9/11 ceremony

Oak Ridge Military Academy (ORMA) hosted a ceremony on Sept. 9 to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
The September 11 attacks, commonly known as 9/11, were four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks carried out by the militant Islamic extremist network al-Qaeda against the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Approximately 2,996 people, 2,977 of whom lived in America, died in the attacks on 9/11 and over 6,000 people were injured. Of the 2,977 fatal American victims, 2,753 were killed in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania.
“We honor the people that died at 9/11, a tragedy,” stated ORMA President Steve Wilson. “I gave a short talk about what happened and the importance of it and how America responded. It is very important that we don’t let young students and cadets forget what occurred. This occurred before they were born. It is also very important that we honor our military, fire department and police departments.”
At the event, ORMA cadets, ORMA staff members and others were all in attendance.
“We had local firemen from Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Stokesdale and, of course, any military personnel that were available. We had the cadets there and the flag was at half-mast. We had procedure calling the cadets to attention and then we had a speech. At the end, we placed an honorary wreath at the flagpole,” Wilson said.
ORMA is for seventh through 12th graders. While it is a military academy, academics are an extremely high priority and it shows.
“Some people think we are just a military school. We do teach discipline and structure certainly, but academics are very important,” said Wilson. “The dean here is a graduate of The Citadel and we very heavily stress academics. We have a 100 percent graduation rate and it is a requirement that you have to be accepted to a school to graduate. Only five percent of the kids go directly to the military. We graduated 16 last year and five got scholarships to The Citadel.”
Wilson continued.
“The 16 students received $1.4 million in scholarships. We could house 200 cadets, but we don’t just take everybody. We turn down many cadets that apply. We are looking for a few good men and women and we teach leadership and responsibility. That is what leaders are built from.”
ORMA recently expanded its commitment to education.
“We have an aviation program where we have a whole aviation set up. It is a course we added on. We have a flight instructor there. The cadets taking this course get points to their pilot’s license. We also have a cyber security program that has been recently added on,” Wilson said. “We also opened our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Aviation and Math) program. It is a new, innovative process where the teachers facilitate students to do projects on their own.”

Celebrating 107 years

Kernersville native Lucille Stockton Bowman celebrated her 107th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 25, marking a lifelong journey that has allowed Bowman to witness many of the world’s most significant accomplishments and unforgettable events that make up modern day history.
Bowman was born in Kernersville in 1915, a daughter of Cornelius Stockton and Ada Grubbs Stockton, Bowman’s great niece, Robin Webb, shared as Bowman’s birthday approached.
Webb said there were 14 siblings, including four half-siblings among Bowman’s brothers and sisters. Brother John Stockton was the town photographer, while William “Sheeny” Stockton and Carl Stockton owned and operated Stockton Lunch. Another brother, Grady Stockton, served as the Kernersville chief of police for 18 years, as did Grady’s son and Bowman’s nephew, Neal Stockton. Today, Neal Stockton has the distinction of being the Town of Kernersville’s longest serving police chief, having led the department for 25 years, Webb noted.
Webb also noted that when Neal Stockton retired, the Kernersville Police Department headquarters was renamed the Stockton Law Enforcement Center, in recognition of his and his father’s law enforcement legacy over the years.
Neal Stockton called his aunt a true “pioneer” woman, who mastered canning and cooking and taking care of anyone in need.
“She’s a fabulous woman. She’s a fine lady and an outstanding mother,” Neal Stockton said. “She would always call if anyone needed anything.”
Bowman went to Kernersville School and was employed by Adams Millis before taking on a position at Bradford Village in Kernersville. She spent 27 years there, eventually becoming the nursing supervisor.
Today, Bowman resides in Oak Ridge, where she has made her home for more than 70 years. Webb noted that Bowman remains very independent.
Bowman has three children, Phillip, Judy and Kathy. She also has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, Webb said.
“All of her nieces and nephews – and great nieces and nephews – adore her greatly. She has always been there to help in anything someone needs,” Webb noted.
Of her aunt, Webb said Lucille Bowman has always been a woman on the move, even well into her 90s.
“Even at the age of 90-something, Lucille was cleaning out her own gutters. Always a go-getter,” Webb recalled.
Webb also said Bowman has always had the best sense of humor.
“Even today at 107 years old, she will make a joke and put a smile on your face,” Webb shared.
So, how did family members celebrate Bowman’s birthday this year?
“We went to visit with her a few hours on her birthday and talked about old times, as she does remember everything,” Webb said. “We took her balloons and her favorite – spaghetti and cantaloupe.”
What does Webb believe is her aunt’s secret to a long and productive life?
“She says she is fine and taking life day-by-day. She has always done for others and didn’t want people to take care of her. She likes to do things herself and is very independent. Just live life to the fullest and thank God for each day,” Webb said.
Webb concluded.
“Lucille is still the very sharp and spry woman that she has always been,” Webb said. “We, her entire family, are so blessed to have her in our lives.”

