Sharon Hardy Memorial raises $5,000+ – Mount Airy News
Nabyant Wagner, left, pictured here with teammate Jordan Francis, won the Closest to the Pin award. (Submitted photo)
Tournament winners, from left, are Tony Varney, Mason Varney, and Earl Varney. (Submitted photo)
The fourth Annual Sharon Hardy Memorial Par Three Tournament raised more than $5,000, according to event organizers.
The Surry County Schools Educational Foundation and Hardy’s Custom Golf last week made the joint announcement regarding the money raised at the June 24 event.
Hardy, who passed away in 2015, was a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the Surry County School System for 21years. The proceeds of the tournament benefit the Sharon Smith Hardy Educational Endowment Fund.
Dunmore Plantation was the Title Sponsor for the event. A hot dog lunch from Speedy Chef Mount Airy was provided midday for the players of the 1 teams that participated.
Before the teams teed off, Rex Hardy, Sharon Hardy’s husband, said, “Sharon loved working with children and working with the schools. I appreciate everyone coming today to honor her and helping with this great cause.”
First place went to the family team of Earl Varney, Tony Varney, and Mason Varney. Nabyant Wagner won the Closest to the Pin contest.
The Surry County Schools Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization created to improve the educational level of the county. For more information about the foundation or the endowment fund program, contact Ashley Mills, managing director, at 336-386-8211 or
The legacy of a Mountain Midwife
Northwest 1A names All-Conference baseball players
September 24, 2021
“The Andy Griffith Show“ debuted on network television 61 years ago, and left the airwaves eight years later, more than half a century ago.
Yet the show still holds an iconic place in American society, perhaps in a way that no other show has been able to replicate. Documentary film maker Chris Hudson examines that — and tries to reveal what he believes is the key to the show’s enduring popularity in his film, “The Mayberry Effect.“ The documentary screened Wednesday at the Historic Earle Theatre, and is scheduled for two more showings during Mayberry Days — at 1 p.m. and then 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, at the Earle.
Hudson said taking on such a project was never in his plans when he began thinking about doing the piece that eventually became “The Mayberry Effect.“
“I have worked in television and documentaries for 20 years, and decided to go back and get my masters at Wake Forest University,” he said of the genesis of his project. As part of pursuing his master’s he needed a thesis film project.
”I was looking for an interesting character, an interesting story,” he said. Because of his contacts in the television industry, especially in the regional commercial industry, he had a chance to meet David Browning, who is better known in the Mayberry universe as The Mayberry Deputy. He had been doing some commercials in the Kernersville area when Hudson met him.
”I thought he was a fascinating person, a fascinating character, actor.” After learning Browning was from Bristol, Virginia, he drove to Browning’s home and spent the day with him, trying to stake out how he might approach a documentary on Browning as the Mayberry Deputy.
“This was toward the end of his career, he said he was thinking about retirement. He said he liked the idea but said ‘There’s a bigger picture here.’”
“I grew up watching it (‘The Andy Griffith Show’),” he said. “I grew up in Charlotte, it was always on between 5 and 6 p.m. before dinnertime. I was familiar with the show, the characters. I think it was just part of our life more than anything we thought was extra special at the time.”
In fact, he had rarely been to Mount Airy until starting on the documentary.
“Five years ago was when I started to visit Mount Airy on a regular basis. It’s now become a huge part of my life.”
Hudson said his original concept was simply following some of the tribute artists, chronicle their stories as what he called super fans of the show.
“Once I started spending time with them, reading Mayberry books, talking with Allen Newsome and Jim Clark and others, I realized there was a lot more there…you start to unravel pieces of the puzzle.”
That puzzle, he said, is what made “The Andy Griffith Show“ so popular and timely 61 years ago, a black and white television show debuting when John Kennedy was still running for president, and what keeps it popular today in the internet age.
“I wanted to look at what “The Andy Griffith Show” has done for Mount Airy over the years and how “The Andy Griffith Show” has affected American culture.”
As evidence of that long-term effect on culture, he cited examples of how The Simpsons, Second City TV, Saturday Night Live, and other shows still spoof or make reference to the classic series. He said comedian Jerry Seinfeld has been influenced by the show, as has country music and gospel music.
“That was a big surprise…30, 40, 50 years later how influential this show was on our entertainment industry, on fans, on these people who come to Mayberry Days. They are very nostalgic for a simpler time.”
And that, he believes, is really at the root of enduring loyalty among the show’s fans — nostalgia.
Hudson said he spent quite a bit of time researching nostalgia and its psychological effects on people, eventually finding answers from psychologists in England who could explain the power that nostalgia has over people.
“The idea of nostalgia, it’s an exploration…sometimes we feel like there was a simpler time…sometimes that’s not grounded reality,” he said, noting that life was probably never as simple and easy as portrayed in the series, and his documentary does address how the show steered clear of vexing social issues of the time.
He also said simple is relative. “My kids, in the future, might think now is a simpler time for them,” he said.
Ultimately, he believes the documentary answers some questions about the hold “The Andy Griffith Show” seems to have over its fans and larger society — but not all questions. He purposely took that route, wanting his audience to think a little deeper after seeing his documentary.
“I wanted to ask the questions, let the viewer decide,” he said. “It opens up the door for people of many different backgrounds, different viewpoints, they can explore and watch and learn something about “The Andy Griffith Show” without feeling like it’s slanted in either direction. I think my documentary is open to a much wider audience than just Mayberry fans or just fans of Andy Griffith.”
As for his personal view of why the show is still so popular, and why he believes it may remain so for many years to come?
“You can sit down and watch that show, knowing your kids can watch that show and learn something from it. It’s not offensive, I think it makes people feel good at the end of each show…and I think they want to share that feeling after the fact. I honestly believe “The Andy Griffith Show” is rooted in humanity, the characters, the way Andy Griffith treats Don Knotts and everyone else in town, helping everyone else in Mayberry, and then every once in a while you see how everyone else helps Andy.
“The humanity, the morals and lessons in the show, are and should be sought out after today. That’s why I think people keep landing on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’.”
In addition to the two showings at the Historic Earle Theatre on Sunday, the documentary is available on Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and other video on demand digital channels. The trailer is accessible at
September 24, 2021
WASHINGTON – Three Surry County fire departments will split $644,780 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants, according to Today, Tenth District Rep. Patrick McHenry.
The grants will go to the Shoals Volunteer District in Pinnacle, the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department in Pilot Mountain, and Jot-Um-Down Volunteer Fire Department in Elkin. They come in the fourth round of this year’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awards.
“These grants assist local fire departments by enabling them to increase their staffing and deployment capabilities in order to better respond to emergencies whenever they may occur,” McHenry’s office said in announcing the grants. “Local departments apply for the grants from the program which is administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.”
Shoals Volunteer Fire District Inc. was awarded a SAFER Grant of $133,150. Chief Bubba Killgo said that grant funds would be used to purchase new turnout gear for recruits, an LED recruitment and marketing sign, a pay-per-call stipend and other recruitment and retention initiatives.
Westfield Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a SAFER Grant of $163,435. The department will use this grant to fund retention and recruitment programs for volunteer firefighters.
Jot-Um-Down Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a SAFER Grant of $348,195. The department will use this grant to fund retention and recruitment programs for volunteer firefighters.
“Surry County’s fire departments have done an amazing job in this extremely competitive process to receive funding that goes straight back to help protect local lives and property,” McHenry said. “With the rugged terrain and vast areas of forests and state park land, it is important there is a ready and well-equipped fire service to protect these natural treasures and the people who call Surry County home.”
A panel of fire experts at the Department of Homeland Security awards SAFER grants through a competitive review process. McHenry hosts workshops for 10th District EMS and fire departments to help guide personnel through the process and give them an inside view of what the committee looks for.
Jot-Um-Down, Shoals and Westfield are three of six Tenth District departments to receive SAFER funding so far in the FY 2020 grant cycle with a total of $1,454,252 awarded among those departments.
Grants will continue to be announced in weekly rounds throughout the coming months.
September 24, 2021
When watching a Thanksgiving documentary from Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, I listened to the lead journalist ask young adults the following questions about the first Thanksgiving:
1. What country did the Pilgrims come from? They answered, “Asia.”
2. What year did the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving? They answered, “1492, no maybe it was 1820.
Although the above answers tended to play on the comical side, the reality of false historical information was a bit scary.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Moses wrote, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart: and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
God was urging Moses to train Joshua, his successor, to not assume that the next generation will automatically follow in line with the worship of the God of their fathers. This type of teaching had to be done on a daily basis by parents teaching their children. God was giving the parents a commandment to spend time with their children for teaching religious instruction as well as life skills.
One haunting passage from Judges 2:10 read;
“After that whole generation had also been gathered to their fathers, another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works that He had done for Israel. After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”
When reflecting upon that passage, it gave the sad historical account that although the younger generation may have had some head knowledge about God, they did not know Him in a personal matter. They had no heart knowledge. They became a nation that forsook God, and as a result, they began to live a roller-coaster style of spirituality.
In this particular passage of scripture, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb’s generations had died. The following generations arose without much knowledge of the Red Sea crossing and the wilderness experiences. The parents had failed to teach their Hebrew history and as a result, the younger generation had grown up in the Promised Land, but did not know Hebrew history. As a result, they forsook the God of their Fathers and served Baal, which was the god of their heathen neighbors, thus accepting their culture.
Because of the failure of the older generation to train the younger generation in the ways of the LORD their God, they forsook their covenant relationship as a nation. According to the great commentator, Matthew Henry, the Hebrews “did not become atheists, but worshipers of multiple gods … and made their courts to sun and moon…and became a nation of mean and miserable.”
Mean and miserable. Unpleasant. Shameful. Unhappy. Wretched. Depressed. Were these the types of stepping stones that Joshua’s generation wanted placed down for their grandchildren? Probably not.
Reviewing the article written by Ed Hinson about leaving a legacy for children, he wrote the following in his book The Total Family:
1. If you want your child to be a spiritual giant, you must lead the way.
2. If you want your child to be dependable and consistent, you must lead the way by example.
3. If you want your child to surround himself with spiritually minded friends, then you must surround yourself with spiritually minded friends.
In closing, remember a direction given from Solomon,
”Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many;” Proverbs 4:10
September 24, 2021
A heart attack is not a good thing under any circumstances, but at least special procedures exist locally to maximize a patient’s chances of survival.
And that has resulted in Surry County Emergency Services receiving the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award.
The local lifesaving organization was recognized for implementing specific quality-improvement measures to treat patients who suffer severe heart attacks.
“It is still the number one killer,” said Eddie Jordan, who as compliance officer for Surry County Emergency Services oversees its involvement with the STEMI program under which the American Heart Association award was given.
STEMI refers to an ST elevation myocardial infarction, the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow in one of the major arteries to the heart which requires timely treatment.
Each year, more than 250,000 people experience such an attack.
Jordan said the Surry EMS responds to about 1,200 cardiac-related calls annually, which include simple chest-pain cases not determined to be problematic on up to the severe level. About 300 of those exhibit some form of the STEMI criteria, “which is being an actual heart attack needing immediate attention,” he explained.
To prevent death, it is critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel, which can include the insertion of a stent — a type of tube — or by providing clot-busting medication.
In light of that necessity, the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program that Surry County Emergency Services participates in helps reduce barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks.
This starts from the time when 9-1-1 is called, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge.
“It’s a real structured system,” Jordan said.
The STEMI concept recognizes the fact that optimal care for heart attack patients takes coordination between the individual hospital, EMS and health-care system overall.
Surry County EMS crews seek to accomplish this through multiple measures aimed at a seamless process for treatment, Jordan says.
One involves submitting the patient to an electrocardiogram (also known as an ECG or EKG) test within 10 minutes, a key procedure that gauges the electrical activity of one’s heartbeat. The Surry unit accomplishes this in less than four minutes, Jordan said.
“Our saying is ‘time is muscle,’” the compliance officer added in reference to an understanding among cardiologists that the longer it takes to get treatment the greater the damage that can occur to the heart muscle and the less chance for recovery.
Another priority for Surry County Emergency Services involves notifying the receiving hospital that a patient with a severe heart attack is on the way so personnel there can be standing by to render care immediately.
“That’s one of the key elements,” Jordan said of the STEMI initiative embraced by the Surry EMS, as amplified by an American Heart Association spokesman:
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” Tim Henry, M.D., chairman of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee, said in a statement.
“Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient.”
STEMI program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to improving quality care for severe heart attack patients.
Jordan said he is proud of the consistent high level achieved by local emergency crews. He pointed out that it has now been bestowed with the Gold Plus Achievement Award for two years in a row after earlier receiving silver and bronze awards.
“Surry County Emergency Services is honored to be recognized by the American Heart Association for our dedication to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” he commented.
“The Mission: Lifeline program puts proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis, so patients have the best possible chance of survival.”
September 24, 2021
To the Editor,
Most US presidents have wished the American people well. They have generally worked to improve the US economy, and unite the country whenever possible. Mr. Biden, to the contrary, seems to wish us ill. How else to explain the following Biden policies?
(1) Closed pipelines, making us dependent on foreign oil;
(2) Continued pandemic unemployment payments, $300-600/week, which persuaded some to stop working, destroying many businesses;
(3) Promised to raise taxes once again, further restricting investment and job-creation;
(4) Spent in unprecedented amounts, raising inflation expectations to 5%, more than twice the usual target, as zero interest-rates continue;
(5) Hoped to extend the national debt limit once again, as it approaches $28 trillion;
(6) Opened our southern border to hundreds of thousands of unvetted and unvaccinated immigrants, who will be eligible for welfare, free medical care, and free education paid for with US taxes;
(7) Handed $80 billion in armaments to the Afghan Taliban, and a $10 billion air-force base, probably to our Chinese enemies;
(8) Proclaimed confidence in Gen. Mark Milley, whose treasonous behavior will encourage still further military sedition;
(9) Refused to comment on credible charges that he and his family are paid by Ukrainian, Russian, and Chinese governments for the president’s influence;
(10) Promoted critical race theory, which teaches that Whites hate Blacks, are responsible for their relative poverty, and that only violent revolution will restore equality; and watched as BLM further encouraged racial division and defunding of police;
(11) Watched without comment as his party elects district attorneys and prosecutors who refuse to punish street crime, permitting criminal chaos in many US cities;
(12) Lockdowns and moratoria on eviction for non-payment of rent permanently destroyed many US small businesses, reminding us that one major Marxist goal is destruction of the middle class;
We recall Mr. Obama’s hope to ‘fundamentally transform’ the US, and wonder if Mr. Biden isn’t simply Mr. Obama’s assistant, exchanging America’s democratic capitalism for something closer to socialism?
