Brain Aneurysm Foundation

November 2, 2017

Corie Maffett, a teacher at East Forsyth Middle School, is thankful to be alive and tell her story to help others as the NC representative for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation (BAF).
According to the BAF, a brain aneurysm is a weak bulging spot on the wall of a brain artery. Over time, the blood flow within the artery pounds against the thinned portion of the wall and aneurysms form silently from wear and tear on the arteries. As the artery wall becomes gradually thinner from the dilation, the blood flow causes the weakened wall to swell outward. This pressure may cause the aneurysm to rupture and allow blood to escape into the space around the brain. A ruptured brain aneurysm commonly requires advanced surgical treatment.
It is estimated that six million people in the US have an unruptured brain aneurysm, or 1 in 50 people.
Maffett explained that she had a brain aneurysm six years ago in October 2011. She was working out at the gym when she felt a radiating pain up the back of her neck that stopped her cold.
“The pain was like nothing I’d ever experienced,” she said.
Doing what she encourages others not to do, Maffett drove home. She explained that when her husband, Guy, arrived at the house he immediately knew something wasn’t right.
“Guy came home. My car was in the driveway and the car door was still open,” she said. “There were wet footprints on the floor from where I’d taken a shower and I was laying on the couch.”
Maffett said her husband asked her if she was okay, and she told him she just wanted to take some Tylenol and go to bed, but luckily, he wouldn’t allow her to do so.
“Guy said, ‘No, let’s go to the hospital,’” she said, noting that she went to Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center. “I got there and they handed me a tray in case I got sick.”
While in the waiting room, Maffett said she was in so much pain she got up and went back to the ER.
“I told them I was having the worst headache of my life. I guess that is a code phrase because a doctor said to get me a scan right away and then ended up transferring me to Forsyth Medical Center,” she said, noting that she spent 11 days in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit. “I had an aneurysm that ruptured, and when they found that one, they found three more.”
Maffett said if she had gone to bed that night instead of going to the hospital, she probably wouldn’t have woken up.
Maffett went back in January 2012 and underwent endovascular coiling of the larger aneurysm.
“I still have two of them, but they are pretty small and are being watched,” she said. “I go every five years to have them checked.”
After getting out of the hospital, Maffett said she joined the BAF and their Facebook page, both for support and as a resource to gain more information.
Maffett said the foundation reached out to her this summer to see if she wanted to be the representative for the state of NC and to tell her story.
“I wanted to tell my story, because if I can save one person, it’s worthwhile,” she said. “If one person reads my story, and has a headache like I did, it might get them to the hospital.”
Maffett said she is thankful that she doesn’t have any lasting symptoms from the ruptured aneurysm.
“If that first aneurysm hadn’t ruptured, the larger one would never have been detected, and I probably wouldn’t have survived if it had ruptured,” she said. “And, if my husband hadn’t insisted on taking me to the hospital, I’m sure I wouldn’t have lived through that night, as the bleed was substantial.”
Through her experience, Maffett also gained a lasting friendship with one of her ICU nurses, Danielle. Maffett’s daughter was also inspired to become a nurse.
In telling her story as a representative for the BAF, Maffett urges everyone to become aware of the warning signs of a brain aneurysm and to not brush off any unusual symptoms like she had attempted to do.
“Listen to your body and get help if something seems wrong,” she said. “It could save your life.”
For more information about brain aneurysms and the BAF, visit www.bafound.org.

