﹛﹛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:

﹛﹛每 Julie Spillman Lewis and Julie Dearmin to John E. Meyers and Teresa A. Meyers; 2.019 acres PB 39 247 Pilot; $880.

﹛﹛每 Camilo Rodrigo Florentino Da Silva and Fablome Stedile Da Silva to Gretchen Hollar Kirkman; lot 10 Cross Creek Country Club INC Residential Development phase III PB 10 46; $720.

﹛﹛每 Charles L. Carson and Chenoa D. Carson to Jimmy Ray Lawson and Martha Stanley Lawson; lot 49 section 2 Southridge subdivision PB 13 69 Westfield; $20.

﹛﹛每 Roger Dale Blake to Carl Murray Blake and Roger Dale Blake; lot 10 Clover Field subdivision PB 15 92; $0.

﹛﹛每 Michael Robert Ammann and Susan McMraw Ammann to Gudalupe Castillo; .345 acres lot 13 section 2 The Farm PB 8 8 Mount Airy; $230.

﹛﹛每 Tony Puckett to Angelica Avila; one half acre Stewarts Creek; $200.

﹛﹛每 Nicholas Craig Inscore to Clay Adam Flippin; 1.50 acre lot 35 and portion of lot 33 Holly Hill estates PB 9 117 Mount Airy; $379.

﹛﹛每 Ricky L. Cain to Emelin Hurtado-Meza; 1.00 acres Siloam; $368.

﹛﹛每 Patricia Collins Faw and Herbert Gray Faw to John Lawrence Hensley and Rebekah Hensley; 1.35 acres PB 39 48 Mount Airy; $150.

﹛﹛每 Landon Horton to Combs Investment, LLC; tract Mount Airy; $176.

﹛﹛每 Kimberly Lomax to Miguel Landeros Juarez; lot 18 section 1 Lynwood subdivision PB 9 173 Mount Airy; $281.

﹛﹛每 Connie Sawyers Simmons to Dakota R. Evans; 1.005 acres PB 38 173 South Westfield; $0.

﹛﹛每 MyDogMoochie, LLC to Jeffery Frye; tract Stewarts Creek; $300.

﹛﹛每 Diana D. Blankenship and Farley Blankenship to Jose Guadalupe Pina Ruiz; 1.05 acres lot 5 PB 15 42 Rockford; $32.

﹛﹛每 Sherri Thompson, Cathy Howlett and Timothy Howlett to Dale James McKnight Jr.; 0.451 acres Mount Airy; $110.

﹛﹛每 James D. Phillips Jr. and Candace M. Phillips to Miller And Sons Investments, LLC; lot 68 Riverside acres subdivision PB 6 75 Mount Airy; $42.

﹛﹛每 Henry Lance Moore and Maxine C. Moore to Brandon Lee Alberg; 30.543 acres Bryan; $0.

﹛﹛每 Tab Plaza Property, LLC to Michael James Henderson and Rebecca Henderson; 1.660 acres lot 6 Dixie Watson Farm Mount Airy; $66.

﹛﹛每 Rhino Sheds, LLC to Alfredo Pachaco Hernandez and Francisca Navarro Avonza; 1.72 acres lot 23 Floyd Simpson property Dobson; $90.

﹛﹛每 Travis Ervin Holt and Amanda Davis Holt to Bill Patton and Gayle Griffith Patton; 1.38 acres Dobson; $330.

﹛﹛每 Virginia Lester to Thomas Edward Johnson Jr. and Ellen W. Johnson; lots 31 and 32 Rolling Hills subdivision PB 13 180 Franklin; $60.

﹛﹛每 Leslie G. Bennett and Wendi G. Bennett to Mayberry Marketing Group, LLC; 0.139 acres Mount Airy; $160.

﹛﹛每 Michael Z. Gillispie and Annie J. Gillispie to JTBC Enterprise, LLC; 95.663 acres PB 39 21; $1,532.

﹛﹛每 Ann S. Brintle to Jose Martin Ruiz Puente and Emma Fuerte Miranda; lots 5-10 PB 9 127 Dobson; $156.

﹛﹛每 Lisa Whitaker Campbell and Lonnie Ray Campbell Jr. to Old Banner Properties, LLC; 1.44 acres Mount Airy; $145.

﹛﹛每 E And P Slate Ventures, LLC to Grady Edward Slate and Penny S. Slate; tract 1 0.635 acres and tract 2 0.08 Mount Airy; $0.

﹛﹛每 Heidi C. Winiger Puckett and William Kevin Puckett to Chelsea Renee Burden; 38,157 square feet PB 28 53 South Westfield; $207.

﹛﹛每 Stanley C. Sharpe to Helen E. Tender; lot 3 Dearon development section II PB 15 62 Pilot; $0.

﹛﹛每 Grady Edward Johnson and Carol S. Johnson to Justin L. Smith and Jennifer A. Smith; 4.009 acres PB 34 33 Mount Airy; $50.

﹛﹛每 Jerome D. Sigmon and Belinda B. Sigmon to Desirre C. Maston and Walter Lee Maston III; lot 19 and 20 Maplebrook estates PB 9 53 and 53-A Bryan; $0.

﹛﹛Blankenship joins Scenic Automotive

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛Sherman Blankenship has joined Scenic Automotive Group, bringing more than 25 years in the automotive sales industry.

﹛﹛§He loves helping customers find their perfect match in a vehicle,§ the company said in announcing the staff addition. ※On his days off he enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities. Sherman was married in 1984 to his lovely wife Leah and has two daughters, Jessica and Kayla. He has also been blessed with three grandchildren that he absolutely adores.§

﹛﹛Scenic Automotive Group invites customers to visit Blankenship at 2300 Rockford Street.

﹛﹛Surry County Most Wanted

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛The Surry County Community Corrections office is seeking information on the whereabouts of the following individuals:

﹛﹛? Ethan Harold Ray Burns, a white male, 21, wanted on probation violations who is on probation for resisting a public officer and two counts of carrying a concealed weapon;

﹛﹛? Timothy Norris Cox, 48, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance;

﹛﹛? Larry Dwayne Bouldin, 50, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for two counts larceny, misuse of the 911 system and two counts of second degree trespassing;

﹛﹛? Jacob Edwin Johnson, 38, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for felony hit and run/leaving the scene/serious injury or death and driving while license revoked;

﹛﹛Anyone with information on any probation absconders, please contact Crime Stoppers at 786-4000 or probation at 719-2705.

﹛﹛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.


﹛﹛The Surry County Sheriff*s Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of the following people:

﹛﹛? Timothy Charles Roe, 54, a white male wanted on charges of felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia;

﹛﹛? Taylor Thomas Collins, 24, a white male, wanted on charges of felony larceny of a motor vehicle and felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, along with several orders for arrest for failure to appear on felony narcotics violations;

﹛﹛? Joseph Wayne Conner, 49, a white male, wanted on a charge of felony burning of certain buildings;

﹛﹛? Timothy Adam Pardue, 31, a white male, wanted on a charge of failure to pay child support.

﹛﹛Anyone with information on these individuals should call the Surry County Sheriff*s Office at 401-8900.

﹛﹛Look forward to peppers, tomatoes

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛A super productive sweet bell pepper

﹛﹛One of the best varieties of sweet bell peppers is the Keystone. Sweet peppers are tropical and will grow quickly in warm soil of the June garden plot. The Keystone bell peppers produces fist-sized peppers from mid-summer until early frost. You can choose from other sweet bells such as Door Knob, California Wonder, and Big Bertha. Set plants about a foot and a half apart in a furrow about the depth of the first two tiny leaves. Add peat moss to the bottom of the furrow and apply Garden-Tone organic vegetable food. Hill up soil all around the peppers. Cage or steak the pepper plants to give support from the wind or storms and to aid in a cleaner harvest. Feed with Garden-Tone and hill up soil to the peppers every twenty days.

﹛﹛Strawberry harvest is winding down

﹛﹛As the month winds down its first week, there remains only a few more days to visit a pick-your own strawberry patch near you. The season will be over in just a few more days. Buy enough to freeze several gallons for desserts during winter. Mornings in June are comfortable in mid spring and this makes picking berries a fun thing to do. If you do not have the time to pick, call ahead and order your berries ready picked for about a dollar more per gallon.

﹛﹛Time for the big guns of summertime

﹛﹛As we move into the months of summer, we can also look forward to the beginning of humid afternoons and the advent of pop up thunderstorms that the heat of summer often brings. A thunderstorm can be the lifeblood of the summer garden as they bring new life to the garden and lawn. The refreshing air after an afternoon thunderstorm is also refreshing after a humid day. A thunderstorm settles the dust and perks up flowers and gardens and livens up the leaves on the trees as well as lower the humidity.

﹛﹛Nights that are warm with plenty of fireflies

﹛﹛On warm June evenings the lawn and garden are filled with the amber glow of fireflies and they flicker and signal across the deck and porch. We hope this will be a long season for them. To really enjoy a glorious display of fireflies, a trip down a lonely Surry County country road away from city and street lights and traffic will increase your odds of seeing great numbers of fireflies.

﹛﹛Checking the Irish potato crop

﹛﹛The Irish potato crop now has some white blooms which is a sign that tiny spuds are forming under their green foliage. Feel under the vines gently and you may discover a few small potatoes as an earnest of a crop that will be ready before dog days.

﹛﹛Feeding summer vegetables with organic vegetable plant foods

﹛﹛Vegetables do not need to be fertilized, they need to be fed with organic vegetable food such as Garden-Tone, Plant-Tone, and Tomato-Tone. Keep summer vegetables healthy and productive with these special organic blends for a great harvest.

﹛﹛Keep planting those green beans

﹛﹛Green beans are a 65- to 75-day crop and can be sown to succeed other crops and provide a harvest over the months of summer. You can choose from such varities as Strike, Top Crop, Contender, Tenderette, Blue Lake Bush, and Kentucky Wonder Bush. Green beans are one of the summer vegetable crops that can be continually planted for a harvest all summer long. Use peat moss in the furrows when sowing green beans in warm summer temperatures to retain moisture and improve soil texture. When green beans develop two leaves, apply Garden-Tone organic vegetable food and pull up soil over the plants after applying Garden-Tone organic vegetable food, repeat this every 15 to 20 days.

﹛﹛Be on the alert for dastardly Japanese beetles

﹛﹛They are the pest of every flower, plant, and vegetable in the garden. As soon as you see one, place the traps and locate the traps to draw beetles away from the garden or flower beds. Empty the traps often. Destroy the beetles by dipping the trap of Japanese beetles into a five gallon plastic bucket filled with a pot of boiling water. Empty the dead beetles on the driveway or sidewalk for the birds to eat. Do not pour on grass because the hot water will kill the grass.

﹛﹛Use Tomato-Tone organic food for great tomato production

﹛﹛Tomato-tone is a totally organic product and is available in three-pound bags that are zippered to make application easier and cleaner. This product is also calcium enriched to prevent blossom end rot. A bag may cost quit a bit, but it is effective and a little goes a long way. You can find it a most hardwares, garden shops, Lowe*s, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and at many nurseries. The zippered bag makes the food easy to apply and it keeps it off your hands. It has a fine texture and will quickly absorb into the soil and feed tomatoes.

﹛﹛Sister products of Tomato-Tone are Plant-Tone, Garden-tone, Flower-Tone and Rose-Tone

﹛﹛These organic products are all available in three-pound zippered bags for the same price specially formulated for all flowers, tomatoes, roses and vegetables. They are all proven products that have been used by gardeners since 1929.

﹛﹛A dragon wing begonia in a large container

﹛﹛The dragon wing is a large blossoming begonia with long wing-shaped leaves. One of these hot pink blooming plants will quickly cascade over the sides of a large container and produce clusters of large flowers all summer. A dragon wing cost around five dollars and will need to be transplanted to a large container when you bring it home.

﹛﹛The fresh perfume of the honeysuckle

﹛﹛The essence of the perfume of the wild honeysuckle is heavenly as it wafts its aroma across the garden plot and winds its way to the porch and deck. It pleases the nostrils and sweetens the twilight. A drive on a country road in Surry County with the scent of honeysuckles emitting through the open window of the vehicle is a heavenly adventure!

﹛﹛Planting seed of determinate tomato seed now for an autumn harvest

﹛﹛As we move past the first week of June, it is time to start a couple packets of determinate varieties of tomato seed for transplanting tomato plants to the garden in mid July. As we move into July, tomato plants are harder to find which makes it wise and practical to propagate your own. For late summer, the determinants such as Celebrity, Rutgers, Homestead, Marglobe and Early Girl are best varities. Use a good seed starting medium such as Hoffmans or Jiffy by Ferry Morse for excellent results. Sow the seed packets in one pint or quart pots of seed starting medium and allowing enough medium per pot to cover the seed. Mix medium with enough water to moisten it. Place medium in pot to within half an inch from the top. Thinly spread one packet of seed on the medium and cover seed with a layer of medium and pat down for soil contact. Repeat process with second seed packet. Use a spray bottle of water and mist the seed each evening. Keep pots out of direct sunlight. In eight to ten days they will develop two leaves and will be ready to transplant to individual pots. Use the seed starting medium and place one plant in each pot, keep from direct sunlight and water daily. They will be ready to transplant to the garden in about three weeks.

﹛﹛Any vegetable planted in June will grow quickly

﹛﹛Any vegetable planted in the June garden plot will enjoy more than a 100-day growing season. Corn needs to be sown now so it will have the hundred days it to needs to produce a harvest. Continue to plant tomato plants for as long as you can find healthy plants so you can extend the harvest all summer.

﹛﹛Making a strawberry cobbler

﹛﹛You will need one quart fresh strawberries, one cup sugar, one stick margarine, two teaspoons baking powder, three fourth cup of milk, three fourth cup flour, pinch of salt, half cup sugar. Set oven to 350 degrees, slice and mash berries, add three fourth cup sugar, mix with berries and set aside. Melt stick of margarine and pour into a 13x9x2 inch baking pan or dish. Make a batter of half cup sugar, two teaspoons baking powder, three fourth cup flour, pinch of salt, three fourth cup of milk. Pour this mixed batter over melted margarine in the 13x9x2 inch pan. Pour mashed strawberries on top. Bake for one hour until batter rises to top and is crisp and brown.

﹛﹛Hoe hoe hoedown

﹛﹛A magic potion: Six-year-old Jody was curious as he watched his mother smooth beauty lotion on her face and asked, ※Why do you do that Mom?§ Jody*s mother said ※To make myself pretty.§ Jody*s mother began removing the lotion with a napkin. ※Whats the matter?§ said Jody. ※Are you giving up already?§

﹛﹛The almanac for June

﹛﹛The moon reached its last quarter on Wednesday, June 2. There will be a new moon on Thursday, June 10. Flag Day will be Monday, June 14. The moon reaches its first quarter on Thursday, June 17. The first full day of summer will be Monday, June 21. There will be a full moon on the night of Friday, June 24. This will be named ※Full strawberry moon.§


﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛DOBSON 〞 Thirty-three Surry Community College students recently graduated from the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program, and 14 students graduated from the Licensed Practical Nursing to Associate Degree Nursing (LPN-ADN) program.

﹛﹛Surry*s ADN 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.

﹛﹛The pinning and graduation ceremony was held May 13, on Surry*s Dobson campus. The guest speaker was Jade Tate, MSN, RN, CNE, who spoke to the graduates about reflecting on their journey through their nursing education and gave helpful tips for ensuring their success in the nursing profession.

﹛﹛College President Dr. David Shockley welcomed the graduates followed by remarks from Dr. Yvonne Johnson, associate dean of health sciences. Dr. Shockley presented the diplomas, while SCC Nurse Educator Ann Scott, MSN, RN, presented the pins. Ashley Morrison, SCC dean of academics, performed the presentation of graduates.

﹛﹛The Associate Degree Nursing graduates are Marlen Castillo, Beth Casto, Sydney Edwards, Jessica Escutia Miranda, Taylor Hill, Whitney Hunter, Jessica Johnson, Olivia Moore, and Carlee Smith of Mount Airy; Katlin Brooks, Kaelyn Heath, Sydney Heath, Amairani Rayo Bravo, and Karlie White of Dobson;

﹛﹛Valarie Cave, Starla Gambill, Ashlyn Pardue, and Leah York of Elkin; Jennifer Coe of Statesville; Camilline Hall, Mychalah Palmer, and Kaitlyn Simpson of Pilot Mountain; Heather Wagoner of Sparta; and Sierra Hicks of Boonville. Hannah Kilby and Haley Vaughn of King; April Millaway of Hamptonville; Katie Moncus and Kevin Wiles of Yadkinville; Haley Turner Goins of Cana, Virginia; and Katelyn Duncan of Hillsville, Virginia.

﹛﹛Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses graduates are Jessica McDonald of Jonesville and Sheryl Ann Morris of Hamptonville. They finished their first three years of their four years of education at SCC. In fall 2021, they will complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing through LeesMcRae College and finish in spring 2022.

﹛﹛Graduates who were already licensed as LPNs and earned the Associate Degree in Nursing include Savannah Blevins, Miranda Holcomb, Whitney Martin, and Megan McBride Hawks of Mount Airy; Jennifer Compton of Marion; Chrishania Daye of Jonesville; Holly Glen of Statesville; Summer Hall of Glade Valley; Megan Hayes of Dobson; Brianna Howell of Spencer; J. Brittany Johnson of Mocksville; Lisa McCurdy of Greensboro; Haley Stevens of Lowgap; and Terry Counterman of Cana.

