Central Middle students perform in NC State chorus – Mount Airy News

Nine Surry Central Middle School were honored earlier this year when they were selected to take part in the NC State Chorus in a performance at the Greensboro Special Events Center. Each student took part in separate groups as follows:
– Sixth grade choir: Teagan Hasty, Summer Harrison and Kayleigh Noah;
– Treble choir: Kierstan Crouse and Kileigh Darnell;
– Mixed choir: Grant Smith, Raul Pineda, Johnny Gonzalez Contreras, and Macy Sutphin.
Voters will need ID to cast ballot this fall
Two Early College students attend Governor’s School
July 27, 2023
Mount Airy high school hosted the Junior Granite Bear Football Camp July 24-25.
Campers were instructed by Mount Airy coaches, as well as current and former players.
The Granite Bears are coming off a 15-1 season in which the team won the Northwest 1A Conference Championship, 1A West Regional Championship and 1A State Championship.
The camp was held primarily at the Bears’ practice field, but concluded with the 60-plus campers walking together to Wallace Shelton Stadium.
“Thank you again for attending our camp. We had a blast this week,” said Mount Airy head coach J.K. Adkins. “You guys come watch us on Friday nights. I enjoy watching you guys play in that end zone down there. It’s about as fun as what goes on out here.
“Come out and have a great time. We’ll have North Surry here in the stadium in about three weeks.”
Adkins continued: “Parents, thank you so much for bringing these guys. We had a great two-day period with them and hopefully they had fun. Bring them back next year, and we’ll see you here in a few weeks.”
All campers were given certificates for attending. Campers that won the various competitions were given an additional certificate, as well as a Medallion honoring the team’s 2022 1A State Championship.
The medallion was engraved with, “Mount Airy Granite Bears,” on one side and team photo on the reverse.
Competitions were held in each age group.
K-2 Champions
Obstacle Course Champion: Jayden Hayes
Punt Champion: William Belk
Pass Champion Tristan McLeod
Kick Champion: Jayden Hayes
3-5 Champions
Obstacle Course Champion: Henry Hauser
Punt Champion: Tristyn Martin
Pass Champion: Fisher Levan
Kick Champion: Cameron Hughes
6-8 Champions
Obstacle Course Champion: Baker Leathers
Punt Champion: Alex Escutia
Pass Champion: Miles Fonville
Kick Champion: Miles Fonville
Mount Airy opens the 2023 season on Friday, Aug. 18 against crosstown rival North Surry.
July 27, 2023
CHARLOTTE — The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recently announced the 2022-23 Academic Teams of the Year.
The Surry Community College softball and volleyball teams received distinction of All-Academic teams, which requires each team to have a combined GPA greater than 3.0.
Surry is one of only three colleges among the 37 Region 10 members to have multiple teams earn All-Academic accolades along with those teams being ranked nationally in their sport by the NJCAA.
“Our student-athletes once again proved their commitment to academics while also having incredible success on the court and field,” said Surry athletic director Mark Tucker. “These awards are a direct reflection of the hard work from our student-athletes and our coaches. Surry Community College is fortunate to have student-athletes that strive to pursue their educational goals along with coaches that emphasize academic excellence on a daily basis.”
The Knights finished third among Region 10 softball teams with a 3.28 grade point average, which was the 10th-highest GPA among teams in all sports in the region.
On the diamond, the Knights finished as Region 10 Runner-Up with an overall record of 29-19. Surry was ranked as high as No. 2 nationally by the NJCAA during the season.
Team members included: Megan Atkins (Surry Central High School), Maegan Banks (East Surry), Abigail Barrow (Northwest Guilford), Rachel Cooke (Maiden), Abbigail Draughn (North Surry), Kassie Eldreth (Alexander Central), Hannah Hall (Starmount), Carlee Jones (Surry Central), Skylar Partin (Mount Airy), Hannah Patterson (West Forsyth), Kaylee Snow (Surry Central), Kennedy-Grace White (Starmount), Lainey Williamson (Reagan) and McKenzie Mixon (Davie).
Surry finished second among Region 10 volleyball programs with a 3.26 grade point average, which was the 11th-highest GPA among teams in all sports in the region.
The Knights volleyball team posted a 23-3 overall record and captured the Region 10 Western Division Championship for the second consecutive year. The team was also ranked in the top 20 nationally by the NJCAA.
Volleyball team members included: McKinley Duncan (Northview Academy), Emma Freed (Starmount), Camilla Garner (SW Guilford), Laci Hash (Galax), Coree Haywood-Parker (Southwest Guilford), Pa Chia Khang (Maiden HS), Anna Martin (South Stokes HS), Kara Moore (Wheatmore HS), Anna Stevens (Oak Grove) and Michelle Thao (Fred T. Foard),
Surry was also one of only eight Region 10 colleges with multiple teams honored by the NJCAA joining Brunswick, Caldwell, Pitt, Spartanburg Methodist, Catawba Valley, Sandhills, and USC-Sumter.
“We are incredibly proud of our athletic teams for their academic achievements,” Tucker said. “Our overall grade point average this past academic year was a combined 3.12 from all of our student-athletes. Our coaches are outstanding with putting an emphasis on academic success.”
July 27, 2023
The News is recognizing local student-athletes that were presented All-Conference Honors in their respective sports for the 2022-23 school year.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NP1A) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
Following each name will be the weight class in which the wrestler competed for their respective conference tournament. All-Conference Honorable Mentions will include “HM” with an athlete’s weight class, and an asterisk signifies an individual conference champion.
Wrestling All-Conference
East Surry — Troy Haywood (145), Andrew Meadows (160), Eli Becker (182), Daniel Villasenor (195), Braden Snow (220), Michael Fischer (126, HM)
Millennium Charter — did not field a team in 2021-22
Mount Airy — Jamie Hearl (106), Hope Horan (113), Brison George (126), Jack Martin (132), Alex Cox (138), John Martin (145), Avery Poindexter (152), Bryson Caudle (160), Edwin Agabo (195), J.D. Harper (220), Charlie Smith (120, HM), Aiden Frank (285, HM)
North Surry — Will Brickell (120), William France (132), Alex Cazares (145), Ty Gwyn (285), Isaac Tate (113, HM), Garrett Shore (182, HM), Adam Slate (195, HM)
Surry Central — Ayden Norman (106), Jose Trejo (113), Xavier Salazar (126), Jeremiah Price (160), Jacob Price (170), Alex Kinton (138, HM), Wyatt Wall (145, HM), Enoc Lopez (220, HM)
Season summary
East Surry
Dual Team: The Cardinals finished fifth in the FH2A standings with a 2-4 conference record, then finished fifth at the FH2A Championship. East Surry finished the season with a 15-15 overall record and did not qualify for the 2A Dual Team State Playoffs.
Individual: Three East Surry wrestlers medaled at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship: Eli Becker won a regional title, Andrew Meadows finished third and Michael Fischer finished fourth. East finished sixth as a team at regionals.
Two of the Cards’ three state qualifiers took home a medal: Becker finished fourth at 182 pounds, and Meadows finished fifth at 160 pounds. Fischer went 0-2 in the 126-pound bracket.
East finished No. 21 as a team at states.
Mount Airy
Dual Team: The Granite Bears won the NW1A Conference Championship, their ninth in the past 10 seasons, with a perfect 5-0 record. Mount Airy also won its 10th consecutive NW1A Tournament Championship.
The Bears reached the Elite Eight of the 1A State Playoffs. The team’s combined overall record, including girls-only matches and JV matches, was 21-1 for the season.
Alex Cox was named Most Outstanding Wrestler of the NW1A Tournament, and the Bears’ coaching staff earned NW1A Coach of the Year Honors.
Individual: Three Granite Bears medaled at the 1A West Regional Championship to qualify for the NCHSAA 1A State Tournament: John Martin won a regional championship, Alex Cox was regional runner-up and Traven Thompson finished fourth. Mount Airy finished fourth as a team at the competition.
Martin and Cox went on to medal at the state meet, with Martin finishing fourth at 145 and Cox taking third at 138. Thompson went 1-2 in the 170 bracket.
The Bears finished 13th as a team at states.
The Bears also won hardware at the Women’s Midwest Regional Championship. Four Granite City Wrestlers medaled at regionals to qualify for states: Jamie Hearl won a regional championship, Hope Horan and Jenevy Olalde finished regional runner-up, and Constance Melton finished in fourth.
The Bears finished regional runner-up as a team despite competing against schools from all four public school classifications.
Hearl and Horan each medaled at the Women’s Wrestling Invitational State Championship. Hearl finished regional runner-up at 100, and Horan finished third at 114. Melton went 1-2 in the 132 bracket, and Olalde went 0-2 at 107.
Mount Airy finished eighth as a team at the invitational.
North Surry
Dual Team: The Greyhounds tied for third in the FH2A standings with a 4-2 conference record, then finished third at the FH2A Championship. North finished the season with a 20-11 overall record and did not qualify for the 2A Dual Team State Playoffs.
Individual: Five North Surry wrestlers medaled at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship to give the program its most state qualifiers since 2015: Will Brickell and Garrett Shore were regional runners-up, William France and Ty Gwyn finished third, and Adam Slate finished fourth.
North Surry finished fourth as a team at regionals.
Gwyn and Brickell won medals at states, with Gwyn finishing fifth at 285 and Brickell taking sixth at 120. France went 1-2 at 132, Shore went 1-2 at 182 and Slate went 1-2 at 195.
North Surry finished 15th as a team at states.
Surry Central
Dual Team: The Golden Eagles tied for third in the FH2A standings with a 4-2 conference record, then finished second at the conference tournament. Central finished the year 18-4 overall and did not qualify for the 2A Dual Team State Playoffs.
Jeremiah Price was named FH2A Wrestler of the Year and Most Outstanding Wrestler of the FH2A Championship.
Individual: Six Golden Eagles medaled at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship: Jeremiah Price and Xavier Salazar won regional titles, Jacob Price and Jose Trejo were each regional runner-up, and Ayden Norman and Enoc Lopez finished third. Surry Central finished third as a team at the meet, and Jeremiah Price was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Both Jacob and Jeremiah Price went on to win state titles. Jacob won the 2A 160-pound Championship, his second state title, and Jeremiah won the 2A 152-pound Championship, his fourth state title.
Jeremiah, who was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the state meet, is the 12th wrestler in state history to win four individual wrestling championships.
Salazar and Norman also medaled at the state meet, with Salazar taking fifth at 120 and Norman sixth at 106.
Trejo went 1-2 at 113, and Lopez went 1-2 at 195.
Surry Central finished sixth as a team at the state meet.
July 27, 2023
The News is recognizing local student-athletes that were presented All-Conference Honors in their respective sports for the 2022-23 school year.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NP1A) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
All-Conference Honorable Mentions are signified by an (HM) following the selection’s name.
Girls Tennis All-Conference
East Surry — Tara Martin, Evelyn Ruedisueli, Sophie Hutchens, Taylor Bullington (HM), Mallory Estrada (HM)
Millennium Charter — Did not field a team in 2022-23
Mount Airy — Carrie Marion, Ella Brant, Kancie Tate, Audrey Marion, Charlotte Hauser, Audrey Brown
North Surry — Whitley Hege, Katie Butler (HM), Molly Reeves (HM), Mattie Bare (HM)
Surry Central — McKenna Merritt, Karlie Robertson, Priscilla Gentry (HM), Emma Bryant (HM)
Season summary
East Surry
Dual Team: The Cardinals repeated as FH2A Conference Champions with an undefeated 12-0 record. The team reached the Elite Eight of the 2A Dual Team State Playoffs and finished with an overall record of 15-2.
Senior Tara Martin was named FH2A Player of the Year, and Alison Hooker was named FH2A Coach of the Year.
Individual: East Surry players swept the FH2A’s top individual honors at the conference tournament. Junior Sophie Hutchens won the FH2A Singles Championship, and the senior team of Martin/Evelyn Ruedisueli won the FH2A Doubles Championship.
Martin/Ruedisueli went on to win the 2A Midwest Regional Doubles Championship, then finished 2A State Runner-up.
Hutchens fell in the opening round of the 2A Midwest Regional Singles Tournament.
Mount Airy
Dual Team: The Granite Bears repeated as NW1A Champions with a perfect 10-0 record. The team went on to win its second consecutive 1A West Regional Championship and 1A Dual Team State Championship, finishing the year 21-1 overall.
Sophomore Carrie Marion was named Most Valuable Player of the championship match. Carrie Marion was also named NW1A Player of the Year, and Luke Graham was named NW1A Coach of the Year.
Individual: Mount Airy players swept the NW1A Conference’s top individual honors. Carrie Marion won the NW1A Singles Title, and the duo of senior Kancie Tate and junior Ella Brant won the NW1A Doubles Title.
Carrie Marion won the 1A West Regional Singles Championship, and the team of Tate/Brant won the 1A West Regional Doubles Championship. Marion went on to win the 1A Singles State Championship, and Tate/Brant reached the semifinals of the 1A Doubles State Tournament.
Freshman Audrey Brown (singles) and the senior doubles team of Audrey Marion and Charlotte Hauser also qualified for regionals. Brown dropped her opening match in the singles bracket, while Hauser/Audrey Marion reached the quarterfinals of the doubles bracket.
North Surry
Dual Team: The Greyhounds finished fourth in the FH2A standings with a 6-6 conference record. North finished the year 7-6 overall.
Individual: Senior Whitley Hege qualified for regionals by reaching the semifinals of the FH2A Singles Tournament. She fell in the opening round of the 2A Midwest Regional Singles Tournament.
Surry Central
Dual Team: The Golden Eagles finished fifth in the FH2A standings with a 5-7 conference record. Central finished the year 5-8 overall.
Individual: The doubles team of sophomore McKenna Merritt and junior Karlie Robertson qualified for regionals by reaching the semifinals of the FH2A Tournament. The girls fell in the opening round at the 2A Midwest Regional Doubles Tournament.
July 27, 2023
July 26, 2023
Dobson native Wells Richardson will face off against the top motocross riders in the nation when he competes in the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship July 25 — Aug. 1.
The championship, held at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., is a pinnacle of the motocross and features more than 1,000 riders from around the world. It is dubbed “a launch pad for some of the biggest names in professional motocross and supercross,” by mxsports.com.
Wells worked nearly half of his life to ascend to this level that only a small percentage of riders ever see.
Oh, and he’s only 7 years old.
“He has always loved riding bikes,” said Wells’ father Michael Richardson. “He was riding a bike without training wheels at the age of 2, and we bought his first gas-powered dirt bike when he was 4. We could see really quickly that he didn’t have much fear and that he loved to go fast.”
It wasn’t long after that Wells was competing in his first race. He took to the track at East Bend Motorsports in October 2020, then never looked back.
“He had a great time, and from that point on we have traveled all over, racing in many different states,” Michael said. “Along the way, he has won a lot of races and has beaten some of the best riders in the United States. Wells is among the fastest kids in the country, and he is excited to head to Loretta Lynn’s to race against the best of the best.”
Michael added that making it to the championship is “every amateur racer’s dream.”
Wells races with a Cobra CX50 Jr. and competes in the Micro 2 Class. He’s one of only 42 riders nationwide competing in his division at Loretta Lynn’s.
The rising second grader at Dobson Elementary had to undergo a series of qualifying races to reach this point. Riders first competed in area competitions, then top finishers from each area advanced to regional qualifying races.
The U.S. is divided into eight regions for the qualification process: Northeast, Southeast, Mid-East, North Central, South Central, Northwest, Mid-West and Southwest. In order to qualify for a regional championship, riders are required to finish at the top of their division at an area qualifier within that region. The top riders in each region then advance to the national championship.
The number of riders that advance in each area and region vary, but are set beforehand. For example: Wells qualified for nationals by finishing in the top nine in his area and the top six in the Southeast Region.
Wells qualified for the Southeast Regional Championship by finishing fourth at an area qualifier, which was held Feb. 25 at South of the Border Motocross in Hamer, S.C. He went on to the Southeast Regional Championship, held May 26-28 at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn., and replicated his fourth-place finish.
Regional riders first compete in heat, and Wells finished No. 3 of 22 riders in his heat. He then took sixth in his second moto, or race, then finished fourth in his third moto. The average of his three motos put Wells in fourth overall.
Riders are also allowed to compete in multiple area and regional qualifiers, including those outside of their “home region.”
Wells competed in area qualifiers in the Mid-East and Northeast Regions on top of the Southeast Region. He qualified for all three regionals, but opted to stick with the Southeast when he qualified in May. This also allows him to compete in his desired division with his CX50 Jr.
“He is just having fun and doing what he loves, all while playing football, basketball and baseball,” Michael said. “We have met many amazing families through this journey who are now lifelong friends, and we love spending time together as we travel across the country.”
The track at Loretta Lynn Ranch is only used twice a year, both of which are championship-level events. This eliminates any advantages by riders.
In addition to the competition and normal tourist attractions available at the ranch, the national championship will feature: autograph sessions and meet and greets with professional riders, award ceremonies, the Monster Energy Country Music Festival headlined by Craig Morgan, a dog show, line dancing and more.