Richard Merlo
September 24, 2021
To the editor,
I have just read the article on the proposed Andy Griffith Mural (“Andy Griffith mural eyed downtown,” Sept. 22, Mount Airy News). I have a few comments.
The photo-mural-collage as depicted in the article is identified as a sketches. That is not a sketch. It is a photo collage.
The proposed artist is not, in my opinion, an artist, but a technician who simply reproduces photo images in blocks of shaded colors, as in ‘paint by numbers.’
Lizzie Morrison has led the team to believe you are hiring a true artist who creates an image. I believe this is false. In essence, Mount Airy Downtown and the Tourist Development Authority are paying $50,000 for an oversized paint by number illustration.
Again, this illustration, this photo montage, is not art as defined throughout history.
Lawrence Mischel
Mount Airy
September 24, 2021
September 23, 2021
• His alleged theft of a $55 carton of cigarettes from the convenience store where he worked has resulted in a Mount Airy man being jailed on a felony charge, according to city police reports.
The crime was discovered Tuesday at Speedway on Rockford Street, leading to a charge of larceny by employee being filed against Crawford Aaron Byerly, 27, of 107 Crystal Lane. Byerly was confined in the Surry County Jail under a $4,000 secured bond and slated for an Oct. 4 appearance in District Court.
He no longer is listed as an employee of Speedway.
• Reyna Victoria Ayala Gonzalez, 24, of 2586 W. Pine St., was charged early Thursday with fleeing to elude arrest and having no operator’s license.
Gonzalez failed to pull over a 1997 Jeep Cherokee for a traffic stop and subsequently did so on N.C. 89 near Greyhound Road west of town, police records state. She is scheduled to be in Surry District Court on Nov. 15.
• Michael James Johnson, 40, of 654 Willow St., was jailed under a $75,000 secured bond last Friday, when he was served with a warrant on a felony charge of interfering with an electronic monitoring device which had been issued by state correctional personnel on July 19.
Johnson, who was taken into custody at his residence, also was the subject of an outstanding order for arrest for failing to appear in court filed on July 12. He is slated for an Oct. 5 appearance in District Court.
• Andy Gene Temoney Jr., 29, of Greensboro, was arrested on Sept. 11 after officers investigated a shots-fired call on Marshall Heights Street off U.S. 601.
Temoney was charged with discharging a firearm in the city limits and also found to be the subject of an outstanding order for arrest for failing to appear in court which had been filed on April 18. He was jailed under a $500 secured bond and is to appear in District Court Monday.
September 23, 2021
As if COVID-19 hasn’t given everyone enough to worry about, now comes chronic wasting disease — with its first threat to North Carolina identified through a deer-hunting incident near Mount Airy.
Staff members of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently were notified by Cale Godfrey, Virginia’s assistant wildlife chief, of the presence of a chronic wasting disease (CWD)-positive deer located 33 miles north of the city.
“Bottom line, this sample is close, closer than any CWD-positive test result has ever been to North Carolina,” explained Ashton Godwin, legislative liaison with the Wildlife Resources Commission.
Godwin has contacted state Rep. Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy to express concerns about that discovery due to the area in Virginia being near Stevens’ legislative district in North Carolina.
“It is really bad,” Stevens said of its potential negative implications for the Mount Airy vicinity, adding that the public needed to be made aware of this threat particularly in light of the arrival of deer-hunting season this fall.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion ailment that affects such species as deer, elk, reindeer and moose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. A prion is defined as a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to function abnormally.
CWD is fatal to animals and there are no treatments or vaccines.
So far there have been no reported cases of chronic wasting disease infection in people. However, some animal studies suggest that it poses a risk to certain types of non-human primates, such as monkeys, that eat meat from CWD-infected animals or come in contact with brain or body fluids from infected deer or elk.
Those studies raise concerns that there could also be a risk to people, the CDC guidance adds, which most likely would occur through eating deer meat.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has had a plan in place to deal with any threats from chronic wasting disease, according to Godwin.
“Our response plan triggers with a sample found within 30 miles of our border,” Godwin stated in her advisory to Rep. Stevens concerning its proximity to North Carolina. “This sample is close enough that we are preparing to increase our surveillance in the four border counties (Alleghany, Surry, Stokes and Rockingham).”
The Wildlife Resources Commission staff is activated and coordinating with the N.C. Department of Transportation to use road-kill and depredation kills throughout the coming months in conjunction with the opening of deer seasons to increase sampling, Godwin mentioned.
In Northwest North Carolina, archery season began this month and runs through early November, according to commission listings, with black powder deer hunting to occur from Nov. 6-19. Gun season is scheduled from Nov. 20 to Jan. 1.
“Once the regular deer season is open, we will increase our sampling from hunters in this area,” Godwin further disclosed.
“We already have significant sampling occurring and these (four) counties are no exceptions, but we will place increased emphasis on them now.”
Health recommendations
The CDC advises not shooting, handling or eating meat from deer that look sick, are acting strangely or are found dead (road-kill).
When field-dressing a deer, hunters are advised to wear latex or rubber gloves when dressing the animal or handling the meat. They should minimize their contact with deer organs, particularly the brain and spinal cord tissues.
Household knives or other kitchen utensils should not be used for field dressing, under CDC guidelines.
It can take more than a year for an infected animal to develop symptoms, which can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms.
In a recent survey, North Carolina hunters listed “putting meat in the freezer” as a main motivation for harvesting deer.
The nearby confirmation of chronic wasting disease in Virginia involved a 2.5-year-old buck that an unidentified man had brought to a taxidermist, who took and submitted samples from the animal for testing under a program in place in Virginia.
“We do not know the prevalence rates or distribution of the disease from the location of this positive animal,” Godwin, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission liaison, stated in her advisory.
Personnel in both states will increase sampling during the fall hunting seasons “to get an understanding of these important metrics,” she emphasized.
The state Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking funding from the N.C. General Assembly for increased surveillance while deer hunting is under way.
In addition to the health threat, the commission is concerned about the potential financial fallout to the state from chronic wasting disease.
The annual economic impact to North Carolina from deer hunting totals more than $600 million spent on trips and equipment, based on information relayed by Rep. Stevens. In addition to direct spending, that figure includes taxes, salaries and wages.
September 23, 2021
DOBSON – The Surry Community College volleyball team took down the No. 17-ranked team in the nation Tuesday in a five-set thriller.
The Lady Knights’ (13-2) 3-2 win over No. 17 Catawba Valley Community College breaks a 200-match conference winning streak for the visiting Red Hawks.
first Region 10 loss, 3-2 in Region 10 conference play on Tuesday. Surry improves to 13-2 on the season while Catawba Valley falls to 6-3 overall.
“I thought we did a great job winning the serve and pass game against CVCC,” said Surry head coach Caleb Gilley. “Our goals going in were to win the serve and pass game, and then come up with some timely blocks and we did that.”
Surry freshman Michelle Thao (Fred T. Foard High School) led Surry with a game high 22 kills. Thao also led the Knights with 20 digs in the win. Anna Stevens (Oak Grove HS) dished out a game high 45 assists, while fellow freshman Emma Freed (Starmount HS) led the Lady Knights with three service aces.
Surry also got a solid performance from Camilla Garner (Southwest Guilford HS) with 11 kills and 2 blocks. Colby Crater (Forbush HS) added 10 kills to go along with four blocks.
Defensively, the Lady Knights got superb play from Abigail Johnson (Surry Central HS) and Natalie Eaton (North Surry HS/Mount Airy HS) with 17 and 13 digs, respectively. Lyza Addington (West Stokes HS) added two blocks.
Surry opened play in dominant fashion. After leading 16-15, the Lady Knights ran off nine consecutive points behind the stellar serving of Stevens to take the first set 25-15. The Lady Red Hawks rallied to take set two, 27-25.
The Lady Knights took a 2-1 lead after taking the third set 25-16 before Catawba Valley rebounded capturing set four 25-13, forcing a fifth and final set.
Surry never trailed in the deciding final set. The Knights raced out to an 8-1 lead behind the play of Thao and the serving of Eaton. The Lady Knights finished off the set and the match 15-8 with a booming kill from Thao, her seventh in the fifth set.
Surry heads to Lancaster, S.C. on Friday for a tri-match starting at 4:00 pm with Lenoir Community College followed by taking on USC-Lancaster. The Lady Knights then travel to Union, S.C. for another tri-match on Saturday facing USC-Union at 10:00 am and Bob Jones University at 12:00 pm.
“We’ve had a great season so far,” Gilley said. “The kids are working hard and buying into what we are trying to do on the court and it is showing. It’s a long season so we still have work to do, but as long as we continue to get better then I like where we are headed.”
September 23, 2021
North Surry High School will induct seven new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame prior to Friday’s varsity football game against East Surry.
The North Surry Athletic Hall of Fame Classes of 2020 and 2021 will both be honored before the game, with the ceremony slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. No ceremony was held last year for the Class of 2020 due to COVID-19.
The North Surry Greyhound Foundation created the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 and inducted eight members to its inaugural class. Then-Principal Neil Atkins said the high school staff, the boosters and the Greyhound Foundation all wanted to recognize the tradition of sports excellence that has continued for decades at North Surry,
The Class of 2020 includes: Marcus Allen (‘88), Jimmy George (‘89), Alicia Wallace Henson (08’) and Taylor Coalson (‘12).
The Class of 2021 includes: Joe Simmons (‘90), Malaya Johnson (‘14) and Alex Cooke (‘14).
Class of 2020
Allen is a member of the North Surry class of 1988 and played basketball. He averaged 22.6 points per game as a senior in leading the Hounds to the State 3A championship game. He went on to play college basketball at Brevard.
George is a member of the Class of 1989. He was a three-sport athlete that was MVP of the 1989 State 3A Basketball championship game. George went on to play college baseball at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Henson is a member of the Class of 2008. She was a three-time All-Conference player in basketball and went on to play 4 years at Montreat College.
Taylor is a member of the Class of 2012. Taylor was a two-time All-State selection and two-time State Champion as a Greyhound. Taylor went on to play golf for four years at UNC-Greensboro.
Class of 2021
Simmons is a member of the Class of 1990. He was All-State in football in both 1988 and 1989. He finished his career with over 2,900 yards rushing. He played four years at North Carolina Central University and is their second all-time leading rusher. Simmons was inducted into the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Johnson is a member of the Class of 2014. She was Conference Player of the Year in both basketball and volleyball in 2013-2014. She went on to play basketball for four years at Elon University, averaging 11.7 points per game as a senior.
Alex is a member of the Class of 2014. Alex was a three-time shot put state champion, as well as a member of the 2012 State 2A Volleyball championship team. She went on to have a successful track and field career at UNC-Chapel Hill.
September 23, 2021
The Modern Gardeners Garden Club recently was recognized by the Surry Board of County Commissioners for the group’s efforts with placing a Blue Star Marker Memorial on the Surry County Historic Courthouse grounds in Dobson.
The group was also honored for the following work:
– Decorating the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and the exterior of the Antebellum Moore House at Christmas
– Mount Airy mini garden plantings
– Designing, planting and maintaining the pollinator garden next to the Mount Airy Post Office
– Designing and maintaining the Oak and Market Street planters in Mount Airy
– Rotating with other garden clubs on the Northern Regional Hospital Lobby floral arrangements
– Quarterly garden therapy projects with Tharrington Primary School students
– Fall bulb sales
– Annual Arbor Day tree plantings
– Designing, planting and maintaining the Rotary Pup Memorial Garden
– Coordinating with other garden clubs to host the Annual Mount Airy Blooms Tour of Gardens.
September 23, 2021
Pilot Mountain Middle School workers received a warm and delicious treat from Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Winston-Salem recently.
Along with several dozen donuts was a note reading “Good Morning and thank you for being the best! Enjoy a little treat!”
September 23, 2021
Students at Copeland Elementary dressed in red, white, and blue on Friday, Sept. 10, to honor Patriot Day, which was on Saturday, Sept. 11.
September 23, 2021
Earlier this month Mount Airy City Schools celebrated its recent retirees.
The eleven individuals, collectively, had more than 260 years of experience serving the students and families of Mount Airy City Schools.
Those honored included Deborah Welborn, Paula Dellenback, Stephanie Hutchinson, Vivian France, Andrew Draughn, Lisa Sawyers, Amy Cook, Kathy Grubbs, Debbie Hiatt, Tommye Phillips, and Sandy George.
The event was held at Shelton Vineyards at the amphitheater where each retirees’ principal spoke about their careers.
September 23, 2021
DOBSON — The Alpha Xi Tau Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Society at Surry Community College held a yard sale over the Labor Day weekend. The yard sale was one of the organization’s Honors In Action (HIA) events for the year.
Surry Community College’s PTK Chapter Advisor Dr. Kathleen Fowler said, “For our HIA project this year, we decided to help Hope Chapel Orphanage fix the roof in their dining hall and kitchen. This orphanage specializes in helping children rescued from human trafficking.”
The society raised more than $700 for Hope Chapel Orphanage over the two days that the yard sale was held. Any unsold items were donated to Hope House Thrift Store in Dobson.
