Surry County Most Wanted | Mt. Airy News

2022-09-24 00:40:57 By : Mr. Russell zheng

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

• Timothy Michael Hayes, 44, a white male wanted on a post-release warrant and a felony warrant for interfering with an electronic monitoring device. He is on probation for two counts trafficking methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and use/possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Samuel Casey Jenkins, 24, a white male wanted for failing to appear in court on probation violations who is on probation for driving while impaired;

• Filiberto Ramirez Gasca, 58, a Hispanic male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for resisting a public officer and second degree trespass;

• Franklin Dale Davis, 48, a white male wanted for failing to appear in court on probation violations who is on probation for larceny and breaking and entering.

View all probation absconders on the internet at and click on absconders. Anyone with information on any probation absconders should contact Crime Stoppers at 786-4000, county probation at 719-2705 or the Mount Airy Police Department at 786-3535.

Autumn growing nearer every day

Regulatory entanglements regarding a sign initially disallowed for a new body shop in Mount Airy didn’t end with an August vote permitting it — now the owner must remove a banner supporting a candidate who aided him.

Frank Fleming recently had the banner placed on a metal sign structure in the parking lot of a former Winn-Dixie supermarket on Merita Street where he is developing the shop — a $2 million endeavor that will create jobs.

It states, “Jon Cawley For Mayor.”

Fleming says the banner was erected in response to the present city commissioner and mayoral candidate backing his efforts to finally get the existing sign approved after a lengthy ordeal surrounding municipal regulations which almost wound up in Surry Superior Court.

But a new wrinkle has materialized with Fleming being told to remove the political banner, which — yes — also violates a city ordinance, as was earlier the case with the metal sign structure. The longtime local businessman was advised of this latest development by Chuck Morris, Mount Airy’s codes enforcement officer.

“He called me yesterday,” Fleming related Thursday.

“I didn’t know there was a banner ordinance,” said the shop owner, who added that he would not have had it installed if he was aware such a regulation existed. He has been given until next Wednesday to remove the banner.

Fleming said he simply was trying to boost the candidacy of a person who assisted him during every step of the ordeal to get the metal sign structure approved.

“Jon played a big role in helping to teach me and guiding me in all this stuff,” said the local businessman, also a veteran modified race car driver of 43 years, who had little knowledge of local government beforehand.

Fleming had been denied a permit to re-use the existing sign framework Winn-Dixie left behind because it exceeded a 15-foot height limit imposed for new business developments under updated, appearance-minded municipal regulations adopted in 2016.

This led to the recent emergence of an amendment that altered distance requirements for such non-conforming signs which ultimately allowed Fleming to utilize the old one — already wired and sitting on a concrete foundation.

The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners approved that amendment in a late-August vote as a huge crowd of Fleming supporters — including state Rep. Sarah Stevens — watched from the audience.

Fleming mentioned repeatedly Thursday that he does not want to step on the toes of anyone at City Hall. He appreciates the attention everyone devoted to the sign case, even those who didn’t support his position, including members of the Mount Airy Zoning Board of Adjustment whose action led to a possible Superior Court appeal.

Yet Fleming thinks Cawley deserves extra support for his efforts in the sign issue and the sentiments behind that.

“Jon Cawley is for the citizens of this town,” the shop owner commented, including owners of businesses such as himself. Fleming has long operated his body shop from a location on Springs Road and many see the new project on Merita Street as serving to improve a long-unsightly area.

After becoming aware of the sign denial and learning that Fleming, a self-described “competitor” who planned to fight the initial ruling, Cawley assured him, “I’m going to help you all I can.” The veteran commissioner agreed that it made sense for the existing sign to be re-used, Fleming said.

His motive in erecting the banner during recent days was not to become a focal point of this year’s municipal election in which Cawley, Mount Airy’s longest-serving council member, is running against Mayor Ron Niland.

“I’ve never been a very political person,” Fleming said. “I’ve never got into politics too much.”

It was more a matter of timing.

Since the refurbishing of the old metal sign and its listing of the new body shop will take two to three months to complete, Fleming saw this as an ideal time to put up the banner promoting Cawley’s candidacy in the meantime.

However, the city regulatory bureaucracy has nixed that.

On Thursday, Morris, the codes officer, cited a restriction listed under Section 9.3-Temporary Signs in the City of Mount Airy Municipal Code of Ordinances. It states in part that such signs “shall not be affixed to a permanent sign or its supporting structure, including both building-mounted and freestanding permanent signs.”

The ordinance also makes specific reference to banners, which generally are limited to those promoting community events — while apparently ruling out ones that are political in nature.

Although the majority of the commissioners eventually came around to Cawley’s side, it was he who stood alone at first in supporting him, Fleming said.

His backing of Cawley is not intended as any disrespect toward the present mayor, Fleming stressed.

“Ron Niland has been nothing but good to me,” he said.

However, the whole sign episode has revealed special characteristics on Cawley’s part which Fleming believes are needed locally.

“Jon Cawley will be good for the citizens of Mount Airy,” the shop owner believes, if elected to its top position.

“I just think that without Jon Cawley,” Fleming asserted, “our city, our local government, won’t be as good.” `

EAST BEND — Forbush extended its undefeated streak by taking down Surry Central 4-0 on Sept. 21.

The Falcons’ offensive barrage threatened to score early, but the Golden Eagles held out for more than 25 minutes in the first half. Forbush finally broke free and scored in the 26th minute before adding another quick goal less than three minutes later.

Following the break, a rejuvenated Central squad switched to attack mode and put pressure on Forbush’s back line. The Eagles were held scoreless despite playing with new energy, and Forbush only needed a small opening to strike for a third time. One final goal in the closing minutes of the match led to a 4-0 Falcons win.

Forbush coach Seth Davis, who recorded career win No. 300 in Wednesday’s Foothills 2A Conference match, credited the team’s strong start for their success against Surry Central.

“I think that was it: coming out with some energy,” Davis said. “Getting around the corners on them a little bit and getting balls in service in the box, and we put a couple of those shots away. I don’t think you put those shots away every game – curling one into the back post and one under the crossbar doesn’t happen all the time. Things bounced our way.

“Coach [Adan] Garcia is a really good coach and they were really prepared, but they were down a guy tonight. We knew that, and it’ll be a different game there if they can get their guy back and have their whole team. It’ll be tough.”

Central (3-6-1, 1-1 FH2A) has been without one of its only two senior players, Eliazar “Eli” Gonzalez, for much of the 2022 season. Gonzalez is Surry Central’s only returning All-Region or All-Conference player from 2021 season.

“We’re still trying to figure things out as a team,” Coach Garcia said. “I’m not going to put any of our losses on one player. We’re still trying to mix some players around to try to fill Eli’s spot because his shoes are big to fill. That made us try things a little bit different, and unfortunately we slacked off a little bit too much in the first half. We gave them two crucial possessions that we lost in the middle and they hit us.”

Gonzalez’s absence has impacted Central’s ability to create offense, as some of the players Coach Garcia would like to use to make runs up the sidelines are needed at center mid. The Eagles only took one shot in the opening half against Forbush, and even that was taken by Daniel Urquiza from 40 yards out.

Central spent most of the first half either fending off Forbush attacks or possessing the ball on defense. Keeping possession in its defensive third was dangerous for Central, and Forbush even managed to get a steal and shot on goal less than 30 seconds after the opening whistle.

Forbush (8-0-1, 3-0 FH2A) did well to take away Central’s passing lanes and keep the Eagles from making sudden counters. Falcon senior Axel Garcia set up the home team’s opening goal this way. Axel picked off a pass from Central’s back line, then found teammate Omar Arzate to his left. Arzate settled, cut back to his right and fired a shot into the back of the net.

Three minutes later, Donovan Mingus intercepted a Central attempt to pass horizontally and shot from 30 yards out. The Falcon’s shot sailed perfectly over the hands of Eagle keeper Jose Marquez and just under the crossbar.

A 2-0 halftime lead wasn’t enough to comfort Davis. Even though the Falcons are one of only three unbeaten teams in the 2A West, as well as the only FH2A team that hasn’t lost a conference match, they have still had issues with consistency this season.

“We’ve been hit or miss,” Davis said. “We’ve played 40 minutes about every game pretty well, and the other 40 have been a little lackluster. If you come to see us one half you’re like, ‘Hey, this team’s pretty beatable,’ but if you see the other half, ‘This team is going places.’”

Central came out fighting in the second half. Striker Luke Creed quickly worked his way up the right sideline with Luis Gonzalez, but the Eagles were held without a shot. Soon after, Tino Martinez was able to cross in from the left to Creed and the sophomore got a shot off but it wasn’t on frame.

Forbush had its chances to strike in the second half, but possession was more balanced compared to the Falcon-dominated first half. Coach Garcia mentioned a change in formation, going from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3, but said the true difference between halves was the Golden Eagles’ sense of urgency.

“In the first half we were kind of relaxed and were passing it too safe in the back,” Coach Garcia said. “We got out of the half three or four times maybe. At halftime we as coaches told the guys that we had to have that sense of urgency or we were just going to play a lot of defense again. It showed because, even though most of our shots weren’t on frame, we were pressing them.”

Forbush goalkeeper Freddy Pena kept the clean sheet with a pair of second-half saves. The keeper also left his line to intercept crosses before Central could set up a shot.

Play was stopped deep in Falcon territory with 10 minutes left on the clock, and one player from each team was sent off with a yellow card. From here, Forbush earned a throw-in and progressed up its left sideline. Arzate created separation between himself and Golden Eagle defenders before sending a through ball ahead to Gabriel Angulo.

After chasing down the through ball, Angulo crossed to an open Axel Garcia to finish in the center. Garcia added another goal in the 78th minute to round out the 4-0 final score.

“That second half was a lot better for us all around, but one mistake cost us and it brought down our mood unfortunately,” Coach Garcia said. “We have a young team and it brought their heads down and allowed that final goal.”

Forbush picks up its third shutout victory of the season, while Central was held scoreless for the third consecutive match. The Eagles haven’t been playing just any teams, though, as their last three matches have been against MaxPreps’ No. 1-ranked team in the 1A West (Mount Airy), No. 6 team in the 3A West (Hibriten) and the No. 3 team in the 2A West (Forbush).

Surry Central’s strength of schedule is the third-highest of the 52 teams in the 2A West.

Coach Garcia was happy with the team’s second-half performance and said the Eagles’ top concern is maintaining that same mentality as they move forward.

“For some reason, the second half just seems to be our better one – even against Hibriten on Monday,” Coach Garcia said. “We need to have that sense of urgency in the first half because so far we’re losing games in the first half. We give up a couple of simple goals and we just can’t get them back. By the time we get our sense of urgency it’s a little too late.”

Davis had a similar message for his squad as they look to repeat as conference champions. Consistency is a big focus for the Falcons, which the coach believes will come with more time playing as a group.

“We’re still putting it together,” Davis said. “I think I’m trusting more guys…and guys are starting to understand more things. Just like Surry Central we’re young, so it takes a while.”

26’ Forbush 1-0, Omar Arzate from Axel Garcia assist

29’ Forbush 2-0, Donovan Mingus unassisted

70’ Forbush 3-0, Axel Garcia from Gabriel Angulo assist

78’ Forbush 4-0, Axel Garcia unassisted

During this year’s Mayberry Days festivities The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will have on display the tuba that Andy Griffith played while a member of the Grace Moravian Church.

Griffith’s first foray into music was with the trombone. He worked to save money to purchase the instrument then approached Rev. Edward T. Mickey Jr., who had recently started the brass band at Grace Moravian, asking the reverend if he could teach Griffith to play. A quick study, Griffith was soon playing pretty much every instrument in the band but most often played the tuba.

“We’re really excited to be able to display this storied instrument, it’s actually a piece we’ve been hoping to be able to display for many years,” said Matt Edwards, the museum’s executive director.

In among the nearly 35,000 square feet of exhibits, the museum has permanent exhibits related to Andy Griffith and his family history and connections in Mount Airy and across the region.

Museum board member Calvin Vaughn and Grace Moravian Church band Director Hubert McMillian worked to facilitate the loan of the instrument for public display during this year’s Mayberry Days. The instrument will be on display at the museum through the weekend.

“With an entire museum dedicated to Andy’s show biz life just down the street we’re not looking to compete so much as to compliment. In reality Andy is part of a much bigger regional story that we tell here, and there are really only a few key objects that we need to tell that story and this we consider to be one of those,” Edwards said.

The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will be open to the public Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. For more information contact the museum at 336-786-4478 or online at

When school started in late August, some students at White Plains Elementary School already had a treat waiting for them. Those who completed a reading bingo sheet from the summer enjoyed a pizza celebration in the media center there.

We have on many occasions have made promises to friends or family members. Sometimes, the promises are kept. Sometimes, the promises are broken for various reasons. Trust is built on truth. When truth has been tampered, trust begins to falter. However, when the Bible refers to God as a covenant-keeping God, what exactly does that mean?

The word covenant, according to the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary, means a contract or agreement between two people. A covenant is created in deed by writing; sealed and executed.

In the book of Genesis, God made a covenant with Abraham. In that covenant, God promised to give to Abraham the land in which he was living not only to him, but also to Abraham’s descendants. Also, God promised that He would bless those who bless Abraham and curse those who would curse Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would bless Abraham and his descendants.

Years after Abraham died; his descendants were living as slaves in Egypt. They were treated harshly by the taskmasters. They cried and wept due to their anguish of slavery. God heard their groaning and remembered the covenant that He had made with Abraham. Exodus 6:5 reads, “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.” Through the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, the descendants of Abraham left Egypt and were finally on their way back to the land that God had promised Abraham.

The writer of Psalms 106 and 107 gave a historical review of the God’s covenant with the descendants of Abraham. Beginning with verse 6 in Psalm 106, the writer reviewed the unfaithfulness of Abraham’s descendants. They did not remember God’s mercies on their lives. They did not wait for God’s counsel, but followed their own plans instead of following the plan of God. They were filled with envy; unthankfullness, idolatry and rebellion.

When they finally made their homes in the Promised Land, they refused to follow the precepts of God by following the practices of the neighboring nations. They worshiped the idols and made temples and shrines to those idols. They forgot the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As a result, the neighboring nations oppressed them and made them servants.

However, God remembered His people. He remembered his covenant with Abraham. In verse 44, it reads, “Nevertheless He regarded their affliction. When He heard their cry; and for their sake He remembered His covenant.” His people did not deserve God’s mercy, but because God made a covenant with the descendants of Abraham, God delivered His people and restored their relationship to Him.

Today, the lesson that we can learn from the ancient Hebrews is this: God is a faithful God. God does not base our relationship with Him on our humanity and our works. We can never earn God’s favor for blessings. God is faithful to His Word.

In Psalm 111: 4-5, the writer records “He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.” Humans make mistakes. Humans at times do not make the best decisions. Humans sometimes do not follow the best advice. Those who have a covenant relationship with God do have this hope: God’s covenant does not rely on how good humans are. His covenant relies on how good God is – not goodness from humans; but goodness from God. Truly, God keeps covenant.

A pair of wins over Surry County opponents helped East Surry extend a recent winning streak.

The Lady Cardinals swept both Mount Airy and Surry Central as part of a six-match winning streak. The defending 2A West Regional Runners-up improve to 12-3 overall and have won 10 of their last 11 matches.

Mount Airy at East Surry, Sept. 19

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Two win streaks were on the line when the Cardinals and Bears met for the first time this season.

Mount Airy entered Monday’s nonconference showdown riding a 6-match winning streak, which matched the team’s longest streak of the past five seasons. This streak followed a 1-3 start for the Bears in nonconference play.

The Cards cut the Granite Bears’ streak short with a 3-0 victory.

Two of three sets were balanced, with East Surry using late pushes to take the first and third sets. The Cardinals used a strong start in the second set to run away with the victory.

East led 19-16 in the first set before using a 6-1 run to win 25-17. The Cards carried that momentum into the second set and started with a 9-0 run.

Mount Airy started the second set with a service error, then Kate McCraw served the next eight points for East. The Cardinal attackers overwhelmed the Bears, and no matter how many attacks the Bears seemed to fend off the Cards just kept coming back. Bella Hutchens and Mckenzie Davis each had three kills during the initial run.

By the time Mount Airy closed the lead to single digits East Surry led 19-10. Late kills from Isabella Allen and Morgan Mayfield showed the Bears still had fight in them, but the early Cardinal lead was too much to overcome as East won 25-15.

A few strong serves from Kennedy Gwyn helped Mount Airy take a 4-2 advantage in the third set. The Cards countered with a 7-1 run behind serves from Hutchens and Addy Sechrist. Libero Samarin Kipple made a few dives to keep rallies alive, and Hutchens, Davis and Merry Parker Boaz helped put East up 9-5.

Mount Airy continued to fight and got back on the board with a Gwyn block. Allen and Mayfield patrolled the back line to counter Cardinal attacks, and Alissa Clabo found her groove at outside hitter thanks to sets from Kinlee Reece.

Mount Airy’s resurgence led to the Bears taking a 14-12 lead.

Back-to-back attacking errors by Mount Airy allowed East to tie the game at 14-14, then an ace from Boaz forced the final lead change of the match. The Cardinals closed the match with a 13-5 run to win the set 25-19.

East Surry at Surry Central, Sept. 20

DOBSON — East Surry returned to conference play the following day by traveling to Surry Central.

Similar to Mount Airy, Central had a tough time in the nonconference part of its schedule to start the season. The Golden Eagles started the season 0-4, but won 4-of-6 matches entering the bout against East Surry.

The Cards and Eagles kept it close for most of the first set before East Surry pulled ahead for the 25-15 win. Neither of the next two sets were as close, as East won the second 25-11 and the third 25-10.

The first set had four lead changes and four ties before either side reached double-digits. An ace from Central’s Lily O’Neal helped the Eagles take their largest lead of the night at 8-5, but it was met by a 6-0 Cardinal run. East’s plethora of hitters kept Central on its toes with five different Cardinals recording kills in the set.

Central stayed within a few points by keeping rallies alive and setting up the likes of Presley Smith, Marissa McCann and O’Neal for attacks. Libero Erica Coe coordinated the defensive specialists to best counter the Cards’ attacks.

A kill from McCann brought the Eagles within a point at 14-13. A Hutchens kill was the start of a run for the Cards, and Central didn’t help itself with service errors.

East Surry used an 11-2 run to win the first set 25-15, then started with a 5-1 advantage in the second. While the Cardinals had their best attacking set in the second – putting away 16-of-25 points with kills – early service errors kept Central in the match.