“It will be a fun-filled week and Wells can’t wait to race and hang out with all his race buddies,” Michael said. “As parents, we are so proud of all he has already accomplished. With him only being 7 years old, Wells doesn’t fully understand how huge this accomplishment is and that some kids race for their entire lives and never make it to Loretta Lynn’s.
“A big thanks to sponsors High-Thom Powersports and Carolina Cobra Connection for always being there, and also to the Dobson Youth Foundation for their support.”
July 23, 2023
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:
– Karen S. Howard and Billy J. Howard to Daniel Lee Shores; 1.00 acres Franklin; $0.
– Laurie Milligan and Vern S. Ferri to Ferri & Company, LLC; 4,015 sq ft Elkin; $0.
– Carrie M. Johnson and James W. Johnson to Julio Perez and Candelaria Facio Olvera; tract Pilot; $16.
– Tracy R. Moore and Julie G. Moore to TR Moore Holdings, L.L.C.; tract one 35/100 acres and tract two tract; $0.
– James E. Marion and Nancy Branch Marion to Kaitlin Draughn Teague and Landon David Teague; tract Mount Airy; $156.
– Lloyd Mclain, LLC to D and D Lynch, LLC; tract Pilot; $270.
– Terry Eugen Ramsey and Danielle L. Ramsey to Edward Furnace; tract Mount Airy; $20.
– Apolinar Mendez and Cipriano Chiquito Mendez to Eliot Daniels and Samantha Daniels; .722 acres lot 16 Springfield Estates PB 14 226; $34.
– Terry Williamson and Rhonda Williamson to Nathaniel Lee Zook and Celena Esther Zook; 5.37 acres Rockford; $624.
– Ruby Key Moser and John Mark Moser to Jimmy Gray Baker and Debbie Baker; 7.476 acres PB 43 13 Shoals; $234.
– Larry Poindexter, Sheila Poindexter, Charles W. Mason, Barbara Mason, Sally Taylor, and Hilda Faye Collins Joyce to Charles Wayne Mason and Barbara C. Mason; 0.7122 acres PB 42 128 Pilot; $20.
– Carolyn M. Watkins to LKTR Properties, LLC; tract one 0.525 acres and tract two tract; $210.
– Terry R. Hawks, Paul Trent Holder, Carissa Elizabeth Holder, Carrie Rebekah Wood, Tanner Wood, and Lisa Holder Hawks to Nathan Lee Holder; 0.785 acres lot 14 Bannertown Hills section 3 PB 7 44 Mount Airy; $340.
– Terrence Reaviel Sr. and Inge J. Reaviel to Megan Gail Hayes; 5 lots Still Meadows development phase II PB 39 158 Elkin; $150.
– Patricia Collins Faw and Herbert Gary Faw to Kathy L. Gwyn and Elizabeth G. Goins; tract PB 39 48 Mount Airy; $0.
– 405 Fieldstone, LLC to Secu*re, Inc; first tract Mount Airy; $1,040.
– The Estate of Peggy G. Williams, Laura Jo W. Deshaies, Peggy G. Williams, and Martha Lynn Burkhart to Laura Jo W. Deshaies; 17.07 acres Bryan Estate of Peggy G. Williams 22 E 1033; $0.
– Lanae Sellers Pendleton and Lanae Sellers Latza to William R. Jaynes and Samantha Jaynes; 2 acres portion of tract six Oak Ridge PB 11 122 Mount Airy; $796.
– Tara H. Barr and Denny Hayes Barr to Kenneth Poole; .40 acres Pilot; $498.
– Estate of Ora Denny Holder, Candace Holder, and Ora Denny Holder to Jane Holder Utt; 1 acre Mount Airy Estate of Ora Denny Holder 22 E 1028; $0.
– HRS Property Group, LLC to Eric Logan Gunter; tract one lots 25-28 tract two lots 29-30 Ida B. Muse subdivision PB 3 129 Mount Airy; $390.
– Estate of Loreta Jenkins Smith, Kathy Smith Wikle, Nancy Elizabeth Ross, Libby Smith Ross, John Wayne Ross, Linda Kathy Wikle, Susan Kay Sowell, James R. Sowell, Patsye Jean Weber, Patti Jean Weber, Eric L. Weber, and Loreta Jenkins Smith to G & B Oil Company, INC; 134.134 acres PB 41 107-108 Elkin Estate of Loreta Jenkins Smith file 23 E 565; $1,410.
– John A. Bowes Jr. and Margaret M. Bowes to Janice Kay Oakley; tract one 19.17 acres PB 27 166 Stewarts Creek; $1, 358.
– Hartcal, LLC to Druery Devore and Amy Elizabeth Devore; tracts Mount Airy; $0.
– Pamela Sue Robins to Amy Lynn Walker; one acre Bryan; $24.
– Ricky D. Durham and Betty G. Durham to Genaro Cortez Gonzalez; lot 27 section 3 Cedar Ridge subdivision; $102.
– Estate of Frances Hunt Dinkins, Debra Dinkins Powell, and Frances Hunt Dinkins to Abby Frances Hazel; lot 4 Folly Farms subdivision PB 6 124 Mount Airy Estate of Frances Hunt Dinkins file 23 E 487; $0.
– Gurney T. Atkins to Monica Yolanda Garcia Enriquez; tract one 2.7 acres lot 19 E.C. Evans property and tract two 3.091 acres PB 34 20 Franklin; $90.
– Christine C. Vernon and Cindy Vernon White to Christine C. Vernon; North Carolina Quitclaim deed lot 3 Pine Lakes development PB 6 196; $0.
– Tony Gray Holyfield and Abigail M. Holyfield to Noah Wesley Starrette and Brittany Marie Jenkins; lots 57-62 block B Crestwood Acres development PB 4 189 Pilot; $540.
– Pilot Mountain Rescue and EMS, Inc. to The Town of Pilot Mountain; two tracts Pilot; $600.
– County of Surry to The North Carolina Granite Corporation; 0.78 acres of NC Hwy 103 PB 42 181; $20.
– Allover Properties, LLC to Michael Dale Holcomb and Justin Alan Hair; 7,500 sq ft Elkin; $90.
– Billy Bruce McCoy and Ruth A. Zito to Ruth A. Zito; tract one 12.253 acres PB 37 195
July 23, 2023
The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:
– Caydon Shane Rogers, 21, of Davie County to Alexa Jade Brooks, 23, of Davie County.
– Charles Clifton Chaney, 65, of Wilkes County to Cheryl Lorraine Pardue, 65, of Wilkes County.
– Timothy Donnell Sawyers, 30, of Surry County to Laken Elizabeth Booker, 31, of Surry County.
– Glen Mitchell Dowell Jr., 26, of Surry County to Lexie Brooke Wood, 25, of Surry County.
– Austin Garrette Snow, 30, of Surry County to Jessica Lynn Echerd, 25, of Surry County.
– Payden Dean Mason, 35, of Surry County to Leah Diane Todd, 22, of Surry County.
July 23, 2023
New books available at the Mount Airy Public Library:
The First Ladies – Marie Benedict
Bang Bang Crash – Nic Brown
Clymenstra – Costanza Casati
The Last Carolina Girl – Meagan Church
The Maid of Ballymacool – Jennifer Deibel
The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies – Alison Goodman
The Twyford Code – Janice Hallet
The Secret Book of Flora Lea – Patti Callahan Henry
The World and All That It Holds – Aleksandar Hemon
The Audrey Hepburn Estate – Brenda Janowitz
Now You Can See Us – Balli Kaur Jaswal
The House of Eve – Sadeqa Johnson
The Golden Doves – Martha Hall Kelly
All That Is Mine I Carry With Me – William Landay
The Last Russian Doll – Kristen Loesch
I Have Some Questions For You – Rebecca Makai
Homecoming – Kate Morton
The Mobius Door – Andrew Najberg
Coronation Year – Jennifer Robson
Cold Blooded Liar – Karen Rose
Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl – Renee Rosen
The Castle Keepers – Aimee K. Runyan
The Last Drop of Hemlock – Katherine Schellman
Things We Hide From the Light – Lucy Score
Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score
Brutes – Dizz Tate
Liar City – Allie Therin
Non – Fiction
Mother Earth’s Daughters – Linda Blackmoor
Still Life With Bones – Alexa Hagerty
What’s Eating Us – Cole Kazdin
The Origins of You – Vienna Pharaon
Once Upon a Tome – Oliver Darkshire
Untold Power – Rebecca Boggs Roberts
The Odyssey of Phyllis Wheatley – Davidd Waldstreicher
Large Print Fiction
The First Ladies – Marie Benedict
Her Only Wish – Sally Shepard Gray
The Black House – Carole Johnstone
The Golden Doves – Martha Hall Kelly
The Tobacco Wives – Adele Myers
Coronation Year – Jennifer Robson
The Tapestry of Grace – Kim Vogel Sawyer
Symphony of Secrets – Brenda Slocumb
Storytime is here for kids of all ages. Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. is Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. is Book Babies for children ages birth to 2 years old; and on Thursday at 11 a.m. is Preschool Storytime for ages 4-5.
Hooked – Join our crochet and knitting club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Open for all skill levels. Bring your own yarn and make the group project or bring your own project to work on.
Tai Chi Fridays. Experience meditation in motion, 10 a.m. every Friday in the Multipurpose Room. All skill levels are welcome.
It’s Yoga Y’all. Join Ms. Heather on the third Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m.
The Community Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. For our July book club event we are reading “Something in the Water: A Novel” by Catherine Steadman. Copies are available at the front desk.
Chapters Book Club – meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. Members discuss the different books they have read.
Teen Book Club, every fourth Monday at 4:30 p.m. Come in and grab a copy of next month’s book and join us for some fun. We will be reading ” The Last Cuentista” by Donna Barba Higuera.
Middle Homeschool Mondays at 2 p.m. every Monday. Makerspace and STEAM related activities for ages 11 and older, in the Multipurpose Room.
Murder, Mystery and Mayhem Book Club is held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. A book club for adults that focuses on murder, mayhem, true crime and other tales of terror. Our July Read will be “Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime” by Joe Pompeo. Copies are available at the front desk.
Homeschool Thursdays at 2 p.m. for Makerspace and STEAM related activities. For ages 10 and younger, in the Multipurpose Room.
The Pre-Teen Book Club will meet Thursday, August 17 at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Come in and grab a copy of August’s book and join us for some fun. We will be reading “Heir to the Sky” by Amanda Sun.
All Together Now – Summer Learning/Reading is here. Come by the library to pick up a brochure and sign up for our summer programs. Programs include:
– Teens (13 – 17): Monday Nights at 6 p.m. Pizza will be provided, bring your own drink. July 24 – The More We Paint Together. We will work in teams to paint murals while learning other languages.
– Kids (7 – 12): Tuesdays at 2 p.m. July 25 – DIY Music Makers. We will make our own musical instruments out of everyday items—jingle sticks, kazoos, and harmonicas.
– Adults: Tuesdays at 2 p.m. July 25 – Bath Bombs and Sugar Scrub. We will make fun DIY bath products in personalized containers. Great for self-care or to give as gifts.
Summer Reading Logs: Keep up with those reading logs and keep turning them in. Kids go to the prize boxes with each turn-in. Kids and teens — most minutes read, will win a Kindle. Adults will be entered in a prize basket drawing.
Upcoming family events include: Thursday, July 27 at 3 p.m. Puzzle Pandemonium; Family Movie Fridays at 1 p.m., popcorn and water provided, July 28 – The Lego Movie: The Second Part
Pollinator Counting Clinic, July 27 at 2 p.m. The library is partnering with the Surry County Extension Master Gardeners to participate in the Great Southeast Pollinator Census in August. Join us to learn about the census, and learn how you can help us count pollinators. Then, come back August 19 to take part in the census. Call 336-789-5108 or stop by to register today.
July 27 at 6 p.m. – Naloxone Training with Insight Human Services. Learn how to recognize and respond to an overdose and how to administer nasal naloxone (Narcan). For more information about the training, contact Michelle Hopkins at 336-247-6146 or Regina Propst at 828-217-8470.
Afternoon with the Author at 1 p.m. July 29. Meet Larry G. Morgan as he discusses and signs his books. Larry writes historical fiction, books about social life and customs in the Appalachians, particularly in the North Carolina mountains.
Collecting Donations For Community Care Kits – Our adult groups are creating Community Care kits this summer and if you can. Drop off any donations at the Mount Airy Public Library. Items needed include children’s/teens bookbags; gripper socks; crocheted/or regular lap blankets; hygiene products, and children’s books.
The Mount Airy Public Library is also collecting donations for Yokefellow Food Pantry. For the July we are collecting: canned fruit and cereal. Just drop your donations in the blue container in our entranceway.
Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, https://www.facebook.com/groups/fmapl and https://www.facebook.com/mtapublibrary or our website https://nwrlibrary.org/mountairy/
July 22, 2023
• A local pharmacy and a city resident have become the victims of a crime involving the obtaining of property by false pretense, according to Mount Airy Police Department reports.
It occurred on July 14, when an unknown suspect picked up a prescription at North Main Pharmacy without permission from the person it had been filled for, Herbert Lee Goins of West Pine Street.
Police records state that 150 10-milligram pills of an unidentified medication were taken, with no monetary loss figure listed.
• Money and other valuables were stolen from a vehicle at Reeves Community Center Sunday.
The 2017 Jeep Cherokee was entered through a window, enabling the theft of a wallet owned by Logan Hunter Simpson of Turner Mountain Road along with a State Employees Credit Union debit card, driver’s license, Social Security card and a concealed carry permit in addition to an unspecified sum of cash.
• Two people were arrested for felony drug violations on July 8 as the result of a traffic stop on Kodiak Lane.
Jordan Craig McMillian, 25, of 2915 Wards Gap Road, and Raven Cheyenne Beck, 24, of 103 Beck Hollow Road, Lambsburg, Virginia, are each charged with possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance; and two misdemeanor counts of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Beck additionally is accused of maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling, another felony, and McMillian with felonious possession of drug paraphernalia, according to arrest records.
Both individuals were confined in the Surry County Jail under a $35,000 secured bond each and are scheduled to appear in District Court on July 31.
July 21, 2023
Mount Airy’s city manager has resigned unexpectedly.
Stan Farmer announced his departure this morning from the post he has held for about 18 months, through a press release delivered from his office to The Mount Airy News.
“I have tendered my resignation as city manager, and Mayor (Jon) Cawley has accepted in on behalf of the Board of Commissioners,” it states.
“This resignation is effective immediately.”
Darren Lewis has been appointed as interim manager. Lewis has served as assistant city manager since February 2022 and also is a former city parks and recreation director. The manager’s job involves overseeing the day-to-day operations of city government departments.
Farmer’s resignation seems to be linked to an unannounced closed session held at the end of commissioners meeting Thursday night. Mayor Cawley had announced at the start of the meeting that the closed session would be a late addition to the agenda, in order to discuss a personnel issue.
Shortly after the council convened into that session, Farmer was seen driving away from the Municipal Building. That was noteworthy since the city manager normally takes part in all closed-door discussions for their duration.
However, today’s resignation announcement includes a passage from the mayor indicating that no particular problems triggered Farmer’s resignation.
“He is departing on good terms with the city,” according to Cawley.
Farmer reflected a positive tone in his announcement Friday morning.
“I feel that my tenure here has been productive, and together we have accomplished many good things for this community,” stated the outgoing city official. He had come to Mount Airy from a similar position in Texas after the retirement of longtime City Manager Barbara Jones.
“I am proud of what our city team and community leaders have been able to achieve over my time here,” Farmer’s statement added. “I will help ensure a smooth transition so that the team is on good footing for the future. Mount Airy is a special place, and I wish you all the best.”
Mayor Cawley also praised Farmer for his work here.
“We thank Mr. Farmer for his service to Mount Airy and wish him well in his future endeavors,” he says in the announcement, in which the mayor expressed confidence in Lewis. He also filled in after the retirement of Jones in late 2021.
“Darren Lewis previously served as interim manager, and he has the full confidence of the mayor and the commissioners,” Cawley commented.
July 20, 2023
The News is recognizing local student-athletes that were presented All-Conference Honors in their respective sports for the 2022-23 school year.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NP1A) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
Boys Cross Country All-Conference
East Surry – No 2022-23 All-Conference selections
Millennium Charter – No 2022-23 All-Conference selections
Mount Airy – Caden Ratcliff, Freddy Hernandez, Declan Conner, Ware Viers
North Surry – Miguel Vega, Javier Villalon
Surry Central – Ignacio Morales, Alexis Pedraza, Brangly Mazariegos
Season summary
East Surry
The Cardinals did not have enough members to compete as a team at the FH2A Championship. Joe Cook had the team’s top finish at No. 16, followed by Noah Hopkins at No. 37.
Cook went on to compete in the 2A Midwest Regional Championship and finished No. 60.
