Grandpashabet Palacebet Hızlıbahis Royalbet Pashagaming giriş Betwoon betwild giriş grandpashabet giriş güvenilir bahis siteleri porno izle
Features — Page 2


Chief Summers retiring

Kernersville Police Chief Tim Summers has announced that he will be retiring from the Kernersville Police Department (KPD) in the very near future. The Town will begin its search for a new police chief, and as soon as that is concluded, Summers will retire. He expects it to be in mid- to late-May or June and stated he would be as involved in the hiring process “as much as the town manager needs me to be.”
Summers will have served in the KPD for over 31 years when he retires. Summers replaced former KPD Chief Scott Cunningham. Cunningham was named KPD chief in June 2008 and served until Jan. 31, 2017. Summers’ first official day as KPD chief was Feb. 1, 2017.
“This is one of the toughest decisions I have had to make as far as a lifestyle decision because I worked for so many good people in the past and I work with so many good people currently,” Summers said. “The unfortunate truth is in the police department you are kind of forced into retirement with the way it works. Once you get to 30 years, you have to start thinking hard about how much longer you are going to stay because the retirement is affected by everything you do. It has been a great job. Every year goes by faster. It has been very rewarding. I did not get here on my own. A lot of people were responsible for getting me in the role as a chief, and I owe it all to them.”
Summers is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to Kernersville because he had family here and quickly grew to love the town. He has been married for 31 years and has two daughters.
“Obviously, I am biased. Kernersville is the greatest community in North Carolina, but that is not to say we don’t have our issues,” said Summers.
Summers actually started his career in the KPD as a dispatcher.
“There were a lot of people that wanted to join the KPD then. There were only two police department spots open. Those got taken by veteran officers from other police departments, so I took the dispatcher position until something was open,” Summers said.
Summers was a dispatcher for nine months and then was part of the KPD Patrol Division for four years. He joined the KPD Narcotics Division in 1997 and stayed there for six years. In 2003, he became a detective in the Criminal Investigation Division and stayed there for five years. He was promoted to lieutenant of the Narcotics Division in 2008 and was later promoted to captain.
Summers has an associates degree in criminal justice and has received numerous awards and certificates during his time on the force, including his Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate and his Criminal Investigation Certificate. He has also received a Master Certification Service Award and a Tactical Award for his performance on the job. In addition, Summers has received multiple Commendation Awards for Exceptional Meritorious Service.
Summers never expected to be the KPD chief, but he had the support of many in the department and had two excellent role models in former KPD Chief Neal Stockton and Cunningham. Stockton was the KPD chief from 1984 to 2009.
“I was never expecting to be the chief at all. I think I applied for it because of everyone at the KPD that wanted me to be the chief. I would say I was brought up under and hired by Chief Stockton. He promoted me to lieutenant. Cunningham promoted me to captain and assisted me with the chief of police process and really showed me how the administrative side of law enforcement works,” said Summers.
A team-oriented police department has been part of Summers’ and the KPD’s success over the years.
“It is a good department that strives to work with the community and partner with the community. I think that it is a team environment that we have really worked hard to cultivate. As the chief, I know I can make decisions, but it is the team dynamic that I feel works best for the department and the Town where we roundtable a lot of the problems and the solutions. I enjoy being a police officer, but like any other profession you have good and bad,” Summers said. “You are not going to make everybody happy. Most of the time when people are dealing with the police they are not having their best day, but I think that is where we empathize with people and make it work. A lot of it is about solving crimes and preventing crimes, but it is about serving the community just as much.”
Summers also praised the school resource officers’ (SRO) contributions.
“We have an excellent SRO program that provides a service. It is not just being at the schools as officers, but being educators as well,” Summers said.
Summers’ approach to law enforcement is reflected by the advice he gives to new officers.
“I always tell my new hires the community deserves to be treated well and they are the ones that make or break the police department. I tell them to be nice until it is time not to be nice. Everybody accepts the culture of the police department, for example like with stopping cars. No one likes having their car stopped, but I don’t want everybody who gets stopped to get a ticket. I want them to get warnings sometimes, but obviously if someone deserves a ticket, then give them a ticket,” said Summers.
Summers has greatly appreciated the support of the community, Town government and other entities.
“You are always going to have some people that hate the police, but I think 90% of the people in Kernersville support us. I would like to say something about the Board of Aldermen (BOA) and previous BOAs that have been so supportive of the KPD and me. (Town Manager) Curtis Swisher has been one of the greatest bosses I have worked for, but I have been fortunate in my career to work for a lot of good people,” Summers said.
Summers also praised John Owensby, who was the managing editor/publisher of the Kernersville News from 1986 until his death on Nov. 4, 2022, for his support over the years.
“John was on the board to select the police chief. He really supported me as the chief of police and always gave me the opportunity to showcase the department,” said Summers.
Summers has seen much in his years in law enforcement and has faced various challenges as a police officer and as the KPD chief. Some of the changes have been good, and some of them not so much.
“The personnel have changed. You don’t have the career dedication with law enforcement that we once had. Obviously, hiring right now is a challenge trying to stay fully staffed,” said Summers. “Fully staffed, we are at 71 and we have 19 civilian employees. We are about five to seven short right now, which is about 10%. Some of the bigger departments are 20% down. Staffing is an issue for everybody right now. That is an internal working challenge.”
He continued.
“Obviously, staying up-to-date with trends and technology is paramount as well so we don’t fall behind and so our service to the community is what it should be and more. You have to keep up with the crime trends and business and commercial issues, where people are stealing or defrauding businesses, and residential issues where people are targeting communities or families. You have scams targeting individuals. You have drug trends. People are worrying about fentanyl, heroin and overdoses. It is the deadliest trend we are seeing, and with the fentanyl, it is concerning for the safety of the officers as well.”
The COVID-19 pandemic was a very unwelcome challenge for everybody, which included the KPD and other police departments and law enforcement agencies.
“I guess as chief one of the biggest challenges I faced was the pandemic. Trying to work around and with different protocols and ideologies was a challenge in and of itself. We are still dealing with the court issues. They have not caught up yet from the pandemic,” said Summers.
The available technology in law enforcement now is the biggest change, and it has been very helpful.
“The technology is consistently changing. We are on the third generation of body cameras. We have the new Real Time Crime Center and we have a drone program. Sometimes with the new technology we are gaining it can make up for other personnel issues we are facing. It can eliminate the need for additional manpower to do the job. For example, the drones have a license plate reader. On one hand the technology is good, so the town manager and the BOA give us the opportunity to acquire technology that is needed for the job. It can cost more upfront, but it pays for itself.”
The future after retirement for Summers is currently open and undecided.
“I have several opportunities. I have not made my mind up on what I am going to do yet,” Summers said.

