the Yadkin Valley is “A space where arts and community come together to celebrate life and liberty.”
Through the arts she said folks can find a way to get reconnected to one another after an extended period of isolation due to the pandemic. People need to feel the bonds of humanity again she said and the arts “are one of the few places we can co-exist and have a real human connection,” Willis said.
“It is a great place to fellowship and get to know each other in a real way with no pretension,” she said. She hopes those who go to enjoy the show can leave some of the weight of the outside world at the door.
“Hilda is a phenomenal woman. She is very talented and has brought art to our small town that it had not had before,” Tilley said. “It is important to have art and music in our society. It helps us cope with everyday life.”
“Hilda’s Place has been where we can go and express ourselves through art and singing which we need be able to do that in our small town,” she said. “Hilda has made that possible.”
Willis said the arts can help people learn to reengage after time apart and the isolation of the COVID-19 era. She acknowledged that so many folks now are tethered to a screen, but she has faith that good music and fellowship can help cut the cord. “I don’t agree that our attention span is thirty minutes.”
Nichols said he feels excited to get to perform again at Hilda’s Place where he feels great comfort with the stage and with Willis herself. He recalls his father Brad took him to meet Hilda Willis when he was just 10 or 11 years old, “We just got to talking. She was just so sweet.”
From there the connection was made and he has been going back to delight audiences and hone his performing chops. Nichols said there was no doubt that knowing her and performing at Hilda’s Place “has definitely helped me grow as a performer.”
“Come on out, it’s going to be a good show,” he said ahead of the weekend’s performance. “It’s going to be good because everything Hilda puts on is great.”
Tilley said she is ready to hit the stage. “I have my song set ready, one of my favorite songs I will be performing is ‘Oh Holy Night.’ This would be a great time for folks to come out and enjoy songs of the season. There is no charge, and the donations would be welcome to help with our charities.”
“What we do now matters forever. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a connection, or share your energy with someone,” Willis said because life is too short and over the last couple of years so much time was taken from everyone.
Donations will be accepted for this pay what you can fundraiser that will raise money for It’s Just Us in the Community, AbolitionNC, and the Children’s Center of Northwest North Carolina.
Tickets can be found at: http://www.hildasplaceholiday18.eventbrite.com.
December 15, 2022
Mount Airy High School’s capturing of the 1-A state football championship last Saturday is being hailed as a victory not only for players and coaches but the community, which is celebrating that in multiple ways.
This will include the Bears football team being honored tonight at a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners. City officials are scheduled to present a resolution of recognition for the team’s 20-7 defeat of Tarboro in the 2022 title game, played at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, during the meeting to begin at 6 p.m.
Mount Airy had last won a state football championship in 2008.
Bears players and coaches are invited to tonight’s meeting, which is expected to include fielding appreciative comments from individual council members along with receiving the resolution of recognition. That honor typically is bestowed on local individuals or groups who have distinguished themselves in ways that benefit the city.
“It is my opinion that football brings a community together better than most anything that can happen,” Mayor Jon Cawley said Wednesday in commenting on the impact of last Saturday’s state championship.
Cawley, a former assistant coach for the Granite Bears, said this doesn’t detract from the efforts put forth by other school athletic teams. “Maybe because they play once a week,” he added regarding the football team.
Just as raising a child can require a village, it has been well documented that a successful high school football season often reflects a community effort, including support by parents, boosters, students, fans, teachers, administrators and others.
“Parade of Champions”
In addition to tonight’s recognition by the city council, a parade is scheduled Sunday afternoon that will feature members of both the Bears football team and girls tennis team that won the 1-A state championship in November.
Cawley said the activities today and Sunday represent an effort to recognize both squads with a joint “Parade of Champions”and singularly at meetings of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
“The tennis team will be honored in January as well,” the mayor said of a similar gesture next month in conjunction with tonight’s recognition of the footballers.
He added that Sunday’s parade will include the Mount Airy High cheerleaders and marching band along with football and tennis team members.
It will be a relatively short procession that is to start from the high school at 3 p.m. and progress to the downtown area, according to the mayor.
December 15, 2022
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/MTA121522V.pdf
December 14, 2022
• A Mount Airy woman listed as homeless was arrested Monday on a charge of attempted breaking and entering, according to city police reports.
Crystal Nicole Barker, 41, is accused of trying to break into an outbuilding at the residence of Brenda Kay Fish in the 1500 block of Forrest Drive, a crime that was discovered late Monday afternoon. Nothing was listed as stolen, with Barker confined in the Surry County Jail under a $300 secured bond.
She is scheduled to appear in District Court on Jan. 9.
Barker also is facing a charge of injury to personal property which was filed last Thursday in Yadkin County. She was served with an outstanding criminal summons for that offense by Mount Airy police on Saturday after they encountered her during the investigation of an improperly parked vehicle at Walmart. She is awaiting a Feb. 8 court appearance in Yadkin regarding that charge.
• Property valued at nearly $2,000 was stolen Monday during a break-in at the Junction Street residence of Marty Lee Jones.
Listed as stolen were a five-horsepower Briggs and Stratton go-cart motor valued at $1,000 and an impact drill said to be worth $850.
• Dominquea Quashun England, 25, of Greensboro, was charged with driving while impaired Sunday after a traffic crash that police records indicate occurred on Renfro Street at its intersection with Church Street, involving a 2019 Ram ProMaster van England was operating.
He was released on a written promise to appear in Surry District Court next Monday.
• The Hibbett Sports store on Rockford Street was the scene of a larceny last Friday, when two unknown suspects stole Nike Air tennis shoes and a navy and blue-colored hat that police records indicate represents an Atlanta sports team. The merchandise was valued altogether at $152.
December 14, 2022
Alumni basketball games are scheduled Saturday at Mount Airy High School to benefit a veterans memorial project planned for the campus.
The fundraising event — spearheaded by the Technology Student Association (TSA) group at the school — is slated to begin at 4 p.m. in the Mount Airy High School gym.
Promotional material for it indicates that multiple games will be involved, but no information could be obtained Wednesday on the exact nature of those contests or names of players expected to participate.
Other skill competitions and games attendees can enter also are part of Saturday’s slate of activities, according to Garrett Howlett, lead STEAM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teacher at Mount Airy High School.
Howlett and the TSA students he leads have organized and will run the event, which in addition to the basketball games is to include a 50/50 contest, concessions, a raffle and a silent auction, according to the promotional material.
The entry fee for the fundraiser is $5, with additional costs to accompany participation in certain events.
Howlett, as a career and technical teacher at the high school, has been heavily involved in the plans to locate the veterans memorial on campus grounds at the corner of North South and Orchard streets.
He developed the design for the project and also serves on a planning committee for the military memorial along with Dr. Kim Morrison, the superintendent of city schools; Dr. Phillip Brown; Mount Airy High School Principal Jason Dorsett; Krystal Tyndall; Maggie Mitchell; and Randy Moore, a member of the city school board.
It was Moore, a U.S. Army veteran, who suggested the idea for such a memorial, which he believes will be the first erected at a Mount Airy campus to honor military members who have made the supreme sacrifice.
Moore has said it will include a display honoring fallen soldiers in general along with emblems of individual service branches, flags and possibly some fitting quotations. The estimated cost of the project is around $25,000.
The Mount Airy Board of Education member initially sought to list on the memorial the names of all former students of Mount Airy High who had been killed in action. But Moore was unable to pinpoint this because of the school’s long history stretching back more than a century.
December 14, 2022
COVID-19 numbers are on the rise again, both nationally and locally, but this time the spread of the virus is being accompanied by what is shaping up to be a particularly harsh flu season and an unusually high number of RSV cases.
RSV — Respiratory Syncytial Virus — has been spreading in unusually high numbers since summer, but recently have spiked. The viral infection can be particularly dangerous to infants.
“(RSV)…causes a disease called Bronchiolitis, a condition where thick mucus clogs the medium and small air tubes that lead to the air sacs of the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged,” explained Dr. Jason Edsall, chief medical officer at Northern Regional Hospital. “Because the airways of infants are smaller than adults, the narrowing creates more severe disease in children. In adults, most people experience cold-like symptoms of cough and fever. In children, gas exchange itself can be impaired. The symptoms typically worsen over the first five days and then slowly resolve over approximately seven days, for a total of 12 days or so.”
A number of medical authorities have been quoted in recent days in various media sources theorizing about why the number of RSV cases have skyrocketed this year — many center around the idea that pandemic restrictions were successful in not only slowing the spread of COVID, but in also preventing RSV and flu from breaking out in great numbers.
“The ‘Why this year’ is a subject of speculation by many people experts,” Edsall said. “One thought is that by masking, isolating, and social distancing, we may have inadvertently reduced our immunity to this yearly infection by not being exposed as we normally are. In reality, it will never be fully known why the virus has been more active this year.”
Whatever the cause, RSV is being found in large numbers, according to Maggie Simmons, assistant health director with the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.
Same with the flu, after two years of largely non-existent flu seasons.