Millennium Charter
The Lions did not have enough members to compete as a team at the NP1A Championship. Nicholas Johnson had the team’s highest finish at the conference championship at No. 20, followed by Mannix Pettry at No. 22, Lane Reese at No. 42 and Daniel Shinault at No. 45.
All four Millennium athletes went on to compete at the 1A Midwest Regional Championship. Johnson led the Lions with a No. 66 finish, followed by Pettry at No. 70, Shinault at No. 89 and Reese at No. 90.
Mount Airy
The Granite Bears finished conference runner-up at the NW1A Championship. Caden Ratcliff led the Bears by finishing conference runner-up, then was followed by teammates Freddy Hernandez at No. 3, Declan Conner at No. 6, Ware Viers at No. 8, Alex Leiva at No. 21 and Luke Golding at No. 23.
Mount Airy finished No. 6 as a team at the 1A Midwest Regional Championship. Ratcliff led the Bears at No. 10, followed by Hernandez at No. 26, Conner at No. 38, Viers at No. 43, Leiva at No. 86 and Golding at No. 87.
Ratcliff went on to compete in the 1A State Championship meet and finished No. 72 of 130 runners.
North Surry
The Greyhounds finished No. 4 as a team at the FH2A Championship. Miguel Vega led the way at No. 4, followed by Javier Villalon at No. 10, Jackson Dunning at No. 21, Stephen Mojica at No. 23, Michael Hiatt at No. 24, Ridge Reeves at No. 26 and Elijah Johnson at No. 31.
The seven Greyhound runners went on to the 2A Midwest Regional Championship and finished No. 9 as a team. Vega led the team at No. 14, followed by Dunning at No. 51, Mojica at No. 55, Johnson at No. 64, Reeves at No. 70, Villalon at No. 84 and Hiatt at No. 90.
Vega went on to compete in the 2A State Championship and finished No. 66 of 140 runners.
Surry Central
The Golden Eagles finished FH2A Conference Runner-up as a team. Ignacio Morales was the individual conference champion, followed by Alexis Pedraza at No. 5, Brangly Mazariegos at No. 8, Isaac Eller at No. 18, Sony Orozco-Flores at No. 19 and Ricky Rivera at No. 30.
Six Eagles competed at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship and helped the team finish No. 6. Morales won the individual regional championship, then was followed by Mazariegos at No. 19, Pedraza at No. 30, Orozco-Flores at No. 52, Eller at No. 58 and Rivera at No. 86.
Morales advanced to the 2A State Championship and won a bronze medal at No. 4.
July 20, 2023
There is no new sheriff in town, but Surry County does have a new N.C. State Highway Patrol sergeant.
J.G. Hatcher recently was assigned to Surry after serving as a trooper in Wilkes County.
Sgt. Hatcher is stationed at Troop E-District 5 in this county, for which the duty station is in Mount Airy.
His position falls within the Field Operations Division of the Highway Patrol.
Hatcher’s primary role is to serve as a shift supervisor for a squad of troopers who are responsible for answering calls for service, investigating collisions, enforcing violations of motor vehicle laws and testifying in court.
His duties as a supervisor also encompass day-to-day district operations, including maintaining training records for field personnel, logging and tracking stored evidence, devising work schedules and fielding public inquiries.
Hatcher was promoted to his new position during the spring, but this was not announced until last week when a ceremony was held in Raleigh to recognize the latest promotions of sworn and civilian members of the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
It was described as a “special celebration” to highlight all members who have been moved up since the last such ceremony took place in February 2022.
The promoted members were administered their oaths of office by Judge Paul Newby, chief justice of the state Supreme Court.
Around 90 Highway Patrol officers were recognized in all.
July 20, 2023
Lobbyists sometimes get a bad rap for the legislative influence they wield, but Mount Airy officials are expected to continue their relationship with one who has produced tangible results for the city on the state level.
Bryan Holloway, who heads The Holloway Group Inc., is a former member of the N.C. House of Representatives whose district included Stokes County.
City officials first engaged Holloway’s services in 2018 and have extended their contract with him since, believing that his knowledge and contacts in Raleigh benefit the city in terms of state budgetary allocations and grants for local projects.
That indeed has occurred, City Manager Stan Farmer pointed out ahead of The Holloway Group’s contract being up for renewal during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners scheduled today at 6 p.m.
According to a breakdown from Farmer, its work with the N.C. General Assembly, and the local legislative delegation, led to the securing of:
• Funding of $2 million for a conference center project on the former Spencer’s textile mill property owned by the municipality;
• Another $2.5 million for city water/sewer projects;
• $625,000 for Ararat River restoration.
In addition to those achievements, Holloway’s firm assisted Mount Airy in changing its election cycle from odd to even years.
“The Holloway Group is extremely professional and great to work with,” the city manager stated in a memo to Mayor Jon Cawley and the commissioners in which he recommends maintaining the lobbying contract.
Holloway’s contract was last extended for a two-year period in August 2021.
The proposal that will be voted on tonight by the board would lengthen that by another two years, through July 31, 2025.
It calls for The Holloway Group to be paid a fee of $3,000 per month, or $36,000 a year, for its services, which is unchanged from the 2018 pact.
There are provisions in the agreement which would allow it to be revised at any time during the contract period or terminated by either party with 30 days’ written notice.
A Republican and former social studies teacher, Holloway was elected as a state representative for District 91 in 2004 and resigned in October 2015 to take a lobbyist position with the North Carolina School Boards Association.
Along with the city of Mount Airy, his client list has included the Professional Educators of North Carolina, North Carolina Ag Teachers Association, The Resource Institute and the National Association of Opticians and Optometrists, among others.
July 20, 2023
To the Editor,
Thank you to the Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education that disapproved the recent social media posts of Randy Moore. In the world of hate and ignorance, it is a sad time for the people of the United States of America.
For the parents, grandparents and friends of the LGBTQ community I am sad that we have been dealing with this issue. We should never use the precious name of Jesus Christ to spread hate. To my gay family members and friends — know that you are loved unconditionally.
Kathy Atkins Robertson
Mount Airy
July 19, 2023
• A Mount Airy man has been jailed on a felony charge of obtaining property by false pretense, according to city police reports.
Carlos Jose Rodriguez Davila, 31, of 1257 W. Lebanon St. — the address listed for his employer, Dos Banderas Mini-Mart — also is accused of another violation related to a worthless check on a closed account. Details of the alleged crimes, which occurred on July 10, were not included in police records.
Davila was taken into custody on July 12 for warrants issued as a result and confined in the Surry County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in District Court next Monday.
• A break-in was discovered last Thursday at Bonnie Lou’s Flea Market on Carter Street, where a $500 utility trailer owned by Ubaldo Padro-Mendez of Padron Trail in Pilot Mountain was stolen from a secured building.
• Robert Shane Webb, 50, of 172 Locklear St., was jailed without privilege of bond on July 11 for a charge of assault on a female, relating to a domestic disturbance on Barnett Farm Lane where he allegedly struck Jennifer Sawyers of Newsome Street with a closed fist.
Webb is facing a July 31 appearance in Surry District Court.
• Jerry Dennis Hunter, 48, of 120-2 W. Pine St., was charged with misuse of the 911 system on July 6, after allegedly making three calls to the county communications center which were not for an emergency or crime and then being verbally warned not to do so again.
However, Hunter did make a fourth call and was charged accordingly, arrest records state. He was held in the Surry County Jail under a $500 secured bond and slated for a District Court appearance next Monday.
• A Mount Airy resident and a local bank were victims of a June 29 incident in which an unknown suspect provided a book of fraudulent checks to Calvin Wayne Colyer of Flower Charm Lane and instructed him to deposit money into his account in an effort to defraud Colyer.
The incident occurred at First Community Bank on West Independence Boulevard, with no monetary loss listed.
July 19, 2023
Some neighborhoods in Surry County depend on a private road for access which creates headaches for residents as those roads begin to age or fail and there is no set apparatus to make repairs.
Many of these are the byproduct of a now defunct part of the Surry County code of ordinances which allowed for a “family subdivision” exemption to eliminate those smaller subdivisions from complying with North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) road standards.
Under that provision there was no limit on the number of lots that could be contained in a family subdivision. If the land stayed with the family the exemption followed, but if the land were sold outside the family the road would in theory be brought up to DOT specifications according to a memo from Howard Jones, a land use attorney for the county.
However, he said the county did not track compliance of that provision to ensure transfers stayed within a family. Furthermore, he wrote family subdivisions were illegal saying, “It is unconstitutional for the county zoning ordinances to regulate ownership of land” and he provided case law to prove the point.
The new ordinances eliminated that and other provisions that court rulings found illegal or unenforceable. In its place a “private driveway” exception took its place which now says such a driveway would be built to minimum DOT standards and serve at maximum four lots.
Jones explained that Stokes County eliminated its family subdivision rule in the 1990s and set its threshold for DOT road compliance at seven lots or greater; he said Rockingham County uses five as its threshold. The Surry County Planning Board recommended the number for this county be raised from the current four lots to six, but the commissioners have the final say in the matter.
The board asked for more time to consider a possible change of the lot count threshold but will not be reconsidering elimination of the family subdivision category that Jones said would “likely be found unconstitutional and unenforceable.”
In other board action:
– Jessica Montgomery wants residents to be on the lookout for their tax bill mailed on July 10 because inside was found the convenience center sticker that the board approved in June. The idea was to stymie those from out of county, or out of state, from utilizing convenience centers that were established for the Surry County residents.
She said that some folks are bound to lose their sticker, so they have created a form and a set fee of $15 for sticker replacement; the fee covers the cost of the stick and time of processing the application.
– Habitat for Humanity was approved to use Invest in Surry funds in the amount of $113,000 to be used for asbestos remediation at the building on 851 N. South St. that was to have been donated to them. That donation did not come to pass, and agency officials identified a new building that will suit their needs located at 446 W. Pine St., the location of the former Amazing Grace Ministries.
Commissioner Larry Johnson said the new site would serve their mission even better than the building that fell through. The board wrote the location will “provide a permanent resource center for low wealth housing and a permanent home for our Habitat affiliate.”
The county finance office said there was no conflict in Habitat for Humanity reallocating the Invest in Surry funds for that use.
– The board gave its approval for the county to begin the process of selling equipment and assets of the Flat Rock Bannertown Water and Sewer District. The resolution the approved said the county will convey all rights, titles, and interests in the water and sewer lines to Mount Airy.
With the action county attorney Ed Woltz and county manager Chris Knopf were given the power to make sales or arrangements to facilitate this change. The result will be the dissolution of the special water and sewer district at the end of the fiscal year which and any net assets will be fully transferred to the city at that time.
– Miranda Jones, county purchasing agent, was granted a request to raise the micro-purchase threshold to match the state threshold of $30,000. With this change the county is no longer required to solicit competitive price or rate quotes for purchases of “apparatus, supplies, materials, or equipment” or the purchase of “construction or repair work” unless the costs exceed $30,000. Now discretion is allowed for purchases under that amount to be made if the county “considers the price to be reasonable based on research, experience, or purchase history.”
– The board made a series of appointments to various committees that included the reappointment of Jenny Triplett to the Surry County Board of Health. Joining her will be Lenise Lynch, president of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce and the general manager of Hampton Inn and Suites in Mount Airy. The board was not able to find an optometrist to serve on the health department board and Lynch expressed a desire to serve. Commissioner Larry Johnson heaped praise on Lynch calling her a great public servant.
Linda Davis and Donnie Johnson were both approved and reappointed to the Recreational Advisory Committee for two-year terms. Similarly, Ken Gulaian and Chairman Eddie Harris were both reappointed to three-year teams on the Surry County Tourism Development Authority.
July 19, 2023
One could say it was a big “dill” when a ribbon was cut for new pickleball courts in Mount Airy this week to meet a local demand for what is considered the fastest-growing sport in America.
“I think this is another great event in the city of Mount Airy,” Mayor Jon Cawley told about 70 people gathered Monday at Riverside Park for a program celebrating the latest addition to the city’s recreational menu.
As the mayor spoke, three glistening new pickleball courts were visible nearby which had emerged as part of a major expansion/renovation project at the park. It also includes a new multi-purpose facility featuring a basketball court and space for futsal (a game similar to soccer which is played on a hard surface).
Although Mount Airy already boasts the extremely popular Granite City Greenway, multiple parks, pools and other offerings, there is an ongoing need to enhance or expand those as new interests emerge such as pickleball, Cawley said.
“Pickleball is a phenomenon,” he acknowledged. “We continue to invest in recreation.”
The sport of pickleball combines elements of badminton, ping pong and tennis, whereby two or four players use solid paddles to hit a “pickleball” — much like a wiffle ball — over a net. The court is smaller than that used for tennis.
Another distinct difference between tennis and pickleball involves a lined-off area existing in front of the net on both sides where players aren’t allowed to be during a game. So there’s no charging the net to slam the ball into an opponent’s midst, as occurs with tennis.
Pickleball is especially popular among seniors.
“Another jewel”
In launching the project last year to add three courts to a trio of others already existing at Riverside Park, Mayor Cawley admitted during the program that the city might have been running behind in accommodating the pickleball craze.
He called the expansion “a great addition to our city” recreationally. “This is another jewel in our crown.”
The renovation/expansion plans included converting a longtime basketball court adjacent to the existing pickleball space at Riverside Park into additional courts for the growing sport.
Meanwhile, a new basketball court, and the futsal court, were developed into a stand-alone multi-purpose facility in a field between a park picnic shelter and a convenience store at the corner of Riverside Drive and East Pine Street. A separate ribbon cutting was held for those Monday.
A price tag of $200,000 initially was eyed for the project overall, which stayed within that budget, Assistant City Manager Darren Lewis says.
“I actually think it will be under that amount,” he added. The project technically was paid for through the municipality’s general fund, but that money was offset, or replaced, by federal COVID-relief proceeds, Lewis explained.
Mount Airy was allocated $3.2 million in 2021 through the American Rescue Plan Act, which city officials designated for facility improvements including the pickleball project.
Lewis says more courts could be added if the sport continues its upward spiral, with city Parks and Recreation Director Peter Raymer telling the crowd that Mount Airy seeks to be on “the cutting edge” of that trend.
Players, who are of all ages, have said they sometimes must wait for courts due to pickleball’s popularity here.
The courts were closed temporarily before this week’s ribbon cutting, which featured undefeated local player Charlie Wilkes manning the scissors along with Mayor Cawley.
City officials say the new courts for the three sports enhance what already is a fine recreational venue.
“Riverside Park is amazing,” Lewis observed.
It and the Granite City Greenway are among the most-visited recreational facilities in Surry County, Raymer said, behind only Pilot Mountain State Park.
July 19, 2023
The Surry Arts Players Community Theatre will be performing Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins,” directed by Tyler Matanick, this weekend. There will be a Saturday performance at 7 p.m., a Sunday matinee performance at 3 p.m., and a Monday performance at 7 p.m.
“One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way as a practically perfect musical,” officials with Surry Arts Council said. “Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
“The jack-of-all-trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that ‘Anything can happen if you let it,’.”
The production stars Walker York as Bert, Chloe Vinson as Jane Banks, Lucas Bowers as Michael Banks, Madeline Matanick as Mary Poppins, David Timm as George Banks, Kelsey Mathis as Winifred Banks, Jenn Frandsen as Mrs. Brill, Eric Riggs as Robertson Ay, and Julia-Ann Banfield as Katie Nanna/Miss Smythe, Devin Poindexter as Policeman, Tiffany Karfit as Miss Lark, Tom McCluskey as Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman, Sasha Vindich as Nelius, Jane Tesh as Queen Victoria/Miss Andrew, Matthew Chelgren as Von Hussler, Max Barnard as John Northbrook, Amber King as Bird Woman, Kayla Holleman as Mrs. Corry, Abbie Schuyler as Annie, Star Eldridge as Fannie/Mr. Punch, Hannah Shoaf as Valentine, Michael Senter as Teddy Bear, Lydia Beck as Doll, and Tom Beckom as Poseidon.
Additional cast includes David Arispe, Ellie Baker, Maggie Baker, Sidney Barker, Alyson Bowers, Hannah Byerly, Darcy Church, Reese Cox, Jamie Davis, Chloe Driggers, Zoey Elkins, Brooks Harold, Atticus Hawks, Jenna Hawks, Prim Hawks, Estella Heid, Francesca Heid, Hannah Hiatt, Charlie Johnson, Chloe Lawson, Olivia Lewis, Jacob Marley, Hasanah McCall, Candace Noah, Bella Noel, Noah Petree, Revonda Petree, Sidney Petree, Lorena Reyes, Alek Riggs, Ella Sheets, Adie Sheppard, Noelle Snow, Maggie Wallace, Claire Youell, and Maddie Youell as Ensemble.