The Arson Project

October 12, 2017

The Arson Project is looking to raise $3,000 for their first fundraiser to help kickstart the organization, which is a Christian-based organization that offers hands-on assistance to Triad area homeless and poverty-stricken individuals.
With a relatively long beard, Kernersville resident and founder of The Arson Project Jordan DuBois is aiming to raise $3,000 before he is willing to shave his beard.
DuBois said he felt compelled to start the organization because it was something that had been weighing heavy on his heart for many years.
“Over the years, as I’ve been driving around and seeing these folks on the side of the road and hearing that discussion, ‘Should you help them or should you not help them?’ It’s just something that I have wanted to get involved in,” he said.
As a member of Sedge Garden United Methodist Church and a previous employee of the Kernersville YMCA, DuBois said his faith is naturally built into wanting to help these individuals.
“Going to Sedge Garden United Methodist Church and working at the YMCA, I had different opportunities to serve the community, and since I have left (the YMCA), I’ve wanted to get more involved,” he said. “One thing I feel strongly about is that our Christian faith should be built into our daily life.”
DuBois said when he sees individuals who are homeless, he sees human beings.
“These are human beings. I don’t really care if it’s addiction, mental illness, PTSD or why they are on the street. They are adults and human beings, but that should not have any bearing on how we treat them,” he said.
Over the past six to seven years, DuBois said he has wanted to help in a more concrete, tangible way.
DuBois explained that The Arson Project is an out-in-the-open, personal and visible entity, aiming to deliver resources and services directly to those in need; The Arson Project is working to build rapport and develop relationships with Triad-area homeless and poor on a personal level, with integrity and compassion, but without judgment; and use all donated funds locally, within the Forsyth and Guilford counties footprint.
He explained that there are a lot of organizations in the Triad that work to help get homeless individuals and families off the street, but that there is less of an effort from people going out to the streets and meeting the homeless where they are.
“A lot of this population have their reason to be out there – they are down on their luck, they lost their job and home, and they would happily come back in, but they don’t have a lot of trust and like the freedom to do whatever they want,” he said. “There are usually beds available if they wanted it, but a lot of them don’t trust these organizations or other people who are homeless, so a lot of them aren’t ready to take that step.”
While DuBois is aware that there are homeless individuals living in Kernersville, he said there isn’t the visible presence of people standing on the street and living under bridges.
“Most of the homeless in Kernersville are probably living out of their cars or on the couches of friends,” he said. “Often, people who are homeless make their way to larger cities with more traffic and more resources like soup kitchens and homeless shelters, and where they can panhandle. Those are the people I am keying in on.”
DuBois noted that while there are organizations such as Crisis Control that can help people, he said he is not aiming to duplicate organizations such as these
DuBois said part of his knowledge of what homeless individuals in the Triad need and want comes from speaking with overflow shelters and actually sitting down and talking to homeless individuals, as he wrote on Facebook on October 2.
DuBois shared the details of conversations he had with several men, which gave him great feedback.
“The biggest single need for these people is socks,” he said.
DuBois said The Arson Project’s three main objectives are to provide durable, heavy-duty backpacks stuffed with supplies and equipment vital to survival on the streets; regularly host pop-up meals and provide meal distribution complete with backpack refills, conversation, and smiles; and to develop a rapport with individuals in an ongoing attempt to make them feel loved, wanted, and cared for, and hopefully building trust that can be leveraged to connect them to services and assist in bringing them back into society.
DuBois said the backpacks he would like to supply to homeless individuals will cost $100-$125 and he plans to fill them with various supplies including sleeping pads, socks, reusable water bottles, journals, pens, lighters, ponchos, playing cards, a Bible, as well as some food and personal hygiene items.
“We’d like to have less food and toiletries and more things they would need to survive on the streets,” he said. “We want to buy them good durable stuff, stuff they can use and that will last.”
DuBois would like to be able to start out with purchasing 25 packs, but said if they only raise $1,000, then they’ll start with that and buy as many packs as they can.
DuBois said in the packs they will also have a list of resources of organizations for the homeless.
“For those individuals that aren’t quite ready to seek help, they might be on the road toward that. We just want to help them with their immediate needs, but we also want to hook them up with the resources that can help them down the road,” he said. “The long-term goal is to get them help and get them off the street, but we have to start small and with a basic relationship and that’s where the backpacks come in. This allows us a way to start that conversation with them and work toward getting them off the street.”
DuBois said some people may be hesitant to give to the homeless, but as Christians, that’s not the point.
“I am not a theologian, but it seems to me from the Christians’ perspective we don’t do enough. People assume when they look out the window and see someone that is homeless, that if they give them $5 they are going to go buy booze, pay their cell phone bill, or buy something other than food. But, the purpose is to reignite that fire,” he said. “Maybe they are going to spend that money on things they shouldn’t or maybe they are getting away with it and fooling me, but that’s not what Jesus said in the Bible, He said, ‘Go out there and do it.’ Maybe these people will feel loved, accepted, gain a sense of belonging and maybe a sense of hope for their own lives. And from that point, then maybe they will want to seek help.”
As they get more involved DuBois said The Arson Project will post pictures and more information online. The hope is that they can raise the $3,000 this month.
“In the future, we’ll have hands-on opportunities to pack the bags, deliver the bags in the community and then we’ll do some feeding days where we’ll do some pop up tents and grill some burgers and have some salad and other food and get the word out,” he said. “That will be a chance where we can sit down and have a meal with people that wouldn’t normally have that type of conversation.”
DuBois said his goal is to distribute the backpacks before winter this year.
DuBois said the idea to raise money by shaving his beard just sort of happened. He said even though he hasn’t been clean shaven in about seven to eight years, his beard has never been as long as its current length.
“The beard just kind of started out naturally and I thought, ‘Let’s see how far this can go, and along the way I just kind of got into it,” he said.
DuBois said he had initially thought to shave his beard during Saint Baldrick’s to raise money for kids of childhood cancer, but ended up being out of town that day.
“So, I figured that since this has been on my heart for some time, I would use the beard as one of my initial fundraisers,” he shared.
When asked what his wife, Taylor, thought about his long beard, DuBois said she likes a little shorter and well-kept beard, but she has adjusted well to him growing it out.
“I think she is excited about seeing it go,” he replied.
While they do not currently have a 501(c)3 status, DuBois said they aim to pursue that status by 2018 and are looking to form an advisory board of about five to six individuals in 2018 in order to open additional opportunities and to ensure they adhere to their mission and primary objectives.
DuBois explained that there are several ways the community can get involved, whether it be volunteering their time or making a donation.
For more information about The Arson Project, send a message to TheArsonProject336@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/ArsonProject/ or www.thearsonprojectblog.wordpress.com. To make a donation to The Arson Project, visit www.gofundme.com/the-arson-project-launch.