Moms’ morning meetup

Shawntelle Minear, mom and Kernersville local, made a meet up group at the beginning of the year to help praise women and socialize with other moms in the area.
Minear, who is originally from California, moved here five months ago from Reidsville. She created the group in January 2023 on Facebook and has received lots of praise for creating this group when she did.
“I’m new to the area,” Minear explained. “I have only been living in Kernersville for five months. I work from home and my husband is a stay-at-home dad, so I needed to meet people. I work out of California and there is not a whole lot of options out there for meet ups in the morning, which is really my only time to do anything. It initially started that way and quickly evolved into something a lot bigger, and it became more of like building a community of women.”
The first meet up had an attendance of nine people, along with their kids, making the total almost 20. After the meeting, parents would reach out to her thanking her for putting a group like this together and it has started helping them build friendships in the community.
“That is kind of my goal,” she said. “I want to start creating little micro communities throughout the Triad area where people can go out and meet other moms and get that support. One of the things I constantly hear is motherhood is so lonely. A lot of times as soon as moms have a baby, it’s kind of like they don’t have that support anymore. It’s hard to make friends. It’s hard to go out there and meet people, even other moms like me who are new to the area.”
Minear explained that she is passionate about helping moms build a community together to always help people in need.
“It’s important to me to lift up and support women. A thing that I am very passionate about is helping give women the support they need,” she said. “Once I started hearing more and more women reaching out saying how desperate that they needed this and how excited they were about it, it’s kind of fueled that passion even more.”
Minear said one of her mottos is that “your network is your net worth.” Building a community that people can be around for support or whatever is needed during that time is critical in a person’s life but especially after becoming a parent, Minear said.
“The more time that you get to know people, opportunities can just sort of arise naturally. I love this idea that we all rise together and I think that is all part of it,” she said.
Minear knows that the first step towards joining a group or seeking a community to be part of is hard because she had to do it herself not too long ago.
“One of the things that is kind of important is that I know how difficult it is to put yourself out there. The thing is, we’re all looking for friendship,” she said. “Everybody who comes is looking for the same thing, so it really helps take away that pressure of feeling like that it’s going to be difficult. We make it easy; we’re going to be friendly; we’re going to be inviting; we want you to join; we want you to be a part of our community and keep it pressure free; no judgment. It can be really hard to put yourself out there and we have had plenty of moms that have said they did, it was hard but that they were so glad that they came out, that it was a ton of fun and super helpful for them and their social life and their mental state in general.”
The mom meet up group is held every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The first and third Tuesday of every month they meet at the West Salem Public House, located at 400 S. Green Street in Winston-Salem. On the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, the group is held at Kyle’s Coffee, located at 126 S. Main Street in Kernersville. At Kyle’s, each member’s first drink is free. This is because the pastor at Citizens Church is donating money towards their group to help support moms.
Minear also holds a meeting almost every Friday morning with different activities, such as a walk at Oak Ridge Town Park or the Quarry and a morning mimosa event. These events vary and can be found on her Facebook page.
An important factor that comes into place when picking these locations is that she wants every location to be kid-friendly. She understands that getting childcare is difficult and expensive so kids are always welcome to tag along at each event. Another important factor is that she wants every event to either be cheap or free so there is no barrier for people to attend.
Minear strongly urges parents or people expecting to become parents soon to get into any community that is accepting and will be there for them during this time of transition.
“You so badly need support because pregnancy in general can be very hard, so just having that support is so helpful,” she said.

