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Unjustified Seizure of Newspaper Assets

June 22, 2017

A recent bill being debated in the North Carolina General Assembly is rightfully causing some buyer’s remorse for numerous voters that helped give the Republicans the majority in the state House and Senate. Support for this bill from some Forsyth County representatives should also cause local citizens to question the motives of some our elected officials.

The bill in question, Senate Bill 343 (SB 343), essentially goes against one of the major tenets of the Republican party. Senate Bill 343 was sponsored by N.C. Senator Trudy Wade (R-Guilford), who apparently has a huge axe to grind with newspapers. The bill, which passed in the Senate by a 30-19 vote last month, would allow municipal and county governments to publish required public notices on their own websites instead of in newspapers. Some of these public notices include details about public hearings for new developments and opportunities for people to bid on government contracts. The bill would, more importantly for newspapers, allow local governments to host other people’s legal notices on their websites and charge attorneys and others for legally required announcements, such as foreclosures, seized property and other proceedings.

This aspect of the bill would effectively steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from individual newspapers, which would seriously jeopardize the very existence of three local newspapers, Kernersville News, Clemmons Courier and Winston-Salem Chronicle. Large papers such as the Winston-Salem Journal and Greensboro News & Record, which are owned by a liberal multi-billionaire could probably weather this storm, but smaller papers likely cannot.

The bill, which has been questioned constitutionally by some qualified experts, would make Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth and Guilford counties the pilot programs. Given Wade’s fanatical support of the bill it is easy to understand why Guilford County was chosen to be part of the pilot program. Why Forsyth County was chosen is open to question, although we have our own ideas of which government official or officials may have pushed for Forsyth County to be one of the four counties in the pilot program.

The motivation for supporters of this bill, which unfortunately includes a large number of Republicans in the NCGA, appears to be to steal money from newspapers and eliminate the numerous decades old practice of allowing newspapers to keep the public aware of the information published in legal notices and public notices.

The argument, which doesn’t hold water, from some supporters of this bill is that it will save the counties money. The fact that the money saved would be an absolute drop in a very big bucket, compared to county budgets and the state budget, makes it clear that the primary motivation for the bill is not to save North Carolinians money. Forsyth County’s budget for the fiscal year is $425, 405,900. The state budget that was passed by the NC Senate on Tuesday is $23.03 billion. When the previous version of Senate Bill 343 was discussed three years ago, former Forsyth County Commissioner Mark Baker said the money the county would save if the bill was passed was too inconsequential compared to the whole budget to even consider.

We believe the real motivation for those who support SB 343 is to destroy newspapers, and some representatives have told us this directly. A secondary motivation could be that the bill would also allow state and local governments to keep what they are doing more secret, which goes against the very grain of everything American.

As noted by the North Carolina Press Association, “As many of one-third of North Carolinians don’t have internet access, can’t afford it, and would not visit a government website even if they had it.” Tammy Dunn, the publisher of the Montgomery Herald, stated that “it is somewhat ludicrous to suggest that people would check a government website each week to look at notices.” Others have also noted why it is crucial and traditional for legal and public notices to be published in newspapers, rather than in sparsely visited government websites. Moreover, most North Carolina newspapers, including the Kernersville News, publish all legal notices online at no extra charge.

“The spirit of the law is for government notices to be in front of the public. Even though it is a revenue source for newspaper, the issue here isn’t that. The issue is the public’s right to know,” stated Paul Mauney, the group publisher for The Dispatch, The Times News in Burlington and The Courier-Tribune in Asheboro.

We have talked to numerous local government officials about where they stand on SB 343, and believe it is important for our readers to know where they stand on the public’s right to know. Forsyth County Commissioner Chairman Dave Plyler does not support the bill, as does Forsyth County Commissioner Vice Chairman Dr. Don Martin.

“I am certainly not in favor of having Forsyth County in a pilot program and having the county become a legal advertising service,” Martin said.

Forsyth County Commissioner Ted Kaplan is against the bill. We were very happy to learn on Thursday that NC Representative Debra Conrad (R-Forsyth) is working with her counterpart North Carolina Representative Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) to defeat SB343. Forsyth County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt seemed adamant that there was a lot of momentum for the bill in the NCGA. NC Representative Paul A Lowe Jr. (D-Forsyth) voted against the bill. NC Rep Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth, Yadkin), who lives in Kernersville, is vehemently against the bill

“I opposed it and voted against it (before). Particularly seniors depend upon their daily newspapers. I believe large segments of our population will not be able to obtain the necessary information. Many rural areas as well as seniors and others in urban areas, do not have access to the internet. They will have no means of obtaining information,” Krawiec stated.

We urge our readers to contact their NCGA representatives and Forsyth County commissioners to discuss the NCGA’s obvious attempt to destroy newspapers and seize their substantial financial assets. Listed below is contact information for your local government representatives. Please call them.