Principal Teresa Rose

The title may be slightly different, but a familiar face greeted students on the first day of class Monday at Kernersville Elementary School (KES). That’s because newly named Principal Teresa Rose has been embracing and encouraging students at the local school for nearly a decade.
Rose was named principal of the West Mountain Street elementary school following the announcement that her predecessor, Lora Tiano, would be retiring at the end of this past school year. Rose served as an assistant principal at KES for eight years. Her first day as principal was July 1.
Rose said she is excited to be able to continue at KES.
“I’m really excited and grateful to be able to continue to lead in this place that I love so much and want everyone in Kernersville to know that KES will continue to be the same great community school that it traditionally has been known to be,” Rose said. “We will continue to welcome the blessings of our many community partnerships and be dedicated to offering a quality education to our Wildcats while also providing them a loving, supportive environment where they can feel cared for and safe.”
Rose also noted that another familiar face at the school has a new, important position.
“We are fortunate to add a familiar face as our new assistant principal, Malinda Kerns. Not only is she a wonderful person, but she is a very capable and experienced administrator. She previously was a part-time assistant principal at KES where she showed us how capable and caring she is as a leader. We are thrilled to have her back home,” Rose said. “I also want everyone to know that I will always be available with a listening ear to stakeholders in our community that have a vested passion and interest in making sure KES remains an exceptional school.”
Rose grew up on a farm in Argyle, Texas, where “my Granny taught me to work hard, treat people with kindness, show grace and wake up each day with a grateful heart,” she said. “All of my family still lives in Texas and I go back to visit whenever I can.”
A first generation college graduate, Rose earned her bachelor of arts degree from Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas and obtained certifications in EC, elementary education and secondary math. More than a decade later, Rose received her Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG).
According to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS), Rose taught math and science in Lewisville, Texas for 10 years. She began her career with WS/FCS in 2008 as a math and science teacher at Philo Magnet Academy. Before coming to KES, Rose was the curriculum coordinator at Forest Park Elementary and in 2013, she was selected by WS/FCS to participate in the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy where she earned her master’s degree.
Why did Rose decide to go into teaching?
“I have always loved working with children. When my children were very young, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching,” Rose said. “It is hard work to be a mom, go to school and continue working, but it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I always encourage adults that it is never too late to follow their dreams and pursue a career that will bring fulfillment.”
Rose said she discovered a new passion for working with students who were struggling due to barriers that life had put in their paths while teaching sixth grade math and science at Philo. It is one of the experiences that eventually led her into administration.
“I found that it was a strength of mine to break down the barriers such as poverty and environmental instability so that students could achieve academic success and have a positive school experience. After four years, my heart’s desire was drawing me to leadership so that I could impact a larger number of students. I wanted to help other teachers have the same impact on student growth as I was seeing,” Rose said.
Rose continued.
“I became a curriculum coordinator at Forest Park Elementary and with the encouragement of my principal, Constance Hash, I applied for the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy through UNCG. I was selected to participate in this amazing leadership internship by WS/FCS. This was an incredible opportunity to be trained by numerous outstanding educational leaders from all over North Carolina while completing a one-year long principal’s internship at Kernersville Elementary,” Rose said.
“I knew right away that I had found my home at KES. Once my internship was completed, I was hired as the assistant principal and I consider it a great gift to have served in that capacity for eight years. The strong community ties and support in Kernersville reminds me of the feeling that I had in the community where I began my educational career in Texas.”
What does Rose love about education? What does she enjoy about working in administration?
“The reason education fills my heart with so much joy is because it is a field where adults are completely dedicated to a higher purpose with a mission that is focused on helping grow children into kind, productive, happy citizens that will then give back to their communities. My teacher hat is always close by because the feeling of wanting to plant seeds in our most precious treasures in order to make our world a better place is forever imprinted on my soul. I can’t even begin to imagine myself not working with children,” Rose said. “One of the things I enjoy most about being an administrator is the gratification I get out of supporting the teachers, families and other adults that are working to give our children everything they need to be successful at school and in life.
“I also enjoy creating systems and processes that I know will help our school be highly functional. I especially love the big hugs that our little Wildcats often give me as we pass in the halls, along with a big smile and a high five. My prayer each morning is that I inspire adults to be a champion for kids, create an environment at KES that nurtures and supports all stakeholders and that I make a significant positive impact on the lives of the children in my school. This is also how I determine if I was successful when I lay my head down at night.”
How would Rose describe her style as a leader?
“I consider myself a part of a greater team where no one of us is greater than all of us together. It is important to me that I listen to all perspectives and value the input of others. I believe in making decisions that always puts the students’ needs first and considers the well-being of the child’s heart as much as their mind,” Rose said. “I hold myself to a commitment to always have respectful interactions and maintain a contagious calm no matter how others are engaging. I believe it is my job to stay positive, energetic, level-headed and steadfast towards the greater mission of leading and supporting everyone to reach our goals, no matter what the circumstance.”
Rose said she is grateful for how the community supports KES.
“I love how KES is a community school that is rich with traditions. Our school would not be able to function and have the success it achieves if it weren’t for the community partners and volunteers that are dedicated to supporting our students, families and staff. I have truly never seen a village as supportive and loving as the Kernersville community,” Rose said. “The staff is a huge reason for my love for KES and for the success of our school. We historically are known for achieving excellent growth based on data, but even more importantly this champion staff is dedicated and passionate about loving each child and ensuring that their hearts and minds are growing. They are family to me and to each other in a way that is hard to explain unless you actually experience it. Last, but far from least, it is my sweet little Wildcats and their families that entrust these most precious treasures with us.”
Rose and her husband, Steve, and daughter, Andee, moved to Kernersville in 2008. Today, Andee and her husband, Trey, live in Kernersville with their children, Maleiya, 14, Bristol Kelly, 4, and Saint, 9 months. Rose also has a son, Mike, who lives in Cadillac, Michigan with his wife, Alison, and children, Dulcie, 11, and Rowan, 8.
Rose said Steve is very supportive and the pair love to travel, “whether it is in our camper or traveling abroad. We are often seen kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking or biking with our little dog Meli somewhere beautiful.”
“I try to take the path North to this part of my heart as much as possible when we’re not traveling to Texas to see family or to Hawaii to visit my husband’s family,” Rose said.
Rose also loves spending time with her grandchildren, and they with her.
“They love to spend time with their ‘BahNana’ whenever possible. Bristol will be a little Wildcat in kindergarten next year,” Rose shared.

