Town Loses Another Icon

December 6, 2018

Kernersville suffered yet another heartbreaking loss this weekend with the Saturday passing of Dr. Charles Record, who along with his late father, Dr. Leo Record, served patients throughout the community for more than half a century.
Record passed away surrounded by family and friends after battling central nervous system lymphoma. He was 58-years-old.
The outpouring of grief and sympathy was immediate among the online community, where family, lifelong friends, associates and community members not only mourned Record but celebrated a life that had been filled with love, compassion for others and laughter.
“In less than (six) months, Kernersville has lost two wonderful physicians, Dr. Leo Record and his son, Dr. Charles Record. For a family and a town, this is a loss that is hard to endure. We, as a loving town, give thanks for the lives that these two men have touched and, in some cases, saved. They will be missed … and never lost in our memory,” wrote Kernersville Alderman and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Pinnix.
Dr. Leo Record passed away this past June 11.
Dotty Hoots, a retired English teacher at Kernersville Wesleyan Academy and then late Wesleyan Christian Academy, also commented online.
“Charles was such a tremendous person! He contributed so much to this world!” Hoots wrote in a message about Record.
Hundreds more left their condolences and shared memories of Record on the pages of the popular physician’s loved ones. To many, he was more than just their doctor, but a friend and one whose smile and hugs will be missed.
“We all loved Charles and his big hugs and smile,” wrote one person.
Another wrote, “He was my doctor but also my friend.”
One of the most poignant sentiments about Record came from his brother, Glenn Record, who posted a lengthy tribute to Record and what it had meant to him to be such a larger-than-life figure’s younger sibling.
“I looked up to him,” Glenn told the Kernersville News on Monday, adding that he hoped he had told his brother enough just how much, because although Record had been first diagnosed with cancer in 2017, no one expected his passing on Saturday to come as quickly as it did, if at all.
Record retired after more than 27 years as a physician from Novant Health Kernersville Family Medicine in June 2017. His father and uncle, Dr. Wesley Phillips, founded the practice more than 50 years before, and Record joined them in 1989.
Record cited medical reasons for his decision to retire early, but he still hoped to be involved in the medical community, “to make sure the people of Kernersville are cared for,” Record said at the time. Glenn Record said his brother had not yet been diagnosed with cancer when he retired, but was experiencing symptoms that would lead to that diagnosis later.
In addition to caring for patients at Novant Health Kernersville Family Medicine and serving as the medical director of the practice for more than 10 years, Record had a significant role in making sure Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center came to fruition, serving on the groundbreaking committee and as the hospital’s first medical director.
Record received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, and went on to receive his medical degree from Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
During his time in medical school, Dr. Charles Record met his wife, Kristi, on a blind date. Two months later in June 1986, they were engaged and married in February 1987. The couple has two grown children – daughter Carmen and son Brooks.
When Novant Health Kernersville Family Practice celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, Record spoke about what he had enjoyed most about being a part of such a long-standing Kernersville institution.
“Taking care of my past teachers and the mentors I had growing up and taking care of the community, that’s what I have enjoyed,” he said.
When asked to say a few words about his brother, Glenn said this, “I know two things for certain. Charles was a big personality and he was loud. Even when he was whispering, he was loud and you always knew when he was in the room. He loved talking and he loved Kristi.”
In addition to his wife, Record is survived by his mother, Marietta Record; daughter Carmen Moody and husband Jonathan; son Brooks Record and wife Amanda; sister Anita Baugham and husband Bud; brother Glenn Record and wife Julia; brother-in-law Tim Reid and wife Donna; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pierce-Jefferson Funeral Services. A funeral service will be held Thursday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. at Kernersville Wesleyan Church.