﹛﹛The passing of the lamp ceremony symbolizes the nurse*s dedication to providing continuous nursing care to their patients. Just as Florence Nightingale passed her lamp on to the next shift of nurses, ADN graduate Whitney Hunter passed the lamp on to nursing freshman class representative, Rachel Claffee.

﹛﹛Surry Community College students can choose to complete the ADN, which is a two-year program, or currently licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can choose to complete the LPN-ADN program, which is a three-semester program. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

﹛﹛For more information about the program, contact Associate Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Yvonne Johnson at 336-386-3368 or johnsony@surry.edu. Follow the nursing program on Facebook @surrynursing.

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:

﹛﹛每 John Thomas Smith, 23, of Surry County to Breanna Ollie Goins, 22, of Surry County.

﹛﹛每 Andrew Hilton Orfield, 40, of Roanoke County, Virginia, to Courtney Lenore Gravley, 37, of Roanoke County.

﹛﹛每 Benjamin Steven Celinski, 47, of Brevard County to Jennifer Ann Graham, 48, of Brevard County.

﹛﹛每 Hayden Bryce Lively, 23, of Surry County to Kaci Elizabeth Perdue, 20, of Davidson County.

﹛﹛每 Austin Trevor Bottoms, 21, of Surry County to Kyrston Haley Jennelle, 21, of Surry County.

﹛﹛每 Christopher Dylan Bowen, 26, of Forsyth County to Hanna Marie Rollins, 19, of Forsyth County.

﹛﹛每 Andrew Vance Inman, 40, of Surry County to Sarah Diane Senter, 32, of Surry County.

﹛﹛每 David Reid Barbour, 42, of Surry County to Melissa Lynn Burrow, 48, of Surry County.

﹛﹛每 Austin Chase Mills, 21, of Surry County to Karlie Elise White, 20, of Surry County.

﹛﹛每 Nathan Dale Shull, 40, of Carroll County, Virginia, to Wendy Elizabeth Burnette, 37, of Surry County.

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛To the Editor,

﹛﹛※The Most Wonderful Time of the Year§ is, as we all know, a song we sing at Christmas, but I am looking at it from another prospective. It*s spring time in Mount Airy, with summer just around the corner. Everybody has been saying, ※let*s get the lockdowns, restrictions, and masks off, and the COVID behind us.§

﹛﹛And from the looks of things 〞 we have.

﹛﹛Most importantly, churches and places of worship have reopened. People can visit retirement homes, and nursing homes again, as the elderly, who took the ※hit§ of the virus the worst, can now see family and friends, and have entertainment/recreation again.

﹛﹛Downtown is beginning to boom with visitors and tourists from all over the state and country. Mayberry is alive and well.

﹛﹛Let*s not forget the Blackmon Amphitheater is open for business with live music every weekend, as well as the Earle Theater.

﹛﹛Tanya Jones and her Surry Arts Council people, Randy Collins and the chamber of commerce, our museum personnel, Phil Marsh and the antique car/cruise in, all the store merchants and owners of our great selections of eating establishments, our motels, and many others working endlessly to ensure our out of town guest have the visit of a lifetime. Mayor Ron Niland and our commisioners (city and county) and all our city and county workers are working to keep the city looking like a showcase 〞 a place where we all can be proud to live.

﹛﹛It*s time to get out and enjoy Mount Airy 〞 the best small town in the world.

﹛﹛Ben Currin

﹛﹛Mount Airy

﹛﹛Keeping the legacy alive

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛A chance encounter in the lobby of the Historic Earle Theatre more than a decade ago changed the life of an 8-year-old Raleigh girl, showing the sometimes destiny-changing power of the region*s famous old-time music.

﹛﹛That music, and the devotion of its fans, was on full display this weekend during the Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.

﹛﹛And that 8-year-old girl, Eliza Meyer, is now an 18-year-old who rushed from her high school graduation in Raleigh Friday night to Mount Airy to be able to spend Saturday at the convention, among the thousands of fans and musicians at Veterans Memorial Park, the convention*s home.

﹛﹛Her mother 〞 Staci Meyer, who just happens to serve as chief deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 〞 explains her daughter*s fascination with old-time music.

﹛﹛※We first came to Mount Airy on a Saturday morning, just to spend some time there#we*d heard about the Merry Go Round at the Earle,§ she said of the weekly radio show broadcast on WPAQ and a trip the family made to Mount Airy ten years ago. ※Our daughter had just stared playing the fiddle, and she wanted to hear the music.

﹛﹛※There was a group of men playing in the lobby, she took her little fiddle up there, she wouldn*t even take it out, she just put her case there and waited to see if they would ask her to play. They did, and she was thrilled. That was her first venture into music.§

﹛﹛That encounter, Meyer said, changed her daughter*s life forever, and has made Mount Airy almost like a second home.

﹛﹛※We*ve been coming to the convention ever since,§she said, and her daughter, Eliza, who was among the musicians performing Saturday, now plays fiddle, banjo, autoharp, guitar, stand-up bass 〞 and considers Mount Airy among her favorite places in the world.

﹛﹛※She*s taken a lot of classes and lessons from the local musicians. She really feels like that*s her second hometown, she loves it so much.§

﹛﹛Meyer said her daughter is attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall, where she*ll be studying ethnomusicology and folk lore.

﹛﹛That love of the Round Peak style of music is far from unique to the Meyer family 〞 hundreds, maybe thousands, of fans and musicians were in Mount Airy Friday and Saturday, celebrating the music and the return of the annual gathering after its COVID-19 hiatus last year.

﹛﹛The talent of many of those musicians and fans was on full display throughout the weekend, even among the camping sites were some out-of-town fans set up and lived for several days leading up to the convention.

﹛﹛Friday afternoon, jam sessions sprung up spontaneously. One such session featured a diverse group of musicians 〞 some teenagers, others well into their 60s, some wearing overalls and cowboy hats more often associated with old-time musicians, others wearing more modern and relaxed clothing, one even sporting a bright, multi-colored hair style.

﹛﹛The ten hailed from as far away as Philadelphia and Connecticut and Maryland, with a few Virginians and North Carolinians adding a more local flavor. They played the guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass, even a washboard, and few in the group had met before their impromptu jam session, yet they played and sang as if they*d been practicing together for weeks.

﹛﹛It*s the music*s ability to connect people 〞 to one another, and to the region*s history 〞 that keeps some folks coming back to the convention year after year.

﹛﹛Wayne Martin, the executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council, made the drive from Raleigh to Mount Airy Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning he was in search of a jam session or two.

﹛﹛※I began attending the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention in the 1980s,§ Martin said. ※I haven*t been every year since the 1980s, but I*ve been to probably three quarters of them since that time.§

﹛﹛Martin said he*s seen quite a few changes over the years.

﹛﹛※I remember it was a small community event#the music seemed to be mostly the bands that were local to this area.§

﹛﹛Of course, he said those days saw some of the legends of the music genre such as Benton Flippen and Verlen Clifton playing at Mount Airy, musicians who were known as among the best throughout the old time and bluegrass convention circuit, as well as having a national following among music fans.

﹛﹛※It was a thrill to be able to come and hear, kind of like musical heroes to us,§ he said of listening to those musical giants. ※We*d heard their records, and here they were live, in person, and at a very small event you could go up and talk to them, get to know them. Now there*s still a lot of that kind of informality, that sharing, is still part of the event.§

﹛﹛Martin, who plays the banjo and guitar, said getting a chance to sit down and talk with those early legends 〞 and play with them 〞 is what*s kept him coming back.

﹛﹛※I have really fond memories of when I used to come here. The highlight was getting into a little jam session with Paul Sutphin and Verlen Clifton, not only as musicians were they great, but as people they were great. Kind of role models, just funny, kind people who enjoyed the music and achieved a high level but were also so welcoming of others, so we would get together and have a little session.

﹛﹛※These guys#had all learned their music through oral traditions#.most of them learned their music during the depression, from family and friends. You were getting something that was really, really strongly connected to this place. That was just thrilling to me and others.§

﹛﹛While the festival is much larger now, and most of those legendary musicians are gone, their impression on thousands of people endures 〞 and Clifton*s grandson, Wes Clifton, may have put it best when he was checking in Friday afternoon, when he was commenting on how it felt to be back at the convention after the pandemic-forced shutdown last year..

﹛﹛※Being able to register this year and come here was a real pleasure#Missing last year was kind of a reminder to me what a privilege it is to be able to come here and play, listen to some of the greats#A lot of those old timers are gone, but they will always be with us as a result of the music they*ve left behind.§

﹛﹛June 06, 2021

﹛﹛To the Editor,

﹛﹛I have visited Mount Airy, ※Mayberry§ for out-of-towners, several times.

﹛﹛Your town is known around the world for friendliness but I*m not sure if I will feel welcome anymore. I see that your county commissioners want to ban Coca-Cola because the company opposes some law to restrict voting in Georgia? It*s as if Sheriff Taylor was posted outside of town to harass wayward yankee tourists looking for a can of Coke.

﹛﹛In any case, it*s just not friendly to confuse politics with refreshment and back in the day even Deputy Fife would have known the difference. Aunt Bee would think it was rude indeed. Do y*all really want your town to be known for political malarkey?

﹛﹛Howard Park

﹛﹛St. Louis, Missouri

﹛﹛Ten work as Northern Regional apprentices

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛The first youth apprentice program for registered nurses in North Carolina has culminated in 10 students committing to apprenticeships with Northern Regional Hospital in Mount Airy.

﹛﹛※The Youth Apprenticeship program has developed even more amazingly than we could have dreamed,§ said Robin Hodgin, senior vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer at Northern Regional Hospital. ※We have been truly blessed with this group of students, a group that our staff have grown to love and appreciate. We*ve enjoyed seeing their smiling faces each day, not to mention their eagerness to learn new skills. We know these young ladies have very bright futures ahead, and we hope those futures return them to Northern.§

﹛﹛The apprentices are Carrie McKeaver and Ashley Sewell of Surry Central High School; Jenny Cortes and Natalie Evans of Mount Airy High School; Julie Marshall of East Surry High School; Katie Kellam of Elkin High School; Eryn O*Neal and Annsley Puckett of North Surry High School; Emily Orellana of Surry Early College High School; and Anna Serrano of Starmount High School.

﹛﹛This local program is part of the U.S. Department of Labor*s Apprenticeship program and the state*s ApprenticeshipNC program through the N.C. Community College System Office that combines a paid work-based learning experience with classroom academics leading to a national certification. These students will earn free tuition for the Associate Degree Nursing program at a North Carolina community college to become registered nurses.

﹛﹛The students began their pre-apprenticeships on Jan. 11 and worked through May 14 as certified nursing assistants and patient care technicians. They received high school or college credit for their employment along with a stipend each month for travel expenses.

﹛﹛※The partnership that Surry-Yadkin Works has established with Northern Regional Hospital is incredibly exciting for our local students as they are connected early in their educational journey to the hospital, so they can explore career paths,§ said Crystal Folger-Hawks, program director of Surry-Yadkin Works. ※If it*s a good fit, students can continue working at Northern Regional Hospital, while their college education is paid for through the ApprenticeshipNC program. This is a win-win for the business and students, and I*m proud to be a part of this endeavor.§

﹛﹛Surry-Yadkin Works is the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina, officially beginning on Jan. 1, covering a two-county region. The program has hit the ground running with 50 students being placed in internships for the spring 2021 semester. Surry-Yadkin Works is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create ※an innovative and unique approach to a regional internship program.§ The funding is also a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County Commissioners and the Yadkin County Commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit.

﹛﹛For more information about the Surry-Yadkin Works program, contact Folger-Hawks at 336-401-7820 or folger-hawksc@surry.edu or visit www.surryyadkinworks.org or follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛Mount Airy residents apparently have no problem with the city*s proposed budget for the fast-approaching 2021-22 fiscal year, judging by comments 〞 or the lack thereof 〞 during a public hearing on the spending plan.

﹛﹛Only one person spoke at the hearing held before the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners Thursday night 〞 and he was complimentary toward the package.

﹛﹛※I have read all 110 pages and I thought it was very well prepared,§ Joseph Zalescik said of the preliminary budget that had been released by City Manager Barbara Jones on May 20. ※It*s a very good snapshot of what Mount Airy does for the community.§

﹛﹛Zalescik, a West Devon Drive resident who owns a business called Station 1978 Firehouse Peanuts, focused on a few specifics when offering comments during the hearing.

﹛﹛He pointed out that Jones* recommendation to leave intact the municipality*s present property tax rate of 60 cents per $100 of assessed valuaton will generate less than 50% of the revenues projected to operate the general fund portion of the budget.

﹛﹛Some localities rely on a much higher percentage of tax levies for that, Zalescik said.

﹛﹛This year*s budget-planning process reflects a periodic revaluation of property countywide which is said to have resulted in real estate values that are 7 to 9% higher compared to the present fiscal year that ends on June 30.

﹛﹛Zalescik said the value of his real estate has actually dropped and labeled the tax rate as effectively ※flat.§

﹛﹛※So I think the budget is good,§ said the hearing speaker, referring to the flat taxation while also including a pay raise for municipal employees. All full-time personnel are to get an increase of either 2% or $1,000 under the proposed spending plan, whichever is greater.

﹛﹛Although the property tax rate is proposed to remain at its present level, Mount Airy residents actually will pay more as a whole due to the revaluation.

﹛﹛The city manager has said the 60-cent rate is estimated to reap $7,321,200 for the next fiscal year that begins on July 1 for a general fund budget totaling $14.9 million.

﹛﹛That tax take is about $600,000 more than the same 60-cent tax rate generated for the present fiscal year before the revaluation, Jones has said.

﹛﹛In order to achieve the same revenue as the present fiscal year, before revaluation, the tax rate would need to be adjusted downward to 57 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

﹛﹛While state law requires localities to report that ※revenue-neutral§ comparison, they are not mandated to lower the property tax rate in response.

﹛﹛A budget workshop is planned Monday by city officials, which based on past practice ends with the budget being adopted.

﹛﹛No. 5 Cardinals win 11th-straight game

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛PILOT MOUNTAIN 〞 East Surry won its 11th-straight game on Friday by defeating North Stokes 8-3.

﹛﹛The win is also the Cardinals* 11-straight victory over North Stokes. East*s current streak against the Vikings dates back to the 2017 season.

﹛﹛The streak against North Stokes is the fourth-longest active win streak for East Surry since 2008. In that time, East has won its past 19 meetings against Mount Airy, its past 16 meetings against Elkin and its past 13 meetings against Starmount.

﹛﹛Sophomore pitcher Folger Boaz got the win on the mound with 5.2 innings pitched. Boaz threw 14 strikeouts and allowed just two hits. Benji Gosnell finished the game by throwing the final 1.1 innings.

﹛﹛Senior Carson Willoughby recorded a game-high three hits on four at-bats, including 3 RBIs. Willoughby also scored one run in the win.

﹛﹛Luke Bowman, Luke Brown, Anthony Ayers, Trey Armstrong, Boaz and Gosnell each had one hit. Ayers and Gosnell each scored twice, and Willoughby, Brown, Armstrong and Caden Lasley each scored once.

﹛﹛East Surry scored in all but one inning. After amassing a 2-0 lead, the Cards put two runners on base in the bottom of the third inning. Brown singled first, then was moved to second on a grounder up the middle hit by Gosnell.

﹛﹛Ayers flied out for the second out of the inning. Trey Armstrong hit a grounder to short that was tossed to second base where North Stokes made the force play.

﹛﹛Two Viking batters were struck out by Boaz in the top of the fourth. The other flied out to keep Boaz*s no-hitter alive through four innings.

﹛﹛East faced two outs in the bottom half of the fourth with just one runner, Lasley, on base. Bowman hit a blooper to right field to move Lasley to second. Lasley scored on an RBI single hit by Boaz to make it 3-0.

﹛﹛The Vikings* Ben Chesnet was walked to start the fifth inning. Ethan Puckett recorded North*s first hit of the game with a single hit to left field. Josh Manring bunted to try and move Chesnet to third, but the southpaw Boaz quickly fielding the hit and made the throw to Ayers at third for the out.

﹛﹛Boaz kept the scoreboard clean by striking out the next two batters.

﹛﹛East Surry*s lead doubled in the bottom of the fifth. Gosnell led off with frozen rope to left-center field that earned him a double. A wild pitch sent Gosnell to third, and then Ayers was walked to put runners on the corners.

﹛﹛Armstrong scored Gosnell with an RBI double hit to right-center field.

﹛﹛The next two Cardinal batters got out as Ayers and Armstrong waited in scoring position. Both boys would score when Willoughby placed a hit perfectly between the center and right fielders, increasing the lead to 6-0.

﹛﹛Boaz walked the first batter of the sixth inning, Dylan James, but struck out the next two. James advanced to second on a wild pitch, which put him in position to score on a hit from Bryson Bennett. Bennett made it safely to second when the throw was made home.

﹛﹛Chesnet was walked and Gosnell subbed in on the mound after that. Puckett was Gosnell*s first batter. Puckett took Gosnell*s first pitch and hit a line drive to left-center field that scored Chesnet and put Puckett on third. The Cards forced a fly out to leave two runners on base and hold the Vikings to two runs.