Serving on the production crew is Director/Choreographer Tyler Matanick; Music Director/Conductor Adam Rudisill; Assistant Director Lori Beck; Choreographer for Playing the Game Madeline Matanick; Lighting Design Tyler Matanick; Sound Board Operator David Brown; Light Board Operator Patrick McDaniel; Props and Set Painting Surry Arts Players; Costumes Lori Beck, Khristi Petree, Rebekah Taylor, and Miranda Lawson; Set Tyler Matanick, Jason Petree, Sparky Hawks, Noah Petree, and Walker York; Stage Crew Kori Hawks, Erik Chelgren, and Peyton Chelgren; Piano 1 Wilson Smith; Piano 2 Jacob Alan Smith; Bassoon Sherri Collins; Trumpet Allen Nichols; Clarinet Bobby Heller; Flute Linda Tweddell and Pamela Parker; and Percussion Brady Reed.
“Mary Poppins” performances are at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Tickets are $20-$25. Tickets are available online at www.surryarts.org, via phone at 336-786-7998, at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford Street, or at the box office one hour before performances if tickets are available. For additional information, contact Marianna Juliana at 336-786-7998 or marianna@surryarts.org.
July 19, 2023
The recent string of 90-degree highs locally has many residents longing for the good old days of more pleasant conditions — such as last month.
June’s average temperature not only was nearly five degrees cooler than normal, a low of 42 degrees logged on June 9 tied a 25-year-old record for that date in Mount Airy.
Another 42-degree reading was noted on June 10 at F.G. Doggett Water Plant, the city’s official weather-monitoring station, although it did not break or match the local all-time low.
On the other end of the scale, the mercury hit a sweltering 89 degrees on June 4, which took honors for the monthly high.
Yet that was not enough to keep temperatures from averaging an even 67 degrees during June, compared to the all-time average of 71.9 degrees for the sixth month of the year in Mount Airy.
Weather records have been kept here since 1924.
June was wetter
Along with the cool trend, and perhaps a contributor to that, precipitation was plentiful last month, when a rainfall output of 5.54 degrees was measured, eclipsing the June average locally of 4.44 inches.
Much of that — 3.45 inches — occurred during a single day, June 20, according to a monthly statistical breakdown from the water plant. It also shows that measurable amounts fell on nine of June’s 30 days.
As of the end of last month, Mount Airy’s precipitation total for 2023 stood at 27.74 inches, which is 3.58 inches — or 14.8% — above the normal level of 24.16.
Fog was reported on eight days during June.
July 19, 2023
Emma Noel Freed, a May 2023 Surry Community College graduate, was the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award recipient for Surry Community College.
SCC President Dr. David Shockley recognized Freed at a recent SCC Board of Trustees meeting where she was given a commemorative gold medal and a letter of congratulations from the North Carolina Community College System’s interim president, William S. Carver.
Freed, of Jonesville, graduated from Surry Community College with an associate in science and an associate in arts. She is a 2021 Starmount High School graduate where she played basketball, volleyball and soccer. She played volleyball at SCC for two years as an opposite hitter for the Surry Knights. The team was conference champs both years. Freed had a 4.0 college GPA while at SCC.
Freed commented, “When reflecting about my time at Surry, I think about how it was definitely the right decision for me to go to Surry instead of going on to a four-year school right after high school. I was able to excel in the classroom and in sports because I had a strong support system. I hold myself to a very high standard. Winning the Academic Excellence award means that my hard work has paid off and motivates me to keep doing my best in and out of the classroom. I am very thankful and honored that I got to attend Surry and fortunate that I won the Academic Excellence Award.”
Freed plans to attend Appalachian State University and earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mathematics. She wants to teach math at the high school level and be a sports coach. Her parents are Jason and Leigh Freed.
Every spring, one student from each of the 58 community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System is recognized for excellence in academics. According to the system’s website, selection of the academic excellence award recipient is based on a single selection from each college. The recipient must be enrolled and have completed at least 12 semester hours in an associate degree program with a cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.25. Colleges may use additional scholarship criteria beyond these minimum requirements.
July 19, 2023
East Surry’s Samarin Kipple signed her NCAA National Letter of Intent and will continue her volleyball career at Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.)
“It feels amazing to sign to play collegiate volleyball,” Kipple said. “I have been playing volleyball for over 10 years and I always knew I wanted to play in college. I am so happy to have found a college that will allow me to continue this passion of volleyball along with supporting me academically.”
Throughout her volleyball career, Kipple made stops at Pilot Mountain Middle School and Twin City Volleyball Academy before becoming a four-year varsity player at East Surry.
“I am so thankful for my parents for getting me to this point,” Kipple said. “Taking me to travel tournaments, attending every game and supporting me at all moments – it could not have been done without them. Also, Katelyn Markle for her support for many years. She has always been a cheerleader for me, and I am going to miss every second of playing for her. Caleb Gilley, too, for connecting me to different schools and for all the advice.”
During Kipple’s time at East Surry, the Cardinals were three-time regular season conference champions, three-time conference tournament champions, 2021 2A West Regional Runner-up, 2019 1A West Regional Champion and 2019 1A State Runner-up.
Kipple started her high school career as an outside hitter, then transitioned to libero for her sophomore through senior seasons.
“Sam is the type of player that if you told her to play any position she’s going to give it 150% and excel,” said former East Surry head coach Katelyn Markle. “She knows the game of volleyball very well and, for the past three years, she’s been the glue that’s helped keep the team together.
“I had multiple coaches come up to me and say, “Your libero is still here? We thought she graduated.’ That happened for two years or so. It was like the ultimate compliment for her because other coaches noticed her abilities and how important she was for our team.”
Markle first met Kipple when the future Birmingham-Southern Panther was 12-years-old. Markle was Kipple’s travel coach, then assistant high school coach before taking over the varsity program in 2020.
“It was evident how well she knew the game of volleyball even at the age of 12. She just had ‘it,’” Markle said. “You know some players just have that ability to pick up a sport and just be good at it, and it’s all about where you take it from there. Sam definitely took it and ran with it, and she just got better and better each year.”
Kipple added that it was through Twin City that she first realized she could accomplish her goal of playing in college. She said she loved competing against nationally ranked teams in large tournaments, and that playing in college would allow her to continue facing the best competition available.
Kipple also faced, and had success against, some of the state’s most talented players while at East Surry.
The Cardinals amassed an overall record of 87-12 during Kipple’s tenure with the program, including a 50-6 record her final two seasons. During this time, East also went 41-1 in conference play, 13-4 in state playoffs and only lost one regular season match to a division opponent.
Three of Kipple’s four postseason losses came against the team that went on to win that year’s state title.
“East Surry volleyball established my love for the sport. There is nothing like it; playing the sport you love while the people you love and go to school with are watching is unmatched,” Kipple said. “I’m going to miss every second of competing in that gym, and will especially miss the amazing and supportive teammates and coaches that I have played with each year.
“These girls go much farther than volleyball, and we stick together even outside of the seasons. The chant ‘Cards Together’ was truly a motto that matched how it felt to play for this team!”
In addition to her athletic ability, Markle said Kipple’s intelligence made her the impact player she was at East and will help her go far in college.
“It’s like she knows where the other team is hitting before their hitter even knows. It’s insane how well she reads the ball,” Markle said. “It’s through her actions that she was such a great leader. She’s not always the loudest with her voice, but when I would tell her to pump the team up and get us some energy on the court she would do it through her play. Watching her make some great hustle plays would get everybody, including the bench, amped up.
“She’s just a rare kid to coach, and I’m incredibly blessed to have had her the three years I was head coach.”
When choosing the next stop in her journey, Kipple looked for a school that fostered her passion for volleyball while also giving her the foundation for a career.
“Birmingham-Southern College is far from home, but – and it sounds crazy – it is home,” Kipple said. “Instantly when I stepped on campus the team was so caring and energetic. Each game that I watched was full of energy, laughter, and most importantly everyone on the team loved the game along with each other.
“I know this is a place where I will continue to love the sport, build lifelong friendships and gain great backing for my academics on the pre-medical track. I’m looking forward most to these games, along with building the memories that comes with playing a sport with your best friends.”
July 18, 2023
The News is recognizing local student-athletes that were presented All-Conference Honors in their respective sports for the 2022-23 school year.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NP1A) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
Girls Cross Country All-Conference
East Surry – Addison Goins
Millennium Charter – No 2022-23 All-Conference selections
Mount Airy – Brooke Haynes, Emilee Corn, Karyme Bueno
North Surry – Cynthia Chaire
Surry Central – Abigail Hernandez, Wendy Cantor, Lanie Fitzgerald
Season summary
East Surry
The Cardinals finished third as a team at the FH2A Conference Championship. Addison Goins led the team with a third-place individual finish, followed by Chloe Stone at No. 16, Tamarah Inman at No. 17, Brianna Wilmoth at No. 18, and Kamryn Talton at No. 24.
Goins went on to finish No. 7 at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship. Inman, Wilmoth and Talton also competed at regionals.
Goins went on to finish No. 30 of 127 runners at the 2A State Championship.
Millennium Charter
The Lions did not have enough members to compete as a team at the NP1A Championship. River Edge was the only MCA athlete to compete in the conference championship, and she finished No. 28.
Mount Airy
The Granite Bears won the NW1A Team Championship, and Mount Airy’s Brooke Haynes won the conference’s individual title. Following Haynes’ No. 1 finish: Emilee Corn finished No. 3, Karyme Bueno No. 4, Ali Arnder No. 14, Hannah Khuri No. 16 and Carlie Utt No. 17.
Bears coach Teresa Leiva was named NW1A Girls Coach of the Year.
Mount Airy finished No. 6 overall at the 1A Midwest Regional Championship. Haynes led the Bears with a No. 5 individual finish, followed by Corn at No. 8, Bueno at No. 31, Khuri at No. 52 and Utt at No. 53.
Haynes went on to compete in the 1A State Championship where she finished No. 29 of 117 runners.
North Surry
The Greyhounds did not have enough members to compete as a team at the FH2A Championship. Individually, Chaire won the FH2A Championship, EmmaGrey Dorsett finished No. 14 and Mia Reynolds finished No. 19.
All three Greyhounds went on to compete in the 2A Midwest Regional Championship, and Chaire led the trio with a sixth-place finish. Chaire went on to finish No. 13 of 127 runners at states.
Surry Central
The Golden Eagles were FH2A Runner-up at the conference championship. Abigail Hernandez had the team’s top finish at No. 5, followed by Wendy Cantor at No. 9, Lanie Fitzgerald at No. 10, Ella Priddy at No. 13 and Aylin Rodriguez at No. 31.
The same five Central runners competed in the 2A Midwest Regional Championship, led by Hernandez’s No. 27 finish. The Eagles finished No. 7 in the regional team standings.
July 18, 2023
Meadowview Magnet Middle School was recently recognized as a 2022-23 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. It is one of 212 middle schools across the U.S. to receive this honor “for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW Gateway,” school officials said.
Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S.
“Meadowview Magnet Middle School is honored to be recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School for our outstanding STEM curriculum and commitment to career readiness,” said Principal Colby Beamer. “This achievement reflects our school’s dedication to excellence in education. Through our innovative teaching methods and support from the Surry County Schools leadership team, we have ignited curiosity, fostered passion, and empowered our students to embrace the endless opportunities of the future…
“…we celebrate the collective efforts of our exceptional educators, motivated students, supportive community, and dedicated Surry County Schools leadership team. Together, we have equipped our students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the dynamic fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This recognition serves as a testament to our belief in the potential of every student and our commitment to nurturing their dreams. As a distinguished school, we will continue pushing boundaries, exploring new horizons, and preparing the leaders who will shape the future.“
The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Meadowview Magnet Middle School had to meet a variety of criteria such as a certain percentage of the student body participating in PLTW Gateway, participate in two or more units during their time at school, offer at least one PLTW Gateway unit at each grade level, and have strategies in place to ensure equitable access to students.
“Research shows that the middle grades play a pivotal role in influencing high school, college, and career success,” school officials said in announcing the recognition. “During this transitional time, it’s crucial to provide students with access to relevant, engaging, and real-world learning experiences that illuminate the range of career paths and possibilities available to them. Whether designing an automated robotics system or solving a mysterious disease outbreak, PLTW Gateway students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.”
“We are proud to recognize Meadowview Magnet Middle School for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW president and CEO. “We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their important work empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects, but also more generally in life and career.”
For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit pltw.org.
July 18, 2023
The Surry County Genealogical Association and The Mount Airy Public Library will be holding a meeting featuring author Katherine Vestal, who will speak about her new book, “The Childress Cousins.”
“Most people know about the beautiful rock churches on The Blue Ridge Parkway and Robert ‘Bob’ Childress, the man that the book, ‘The Man Who Moved The Man,’ was written about,” said Esther Draughn Johnson, president of the association.
This new book, released a year ago, is about the 19 children of Childress and his brother, Bill Osborne Childress. Vestal, a retired high school and community college educator, is the great-granddaughter of Bill Childress. In her book, she tells the life stories of the 19, who were all born between 1908 and 1943, and who all died between 1950 and 2020.
The gathering will take place at 6 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Mount Airy Public Library.
“Do you have people in your family connected to the Childress family, now is your chance to find out,” Johnson said of the book talk.
The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Johnson at EPDJ1@triad.rr.com
July 18, 2023
This morning in Madisonville, Kentucky, a group of cross county bicyclists will park the bikes and step away from the peloton to help a local community in need. Riders on the Bicycle Adventure 2023, sponsored by the Fuller Center for Housing, will also be making a pair of stops in this area later this month to do the same.
Tiffany Rogers of the Fuller Center for Housing’s branch in Pilot Mountain, which serves Surry and Stokes counties, described the groups as, “Christ and faith driven and (we) do our best to provide Godly principles in our giving efforts.”
“We have decided to partake in an exciting opportunity called the Bicycle Adventure. Riders and builders from all over the country are riding cross country and one of their stops is Pilot Mountain,.” she said. “The riders are comprised of volunteers and amateur or professional construction workers/handymen. They are doing tasks such as repairing roofing, painting, homes, installing windows, yardwork, and much more.”
The Cali to Carolina ride set out from La Jolla on May 26 on a 10-week, 3,919-mile cross-country journey. Along the way that organizers said riders will “Practice what they preach by hopping off their bikes for nine different build days with Fuller Center covenant partners across the nation.”
“The riders will arrive on July 31, and we have a few small projects lined up for them,” Rogers said. The Fuller website said that several of the stops on the Cali to Carolina tour would be focused on helping communities impacted by tornado damage.
“The primary goal is to raise awareness about our nonprofit and hopefully raise the funds that will help at least 450 people have simple, decent places to live,” Rogers said. “We thrive off of donations and volunteering and are always looking for people willing to help give their time or talents.”
When not aiding the ride, “We work through a Greater Blessings project where we are actively completing and repairing homes and small projects in our community, for those less fortunate.”
The projects are designed to help homeowners, often the elderly and handicapped, do basic health and safety repairs to their homes. In many cases these repairs allow the homeowner to stay in a house that they might otherwise be forced to leave, she said.
Fuller Center for Housing is a registered 501c3 that, along with the local branch, has two others in the northeast corner of the state, one in Hertford County and the Roanoke River branch serving Washington and Martin counties.
While each local branch has its own stated goals, generally the goal is to build or repair homes with partner families who participate in the work and pay the costs forward on a no-profit, no-interest basis they can afford.
If that model sounds like that of another familiar charity group, it would be because Fuller Center founder Millard Fuller was also the founder and former president of Habitat for Humanity International.
The Fuller Center seeks, “To eradicate poverty housing by promoting partnerships with individuals and community groups to build and rehabilitate homes for people in need.”
“At a time of increased divisions, our caring Christ-centered community brings people together to make the world a better place,” they wrote.
The Cali to Carolina ride is just one of the rides happening this year, with a Georgia to Maine ride recently completed and what must be a steamy Tour de Florida along with a Gulf Coast Tour.
The stop in Pilot Mountain is part of the final leg of the ride that will set out from Hillsville, Virginia, and make a 40-mile trek down to Pilot Mountain.
That will seem like almost an afterthought compared to some of the other ride days where riders may clock 70 miles or more. They will ride until the weekend, arriving in Wilmington on Saturday, August 5.
The Fuller Center website said that participants of the ride need not be Christian, nor the people who receive their services. Theirs is an ecumenical group made up of people of many sects of Christianity.
While they are self-described as “unashamedly Christian, we welcome all people regardless of faith to support and participate in our work, and we place no religious requirements on our beneficiaries.”
Founder Millard Fuller said, “Everyone – all of us, every last person on God’s earth – deserves decent shelter. It speaks to the most basic of human needs — our home — the soil from which all of us, every last person, either blossoms or withers.”
Since the first ride in 2008, the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure has raised more than $4 million for the fight against poverty housing. More than 1,600 riders have participated, pedaling more than 1.5 million cumulative miles through the years.
“For 15 years we’ve enabled hundreds of new and experienced cyclists alike to tackle incredible adventures by bicycle. The event is not a race, but an invitation to break from the routine of daily life and follow Jesus’s call to love and serve our neighbor, especially ‘the least of these,’ as we help families have homes,” the Fuller Center wrote.
Rogers said they expect 20 to 30 riders who along the way will be staying at local churches and showering at the Civic Center in Pilot Mountain, both of which have volunteered their services. As it is a faith-based group, they take Sunday’s off for rest and worship.