School security

School officially starts for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School (WS/FCS) system students on Monday, and many efforts have been made to make schools safer and more secure for everyone.
On Tuesday, the media was invited to East Forsyth High School to see and hear about the changes in school safety protocol and practices for the upcoming year. WS/FCS Chief Security Officer Jonathan Wilson, East Forsyth Principal Rusty Hall and others were at the press conference and informed the media.
One change this school year is the adoption of a Standard Response Protocol. Under “hold,” students will stay in the classroom and it will be business as usual. Under “secure,” there is something potentially dangerous outside and all students will come into the school. Under “lockdown,” obviously, the entire school is locked down. The final stages of the Standard Response Protocol are “shelter” and “evacuate.” The goal of the Standard Response Protocol is to have everyone, from students, teachers and first responders, use the same terms for any incident to prevent any confusion.
Hall noted that in past years when there was a potentially dangerous situation at a school, there was some confusion.
“The term ‘community lockdown’ is confusing because all people hear is ‘lockdown.’ Having set terms and protocol is less frightening for parents,” said Hall.
On Aug. 11, district administrators and first responders came together for an all-day training session on the Standard Response Protocol led by the “I Love U Guys” Foundation. John-Michael Keyes, the executive director of the foundation, led the training session. The “I Love U Guys” Foundation was started in 2006 by Ellen and John-Michael Keyes following a school shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Colorado that took the life of their daughter, Emily. On that day, Emily sent two text messages – one to her mother, Ellen, “I love u guys. K” and one to her father, John-Michael, “I love you guys.”
Due to a federal safety grant, all WS/FCS high schools and middle schools will have two Garrett metal detectors.
“We got this brand because they are on casters, so we can move them around. If a school has a large event, two metal detectors might not be sufficient enough. For example, on Friday, East Forsyth used the ones from East Forsyth Middle School for the football game,” Wilson said.
It was explained that the metal detectors will be used primarily for events at a given school or if there is a verified threat at a school.
When needed, WS/FCS high schools and middle schools will also have access pads to buildings this year and more high-tech cameras.
Wilson noted that different schools have different safety and security issues.
“At a school like Reagan, you would not need keypads if the entries are locked like they are supposed to be. We have to trust students on their own campus. It is their school and their second home. East Forsyth and West Forsyth are very unique compared to the other schools in the district that are all in one building,” Wilson said. “The cameras we got from the 2016 school bond only had one angle. The technology has improved and now, at a place like East where you have a quad, the camera has four angles.”
For events at schools this school year, the approved bags people can have are clear plastic or vinyl bags, one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags, small clutch bags, bags for medically necessary items and diaper bags. All of these containers are subject to being searched. Some of the prohibited bags include purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, back packs, fanny packs, cinch drawstring bags, luggage of any kind and computer/camera bags.
WS/FCS has also formed a Safety and Security Department. Wilson is the chief safety, security and emergency management officer. The team has a director of security that oversees student resource officers (SROs), night security, traffic control and event security. There are two campus security managers. One will cover the north and east of the county and the other will cover south and west of the county. Their job will be to assist with planning and campus assessment. The director of security technology will oversee all school security technology. There is also a safety and emergency management coordinator who will gather information to help keep the schools more safe and secure.
For Hall, the importance of school safety cannot be overestimated.
“I and my entire staff love your children as if they were our children. We are not making rules up out of the blue, and it is important for students and parents to know why we are making them,” said Hall. “The No. 1 thing that helps the safety of a campus is relationships with the children. When you have a standard policy, it flows automatically and the more it becomes second nature. No two days at a school are the same at a high school and you never know what might happen.”
Teachers at East Forsyth and other schools are being trained this week on the Standard Response Protocol and the new security practices. WS/FCS students will be trained on all of this when they come to school next week.