Mogollon Monster 100

October 12, 2017

Working toward competing in three different 100-mile races, Dr. Darian J. Smith placed second in the Mogollon Monster 100 Mile Race in Pine, Arizona on September 16.
Smith noted that this was his third 100-mile race and he has been working to earn points to qualify for the Ultra Mont Blanc. He said along with Ultra Mont Blanc, he would like to apply for two other 100-mile races, including Western States and Hard Rock.
Smith said he chose the Mogollon Monster because he needs to earn another six of 15 points for Ultra Mont Blanc and because it was a qualifier for the Hard Rock 100 Miler, which is a high altitude 100-mile race in Silverton, Co.
To train for the race, Smith said he just worked on building miles and peaked at 120 miles per week. Smith also had to qualify for the Mogollon Monster 100, which only had 80 – 90 runners.
“I had two races between (the training runs). One was a 50-mile race called, Burning River 50, and the other one, the Grand-Further Mountain Run, a 25k in Banner Elk,” he said. “The cool thing about trail running is that you’re just moving through the trail and it’s not so much about your pace.”
Although he trained a lot by himself and with his dog, Scout, Smith also trained with other local ultra-runners.
Smith explained that there was aid provided during the race around every 9 – 10 miles and his family also crewed him during the race, meeting him at miles 12, 24, 42, 75, 87, and the finish.
Smith explained that the course started out on the Arizona Trail, which runs from Utah through the Grand Canyon south through the Mogollon Rim and all the way to Mexico. From the Arizona Trail, they climbed up to the Highland Trail in Arizona, where the trails meet, and then took the Donahue Trail all the way to the top of the rim.
“This was a big climb not even a half-mile into the race,” he said.
Once at the top of the rim, Smith said they descended back down to meet up with the Highline Arizona Trail and then to an aid station called, Washington Park, where they did another climb to the top of the rim where the Arizona Trail splits from the Highline Trail.
“This made for a spectacular view,” he said, as he explained how different the top of the rim is compared to the bottom. “The bottom of the rim has cacti and the top has ponderosa pine and the temperature changes from hot to cold.”
Throughout the race, Smith said the runners also had to run in and out of slot canyons, ponderosa pine forests and mountain meadows.
During their run back toward the finish, Smith said they had to do a 1,000-foot climb over less than a mile.
“It was so steep that I had to pick up two sticks to use as trekking poles,” he said.
While running, Smith said first place runner Mike Versteeg was laid out at mile 54, but about 10 miles later Versteeg passed him in the dark running about a seven-and-a-half-minute pace.
“It sounded like a bear was coming at me,” he said of Versteeg’s pounding feet and adding that he came in about 40 minutes behind Versteeg at the finish.
Smith said when he passed Brett Maune, a two-time Barkley winner (the hardest ultra-marathon in the US), in the middle of the night on the Highline Trail, he knew he had to be toward the front of the race.
When Smith realized he had placed second overall in the Mogollon Monster 100, he was surprised.
“I was surprised because I was just there to complete it,” he said.
Smith started the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday and finished the race around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, with a total time of 20 hours, 56 minutes and 40 seconds.
After completing each 100-mile race, Smith said he learns something new.
“I learn something new from each race, such as nutrition and training specs,” he said. “I went out a little too fast in the first two races and ran steadier during this one.”
During the race, Smith said he had to make sure he was eating 100 calories about every half hour, making sure he was hydrated throughout the race, and paying attention to the terrain.
“When you’re doing something like this, you’re in the moment, and when you’re at altitude, you have to make sure your breath is controlled,” he shared.
Smith said it is also important in a race such as this that his crew knew where everything was and helped to remind him of the things he needed.
“Every time I saw them, they had a caffeine drink and bacon waiting for me,” he said. “Seeing them and knowing what they had for me was part of my motivation.”
Smith said his favorite part about running the Mogollon Monster 100 was how beautiful it was.
“The sheer beauty of the Mogollon Rim, the blue sky and just seeing the progression of the light changing throughout the day; and having my family there,” he said. “It was cool having my niece there, too. She was a lot of fun.”
Smith noted that this was the first time that his niece, Dawn, had ever seen him compete in a 100-mile race.
Smith explained that even though he will be applying for three 100-mile races this year because of their popularity, he will only compete in one of them in a year’s time.
After the race, Smith and his family drove up to the Grand Canyon and camped on the rim for three days.

