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Staff Report

Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge demolition concluded

From the January 21 issue.

The demolition of the Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge continues. Drivers crossing the Yadkin River on the Gwyn-McNeill Bridge may have noticed the northern span of the bridge’s steel frame was down, with one end resting next to the concrete pillar that held its weight for over 50 years. The demolition of the bridge’s concrete spans continues, with those that crossed railroad tracks being torn down this past week.

Pittsburgh Glass Works to bring 260 new jobs to Elkin

From the April 13 issue.

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue announced that Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC (PGW) has decided to locate a manufacturing facility in Elkin. The announcement comes as good news to Elkin and the surrounding area with the company expected to bring 260 new jobs to the community and increase the town’s tax base by $85 million over the next three years.

The site of the new PGW facility will be at 1000 Candle Wycke Lane, Elkin.

The day before the announcement Elkin and Surry County commissioners gave thumbs up to multi-million dollar incentive packages.

In her announcement, Perdue said that PGW was initially attracted to Surry County because of its existing high-skilled workforce, quality of life and well-maintained infrastructure.

Pittsburgh Glass Works Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James D. Wiggins said that his company chose Elkin as the location of its new branch after considering 88 properties in four states.

PGW, he said, produces automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) glass products, including windshields, door windows and sunroofs. It also develops automotive glass tinting, back lights and windshield wipers, among other related products.

Wiggins estimated that the Elkin plant would reach its full operating capacity in 2014.

Jonesville Fire Department closes

See today’s front page breaking story.

All indications are that the Jonesville Fire Department will close on Dec. 31, 2011,or shortly after, following more than 50 years of service.

Jonesville celebrates bicentennial

From the May 9 issue.

Buzz Conner (parachuting) and wife, Robby, of Boones Mill, V.A. and a team of two other skydivers from Christiansburg, V.A. dropped in on this weekend’s Jonesville Jubilee. Seasoned skydivers Buzz and Robby regularly visit Jonesville to jump with Carolina Skydiving at Swan Creek Airport. “We come here often, we feel like we owe the community something,” Buzz said. The skydivers helped the town celebrate a special Bicentennial Jonesville Jubilee.

Cain pleads guilty, resigns

From the January 28 issue.

Yadkin County Sheriff Michael Clifton Cain submitted a letter of resignation to the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners during a special called meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Jan. 26. While the commissioners were appointing a new sheriff, Cain was two blocks away at the Yadkin County Courthouse where he appeared in Superior Court answering to charges brought against him by District Attorney Tom Horner.

Horner filed the charges after receiving a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation report on Jan. 3, 2011 following a six month investigation of the sheriff’s office. Yadkin County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Austin said in open session of the meeting on Wednesday morning “We deeply regret Sheriff Cain’s resignation and deeply appreciate his service to the county.”

During the court proceedings the charges against Cain were read and included eight Class I misdemeanors, six of which were conversions of property, one was public officer benefiting from office and willful failure to disclose. There was also one Class II misdemeanor of private use of a public vehicle.

When Superior Court Judge Moses Massey read each count and asked if Cain understood the charges, Cain answered. “Yes, sir.”

Cain received a suspended sentence for a period of sixty months, restitution in the amount of $20,000 to Yadkin County and as a part of his plea agreement, Cain resigned his position as sheriff and permanently surrendered his Basic Law Enforcement Training Certification (BLET). Cain, a Republican, became the Yadkin County Sheriff beginning in 1998. He was re-elected to office in Nov. of 2010.

Future uncertain for Royall’s Soda Shoppe

From the Nov. 9 issue.

The historic soda shop is special to several Elkin residents, whether it be meeting there after school or eating dinner with Santa Claus at Supper with Santa during the holidays.

Last weekend, Puckett announced that she was not renewing her lease for Royall’s and would be leaving.

Puckett said that she is leaving due to extensive repairs in the building which she says are not her responsibility and a raise in rent.

John Van Hoy, owner of Van Hoy’s Jewelers, leases the Royall’s building to Puckett. Van Hoy said that Royall’s is not going to close.

Royall’s opened in the early 1920s and was the town’s first hospital; the upstairs served as a hospital and downstairs was a pharmacy that had a soda fountain. Royall’s has kept the tradition of the soda fountain and lunch counter alive.

The menu has been kept the same for several years and is famous for its hotdogs and chili.

Puckett started working at Royall’s 11 years ago to help save money to send her daughter to college, and she fell in love with the soda fountain style restaurant.

Puckett still plans to hold the Soup Off the third Saturday in January at a local church.

Royall’s will be closed on December 23 or when food runs out. The building is available for rent on January 1.

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