KMC topping off ceremony

A topping off ceremony was held for the Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center (KMC) expansion project on Thursday morning.
Those in attendance got to sign the final steel beam for the new fourth floor of KMC. The steel beam, which had a small tree and an American flag on it, was then raised to the fourth floor by the 262-foot-long, 137-foot-high crane, put into place and then welded into place.
This is all part of Novant Health KMC’s 60,000 square foot expansion project, estimated to cost about $55 million. Novant Health KMC is constructing a fourth-floor birthing center. The expansion project will also include the addition of medical beds and an expanded intensive care unit and the installation of a new heart and vascular lab. When the medical facility was first constructed in 2011, future expansion was very much in mind. Currently, it is a 50-bed hospital. The current expansion will add 33 more beds, and the facility could easily accommodate 100 beds or more.
Kirsten Royster, president and chief operating officer of KMC, spoke to those in attendance and thanked everyone who has been a part of what KMC is, and what it is becoming.
“Some of you have supported this vision of ours for over a decade. This is our new journey. We are adding new medical beds and an advanced intensive care unit that is larger. The heart and vascular lab is well underway on the first floor and should open in spring of next year,” Royster said. “The fourth-floor new birthing center will provide maternity services. We have designed the space, so it is patient, family, guest and team member centric, and I think you will really love it. To put it simply, this is about expanding a very special community medical center. It is about dedication to providing everything from acute and advance care services to maternity services. It is about a comforting healing and state-of-the-art environment, and it is about our team members who constantly give their hearts and souls to this place.”
Wes Altman, senior project manager for Christman/DA Everett, explained the origins and symbolism of the topping off ceremony to those in attendance.
“Topping off a facility doesn’t mean the project is completed. It has since come to mean the structure of the project is completed. You can’t miss the flag or the tree on the steel beam that you signed today and they are both symbolic. It is reminiscent of an old-fashioned barn raising celebration they had back in older times,” Altman said. “The tree conveys different meanings. It allegedly traces all the way back to old Scandinavian mythology. The religious rite was to place the tree on top of the new structure to appease the tree dwelling spirits displaced in its construction. Others saw the tree as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for future occupants of the building. Now, it celebrates the completion of the building structure.
“The flag was an expression of pride by the construction workers and is a symbol the construction framework is completed. It also supplies a message to the building owners that the construction has advanced to a point for the people in the area and that Novant is moving upward and preparing to serve the community. Placing the final piece of steel at the top is representative really of a mountaineer planting a flag, reaching the top pinnacle and claiming the rewards of being the first to reach the top and claim ownership for the flag the country belongs to.”
After Altman spoke, KMC Chaplain Andrea Edwards led everyone in attendance in prayer.
The anticipated completion date for the expansion is late 2023. The Christman Company is the general contractor, and McCulloch England Associates Architects is the architect.
The current services offered at Novant Health KMC include breast health, cancer, diabetes, emergency, heart and vascular, imaging, infusion, inpatient, laboratory, neurology, orthopedics and sports medicine, spiritual care, rehabilitation, respiratory, stroke and mini-stroke, surgery, women’s health, women’s heart and wound care.
Novant Health is a three-state integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to our communities. The Novant Health network consists of more than 1,800 physicians and over 35,000 employees that provide care at more than 800 locations, including 15 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics.

