Tom Joyce

Position: Staff Reporter
E-Mail Address: tjoyce@civitasmedia.com

Latest Stories by Tom Joyce

ARARAT, Va. — It's impossible to repay soldiers who make the supreme sacrifice or are severely wounded such as J.B. Kerns, but the community did its best in that regard today when welcoming the triple amputee to his new home.
“Now is the chance to actually make this house a home for you,” Chris Cuban of the Gary Sinese Foundation

Wounded warrior welcomed to new home

ARARAT, Va. — It's impossible to repay soldiers who make the supreme sacrifice or are severely wounded such as J.B. Kerns, but the community did its best in that regard today when welcoming the triple amputee to his new home. “Now is the chance to actually make this house a home for you,” Chris Cuban of the Gary Sinese Foundation

A new city redevelopment commission held a public meeting Monday night aimed at informing citizens about its goals and giving them a chance to comment — and local residents certainly did their part in the latter regard.
On one hand, there was heavy emphasis on the notion that the group is just getting started and has not developed any firm p

Citizens air redevelopment concerns

A new city redevelopment commission held a public meeting Monday night aimed at informing citizens about its goals and giving them a chance to comment — and local residents certainly did their part in the latter regard. On one hand, there was heavy emphasis on the notion that the group is just getting started and has not developed any firm p

• A traffic stop in Mount Airy has led to a local man being served with outstanding warrants for four felony charges, according to city police department reports. After Francis Edward Brown, 51, of 332 Eleanor Ave., was pulled over on Hamburg Street near City View Drive Wednesday, a brief investigation revealed he was wanted on charges of obt

ARARAT, Va. — The sights and sounds of the War Between the States will come alive next weekend during a 24th-annual gathering at Laurel Hill in Ararat, the birthplace of Confederate hero J.E.B. Stuart.
This year's Civil War Encampment and Living History event on Saturday and Sunday will have special significance, due to 2014 being the 150th

Civil War re-enactors to invade Ararat, Va.

ARARAT, Va. — The sights and sounds of the War Between the States will come alive next weekend during a 24th-annual gathering at Laurel Hill in Ararat, the birthplace of Confederate hero J.E.B. Stuart. This year's Civil War Encampment and Living History event on Saturday and Sunday will have special significance, due to 2014 being the 150th

$400,000 grant awarded for greenway work

The awarding of a $400,000 state grant means that nearly all funding needed for a greenway connector project and related stream restoration in Mount Airy is now in hand, a spokesman for the effort said Friday. “I think we're just about there,” Charles Anderson, executive director of Pilot View Resource Conservation & Development In

There's no fighting City Hall, it's been said — but in Mount Airy, City Hall is trying to do its part to fight hunger.
“This idea is not only for city employees, but the entire city, to feed the hungry,” explained Shirley Brinkley, a member of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners who initiated a special food drive now under way.

City Hall trying to fight hunger

There's no fighting City Hall, it's been said — but in Mount Airy, City Hall is trying to do its part to fight hunger. “This idea is not only for city employees, but the entire city, to feed the hungry,” explained Shirley Brinkley, a member of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners who initiated a special food drive now under way.

Since 1776, America has exhibited a well-documented aversion to royalty — but if anyone deserved to be crowned queen of Mayberry, it is Betty Lynn.
Similar to a monarch of some lofty palace, “subjects” from near and far flock to Lynn most anytime she makes a public appearance — not to kneel at her feet or kiss a ring. Fans

Betty Lynn relishes 'Mayberry' role

Since 1776, America has exhibited a well-documented aversion to royalty — but if anyone deserved to be crowned queen of Mayberry, it is Betty Lynn. Similar to a monarch of some lofty palace, “subjects” from near and far flock to Lynn most anytime she makes a public appearance — not to kneel at her feet or kiss a ring. Fans

One of the first things to clear up about Rodney Dillard — who appeared on six episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” — is, yes, the man does talk.
Diehard fans of the series know that Dillard never uttered a single word during any of those episodes. He instead let his guitar do the talking as one of the Darlings, a musically

'Rodney Darling' breaks silence

One of the first things to clear up about Rodney Dillard — who appeared on six episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” — is, yes, the man does talk. Diehard fans of the series know that Dillard never uttered a single word during any of those episodes. He instead let his guitar do the talking as one of the Darlings, a musically

Grant to aid Pilot park-downtown link unlikely

With a $400,000 state grant sought for that purpose unlikely this year, an official of an area land-preservation group says other ways will be sought to acquire property near Pilot Mountain State Park. A tract known as the Ingram property occupies a strategic position on the north side of the state park, based on a local tourism-related goal of ev

Police briefs

• Some apparently determined thieves broke through a block wall of a city business this week in order to steal jewelry, according to Mount Airy Police Department reports. The crime was discovered Tuesday at the What Do You Want pawnshop on North Andy Griffith Parkway, and is said to have been committed by “unknown subjects” who to

Usually when the term “master plan” is mentioned, a huge sum of money is attached — but that's not the case with a plan of the new Mount Airy Redevelopment Commission.
In a biblical sense, a new group tends to beget a study, which begets involvement by some out-of-town consultant, which begets the large cost. And there is no guar

City 'master plan' to be done in-house

Usually when the term “master plan” is mentioned, a huge sum of money is attached — but that's not the case with a plan of the new Mount Airy Redevelopment Commission. In a biblical sense, a new group tends to beget a study, which begets involvement by some out-of-town consultant, which begets the large cost. And there is no guar

Public records

LAND TRANSFERS In recording deeds, the state of North Carolina does not require that the amount paid for property be stated on the deed. However, a tax stamp at the rate of $2 per $1,000 valuation or fraction is thereof affixed to each deed. The Stokes County Register of Deeds recorded the following deeds: YADKIN TOWNSHIP: R. Brandon West, ESQ.