“We do know that North Carolina is experiencing high numbers of influenza-like illness activity,” she said. “Flu season typically begins in the fall, lasting through the winter; however flu viruses can spread year round. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February. So far this season, the CDC estimates that there have been at least 13 million illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations, and 7,300 deaths in the United States. There are multiple respiratory viruses co-circulating with influenza, so testing is important in order to determine appropriate treatment.”
Specifically with COVID-19, she said the number of local cases have risen sharply in recent weeks.
For the week ending Nov. 19 she said there were 61 total cases, with 14 reinfections. For the week ending Nov. 26, those figures had risen to 73 total weekly cases and 20 reinfections. For the week ending Dec. 3, the final week for which numbers are available, she said preliminary numbers show 138 total weekly cases, with 36 reinfections.
All totaled, since the pandemic began there have been 26,636 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Surry County, with 402 deaths.
“As for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Transmission Level, Surry County is back to red, indicating high community transmission,” she said.
At Northern Regional Hospital, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Northern Robin Hodgin said the hospital is seeing a rise in cases of all three respiratory illnesses.
“Today we have five inpatient COVID patients,” she said Wednesday. “We have averaged seven inpatient COVID patients over the last week with a high of 10 this past weekend. We have five inpatient influenza patients and have averaged eight inpatient influenza patients over the last week.”
Hodgin said, however, there is only one COVID patient in each of the ICU and step-down units, and that both units do have bed capacity available.
She added that there have been a few cases of individuals testing positive for both flu and COVID.
All three health officials had much the same response when discussing prevention for the three conditions — and most any viral disease.
“Get vaccinated if eligible, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home and away from others if you are sick, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, (and) practice good health habits, such as cleaning surfaces, get a good night’s sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food,” Simmons said.
She added that anyone at risk of several illness due to underlying health conditions may also want to consider wearing a mask while around others and avoiding crowded areas.
“RSV is spread like all other respiratory viruses, riding on respiratory droplets of infected individuals,” Edsel said. “These droplets can be slowed down and reduced in number by the use of masks or other face covering. It is also important to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face, to reduce the chance of infecting yourself. If you are sick, covering your cough and sneeze also reduces the spread. Remaining away from others will help as well.”
Hodgin said that individuals entering the hospital — whether a visitor or a patient — are required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of all three conditions. She said the hospital is also discouraging visitors younger than age 12.
December 14, 2022
Last week state wildlife officials sent word of two new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease found in Surry County. When CWD was first detected in the state it resulted in the establishment of two geographic areas in this area aptly named the Primary and Secondary Surveillance Areas.
Within those zones the state enacted tough regulations on the way deer carcasses could be transported both to and from those areas. The idea was to isolate the disease and not run the risk of contaminating other herds of deer by transporting a carcass with the disease into a non-infected area.
The Primary Surveillance Area in Surry County is found East of US 601, South of NC 268, and West of Quaker Church Road and the Ararat River; all of Surry County not in the primary is within the secondary area.
“Testing for CWD remains our number one priority this deer season,” said Brad Howard, chief of Wildlife Commission’s Wildlife Management Division. “It’s imperative that we continue to send samples to the lab so we can determine where in our state the disease is detected.”
The state thanked hunters for their cooperation and those regulations and restrictions had started to ease. In late November, the period of mandatory testing of carcasses in the secondary surveillance area ended. It was recommended at that time that hunters still voluntarily submit samples of the deer they killed to be sampled.
Chronic wasting disease is a highly communicable and 100% fatal disease for deer that some have dubbed “Zombie Deer Disease” due to the lethargy shown by deer who have been infected.
The disease is a slow moving one that may take up to one year for the animal to exhibit any signs of infection. Symptoms can present as listlessness, lack of coordination, excessive urination or drooling, and a decline in body weight however the state wildlife commission said, “By the time these signs appear, death is near.”
Chronic Wasting Disease is easily transmitted and is “always fatal” according to the state wildlife commission. There is no test that can be given to a living deer to see if they are infected and there is no vaccine or treatment for chronic wasting disease.
The highly contagious disease is spread through direct contact and caused by abnormal proteins called prions that slowly build up in the animal’s nervous system eventually causing brain damage and eventually leading to death.
NC Wildlife officials have been trying to educate the public on the spread of the disease. “Prions are spread as deer move through their environment and can hitchhike to new locations when people transport infected animals, their carcasses, or high-risk parts.”
The disposal of deer carcasses is important because once the prions are in an environment, they are hearty and can last in the soil for decades. They have survived extreme temperatures and even fire to still infect new deer herds.
Wildlife officials say the best defense against CWD is to work together to slow the spread and to isolates the disease into containment areas and hunters can play a critical role in the detection and containment of the disease.
“Wildlife officials are grateful for hunters and cooperative partners who have helped and are continuing to help with testing and monitoring this deer hunting season,” they wrote.
The state has been adding testing facilities, freezer drops off, head and carcass collection to give hunters a safe place to dispose of carcasses and to donate samples for testing.
Three free testing options are available, hunters can choose to submit a deer head at a Testing Drop-off Station, take their harvested deer to a Wildlife Commission staffed check station, or choose to ask their meat processor or taxidermist if they participate in the Cervid Health Cooperator program and those who will submit a sample.
Testing locations are located across the county and searchable on an interactive map at ncwildlife.org/CWD.
Officials said mandatory testing has been successful and remains in effect in the primary surveillance area until Jan. 2. While mandatory testing in the secondary area has lapsed, “It is strongly recommended that hunters submit their harvested deer’s lymph nodes for testing.”
All other special CWD regulations remain in place including carcass transport restrictions. “The transport of deer out of the Surveillance Areas is strictly prohibited. The best way for us to keep from moving the disease to new areas is to not move deer. In short, don’t give CWD a ride,” said Howard.
To limit the ability of the disease to spread, state wildlife officials have also set up regulations on the disposal of carcasses. It is the hunter’s responsibility to dispose of deer carcasses after harvest in a safe and responsible manner.
Never dispose of carcasses in water, on roadsides, in waterways, or on other’s property without permission, they said. “Responsibly dispose of carcasses by burying on the property where harvested, in a landfill, or leave on the ground at the harvest site.” They note that leaving the animal where it lies is not recommended or preferred, and will not keep other scavengers at bay, but in theory it will keep the disease, if present, in the proximal location at which it was found.
North Carolina Wildlife are not pulling their punches in messaging that is designed to pull at the heartstrings of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. They said in the states that have had chronic wasting disease the longest, hunters are seeing the tragic impact. “In some areas of those states over half the bucks tested are positive to CWD and hunters in these areas are facing the reality that their hunting tradition will never be the same.”
“If you have a successful hunt this season, do your part to help find and manage CWD. Together, we can fight this and preserver North Carolina’s hunting tradition for generations to come.”
December 14, 2022
North Surry High School recognized James McCreary for scoring his 1,000th career point during a Dec. 9 home game.
McCreary, a senior, is a multi-year starter that helped North Surry reach the 2A West Regional Finals this past season. He received All-Conference Honors each of the past two seasons, and was named to the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association’s All-District Second Team in 2021-22.
James picked up his 1,000th point during a Dec. 7 away game at Ashe County. He led the Greyhounds in scoring that night as the team defeated Ashe 98-46.
“James is a team-first player, and his 1000-point accomplishment wouldn’t be possible without his teammates and the hours of hard work he has put in – both in and out of the season over the last four years,” said North Surry coach Tyler Bentley. “He is a fierce competitor and no stage is too big for him. I’m glad he’s on our team and that we don’t have to play against him.”
“We are extremely proud of James and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season and the future holds for him.”
McCreary reached 1,000 points during the first half of the Ashe County game but didn’t slow down his hot streak there. The senior followed up his big game against Ashe County by scoring a career-high 33 points against Wilkes Central – with all 33 points coming in just three quarters.
He becomes the 19th North Surry player since 1970 to reach 1,000 points. McCreary is also the third player to reach 1,000 points since Bentley took over as head coach in 2018, joining 2020 graduate Nick Badgett and fellow class of 2023 member Jahreece Lynch.
North Surry is 6-0 on the season overall and 2-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference. The Greyhounds are ranked No. 1 in the 2A West by MaxPreps.
December 14, 2022
The Embers featuring Craig Woolard will be performing in Mount Airy on Thursday at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
The band presents its Christmas show featuring holiday favorites and a few visitors, such as Frosty, Rudolph, and friends. The stage is magically transformed into a holiday showplace, setting the mood for holiday cheer and even a little snow.
“The Embers are widely considered a musical marvel and have laid the groundwork for what has become known as Beach Music in the Carolinas, Virginias, the gulf coast region of North America and every beach in between,” concert organizers with the Surry Arts Council said. “They are a true musical tradition with which many Americans have listened to from childhood to adulthood. The Embers consider the genre of Beach Music as ‘music with a memory’ and have been creating lasting memories since its inception in 1958.”