Four-Way Test Award

March 17, 2017

Richard Hedgecock was honored with the Rotary Club of Kernersville’s Four-Way Test Award during a Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday, March 8.
In 1943, Rotary International adopted the Four-Way Test as a guiding principle for all Rotarians. The Four-Way Test asks four questions of its members in everything they think, say or do, which include: Is it the truth?; Is it fair to all concerned?; Will it build goodwill and better friendships?; Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
According to Rotary member Arnold King, the Rotary Club of Kernersville began a program in 1995 to select a non-Rotarian member from the community who they believe exemplifies and practices the ideals embodied in the Four-Way Test.
Previous recipients of the award included G. S. “Sol” Coltrane, Joe Dudley, Roger Swisher, Charlie Snow, John Staples, W. H. “Doc” Long, Garry Snow, David Fitzpatrick, Jack Blaylock, Bruce Boyer, G. C. “Neal” Stockton, Margaret Hall Burks, Ivey Redmon, Becky Lewis, Jim Taylor, Larry Cain, and Ned Mabe.
“Richard Hedgecock can tell you he’s in fine company. There are a whole lot of people that have contributed to this fine community,” King said.
King said they chose Hedgecock as this year’s recipient for his service to the community.
Hedgecock was born and raised in the Sedge Garden area. He went to school at Sedge Garden and then Glenn High School for three years. He then went to East Forsyth (High School) and was in the first graduating class in 1963. He was class president that year. Hedgecock was a starting running back on the football team. He was point guard on the basketball team, where he made the All Northwest Team. He played first base on the baseball team, where he was selected to go to the East West All Star Game, and earned a baseball scholarship to East Carolina University.
Following college, Hedgecock went into the Army, where he served three years. He served in Germany, where he played baseball. He was a member of the All European Team as a baseball player. After his service in the Army, in 1970, he returned home and decided he wanted to teach. Hedgecock went to Winston-Salem State University for his teaching certificate and found a position teaching art at North Forsyth High School, finishing out the school year for the last four months. The following year, he came to East Forsyth High School, where he taught art for four years.
In 1977, Hedgecock opened his framing studio on Main Street. He has been in business for 40 years.
“I asked Richard what he considered his greatest achievement. He thought for a bit, and typical Richard, he said, ‘Just being able to serve the community for the last 40 years,’” King said. “He didn’t mention the book that he published; he didn’t mention the fact that he had his art in the White House.”
He continued.
“When I mentioned the Rotary meeting to Richard and told him about the Ace of Spades, he said, ‘Well do you need me to donate something?’ That’s just Richard. I said, ‘No.’ But, anything that’s come along in this community over the past 40 years, Richard has supported it.”
King noted that Hedgecock’s major hobby today is golf and helping his wife, Penny, with the abundance of rescue animals they have.
“I can only use three adjectives to describe Richard: sincere, humble and generous,” King said.
After accepting his award, Hedgecock came up to the podium during the Rotary Club meeting and said he was thankful for the recognition.
“I’m too humble to say how much I appreciate it,” he remarked.
Along with his coach Jack Musten, Hedgecock noted several other people who have been great influences in his life, including his grandmother, Ava Hedgecock, Rev. Pete Kunkle, an art teacher he had at East Forsyth, and a fellow Army mate, all of whom shaped him into the man he is today.

Summit Bike Team

March 16, 2017

There are a variety of small groups at The Summit Church, including The Summit Bike Team, whose members enjoy fellowship and faith through exercise every week.
Keith Hostetler, Summit Bike Team member, has been a part of the group since May 2015.
“This isn’t a bike group that happens to go to the church, this is a church group that happens to ride bikes together,” he said. “The church has groups for everyone. It’s part of the church’s Group Life, so you can find something that you are interested in. It’s just a connection of a smaller group of people.”
Hostetler began cycling in 2009 after signing up for a sprint triathlon.
“I borrowed a bike from someone. It got me back on a bike since I was teenager. I ended up buying the bike from my friend,” he said. “It really wasn’t until 2013/2014 that I got a better bike and got more serious about riding.”
Hostetler explained that he and his family had been attending the church for several months before he learned about the bike team. He was doing a ride when he saw someone wearing a Summit Bike Team shirt and inquired about it.
“It was during the Tour de Lions for the Lions Club. I came up at an intersection and saw a guy that had a shirt that said Summit Church. I asked him about it and that’s how I got started with the group,” he said.
Hostetler explained that the group was started by founding members Mike Stratton and Bill Olson, who were both cycling enthusiasts who grew tired of other cycling groups that were too competitive and would drop people on rides.
He noted that the ages for the group rides range from 40s to 60s but they sometimes have people join them from other age groups. While a majority of the riders are men, Hostetler said they do have women join them from time-to-time as well.
Hostetler said they get together on Saturdays to ride and every other Thursday night they get together for more fellowship. Currently, they are doing a book study on “12 Ordinary Men.”
Along with riding together and having a fellowship of faith, The Summit Bike Team also supports a variety of groups and charities in the area. They have worked with the Kernersville Cycling Club to Adopt-a-Street, and have helped out at the Kernersville Mountain Bike Park.
“We like to be involved in anything that promotes activity and community,” he said.
They also enjoy participating in charity rides such as Bobby Labonte Foundation, Tour to Tanglewood, and have participated in rides to fight ALS.
“We raised about $4,000 for Tour to Tanglewood last year,” he said. “We also volunteer and serve every sixth Sunday to serve a meal at the Winston-Salem Salvation Army. “
Hostetler explained that their rides are “no drop” rides and they do their part to practice proper cycling etiquette.
“Our rides are no drop rides. There are places where people up front will pull away, but if there is a turn, everyone will stop. Normally we will go at the pace that the slowest rider wants to go,” he said. “It’s not about the miles or how fast we go, it’s about the fellowship.”
Hostetler said they stay off of extremely busy roads, sometimes riding with the Kernersville Cycling Club.
“When the weather warms, they usually do a Tuesday afternoon ride and we usually join up with them, and they ride with us on Saturdays. I am actually a member of the Kernersville Cycling Club as well,” he shared.
Hostetler said The Summit Bike Team rides usually have anywhere between four and 12 cyclists at a time and as many as 15 on a Saturday ride.
“We usually ride on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. We have a couple of favored loops. We often do a loop and stop at Lake Thom-A-Lex. It’s a lake in Lexington. We like it because it has nice restroom facilities,” he said, noting that because the loop doesn’t have a lot of traffic and because of the restroom facilities, it is a very popular cycling stop.
Hostetler said they noticed after stopping at Lake Thom-A-Lex several times that they didn’t have a bike rack, so when The Summit Church had the Big Serve, they thought it would be a great idea to get the church to help them put a bike rack there for all of the cycling groups to use.
“The bike rack holds 36 bikes,” he said.
Hostetler explained that while there are other forms of exercise, he enjoys cycling the most.
“Both of my sons were competitive cross country and track runners,” he said, adding that he did some running at one point. “With running, unless you find a running partner that runs the exact pace that you like for an hour, which can be hard to find, it can get boring not having anyone to talk to. It’s different with cycling. If you find a nice country road, you can ride (side by side) and have a good hour conversation. That’s one of the things that I really love about cycling, and there are so many great people who like to cycle.”
Hostetler said cycling is a lot easier on his body as well.
“I love it. It makes me feel like a kid again,” he remarked.
Hostetler explained what he enjoys most about riding with The Summit Bike Team.
“We’ve all gotten closer as friends because we’ve shared things that are easy and hard. We’ve all had people yell at us on the bikes and we’ve been caught in rainstorms. We try to look at this as fitness related and being able to help other organizations as a way to give back,” he said. “We feel the Lord has grouped us together in something that we enjoy so much. It’s harder to ride in the winter time when we can’t get together, but we’ve had some warm days.”
Hostetler encourages others to join them on a ride.
“We want to let people know that if they are intimidated about being in a group ride or don’t have the right equipment, we don’t want them to feel that way. We invite people to come out. Everybody is welcome,” he remarked.