“It is so great to see our PTK students giving back to the community,” said President Dr. David Shockley.
Ashley Morrison, dean of academics, echoed this sentiment. She added that she saw PTK students working from early morning through the afternoon to help with the event. “The PTK chapter embodies the Surry Community College values of teaching, learning, and community service.”
Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations.
For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, contact PTK’s Faculty Advisor Dr. Kathleen Fowler at (336-386-3560 or or go to, or follow the local chapter at on Facebook @surryPhiThetaKappa.
Photo Caption Shoppers check out the many items available at the Phi Theta Kappa Labor Day yard sale. More than $700 was raised at this event for Hope Chapel Orphanage.
September 22, 2021
Mount Airy Police are investigating the shooting death of a local teen who was found lying in the street near his house.
John Flores Martinez, 18, of the 2100 block of North Main Street, died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem from multiple gunshot wounds.
The teen was found by city police at 12:05 a.m. Wednesday, after officers were sent to his home to conduct a security check.
“Martinez had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported by Surry County EMS to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Hospital,” the police said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “As a result of the gunshot wounds, Martinez later succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital.”
The statement did not say how many gunshot wounds Martinez sustained, if officers believe he was shot where he was found or shot elsewhere, nor what spurred the “security check.” No one at the police department was available for additional comment Wednesday afternoon.
“This is an active on-going investigation at this time. Anyone with information please contact the Mount Airy Police Department (at) 336-786-3535,” the statement said.
September 22, 2021
The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History will be holding a History Talk on Sunday by Ron Hall, a member of the Carroll County Historical Society. He will be discussing the J. Sidna Allen House in Fancy Gap, Virginia.
The house was built by the Allen family in the early part of the 20th century and was one of the finest homes in the county at the time. Shortly after the Allen family moved into the house, J. Sidna Allen and several of his relatives were involved in the infamous Courthouse Shootout in Hillsville, Virginia. The shooting garnered nationwide headlines and is still commemorated today through books, plays, and stories.
The historical society has in recent years been restoring the house. Hall is an author, member of the Carroll County Historical Society and a Hillsville Courthouse Tragedy historian.
The History Talk is free, and will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the third floor of the museum. Masks are required inside the museum.
September 22, 2021
At their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, board members of Shoals Community Recreation Center recognized and honored one of its own members, Bobby Key.
Eddie Brown, president of the board of directors, spoke of Key’s involvement and presented the award.
Key, a life-long resident of Shoals Community, has served the community in many ways and especially in various leadership roles with Boy Scout Troop 561. As a former Boy Scout, Key has a passion for helping young people develop their abilities and grow into productive citizens.
For the past many years he has dedicated an enormous amount of time to guiding the members of Troop 561 through their Eagle Scout projects. Many of the Eagle projects have been directed to the improvement of Shoals Community Recreation Center. At least ten of these projects, ranging from building an iron walking bridge that spans a small stream at the center to construction of a substantial picnic shelter have provided wonderful and much needed additions to the Community Center and Shoals Community as a whole.
Without Key’s leadership abilities, mechanical talents and willingness to give of his personal time to help others, these projects would not have been possible.
September 22, 2021
T. Graham Brown has seen a lot, and visited a host of different places, over his 40-year musical career.
The country music star has released 16 albums. Nearly two dozen of his singles have charted — 11 in the Top Ten Billboard Hot Country Songs, three of which made it to No. 1.
Along the way he’s lived the life of a musician, staying on the road, doing thousands of shows all across the United States and elsewhere.
Yet sounding more like an artist going on his first tour, the country music star is almost giddy with anticipation for two of his upcoming appearances — both at this year’s Mayberry Days.
“I’m super excited to come, I really am,” the Nashville, Tennessee resident said recently. “I’m not just saying that. I’m really excited about it.”
While he is scheduled to perform at the Mayberry Days Dinner on Thursday evening and at the Historic Earle Theatre on Friday, he has his own bucket list of what he wants to accomplish in Mount Airy.
“I’m going to go to Snappy Lunch, get a pork chop sandwich, then I’m going to go to Floyd’s (barbershop), then I’m going to go to one of the stores to see if I can get an Andy (Taylor) clock.”
He said he’d also love a chance to meet Betty Lynn, of Thelma Lou fame.
“I would love to hug her neck, that would be great,” the singer said.
While Brown has had a wildly successful career as a singer, when talking about his visit to Mount Airy this week, he’s far more interested in talking about the show, and the people from the TV series.
For anyone chatting with Brown, it doesn’t take long to realize he’s a true fan, not someone who is saying that simply because that’s what Mayberry Days fans want to hear.
His tour bus is named Bullet Maintenance — a name he and his staff gave to the vehicle back in the 1980s, when his career was starting to take off.
“Because of Barney’s bullet,” he says of the odd name. “In one episode, Barney was in the bank, and he was getting onto Asa the guard, his gun was falling apart, so Barney was getting on him. And then Barney took the bullet from his pocket, held it up and said ‘Now Asa, here is bullet maintenance.’”
Brown said he grew up watching the show in its original run, but really became a big fan during is college days, attending the University of Georgia. There, he began watching reruns and fell in love with the series.
“We have our own chapter of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watcher’s Club on the (tour) bus.”
Though he never had a chance to meet Andy Griffith or Don Knotts, nor most of the cast, Brown said while he was performing at the Grand Old Opry that he did get to meet Richard O. Linke, Griffith’s manager. Linke was able to get a couple of signed photos of Griffith for Brown.
The singer also has a Don Knotts-signed Vote Fife For Sheriff poster from the movie, “Return to Mayberry,” courtesy of Jim Clark, one of the founders of the original Rerun Watcher’s Club.
He was close friends with George Lindsey, who played Goober on the show.
“I got a lot of my Mayberry fix from him,” Brown said. “We’d always talk Mayberry. He had a watch party over at his house for Return to Mayberry…that was really fun.”
Brown said he also has an orange and blue letter jacket from the fictional Mayberry Union High — and just to show how deep his Mayberry trivia runs, Brown breaks into an a cappella version of the high school’s song — not missing a word.
Brown grew up in Arabi, Georgia, in the southern portion of the state. He describes Arabi as a small agricultural town with about 300 people living there.
“Both sides of my family are farmers, we’re kind of used to that lifestyle, I guess, that’s the way I grew up.”
While those roots may have helped shape his eventual leaning toward country music as an artist, he said when singing — and the occasional song writing he does — he draws inspiration from a wide variety of genres.
“When I was a little boy, I had a transistor radio, and I would listen to it at night. I could pick up stations from all over the United States on the AM dial…you could hear an R&B station out of Nashville, a country station out of Louisiana, a Top 40 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.”
He counts R&B legend Otis Redding, country starts Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Loretta Lynn as influences on his music, and he said he’s a big fan of far more big-name stars.
“I remember listening to The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Monkees…Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, I like it all. Frank Sinatra I really like a lot, and Tony Bennett.”
His own musical development wasn’t something he necessarily set out to pursue — instead, it just seemed to come naturally.
“I was just goofing around, mainly,” he recalls of his childhood days. “I’d sing around the house, I would sing in Church., Momma said I sang all the time.”
That “goofing around” eventually led to working as a musician, making a living playing regular night shows at a Holiday Inn in Athens, Georgia.
He married his wife, Sheila, in 1980, and two years later the two of them moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he found work singing advertising jingles for a host of local and national companies. In 1985 he released two singles from his soon-to-be-released debut album, “I Tell It Like It Used To Be.”
The first of the singles, Drowning in Memories, reached 39 in the U.S. Billboard Country chart, and his second single, “I Tell It Like It Used To Be,” shot to No. 7. The following year he released the album, which peaked at No. 15 on the album chart, along with three more singles, two of which hit No. 1 — and his career was set.
Now, nearly 40 years after moving to Nashville, he and his wife live just outside of town, with a view of rolling countryside and far-off ridge tops from his porch.
Except when the coronavirus pandemic cancels his shows, Brown is still singing, still touring, and still trying to fill up his Mayberry bucket list of things to do and people to meet.
And he’s hoping to check off a few items on that list this week, when he is in Mount Airy for the 2021 Mayberry Days.
September 22, 2021
In many ways actor Andy Griffith seemed larger than life, and an effort is now under way to preserve that image in downtown Mount Airy via a gigantic mural.
The concept for the project was presented to the city council during a meeting last Thursday night, which also involves a proposal to add public restrooms — sought by the merchant community — in the same area along North Main Street.
Under the plan floated by Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison of the group Mount Airy Downtown Inc., the large-scale mural of Griffith would be placed on the south wall of the Brannock and Hiatt Furniture Co. building.
The visual display honoring the late city native, who starred in the popular sitcom bearing his name along with the “Matlock” television series and memorable movies, would face toward the municipal parking lot beside Brannock and Hiatt and Old North State Winery.
Regular city funds are not sought for the mural itself, according to Morrison, who said the $50,000 cost is to be split between Mount Airy Downtown and the local Tourism Development Authority. Mount Airy Downtown funds projects benefiting the central business district with funds from a special Municipal Service District (MSD) tax levied on property owners there.
The Tourism Development Authority uses proceeds from an occupancy tax collected by local lodging establishments which generally go toward advertising costs for promoting this area and its various attractions.
Mount Airy Downtown already has contributed $500 in MSD funds for a sketch rendering of the Andy Griffith mural, according to Morrison’s presentation. She did not focus on the Andy mural alone, which was included within the context in a number of improvements that group seeks downtown in partnership with the city government — many identified recently by special Vision committees.
“We are really, really excited about this project,” the Main Street coordinator said of the large mural that would occupy a wall space nearly 100 feet wide and more than 30 feet high.
Morrison mentioned that Mount Airy Downtown had paid artist Brian Lewis of Greensboro, who goes by the name “JEKS,” to do the sketch rendering of what the Andy Griffith mural would look like.
He previously painted a large, photo-realistic mural of late local singer Melva Houston on another wall downtown, in an alleyway beside Thirsty Souls Community Brewing on Market Street.
Murals have been a popular addition to the central business district lately. One honoring the local Easter Brothers musical group was painted by another artist earlier this year on a wall at a downtown rest area on the lower end of North Main Street.
Restroom request
While the downtown and tourism groups would lead the project design and management of the Andy project in partnership with the city, in addition to paying for the mural, the plan involves an apparent trade-off with the municipality.
“Our request of the city is that you move forward with planning and constructing a small, two-unit public restroom facility on the northeast corner” of the parking lot involved, Morrison told the commissioners. She said this would accommodate tourists drawn to the Griffith mural and pointed that plumbing infrastructure already exists at the site.
In July, downtown merchant Martha Truskolaski of the Spotted Moon gift shop nearby asked Mount Airy officials to provide public restrooms there to serve the 400 block of North Main Street.
Truskolaski said the lack of such facilities poses problems for the public at large, particularly young children and the elderly.
“If you needed to use a restroom while out shopping, would you want to walk two blocks up a hill to do so?”
The commissioners took no action after Morrison’s presentation Thursday night, saying funding decisions on projects she outlined will be made after further studies are conducted.
Certain projects could be paid for with federal American Rescue Plan money designated for Mount Airy and other localities as a result of the pandemic, officials say.
September 21, 2021
• A Mount Airy man was jailed without privilege of bond on a felony charge of assault by strangulation early Monday after an assistance call at a local residence, according to city police reports.
Dean Allen Bowman, 37, of 116 Eaton Road, was encountered during that call in the 200 block of Rockford Street, with no explanation given as to the nature of the police involvement. An investigation revealed Bowman was wanted on the strangulation charge, which had been filed through the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, and for an alleged protective order violation.
He is scheduled to be in Surry District Court today.
• Police learned last Thursday of a case involving the forging and passing of a check to obtain money from a victim’s account. A known suspect is said to have targeted the Carter Bank and Trust account of Rebecca Faith Miller, a Moore Avenue resident, with no loss figure listed.
• Equipment and tools valued at $3,130 were discovered stolen on Sept. 13 from Sawyers Canopy Works on West Independence Boulevard, where property damage also occurred.
Storage containers were pried open on a 2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup and a 2019 Chevrolet in order to steal items inside including DeWalt products listed as a hammer drill, impact drill, jigsaw unit, drill batteries, saw blades and a battery charger; a socket set; a bag of hand tools; a hole saw kit; a hand tool box with multiple small items; a 50-foot drop cord;
Also, snips, ratchet wrenches, a speed level, sockets, screwdrivers, hammers, Allen wrenches, chisels, crescent wrenches and other miscellaneous tools. Damage to the tool boxes forcibly entered was put at $950.
• Police learned of a case involving the obtaining of property by false pretense on Sept. 9 in which Dixon Construction Co. of Galax, Virginia, was victimized.
Merchandise of an unspecified value was bought at the Lowe’s hardware store on South Andy Griffith Parkway by a known suspect who forged the company owner’s signature, police records state.
• A wallet was stolen on Sept. 9 from a 2014 Ford F-150 pickup while it was parked at Dollar General on South Main Street, unlocked with the windows rolled down.
Everette Dwight Ayers of Welcome Baptist Church Road is listed as the victim of the crime that in addition to the wallet included the loss of a Surrey Bank and Trust Card; four credit/debit/store cards issued by Capital One and other entities; a Social Security card; and a driver’s license.
September 21, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — Top-ranked East Surry kept its undefeated season alive with a 3-1 win over Surry Central on Tuesday.
The Lady Cardinals are now 12-0 overall and 6-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference. East Surry’s past four wins, Tuesday included, came against teams ranked in the top 20 of the 2A West by MaxPreps. East defeated No. 18 Forbush, No. 11 West Stokes, No. 7 West Wilkes and then No. 2 Surry Central.
East Surry’s win over Central came with set scores of 25-17, 25-16, 24-26 and 25-17.
“Our offense was very much in sync tonight,” said East Surry coach Katelyn Markle. “We also got a lot of touches on their hits and slowed it down so our defense could make a play on the ball, and a good play at that. I just thought we were really clicking at times tonight.”