Four-Way Test Award

December 6, 2018

The Rotary Club of Kernersville recently presented the Four-Way Test Award to Ken Idol.
The Four-Way Test Award is given to a resident and non-Rotarian who the Rotary Club feels follows the four areas of the club’s Four-Way Test, which states:
“The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do”
I. Is it the TRUTH?
II. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
IV. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
During the Rotary Club meeting, where Idol was presented with the award, Jason Grubbs, who nominated Idol, shared why he felt Idol deserved this great honor.
“If you’ve spent much time around Kernersville, the list of past recipients of this award is impressive. In fact, it can be almost intimidating. Look at the list and you’ll see political giants like Roger Swisher and Solly Coltrane, war heroes like Doc Long and Ivey Redmon, pioneers like Margaret Burks, fixtures of our downtown business community like Charlie Snow, sports legends like Jack Blaylock, and folks like Ned Mabe and Richard Hedgecock who span more than one of those categories,” he began. “It’s easy to look at that list, particularly some of the early recipients, many of whom are no longer with us, and wonder whether Kernersville will keep producing such outstanding men and women – people who, in a way, became institutions. Our history tells us though that we will…”
Grubbs mentioned that it’s easy to look backwards and identify the folks in our history who have been beacons of all that the Four-Way Test stands for.
“What’s harder is spotting the places where that type of leadership is going on right before our eyes. Today, we get the chance to honor one such difference maker, a business leader in our community who doesn’t seek the limelight, but who humbly makes a difference, and does it with a smile on his face,” he said. “To really know Ken, you really have to know a bit about his family’s business, Farmers Hardware, which is just right up the road as you are heading back into Kernersville.”
Grubbs explained that Farmers Hardware has its roots in India. He shared that during World War II, Idol’s dad, Glenn Idol, was stationed in India as part of the U.S. Army Air Corps. As the war drew to a close, Glenn started thinking about what he would do when he returned to the States and wrote home to an uncle that he wanted to own a hardware store, and that’s just what he did within a few years of coming home.
“Fast forward nearly 75 years and the Idol family owns and operates two successful hardware stores, Farmers Hardware here in Kernersville and Southside Hardware in High Point. Though much has changed in the hardware business, the Idol family’s recipe for success really hasn’t changed at all: hard work, treating people fairly, helping people solve problems, and giving back to the community,” Grubbs said. “In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been able to watch this recipe, and Ken’s leadership, first-hand. My first job as a 16-year-old kid was working for Ken at Farmers Hardware and I worked there until I was in law school. If, as the book says, ‘Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,’ then everything I needed to know about being a business owner I learned working at the hardware store.”
He continued.
“I’m talking about lessons like: helping people solve problems is a privilege and the reason your business exists; treating customers with respect and kindness is what makes them believe in your brand; and your employees are your most valuable asset – treat them like family.”
Grubbs continued, as he told how he has had the privilege of having a front row seat to see why Idol is so deserving of the Four-Way Test Award.
“I’ve seen Ken tell a customer the truth about where to find a solution to a problem that he couldn’t provide, even if it meant sending them to a competitor. I’ve seen him go out of his way to ‘make things right’ with a dissatisfied customer, even when he clearly wasn’t in the wrong. Kenny Idol may be the walking, talking embodiment of building goodwill and better friendships. I’m not sure he’s ever met a stranger, and you don’t have to be around him long before his infectious optimism and unmatched sense of humor will turn you into a friend,” Grubbs said. “His kindness and generosity – to his friends, his family, his employees, his customers and his community – are a blessing to so many people. I’ve seen him stay late on a Saturday afternoon to help a frazzled customer, making his third or fourth trip of the day to the store, figure out the solution to his plumbing problem. I’ve seen him financially support countless Eagle Scout projects, mission trips, veterans’ groups, Little League teams and Rotary Pancake Suppers, all with no desire for the limelight or credit, just a genuine desire to benefit his community.”
In the 25 years that Grubbs has known Idol, he said he has called him his boss, a fellow business owner, a fellow church member, and, now, a friend.
Idol was born and raised in the Sedge Garden area and graduated from East Forsyth High School in 1976.
Idol explained that he worked at Southside Hardware for 14 years before he came to the Kernersville location to help his uncle Charles Idol in 1989.
“I started working (at the Southside store) part-time when I was 16 years old and in school,” he stated.
Idol said he feels it is important to help the community as much as he does because his father instilled the idea to help others in him.
“Daddy said how the community was big at helping Farmers Hardware and how important it was to give back,” he said. “After he passed, I had a lot of people come up to me and tell me all that he did for them.”
Idol explained that his father always donated to Scout camp and helped other people.
“I’ve always tried to follow and do little things like that too,” he remarked.
When Idol learned that he was being presented with the award, he said he first thought it was a joke, and then once he realized it wasn’t, he was humbled.
“I was surprised and honored,” he remarked. “Jason worked here when he was 15 and worked through high school and college and during the summer, and he always comes in and jokes with me. When he handed me the award, I didn’t believe him. I thought he was just messing with me.”
Idol added that one of the things that he feels honored about for receiving the award is seeing the names of people who have received it before him.
“They are all community leaders and people I grew up knowing. I felt honored to be recognized in that group. It just blew me away.”
Idol said he doesn’t help people for anything other than that he enjoys it.
“People come in and help me grow as a store and I’m willing to help give back. People also come in wanting to help someone sick by doing a fundraiser and I’m glad to help,” he said. “Be fair and truthful – that’s what you do in business and I think it pays off.”
Outside of work, Idol enjoys spending time with his wife, Beth. They have two girls, Sara and Dana, and five grandchildren. Idol noted that he also enjoys surf fishing, hunting, hiking, woodworking, and just being in the outdoors.