Classic car enthusiasts

Kernersville’s Kevin and Crystal Tanner are two of the many proud members of the Old Salem Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) who will be at the Downtown Kernersville Classic Car Cruise-in on Saturday.
For the Tanners, there are a lot of reasons why they enjoy cruise-ins and car shows.
“As far as taking vehicles to car shows, everyone enjoys having something that draws attention or something to be proud of. Whether it is bought or built, they are proud of their vehicle,” Kevin said. “A lot of the people that go to the shows have like interests. Throughout the years, you establish some friendships with people. There are a lot of people at the shows that are not huge car enthusiasts, but one thing I hear all the time at the shows is, ‘my grandfather had one of these’ or ‘my mom had one of these.’”
He continued.
“People who aren’t members will remember their mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, uncles and aunts had cars like these. With the children, they just enjoy the shiny cars and chrome and all of that,” Kevin said.
The Tanners own three classic cars, the oldest of which is a modified 1925 Ford Model T.
“I bought the car as an abandoned project. I had a couple of extra dollars so I decided to buy a car. It took about eight months to finish it and I have had it since 2015. It has a 1967 327 small block Chevy engine. The numbers indicate it is probably out of a Camaro, and I updated the brake system,” said Kevin. “The 1925 is just stupid cool. With it being an abandoned project, it was really cheap. I had the mechanical ability to fix 95 percent of it myself. It all started for me when I was a teenager. I was a mechanical type person and I liked old cars.
“Back then, they weren’t really old cars. I just learned on my own and I have made jokes about it before. There is a reason why I am somewhat knowledgeable about cars. I had to buy junk, and I had to work on them to get them to work.”
The 1925 Model T, which originally only had 40 horsepower, is sometimes on display, but not nearly as often as the other vehicles.
“I have only put 77 miles on it since its completion. It sits in an enclosed trailer. If there is a good place to park it, sometimes we take it out,” Tanner said. “Very seldom do we take all three cars to a show or cruise-in.”
The Tanners also have a 1974 Chevy Nova and a 1977 Ford F100 Pick Up.
“The 1974 Chevy Nova has a small block V8 in it. It is a 380 Stroker engine. It was a 350 and stroked. The computer shows 450 horsepower. We finished it in 2018. We updated the transmission. It has a newer model five speed transmission and that helps with gas mileage, and we put in factory air conditioning,” said Kevin. “Sometimes, we take the Nova to shows and Crystal will drive the truck. It is an old model truck, and the old 70 model truck is what my grandfather had. The old 1977 Ford F100 has all the original motor, transmission, rear end and brakes. The biggest thing was putting in new suspension, new interior and a bright, shiny paint job.”
Crystal Tanner, a human resources officer for the Town of Kernersville, also thoroughly enjoys classic cars and going to the shows, as does their 17-month-old grandson, Kody.
“He (Kody) does not have the appreciation for it yet, but he enjoys the shiny colors and being outside,” Kevin said.
Kevin and Crystal Tanner have three boys. The oldest is Jet Tanner, the middle son is Wesley Gray and the youngest is Christian Gray.

Skate World

Metal work on the exterior of the Skate World roller skating rink building appears to be the cause of a major fire at the longtime Kernersville business on Sunday, July 31, with fire officials saying the blaze was sparked accidentally and unintentionally.