Morgan going to Special Olympics

Kernersville’s Claudia Morgan has been actively involved in Special Olympics for 26 years and will now have the opportunity to see and participate in Special Olympics on the biggest stage of them all. Morgan will be traveling with Greensboro Special Olympian Dustin Edmundson, 23, to the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany.
From June 17 to June 25, Berlin will welcome 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and unified partners from approximately 170 nations to compete in 24 sports. The athletes will be supported by more than 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers.
“It is very exciting. I have never been to Germany, so I am really looking forward to that part as well. We are actually going there on June 10. We will run the torch to the Flame of Hope and go to different cities in Germany to raise awareness,” said Morgan. “The coolest thing about it is I get to share the experience with a Special Olympic athlete. What an experience, but especially to go with a Special Olympic athlete. He will run the torch to the Flame of Hope as well. I will represent North Carolina and the athlete side of the Police Torch Run. I am just looking forward to going and the different sight-seeing, like the Berlin Wall. There will be a lot of running, so I don’t know how much I will actually see.”
Being part of the Special Olympics World Games is something Morgan, who recently retired from the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) and now works for them part-time, has wanted to do for some time.
“Before I retired, I was chosen to go to Sweden and then it was going to be in Russia, but with everything going on with Russia, that didn’t happen. There is an application process. You put in for it through Special Olympics. Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) nominates you. Then it goes to Special Olympics International and they make the final decision on who is going,” Morgan said. “Most of the time, they look at how much the state raises for Olympics. It is worldwide, so there will be lots of people from lots of different countries.”
Her career in law enforcement is what started Morgan’s involvement with Special Olympics. Morgan was happy to report that law enforcement in North Carolina raised $1.5 million for Special Olympics in fiscal year 2022.
“I spent 30 years being a police officer and during those 30 years, I became involved with Special Olympics. In law enforcement, most of the time you are not dealing with people because they are having a good day. With Special Olympics, I feel they have given me so much more than I have given them,” said Morgan.
Morgan is in the Special Olympics Hall of Fame and she was the Special Olympics State Director for four years.
“Director is a volunteer position and a big part of the job is to get other law enforcement agencies to contribute. I found that if you can get someone to go to the Special Olympic Games and they see the Special Olympic athletes it sells itself,” Morgan said. “It is just a wonderful organization to be a part of. I have done a lot of things in my life, but this is the one I am the most proud of.”
Morgan filled a variety of roles with the WSPD.
“I worked in the Patrol division. I was a hostage negotiator, and when I retired, I was in the Community Resource Unit. I enjoyed that the most. You are around people that want to be there and you get to see the good. Being a hostage negotiator was pretty difficult dealing with people that are barricaded subjects and have hostages,” said Morgan. “Being a detective was the most difficult. I was in our juvenile division. I was dealing with kids, so that was very difficult. It was difficult when they were victims, and unfortunately some of the crime is being generated from our youth.”
The technology in law enforcement is a challenge now, according to Morgan.
“Mostly the technology is a challenge because I am kind of old school. Over time that is what has changed the most,” Morgan said.
All of the running Morgan will be doing at the Special Olympics World Games is something she has taken head on, although sometimes reluctantly.
“I had never been much of a runner and I never really liked running. The more I am around Special Olympic athletes I have his goal, and I lost 50 pounds. I will think some days I do not want to run, but then I think of all the obstacles the Special Olympic athletes have to overcome and I say, ‘I got this,’” said Morgan. “I tell people it is still a love-hate relationship. Even in rookie school I did not like running, but now I have done a half marathon and I really like it on some days.”
Morgan’s love of Special Olympics and the Special Olympics athletes is matched by her love for Kernersville.
“I was born and raised in Kernersville. I still live on the back of my dad’s farm that was established in the 1800s. When I was younger, I sold produce and things like that. I saw how my dad worked in the fields and I knew I had to do something else. I did not want to work on a farm and start a fire to stay warm,” Morgan said. “Kernersville is my hometown and I will never leave it. My roots have been here. My husband is from Philadelphia and we have a house in Beaufort, so he refers to it as his home. Kernersville is my home and I will never leave the farm. I remember when we just had a Ray’s hamburger place and a Hardee’s, and then a Food Lion. It has changed drastically, but I could not see going anywhere else. I still feel like it has that hometown feel. There is something about a hometown feel you don’t get other places.”

