Virus updates

Forsyth County public health officials have reported two additional deaths and 592 new cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the community since Friday.
According to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, 318 daily cases were reported on Saturday, followed by 274 cases on Sunday. No new numbers were available for Monday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
The death toll in Forsyth County now stands at 248. No deaths were reported in Kernersville over the weekend. For more, see the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 edition.

Assistant attorney

The Kernersville Board of Aldermen met the Town’s new assistant attorney during last week’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday night, Jan. 12. He was introduced to board members by Town Attorney John G. Wolfe, III.
“Ed Powell has been hired as assistant town attorney,” Wolfe told the aldermen shortly before the board went into closed session to end the night on Tuesday. For more, see the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 edition.

Promoted to battalion chief

Having served at the Kernersville Fire Rescue Department for 16 years, Jason Robinson was recently promoted from captain to battalion chief.
Robinson shared that he ultimately went into the fire service because it was what he grew up in, with a long line of firefighters in his family.
For more, see the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 edition.

Persons of the Year

The Kernersville News annually names a Person of the Year as a way to recognize an individual or individuals for their contributions to the community. This year, we recognize the entire Kernersville faith community for how it has served not only their congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but all those in need who reached out. From the smallest among them to the largest, theirs has truly been an amazing effort in the face of great difficulty.
In looking at how each of the town’s churches and faith-based institutions served the community, it would be far easier to ask what didn’t they do? Pastors and ministers, along with their congregations, all found ways to bring messages of faith, hope and love into peoples’ homes and heartfelt and tangible assistance into the community. From drive-thru collection drives and distribution events to free meals and grocery giveaways, nothing was impossible. For more, see the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 edition.

Budget approvals

The Board of Aldermen discussed allocating funds on Tuesday for five new police vehicles. Of the five, three would be paid for out of insurance reimbursements after each was damaged.
According to Town Manager Curtis Swisher, the total cost of purchasing the five vehicles will be around $255,000, with insurance covering all but around $103,800. He estimated that if the Town financed the cost, payments would be about $25,000 per year for five years. Instead, Swisher recommended that the expense be taken out of the Town’s general fund. For more, see the Saturday/Sunday, January 19 & 20, 2021 edition.

New scam

IRS warns North Carolina taxpayers about new wave of COVID-19 scams as second round of Economic Impact Payments are delivered
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division is warning North Carolina taxpayers about a new wave of COVID-19-related scams as the agency delivers the second round of Economic Impact Payments.
According to the IRS, investigators have seen a variety of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) scams and other financial schemes designed to steal money and personal information from taxpayers over the last several months.
Criminals are taking advantage of the second round of Economic Impact Payments – as well as the approaching filing season – to trick honest taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.

Camera discussion

Mayor Pro Tem Jenny Fulton continued to advocate for installing video cameras in the courtroom so Town meetings can be broadcast online during Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
Fulton made good on her word when she brought up the issue during discussion of several budget amendment requests before board members. Last year, Fulton had proposed investing in video equipment to allow meetings to be viewed live from the internet, but her fellow board members did not agree. Alderman Bruce Boyer said he did not believe the board should be expending such funds when Town departments had been asked to cut back on spending.
For more, see the Saturday/Sunday, January 16 & 17, 2021 edition.

Breaking down barriers

On Monday, January 18, the community is invited to watch the Kernersville Christian Minister’s Fellowship Panel Discussion in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at 12 p.m.
Carol Fulton, of Children of Zion Outreach Ministries and a member of the KCMF, said they normally host a service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. at one of the member churches; however, due to COVID-19, they were not able to do that this year.
For more, see the Saturday/Sunday, January 16 & 17, 2021 edition.

Mass vaccine

Negotiations between Forsyth County and the City of Winston-Salem appear to have brokered a somewhat more favorable cost for the county to rent space at the fairgrounds to conduct mass COVID-19 vaccinations of citizens.
On Thursday, staff returned to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners with an interlocal agreement between the two municipalities that would allow Forsyth County to lease the education building and surrounding parking space for $200,000 through the end of May. Last week, that number was $400,000, much to the dismay of several board members.
Deputy County Manager Shontell Robinson briefed commissioners on the new agreement.
For more, see the Saturday/Sunday, January 16 & 17, 2021 edition.

Not expanding age yet

Following state guidance, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) is in the process of planning to add individuals age 65 and older to its vaccination rollout in the coming weeks as more vaccine becomes available, but is not currently accepting appointments for seniors under 75 at this time.
FCDPH’s vaccine appointment line is still not taking calls for appointments, as staff continues to fill the remaining open appointments by calling back people who previously called the appointment line before it closed on Jan. 7. Appointments are currently only being made for healthcare workers and first responders and people 75 and older.
The public will be informed when appointment options reopen through the FCDPH website, social media and local news media.