Today, touring is commonplace for The Embers regularly boasting an average of 225 shows per year. They also embark on a cruise each year for their friends and fans to various locations throughout the Caribbean. And don’t miss their Christmas show in Mount Airy.
The concert on Dec. 15 begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for preferred seating and $25 for crchestra seating. Tickets are available online at www.surryarts.org, via phone at 336-786-7998, or at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford Street. Tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to the performance subject to availability. For additional information, contact Marianna Juliana at 336-786-7998 or marianna@surryarts.org.
December 14, 2022
DOBSON — The Surry Community College baseball team volunteered with the Surry County Sheriff’s Food Drive and Delivery on Dec. 10.
Members of the Knights’ baseball team assisted with packing and distributing 375 food boxes at Surry Central High School in Dobson. This year marked the 18th consecutive year that Surry Baseball volunteered their services to the drive.
Former Surry County Sheriff and event founder Graham Atkinson was quick to praise the players and coaches for all of their help.
“The Surry baseball team members were incredible as usual this year,” Atkinson said. “We are so appreciative of this partnership and all of their many years of service. I hope that we can continue this effort together for many more years to come because it would be extremely difficult without their assistance.”
Surry head coach Tim Collins said this year’s team was eager to help and give back to the community.
“The Surry County Sheriff’s Food Drive and Delivery is one of our most enjoyable team moments,” Collins said “It gives the team an opportunity to give back to the community. When we recruit our young men, we talk to their parents about trying to develop the entire person, not just the athlete. This is one of the events that helps us pursue this goal.
“We are extremely honored to be a part of this event every year.”
For Athletic Director Mark Tucker, it is another example of the SCC athletic program’s commitment to community service.
“Our student-athletes are tremendous with helping out in our community,” Tucker said. “In the past, our teams have assisted with Operation Christmas Child, collected food donations for needy area residents, visited long-term residents in the hospital, helped elderly community members with needed yard work, and volunteered with youth sports practices.
“We greatly appreciate Surry County Sheriff, Steve Hiatt and former Sheriff, Graham Atkinson for allowing us to be a part of this special project for all of these years. It has been amazing to watch it grow during the past 18 years.”
On the field, the Knights completed a strong fall schedule and look to build off that momentum heading into the spring.
“We finished as Region 10 runner-up last season and look to challenge for the championship again this year,” Collins said. “We will start back to practice on the field in early January and open our spring season in early February. I feel like we have a good group of young men that are eager for the challenge of competing for a Region 10 championship.”
The Knights will open the 2023 season on Feb. 4 by hosting a double header against Anne Arundel Community College (Maryland).
December 14, 2022
Pilot Mountain Elementary School recently released its first quarter honor roll.
A Honor Roll
Eighth grade: Alexa Arlene Allen, Colby Caroline Badgett, Sara Brooke Bennett, Kyleigh Anne Boyette, Landon Michael Byrd, Ashlyn Jayde Comer, Christopher Yogie Crouse, Marion Dominquez, Madi Brooke Edwards, Lia Elaine Orozco Flores, Amelia Suzanne Foster, Ashton Daniella Freeman, Samuel Gray Freeman, Eli Matthew Gatchel, Judith Amelia Gates, Dayton Iris Hayes, Sailor Blake Johnson, Caitlin Annice Joyce, Lukas Riley Kuhn and Vivien Yuxi Lin;
Cheyenne Christian Locklear, Jada Carnell Locklear, Gabriel Thomas Martin, Lauren Alexandra McCreary, Ellisa Pimchanat McDowell, Brenden Gavin Mikolics, Bret Samuel Moser, Gabriella Rose Newsom, Anne-Campbell Pace, Madisyn Grace Penley, Kiyah Danielle Penn, Chris Major Phipps, Megan Irene Poteat, Kyndell Lee Richardson, Katie Jane Seal, Gracie Marie Sechrist, Taylor Makinzi, Emery Sophia Tilley, Lilly Marie Underhill and Cadence Cyley Welborn.
Seventh grade: Daniela Torres Ayala, Kayson Renee Beck, Corrina Willow Brinkley, Maddox Jordan Chamberlain, Lexandra Celeste Chavez, Marie Sue Cooke, Mya Anlouise Davis, Asher Noah Dawson, Nathan James Diamont, Elliott Domeier, Peyton Addison Kapri Easter, Sara Ann Goins, Natalie Nicole Hawks, Cheyanne Isabella Hunt, Abel Wayne Keen, Addison Faye Lawson, Jasmine Eloise Mabe and Amairany Valdez Macedo;
Alexander Arellano Martinez, Sophia Gwen Newsom, Kevin Padron Perez, Edwin Ezeqiel Lewis Perez, Tri Huu Phan, Arrie Rebekah Phillips, Hunter Richard Reid, Abram Arthur Richardson, Brielynd Faye Riddle, Layla Schroder, Charles Farrell Speagle, Kaylyn Raeann Thibodeau, Daniel Ramirez Torres, London Isabella Watson, Keegan Michael Wilson, Kaidence Grace Wood and Coby Thomas Yarboro.
Sixth grade: Ellie Kate Anderson, Lillie Grace Baker, Isabelle Grace Bennett, Reagan Leigh Boyette, Kennedy Leigh Branch, Madeleine Rose Bullington, Layla Grey Comer, Rebekah Grace Dolinger, Bryleigh Marie Easter, Sophia Elizabeth Hernandez Estrada, Levi Franklin Freeman, Emma Marie Goins, Joel Gomez, Lyla ReneeGourley, Garrett Nathaniel Harding, Emilynn Paige Haymore, Riley Dalton Haymore and Madison Hope Hunsucker;
Zoe Hannah Grace Keener, Cara Paige Lewellyn, Marlon Jackson Lowe, Kyson Malachi, Kimber Grace McMasters, Sammi Grace Moser, Carr Allen Norris, Averie Kate Powell, Journey Peyton Priddy, Easton Allen Sallee, Kinleigh Reese Salyers, Colton Jake Sherrill and Landri Chayse Taylor.
A-B Honor Roll
Eighth grade: Mark Shawn Andrews, Josie Raina Baker, Andrew Jason Boles, Kirby Ray Chandler, Grayson William Chilton, Riley Annabelle Cook, John Barrett Davis, Chase Michael Dumas, Isabella Kay Epperson, Ellie McCray Fitzgerald, Blake Alexander Greene, Elizabeth Sueann Hamann, Sadie Nicole Haynes, Ronin Jeffrey Hayworth, ZyRihanna Ashantilanaye Hickman, Eliott Benjamin Hutchens, Braydon Dean Jones, Gabriel Aaron Jones, Yaquelin Rodriguez Juarez, Ian Andrew Ledesma, Noah Tinsley Locklear, Tatum Lawrence Love and Talon Blake Mason;
Eli Richard McCracken, Colt Asher McMasters, Dalynn Lee Meadows, Madeline Grace Needham, Cloey Lynn Overby, Karsyn Faith Pennington, Kaylen Hope Pennington, Jeremiah Haston Puckett, Tyler Scott Queen, Brylee Drew Ring, Jason Rodriguez, Timothy Matthew Samples, Isaiah Curtis Shaner, Seth James Sharp, Sawyer James Simmons, Chase Allen Smith, Miley Skyler Snow, Preslee Vosler, Noah Alan Waters, Lukah Presley Watson, Jesse J. Whitaker, Brady Douglas White and Nolan Marschel Blake Withers.
Seventh grade: Teagan Alyssa Adams, Davyn Job Arrington, River Samuel Baker, Harper Lee Ballard, Jizelle Perez Barrera, Christian Lee Buntin, Noah Lane Cagle, Nicole Caro, Brian Peyton Cave, Dixie Ellayna Cecile, Brooklyn Paige Collins,Weston Lee Dean, Violet Domeier, Amirra Grace Edgar, Isabella Ann Fleenor, Myra Diana Furches, Alexandra Elise Gardner, Jayme Cayden George, Lucas Neal Gorman, Sierra Frances Goulas, Sawyer Braddock Green, Jackson Parker Hart, Kelly Garcia Herrera, Jayden Michael Hester, Autumn Leigh Hodge, Isaiah Matthew Hopkins and Hayden Mackenzie King;
Cole Anderson Knox, Itxel Martinez Leandro, Raiden Lane Liles, Erik Rodriguez Martinez, Casen Edward McCraw, Emery Payton McKinney, Kiley Rae McMillian, Montana Leigh Miller, Corbin Lee Mills, Matthew Johnson Needham, Erik Rosas Ortega, Angelina Fabiola Pannutti, Kaiden James Radford, Damaris Rodriguez, Allison Michelle Sams, Bryson Payne Scott, Emily Elizabeth Spencer, Arius Phoenix Tulley, Khloe Grace Wall, Rylan Neal Watson, Jack Patrick Wilkins, Jamall Quetorious Wright Jr, Reece McKinley Wyse and Brookelynn Elizabeth Yopp.