“I’d been looking for local charities to become involved with here at home… After my own research, it just aligned so well with all that I believe in and it fit exactly what I wanted to continue to do with my personal mission work, to serve others,” Rogers said.
For some the ride is a call to action, and she added hers, “People can help by donations that we can use for building supplies.”
“Or they can reach out to me if they’d be interested in volunteering for future projects, we need everything from carpenters to painters to people that enjoy helping others doing small household repair tasks.”
July 18, 2023
to the Editor,
I agree with the Mount Airy School Board’s decision to censure one of its male members whose Facebook page included an image that suggested violent opposition toward the LBGTQ+ community. As a current member of the School Board, his public-facing views should conform to the ideals espoused by that Board – and those ideals would certainly preclude the promotion of aggression against any individual or group of individuals. [See “City school board censures one of its own” in the July 15th issue of The Mount Airy News.]
Interestingly, the image reprinted in the paper is not the first time I’ve seen it – as it’s been posted and reposted on Twitter many times during the entire month of June, the designated “Pride Month” for the LBGTQ+ community. After seeing it about a half-dozen times, I started to notice that the comments that accompanied the image were usually directed at the extreme radical attitudes and behaviors of Trans Activists – who seem to have morphed into an overly aggressive and robustly disrespectful fringe subset of the greater LBGTQ+ family. Indeed, in my opinion, Trans Activists have done considerable harm to the significant and positive strides that have been made in the past 20-plus years by the gay and lesbian community.
Without apology, I do not care who one chooses to sleep with as long as all participants are consenting adults. Having worked in big-city universities my entire professional life, I have encountered scores of gays and lesbians – most of whom were some of the smartest and wittiest folks I’ve known … and some of whom became my friends and/or employees. About 15 years ago, one such friend – a middle-aged man who was a husband and father – felt compelled to share with his family and friends that he was about to begin his own gender-transitioning journey … and he wanted us to know his reasons for doing so, as well as his new name. Shortly thereafter, he began wearing women’s clothes and, to the best of my recollection, everyone simply began referring to him by his newly-adopted identity and name… and that was that. No fanfare, no mandates; just caring and consideration for another person’s well-being.
Fast forward to today, and the “shock and awe” approach of Trans Activists – who demand to be “respected” — is on a collision course with traditional values and behaviors, as well as scientific fact and reality. And, unfortunately, anyone who disagrees with the ideas or in-your-face activities of the Trans Activist fringe sect is immediately labeled “transphobic.”
Well, call me what you will, but I do not and will not agree that there is an unlimited number of genders; I do not and will not agree with the use of lesson plans, group discussions, books, or patently pornographic “educational” materials in schools that have bypassed parental review/approval and which are designed specifically to have children question their gender identity or teach them how to perform a wide variety of sexual acts (heterosexual, homosexual or other); I do not and will not support so-called “gender-affirming care” for anyone under the age of 18; and I do not and will not support trans-women participating in women’s sports – because trans-women are biological males and, as such, have a distinct physical advantage over biological females in any sporting competition.
Bottom-line: children are off-limits in the gender-related controversies erupting in our society these days!
I admire and respect the efforts of Gays Against Groomers, a nonprofit group that, according to their Facebook page, campaigns against the “sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization of children.”
As we move forward in the somewhat murky world of gender identity and expression, I hope we adults can find some common ground without the need for further governmental dictates (such as Department of Labor policies/guidelines related to gender identity and expression) or proposed laws that would make ‘misgendering’ a crime. Any forced coercion of a citizen’s freedom of speech (or thought) will serve only to further divide us.
Rebecca Harmon
Mount Airy
July 17, 2023
For the county to be in compliance with the terms of the opioid settlement agreement, Surry County, along with the four municipalities, will hold a meeting to address “The Surry County and Municipality Strategic Planning Meeting for Opioid Litigation Settlement Funding.”
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the expenditure of settlement funds and how they will impact each municipality and members of the community have been invited to attend. Andrew Wright of the county manager’s office said, “This is a required meeting to hold once a year in order to be in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding for settlement funds.”
Surry County has already received $1.177 million in settlement funding with another $2.245 million set to be distributed to the county in the fiscal year 2023-2024. There are restrictions and regulations on the ways in which settlement monies can be used, which is part of the need for the public meeting. That meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the Surry County Service Center located at 915 E. Atkins Street, Dobson.
Sitting down with local leaders in government, first responders, and law enforcement in Elkin last fall, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein told them that local decision makers were in the best position to make help guide the spending. “We made a conscious decision that we wanted this money to make the biggest impact and save the most lives possible. We concluded that you as the counties were the best vehicle to do that because this is a problem born at the local level, but it’s also addressed at the local level with your police, your EMS, your Department of Social Services, and your jail,” he said.
“You’re on the front line of developing strategies, so we decided 85% will go to local governments. That was a decision that I don’t think any other state in the country made but it’s because we know the good work you all do and the confidence, we have in your using the funds,” he said.
He had been busy securing settlements for the people of North Carolina and was one of the lead negotiators nationally as well. Stein secured settlements of $26 billion from drug distributors and another $21 billion from the pharmacies who furthered the epidemic. North Carolina will receive more than $1.2 billion in settlement funds over the duration of the payout.
The state developed a website and platform for reporting the spending of settlement funds to provide an avenue for additional check and balances on the spending. Stein noted that plans they discussed in late 2022 may not be what works best for a community and that some trial and error may be needed.
The large total sum of the opioid settlements and the length of time over which they will be paid out means that the state, and local leaders, can use cost benefit analysis and evidence-based judgments to see what programs are most effective. This will allow for any wasteful spending in programs that are not working to be cut rather than continue into perpetuity, as is a concern of some Americans that governmental programs have a tendency to do.
During past talks with local leaders and the forthcoming meeting Wednesday, the goal is to design and refine the best response to dealing with substance use disorder that is tailored to Surry County.
For some communities that may mean education and prevention while others may find it more pressing to deal with those who are already in treatment and recovery. Local experts at the Surry County Office of Substance Abuse Recovery feel the best local techniques for this community are multi-faceted but start with strong outreach, education, and prevention.
Surry County was ahead of the curve in many elements of settlement spending and future planning of such. Having the foresight to have brought on a county level coordinator and to give that role actual power as opposed to figurehead status signaled the county’s sincere interest is fighting back against the disease.
State, county, and local municipal leaders are keen to ensure that the money is spent wisely. Through the end of the budget year 2039 the county is on tap to receive another $16.4 million in settlement funding.
An equal opportunity offender, substance use disorder knows no boundaries or state lines, the disease cares not about age, race, gender, or social class. Thousands of North Carolinians are suffering today from the scourge of the opioid epidemic but simply knowing there is a problem is not enough.
Wednesday will be a chance to pull back the curtain and keep the process of spending millions of settlement dollars transparent; leaders hope that more voices may yield new ideas.
Questions about Wednesday’s meeting can be directed to the County Manager’s office at 336-401-8211 or by email to wrighta@co.surry.nc.us.
July 17, 2023
A Mount Airy Board of Education member who has been publicly censured by fellow members over a Facebook posting with an anti-LGBTQ+ slant is defending his action on religious and constitutional grounds.
In responding to last week’s move by the board, Randy Moore stressed — in a written statement issued Friday afternoon and follow-up comments Saturday — that as a Christian he loves those in the LGBTQ+ community along with others.
“But not their doings,” Moore stated regarding homosexual behavior, a position he says is based on Scriptural references. The school board member added that his social media posting earlier this month, which professed his love for members of the LGBTQ+ apart from “their doings,” is “not personal.”
It was accompanied by an image of a figure dressed in red, white and blue kicking in the midsection another displaying rainbow colors symbolizing the LGBTQ+ movement.
Moore’s posting of that imagery led others on the seven-member school board to take what it called “the extraordinary step of a public censure” during a special called meeting on July 10.
“The Mount Airy City Schools Board of Education disavows and disapproves of Mr. Randy Moore’s recent social media posts,” says a statement released after that session.
The censure — an expression of formal, severe disapproval or reprimand — didn’t occur in the presence of Moore, he says. “The first I knew about Monday’s (July 10) board meeting was after the meeting was already over.”
Moore blames this on confusion surrounding email addresses and other issues which prevented him from being notified.
First Amendment cited
The image in question was packaged with comments from Moore about the use of rainbow colors by “sinners.”
“Even around the throne of God, there is pictured a majestic rainbow — used to communicate the glory of God,” says a statement he posted referencing Revelation 4:3.
“One day, the rainbow will no longer be misused by sinners to boast in their sin,” it adds. “The rainbow will be reserved for the glory of God alone when Christ returns and makes all things new.”
Along with defending the Facebook image for reasons of faith, Moore — a U.S. Army veteran appointed to the board in January 2021 — said it reflected his right to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
He considers his role as an official of a public body to be respectful — “yet still not be afraid to use rightful speech.”
Moore said Saturday that those who support LGBTQ activities sometimes are quite forceful in stating their beliefs.
“Why can’t others?” he said of the Christian community. “They just don’t speak up,” despite being in what Moore considers the majority, which should be able to express itself openly without fear of repercussions.
He believes his overall intentions largely been misconstrued. “If anyone, especially this (school) board or superintendent who call themselves Christian thinks I don’t care or thinks I have a personal negative agenda, they have misunderstood.”
Moore pledged that he is focused on safeguarding students in Mount Airy City Schools.
“I mean to ensure the community I serve that my number one motive and priority is still to protect the children from physical harm, educational harm, spiritual harm.”
Since the censure was reported in news coverage last Thursday, Moore says he has received positive comments from local citizens for his stance.
“I am immeasurably grateful for the unwavering support against what some are terming ‘minority over silent majority,’” he acknowledged, “to wake up against woke.”
July 17, 2023
Live music will take place on Thursday and Friday this week at Blackmon Amphitheatre. The Legacy Motown Revue will get things started on Thursday and Main Event Band will play on Friday. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.
“On Thursday, Legacy Motown Revue will take crowds back in time to the days of The Drifters, The Coasters, The Jacksons, The Temptations, and more,” concert organizers with the Surry Arts Council said. “These talented performers know how to put on a show with smooth vocals, amazing dance moves, and a six-piece horn band.:
“Then on Friday, music fans will be treated to R&B, Soul, Beach, County, and Funk music. Main Event Band is known for performing a wide variety of music styles along with some of your favorite songs from today. Concertgoers can expect to hear top-notch vocals, a tight rhythm section, and one of the best horn sections around.”
Admission to each show is $15, or a Surry Arts Council Pass. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult admission or Annual Pass. The Dairy Center and Thirsty Souls Community Brewing will be at the concerts to provide food, snacks, drinks, beer, and wine for purchase. No outside alcohol or coolers are allowed to be brought into the Amphitheatre area. Those attending are asked to take a lounge chair or blanket to sit on.
Tickets are available at the gate, online at www.surryarts.org, via phone at 336-786-7998, or at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford Street. For additional information, contact Alena Aldrich at 336-786-7998 or alena@surryarts.org.
July 17, 2023
Westfield Elementary School fifth grade students went on a trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this year.
Students built model cars that they were able race, speedway staffers took the students down to the race track to see the race cars, “followed by an exciting ride around the race track,” school officials said.
Billy Pell, Melissa Varney and Principal DJ Sheets, along with the entire class of fifth grade students “would like to publicly acknowledge and thank two special donors who provided funding for the trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway,” school officials said. Those sponsors, Whitney Cooke/The Addition and Jeana Cox/Sonya Ganyard Realty, made it possible for all of the students to take part in the trip free of charge.
July 17, 2023
CLAUDVILLE, Va. — The rush of swift water was the dominant sound during the 40th annual Kibler Valley River Run, but one also could almost hear jangling cash registers representing the economic deluge it provides the community and regional tourism.
“An event like this, it brings a lot of outside people into Patrick County,” Roger Gammons, a key organizer for the event, said while quietly perched along the banks of the Dan River Saturday as canoeists and kayakers nearby frantically negotiated its strong current.
This even included a man from France who crossed a larger body of water — the Atlantic — to attend the river run with a two-mile course meandering through the Claudville countryside.
“He had heard about it over there (France),” said Gammons, a member of the Red Bank Ruritan Club that sponsors the event, who also served with a local tourism council for five years. And once the man arrived, he looked Gammons up to speak with him.
In addition to that faraway visitor, Saturday’s run drew participants from states such as Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Tennessee along with North Carolina and Virginia, due to being widely promoted.
“We’re pushing 200,” another river run volunteer, Wendy Griffin, said of entrants, adding that they still were registering even after the noon start time for races scheduled from then to 4 p.m.
“We’ve got them waiting in line,” Gammons observed as participants filled a nearby meadow at the sign-up area to be shuttled with their respective crafts to the race starting point by one of four transport crews.
“It’s going good — more than we ever expected,” Gammons said of the turnout, which in addition to the floating crowd including spectators manning strategic positions along the river.
The Kibler run is aided by an Arizona company that owns a hydroelectric plant upstream which increases the water flow on Race Day to provide optimum (swift) conditions for the run. This results in Category III rapids, which are high, irregular waves and narrow passages that often require precise maneuvering.
“I love paddling it,” commented one canoeist from Summerfield, North Carolina, Marty Horley.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Horley said of the event he’s attended for about 12 years, praising its “family atmosphere” in addition to the thrills provided by the Dan.
The most challenging part of the course is maneuvering around rocks littering the waterway and the “first couple of falls” near its start, Horley says. One especially tricky area there — with both rocks and whitewater — is a spot known as Basketball Falls.
Gammons said faster kayakers will complete the two-mile course in 17 to 18 minutes, and canoeists, about 30 minutes.
Many took practice runs before their competition ones, with Gammons mentioning that not everyone harbored hopes of taking home the first-through-third-place trophies that were offered. “Some just enjoy the sights.”
Ten different competition categories were involved Saturday, made up of five race types in both male and female divisions.
Boosting the community
Along with the adventure presented by the river, Horley, the canoeist from Summerfield, said he appreciated the good cause it benefits, which is in addition to its tourism value.
“If it’s a good day, we’ll probably clear $8,000,” Gammons said, a sum derived from entry proceeds, camping fees, concessions and other sales.
Those funds are applied toward a wide array of community needs such as aiding cancer and other medical patients, residents coping with deaths in their families and projects for local students.
A small army of volunteers, numbering about 50, handles various functions to make the annual run a success.
July 17, 2023
North Surry’s Lexie Allen signed her National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Letter of Intent and will continue her softball career at Surry Community College.
“I’m excited,” Allen said. “It’s been my dream. I’ve always wanted to play college softball.
“I’d like to thank God for giving me these abilities. I’d like to thank my parents for pushing me and never letting me quit. I’d also like to thank my pitching coach, ‘Chief’ Gerald, because he’s taught me everything I know.”
Echoing Allen’s enthusiasm was North Surry head coach Beth Hodges.
”I have never been more excited for a player because Lexie is one of the most deserving athletes I’ve coached,” Hodges said. “She truly loves the sport and just wants to play softball. That’s beautiful to watch.”
Allen began playing softball at 6-years-old, then started pitching two years later. She said she was recruited by Surry as both a pitcher and first baseman.
She dipped her feet into travel ball, but primarily played school ball as she went through middle and high school.
Allen’s freshman year of JV softball was cancelled due to the pandemic, but she came back as a sophomore and was one of North Surry’s primary JV pitchers.
As a junior, Allen took a back seat on the mound to then-senior Trista Berrier, who went on to be named 2022 Foothills 2A Conference Player of the Year.
“I knew that this year would be more of a team pitching effort,” Hodges said of the 2023 season. “I knew I needed both Lexie and Jordan (Snow) to fill those shoes just because Trista did 90% of the innings last year. They didn’t have a lot of varsity pitching experience, but Lexie had a lot of JV pitching experience and was big for us this year.”
Allen started to receive more interest at the start of her senior season, and that’s when the reality of the situation really set in.
“It didn’t feel real. It was crazy when something I really wanted started to come true,” Allen said.
Offers coming in may have felt like a dream to the Greyhound senior, but wasn’t too much of a surprise in Hodges’ eyes.
“I knew that – if she really wanted to – she could do it,” Hodges said. “I think that with all my athletes and I tell them, ‘If you want to play in college, you really can play in college,’ and Lexie really wanted to so she made it happen. That’s why I’m so happy for her.”
Allen added: “It’s been kind of surreal. It all hit me at once: this dream is coming through because my abilities, and God gave me these abilities.
“It’s not just me. God put us all in place. He had a plan for me, and this was part of my plan.”
Allen and Snow combined to throw more than 85% of North’s pitches in 2023. The pair combined to throw all of North’s seven wins, with Allen leading the way with five.
“Lexie spins the ball well and she has a poker face when she’s pitching,” Hodges said. “She does not show any emotion: happy, sad, mad or anything. She’s very consistent.
“She is also one of the best teammates. She cheers for her teammates. She truly wants to see everyone succeed on her team, and you don’t see that a lot so I love that.”