Seven of Central’s 11 points in the second set came from East Surry service errors.

The Cardinal offense was clicking once the ball was put into play. Boaz, Hutchens, Davis, Maggy Sechrist and Madeline Dayton all picked up kills in the set with McCraw and Addy Sechrist dishing assists.

The service errors slowed down once East took a 16-10 lead on a Dayton kill. Hutchens served the Cards on an 8-0 run, which included two aces, before committing the final service error of the set. East responded by winning the next two points and coming away with the win.

The Cardinals carried their momentum into the third set with a 7-0 start. Between the end of the second set and start of the third, East Surry went on a 17-1 run.

Central never got within five points of East from that point in the third set. After the Eagles scored to make it 15-9, East closed the set with a 10-1 run to secure the sweep.

The reunion for two classes of North Surry High School were held last weekend at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy.

The classes of 1969 and 1972 both celebrated their reunions with gatherings at the country club with the Class of 1969 setting up outside while the Class of 1972 celebrated their fiftieth reunion in style in the grand ballroom of the country club.

Editor’s Note: Reader Diary is a periodic column written by local residents, Surry County natives, and readers of The Mount Airy News. If you have a submission for Reader Diary, email it to John Peters at

They come from “all over.”

When? The last week in September, by automobile and tour-bus loads, to our little town of Mount Airy.

Why? To celebrate Mayberry Days and the life and times of a native son who found fame and fortune along the way. You can see it in their eyes as they crowd the streets, searching for the easy-going life of “The Andy Griffith Show” they saw on 1960s black and white TV.

What do they find? A friendly little town where, when you walk down the street, you get a big smile from everybody you meet. Come Mayberry Days, multiply it tenfold and it becomes a circus; with Andy Griffith Show “look-a-likes” everywhere. There’s Deputy Barney Fife with that big side-arm on his hip telling someone to “Nip it” or go to jail. There’s Otis (the town drunk) riding his cow right down Main Street in broad daylight. Aunt Bee? Opie? Them too and many other look-a-likes, maybe even Gomer. Sad to say, I have yet to see Andy.

Just down the street; you’ll find Floyd the Barber snipping away at the same barber shop Andy knew. A couple of doors down; Snappy Lunch where Andy once ate; near the Blue Bird Café, where back in the back room back in the day, you could still drink beer after closing hours.

How about Goober? Him too; pumping gas and wiping windshields at his service station down on South Main. Need a ride to see the sights? For a very few bucks, those 1960s Ford squad cars will haul you around all over the town to see the same sights Andy once knew; including the home where he grew up.

Best of all is the Mayberry Days Parade, with hundreds of people lined up on both sides of the street to applaud and watch their heroes go by. Believe me; it’s a sight to see.

Being a native son myself, it’s pleasing to know that a hometown boy like Andy caused such a “to-do” and I hope and pray that all who come here find what they were looking for and go home with a big smile on their face; knowing they found Mayberry.

Alma Venable made an impact here in Mount Airy and beyond as one of the most recognizable ambassadors of Mayberry and the proprietor of the Mayberry Motor Inn. She was an advocate for preserving the rich legacy of Mount Airy’s fictitious alter ego while welcoming guests into the community all year round.

Venable passed away Sept. 4 at her home in Mount Airy, she was 84 years old.

Donna Hiatt called her dear friend an “icon for Mayberry” while others who knew her called her granny despite no presence of a drop of familial blood. “People loved her and stayed from all over the country with her. She was an angel on Earth, and is now an angel in Heaven,” Hiatt said of her friend of 32 years.

Like Hiatt, Tanya Jones of the Surry Arts Council was an old friend of Venable’s, “Since the 70s when we were talking to hotels about the occupancy tax. Alma and her husband LP had the Mayberry Motor Inn before many things in Mount Airy had Mayberry in their names.”

That idea may have been prophetic and would predate unknown numbers of additional businesses over the years with the Mayberry moniker that is now almost interchangeable with Mount Airy.

Jones went on, “They were highlighted in the 1990 Washington Post article on Mayberry Days that was picked up by the AP and Mayberry Days was born as an annual event. Their purchases at the Frances Bavier estate auction became a tourist attraction before the others came about.”

The legacy and legend of The Aunt Bee room at the inn are well-known. After the 1990 estate sale of Frances Bavier, TV’s Aunt Bee, a reporter asked Venable what she planned to do with the artifacts she bought from the late actress to which she said, “I told him I was going to start an Aunt Bee Room.” The collection is an assortment of memorabilia belonging to Bavier, with certificates of authenticity, including hats, accessories, and an ashtray made by fan favorite George “Goober” Lindsey.

Jones and The Surry Arts Council coordinate the Mayberry Days festival, and she recalls Venable was always game for whatever was asked. “Alma and LP – and later the grandkids, Mikel, Josh, and Jeremy Snow, were always involved in Mayberry Days – the parade, Colonel Tim’s Talent Time and whatever the Surry Arts Council needed to make it work for the fans.”

Mount Airy’s visitors have memories of Venable that go back decades. David Browning, seen locally often as Deputy Barney Fife, made his first trip to Mayberry Days in 1991 and it was the next year he first took up a longstanding intermittent residence at the Mayberry Motor Inn at the suggestion of Jones. From 1992 – 2017 Browning said he was a regular guest of Venable’s at the Inn.

Of his first visit he said, “I arrived at night and when I woke up the next morning, Mikel was dressed in a deputy outfit, and he had one foot up on my bumper. He was writing me a ticket for being over the line,” he said recalling just one of the memories of good times in days passed. “Years later, I bought him a properly fitting deputy’s cap.”

He said he was made to feel like a member of the family by Venable. “I would sit and chat with her and after her husband LP passed, we got even closer.” Venable and husband poured a lot of hard work into the inn, he said, but they also had fun. “She loved the visitors, just loved them, and treated them like family.”

She had a plaque made up to commemorate his visits, something he said was not necessary. On subsequent stays he and his wife would look to the wall and see the plaque much to their continued amusement. “She didn’t have to do that,” he said of the honor, “Mount Airy is just that kind of place.”

“We were not related but our relationship, friendship, grew and grew. I know that as a place not just to lay your head — but also someone to chat with,” he recalled.

Her hospitality and gentility will be missed however they have not yet been lost to the winds of time. The traditions she launched at the Mayberry Motor Inn are being delivered even now during this week’s iteration of Mayberry Days.

An easy plan for success will be to “continue doing it the way Granny did it,” Mikel said. That includes honoring such long-standing traditions as the right of first refusal for guests who have been attending Mayberry Days since the beginning.

Some of those repeat guests, Snow said, have been coming long enough that his twin brothers Josh and Jeremy have known them nearly since birth.

Along with Jeremy, he will continue to operate the inn and hopes to keep it in the family for generations to come. “As long as there is tourism, we’ll be here.”

Tim White, the host of Song of the Mountain on PBS said Venable, “Was just the sweetest.” Tim White & Troublesome Hollow’s “Salute to Mayberry” show will have lots of Mayberry songs and a tribute to Venable herself that will correspond with Mayberry Days at The Historic Earle Theatre tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 23, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

White was a fan of “The Andy Griffith Show” long before he first came for Mayberry Days. “I came to Mount Airy as a fan of the show before I ever came here to work,” he said, and he has a great fondness for both Mayberry and Mount Airy. A visit to Mount Airy several times a year remains on the docket for he and his wife – not just during Mayberry Days.

After many years of coming to perform in Mount Airy, White will miss the familiarity of his friend. “Granny, I would call her Granny – I know others didn’t, but I got it from the boys,” White reminisced. “I would call up sometimes and just ask to speak to Granny. It made her smile when I called her Granny.”

White laughed and said there was no suite or room named after him, but that was of no concern to him, “I think all the rooms were named by then. Besides, I don’t know who you would take off the wall. There’s a lot of great people up there.”

He recounted that Venable has been sick over the last few years of her life and people had not seen as much of her. “So, when she got dolled up and would come out and chat with folks, it really meant something.”

“I was at the Mayberry Motor Inn when she passed away and her grandson John came out to the gazebo to tell me. Just as he did, my phone rang, and it was Mikel calling to let me know.” To him, it seemed as though he was where he was meant to be to receive the news from two of her grandsons at nearly the same time.

White, Hiatt, and the rest are hopeful that the memory and spirit of Mount Airy’s Aunt Bee will live on. The legacy of the Mount Airy Motor Inn is continuing at this moment with visitors in for Mayberry Days and reservations lined up for the Autumn Leaves Festival.

Friday at The Earle, White and Troublesome Hollow will offer up the music as another living tribute to Venable whom White said, “Loved the music. I never saw her play an instrument, but she loved to sing.”

“A few months ago, the Surry Arts Council was contacted by the Piedmont Triad International Airport – requesting a photo for consideration on the wall in the terminal. A huge canvas is hanging in there of a past Mayberry Days Parade – Alma is front and center in a car with an Aunt Bee license plate,” Jones said.

Even now, Mount Airy is being represented by her unofficial ambassador and brand representative. Alma Venable is still working hard for Mount Airy even during her eternal rest.

“We all loved her – I loved her and LP, and valued their trust, loyalty, friendship – and love. We will miss them, but I am so grateful that Mikel is carrying on the Mayberry Motor Inn tradition,” Jones said.

As a taxpayer in Mount Airy, but who lives outside the city limits, I have no voice in how taxpayer money is spent. But I do read everything reported in The Mount Airy News. And, from what I read, only Jon Crawley shows any sense of fiscal responsibility.

Main Street buildings have been updated with paint, windows, and doors by the owners. To take parking spaces away from the street for outdoor dining, displays, or trees would defeat the unique look of downtown. I have lived in two towns who did the “beautifications” and it killed the downtowns. Local shops and shoppers left because there was no parking.

We do need loading/ unloading zones on Main Street. Downtown workers who park on Main Street should utilize the lots, leaving street parking open for shoppers and visitors. Workers should be ticketed for parking all day since all the lots are free. My out-of-town daughter finds it humorous that street cameras show the same cars in the same place very single day. Do we have assigned or reserved parking for store owners and employees?

Additionally, to put all utility lines underground would be expensive and disruptive. That is an irresponsible way to spend taxpayers’ money when there are areas in the city needing water and sewer line updates. There were clay sewer lines on Lebanon Street when we had property there a few years ago.

Maybe downtown Mount Airy is all dressed up with a dirty neck.

• A vehicle fire has led to a Mount Airy man being charged with driving while impaired, according to city police reports.

The blaze involving a 2006 Nissan Rogue occurred last Saturday at 1012 Rockford St., the address for the Speedway convenience store. During an investigation of that incident by Officer M.G. Lineberry, Edilberto De Jesus Santiago, 24, of 619 Worth St., was encountered and suspected of intoxication, arrest records state.

Santiago’s providing of a breath sample subsequently confirmed that suspicion, with testing showing his blood-alcohol content to be nearly twice the legal limit for getting behind the wheel.

He was confined in the Surry County Jail under a $500 secured bond and slated for an appearance in District Court next Monday. The vehicle was impounded.

• Tabitha Smith Johnson, 38, of 185 Mills Road, was arrested Friday on warrants for charges of larceny and possession of stolen goods.

The case stems from an incident last Thursday at the Quality Mart store on Holly Springs Road, where Johnson allegedly took food items valued at $12 without paying.

Johnson was released under a $250 secured bond, with the case scheduled for the Oct. 17 session of Surry District Court.

• A break-in was discovered Saturday at IC Building Supply on West Lebanon Street, where entry was gained through a garage door.

No property was listed as missing, but damage put at $500 occurred to the door.

• Copper wire owned by Duke Energy was stolen Saturday from an unidentified business location in the 2000 block of Rockford Street, where a breaker box was broken into to enable the theft. The wire was valued at $100.

In light of problems in Jackson, Mississippi — where residents have been left without clean drinking water — having that commodity is something to celebrate, which is the case for Mount Airy.

Both of the city’s H2O treatment facilities, F.G. Doggett Water Plant and S.L. Spencer Water Plant, have been honored by the N.C. Division of Water Resources for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2021.

The division’s Public Water Supply Section awarded those facilities the highly coveted N.C. Area Wide Optimization (AWOP) Award, which is part of a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface water treatment operations.

In all, 66 water plants were tapped for that award.

This might not seem noteworthy until one considers that in recent years North Carolina has been reported to have nearly 6,000 regulated public water systems as listed by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Perhaps just as important is the fact that the awarding of Mount Airy’s two water-treatment plants for 2021 reflects an ongoing pattern of quality which spans the past decade.

S.L. Spencer Water Plant, located on Orchard Street, also received the same recognition for 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

F.G. Doggett Water Plant in the Laurel Bluff area did so for 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“The city of Mount Airy is extremely honored to be recognized once again for the AWOP Award,” Public Works Director Mitch Williams commented in reaction to the latest accolades for its two treatment plants.

Williams, whose responsibilities encompass municipal water-sewer operations, says quality is an ongoing mission for those manning the facilities.

“The fact that the city has been recognized for the past eight to nine years shows the dedication and professionalism of Water Treatment Supervisor Andy Utt and his team,” the public works director added.

“They do their best to ensure that water of the highest quality is delivered daily to the Mount Airy community.”

The awards are given each year to water systems around the state which demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality, according to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.

While all drinking water systems must adhere to strict state and federal standards of quality, those being recognized met performance goals that are significantly more stringent than state and federal standards.

In 2021, nearly 2.8 million North Carolina residents were served by the award-winning plants.

Mount Airy is not alone in terms of local facilities being recognized for quality.

Also in Surry County, the Town of Dobson Water Treatment Plant and the Town of Elkin Water Treatment Plant were awarded the N.C. Area Wide Optimization (AWOP) Award for 2021.

Of the 66 facilities cited for their efforts last year, the state recognized 16 with the “Gold Star” honor, which is set aside for systems that have received the N.C. Area Wide Optimization Award for 10 or more consecutive years.

The Town of Wilkesboro Water Filtration Plant was the nearest locality to Surry County making that list.

When city government projects are planned in Mount Airy, officials typically solicit offers from contractors and award jobs to the low bidders — a procedure not followed with an $80,000 contract for landscape architecture services at the Spencer’s site.

The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voted during a meeting earlier this month to engage the services of Sitework Studios for that sum to design plans for site development on the former industrial property the municipality bought in 2014.

Specifically, the Asheville firm is targeting a large chunk of land around the Sparger Building, where a Marriott hotel is planned, along with an adjoining spot eyed for a market center. The contract area also surrounds old Spencer’s buildings known as The Cube and Cube annex where additional facilities including a new visitors center and a conference center are envisioned.

The services to be performed by Sitework Studios include preparing grading and other plans for green spaces and additional amenities on what are known as Parcels A, B and C near those various structures where the transformations are to occur.

In addition to laying out locations of planters, the design work will include other site elements such as benches, retaining walls, trash receptacles, pedestrian lighting, drainage facilities and more. These plans will be relied on during the construction phase.

Although the contract with Sitework Studios eventually was approved unanimously during a city council meeting on Sept. 1, the move was questioned by one member, Commissioner Jon Cawley.

This included Cawley asking to have the proposal moved from the board’s consent agenda — where matters are lumped together and approved in a single vote without debate — to the regular agenda, thus opening the matter for discussion.

He used that opportunity to wonder aloud how the $80,000 contract issue had gotten to that point in the form it did.

“Did we at least take bids?” asked Cawley, who also said that with the way the contract is worded the total cost could exceed that sum for extra work provided.

Mayor Ron Niland said at the meeting that the landscaping services were included in an overall scope of work earlier agreed to involving the hotel and redevelopment efforts on the former Spencer’s property.

“This is part of the bigger budget of what we said we were going to do,” Niland said. He mentioned $2 million in state funding announced in July to fund outside improvements at the conference/visitors center site, along with money approved in 2021 for infrastructure work related to the hotel.

Surry County officials agreed to supply $1.5 million for needs involving the planned lodging establishment — which have a total price tag of around $3 million, including for parking spaces.

Both Cawley and Commissioner Tom Koch asked about the possibility of lowering the landscape-related costs before the contract was awarded to Sitework Studios.

“Is there any way we could do some in-house work on this and save some money?” Koch said.

Cawley specifically mentioned possible involvement by Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, since this city department has a landscaping unit that has lent its skills to various locations about town.

“I wouldn’t look any further than Mount Airy Parks and Recreation.”

However, City Manager Stan Farmer replied that the landscaping project at Spencer’s is beyond the scope of the city department.

Cawley also said Wednesday it was his understanding from the meeting that Niland made a case for Sitework Studios being one of the few companies equipped to handle such a task.

“I came into it blind, not knowing what credentials they have,” he added.

“What I decided to do,” Cawley said Wednesday in explaining his decision to ultimately support the contract award, “was to trust the information that I was given at the meeting.”

The North Ward commissioner also referred to the fact that this is an election year in which he is campaigning for mayor against Niland, and wants to stay positive regarding the contract issue.

“Since I’m running for office against him, I’m trying not to be critical.”

The city government does have a history with Sitework Studios.

In February 2019, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voted to allow the group Mount Airy Downtown (MAD) Inc. to have a site plan for the former Spencer’s property prepared by the Asheville firm. Its reputation as an experienced architectural firm was a deciding factor.

An anonymous donor agreed to pay half of the $10,000 expense, with the rest coming from Municipal Service District funds generated by a special tax on downtown-area property owners.

The plan resulting prescribed functional spaces including new housing, lighting, new streets and parking lots, storm water features such as attractive rain gardens also offering educational opportunities, greenway access and more.

A trio of second-half goals lifted Wilkes Central over East Surry on Sept. 19.

The Cardinals and Eagles both looked to pick up their first win of the season in Monday’s match. The teams played to a scoreless tie at halftime and looked evenly matched, but Wilkes Central put two goals in the back of the net in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

East battled back and had opportunities to strike later in the half, but the Cards couldn’t score. The visiting Eagles added another goal for insurance as they went on to win 3-0.

”At times we played great, and at times we struggled,” said Cardinal coach Samuel Lowe. “It’s hard for them to all play together for 80 minutes, and to be honest with you I haven’t had the same starting 11 two games in a row. It’s hard to get continuity.

“As a whole I’m pleased with the way they played tonight. They gave me all that they had and that’s all I could ask for – 110% the whole time. Tonight they didn’t quit, so I’m happy.”