Sixth grade: Avah Skye Burke, Bentley Marshall Coleman, Caleb Nicholas Collis, Sarah Rose Dawson, Carson James Durham, Ella Morgan Elizabeth Fischer, Marcus Suarez Flores, Anna Harlow Gautier, Cody Anthony Gautier, Riley Elanna Goodson, Joshua Delano Green, Alex Guerra, Titus Paul Hamons, Brayden Dean Holland, Bailey Holt, Dayzee Mae Hutchens, Israel Michael Hylton, Nathan Kice Jenkins, Sophie Ann Jennings, Cameron Shane Johnston, Jayden Avery Knight, Natalie Marie Black Lewis and Paige Carolyn Love;
Yelayna Rodriguez Martinez, Wyatt Parker O’Neal, Eli Richard Paoli, Jaxon Patrick Priddy, Trey Cole Pulliam, Aiden Bao Quinn, Amber Tao Quinn, Wyatt Montgomery Robertson, Carollyn Samples, Bryson Cambel Shelton, Hunter Dalton Sink, McKenzie Brookes Smith, Zaden Isaiah Snyder, Cole Ely Spencer, Jacob Winfield Tilley, Shaylee Jade Tilley, Kaylee Jade Trivette, Bailey Nicole Watkins, McKenzie Grace Wright and Ansley Kate Yount.
December 13, 2022
Operation Christmas Child from Samaritan’s Purse this year celebrated a milestone: 200 million shoeboxes sent to children across the globe who are in need. What started in 1993 as a direct request to Franklin Graham from a man in England to send holiday gifts to Bosnia during the early days of the Bosnian Civil War has 29 years on endured and grown.
Mount Airy resident Sarah Simpson helped coordinate local donation efforts at Bannertown Baptist Church and recently went to a donation processing center outside Charlotte to help pack boxes of toys and other holiday goodies that will be sent around the world in an outreach effort that keeps growing. The campaign had humble beginnings that first year when they collected and sent 28,000 shoeboxes. The shoebox campaign has since expanded to now reach more than 170 counties across the world. Simpson reported that at the processing center the volunteers were putting together about 100,000 shoeboxes a day.
Meant as a way for local groups such as Bannertown Baptist Church to come together and help others, the program offers the chance to provide toys and other holiday gifts to less fortunate kids. They offer the opportunity to track a shoebox’s travel from the United States to its final destination on their website. Simpson said on her visit to the operation center that she packed boxes that were headed to the Czech Republic, Peru, and Zimbabwe.
Franklin Graham, son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, spoke to the crowd for 15 minutes or so and thanked the pickers and packers for their help in making another shoebox campaign a success with a heaping helping of Chic-fil-A sandwiches. For those who were there only to spread cheer and aid in the box preparation, it was a treat to be visited by the leader of Samaritan’s Purse and hear him tell stories of past years’ efforts.
One story in particular spoke to Simpson and to the reason why so many people get involved with Operation Christmas Child every year. Graham told the crowd of a young man who upon receiving his shoebox opened it and seemed less that enthused with what was inside. When he was asked what he wanted for Christmas, Graham said his response was, “Parents.”
The young man wrote a letter back to the family who sent the shoebox, and they sent one in return. This correspondence continued for some time until that family wound up adopting him, Simpson said. What was in the shoebox now matters little, but it was the act of generosity and charity that set everything else in motion.
Simpson and Bannertown Baptist will be collecting again in 2023 for Operation Christmas Child and have hopes of collecting even more donations next year.
December 13, 2022
Katie Draughn, an eighth grade student at Mount Airy Middle School, was recently chosen for the NC Middle School Honors Chorus. This is a choir made up of students from across the state. They performed a concert as part of the NC Music Educators conference held in Winston-Salem on Nov. 6.
This year there were 459 students who auditioned and 131 who were selected. Katie is the daughter of Andrea and Kenneth Draughn.
December 13, 2022
Despite challenges posed by factors such as COVID-19 in recent times, the city of Mount Airy remains in a solid financial position including its surplus, or savings, continuing to grow.
However, the savings gain occurring during the most recent fiscal year of $634,481 — in what officially is known as the city’s available fund balance — was less than half of that recorded for the previous fiscal year.
This finding was presented in an annual audit report for the municipality during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners earlier this month.
It covered the 12-month period ending on June 30, the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
In presenting the report from the independent audit, Kari Dunlap of the Martin, Starnes and Associates accounting firm that has checked the city’s books since 2011, said Mount Airy not only is solidly in the black with its various accounts.
There also were no questionable costs or other issues — known as “findings” — uncovered during the municipal audit, which places Mount Airy in a unique class.
“I think you are in the minority of municipalities by far,” Dunlap of the net effect from accounting methods and procedures employed within city government.
Surplus stands out
The available fund balance of the municipality, aka savings, is defined as money accompanied by no restrictions which may be used for any purpose.
It has been a topic of much interest in recent decades, including times when its has dipped to dangerously low levels and more recently when a sizeable surplus has been maintained.
At the end of the last fiscal year on June 30, the total stood at $13,208, 941, 5% above that of the previous 2020-2021 funding period, $12,574,460.
This involves the available balance for Mount Airy’s general fund covering day-to-expenses of running the city government, which is kept separate from its water-sewer fund. The latter is an enterprise fund supported by user fees.
The available general fund balance had grown by more than $1.5 million during the 2020-2021 fiscal year and by nearly $1.7 million the year before that.
When the last audit report before the most recent one was presented near the end of 2021, Mount Airy officials had warned that significant annual growth in the fund balance of $1 million-plus was due to unusual budgetary factors. That included 13 employee vacancies being frozen for part of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Unfilled vacancies in certain city government areas such as the Mount Airy Police Department artificially increased the surplus temporarily, but it was expected to be corrected down the road as the personnel situation became more stabilized.
Another factor was the delaying of certain high-dollar expenditures that in turn would burden future budgets.
The public safety category in the general fund municipal budget, covering both police and fire services, consequently decreased by 7% from $5.3 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year to $4.9 million for the year ending on June 30, 2021.
For the most recent fiscal year ending on June 30, 2022, that category reflected a more-normal situation with public safety spending rising to $5.9 million, not far from where it was during 2019-2020.
Public safety is the single-most-costly portion of the municipal budget that totaled slightly more than $16 million revenues for the year ending in June. That net revenue figure eclipsed total expenses of $14 million, according to the audit presentation.
Property tax proceeds grew by $555,511 during 2021-2022.
Finance director praised
In late 2021, Darren Lewis, then Mount Airy’s interim city manager, had warned observers not to expect another $1.5 million “to the good” in the fund balance due to the unusual factors affecting the audit that year, which proved to be prophetic.
Yet despite Mount Airy’s available fund balance not rising as much as in previous years, Dunlap said it remains well above levels recommended by the Local Government Commission (LGC) in Raleigh.
The LGC, a division of the Department of State Treasurer which provides oversight of North Carolina localities’ finances, recommends that a fund balance be at least 8% of general fund expenditures for a 12-month period.
In Mount Airy’s case, the city government could run on its fund for about 10 months if no tax or other revenues were collected, which Dunlap said was well above the state recommendation.
Newly installed Mayor Jon Cawley was happy about the fact no questionable expenses or other “findings” were unearthed during this year’s audit process.
“In 14 years we’ve never had a ‘finding,’” Cawley said of a period including his total tenure on the city council which began with him being appointment to a North Ward commissioner post in the fall of 2008.
“Way to go, Pam,” he said to Finance Director Pam Stone seated a short distance away. Stone is a longtime city employee and former accountant in the private sector who has played a big role in Mount Airy’s fiscal management for much of that 14-year period in her present position.
Dunlap said it is more common to discover problems with the books of county government units, which are more extensive due to including social services and other complex programs.
December 13, 2022
As veterans are aging time is running out to document their stories and honor them once more for their service. At a meeting of the 2nd Cup Veterans Group at the King Senior Center four veterans were recognized for their participation in the events surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Paula Hall, director of the King Senior Center, said she is happy that these veterans were given recognition for their service during a critical incident in American history that is not very well understood.
In October, Commander David Taylor or The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Chapter #0638 presented embroidered caps to Don Overby (Air Force), Mike Cassio (Army), Mack White (Army), and Russell Brown (Navy) at the 2nd Cup Veterans Breakfast in King to honor their service during the Cuban Missile Crisis, she said.
Taylor has remained active with the military in his post service years in The Military Order of the Purple Heart and as a member of Disabled Veterans of America (Chapter 9), and American Legion Post 290. Keeping involved in these groups means he is well connected with other veterans in the area.
He expressed concerned that the dwindling number of living veterans means that their stories may pass along with them. Already his chapter of The Military Order of the Purple Heart has had to merge with other local branches as there are not always enough remaining veterans to conduct ceremonies with honors. They have had consolidated their membership and Chapter 638 now encompasses 15 counties, including Surry and Stokes counties.
Sixty years ago, on Oct. 26, 1962, President Kennedy raised military the military readiness to DEFCON-2. Hall said of those days, “For 35 days in the fall of 1962, conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated to what is known as The Cuban Missile Crisis.”