Lifetime Achievement

November 17, 2016

dcjDuring this year’s Kernersville Chamber of Commerce banquet held last night, Dana Caudill Jones was surprised with the Community Distinguished Service Award, a lifetime achievement award recognizing her long-time service to the Kernersville area.
Kenny Beck, emcee for the Chamber banquet, said this year has been a world-class year for the community and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Tonight, we are here to celebrate successes, and look forward to the future for this great community,” Beck said, as he introduced this year’s Community Distinguished Service Award winner. “Every year of the Kernersville Chamber’s existence, we have recognized long-term service to the Kernersville area. This award is a lifetime achievement award.”
Before Jones approached the front of the room to receive her award from Duane Long, the 2015 award recipient, she had to sit in wonder with everyone in the room as Beck shared her achievements alluding to who the award recipient might be.
“The Kernersville community enjoys the reputation of being a wholesome, family community. Obtaining that reputation happens when different businesses, organizations and the faith community come together to work towards a common goal. That doesn’t happen by itself. It takes community leaders who look beyond their own line of business to bring others together,” he said.
Jones grew up in Kernersville and graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1989. She attended High Point University, earning her Bachelor of Arts in 1993. Over the years, Jones has volunteered hundreds of hours within the community.
“This year’s recipient has done more in 11 years than most do in a lifetime. She was extremely active in the Kernersville Chamber during 1995 – 2000, serving on the Downtown Council, Economic Development Council, Education Committee (in which she still serves), and worked on the end of the 2020 Plan with Arnold King. She co-chaired the entire Leadership Kernersville Program in 2000 with her mother.”
Jones is a 1997 graduate of the Leadership Kernersville Program, a 1999 graduate of the Piedmont Triad Leadership Network, a 2016 graduate of UNC School of Government Leadership Academy Elected Officials Graduate Leadership Winston-Salem Program, and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem.
Jones was elected and served five terms on the Kernersville Board of Aldermen; was mayor pro tem for the Town of Kernersville from 2011?2013; serves on the Forsyth Technical Community College Board of Trustees; serves on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem; serves on the Kernersville Medical Center Board of Directors; serves on the High Point University Alumni Board; serves on the Kernersville Cares for Kids Board of Directors; serves on the East Forsyth High School PTA Board; and serves on the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.
She is a past Kernersville Chamber of Commerce Executive Board member; past Leadership Kernersville chair; past PTA president of Cash Elementary School; past PTA president of Kernersville Middle School; past president of the Board of Directors for Next Step Ministries; past Kernersville YMCA Advisory Board member; past Kernersville Shepherd’s Center Board of Directors; and past elementary school liaison for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs.
She currently serves as chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and has been instrumental in the education bonds.
Jones was named one of the Triad’s 40 Leaders Under 40 in 2006; led Caudill’s Commercial Electric (her family’s business) to being named one of the Top 100 Small Businesses in N.C in 2008; and was named Kernersville’s Citizen of the Year in 2012.
She and her family are big supporters of all Kernersville organizations, and more particularly programs related to youth. While serving on the Kernersville YMCA Board, the Caudills made a significant donation for the construction of the water park. They sponsor YMCA programs, Kernersville Little League programs, Kernersville Soccer Association teams, and Kernersville Raiders.
Jones, along with her husband, David, and son, Eli, are members of Sedge Garden United Methodist Church.