We Are Eternal

When Bianca Orellana was eight years old, her love for writing began and her dream to become a published author was just that, a dream. However, it is not a dream anymore, it is a reality.
Orellana published her first book, , in 2018 and is now working on her second book.
She began writing her book in 2014 and completed the first draft in no time, but did not begin editing the book until 2017, leaving it completely untouched for three years.
“That was when I was still part-time and I was about to get married and I had no kids. So, I had a lot of time to write,” Orellana said. “Then I got married and I had a child right after that. So, I wrote the book and it sat in its first draft for maybe two years and then I finally picked it back up and started looking at it again in 2017. And that’s kind of when I started editing it.”
Even though it looks like it took over five years to write the book, in reality it did not take her that long to write the book in its entirety.
“It was my first endeavor into publishing and it was a very small publisher. I knew that it was a first step because I published within what’s called an Indie Press,” Orellana said. “I knew that I wanted to traditionally publish at some point. I really wanted this story out there because it was the story of my heart at the time and I still really love it. I was really proud of it and I said, ‘the story needs to be published.’”
The reason she went through an Indie release instead of a traditional release is because she knew it would be challenging to get a book traditionally published for the first time without having her name on a published book. She published with a small publisher in Arkansas called Wings ePress.
“It’s mostly electronic distribution and they’ll print on demand physical copies and sell them through Amazon,” Orellana said. “So, that’s what I’ve done. That’s what I did with this first one because I’m a nobody in the publishing world, nobody knows my name yet. To get into traditional publishing right away is very hard. You have to get a literary agent typically.”
The biggest challenge of writing this book was that her first draft was very different from what she ended up publishing. This is because when she originally wrote the book, she had just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene.
“I just kind of ended up writing a story that the style was a lot like that book,” Orellana said. “Then when I stepped away from it for a long time and then trying to come back to it, having all of a sudden, a full-time job and a child and a mortgage when I didn’t have those things before was probably the biggest challenge of it, but it wasn’t really the writing. It was not having a whole lot of time to write.”
Once she came back to writing the book, she printed out the entire manuscript and edited it by hand, line by line. During the editing process, she finally was able to better understand her own voice and how she was going to tell the story.
The title of the book, We Are Eternal, comes from Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza.
“He basically had this idea of the fact that even though we die, the impact we’ve made on people and the things we do and the energy we leave behind makes us kind of go on forever,” Orellana said.
The inspiration from the book came from being close to her dad, as well as her interest in writing young adult romance.
“I’m very close to my dad, so I just kind of got this idea of the girl who loses her dad in a car accident and how she’s devastated about it,” she said explaining her book. “But his heart lives on in a boy from her school who experienced heart failure at the same time. It’s just kind of fate brought them and their two families together. But she thought she knew this boy, she thought he was just some snotty rich kid. She ends up getting to know him just because of a heart transplant and then ends up realizing he’s a much deeper person than she thought, and she falls in love with him.”
Orellana was born and raised in Winston-Salem and obtained her English degree from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2011. She moved to Kernersville in 2016 and has been working at the library for eight years.
Orellana and her husband, Ricardo, have two children, Ricardo Jr. and Santiago.
Her love for the art of storytelling began when she was very young.
“I always loved to read,” she explained. “My dad would read to me at night before bed and my mom was a huge, avid reader and had boxes and boxes of books from when she was in college and would sit with me and read to me as well and help me practice my letters and get good at writing. So, it just came from loving stories and then wanting to tell them. That was about eight years old, I thought, ‘I can express myself this way.’”
When Orellana writes her stories, she shared that she is more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer. This is because she dislikes when her writing feels restricted and she would rather write what stories her brain comes up with in that moment.
“I want it to take me somewhere. I’ll kind of get an idea. I’ll have the characters because characters are very important to me and I am very character driven when I write and what I read, if I don’t care about the characters, I have a hard time finishing a book. The most planning I will do is for a character. I know them down to their personality type.”
Because she published her first book with a small publishing company, she decided to use a literary agent, Leah Pierre with Ladderbird Literary Agency, for the book she is currently working on. As her agent, Pierre will pitch Orellana’s book to what is called the Big Five including: Penguin/Random House, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster.
Her next book is not a continuum from We Are Eternal but is another young adult romance book.
“It’s a different story altogether and it’s very different from the first one and the dynamic between the two main characters. It’s still a love story,” Orellana said. “The dynamic is different and the culture is different. It’s a Hispanic boy and a black girl. You don’t see that pairing a whole lot in romance and my husband is Hispanic and I’m Black.”
Even though the story may be different, she wanted to discover the world of two people exploring each other’s cultures and what that looks like in romance.
As of right now she cannot disclose the name of her next book, but she is hoping for it to be traditionally published in the near future.
Orellana’s book We Are Eternal can be purchased online on Amazon and Kindle or checked at from the Kernersville Paddison Memorial Library. To learn more about her and her work, go to
with her publisher Leah Pierre from Ladderbird Literary Agency.