“The United States went to DEFCON-2 (Defense Readiness Condition), an alert system status that was just one level shy of the most severe status.”
Taylor said people may not remember just how dire the situation was and that “the guns were loaded” on American naval vessels that needed only a command and would have opened fire. He said of the local vets that they “could see the Russians on the beach, that’s how close they were.”
The naval blockade of Cuba and the defensive posture of the United States caused Russia to blink and withdraw their missiles from the island a scant 90 miles from the tip of Florida. For those 35 days the cold war reached its highest simmering point of the decades long conflict Taylor said, “It was as close as it could have gotten.”
The cold war ended, and Gulf Wars and a War of Terror followed in the years since, but Taylor has remained ever ready. He remains on guard to help his fellow veterans, but he knows how the story ends so often already. “I hear it all the time, vets will call and ask for help. They say they are sick or are in need of some assistance and I ask them, ‘Are you in the Legion, VFW, have you signed up for Veterans Administration benefits?’ and so many of them say no,” Taylor said with a shake of his head. “I just ask myself ‘why not’?”
“Don’t wait until the last minute, there are people who are ready to help now,” he said referring to local veteran’s service officers like Mike Scott. He said it is the duty and honor of these officers to help veterans find and apply for the benefits they have earned. “The V.A. isn’t going to come knocking at your door you know.”
Taylor is calling for veterans of all ranks, branch, or dates of service to consider joining one of the veterans’ groups as there is strength in numbers. These veterans’ groups need members for as has been noted, participation in just about everything has dropped off. This was true even before the pandemic kept folks on lockdown and gatherings were halted.
When he advocates for veterans rights and goes to visit a politician, he said arriving with a hundred vets gets you a hello but with a thousand and they “may open the door.’ With ten thousand veterans standing, metaphorically, shoulder to shoulder it becomes harder to ignore their needs of the brave men and women who served.
One groups at the highest risk for COVID-19 are the elderly, and Taylor recalls not being able to take a commemorative service baseball cap to a veteran.
A Vietnam veteran in the Charlotte area had his service cap stolen and so Taylor picked up the phone to order two replacements, but isolation protocols meant he couldn’t deliver the two caps, one is white and to be worn on Sundays and the black cap the rest of the week.
“The wife told me after that there was no way she could fully express her husband’s gratitude,” he said. It meant something to the vet and his wife that a fellow comrade in arms was still watching his six, and Taylor said that is nothing new.
Their conduct on the battlefield is mirrored in their dedication to each other after exiting the service: they leave no man or woman behind.
At times, the Veterans Administration has fallen short in the care and comfort of the veterans of the United States and when that happens groups like The Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled Veterans of America pick up the slack, “In the end, its veterans helping veterans,” Taylor said of the bonds between America’s veterans and the oath they took.
“Recognition of our veterans is very important to all of us,” Hall of the senior center said noting a growing population of seniors in Stokes County and surrounding areas that she wants to make sure stay connected.
For more information contact: Surry County Veterans Services contact: Mike Scott, U.S. Navy (Ret.), 336 783-8820
December 12, 2022
• A Mount Airy man who fled to escape arrest was subsequently jailed under a $45,000 secured bond during the early morning hours Saturday on felony drug and other charges, according to city police reports.
Ryan Cornelius Smith, 21, of 125 Lakeview Circle, was encountered by officers during a traffic stop in the 900 block of West Pine Street. He earlier had refused to pull over for a blue light and siren, arrest records indicate.
Once apprehended, marijuana, digital scales and other narcotics equipment were seized from the 2011 Ford Mustang Smith was operating, along with alcohol and two Glock handguns.
Smith was charged with four felonies: possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; maintaining a drug vehicle; fleeing to elude arrest; and two counts of carrying a concealed weapon.
He also is facing misdemeanor violations of reckless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing an open container of alcohol. Smith was scheduled for an initial appearance in Surry District Court Monday.
• Evelyn Tiffanie Rose Swift, 27, of 185 W. End Drive, was charged Friday with larceny and possession of stolen goods after an incident at Walmart, in addition to being served with two outstanding criminal summonses for other larceny charges that had been filed on Dec. 4.
Swift allegedly stole a Razor scooter from Walmart Saturday along with two stuffed animals, merchandise valued altogether at $183, according to police records, which was recovered. No details were listed regarding the previous larceny charges issued against Swift.
She is scheduled to be in District Court on Jan. 9.
• Christopher Lee Shumate, 37, listed as a homeless Mount Airy resident, was incarcerated under a $30,000 unsecured bond Thursday night on felony drug and other charges after being taken into custody in a parking area at 615 N. South St.
Shumate was encountered by police during a suspicious-person call, which led to him fleeing on foot. He subsequently was taken into custody on an outstanding order for arrest as a fugitive from justice.
Methamphetamine was found during his arrest, which led to further charges against Shumate of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, a felony; resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Shumate was scheduled for an initial appearance in District Court Monday.
December 12, 2022
The Mount Airy business community presently includes no Jersey Mike’s Subs or Duck Donuts outlets — but that is about to change.
Both establishments are headed to a spot at 1025 Rockford St. across from Northern Regional Hospital near Lovills Creek.
Those businesses will be part of a shopping center there known as Rivertrack Crossing, the first phase of which contains entities including Domino’s Pizza.
The new Jersey Mike’s Subs and Duck Donuts will occupy a separate building to the rear of that development which is known as Rivertrack Crossing Phase II. Both phases have been spearheaded by Meridian Realty in Winston-Salem.
City permits were granted to accommodate the two new businesses, according to Mount Airy Planning Director Andy Goodall.
Jersey Mike’s specializes in authentic Northeast-American-style submarine sandwiches on fresh-baked bread. The New Jersey-based chain founded in 1956 has about 2,000 locations.
Duck Donuts, meanwhile, is a chain based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 2006 in Duck, North Carolina, and has since expanded to more than 100 locations. Its products include customizable, made-to-order doughnuts — known as duckadent donuts — other baked goods and a range of beverages.
It was unclear Monday when the new establishments will be open to the public.
“That’s a good question,” said William T. Bartholomew Jr. of Meridian Realty, who is handling the local Rivertrack Crossing projects. “I have to check with the contractors.”
Bartholomew indicated that factors including COVID, the weather and supply-chain issues had affected the setting of firm opening dates.
Information on the Jersey Mike’s website says the Mount Airy location will be ready for business in late 2022, while the Duck Donut’s website says only that the local shop is “coming soon.”
Bartholomew believes the two will be fine additions to the local business scene when they do arrive.
“I think this is a great opportunity for Mount Airy,” the Meridian Realty spokesman said.
He believes the location at 1025 Rockford St., in a well-traveled and highly visible business corridor, will be a plus.
“I think that corner, of that corridor, is a huge gateway coming into Mount Airy.”
The fact that Jersey Mike’s Subs and Duck Donuts have universal popularity also bodes well for their presence locally, according to Bartholomew.
He added that there is one suite in the Phase II Rivertrack Crossing building still to be occupied, beside the Jersey Mike’s location.
Mount Airy previously had a Jersey Mike’s in the Forrest Oaks Shopping in another section of Rockford Street where Little Caesars Pizza is now located.
December 12, 2022
RALEIGH — Mount Airy won the 2022 1A State Championship on Dec. 10 by defeating two-time defending state champion Tarboro 20-7.
The Granite Bears captured their eighth state title in school history, joining the following Mount Airy teams: 1935, 1938, 1942, 1946, 1948, 1968 and 2008.
Mount Airy (15-1) scored on the game’s opening drive, with junior Tyler Mason running in his first of three rushing touchdowns. The Bears’ lead increased to 20-0 before the Vikings’ Kamerin McDowell-Moore found the end zone late in the third quarter.
Tarboro forced a Mount Airy punt then went on a 16-play drive that lasted from the 1:11 mark of the third quarter to the 5:58 mark of the fourth quarter. The Vikings converted on fourth down three times on the drive to reach the Bears’ 29-yard line, but then a fumble caused and recovered by Granite Bear junior Walker Stroup put the game on ice.
“I’m so thankful, so blessed to be surrounded by these guys and those guys in the locker room; I love these guys,” said Mount Airy coach J.K. Adkins. “[They’ve got] hearts of champions and they showed that tonight.
“I’m proud of our team, I’m very prideful for our community and for our school. This is an awesome, awesome experience and I just feel blessed.”
Mason was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship game, finishing with a game-high 139 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns on 23 carries. The junior also had one punt return for 30 yards, a kickoff return for 31 yards, and six tackles.
Stroup was named Mount Airy’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player, finishing with nine total tackles, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery. Junior Caleb Reid was named Mount Airy’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player, finishing with nine carries for 43 yards.
The 2022 1A Football N.C. Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Joshua Bradley from Tarboro and Josh Chavis from Mount Airy.
Tarboro’s only two losses to 1A opponents since 2017 have come against teams from Surry County. East Surry defeated Tarboro in the 2019 1AA State Championship to stop the Vikings short of a three-peat, just as Mount Airy did in 2022.