Successful Year of Eye Screenings

October 11, 2017

The Kernersville Lions Club will finish up with the 2017 vision screenings for local schools and daycares this month.
Lions Club member Debbie Warren noted that they will have screened 3,180 children in the Kernersville community.
“The yearly screening takes lots of pre-planning and twenty-five volunteers per screening. The Kernersville Lions Club has supportive volunteers from the Walkertown Lions Club, the Kernersville Woman’s Club, church volunteers from Love’s United Methodist, Morris Chapel United Methodist, Bunker Hill United Methodist, Main Street United Methodist, First Baptist and Union Cross Moravian churches,” she said.
In addition, Warren said PTA members volunteer from the schools that invited them in to screen their students. Those schools include Walkertown Elementary, Walkertown Middle, Kernersville Elementary, Kernersville Middle, Sedge Garden Elementary, Union Cross Elementary, Southeast Middle and Caleb’s Creek Elementary schools, as well as The North Carolina Leadership Academy.
“We hope to include other local schools next year,” she said.
Warren said the vision screening includes a $10,000 Pedi-Vision computer machine for those who are not able to read the vision chart.
“This computer machine screens for seven different problems and prints out a bar graph on the problem and how severe the issue is,” she said. “We send a letter, which is in both English and Spanish, to parents with the information highly recommending that they see a doctor.”
Warren said they also use the Pedi-Vision with local children at Triad Baptist, Main Street Baptist, First Baptist, Holy Cross Catholic, Fountain of Life Lutheran, Main Street United Methodist, First Christian and Sedge Garden United Methodist church preschools.
“Dr. Patrick Hageman, an ophthalmology doctor in Kernersville, researched and found the Pedi-Vision computer machine used for those children needing more direct screening. Dr. Amy Harper, an optometrist in Kernersville, works with the Kernersville Lions Club for financial assistance for parents if needed for exams for glasses,” she said. “Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools’ school nurses are starting a partnership with us this year with an extra level of service in a couple of schools. We hope the school nurses are available to partner with us for all the schools next year.”
Warren noted that the Kernersville Lions Club buys all supplies for the screening, supports the parents with financial needs with doctors’ visits and/or glasses if needed, updates the software for the computer and gives each participating school $400 just for allowing them to serve the children of the Kernersville area.
For more information about the Kernersville Lions Club’s eye screening, email Warren at dbwarrenchris@gmail.com or, if interested in joining the club, contact Marvin Bare at mbare@triad.rr.com.