Tuesday’s match served as East Surry’s Senior Night. Prior to the varsity match, the Cardinals honored four seniors that have been with the program for years: Hannah Johnston, Clara Willard, Kylie Bruner and Kate Parks.
“I’m definitely going to miss the seniors next year,” Markle said. “They’ve been a key part of East Surry volleyball for four years and they’ve helped us be successful throughout the years and so far this year.”
The Cardinals finished with 47 kills compared to Surry Central’s 35. Bella Hutchens led East Surry with 17 kills, followed by Bruner with 13, Merry Parker Boaz with 12, Parks with three and Willard with one. Almost all the team’s assists came from setter Johnston, although a few kills were assisted by libero Samarin Kipple.
The Eagles were plagued by hitting errors, committing 20 in the match.
“There’s nothing wrong with us physically, but mentally we’re not where we need to be,” said Golden Eagle coach Carrie Bruce. “We made too many mistakes that should not happen. That’s about it.”
East Surry only trailed twice in the first two sets. Surry Central won the opening point in both sets, but East took over after that and never trailed through the end of the set.
The first set opened with East Surry taking a 9-4 lead. The Eagles were able to score, but just couldn’t retain serve. Central had a sideout percentage of 52% in the opening set compared to East Surry’s 76.5%.
Part of East Surry’s strategy was limiting the impact of Central’s Mia McMillen, who came into Tuesday’s match as the FH2A Conference leader in kills. The senior still managed to hit 11 kills.
“You find her wherever she is on the court and you just be aware because she’s going to get the ball 95 percent of the time,” Markle said. “She played well, and I thought we defended her pretty well…all of their hitters at that.”
A late Central run in the first set wasn’t enough to keep East from closing it out for a 25-17 win. The same was true of the second set, which East Surry won 25-16.
The Lady Cardinals seemed to be on the way to a 3-0 win by holding a 21-12 lead in the third set. However, Aubrey Southern went to the service line and served three-straight Golden Eagle points. East Surry interrupted the comeback with a point, but gave the ball away with a service error.
Jaylyn Templeton, who had 10 kills in Tuesday’s match, started another run with a kill as McMillen served. McMillen had an ace, which was followed by a kill from Marissa McCann and an East Surry attack error that forced a Cardinal timeout.
Templeton had another kill out of the timeout to cut the lead to 22-21. An attack error from Central gave East’s Kipple serve, which she used to get an ace and give the Cards their 24th point. An attack error from East gave serve back to Central’s Katelyn Patterson, who served the next four points to give the Eagles the 26-24 set victory.
Surry Central kept the match going by outscoring East Surry 14-3 after trailing 21-12. West Stokes, Mount Airy and West Wilkes are the only other teams to take a set from East Surry this season.
“When they want to play, they’ll play how they’re supposed to if they don’t let their heads get in the way,” Bruce said. “We’ve just got to be smart with the ball, control the ball, and not make those mental errors, really. By the third set, everybody knew where the ball was going on both sides of the net, it’s just who’s going to come out on top with less mistakes is basically what it came down to.”
The Eagles played with new life in the fourth set. Central and East traded points until an ace from Bruner gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead that would stay intact through the end of the match. Bruner’s ace was part of a 7-1 East Surry run that gave the home team an 11-6 advantage.
Central chipped away at the East lead and cut the score to 15-12. Hutchens exploded for a kill to increase the lead to 16-12, then Bruner served the next four points for the Cardinals.
East Surry was sure to close the fourth set out after failing to do so in the third. The Cardinals cemented the win with a 25-17 victory in the fourth set.
Surry Central drops to third in the FH2A Conference with the loss. East Surry is in first with a 6-0 record, followed by West Wilkes in second at 5-1 and Surry Central at 4-2. No other FH2A team has a winning conference record.
East Surry travels to North Wilkes on Thursday, and Central hosts West Wilkes the same day.
September 21, 2021
East Surry High School celebrated homecoming on Friday night.
Crowned as Homecoming Queen was Kylie Bruner. She is the daughter of Travis and Misty Bruner.
Named Homecoming Maid of Honor was Rosie Craven. She is the daughter of Tom and Hope Craven.
September 21, 2021
A recent request for municipal funding to complete renovations of a house said to be the first deeded to an African-American in Surry County has received the endorsement of the Mount Airy Planning Board.
The planning group, an advisory board to the city commissioners, voted 7-0 in late August to support the Satterfield House Redevelopment Project aimed at bringing a thriving community center to the property.
Jeannie Studnicki, who chairs that group, advised the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners of its decision during a meeting last Thursday night in lending support for the project while speaking at a public forum.
The historic Satterfield House, which dates to the late 1800s, is located at the corner of North Franklin Road and West Virginia Street near the Toast community. The four-acre site also was the location of a Rosenwald school of the type built in the early 20th century to serve African-American students.
It is owned by the Sandy Level Community Council, which for 35 years has sought to refurbish the property so it can be used as a gathering spot for a variety of functions — an effort that came to a standstill when COVID-19 hit, supporters say.
On Aug. 19, the president of that organization, Shelby King, and others involved asked the city commissioners to allocate $200,000 toward a renovation project with a total estimated cost of $307,520.
The commissioners have not voted on the request since it was made, with the announcement of the Mount Airy Planning Board’s endorsement Thursday night bringing it back to the forefront.
That board normally studies zoning and land-use matters, then makes preliminary recommendations to the city commissioners leading to final action.
But it has ventured into the social justice realm with the Satterfield House issue.
“This site is not only architecturally significant but also is associated with an important historical event,” Studnicki said of its distinction as the first owned by a local African-American. “This gesture may not mean much to us — we who did not suffer through the abhorrent acts of enslavement, segregation, discrimination and exclusionary legislation.”
The planning board leader indicated that the effort targeting the Satterfield House is part of a “larger, long-overdue national movement to preserve African-American history.”
Studnicki acknowledged that the planning board gave its support without seeing the Sandy Level Community Council’s finalized business plan regarding profit-generating uses and sustainability of the renovated property.
Organizers envision an events center at the Satterfield House which would include a commercial kitchen allowing chefs to teach cooking classes and the hosting of fundraisers. Other proposed uses include classroom space for educational programs, GED courses of Surry Community College, hospice workshops and a substation for city and county law enforcement.
“Their mission and vision have received our support,” Studnicki said of the Mount Airy Planning Board’s endorsement of the Sandy Level Community Council. “The center, in our opinion, will (serve) to revitalize the physical, economic and social fabric of the Sandy Level community.”
Studnicke said the renovated property would be of special benefit to younger residents and help them pass on their legacy to future generations.
“It has the potential to promote cultural preservation and advocacy, inspire leadership and to provide academic support and community outreach,” she said of the redevelopment project.
“The future community center stands at the intersection of possibilities, realities and transformation.”
September 21, 2021
While summer might be coming to a close, the Surry Arts Council Summer Concert Series is still going strong — with two shows set for this week, along with three additional musical shows for local residents and town visitors.
The concert series shows are set for Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday, The Embers featuring Craig Woolard will be on stage at the Blackmon Amphitheatre with a show beginning at 7:30 p.m. The next night, Thursday, The Band of Oz will be in concert starting at 8 p.m. at the amphitheatre.
Tickets will be on sale at the gates one hour prior to the show. Dairy Center, Thirsty Souls Community Brewing, and Whit’s Frozen Custard will be on hand with concessions.
Those attending the shows at The Blackmon Amphitheatre are encouraged to take lounge or beach chairs or a blanket. For more information, visit
Three additional performances are slated for this week.
On Thursday, Leroy Mack McNees & Cullen’s Bridge Band will present “Bluegrass Mayberry Style,” beginning at 1 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
On Friday at the Historic Earle Theatre Tim White & Troublesome Hollow will be on stage beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Then on Saturday The Isaacs will be at the Historic Earle Theatre for a concert starting at 7:30 p.m.
For information on ticket sales, visit
September 21, 2021
History was alive and thriving Saturday in the Rockford community of Surry County during the 10th annual Rediscover Rockford Festival. Organizers said they hoped to grow the event. Formerly known as Remember Rockford, aimed atencouraging people to return to their home community, organizers now hope to bring in new visitors to the area.
“I’m just tickled to death at how many folks have come,” said Hannah Holyfield, president of the Rockford Preservation Society. “It’s going really really well.”
The sounds of a blacksmith’s hammer could be heard ringing, alongside old-time music being played by area musicians.
Joe Allen was busy transforming a piece of iron into a snake, wielding his blacksmith’s hammer.
“You put it in the fire and heat it up and bring it out of the fire at about 1800 degrees and go to forging,” he explained of the process. As he pounded away at the super-heated metal he said it was more about stamina rather than muscle.
Also practicing his craft was Steve Golden, who was busy weaving the seat bottom of a child’s chair using corn husks.
“This is what the original chair had, you see corn husk seats in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia,” Golden explained. The woven seat bottoms made from corn husks were common in the mid 19th century up until the 1940s, Golden said.
Golden learned the craft from David Russel of Georgia who had learned it from a 95-year blind woman from South Carolina.
“He told me she would hold his hands while he was weaving the corn husks and she would let him know if he was doing it the right way,” he said.
Golden changed up his technique after unweaving a damaged chair and seeing how that one had been made. He also makes wooden furniture as well and had on display a chair style which he believed to be local to Surry County as he had only ever seen the style there, including one example of the chair in a photo of Eng and Chang Bunker’s children’s nursemaid.
Professionals weren’t the only ones demonstrating historic crafting methods at Saturday’s event. James and Madeline Caudill, members of the Junior Historians Club, were also demonstrating some unique crafting methods of the past.
Madeline was practicing creating fabric on a small loom while James worked with a drop spindle spinning yarn.
“We’re just bringing back some old crafts, and just showing people even though they didn’t have telephones or technology they still had fun,” said Emily Morgan, advisor for the Junior Historians which meets weekly at the Mount Airy Regional History Museum.
Morgan said the club is open to children from third grade through 12th grade
“We get to do projects, we do community outreach and learn a little bit about our history here in Surry County and beyond,” she said. The group also works on projects which are entered in competitions at the NC History Museum.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-258-4035 or follow her on Twitter @news_shewrote.
September 21, 2021
There will be free COVID-19 testing sites all around Surry County, according to the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center. Individuals wishing to be tested do not have to be symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID to be able to get a test and testing frequency is not limited.
Central United Methodist Church is the testing site in Mount Airy. The site will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Central United Methodist Church is located at 1909 North Main St.
Dobson First Baptist Church is the testing site in Dobson. The site will be open Mondays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The times at this site do not waiver. Dobson First Baptist Church is located at 204 South Crutchfield St.
Elkin Presbyterian Church is serving as the testing site in Elkin. The site will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Elkin Presbyterian Church is located at 151 Hilllcrest Dr.
For registration call 877-562-4850. Registration is recommended but not required. For more information, contact the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center at 336-401-8400, or visit their website at
September 20, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry continued its winning ways in the Foothills 2A Conference by defeating North Surry 9-0 on Monday.
The Lady Cardinals improve to 6-3 overall and 6-0 in conference with the win.
North Surry was thrown a curveball just before the start of the match against East Surry. Two of the Greyhounds’ starting six were unable to compete, so coach Jon Lattimore had to shift everyone up two spots. The only players not affected were his top two singles players.
North Surry came into Monday having won two of its last three matches, but that luck didn’t continue against East Surry. Only one Greyhound player won more than two games in singles, and that was No. 5 seed Sparrow Krantz.
Krantz and East’s Haley Chilton battled to the wire in the first set, with Chilton going on to win 7-5. Chilton took control in the second set and won 6-2.
Two Cardinal players earned double-bagel victories: Sophie Hutchens and Chloe Koons. Hutchens defeated Clara Burke 6-0, 6-0 in No. 4 singles, and Koons defeated Jacey Ward by the same score in No. 5 singles.
East Surry’s Rosie Craven continued the theme of dominance in No. 3 singles. Craven defeated Allyn-Claire Simmons 6-1, 6-1 for the Lady Cards’ fourth singles win.
Tara Martin and Evelyn Ruedisueli each swept their opponents in the first set. Martin went on to win the second set of No. 1 singles 6-1 over North’s Whitley Hege, and Ruedisueli won 6-2 against Katie Butler in No. 2 singles.
Two of East Surry’s three doubles wins were shutouts. Martin and Ruedisueli took No. 1 singles over Hege and Butler 8-0, and Chilton and Koons defeated Krantz and Mattie Bare 8-0 in No. 3 singles.
Craven and Hutchens wrapped up the match with an 8-2 win over Simmons and Burke in No. 2 singles.
North Surry hosts No. 1 Mount Airy (11-0) on Wednesday, and East Surry travels to Wilkes Central (4-4) on Thursday.
September 20, 2021
WILKESBORO — North Surry overcame a 20-day layoff to hand Wilkes Central its first loss of the season on Friday.
Two early scores put the Greyhounds up 14-12 at halftime. North then went scoreless for more than 27 minutes of game time, in which time the Eagles (2-1) took the lead 20-14. The Hounds (1-2) capitalized on a pair of fourth-quarter fumbles to win its conference opener 26-20.
Junior James McCreary operated as North Surry’s quarterback for the first time this season when the Hounds played Wilkes Central. McCreary completed 13-of-28 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, while also carrying the ball four times for 15 yards and a TD.
Wilkes Central got on the board first with a touchdown and failed 2-point conversion with 7:44 left in the first quarter. McCreary tied things up at the 3:47 mark with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jahreece Lynch. Lynch led all Greyhound receivers with seven catches for 83 yards.
A successful 2-point conversion put North Surry in the driver’s seat 8-6.
Wilkes Central regained the lead 12-6 with a late strike in the first quarter. The Hounds once again responded with a McCreary passing TD, this time going 26 yards to Jared Hiatt. A failed 2-point conversion left North Surry with a 14-12 lead with 9:17 left in the half.