Lowe’s message to the Cardinals all season has been to get better every time they step on the pitch. Instead of folding when they faced an all-out attack from Wilkes Central early, East Surry stood strong and kept a clean sheet during the first half.

The Eagles had three corner kicks in the span of 90 seconds beginning in the fifth minute. The Cards were able to weather the early storm of attacks and eventually modified their defense to force numerous offside calls. Wilkes Central had three shots in the first eight minutes of play, then didn’t take another until the 33rd minute.

East Surry moved more efficiently through the midfield against Wilkes Central than in any game prior. Lowe commended the team for not only their ball movement, but also the team’s ability to keep their shape as a whole.

“I’ve had a few boys on this team who have never played soccer in their life, and I can see their improvement,” Lowe said. “Their touches have started to get a lot better, they’re understanding the game better and can better read what’s happening. You can tell how much better we’ve got at moving the ball instead of just kicking and expecting something to happen.”

Striker Jonathan de la Cruz nearly put the Cards on the board with a pair of first-half shots. Levi Watson attacked up the right sideline before crossing to Cruz in the 13th minute, but his shot was off frame. Nine minutes later Cruz used a through ball from Lupe Chavez to shoot, this time having his attempt blocked out of bounds for a corner kick.

Mario Flores took the corner for East, and Chavez connected for a header but it was saved by Wilkes Central.

After neither team was able to strike in the first half, the Eagles scored their opening goal in the 45th minute off a corner kick. Three minutes later Wilkes Central used a counter to double its lead.

Though the Cardinals did play with better ball movement in the game, the team still struggled to score. East Surry’s only two shots of the second half came off an Alex Galvan free kick from close to midfield in the 59th minute, and a shot from Logan Fagg in the 71st minute that was set up by triangle passing between Sid Sutphin, Fernando Torres-Vega and Giovanni Flores-Haws.

Though most of the second half was contested place in the middle third, Wilkes Central did go on the offensive to close the game. The Eagles added a goal in the 68th minute to bring the game out of reach.

Wilkes Central added five shots in the final five minutes that were all saved by keeper Michael Youngblood.

The Cardinals fall to 0-5-1 overall and 0-3 in the Foothills 2A Conference with the loss.

“I really think these boys are improving every game,” Lowe said. “Sometimes the outcome doesn’t show it, but when I go back on film I can see the boys improvement over the course of the year. Having lost so many kids from last season, the main thing is just getting better every game and have a no quit attitude.

“There’s still a lot that we need to work on, and that stuff falls on me as a coach, but as long as these boys keep fighting we’ll be alright.”

North Surry battled Wilkes Central in Toast Sept. 16 to open league play in the Foothills 2A Conference.

The Greyhounds held a six-point lead at halftime before going down a score in the third quarter. North Surry was primed to tie things up with a red zone appearance early in the fourth, but a turnover-on-downs followed by an Eagle touchdown turned the momentum in the visitors’ favor.

The Hounds continued to fight and cut into the lead with a touchdown, but came up on the wrong side of an onside kick. Late touchdowns added to the Eagles’ lead, finishing the game with a final score of 51-32.

Friday night marked the 2022 debut of Wilkes Central’s Kamen Smith, who missed the first four games of the season with an injury. According to 247Sports, Smith is a 3-star recruit that has committed to N.C. State.

Kamen’s presence on the defensive line limited North Surry’s rushing offense. The Greyhounds (1-3, 0-1 FH2A) responded by taking to the skies, posting their first game of the season with more yards passing than yards rushing.

Quarterback Colton Allen finished with a career-high 174 yards by completing 8-of-14 passes. Kam McKnight added one pass for 26 yards to bring the Greyhounds over 200 yards passing for the game. Allen threw two touchdowns and an interception, and McKnight had one touchdown pass.

Jahreece Lynch paced the Hounds with five catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Jared Hiatt had one catch for 38 yards, Makiyon Woodbury added two catches for 27 yards and Fisher Leftwich had one catch for 16 yards.

All three of Lynch’s touchdowns came in the first half.

Wilkes Central (3-2, 1-0 FH2A) scored first at the 8:57 mark in the first quarter, but Owen McMillian stuck the Eagles on the 2-point conversion. North went ahead 7-6 after McKnight connected with Lynch three minutes later. Lynch scored later in the quarter on a 66-yard Allen pass, putting North Surry up 14-6.

Both squads scored in the second quarter, with North going up 20-14, but Wilkes Central looked to add another touchdown before halftime. The Eagles looked to the end zone but were picked off by Lynch.

The Eagles finally retook the lead in the third quarter with a rushing touchdown. The touchdown tied the game at 20, and the ensuing 2-point conversion put Wilkes Central on top. The visitors added to their lead by scoring a touchdown with 10:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The failed two-point conversion left it a one-score game at 28-20.

North Surry marched down the field and into the red zone looking to tie things up. The Hounds went for it on fourth down with less than eight minutes to play, but couldn’t convert. Wilkes Central responded with a 73-yard run to enter the red zone, then scored with 6:50 remaining to go up 36-20.

Even with Wilkes Central’s defensive wall, North Surry managed to rush for 161 yards – bringing the team’s total yardage to 361 for the game. Both of the Hounds’ late touchdowns came on the ground.

Jake Simmons, who led the team with 21 carries for 80 yards, scored with 5:28 left in the fourth. North Surry, however, failed the 2-point conversion to leave it a 10-point game at 36-26.

Following Simmons was Malachi Powers with one carry for 37 yards, Allen with four carries for 27 yards and a touchdown, Lynch with three carries for 17 yards and Talan Vernon with one carry for no gain.

Wilkes Central maintained possession until the 2:35 mark before scoring again. The touchdown and 2-point conversion increased the advantage to 44-26.

The lead increased to 51-26 after Wilkes Central scored another TD with less than a minute on the clock. Allen ran in a 12-yard touchdown late to round out the final score, 51-32.

Both schools continue FH2A Conference play on Sept. 23. North Surry travels to East Surry (5-0, 1-0 FH2A) and Wilkes Central hosts Surry Central (1-3, 1-0 FH2A).

A proposed relocation of YVEDDI was raised at Monday night’s meeting of the Surry County Board of County Commissioners. In a back-and-forth discussion that followed the board tried to find the balance between fiscal responsibility and doing the greatest good for the people of Surry County, while voting to approve funding to hasten YVEDDI’s move to a new home in Mount Airy.

Commissioners debated whether it was the fairest use of taxpayer dollars to fund renovations of a privately owned building who would then be the landlord for YVEDDI. The counter argument holds that funding the costs needed to move a nonprofit that serves so many people across four counties would be of the greatest benefit to the most people.

The Yadkin Valley Economic Development District Inc. serves Surry, Stokes, Yadkin and Davie counties in the administration of community service programs. From Head Start to Meals on Wheels to legal aid for senior citizens, YVEDDI offers a wide array of services from their headquarters in the L. H. Jones Family Resource Center in Mount Airy, but a change may be in the works.

Ownership of the former J. J. Jones High School passed from Surry County to the African American Historical and Genealogical Society of Surry County over the summer, a move that was met by the alumni of Jones and members of the Black community with great pride.

They have plans to see their former school converted into a mixed used site with spaces for cultural heritage, meetings, community events, and perhaps living spaces. Their goal is to preserve a piece of their shared history for future generations.

Those plans have taken an unexpected turn this week as YVEDDI Executive Director Kathy Payne came before the board with a half million-dollar request that would help convert the site of the former Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care facility in the Ottenweller Building located on Technology Lane in Mount Airy into the new home of YVEDDI.

Payne said, “AAHGS have been very gracious to us, but we feel it would be better for our business to sustain our business to move into a more modern facility.”

She reminded the board, “The Jones Center as you know is an 83-year-old building in need of extensive repairs.” The facts remain the same as when the former J. J. Jones school, now the Family Resource Center, was added onto the county’s list of surplus properties last year.

The aging structure needs extensive repairs or renovations from windows, plumbing, wiring, floors, and HVAC. Surry County determined that the cost for upkeep of the Jones School building, as well as Westfield Elementary School, was simply more than the county could bear.

Those costs were only going to rise as those buildings continue to age with the same interior structures and internal fixtures that have reached or are nearing the end of their projected life cycle. Any cost estimates for construction or renovation projects these days are indeed just estimates as prices for materials remains in flux due to inflation or lingering constraints on supply chains.

YVEDDI has been presented with an opportunity to take over the former 16,000+ square foot hospice site with the owners of the Ottenweller building offering to cover the costs of the concrete work for YVEDDI.

Ottenweller has offered a 15-year leasing structure with YVEDDI with rent increases established at years three, six and 13 which will help the organization plan out budgets more accurately. Payne said, “They have offered us a rent that is very kind. In our research commercial real estate is $23/sq.ft. and they are offering this facility to us for at 66 cents/sq.ft. and have given us the option to sublet.”

Payne has received a quote of $500,000 from architect Tony Chilton for work that would need to be done to the proposed facility including walling off classrooms, adjusting the current HVAC and sprinkler systems, adding egress, kitchen appliances, a playground with fence, and child sized bathrooms.

One of the qualities the Ottenweller site offers that appeals most to Payne is that it is located all on one level. Ease of access will make things easier for mobility challenged seniors and children alike.

Payne asked the county to fund the renovations and offered that YVEDDI would reimburse the county as funding came in through grants. The board was hesitant to authorize taxpayer dollars to make renovations to a building the county does not own.

Commissioner Van Tucker noted that the county would be paying for renovations to a building where they would be a tenant. This would be tantamount to funding the renovation on behalf the renter he said, adding, “This is simply an issue that I am not sure is fair the Surry County taxpayer of being a lender. There are no guarantees in life… Money to upgrade someone else’s building is something I can’t support,” he said while thanking Payne and her organization for all they do.

The commissioners showed a bit of internal conflict with their deliberation, Commissioner Eddie Harris said difficult discussions like these are good for all parties involved. Even as a long-term member of the YVEDDI board, and one of the unanimous votes from their board who authorized Payne to investigate the relocation of the organization, Harris was one of the two nay votes on the motion joining with Tucker.

Commissioner Mark Marion echoed sentiments from his colleagues that all manner of funding for the renovations to the Ottenweller Building should be investigated. That should include discussions with potential lending institutions to see if YVEDDI could qualify for a loan outright as opposed to being funded by the county.

Commissioner Larry Johnson noted that any hesitancy from a lender could most likely be overcome, “I feel like between Surry County, our manager, our legal team, and our staff we could satisfy a bank’s terms.”

However, Johnson was ready to act and made a motion to authorize the funding for YVEDDI, “We’ve spread (Invest in Surry dollars) all over the county on ball fields, lights, gyms, shelters, medical ministries, you name it – and I feel y’all deserve an equal share.”

“I feel like we can back $400,000 so you can meet your timeline,” he said identifying a dollar amount lower than requested. Payne had identified YVEDDI cash on hand, a proposed grant from Mount Airy, and other private grants that may be coming that would help her with the costs – leading Johnson to the $400,000 figure.

He also suggested that the potential benefits to the residents of the four counties served would far outweigh any dangers in being the funding source for the renovations YVEDDI needs to make Ottenweller their home. “If we get three-fourths of it back, or we get zero back, I feel like its money well spent,” he concluded as the board voted 3-2 in favor of the request.

“We are very pleased that the commissioners recognize our dedication to providing support and services to the citizens of Surry County,” Payne said of Monday’s outcome. “We expect client outcomes to improve by being in an environment with greater accessibility, especially for those who may have cognitive or physical challenges.”

CHAPEL HILL – The N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), in conjunction with Wells Fargo, released the final standings in the 42nd annual Wells Fargo State Cup competitions for the 2021-22 academic year on Sept. 16.

The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications.

Mount Airy, East Surry and Elkin were all recognized as top-10 finishers in their respective divisions. This marks the first time since the 2014-15 school year that three Surry County teams have finished in the top-10. That year, all three schools were from the 1A division: Elkin finished No. 5, East Surry was No. 8 and Mount Airy was No. 9

East Surry makes its fifth consecutive appearance in the top 10, this time competing in the 2A division while the previous four were in 1A. The Cardinals have finished in the top 10 in seven of the past 10 school years: 2013, 2015 and 2018-22.

Mount Airy and Elkin both return to the Wells Fargo Cup top 10 after multi-year absences. Mount Airy last appeared in the 1A top 10 following the 2017-18 school year. The Granite Bears’ make their fifth top-10 appearance in the past 10 school years: 2015-18 and now 2022.

Elkin makes its first top-10 appearance since 2015. Prior to 2022, Elkin’s only top-10 appearances in the past 10 school years came in 2014 and 2015.

Since 1979, the Wells Fargo State Cup award has been awarded to the schools which have the best overall interscholastic sports programs in each of the four classifications: 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A.

All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) in an NCHSAA state championship event receive Wells Fargo Cup points. In events where 1A, 2A, 3A, and/or 4A schools compete together, such as lacrosse, points are awarded on a school’s standing against other schools in its classification.

In Cup competition, points are awarded for all sports on the basis of 50 points for first, 45 for second place, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth.

In the event of a tie, the schools receive an equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings.

Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.

Mount Airy’s No. 5 finish in the 2021-22 Cup was the highest of any traditional 1A school in the state; the top two spots were occupied by private schools, and the next two spots by public charters.

Since 2009, only one traditional public 1A high school has won the 1A Wells Fargo State Cup: Mount Airy in 2016-17.

The crowning achievement of the year’s Granite Bears was the school’s Dual-Team State Championship in girls tennis. The 22-0 Bears shut out 17 opponents, and never dropped more than three individual matches. Mount Airy only surrendered two individual matches through its final 13 matches of the season – including the entire postseason.

In the fall of 2021, Mount Airy also finished 1A West Regional Runner-up in boys soccer – marking the program’s second Regional Final appearance in three years and its third appearance in the past five years – and reached the quarterfinals of the football state tournament.

The Granite Bears had four top-8 finishes during winter sports and the wrestling team accounted for two of those. The Bears reached the quarterfinals of the dual-team state tournament, only losing to the eventual state champs, and finished No. 6 as a team at the Individual State Wrestling Tournament.

The boys swim and indoor track teams didn’t finish in the top eight overall since those championships are a combined 1A/2A, but the teams did earn Wells Fargo Cup points for finishing in the top eight of their division. Mount Airy’s indoor track team tied for the third-highest score of any 1A team (tied for 17th overall), while the swim team finished No. 5 among 1A competition (11th overall).

In the spring, Mount Airy added a quarterfinal appearance in boys tennis.

Elkin didn’t have any top-8 appearances in the fall, but had three each in the winter and spring.

The Buckin’ Elks girls swim team had the highest finish of any 1A team. Elkin finished No. 4 overall behind a trio of 2A charters. Elkin’s No. 4 finish was the only appearance by a traditional public school – in 1A or 2A – in the top 12.

Not far behind was the Elks’ boys swim team, who finished No. 2 in 1A. Elkin’s boys finished No. 5 overall behind three 2A charters and one 1A charter.

Elkin also finished tied for fourth in 1A for girls indoor track. Overall the girls were 12th in the team competition.

Continuing their success in the spring, Elkin’s boys tennis team reached the 1A West Regional Final before falling to the eventual state champs. The Buckin’ Elks boys golf team finished No. 5 in the 1A division, and the girls track team finished No. 8.

East Surry adjusted to the 2A division in its first year and made the top 10 of the Wells Fargo Cup. The Cardinals still have the numbers of a 1A school, but were moved up a division in the latest realignment cycle due to the NCHSAA factoring previous State Cup success into its formula.

East is the only Surry County school to rank in the top-10 of the 2A Wells Fargo State Cup since 2011. NCHSAA records for the top-10 Wells Fargo Cup teams only date back to 2011.

East Surry’s football and volleyball teams both reached the 2A West Regional Championship in the fall. It was the volleyball team’s second regional final appearance in three seasons, winning the 1A West Regional Title in 2019, and was the football team’s fourth-consecutive regional championship appearance. The Cardinal football team won the 1A West Regional Title three times from 2018-20.

Both the 2021-22 volleyball and football teams were eliminated by the eventual state champions.

During the winter East Surry earned points in the boys swimming state championship. The Cards were No. 16 overall, but met the cut to earn points as the No. 8 2A team.

East Surry’s golf team captured the 2A State Title one year after finishing runner-up in the 1A Championship. The Cardinals won the team championship by 11 strokes, and senior Bradley Davis Jr. finished State Runner-up individually.

Finally, the Cardinal baseball team earned points by reaching the quarterfinals of the 2A State Tournament. This marked East’s fourth-consecutive appearance in at least the fourth round, with the previous three coming in the 1A division. East Surry was eliminated from the playoffs by the eventual state champions.

This weekend on Main Street in Pilot Mountain there will be a dinner event under the stars to benefit downtown revitalization and the arts. The Foothills Dinner on Main calls for a gathering Saturday that will feature, “Fine dining, fine music, and fine company.”

“Foothills Dinner on Main was created with the thought of showcasing culinary talent while simultaneously building on our dream of a more vibrant downtown,” event organizers said.

A cocktail reception with a wine and beer tasting will begin at 5 p.m. and will feature tasty bites along with live music. Meeting and greeting will give way to eating when the clock tolls 6 p.m. and a multi-course dinner service commences.

Organizers hope to entice the public to come to downtown Pilot Mountain to sample food from some of the area’s best. The meal will be prepared by local chefs featuring locally sourced ingredients and courses will be paired with selected local wines or beers while music from The Happy Ones will accompany the evening.

If the notion of a dinner on the street just sounds ridiculous to you, that is reasonable. However, take a gander with your eyes over the menu as your stomach sends messages to the brain signaling a desire to support downtown the arts in Pilot Mountain and satiate growing pangs of hunger.

Foothills Dinner on Main has a menu that cries for attention boasting such appetizer offerings as a quail egg tostada, a miso braised pork belly, or pickled shrimp ceviche in a lettuce cup with avocado mousse and smoke pepita. This is more than a BBQ or chili cookoff folks, this is elevated dining – Pilot Mountain style.

The stars of the evening shall be found among the main course entrees for Foothills Dinner on Main. A selection of five entrees with options from land and sea are to be found with oven roasted lamb chops being paired with poached rainbow carrots and seared tarragon creme filled potato flutes.

Braised short ribs will join with roasted root vegetables, spiced rainbow cauliflower and romesco, and a horseradish-honey gravy that is sure to tempt taste buds. Also, a honey and orange glazed cod with balsamic and bacon brussel sprouts will be offered.