Pete Edris Left Quite a Legacy

November 3, 2016

peteWarren Peter “Pete” Edris, ex-WWII POW and retired American Airlines captain, died on October 29. He was 95 years old. Edris was born in Mountain Lakes, N.J., and graduated from what was then called Oak Ridge Military Institute. He married Doris Grey Cooke of Kernersville on June 30, 1945. She died in 1988.
Edris was a member of Kernersville Moravian Church and the Greater Greensboro Chapter of the American Ex-POWs.
His memoir, “Dying For Another Day,” chronicles the remarkable story of an airman from the “Greatest Generation.”
Edris served in the 306th Bomb Group, 369th Bomb Squad, which became the basis of the novel and movie, “Twelve O’clock High.”
On March 8, 1943, the B-17 that First Lieutenant Edris was co-piloting was blown out of the sky over Rennes, France by German FW-190 fighter planes.
Edris parachuted to safety. The pilot was killed.
French farmers harbored Edris for a while, but his luck ran out in a Paris apartment on May 15, 1943 when he was arrested by the Gestapo.
They sent him to Fresnes Prison, just south of Paris, where he spent 77 days in solitary confinement, eating potato soup often filled with bugs and worms. He had no soap and no toothbrush.
His next stop was Stalag Luft III, about 100 miles southeast of Berlin. True happenings at Stalag Luft III inspired the movie, “The Great Escape.”
What Edris didn’t know during his incarcerations was what his mother was being told back in the States via telegrams. On March 15, 1943, she was notified that her son had been reported missing in action. On July 11, 1943, she was told he was no longer missing but had been killed in action. On September 11, 1943, she was notified that her son had not been killed, but was a prisoner of the German government.
His next stop was Stalag Luft VIIA in Moosburg, crammed with 130,000 POWs of all nationalities. In his memoir, Edris described it as, “A hellhole if there ever was one. It was a rat nest of tiny compounds separated by barbed wire fences that separated old, rundown barracks.”
General George Patton’s 3rd Army liberated Stalag Luft VIIA on April 29, 1945. Edris would be going home soon, and marrying the love of his life.
In early June, Doris Cooke’s train ride from Greensboro to New York’s Penn Station was way behind schedule.
“I was really getting jittery,” said Edris in his memoir. “Then, all of a sudden, there she was, walking across the terminal. She was glowing like an angel. She looked absolutely gorgeous. We ran full-speed into each other’s arms. I picked her off the floor and we went around and around. We were both crying like babies.”
“I love, you, I love you, I love you,” she said. “Hold me forever, darling. Don’t ever let me go.”

‘Touchpoints of Faith’

October 20, 2016

bruceBruce Boyer, former Chamber of Commerce CEO and president and Kernersville YMCA director, encourages others to strengthen their faith through everyday devotional stories in his newly released book, “Touchpoints of Faith: God’s Word in Daily Life,” which will be available during upcoming books signings on October 27 at the Kernersville YMCA and November 7 at Fountain of Life Lutheran Church.
Boyer said he dedicated his second book to the Christian mission of the YMCA because most YMCAs have a strong Christian emphasis and the first YMCAs were actually Bible study organizations during the Industrial Revolution.
“The purpose of my book is to show examples of how God works in our everyday lives,” Boyer remarked.
Different from his first book in which he wrote all of the devotionals, in his new book Boyer invited 11 guest authors to share their stories in his book.
The book contains 87 stories in 281 pages, which is twice the length of stories from his previous book, “24/7: Stories of Faith from Everyday Life.” The book also contains 12 pages of topical scriptural references, and each chapter is arranged by faith lesson topic. Some of the stories are also written for particular seasons or holidays.
Guest authors include Rosemary Suess, former executive director of the Kernersville YMCA (now at the Y in Clemmons); Larry Whittlesey, national director of the US Mission Network; Terra Lynn Dearth, national director of the YMCA’s Christian Leadership Conferences; Bob Kahle – former director of YMCA Camp Hanes (now at YMCA Fairview Lakes camp in NJ); The Old Gray Goose, former Y director who was a mentor to Boyer; Bruce Ham, chief development officer for the YMCA of the Triangle (Raleigh area); Eric Ellsworth, president & CEO, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis; Gray Stallworth, recently retired YMCA director from Greenwood, SC; Dan Doctor, YMCA volunteer with Christian Leadership Conferences; Bob Warnock, former YMCA director from Los Angeles, CA; and Cliff Christian, Spiritual Life director for the YMCA’s Blue Ridge Assembly (Asheville, NC).
“Many of the stories relate to things that have happened in their YMCAs,” Boyer said. “Nearly all of the stories are true, with many about people and events from Kernersville or recognizable national events. The stories capture people’s interest. Then a faith lesson is developed around the story, which helps people to apply the faith lesson to their personal life.”
Boyer noted that some of the stories include how Doc Long’s Bible literally saved his life; a story about the start of the Pan de Vida missionary (supported by Fountain of Life & the YMCA) in Ecuador; and a story called, “Never Mind, Lord,” which is from a sermon he heard in 1965 while attending a church as a college student.
Boyer said all of the stories have a scriptural reference, question to ask yourself and a closing prayer. There is also an index to allow people to find an appropriate story for their occasion.
“Writing devotional books is a great way to reach people you never get to meet,” he said. “In a subtle way, the book is meant to support Christian teachings. It’s a way for people to relate, identify or picture themselves in the story.”
Boyer said the stories are also useful in starting a meeting where there are people of different denominations and walks of life.
“It really plants the seeds with real life situations of how God is at work,” he said. “I think that when people see how faith can be applied to peoples’ lives, even outside of church, it can increase their interest.”
Along with the 11 guest authors, Boyer also included his own feature story.
Boyer feels his time as the executive director at the YMCA was a ministry.
“When you believe strongly in what and why you are doing something as a career, it really becomes a calling, so I always felt that it was a calling for me – instilling Christian values,” he said.
Boyer served in the YMCA for 34 years, with the last 12 in Kernersville. He has volunteered for past 35 years with the YMCA’s Christian Leadership Conferences (nationally).
Boyer’s first book, “24/7 – Stories of Faith from Everyday Life,” tells the story about his son, Dave Boyer, being lost for six days in the Amazon rainforest. This near tragedy has been re-enacted nationally on two hour-long Discovery Channel shows, a Reader’s Digest article and an appearance on the Oprah show. The miracle of surviving this experience was the catalyst that motivated Boyer to publish devotional stories and to encourage others in the faith.
The first book signing will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Kernersville YMCA. Suess will also be available for book signings.
The second book signing will be held on Monday, November 7 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, located at 323 Hopkins Rd.
Story website: In addition, stories are available on Boyer’s story website, A new story is posted each week. The public is invited to the book signing or you may contact Boyer directly to purchase a book at 336-996-4699.