“We’ve been to six straight, which is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Tarboro coach Jeff Craddock. “Fortunately we’ve won four out of six, which is pretty good, but unfortunately we lost the one tonight.
On his team, Craddock said: “They don’t have to hang their heads for anything. Yeah, we came up short today. In life you come up short sometimes. It’s hard, but it’s life.”
Defense wins championships
The state championship was held at N.C. State University’s Carter-Finley Stadium, which was also the site of the 2017 1AA Championship game between Mount Airy and Tarboro.
The rematch five years later saw Mount Airy’s defense put on a historic performance. By holding the Vikings to just 7 points – 20 fewer than any other game this season – the Bears’ victory marks the first time in more than 15 years that Tarboro was held to fewer than 10 points by a team in the same state classification.
The last team to do so was Goldsboro, who defeated Tarboro 20-0 on Oct. 5, 2007. Both schools were part of the 2A classification at the time.
Tarboro (13-2) finished with 179 total yards of offense, all of which came on the ground. Quarterback Omarion Lewis only attempted three passes: two fell incomplete and one was intercepted by Granite Bear junior Mario Revels.
Only two 1A teams have held Tarboro to less than 180 total yards since the Vikings became a 1A school in 2013: James Kenan on Nov. 27, 2015 (161 total) and Mount Airy on Dec. 10, 2022 (179 total).
“I think one of our identities over the past two years has been a tremendous defense,” Adkins said. “We were good at stopping the run and the pass, and anytime you have that you have a chance to win on any given night. Our coaching staff – Darron and Austin Taylor and the rest of those guys – they do a tremendous job each week of game planning.
“I think the biggest thing we do is we play with tremendous effort. We’ve got guys playing both ways. You see it at the end of the game, when we needed a stop we found a way to get the ball stopped. I think our effort level sets us apart.”
The Granite Bear defense stepped up and made stops even when injuries threw a wrench in their usual starting lineup. Caden Joyce, who plays on both the offensive and defensive lines, went down with an injury against Draughn, while Deric Dandy, Mount Airy’s leader in tackles for a loss, sacks and QB hurries, left the state championship in the first quarter.
Tarboro was held to 54 yards of offense in the first half, picking up three first downs in the first quarter and none in the second.
Viking freshman Kamerin McDowell-Moore highlighted Tarboro’s offense and was named the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player. McDowell-Moore finished with 119 yards on 25 carries, and sophomore Mason Satterfield added seven carries for 42 yards and a touchdown.
No other Viking player averaged more than 1.8 yards per carry.
‘Special Teams was huge’
Special teams also played a factor all night.
Tarboro punted four times in Saturday’s game: the first rolled all the way to the 1-yard line, but then the next one was blocked by Webster, the following punt was returned by Mason to the Viking 14 to set up his second score, and the next was blocked by Mount Airy freshman D.J. Joyce in the third quarter to set up Mason’s final score.
Craddock said the two blocked punts resulted from a “lack of execution.”
“We looked at the film and we knew that we were a lot better than them in special teams,” Adkins said. “We wanted to get after it and try to get to the football, and if we couldn’t we wanted to get away from the ball because their punts typically didn’t travel very far.
“I thought special teams was huge. Walker flipped the field several times.”
Stroup punted three times for 119 yards, averaging 39.7 yards per kick.
Bears run away with the win
Mount Airy’s offense also stayed primarily on the ground, with junior quarterback Ian Gallimore only attempting four passes.
Gallimore made his lone completion to Revels at a key time: on third down when the Bears were backed up on their own 4-yard line. Craddock referenced that drive in his post-game comments, saying a stop there could’ve given Tarboro a short field down just 7-0 – potentially changing the flow of the game from that point on.
Mason’s 23 carries are the most in any game of his career. His 139 yards accounted for 63.8% of Mount Airy’s 218 total yards, while also giving Mason his 11th game this season of at least 100 yards rushing.
Mason finishes the year with 49 rushing touchdowns. This not only gives Mason the most rushing touchdowns in the state among all classifications this season, but ties him for No. 6 all-time in NCHSAA history.
Mason tied the mark set by Nyheim Hines – who currently plays for the Buffalo Bills – at Garner in 2013.
“I was seeing my lineman really get off the ball,” Mason said. “I was seeing holes well and I used those holes to my advantage to get up the field. I just came out hot.”
Gallimore and Reid combined for 15 carries for 63 yards, and the Bears had -14 yards go against the team.
Craddock commended the Vikings defense for holding Mount Airy, a team that averaged 50.5 points coming into the state championship, to 20 – the Bears’ lowest point total of the season next to a 14-12 loss to East Surry.
“We played good enough defense to win the game, we just didn’t execute enough on offense or special teams and that cost us the game,” Craddock said.
After Mount Airy scored on its initial drive, Tarboro forced punts on two of the Bears’ next three possessions as well as a turnover-on-downs. Then in the second half the Vikings forced an interception and a late punt.
“Our guys didn’t quit,” Craddock said. “They fought to the end. I was very proud of their effort, but at the end of the day we didn’t play the game we needed to play to beat a great team like Mount Airy.”
The Redeem Team
Mount Airy’s 2021 season ended in the fourth round of the 1A State Playoffs.
The Granite Bears fell 21-14 to Mitchell at home in a year that they felt they could compete for a state title. Instead, Mitchell went on to win the 1A West Regional Championship and finished State Runner-up.
“The pain of the exit versus Michell was real,” Adkins said. “It was real for all of us. We felt like we were better, to be honest. We didn’t get to advance and there were reasons for it.
“Sometimes pain promotes growth as painful as that is. We identified the reasons why and we went to work, and the guys have done a tremendous job.”
The ending of the 2021 season stayed with Mount Airy throughout the 2022 campaign. It helped the Granite Bears stay focused on the moment against opponents they felt they should beat, and motivated the players to push through adversity when they faced tough opponents
“I think our composure has been better this season than last season,” Reid said. “We’ve basically had no unsportsmanlike conduct penalties this year. We just go out there and play football, have fun and do our job.”
The Bears came to work every day, and for their efforts will be immortalized as champions.
Scoring
Mount Airy – 7, 7, 6, 0 = 20
Tarboro – 0, 0, 7, 0 = 7
1Q
8:47 MA 7-0 – Tyler Mason 15-yard TD run, Walker Stroup PAT
2Q
2:29 MA 14-0 – Tyler Mason 1-yard TD run, Walker Stroup PAT
3Q
8:58 MA 20-0 – Tyler Mason 1-yard TD run, PAT no good
3:52 TB 20-7 – Mason Satterfield 9-yard TD run, Clay Craddock PAT
4Q
No scoring
Stats via the NCHSAA
Mount Airy Offense
TEAM
30 yards passing on one completion, one interception
188 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 41 carries
218 total yards
INDIVIDUAL
Passing: Ian Gallimore 1-of-4 for 30 yards, one interception
Receiving: Mario Revels one reception for 30 yards
Rushing: Tyler Mason 23 carries for 139 yards, three touchdowns; Caleb Reid 9 carries for 43 yards; Ian Gallimore 6 carries for 20 yards; Team three carries for -14 yards
Kicking: Walker Stroup 2-of-3 PATs, three punts for 119 yards (39.7 average)
Mount Airy Defense
Total Tackles: Ian Gallimore 14, Connor Burrell 9, Walker Stroup 9, Caleb Reid 9, D.J. Joyce 7, Jonah Bilyeu 7, Tyler Mason 6, Cam’Ron Webster 5, Third Floyd 5, Landon Cox 3, Logan Fonville 2, Deric Dandy 2, Mario Revels 1
Tackles for a loss: Jonah Bilyeu 1.5, Landon Cox 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1, D.J. Joyce 1, Ian Gallimore 0.5
Caused Fumbles: Walker Stroup 1
Recovered Fumbles: Walker Stroup 1
Interceptions: Mario Revels 1
QB Hurries: Landon Cox 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1
Sacks: Landon Cox 1
Blocked Punts: D.J. Joyce 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1
Tarboro Offense
TEAM
Zero yards passing, one interception
179 yards rushing on 50 carries, one touchdown
179 total yards
INDIVIDUAL
Passing: Omarion Lewis 0-of-3 for zero yards, one interception
Receiving: None
Rushing: Kamerin McDowell-Moore 25 carries for 119 yards; Mason Satterfield seven carries for 42 yards, one touchdown; Bruce Shipman Jr five carries for 9 yards; Tremaine McDaniels four carries for 7 yards, Christian Gunter three carries for 4 yards; Omarion Lewis six carries for -2 yards
Kicking: Cole Craddock 1-of-1 PATs
Tarboro Defense
Total Tackles: Isaiah Jones 9, Omarion Lewis 8, Jamarion Smith 7, Shermardra Clark 5, Jamarion Dozier 4, Melvin Sherrod 3, Tra’kevious Jones 3, Quaytavious Jones 3, Tremaine McDaniels 2, Nathan Sherrod 1, Cole Craddock 1, Bruce Shipman Jr. 1, Joshua Bradley 1, Mason Satterfield 1
Tackles for a loss: Tremaine McDaniels 1, Cole Craddock 1, Shermardra Clark 0.5, Isaiah Jones 0.5
Interceptions: Omarion Lewis 1
December 11, 2022
Surry Community College’s Nursing program was ranked among the top 10 for best nursing schools in North Carolina, according to RegisteredNursing.com. SCC placed in the ninth position, with a score of 96.16 out of 100.