Allen is also a member of both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society.
July 17, 2023
North Surry High School hosted the Greyhound Youth Football Camp on July 13.
Campers showed up bright and early to receive instruction from Greyhound head coach Jackson Smith, members of the North Surry coaching staff, as well as members of the JV and varsity Greyhound teams.
The camp ran 9 a.m. to noon.
”It’s hot out here, but I didn’t hear any complaints,” said North Surry head coach Jackson Smith. “All I saw was people having fun, people getting after it and giving their best each and every rep. Thank you to our high school guys who took their morning to volunteer and help you.
“We also want to give a huge thank you to Kathryn Freed and Hettie Freed. We have the best training staff around. These women give so much of their time just trying to help us be as safe and as successful as we can be in our program. They are what makes this thing run.”
Campers took part in drills to sharpen their skills and learned from members of the Greyhound football program.
“We love to do it, and I love to have you guys here,” Smith said. “I can’t describe the feeling of having future North Surry football players on campus. It makes my heart full.
“We work hard, and it’s very fulfilling to see you guys out here on our campus wearing our logo and being a cohesive unit today.”
Smith encouraged campers to take the lessons and skills they learned home to continue working on them. Coming to the camp was already a good start for the young players, he said, but that they needed to continue building these skills away from camp.
“I hope you learned something and take it into whatever workouts you’re about to head into: little league, flag, middle school, or whatever,” Smith said. “I hope you take something you learned and apply it. Just know that our locker room is always open for you. If you ever need anything, come and find me.
“We hope to see you every Thursday and Friday night this fall.”
At the conclusion of the camp, participants from each age group were presented awards for fastest camper, best blocker and best tackler.
Fastest Camper: Carter Simmons, Gavin Norman, DeMarcus McClure
Best Blocker: Luke Lyons, Jock Haynes, Lane Ramey
Best Tackler: Carter Swift, Carson Johnson, Brady Badgett
July 16, 2023
The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:
-Isaac Glenn Patterson, 22, of Stokes County to Carley Mikael Joyce, 22, of Stokes County.
-Ryan Robert Oldman, 25, of York County, South Carolina, to Brandie Lee Culler, 26, of Forsyth County.
-Robert Cecil McMillian, 45, of Surry County to Tifkne Lark Bruner, 46, of Surry County.
-Cameron Giovanni Burgio, 22, of Surry County to Kierston Mia Lester, 21, of Surry County.
-Dylan Dale Morris, 23, of Patrick County, Virginia, to Leah Raven Willard, 24, of Patrick County.
-Jason Dale Childress, 28, of Surry County to Shamira Elizabeth McClary, 28, of Surry County.
-Ronald Shane Wall, 34, of Surry County to Keishan Renee Hairston, 33, of Surry County.
July 16, 2023
At the outbreak of World War II, there were calls within the United States to organize the nation’s civilian aviation resources in the aid of national defense. The result of this was the formation of the Civil Air Patrol, which came into being in 1941, under the direction of national commander Major General John F. Curry.
During World War II, those who served in the Civil Air Patrol volunteered their services, and often their own civilian aircraft, to aid and protect the American military and citizens, notably by monitoring for enemy submarines off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
By 1942, German submarines were making numerous attacks against American merchant vessels along the East Coast. For the first part of the year, an American ship was being sunk almost every day off the coast— not only freighters and tankers, but also passenger ships. The attacks were especially prevalent off the coast of North Carolina, in an area surrounding the Outer Banks which was dubbed “Torpedo Alley.”
In response, the Civil Air Patrol established coastal patrols with the aim to deter, report and prevent such attacks.
The first Civil Air Patrol base in North Carolina was at Skyco, on Roanoke Island, and on August 10, 1942,Civil Air Patrol pilots began making their patrols to protect the coast. Jointly with the Navy and Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol aircraft took off from the base to escort convoys along the coast, monitor wrecks that might damage vessels, and conduct search and rescue missions.
A second North Carolina coastal patrol base was established in 1943. In the period after the patrol’s North Carolina bases were in operation during World War II, only two vessels were torpedoed by enemy forces off the coast.
At the start of World War II, a man from Winston-Salem named Vernon Rudolph signed up with the Civil Air Patrol. Records from Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Base 16 shows that he first arrived for duty at the Manteo base on July 27, 1942. Rudolph not only volunteered his own service, but that of his personally owned aircraft. After the war, Rudolph returned to his local Winston-Salem business, a little donut shop that would eventually become the internationally successful Krispy Kreme.
In its second year of operation, Civil Air Patrol organized its cadet program. The cadet program accepted both boys and girls, between ages 15 to 18. There was no requirement for cadets to enlist in the military after graduation. However, the skills taught in the program would provide valuable training and teach practical skills that would aid cadets in various wartime service industries. The list of topics taught by the Civil Air Patrol cadets is extensive and includes subjects such as meteorology, military drills, military law, first aid, aircraft recognition and more.
Following the creation of the US Air Force as a separate branch of the armed services (previously it was a part of the Army, titled as Army Air Force), President Harry S. Truman signed the law establishing Civil Air Patrol as the Air Force’s civilian auxiliary on May 26, 1948.
The same year, a patrol squadron was formed in Elkin. The squadron would be commanded by Captain Robert E Church, a patrol reserve officer. The purpose of the squadron was to both recruit and train adults and cadets. According to The Elkin Tribune, in an article from February of 1948, Civil Air Patrol offered a “special invite to veterans of WW2, who can act as instructors in military drill, security, radio transmission and receiving and manual arts.”
The work completed by patrol members was formally recognized in 2014, when the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to those members of Civil Air Patrol who served in the agency during World War II. The medal recognizes the approximately 200,000 “unpaid volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol [who] during World War II provided extraordinary humanitarian, combat, and national services during a critical time of need for the Nation.”
Records are scarce about the patrol’s presence in Mount Airy. We do know that for a time, there was a Mount Airy Squadron though the exact dates of its operation are unknown. A preflight study manual for patrol cadets, dated from around 1947, shows that there was a Mount Airy squadron at that time. In the pages of this preflight study manual we can discover more about what cadets at the time studied, such as physical exercises, map reading, navigation, and more.
The formation of the Civil Air Patrol during World War II marked a significant milestone in the United States’ efforts to organize civilian aviation resources for national defense. Civil Air Patrol volunteers played a crucial role in protecting American military and citizens. Coastal patrols established by the patrol in North Carolina successfully deterred enemy attacks and contributed to the safety of shipping convoys. The cadet program provided valuable training and practical skills to young individuals, preparing them for various wartime service industries. The legacy of Civil Air Patrol’s wartime efforts remains significant, with its impact still recognized today.
If anyone has any information about the local Mount Airy Civil Air Patrol squadron, call Amy Snyder at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History at 336-786-4478.
Katherine “Kat” Jackson is an employee at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. Originally from Australia she lives in King and can be reached at the museum at 336-786-4478.
July 16, 2023
New books available at the Mount Airy Public Library:
The Rowan – Davis Brown
Where Are the Children Now? – Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
The Laws of Attraction – Mary Connealy
Cicadas Sing of Summer Graves – Quinn Connor
Whispers at Dusk – Heather Graham
Non – Fiction
The Tao of Self – Confidence – Sheena Yap Chan
Appalachian Granny Witch Magick – Pat Bussard O’Keefe
Large Print Fiction
The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre – Natasha Lester
The Vietnam – J.C. Maetis
Storytime is here for kids of all ages. Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. is Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. is Book Babies for children ages birth to 2 years old; and on Thursday at 11 a.m. is Preschool Storytime for ages 4-5.
Hooked – Join our crochet and knitting club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Open for all skill levels. Bring your own yarn and make the group project or bring your own project to work on.
Tai Chi Fridays. Experience meditation in motion, 10 a.m. every Friday in the Multipurpose Room. All skill levels are welcome.
It’s Yoga Y’all. Join Ms. Heather on the third Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m.
The Community Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. For our July book club event we are reading “Something in the Water: A Novel” by Catherine Steadman. Copies are available at the front desk.
Chapters Book Club – meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. Members discuss the different books they have read.
Teen Book Club, every fourth Monday at 4:30 p.m. Come in and grab a copy of next month’s book and join us for some fun. We will be reading ” The Last Cuentista” by Donna Barba Higuera.
Middle Homeschool Mondays at 2 p.m. every Monday. Makerspace and STEAM related activities for ages 11 and older, in the Multipurpose Room.
Murder, Mystery and Mayhem Book Club is held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. A book club for adults that focuses on murder, mayhem, true crime and other tales of terror. Our July Read will be “Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime” by Joe Pompeo. Copies are available at the front desk.
Homeschool Thursdays at 2 p.m. for Makerspace and STEAM related activities. For ages 10 and younger, in the Multipurpose Room.
The Pre-Teen Book Club meets every third Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Come in and grab a copy of this month’s book and join us for some fun. For July we will be reading “rez dogs” by Joseph Bruchac.
All Together Now – Summer Learning/Reading is here. Come by the library to pick up a brochure and sign up for our summer programs. Programs include:
– Teens (13 – 17): Monday Nights at 6 p.m. Pizza will be provided, bring your own drink. July 17 – Giant Floor Crossword. We will work together to solve a giant crossword puzzle and act out the clues.
– Kids (7 – 12): Tuesdays at 2 p.m. July 18— Giant Floor Crossword. We will work together to solve a giant crossword puzzle and act out the clues.
– Adults: Tuesdays at 2 p.m. July 18 — Bookmarks for All. We will decorate multilingual bookmarks with phrases about friendship and kindness.
Summer Reading Logs: Keep up with those reading logs and keep turning them in. Kids go to the prize boxes with each turn-in. Kids and teens — most minutes read, will win a Kindle. Adults will be entered in a prize basket drawing.
Upcoming family events include: Thursday, July 27 at 3 p.m. Puzzle Pandemonium; Family Movie Fridays at 1 p.m., popcorn and water provided, July 21 – Trolls: World Tour
Pollinator Counting Clinic, July 27 at 2 p.m. The library is partnering with the Surry County Extension Master Gardeners to participate in the Great Southeast Pollinator Census in August. Join us to learn about the census, and learn how you can help us count pollinators. Then, come back August 19 to take part in the census. Call 336-789-5108 or stop by to register today.
July 27 at 6 p.m. – Naloxone Training with Insight Human Services. Learn how to recognize and respond to an overdose and how to administer nasal naloxone (Narcan). For more information about the training, contact Michelle Hopkins at 336-247-6146 or Regina Propst at 828-217-8470.
Afternoon with the Author at 1 p.m. July 29. Meet Larry G. Morgan as he discusses and signs his books. Larry writes historical fiction, books about social life and customs in the Appalachians, particularly in the North Carolina mountains.
The library’s adult groups are creating Community Care kits this summer and if you can, donate these items: children’s/teens book bags. gripper socks, crocheted/or regular lap blankets, hygiene products, children’s books, by dropping them off at the library.
Collecting Donations For Community Care Kits – Our adult groups are creating Community Care kits this summer and if you can. Drop off any donations at the Mount Airy Public Library. Items needed include children’s/teens bookbags; gripper socks; crocheted/or regular lap blankets; hygiene products, and children’s books.
The Mount Airy Public Library is also collecting donations for Yokefellow Food Pantry. For the July we are collecting: canned fruit and cereal. Just drop your donations in the blue container in our entranceway.
Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, https://www.facebook.com/groups/fmapl and https://www.facebook.com/mtapublibrary or our website https://nwrlibrary.org/mountairy/
July 16, 2023
Saint Swithin’s Day is celebrated July 16
Known as the saint of the soakers, his day is celebrated today. It is an old saying that if it rains on his day, we will have 40 days of foul weather. We think this is only weather lore simply because this is the season of Dog Days and summer heat that generates pop-up thunderstorms, not a Noah- type flood. We would like to see refreshing rain on his day, but we don’t expect a 40-day pattern of rain!
Cooling off summer’s hanging baskets
If it doesn’t rain on Saint Swithin’s Day, use the water wand in spray mode to cool down the hanging baskets and containers by watering them until water runs out the hole in the bottom. This will refresh the annuals and also cool off the baskets.
Cleaning the air conditioner condenser
As we reach the middle of July, check the outside condenser unit of your air conditioner. It may have grass clippings in the grids and around the bottom of the unit or there could be shrubs or landscape blocking the airflow. Use the leaf blower to blow the clippings from inside the unit. Use the weed trimmer to cut back growth and shrubs. Hose down the unit. These obstacles make air harder to flow through the condenser. A cleaner condenser will cause your unit to perform better and look better.
Dog Day afternoons make summer seem endless
Day Days still have nearly one month remaining. The legend is that Sirius, the dog star, governs the heat of summer. This is certainly not true because Sirius is more than eight light years from earth and the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. That is an unbelievable distance to have any effect on Dog Day afternoons. It has more to do with the sun which is only 93 million miles from earth and the fact that Sirius rises at dawn with the sun and follows it across the summer sky.
A few Dog Day tales!
As kids during summer and Dog Days at grandmas house in Northampton County, we always went barefooted. Grandma always reminded us to be careful and not step on any glass or nails because during Dog Days cuts, sores and wounds would not heal quickly and could become infected. She told us to not go fishing in the Roanoke River because fish went deep in the river during Dog Days and refused to eat. Grandma also warned us about snakes because according to her, during Dog Days, snakes would go blind and strike at every moving object. Every day during the six weeks of Dog Days, grandma always checked her dog to see if they were foaming at mouth, but they were always healthy, happy, and hungry and made it through Dog Days and all of us came through with flying colors.
Summer ferns on a Dog Day afternoon
The Dog Day heat bears down and dries the soil in the containers of asparagus, panda, and Boston ferns. They need a refreshing drink of water every day that no rain falls. Water them until water runs out of the holes in bottom of the containers. Feed them every ten days with Flower-Tone organic flower food and keep the ferns in a semi-sunny location on the back of the porch or deck. A drink of water every day will keep them green and growing. Most ferns can be trimmed to shape and promote growth.
Swallow tail and Monarchs visit zinnias
The zinnia bed is colorful on hot July afternoons and more color and action is produced by the continual visits of the tiger Swallow Tail butterflies in colors of yellow and black as well as the beautiful bright orange Monarch. The zinnias have plenty of green foliage to shade and cool the base of the flowers, retain moisture and produce plenty of new blooms every week. The State Fair with its pastel blooms are extraordinary. During dry Dog Day afternoons, use the water wand in spray or mist mode and water soil around the base of the zinnias. Do not water the foliage itself because this promotes gray mildew.
Zinnias make colorful floral decor
Nothing is prettier than a large vase of rainbow colored zinnias in the center of the kitchen table or on a church altar table to brighten things up and bring cheer to a room. Mix in a few sprigs of Queen Anne’s Lace to highlight the colors of the zinnias. A row of zinnias produces flowers continually over most of the summer months.
Cosmos add color and greenery contrast
Cosmos is a dainty flower with a foliage that resembles fern. It has assorted flowers of wine, white, pink and purple. Their foliage alone is worth a row of them. The foliage can be used to fill in vases of zinnias and marigolds and highlight all varieties of arrangements. An arrangement of assorted cosmos and greenery of the cosmos is an object of beauty within itself.
The colorful coleus is putting on a show
The coleus, or better known as Joseph’s Coat, has filled containers with a rainbow of color including red, white, wine, cream, yellow, burgundy, pink, mint green and lavender. They fill the post and cascade over the sides. As they grow, they develop lavender flowers. To keep the coleus filled with foliage, pinch off the blooms so all their strength will go into producing plenty of new foliage. Feed with Flower-Tone organic flower food every 15 days and water several times each week. The Joseph’s Coat will produce foliage all the way into October.
Christmas cactus enjoying front porch
On the semi-shade of the back of the front porch, the containers of Christmas cactus are thriving as they cascade over the pots. The secret of blooms before Christmas is their spending the summer outside. Do not place them in direct sunlight because this makes their foliage turn red. Keep them watered twice each week until water runs out holes in bottom of the containers. Feed once a month with Flower-Tone organic flower food. They should be on their way to a bloom event in mid-November and into the month of December.
Making broccoli-cheese cornbread
Almost all home-baked cornbread is good but this recipe with sharp cheddar cheese is unusually wonderful enhanced with the broccoli for extra flavor on a Dog Day evening. You will need two boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix, one large head of broccoli (chopped), one onion (finely diced), one stick melted light margarine, two cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, one cup sour cream, two large beaten eggs, half cup sugar, half cup cream corn. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and stir well. Pour into a greased and floured 13x9x2 inch baking dish or pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for ten minutes and cut into squares.
Another of those Dog Days Tales
Today, we mention one more of those dog days tales. This one says that on a dog day morning, when a dog eats grass, we can expect rain before the end of the day. We don’t put much truth in that tale, but my Northampton County grandma had several hounds that she carefully observed. She always said when dogs eat grass, its because they are sick. That certainly made sense because in her day, most people in the country used home remedies instead of going into town for a doctor and probably did not take dogs to the vet. Both dogs and cats eat grass so maybe it does have some healing qualities,
Hoe Hoe Hoedown
“Screen play.” Supervisor: “I think I’m going have to let that new secretary go.” Co-Worker: “Why? Don’t you think she’s learning word processing fast enough?” Supervisor: “No, I don’t think so. There is too much white-out all over the screen.”