Coaches Who Care

December 6, 2018

When Joe Pinnix and Kernersville Elementary School (KES) fifth grader Khalil McRae first met two years ago through the Coaches Who Care program at the school, they hit it off once they learned they had a common interest in wrestling.
Since that time, both Pinnix and Khalil have learned a lot from each other.
Pinnix explained that he first started volunteering through the program about seven years ago as a way to give back.
“I just love children and my grandchildren are not close by, so I thought I could volunteer and help,” he said. “It’s beneficial to me as much as it is to the student.”
Pinnix said he and Khalil meet once a week during lunch, which Khalil always looks forward to, not only to have a friend to hang out with, but also because Pinnix brings him Chick-fil-A.
“We’ve gotten to be good buddies,” Pinnix remarked.
Khalil said he enjoys having Pinnix come because he knows there is someone that will come and eat with him.
During their time together, Pinnix and Khalil said they talk about a variety of things, including superheroes, wrestling, basketball and school, particularly the subjects of math and science. Khalil noted that his favorite superheroes are Spiderman and Nightwing.
After volunteering with a student for one year, Pinnix noted that the student can choose whether or not to stay with the same coach the following year, and after asking Khalil what he wanted to do, Pinnix said Khalil asked him to return as his coach.
Khalil, Pinnix and Khalil’s mom all noted the difference having a mentor has been for Khalil.
“I’ve noticed I’ve been doing better in school because he encourages me to work hard, and because he’s mayor (pro tem), he wants me to be a leader too,” Khalil said.
Khalil’s mom, Tanisha McRae, said she has noticed that Khalil has taken an interest in politics since being paired with Pinnix.
“I remember when Joe was running for office again. We were watching the bottom of the screen at home and (Khalil) was excited to see (Pinnix’s) name,” she shared.
Pinnix added, “I’ve noticed that from last year he is a little less shy.”
A short time after the two met last year, Pinnix said what broke the ice was their common interest in wrestling.
“He found out I knew something about wrestling and he couldn’t believe I knew some of these guys’ names,” he shared. “It’s like it broke the ice and we were on the same level.”
One of the things that Pinnix was surprised and delighted to learn about Khalil was his Cadillac Project, which Khalil started when he was six-years-old. He added that he named the project Cadillac Project because of the nickname his late great grandfather Thomas Murphy gave him just a few days after he was born.
“He gave me my first nickname ever. He gave me that name because he said a Cadillac was a pretty strong American made car and that I was the strongest and prettiest baby he’d ever seen,” Khalil shared.
Khalil explained that when he was younger, when he would see someone who was homeless on the side of the road, he would ask his mom for some change to give to them; however, because she didn’t really carry much cash, they couldn’t give the people much more than that.
“My mom thought that we could come up with a better way to help the homeless and I came up with the idea to give them fruit and water and put it in a brown paper bag,” he said.
Khalil noted that he and his mom have a specific route they take where they know there are people in need, which usually is around Hanes Mall, the interstate and near the homeless shelters.
This year, with the help of Pinnix, Khalil said they were able to give out toboggans and gloves.
“Since it got cold, we started giving out toboggans and gloves so they would have something to keep them warm because you know the climate can get pretty harsh this time of year,” Khalil said, noting that his mom makes the logos that they put on the paper bags.
Khalil noted that shortly after they were giving out fruit and water, they decided to add a larger selection of items to the brown paper bags.
“We used to deliver the bags only on Fridays and Saturdays, but now that it’s cold and we can leave the food in the car, we can deliver them anytime,” he said. “These people are starving and maybe we are able to make them happy and help them stay full and warm. I feel bad seeing people out there like that.”
Khalil said he recently met a disabled veteran who was homeless, and it broke his heart to see him out on the streets.
“He served and did all of that for our country and he’s out there freezing. It breaks my heart,” he remarked. “When we gave him one of the bags, he told us that was just what he needed.”
Tanisha added that she has always stressed to Khalil that regardless of their situation, there is someone that is worse off and that they can always find a way to give back or pay it forward.
Pinnix said he only learned about Khalil’s Cadillac Project this year.
“When he told me about it, I just thought it was one of the sweetest and most compassionate stories for a little boy that young to do and it was his idea,” Pinnix said. “I was just so overwhelmed. There’s really a lot of hope for the young people in this country. You talk to a young person like Khalil and you know there is hope, and you hope he has set an example.”
KES Social Worker Lisa May explained that Coaches Who Care is a mentoring program that was started in conjunction with the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce and KES to provide mentoring services to the children of KES. They currently have 19 coaches but are looking for more men and women from the community to volunteer.
It is requested that volunteers come once a week for at least 30 minutes, and while most volunteers come during lunch, it is not required that they come at that time. Other volunteers have come and read to students, and in a previous year, Coach Russ Gray did a yearlong engineering project with a student.
Students in the program are recommended by a teacher and then set up with a coach by May.
Those who are interested in volunteering should contact May at KES at 336-703-4100 to become an approved volunteer for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system.

Novant Health – Healthy Headlines

November 20, 2018

Female ob-gyns are now the majority

‘Having choice means a lot’
As a child, Cassandra Sherrill saw her family’s male physician for routine vaccinations, stitches and a bad sinus infection. But as an adult, when she could make her own decisions, she chose female doctors for gynecological care.

“I just felt more comfortable with a female doctor,” said Sherrill, 48, of Clemmons.

“I think if I were a man, I might prefer to see a male doctor for urological issues,” said Sherrill, a graphic designer for the Winston-Salem Journal. “… If you have choice, you can make a choice.”

It wasn’t so long ago that patients such as Sherrill didn’t have an option. In a field of medicine where all the patients are female, obstetrics and gynecology used to be dominated by male physicians.

Once the door opened, female ob-gyns flowed through at a steady pace. In 2003, 67 percent of Novant Health obstetrician-gynecologists were male. Today, that figure has almost flipped — 60 percent are female.

This mirrors a national trend. In 1970, only 7 percent of U.S. gynecologists were women. Now 59 percent are.

“A lot of this is consumer driven,” said Pat Campbell, Novant Health’s vice president for obstetrical and gynecological services. “Many women today are looking for a female provider.”