In addition to Lynch and Hiatt, McCreary also completed passes to Trevor Isaacs, Talan Vernon, Derrick Simmons and Jake Simmons.
The Eagles scored a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to go up 20-14 with 5:14 left in the third. North nearly had its quickest response of the night when Vernon returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a face mask penalty on the Greyhounds. This was the second North Surry touchdown called back in Friday’s game.
The Hounds’ finally got a chance to even the score when they recovered a Wilkes Central fumble in the fourth quarter. After taking over on their own 38, the Greyhound offense marched down the field and into the red zone with just over six minutes remaining.
McCreary scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown with 3:40 remaining for North’s first points since the 9:17 mark in the second quarter. The 2-point conversion was no good, leaving the game tied at 20.
Instead of giving Wilkes Central a chance to take the lead, North Surry forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and recovered it on the Eagles’ 33. The Hounds converted on fourth down to get into the red zone with less than two minutes left in the game.
A run from Jake Simmons put North Surry on the 8-yard line with 1:41 to play. He ran again for five yards on first down to set up second-and-goal on the three. The sophomore pounded his way through defenders to score the decisive touchdown with less than a minute to play.
Jake Simmons had a season-high 17 carries for 83 yards in Friday’s game. His two catches for 18 yards put him over 100 total yards.
North’s 2-point conversion failed, but it didn’t matter as the Hounds were able to hold off Wilkes Central to win 26-20.
The win puts North Surry at 1-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference along with East Surry and Surry Central. The Greyhounds host East Surry (4-0) on Friday.
September 20, 2021
MILLERS CREEK — Surry Central started Foothill 2A Conference play with a huge win over West Wilkes on Friday.
The Golden Eagles racked up eight touchdowns in a 53-0 win over the Blackhawks. The 53-point difference is Surry Central’s largest margin of victory in 10 years, with the last victory of more than 50 points coming against East Wilkes on August 26, 2011.
Central improves to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the FH2A Conference. Surry Central, East Surry and North Surry are all 1-0 in the conference, while Wilkes Central, West Wilkes and North Wilkes are 0-1. Forbush plays its conference opener this Friday.
The Eagles’ superb defensive effort only allowed West Wilkes to record 28 yards of total offense. Central also forced three Blackhawk turnovers: Andres Gonzalez recovered a fumble forced by teammate Graden Spurlin, and Kade Norman and Memphis Bolatto each had interceptions.
Bolatto’s interception was a pick-6 to give Central its eighth touchdown of the night. Karson Crouse and Dante Watson each broke up a pass in the secondary.
Norman led the team in sacks with two. Cole Butcher, Allen Huffman and Mason Cox each had one sack, and Butcher and Crouse each had two tackles for a loss. Cox, Gonzalez, Spurlin, Enoc Lopez and Evan Wall each had one TFL for a team total of 10.
In addition to leading the team in sacks, Norman set the bar for Surry Central with 13 total tackles. Only Crouse came close with 10.
Butcher, Bolatto and Logan Priddy each had five total tackles, and Lopez, Gonzalez and Dakota Mills each had four.
Surry Central’s offense relied heavily on the run game against the Blackhawks. Priddy led the team with 90 yards rushing on just three carries, and two of those rushes ended with touchdowns. Crouse also had two rushing touchdowns, going for 71 yards on 10 carries.
The Eagles’ remaining rushing TD came from Avery Wilmoth, who rushed three times for 72 yards. Butcher, Jewell, Watson, Lucas Johnson, Spencer LeClair, Allen Huffman and Brian Williams all got touches as the Golden Eagles racked up 268 yards on 30 carries.
Wilmoth completed three passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Dakota Mills caught all three passes to set career highs in yards receiving and touchdown receptions.
Surry Central continues FH2A play by hosting Wilkes Central (2-1) this week. Wilkes Central dropped its conference opener to North Surry 26-20.
September 20, 2021
Mount Airy High School has scheduled its Homecoming celebration on Friday, Sept. 24.
The 2021 Homecoming Court will be presented during halftime of Friday night’s football game along with the representatives for each senior member of the Granite Bears Football team. The 2021 Homecoming Queen is voted on by the entire high school student body and will be crowned after the presentation of the court.
For more information about homecoming contact Courtney Howlett at or 336-789-5147.
September 20, 2021
Surry Central High School will be celebrating homecoming over the next week, Sept. 20-24. The theme is Battle of the Eagles.
The homecoming queen will be crowned during halftime of the game against Wilkes Central with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday.
September 20, 2021
This article originally printed on Dec. 29, 2019, detailing the life and creation of the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. With the museum opening its newly remodled entrance and reimagined south gallery, museum officials thought it would be a perfect time to to rerun the column. This past Friday the new gallery and giftshop opened to the public with renewed excitement.
Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is four floors of artifacts and information telling the stories of the people who settled this area and built these communities. Begun by private citizens, artifact collection began years before the museum would open, before anyone knew where the museum would actually be.
Once the building, an old hardware store, was acquired, galleries opened one at a time over several years, as resources allowed exhibits to be completed. Today we have one of the most impressive local museums I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know if the folks who live in the area today understand how unusual it is for a county of this population and location off the beaten path to have a museum of this size and quality.
I’m sure that will strike some as self-serving but, remember, I’m not from here. I had nothing to do with building the museum or gathering her collection though I count myself fortunate to work here these last few years.
This was obviously a labor of love for a great many people who, for more than a quarter century, worked to create and maintain a history museum on Mount Airy’s Main Street.
The museum began as an idea of the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation, known today for their beautiful property, the Moore House. The foundation was established in 1982 with the express goal to “promote, restore, preserve, and revitalize the Greater Mount Airy area” by the preservation of significant structures and encourage their development into modern uses.
In 1988 they formed a museum committee to explore the idea of a history museum in Mount Airy. They set their sights high — Smithsonian high.
“Our emphasis at the museum is going to be on programs and primarily tied to local history in the schools,” chairman Barbara Summerlin was quoted in the Mount Airy News in January 1990. “This will help a lot of young people realize that what they have and where they live …(is the result of) a lot of hard work and commitment to a community.”
They also wanted historic items from Surry County to stay in Surry County. In the few years prior, a locally owned antique doll collection had been sent to Old Salem Museum and Gardens and a piano belonging to the Brower family of Mount Airy went to Greensboro History Museum.
The committee hired an architectural firm in Winston-Salem specializing in historic buildings to conduct a feasibility study. Several properties were considered, including some historic homes, but the 30,000-square foot empty W.E. Merritt Hardware building was chosen. It had room enough for active demonstrations and Smithsonian-style exhibits.
“We’re fortunate in this community to have a really well-executed museum that is more than just our collective ‘attic.’ It’s really a testament to the enduring vision and hard work the founders put into creating a quality experience 25 years ago,” Matt Edwards, the museum’s executive director said recently as he guides the institution into the first major renovation in many years.
The committee organized as a separate non-profit in 1992 and established the museum with primarily private money. It continues in that status unlike many other museums in the state that are operated by state or local governments.
Our mission statement is deceptively simple. “The purpose of the Mount Airy Museum of regional History is to collect, preserve and interpret the natural, historical, and artistic heritage of the region.” Adopted by the board of directors in October 1994, it leaves a vastly open-ended goal but one our volunteers and staff continue to pursue.
“As we start this project, we’re building on those solid foundations,” Edwards said. “We can incorporate new stories, technologies and new amenities that were not readily available when the museum first opened. This project will allow the museum to continue serving this community and visitors to it long into the future as one of the premier community museum’s in the state.”
If you’d like to be involved in the next stage of the museum’s life through docent work, volunteer participation, financial support, or photo or artifact donation, please contact the museum at (336) 786-4478.
By Kate Rauhauser-Smith is a local freelance writer, researcher, and genealogist. At the time she wrote this column in 2019, she was the visitor services manager for the museum.
September 20, 2021
New releases available at the Mount Airy Public Library:
The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews
The Last Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Clune
Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd
Believe It: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable by Jamie Kern Lima
Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton
The library story times are open for anyone who would like to come in and join us. Adults must wear a mask. Mondays at 4 p.m. Afternoon Story Time for children in kindergarten through second grade; Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time for children ages 2 and 3; Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Book Babies for children aged birth to 2 years old; Thursday at 11 a.m., Mixed Age Story Time, birth to preschool.
LACE Romance Readers Book Club meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. The book chosen for September is “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation” by Lauren Willig. Copies are available at the desk.
Yoga returns on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m.
Tai Chi has returned to the library. Join us each Friday at 10 a.m. This class is beneficial for those with limited mobility.
Classic Movie Monday returns on the last Monday of the month with “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The Library Card Sign Up Month theme is “The Child” or Baby Yoda, so this month we will watch a classic from the 1970s.
LACE — Romance Readers Book Club meets on the last Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. The book chosen for September is “The Secret History of the Pink Carnation” by Lauren Willig. Copies are available at the desk.
Our Community Book Club will meet the fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. The book chosen for August is “When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains” by Ariana Neumann. Copies are available at the desk.
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, if you do not already have a card, come on in and sign up for one. There will be lots of special events to help celebrate such as a storywalk, and a gingerbread man disguise contest. Come by the library to check them out.
We will have an indoor storywalk around the book “A Big Surprise for Little Card” by Charise Mericle Harper, which will be posted throughout the library. After the walk there will be a little surprise.
The Gingerbread Man is still trying to hide from the little old man and lady. Help him out by disguising him as your favorite book character. Gingerbread man template available at the library.
Coffee Mug ‘O Goodies – We haven’t forgotten about the adults we serve. Each time you check out books, enter to win a coffee mug with some library swag inside. We will also be giving away some tote bags.
Back to School Backpack Giveaway – The Friends of the Mount Airy Public Library is sponsoring a backpack giveaway. There is a backpack full of school supplies for each school level, (K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12). Check out a book to be eligible to enter. One entry per person per day. Drawing will be held Monday, Sept. 20. You need not be present to win.
The Friends of the Mount Airy Public Library is having a mini book sale during Mayberry Days. It will be on Thursday and Friday, the Sept. 23-24. Thursday hours are 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. The book sale will be out front in the courtyard.
A beautiful handmade quilt has been donated to the Northwestern Regional Library system by Carol McDowell to use as a raffle prize. We and our sister libraries will be selling raffle tickets one for $1 or 6 for $5. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of eBooks for the region. Tickets are available now, you can come by the library to purchase the tickets and see a picture of the quilt. The actual quilt will be on display during Mayberry Days.
National Voter Registration Day – Are you registered to vote? If not, come out to the library on Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and we will assist you with the process. #VOTEREADY?
Keep up with all events on our FaceBook pages, and or our website
September 19, 2021
Mount Airy Wesleyan Church will be hosting a gospel music concert on Saturday at 4 p.m. featuring multiple Dove Award winners Jeff and Sheri Easter.
Jeff Easter, a Mount Airy native, is the son of James Easter, one of Mount Airy’s acclaimed Easter Brothers. Sheri Easter’s roots are also in gospel and bluegrass music; her mother is a member of the renowned Lewis family. Jeff and Sheri have shared gospel music with audiences all over the world since forming their own group in 1988.
Jeff and Sheri Easter, and their vocalist daughter, Morgan, have received six Dove Awards which honor outstanding achievements and excellence in Christian and Gospel music. They have also received two career Grammy nominations and a multitude of individual awards for their excellence in gospel and bluegrass music. The Easters have participated in Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Video Series since 1993.
Apart from their frequent appearances on the Gaither Homecoming tour and videos, Jeff and Sheri have toured extensively. “When we perform, we want people to leave a little different than when they came in,” Sheri said. “We want them to have a great time smiling, laughing, crying, and healing. We want them to know God loves them and that He is in control.”
Saturday’s concert is open to the public. Mount Airy Wesleyan Church is located at 2063 South Main Street, Mount Airy. The concert will be held in the gymnasium/worship center. This is a ticketed event, and persons may contact Mayberry Music Center at 336-786-4713 or 336-710-6453 for tickets or information.
September 19, 2021
Known among her family and friends as Mom, Mamma, Grandma, GG, and Aunt Allie, Allie Flippen Golding recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
“She has never driven a car, flown in an airplane, ridden on a train, or traveled farther than the East Coast…nevertheless, her wisdom and faith have helped guide the lives of doctors, nurses, educators, farmers, textile workers, stay-at-home moms, soldiers, independent business owners, builders of automobiles, business managers and students” her family said recently.
She has 13 children, 34 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren, and 31 great-great-grandchildren.
“She is probably best known in the Beulah community, where she has lived for 100 years, for her cooking,” the family said. “There has not been a celebration, loss or reunion that she has not contributed delicious food. For many years, it was often prepared on an old-fashioned wood cook stove.”
“Allie Golding loves unconditionally, has a quick wit, amazing memory, and a faith that never wavers. She has been a comfort, enjoyment, and strength to all who have been blessed to know her,” her family said.
September 19, 2021
Two years ago, a few actors who appeared in “The Andy Griffith Show” gave voice to something many had felt over the years — that the fans of the show, the people who keep it alive and still touching lives more than 50 years after the original broadcasts left the air, might be the true stars of Mayberry Days and the iconic status the show has maintained over the decades.
That may never be more apparent than this year, when a full contingent of those fans is expected to descend on Mount Airy after last year’s pandemic-limited version of the annual festival.
The 2020 version of the festival showed went off without a hitch, even with limits imposed on the number of people who could be at any of the indoor events and travel restrictions kept some of the fans, and many of the festival’s regular stars, from attending.
But 2021 looks to be nearly back to normal, with perhaps tens of thousands of those fans visiting the real-life inspiration for Mayberry, to catch the shows, visit with old friends, attend the parade, and bask in the general good, old-fashioned welcoming spirit of Mayberry Days.
But the fans won’t be the only ones who will be making a return.