Employee of the Year

At the Town of Kernersville Employee of the Year Awards Banquet on March 2, Kernersville Police Department Detective Dave Mundy was awarded the Kernersville 2022 Employee of the Year Award.
“This employee has worked hard; he has worked very hard throughout their career to advance as well as establish a solid track record of selfless service to the community,” Town Manager Curtis Swisher said before presenting the award. “Throughout the years, this nominee has dedicated countless hours to serve and improve services resulting in the greater quality of life for Kernersville residents and patrons alike.”
Mundy’s compassion, empathetic attitude and the need to consistently deliver high quality service to the community is why he was bestowed this award. Not only that, but he is a team player and is always willing to help others no matter the cost, Swisher said.
“They ensure the safety and well being of the public as their highest priority,” he said. “During the year they have consistently been tasked a new technology to assist in job related functions to enhance operational readiness of the organization. They display a teamwork style attitude. They are always willing to help others and express to others about the importance of being a team player. And everything is done with hard work and compassion. This nominee consistently drives for self-improvement and makes a positive difference in the workplace. As a team member they serve with compassion and empathy. More importantly, it is the consistency and dedication this person displays and the performance of their day-to-day job along with forward thinking ideas that have earned them this nomination.”
In Swisher’s speech, he explained that two words were uttered from Mundy that helped start and improve services in the community. Those two words were, “What if.”
“Soon this idea was a proven collaborative effort. The entire county joined seven organizations together in a unified effort to solve a common problem,” Swisher said. “The sole critic for this program rests on this employee and their pursuit of a ‘what if.’ This nominee credits everyone involved, shying away from individuality, and spotlighting all that touched this product to enhance and improve the quality of life for the citizens for Forsyth County.
“As a process, from an idea to reality materialized in 2022 this employee was given the freedom to pursue the necessary means to create and introduce this project that first responders across Forsyth County can use to improve quality of life for individuals and families alike. Out of this, the program Forsyth Cares was started. This forward thinking has served this employee well throughout the years, earning them a positive reputation sought out by others and problem solvers in the organization.”
Mundy has worked for the Town of Kernersville for 15 years and is currently working in the Criminal Investigations Department. He has worked in various departments, including patrol, K-9 and narcotics.
“I didn’t really expect (the award), that’s not why I’ve tried so hard at my job. It’s not for the awards,” Mundy said. “I was a little taken back. It is a big honor. I almost feel like I have to work harder to hold myself accountable to be on that list. It’s not a super long one. It’s a good town to work for and always has been.”
One big project that Mundy has been working on and was an influential factor to his nomination was his work on the Forsyth Cares project for two years. This project is similar to Ident-A-Kid but with the sole purpose to be used for everyone, no matter what age.
The project became live in December 2022 and is used to help access more information about you and your loved ones. The digital version geotags a point at a person’s house and creates a dashboard with five emergency contacts, medication history, personal descriptors and current photo. This information would be used in case of an emergency and all Forsyth County emergency responders have access to this information if people have signed up for it.
All information stays up-to-date by automatically making individuals resubmit information every two years to ensure everything is current. The only requirement to be eligible for this program is to be a Forsyth County resident or be within a close enough area that Forsyth County first responders go into for calls.
For more information about the Forsyth Cares program, go to
Mundy was also awarded with a $300 check and five vacation days along with his Employee of the Year Award.
The four other finalists for this award were Rebekah East, Jimmy Moore, Michelle Nelson and Dempsey Shelton, who each received one vacation day.