Some women believe a female doctor “will understand their needs a little better,” Campbell said. And patients are willing to be placed on waiting lists to get female doctors.

‘Listening to patients’
Novant Health is committed to meeting the demand from patients by providing both male and female ob-gyns. National surveys show the majority of women express no preference about the gender of their ob-gyn.

Dr. Greg Reynolds, a physician at Novant Health Bradford Clinic OB/GYN – Matthews in Charlotte, said when he started 11 years ago he was told that male doctors might see their practices build a little more slowly than female doctors. But, he added, Novant Health made clear that providing good care would ultimately win patients. And that’s exactly what’s happened, he said.

“Listening to patients, being empathetic and treating them to the best of your ability is what matters the most,” he said.

His colleague, Dr. Mark Bland, of Novant Health Rankin OB/GYN – Randolph in Charlotte, agrees. “As a male, you better be listening…maybe even better,” Bland said.

Both Bland and Reynolds said they regularly have mothers they’ve been caring for refer their daughters as new patients. “I can’t get a higher compliment than when a mother refers her daughter,” Bland said.

Both also agreed that despite the ever-growing trend of internet research, that word of mouth still drives patients to their offices. Neighbors and friends of happy patients wind up coming to his practice because they want the same level of care.

“It is good to have both” genders as providers, Campbell said. “Many male ob-gyns are as caring as anybody you would want to come across. What’s more important is the quality of the physician and what they bring to Novant and do they fit the culture.”

When Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center opened Oct. 1, the nearby Mint Hill ob-gyn clinic opened with four doctors — three of them men.

Campbell said the hospital system recruited doctors who would be a “good fit” for the clinic without considering gender. She predicts the number of female ob-gyns at Novant Health will stabilize between 60 and 80 percent in the next 10 years, but will never be 100 percent.

For one thing, she said, there will be always be doctors like Bland, who realized during his training years that he was drawn to the specialty because he was impressed with women’s outlook on health. “Women are move involved and committed to their own health care,” he said, “so it’s more fun to partner with them.”

‘There weren’t options’
The trend toward female ob-gyns has coincided with an increase in female students at medical schools across the country.

Fifty years ago, women had to fight to get into the male-dominated field of medicine. Today, about half of medical school graduates are women. And 82 percent of ob-gyns residents in training programs across the country are women.

Patients have responded positively to the growing supply of female doctors.

“The demand (for female doctors) has been there from day one,” Campbell said. When Novant Health began hiring female ob-gyns, “we saw their schedules fill up … They are in such high demand.”

Over 13 years of practice, Dr. Pam Oliver, at Novant Health WomanCare in Winston-Salem, said she has watched a growing number of patients request female obstetricians and gynecologists.

Years ago, “you just went to whoever was available. There weren’t options,” said Oliver, who is also senior physician executive for Novant Health’s Physician Network.

“Now, from the time you’re an adolescent, you’ve got the option,” Oliver said. “And you exercise that option for life. Having the choice means a lot.”

In Oliver’s clinic, seven of the 10 doctors are female. That’s a big change from 2005, when she finished residency at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

“When I came out of training, there was one female in each big group. That was it,” Oliver said. “Now, there are just more of us available. You have a choice to choose a female if you would like to.”
Oliver agreed that male physicians can be just as good as females and that there should be a mix. But she said some women prefer a female doctor for their personal and potentially sensitive gynecological care.

Some patients may have experienced sexual abuse or have cultural beliefs that prohibit them from undressing in the presence of men who are not their husbands. But they may also just feel more comfortable with another woman.

“It is a daunting day to have your first pelvic exam,” Oliver said. “I think it is very much more appealing (for some women) to have a female doctor.”

‘Focusing on the patient’
Campbell, the Novant Health vice president, recalled that she didn’t even think about asking for a female obstetrician when she was planning the births of her children in 1990 and 1993. Novant Health had only three or four female ob-gyns at the time.

She liked her male doctor and “did not even think one minute about changing.” But when he retired, she too chose a female gynecologist.

“I have seen the evolution of the female ob-gyns here at Novant Health,” Campbell said. “I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the future.”

Reynolds, the male ob-gyn, suspects that’s the case as well. “Maybe some doctors elsewhere feel threatened, but at Novant Health that’s not the case,” he said. “Everyone’s just focusing on the patient.”

And regardless of gender, he added, all physicians are well-aware that doctor visits can be awkward and uncomfortable for their patients. By recognizing that and listening, he added, doctors can put their patients at ease and deliver the care that everyone deserves.