Mouths will water at the site of braised pork belly served with some of the signature flavors of autumn such as roasted butternut squash puree, havarti and goat cheese grits, granny smith apples, toasted pumpkin seeds, pork gravy, and red pepper coulis.

Designing and implementing the meal requires the skill and effort from multiple chefs, and their crews, to make Foothills Dinner of Main a success.

Some of the names aiding in the event are known players to this event such as Nikki Farrington of Niki’s Pickles and 6th & Vine in Winston-Salem has been a pivotal part of the event since its inception, organizers said. Another local heavyweight, Mark Thrower of Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards, is lending his skills to the dinner.

Michelle and Michael Millan operate The Tuning Fork which is the food truck for Fiddlin Fish Brewery. The two have a history with Miami/Cuban street foods dating back to 2017 with Mojito Mobile Kitchen. More recently they have purchased farms to lower produce costs for themselves, and to sell locally grown competitively priced produce to other chefs in the area.

Erin Needham, co-owner of Viridescence Bottles and Bites, will also be a presenter at the year’s event. The event planners said she has a passion for plant-based cuisine, and she will be opening the first of its kind in Surry County plant-based eatery next month in downtown Pilot Mountain.

Olivia Jessup has run Liv For Sweets bakery in downtown Pilot Mountain for three years. She touts herself as a self-taught baker who can create everything from scratch and says when folks eat her sweets, “They know I put my love and passion into it.”

Also joining the dinner’s culinary team is Donald Mueller, the former owner of Mountain View Restaurant, now owns My Kitchen food truck which specializes in American cuisine.

Pilot Mountain Town Commissioner Scott Needham, who will be serving as the emcee for the evening, said that the money raised from will be used to fund art projects, “There’s a lot of different art projects that we are hoping to be able to fund in the coming years and we’re hoping this will be our seed money to start those projects and match grants for this new nonprofit organization.”

He said the town is starting a non-profit for the many projects that the town has envisioned such as 3-D art displays at the Civic Center, 2-D art in the alleyway between First Citizen Bank and The Country Store, and increase programming at the amphitheater at Armfield Civic Center.

Needham said there are even larger arts goals such as funding a new downtown amphitheater, but he acknowledged, “The profits from this dinner would probably only be a drop in the bucket for that.”

After having had to cancel the 2021 Foothills Dinner on Main due to lingering ill effects of the pandemic on local restaurants, organizers and presenters alike are ready to welcome guests back to, “Dine on the yellow line under the stars in this foodie’s delight.”

Event organizers advise that participation in this unique evening requires a reservation. Tickets are $100 each and seating will be limited. For tickets visit:

About 4,000 people die from drowning each year in the U.S., but an influx of funding is expected to reduce the probability of that locally.

The Reeves Community Center Foundation has been awarded a grant for $5,000 from the Step Into Swim Program, according to Darren Lewis, assistant city manager for Mount Airy, who called that “great news.”

“This grant will assist individuals or families that may have financial barriers to participate otherwise,” added Lewis, who formerly served as Mount Airy’s parks and recreation director. “This opportunity will help the children in our community be safer around water and ultimately save lives.”

The RCC Foundation will partner with Mount Airy Parks and Recreation to offer scholarship opportunities for the American Red Cross Learn to Swim Program, according to Lewis.

Even more excited about the grant is Cathy Cloukey, assistant director of Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, who has a special understand of the need from serving as the city’s aquatics supervisor for more than 13 years before becoming the assistant director.

“It will make a tremendous difference,” she predicted Monday.

“We’re really excited to get this grant,” added Cloukey, who said that to her knowledge Mount Airy has not received it before. “I just think it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

As someone who has taught thousands of local youths how to swim at Reeves Community Center’s aquatic facilities, Cloukey sees firsthand how the new grant program can benefit the community, including its potential for preventing drownings — “absolutely.”

She pointed out that a non-city resident, non-member of Reeves Community Center normally is charged $55 for youth swim lessons, with lesser sums in place for non-resident members or resident non-members.

“It could benefit up to one hundred kids that would not otherwise have an opportunity to take lessons,” Cloukey estimated.

Eight swim lessons typically are involved, of varying lengths depending on children’s ages. Classes for those 6 and older, for example, last 55 minutes.

“We’re just hoping it can make an impact on our community,” Cloukey said of the grant.

Persons wanting more information about the swim lessons involved can contain Cloukey or city Parks and Recreation Director Peter Raymer at Reeves Community Center.

I would like to say first that I am a lifelong Mount Airy resident born in Mount Airy. I am writing because I am very much disturbed by the grumblings of a local group that wants to prevent any improvements to our Main Street (Re: Walk Planned to Save Main Street, Sept. 15 Mount Airy News).

Is burying the ugly utility lines and removing the unsightly power poles and cobra lights really going to destroy the character of downtown?

It seems no action can be taken by our city commissioners anymore without a protest group forming. After 50 years, I think a facelift to our Main Street should be welcomed. Much money was spent to develop a plan to make our downtown more beautiful and attractive. The protest group is trying to turn the whole thing into something negative and influence public opinion to turn against the plan.

I do not see anything wrong or “big” city about the improvements made to downtown Boone. I think it looks very neat and attractive and appealing to tourists and outsiders and is something the local people there are probably very proud of. I want to voice my strong support for the three city commissioners that voted for the plan. I hope other local citizens who approve of this master plan and the changes will also speak up to prevent the nay-sayers from having their way.

• Fake currency has showed up again in Mount Airy as it does periodically, according to city police reports.

The latest incident, which police learned of last Friday, resulted in Food Lion on West Pine Street being victimized. The crime actually occurred in late August, but was not reported until last week.

It involved an unknown male suspect using bogus money to obtain both miscellaneous grocery items and real currency received back in change. The denomination(s) used were not specified in police records, nor was a total loss figure.

• An Indiana man was charged with larceny and possession of stolen goods last Wednesday after allegedly stealing a bottle of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc wine and four bottles of Fireball cinnamon whiskey from Sheetz on Rockford Street.

Gregory William Hudson, 55, of West Lafayette, was detained at the business by officers after allegedly taking the beverages, valued at $46, and consuming them without paying.

Arrest records further state that Hudson was turned over to staff members of Northern Regional Hospital and his vehicle was impounded. He is scheduled to appear in Surry District Court on Oct. 17.

• Worth Honda on West Pine Street was the scene of a crime discovered on Sept. 10, which involved the business being broken into and an attempt to steal a 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle.

Entry was gained by knocking a hole in an exterior wall and then forcing open a locked door. Nothing was listed as missing from the incident.

A total of 13 people have been appointed or reappointed to three different city advisory groups by the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.

Its unanimous action last Thursday night included three members being re-upped to the Mount Airy Planning Board, Len Fawcett, Bryan Grote and Courtney Williams.

Two other Planning Board members eligible for reappointment, Tami Springthorpe and Gray Trotter, elected not to do so.

Fawcett, Grote and Williams were each approved for new three-year terms that will expire on Oct. 31, 2025.

Joanna Refvem and Lauren Jennings were appointed to three-year terms as replacements for Sprinthorpe and Trotter on the Planning Board. It devotes initial study to zoning, annexation, land-use and related proposals and makes recommendations to the commissioners for final action.

The terms of Refvem and Jennings will run until Sept. 30, 2025.

Meanwhile, four city residents were reappointed to the Mount Airy Appearance Commission. It spearheads various beautification efforts in town — including an awards program to recognize business and residential properties that are setting a good example for others through aesthetic or architectural excellence.

Phillip Brown, Jenny Smith, Paul Danley and Darryl Wilson were approved for new three-year terms on the appearance group to expire on Sept, 30, 2025.

Another member of that group whose term has ended, Allen Burton, was not eligible for reappointment, resulting in Len Fawcett being named as Burton’s replacement. His three-year term will run to the same date as the other four members.

In another move, Rob Sinton and Jenny Smith were reappointed to new three-year terms on the Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Commission which will expire on Sept. 30, 2025.

Another member of that group, Karen Eberdt, has relocated from the city and no longer is eligible to serve, triggering the appointment of Julia Draughn to fill Eberdt’s unexpired term that runs until March 30, 2023.

The Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Commission is a citizens advisory group on matters relating to facilities and programs within that realm.

While the annual Mayberry Days may have seen crown numbers down over the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s gathering could be shaping up to be one of the largest ever.

The gathering of Mayberry faithful traditionally sees Mount Airy flooded with fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” from all over the nation — along with a few international fans — with the major festivities getting underway on Thursday. That is when the annual Mayberry Days Golf Tournament gets underway, and that night is a dinner at Cross Creek Country Club, complete with entertainment that will feature country music star T. Graham Brown this year.

This year both have already sold out, meaning the arts council has had to cut off selling additional tickets to the events. In more than 30 years of Mayberry Days Festivals, Surry Arts Council Executive Director Tanya Jones said that has never happened.

“I do anticipate great attendance for many reasons, but the weather forecast is perfect,” she said. That forecast calls for daily high temperatures to range between the low 70s to the mid-80s, with clear skies all week.

Another factor in a potentially record-breaking attendance is the expansion of events. Historically, Mayberry Days gets underway with Thursday’s golf tournament and dinner, followed by the official opening ceremony Friday morning. Both of those events remain in their customary time slots, but there are plenty of activities going on all week this year.

The 1958 movie “No Time For Sergeants” starting Andy Griffith along with Don Knotts, has been playing at The Historic Earle Theatre daily since Friday; and beginning Monday fans have chances to see “Murder in Coweta County” staring Griffith and Johnny Cash; catch a performance by comedian John Floyd as The Mount of Mayberry; along with three concerts at the Blackmon Amphitheatre Tuesday through Thursday featuring The Embers, The Band of Oz, and The Legacy Motown Review; along with a host of other Andy Griffith Show related displays, talks and activities.

Remembering those who have passed

While Mayberry Days is a time of celebration and renewing old friendships, there will be a tinge of sadness with a few activities this year aimed at remembering those the Mayberry community have lost over the past year, with events planned to memorialize Thelma Lou actress Betty Lynn and Charlene Darling actress Maggie Petersen Mancuso, among others. Betty Lynn passed away on Oct. 16 after a brief illness, at RidgeCrest Retirement Community in Mount Airy. Maggie Mancuso passed away May 15. She had been in declining health since her husband, musician Gus Mancuso, died the previous year.

Jones, whose Surry Arts Council sponsors and oversees the annual Mayberry Days festival — said several others who worked with the show or fans who were well-known to the Mayberry fandom also will be honored.

Gary Nelson, who directed an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” as well as two episodes of its spin-off series, “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.,” will be honored by Dick Atkins, who is dedicating his annual presentation to the late Nelson. Atkins was a producer for “Murder in Coweta County.” His presentation will include screenings of the movie as well as question and answer sessions.

Fans Pat Bullins and Dewey Lamb will be remembered as well. Bullins, a multi-time winner and well-known contestant of the annual World Championship of Mayberry Trivia, will be honored with this year’s competition being dedicated to her. Lamb, a talented artist known for creating unique Mayberry-themed work, and for occasionally donning his Goober outfit, will be honored when this year’s WBMUTBB Silent and Live Auction — named for the sponsoring Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board? chapter of The Andy Griffith Rerun Watcher’s Club — is dedicated to his memory.

Jones said Maggie will be remembered in two ways. First, the Doug Dillard Tribute Band concert, featuring Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band, will be dedicated to her memory. Maggie and the Dillards were part of the fictional Darling clan from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Those appearances often included blue-grass music, with Maggie singing, and she often sang with the Dillards during the band’s annual concert at Mayberry Days.

In addition to the concert’s dedication to her, there will be a presentation of photos and music from her career 30 minutes prior to the Dillard Band concert, open to ticket holders for the show.

There will be a more formal memorial for Betty Lynn on Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Historic Earle Theatre on Main Street.

“We didn’t have a service for Betty when she passed away,” Jones said. “We wanted to be able to include fans as they were so important to her – the service during Mayberry Days is Betty’s memorial service.”

Jones said that Karen Knotts, daughter of Don Knotts and a frequent guest at Mayberry Days – was particularly close to Betty. “Karen and a couple of others who were special to her will say a few words,” she said.

Additionally, Jones said that singer and Elvis tribute artist Michael Hoover, who has several shows scheduled for Mayberry Days, will be singing during her service.

“Betty loved him and he performed on stage with her for several years during Mayberry Days shows,” Jones said.

During the service — which is open to everyone — there will be presentation of Betty’s career highlights projected onto a screen.

While fans and the Mayberry Days guests may have their attention focused on the various memorials for those who have passed away, Jones reminds everyone that there will be quite a bit of good, old-fashioned, Mayberry fun for those attending the event.

“There will be some new children’s activities, a new mural, several new shows including a Patsy Cline show and another featuring women in country music – more shows than ever,” she said.

For a full list of events, see look for copies of the Surry Arts Council publication “Mayberry Confidential” at various places around town, or visit the Mayberry Days website at

ARARAT, Va. — Although Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart commanded the Confederate cavalry during the Civil War, a naval exhibit is to be part of an upcoming reenactment event at Stuart’s Laurel Hill birthplace in Patrick County.

But don’t worry, ground troops will still be highlighted in mock battles during the annual Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend on the Ararat site which is slated for Oct. 1-2.

The overall goal of the event is to educate the public about the conflict that divided the nation and illustrate how the typical soldier of both blue and gray existed — in a sense allowing attendees to take a trip back in time.

Reenactment troops camp out on the grounds, where various exhibits and historical groups also set up shop and special programs are held during the weekend.

That’s where a replica of the CSS Hunley will play a key role. It pays homage to the first submarine in the world to sink an enemy vessel, in its case the USS Housatonic, which had been part of the U.S. Navy blockade of Charleston. The Hunley, only about 40 feet long, attacked the Housatonic with a torpedo in February 1864 and was itself lost due to the blast along with an eight-member crew.

The sunken sub was raised in 2000 and is displayed in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Organizers of the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend say the replica sub will be a welcome presence at the gathering.

“We are very glad to have it and make it part of our event,” said Tom Bishop a member of the governing board for the J.E.B. Birthplace Preservation Trust that spearheads the Living History Weekend now in its 30th year.

“We had it in years past, but I think there were some issues,” Bishop said, which prompted a redo of the exhibit that will surface again in Ararat. “This is the latest version.”

Gates are scheduled to open at 9 a.m. on both Oct. 1-2 for the Living History Weekend.

Admission will cost $8 per person, free for those 12 and under.

Laurel Hill is located at 1091 Ararat Highway, just across the state line from Mount Airy via N.C. 104.

Civil War battle recreations — slated for 3 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 2 — are always popular segments of the Living History Weekend and organizers are expecting healthy numbers of uniformed reenactors to participate with horses and cannons.

“We’re probably going to have in the hundreds, I’m guessing,” Bishop said of what has become a popular stop for those individuals who also lend authenticity to such events elsewhere.

“They like the reception they get, the facilities,” he added.

Other highlights of the Oct. 1-2 weekend will include guests portraying Civil War generals in addition to many others who’ll be there in period costume.

Live string band music, a ladies tea, a Saturday night dance, Civil War sutlers and and a church service that Sunday morning also are planned.

Two groups, The Fisher River Timber Rattlers and The Cedar Ridge String Band, each will perform multiple sets on Oct. 1, when the latter will headline a music and dance session at 7:45 p.m.

Music is to be performed Sunday by Herbert and Tina Conner, with the gates closing that day at 4 p.m. to conclude the weekend for another year.

Special speaker Sam Winkler also is scheduled to be on hand portraying Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Other history-minded activities on tap include a generals council of war both days, a black rose memorial service and a grand review on Oct. 1 at 10 a.m. accompanied by a flag-raising ceremony and monument dedication.

A variety of food and other vendors are expected to be on hand in addition to representatives of area historical groups including the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend returned last year after organizers reluctantly cancelled the 2020 edition of the event as COVID-19 was raging.

That interruption, along with negative public sentiments surrounding Civil War figures at that time, created a cloud of uncertainty for its return in October 2021 in terms of how the event would be greeted by the public.

Those fears proved to be unfounded as last year’s Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekend was one of the best-attended in recent memory, with nearly 1,000 people in attendance over the two days.

President Biden on Sunday declared the COVID-19 pandemic was over in the United States.

Health officials are not so sure. A litany of medical professionals on Monday said the numbers of cases in the U.S. do not back up the president’s claim. One, Dr. Megan Ranney, head of the Brown University school of public health, went so far as to call his statement “malarkey,” according to a Monday NPR report.

Locally, health officials might also take issue with Biden’s proclamation.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Surry County is still considered a community with a “high transmission” rate, joining neighbors Stokes, Yadkin, Alleghany and Forsyth counties on the wrong end of the rating spectrum. All totaled, as of Monday, 26 of North Carolina’s 100 counties were rated as high-transmission communities, up from 25 the previous week.

Maggie Simmons, assistant health director for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, said on Monday the county has experienced 528 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, 206 of those in the previous seven days. That puts the seven-day average at nearly 70 new cases per day.

While community transmission in Surry remains high, the number of cases requiring hospitalization is down considerably. As of Monday morning, Northern Regional Hospital had just two COVID patients being hospitalized — one in the step-down unit, which is for patients who are not quite critical enough for the intensive care unit — and one in the general patient population, according to Robin Hodgin, senior vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer.

Hodgin said the hospital has averaged three to four COVID inpatients a day over the past week, down from 10 a day during August, and a far cry from the winter months when he hospital had more than 30 COVID patients some days. She did say, however, that the hospital is seeing three to five of its staff members out each week suffering from COVID-19.

All totaled, Simmons said Surry County has seen 25,550 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 380 deaths. Both she and Hodgin say both agencies have seen a number of individuals contracting the coronavirus more than once, although they do not keep statics on repeat infections.

Simmons is cautioning county residents to be vaccinated against coronavirus, and to get updated boosters. She said 54% of the county has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 51% has completed the initial series, with 27% having had at least one booster.

Her department has the bivalent vaccine booster, designed to offer protection against two different strains of the virus – the original strain that all previous vaccines have targeted and the newer Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

“A person is eligible to receive a bivalent booster if it has been at least two months since they have completed their primary vaccination series or since they received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” her department said in a statement released last week. “The updated booster vaccines do not replace shots for the primary vaccination series, but they will replace the current booster dose for persons 12 years of age and older.”

Simmons offered precautions for individuals to help stem further spread of the virus:

– Stay up to date on vaccinations, including recommended booster doses;

– Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19;

– Follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19;

– Follow the recommendations for what to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19;

– If you are at high risk of getting very sick, talk with a healthcare provider about additional prevention actions.