John & Bobbie Wolfe Visitors Center

The Körner’s Folly Foundation and the Town of Kernersville broke ground on the site of the new Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly, located at 411 South Main Street, on Saturday, February 25.
“I thought it went well really well. It was bit of a threatening situation with the weather, but it all worked out. We were very happy to welcome our donors, supporters, well-wishers, Forsyth County Board members and representatives from Town and county government,” said Körner’s Folly Executive Director Suzanna Ritz Malliett.
The site is adjacent to the historic house built in 1880 by visionary artist and designer Jule Gilmer Körner. The Visitors Center will function as a community gathering space, providing improved amenities and increased accessibility for visitors to Körner’s Folly.
Over the past decade, increased visitation to the historic house museum, rising demand for educational programming, and the limits of the space currently in use by the Körner’s Folly Foundation’s operations have necessitated investment in a facility expansion.
A new facility will allow the Körner’s Folly Foundation to grow sustainably and serve a wider audience in more meaningful ways, while continuing to support and enhance the organizations, businesses, and individuals that make Kernersville a great place to live and work. The Visitors Center will provide a central point for delivery of tourism information, include rotating exhibition space for historical artifacts, flexible meeting and program space, public restrooms, a media room, increased office space, collections artifact storage, a gift shop, and paved parking for tour buses and cars. The center will allow for more diverse programming and will improve access for persons with disabilities.
Construction on the new building will take approximately 10 months. The Körner’s Folly Foundation anticipates being operational in the new facility within the next year. Winston-Salem-based firm West and Stem Architects PLLC has provided design services, and construction will be completed by Wilson-Covington Construction Company.
The Visitors Center groundbreaking is the result of a capital campaign conducted by the Körner’s Folly Foundation. The Foundation engaged professional campaign consultants, including CapDev in Winston-Salem. The campaign has been successful in securing funding for the Visitors Center as well as a sustainability fund to support maintenance of the new facility and continued restoration of the 22-room historic house museum.
In 2019, the Town of Kernersville and the Körner’s Folly Foundation established a public-private partnership to enable development of the new Visitors Center. The Town committed funding of $750,000, to be fulfilled contingent upon the Körner’s Folly Foundation raising the remaining funds required to complete construction on the multi-million-dollar project. The State of North Carolina and Forsyth County have also supported this effort. Funding resulting from the Foundation’s capital campaign was secured in part via grants from local and state foundations, including the BB&T/Truist Foundation, Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, the Kernersville Foundation, the Lawrence E. & Etta Lea Pope Foundation, the Lib Burns Trust, the Richard & Marie Reynolds Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, and the Kernersville Historic Preservation Society.
Generous gifts from private donors and local businesses also played a significant role in achieving campaign fundraising goals. As part of the groundbreaking ceremonies, the Körner’s Folly Foundation has announced that the Visitors Center will be named in honor of John and Bobbie Wolfe; hereafter, referred to as the John and Bobbie Wolfe Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly. The naming is in honor of the notable impact that the couple has had on the organization through many decades. The Wolfes were one of the families who stepped in to “save” Körner’s Folly from destruction in the 1970s, and they both have served in many critical volunteer capacities since to ensure the preservation of the house museum for the enjoyment of the public.
“The vision of the Körner’s Folly Foundation is to be a place of connection between the past and the future, and to help people connect with one another,” said Malliett. “We are thrilled to begin construction on this long-awaited project that will help the organization further our strategic goals of widening access and deepening connection to this valuable historical and cultural resource, while also contributing significantly to local economic development.”
The fundraising campaign for the John and Bobbie Wolfe Visitors Center at Körner’s Folly continues, with donations supporting programming and operations at the center. Gifts are tax deductible. More information at

Samantha Kiger returns home

Samantha Kiger was only eight years old when she was diagnosed and hospitalized due to flu A, which then progressed to pneumonia in only a few days. After 112 days in the hospital, she was finally able to go home.
“On October 24 she was diagnosed with flu (A) at eight years old,” Samantha’s cousin Brandi Pettus said. “She was a healthy, active eight-year-old. And then a couple days later, her mother noticed that she was having problems breathing and she sent her back to the doctor. Then she realized she had developed pneumonia. Not only did she have pneumonia, she had MRSA in her lungs. She went into multi-organ failure. She ended up on life support from it. Her lungs failed, kidney failure and she ended up on ECMO.”
ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. According to Samantha’s GoFundMe page, it is also known as extracorporeal life support. ECMO is a process that assists with heart and lung functions. This helped her blood and blood gasses circulate throughout her body.
Her mother, Amy Kiger, explained that she was at different hospitals during her time recovering.
From Oct. 26 until Dec. 22, she was in the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist – Brenner Children’s Hospital PICU. From Dec. 22 to Jan. 11, she was moved to the Intermediate Care facility at Brenner. Her final transition was to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte for rehab from Jan. 11 until Feb. 13 when she was finally able to go home for the first time.
Along with her recovery and procedures, on Jan. 17, Samantha had to have emergency bronchoscopy.
“She was having trouble breathing and they had to they put a scope down her trach to see what was blocking it. They called it a crust, a hard chunk of mucus and blood was blocking her airway and she couldn’t breathe, so they had to take her into the emergency room and pull it out,” Amy Kiger said. “She had to have that done three times. It’s not normal.”
During those 112 days, she spent every holiday in the hospital, her mother said. Throughout her time in the hospital, she coined the nickname Super Sammy for her strength and resilience.
“She’s doing really good,” Amy Kiger said. “Just being able to be free to do whatever she wants, up in her bedroom playing with all her toys, holding her bunny rabbit, playing with her dog. We were thrilled. Where she needs to be is at home.”
Pettus explained that during this time there was a family group chat that was always keeping the family up to date on Samantha’s condition and how she was doing. Now that she is home, she heard that Samantha has most enjoyed being outside again.
While in the hospital, Samantha was able to keep up with her schoolwork in order to keep her on track in Mrs. Wise’s second grade class.
“She [Samantha] actually wanted to make sure that she doesn’t get held back, so she asked for her schoolwork while she was in the PICU. Her teacher actually came to the hospital and has been giving us work for her to work on,” Kiger said. “They have already decided that she will not be held back this year.”
When they found out that Samantha was going to be sent home at the beginning of February, the family began planning a surprise that will take place on Sat., Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.
Her family has organized a drive-by parade that will start at Piney Grove Elementary School and go all the way to her house. Samantha has no idea about the parade.
The parade will consist of the Kernersville Jeep Night Club, Team Patients, Kernersville Police Department and Kernersville Fire Rescue Department. They plan to have over 60 vehicles in the parade to celebrate Samantha.
“All of the family got together and started organizing it,” Pettus said. “We just want to show the love because she is a warrior and a fighter.”
Despite being home, Samantha is still having to use a tracheostomy tube, sometimes referred to as trach, in order to breath fully. She is currently on a ventilator at night but is hooked up to the lowest oxygen setting.
Kiger is hopeful that Samantha will not have to use the trach much longer and that at her next appointment checkup, they will give her a timeframe for when she is able to get the trach taken out.
Although she was a healthy eight-year-old before being diagnosed with the flu, Samantha’s doctors were not able to explain why the sudden progression of her symptoms got so bad, so fast. She was the only one in her family to be diagnosed with the flu.
The family would like to make a big shoutout to the Kernersville community, Piney Grove Elementary School, Kernersville Middle School, local churches and friends including: Sarah Soloman, Jennifer Cassell, Mattie Neese, and Christine Defendorf.
They all want to thank each person who prayed, shared her story or was just thinking about the family during this time.
To learn more about Samantha or donate to her GoFundMe page, visit