Last year many of the show’s former stars, along with musical guests and entertainers who usually make it to event, were not able to visit because of COVID-19 health concerns and traffic restrictions.
This year, many of them will be returning. While plans can always change, those actors who appeared in the show scheduled to be at the event include Betty Lynn, who, of course, played Thelma Lou; Rodney Dillard who was one of The Darling Boys; Ronnie Schell, who played two separate guest roles before going on to be a regular in the spin-off series “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”; Margaret Kerry who portrayed Helen Scobey and Bess Muggins; Dennis Rush, who played Howie Pruitt; Calvin Peeler, who portrayed Martin on “Mayberry RFD”; LeRoy Mack McNees of The Country Boys; Joy Ellison, who portrayed a number of different child roles; and Clint Howard, the tiny peanut butter and jelly sandwich-chewing cowboy, Leon.
Others planing to attend include Karen Knotts, daughter of Don Knotts; Dick Atkins, the producer of the movie “Murder in Coweta County” which starred Andy Griffith and Johnny Cash; and Laura Hagen, widow of the show’s music director, Earl Hagen.
That doesn’t even touch on the numerous musical artists who will be in concert, comedians giving family-friendly performances, along with talks and lectures, and local landmarks such as The Andy Griffith Museum, the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, and The Andy Griffith Playhouse being open to the public.
While the cast of guests and stage acts might vary from year to year, and the crowds may swell or shrink a bit from one festival to the next, there is one constant, as described by Keith Thibodeaux, who as a child made multiple appearances on the show as Johnny Paul Jason. While he is not scheduled to attend the 2021 Mayberry Days, his words from a few years ago still ring true, when he was addressing the festival’s opening ceremony.
“It’s a blessing to be here, to visit…I’ll call it Mayberry…here in Mount Airy,” he said Keith Thibodeaux. “I can come here, it feels like Mayberry. This is a place my wife and I can walk down Main Street, sit on a bench, eat ice cream,” without a care in the world, where everything seems right.
“You are what makes that,” he said to the show’s fans crowded into the Blackmon Amphitheatre that day. “You are Mayberry.”
For a complete listing of shows and related events during the 2021 Mayberry Days, visit
September 19, 2021
The times, trials and triumphs of a small-town newspaper get a comedic touch in “Stop the Press,” a play in two acts presented Sept. 24 through Sept. 26 by the NoneSuch Playmakers.
The paper in question is the Zephyr, a struggling thrice-weekly publication owned and edited by Tess Cortland (Angela Llewellyn) and operating out of the fictional coastal town of Belle Port, Maryland. The year is 2014. Like too many local newspapers in the digital age, the Zephyr’s future is uncertain. Tess is determined to make the paper work, whatever it takes.
She is aided in her efforts by her dedicated if sometimes misguided staff: senior reporter Madeleine Shaw (Jane Tucker), a veteran journalist and former hippie; rising young reporter Diana Lovejoy (Olivia Jessup), Tess’ protégée; Tom “D-Dog” Dancewicz (Brian Greene), an old-school sportswriter with an unhealthy lifestyle and a “beverage problem”; Sales Manager Bobby Brill (William Carpenter), whose youthful enthusiasm keeps him in trouble with Tess most of the time; and newbie office manager Sophie Reinhardt (Madison Mallory), an aspiring reporter who has the unenviable task of riding herd on this motley crew.
The Zephyr’s main competition is the Chronicle, a larger, well-funded newspaper that has set its sights on the Belle Port market. To make matters worse for Tess, the Chronicle’s top reporter is her personal nemesis Candice Quartermain (Angela Bryant), the daughter of the big paper’s publisher.
The plot of “Stop the Press” really takes off when a major political scandal breaks in Belle Port and the Zephyr gets the scoop. Finally, the embattled little paper has the story that will put it on the map and give Tess a satisfying victory over Candice. But just as their victory seems assured, a member of the Zephyr team reveals a stunning secret that could turn that thrill of victory to the agony of defeat. Is there a happy ending? Of course there is. This is a comedy, after all.
“Stop the Press” was written by NoneSuch co-founder Brack Llewellyn, who directs this production. Jessica Llewellyn is the stage manager, and Noel Bryant heads up the backstage crew.
Performances are Friday, Sept. 24 and Saturday Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. All performances will be held at the L.H. Jones Auditorium, 215 Jones School Road in Mount Airy. These are “pay what you can” performances. There is no set admission price. Instead, audience members are asked to pay what they can comfortably afford. The Playmakers’ entire 2021 season is “pay what you can” in an effort to open up their shows to more people, especially those who might have experienced financial reversals during the pandemic.
Audience members are requested to wear masks while inside the auditorium. Seating will be socially distanced as much as possible for the audience’s safety. A portion of the proceeds from the play will go to support the Surry County Senior Center and the Jones Family Resource Center.
September 19, 2021
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:
– Randy Hal Rogers and Gloria T. Rogers to Tirzo Ortiz and Reyna Ortiz; .53 acres Elkin; $570.
– Substitute Trustee Services, Inc. and William Eugene Gravley to Allied Investors Group, LLC and CB Services Corp.; 1448/355 1696 963 Trustees deed tract; $157.
– GCG Properties, LLC to Michael Joe Atkins; condominium deed unit B3 Country Club condominiums BK 1 17-19 Mount Airy; $214.
– Stephanie Miller Grogan, Russell D. Grogan Jr., and Stephanie Ann Darren King to Stephanie Grogan King and Stephanie Ann Darren King; lot 5 C E Jackson Farm property PB 5 41; $0.
– Hunter Vaughn Mabe to Stephen R. Wilkins and Annessa D. Wilkins; 0.364 acres; $260.
– Vaughn-Bassett Furniture Company Incorporated and Elkin Furniture Company, Inc. to Elkin Mill, LLC; parcels 501 E. Main St Elkin; $330.
– Larry Junior Conner and Wanda F. Conner to ANC Properties Of Surry, LLC; lot 3 section C PB 3 40 Mount Airy; $75.
– Michael A. Hall, Fonda Hall, Phillip Dale Hall, Scott Timothy Hall to Redoak Development, LLC; 2 tracts Mount Airy; $260.
– Ronnie Clyde Simpson and Mary J. Simpson to Bobby Watson; lots 50-53 Salem Development PB 6 57 Dobson; $85.
– The Dobson Community Center Incorporated to Town Of Dobson; 3 tracts Dobson; $0.
– Estate of Dexter B. Overton, Estate of Norman Dale Overton, Jane Overton Garris, John Levi Garris, Marvin Overton, Faye Overton, Mona Luffman, Willie Luffman, Carol D. King, John Franklin King, Roger Wayne Dollyhite, Jackie Quesinberry Dollyhite, Charles Darron Overton, and Dexter B. Overton to Jane Overton and John Levi Garris; tract Franklin estate of Norman Dale Overton file 21 E 292 and estate of Dexter B. Overton file 21 E 632; $0.
– Laura Deane Vernon, Roy Allen Vernon, Gary Lee Stone, Joann Stone, Charles Larry Stone, Dorothea Lynn Stone, Brian Keith Stone, Pamela M. Stone, Cassie Lezlee Barker and Zackery Len Weddle to Cassie Lezlee Barker and Zackery Len Weddle; tract Stewarts Creek; $290.
– Ethel H. Atkins and Pepper A. Shelton to Troy Lee Payne Jr.; tract Mount Airy; $150.
– Lynn James Martin to Edward Reid Sturdivant IV; 1.221 acres; $430.
– The estate of Reba Anthony Love, Jerry Michael Love, Reba Anthony Love, Kimberly Ann Durhamand, Dwight Durham to Equity Trust Company Custodian and Leslie Bennett; 0.209 acres Long Hill; $60.
– J-mac Properties, LLC to Mobile Storage Rentals, Inc.; 6.556 acres PB 13 183 Dobson; $1,000.
– Kayla Renee Goins Johnson to William S. Johnson; quitclaim deed 2.15 acres 242 Tom Jones Road Ararat Eldora; $0.
– Melton E. Alexander Jr. and Catrina Alexander to David A. Smith and Pamela J. Smith; tract one lot 11 and tract two portion of lot 10 Woodside estates PB 7 125 Mount Airy; $610.
– Bobby Watson to Daniel Olvera; tract one lots 50-53 and tract two lots 54-57 Salem development PB 7 57 Dobson; $180.
– James Paul Cain and Eunice Cain to Johnny L. Cox and Frankie G. Cox; tract South Westfield; $15.
– Wyche Timber Management, LLC, Nannie Y. Wyche, and Constance Wyche Gambill to David W. McDuffie; 45.16 acres Dobson; $330.
– David Kelly Hiatt and Melissa Beck Hiatt to Miller & Sons Investments, LLC; lot 29 Riverside Acres subdivision PB 6 75 Mount Airy; $43.
– Julisa Ramos Maldonado and Michelle Ramos Maldonado to Active Capital Real Estate Investments, LLC; .36 acres Mount Airy; $310.
– GGB NCVA, LLC , Caroline B. Beasley, and Brian E. Beasley to Beasley Family Properties, LLC; 30 acres Westfield; $0.
– Franklin Wayne Haynes and Carolyn Sue Haynes to Jarret Allan Cline; tract; $160.
– Jason Millan and Emily Millan to Sonia Millan; 1.000 acres; $0.
September 19, 2021
The Surry County Community Corrections office is seeking information on the whereabouts of the following individuals:
• Christy Nicole Bright, 30, a white female wanted on a post-release warrant who is on supervision for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance and resisting a public officer;
• Wayne Douglas Bennett, 31, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for two counts of felony larceny, felony breaking and entering, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and driving while license revoked;
• Travis Shane McMillian, 41, a white male wanted on probation violations who is on probation for felony possession of methamphetamine;
• Angela Marie Ezekiel, 29, a white female wanted on probation violations who is on probation for four counts larceny, two counts possession of stolen goods, possession of a schedule II controlled substance and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
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 Surry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on the whereabouts of the following people:
• Gregory Bret Hodges, 27, a white male wanted on charges of felony larceny of motor vehicle, felony possession of stolen motor vehicle, felony larceny, felony possessing/receiving stolen property, misdemeanor injury to personal property as well as several orders for arrest for failure to appear on previous felony narcotics charges;
• Ashley Renee McBride, 25, a white female, wanted on charges of two felony counts of uttering a forged instrument, two felony counts of larceny of chose in action and two felony counts of possession of five-plus counterfeit instruments;
• Cody Matthew John Bowman, 26, a white male, wanted on charges of two felony counts of uttering a forged instrument, two felony counts of larceny of chose in action and two felony counts of possession of five-plus counterfeit instruments;
• Jonathan Paul Luallen, 28, a white male wanted on charges of felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony larceny, fictitious tag, misdemeanor injury to personal property and driving while license revoked.
Anyone with information on these individuals should call the Surry County Sheriff’s Office at 401-8900.
September 19, 2021
September thunder
A thunderstorm in September is not that unusual because we do have some warm and humid days that can produce a hefty thunderstorm even though they may not be as severe. September is in the midst of hurricane season and a hurricane off the coast can certainly spawn a few thunderstorms and produce a lot of rain. A bit of weather lore goes along with the thunder in the month of September, and some say it is a sign of abundant yields of vegetables and fruits in next years gardens. Rumble on, big boomers of September.
Season of color slowly arriving
The slow nip in September air is casting a hint of color in the leaves of dogwoods, silver maples, birch trees as well as elms. With a bright Carolina blue sky as a background, the color of the leaves standout like paints on an artist canvas. In less than a month Jack Frost will begin to touch some leaves and the season of raking and blowing leaves will begin.
Planting autumn seasonal vegetables
Now that we are in the middle of September, cool weather autumn vegetables should thrive in the garden plot. A few warm days will not bother autumn vegetables because there is now a small nip in the air as autumn is is less than a week away. There is still plenty of time to sow seeds of turnips but you must sow them this week. You can also sow mixed greens, spinach Siberian kale, curly mustard, onion sets, and plants of broccoli, cabbage, collards, and cauliflower. Sow the cool weather vegetables a little deeper and cover the furrow with a layer of peat moss before sowing seed and then cover the seed with another layer peat moss and then apply an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food and hill up soil on each side of the furrow, then tamp down with the hoe blade. Early frost will not have any adverse effect on cool weather vegetables. Water each week with the water wand to retain moisture. Side dress cool weather vegetables once a month with Plant-Tone and keep soil hilled up after each feeding. Keep crushed leaves between the rows of turnips because they are a root crop and the leaves will prevent ground freezes and prolong a long harvest.
Setting out onion sets
September nights are cooling down a bit and conditions are ideal for setting out a row of onion sets in colors of red, yellow, or white. The cool nights of September will cause onion sets to quickly sprout. A pound of onion sets cost around $3. They can be planted in rows or beds. Set onion sets about three or four inches apart in a deep furrow about four or five inches deep. Cover the sets with a layer of peat moss and a layer of Black Kow composted cow manure and top with an application of Garden-Tone organic vegetable food and hill up soil on each side of the furrow and tamp down lightly. When late October arrives, cover the onion sets with a layer of crushed leaves between the rows and use a sprinkle can of water mixed with Miracle-Gro liquid plant food poured over the onions every two weeks.
Starting a bin or pile of compost
As leaves begin to fall, the opportunity to start a batch of compost with the residue of stalks, vines and leftovers from summer’s garden plus leaves broken down by running through the blower or mowing over them, is here. Adding grass clippings to the compost will heat up the ingredients, as will Black Kow composted cow manure and Garden-Tone organic plant food. Temperatures in September will be warm enough to heat up compost.
Time to care for azaleas
Azaleas could use a little tender loving care as the cool temperatures of mid-September arrive. Azaleas may need a try to shape them up. You can feed azaleas with Holly-Tone organic azalea food sold in four pound zippered bags at Lowe’s Home Improvement or Home Depot, Ace Hardware, nurseries , and most garden departments. You can also use Miracle-Gro liquid azalea food mixed with proper amount of water in a sprinkle can. Dr. Earth also produces a slow release azalea food that feeds all winter. A layer of crushed leaves will protect azaleas from cold weather extremes.