For the past 73 years, Perry Robertson has been reminded of an old friend every time he visits downtown Mount Airy.
And while his pal, Carlos Warren Jones, no longer is around, there is now a special fixture at the corner of North Main and West Oak streets that will keep his memory alive for many years to come.
Robertson was among a huge crowd of

City celebrates new park

For the past 73 years, Perry Robertson has been reminded of an old friend every time he visits downtown Mount Airy. And while his pal, Carlos Warren Jones, no longer is around, there is now a special fixture at the corner of North Main and West Oak streets that will keep his memory alive for many years to come. Robertson was among a huge crowd of

Nearly every fruit and vegetable has a festival dedicated to it somewhere. Saturday in the historic village of Rockford, it was the sweet potato's turn.While Idaho long has been known as the capital of its more ruddy and less-tasty first cousin, the sweet potato has not enjoyed such widespread success. The Sweet Potato Festival at Rockford, now in

Festival elevates humble sweet potato

Nearly every fruit and vegetable has a festival dedicated to it somewhere. Saturday in the historic village of Rockford, it was the sweet potato's turn.While Idaho long has been known as the capital of its more ruddy and less-tasty first cousin, the sweet potato has not enjoyed such widespread success. The Sweet Potato Festival at Rockford, now in

A local family was displaced by a fire Saturday afternoon which gutted their home and possibly was sparked in a room containing oxygen tanks.
Members of three volunteer fire departments — Bannertown, Four-Way and Franklin — responded to the blaze that was reported around 2:20 p.m., sending thick smoke into the air that was visible from

Family displaced by Saturday fire

A local family was displaced by a fire Saturday afternoon which gutted their home and possibly was sparked in a room containing oxygen tanks. Members of three volunteer fire departments — Bannertown, Four-Way and Franklin — responded to the blaze that was reported around 2:20 p.m., sending thick smoke into the air that was visible from

The local catfish population suffered a sharp decline Saturday because of people such as Anthony Garrett of Mount Airy.
Anthony, 14, had been at Tumbling Rock Reservoir for only about an hour, but already hauled in nine catfish from the well-stocked pond, and proudly held up part of his whiskered catch for onlookers to admire.
Despite his young a

Free fishing day lures families

The local catfish population suffered a sharp decline Saturday because of people such as Anthony Garrett of Mount Airy. Anthony, 14, had been at Tumbling Rock Reservoir for only about an hour, but already hauled in nine catfish from the well-stocked pond, and proudly held up part of his whiskered catch for onlookers to admire. Despite his young a

A Mount Airy fire station resembled a war zone Friday as work progressed on a $57,000 project to replace concrete flooring inside the building and the front pad area which had deteriorated and presented safety problems.
“I don't want to make light of it, but it looks like Ground Zero around here,” Fire Chief Zane Poindexter said as a b

$57,000 project under way at fire station

A Mount Airy fire station resembled a war zone Friday as work progressed on a $57,000 project to replace concrete flooring inside the building and the front pad area which had deteriorated and presented safety problems. “I don't want to make light of it, but it looks like Ground Zero around here,” Fire Chief Zane Poindexter said as a b

A house targeted for demolition by the city government could be saved after an impassioned plea Thursday night by a co-owner.
Carol Hawks told the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners that she was unaware the vacant structure at 145 Orchard St. in a densely populated neighborhood off North Main Street was facing a date with the wrecking ball.
“

Woman pleads to save house

A house targeted for demolition by the city government could be saved after an impassioned plea Thursday night by a co-owner. Carol Hawks told the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners that she was unaware the vacant structure at 145 Orchard St. in a densely populated neighborhood off North Main Street was facing a date with the wrecking ball. “

Police briefs

• A case involving the obtaining of property by false pretense was reported Thursday, according to Mount Airy Police Department records. A woman identified as the victim, Roshel Nicole Wilson of Hamburg Street, said a known individual had falsely represented himself as the owner of a rental property. Wilson's address is listed as the location

Those anticipating the eventual demise of Mount Airy's annual Mayberry Days by the graying of The Andy Griffith Show's cast would do well to learn from the animated feature “Hoodwinked.” Everyone has a little different perspective and a personal bit of Mayberry all their own.
Surry Arts Council Executive Director Tanya Jones said the f

Mayberry Days showing no sign of slowing in 25th year

Those anticipating the eventual demise of Mount Airy's annual Mayberry Days by the graying of The Andy Griffith Show's cast would do well to learn from the animated feature “Hoodwinked.” Everyone has a little different perspective and a personal bit of Mayberry all their own. Surry Arts Council Executive Director Tanya Jones said the f




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