Catch the latest in news and advice from Novant Health at www.healthyheadlines.org

A Rising Star

July 5, 2018

Young actor Braxton Alexander from Oak Ridge enjoyed being featured in his first comedy, Tag, now playing in theatres.
Known as Braxton DeFosse by his friends, Braxton began his acting career at the age of six. Now 11, he has been featured in a number of films. In 2016 he was featured in JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery, where he plays the role of Burke Ramsey, and The Dear Hunter – Gloria where he plays the role as a child hunter. In 2017, he was featured in Mr. Mercedes as young Brady Hartsfield and this year, he was featured in Tag, where he plays the role of nine-year-old Bob Callahan.
Braxton’s father, Michael DeFosse, said Braxton is also featured in some independent films, including Cotton Tail, Compulsion, and The Valley, and is playing the lead in a film that will be released sometime in July, called Pastime.
Michael explained that in Pastime, Braxton plays the role of a Little League Baseball player who travels through the journey of his own death.
“My wife, Kathryn, who is also an actress, plays his mom in that film. It’s a really funny show with a star ensemble cast,” Michael said.
Michael explained that Braxton’s management firm is Bohemia Group, a worldwide firm headquartered in Los Angeles, and his agency is Marilyn’s Agency in Greensboro. Michael has been in the business for 19 years as an agent and producer.
Although Braxton attended public school at Oak Ridge Elementary School, with his work schedule getting heavier, he is now being homeschooled by his mom using Classical Conversations and taking classes through Duke TIP at Duke University, which is a gifted program.
“It’s going really well and gives him the opportunity to do what he loves,” Michael said.
With having a busy schedule and often on the road traveling to different sets around the country, Braxton has also had to put a hold on participating in sporting activities.
“He loves baseball and played soccer and basketball every season up until last season,” Michael said.
Although his acting career has taken off, Michael said he and Kathryn originally didn’t want him to be an actor; however, when Braxton was six years old, they put him in acting lessons to grow his confidence, to think on his feet, and to look at people when they are talking to him.
“We didn’t think that he would audition, but when he was eight-years-old, he came home and asked why he wasn’t auditioning,” he said.
Michael explained that from there, Braxton continued training and started auditioning.
Braxton explained that what he enjoys most about acting is telling stories.
“I like telling stories and fulfilling characters that I would not be able to in real life. I also like exploring my emotions, figuring out what triggers everything and working with people around the world,” he said.
Of all the places Braxton has traveled to during his acting career, he said Malibu was his favorite.
“It’s a really beautiful place,” he remarked.
Braxton noted that he has worked jobs in in NC, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles and others.
“He’s been in Los Angeles for two out of the last six weeks, and he’s up for some really great roles there right now,” Michael added.
When Braxton does travel for work, Michael said the family often goes with him, especially Kathryn.
“It’s something they love to do together and be on set together. Sometimes I travel with them, but I don’t usually go to set with them,” he said.
Of all the films that he has been in, Braxton said his favorite has been Tag.
“It was really cool, and I met some amazing actors and some great people,” he said. “It was very funny and I had my first kiss on a big budget movie screen. That was an experience that I will never forget.”
Although he enjoyed playing in the comedy, Braxton said he seems to generally lean toward dark and drama films, but he’s open to doing anything.
“I think I just have a lot of fun with these roles and connecting with my emotions,” he said, noting that his agent usually chooses a film and submits him for an audition.
While his favorite movie has been Tag, Braxton said the actor he has enjoyed meeting the most was Harry Treadaway in Mr. Mercedes.
“I play the young version of him in the film. He’s a really cool guy and I can’t imagine him being like that in real life. He’s incredibly nice and he is nothing like his character,” he shared. “He has amazing talent.”
As for Tag, in theaters now, Braxton said he enjoyed acting in a comedy and meeting the young cast.
“They are my friends today and we are very close,” he said. “I’ve never really experienced a comedy film before. It was very interesting to see how jokes play out.”
In any movie he has played a role in, Braxton said getting to see himself in the finished product on the big screen is extremely satisfying.
In the future, Braxton said he hopes to be able to continue to act.
“I just hope to be able to do what I love, tell stories and just have other great experiences like these for a long time,” he said.