Kernersville Christmas Stocking

October 11, 2016

christmas-stockingFor 28 years, many of Kernersville’s children and families have been able to wake up on Christmas Day to the joys of seeing what is under the Christmas tree and feasting on a special meal, thanks to the generosity of community members, like you, whose donations make the annual Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund possible.
Without those generous donations, children and families who benefit from the Christmas Stocking Fund would not have the joys that many residents have on Christmas Day.
The Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund started over 28 years ago by former Kernersville Moravian Church (KMC) Pastor Truman Dunn, who was very interested in community mission work. With an idea in mind, he sat down with John Owensby (publisher and managing editor of the Kernersville News) and together they came up with the idea for the Christmas Stocking Fund.
The Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund is now co-sponsored by Kernersville Moravian Church and Kernersville News.
According to Vicky Yates, co-chair for the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund, over 200 families and over 300 children were helped last year.
Yates said organizations such as the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund are funded solely through the generosity of individuals and local businesses.
“This area of Forsyth County is rated high for folks living in poverty, especially for children, and they are not getting the amount of food they need on a daily basis. This is one way our community can give to families in need at Christmas time,” she said. “The amount of money we receive in donations determines the number of families and children that we are able to help.”
Yates noted that the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund is completely run by volunteers.
“Every penny we raise goes straight to the families and children,” she remarked. “We take donations all year long and any donation amount is greatly appreciated by us and our participants.”
Yates clarified that while the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund is run through Kernersville Moravian Church and the Kernersville News, the organization belongs to the community.
“We are just the facilitators, but it is a communitywide effort,” she said.
A unique aspect to the campaign is that only Kernersville residents (in the 27284 zip code) who are in need are eligible to apply. Most are referred to the program by schools familiar with family situations, but other organizations also recommend recipients.
Parents then fill out application forms and go through an interview with the church.
“Families come in and fill out an application and we gather as much information as possible to make sure there is a need and that they meet all of the requirements. We hope we can help all the families that qualify,” she said.
Approved families are invited to the church on a specific day in December to receive a Lowes Foods gift card.
“This allows the parents to provide a special dinner for their Christmas or holiday celebration,” she said.
Yates explained that they also give gift cards to families for children 14 and under from a local merchant.
“Giving them the gift cards allows the parents to feel like they are providing for their families for the holiday and choosing a special gift for their child,” she remarked.
In addition to the Lowes Foods gift cards and gift cards for the children, the families will receive a gift bag.
“We are working with local restaurants to get food coupons for the children,” she said. “If any merchants are interested in helping, they can call Kernersville Moravian Church.”
Yates said they are also looking for other types of donations for the families.
“In past years, we had several organizations that donated books, toys, t-shirts and more for the families,” Yates said. “We are looking for donations like this again this year.”
Yates said the gift bags are being assembled by the church’s Community Outreach Committee and added that none of the monetary funds will be used toward the children’s gift bags.
“These are separate from the funds,” she clarified.
Yates said this year Holy Cross Catholic Church is helping to provide Spanish interpreters during the interview process.
Yates offered a few ideas for anyone interested in helping raise funds.
“Have a bake sale, raffle or yard sale. Anything helps,” she said. “Main Street United Methodist Church is having a free Christmas concert on December 2 at 7 p.m. They will be taking a love offering that will be donated to the Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund.”
Yates noted that Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church held a book sale and plans to donate the money to the organization.
There is no cut off for sending in contributions. Anything donated after the date of distribution will go toward next year’s Christmas Stocking Fund and 100 percent of all money and other items donated to the Christmas Stocking Fund are used for the families.
This year the goal is to raise $50,000. Last year, they raised almost $40,000.
“We cannot do this without the help of the community,” she said. “We appreciate your contribution in allowing us to share Christmas joy with these families and their children.”
Families will be interviewed on Friday, October 28 from 1:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 29 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Kernersville Moravian Church Activity Building – South Cherry Street parking lot.
Contributions can be mailed to Kernersville Moravian Church, c/o Kernersville Christmas Stocking, 504 S. Main St., Kernersville, N.C. 27284 or Kernersville News, c/o Kernersville Christmas Stocking Fund, PO Box 337, Kernersville, N.C. 27285.
Donations can also be dropped off at the Kernersville News, 300 East Mountain St., Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Need for Speed