﹛﹛With one out in the bottom of the sixth, North Stokes pitcher Blaze Lawson hit both Brown and Gosnell with pitches. Ayers got his first hit of the game by placing a grounder between the first and second baseman. This allowed Brown to score and increase the Cardinal lead to 7-2.

﹛﹛Lawson picked up a strikeout for the second out of the inning, but allowed the bases to be loaded when he walked Tristan Mason. Lawson threw a wild pitch that gave Gosnell time to score the eighth run.

﹛﹛North Stokes* last-ditch effort to score began with Lawson flying out. Brandon Shemo got on with a single, then James followed suit with one of his own. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.

﹛﹛Christian Shemo grounded out at first, but gave Brandon Shemo time to reach the plate. Brown attempted to throw the Viking out at home after making the force play at first, but the throw to Bowman was a hair too late.

﹛﹛This would be North Stokes* only run of the inning, however, as Elijah Cone flied out to end the game.

﹛﹛East Surry is ranked No. 5 in the 1A division by MaxPreps with just one week remaining in the regular season.

﹛﹛The Cardinals are set to play two conference games during the final week. The team hosts Mount Airy on June 8 and travel to Bishop McGuinness on June 11.


﹛﹛North Stokes 每 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2, 1=3

﹛﹛East Surry 每 1, 1, 0, 1, 3, 2, x=8

﹛﹛Bears win twice at East Surry Tri

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛PILOT MOUNTAIN 〞 East Surry hosted Mount Airy and North Davidson for some Friday night wrestling action on June 4.

﹛﹛Mount Airy won both of its matches to improve to 13-1 on the season and 4-0 in the Northwest 1A Conference. The Bears defeated East Surry 63-18 and conquered the Black Knights 60-24.

﹛﹛North Davidson defeated East Surry 42-36 in the final match of the night.

﹛﹛East Surry vs. Mount Airy

﹛﹛The Granite Bears jumped out to a 30-0 lead due to forfeit victories in the first five weight classes. The following wrestlers won via forfeit. Weight classes are in parentheses: Hope Horan (106), Brison George (113), Jerry Wall (120), Alex Cox (126) and Caleb Johnson (132).

﹛﹛An early takedown gave East*s Israel Flores a 2-0 lead over Mount Airy*s Avery Poindexter in the 138-pound match. Poindexter got on the scoreboard after a Flores penalty, then the Granite Bear tied the score at 2-2 with an escape. Poindexter went up 4-2 after a takedown of his own then pinned Flores with 37.5 seconds left in the first period.

﹛﹛Defending 1A 145 State Champion Franklin Bennett made it 42-0 overall with a 32-second win over Charlie Cummings. Connor Medvar, who won a bronze medal at the 2020 State Championship, increased that lead to 48-0 after pinning Corbin East in just over a minute.

﹛﹛East Surry picked up its first win in the 160 match. Senior Kaleb Tilley pinned Edwin Ramirez in 24 seconds.

﹛﹛East*s Josh Pack and Mount Airy*s Luke Leonard nearly went the distance before a fall took place late in the third period. The pair were tied at 2-2 after the first period, then Pack went up 8-4 before the third. Leonard cut the lead to 9-7, but Pack executed a takedown to extend the lead before pinning Leonard*s shoulders to the mat with 14.1 left on the clock.

﹛﹛The opening contest*s other marathon match took place soon after Pack and Leonard*s match. East Surry*s Eli Becker won the 182 match via forfeit, setting up the 195 bout between Cardinal Daniel Villasenor and Granite Bear Edwin Agabo.

﹛﹛Neither competitor scored in the opening period, and the only point of the second period was awarded to Villasenor for an escape. Agabo tied things up with an escape in the third period.

﹛﹛Still tied at 1-1 at the end of the third period, the pair went into a 60-second sudden victory period. The win was awarded to Agabo after he scored a takedown 21 seconds into the period.

﹛﹛The sudden victory match was followed by a quick Mount Airy win in the 220 match. Mount Airy*s Sao Lennon pinned East*s Kevin Blakeney in 18 seconds.

﹛﹛The Bears won the heavyweight match to wrap up the 63-18 victory. Matthew Bagley pinned East Surry*s Alex Lawson 28 seconds into the second period for the win.

﹛﹛Mount Airy vs. North Davidson

﹛﹛Mount Airy picked up its second win of the night against the North Davidson Black Knights.

﹛﹛George got another forfeit win in the 113 class, but there were far fewer forfeits in this match.

﹛﹛The Bears and Knights traded the first few matches. North Davidson*s Jacob Ally held an 18-5 lead over Wall before pinning the Bear in the third period of the 120 match. Mount Airy countered with when Cox won the 126 match with a pin in the first period.

﹛﹛Mount Airy*s Johnson was pinned by North*s Christian White in the first period of the 132 match. Then, Poindexter did the same to Black Knight senior Oliver Navarro.

﹛﹛The most anticipated match of the evening was the 145 match between Bennett and North Davidson*s Ian Murdock. Both juniors had stellar sophomore seasons; Bennett won the 1A 145 Championship and finished the year 40-6, while Murdock finished the year 51-7 and finished sixth in the 2A 126 class.

﹛﹛Murdock entered the match with a 16-0 record and was ranked No. 1 in his class for the 2A division.

﹛﹛Neither wrestler earned a point in the first period. In the second, each competitor earned three points for an escape and takedown.

﹛﹛Murdock went up 4-3 with an escape early in the third period. With 37 seconds left in the match, Bennett executed a 2-point takedown before quickly pinning his opponent.

﹛﹛The loss was Murdock*s first of the 2020-21 season.

﹛﹛Mount Airy won the next three matches via forfeit: Medvar in 152, Ramirez in 160 and Leonard in 170. The trio of forfeits put Mount Airy up 42-12.

﹛﹛The lead continued to grow as Mount Airy piled on victories. Morgan Edwards (182) and Agabo (195) each pinned their opponents in the first period, and Sao Lennon won the 220 match via forfeit.

﹛﹛North Davidson won the final two matches, the 285- and 106-pound classes, to make the final score 60-24

﹛﹛Mount Airy travels to South Stokes on June 8 to compete for the NW1A Conference Championship.

﹛﹛East Surry vs. North Davidson

﹛﹛Forfeits proved costly for East Surry against North Davidson. In the six matches that were actually wrestled, the Cardinals and Knights each won three.

﹛﹛The Cardinals immediately went down 18-0 with forfeits in the 120, 126 and 132 classes.

﹛﹛Murdock bounced back from his only loss of the season to pin East*s Flores in the first period of the 138 match.

﹛﹛East Surry*s Troy Haywood took on North*s Navarro in the 145 match. Navarro took a 2-0 lead with a takedown in the first period, then Haywood countered with a reversal. Navarro regained the lead with a reversal of his own, but gave up a reversal and escape to Haywood to give the Cardinal freshman a 5-4 lead at the end of the first period.

﹛﹛A reversal gave Navarro a 6-5 lead in the second period. Navarro went on to pin Haywood with 16 seconds left in the period.

﹛﹛The lead was at 30-0 before East Surry won its first match, but all it took was one to turn things around. East got the Cards on the board by pinning North*s Jake Meuser in the first period of the 152 match.

﹛﹛From there, Tilley and Pack earned forfeit victories in the 160 and 170 classes.

﹛﹛Becker cut the lead to 30-24 by pinning his opponent in the 182 match. He scored a takedown and two near falls in the first period to go up 8-0. The Cardinal picked up three more points in the second period before getting the fall with 1:13 left on the clock.

﹛﹛Villasenor tied things up at 30-30 with a win in the 195 match. He went up 2-0 with a first-period takedown, then pinned Brandon White 90 seconds into the match.

﹛﹛East Surry*s lead grew to 36-30 when Izaiah Gulledge won the 220 match via forfeit. North Davidson got its first win since the 145 match when Ethan Davis pinned East*s Alex Lawson in the 285 match.

﹛﹛The score was tied 36-36 going into the final bout. Neither team had a wrestler for the 113 class, but the Cardinals didn*t have a representative for the 106 class either and the Knights did. The forfeit gave North Davidson the win 42-36.

﹛﹛East Surry hosts Atkins and East Wilkes on June 7 for Senior Night.

﹛﹛Ten enter Gentry Million Word Club

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛Gentry Middle School officially finished the year with ten members of the Million Words Club at Gentry Middle School.. Members include six students and, for the first time, four teachers.

﹛﹛※As a school, we have read over 14 million words this year. I*m so proud of all our students,§ said club sponsor and Media Specialist Stephanie Bode.

﹛﹛Club members have each read more than 1 million words. Bode congratulated members of the club and rewarded them with a special surprise during the last week of school.

﹛﹛Cards win Granite City Track Meet

﹛﹛June 05, 2021

﹛﹛Local track stars from Mount Airy and East Surry did battle in the Granite City on Tuesday.

﹛﹛With the regular season winding down, athletes are pushing themselves to the limit to try and qualify for regionals. The Northwest 1A Conference Championship Meet will be held on June 8 at North Stokes. The Midwest 1A Regional Meet will take place June 18 and 19 at a location to be determined.

﹛﹛East Surry won both the girls* and boys* meets over host Mount Airy and fellow NW1A Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy. Schools were awarded five points for a first-place finish, three for second place, two for third place and one for fourth place.

﹛﹛The Cardinal girls scored 77 points overall. Winston-Salem Prep took second with 39 points, followed by Mount Airy with 29.

﹛﹛East Surry*s boys won with 66 points, with Mount Airy finishing second with 48 points and Winston-Salem Prep rounding out the pack with 31 points.

﹛﹛East*s girls finished no lower than second in all three relay races. The Lady Cards won both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 800 meter relays, while finishing second in the 4 x 200.

﹛﹛The Cardinal girls also took home five gold medals in individual events. Addyson Sechrist narrowly defeated teammate* Sophie Hutchens and Tara Martin in the 800-meter run, with all three girls finishing within 1.21 seconds of each other.

﹛﹛The Cards won both distance events as well. Ansley Cardin won the 1600 meters with a time of 7:34.17, and Logan Hedrick won the 3200 meters with a time of 19:51.11.

﹛﹛Jamariah Lowery finished first in the 100 hurdles. Her time of 18.37 seconds was less than two seconds faster than teammate Maci Martin.

﹛﹛Freshman Kaithlyn Smith won the team*s final gold medal by winning the shot put. Smith*s throw of 26-11.00 feet beat out Mount Airy*s Sydney Seagraves by three inches.

﹛﹛The Lady Bears won three gold medals. Gracie Butcher took home two of them by winning the long jump and triple jump.

﹛﹛Butcher*s leap of 16-02.50 was more than three feet further than the silver medalist in the long jump. In triple jump, Butcher finished more than seven feet ahead of the competition.

﹛﹛Grey Moore won the discus throw with a distance of 80-00 feet. The Bears actually filled the podium in the event, with Seagraves finishing second and Jozy Combs finishing third.

﹛﹛For the boys, East Surry captured six gold medals. The Cards* relay teams won the 4 x 800 and took second in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200.

﹛﹛Cade Talton won both the 1600 and 3200 meters. The Cardinal freshman finished the 1600 meters in 6:03.25 and the 3200 in 14:23.32.

﹛﹛Teammates Sean McCain and Kevin Blakeney were neck-and-neck in the 110 hurdles. McCain pulled out the win with a time of 21.65 seconds to defeat Blakeney by .21 seconds.

﹛﹛Benji Gosnell won the 300 hurdles with a time of 54.44.

﹛﹛Finally, Issac Vaden won the shot put with a throw of 44-06.00.

﹛﹛Mount Airy*s William Mayfield won three of the Granite Bear boys* six gold medals. Mayfield won the 100 meters with a time of 11.20, the 400 meters with a time of 52.02 and the long jump with a leap of 21-05.50.

﹛﹛Mayfield*s only non-gold finish was in the triple jump, where he finished second behind Blake Hawks. Hawks won the even with a jump of 41-02.50.

﹛﹛Caden Ratcliff took a huge lead in the 800 meters. The freshman had the crowd cheering with his finish of 2:11.11.

﹛﹛Mount Airy*s final gold medal for the boys was won by Mason Hill in the discus throw. Hill was nearly eight feet ahead of the second-place finisher with a throw of 103-00.00.

﹛﹛Full results from the meet can be found at https://bit.ly/3w6Q8sl

﹛﹛Surry anti-Coke campaign spews nationwide

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛When Eddie Harris of the Surry Board of Commissioners recently discussed a decision to ban Coca-Cola machines from all county facilities, he was hoping other localities would follow suit and at least stir up a grassroots movement.

﹛﹛Little did Harris know that a local report about the issue in late May would bring attention from major news organizations around the country 〞 a viral media explosion that seems as if a giant can of Coke was shaken up and spewed nationwide.

﹛﹛※I*ve got two phones that are blowing up,§ Harris said Friday of the flood of contacts he has been receiving from entities including CBS, NBC, the New York Post, Newsmax, Fox News and more. Area television stations also have picked up the story as has the Carolina Journal, a publication of the conservative John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, along with various newspapers.

﹛﹛The Surry official who lives in the State Road community and represents the South District on the county board, appeared on the ※Fox and Friends§ TV program Friday morning, continuing his criticism of a stance by Coke against Georgia*s voting law.

﹛﹛It first became public through a story published in The Mount Airy News on May 21, detailing how Surry commissioners had voted earlier that week to remove all Coca-Cola dispensers from county government facilities 〞 12 machines altogether.

﹛﹛※Your article just started it all off,§ Harris said in commenting on the situation to the reporter who wrote the story. It drew widespread exposure after being posted on the Internet.

﹛﹛※You have absolutely blown up the world,§ added Harris, a Republican who is the longest-tenured member of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, referring to the deluge of media inquiries he*s been fielding since.

﹛﹛※I*m just absolutely blown away 〞 my life has really just shut down for the last two days,§ Harris said Friday of a story that literally has put Surry County on the map, with an image of that accompanying Friday*s ※Fox and Friends§ segment.

﹛﹛※I had no idea it would get this kind of attention.§

﹛﹛Harris and East District Commissioner Van Tucker led the movement to ban the machines after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey released a statement criticizing Georgia Senate Bill 202 adopted earlier this year. This included Quincey labeling a voter photo ID requirement it contains as racist.

﹛﹛※Van Tucker, he*s been besieged about as bad as I have been,§ Harris said of the volume of response generated by the local action.

﹛﹛※I*ve received hundreds if not thousands of emails and phone calls from all over the nation,§ the South District commissioner said, including contacts by numerous rank-and-file Americans. Their response has been 90 to 95% in favor of the county*s position, according to Harris.

﹛﹛Multi-pronged approach

﹛﹛The vote to remove the Coke machines was accompanied by Harris sending a letter to the company*s CEO taking issue with his position on the Georgia law.

﹛﹛※Millions of Americans believe that the last presidential election was not held in a fair manner and that more voter fraud will occur in the future if elections are not more closely monitored and regulated,§ Harris wrote Quincey.

﹛﹛※This bill is a result of the chaos that transpired during the 2020 election,§ it continues regarding the measure approved by Georgia legislators.

﹛﹛※Specifically, this bill expands early voting opportunities, provides changes to ensure shorter voting lines, ensures that drop boxes are secure and allows greater access to fast, secure and transparent elections.§

﹛﹛Harris* letter also cited polls showing two-thirds of Americans of every race support photo IDs, and points out that such a credential is required to enter Coke shareholder meetings.

﹛﹛It further accuses Quincey of wielding a double standard through the corporation*s position supposedly in support of social justice, while not reacting to blatant acts of oppression by China, where Coke is heavily invested.

﹛﹛The Surry commissioner also has taken aim at the underlying ultra-liberal forces that he and other conservatives believe are destroying American values such as freedom of speech 〞 calling it an ※outrageous left wing mob§ Friday on ※Fox and Friends.§

﹛﹛※Coca-Cola was out in front on this,§ Harris said of its attack on the Georgia voting law exemplifying that political movement which prompted the action banning the machines. ※We decided we wanted to push back against this woke cancel culture.§

﹛﹛Harris, who owns a business specializing in leather and equestrian products, acknowledged Friday that it has been a challenge to adjust from a life filled with routine tasks such as picking up litter to suddenly being thrust onto the national stage.

﹛﹛※I*m a very private, quiet individual that enjoys the simple things in life,§ said Harris, yet he has no regrets over the tidal wave of publicity generated by the Coca-Cola issue and the important debate it has sparked.

﹛﹛※No, actually it*s an extraordinary experience # an enjoyable experience.§

﹛﹛Surry Central JROTC takes part in Memorial Day ceremonies

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛Members of the Surry Central High School JROTC Color Guard Team went to New Hope Baptist Church and provided two ceremonies in support of Memorial Day.

﹛﹛They did a 12-Fold Flag Folding Ceremony describing what veterans have done for the country and a Wreath-Laying Ceremony to pay tribute to the veterans from the community who have passed away.

﹛﹛The members who participated in the event were Armando Contreras, Isaac Bigelow, Alex Kinton, Carson Hall, Leah Bowman, and Kaitlyn Absher.

﹛﹛Local schools honor top student-athletes

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛The five local high schools each honored a select few student-athletes as part of their end of the year awards.

﹛﹛Some schools based the awards on athletic achievement alone, while others factored in athletic and academic success.