Red, White & Belews Farm

July 5, 2018

With a patriotic name, Red, White & Belews Farm features chickens, ducks, llamas and goats. The farm was started after Rebecca and Jason Meyer were married three years ago on the Fourth of July and purchased land in Belews Creek.
“We purchased the land three years ago,” said Rebecca. “It used to be a tobacco farm and when we purchased it, there were old buildings on the property.”
When they first started out, Jason said they got some ducks as pets and the farm has slowly grown since.
“We have a pond and the goal was to put the ducks on the pond, but they never really made it,” he said. “We took them down there one day and they were afraid and ran back to the house and we’ve been protective of them as well.”
After they got the ducks, Rebecca and Jason said they got the goats.
“We have 27 acres and 19 of that is wooded. The goats have really helped clean up the property, which is why we initially got them,” Jason said.
“They’re all named after country music singers,” Rebecca added.
The goats include Johnny, June, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dolly, Reba, Patsy Cline, Naomi, Wynonna and Waylon.
“They are all dairy goats (Nigerian Dwarfs) and earlier this year, two of our goats had kids, which allowed us to milk them for roughly four months,” Rebecca said, noting that with the milk they made soap and cheese. “We sold a lot of the milk, but we still have a lot of soap, which is both scented and unscented. We have some of them for sale on Etsy.”
Rebecca explained that goat milk has a really high butter fat content, which is why it’s so good for making cheese.
“It also tastes really rich,” Jason added.
Rebecca explained that one of Wynonna’s kids, which they named number three so they wouldn’t get attached, had to go to work with her at Emergency Responders Credit Union one day because Wynonna wasn’t producing enough milk for all of her kids.
“My co-workers loved it,” she said.
Jason noted that they will eventually also breed the goats to sell.
Although they like all of their goats and enjoy sitting out listening to the sounds they make and watching them jump around, they each have a favorite.
Rebecca said her favorite is Jerry, while Jason said his favorite is Patsy.
After the goats, Jason and Rebecca decided to get chickens for their eggs, while also still consuming the duck eggs. The breed of chicken they chose are White Leghorn.
Rebecca said they chose White Leghorn chickens because they lay white eggs and are easy to care for.
“We let them free range when we’re home,” she said. “They are great at eating mosquitos and ticks.”
After losing some of their ducks to a fox, Rebecca and Jason purchased two llamas.
“After we had some casualties with our ducks from some fox, we decided to get some llamas,” Jason said. “Llamas are herd protectors used to scare away other animals.”
Jason said they chose to go with llamas instead of donkeys because they are better with goat kids.
“Llamas have a more nurturing personality,” he said.
Although they didn’t have time to figure out what to do with the llama’s fur last year, Jason said they may look into doing something with it in the future.
Not long after Rebecca and Jason got their llamas, Rebecca said one of them spit on her, so she hasn’t really fallen in love with them.
“They’ve gotten used to us now, and they are good at what they do,” she said.
Jason and Rebecca also have a vegetable garden. This year, they are growing corn, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, jalapenos, and cantaloupe.
“Last year, Rebecca pickled 120 pints of cucumbers that we sold and made 50 – 60 pints of both salsa and pasta sauce,” Jason said.
Jason and Rebecca said they love living on a farm.
“I love the animals, bonding with them and taking care of them,” she said.
“I love the work. I like that accomplished feeling at the end of the day – the manual aspect of it,” Jason said.
Now with animals on their farm, Rebecca and Jason will be adding two new kids to the bunch, though these (twins) are not the goat type.

Adding Surgery Space

June 14, 2018

Cone Health has submitted a certificate of need application to develop a new surgical center on its Hwy. 66 South campus.

The application was submitted to the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation Health Planning and Certificate of Need Section on May 15 and is currently undergoing the review process.

If the application is approved by state regulators, the $12.7 million project proposes a new, free-standing ambulatory surgery facility in Kernersville with two operating rooms, one gastrointestinal endoscopy room and one procedure room. Estimated completion time for the 15,500-sq. ft. center would be April 2020.

“We’re actively pursuing a certificate of need for new operating room capacity in Forsyth County,” said Jim Roskelly, executive vice president of strategic development for Cone Health.

The surgery center would be built on the southeast corner of the Cone Health MedCenter Kernersville’s 13 acre campus. Roskelly said the facility would enhance the already existing services provided at the location.

“The surgery center would be a nice way to augment a well-established program,” Roskelly said of the MedCenter Kernersville campus.

Services provided by the surgery center would include orthopedic and general surgery, urological procedures, otolaryngology and gastroenterology services, Roskelly added.

Roskelly said the proposal demonstrates Cone Health’s commitment to providing a growing community the services it needs.

“It’s an indication of Cone Health’s commitment to serve in an area that is growing. There has been a lot of medical development in the area and Cone Health has been prominent in that growth,” said Roskelly. “We have a commitment to that community.”

Roskelly said a public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for July 16 at Kernersville Town Hall.

“Once that has been held, we would expect a decision sometime in November,” Roskelly said.

Cone Health MedCenter Kernersville, located at 1635 N.C. 66 South, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the community. The campus offers both primary care and urgent care services and held a community day on Tuesday, June 12 to celebrate its 10-year milestone.

In addition to Cone Health’s request, state regulators will review several other certificate of need applications during the same July 16 public hearing at Town Hall, all seeking to add operating capacity in Forsyth County. They include the following:

· Triad Surgery Center has submitted an application to develop a new ambulatory surgery facility with two operating rooms and three procedure rooms. The project would cost $7.1 million.

· Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center has submitted an application to add two operating rooms for a total of 35 operating rooms on the hospital’s license. The project would cost $4.1 million.

· Novant Health Clemmons Outpatient Surgery has submitted an application to add two operating rooms to a previously approved ambulatory surgery center for a total of four operating rooms upon completion. The project would cost $3.1 million.

· North Carolina Baptist Hospital has submitted an application to add four operating rooms for a total of 51 operating rooms upon completion. The project would cost $9.9 million.

The public hearing will begin at 12 noon.