“At high levels of community transmission, masking is recommended, particularly for those at high risk of severe illness,” she added.

For individuals wishing to receive the vaccine, or the booster, call Surry County Health and Nutrition Center at 336-401-8420, to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will be accommodated; however, appointments are preferred.

DOBSON — Millennium Charter Academy hosted three cross country meets at Fisher River Park park during the first three weeks of September.

Coverage of the second MCA meet, held Sept. 8, was included in the Sept. 10 edition of The News. Though Millennium itself didn’t compete in the second meet, other local schools such as Mount Airy, Elkin, White Plains Christian School and Surry Homeschool did.

Millennium’s first meet of the year saw more than 220 high schoolers – 123 boys and 98 girls – compete at Fisher River Park on Sept. 1. Middle school races were also held.

The high school boys 5,000-meter run featured runners from 18 schools. Teams with at least five runners were eligible for the team competition, which assigned point values based on their individual finishes. The school with the lowest point total was the victor.

Only runners that were parts of the team competition were assigned points. As a result, point values don’t always equal a runner’s finish among the entire field.

Mount Airy had the highest finish of any local in the boys competition, finishing sixth of 12 eligible teams with 167 points. Next among Surry County schools was Elkin at No. 8 with 195 points, followed by No. 10 Millennium with 240 points and Surry Home Educators at No. 11.

Forsyth Country Day’s George Lawson won the boys race with a 5K time of 17:24.92. Elkin’s Connor Ball led all local competitors with a time of 18:37.57, good enough for the No. 7 spot among 123 runners.

Results for local runners in the high school boys race are listed below. Results are listed by finish, name, grade, school and then 5K time.

48 Nathan Luther 9 Surry Home E 21:57.85

93 Isaac Richland 9 Surry Home E 26:36.19

95 Noah Richland 9 Surry Home E 26:50.05

100 Daniel Bunke 10 Surry Home E 27:16.84

101 Caleb Luther 11 Surry Home E 27:19.52

107 David Lee Williams 10 North Stokes 28:09.10

There were 98 girls from 16 schools that competed in the high school girls race at the first MCA meet.

Calvary Baptist Day School won the team competition with 40 points. Mount Airy had the high team finish of any Surry County team by taking the No. 7 spot with 170 points. Elkin was next at No. 8 with 195 points, followed by Surry Home Educators at No. 9 with 245 points.

Calvary Baptist’s Anna Edwards won the race with a time of 18:58.93. Mount Airy’s Brooke Haynes had the highest finish from Surry County with a time of 23:04.89, good enough for the No. 8 spot.

Results for local runners in the high school girls race are listed below.

30 Lindsay Easter 9 Surry Home E 25:40.39

79 Lydia Jarrard 12 Surry Home E 31:38.45

90 Alie Gullion 10 Surry Home E 35:03.05

93 Maddie Gambill 9 Surry Home E 37:06.77

98 Helen Hendrickson 9 Surry Home E 44:09.10

Millennium’s third hosted meet of the year welcomed more than 213 high schoolers – 124 boys and 93 girls – compete at Fisher River Park on Sept. 15. Middle school races were before the high school races.

Runners from 18 school competed in the boys race. Mount Airy’s Freddy Hernandez finished on the podium this time, taking the No. 3 spot with a time of 18:42.49. The race’s winner, Central Davidson’s Austin DeGeorge, finished with a 5K time of 18:19.72.

Mount Airy and Surry Homeschool were the only Surry County teams with enough runners to qualify for the boys team competition. The Bears were No. 4 with 123 points, and the Runnin’ Patriots were No. 9 with 229 points.

Results for local runners in the high school boys race are listed below.

40 Steven Hendrickson 11 Surry Home E 21:50.39

62 Nathan Luther 9 Surry Home E 23:03.27

65 Sam Steinbruegge 9 Surry Home E 23:26.06

70 Isaac Richland 9 Surry Home E 24:03.29

86 Noah Richland 9 Surry Home E 25:06.41

105 Caleb Luther 11 Surry Home E 26:24.84

108 David Lee Williams 10 North Stokes 26:47.82

121 Daniel Bunke 10 Surry Home E 33:54.46

There were 93 girls from 15 schools that competed in the high school girls race at the third MCA meet.

South Iredell won the team competition with 48 total points. Mount Airy had the best finish of Surry County teams at No. 7 with 182 points, followed by White Plains at No. 9 with 237 points.

Central Davidson’s Jillian Parks won the girls race with a time of 20:15.09. Mount Airy’s Brooke Haynes was the only Surry County competitor in the top-25, which she accomplished by finishing No. 5 with a time of 21:59.80.

Results for local runners in the high school girls race are listed below.

28 Lindsay Easter 9 Surry Home E 25:06.44

50 Lydia Jarrard 12 Surry Home E 28:19.60

87 Maddie Gambill 9 Surry Home E 33:08.97

91 Helen Hendrickson 9 Surry Home E 41:10.72

The Surry Arts Council is sponsoring three concerts at the Blackmon Amphitheatre this week in conjunction with Mayberry Days, featuring three of the more popular bands that regularly play during the arts council’s summer concert series.

Legacy Motown Revue returns to the Blackmon on Tuesday followed by The Embers featuring Craig Woolard on Wednesday and Band of Oz on Thursday. The concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings start at 7:30 p.m. The show on Thursday evening begins at 8 p.m.

The Legacy Motown Revue takes listners back to the days of The Drifters, The Coasters, The Jacksons, Earth Wind & Fire, The Temptations, and so many more legendary icons. “Featuring talented performers that dance and sing, plus ang six-piece horn band, you will be transported back in time to one of the most influential periods in American Musical History,” arts council organizers said.

“The Embers are widely considered a musical marvel and have laid the groundwork for what has become known as ‘Beach Music’ in the Carolinas, Virginias, the gulf coast region of North America, and every beach in between,” arts council officials said. “They are a true musical tradition with which many Americans have listened to from childhood to adulthood. The Embers consider the genre of Beach Music as ‘music with a memory’ and have been creating lasting memories since its inception in 1958.”

“The Band of Oz is one of the most successful groups in the Southeast and continues to get the very best reviews from the top people in the entertainment business,” concert organizers said. “The band now features a full horn section to total a dynamic eight-member group. They still perform well over 200 shows per year for corporate events, festivals, concerts, wedding receptions, and many other public and private events.”

Admission to each show is $15 or a Surry Arts Council Annual Pass. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult admission or annual pass. The Dairy Center, Whit’s Custard, 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 bring a lounge chair or blanket to sit on.

Tickets are available online at, via phone at 336-786-7998, or at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford Street. For additional information, contact Marianna Juliana at 336-786-7998 or

Mount Airy ran for more than 400 yards for the third consecutive week to blow past East Wilkes 62-7.

East Wilkes scored first, but Mount Airy retaliated with nine unanswered touchdowns in Friday’s Northwest 1A Conference opener. The Granite Bears held the Cardinals to their lowest scoring total of the season while also handing East Wilkes its first loss of 2022.

When Mount Airy most recently played in Wallace Shelton Stadium in, junior Tyler Mason set a career high in yards rushing while also scoring five touchdowns in a 54-6 win over Surry Central. Two weeks later on Sept. 17 Mason did the same thing against East Wilkes.

The running back raised his single-game career high to 250 yards, this time doing so on 13 carries. Mason’s first two carries of the game – which both resulted in the junior reaching the end zone – went for a combined 131 yards.

The Granite Bears (4-1, 1-0 NW1A) have hit their stride in the running game in September. Mount Airy ran for 403 yards in the aforementioned win over Surry Central on Sept. 2, then went on the road to Ashe County to go for 443 yards rushing in a 51-29 victory.

Ian Gallimore and Taeshon Martin both ran for career highs against Ashe County. Gallimore led the team with 15 carries for 177 yards and three touchdowns, Martin ran for 115 yards on 10 carries, and Mason added 151 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Gallimore and Martin only needed to run a combined four times against East Wilkes (4-1, 0-1 NW1A) and Mount Airy still finished with 430 yards on the ground. Behind Mason’s 250: Martin had two carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns, Traven Thompson had two carries for 58 yards and a touchdown, a returning Caleb Reid had one carry for 36 yards, Gallimore ran twice for eight yards and Nas Lemon carried four times for seven yards.

Gallimore also completed 4-of-6 passes for 52 yards, bringing the Bears’ total yardage to 482 for the game. Walker Stroup, who also kicked seven touchbacks and six PATs, was the leading receiver with a 26-yard touchdown catch. Logan Fonville added one catch for 11 yards, Mason had one reception for 10 yards and Mario Revels had one catch for five yards.

East Wilkes was held to 126 total yards after going 80 yards on its first drive of the game. The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and got on the board after a 6:08 drive ended with a 1-yard run from senior Brody Martin.

Martin led the Cards with 12 carries for 37 yards, followed by Briggs Gentry with 8 carries for 33 yards, Easton Martin with four carries for 17 yards, Ayden Guessford with one carry for no yards, Eric Adams with two carries for -7 yards, Seth Lambert with four carries for -10 yards and Zac Helms with one carry for -16 yards.

Gentry passed for 72 yards by completing 3-of-10 attempts. Ethan Cass had one reception for 36 yards, followed by Adams with one catch for 28 yards and Brennan Arnder with one catch for 8 yards.

The Bears and Cardinals both continue NW1A play next week. Mount Airy travels to South Stokes (2-3, 1-0 NW1A), and East Wilkes hosts Elkin (1-3, 1-0 NW1A).

5:52 EWHS 0-7 – Brody Martin 1-yard rushing TD, PAT good*

5:36 MAHS 7-7 – Tyler Mason 80-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

1:16 MAHS 13-7 – Tyler Mason 51-yard rushing TD, PAT no good

8:17 MAHS 20-7 – Tyler Mason 23-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

3:26 MAHS 28-0 – Tyler Mason 32-yard rushing TD, Connor Burrell 2-point conversion reception from Ian Gallimore pass

1:08 MAHS 35-7 – Walker Stroup 26-yard TD reception on Ian Gallimore pass, Walker Stroup PAT

11:49 MAHS 42-7 – Taeshon Martin 63-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

7:09 MAHS 48-7 – Tyler Mason 11-yard rushing TD, PAT no good

3:24 MAHS 55-7 – Taeshon Martin 8-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

9:57 MAHS 62-7 – Traven Thompson 62-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

*No kicker listed on MaxPreps

Meadowview Magnet Middle School held a school-wide assembly recently to kick-off the annual Chocolate Bar Fundraiser. Principal Colby Beamer was dressed as Willy Wonka, Assistant Principal Ashley Newman and seventh grade teachers Amanda Bledsoe, Maggie Watts, and Tommy Branch were dressed as Oompa Loompas to celebrate the occasion.

Students who participate in the Chocolate Bar fundraiser will be rewarded with various prizes including a Game Truck, Limo Lunch, and a Beats Party. Meadowview hopes to raise $10,000, which will be placed in the school’s general fund for the year.

Preservationist Richard Moe is quoted as saying, “There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here and there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody.” ‘

Recent events have seen one of our historic landmarks and anchors torn down out of necessity. Sometimes we can’t save a building, but we can cherish the memories, hard work, and legacies they leave behind.

Quality Mills has a story that has been woven through the lives of Surry County and the surrounding area’s citizens, touching many lives as it branched out through the area. Personally, my grandmother, Jean Morgan, worked in the offices of Quality Mills for 15 years and her story is only one of many that surround the mill’s legacy.

Somewhere between 1934 and 1935, Howard Osler Woltz Sr. or H.O. as he is known, purchased a failing underwear company and took over the machines and stock of the Duke Knitting Mills. These machines were moved to the old Beasley Lumber Company building at the corner of Franklin and South Streets in Mount Airy.

W.E Lindsay, H.O. Woltz, and Matt Hines pulled together to get Quality Mills up and running by 1936. The mill provided hundreds of jobs for the community in its heyday, starting with the sewing/knitting plant on Franklin. Operations started under the supervision of John March, who had worked for the Hanes Knitting Company for 17 years, giving the starting operation a leg up on the competition.

Though the path to success looked gentle from the outside, that wasn’t always the case. In the early days, one Mount Airy article suggests that payroll was hard to cut and mistakes were made, however, the company persevered. One turning point was when Woltz, out of desperation, visited Macy’s Department Store in New York and offered a deal. A week later a contract for more than $200,000 in men’s shirts was placed with the company. The company soon needed to expand its operations and by the late 1970s eight different buildings were dedicated to mill operations, some in surrounding counties and other states.

The company continued to grow adding offices, community, and employee events and even having to up its protection against sabotage and espionage in 1942. In 1958 Quality Mills was handed over to Woltz’s son, John. The elder Woltz’s other company, Dixie Concrete (now Insteel Industries), was given to his other son, Howard, in 1953. The family even started Cross Creek Country Club in the early 1970s, giving Surry County its first 18-hole golf course, as H.O. Woltz Sr. believed it needed.

With the printing of the October 1988, “Quality News,” a newsletter sent to employees and community supporters, Quality Mills was making a big change. The larger Russell Corporation purchased the operation and began a merger that further expanded the company’s reach. Clothing lines such as “Cross Creek” continued alongside new Russell brands. At the same time, Quality Mills had opened a new plant in Pilot Mountain earlier in the year and acquired a sewing plant in Danbury.

By the early 1990s, the name Quality Mills Co. was changed to Cross Creek Apparel Inc. The subsidiary continued to be one of the major assets to the Russell Corporation. In 1998 the company claimed a net loss of $10.4 million on revenue of $1.18 billion. In August of 2008, the Cross Creek Apparel Plant closed its doors, laying off about 300 employees and changing lives again.

Here in the foothills, textiles and millwork were a way of life for generations. While the buildings, machines, and businesses may no longer exist, their histories continue.

Emily Morgan is the guest services manager at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. She and her family live in Westfield. She can be reached at or by calling 336-786-4478, extension 229.

Books available to check out at the Mount Airy Public Library include:

Other Birds – Sarah Addison Allen

The Christie Affair – Nina de Gramont

What the Fireflies Knew – Kai Harris

Hell and Back – Craig Johnson

Settling His Hash – William W. Johnstone & J.A. Johnstone

Think of Me – Frances Liardet

Take My Hand – Dolen Perkins-Valdez

The Girl From Guernica – Karen Robards

Sisters of Night and Fog – Erika Robuck

The Mad Girls of New York – Maya Rodale

Seven Days in June – Tia Williams

Woman on Fire – Lisa Barr

Edge of Dusk – Colleen Coble

The Dark Hours – Michael Connelly

Grace Under Fire – Julie Garwood

The Judge’s List – John Grisham

The Family You Make – Jill Shalvis

The Zen of Therapy – Mark Epstein, M.D.

What it Took to Win – Michael Kazin

The Invisible Kingdom – Meghan O’Rourke

Reading time 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.

Full STEAM Ahead – Tuesday afternoons from 4 — 5 p.m.. A new program for students in fourth through sixth grades. Students will listen to a book and/or read the book. Activities will be STEAM-based, built around science, technology, arts, math, literature and history. For youth in grades 4 through 6.

Hooked – Come join our crochet and knitting club, every Wednesday at 3 p.m. 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.

The Community Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. In September we will be reading and discussing The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins.

Pages and Petticoats Book Club — meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Discussion questions will be posted on Facebook. This month’s book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Chapters Book Club – meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:30. Members discuss the different books they have read.

It’s Yoga Y’all is held on the third Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

September is Library Card Sign Up Month. “Find Your Voice at the Library.” To celebrate and encourage people new to the library to sign up for a library card, we are holding a daily raffle in the month of September. Each day, people who sign up for cards or check out books will put their name in a basket and we will draw at the end of each workday. The prizes may consist of different gift cards, books or other prizes. So, if you aren’t a member of our local library system, Northwestern Regional Library, come out and sign up in the month of September.

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept.20. Come by the library to register or update your registration from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Update your registration if: You have turned 18, you have moved, you have changed your name.

Save Those Seeds. There will be a free seed saving workshop presented by Surry County Extension Master Gardeners on Sept. 20 2 p.m. Registration is required. Call 336-789-5108 or stop by the circulation desk to secure your spot today.

Friends of the Library Mini-Book Sale Come will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, and or our website

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:

– Kathy M. Mayes, Phillip Culbert Mayes, Keith Alton Martin, Vivian Martin, Karen Lawson and Lester Everette Lawson to Kathy M. Mayes and Phillip Culbert Mayes; two tracts Mount Airy; $80.

– Marion D. May and Sharon Lee May to Donovan M. May; lot 77 phase II Orchard Mountain development PB 10 125 Franklin; $0.

– Estate of Michael Raye Easter, Leah Easter and Michael Raye Easter to Spencer Easter; quitclaim deed 3.97 acres tract one PB 22 28 Mount Airy estate of Michael Raye Easter; $0.

– Kingstone Investments, LLC to Rimak, LLC; .770 acres lot 2 PB 40 158; $140.

– Curtis Dean Hunter and Lou Anne W. Hunter to Bethany Hunter; 3.385 acres PB 41 89-90 Westfield; $0.

– Scott & Creed Salt & Feed, LLC to Double Mountain Construction, LLC; 18.52 acres; $700.

– Suzanne S. Wood and Jackie Alan Wood to Jobe Gavin Angel and Katelyn Danielle Holt; 1.39 acres lot 1 section 3 Knollwood subdivision PB 11 172 Stewarts Creek; $430.

– Joseph Dillon Hawks to Kevin Dale Hawks and Cheryl Sparger Hawks; 4.518 acres parcel 1 Minor subdivision of Joseph Dillon Hawks PB 40 199 Dobson; $0.

– NC Blueline Properties, LLC to David Craig Stanley and Donna Sumner Stanley; lot 1 PB 41 72 Lumber Plant Road Franklin; $120.

– Kingstone Investments, LLC to Rimak, LLC; .872 acres lot 3 PB 40 158; $140.

– Terri Lynn Eads to John Stanley Eads; 10.004 acres Dobson; $390.

– Estate of Gary Ellis Kirkman, Linda Kirkman Doss, Lavonda B. Kirkman, Justin Kirkman, Abigail Kirkman and Gary Ellis Kirkman to Amy Key Hall; lot 10 and 11 block A Mount Airy estate of Gary Ellis Kirkman; $270.

– Simple Housing Solutions of NC, LLC, Melinda Hope Haynes, Chase Melton, Timothy Haynes and Jeremy Chase Melton to Joy Property Investments, LLC; tract; $0.