The list was determined by “analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN pass-rates, meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam,” according to the publication. To qualify for the list, programs include either an associate in nursing, BSN, or direct-entry MSN degree.
“Surry Community College’s Nursing program has a long history of excellent licensure pass scores for first-time test takers,” said Associate Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Yvonne Johnson. “Not only are students in the SCC Nursing program passing their licensing tests on the first try, but they are gaining employment as nurses in highly sought-after positions, most before they even graduate.”
Surry Community College’s Associate Degree Nursing curriculum provides students with opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and strategies to integrate safety and quality into nursing care, to practice in a dynamic environment, and to assist individuals in making informed decisions that impact their health, quality of life, and achievement of potential.
Course work includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes the nurse as a member of the interdisciplinary team providing safe, individualized care while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics.
Graduates of this program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination. “Employment opportunities are vast within the global health care system and may include positions within acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community healthcare facilities,” the college said.
High school students can begin working toward the associate degree in nursing by enrolling in courses in the career and college promise certificate that are required in the nursing program.
Spring registration is open. For information about college application, financial aid or class registration, contact Student and Workforce Services at 336-386-3264 or studentservices@surry.edu. Go to surry.edu for more information.
December 11, 2022
Mount Airy Middle School and Mount Airy High School recently celebrated Career Development Month.
As part of the observance, career development coordinators arranged for several field trips and guest speakers from the community to support the district’s Career and Technical Education pathways.
“Both schools appreciate local business and industry partners who provide meaningful learning extensions and career exploration opportunities for students,” school officials said recently. “Mount Airy City Schools continues to provide work-based learning and career exploration activities throughout the school year.”
For more information about the career education program at Mount Airy High School, contact Katie Ferguson at kferguson@mtairy.k12.nc.us or 336-789-5147 and at Mount Airy Middle School contact Catrina Alexander at calexander@mtairy.k12.nc.us or 336-789-9021.
December 11, 2022
During a February meeting of the Surry County Board of County Commissioners, the county was presented with a new concept that would add paid firefighters to some volunteer fire houses around the county to bolster their ranks and improve response times.
There has been a growing need to find a new way to staff the fire houses around the county as firefighters are aging out of their service years and fewer are filing in to fill their ranks as volunteerism has declined across the nation. Jonathan Sutphin, chief of the Westfield Fire Department and soon to be president of the Surry County Fire Council, told the commissioners the problems with staffing volunteer stations have been growing since the mid-1990’s.
He described to the county commissioners in early 2022 three proposals for adding paid firefighter coverage to augment the volunteer fire stations. Now some four months later, he happily reported, “I just wanted to let you know that the paid program that you implemented is working.”
Skull Camp, Jot-Um-Down, Central Surry, Bannertown, and Pilot Knob were the stations selected to add a paid firefighter to their staffs. These new staff members “work set hours, usually 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., something like that, and when they are on, they respond to all calls that come in,” Sutphin said.
Since gaining commissioners’ approval the fire council took time to look over candidates to find the right fit for each respective volunteer fire station. They found there was paperwork that needed to be settled. “We had to make sure our insurances were right and adjust some policies our departments had already in place to make sure that we were all legal with the state and the insurance policies.”
When the right candidates were found, in August the boards of the five volunteer fire stations that would be adding a paid staff member gathered to decide on their own whom to hire, removing the decision-making process for local chiefs or the chief’s council to avoid any appearance of impropriety or nepotism. Training for the new firefighters started in September and they are all on staff at this time.
Sutphin said the numbers speak for themselves and compared response times. “You can see the difference in the times that the person on staff responds to calls and gets on scene compared to the time if no one was there.”
“At Skull Camp it has made a four minute and thirteen second difference. At Pilot Knob five minutes twenty-two seconds, Jot-Um-Down five minutes and thirty seconds, Central Surry four minutes and thirty-two seconds, and at Bannertown four minutes and seven seconds.”
“I want to put that in perspective. If you were having a hard time and needed help – what would that five minutes and thirty seconds be worth to you? What would four minutes and seven seconds be worth when you’re hanging upside down in a car on I-77?”
Beyond having the extra pair of boots on the ground the new paid firefighters can also aid in all manner of administrative work from the filing of paperwork to pre-survey work of commercial buildings that has to be done annually. Sutphin told the county commissioners, “What they do when they are not on a call is almost as important.”
He repeatedly mentioned adding the paid staff was improving not only response times but also the ISO fire rating for the county. A local ISO fire rating determines how well the fire department can protect a community. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates, so a lower score means lower homeowner’s insurance rates for Surry County residents.
Each fire engine has hundreds of pieces of equipment and parts that need to be inspected weekly, said Brian Lowe, fire chief of Skull Camp. Just one of his engines has roughly 400 pieces that need inspection to make sure they are up to code. Truck and equipment inspections are required to ensure that the county’s ISO fire safety rating stays low. Sutphin told the board in spring that for a department to lower its ISO, “That is a huge accomplishment for them to do it.”
While trained in fire or rescue the paid staff member can also handle office work that can be tedious and takes a lot of time, Sutphin explained. This paid staff member is mobile as well and while stationed at one house will go to the others in the district to help with cleaning, training, inspections, and ISO work.
When Commissioner Larry Johnson asked who would have been doing that type of work if not for the paid employee, the answer was more or less a shrug of shoulders, but the consensus was that the chiefs of the volunteer houses are managing much of that work.
He also asked if the plan to divide up the county into quadrants had been implemented, Sutphin confirmed that it had, and one paid firefighter was assigned to each quadrant.
Since the program was launched two months ago the paid staff have responded to 134 calls and Sutphin estimates that the paid firefighter was the only person who responded in at least 40 of those calls. This is often due to there not being any volunteer staff available when the calls come in and while there are contingencies to call to neighboring fire departments for aid, that adds minutes when there may be none to spare. Paid staff in each quadrant who can respond to all calls regardless of nature can have an impact, and their ability to cross district lines as needed will save lives.
Commissioner Van Tucker had questions about what this paid firefighter program may look like in five or more years’ time as the rank of willing volunteers seems to be ever-dwindling. Sutphin agreed with the premise of the question and acknowledged that while all volunteer departments are seeing a decline across the state, this program may offer a solution.
He said that given the success of this paid firefighter program in its early stages, the fire council is hopeful that it will be expanded, “We would love to see a paid firefighter at each station.”
Commissioner Mark Marion agreed and was eager to offer robust support for the paid firefighter program by saying, “Looks like we’ve hit a home run here and I want to keep gaining on it.”
December 11, 2022
Storytime is here for kids of all ages. Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. is Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. is Book Babies for children ages birth to 2 years old; and on Thursday at 11 a.m. is Preschool Storytime for ages 4-5.
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STEAMed Up Tuesdays from 4 — 5 p.m. Interactive fun and learning for youth in grades 4 through 6.
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Hooked – Join our crochet and knitting club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Open for all skill levels. Bring your own yarn and make the group project or bring your own project to work on.
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Crimes and Crafts is the final Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. A new book club for adults that focuses on murder, mayhem, true crime and other tales of terror. The first meeting will be Dec. 20 and the first book will be “The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold.
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Tai Chi Fridays. Experience meditation in motion, 10 a.m. every Friday in the Multipurpose Room All skill levels are welcome.
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The Community Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. This month’s book is The Tannery by Michael A. Almond.
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Chapters Book Club – meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30. Members discuss the different books they have read.
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Author Michael A. Almond, who has written one book that is set in North Carolina, “The Tannery,” will visit the library on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.
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Surviving the Holidays with Diabetes will be the subject of a presentation on Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Recipes and useful tips to help manage diabetes during the holidays will be presented by Carmen Long from the NC Cooperative Extension Agency and Kelly Whittington from the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center.
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Toy Trains from Grandpa’s Attic, a presentation by Eric Cook, will be Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. Learn about antique toy trains and see some examples from the 1890s to the 1950s.
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On Dec. 22 the Christmas movie “The Polar Express” will be played at 2 p.m., followed by Cookies with Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus at 4 p.m. will be on hand pictures with him and the missus.
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The library will be closed Dec. 23 – Dec. 27 for the Christmas Holidays.
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Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, https://www.facebook.com/groups/fmapl and https://www.facebook.com/mtapublibrary or our website https://nwrlibrary.org/mountairy/
December 11, 2022
Editor’s Note: Reader Diary is a periodic column written by local residents, Surry County natives, and readers of The Mount Airy News. If you have a submission for Reader Diary, email it to John Peters at jpeters@mtairynews.com
The old saying, “Woman’s work is never done” was a fact of life in the backwoods of the Blue Ridge Mountains of yesterday and if we could take a look, what might we find? She was Queen of her Castle (such as it was) and a hard-working soul who “kept” the house, chopped the firewood, worked the fields along-side her man, raised the kids and cooked the meals; (three a day, 365 days a year).