“Doctor Who Two.” Wife: “Thank you so very much for making this house call to see my husband.” Doctor: “Think nothing of it. There is another man that is sick in the neighborhood, so I thought I would kill two birds with the same stone.”
“Fallout.” Patient: “Doctor, my hair is falling out. What can you give me to keep in in?” Doctor: “A cigar box.”
July 16, 2023
Monday night, the Mount Airy Board of Education publicly censured one of its members — Randy Moore, who has held his seat on the board since being appointed in January 2021.
At this point, under North Carolina law, that is apparently the strongest action the board can take against Moore, and it is appropriate that his colleagues on the board did so.
What is not appropriate was Moore’s actions which lead to his censure — posting an image on his Facebook account which, at best appears to condone violence against those who identify with the LGBTQ movement, and at worst advocates violence.
The posting is an image of a figure whose body is made of red and white stripes with a head consisting of white stars against a blue background, kicking a figure clad as a rainbow, which has come to symbolize the LGBTQ movement. The drawing also included the words “It’s finally July,” which could be some sick symbolism of America kicking aside Gay Pride Month, which was in June.
In addition, the posting had what appeared to be a message from Moore which read: “Meant to warn, love the people, not their doings. Even around the throne of God, there is pictured a majestic rainbow — used to communicate the glory of God (Rev. 4:3). One day the rainbow will no longer be used by sinners to boast in their sin. The rainbow will be reserved for the glory of God alone when Christ returns and makes all things new.”
With this post, Moore most certainly appears to be using his Christian beliefs and a warped concept of American patriotism to justify condoning — or advocating — violence against the LGBTQ community. Such a post is neither Christian nor patriotic, but it is sickening.
Moore certainly has the right to personally believe this. He has the right to publicly express these beliefs.
However, being a public official carries a certain level of responsibility. Being a Board of Education member carries a special responsibility — something Moore either does not understand or simply does not care about.
School board members have a special position in the community. They are the policy makers for the school system, a system filled with young people from all backgrounds, many of whom are still unsure of themselves or who they are, or what the world thinks of them. Some are on the edge, and without proper support and guidance, they may very well make some bad, even tragic, choices with their lives.
One of the chief responsibilities of school officials is to ensure schools are a safe environment, both physically and emotionally. Young people attending school shouldn’t have to worry about being ostracized, being targeted for ridicule or violence because of a lifestyle, a religious belief, because of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, or for any other reason. They most certainly shouldn’t be made to feel like second-class people or feel as if they are not welcome in the school system.
It is vital school board members and administrators set the tone for this, with proper policies and procedures, demanding staffers do the same. As the community members who have been chosen, either through election or appointment, to sit in these seats, it is imperative board of education members not only give voice to these practices, but modeling them is even more important.
Moore has failed at this. By posting, or allowing this to be posted on his Facebook account (it’s been there for at least a week), he is clearly showing his values are just the opposite, that he has little concern for students and faculty members whose lifestyles may be different than his.
When the Mount Airy News contacted him for a story on his posting and the school board’s censure, he was reticent to talk.
“I am not fully prepared to make any statement quite yet,” Moore said. “The story is not complete,” he said of the issue, adding that he will be offering a full response “soon,” and then saying he hoped people do not misinterpret the posting in the meantime.
There is little to misinterpret. The image clearly shows one figure acting violently against another. Moore is a public official, which means if he is going to make such an inappropriate social media posting — or allow it to be posted on his account — he should have the foresight and the courage to be ready to explain why he did so and what he meant.
At this point, there is little Moore can say to justify the posting. What he should be doing, at the least, is offering an apology paired with some sensitivity training. Refusing that, perhaps a resignation would be the best alternative.
July 15, 2023
To improve the lines of communication between Surry County and its departments and the residents of the county, the county approved the creation of Surry on the Go. The new service acts like a television station on sets across the county delivering messages about county events, jobs, and specialized programming from the county.
Already Surry on the Go (SotG) can be found out in the field with a camera in hand to get the video of events that matter to the community and then stream them from the county’s own streaming platform.
Up until this week, residents were being guided primarily to download the SotG app onto their smartphone or tablet so they could stream SotG on demand. Now though access has increased with the launch of SotG on Spectrum cable.
With the addition of Spectrum (channel 1300) to the lineup along with cable from Surry Communications (channel 7), and the ability to stream the service on Roku, Fire, Apple TV, smartphones, tablets, and have it linked to the Surry County website means that the service is accessible to nearly everyone.
It is that reach that SotG Director Nathan Walls is already impressed by, “In a recent month the SotG Facebook page alone had a reach of over 37,000 people – that’s half the county. I am pleased and impressed that people have accepted us and welcomed us with open arms.”
He said there has been “a good amount of download” of the streaming app. In the future he said it will be easier for him to track the number of downloads in real time, but he had seen videos garnering hundreds of views already, “We’re reaching a lot of people with information they didn’t know.”
“We have Veterans videos to inform them about benefits they can get with the help of Surry County Veterans Services. A lot of veterans are unaware of the benefits they can get. Last year they helped connected county citizens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.”
Not only is SotG a service for residents and visitors but can also be an opportunity for local businesses to promote themselves. The channel has a variety of affordable packages of “sponsorship spots” for businesses of any size that come equipped with a professional voice over actor to lend the spot more gravitas.
Walls said sponsorship spots are not a run of the mill commercial, rather a business owner can introduce themselves and the store, and its wares, will be seen in the ad with the proprietor saying they support Surry on the Go rather than asking for your business.
That allows that business to introduce itself, and themselves, to the viewer with sponsorship packages that can run for all year for a full calendar’s worth of exposure to eyes around the county.
Walls said he wants hotels, doctor’s offices, repair shop waiting rooms, and any business with a public area to consider turning a television set to SotG. It shows a desire to cross-promote within the community by that business and thereby promote Surry County in the process.
“There’s a lot of great things going on and plenty to do, which they can see on SotG,” he said. At the bottom of the stream will be found a news crawl that will feature upcoming local events of interest not only in the cities and towns but, “Also in the rural parts of the county, which as people know is a big chunk.”
Walls explained, “We have four towns each with its own identity and the rural parts of the county as well and the overall goal is to cover Surry County and provide local information to citizens. Most of our programming is upbeat, fun, interesting, and can keep you informed on events and things to do. If you want to plan something do in Surry County. turn on SotG and the crawl will tell you what you can do for fun and learn information about the county you didn’t know.”
Since the channel runs twenty-four hours, they need lots of programming and will find it by broadcasting county commissioner meetings as well as town board meetings for Elkin, Mount Airy, and Pilot Mountain.
Surry County and Elkin City School board meetings are available, and Walls wants to grow their offerings on local sports. He already has plans for a coach’s podcast, interviews with local players, and SotG will broadcast games of the week in high school basketball and football.
The service is young and there are ideas aplenty to grow it to offer more specialized programming from county parks and rec, library, the Surry Economic Development Partnership, and in-house videos created by Pete Kulsziski like those he recently made about volunteer fire department training.
Walls said he could not have launched the service without Kulsziski who he called an excellent storyteller and videographer.
“We are really excited to be on Spectrum,” Walls said Friday. “Lots of people have been asking when we were going to launch on Spectrum, so we are really happy to have gone live this week.”
Surry County Board of Commissioner Chair Eddie Harris said at the time of the approval of SotG that he wanted to increase the dissemination of information, “Knowledge is power, I think the more our citizens can hear and know, the better. The more sunshine you can shine on something, the better.”
Surry on the Go is another tool to get information out to residents of the county in a streamlined fashion and will continue to grow, Walls said, and he hopes the public will join in “and grow with us.”
July 15, 2023
Who knew mowing grass could be such big business?
The city of Mount Airy already was paying a hefty sum to various private contractors for grounds maintenance under a multi-year cycle that expired on June 30 — $250,827.
And under a new five-year plan that began with the municipality’s present fiscal year that went into effect on July 1, the cost has jumped to $303,674. That’s an increase of $52,847, or 17 percent.
“Inflation is killing us,” Commissioner Tom Koch said during a recent meeting in which the city council approved the latest contracts — numbering 10 in all.
Despite the higher costs, the vote was 5-0, apparently reflecting a sentiment among the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners that such situations have become an economic fact of life, with the mowing pacts just the latest example.
“Most of them were bid originally in 2018,” said city Parks and Recreation Director Peter Raymer, whose department includes landscaping operations, “and a lot has changed since 2018.”
The new contract period runs from July 1 of this month to June 30, 2028.
Many areas involved
While most people might assume that city-owned sites are mowed by municipal personnel, this is not the case due to a lack of manpower. So the private sector must be relied on for this.
The sprawling mowing operations include Oakdale Cemetery, a 22-acre facility along North Main Street.
“There’s a lot of weed-eating there, as you can imagine,” Raymer said during the recent meeting.
Other areas involved include the medians of the U.S. 52 corridor in the city limits and sections around its off/on ramps, flood-control areas, the grounds of municipal utility facilities, city parks, the Granite City Greenway and others.
Municipal personnel began soliciting bids for the mowing contracts in March through various channels.
“We had an above-average interest,” Raymer said of vendors vying for the mowing jobs, “approximately five bids for most of the contracts.”
The parks and rec director said there was a sense of optimism surrounding the process, which got dashed.
“We were hoping they would come in around the same (as earlier contracts),” Raymer said regarding the sums of offers received, “but unfortunately they did not.”
Two of the 10 bids approved by the commissioners recently actually were less than the previous totals. This is for mowing at Riverside, Tharrington, Rowe and Graham parks; a green space on Cherry Street; and greenway areas, and the grounds of water tower and lift pump/station facilities.
Boyd’s Landscaping was awarded the lion’s share of contracts, three of the 10 totaling $180,064, including for the city-owned cemetery spaces. It has handled municipal mowing operations for years.
Three other contracts went to S&S Cutting, two to Stevens and Son and one each to Tim Burton and Knights Grading and LM.
The city staff recommended approving the lowest bids received for each segment in the scope of work, which also included the contractors’ experience and references.
July 15, 2023
• A Mount Airy man was arrested Wednesday on felony charges stemming from his alleged distribution of methamphetamine, according to city police reports.
Cornealius Cecil Revels, 42, of 208 Eleanor Ave., was taken into custody at the local probation office on State Street on outstanding warrants for offenses of conspiring to sell methamphetamine and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver. Revels is further accused of possessing drug paraphernalia.
The charges had been issued through the Surry Sheriff’s Office on July 7.
Revels was held in the county jail under a $1,000 secured bond and slated for an Aug. 23 appearance in District Court.
• A downtown business, Whit’s Frozen Custard, was the victim of a case involving the obtaining of $500 by false pretenses, which was perpetrated Tuesday by an unknown suspect.
Police records do not specify how the money was acquired.
• Joseph William Sawyers, 23, of 372 Ararat Highway, Ararat, Virginia, turned himself in at the police station Tuesday on a felony charge of speeding to elude arrest which had been filed on July 7.
A $500 secured bond was set for Sawyers, who is scheduled to be in Surry District Court on Aug. 7.
July 15, 2023
Mount Airy and Surry County officials agree that there is a housing shortage in this area, but solutions are as hard to come by as a house for rent.
Some residents of mobile home parks say they feel stuck in bad rental situations that are not safe or healthy because they lack any other options which keeps them locked in place. With so few options to rent, and prices that quite frankly are not possible for some folks to afford, some residents of these parks say the situation is making them sick emotionally and in some cases physically as well.
The North Carolina Department of Justice advises, “If the landlord fails to fix something that puts your safety at risk or violates local codes, report it to local authorities.”
Unfortunately, Allen Poindexter will tell you he is the walking proof that does not always work as he has reported mold and safety issues repeatedly to anyone who would listen from State Senator Eddie Settle, county commissioners, and inspectors.
His family have been living in a mobile home park on Emerald Lane in Mount Airy for many years but when a new owner, Franklin Communities, bought the trailer park in March 2022 without conducting an inspection of his trailer, he said things went south.
For the nine years prior there were no problems with the former owner Poindexter said, “We ever had problems with James Hunter. If there was a problem, he would be on top of it.”
When he started raising concerns about mold in the walls, a rickety staircase, holes in flooring, faulty smoke detector, and HVAC that did not work properly he was told the issues would be addressed – they were not.
Similarly, Jackie May has been living at Redbarn Mobile Home Park off White Pine Country Club Road since 2018 when a family emergency required a quick relocation. He said they rented the trailer sight unseen and that problems began on their arrival when the trailer was stacked high with trash “and not ready to be live in,” he said.
Since that time they have had problems with the unit itself including an instance, “Where my mother fell through the floor and the landlord said it was our fault. She said the floor didn’t look that way before. She said it’s our fault.”
He added that access to water can be intermittent and that he and other residents were going “weeks without water. We were just without for a week and then someone from her crew came out and turned the water back on – to everyone but us. I went out to there are turned our’s back on, we were the only one still off.”
May added that landlord Sandra Davis also turned off her phone and is accepting no more calls on any of his issues like water, rotting floors, and mold in the HVAC. He said these are issues that he has brought up, but nothing gets done.
An alarming example happened when May needed to get to the hospital but was having trouble getting out of the park, “I could barely get out of the driveway, and I mentioned it to her and asked her to scrape it clean.” Rather than address the problem, Davis reportedly told him, “Next time, tell EMS you’re going to need a 4-wheeler.”
“She told me to shut up because I keep complaining and said if I don’t like it, I should go live somewhere else,” May said. If there is a contract between renter and landlord then May asks, “Why are we paying for a trailer they don’t want to fix?”
He got a letter attached to his front door from a member of county inspections that referred him to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office; he is unsure if other residents of Redbarn Mobile Home Park got the same notice.
However, he said the park was a known offender to the inspector who May recounted said, “That if he had to come back out here one more time, he said he was going to close the whole thing down.”
That caused alarm bells for May who lives with his mother in the trailer, “I asked him where we were supposed to go if that happened, and he said that would be up to us.”
“We would have nowhere to go, I mean – I have a tent but my mom has animals and dementia,” meaning while he could tolerate those conditions for a period of time, he is unwilling to subject his mother to that.
After raising concerns both May and Poindexter felt that matters got worse. Poindexter said that after he spoke up at county board meetings that his landlord issued a summary eviction on him and then announced his lease was not eligible for renewal which he feels is retribution.
Armed with a stack of documents, he showed the board of commissioners a Duke Power energy summary snapshot of his power usage early this year and found it to be some 99% above the norm.
He said the heat did not function properly leading his family to run the heat on emergency setting which uses more power which is how that bill rose so high. His usage that month was 4,627 kilowatt hours, the average home in his area used 2,325 kwh in that same period.
Now the eviction notice has been met with a counterclaim by Poindexter in an attempt to get compensation for rental of a unit that was not fully livable and for a portion of the overdue power bill.
If the problems had been addressed there would not have been such a large power bill he said. He also doesn’t think it fair that he pay rent on a unit on which the main bedroom is not habitable, the hall floor is rotting through, black mold is found, and the water is not clean enough to drink or cook with.
Poindexter feels the contract with the owner of the mobile home park includes some assumption that the tenant has the right to have things repaired in a timely fashion. He said that has not always been the case.
When reached for comment, Vincent Sprecher of Franklin Communities said his lawyer H. Lee Merritt had already advised they had no comment.
Regardless of the outcome of the hearing, Poindexter said he wants to continue to fight for improved tenant’s right in North Carolina but said that will be an uphill battle. At this point he said it is a battle worth fighting for the principle of the matter and he is ready to carry on not only for his family but others so that they may avoid the scenario he, May, and other renters find themselves stuck in.
July 14, 2023
Mountain Valley will be holding its annual grief camp for teens who have experienced a significant loss in their life in Mount Airy on July 27-28. The camp is an extension of Mountain Valley’ Kids Path program. The two-day event is offered to children and teens ages 5-18.
“It uses a variety of games and activities to teach kids ways to cope with grief and build confidence. Grief camp is important because it provides a relaxed, fun-filled environment where a child can express their sorrow while making connections with other children who have experienced similar loss,” said Katie Moser, Kids Path counselor.
This summer camp will be located at Mount Airy Wesleyan Church, at 2063 S. Main St., and be held between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
On the final day of camp, parents and families are invited to an evening memorial after camp. This program is free to all families with children and teens who have or are experiencing grief.
Interested parties should register before July 25.
In the meantime, the Kids Path program still offers support for young individuals who are grieving over the loss of a loved one. For more information on Kids Path, contact Katie Moser at 1-888-789-2922. For more information on Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care visit the website at https://www.mtnvalleyhospice.org/support/kids-path-2023/
July 14, 2023
The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce hosted an empowering event, the Women Empowering Women Summit, on July 12, at Cross Creek Country Club.