“The fire started in the front area of the building where they were doing some work on the exterior,” said Kernersville Assistant Fire Marshal Austin Flynt on Monday morning. “Damage was pretty extensive to the interior of the building.”
Flynt said the Kernersville Fire Rescue Department (KFRD) received the first call about a commercial building fire at the 1995 West Mountain Street location at the Hopkins Road intersection at 12:24 p.m., when a passerby noticed smoke coming from the roof of the Skate World building.
According to Flynt, the first KFRD engine arrived within a couple minutes to find a working fire on site.
Not long after, the fire was brought to a second alarm incident, adding multiple agencies to assist, Flynt continued. He noted that all personnel who were on site at the time of the incident successfully evacuated.
Fire crews promptly began fire suppression measures, bringing the fire under control at 2:18 p.m. There were no reported injuries to emergency services personnel or civilians, Flynt said.
Flynt said damage to the interior of the building was extensive, with most of the flames confined inside. He estimated that 60 percent of the inside of the popular roller skating rink was destroyed by fire. Damage has been estimated at $250,000, Flynt said.
Kernersville residents posted photos and comments about the fire on social media throughout the afternoon and evening on Sunday. Hundreds expressed their sadness at seeing such an iconic local business, which was established by the late Robert Blakely in 1972, suffer such damage. Blakely’s family has operated the business for the past decade, noted son Michael Blakely’s obituary last October.
The younger Blakely’s widow, Lisa, posted a message on behalf of her and the couple’s son, Brandon, on the Skate World page on Facebook Sunday night.
“I figured you all were waiting to hear from me …. as you all have heard Skate World caught on fire today. It was a phone call that you never expect or want to get. My heart is broken all over again. First the devastation of losing the love of my life, now this. The thing I hear him saying in my ear, is Lisa, it’s just a material thing, that you’re blessed no one was hurt, so be grateful for that and that, I am. No one was in the building at the time and no fire fighter was injured and for that I thank GOD,” Lisa Blakely wrote. “This place holds such dear memories for me and Michael as we met there 40 years ago and to work the rink together with our son Brandon over the past several years, special times. I know this place means as much to you, the kids we [who] skate and all the community. This place is a LANDMARK!”
She continued.
“There was extensive damage done to the inside of the building. For now we are going to let the Fire Marshal and the Insurance Adjuster do their jobs. We will be closed for a while as it will take a lot of work to get all the renovations done and back open. I ask that you please follow us on Face Book and watch for more details and updates. I will keep you informed. If you hear it straight from me, then you know it’s true and not a rumor.
“I want to personally thank all the Kernersville Rescue and Fire Fighters that worked so hard today through the heat and smoke. You did a GREAT JOB!! Also to my FAMILY for their love and support and YOU my extended family, the SKATE WORLD FAMILY. WE WILL BE BACK. MY Love to you all and GOD BLESS.”
Flynt said there were a total of 64 firefighters and emergency services personnel and 24 emergency apparatus on scene throughout the incident.
Agencies assisting the KFRD included the Forsyth County Fire Department, Piney Grove Fire and Rescue, Winston-Salem Fire Department, Walkertown Fire Department, Beeson Crossroads Fire Department, Kernersville Police Department, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Forsyth County Emergency Medical Services.
For more photos, see page 6.