From summer annuals to the cool weather annuals of autumn
The summer annuals are slowly fading with frost coming late next month. The way is now being paved for the annuals of autumn. The soil that your summer annuals are in can be recycled by pulling all summer annuals from the containers and adding them to the compost pile or bin. Dump the medium from the summer annuals containers into the wheelbarrow, stir it up and add 50% mix of new potting medium to the old medium and stir it together. Add several cups of Flower-Tone organic flower food to the medium along with some peat moss. Use a sprinkle can to moisten the recycled medium and fill the containers you are using to plant the annuals of autumn.
Pansies are most popular autumn annual
It is no wonder that the pansies are one of the autumns favorite annuals, with their colorful lavenders, royal purple, cream, yellow, bronze, maroon, pink, tan, and light orange flowers, each one each one of them with a familiar face on them. Dark green foliage all winter long is another feature of the pansy family. Pansies will endure winters temperatures with a little bit of preventive protection. Pansies can be purchased in six and nine packs and most are in bloom when you buy them so that you can choose the varieties and colors you desire. To get pansies off to a great start purchase a bag of pansy booster and mix into the potting medium and add some to the pansies every month. When planting pansies two to a pot, in containers and baskets, plant only three or four. This will prevent the pansies from becoming root bound. In winter, water the pansies but don’t over water because this may cause the medium in the containers to freeze. In winter when a hard freeze is forecast you may want to move pansy containers further inside the porch and cover over night with a sheet or a couple of towels. Placing a couple of handfuls of peat moss on top of the pansies in their containers will also help prevent freezes.
September is the gateway into autumn
We are on the threshold of autumn and the green and the warmth of the waning summer is fading away. This is the time of seasonal transition. It is not cool enough for a coat, but not warm enough to break into a sweat. Leaves of dogwoods are turning crimson and displaying their harvest of berries. some maples are already turning yellow and some trees are already beginning to lose their leaves. There is a welcome relief in the advent of autumn with a nip in the air and lower humidity and the added bonus of beautiful sunsets. It is a bittersweet time as we slowly lose the warmth of the lazy, hazy, days of summer.
Making an apple pie cheesecake
Celebrate the arrival of autumn next week with this apple pie cheesecake. You will need one cup of sugar, two eight ounce boxes of cream cheese, three large eggs, one teaspoon vanilla, one can Comstock apple pie filling, four tart apples, peeled, cored, cubed, and boiled until tender, half teaspoon apple pie spices. Two graham cracker pie crust. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix sugar with softened cream cheese, add the eggs, vanilla, and two tablespoon lemon juice. Mix with mixer on high speed until it is smooth. Pour into the pie crusts and bake for half hour. allow to cool. Mix apple pie filling, cooked apples, one cup light brown sugar, apple pie spices, and spread over the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle top with a little more apple pie spices.
Hoe hoe hoedown
“A virus among us.”A man arrived back in the United States after a trip overseas. After getting of the plane, he was not feeling well so he went directly from the airport to the hospital. After many examinations and tests he woke up and found himself in a private isolated room. The phone by his bedside rang. He picked it up and heard his doctor say, “This is your doctor. We have discovered that you have an extremely contagious virus, so we have placed you in total isolation. We are placing you on a diet of pizzas, pancakes, and pita bread.” “Will that cure me?” the patient asked. The doctor replied, “Well, no, but it is the only food we could slip under the door.”
“The best man.” An 8-year-old girl was attending her first wedding. She leaned over to her mother and whispered, “Why did the lady change her mind?” the mom said, “What do you mean dear?” The little girl replied, “She went down the aisle with one man and left with another.”
Road crossing. What do you call a chicken crossing the road? Poultry in motion!
September 19, 2021
Teams often are formed for Mount Airy’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s to honor a family member stricken with the disease, but a K & D Signs contingent represented multiple victims Saturday — a testament to the legions it affects.
Team member Dawn Swinney alone has lost two close relatives, her mother, Viola Bartley, and brother, Randy Bartley.
The death of Swinney’s mom at 88 in July 2020 is still fresh in her mind, which fit the profile of victims who usually are in the older age group. The death of her brother, meanwhile, shows how Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t spare others in the robbing of one’s mental capacities, since he died at 62 of a younger-onset form that Swinney explained was related to a frontal lobe condition.
Swinney wasn’t alone, with another member of the K & D Signs team of Mount Airy, Jesse Bowman, reporting that he had lost his grandmother, Nancy Johnson, to Alzheimer’s.
However, Swinney suggested that with such numbers comes strength, as illustrated by the hundreds of folks of all ages who gathered for Saturday’s event at Riverside Park for a universal cause.
“It’s amazing that so many people can come together and share the same sorrow, and share support,” she said of the annual walk. It serves as a fundraiser for research and resources including a 24/7 call-in line, while also building awareness.
The walk emphasized the fact that amid all the recent focus on COVID-19, other more long-running threats to the well-being of society still remain, including Alzheimer’s and related dementia.
An estimated 180,000 people are now living with the disease in North Carolina, according to David Bumgarner, who moderated an opening program for Saturday’s walk. For the U.S. as a whole the number is more than 6 million, with 11 million-plus individuals serving as unpaid caregivers, Bumgarner added.
“As the prevalence of this disease continues to grow, the cost of care is escalating into the billions of dollars.”
Success despite COVID
The annual Mount Airy event did its part for the fundraising aspect by generating $63,000 as of Saturday morning, according to CEO Katherine Lambert of the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, which organizes multiple walks across the region.
That sum, which exceeded this year’s goal locally, was expected to grow as further donations and other proceeds were tallied.
“Oh, it’s an incredible number,” Lambert said of the figure generated, which was a question mark this year with many financial resources being stressed by COVID-19.
The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s was a greatly scaled-down affair. It relied on a virtual approach involving persons participating individually or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across Surry County through a “walk is everywhere” model.
Saturday’s return to full form brought a huge crowd to Riverside Park, with Lambert mentioning that 340 people had registered for the event, with others signing up as they arrived, along with a record 62 teams.
Maintaining the fight
Representatives of a group faithfully participating in the walks during recent years was there as usual, Team Phill, named for Phill Whitaker, Surry County’s first building inspector.
He attended the event until his death in February 2020 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for more than 15 years.
But Whitaker’s widow Phyllis was there to carry the torch during the walk along the Ararat River Greenway, or more specifically a Team Phill sign — saying she thinks it is important to stay the course even though he is gone.
“We’re just trying to raise enough money to help other people,” said Mrs. Whitaker, who was there with additional family members. “There’s so many who are struggling.”
Funds were generated among teams through a variety of mini-fundraisers, which included activities such as doughnut sales.
G & B Energy was the apparent top achiever by realizing nearly $9,000 toward the goal, according to preliminary figures compiled Saturday.
Teams will continue to raise money until Dec. 31, according to Pam Padgett, who co-chaired this year’s walk.
“Cases have escalated since the beginning of the pandemic and that support is crucial.”
Hope runs high
Despite everyone’s efforts to be as normal as possible during the pandemic era, Saturday’s event was not your typical walk for a cause.
In past years, all participants trekked along the greenway at once, but Saturday they were asked to do so at different times in order to spread out and achieve social distancing, with choices of one-mile and two-mile routes.
The need to wear masks and employ hand sanitizer also was stressed and other steps were implemented including contactless registration and the availability of “mobile wallets” for donations.
However, all this did not diminish the spirit of the occasion.
“Alzheimer’s is not stopping and neither are we,” Bumgarner, the master of ceremonies, said during the opening program, his remarks greeted by vigorous applause from the crowd.
He also referred to the presence of small flowers held by many of those assembled — part of a cornucopia of colors also including eye-catching T-shirts donned by members of the respective teams.
As examples, purple flowers were displayed by those who have lost someone to Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia and yellow ones by those caring for or otherwise supporting persons living with those conditions.
“No matter what color you’re holding, one thing is the same — these flowers have a lot of fight in them,” Bumgarner continued.
“I am confident that — one day — we will add a flower,” he said while holding up a white one representing the eventual first survivor of Alzheimer’s.
September 19, 2021
The following marriage licenses were issued in Surry County:
– Luke Robert Childress, 23, of Surry County to Amyleigh Elsie Fae Kunkel, 23, of Surry County.
– John Thomas Seagle, 21, of Stokes County to Christian Nicole Smith, 28, of Surry County.
– Zachary Scott Duell, 34, of Stanley County to Holly Danielle Carver, 31, of Carroll County, Virginia.
– Lee Stephan Smith, 50, of Patrick County, Virginia, to Shelly Denise Smith, 41, of Carroll County.
– Dylan Andrew Smith, 25, of Iredell County to Katelyn Michelle Blackburn, 27, of Iredell County.
– Hunter McKenzie Snow, 24, of Surry County to Olivia Lynn Smith, 27, of Surry County.
– Matthew Leroy Gibson, 34, of Surry County to Candace Clara Hawks, 30, of Surry County.
– Christopher Eugene Morrison, 39, of Surry County to Lisa Ann Thompson, 52, of Surry County.
– Omar Gomez, 26, of Surry County to Jennifer Tello Sanchez, 24, of Surry County.
– Richard Simon Wareiczuk, 34, of Surry County to Nicole Michelle Millard, 29, of Surry County.
September 19, 2021
Fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, and an inexplicable decision by more than half of the county’s residents to not be vaccinated, the most recent COVID-19 surge has Surry County nearly back to where it was at the height of the winter surge.
According to Friday figures released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 90 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Surry County the previous day, and the death toll continues to climb, with 203 county residents succumbing to the virus.
“We have had 20 inpatient COVID deaths over just the last five weeks with 90% of those unvaccinated,” said Ashly Lancaster, marketing director at the hospital. She said patients are “much sicker” than in previous surges.
“The increase in COVID hospitalizations can be attributed to the far more contagious Delta variant, which is also resulting in more serious illnesses among patients who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Edward Salerno, pulmonologist at Northern Regional.
In addition to the more serious nature of the cases, the numbers are stacking up, too. Lancaster said the hospital has more COVID patients now than during the height of the winter surge, leading the hospital to suspend some elective procedures.
“Effective yesterday, we have temporarily cancelled elective surgical cases that would require an inpatient stay (such as a total joint replacement) due to limited bed availability for those patients for at least the next two weeks,” she said on Friday. “Cancellations beyond this date will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.”
“Surry County is still experiencing a high level of community transmission,” said Maggie Simmons, assistant health director for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center. “We are seeing an increased number of cases per day…Unfortunately, these numbers are relatively close to what we were seeing during the peak last December through January.”
Simmons who said the state Department of Health and Human Services was reporting on Friday 50 new COVID-19 hospital admissions of Surry County residents over the previous seven days.
Another difference between the Delta wave and earlier surges is who is being most affected. During earlier surges, primarily elderly individuals were suffering the most severe illnesses.
“The age group where we have seen and continue to see the most cases remains the 25-49 year-olds,” Simmons said of the most recent surge.
She said the local surge cannot be traced to any particular event or gatherings, rather general community transmission continues to be the chief way COVID-19 is being spread locally.
“People are returning to a more normal lifestyle and gathering with their families and friends, creating an environment of more spread,” Simmons explained.
As of Friday, less than half of the county’s residents had been vaccinated. Simmons said 48% of the county’s residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 44% was fully vaccinated.
“Vaccination still remains our best defense against COVID-19,” she said. “Surry County Health and Nutrition Center currently offers all three brands of the COVID-19 vaccine. If someone would like to get a COVID-19 vaccine, please call Surry County Health and Nutrition Center to schedule an appointment, 336-401-8400.
“We strongly encourage our residents to please practice the following measures to protect against COVID-19: Get vaccinated; wear a cloth covering over your mouth and nose when you leave your home, especially when you cannot maintain distance between yourself and people not within your household; wait 6 feet apart; avoid close contact; wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.”
September 18, 2021
One year ago this month, COVID-19 brought only empty space to Veterans Memorial Park in Mount Airy where the Surry County Agricultural Fair normally would be held — but that has been replaced by smiling faces.
The fair returned on Sept. 11 after being cancelled in 2020 and seemingly picked right up where things left off with its last edition in 2019.
“We’ve had good crowds every night,” park President Doug Joyner said of the traditional local event, now in its 74th year, which concluded an eight-day run Saturday night.
“It’s doing better than I thought it was going to do,” Joyner added as the festivities were entering the weekend.
This included healthy attendance Saturday afternoon when the fair began winding down, mostly including families with small children enjoying rides such as the Dizzy Dragon, Sizzler, Hurricane, Pharaoh’s Fury, Magic Maze and more. The trusty Ferris wheel once again loomed over the proceedings as usual.
Further attracting fair-goers this year were a trio of special entertainment attractions, the Majestik Spectacular Motorcycle Show, Womack’s Chainsaw Carving and AIWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.
Powers and Thomas Midway Entertainment, a Wilmington-based company, also returned to provide the rides and games for the Surry event as it had during four previous years.
One annual barometer for the fair’s success is Carload Night, when one $40 price was good for gate admission, entertainment and unlimited-ride armbands for everyone in a vehicle — up to eight.
“Carload Night was good — it was about like usual,” Joyner said, with more than 400 vehicles venturing onto the West Lebanon Street fairgrounds last Monday to take advantage of the special rate.
Longtime fair organizer Katherine Thorpe said that Friday brought another busy night, accompanied by four ticket lines operating at the front gates. “Usually we have, like, two.”
The fair attendance additionally was boosted by special observations including Military Appreciation Day, Senior Night, Family Fun Night and Ladies Night.
Despite the incentives, many of those attending the fair apparently were simply savoring the opportunity to once again experience such an event after the coronavirus shutdown.