Founders Park

February 20, 2018

After months of discussion and revising the conceptual design, members of the Kernersville Board of Aldermen are ready to transform the former School Tools site into a relaxing community park.
As you may recall, the former slate of aldermen reviewed an initial rendering of the park back in November that would have included a statue in the center of the park, rod iron fencing on the sides of the park that front Main and Mountain streets and benches throughout the area. It was going to have brick pavers, a 3D waterscape that dumped into a pond area and enhanced landscaping on multiple sides of the park. The rendering also included the option of adding a mural to the side of the existing building, which would have been completed by local artist Richard Hedgecock.
That group of Board members, which included former Kernersville Police Chief Neal Stockton, who filled a vacant seat for just a few months, loved the overall concept of the park but was on the fence about adding the mural for a variety of reasons, including a concern that it would make the park look too busy. Those Board members decided instead to table the decision about the mural until after the election so the newly seated Board could make the final decision. They knew there would be at least one new person joining the Board, and they didn’t want to make a final decision in case the new group felt differently about the mural.
As it turned out, the newly seated Board agreed with their former colleagues in their decision to not include the mural, but they did discuss the possibility of working with local artists to decorate the picnic tables at a later date. They said they like the idea of incorporating local artwork into the new park and thought this would be the perfect compromise. However, they would like for Kernersville Parks and Recreation Director Ernie Pages to further research their options and gain a better understanding about how to protect those images from vandalism and inclement weather.
“Board members have not ruled out the option of having local artists paint or otherwise decorate the various picnic tables that are going to be installed, but that is something that can be done at a later date,” Town Manager Curtis Swisher said. “The group is eager to get started, and our goal is to begin construction in April.”
“It will take us a few weeks to finish the construction documents, put the project out for bid and make our final selection, but I don’t think the project will take long once we get started,” added Pages, who just met with the architect on Thursday. “We know this is a tight deadline, but everyone is on the same page.”
Pages said the final rendering looks very similar to the November rendering, including the fencing, water feature and other aforementioned elements, but they did make minor changes to the landscaping. He said they decided to thin out some of the landscaping to create a more open look from all vantage points instead of having a solid row of trees on various sides of the park. The design team also widened some of the walkway to make room for circular picnic tables, moved the water feature closer to the corner of the park and plan to add stepping stones near the water feature so guests can grab a quick bite to eat at one of the downtown restaurants and relax by the water.
The more open concept will also give passersby a better view of the featured statue, Pages said. The statue is entitled the “Clockmaker Statue,” and Board members have decided to use the version of the statue that does not include the beard. Funding for the statue is being provided by the same community organizations and area businesses who donated money to install the three statues at the public safety memorial in Fourth of July Park.
Funding for the remaining section of the park is coming through grants from the State of North Carolina. Swisher explained that these grants have a combined value of $194,000 and will cover most of the expenses associated with the park. Swisher said the first grant was awarded in 2016 and was used to demolish the former School Tools building and to help purchase the building at the corner of the park that will be transformed into a public restroom. The second grant, which was awarded in the summer of 2017, is worth $100,000 and will be used to construct that bathroom and to install the various elements of the actual park.
Pages said the Town is trying to use that money as efficiently as possible. He said the bid application he sends out will, of course, include the site plan, rendering and list of design elements they want to include, but he also plans to list the bathroom project as an “additional alternative” to see what companies have to say about that. He believes that it might be cheaper to do that portion of the project as part of the main construction, but he will also send the bathroom out as a standalone bid for comparison sake.
“If people are already going to be at the site pouring concrete, adding power to the park and doing the other necessary work, I would think that cost sharing measures would be more efficient, but we will see what happens,” Pages said. “My goal is to use our grant money as effectively as possible.”
One other topic of discussion that took place Tuesday with regard to the new corner park involved a possible name for the park. Up to this point, the aldermen and Town staff have been referring to the new park as “Founders Park,” but the Board voted last Tuesday to change the name to “Founders Körner Park” in honor of the Town’s namesake.
Pages explained that the sign in the park will say “Founders Körner” but they are using the word park to reference the site in all printed materials to make sure people know what kind of destination it is.
“It was actually April Lancaster (manager of Fitz on Main) who suggested the name to Alderman Jenny Fulton, and we all agreed it was the right name,” said Dawn Morgan, Kernersville mayor. “It is going to be a beautiful park when it’s finished.”
“I think the new park will serve as a landmark and will be a great beautification piece for our downtown,” added Pages. “I think it’s a great use of that space, and I am really excited to see it come together.”
He continued.
“We’ve made a number of changes to the design in recent months, but I think the final version is a great compromise and will be something that citizens of all ages are able to enjoy.”
The park is expected to be finished by the end of June 2018, weather permitting.

Winning at Relay for Life

February 20, 2018

Students at Kernersville Elementary School (KES) have been busy raising money for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. As they well know, even pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters can add up quickly when it comes to the fight against cancer.
The recent winter weather was particularly similar to one unique fundraising effort, where the school sold cotton balls for 25 cents each to build a cotton ball snowman for each grade level.
According to Kathi Amrich, data manager at KES, the students raised more than $1,000 a day ahead of the competition to see who could raise the most money during the fundraiser. The last day was Friday, Feb. 9.
Overall, fourth grade raised the most money while building their own snowman. In addition, they took the fundraiser one step further.
“They built a family of snowmen, added snow and created a blizzard,” Amrich said.
Kindergarten wasn’t too far behind, Amrich continued.
“This generation knows the cancer word. The children would talk about someone they knew who had or has cancer,” Amrich said.
KES student Mikayla Morris, 10, wants cancer to go away.
“I want people to not be sick and cancer to go away. It’s like a bully to kids,” she said.
Another student, Blaine Thompson, also 10, said raising money was to help people who need it.
“There are people who don’t need this (cancer),” Thompson said. “We raise money so they can have a better life.”
Chandler Flynt in Beth Green’s third grade class donated every week and said he is going to find a cure for cancer.
James Ford in Leonia Fox-Smith’s kindergarten class had the largest donation made for the contest. They were given by his two aunts and helped make his class the class that raised the most money in the snowman contest, said Amrich.
Making cotton ball snowmen is just one of the ways KES raises money for Relay for Life. The school hosts a baked potato bar on one of the district’s early release days for staff. The bar usually raises more than $500 each year, Amrich said.
KES also sells sun cards for $1 in the spring to honor survivors, in memory of those who have lost the battle and in support of those currently going through the battle along with their caregivers.
“It’s amazing to see all the names of family and friends of the entire KES family represented,” Amrich said. “That shows you how much this disease has affected so many people right here in our community.”
Another fundraiser includes selling luminaries that the students decorate.
“This year, we may put them around our track for the children to walk around and honor, or maybe put them in the gym and turn off the lights to see the glow sticks light up the bags,” Amrich continued. “They symbolize hope, remembering those who are fighting the battle against cancer, those who have survived and those who have lost their lives. They let people know they are not forgotten and to show your support.”
Amrich said that anyone who would like to donate to the KES Relay for Life team can do so online on the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life page or at the school.
“If anyone wants to make a donation to our Relay team, they could do it online and choose our school’s name or by check, made payable to the American Cancer Society and drop it off at the school,” Amrich said.