National Championship

A dance team from ExtravaDance & Tumble in Kernersville recently claimed a National Championship and the dance studio itself also raised $20,000 for the fight against cancer.
On July 2-7, dance teams from ExtravaDance & Tumble competed in the Kids Artistic Revue National Dance Competition in Pigeon Forge, TN.
“We had dance teams in every division and routines for dancers of every age. We placed in every division and the 8-and-under team won a national title,” said Erica Summerlin, ExtravaDance &Tumble director of competition teams. “There were six days of dancing for the entire team. We were the only studio in attendance that had a routine in every division.”
Rachael McCannon was an instructor for the team and Nina Schulte was the choreographer.
The ExtravaDance & Tumble 8-and-under team, consisting of 12 girls with an average age of seven, won the National title in the Lyrical Dance division. They performed to the song “When She Loved Me.” Dance teams competed from all over the nation, including California, Texas, Michigan and Georgia.
“They are judged on technical ability, technique, performance, choreography and costuming. They really hit that routine for that final performance,” Summerlin said. “I think their technical ability, technique, the routine and the age appropriateness of it all stood out. They had the total package.”
While at the Kids Artistic Revue National Dance Competition, ExtravaDance & Tumble presented a check for $18,000 to Dancers Against Cancer. The dance studio has raised a total of $20,000 for Dancers Against Cancer this year.
“Dancers Against Cancer is an organization that gives money to dance communities that are affected by cancer and all of the money goes to that. The big fundraising event we had for it was “ExtravaDancing with The Stars,” said Summerlin.
ExtravaDance &Tumble Owner Sara Walser was proud of the dance teams from the studio, but was even prouder of the fundraising efforts.
“We had the ‘ExtravaDancing with The Stars’ event and we expected to maybe make $5,000. We ended up raising $18,000. You had to nominate people and it cost so much to nominate them. We had video and it culminated with five finalists,” Walser said. “We really like supporting that charity and we were really glad to present the check at the event. We have a child here that is a beneficiary of Dancers Against Cancer. Everybody that works for Dancers Against Cancer is a volunteer. There are no paid positions. I was proud of the kids, parents and teachers.”
Summerlin said people voted online for $1 for “ExtravaDancing with The Stars” and people could vote multiple times. Summerlin said the biggest donation they got for Dancers Against Cancer was $500.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Effective today, Saturday, July 16, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by dialing 988. Those in crisis may also use 1-800-273-8255, which will continue to function even after the transition.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential service and available 24/7/365, connecting those experiencing a mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis with trained crisis counselors. It is available in Spanish, along with interpretation services in over 150 languages.
“Access to 988 is available through every land line, cell phone, and voice-over internet device in the United States,” said Todd Luck, a communications specialist with Forsyth County. “The nationwide transition to 988 as a three-digit call, text, and chat line is the first important step in reimagining crisis support in the U.S.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will now be known as The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
According to the organization’s national website, www.988lifeline.org, when people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources, if necessary.
“The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline utilizes the guidance of experts, as well as the voices of lived experience, to continually improve Lifeline services. These individuals bring invaluable knowledge and support to our mission of reducing the national incidence of suicide,” the website states.
The website also notes that everyone can help prevent suicide, saying “understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.”
“Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives,” it continues. “Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others. By offering immediate counseling to everyone that may need it, local crisis centers provide invaluable support at critical times and connect individuals to local services.”