﹛﹛North Surry High School

﹛﹛North Surry honored one male and one female student-athlete. Both of the 2020-21 award winners were multi-sport athletes.

﹛﹛Delaney Fulk received the Don L. Smith Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award. Fulk is a three-sport athlete that played volleyball, softball and track and field. She will continue her softball career at Concord University.

﹛﹛Isaac Riggs was named the winner of the 2020-21 Ron King Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award. Riggs competed in cross country, basketball, track and field and also took part in the marching band during his senior year at North Surry.

﹛﹛Millennium Charter Academy

﹛﹛MCA senior Karlie Gwyn was named the winner of the school*s Scholar Athlete Award for the class of 2021.

﹛﹛The award is given annually to an MCA senior who best exemplifies the combined ideals of MCA scholarship and athletics. Gwyn maintained a 4.0+ GPA while playing volleyball, basketball and softball. She was also a member of MCA*s Athletic Council and has been President of the Athletic Council for the past two years. She will continue her volleyball career at Montreat College.

﹛﹛Surry Central High School

﹛﹛Surry Central recognized two exemplary student-athletes during awards day.

﹛﹛Megan Atkins was named Female Athlete of the Year. Atkins competed in both basketball and softball. She will continue her softball career at Surry Community College.

﹛﹛Brady Woods was named Male Athlete of the Year. He competed in football, basketball and baseball. Brady will continue his football career at Greensboro College.

﹛﹛Mount Airy High School

﹛﹛Mount Airy High named Grant Routh the winner of the 2020-21 Alan McGee Award. The award is presented annually to the senior male athlete with the highest GPA. Routh was a member of the Bears* basketball team.

﹛﹛Brooke Lankford was named the winner of the 2020-21 Delana Chilton Award. The award is presented annually to the senior female athlete with the highest GPA. She was a member of the volleyball and soccer teams.

﹛﹛East Surry High School

﹛﹛East Surry selected two three-sport athletes as the winners of the 2021 Student-Athletes of the Year. Senior Tye Needham was named Male Athlete of the Year for his participation on the Cardinals* basketball, football and track teams.

﹛﹛Lambert was named Female Athlete of the Year for her participation on the Cardinals* volleyball, basketball and golf teams. She will continue her basketball career at Coker University.

﹛﹛Northern names scholarship winners

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛Northern Regional Hospital recently awarded the 2021 Robin Hardy Hodgin Education Scholarship awards to 10 area high school graduates who plan to pursue a profession in healthcare.

﹛﹛The scholarship can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, or supplies for selected students who enroll in accredited healthcare programs in the areas of nursing, pharmacy, or other allied-health professions.

﹛﹛This year, 10 scholarship recipients 每 screened and selected by a team of hospital leaders 每 include Chelsey Atkins, Emma Brown, Elizabeth Dorsett, Jordan Haas, Cassidy Hewitt, Kayden Jenkins, Ashley Martin, Holden Poindexter, Isaac Riggs, and Chloe Sloop.

﹛﹛※This valuable program provides a much-needed helping hand to deserving students who have chosen to pursue fulfilling careers in healthcare while honoring the distinguished and ongoing career of Robin Hodgin, one of the most gifted and committed nursing leaders we have. It is one of the numerous ways Northern provides support for our area students and exemplifies our commitment to education,§ said Chris A. Lumsden, president and chief executive officer of Northern Regional Hospital.

﹛﹛Northern Regional Hospital established the scholarship program in October 2019, named in honor of Northern*s current senior vice president for patient services and chief nursing officer. The Robin H. Hodgin Education Scholarship is funded through private donations, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Northern Regional Foundation.

﹛﹛The Hospital*s designated Scholarship Committee awards one-time $1,000 scholarships, based on merit and financial need 每 for up to ten eligible students enrolled in a health-sciences degree-granting program at an accredited college or university of their choice. Scholarships are awarded to prospective students who reside in Surry County or the surrounding region that this year includes Patrick County, Virginia, and aspire to a career in nursing or any recognized allied-health professions 每 including respiratory therapy, physical therapy, medical imaging technology, laboratory science, pharmacy, and others.

﹛﹛Those receiving scholarships this year include:

﹛﹛每 Chelsey Atkins, of Dobson, a 2021 graduate of Surry Central High School who will attend Surry Community College in the fall to pursue an associate degree in nursing. Atkins* aspirations for healthcare began as a child and grew over the years as she observed the way the doctors and nurses cared for her grandmother during a terminal illness, and later helped care for two of her grandfathers.

﹛﹛※I want to be able to take care of other people*s grandparents or family members and give them the best care possible,§ said Atkins. ※I know that a career in the healthcare field is what I am meant to do with my life. I enjoy helping others and look forward to spending a lifetime giving compassionate care to those in need.§

﹛﹛每 Emma Brown, of Pinnacle, a former Junior Volunteer at Northern, is a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School and plans to begin her studies to become a nurse practitioner at UNC Chapel Hill. Brown garnered a fascination with the anatomy and physiology of the human body during her high school career and is eager to be part of the field of medicine. She says she is inspired to be in a healthcare field by her love of taking care of people. ※Everyone will be affected by healthcare at some point in their life and I love knowing that I could truly make a difference in someone*s life.§

﹛﹛每 Elizabeth Dorsett, of Mount Airy, is a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School and plans to attend High Point University in the fall where she will major in pre-pharmacy. Her goal is to obtain a doctoral degree to become a licensed pharmacist. Dorsett developed a desire to become a pharmacist through her work at a local pharmacy the past two years. She states her work at the pharmacy has been an eye-opening experience in many ways. ※With my education, I can focus on the positive use of medications and educate society on the safe use of prescription drugs,§ said Dorsett.

﹛﹛每 Jordan Haas, of Meadows of Dan, Virginia, a 2021 graduate of Patrick County High School who plans to attend Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia, to purse a degree in nursing. Haas has a lifelong interest in the medical field, but only became interested in becoming a nurse after experiencing the compassionate care given to her grandparents during their illnesses over the years. Speaking of her grandpa she says, ※I was fascinated how the nurses and health care professionals made him comfortable and treated him in a manner that was well-respected. It made me want to help people like my grandfather.§

﹛﹛每 Cassidy Hewitt, of Mount Airy, a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School who will begin the nursing program at Forsyth Tech in August. Hewitt is one of five graduating high school seniors accepted into the program at Forsyth Tech. She discovered her passion for becoming a nurse just before high school after a close family member gave birth to a daughter, Marlie, who was diagnosed with multiple birth defects. For months she traveled daily to the hospital to visit Marlie in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. ※Seeing the nurses every day helping Marlie and doing everything they could to make her comfortable and better inspired me to want to do the same for little children like [her], and their families. Ever since those days, I knew I would be a nurse making a difference in the lives of sick kids,§ said Hewitt.

﹛﹛每 Kayden Jenkins, of Mount Airy, a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School. She completed the CNA certification offered through the Surry Community College/Mount Airy High School dual enrollment program and plans to attend UNC Wilmington in the fall to purse a bachelor of science in pediatric nursing. ※My passion has always been to help others,§ said Jenkins. ※I absolutely love working with children, so the choice to become a pediatric nurse seems perfect for me.§

﹛﹛每 Ashley Martin, of Stuart, Virginia, a 2021 graduate of Patrick County High School. She earned her CNA license while attending high school and prior to the pandemic was able to complete her clinicals at the Blue Ridge Nursing Center in Stuart. ※I care deeply about the residents there. I enjoyed being with them and it made my day to see them happy and smiling.§ Martin says she looks forward to returning to work at the nursing center following her completion of the nursing program at Patrick Henry Community College.

﹛﹛每 Holden Poindexter, of Mount Airy, a 2021 graduate of Mount Airy High School. He will attend Greensboro College where he will begin his studies in sports medicine, on the path to become a physical therapist. He will also be a member of the Greensboro College Pride football program. Poindexter became interested in physical therapy after an athletic injury resulted in a surgery that later involved months of therapy with Casey Vedder, PT, DPT, president and CEO of Choice Physical Therapy. After completing his therapy, he went on to intern with Vedder and during this time saw the opportunity to help others through medicine. ※Working as a physical therapist will provide me the opportunity to not only help people, but to get to know them in order to help lead them to succeed in their therapy,§ said Poindexter.

﹛﹛每 Isaac Riggs, of Mount Airy, a 2021 graduate of North Surry High School, will attend Lenoir-Rhyne University to obtain a degree in biology and then pursue a career in dentistry. A former Junior Volunteer at Northern, Riggs wants to return to Surry County following his education to be a part of positive change in the community. His dream is to build a business that not only supports his family but touches the lives of those in need. ※I believe through a career in dentistry I will have a platform to change lives in a profound way,§ said Riggs. ※There is nothing better we can do than serve others.§

﹛﹛每 Chloe Sloop, of Pilot Mountain, a 2021 graduate of East Surry High School, who will begin studies at Salem College in the fall. Her goal is to eventually become a physician assistant. During her time in high school she was an active leader in the school*s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter and in 2020 completed her CNA certification. She says she was inspired by her science teacher to dive deeper into the studies of biology and chemistry. The former Junior Volunteer at Northern has a passion for helping those in need. ※I am passionate in my desire to work with others to help hurting people find relief and regain their joy,§ said Sloop.

﹛﹛Hands-on weekly artist exhibit begins

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛New this summer beginning on Saturday, June 5, in the Art Studio beside the Betty Lynn Exhibit in the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Surry Arts Council will feature and showcase area artists and their work and provide a hands-on unique art experience for visitors of all ages.

﹛﹛The Art Studio will be open each Saturday from June 5 through Oct. 30 from noon until 3 p.m. each session.

﹛﹛Artists will have their work on display for sale; they will be demonstrating and interacting with visitors; and the artists will have art and/or craft supplies for guests to enjoy a hands-on art experience while materials last.

﹛﹛Artists will be from a range of genres. Kicking off the event will be Madeline Matanick who will be in the Surry Arts Council Art Studio on Saturday. Matanick is the artistic and visual arts director at the Surry Arts Council. She grew up in South Carolina and toured with Missoula Children*s Theatre before moving to Mount Airy to work at the arts council. Matanick will share her love of all things colorful.

﹛﹛She will be followed on June 12 by Jennifer Boeyinga, also a visual artist, and on June 19 by Sandra Brady. Diane Mahr, a visual artist, will share her work in the Art Studio and is willing to host other events ranging from birthday parties to evening workshops. Will Pfitzner will be in the Art Studio on Saturday, July 17, with his art form that harmonizes top-notch craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology that distinguishes his artwork from other manufactured wooden products. Follow facebook.com/surryartscouncil/ for updates on weekly artists.

﹛﹛Visitors and locals are encouraged to visit, support, and experience the work of talented area artists ranging from basket-makers, potters, and visual artists to state-of-the-art woodworking craftsmen.

﹛﹛Artists have been especially challenged during the past year and the Surry Arts Council is not only inviting them to share their talents, but is also compensating them for adding this dimension to the experience of visiting the Andy Griffith Playhouse and Museum on Saturdays. The arts council encourages visitors to ask about birthday party options with artists, private classes, Girls Night Out art events, and other opportunities in the Art Studio.

﹛﹛For more information or if interested in participating, contact tanya@surryarts.org.

﹛﹛June 04, 2021

﹛﹛To the Editor,

﹛﹛Putting aside the fact that our elected officials were blindsided by the terms of a recent $1.73 million federal grant they accepted because of a lack of due-diligence on the city*s part, I am dismayed that Commissioner Steve Yokeley would take issue with the city government*s need to now comply with one of those terms 每 i.e., create a complaint process for alleged cases of housing discrimination [see ※Yokeley opposes housing complaint process§ in the May 12th issue of The Mount Airy News].

﹛﹛I am equally dismayed by Commissioner Yokeley*s seemingly ignorant assessment of renters 每 who he seems to believe are committed to ripping-off landlords by falsely claiming discrimination bias. Yokeley*s comments, along with the hypothetical case he cited of a potential renter (※with a low credit score and a criminal history of &50 pages*§), suggest that renters have less integrity than landlords when attempting to engage in standard business transactions.

﹛﹛Shame on Commissioner Yokeley for harboring such a foul attitude 每 which smacks of both classism and racism. With such a questionable mind-set, perhaps Steve Yokeley should relinquish his seat as a city commissioner. By so doing, he would free up that spot for a more enlightened individual to serve in that important role; and he could devote his full attention to his real estate business.

﹛﹛Rebecca Harmon

﹛﹛Mount Airy

﹛﹛Weekly Entertainment June 4-10, 2021

﹛﹛June 04, 2021


﹛﹛Cards top Eagles in slugfest

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛DOBSON 〞 Surry Central and East Surry put on a show Thursday night.

﹛﹛The rain cleared up just in time for the Golden Eagles to host the Cardinals in non-conference competition.

﹛﹛Surry Central went off for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, stunning the No. 3-ranked team in the 1A division. East Surry slowly battled back before gaining the lead off a two-run home run from Benji Gosnell. East added another run for good measure and held the Eagles scoreless to win its 10th-straight game.

﹛﹛Each team utilized two pitchers during Thursday*s game. Surry Central*s Dakota Mills pitched the first five innings, throwing eight strikeouts and walking four batters. Spencer LeClair threw the final two innings, had one strikeout and walked no batters.

﹛﹛East Surry*s Luke Brown started the game and threw seven strikeouts in five innings, also walking three batters. Anthony Ayers pitched the final two innings and had one strikeout and one base on balls.

﹛﹛The Cardinals (10-1), who have now scored at least seven runs in nine games this season, started the game with two runs in the top of the first. Carson Willoughby was walked, stole second and then moved to third on a single from Luke Bowman. Willoughby scored the first run when Folger Boaz grounded out at first, then Bowman scored on an RBI double hit by Brown.

﹛﹛Surry Central entered Thursday*s game having won three straight, it*s longest winning streak of the season.

﹛﹛Mills led off with a single before stealing second base. Clay Whitaker was walked, then Mills scored on a double hit by Brady Edmonds. Whitaker tied the game at 2-2 when he scored on a groundout by Kade Norman.

﹛﹛Brady Woods got on base when East played it safe and protected the plate. Avery Wilmoth scored Edmonds anyway with a short grounder placed perfectly between the plate and the mound.

﹛﹛The lead grew to 4-2 when Max Lambert hit one up the middle of the field to score Woods. The final run of the inning came off a Kendall White hit that was fielded and thrown wide of the plate, allowing Wilmoth to score.

﹛﹛East Surry battled back and scored three runs in the top of the second. Mills struck out two batters, but also walked two. Bowman scored Trey Armstrong with a line drive up the middle, then a fielding error by Central on a Boaz hit scored Willoughby and Bowman.

﹛﹛Woods put the Eagles up 6-5 with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning. Gosnell responded with a two-run homer in the top of the fourth that also scored Bowman.

﹛﹛Central left two men on base in the fourth and one in the fifth. These missed opportunities allowed East Surry to increase the lead to 8-6 in the top of the sixth. Bowman scored for the fourth time on a hit from Gosnell.

﹛﹛Woods and Lambert were both on base in the bottom of the seventh, but the Eagles had two outs already. LeClair was up with runners on the corners and grounded out to end the game.

﹛﹛Surry Central will travel to Atkins on June 8, while East Surry returns home June 4 to host North Stokes.

﹛﹛Former J.J. Jones High joins National Register

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛The former J.J. Jones High School has always been a special place for area residents with ties to the all-black campus that operated in Mount Airy during the last century, and now has achieved even greater status.

﹛﹛It has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to an announcement Thursday from Nancy Bowman Williams, the president of the J.J. Jones High School Alumni Association.

﹛﹛※The National Register has been called &a roll call of the tangible reminders of the history of the United States,*§ the announcement states.

﹛﹛※Being included among all the places recognized as such is of great significance to the town of Mount Airy and all its residents, especially so for the former (Jones) students and instructors.§

﹛﹛The school was named for John Jarvis Jones, a pioneering African-American educator who moved to Mount Airy in 1914.

﹛﹛Jones and his family would establish an educational legacy that served generations of students.

﹛﹛The campus that would bear his name, located on Jones School Road in the northern part of the city, opened in 1936. It bid farewell to a final high school graduating class in 1966 〞 corresponding with the desegregation of public schools in Surry County.

﹛﹛Leonidas Harold ※L.H.§ Jones, son of J.J. Jones, was the only principal of Jones High during its 30 years of operation.

﹛﹛The former high school later served both white and African-American elementary pupils until the mid-1990s, when a new J.J. Jones campus opened on Riverside Drive. It is attended by the city*s intermediate students.

﹛﹛L.H. Jones Family Resource Center, where a number of community agencies are based under the Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc. umbrella, now occupies the former school site that is owned by the alumni group.

﹛﹛Jones Alumni Auditorium also is part of the sprawling complex and hosts a number of community events.

﹛﹛That includes a reunion of those who attended the formerly all-black campus which is held every two years.

﹛﹛※The school provided the best formative education for African-Americans possible during the segregated era,§ says information provided by Williams regarding the local landmark.

﹛﹛※Many of those graduates went on to graduate from college, acquire advanced degrees and became successful businessmen and women, teachers, lawyers and doctors.§

﹛﹛National Register Designation

﹛﹛Several areas of Mount Airy were recommended for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018 based on research by a Lexington, Virginia, architectural historian recognizing those as historically valuable and worthy of preservation.