December 10, 2017

After fighting a long battle with addiction, through the help of others, Kernersville resident Brad Iddings helps others through his slogan, #Iamhope.
Iddings explained that having moved around throughout his childhood, he used drugs to fit in with people.
“I went to 11 different schools in 10 years because my parents were moving around to make ends meet,” he said.
Iddings said he had been using for 12 years before he became clean.
He said he overcame addiction once in 2006 from the use of cocaine, but relapsed in 2010 with pain pills. Iddings said he has now been clean for over six years. He explained that he was forced to detox from the pain pills after he was incarcerated for 13 months in June 2010 on drug related charges.
When Iddings was released from jail, he said he lived with a friend in recovery. Iddings explained that he also joined Narcotics Anonymous, which is held at Kernersville Moravian Church on Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m. and later moved into an Oxford House, which he said is a recovery house where recovering addicts can live for $100 a month as long as they don’t use drugs.
“I had the resources to go into recovery and surrounded myself with people who could help me keep on track,” he said.
Iddings said his love for service started during his time living in the Oxford House.
Following getting clean, Iddings said he worked in construction for about four months until he was given the opportunity to buy a transportation business from a friend, where he drives a minivan seven days a week to deliver truck parts in VA and NC. During many of his deliveries, Iddings said he would see homeless people holding signs on exit ramps.
Iddings explained that he and his fiancé, Catherine Smith, also started attending Shady Grove Wesleyan Church in Colfax. Shortly after joining, Iddings said the church began passing out hygiene packs.
“I would take them and put them in my car to hand out,” he said.
On one delivery, Iddings said he met a guy in Gibsonville.
“I’d give him a pack, and one day I asked him if I could pray for him and if he needed anything else. He’d been sleeping in the woods and said he needed a tent and some clothes,” he said. “A lot of these guys don’t know there is another way to live.”
At that point, Iddings said he sparked #Iamhope.
“I went and bought 20 t-shirts, which I sold before I received them. Then I used that money to buy 50 more t-shirts,” he said, adding that doing that has continued to fund helping people in need.
With the money he raised from t-shirt sales, Iddings said in 2015, he and 13 of his friends were able to feed 58 homeless people in Greensboro for Thanksgiving by driving around to different locations.
“We kept selling t-shirts and then stickers. Then, that Christmas in 2015, we did Heating the Homeless,” he said. “We bought 1,800 blankets, socks, hats, and gloves and put together a care package and delivered them the same way.”
In 2016, Iddings said they also started collecting hygiene items, and had collected about 22,000 – 23,000 hygiene items and food by April 2016.
For Thanksgiving 2016, Iddings and his friends went to Elementary School Academy (ESA) in Winston-Salem, a small title one school, and fed both the students and the faculty.
“Most, if not all, of the kids’ parents are incarcerated or are addicts,” he said. “I met one kid who only had one outfit. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and all he said he wanted was a dinosaur. So, for Christmas that year, we decided to adopt seven kids in three cities, one of them being that kid.”
This past Thanksgiving, Iddings said they were able to feed 49 children at ESA.
Along with all that he has done so far to give back to others, Iddings continues to come up with more ideas. He decided to have Haircuts for the Homeless at the Interactive Resource Center in Greensboro with the help of certified barbers. During the event, they also passed out hygiene items.
“We have done this three times now,” he said. “All of this has been funded through the sale of our #Iamhope t-shirts, but we have also received some monetary donations and items for Christmas.”
Iddings said helping others is just one way he can give back to others and give people hope that there is something better out there.
“For me, from where I was to where I am today, if anybody feels like they cannot change who they are, there is hope,” he said. “You just have to be willing to put in the work.”
Iddings also enjoys giving back because there were so many people who were there for him when he was in need and coming clean.
“I give back because there were so many people that helped me, such as putting a roof over my head when I was homeless, which was almost for a month the last time,” he said.
#Iamhope t-shirts are $20. If interested in purchasing a t-shirt, sticker, hoodie or hat or making a donation for #Iamhope, contact Iddings at 336-420-5950.