October 6, 2016

soundKernersville Attorney John Barrow has been land speed racing for the past eight years and recently returned from the Bonneville Salt Flats, where he attempted to break a land speed record.
“Land speed racing started back at the turn of the century when automobiles (were first mass produced). All of the land speed records from 1910-1913 were set on the beaches of Florida, which made it the best place to do that,” Barrow explained. “It was probably around 1920 when someone went out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It’s all white salt and it’s flat.”
Barrow has always had an interest in working on cars, first starting with bikes and lawnmowers.
“I remember trying to take lawnmowers and bicycles apart and trying to put them back together,” he said.
When Barrow first learned about land speed racing, he joined the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). He noted that he is able to race with the help from his sponsors Triybodyne Racing Lubricants, Unique Powder Coating, and US Industrial Pipe.
“I have been doing circle races since 1991 at Bowman Gray Stadium, racing (modified cars) for about seven years and street stock for seven to eight years,” he said. “It was probably about eight years ago that I got interested in land speed racing.”
What Barrow said he likes most about land speed racing is that with this sport, the racers don’t tear up their cars like they do in circle racing.
After joining the SCTA, Barrow went on the internet, where he found information about the East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) and learned that there are races held in NC.
“The races were held in Maxton, North Carolina at an airport Army base that was built during WWII and used to train glider airplanes,” he said, adding that the airport was perfect because it had a two mile runways, which was necessary for the glider airplanes. “The airport hadn’t been used since the 1960s and was grown up.”
Barrow said the airport had a triangle runway with three legs, including a one mile, a one-and-a-half-mile and a two-mile runway.
“It was in horrible shape, but they fixed it up,” he said. “We used to go down there four to five times a year and any money they made, they used to pave the runways.”
While the airport was the perfect spot for land speed racing, Barrow said they were eventually run off by Griffin Security Group, an anti-terrorism training group.
“So, we left there and went to Wilmington, Ohio, where there was a five-year-old runway that was previously used by a DHL facility. They are still racing there,” he stated.
Barrow said he races there about four times a year with the ECTA. He only goes during cooler weather since automobiles make more horsepower in cooler weather.
Barrow is also a member of the East Coast Flathead Fords Racing Association and races a 1940 Ford Coup with a flathead engine. With that car, Barrow said he has set four land speed records, with the fastest time as 125.6 mph, breaking an old record of 119 mph. That record was set at the Army base in Maxton, NC.
Wanting to go faster and be part of the 200 mph Club, Barrow looked around for a safer car.
“I love racing, but I’m not a dare devil,” he said. “The best class would be to take a stock car, so I found a 2006 Winston Cup chassis.”
Barrow noted that this car can get up to 850-900 horsepower.
“I built that here in Kernersville with a Dodge R5 Winston Cup engine. There was a surplus of these engines because Dodge quit racing in the Winston Cup,” he said. “I bought that car from the Winston Cup Museum about four years ago.”
After taking a year to build the car, Barrow was able to run the car once in Maxton before the ECTA was moved to Wilmington, Ohio.
“I wound up setting a record in Ohio at 201 mph,” he said. “If you break a record, they give you a hat and t-shirt.”
The fastest Barrow said he has ever gotten up to is 209 mph.
Barrow said land speed racing feels a lot like drag racing, except the track is longer.
“I’ve never drag raced before, but this is a lot like that,” he said. “It’s the wildest thing I have ever done. You wind up to 10,000 rpms in each gear. The trick is getting the power to the ground and not going out of control. It throws you back in your seat. It’s crazy, but it’s fun.”
Barrow said the cars go so fast that they need a really long parachute to help them slow down and stop.
“I bought a parachute from a company out of California. I called around to ask them where to mount it and everyone said, ‘I can’t tell you that because of the liability, but if you mount it wrong, it’ll wreck you,’” he said.
Barrow eventually contacted Dave Marcus, an old Winston Cup racer who sent him pictures of how to mount the parachute to his car.
When Barrow first learned about land speed racing, one thing he knew he eventually wanted to do was go to the Bonneville Salt Flats to attempt to set a land speed record; however, due to rain the past two years, he was not able to race. Barrow noted that the salt flats are actually a lake, so there was about an inch of water from the rain. He added that there are four different events held at the Bonneville Salt Flats from August through November.
In 2015, the second year it was rained out, he decided to make the trip to Utah with his son, Ben, without the car, and toured the area.
Barrow said when he signed up this year, he was in luck.
“Ben and I went the second week in August. We took a 30-foot enclosed trailer with the 1940 Ford. It took two days to get through inspection,” he said, as he explained that there were 850 cars. “We stayed about a week, but you really only get to run about once a day.”
When Barrow and his son pulled onto the salt flats, he said it was pure white salt. The only way they knew where they were going was by following orange cones.
“They told us to stay to the right of the cones, and we drove 2-4 miles. The pits are 2-3 miles long. One mile parallel to the pits is ‘the long track’ about nine miles long and was for really fast cars. They had some cars that went over 400 mph,” he said. “This year they had a short track and a rookie track. You run for one mile and they time the next two miles for you on a five-mile track.”
The fastest Barrow said he got up to out there was 124 mph, while trying to break a 135 mph record.
“When I raced on the salt flats, I raced in a class called Vintage Gas Altered, and I had to take off the fenders,” he explained.
Barrow is currently building a 1953 Studebaker with a Winston Cup Engine with plans to race it at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2018 and get up to 260 mph. Next year, his goal is to set a record with his 1940 Ford Coup.