Civitan Park

Kernersville Parks & Recreation Director Ernie Pages updated the Kernersville Board of Aldermen (BOA) on the status of the substantial renovations at Civitan Park at Tuesday’s BOA meeting at the Kernersville Municipal Chambers.
Once the renovations are completed, the new Civitan Park will be a significant upgrade of the old Civitan Park. The park previously had two basketball courts, a ball field (softball/baseball), horseshoe pits, a sand volleyball court and space for other activities. The new plan includes a redesigned walking trail and ballfield, four tennis courts, three pickleball courts, a basketball court, two shelters, a 40-yard dash with additional challenge course, a fitness court sponsored by Novant Health and a high-tech Sona Play Arch.
“We have made pretty good progress starting in August of last year. Right now, the park is sitting between 60-65 percent complete. Once we hit 80 percent completion, we can start applying for reimbursements from grants we received for the project,” Pages said.
Some aspects of the renovation are farther along than others.
Pages said the Novant Health Fitness Court is 100 percent complete and progress has been made on the parking lot expansion. The seven movement, seven-minute system provides a full-body workout to people of all ability levels. With over 30 pieces of bodyweight equipment, the fitness court can be used in thousands of ways.
“The parking lot expansion is 60 percent complete. It will be capped with brand new asphalt and will have medians in place for landscaping. It will be seamless and restriped,” said Pages.
Pages said the pickleball, tennis and basketball courts are near completion.
“Of the amenities we have in place, the pickleball and tennis courts and the basketball court are sitting around 80 percent complete. You can see the blacktop, asphalt, the fencing is up and the lights are installed. Now we are going to drill to put up pickleball and tennis nets,” said Pages.
Significant progress has also been made on the two shelters, as well as the baseball/softball field.
“The shelters have been installed and assembled with shingles and concrete slabs. Now it is just a matter of waiting for the ground to dry up, level it off and do our landscaping pieces,” Pages said. “The baseball field is 90 percent complete. We have grass, fencing and we have entryways. Everything is in place. The clay has been leveled out. We just have to put the base anchors (home plate and pitcher’s mound).
There is still a bit of work to do on the challenge course, which will have some American Ninja Warrior elements to it.
“It is about 30 percent complete. The site has been leveled off and graded. We are waiting for the dirt to dry up so we can so do some fittings. With the playgrounds we have there isn’t a lot for children over 10 to do. This will be a little different playground. It will more challenging for older children,” said Pages.
The highest tech aspect of the new Civitan Park will be the Yalp Sona Play Arch, which will have an interesting design, made of thick galvanized steel that makes it highly resistant to vandalism.
“A new company came up with it a couple of years ago. It is a cloud based interactive unit for people of all ages. It interacts and it stimulates stem growth by playing games. You just press a button to play a game. It will interact and play one of 15 games,” Pages said. “You can monitor how many times each game has been played, and you can switch out with 65 other games and keep it fresh. We’re pretty proud to get it. The only other city in North Carolina that has it is Asheville.”
According to the Yalp Sona website, the arch “transcends age, physical and emotional barriers,” and new games are continuously being developed and added.