Know the Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt or die by suicide. They can’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they’re important to be aware of.
• Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
• Alcohol and other substance use disorders
• Hopelessness
• Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
• History of trauma or abuse
• Major physical illnesses
• Previous suicide attempt(s)
• Family history of suicide
• Job or financial loss
• Loss of relationship(s)
• Easy access to lethal means
• Local clusters of suicide
• Lack of social support and sense of isolation
• Stigma associated with asking for help
• Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
• Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
• Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Know the Warning Signs
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
• Talking about being a burden to others
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Withdrawing or isolating themselves
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Extreme mood swings

Running for Heroes

The young boy who founded a national non-profit organization recognizing injured and fallen first responders was in Town this past weekend to present a special grant to retired Kernersville Police Officer Sean Houle.
Zechariah Cartledge, 13, of Running 4 Heroes, met Houle at Town Hall early Saturday morning, June 18, to present Houle with a check for $10,000 as the organization’s May 2022 grant recipient. Those attending the presentation included members of the Kernersville Police Department (KPD), as well as KPD Chief Tim Summers and Houle’s family members.
“We run a mile for every police officer or firefighter who passes away in the line of duty. We also give $10,000 checks to first responders. That’s the reason we’re talking right now,” Cartledge told those who attended the Saturday morning presentation and subsequent run. “As many of you know, back on February 21, 2021, K9 Officer II Sean Houle was escorting someone home when he encountered a suspect he dealt with earlier on a traffic stop.”
Cartledge continued.
“Upon encountering the suspect, they had a short fight and, unfortunately, the suspect was able to get a hold of Officer Houle’s gun. After that, he shot him in the face, arm and hand, and because of the injuries, he had to undergo many surgeries at a time and afterward, he was in critical condition,” Cartledge noted.
Cartledge said that Houle’s surgeries included removing the bullet that struck him, as well as numerous reconstructive procedures, followed by physical therapy.
“From what I know, his injury was a very rare type of injury, called a unicorn-style injury, so a very rare type of injury and because of that, he had to medically retire,” Cartledge recounted.
Cartledge said that Houle’s injury has not stopped him from continuing to work with the KPD in a community way. He noted that he was especially impressed that Houle’s new path has him working to become a chaplain and that he has been inspired by Houle’s journey.
“I’m inspired by what you’re doing. I’m inspired by your continuous fight through your injuries. I know you’ve had many surgeries ever since the incident happened, so I wish you well. I hope you become a chaplain soon,” Cartledge said.
Carledge asked Houle if he was a chaplain yet, to which Houle replied that he is a chaplain with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
“We travel around the county to manmade and natural disasters and minister to the folks going through things,” Houle explained. “It could be local. It could be far away.”
After the presentation, Cartledge ran from Town Hall, located at 134 East Mountain Street, to Kernersville Elementary School, at 512 West Mountain Street, in honor of Bethany Firefighter Brandon Yaeger, who died in the line of duty last month.
Houle thanked everyone who came out on Saturday on the Houle Strong Facebook page.
“Thank you so much everyone! What a special day! Thank you for your love and support of all first responders! I feel truly blessed and am so happy that Brandon was able to be honored! Love you all!” Houle posted.