– JDP Zephyr, LLC to Yesenia Carapia and Pedro Gomez; tract Bryan; $106.

– Sharon Hackler Cundiff to Emily Snavely and Eric Snavely; 2.004 acres PB 41 102 Impala Lane Mount Airy; $54.

– Estate of Eleanor G. Powell, Kathy Powell Smith, Chuckie Talmage Smith, Linda Kay Powell and Eleanor Powell to Reed W. Ell and Angela M. Ell; lot 99 Eugene G. Smith property PB 4 40 1 136 Mount Airy; $410.

– Jay Howard Sherrill and Sheila Simmons Sherrill to Penny Lou Olson Revocable Trust and Penny Lou Olson; 1.730 acres PB 33 68 and PB 41 111 Mount Airy; $35.

– Gary Dean Hutchens and Diane T. Hutchens to Juan Loredo Adame Jr.; 0.9593 acres tract two PB 28 181 Longhill; $0.

– Estate of Farrah Smith Davis, David Smith and Farrah Smith Davis to Terry R. Hawks and Lisa Carole Hawks; 0.424 acres Mount Airy estate of Farrah Smith Davis 22 SP 171; $356.

– Twain Lee Atkins to Tyler Dean Samuels, Scarlett Nicole Samuels, Jerry D. Samuels and Lesa L. Samuels; 1.125 acres Eldora; $7.

– Redoak Development, LLC to Brody Landon Gentry and Chole Rebecca Deneke Gentry; 0.344 acres tract one PB 21 112 and lots 78-79 Saftey Harbour subdivision PB 1 74 Mount Airy; $25.

– Emma Mahala Mooney and Caleb Seth Mooney to Candy Sue Bodenhamer Lowe; 2.220 acres tract three PB 32 140 Rockford; $0.

– Curtis Dean Hunter and Lou Ann W. Hunter to Blaine Hunter; 2.130 acres PB 33 178 Westfield; $0.

– William Clay Draughn and Faye H. Draughn to Savannah Marie Draughn; 1.016 acres PB 41 113 South Westfield; $0.

– Jeanette Brown Parks and Harold Michael Parks to Ashley Nicole Sewell and Eli Corbin Blevins; tract one 2,290 sq ft and tract two lot 52 Mount View Height PB 3 99 and tract three 0.23 acres Bryan; $260.

– Gerald Lee Ramey and Kelly Ramey Hiatt to Whittney Noelle Anthony; 0.57 acres Mount Airy; $180.

– Mayberry Properties of NC, LLC to Gwendolyn Patricia Harrelson Martin; lot 10 PB 6 17 Mount Airy; $190.

– Jerel Gray Gordon to Old Banner Properties, LLC; 27, 285 sq ft Pilot; $400.

– Sharon Lowe, Mary Lou Martin, Matthew Martin and Penny Martin to David P. Lowe; commissioners deed 1.012 acres Stewarts Creek file 21 SP 188; $16.

– Gary Dean Hutchens and Diane T. Hutchens to Juan Lorado Adame Jr.; 3.0135 acres tract one PB 28 181 Longhill; $117.

– Savannah R. Hodges and Andrew Utt to James Alexander Bright; lot 10 phase 1 Ridge View Estates PB 21 93 Dobson; $378.

– Estate of Ruby Johnson Joyce, Jeffrey B. Joyce, Ruby Johnson Joyce and Julia C. Joyce to Greg Leon Dillard and Molly M. Dillard; tract Elkin estate of Ruby Johnson Joyce; $46.

– Dusty Slate, Sheena Slate and Glenda Dowell Slate to Cossie Ayers; tract Stewarts Creek; $70.

– Lilian S. Calary, Charles William Crispens Calary Jr. and Pamela Miller Calary to Alyson Elizabeth Shelton; lots 18-20 block C Hamburg section PB 4 91 Mount Airy; $14.

– Regina Blackburn Reavis to Mark G. Greene; 13.8 acres Bryan; $300.

– Charles Fletcher, Charles Fletcher Sr. and Betty Harris Fletcher to Joshua P. Hart and Amanda D. Hart; tract one 6.400 acres PB 41 106 and tract two Bryan; $80.

– Timothy H. Hauser and Patsy K. Hauser Joint Revocable Trust, Timothy H. Hauser and Patsy K. Hauser to Carole H. Coon; 0.1069 acres Shoals; $1.

– Sharrell M. Coalson and Angel Ayers Coalson to Mark Edward Shelton; tract one 2.30 acres and tract two 8.70 acres Eldora; $156.

– Robert Michael Chase Perkey and Kristan Lanette Perkey to Don’l Blevins II and Candace Blevins; 10.0 acres; $200.

– Amy L. Welch to Justin E. Smeltzer and Hanna Beck Smeltzer; lot 29 section II Woodcreek subdivision PB 8 101 127 Hooks Drive Mount Airy Long Hill; $284.

– Harold Michael Parks Jr. and Kandice Janel Parks to Harold Michael Parks and Jeannette Brown Parks; 0.23 acres Bryan; $0.

– Cory James Craddock and Emily Craddock to James Andrew Craddock and Sheila Cromer Craddock; 1.00 acres portion of lot 22 PB 3 51 South Westfield; $0.

– Scotty Dale Parsons to Misti Lynn Burnette; 1.026 acres PB 20 177 and PB 31 149 Mount Airy; $346.

– Clay McDuffie Dulaney to Kari Fisher and Alex Fisher; 4.266 acres Eldora; $680.

– The Scott and Mary Rigney Living Trust, Scott Anthony Rigney and Mary Linda Foy Rigney to Randall Owen Poole, Randy Owen Poole and Juel H. Poole; tract one 1.020 acres and tract two lot 39 Riverside Acres PB 6 75 Mount Airy; $836.

– Jeffrey Frye to John C. Arnett and Susan C. Arnett; tract Stewarts Creek; $427.

– NC Blueline Properties, LLC to Delaina Byrd Hernandez and Lazaro Hernandez Lopez; lot 2 PB 41 72 Lumber Plant Road Franklin; $120.

– R & J Tree Service, Inc. to Evan M. Goldberg and Amy Clark Goldberg; tract; $170.

– Randy Michael Bledsoe, Steva Hardy Bledsoe, Paul R. Bledsoe and Nancy Cochrane to Abigail N. Wall and Samuel G. Wall; .75 acres Rockford; $386.

– Estate of Evan Leif Tonnesen, Evan Tor Tonneson, Brooke Renate Tonnesen and Evan L. Tonnesen to Evan Tor Tonnesen; 3.677 acres and tract Dobson estate of Evan Leif Tonnesen file 18 E 620; $248.

– Judy Weddle, TimothyWeddle, Bonnie Galyean, Donald Galyean, Lisa Edwards and Tammy Edwards to Opal M. Edwards; tract; $0.

– Remona Faye Durham Sollenberger and Joseph Franklin Sollenberger, Ronnie Gray Durham, Mary Browne Durham, Randall Dwight Durham, Bambi Bonita Durham, Sheila Durham and Richard Wayne Durham Sr. to Robyn Durham Haignere and Eugene Franklin Haignere; lots 13-15 block D Graves Heights development PB 3 158 Mount Airy; $100.

– Real People Real Homes, LLC to Hardman Nine, LLC; lot 7 block 1 Main Street; $160.

– Pilot Mountain Rescue and EMS, Inc. to Big Creek Properties, LLC; tract one 11,895 sq ft and tract two 7.84 acres PB 26 78; $296.

– Independence Lumber, Inc. to Woodgrain, Inc.; tract one lots 2-9, 21 and 24 PB 6 159 tract two 0.983 acres Elkin; $3,664.

– Jeffrey Lynn Pomeroy Jr. and Jennifer Pomeroy to Terry And Irene Family Trust, Terry Coe and Irene Coe; 1 acres Marsh; $100.

– Midland Trust Company, Kathryn Edwards and Loren Edwards to David P. Snow and Kari N. Snow; lots 12 and 13 1.376 acres Mountain Park Section 2 PB 3 23 Bryan; $260.

– Carl E. Bell and Jane L. Bell to Anne Jessup Rogers; 1.0 acres Westfield; $24.

Sgt. Greg McCormick and his senior cadets, from Surry Central High School, visited Dobson Elementary School recently to teach the fifth grade class about the significance of the U.S. flag, and how to handle it respectfully.

The cadets also demonstrated how to fold the flag properly. After that, they broke up into groups and let the students practice folding in sets of four so that everyone got a turn. Sgt. McCormick then had four student volunteers fly, draw, and fold the flag as a closeout to the instruction.

”The students loved the experience of handling the flag and learning how to fold it properly,” school officials said.

The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:

– Steven Ray Jackson, 25, of Surry County to Cheyanne Renee Boyd, 20, of Surry County.

– Curtis James Spears, 35, of Surry County to Alana Lee Harris, 26, of Surry County.

– Noah Bradley Nix, 21, of Stokes County to Alexandria Faith Reavis, 22, of Stokes County.

– Carl Marion Haynes, 46, of Surry County to Pearly Mae Wright, 41, of Surry County.

– Vicente Santana Trujillo, 36, of Surry County to Juliana Gonzalez Garcia, 33, of Surry County.

– Dylan Hunter Darnell, 25, of Carroll County, Virginia, to Gina Brooke Rotenizer, 26, of Carroll County.

– Jose Ramon Barrios Morales, 32, of Surry County to Jacqueline Puntos Martinez, 27, of Surry County.

– Damon Charles Camp, 26, of Surry County to Brandy Nicole Collins, 26, of Surry County.

– Cesar Emmanuel Pena, 29, of Yadkin County to Kenia Campos, 30, of Yadkin County.

– Freddie Tara Vanhoy, 67, of Surry County to Becky Jane Flowers, 68, of Wilkes County.

– Rickie Gray Hunter, 69, of Surry County to Vickie Lynn Gwaltney, 63, of Surry County.

– Michael Lee Pff, 56, of Roanoke County, Virginia, to Ambre Michelle Dickerson, 57, of Roanoke County.

– Austin Paul Jarrell, 23, of Surry County to Emma Margaret Nichols, 23, of Surry County.

– Griffin Wyatt Hardy, 23, of Surry County to Kathryn Grace Dalton, 23, of Surry County.

– Austin Garrett Scott, 28, of Virginia Beach, Virginia to Molly Renee Slater, 23, of Forsyth County.

– Adam Dean Atkins, 43, of Surry County to Kristi Annette Bourne, 45, of Surry County.

– Dakota Lee Smith, 23, of Stokes County to Kaley Brooke White, 24, of Surry County.

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

• Timothy Michael Hayes, 44, a white male wanted on a post-release warrant and a felony warrant for interfering with an electronic monitoring device. He is on probation for two counts trafficking methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon and use/possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Samuel Casey Jenkins, 24, a white male wanted for failing to appear in court on probation violations who is on probation for driving while impaired;

• Filiberto Ramirez Gasca, 58, a Hispanic male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for resisting a public officer and second degree trespass;

• Franklin Dale Davis, 48, a white male wanted for failing to appear in court on probation violations who is on probation for larceny and breaking and entering.

View all probation absconders on the internet at and click on absconders. Anyone with information on any probation absconders should contact Crime Stoppers at 786-4000, county probation at 719-2705 or the Mount Airy Police Department at 786-3535.

The lore of September thunder

Thunder in September is not all that rare and with the weather being less humid, most thunder does not produce gusty thunderstorms, but thunder in September can still be heard when the temperature is warm. Usually when thunder is heard in September, a lot of rain comes with it but not much in the pattern of thunderstorms. There is a bit of lore concerning thunder in September as a sign of abundance of fruits and vegetables next year. Here’s to hoping for some September thunder.

The harvest of autumn leaves has begun

Don’t let the leaves of autumn go to waste and please do not burn them but recycle them for compost, leaf mulch and a blanket for protecting cold weather vegetables. The leaves can be blown to the garden and run over by the lawnmower to break them down for the compost pile or bin. Crushed leaves make a protective blanket for rose bushes, azaleas and bulb beds. Crushed leaves can be placed between rows of collards, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and greens. Stay ahead of the leaves during the days of autumn. You can crush them by running the mower over them or run them through the leaf vacuum and place them in a pile to use in the spring garden plot. When you crush them, the wind will not get under them and blow them around.

Grass clippings filled with nitrogen and heat

September grass clippings are filled with nitrogen and other heat-building nutrients. Save them for making compost piles and bins heat up. Mix them with piles of leaves to help break them down. Keep saving the clippings all the way until a hard November freeze that will cause grass to become dormant. They are one of nature’s best resources.

Slowdown of the last summer crops

All that remains of the summer vegetables in the garden plot are late tomatoes and peppers. The nip in the September air has slowed them down. The tomatoes are slowing down and still have plenty of green ones developing to be harvested before Jack Frost arrives.

Time to set out a row or bed of onion sets

As we reach the middle of September, onion sets are showing up in hardwares and garden centers, and a row or bed can now be set out in the autumn garden plot. You can choose from red, yellow, or white sets. Onion sets are tough and will endure the harshness of winter and produce all the way into early spring. A pound of sets costs around $3. Sow them in a furrow four inches deep. Place a layer of peat moss in the bottom of the furrow and set the onions with the root side down and about three inches apart. Cover with another layer of peat moss and an application of Garden-Tone organic vegetable food. Hill up soil on both sides of the furrow and tamp down with the hoe blade for good soil contact. They will sprout in about two weeks. In October, cover between the rows with a layer of crushed leaves. Feed with Alaska fish emulsion mixed with proper amount of water in a sprinkling can according to instructions on the bottle. Feed onions once a month. You can also side dress with Garden-Tone organic vegetable food and hill up soil on both sides of the row.

Outside critters trying to winter over

The days are growing shorter and the nights are getting cooler and this is a hint to insects and creepy crawlers to find a warm place to spend winter such as in your home or basement. They are seeking a dry place to spend winter and now is the time they are looking for opportunity to gain entrance to your house. You can prevent them from gaining entrance by spraying around all door ways and porches as well as carports. If you have a wood pile spray around it and also around basement doors and around basement walls. Don’t leave any food or scraps outside that could attract the critters. Open and shut doors quickly when coming and going outside.

Plenty of colors in autumn leaves

As September reaches its middle, the leaves have been putting on a show of color. Some of the trees are now unloading their harvest of leaves. The maples and dogwoods are the first to lose their leaves followed by hickories and poplars. Last to go are the mighty oaks and many of their leaves will remain until Thanksgiving while the remainder of their leaves will linger until a heavy snowfall brings them down.

Heat as the season changes cooler

The furnace will be in season for the next six months as we make the transition from summer into autumn and winter. You can make your furnace work less by keeping the thermostat on a uniform, comfortable setting without moving the setting up and down. You should also clean or change the filter on the furnace once each month, open and close outside entrances quickly. Keep blinds and drapes closed at night. Make sure all doors and closets and cabinets are closed. Wear warmer clothing while in the house. Prepare food in the oven so that the heat from the oven will make the kitchen comfortable as well as the surrounding areas. Educate the kids to open and shut doors quickly when coming in and going out of the house.

Still time to set out spring bulbs

There is still a little more than a month to set out the flowering bulbs of early spring. The soil is workable and hardwares, nurseries, and garden centers still have plenty of bulbs in stock. Buy only bulbs in mesh bags or individual bins so that you can feel and inspect bulbs for rot, or mold. You can choose from hyacinth, crocus, daffodils, narcissus jonquils, tulips and snow drops. Buy a bag of bone meal or bulb booster to promote growth. Another useful tool for setting out bulbs is a durable bulb planter made of heavy duty steel that will last for many seasons. Spend the extra money and buy a tough one that will last. You get what you pay for.

The humming birds winding down season

Mid-September and the humming birds are preparing to move south in just two weeks or so. They are still visiting the feeders often as summer flowers continually fade out. Keep feeders out for as long as you see the hummers. The nectar you provide is important for the next few weeks. This will help them as they prepare for one of the natural wonders of the world, a trip across the Gulf of Mexico where they will spend winter and return to us next spring.

Making a pot of sweet and sour beef stew

This is a great dish on a nippy September evening. It is actually a meal in one pot. You will need one fourth cup of plain flour, one teaspoon salt, half teaspoon pepper, one and a half pounds stew beef, half cup Crisco cooking oil, one cup water, half cup light brown sugar, one fourth cup apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one envelope Beefy onion Recipe Secrets, two diced potatoes, three diced carrots, half teaspoon salt. Combine flour, one teaspoon salt and half teaspoon pepper and coat stew beef with the flour mixture. In a frying pan, brown the stew beef on all sides in the Crisco oil. Combine the water, half cup catsup, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and the second half teaspoon of salt. Boil over low heat until stew beef is tender. Boil the diced carrots and potatoes, drain and add the Beefy onion Recipe Secrets and one stick light margarine. Cook for one minute and add to beef stew mixture and boil on low heat for two minutes. Serve with a bowl of Minute Rice.

The beginning of apple season

There is a lot of color adorning fruit markets and produce stands as well as supermarkets as the season of the apple harvest begins. Apples come in varied colors of red, green, yellow, pink, and other mixed colors. Apples have a long shelf life and will last for weeks in the refrigerator or in a bowl on the dining room table. Apples are one of those special fruits that are available all year round but especially at this season of year.

Making an old fashioned apple pudding

For this pudding, you will need ten fresh apples, two cups buttermilk, two large beaten eggs, two cups light brown sugar, one cup sweet milk, two teaspoons apple pie spices, two cups plain flour, one teaspoon salt, two sticks light margarine (melted), and tablespoon vanilla flavoring. Peel the apples and cut into one inch chunks (make sure you have enough apples for at least two quarts). Add the buttermilk, beaten eggs, sweet milk, apple pie spices, flour, one teaspoon of baking soda and melted margarine (all in the order listed). Pour into a 13×9×2 inch baking pan or dish. If you have more than enough apple pie filling, use another pan. Spray pan with Pam baking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

“Mouse in the house?” Wife: “Jack wake up! There’s a mouse in the room, I heard him squeaking.” Husband: “What do you want me to do? Get up and oil him!”

“Unsure.” The man was fleeing down the hall of the hospital just before his operation. “What’s the matter?” he was asked. He said, “I heard the nurse say ‘It’s a very simple operation everything will be alright.’” “She was just trying to comfort you, why are you so frightened about that?” The patient said, “She wasn’t talking to me, she was talking to the doctor.”