Work together to create someting beautiful

The current Kernersville Little Theatre (KLT) season is titled, Welcome to the Family. For anyone who has never dabbled in theatre, there’s a sentiment amongst thespians and theatre enthusiasts that once you start, you’ll be stuck for life. It is quite addicting for most and for some, that addiction spreads to others in their families.
Jeff and Melissa Mericle are new to KLT, working off-stage for the theatre’s annual Bring-A-Book-To-Life production, Seussical the Musical. Melissa is directing the show, and Jeff is handling the lighting effects. The Mericles have been married for 32 years, and theatre has played a pivotal role in their relationship.
“We met in 1989 as volunteers for Raleigh Little Theatre. Jeff had been volunteering for a couple of years when I joined. We started dating after a light hang for Cinderella,” Melissa shared, adding, “We have done theatre together for almost all of our 32 years together.”
The couple has two adult daughters – Megan and Mandy – who are also involved with theatre.
While both Jeff and Melissa are theatre aficionados, neither of them acts on stage.
“We either direct, stage manage or do tech,” Melissa noted.
When asked how many shows they have been a part of, Melissa said, “We stopped counting long ago how many shows we’ve done. We probably do at least four shows a year.”
Seussical gives both Melissa and Jeff their favorite roles in theatre as Melissa conveyed that her favorite role to play in theatre is director, with stage manager “a very close second,” while Jeff’s favorite is lighting designer.
With participating so much in the theatre, the Mericles get to spend a lot of time together. “The pros are working together on our passion and spending a lot of time together,” Melissa shared, adding, “The cons are that our house is usually messy and we have become quite adept at saying, ‘We can’t, we have rehearsal.’ Theatre is mine and (Jeff’s) all-consuming hobby.”
Theatre can teach participants many skills, including multi-tasking, working as a team and taking constructive criticism. For the Mericles, theatre has taught them how to tell the story, even being off-stage.
“Remembering to tell the story above all else. Lights, costumes, sound…none of that matters if you don’t tell the story,” Melissa noted.
Melissa encourages everyone to give community theatre a try, especially families.
“Theatre has something for everyone – from being on stage, to musicians, to production team members, backstage, designers – it is truly something where every member of a family can find their passion and all members can work together to create something beautiful. I am thrilled that my partner in life is part of my production team,” she expressed.
Seussical the Musical will open February 24 and runs Friday-Sunday until March 5. Showtimes are 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are available online at or at the door the day of the show. Online tickets are slightly discounted. For more information, visit

Folly executive director

The Körner’s Folly Foundation has selected Suzanna Ritz Malliett as their new executive director after Dale Pennington announced that she was stepping down from the position in early December 2022.
Malliet is from Greensboro and has been working at Körner’s Folly as their operations & programs manager since 2018.
“My initial reaction was excitement for the opportunity to be a part of the Folly’s next chapter,” she said. “I also felt very grateful for the confidence and the trust that the Board of Directors has placed in me, as well as humbled by the incredible work that has been done by previous directors, staff, volunteers and citizens.”
Malliet is currently in the transition phase of taking on this new role.
“Dale Pennington, the outgoing executive director, did an excellent job preparing for the new hire” Malliet said. “I cannot say for certain exactly how long the transition phase will last, but I am looking forward to finding a new operations & programs manager as soon as possible to help the Foundation prepare for a busy year ahead.”
One specific vision that she has as the new executive director is to continue the work towards construction of a new Visitors Center, which will be built later this year, Malliet said. The capital campaign for this project began in 2018.
“As the new executive director, it’s important that my vision aligns with that of the organization, which is to be a place of connection between the past and the future, between the arts and industry, and among people who share a common appreciation for new ways of thinking,” Malliet said. “My personal vision is also in alignment with the Foundation’s strategic plan. This plan addresses the need for increased accessibility to the historic house for people with disabilities, to develop opportunities for deeper engagement with local history, and to keep growing in a sustainable way.”
Malliet obtained her bachelors degree in history for Salem University and then her masters degree in arts administration from the University of New Orleans. She has experience at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, MUSE Winston-Salem and a museum educator for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.
What intrigued Malliet most about Körner’s Folly was the architecture of the house.
“I think that the unusual architecture of the historic house itself drew me in initially,” she said. “Jule Körner’s vision of providing world-class interior design in what was back then a small town really helped people access newly-available goods and services during the Victorian era, as well as new ways of thinking and creating.”
Körner’s Folly is important to Kernersville because many people who live in Kernersville value the historic home and legacy, she said.
“The fact that the citizens of Kernersville have come together to first save from demolition, then protect, and finally, restore and open this remarkable historic house to the public is an inspiration to me,” Malliet said. “From my formal and informal conversations with visitors and program participants at Körner’s Folly, it is clear that many people value the home’s interpretation of local history and the arts, its unique position as a landmark for Kernersville, and their own experiences of the whimsical structure itself. The reputation of hospitality that Jule and his wife Polly Alice originally created in their home is an important legacy that serves as a guidepost for all the organization’s activities today.”
Although Körner’s Folly is an important economic resource for Kernersville that brings people from out of town to visit the notable home, it is also an important leaning opportunity, she said.
“I believe that the Körner’s Folly Foundation provides valuable access to information at the intersection of history and the arts, and helps people of all ages understand how much can change over time, while some things remain surprisingly consistent,” Malliet explained.
For 2023, the Körner’s Folly Foundation has many events planned, including Victorian Valentine’s Day on Feb. 11, Homeschool Day on March 6, the 5th annual Spring Vintage Market on March 25 and Girl Scout Day: Patch Party on April 22.
For more information about Malliet, events or to request a visit, go to