She washed clothes in a number two washtub over an out-door fire, ironed them with a flat-iron heated on the wood-burning cookstove, grew the garden, stored food for winter and shot the shotgun as good as any man; sometimes at her man.
Her word was “law” and anyone who crossed her path better have some heavy back-up or there would be H… to pay. She taught her kids “why and what for” with no more than a certain look that could burn a hole in a two-by-four. When she laid that look on her man, he looked up in the sky and asked his Maker, “Lord, what have I done now?”
Her only rest came at the end of the day; well after dark when all the work was done and all the kids were safe in bed. Only then could she kick back in her rocking chair, relax, wonder what was left undone and what tomorrow would bring. Whatever the case, she knew that with coming of the morn’, she would be ready to “go to war” once again and “fight the good fight” all over again.
Who might this wonder woman be? Maybe our Mama, our Grandmama, or other kin, who led the way to whatever we are today; a true mountain woman; a legend in her own time. So, let’s be proud of her and know, “they don’t make ‘em like her anymore and without her, you and I might not even be here today.”
December 10, 2022
• A Mount Airy man is incarcerated under a $10,000 secured bond on charges of possessing controlled substances on jail premises, a felony, and second-degree trespassing, according to city police reports.
Dino Dennis Green Jr., 35, listed as homeless, was encountered by officers Thursday morning at the Mount Airy Post Office, from which he had been banned last January, resulting in the trespassing charge.
Police records indicate that Green was found with Suboxone and alprazolam tablets once taken into custody, resulting in the felony drug charge and him being held on the large bond. Green is scheduled to be in District Court on Dec. 19.
• Jimmie Dean Shinault, 46, of 120 Fire House Road, Cana, Virginia, was jailed without privilege of bond early Friday on charges of stalking and communicating threats after he was encountered by police during a welfare check at Hampton Inn.
Shinault was found to be the subject of outstanding warrants for those charges which had been issued with Sarah Elizabeth Lowe of Haystack Road as the complainant. He is facing a Surry District Court appearance this coming Monday.
• A larceny occurred at the Lady Bug laundry establishment on North South Street Monday, which involved a team throw blanket, navy in color, being taken from a dryer while it was unattended.
The blanket, owned by Brandi Leigh Dodson of Pippen Street nearby, is valued at $35.
December 10, 2022
RALEIGH — The Mount Airy Granite Bears captured their eighth state championship in school history by defeating the Tarboro Vikings 20-7.
Saturday’s championship victory was Mount Airy’s first since winning the 1A State Title in 2008. Tarboro (13-2) won the previous two 1A State Championships and had just one loss to a 1A opponent since 2017.
Junior Tyler Mason was named the Most Valuable Player of the championship game, finishing with a game-high 139 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns on 23 carries.
Junior Walker Stroup was named Mount Airy’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player, finishing with nine total tackles, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery.
Junior Caleb Reid was named Mount Airy’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player, finishing with nine carries for 43 yards.
For the full story of Mount Airy’s championship victory, stayed tuned to mtairynews.com/sports as well as the Tuesday Print Edition of The News.
Scoring
Mount Airy – 7, 7, 6, 0 = 20
Tarboro – 0, 0, 7, 0 = 7
1Q
8:47 MA 7-0 – Tyler Mason 15-yard TD run, Walker Stroup PAT
2Q
2:29 MA 14-0 – Tyler Mason 1-yard TD run, Walker Stroup PAT
3Q
8:58 MA 20-0 – Tyler Mason 1-yard TD run, PAT no good
3:52 TB 20-7 – Mason Satterfield 9-yard TD run, Clay Craddock PAT
4Q
No scoring
Stats
Mount Airy Offense
TEAM
30 yards passing on one completion, one interception
188 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 41 carries
218 total yards
INDIVIDUAL
Passing: Ian Gallimore 1-of-4 for 30 yards, one interception
Receiving: Mario Revels one reception for 30 yards
Rushing: Tyler Mason 23 carries for 139 yards, three touchdowns; Caleb Reid 9 carries for 43 yards; Ian Gallimore 6 carries for 20 yards; Team three carries for -14 yards
Kicking: Walker Stroup 2-of-3 PATs, three punts for 119 yards (39.7 average)
Mount Airy Defense
Total Tackles: Ian Gallimore 14, Connor Burrell 9, Walker Stroup 9, Caleb Reid 9, D.J. Joyce 7, Jonah Bilyeu 7, Tyler Mason 6, Cam’Ron Webster 5, Third Floyd 5, Landon Cox 3, Logan Fonville 2, Deric Dandy 2, Mario Revels 1
Tackles for a loss: Jonah Bilyeu 1.5, Landon Cox 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1, D.J. Joyce 1, Ian Gallimore 0.5
Caused Fumbles: Walker Stroup 1
Recovered Fumbles: Walker Stroup 1
Interceptions: Mario Revels 1
QB Hurries: Landon Cox 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1
Sacks: Landon Cox 1
Blocked Punts: D.J. Joyce 1, Cam’Ron Webster 1
Tarboro Offense
TEAM
Zero yards passing, one interception
179 yards rushing on 50 carries, one touchdown
179 total yards
INDIVIDUAL
Passing: Omarion Lewis 0-of-3 for zero yards, one interception
Receiving: None
Rushing: Kamerin McDowell-Moore 25 carries for 119 yards; Mason Satterfield seven carries for 42 yards, one touchdown; Bruce Shipman Jr five carries for 9 yards; Tremaine McDaniels four carries for 7 yards, Christian Gunter three carries for 4 yards; Omarion Lewis six carries for -2 yards
Tarboro Defense
Total Tackles: Isaiah Jones 9, Omarion Lewis 8, Jamarion Smith 7, Shermardra Clark 5, Jamarion Dozier 4, Melvin Sherrod 3, Tra’kevious Jones 3, Quaytavious Jones 3, Tremaine McDaniels 2, Nathan Sherrod 1, Cole Craddock 1, Bruce Shipman Jr. 1, Joshua Bradley 1, Mason Satterfield 1
Tackles for a loss: Tremaine McDaniels 1, Cole Craddock 1, Shermardra Clark 0.5, Isaiah Jones 0.5
Interceptions: Omarion Lewis 1
December 10, 2022
A Mount Airy City Schools official was recently recognized by the Excellence in Equity Awards.
Jon Doss has been chosen as a winner in the category of Champion of Equity – Support Staff, according to the city schools and the awards organization.
This competitive awards program presented by the American Consortium for Equity in Education received more than 160 nominations from across the U.S., plus a number of submissions from abroad. After the judges’ review, Doss was selected as a winning nominee based on outstanding achievement in supporting educational equity for all learners.
“It’s an honor and a privilege—and just plain exciting—to announce the winners of the inaugural Excellence in Equity Awards program,” said Ross Romano, program chair of the Excellence in Equity Awards and strategic advisor to the American Consortium for Equity in Education. “Over the past handful of months, we’ve observed consistent interest in the program and in the overall mission of ensuring equitable opportunity for all students as a non-negotiable priority. Each of our nominees deserves our praise for their daily efforts, and we are especially pleased to recognize our winners.”
Doss’ notable work includes leading the implementation of a Smart Bus solution that enabled the district to safely bring students back to school face-to-face during the COVID-19 pandemic. He led a successful pilot program that is now poised for adoption in 24 districts. Doss has also been instrumental in acquiring and upfitting an activity bus that has become known as the Blue Bear Bus. This bus travels through areas in the community to serve students with books, STEAM activities, and food.
As an award winner, Doss will receive benefits and recognition including:
● An invitation to be a guest on EduTalk Radio, the Consortium’s flagship podcast
● An invitation to write an online article for the Access & Equity K-12 Journal
● A spotlight feature in the January special issue of the Journal dedicated to award winners
● A choice of complimentary e-book from Times 10 Publications, the awards program’s publishing partner
● Social media spotlights
“It makes me happy to know that I am able to be a resource to families,” Doss said. “I enjoy making connections between different groups and making a positive impact in our community.”
Superintendent Dr. Kim Morrison noted, “Jon Doss does an amazing job for Mount Airy City Schools making sure all children on our buses arrive safely each day. He is instrumental in providing support for high poverty families that need basic support for food, electricity and transportation. His lifelong focus on equity for every single child was most evident during the pandemic where he worked hard to start the Smart Bus technology in Mount Airy City Schools guaranteeing high poverty children came to school when many others around the nation had to stay home to learn. We are glad for this Excellence in Equity Award that highlights Jon Doss’s amazing work.”
Visit www.ace-ed.org to learn more about all the winners and contact awards@ace-ed.org to learn about getting involved with the program.




© 2018 The Mount Airy News

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