They included Brandy Creed of Mount Airy, who was there with her family Saturday afternoon.
“I think it’s a little more freedom for everybody,” she said of relaxed guidelines allowing larger gatherings to resume this year — especially to the benefit of those with kids who are getting out and spending some quality time. “I think it’s bringing back families together.”
September 18, 2021
STUART, Va. — An Ararat man has been arrested for multiple acts of alleged sexual assault against a minor, according to Lt. Steve Austin of the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office.
Justin Sinclair Hawks, 31, of The Hollow Road, was taken into custody Thursday and is being held in the Patrick County Jail.
Hawks is charged with aggravated sexual battery of a minor, object sexual penetration of a minor and production of child pornography.
In announcing the arrest Friday, Austin stated that an investigation revealed alleged disturbing evidence which led to Hawks’ immediate incarceration with much work left to be done as the probe continues.
The Patrick Sheriff’s Office spokesman indicated that it was deemed necessary to take Hawks off the streets while awaiting its conclusion.
“We knew that we had to act swiftly to get this predator behind bars, and we did,” Austin explained.
Additional charges are expected as the investigation unfolds, according to the lieutenant.
Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith disclosed that the evidence against Hawks is strong and compelling, and he is jailed without privilege of bond.
Investigator Tennille Jessup is leading the investigation and can be contacted confidentially at 276-692-5885 by anyone with information relating to the Hawks case or any other involving alleged sexual assault of a child.
September 18, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry defeated North Wilkes 61-6 on Friday to move to 1-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference.
Friday’s game highlighted East Surry’s past, present and future. Former students were welcome back to campus as part of the school’s Homecoming celebration, the current seniors were honored with Senior Night festivities taking place before the game, and the Cardinal fans got their first look at East in its new 2A conference.
East Surry’s ten seniors helped lead the team to its 55-point victory over North Wilkes. The seniors are: Luke Bowman, Trace Tilley, Trey Armstrong, Layton Allen, Joseph Grezmak, Isaiah Arrington, Jose Campos, Sam Whitt, Eli Blose and Michael McMillan.
East Surry (4-0, 1-0 FH2A) finished with 509 yards of total offense, six yards short of a season high set seven days earlier.
”Offensively, our kids played with confidence and good tempo,” said East Surry coach Trent Lowman. “That’s one thing we’ve been able to do for years. There’s still a lot that we’ve got to get better at on offense that we’re working on. It’s different things each week.”
Junior quarterback Folger Boaz accounted for 283 yards passing and two passing TDs. Friday’s game put Boaz over the 1,000-yard mark for the season as well as the 3,000-yard mark for his career. Boaz’s two passing touchdowns, which both went to Allen, puts him at 30 for his career.
East used three different quarterbacks against North Wilkes (1-2, 0-1 FH2A). Boaz completed 18-of-23 passes, Colby Johnson completed 2-of-4 passes for 44 yards and Will Jones finished 2-of-2 for 10 yards.
The trio of QBs moved the chains by hitting eight different receivers. Allen led all receivers with five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Armstrong and Stephen Brantley each had four catches, with Armstrong going for 49 yards and Brantley 75. Before switching to QB, Johnson had three catches for 53 yards.
Bowman, Dylan Cox, Matthew Keener and Luke Brown combined for the remaining six catches for 68 yards.
Boaz and Armstrong each rushed for three touchdowns in the win. Boaz had seven carries for 83 yards, and Armstrong had four for 22. Brett Clayton had two carries for 10 yards, one of which was a touchdown run. Johnson rushed three times for 26 yards, Eli Beck rushed three times for 24 yards and Keener ran once for 7 yards.
East’s offense had zero turnovers and scored on its first nine drives. The only Cardinal drive that didn’t end with a touchdown ended with the fourth-quarter clock expiring. Brantley handled kicking duties for the Cardinals and made 7-of-8 PATs.
East Surry’s defense only gave up one touchdown, and it came on the first possession of the game. Viking QB Zach Wyatt completed two short passes for a first down, then Deandre Corpening rushed for a short gain. Wyatt then exploded for a 67-yard touchdown pass to Chris Kimmel.
It took less than two minutes for East Surry to tie the game at 6-6. North Wilkes racked up 83 yards on the opening drive, but would only get 145 more through the rest of the game.
On defense we were much better tonight, much more confident,” Lowman said. “We’ve got some good players, they’ve just got to bring that confidence each week on defense. We’ve got some really good special teams guys, too. Just little things we’ve got to keep getting better at. We’re not there yet. We’ve got a lot of improving to do”
The Cardinal defense held the Vikings to one first down in the first quarter, one in the second quarter, none in the third quarter and two in the fourth quarter. For comparison, East Surry’s offensive moved the chains 18 times.
Five of North Wilkes’ possessions ended with three-and-outs. Of the Viks’ remaining five possessions: one ended with Kimmel’s touchdown reception, one saw North Wilkes punt after seven plays, another ended when East’s Grezmak recovered a fumble, one ended with Bowman intercepting Wyatt and the Vikings’ final possession ended with a turnover on downs.
North Wilkes passed for 213 yards on 11 completions. The Vikings rushed 22 times, but only gained 15 yards from scrimmage thanks to multiple tackles for a loss. Hatcher Hamm, Dylan Cox and Kyle Zinn all recorded sacks against North Wilkes.
East Surry continues conference play next week by traveling to North Surry (1-2). North Surry defeated Wilkes Central (2-1) 26-20 in its conference opener.
North Wilkes – 6, 0, 0, 0 = 6
East Surry – 20, 27, 14, 0 = 61
10:16 NWHS 0-6 – Zach Wyatt pass to Chris Kimmel 67-yard TD reception, PAT no good
8:31 ESHS 6-6 – Folger Boaz 16-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
5:55 ESHS 13-6 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 23-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
1:04 ESHS 20-6 – Folger Boaz 16-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
11:51 ESHS 27-6 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 28-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
7:58 ESHS 34-6 – Trey Armstrong 8-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
5:48 ESHS 41-6 – Folger Boaz 19-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
2:20 ESHS 47-6 – Trey Armstrong 3-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion no good
11:00 ESHS 54-6 – Trey Armstrong 6-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
1:50 ESHS 61-6 – Brett Clayton 4-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
September 17, 2021
A look at the four local high school tennis teams.
Mount Airy and East Surry are both ranked in the top-10 of their respective divisions by the North Carolina High School Tennis Coaches Association. Mount Airy is No. 1 in 1A and East Surry is No. 9 in 2A.
Note: Singles and doubles records used below are for the player(s) that most often compete in that position.
Mount Airy Granite Bears
Overall record: 11-0
Northwest 1A Conference record: 7-0, first place
Past five matches: 9-0 W vs. East Wilkes, 9-0 W @ Alleghany, 8-1 W @ West Forsyth, 9-0 W vs. Elkin, 7-2 W vs. East Surry
Upcoming matches: Sept. 21 @ South Stokes, Sept. 22 @ North Surry, Sept. 23 vs. Starmount
Singles records
No. 1 Carrie Marion (Fr.) 8-3
No. 2 Ella Brant (Soph.) 10-1
No. 3 Kancie Tate (Jr.) 11-0
No. 4 Audrey Marion (Jr.) 11-0
No. 5 Charlotte Hauser (Jr.) 11-0
No. 6 Lily Morris (Soph.) 10-1
Doubles records
No. 1 Carrie Marion and Brant 9-2
No. 2 Hauser and Tate 11-0
No. 3 Audrey Marion and Morris 11-0
Surry Central Golden Eagles
Overall record: 6-1
Foothills 2A Conference record: 6-1
Past five matches: 7-2 W vs. West Wilkes, 8-1 L @ East Surry, 8-1 W @ North Surry, 8-1 W vs. North Wilkes, 7-2 W vs. Forbush
Upcoming matches: Sept. 20 @ Wilkes Central
Singles records
No. 1 Rachel Carter (Sr.) 5-2
No. 2 Ellen Bryant (Sr.) 5-2
No. 3 McKenna Merritt (Fr.) 4-3
No. 4 Karlie Robertson (So.) 7-0
No. 5 Madelyn Wilmoth (Fr.) 5-2
No. 6 Priscilla Gentry (Fr.) 5-2
Doubles records
No. 1 Carter and Bryant 6-1
No. 2 Merritt and Robertson 4-0
No. 3 Gentry and Wilmoth 1-3
North Surry Greyhounds
Overall record: 4-5
Foothills 2A Conference record: 1-5
Past five matches: 9-0 W vs. West Stokes, 7-2 L @ Forbush, 6-3 W @ North Wilkes, 8-1 L vs. Surry Central, 5-4 L vs. Wilkes Central
Upcoming matches: Sept. 20 @ East Surry, Sept. 22 vs. Mount Airy, Sept. 23 vs. Forbush
Singles records
No. 1 Whitley Hege (Jr.) 7-2
No. 2 Katie Butler (Jr.) 4-5
No. 3 Molly Reeves (Sr.) 3-5
No. 4 Carrigan Willard (Sr.) 3-2
No. 5 Allyn-Claire Simmons (Jr.) 2-2
No. 6 Clara Burke (Fr.) 3-2
Doubles records
No. 1 Butler and Hege 5-4
No. 2 Reeves and Simmons 2-2
No. 3 Willard and Jacey Ward (Sr.) 0-3
East Surry Cardinals
Overall record: 5-3
Foothills 2A Conference record: 5-0
Past five matches: 9-0 W @ North Wilkes, 8-1 W vs. Surry Central, 7-2 L @ Mount Airy, 9-0 W @ Wilkes Central, 9-0 W @ North Surry
Upcoming matches: Sept. 20 vs. North Surry, Sept. 23 @ Wilkes Central
Singles records
No. 1 Tara Martin (Jr.) 7-0
No. 2 Evelyn Ruedisueli (Jr.) 5-2
No. 3 Rosie Craven (Sr.) 5-2
No. 4 Haley Chilton (Sr.) 4-3
No. 5 Sophie Hutchens (Soph.) 4-1
No. 6 Chloe Koons (Soph.) 3-1
Doubles records
No. 1 Martin and Ruedisueli 7-0
No. 2 Chilton and Craven 4-1
No. 3 Hutchens and Brianna Whitaker (Sr.) 3-0
September 17, 2021
Surry Central bounced back from its first loss of the 2021-22 season by winning matches against North Wilkes and North Surry.
The Golden Eagles hosted North Wilkes Tuesday and defeated the Vikings 3-0. Then, Central traveled to North Surry Thursday and won a tough match against the Greyhounds 3-1 with set scores of 25-20, 13-25, 25-21 and 25-20.
Injuries earlier in the week forced Surry Central (10-1) had to alter its lineup against North Surry. The Eagles showed resilience in their attacking game and found creative ways to score with the team’s leading attacker temporarily sidelined.
North Surry (2-8) has also been impacted by injuries and had players on the shelf Thursday. They Greyhounds had a tough few days having to play three of the 2A divisions’ top-ranked teams consecutively, but North was competitive in all four sets. The Hounds were also just the third team all season to take a set from the Eagles.
North Surry’s strongest set was the second. Central won the opening set 25-20, but North quickly gained momentum with a 5-2 advantage in the second. The Eagles managed to tie the score on occasion, but never led in the set.
North Surry’s Callie Robertson got the offense going in the second set with a pair of kills. Ella Riggs’ serving helped North open up a 12-7 lead, and attacking troubles for the visitors kept the lead intact. Momentum stayed on the side of North, which had a sideout percentage of 69.2% in the second set compared to Surry Central’s 36%.
The Greyhound lead grew to 17-10 with Bella Jones at the service line. The senior libero ran all over the floor Thursday and kept the Hounds alive with hustle plays. Jones’ digs on the back row gave Riggs time to set up attackers like Joyce, Robertson Sadie Badgett and Kyra Stanley opportunities.
An 8-3 run to close the second set gave North the win 25-12. The second set was an outlier as the only one decided by more than five points.
Neither squad built too much momentum until the latter half of the set due to errors. The score was tied at eight times at: 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17. Central alone made four hitting errors and six serving errors in the set, but found the lead thanks to a late run.
Strong hitting from Robertson and Badgett paired with Khloe Bennett’s defense at middle hitter helped North Surry stay in control most of the set. The Greyhounds led 16-12 at one point.
Central responded by scoring 10 of the next 11 points. Jaylyn Templeton slid to outside hitter opposite Marissa McCann while Aubrey Southern moved to setter. This new combination of players paired perfectly with strong serving from Katelyn Patterson’s serving to give the Eagles a 22-17 lead.
Templeton recorded seven kills in the third set, which is more than any other Eagle had in the match total.
A well-placed attack from Stanley ended the Central run. Badgett recorded an ace and a Joyce a kill to close the gap, but the Eagles pulled out the win 25-21.
Just as North Surry held a slim advantage for most of the third set, Central started with the lead and held on most of the fourth set. McCann gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead with a kill, then serve an ace. Carlee Jones joined the front line with McCann serving and got two of her five kills on the night.
The Greyhounds slowly fought back by hustling all over the back row to control Central’s attacks. North actually turned a 10-5 deficit into a 14-13 lead, but it was short-lived. North Surry was derailed with attacking errors on four of the next five points to give Central an 18-14 lead.
The Eagles held on to this lead through the end of the set, winning 25-20.
Surry Central’s win on Thursday puts the Lady Eagles at 10-1 overall and 4-1 in the Foothills 2A Conference. East Surry (10-0, 5-0 FH2A) defeated West Wilkes 3-1 on Thursday to give the Cardinals sole possession of first place in the conference. Surry Central and West Wilkes are tied for second at 4-1, followed by Forbush at 2-2, North Surry and Wilkes Central at 1-4, and North Wilkes at 0-5.
North Surry travels to South Stokes on Sept. 20, and Surry Central travels to East Surry on Sept. 21.

© 2018 The Mount Airy News


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