The summit featured esteemed keynote speakers Nicole Greer, Principal Coach and CEO of Vibrant Coaching, and Merikay Hunt, Founder of COACH MKay Companies, LLC.
The event also included a panel discussion with inspiring panelists such as Alice Smith, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Alice Approved, Mandy Pearce, Founder of Funding for Good, and Jeanine Patten-Coble, Founder and President of Little Pink Houses of Hope.
Attendees gained valuable insights, inspiration, and networking opportunities at this remarkable summit.
July 14, 2023
ARARAT, Va. — Willis Gap Community Center is thought of as a place where bluegrass and old-time music prevails, but rock and roll has now been added to the mix.
This occurred when a Golden Oldies Open Jam was held at the center on June 27, featuring an evening of rock and roll sounds from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s along with dancing.
The session lasted three hours, according to Mary Dellenback Hill, the secretary of the Willis Gap Community Center governing board.
Among those attending the open jam was Bud Rushin from Fort Mill, South Carolina, an accomplished musician since high school, beginning with the trombone, trumpet and harmonica and now including bluegrass banjo, acoustic guitar and electric guitar.
The recent Golden Oldies event represented a departure from the Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam, a weekly series held on Friday nights showcasing multiple musical genres including Appalachian heritage old-time, bluegrass, country and gospel. It has been ongoing since the 1990s.
Rushin says he really enjoys coming to the music jam and likes the warm hospitality he has received there, Hill related. This has prompted him and his wife, a beekeeper (apiarist), to consider buying a home locally and moving from South Carolina.
“In recent months we have had two separate persons from England, one from Norway, one from Pennsylvania and a whole family from New Jersey,” Hill mentioned. Some musicians also come up from North Carolina for the open jam.
Willis Gap Community Center is an affiliated partner of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Music Heritage Trail (which has an online presence at thecrookedroadva.com), a member of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce and an affiliated partner with Patrick County Tourism.
Hill serves as Dan River District representative for the county tourism group.
Willis Gap Community Center is located at 144 The Hollow Road in Ararat.
July 14, 2023
Mount Airy’s Sergio Garcia signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent and will continue his soccer career at Greensboro College.
“It feels awesome. I never thought I was going to go to college and play the sport that I love,” Garcia said. “I’m proud that I made it and that I’m able to go to school, study and hopefully make something out of soccer.”
Garcia doesn’t remember a specific start to his soccer career, instead saying he’s been involved in the sport ever since he could walk.
“I just feel like soccer is my thing, and I feel more myself there,” Garcia said. “My dad used to play soccer, and all my family loves it.
“I want to thank my family because they’ve always been there for me when I was chasing my dream. They sacrificed a lot so I could play. I also want to thank my coaches, my friends, my soccer teammates and the people that have supported me.”
Sergio was a member of the Granite Bears’ soccer team for three years, though he was sidelined his senior year.
“It was really great having him. It’s such a good feeling to see one of your players continue their soccer career, and he definitely deserves this,” said former Mount Airy coach Will Hurley. “First of all, he’s just got such good character. I can’t brag enough about him. He’s always very respectful and is a fine young man.
“As a player, Sergio was tremendous and he brought a lot to the table. He’s fundamentally sound, dedicated, knows how to play the game and consistently played at such a high level.”
Garcia came to the Bears’ program his sophomore season. Hurley called the timing “perfect” as Mount Airy had just graduated 10 seniors, many of whom were multi-year starters.
The 2020-21 season was already set to be an uphill battle with Mount Airy having to rebuild after losing most of its previous starters, a season in which the team went 23-2, won the Northwest 1A Conference Championship and hosted the 1A West Regional Final for the first time in school history.
The season was then complicated even more by the pandemic, which moved the first match from August to January and cut the total number of matches nearly in half.
Even with all the obstacles in their path, the Bears captured the 2020-21 NW1A Championship and reached the Sweet 16 before losing their only match of the season.
“Sergio really helped with that transition period. He was ready to go as soon as he got here,” Hurley said. “We had a lot of holes to fill where we had lost so many players, and he was so important that year because we could just put him anywhere and he’d make an impact.
“We tried him in a few spots. Obviously he could play center mid, but he’d move up to striker if we needed him, would play on the wing and was one of our best playmakers. He’d even cover on the back line when Noah Hart would push up.”
Garcia was second on the team in goals (7) and points (14) in 2020-21, then was first in assists (28), second in points (72) and third in goals (22) as a junior.
In 2021-22, Garcia recorded 33.7% of Mount Airy’s 83 assists, and either scored or assisted on 32.1% of the team’s 156 goals. His 28 assists ranked No. 2 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 1A Division, and tied for No. 6 in the NCHSAA among all classifications.
“You’d think he and Elkin (Lopez) had been playing together forever as well as they worked together,” Hurley said. Lopez finished his career with 116 goals, No. 2 in Mount Airy school history.
“They didn’t ever really communicate that much, it’s just like they knew what the other was thinking,” Hurley said. “We worked on a lot of overlapping, and we’d do that with him and Elkin if people were man marking Elkin – which left Sergio wide open.
“There would honestly be times where I’d have to tell Sergio to shoot more often, which says so much about his willingness to give the ball up in order to make things happen.”
Mount Airy finished the fall 2021 season 26-1. The Granite Bears reached the 1A West Regional Finals before falling 1-0 to the eventual state champions, Christ the King Catholic High School.
That Mount Airy team set school records for single-season goals with 156, total wins and consecutive wins with 26, regular season wins with 22, conference wins with 12, and home winning percentage at 100%.
“That season was crazy,” Garcia said. “We never thought we’d go undefeated all the way to regionals because we played a lot of tough teams along the way. But, we all put in the effort and played our hardest, so we got the wins that we needed for a deep run.
“It was a tough game (vs. Christ the King), and it was a good game too. We all played hard, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The season was a great experience, though.”
In addition to school ball, Garcia competed in travel soccer for coach Stef Hamilton and Triad Elite.
“With travel I got to meet new people and experience more, and that made me a better player,” Garcia said. “I want to say thanks to my coaches and teammates from my travel and high school teams because when we made it far I realized I wanted to keep going. I knew I wanted to keep playing because I knew I would miss it.
“The great runs we had helped me get noticed by colleges.”
July 14, 2023
Davidson-Davie Community College President and former Mount Airy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness passed away Tuesday. The 54 year old had been battling esophageal cancer for several months prior to his passing according to sources.
Prior to leading Mount Airy City Schools, Hartness was a Mountaineer earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and secondary education from Appalachian State University. Later he attended UNC Charlotte where he earned his master’s in curriculum and instruction and instructional systems technology. He furthered his studies and added a doctoral degree in educational leadership to round out his credentials.
He said of his move to lead Davidson-Davie Community College in 2019, “The more I learned about the job, the more I felt like it was a good fit at this point in my career.”
That career spanned almost 30 years and was a long journey for Hartness. It was one that saw him as a member of the first class of North Carolina Teaching Fellows, a program where students received scholarship dollars in exchange for future service in the classrooms of North Carolina.
The idea was to incentivize college students to want to become educators, and to stay in the state where they went to college. Hartness was proof that that system could work, and he was a trailblazer – the first to rise through the ranks of Teaching Fellows to reach superintendent.
His high school drafting teacher, Mr. Jenkins, told him of the scholarship and Hartness thought he would follow a similar path and also teach drafting. He was a classroom teacher, an elementary school principal, central office technology expert, and an adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte – among other roles.
As to story goes, Hartness caught wind of the opening as the president of Davidson-Davie in late spring 2018 and was intrigued after having climbed the ranks of public school systems at embarking on a new path.
“I’m ready for a new challenge in my career and my life,” he said. “I’m going to put my name out there and open the door and if it’s not the right fit, God will close that door and I’ll be where I need to be.”
In June 2020 he penned a letter to the Davidson-Davie Community College community where he discussed the many challenges of what were then the first months of the pandemic and a wave of unrest that had followed the death of George Floyd in May. At that time nearby Salisbury had a protest at a Confederate monument that had devolved into gun fire.
He challenged the DDCC community to rise above, “For there to be peace in a time of chaos, I am reminded of life lessons from my childhood that would serve us all well: stop and count to ten before reacting; take a deep breath and exhale slowly; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and listen more and talk less.”
Hartness loved being part of helping students figure out their own path in life, “To be part of that experience of watching them go into a career or a job that is going to make their life better and better for their family has been very powerful for me.”
The college released a statement, “During his time at Davidson-Davie, Dr. Hartness quickly became known and loved for promoting a culture of compassion and caring, not only within the college but also encompassing the broader communities that support the college’s students – the annual “Day of Service” was one of his initiatives.”
“Together, he believed, we would all be stronger, kinder, and most effective in our service to others.”
Carrie Venable of Mount Airy City Schools said, “He created an instructional technology facilitator position in 2008 and I applied. The path my career took was directly impacted by his vision and leadership. I had also just had my first child and I vividly remember the care and concern both he and his wife Lisa had for me as a new mother.”
Current city school board member Wendy Carriker noted his enthusiasm, dedication to all students, and love of public school education, “He moved our school system forward with creative and innovative sound educational ideas and put them into practice.”
“He was a positive influence on all that he met, and always had the education of our students first and foremost in all of the decisions and actions of the school system. A true servant leader, he left a lasting impression on all who knew him and will be greatly missed.”
Local high school English teacher, Shelli Owens, shared, “Dr. Hartness was a man who never compromised his morals, and we loved him for that. His integrity was found in every inch of our school system long after he and his family moved.”
“Regardless of the conversation, truth and civility were at the very heart of all he believed. He taught his staff and teachers that on even our worst days, we had the best jobs, namely, seeing a child grow.”
“I mailed him a letter while he was battling cancer. Three days later, he tracked me down and spoke to me on the phone for over an hour. That’s the kind of person he was,” Owens recounted.
“He was everything God intended man to be, and we are blessed to have known him.”
Dr. David Shockley, his counterpart at Surry Community College recalled, “The first time I met Darrin was during our enrollment at Appalachian State University. Our paths have crossed throughout the years, but when we both became peers within the North Carolina Community College System, our mutual respect for one another grew into a blessed friendship.”
“Darrin was an outstanding leader in education, and his everlasting legacy will be the countless lives that were changed by his servant’s heart. During the past seven months, Darrin taught me how to live and embrace this life by prioritizing the things that truly matter most. I am eternally grateful for Darrin.”
Hartness is survived by his wife Lisa and daughters, Madison and Molly.
July 14, 2023
Three Surry County Legion Baseball teams wrapped up the 2023 season in early July.
Surry Pride
The Surry Pride Junior Legion Team split the final two games of the 2023 season, defeating Randolph and falling to West Forsyth.
The Pride traveled to Randolph on July 5 and won 10-7. Surry led by eight runs at one point, then held off a late comeback attempt by the home team.
Surry went scoreless in the first inning, then Forsyth took its only lead with a pair of runs in the bottom.
Surry’s Will Pardue (Elkin) was walked in the second inning, then scored on an RBI from Ian Hooker (Surry Central).
The Pride added four runs in the third. Brayden Woodring (Surry Central) was hit by a pitch, Jax Whitaker (Surry Central) and Zack Stewart (Elkin) singled, then Pardue hit a triple. Pardue himself went on to score in the inning.
Surry followed a scoreless fourth inning by adding five runs in the fifth. Stewart and Dru Gaddy (Surry Central) were each walked in the inning, Joseph Johnson (Elkin) singled, Whitaker doubled and Jonas Johnson (Elkin) hit a home run.
Randolph trailed 10-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. Each of the team’s first four batters scored, and the first six got on base.
Gaddy threw a strikeout for the first out, walked his next batter, Surry forced a ground out then Gaddy ended the game with a strikeout.
Surry Pitching vs. Randolph
Will Pardue – 6.0 IP, 5BB, 6H, 3R
Ian Hooker (Surry Central) – 1BB, 1H, 2R
Dru Gaddy – 1.0 IP, 2K, 3BB, 1H, 2R
Surry – 0, 1, 4, 0, 5, 0, 0 = 10
Randolph – 2, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 4 = 7
Surry wrapped up its season with a 13-1 loss to Forsyth.
The Pride scored their only run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jonas Johnson and Kasen White (Surry Central) each got on base via error, then Gaddy scored Johnson with a line drive to center field.
Stewart finished the game with three hits, followed by Gaddy, White and Garrett Higgins with one each.
Surry Pitching vs. Forsyth
Jax Whitaker – 3.0 IP, 5K, 1BB, 1HP, 3H, 3R
Joseph Johnson – 2.1 IP, 2K, 1BB, 6H, 3R
Jonas Johnson – .1 IP, 3BB, 3H, 5R
Zack Stewart – .2 IP, 2H, 2R
Forsyth – 1, 0, 2, 1, 2, 0, 7 = 13
Surry – 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1 = 1

Foothills Post 123 Juniors
The Foothills Juniors closed the regular season with a 12-3 victory over Stokes Co. Post 290, then fell to West Rowan in the first round of the postseason.
Stats were not available for Foothills’ victory over Stokes.
Foothills traveled to No. 1 West Rowan on July 10. Rowan scored four runs through four innings, then was held to just one hit through the final two innings.
Post 123 scored its run in the top of the fifth. Camden Easter (Millennium Charter) was walked to start the inning, then advanced to second on a passed ball thrown to Sid Sutphin (East Surry). Sutphin hit a line drive to center field that scored Easter and earned the batter a single.
Bryson Grey (Mount Airy) followed Sutphin’s single with one of his own. Grey’s hit to right field moved Sutphin to scoring position, but Rowan ended the inning before Foothills could score again.
Grey had Foothills’ only other hit of the game with a single in the top of the seventh. Grey’s hit moved Sutphin, who was previously walked, to second, but Rowan once again left Post 123 players on base.
Jonah Adams (North Surry), Easter and Sutphin were each walked once in the game.
Foothills Pitching vs. West Rowan
Phillip Byrd – 4.0 IP, 6K, 2BB, 6H, 4R
Jonah Adams – 2.0 IP, 2K, 1BB, 1H
Foothills – 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0 = 1
West Rowan – 1, 0, 2, 1, 0, 0, X = 4
Foothills Post 123 Seniors
The Foothills Seniors split their final two games: defeating Chatham and falling to Randolph.
Foothills faced Chatham in a double header on July 2. Chatham took the first game 9-5, then Foothills used a four-run seventh inning to win the rematch 5-4.
Four of Foothills’ eight hits came in just the seventh inning.
The inning began with Clay Whitaker (Surry Central ‘23) being hit by a pitch. Dakota Mills (Surry Central ‘22) sent his second pitch to center field for a double that also scored Whitaker, cutting Chatham’s lead to 4-2.
Chatham picked up the first out of the inning, then Brodie Robertson (North Surry ‘23) singled to score Mills. Aiden Shropshire (Surry Central ‘23) then joined Robertson on base with a single.
Robertson, the potential game-tying run, stole third, then Chatham recorded the second out of the inning. Shropshire stole second with Hank Porter (East Wilkes ‘24) at the plate.
Porter faced a 2-0 count before hitting a hard ground ball to center field to score both Robertson and Porter.
Foothills forced a ground out and two flyouts in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory.
Foothills scored its earlier run when Tristen Mason (East Surry ‘22) reached the plate thanks to a sacrifice fly from Kamden Hawks (Mount Airy ‘24).
Foothills Pitching vs. Chatham
Aiden Shropshire – 4.0 IP, 2BB, 7H, 4R
Hank Porter – 1.0 IP, 1K, 1BB
Beau Callahan (Elkin ‘23) – 2.0 IP, 1K
Foothills – 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 4 = 5
Chatham – 0, 3, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0 = 4
Post 123 closed its season at home against Randolph on July 5.
Randolph opened with six runs off three hits in the first inning, then only scored one run on one hit for the remainder of the game.
Whitaker singled in the bottom of the first, then scored on a Callahan double. Foothills added its second run in the third inning, then a sacrifice fly from Bryson Bennett (North Stokes ‘23) scored Ashton Gwyn (Mount Airy ‘23) in the sixth.
Pitching vs. Randolph
Brady Edmonds (Surry Central ‘22) – 1.0 IP, 2K, 3BB, 1HBP, 3H, 6R
Ashton Gwyn – 2.0 IP, 3BB, 1R
Hank Porter – 2.0 IP, 2K, 2BB, 1H
Scoring vs. Randolph
Randolph – 6, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, X = 7
Foothills – 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, X = 3
July 14, 2023
The Nathan Turner Award was presented to pre-K student Valerie Martinez at Copeland Elementary this spring.
Recently established with the Surry County Schools Education Foundation, the Nathan Turner Award honors Nathan Turner who passed away in August 2021 while he was a student at the Surry Early College High School.
The award consists of $250 to help “grant the wish” of a child at Copeland Elementary, Central Middle, or Surry Early College High with a chronic or terminal illness.
Ellen Beck, Nathan’s grandmother, returned to Copeland to grant Valerie’s wish to have an outdoor playhouse.

© 2018 The Mount Airy News


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