﹛﹛The former J.J. Jones High School was nominated as a stand-alone site.

﹛﹛An application for the national designation was initiated on behalf of the former campus in August 2019.

﹛﹛What Thursday*s announcement termed an ※arduous process§ of being of approved for that honor recently was completed with the signing of a certificate by an official in Raleigh. This occurred at the State Historic Preservation Office, which is part of the Office of Archives and History under the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

﹛﹛※We are extremely proud of this honor and look forward to a celebration ceremony that will be an appropriate show of appreciation to those whose hard work and perseverance was paramount in the success of the school, its students and those who were instrumental in obtaining this recognition,§ Thursday*s announcement by Williams states.

﹛﹛The Alumni Association, YVEDDI and the Family Resource Center will celebrate that ※significant milestone§ later this year with a program and installation of a seal, it adds.

﹛﹛Around the first of this year, two areas in Mount Airy that also had been recommended along with J.J. Jones High were added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Lebanon Hill Historic District and Country Club Estates Historic District.

﹛﹛The National Register of Historic Places now contains more than 95,000 entries encompassing 1.8 million-plus sites, buildings, structures and objects, which can be found in nearly every county in the nation.

﹛﹛Short-term funds OK*d for Spencer*s work

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛Mount Airy officials have approved a budgetary measure aimed at avoiding delays in the redevelopment of the former Spencer*s textile mill property downtown.

﹛﹛Specifically, the city council established project ordinance and budget ordinance amendments providing funding leeway for a construction coordinator overseeing the redevelopment, to complete preliminary work officials hope will lead to a hotel and convention-type center on the site.

﹛﹛A limit of $50,000 for that purpose was set aside during the last meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners on May 20.

﹛﹛Infrastructure improvements totaling about $2.9 million have been identified in connection with the hotel/market center development, around $1.63 million of which would provide parking areas at the project site now owned by the municipality. Surry County officials have agreed to fund $1.5 million of the total.

﹛﹛An option agreement was approved by the commissioners in March under which an entity known as Sunhouse Hospitality proposes to build a hotel at the former textile-manufacturing complex containing 70 to 80 rooms and the market center with ※mini-convention§ space.

﹛﹛The hotel is eyed for a structure known as the Sparger Building and the center in the so-called Cube Building nearby.

﹛﹛Sunhouse has an exclusive option to buy the former Spencer*s property at a price of $350,000.

﹛﹛Streamlining measure

﹛﹛In the meantime, certain preliminary tasks are needing to be paid for, which led to a suggestion by Mayor Ron Niland to establish the project ordinance/budget ordinance funding mechanism allowing the $50,000 to be used for those.

﹛﹛Niland indicated that with certain needs arising recently with no money officially budgeted for them, this scenario potentially could delay development of the site.

﹛﹛An asbestos study was mentioned as one, along with the abatement of any of the cancer-causing substance detected as a result.

﹛﹛Niland said a leak in the roof of ※The Cube§ also needed to be addressed.

﹛﹛※It*s my understanding that things are moving very, very quickly on the downtown project and the hotel and the convention center,§ he related during discussions leading up to the decision effectively setting aside the $50,000.

﹛﹛※It*s moving so fast that us not being able to do something is slowing them down now.§

﹛﹛Niland explained that this concerned having to wait until the next council meeting for approval to fund some facet of work. The board regularly meets on the first and third Thursdays each month.

﹛﹛Instead the new system allows Charlie Vaughn, the construction coordinator, to OK work he deems necessary, maybe costing $5,000 here or $6,000 there 〞 up to the $50,000 limit, rather than the commissioners micro-managing everything.

﹛﹛Niland used the example of a section of pipe having to be relocated.

﹛﹛※We don*t need to be waiting until another meeting to move that pipe,§ he reasoned, saying city officials earlier had pretty much given Vaughn such authority in his consultant role.

﹛﹛The $50,000 will be available to cover other miscellaneous items that might arise, according to Niland.

﹛﹛※※We don*t know what*s going to happen down there,§ he said of the project area. ※It doesn*t mean you have to spend it (the $50,000), because things may not happen.§

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛Surry County has a long history of supporting and cultivating Old Time Music, as many of the great musicians were born or lived in the county. Due to its isolated nature, the songs and playing style that developed here avoided outside influence. Often music was played at local musicians houses for parties and square dances. One such house, the Freeman Homeplace, at 610 Richards Road in Mount Airy will be honored with a marker dedication ceremony on Sunday at 2 p.m.

﹛﹛The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History applied for and received a grant from the Legends and Lore Marker Grant Program which is part of the Pomeroy Foundation. These markers are designed to commemorate the knowledge that is passed from generation to generation and share it with the public as well as promote cultural tourism. The markers differ in appearance from Highway Historical Markers so they are easily identifiable. Legends and Lore Markers have a red background with cream colored text.

﹛﹛The dedication date for this marker was chosen to coincide with the Mount Airy Blue Grass and Old- Time Fiddlers Convention, which occurs on June 4-5. Holding the ceremony on Sunday keeps from interrupting the music and allows for the musicians to participate as they leave to head home. Many of the musicians who attend the convention either knew those who played at the Freeman Homeplace or have heard stories that have been passed down.

﹛﹛Chester McMillian, a master old time musician, looks after the Freeman Homeplace today and continues the tradition of passing the music down and keeping old time music alive.

﹛﹛Cedar Ridge names Bus Driver of Year

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛Cedar Ridge Elementary School has named Stephanie Shumate as the school*s 2020-2021 bus driver of the year.

﹛﹛※Stephanie Shumate has a great love for our school, our community, and our students,§ school officials said in making the award. ※She is dedicated to transporting our students to and from school, safely and with love, each day. Thank you Stephanie Shumate, for all your hard work and dedication.§

﹛﹛Online Magnet School holds first fundraiser

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛The Surry Online Magnet school staff and students recently concluded their first fundraiser by selling Little Ceasar*s pizza kits.

﹛﹛※We would like to thank everyone who helped our school by purchasing one or more kits,§ school officials said in a statement released about the sales. ※As we continue to build our presence in the community and strengthen our relationship with its members, we wish to offer our deepest gratitude for your support. To borrow a couple of famous phrases, we recognize that no man is an island and it takes a village to raise a child: we cannot do this without you.§

﹛﹛Library summer kick-off is Monday

﹛﹛June 03, 2021

﹛﹛The Charles H. Stone Memorial Library in Pilot Mountain will begin its annual Summer Library Program with an outdoor kickoff event to be held on Monday from 3-4:30 p.m.

﹛﹛Themed ※Tails and Tales,§ the eight-week program will feature an assortment of crafts and activities dealing with a diverse variety of animals. The program will incorporate a limited number of in-person group activities with self-led projects, at-home crafts and virtual read-alongs.

﹛﹛According to Charles Stone Library Program Assistant Diane Palmieri, the diversity of programming has grown from library efforts to continue to serve the community during pandemic每related mandates and restrictions.

﹛﹛※We*re excited that because of some new programs we*ve put in place, we*re able to reach more and more people,§ she said. ※We*ve been pushed in that direction and it*s a good thing that now more people are taking advantage of what we offer.§

﹛﹛※For some events like the kickoff, we*ll be back in person, seeing smiling faces and continuing to form relationships. But we*ll also be reaching those who are not able to come during normal library hours. We*re better serving our entire community.§

﹛﹛Monday*s kickoff will feature outdoor games and an ice cream treat. Participants will also be able to pick up craft packets for the program*s first week.

﹛﹛Each week will feature a different craft along with needed supplies, a reading log and additional goodies. Crafts will include an ocean life collage, paper chain snakes, dinosaur painting, fabric dog toys, a poster contest, paper bag puppets, a watercolor page and a fly catching frog.

﹛﹛Advance registration is suggested for craft participation in order to allow for preparation of craft kits. Registration can be done at the library, by phone or through the summer library programs link on the library Facebook page. After following the link, go to the crafts page and click on the ※register§ button.

﹛﹛Activities will be held each week and will include both specific-time activities and those which may be accessed at any time during the week.

﹛﹛Activities in order will include Animal Tracks, allowing children to track animals by finding footprints on library grounds. A Kangaroo Storywalk will feature the book, ※How Far Can a Kangaroo Jump?§ and will be able to be accessed at anytime during the week of June 12-20. During the following week, a Dragon Hoard Treasure Hunt will feature clues hidden on library grounds and may also be accessed at any time.

﹛﹛On June 28, from 3-4:30 p.m., the Stokes Animal Shelter Adoption Program will host an interactive pet care program, featuring information on pet care as well as the opportunity to meet animals up for adoption.

﹛﹛A Makerspace and Smithsonian exhibit will be on hand July 3-10, featuring information about animal innovation and an exhibit highlighting women inventors.

﹛﹛A Magpie Scavenger Hunt will take place the following week, with contestants searching for the treasures that birds collect hidden on library grounds with a prize for all who complete the hunt.

﹛﹛A program will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. on July 12, hosted by Pilot Mountain State Park Ranger Maggie Miller

﹛﹛※She is new to the state park, and we*re excited to have her with us for this,§ Palmieri said.

﹛﹛Another storywalk will take place on July 17-25, this time featuring the book, ※Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals,§ by Katy S. Duffield. The storywalk may be accessed at any time during the week.

﹛﹛Activities will conclude with a 3-4:30 p.m. program entitled EcoExplore Entomology, hosted by Kelsey, a scientist from the Greensboro Science Center who will invite all to learn more about the world of bugs.

﹛﹛Throughout the program, participants will also be invited to return to the summer library programs web site for a virtual read-aloud of picture books related to each week*s program.

﹛﹛Additional information on the program and all activities can also be found at the site.

﹛﹛Lady Cards honor senior duo

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛PILOT MOUNTAIN 〞 East Surry honored two senior tennis players prior to Wednesday*s double header against Winston-Salem Prep.

﹛﹛Marlie Easter and Ripley Cottrell were recognized as part of the team*s Senior Night. Both girls suited up for action in the match and walked away with wins against the Phoenix.

﹛﹛Winston-Salem Prep only had four girls. As a result, East started each match with a 3-0 advantage thanks to forfeits in No. 5 singles, No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.

﹛﹛The Lady Cardinals improved to 7-2 on the season by blanking Prep both times. The Phoenix didn*t win a game in either singles or doubles.

﹛﹛East*s No. 1 seed Tara Martin improved her singles record to 9-0 with two wins over Tatyana Williams. No. 2 seed Evelyn Ruedisueli improved to 7-2 with a pair of wins over Dayjezan Orteiz.

﹛﹛Cottrell and Easter won their matches in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. Cottrell downed Alayna Perez in No. 3 singles and Easter defeated Kaloni McEacheran in No. 4 singles.

﹛﹛Martin and Ruedisueli improved to 5-0 as a team with wins over Williams and Orteiz in No. 1 doubles, while Easter and Cottrell won their first two matches as a team.

﹛﹛East Surry will compete against Mount Airy on June 7. If the Lady Cards win, they will finish second in the Northwest 1A Conference and Mount Airy will take third. If the Lady Bears win, the two teams will share second place.

﹛﹛Bears come up short against Villains

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛Three late runs by Bishop McGuinness gave the Villains the edge in a game against Mount Airy on Wednesday.

﹛﹛The game was tied 4-4 heading into the top of the seventh inning. Bishop took advantage of a Mount Airy fielding error to score two runs with just one out on the board. The Villains added another run to round out its seven runs.

﹛﹛Mount Airy had a runner on a third when Bishop got the third out in the bottom of the inning.

﹛﹛Bishop defeated Mount Airy 8-0 in week one of the season back in April, but Mount Airy responded with a 4-0 win in Kernersville two weeks later. The Villains win the season series against the Bears with a 7-4 win in the Granite City.

﹛﹛Wednesday*s Northwest 1A Conference game was book-ended with action. Four of Mount Airy*s seven hits took place in either the first two or final two innings. Bishop only had one hit during the middle three innings and had five in the remaining four.

﹛﹛Mount Airy pitcher Reece McDuffie pitched the first six innings of Wednesday*s game. McDuffie tied a season-high by throwing 11 strikeouts, including three in the top of the first inning. He only gave up one hit in the first inning as the Villains first potential run was left on base.

﹛﹛Bears leadoff Reece Deaton was walked in the bottom of the first. Deaton advanced all the way to third on two wild pitches, then scored on a single hit by Logan Dowell.

﹛﹛Dowell also made his way around the bases thanks to wild pitches thrown to McDuffie and Kamden Hawks. Dowell eventually scored on a wild pitch with Landon Cox at the plate.

﹛﹛The Villains responded to Mount Airy*s 2-0 lead by scoring three runs in the top of the second. The inning began with a hit from Tommy Mattox bouncing of the glove of a Mount Airy infielder leading to a double. Ryan Porter scored Mattox with an RBI single down the third-base line.

﹛﹛After a McDuffie strikeout, Bishop got on base once again thanks to an error by the Bears. The following batter was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

﹛﹛David Krawczyk hit a blooper over the third baseman to score two runners and give Bishop the lead 3-2.

﹛﹛Mount Airy*s Bryson George began the bottom of the inning with a single to left field. Carson Webb safely bunted while moving George to third.

﹛﹛Bishop*s Joe Criscuolo struck the next two batters out before Deaton came up to bat for the second time. A wild pitch gave George plenty of time to cross the plate, then Deaton hit a bouncy ball in the infield to score Webb.

﹛﹛The third through fifth innings only featured one hit by either team. Cian Hogan singled to start the third inning, but was left on base.

﹛﹛McDuffie brought his strikeout total to 10 by the start of the sixth inning, and a diving catch in the fifth by Deaton kept Mount Airy*s 4-3 lead alive.

﹛﹛The Villains tied things up in the sixth inning. With two outs, Ben Ritzel doubled with a line drive to right field. Ritzel evened the score at 4-4 when Mount Airy committed a fielding error on a hit from Shea Allen-Bolton.

﹛﹛Hogan took the mound for Bishop in the bottom of the sixth and immediately gave up a single to McDuffie. The junior stole second and made it to third on a wild pitch, but would be left on base.

﹛﹛Dowell took over the mound for Mount Airy in the seventh. He had his first and only strikeout sandwiched between a pair of walks. The Villains got the edge when a fielding error allowed Krawczyk to score. Bishop added two more runs when Mattox hit a 2RBI double.

﹛﹛The Bears were under a lot of pressure with just three outs to score at least three runs. Josh Penn was up first and he flied out on a deep hit to left field. Rylan Venable kept hope alive by reaching first.

﹛﹛Venable went to second on a wild pitch, but the Villains got the second out of the inning on a strikeout. Another wild pitch sent Venable to third.

﹛﹛Kasen Taylor came up to bat with two outs and was faced with a full count. Taylor connected with Hogan*s pitch and sent a line drive scream to left-center field. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Villains shortstop made an incredible leaping catch to intercept the hit and end the game.

﹛﹛Mount Airy travels to Watauga on Friday.

﹛﹛Mountain Park names Bus Driver of the Year

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛Mountain Park Elementary named Debbie Smith as the 2020-2021 Bus Driver of the Year.

﹛﹛※She has been so dedicated this year, even driving double routes when needed,§ said Principal Janet Sutphin. ※Her smiling face and love of the children is evident in all she does for Mountain Park Elementary.§

﹛﹛Workshops to highlight music convention

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 Mount Airy Blue Grass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, many musicians, music-lovers, and fans throughout the region were overjoyed to learn the event would return this year.

﹛﹛Now those folks can add one more reason for happiness 〞 a full slate of free workshops put on during the convention weekend by the Surry Arts Council.

﹛﹛The convention is traditionally held the first weekend in June and is a family friendly event that brings together musicians and fans for two days of competition, jam sessions, dancing, singing, education, and entertainment, all built around the old-time music made so popular by Surry County musicians of generations past and present. The festival, established in 1972, is dedicated to old-time and bluegrass music as well as dance. The Fiddlers Convention features solo and band competitions and winners are awarded cash prizes.

﹛﹛Once again this year, Veterans Memorial Park Inc. and the Surry Arts Council are offering free workshops and demonstrations on Friday, June 4, at the Indoor Grandstand at Veterans Memorial Park. The workshops offer those attending the opportunity to learn from area award-winning musicians and dancers in an informal, relaxed setting.

﹛﹛Workshops begin at 11 a.m. on Friday with Nancy Sluys and Chester McMillian. Sluys has won numerous clawhammer banjo awards including first place at Galax Fiddlers Convention in 1995, 2002 and 2004. She also won prizes at most of the major fiddlers conventions in the South, including first prize at Elk Creek and Mount Airy. Sluys also plays fiddle and is leader of the Pilot Mountain Bobcats with her husband Bill who plays bass. Kirk Sutphin, another well-known old-time musician, will also be taking part in the workshops.

﹛﹛Chester McMillian will be partnering with Sluys on guitar. McMillian has won many awards and plays with Backstep. He is a recipient of the North Carolina Folklore Society*s Brown-Hudson Award and has played with legends including Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed, Whit Sizemore, Benton Flippen and Fred Cockerham.

﹛﹛Other workshops will be held at the same time with award winning dancers, vocalists, and musicians Martha Spencer, Emily Spencer, Wes Clifton, Nick McMillian, Michael Motley, and others.