“Second opinion.” For years, he thought he was a failure. Then he took a course on positive thinking. Now he is positive that he is a failure.

“Speedo.” State Patrol man: “I clocked you doing 85 miles per hour, friend, is anything wrong?” Motorist: “Yes, officer, I forgot to connect my radar detector!”

While the timeline for a project to bring a Marriott hotel to downtown Mount Airy has been expanded 12 months from the original schedule, city officials seem as confident as ever about it reaching fruition.

The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday night to approve an extended development agreement between the municipality and Sunhouse Hospitality LLC of Cary.

Plans have been in the works by Sunhouse since late 2020 to transform the large, four-story Sparger Building on the former Spencer’s textile mill property on Willow Street into the new lodging establishment. The plan also has included developing a market center nearby.

City Attorney Hugh Campbell explained during Thursday night’s meeting that certain “slippages” or delays have occurred which prompted the revised timetable.

“There are lots of reasons why,” Campbell said, adding that these have been out of the municipality’s control.

One has involved the time needed for state and federal review of a Sunhouse application for historic mill tax credits to aid the project, which act to preserve the existing architecture.

Another delay is linked to a tremendous amount of time needed to work with Marriott, which paid off with that chain’s decision to enter into an agreement with Sunhouse to locate one of its highly regarded Tribute hotels in the Sparger Building.

“This should be the first Tribute hotel in North Carolina and the first full-service hotel in Surry County,” local Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison said during a presentation at Thursday night’s meeting on the overall progress of the Spencer’s redevelopment.

Morrison called the coming of the boutique hotel a “compliment” to the viability of downtown Mount Airy from Marriott’s point of view.

The apparently unavoidable delays have not dampened enthusiasm among local officials, according to Campbell.

“We still feel like we’re in a good partnership with these developers,” the city attorney said.

Under the revised timeline, initial work on the Sparger Building is set to occur in early 2023 to next summer.

General hotel construction by the local J.G. Coram firm and completion of site work is planned from the summer of 2023 to early 2025, with the lodging establishment slated to open in the spring of that year.

This will be a shining star for the Spencer’s redevelopment, which has been in the works since the former industrial property was bought by the city government in May 2014.

The Spencer’s transformation has experienced its share of ups and downs over the years, while achieving successes including the building of the 65-unit Spencer’s Mill Apartments adjacent to the Sparger Building which have a long waiting list.

And the extension of the Sunhouse development timetable for the hotel should not be viewed as a sign that it will meet the same fate as earlier plans for a Barter Theatre expansion and hotel on the property that were abandoned.

“It’s my understanding they have spent a sizable amount of money to get the Marriott franchise,” Mayor Ron Niland said Thursday night of Sunhouse, adding that this figure — required up front — is between $700,000 and $1 million.

“They’ve got quite an amount of skin in the game,” Niland added in regard to how a company would not abandon a project with such an investment having been made so far.

City Manager Stan Farmer agreed.

“With their signing of the agreement with Marriott, it almost guarantees they can’t walk away,” he said.

Even so, certain performance milestones have been inserted into the extended development agreement which Sunhouse is expected to meet before January.

These included lining up financing for the project and the completion of architectural drawings for the hotel.

The city attorney explained Friday afternoon that this is needed because the municipality will be doing some construction in the parking lot area near the building and officials wanted an assurance that Sunhouse will complete such steps before that work begins.

Sunhouse is scheduled to close next year on the purchase of the property it agreed to buy from the city for the project, according to the amended development agreement approved by city officials Thursday night, covering 36 pages.

• The execution of a search warrant at a local residence has led to felony drug charges against a Mount Airy man, according to city police reports.

Rodney Tyrone “Peter Rabbit” Travis, 48, of 509 Worth St., is accused of two counts of possession of cocaine and one count of possession of methamphetamine, along with possessing drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. The case stems from a search at his home on Sept. 9, with police records indicating that marijuana also was found although no charge regarding that drug is listed on the arrest report.

Due to being in the presence of Kimberly Duncan at that location, Travis further is charged with violating a domestic violence protective order she had filed against him. He was jailed without privilege of bond and is scheduled to appear in Surry District Court next Wednesday.

• Two vehicles were discovered broken into on Sept. 7 at a residence in the 300 block of Willow Street, where the windshield of one received damage put at $100.

Popcorn was listed as the only item stolen in the incident targeting a Jeep Wrangler, which received the damage, and another vehicle that was not identified. The victims of the crime are listed as William Graham Pruitt and Jessica Kathryn Lawrence.

• A Sept. 2 traffic stop at the intersection of Linville Road and Riverside Drive led to felony drug and weapons charges against three individuals and their incarceration in the Surry County Jail.

This involved the deployment of a narcotics dog and a positive indication of drugs, prompting the search of a 2004 Ford Explorer and three people inside, which turned up methamphetamine and a handgun.

Both Kimberly Renee Snow, 33, of 122 East End Drive, and Cody Dwayne Holt, 31, of 5362 Westfield Road, were charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dylan James Goughary, 35, of Shelton, Connecticut, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and violating a domestic violence protective order. Goughary claimed ownership of the gun found during the search.

He was confined in the county jail without privilege of bond, with Snow and Goughary each held under a $1,000 secured bond.

All three are scheduled to be in Surry District Court on Sept. 28.

This week, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) released the first National Participation Survey in three years. The survey was suspended for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic on high school athletic and activities programs across the country.

The data released saw a 4% drop in participation nationally from the 2018-19 survey to the data in the 2021-2022 survey. North Carolina specifically experienced a 9.1% decline in participation during that period, with a significant decline of 12.5% in women’s sports.

“As we look at the participation numbers from last year, it is obvious to us that we are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “We believe that last year’s data indicates we may be encountering some lingering effects of the COVID-19 shortened season. Perhaps shorter seasons coupled with overlapping seasons may have contributed to a sharper decline in participation for North Carolina than we have seen in other states.”

While the NFHS Survey data did not include information from the 2019-20 or 2020-21 academic years, the NCHSAA did maintain participation during those years. The NCHSAA annually gathers participation data from member schools, submitted by the athletic director at each school during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.

The NCHSAA data for the two COVID-impacted years shows a significant adjustment in student participation trends. With sport seasons shortened, moved from their traditional time of the year, and in many cases, overlapping with other sports, the NCHSAA data from 2020-21 indicates many student-athletes chose to focus their participation, or not participate during the impacted season.

Examples of this impact include a 5000 student-athlete decline in football participation with nine schools not fielding a program in the sport. The Indoor Track season being cancelled saw over 11 thousand student athletes not participate in that sport for the 2020-21 academic year. Men’s Lacrosse saw a decline of 14 programs and 34.3% less student-athletes participate while the Women’s game experienced a decline of four programs and 22% of student athletes.

The NCHSAA data for 2021-22 show a 3700-student rebound in football, a 17.3% increase from 2020-21, with 11 programs returning to the field. Lacrosse experienced a similar return with all 14 men’s programs that did not field teams in the COVID year returning to play for 2021-22. The Men’s Lacrosse total participation numbers bounced back 895 students, increasing 32.7% from the COVID-shortened year. Women’s Lacrosse saw an increase of six teams and 299 students, up 13.7%.

Commissioner Que Tucker added, “We remain encouraged that student-athletes and their communities are returning to normal and continue to expect rebounds in participation at our member schools. We continue to believe that education-based athletic programs are tremendous enrichment opportunities for young people in our state’s schools and remain committed to ensuring those opportunities remain available for all young people across our state.”

The NCHSAA will have more information on participation trends in the coming weeks through the NCHSAA Website.

Full participation numbers can be found at

Christy Williams, a Mount Airy resident, is living her professional career’s credo of “Be The Change You Want to See in the World.”

A teacher in the Carroll County Public School system in Virginia, the start of Williams’ 28th year in the division was marked with the presentation of the Teacher of the Year 2022 award on Sept. 9 at Carroll County High School.

“Christy is a wonderful teacher. She’s a top-notch teacher and a top-notch person. Not just academically….she does so many other things for the welfare of the school,” said School Superintendent Dr. Mark Burnette. “She takes on so many things with the club sponsorships and everything she does….all of the things she does with the prom. She’s always been a member of the prom committee. She does a lot of extra things that make Carroll County High School what it is. To be in a job this long and to still love it as much is a testament to her. She has such a good relationship with the kids. You can see that in the classroom.”

William has served as drafting teacher at the high school since 1995. She has been married for 22 years to her husband, Mitch, who is a civil engineer and public works director for the City of Mount Airy, where they reside. The two have a son, Raleigh, and a daughter, Charlotte, who are both enrolled at Carroll County High School. According to information supplied by the division, they are a gaming family which spends quality time together on Mario Kart tracks or Animal Crossing islands.

She took drafting in high school after spending years watching her older brother draw plans on his drafting table at home. Williams quickly grasped that while she never considered herself artistic, with the right tools she could create realistic drawings of equipment and home plans with a pencil, a piece of paper and a few drafting tools.

Williams credits North Surry High School drafting teacher Melvin T. Jackson with kindling that vision by making the class fun and instructive, leading her to decide that Jackson had the dream job she wanted one day. That opportunity came in 1995 when college professor Bobby Shumaker called her to say he’d seen a drafting teacher job posted in the newspaper. It was a position left vacant when Burnette left that post to become an assistant principal. Williams has been with the division since then and said she has loved almost every minute of it.

“Oh my gosh you all, I am in shock. Oh my gosh, thank you so much.” Williams gushed as central office workers, high school and others surprised her in the classroom that morning with her award.

She recalled her first days in Carroll County, saying from the first time she walked into the school she felt like “I’m home.”

She fell so deeply in love with the school that when her former teacher, Jackson, retired from North Surry high School, he called her several times, trying to convince Williams to leave Carroll County and take his post there. Despite the fact that North Surry is a five-minute drive from her home, and Carroll County is 30 minutes, she couldn’t leave her present teaching home.

Williams’ many achievement including starting Motivational Monday videos where students are shown kindness expressed in various ways by everyday heroes. This sparked the creation of Intersession Class where students are taught how to manage stress and anxiety and that led to the AOK-Acts Of Kindness/Are You OK school club.

Williams is a member of the CCHS WOW committee where teachers come up with ideas to brighten the school and improve the mood of students and staff. Projects have included positive messages on restroom mirrors and outdoor sidewalks, decorating contests and a Friday the 13th activity where pennies are placed face up that day. Many examples of Williams’s students work are visible in the community with stickers, signs and banners made on the drafting lab’s vinyl cutter. Students have partnered with various businesses, churches and the Carroll County Board of Elections over the years to make parking signs and banners.

The Williamses are also locally known for a project straight from the movies. She and her husband involved students from the school’s drafting and engineering departments to create a real life replica of the Pizza Planet Truck from the film “Toy Story 4.” The truck has become a popular fixture at school and community events in the region. Williams also serves as the Skills USA advisor, which helps students with career planning and preparation.

David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave

Surry Community College is offering two sections of Emergency Medical Responder classes beginning in October.

The first offering will start on Monday, Oct. 3, and will run through Monday, Nov. 28. Classes will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m., with four additional Saturday meetings. This class will meet at the Center for Public Safety, 1220 State St., in Mount Airy. Those interested can register at

The second offering will start on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and will run through Thursday, Dec. 8. Classes will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m., with four additional Saturday meetings. This class will meet at the Yadkin Campus, 1001 College Dr., in Yadkinville. Those interested can register at

This course is a 100-hour traditional EMR course intended for those who want to be first responders in local agencies. Students will learn the basics of emergency medical care from life-threatening medical conditions to major traumatic injuries. This course includes American Heart Association’s BLS/CPR certification, logistical operations of EMS, and basic anatomy/physiology. Students should finish with a foundation of and the abilities of providing the basics of emergency healthcare.

Pre-requisites include a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma; or successful completion of the T.A.B.E. assessment exam for basic reading and comprehension skills at the 10th-grade level. This test will be scheduled and given during course orientation.

For more information about SCC’s Emergency Medical Responder program, contact Kenneth Vaught at 336-386-3633 or The tuition is $183, plus associated books, tools and supplies.

While Mount Airy city school students did not have to start attending classes until Aug. 29, their teachers and faculty members had already been at it for a week, with all of them reporting to classrooms on Aug. 22.

At the conclusion of that first week for teachers, the staff gathered in the Mount Airy High School for gymnasium for the annual convocation.

“Convocation comes at the end of a busy week for staff. It’s the perfect opportunity for everyone to pause, check in with those around them, and get united district-wide on the year’s efforts to grow all students,” said Executive Officer of Communications Carrie Venable.

The event began in the Commons Area with breakfast provided by the school system’s School Nutrition Department and served by members of the Board of Education. Staff members migrated to the gym for the convocation gathering. Dressed in identical shirts, staff members greeted friends from other schools and took time to take pictures and capture the moment of another school year beginning.

Chairman of the school board Tim Matthews welcomed the crowd while Vice Chair Ben Cooke led the invocation. Cooke, whose sons graduated last year, credited the success they will have to teachers who impacted them throughout their years in the district.

The Melody Makers from Jones Intermediate School pumped the energy up by singing “Never Gonna Give Up” by Tony Memmel. Lyrics from the song went along with the year’s quote of “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up” by Jim Valvano that was also found on the back of staff shirts.

Superintendent Dr. Kim Morrison celebrated Principal of the Year Chelsy Payne while Dr. Phillip Brown, deputy superintendent, introduced the district’s Teacher of the Year Melissa Martin. Martin began making her way to the stage when former students ran across the gym to hug her before her speech. Once on stage, a video of her pictured with students from across her career began to play.

Martin spoke about the importance of forming relationships and paused when videos from former students began. Her multimedia presentation allowed her to speak to the importance of building relationships and also highlighted what those relationships mean to students and families.

Martin noted, “It is not the test scores, it is not the grades that I have given, it’s the relationships I have developed over the years that are truly the reason for any success I have as a teacher. You have to invest in relationships. Over 24 years of teaching, my investments have paid off and will continue to pay off long after I have retired.”

Next in the program was the introduction of new staff to the district along with individuals who had accepted new roles since last year.

Dr. Morrison then returned to the podium to share the year’s theme of “Create a winning culture — don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!” She kicked off her time with a drone video of each campus shot by Garrett Howlett that had a variety of quotes from well-known, successful coaches and players rotating throughout.

Morrison asked, “What is winning for children? In the game of education, winning is ensuring that every child, every day is cared for, loved, and respected. Our job in education is to make sure every child is graduation ready every year.” She continued by sharing what Mount Airy City Schools knew was needed to have a winning year such as high expectations, clear communication, defined roles, and trusting members of the team.

Following the year’s theme and closing the ceremony was the announcement of the 2022 Wall of Leadership and Service honorees. Three graduates from Mount Airy High School were honored: Denny Shelton, Class of 1955; Phillip Riggs, Class of 1984; and Kirsten Parries Wright, Class of 2014. Each honoree was able to share moments and laughs with attendees while also encouraging teachers and staff to continue making a difference in the lives of students.

An alleged $110 million Ponzi scheme based in Georgia and New York — but with influence reaching all the way to Mount Airy — took another step toward resolution earlier this month for some of its victims.

Oppenheimer & Co., a New York-based brokerage and investment bank, was ordered to pay nearly $37 million in damages to 11 investors who lost money in the scheme, allegedly conducted by two firms under the control of John Woods, a Marietta, Georgia resident.

Woods, a long-time broker with Oppenheimer, had controlling interests in two other investment firms: Horizon Private Equity, III LLC, and Livingston Group Asset Management Company, doing business as Southport Capital.

Southport Capital had an office in Mount Airy, although it closed soon after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against Woods and his firms in August 2021. No one from the local firm acknowledged requests from The Mount Airy News for comment or information, but at the time of the SEC’s action, Woods was listed as the firm’s partner and senior investment advisor. Clay Parker was listed as president and CEO.

According to the SEC’s original complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in August 2021, the defendants raised more than $110 million from more than 400 investors in 20 states by offering and selling membership units in Horizon.

Woods, Southport, and other Southport investment advisers allegedly told investors – including many elderly retirees who feared the volatility of the stock market – that their Horizon investments were safe and would pay a fixed rate of return, and that investors could get their principal back without penalty after a short waiting period, according to the SEC filing.

According to the complaint, however, these statements were false and misleading: Horizon did not earn any significant profits from legitimate investments, and a large percentage of purported “returns” to earlier investors were simply paid out of new investor money. The complaint also alleges that Woods repeatedly lied to the SEC during regulatory examinations of Southport.

“Investors felt comfortable investing in Horizon in large part because of their relationships with advisers at Southport,” said Nekia Hackworth Jones, director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “As alleged in the complaint, Woods and Southport preyed upon their clients’ fears of losing their hard-earned savings and convinced them to place millions of dollars into a Ponzi scheme by falsely promising them a safe investment with steady returns.”

Another SEC filing, from June 10 of this year, struck closer to home for area investors. That filing, in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, pointed the finger at three additional individuals, including a Mount Airy resident.

Penny Flippen, 59 at the time of the filing, of Mount Airy; Britt Wright, 49 at the time of filing, of Pfafftown, and Michael Mooney, 52 at the time of the filing, of Sarasota, Florida, were all implicated in the complaint. The three are alleged to have advised area investors to put a collective $62 million in the Horizon fund. According to that June 10 filing, the three are alleged to have told clients the money would be invested in safe securities such as government bonds, and would pay a guaranteed 6% to 8% return while posing no risk to the principle.

“…Horizon III was only able to pay the guaranteed returns to existing investors by raising and using new investor money,” that complaint alleges. “Horizon III did not earn any significant profits from legitimate investments; instead, a very large percentage of purported ‘returns’ to earlier investors were simply paid out of new investor money.”

The three were charged with multiple violations of federal securities laws, the SEC stated. That filing has yet to be resolved.

The more recent action, taken this month and settled by an arbitration panel in Atlanta on Sept. 5, orders Oppenheimer to pay $36.75 million to 13 claimants as part of the case. That award covers the money they allegedly lost, court and filing fees, as well as treble damages in some case, raising their award to as much as three times the money they lost.

According to an earlier complaint filed on their behalf in Georgia, Woods worked as an Oppenheimer investment advisor while allegedly running his Ponzi scheme, funneling customers — and their money — from Oppenheimer into his Horizon fund.