“What Do Llamas Do?”

September 11, 2017

When local artists Katy Torney and Leanne Pizio first met, they probably didn’t think they would one day be publishing a book together; however, after talking about doing a book about two years ago, they have created an adventurous children’s book about a llama named Inca.
Torney and Pizio first met during one of Pizio’s bi-annual Keep It Local Art Shows in Oak Ridge roughly eight years ago. During the art show, Pizio sells her various forms of art, including her pottery, which she is well known for in the area, and where Torney sells items she makes from weaving and spinning and where she shows off her two llamas, Inca and Carlos.
Torney explained that she has had llamas for over 20 years.
“At first, I wanted them for packing to go camping and for their fiber for weaving, but I never ended up using them for camping,” she said, as she shared how much she enjoys the majestic animals. “They are ambassadors of fun and they are calm.”
Torney dismissed the myth about llamas being known for spitting.
“The spitting is only done by llamas who have been mistreated by humans. They only usually spit at each other and it’s usually over food,” she said. “I have only been spit on once in 20 years, and it was an accident.”
While she now only has two llamas, Torney had eight at one time.
Along with using the llamas for their fiber, Torney also uses them for treks with little kids during farm visits, and during preschool visits in Greensboro.
In fact, that is where the idea for the book, “What Do Llamas Do?” came from.
“It’s the true story of what actually happened to Inca when we went to visit a preschool,” Torney said. “She ran down Friendly Avenue toward Wendover Avenue after getting scared.”
More specifically, the book states, “Inca loves to have fun. But sometimes fun can lead a llama into trouble.
Katy Torney, llama lady and writer, loves to tell stories about how she and her llamas trotted into schools ‘to teach the letter L.’ They showed children how llamas look like the letter ‘L’ and can carry everything you need for camping without ever eating your marshmallows. In hundreds of classrooms, Katy read stories and showed students how to turn llamas’ soft, warm fur into yarn that she could weave into scarves.
One thing Katy loves about her llamas is their good-natured patience. For years she dressed them in seasonal hats and trotted them into schools. That worked wonderfully until the day her llama, Inca, wore blinking antlers at Christmas. ‘I was impressed by Inca’s spunk and she seemed to have more fun than all the other llamas,’ remembers Katy, ‘but that December Inca surprised even me about what llamas do!’ Inca’s adventurous spirit was a great beginning to a fantastical story told from her point of view.
Katy knew she had the perfect illustrator for her story in Leanne Pizio, an Oak Ridge, North Carolina, artist. ‘I’d adored the playful whimsy of Leanne’s art for years,’ Katy says, ‘and no one understands the quirky fun of animals like she does!’”
“In ‘What Do Llamas Do?,’ Inca is kind of a rascal and does what llamas don’t traditionally do, but redeems herself in the end, and her owner (Katy) realizes how special she is,” Pizio added, noting that the book is educational.
When Torney originally thought about writing something on her llamas, she thought about making a pamphlet with information about Inca’s story and llamas; however, it ended up turning into a book. Along with the book, she ended up creating a pamphlet as well with facts about llamas.
Pizio explained that many of the images in the book are black and white because she used linoleum block prints.
“The book’s editor and graphic artist liked my pottery, so this is more similar to that than drawing. I used the linoleum block prints that I cut out and put on painted paper, which makes it a little unusual,” she shared, noting that she added paint on top of the linoleum block prints as well.
“Everyone we have met said they had never seen this kind of art in a children’s book before,” Torney added.
Torney and Pizio are having a book premiere on Friday, September 8 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with a reading at 7 p.m. at Irving Park Art & Frame and a book signing on Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the same location. Torney will be doing a reading on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Inca will be on site to meet visitors.
The cost of the book is $20. Irving Park Art & Frame is located at 2105-A W. Cornwallis Dr., Greensboro.
For more information about “What Do Llamas Do?” or to purchase the book on Etsy, visit www.etsy.com/listing/541183918/what-do-llamas-do or type “What Do Llamas Do” into the search box on Etsy. You can also contact Torney directly at 336-339-7818 or send an email to whatdollamasdo2@gmail.com.

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.”