﹛﹛At 12 p.m., Jim ※Vip§ Vipperman will facilitate the Surry County Old-Time Music demonstration. Vipperman is a multi-instrumentalist and teacher with a long career in music, including winning more top-ten awards than any other fiddle competitor in the history of the Galax Filler*s Convention and being recognized by the North Carolina Folklore Society with the Brown-Hudson Award for teaching excellence and passing on the tradition.

﹛﹛The demonstration features area old-time musicians and is open to fiddlers convention guests.

﹛﹛At 1 p.m., there is a Flat Footin* and traditional dance workshop led by Aaron Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe has competed and won at numerous conventions. Dr. Ratcliffe is assistant professor at Appalachian State University.

﹛﹛Numerous additional workshops begin at 2 pm with many of the same musicians. At 3 p.m. the workshops wrap up and musicians, vocalists, and dancers join together for a Surry County Frolic with dancing led by Martha Spencer and Michael Motley and other workshop leaders playing in ※the band.§

﹛﹛Veterans Memorial Park Inc. receives partial funding for these workshops and demonstrations, from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

﹛﹛Flyers with a complete list of workshops and instructors will be available at the Fiddlers Convention.

﹛﹛For additional information on the workshops, contact tanya@surryarts.org. For information on the fiddlers convention, contact judithmappa@ymail.com.

﹛﹛Never forgotten

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛A slight drizzle gave way to blue sky and brilliant sunshine during Sunday*s dedication ceremony for the new Gold Star monument in Elkin Municipal Park. Though recognizing the sadness of the sacrifice of families who have lost a loved one in service to the nation, the day was also a triumphant celebration of the vow to honor that sacrifice and never forget those who gave all.

﹛﹛※We intend this to be a place of healing and reflection, we want the families to know that their loved ones have not been forgotten,§ said Jon Garing, chairman of the Gold Star Committee which raised funds for the monument.

﹛﹛The event was widely attended by area Gold Star families, veterans and supporters as well as numerous members of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group which honors POW and MIA members of the armed services.

﹛﹛The monument in Elkin, part of the Hershel Woody Williams Foundation which seeks to ※honor, recognize, and serve Gold Star Families,§ is the 84th such statue in the country. There are two additional Gold Star monuments in the eastern part of the state in Wilmington and in Carteret County, this is the only Gold Star memorial in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia.

﹛﹛Williams, the last remaining World War II Marine to wear the Medal of Honor, took part in the ceremony, sharing several poems and readings reflecting on those who have lost loved ones in service.

﹛﹛※This is a day of a new beginning for this community,§ Williams told the large crowd. ※This is a special day for memories, a day to ensure those of the past who served America will be remembered. For those loved ones who sacrificed one of their own, for America, and for all of us.§

﹛﹛※This is a historical place but history doesn*t stop, it continues. So we*re making history again for this community today,§ Williams continued. ※It*s going to affect the lives of untold Americans, those who sacrificed and those who, for the first time, can observe a tribute and honor to those who have kept us a free people or perhaps made freedom possible for somebody else who has never known what freedom really was.§

﹛﹛The history of the site where Elkin Municipal Park now stands was referenced several times during the event.

﹛﹛※It is only fitting that such a monument be placed in this park for it was here in September 1780 that patriots assembled for a march to Kings Mountain to defeat the Tories in a turning point in the American Revolution,§ said Elkin Mayor Sam Bishop.

﹛﹛※Three trails converge in the park, the Overmountain Victory Trail# the Elkin and Alleghany trail # and the North Carolina Mountains to Sea trail, running for over 1,300 miles from Clingman*s Dome in the Great Smokies to Jockey*s Ridge on the Outer Banks, all pass by this monument. This monument shows that Elkin honors the Gold Star families of Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia and thanks them for their sacrifice,§ Bishop said.

﹛﹛Also speaking on Sunday was Davie County native Harold Franks, the 96-year old fought on D Day in the European campaign of World War II. Franks survived a German prisoner of war camp and is a Purple Heart recipient as well as recipient of a Bronze Star and the French Legion of Honor.

﹛﹛Franks described the night he was on patrol and was shot in the shoulder and the next day captured by the Germans. He detailed watching his buddy with a broken leg being ※shot like a snake.§

﹛﹛※That told me I was in for a hell of a time,§ Franks said. ※But I didn*t give up, that*s the secret to surviving. I knowed my mom wanted me to come home and a lot of my friends wanted me to come home.§

﹛﹛※When things got really tough in that POW camp, I could hear Mom praying for me,§ Franks said, his voice thick with emotion. ※Thank the Lord she did cause that*s what gave me the courage to keep fighting.§

﹛﹛Franks also gave accounts of some of the generals he fought under during World War II.

﹛﹛※I loved ol* Patton, he cussed a lot, that didn*t bother me, I didn*t have to do it,§ he said. ※He wanted to get the job done and get us home.§

﹛﹛※I served under Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton, all. I loved &em all,§ Franks said. ※They wanted to be generals, they didn*t want to be senators.§

﹛﹛※The Army generals we*ve had lately want to be senators where they can get up there and steal our money,§ Franks said to to laughter and applause from the crowd.

﹛﹛Sunday*s event concluded with Gold Star family members being the first to view the unveiled monument up close as they then laid yellow roses at the base of the monument. Members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, dressed in Revolutionary War era attire, fired a gun volley and Taps was played.

﹛﹛Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-258-4035 or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @news_shewrote.

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛The coronavirus has provided more than its share of bad health and financial news for Mount Airy, but one positive development has emerged in the form of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act.

﹛﹛City officials are anticipating a possible total of $2.9 million from the plan approved in Washington earlier this year as an economic-stimulus measure to help the nation recover from the effects of COVID-19.

﹛﹛This is part of $16 billion received by the state of North Carolina in response to the pandemic.

﹛﹛The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at its last meeting on May 20 to accept and receive the recovery funds, which says the distribution of that money to eligible localities is to be provided for by legislators in Raleigh.

﹛﹛Wording in the city*s resolution states that the funding for municipalities may be used to respond to public health emergencies related to the coronavirus. Among the purposes mentioned is providing premium pay to essential workers and investments in water and sewer infrastructure.

﹛﹛At last report, no specific plan for the federal funding, and no official sum involved, had been identified for Mount Airy.

﹛﹛※We haven*t heard the definite amount at this point,§ city Finance Director Pam Stone explained, saying that the estimate is $2.9 million.

﹛﹛※We will receive half this year and the other half one year from when we receive the first half,§ Stone added.

﹛﹛Due to uncertainties surrounding the federal aid, no American Rescue Plan Act funding was factored into Mount Airy*s proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year that begins on July 1.

﹛﹛※When preparing the budget we really didn*t have the guidance on how it could be spent,§ the finance director advised.

﹛﹛City Manager Barbara Jones states in her annual budget message that possible uses she is recommending include ways to help local business owners, wastewater system improvements that are in the preliminary budget and a dehumidification system for Reeves Community Center.

﹛﹛The latter project, with a price tag of $325,000, is not included in the spending plan for the next fiscal year.

﹛﹛Jones also mentions economic-development projects as potential uses for the federal money and hiring a grant accountant to assist with projects identified by new Vision committees.

﹛﹛At last report, guidance from the federal government concerning the funding was still being awaited.

﹛﹛The proposed municipal budget for next year includes no property tax rate increase, but about $600,000 in extra tax revenues would be generated for 2021-22 since a revaluation has increased the worth of real estate in town.

﹛﹛In the spring of 2020, Mount Airy was tapped to receive $175,350 provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It had been passed by Congress earlier that year to address the economic fallout from the pandemic.

﹛﹛The list of allowable expenditures for that funding included medical-related needs, with personal protective equipment and other supplies specified in this category. Also covered were costs related to the disinfecting of public areas, along with payroll expenses for public safety or health-care employees whose services were substantially dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 emergency.

﹛﹛Another area targeted involved expenses stemming from compliance with coronavirus-related public health measures such as teleworking, distance learning, food delivery and paid sick/family medical leave for public employees.

﹛﹛Lolli, Pops, and grandfamilies

﹛﹛June 02, 2021

﹛﹛Editor*s Note: This is one of a series of columns to be shared with Mount Airy News readers by the Surry County Substance Abuse Recovery Office.

﹛﹛Households in which grandparents are raising grandchildren, known as grandfamilies, represent a growing and underserved population in Surry County. The dramatic increase in grandfamilies over the past two decades is simply alarming.

﹛﹛One of the major consequences of substance abuse disorder is the effect on the family. Adults that have substance use disorder often lose the ability to take care of their own children, which results in the children being removed from the home. As a result, many children are placed in ※kinship§ care, which means they receive care from within the family or friendship network of the child. According to the Kids Count Data Center, in 2017 approximately 2.9 million children throughout the U.S. receive kinship care. More than 100 foster families are providing homes for children in Surry County and there could be an equal number of grandfamilies in our county.

﹛﹛This week, I interviewed two amazing grandparents named Allene and Rich Young 每 Lolli and Pops 每 who are raising their six-year-old grandchild, Sebellah. Rich and Allene recently moved to Surry County from Arizona to put themselves in a better place to raise little Sebellah. They have suffered the hardships, as well as reaped the rewards, that raising a grandchild will provide. They understand this so well that they decided to create their own support group known as the ※Mount Airy Grands.§ Mount Airy Grands provides a safe space for grandparents to share stories, connect with other grandparents, and find helpful resources for the life-changing experience of raising one*s grandchildren.

﹛﹛Grandfamilies represent a population with family social interactions and responsibilities that are more complex than usual. I sat down with Allene and Rich and asked them about the challenges faced by grandfamilies. They recommend seeking legal assistance to accomplish some form of guardianship and to clarify your legal rights. Grandparents face numerous challenges related to legal, financial, medical, educational, parental, social, and familial issues. Grandparents, acting as parents, find their physical, psychological, and financial health can be adversely impacted.

﹛﹛Most grandparents who are raising their grandchildren certainly did not expect to do so. They may have to forego the retirement of their dreams. Most must relearn parenting, learn about new technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Most agree though, that there are many benefits to raising grandchildren.

﹛﹛Shante Anderson, a resident of Surry County, is raising her grandson, Tavian, and is also a member of the Mount Airy Grands. Raising her grandson, Shante remarked, has given her a second chance at being a better parent and helps to keep her young and vital. Most importantly, Tavian has taught her the importance of tolerance and patience. There are blessings that are present alongside the difficulties and the blessings are not always just for the grandparent. The grandchild benefits by living in a stable environment, learning about their family history, and gaining wisdom from their grandparent*s lived experiences.

﹛﹛If you, or someone you know, would benefit from being a part of the Mount Airy Grands, please visit their website at mountairygrands.com. Visit our website at surrycountycares.com for more information about substance abuse disorder and the many resources in our county. If you have any questions or need additional information on prevention, intervention, treatment, or recovery, contact Charlotte Reeves, the county*s community outreach coordinator, at reevesc@co.surry.nc.us.

﹛﹛Disco Turkeys receive national spotlight

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛The Carolina Disco Turkeys unveiled home and away game uniforms last Friday, a day before their first road game. And that announcement led to considerable national attention in sports design circles.

﹛﹛The new Winston-Salem baseball team, which plays its home games at Truist Stadium on dates the Winston-Salem Dash are playing road games, was the subject of stories from both Uniwatch and SportsLogos.net, the country*s two leading websites on sports logos and branding. Both websites boast massive online followings and often pull no punches in their critiques.

﹛﹛※Personally, I love these, and it*s great to see (Disco Turkeys) designer Brittain Peck showcase his work! Congrats,§ wrote Phil Hecken at the end of a longform blog published by Uniwatch on Saturday about the Disco Turkeys* look. Hecken*s blog covered the Disco Turkeys, along with design commentary on the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox.

﹛﹛Writing for SportsLogos.net, also on Saturday, writer Paul Caputo of SportsLogos.net said the Disco Turkeys* look ※is best described as funky§ and went on to describe the team*s style choices in detail.

﹛﹛The uniform, designed by Durham, NC-based illustrator and designer Peck, feature a white home jersey and retro powder blue away jersey with contrasting looks, white knicker pants with coral and navy stripes, socks with horizontal coral and powder blue stripes, and a navy hat with a coral bill and the team*s popular disco turkey-head-and-shirt-collar logo outlined in powder blue thread. The jerseys, produced locally, represent a tribute to the aesthetics and spirit of uniforms from the 1970s and a bit from the 1980s.

﹛﹛Look good, play good

﹛﹛On the field over the weekend, the Disco Turkeys opened their season on the road, going 1-1 with an impressive victory to open over the High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms on Saturday before dropping a contest at the Martinsville Mustangs on Monday night. The Disco Turkeys play two more road games early this week, including a re-match at the Hi-Toms on Wednesday night, before playing their first home games this weekend.

﹛﹛Home promotions

﹛﹛The team is giving away free magnet schedules to the first 500 fans on Friday night. They will host a disco-themed night on Saturday night and will be having a Florida Man Day on Sunday afternoon, which will allow the first 10 fans with Florida driver*s licenses to throw out a first pitch and an Ernest Hemingway-lookalike contest and an alligator character doing antics for fans.

﹛﹛Advanced single-game tickets to home games at Truist Stadium are $7 and are available at discoturkeys.com/tickets.

﹛﹛Hounds dominate on Senior Night

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛Senior Night baseball in June isn*t exactly conventional, but neither is anything else that went down during the 2020-21 school year.

﹛﹛North Surry honored its four senior players on Tuesday prior to a game against Atkins. The seniors technically graduated over the weekend, but are allowed to finish out their final high school season.

﹛﹛Andrew Johnson, Zach Bryant, Ty Montgomery and Jake Bullin made up North Surry baseball*s class of 2021 每 the first under the command of coach Daryll Johnson. The four seniors were recognized before taking the field for their final home game.

﹛﹛And what a finale it was. The Greyhounds defended the Kennel by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the second inning. Although North didn*t cross home plate after the second inning, the Hounds contained Atkins* comeback and held the visiting Camels to just three runs.

﹛﹛Bryant pitched 6.2 innings for North Surry (4-6). The senior recorded six strikeouts while allowing four hits and three runs. Johnson took the mound for the final out of the seventh inning, ending the game with strikeout of his own.

﹛﹛North improves to 4-2 at home with the win.

﹛﹛Only one player reached base in the first inning. Atkins leadoff Jacob*e Hooks was hit by a Bryant pitch, but was caught stealing second when catcher Brodie Robertson made the throw to Montgomery. The other two Camel batters flied out.

﹛﹛Atkins (3-8) put two runners on in the second inning when Tom Moyer hit a fielder*s choice and Jackson Lackey was hit by a pitch. Jimmy Wormack hit a grounder to Ethan Edwards at third with only one out. Edwards tagged the bag before rifling a throw to Bullin at first for the double play.

﹛﹛Things escalated quickly in the bottom of the second. Johnson was up first and he hit a line drive just out of the shortstops reach. The perfectly-placed hit allowed Johnson to reach third, but he wouldn*t stay on base long.

﹛﹛Keaton Hudson followed Johnson by hitting a grounder to third. The Atkins third baseman wasn*t sure if he should make the throw to first or the plate, and his indecision Hudson to reach first safely.

﹛﹛Robertson was up next and he also hit a grounder to third. This time he decided to make the throw home, but it wasn*t on target and Johnson scored the Greyhounds* first run.

﹛﹛Bullin loaded the bases by safely bunting. Bryant took advantage of the loaded bases by hitting a 2RBI double that scored Hudson and Robertson. The lead grew to 4-0 soon after when Bullin scored on a wild pitch.

﹛﹛Cameron Taylor had the misfortune of recording the inning*s first out, but his sacrifice allowed Caleb Collins 每 running for Bryant 每 to score the fifth run.

﹛﹛Kolby Watson was then walked, and made it around to third on a hit from Edwards. An Atkins fielding error committed when fielding a Montgomery hit scored both Watson and Edwards.

﹛﹛The final hit of the inning came from Johnson, who also had the first hit of the inning. Johnson singled on a hit to right field, but he and Hudson got out on a double play to end the inning.

﹛﹛Aundray Russell had the first hit of the game for the Camels in the top of the third. A pop fly hit by Griffin Icenhower was lost in the sun, allowing Russell and teammate Cooper Whitley to score.

﹛﹛North relied on its defense to keep the game under control for the remaining innings.

﹛﹛In the top of the fourth, Montgomery recovered from having a line drive hit right at him by picking it up and making the play at first. Then in the fifth inning, Hudson robbed Atkins* Craig Belden of at least a double by making a catch just a few feet inside the left field fence.

﹛﹛Bryant also struck out five batters in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Bryant*s final strikeout came after Belden hit an RBI single to score Atkins* third run.

﹛﹛Bryant got the second out, then Johnson secured the win with a strikeout.

﹛﹛North Surry will travel to Atkins on Thursday.

﹛﹛Sign company expanding in Mount Airy

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛Roughly two-and-a-half years ago, in the autumn of 2018, Kieffer | Starlite sign company, with facilities in both Denton, Texas and Sheboygan, Wisconsin, purchased Mount Airy*s Burton Signworks.

﹛﹛Tuesday, the company announced it would be expanding the Mount Airy location, and adding jobs to its local operation.