“Claimants are among more than 300 people victimized by the $110 million scheme,” the filing, by attorney John Chapman of Chapman – Albin LLC, alleged. “The SEC recently filed a complaint against Horizon and Woods and froze the Horizon fund and its assets. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Claimants have lost all, or substantially all, of their invested principal in Horizon. Respondent Oppenheimer failed utterly to discharge its duties. Claimants have suffered the consequences of Respondent’s failures,” the filing said in seeking the damages.

In the Georgia case, according to court filings there, several of the victims were led to believe Horizon was an investment vehicle approved by Oppenheimer, and part of Oppenheimer’s portfolio of investment funds.

“At all times relevant, Oppenheimer employed, held the securities license of, and was duty-bound to supervise the securities-related activities of its registered representative John Woods,” the Atlanta filing alleged in making the case for Oppenheimer to repay losses suffered by clients there. “Oppenheimer’s lax supervisory structure, in which brokers essentially supervise themselves, has led…Oppenheimer to 97 regulatory actions and 173 arbitrations including ones involving failing to supervise registered representatives’ outside business activities and private securities transactions, among others,” Chapman said in his filings.

Even though Woods left Oppenheimer in December 2016, the court filing alleges Oppenheimer knew of his wrongdoing, and was complicit in hiding that from regulators.

“In December 2016, fully aware of the numerous securities law violations taking place in its Atlanta, Georgia office, Oppenheimer sought to conceal the Horizon scheme from the regulators and the investing public by permitting Woods to quietly resign from Oppenheimer without reporting the wrongdoing to regulators and the investing public, as required by law. This enabled Woods to continue raising money from unsuspecting investors, allowing the Ponzi scheme to continue for many more years, until August 2021,” according to the September filing.

The arbitrators ruled in favor of the Georgia plaintiffs, with a lengthy outline of restitution and penalty payments to each of the victims, totaling nearly $37 million.

DOBSON — Surry Central outlasted West Wilkes in a defensive battle Friday night as the teams opened league play in the Foothills 2A Conference.

After each team scored a touchdown in the first half, neither defense gave up a first down in the third quarter. Central took a 10-7 lead after capping off an 11-play, 5:36 drive with a Chris Nava field goal, then the Eagles put the game on ice when Eli Scott grabbed an interception.

“I’m feeling a little bit of relief to be honest with you,” said Central coach Monty Southern. “When you start 0-3, you don’t want to tell the kids but you as a coach feel a little bit of pressure. And we didn’t play great tonight offensively, but man defensively we did really good. I thought as the game went on that defensively as the game went along we got more physical, which is something that we have been talking about and lacking.

“So, it was good to see the guys doing a little bit of hitting and getting downhill to make some plays.”

The 10-7 victory was not only Surry Central’s first of the season, but served as the first varsity win for most of the team. The young Eagles squad, which is predominantly filled with sophomores and juniors, knew it was in for an uphill battle after graduating 17 seniors from the 2021 team.

Overcoming those obstacles made Friday’s win even sweeter, and the team celebrated accordingly to cap off an unforgettable Homecoming game.

“I think with a young team that wins are really important,” Southern said. “It took me a second to get brave enought to jump into that pile because there was a lot of raw emotion in there; they were pumped up.”

Southern’s message to his team during Friday’s game was the same it’s been all season: put in the work and good things will come.

“I do a devotional with the kids every week,” Southern said. “Before Alleghany, the devotion was basically ‘God can see things coming in your life that you can’t see’ and I told them ‘I know we’re young, and for a lot of you it’s going to be your first varsity game, but we feel like we have the talent to be good. But, you gotta trust us. It may take us a little bit to get there.’”

Just as the Eagles ran into road blocks during the first few weeks of the season – whether it be the heartbreaking 1-point loss to Alleghany in the season opener or a 48-point loss to Mount Airy – the team had to fight through adversity against West Wilkes.

The Blackhawks defense did a good job of taking away Central’s ground game, holding the Eagles to just 44 yards rushing on the night. West Wilkes’ rushing offense, meanwhile, caused problems for Central. The visitors rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone.

The Eagles countered the Blackhawks’ restrictive rush defense by taking to the skies. Sophomore quarterback Mason Jewell led the Golden Eagles’ aerial offense with 189 yards passing. The QB completed 6-of-11 passes (54.5%) while also throwing one touchdown and one interception.

Kyle Inman led the home team in yards receiving by scoring an 81-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Ayden Wilmoth had three catches for 42 yards, Brian Williams added one receptions for 41 yards and Evan Wall had one 25-yard reception.

As for the Blackhawks’ rushing offense, the Eagles made adjustments at halftime when the teams were tied up at 7-7. Surry Central not only held West Wilkes scoreless in the second half, but also limited the Blackhawks to just 51 yards rushing through the third and fourth quarters.

Neither side was able to move the chains in the third quarter. Business picked up in the fourth when Central started on its own 28-yard line with 8:54 to play.

Back-to-back runs from Allen Huffman, who led the team with 36 yards rushing on 12 carries, gave Central its first first down of the half. Jewell then connected with Ayden Wilmoth for a 33-yard gain, then two plays later the QB threw a 25-yard pass to Evan Wall. Wall dragged defenders inside the Blackhawk 10 before he was finally taken down at the 1-yard line.

The Eagles were stifled on first and second down, then a miscommunication the snap led to Jewell falling on the ball on the 10. Nava came in to nail the 27-yard field that gave Central a 10-7 advantage with 3:18 to play.

“We gotta find a way to punch that thing in,” Southern said. “That was disappointing, but it’s always good to have a good kicker. Chris really came through for us.”

West Wilkes got its initial first down of the second half on the ensuing drive. Blackhawk QB Travis Walsh called his own number on a run, then completed a short pass to Jaheim McDougald to move the chains. Walsh followed with his only other completed pass for positive yardage, which went to Hayden Frye for 22 yards.

A holding penalty backed the Hawks behind midfield, but a double reverse put them on the Eagles 42 to set up third-and-11. Ethan Day took over as quarterback for the next play and faced immediate pressure from Central. Day was leveled by Clay Whitaker as he attempted a pass, then it was intercepted by Scott to effectively end the game.

Whitaker, Wyatt Wall, Graden Spurlin and Blaise Gwyn all recorded tackles for a loss for Surry Central in the win.

“I just want to say that I thought the defensive staff had a great gameplan, and the kids did a great job of carrying that game plan out,” Southern said. “You start 0-3 and it’s easy to get down, so I thought these kids showed some resilience.”

Surry Central improves to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference with the win. The Golden Eagles will continue conference play next week by traveling to Wilkes Central.

“We’re 1-0 in conference, and that’s what we’re focused on right now, because we know that ultimately if you make the playoffs or not is based on how well you do in the conference,” Southern said.

8:32 SCHS 7-0 – Kyle Inman 81-yard TD reception on Mason Jewell pass, Chris Nava PAT

2:53 WWHS 7-7 – Jarrett Minton 10-yard rush TD, Walker Brondos PAT

3:18 SCHS 10-7 – Chris Nava 27-yard field goal

Miss Angel’s Farm near Mount Airy will host its fourth-annual Oktoberfest on the Orchard Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m., designed to bring a taste of the Old Country to Surry County.

Plans call for the event to include Gypsy Laurel performing live music and a DJ playing German folk music at the 55-acre peach and apple orchard.

In further keeping with Oktoberfest traditions, plenty of German and local beer, cider and wine will be available for purchase, organizers say.

Brats, authentic wiener schnitzel, artisan pretzels and desserts also are to be offered on site, including apple cider doughnuts, apple strudel and ice cream.

Those attending are urged to come dressed in lederhosen and dirndls for a costume contest planned as part of the festival and be ready to compete in games such as log throwing, tug of war, arm wrestling, dancing and axe throwing for prizes from Miss Angels Farm.

Hayrides around the farm will be offered for kids, who also can experience other fun activities including a playground, bounce pad, fruit cannon, corn crib and corn maze.

The admission cost is $10 per person, with a percentage of the proceeds to be donated to the non-profit Mayberry For 4 Paws animal rescue and spaying/neutering organization. Children younger than 4 will be admitted free.

Miss Angel’s Farm and Orchard is located at 252 Heart Lane (formerly Quarter Horse Lane), which is west of Mount Airy near Interstate 77, off N.C. 89.

DOBSON — East Surry went on the road Thursday and defeated Surry Central 7-2 in tennis.

The defending Foothills 2A Conference Champions control their own destiny with an 8-0 conference record. Defeating last season’s runner-up brings the Cardinals (9-1) one step closer to repeating as conference champs.

The three seniors in Thursday’s match all went undefeated in their respective matches. East Surry’s top two seeds, Tara Martin and Evelyn Ruedisueli, both won their singles matches and teamed together to win No. 1 doubles. Central’s lone senior, Kaesi Blythe, was part of the Eagles’ victorious No. 3 doubles team.

Martin and Ruedisueli have yet to lose a match in 2022. Martin, the defending FH2A Conference Player of the Year, is 10-0 in No. 1 singles, while Ruedisueli has the same record in No. 2 singles.

Martin/Ruedisueli are not only 10-0 as a doubles team, but the unit has only lost a combined seven games all season.

Martin defeated McKenna Merritt 6-0, 6-0 on court No. 1, and Ruedisueli beat Karlie Robertson 6-1, 6-1.

East Surry’s No. 3 Sophie Hutchens increased the East Surry lead to 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Priscilla Gentry. Hutchens improves to 8-1 in No. 3 singles with the victory.

The remaining straight set match was on court No. 5. East’s Taylor Bullington defeated Madelyn Wilmoth 6-2, 6-4.

Surry Central’s lone singles win came at the No. 4 spot. Freshman Emma Bryant topped Chloe Koons in three sets, winning 6-3, 4-6, 10-8.

Also going to three sets was the No. 6 matchup of Surry Central’s Mitzy Vasquez and East Surry’s Mallory Estrada. Estrada took the opening set 6-3, but Vasquez won the second 6-4.

Estrada went on to take the tiebreaker 10-5 to win both the individual match and clinch the overall team competition for East.

Martin/Ruedisueli shut out Merritt/Robertson 8-0 in No. 1 doubles, marking the Cardinal duo’s seventh shutout of the year.

Hutchens/Koons added a win in No. 2 doubles by defeating Gentry/Bryant 8-4. Blythe picked up her win with partner Wilmoth in No. 3 doubles by defeating Bullington and Estrada 9-7.

East Surry sits atop the FH2A rankings with an 8-0 conference record. Forbush, Surry Central and North Wilkes are the only other teams still mathematically in contention for the conference title, sitting at 5-1, 4-2 and 2-3 respectively.

North Surry is fifth at 2-4, followed by West Wilkes at 1-6 and Wilkes Central at 0-6.

Surry Central is back in action on Sept. 19 against Wilkes Central, and East Surry travels to North Surry the same day.

1. Tara Martin (ES) def. McKenna Merritt 6-0, 6-0

2. Evelyn Ruedisueli (ES) def. Karlie Robertson 6-1, 6-1

3. Sophie Hutchens (ES) def. Priscilla Gentry 6-3, 6-0

4. Emma Bryant (SC) def. Chloe Koons 6-3, 4-6, 10-8

5. Taylor Bullington (ES) def. Madelyn Wilmoth 6-2, 6-4

6. Mallory Estrada (ES) def. Mitzy Vasquez 6-3, 4-6, 10-5

1. Martin/Ruedisueli (ES) def. Merritt/Robertson 8-0

2. Hutchens/Koons (ES) def. Gentry/Bryant 8-4

3. Wilmoth/Kaesi Blythe (SC) def. Bullington/Estrada 9-7

DOBSON — The No. 1-ranked team in the 1A West remained extended its undefeated streak Thursday with a shutout win over a county foe.

Mount Airy, now 9-0 overall, put one in the back of the Surry Central net just a few minutes after the opening whistle, then added another goal late in the first half. Central found new life in the second half after going down 3-0, but wasn’t able to convert on the scoreboard.

The Granite Bears have now won five consecutive meetings against the Eagles dating back to 2017.

“Honestly, I’m not as disappointed as I thought I was going to be,” said Surry Central coach Adan Garcia. “All respect to Mount Airy; they have a great squad. I like to schedule these tough nonconference games to give us experience so when we get into our tough conference games against the likes of Forbush we’ll be ready.”

Mount Airy has yet to lose through nine matches this season, which was true in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons as well. New faces have continued to step up and help the team succeed, especially now as the team has been dealing with injuries.

”It’s the third game of the week and we played last night,” said Bears coach Will Hurley. “We had four starters out for a while, and still have three out, but hopefully they’ll get healed and time will be on our side. Through this experience, though, I thought it’s been good for those kids that stepped up.

“We got a little gassed in the second half…our legs were like spaghetti, but I thought we did a good job of possessing the ball and probably could’ve scored a few more goals. But, that’s just how soccer is sometimes.”

The opening half was all Mount Airy as the Bears built a 2-0 lead. Agripino Perez scored the opener off a Gavin Guerrero corner kick, and Elkin Lopez netted the second of an assist from Angel Osorno.

Surry Central (3-4-1) was held without a shot for the first 55 minutes of play.

“The first half I felt like we just weren’t hustling. We were just jogging to balls and getting outworked,” Garcia said. “They (Mount Airy) came out and got us on two mistakes immediately. At halftime I told them that we have to be physical. We’re playing on our home field and we have to put up a fight.”

Hurley loved what he saw from the back line, consisting primarily of Edwin Agabo, Carson Hill, Pablo Salmeron and Christopher Flores.

“Overall I thought our back line played tremendous,” Hurley said. “Central had one good chance to score, and our goalie came up.

“We tried having Pablo push up that side and he did great, and Edwin was great at covering for him. You know Edwin moves so well, and I like to joke with him saying that he proves to me that a guy that wrestles heavyweight can play soccer. I told him, ‘It’s going to help you wrestle and get a state championship this year. Just wait and see.’”

Central made changes to its lineup and formation in the second half. While the first 10-15 minutes of the half were similar to the first, with Mount Airy’s Osorno scoring off an assist from Lopez six minutes out of the break, Central was able regroup and put pressure on the Bears’ goal.

Chris Nava moved to offense, which Garcia said really opened up the offense and helped reenergize the Eagles.

“That relieved some pressure off the back and we were able to press up high, and Chris was a running machine up there with Luke [Creed],” Garcia said. “He lost some balls, but he immediately hustled back – which is exactly what I expect out of my players. That’s what lifted everybody’s spirits.”

A long Central throw from the corner in the 55th minute went through the box to Nava, and his shot sailed just wide of the left post. Still, it made Mount Airy keeper Edwin Ramirez dive for the first time Thursday night.

Even though Central spent much more time in Mount Airy’s defensive third in the second half, the Eagles still only put up two shots. This was because Ramirez covered every square foot of the 18-yard box and would intercept any attempt at a though ball.

“I’m glad the guys didn’t quit,” Garcia said. “That’s a really good team we just played, and they didn’t back down. Even down 3-0, we managed to get a shot off. Their keeper, Edwin, did a great job of coming out and pouncing on balls to prevent shots too. Some of those were played really well and, I’m not saying it would have been a goal against someone else, but it would’ve been dangerous.”

For both teams, the biggest takeaway from the nonconference meeting was experience. With conference play just beginning – Mount Airy is 2-0 in the Northwest 1A Conference and Surry Central is 1-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference – every match counts, and the Bears and Eagles both look to make a run at their respective conference titles.

Surry Central will play its final two nonconference matches of the season next week, traveling to Hibriten (6-1-3) and Ashe County (8-3).

Mount Airy will meet another NW1A-title contender, Starmount, on Sept. 19. Starmount is ranked No. 5 in the 1A West by MaxPreps and sits at 7-1-1 overall.

6’ Mount Airy 0-1, Agripino Perez from Gavin Guerrero assist

29’ Mount Airy 0-2, Elkin Lopez from Angel Osorno assist

46’ Mount Airy 0-3, Angel Osorno from Elkin Lopez assist

The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce held a job fair at Mayberry May on Sept. 9.

Several dozen area businesses and organizations set up at the fair, hoping to attract prospective job applications for openings they have now, or to make contact with job seekers for openings which may occur later.

All totaled more than 200 people turned out for the event.

With protruding eyes who can

Most anywhere in Pharoah’s court,

With the option of some handsome warts.

Who arrived from the marshy bogs

From down deep in the Nile.

Oh, the frogs who came to stay awhile

In Pharoah’s court,

With the option of some handsome warts.

Climbing frogs with adhesive toes,

In the water. In his bath.

In his kitchen. In his food.

They really ruined Pharoah’s mood.

To Moses he cried, “Get them out!

I’m so upset I want to shout!”

“When would you like them out?”

“Tomorrow,” he said. “I want

One more night with frogs in my bed.”

Tomorrow. Pharoah wanted another night with the croaking, slimy, stinky frogs. Tomorrow. Really?

The war of words between Moses and Pharaoh became more of a war of the will. God’s will was crucial for Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, but Pharoah’s will was to keep the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. A war of the will. Pharoah esteemed himself as a god. The great God Jehovah was proving Himself to be the one true God. God was dealing with the will of Pharoah. Why did he want another night with the frogs? Pride. Pharoah was trying to win his own war of the will against the will of the Great God Almighty.

The war of the will. Pay attention to what the Bible says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The Great God Almighty, the Creator, the Healer, said, “Let us reason together.”

God would much rather apply mercy to a hurting soul than full-strength judgment. He would rather apply salvation than to see a person lose his soul in eternal death. So, why would some fight the calling of salvation?

Some feel the need for salvation because of sins in their lives. However, they have postponed salvation because they think there is more time for them to think about eternal life. Some think that they committed too many sins to qualify for salvation. Remember that the Apostle Paul, before his salvation, was a murderer, but became one of the greatest evangelists in church history. Sadly, some refuse to listen to the loving call of God. They refuse to choose life in Christ. Like Pharoah, they hardened their hearts against listening to the God who loves them.

Study the words from the old hymn written by Eliza Holmes Reed:

Oh, do not let the Word depart,

And close your eyes against the light;

Poor sinner, harden not your heart;

Tomorrow’s sun may never rise

To bless your long-deluded sight;

This is the time, Oh, then, be wise,

Listen to God. God is a loving Father. Answer His call because a life spent with God is a life full of peace. A life spent with God is a life with the promise of eternal life in Heaven, favor with God, hope, and fellowship with your Heavenly Father. It is a life with a covenant relationship with God. Pharoah refused to listen to the call of God. He failed to acknowledge God. Those who live with a covenant with God are truly very blessed to know God as their loving Heavenly Father.

© 2018 The Mount Airy News