Tour of Mont Blanc

August 25, 2016

hikeAfter getting married in May, Dr. Darian Smith and his wife, Nicole, chose to spend their honeymoon doing something out of the ordinary, hiking one of the world’s most beautiful long distance trails, passing through France, Italy, and Switzerland.
While many people are lured to the beauty of the Alps, but only wanting to enjoy them from small European towns, Darian and Nicole, who both enjoy the great outdoors, were not only drawn to their beauty, but also the challenge that the majestic mountains offer.
“We wanted something that would be authentic, something challenging we could grow from and something that would give us memories we could share with our future children,” said Nicole.
“It’s also one of the top hiking destinations in the world for backpackers,” Darian added.
What also drew the couple to the area was that Darian had an interest in running the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (ULMB), an ultra marathon. After hiking and running additional mileage along the route each day, Darian’s interest has only grown.
Previous to the trip, Darian and Nicole trained by hiking with packs around Pilot Mountain, running and getting in any cardio they could.
After training and purchasing a topographic map and a guide book, “The Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete two-way trekking guide” by Kev Reynolds, they set out for their trip on July 19. After traveling to their starting point in Italy, Darian and Nicole averaged 11 miles over the course of eight days, and finished on the ninth day by pushing their limits and hiking 18 ½ miles.
While hiking, Darian and Nicole carried packs weighing roughly 25 pounds, which held their sleeping bags, tent, food and cooking supplies, first aid kit, rain gear, extra layers for warmth, and sunscreen. To save weight, they opted to not carry sleeping pads.
“Extra layers were very important because of the elevation changes and because it got cold at night,” Darian said. “We also hiked through snow, but we were there when they had the least amount of snow, which is in mid-July and August.”
Darian and Nicole met many other people, including seasoned hikers who had hiked the trail multiple times.
“We met a British couple and another British guy who had hiked the trail four times. He was retired from the British Army,” Nicole said. “We also met a family from the Netherlands and a young couple from Canada.”
“We averaged seeing 20-30 people daily and would see the same people because we would do accordion style hiking and pass each other,” Darian said.
With over 100 miles to cover, there were many different options for bedding down each night, from sleeping in a tent to staying in a warm bed in a hostel.
“We stayed in two high-altitude hostels (refuge), and we stayed in one hotel. The rest of the time, we camped in our tent at a campground,” Nicole said.
Darian added, “They discourage you from setting up camp on the trail, but we came real close to camping on the side of the trail in Switzerland because it was pouring rain. There was one tent set up and it was flooded. Luckily, we ended up getting into one of the high altitude hostels, where they feed you breakfast and dinner. Everyone was happy to be there.”
Nicole explained that the first one they stayed in had 20 beds in one room.
“They had a coin shower that gave you two minutes of water and only a minute of it is warm water,” she said. “The other refuge was the complete opposite. We had our own room with our own bed and we shared the shower on the hall, but it had warm water the whole time. That’s the one we stayed in after the rainstorm.”
Nicole and Darian also faced challenges with steep climbs along Mont Blanc.
“One of the most difficult parts was Fenetre d’Arpette, which was a true mountain pass, where you’re gaining 3,000 feet over boulder and ice fields with really steep places where you’d have had to have three points of contact,” Darian shared.
Nicole said the hardest part for her was when they reached the top of the pass and were going back down the boulder field, essentially climbing down what they had just climbed up, but on the opposite side.
“It was challenging physically, but I liked it,” she said, adding that there was a rewarding view from the pass. “To the left as you are going down, you have a view of this massive glacier, called Glacier du Trient. It was so beautiful. It was an alternate route we took. I was really nervous about doing it in the beginning, but I’m so glad we did.”
Nicole said there were several alternate routes they could choose from that were more challenging.
Darian stated that the most difficult part of hiking Mont Blanc was staying the course.
“I think the most difficult thing was just making sure we were going in the right direction the whole time. The trails were marked really well, except in France. Sometimes the distances and times were off, but their signs were the prettiest. In Switzerland, everything was so pretty and perfect; and Italy over did their signs,” he said.
Darian and Nicole encountered a few high altitude storms with sleet. On their first day, Nicole said after taking an alternate route, they ran into a lot of scree (loose stones), causing their feet to slide more than usual.
Nicole said at the end of difficult days she was usually really sore, but because they were well fed and rested, when she got up in the morning, it was like starting fresh.
As for the food, they really enjoyed the cheese, sausage and chocolate they found along the Tour of Mont Blanc.
“Most days you pass through a town and every two or three days we would re-supply at a town market, and sometimes the campgrounds would have beer. When we stopped, we would stock up on cheese, sausage, chocolate,” Darian said. “We started with dehydrated American food and ended up eating sausage, cheese, chocolate, and peanut butter. The peanut butter saved our lives in calories. We put it on everything.”
Although there were some challenges along the Tour of Mont Blanc, the beauty and memories made it all worthwhile.
“I liked when we hiked up the Col de Tricot. It was just a really long hike; we were looking forward to eating lunch,” Darian said. “There was a herd of sheep that kept trying to nibble on our packs. We had to kind of push them away.”
Nicole and Darian also saw marmots, falcons, cows grazing on high altitude pastures, donkeys, horses, and miniature donkeys and horses.
Nicole said her favorite moment was at Refuge d’ Elisabetta in Italy.
“This was my favorite because we were going to have a tough trek, so we treated ourselves to lunch. We ended up running into this interesting hiker who recommended that we go to (Refuge d’ Elisabetta) to eat,” she explained. “They served fresh pasta and gnocchi. They also have amazing espresso, which kept us going. It was freezing at the peak, where we ate. I ate the lasagna and Darian got the gnocchi.”
Another great moment for Darian and Nicole was when they were presented with a bottle of champagne at their campground, called La Fouly, in Switzerland.
“They gave us a bottle of champagne because they knew we were on our honeymoon,” Nicole stated.
In reminiscing about the beauty along the Tour of Mont Blanc, they said the entire trail was beautiful; however, their most beautiful memory was on the Italian side.
“You had 8,000 feet of rock, ice and glacier in front of you and you are already at 7,000 feet. The Alps just rise up so steeply. They aren’t as high as other mountain ranges, but they rise up so steeply so the valleys are very narrow because of it,” Darian said, adding that one of his favorite photographs he took along the trail was an outline of Nicole leaning against a tree in the shadows with a view of the snowy white capped peaks behind her.
After completing the challenging trail, Nicole and Darian are looking forward to doing more memorable adventures in the future.