﹛﹛The firm will actually be consolidating two local facilities, one at 510 Riverside Drive and a second at 609 Junction Street, into one single operation at the Junction Street location, according to Brad Davis, purchasing agent with the company. As part of that move, the company will be expanding, building a 21,000-square-foot addition to the already existing 80,000 square feet at the Junction Street location.

﹛﹛※Two new loading docks are included in the construction, and the layout is redesigned to accommodate channel letter and thermoforming equipment that will be moved to the main facility,§ the company said in a written statement about the expansion.

﹛﹛※We are grateful to have the support from our community leaders,§ said Roger Miller, director of manufacturing for the Mount Airy plant. ※Their commitment to our success is making our vision a reality much sooner than anticipated.§

﹛﹛The firm held what it is calling an ※internal groundbreaking§ for employees and company officials last week, with the intention of completing the expansion by the end of August.

﹛﹛In addition to housing all of the company*s local manufacturing, Miller said the expanded facility ※#will result in a safer and more efficient work environment.§

﹛﹛The firm has 140 employees at present, with 35 of those in Mount Airy. Davis said Kieffer | Starlite has 10 job openings at present, and hopes, after the expansion is complete, to have a workforce of 50 in the Mount Airy facility.

﹛﹛※We have several positions open now and will continue to add more after the expansion,§ Miller explained. ※Our company offers competitive pay, with benefits and many other monetary incentives.§

﹛﹛He said that ※the sign industry offers an exciting career path as there are multiple cross-training opportunities. With custom sign work, there is always a new challenge.§

﹛﹛※We have a great team that works together to take a product from concept to watching it ship out to the customer. Our team of hard workers focus on Kieffer Starlite being best in class when it comes to manufacturing and enjoys being a part of delivering quality products to our customers across the U.S.§

﹛﹛Kieffer | Starlite had its beginnings more than six decades ago, when Starlite Signs was founded in Denton Texas in 1956. Three years later, in Sheboygan, Kieffer & Co. was founded, according to the firm*s website.

﹛﹛The two companies operated largely independent of one another, maintaining a successful presence in the industry until November 2016, when the two merged and branded the new company as Kieffer | Starlite.

﹛﹛※The result was increased manufacturing capabilities and ability to provide best-in-class sign solutions nationwide and globally,§ the company said.

﹛﹛In what the company refers to as its Southeast Expansion, Kieffer | Starlite bought the Mount Airy-based Burton Signworks in the fall of 2018, acquiring the 35-year-old firm and its 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

﹛﹛Now, the company has announced the expansion of the Mount Airy location, along with the job openings. For those wishing to know more about the job opportunities, or about the firm in general, visit https://kiefferstarlite.com/careers/

﹛﹛Local graduates revel in &normal* ceremonies

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛After a tumultuous 2020 when COVID-19 disrupted both classroom instruction and graduation exercises, hundreds of seniors returned to normalcy in recent days through ceremonies celebrating both their academic achievements and overcoming the pandemic.

﹛﹛Yet the coronavirus loomed over the proceedings held at various campuses across Surry County, as was the case Saturday morning during Mount Airy High School*s commencement program.

﹛﹛※Wow, what a year it has been,§ Valedictorian Brooke Lankford told a large crowd assembled on the school*s football field, saying COVID-19 had provided an educational experience in itself.

﹛﹛※I learned that staying positive can make all the difference.§

﹛﹛Such comments were echoed at other commencement programs all around the county 〞 collectively recognizing the fact that it has been a year like no other, but the human spirit triumphed over adversity once again.


﹛﹛Diplomas were awarded to 135 MAHS seniors Saturday morning during a program that punctuated a victory arguably as big as any achieved by the Bears football team in the same venue.

﹛﹛Senior Class President Peyton Harmon, one of five student speakers on the program, neatly summed up events of the past year as ※this most unusual time in our lives.§

﹛﹛He went on to say that at periods in life when everything seems to be going well, some unexpected event can occur which disrupts even the best-laid of plans.

﹛﹛※COVID made that pretty clear to me,§ the Class of 2021 president observed, while pointing out how good things can still happen under such circumstances.

﹛﹛※We didn*t back down from the challenges of COVID,§ Harmon said of one such result, as evidenced by the proud appearance of the graduates Saturday. ※We did it!§ he exclaimed.

﹛﹛Another speaker Tessa Stovall, the vice president of the senior class, offered a similar view:

﹛﹛※While this school year has been anything but ordinary, we are all glad to commemorate this special day.§

﹛﹛Darius Walker, Mount Airy High*s student body president, cited an added degree of pride surrounding Saturday*s milestone, involving the fact that the campus was opened to in-person learning last August.

﹛﹛※We were the only school in the state of North Carolina to do so,§ said Walker, his remarks drawing loud applause from those assembled, including family members and friends of graduates packing the stadium bleachers.

﹛﹛That distinction also was acknowledged Saturday by Dr. Kim Morrison, the superintendent of Mount Airy City Schools.

﹛﹛※I*m so thankful to everyone who made this happen,§ Morrison said during her time at the podium, specifically praising school board members who rendered the difficult decision to proceed with in-person learning.


﹛﹛North Surry graduated 163 seniors Saturday in Charles Atkins Memorial Stadium.

﹛﹛Isaac Riggs, student body president, spoke to his fellow graduates about the importance of being kind. He shared experiences of missionary trips taken during his youth to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic and how the importance of being kind to one another was something he learned through these visits.

﹛﹛※I want us to know that the small things matter 〞 try to have a positive impact on someone*s day,§ Riggs stated.

﹛﹛※We as &regular* people do not always have to give enormous amounts of money or perform amazing acts of generosity, but can simply be kind and do the little things 〞 this will have the biggest impact, sometimes more than you know.§

﹛﹛Riggs was recognized as the salutatorian of the NSHS Class of 2021. He will be a student at Lenoir-Rhyne University in the fall.

﹛﹛James Jessup was the valedictorian of North Surry*s Class of 2021 and also the senior class president. In addition, he served as Student Government Association president at Surry Community College this past year.

﹛﹛Jessup graduated from SCC before he actually did from high school and is headed to the University of North Carolina in the fall to eventually pursue a career in law.

﹛﹛He spoke to his classmates about looking to the future.

﹛﹛In his speech, the valedictorian quoted Malcolm X: ※Education is the passport to the future.§

﹛﹛Jessup also left classmates with a bit of his own advice, saying that ※regardless of the pathway we take, we all have the potential to make a distinguished impact.§


﹛﹛Perseverance was a central theme of the East Surry graduation ceremony held inside David H. Diamont Stadium Friday evening.

﹛﹛※It*s hard to ignore the elephant in the room when we*re discussing our high school experience,§ said Colton Allen, East Surry senior class president. For 135 graduating seniors, attending their final year of high school during a pandemic posed all new challenges on top of the traditional trials students face.

﹛﹛Both student speakers 〞 Allen and Student Body President Chloe Hunter 〞 as well as Charity Rosenhauer, who performed Riley Clemmons* song ※Keep on Hoping,§ stressed the importance of never giving up when faced with seemingly impossible odds. An excerpt from Rosenhauer*s song perfectly expressed this message to those in attendance: ※Lift your eyes, you*re gonna be alright. You*ve got the strength to keep on going, so keep on hoping.§

﹛﹛The school year began with remote learning, transitioned into alternating school days in which students learned in cohorts, then slowly but surely made its way back into a more normal environment that permitted graduation to take place.

﹛﹛Students were able to experience all the things one would expect to see at a graduation ceremony including the loud friends and families that filled the bleachers, the smiling, and maskless faces of students as they walked across the stage to shake hands with (or chest bump) Principal Jared Jones, as well as the cloud of silly string that filled the air after the declaration of graduation.

﹛﹛East Surry was also able to properly honor the two students with the highest cumulative GPAs. Jacob Michael Haywood was recognized as valedictorian and Chloe Noelle Sloop as salutatorian.


﹛﹛At Surry Central High School*s ceremony Thursday evening in Dobson, some graduates danced across the stage or fluttered flags as capes while crossing the threshold to their post-high school futures.

﹛﹛※It is no secret that the past three semesters have been challenging,§ Principal Misti Holloway told them.

﹛﹛※You rose to these challenges and you have conquered them.§

﹛﹛This year*s senior class will disperse with 122 pursuing post-secondary education, six entering the military and 46 joining the workforce.


﹛﹛Getting a jump on graduations this year with the first local ceremony was one of the newer educational institutions in the county, Surry Early College High School.

﹛﹛Marking its 2021 graduating class were 64 students who achieved that educational milestone.

﹛﹛This was the 11th Surry Early College High School graduation ceremony, with students earning both a high school diploma and a two-year college degree. The 64 students were honored in in a ceremony held on May 21.

﹛﹛Two of the class* top students were the featured speakers, remembering their years together at the school as well as encouraging classmates to look forward to a bright future.

﹛﹛The senior speaker was Mason Elijah Melton and the ※super§ senior speaker, Paloma Garcia-Serrano.


﹛﹛Surry Online Magnet School not only celebrated the milestone reached by its seniors Friday afternoon, but the fact that they represented the first-ever graduating class of a unique institution.

﹛﹛※You placed a mark on history,§ special speaker Dr. Jill Reinhardt told the seven departing students during their commencement exercises at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson 〞 a small group with a large achievement,

﹛﹛Surry Online Magnet School had offered them the option of completing a high school education via strictly online means stressing personalized learning through unique and flexible opportunities desired by students for various reasons.

﹛﹛They did so with ※no classroom walls, no metal desks and no cafeteria,§ said Reinhardt, who retired from Surry County Schools in January but had served as a key member of a development and implementation team to make the online magnet concept a reality.

﹛﹛Though lacking walls, the school does have a mascot, the Trailblazers, which was referred to multiple times during Friday*s commencement.

﹛﹛Reinhardt said the individual graduates might have begun their educational careers as Cedar Ridge Elementary School Panthers or Westfield Wildcats, but were ending as Trailblazers 〞 signifying the uniqueness of the new online public school that was groundbreaking both locally and statewide.

﹛﹛The students were individuals ※who took a chance on change and progress,§ said the commencement speaker, who added that some thought the school could not get off the ground during a pandemic and accomplish what it has in such a short time.

﹛﹛The graduates also were praised Friday by their principal, Kristin Blake:

﹛﹛※You have trailblazed through your education and everyone who is here today is proud of your accomplishment.§


﹛﹛Millennium Charter Academy presented its fourth graduating class at the annual commencement ceremony on Saturday.

﹛﹛This year*s class is the school*s largest with 34 graduates, 80 percent of whom are going to a college or university, including an Ivy League school, with the balance heading directly into the workforce.

﹛﹛MCA*s commencement*s theme was ※The Times We Are Given,§ a reference to how the students, school and families courageously dealt with the pandemic, even with all the challenges presented, and completed a highly successful school year.

﹛﹛Saturday*s keynote speaker was Stan Jewell, president and CEO of Renfro Brands, a company that also dealt successfully with the times it was given when Renfro switched from sock manufacturing to mask manufacturing and literally masked Mount Airy and various other cities.

﹛﹛Jewell*s address offered sound advice to the graduates and all those present. He said it matters not so much where a person goes in his or her life, but how they got there.

﹛﹛The speaker encouraged every student to travel through life with authenticity, being true to themselves, and to have curiosity and grit and work hard in all that they do.

﹛﹛Unlike last year*s commencement ceremony, which was held out of doors as families watched from their cars, this year*s program took place in MCA*s upper school gymnasium.

﹛﹛Graduates were limited to six guests each, and all attendees were masked.

﹛﹛Living Storybook to entertain all ages

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛The Surry Arts Council will feature the Living Storybook on the stage of the Blackmon Amphitheatre each Saturday from June 5 through August 7 at 10:30 a.m. Young audiences will be entertained by area artists all summer long. These shows are free.

﹛﹛Mark Donnell will lead off the series with ※Three Little Pigs.§ Donnell has worked with the Surry Arts Council for many years as director, teaching artist, puppeteer, commedia dell*arte, mask maker, clown and actor.

﹛﹛He will be followed by Blanton Youell whose family is active in many arts council programs. Youell will share his DJ skills for young audiences and will bring his love of music to the Surry Arts Council Living Storybook stage for dance parties on June 12, July 3, and July 31. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the fun and music on the dance floor of the Blackmon Amphitheatre.

﹛﹛Evan Barnard, graduate of the UNC School of the Arts High School Drama program and frequent actor on the Andy Griffith Playhouse stage, will entertain young audiences with folk tales on July 17 and August 7. The tales will take inspiration from the Polish story of ※Prot and Crot§ and Appalachian ※Jack Tales.§ Evan will create an interactive experience for young audiences with the Surry Arts Council Living Storybook as he prepares for enrollment in the UNCSA School of Drama this fall.

﹛﹛Shelby Coleman*s young Surry Arts Players will perform ※Princess Pig Face§ on June 19, 26, and July 10 and July 24. This show tells the story of a cruel and selfish king who learns that his step-daughter*s beauty could be the end to his tyrannical reign. He places a spell on her 每 cursing her with the face of a pig.

﹛﹛Now, Princess Pigface of Hillshire must cross many hills and swim many streams, seeking acceptance and true love*s first kiss. Along the way, she meets a dashingly handsome woodsman who prefers picking flowers to hunting and comes to learn that true beauty is found within.

﹛﹛Madeline Matanick will share her artistic talents by painting the pages of the Surry Arts Council*s Living Storybook.

﹛﹛The outdoor setting for this series of events was chosen as a safer environment for young audiences.

﹛﹛These ten shows are funded in part by a grant from the Mount Airy/Surry County Community Foundation and a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.


﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛Two more Surry Arts Council Summer Concert series shows are scheduled for this weekend, one on Friday evening and one on Saturday.

﹛﹛The Magnificents are scheduled to be in concert Friday at the Blackmon Amphitheatre beginning at 7:30 p.m.

﹛﹛Twenty-four hours later, the Cat5 Band will take to the stage in a Saturday evening concert at 7:30.

﹛﹛Tickets will be on sale at the gates one hour prior to the concerts. Dairy Center and Thirsty Souls Community Brewing will be on hand with concessions.

﹛﹛Those attending are encouraged to take lounge or beach chairs or a blanket. For more information, visit www.surryarts.org

﹛﹛Vietnam vet laments &horrors* of war

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛Memorial Day 2021 in Mount Airy was filled with color and pageantry 〞 ample displays of flags, uniforms, flowers and red, white and blue all around, which largely masked the not-so-pleasant realities associated with the holiday.

﹛﹛But Vietnam War veteran Arlis Thomas, featured speaker for Monday*s event, made sure those weren*t glossed over when addressing about 125 attendees 〞 gathered appropriately at a large granite monument bearing names of Surry Countians dying in America*s various conflicts.

﹛﹛Regardless of whether one fought in the jungles of Southeast Asia, the snows of Europe or on the high seas, war is accompanied by ※a lot of horrors,§ Thomas said. It subjects participants to levels of cruelty and meanness that people can*t really understand unless they have been there, the Mount Airy veteran added.

﹛﹛That was an experience Thomas had hoped to avoid as a younger fellow.

﹛﹛※I got drafted in 1969,§ he related, believing that factors involving timing and training were in his favor. ※I thought I was going to get out of the Vietnam War 〞 but I didn*t.§

﹛﹛Instead Thomas, a member of the U.S. Army, would go on to serve for two years during a conflict that claimed the lives of about 57,000 Americans before its conclusion in the 1970s.

﹛﹛※I*m glad I made it back,§ said the special speaker, who became emotional at times when reliving memories of the Vietnam War.

﹛﹛※I felt a little guilty that I did make it back (because of) all those who didn*t.§

﹛﹛Yet Thomas admitted during his speech that he didn*t exactly escape unscathed, recounting the emotional struggles of readjusting to civilian life.

﹛﹛※War affects a person 〞 not just coming home,§ he told the crowd.

﹛﹛Thomas, who pastors a Baptist church in the area, credits his faith for helping him make the transition and deal with the emotional struggles left from the war, by finding peace with God. ※He*s the one that*s got me through since 1972.§

﹛﹛Much of Thomas* address Monday was devoted to those who didn*t make it back 〞 from Vietnam and other conflicts dating to the Civil War, which sparked the first Memorial Day observance in the 1860s honoring military members perishing in that struggle.

﹛﹛※It honors those who did their duty and never asked for anything,§ he said. ※These soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.§

﹛﹛They served under the flag and for the flag 〞 the one also ※draped on their coffin,§ Thomas said.

﹛﹛The Memorial Day speaker mentioned that all one has to do when calculating the cost of war is to visit a military cemetery and view the dates on tombstones which are testaments to lives cut short with loved ones left behind.

﹛﹛Thomas also said during his speech that Americans owe a debt to those who died.

﹛﹛※It is the responsibility of citizens of these United States to remember those soldiers,§ he emphasized. ※I*m thankful for our soldiers and this country God has blessed us with,§ including its freedoms of speech, the press and others.

﹛﹛City official comments

﹛﹛Mayor Ron Niland spoke in a similar vein during Monday*s program. This included referring to the Mount Airy War Memorial listing the names of 500-plus Surry Countians who made the supreme sacrifice in conflicts beginning with the American Revolution.

﹛﹛※We*re here today because these names matter,§ said Niland, whose father, Francis ※Frank§ Niland, served during the Korean War and died last year at age 93.

﹛﹛※By being here, you are telling them that &you are not just names on a wall,*§ the mayor advised those assembled, saying this is not something to be done just one time of the year.