Kernersville Street Church

August 23, 2016

copesLuke and Anna Cope will kick off the opening of Kernersville Street Church on September 4 during a block party at Interactive Resource Center (IRC) to serve the homeless community.
Luke and Anna both grew up in Kernersville, graduating from East Forsyth and Glenn high schools.
While Anna works with youth at Tumblebee’s in Greensboro as a gymnastics coach, Luke transitioned from working at The Summit to working on opening their church, which is located at 310 Smith Edwards Road.
Luke explained that the idea for the church grew out of his interest in offering a church that focuses more outwardly on local missions.
“When I was 17, I started working on staff at The Summit Church, but I was also in a Christian band with Chris Barrans, called Vital Cadence, and we had dreams of doing church a little different than it has ever been done,” he said. “Church has been more about bringing people in than serving the community. I love corporate church and what they’re doing, I just have a desire to do it differently.”
Luke left The Summit in January and in March, he, Anna and five other families have been discussing their ideas for Kernersville Street Church. He said the goal for Kernersville Street Church is to be a place for people to come together, but also to serve, first.
“There are also a lot of people our age who want to feel a calling to something and that’s what we want to provide. We want to provide an opportunity for people in the Triad to get out of their comfort zone and serve,” he said. “There is only so much you can get out of sitting in a seat at a church. We want to be hands-on and create a church to serve other people, but also provide an opportunity for people to serve others.”
Luke said he wants to serve locally because of the large need in the area.
“Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point are ranked nationally as a place where people cannot put food on the table. I believe there is good in doing (international) missions, but there’s a lot we need to do locally,” he said.
Luke noted that Kernersville Street Church meets in an old race garage on Smith Edwards Road; therefore, they have no overhead.
“We have no overhead, so I feel that the other stuff will fall into place,” he said.
Luke explained that their main targets will be to serve the homeless community through IRC in Greensboro and Naaman’s Recovery Village in High Point.
“Our first serve project will be on September 4. We are doing a Labor Day block party, where we will be grilling out and doing corn hole and things like that. We want to give them something fun and love on the staff there,” he said, noting that they want to help the homeless and the people who are in danger of becoming homeless. “The reality is that being homeless or becoming homeless can happen to anyone.”
Luke explained that Naaman’s Recovery Village is a Christ-centered rehabilitation facility for men in High Point.
“Because the guys are trying to get clean, they are having to start from the bottom, which makes it easier to fall back into their addiction because it’s stressful,” he said. “Mark, the owner, has provided a place for them and opened a thrift store at the end of the street so they can earn some money. We’ve helped them with groceries and plan to continue to help them so they don’t fall back into their addiction.”
Luke shared that they held a block party for Naaman’s Recovery Village, as well.
“It’s an opportunity for them to get their mind off of things,” he said. “God cares as much about you as anybody else. He doesn’t care who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. We don’t want to be a church that just says that, but models it.”
Kernersville Street Church will meet every Sunday for worship at 10 a.m., and will serve every other week, following the service, using Naaman’s Recovery Village and IRC as their two main ministries.
“September 4 will be a mini church opportunity for us to grow spiritually, and in March or April of next year, we will do a hard launch. We will be building it up until then,” he said.
Kernersville Street Church is located at 310 Smith Edwards Road. For more information, visit them on Facebook,, or call 336-908-2619.