﹛﹛※They are our families, friends and neighbors and we need to honor them every day.§

﹛﹛Monday*s patriotic program also included a raising of the flag, a singing of the national anthem, a flag-folding ceremony, the reading of a special Memorial Day proclamation, a rifle volley salute and the placing of a wreath at the monument.

﹛﹛In an invocation, former Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran acknowledged those ※who gave their lives so that we may gather here today§ and prayed for a time when such sacrifices will not be necessary.

﹛﹛Garden Club awards scholarship

﹛﹛June 01, 2021

﹛﹛The Pilot Mountain Garden Club last week announced Phillip Holden McCraw as the recipient of its 2021 college scholarship award.

﹛﹛Holden McCraw is a member of the East Surry High School Class of 2021, which held its graduation ceremony Friday evening. He has been taking classes for credit at Surry Community College and plans to use the scholarship to help with completing requirements for an Associate in Science degree at the school. He hopes to then continue his education at a four-year college.

﹛﹛McCraw, 18, is the son of Reggie and Andrea McCraw of the Westfield community. His older brother, Nathaniel, is a 20-year-old junior at the University of North Carolina.

﹛﹛※Holden McCraw is an excellent selection to receive this scholarship,§ said Jeanette Reid, who with Dickie Sheppard makes up the Pilot Mountain Garden Club Scholarship Committee. ※His interest in farming creates a connection with our club and the interests of its members.§

﹛﹛According to Reid, McCraw had received a positive recommendation from East Surry Counselor Renee Henry, who had described him as a serious student with a high GPA.

﹛﹛McCraw said his interest in farming stems from the diversity of activities involved and the opportunity to work outside, as well as a strong family history in agriculture.

﹛﹛※We have a fifth-generation family farm,§ he said. ※I would like to further my education and grow my agricultural skill set in order to one day farm full time.§

﹛﹛※As a small club we*re thrilled to be able to do this,§ noted Pilot Mountain Garden Club President Bette Greenway. ※The fundraisers we hold are for the purpose of providing this scholarship.§

﹛﹛In addition to the scholarship, the garden club annually provides Christmas wreaths at the Charles H. Stone Memorial Library, Pilot Mountain Town Hall and the town cemetery. Geraniums and other seasonal plantings are also provided at the library. The club has established the downtown memorial garden and each year plants trees at local schools for Arbor Day. If a club member is lost, Greenway added, a book on gardening is donated to the Charles Stone Memorial Library in that person*s memory. Plantings are also provided at First United Methodist Church where club meetings are held.

﹛﹛※It*s an honor to receive this scholarship,§ McCraw said. ※I appreciate the Pilot Mountain Garden Club and all they do. They help keep Pilot Mountain beautiful.§

﹛﹛Twelve Oaks celebrate Mothers Day

﹛﹛May 31, 2021

﹛﹛Twelve Oaks DePaul Senior Living Community in Mount Airy celebrated Mother*s Day earlier this month, ※showering§ the moms there with gifts and letting everyone have a chance to reminisce.

﹛﹛May 31, 2021

﹛﹛Surry Community College recently announced its Dean*s List students for the spring semester 2021.

﹛﹛Students qualifying for the Dean*s List must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours of college level coursework and maintain a 3.5 grade point average for the semester with no final grade lower than a ※C.§ Students on the Dean*s List will also receive a congratulatory letter.

﹛﹛Those students include: Emily Elissa Avalos Beltran, Antonio Bedolla, Idhalys Roxanna Berrum, Maylin Castillo, Alisha Dawn Creel, Loren Elizabeth Edwards, Hannah Joyce Fletcher, Neki Fletcher, Sara Rodriguez Galarza, Paloma Garcia Serrano, Matthew Curtis Gillespie, Andrew Clef Hayes, Dilan Yael Hernandez, Devin Zachary Hill, and Ashlyn Michele Hooker, all of Mount Airy;

﹛﹛Kristina Ann Kleintop, Dasia Rae Lambert, Kalie Brean Mabe, Marshall J Martin, Evan Scott Morris, Habeth Amanda Ortega, Maddison Paige Pennington, Shakira Rheanna Phillips, Zachary Ryan Simmons, Macy Glenn Smith, Alexandria Rae Stanley, Haley Kendal Sumner, Camden Shea Taylor, and Kimberly Danielle Wheeler, also of Mount Airy;

﹛﹛Victoria Elizabeth Carter, Troy McKenlen Castro, Vanessa Castro-Correa, Britza Chavez-Arellano, Holly Deandra Gregory, Tess Snow Harbour, Addison Breeze Hull, Abigail Grace Johnson, Mason Donald Kreh, Humberto Scott Niemiec, and Madelynn Sloan Taylor, all of Dobson;

﹛﹛Bailey Siree Badgett, Gage McKinley Black, David Luke Crowson, Colby Blake Guy, Lauren Elizabeth Knopf, Seth A Lowe, Sabrina Renee Price, Trinity Belle Stroud, Aaron James Warren, Steven Cade Williams, and Alyssa Victoria Yount, all of Pilot Mountain;

﹛﹛Dixie Caroline Bullin, Laken Nicole Creed of Ararat; Tess Elizabeth Ramey of Lowgap; Elijah Seth Bulman, Grace Hannah Gibson, and Melanie Kendra Lawson, all of Pinnacle; Amy Lynn Cave, Katelyn Brooke Doyle, Levi Matthew Edwards, and Makayla Hayes Holbrook, all of State Road;

﹛﹛Casan Sky Lawson, Alexandra Lucrecia Lyles, Jessica Jenkins Miller, Chloe Marie Osborne, Byron Lee Wild, Ashley Marie Wilmoth, and William Austin Wyatt, all of Elkin;

﹛﹛Barbara Alene Pell of Ararat, Virginia; and Sydney Vea Kinser of Galax, Virginia.

﹛﹛May 31, 2021

﹛﹛New releases available at the Mount Airy Public Library:


﹛﹛The Wife Upstairs 每 Rachel Hawkins

﹛﹛The Vineyard at Painted Moon 每 Susan Mallery

﹛﹛Tiny Tales 每 Alexander McCall Smith

﹛﹛The Lady Has a Past 每 Amanda Quick

﹛﹛Large Print Fiction

﹛﹛The Newcomer 每 Mary Kay Andrews

﹛﹛Turn a Blind Eye 每 Jeffrey Archer

﹛﹛Daylight 每 David Baldacci

﹛﹛The Final Twist 每 Jeffrey Deaver

﹛﹛Before She Disappeared 每 Lisa Gardner

﹛﹛The Woman With the Blue Star 每 Pam Jenoff

﹛﹛Local Woman Missing 每 Mary Kubica

﹛﹛Robert B. Parker*s Payback 每 Mike Lupica

﹛﹛The Lady Has a Past 每 Amanda Quick

﹛﹛The Return 每 Nicholas Sparks


﹛﹛No Time Like the Future (Michael J. Fox)

﹛﹛The Reign of Love (Mozart)

﹛﹛Just As I Am (Cicely Tyson)


﹛﹛Employability Skills Class began last week and will continue each Monday and Wednesday, from 12 to 3 p.m. This class is offered in conjunction with the NCWorks Department of Surry Community College.


﹛﹛The library story times are open for anyone who would like to come in and join us. Adults must wear a mask. Mondays at 4 p.m. Afternoon Story Time for School Aged Children; Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Book Babies for children aged birth to 2 years old; Thursday at 11 a.m., Mixed Age Story Time, birth to preschool.


﹛﹛On June 7, we will kick off our Summer Learning program ※Tails and Tales,§, with a Scholastic Book Fair, a Friends of the Library Book Sale (June 7 and June 8) and Mama Crockett*s Cider Donuts (8 a.m. 每 2 p.m.). So come on out, get signed up for Summer Learning, buy some books and grab some tasty donuts.


﹛﹛On June 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., we will have a Meet and Greet in the courtyard of the library. Come out and meet the staff of the Mount Airy Public Library. We have had a lot of changes and a lot of new faces over the past year. We*ll have hot dogs and all the trimmings. Everyone is invited.


﹛﹛The library will be closed Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day.

﹛﹛A day to memorialize those who gave all

﹛﹛May 31, 2021

﹛﹛Tomorrow is a day of prayers, moments of silence, and amazing stories.

﹛﹛On the last Monday of May, we as Americans celebrate Memorial Day. While the origins of the holiday are complicated and diverse this day of remembrance can traditionally be traced back to the Civil War.

﹛﹛The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day. This specific day was used to clean, commemorate, and pay homage to the many men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in their service to our country in war. In our Post-Civil War world, families, communities and our entire country were struggling with an appropriate way to mourn the loss of the more than 620,000 American citizens no longer alive.

﹛﹛This day of remembrance was nationalized due to the extreme number of casualties during and after the Civil War. During this time America saw a rise in community cemeteries devoted solely to soldiers of war; however, some of the traditions dated back to more distant times.

﹛﹛Prior to community and church cemeteries, smaller family-owned plots were popular. Many such places can still be seen on private land and on federal and state holdings. These smaller, family-owned burial places are usually maintained by the descendants of the deceased or through a family-trust. Caretakers clean and maintain the various elements within the graveyard to ensure that traditions were intact.

﹛﹛Keith Kggener, a professor of art and architecture in Missouri, was once quoted with saying that cemeteries were ※created for celebrating and containing.§ Many different groups and religions feared that spirits continued to walk among the living after death. The common practice of laying a tombstone or headstone was said to ensure that their loved ones stayed put. Fences were added to keep wildlife and grave robbers out, but some suggest iron bars were used to keep the spirits in.

﹛﹛Decoration Day, and later Memorial Day, celebrations see loved ones and caretakers carefully placing new flowers, seeds, or tending to the faded synthetic blooms. Romans planted flowers among their gravesites to bring beauty and peace to the spirits who dwell there. At the turn on the century, superstition suggested that seeds would blossom into flowers on the grave of a good and kind persons but turn to weeds on a wicked soul. Today, flowers are left in remembrance of love, good times, and hope.

﹛﹛Many gravestones once cleaned reveal detailed symbols or poems of peace and hope. Some common markers in our area are doves for children, or for peace, Hand of God to symbolize ascension into heaven, or a willow tree for belonging and relief.

﹛﹛After a day of travel, hard work, and likely some tears, families often gather for cookouts, potlucks, or snacks. As families settle into their meals, stories and memories are exchanged in hopefully good humor. Victorians also shared food after a day in the cemetery. Funeral biscuits were given as favors. Two sweet cakes wrapped in paper sealed with black wax were given out to funeral goers as a Thank You for attendees.

﹛﹛As we celebrate this Memorial Day with cleaning, remembering, and eating we implore each and every one of you to share wonderful memories of the dearly departed with your friends and family. Our memories and history stay alive as long as we share them with others.

﹛﹛Emily Morgan is the Guest Services Manager at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. She and her family live in Westfield. She can be reached at eamorgan@northcarolinamuseum.org or by calling 336-786-4478 x229

﹛﹛Brian Free and Assurance in concert June 6

﹛﹛May 30, 2021

﹛﹛Mount Airy Wesleyan Church will be hosting a gospel music concert on Sunday, June 6 featuring Brian Free and Assurance.

﹛﹛Free is one of the most recognizable tenors in gospel music. Fans have responded to his music by honoring him and the group at the Dove Awards for Southern Gospel Performance of the Year, ※Say Amen,§ in 2014 as well as ※Long As I Got King Jesus§ in 2006. Brian Free and Assurance has also made a number of television appearances, including on TBN, Gospel Music Channel, Prime Time Country on TNN, The ※Today Show§ on NBC, and on 27 of the ※Gaither Video§ series.

﹛﹛The mission of Brian Free and Assurance is to lift up Jesus Christ through their music, see souls come to know the Lord as Savior and be an encouragement to Believers across the nation and abroad.

﹛﹛The community is invited to hear Brian Free and Assurance at 10:30 a.m. at Mount Airy Wesleyan Church located at 2063 South Main Street, Mount Airy. The concert will be held in Mount Airy Wesleyan*s gymnasium/worship center. Interested persons may contact Mount Airy Wesleyan at 336-786-7250 or via the church website or Facebook. There is no charge for the concert. A love offering will be taken during the service.

﹛﹛Mount Airy Scout recognized with national honor

﹛﹛May 30, 2021

﹛﹛Ted Radford Jr., a local paramedic, grew up immersed in scouting, with his dad serving as a scout master, and the younger Radford eventually earning his Eagle Scout award and later, as an adult, serving as a scout master.

﹛﹛Along the way he, like millions of scouts across the nation, read the monthly magazine Boys Life, a publication which carried a monthly column detailing the exploits of a Scout somewhere in the nation who had been awarded the Medal of Merit. Those medals are rarely awarded, and only to scouts for showing unusual bravery, or coolness and calm, in the face of an emergency. Oftentimes, those Medal of Merit winners had saved a life with their actions.

﹛﹛※I always wanted to meet someone who had one that medal,§ he said recently. ※I thought that would be so awesome.§

﹛﹛Little did he know that he would get that opportunity 〞 and the medal winner would be his son, who may have saved his dad*s life with some quick thinking after a chainsaw accident.

﹛﹛The incident took place on Christmas Eve in 2019, in the backyard of his aunt, Tabatha Mauldin, cutting up a tree which had fallen .

﹛﹛※I was just cutting firewood, something I*ve done since I was 8 or 9 years old,§ Ted Radford Jr. said. ※The saw just kicked back on me#wrong place, wrong time.§

﹛﹛※I don*t remember exactly now, but I I think I was either trying to split another piece of wood or was stacking wood,§ Trae said of the incident. ※Me and my stepbrother, we were kind of talking and working, then I heard a pop, a loud pop, and my Dad started screaming.§

﹛﹛The running chainsaw, when it kicked back off the wood, sliced into Ted Radford*s arm, right below the shoulder and down along the bicep, opening a wide and deep gash. The blade also nicked his chest, chewing through his clothes and into his skin.

﹛﹛Trae, who was 13 at the time, ran over to his dad immediately, and while he said there wasn*t as much blood as he was expecting, he saw the wound was severe.

﹛﹛※I knew he needed help,§ Trae said.

﹛﹛※I looked around, grabbed the cleanest rag I could find, I gave it to him, he did the best he could with that to stop the bleeding. I ran #to my aunt*s house.§

﹛﹛Once inside, he had his cousin call 911 while he explained to his aunt what had happened. They grabbed some towels and a few belts, then ran back outside, where they used the towels to apply pressure to the wounds and used the belts to apply a tourniquet to slow the bleeding until paramedics arrived. The EMS workers rushed the older Radford to the hospital, where he underwent surgery.

﹛﹛※It was pretty severe,§ Trae*s dad said. ※Luckily I avoided the bone, and didn*t get any major arteries, but I had some vascular damage, smaller tendon damage. It was very very fortune it wasn*t worse than it was.§

﹛﹛Still, the loss of blood at the scene could have have had tragic consequences had Trae not sprung into action, falling back on training he*d received at home and in the scouts. He said some of his Scout training was the reason he acted without panic.

﹛﹛※We have the first aid merit badge in scouts,§ he said, explaining that part of earning that badge is practicing on mock victims handling wounds just like his dad received. While doing it for real is a little more tense, it was simply following the steps he had already practiced.

﹛﹛His dad was able to come home late that night to spend Christmas with his family, but the story didn*t end there.

﹛﹛For his actions, Trae was nominated for the Medal of Merit, something only a handful of youths in Scouting receive each year.

﹛﹛In October, during a ceremony at one of the Troop 553 meetings in White Plains, Trae received a surprise.

﹛﹛※My Dad actually presented it to me,§ Trae said. ※It was a pretty big surprise, it*s a really cool medal to earn, it*s real nice to have that feeling, that you helped out somebody.§

﹛﹛But his Dad kept one secret from Trae 〞 the fact that the episode would be featured in an upcoming edition of Scouts In Action, a monthly column in Scouting Life Magazine. Then one day earlier this month, Tra received a text at school from his dad 〞 a picture of the page detailing his work to save his dad*s life and limb.

﹛﹛※It was awesome,§ he said with a laugh, then saying he, too, has always wondered about the young men who are featured in that monthly column of the magazine, and what it would be like to be one of them. ※I don*t know anybody who has done that personally, but all those guys who are in there, a bunch of people talk about them,§ he said.

﹛﹛※I hate that I got hurt and he had to see that (injury) in the process, but it*s an awesome opportunity to meet someone who has been awarded one of those,§ Trae*s dad said, beaming with obvious pride.

﹛﹛Even though it*s been less than a month since publication of the piece, Trae said others have already noticed. He was recently at a camping event with Scouts from other areas, when his newfound fame became evident.

﹛﹛※One of the guys in my group, he asked me where I got that medal,§ he said of the award he was wearing on his uniform. ※I said I got it from helping my dad out when he got hurt cutting wood. &Oh, so you*re that guy in Boy*s Life magazine,* Trae said the Scout replied.

﹛﹛Trae, now 15, may be in for more such recognition. Over the summer, he*ll be on the fulltime staff at Raven Knob Scout Camp, whee he*ll be working with thousands of Scouts coming in from different parts of the state, and region, to camp over the summer.

﹛﹛Afterward, he has plans to finish work on earning his Eagle rank by diving into his community service project required for the award, starting around mid-August, a service project that will be used to help others in the community.