Northwest Observer / May 16 - June 19, 2024

Page 1

‘It will not rain on our parade!’ (but if it does, the show will go

With visions of sunshine, organizers of the annual Founders’ Day celebration in Summerfield are ready for the familyfriendly event this Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18

SUMMERFIELD – For those who torture themselves by staying glued to the ever-changing weather forecasts, Saturday’s outlook for Day 2 of the annual Founders’ Day festival may seem a little ominous. Not to worry, organizers say – the temperatures look

to be in the mid-70s and the rain is sure to hold off. But if it doesn’t? The show will go on regardless!

According to the Town’s website, “Summerfield’s Founders’ Day Event is a celebration of the original founders of the community of Bruce’s Crossroads,

Former mayor Mark Brown, a longtime volunteer with the Town of Summerfield, packs up the American flag at the end of Founders’ Day 2023. Brown will once again be working behind the scenes of the annual Founders’ Day Parade this Saturday.

A crew works on a complex of more than 300 apartments on Leabourne Road at N.C. 68. See related “N.C. 68 emerges as ‘funnel’ of commerce” article on p. 12.

De-annexation bill poised for legislative vote – maybe

After twice being delayed, the de-annexation of nearly 1,000 acres in Summerfield is scheduled for the state Senate’s consideration May 16. However, a House vote was not scheduled as of this writing.

SUMMERFIELD – A bill that would allow the de-annexation of nearly 1,000 acres in Summerfield is scheduled to

resume its start-and-stop course in the state legislature this Thursday, May 16. Last week, the state Senate

May 16 - June 19, 2024 bringing the local news home to northwest Guilford County since November1996 ...continued
...continued on p. 42
on p. 20
IN THIS ISSUE Issues up in the air after canceled meeting .........2 Funding requests .........................................................3 Your Questions 4 Stokesdale Town Council meeting, May 9 6 Oak Ridge Town Council meeting, May 2.............9 Welcome to our new advertiser .............................10 NWO Business and Real Estate 12 Summerfield rezoning request upsets homeowners .............................16 NWO on the go!..........................................................18 And the (water)wheel on the mill goes round and round....................... 22 Canine Capers a howling success 23 Community Calendar 28 Best wishes, NWHS principal Ashley Young! 31 Only God Choir performs at U.S. Capitol 32 Northwest Guilford’s record-setting QB looks ahead ................................... 34 NWO Kids’ Korner ...................................................... 36 Crime/Incident Report .............................................. 38 Grins and Gripes ........................................................ 40 Classifieds 43 Letters/Opinions 47 Index of Advertisers 47
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7304 Lanval Drive, Oak Ridge

Manager search, budget presentation, and

business uncertain after canceled meeting

Summerfield Town Council delayed discussion of several issues after canceling its regular monthly meeting earlier this week

SUMMERFIELD – With less than a month to replace Town Manager Scott Whitaker, Summerfield Town Council has shared little information about the process. It lost an opportunity this past Tuesday, May 14, after the last-minute cancelation of the council’s regular monthly meeting.

In a recent interview, Whitaker said June 10 will be his last day as Summerfield’s manager. State law requires the vacancy be filled – on a permanent or interim basis – before Whitaker’s departure. The town hasn’t sought his replacement in two ways it has typically filled vacancies – by posting the opening on its website or contacting potential successors on the LISTSERV email distribution software program used by many other municipalities.

As the council member designated by three of his fellow members to be in charge of the manager’s search, Heath Clay said in an email earlier this week that he wasn’t able to share more information about the process.

“Hopefully I’ll know more after” Tuesday’s meeting, he said. But that meeting didn’t occur.

Just a few hours before the meeting was to begin on May 14, Clay and fellow council members Jonathan Hamilton and Janelle Robinson requested the cancelation, according to Whitaker. They said they “didn’t feel comfortable with the buffer” for voters casting ballots in the primary election runoff and the council’s meeting, both taking place in Summerfield

Community Center, Whitaker said afterward in an interview.

Guilford County’s Board of Elections contacted town staff at least six weeks ago to inquire about holding the primary runoff in the community center, a longtime polling place, according to Jeff Goard, the town’s parks and recreation director. After learning the final hour of voting would overlap the start of the council’s meeting at 6:30 p.m., elections officials decided to proceed and coordinated with town staff to put the polling place in a storage room, separated from the meeting room by a hallway and two doors, one blocked by a curtain.

“We made two venues out of one venue,” Goard said in an interview. “We met every requirement from the Board of Elections.”

In an email, Hamilton said, “It is probably best that we not have overlap with polling activities at the same location.”

The May 2024 Second Primary only applied to Republican Party candidates Hal Weatherman and Jim O’Neill for NC Lieutenant Governor, and Jack Clark and Dave Boliek for NC Auditor. As of 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, 47 people had voted in the community center, according to a tally posted on the voting machine.

Looking ahead, the timing of a new council meeting is uncertain.

“Another meeting will be scheduled in the near future,” a statement posted on Summerfield’s website read.

Also unclear is the date for the council’s special called meeting and public hearing to gather feedback from residents about the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. At Tuesday night’s meeting, which was canceled, the council had planned to discuss changing the meeting from its scheduled date of May 30.

That’s two days before the June 1

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deadline for the presentation of the draft budget to the council, a requirement of state law. Adoption of the budget is required by July 1, giving the council the chance to vote on the spending plan during its June 11 meeting.

The agenda for this past Tuesday’s meeting didn’t list an update of the manager search as a topic for discussion. It’s possible the council would have discussed the topic in closed session when it was to address “the amount of compensation and other material terms of an employment contract,” according to the agenda.

It’s also possible that topic related to severance for Whitaker, who engaged in mediation with the town for compensation after the majority council agreed not to provide him with severance or

insurance benefits after his departure.

Council members and Whitaker declined to say whether potential severance for the manager was up for discussion in closed session.

Whitaker is approaching his 12th anniversary as Summerfield’s manager. Before hiring him in 2012, the council named an interim manager, a step the council could follow now.

Even though council members have said little publicly about replacing Whitaker, Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Williams DeVaney and Robinson have exchanged emails with Dee Hall, the town’s finance officer, in recent weeks.

In late March, DeVaney asked Hall for Whitaker’s “accrued but unused paid

on p. 15

Towns decline BOE members’ request for funding

NW GUILFORD COUNTY – Mayors in Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Stokesdale recently received a letter signed by Guilford County Board of Education chair Deena Hayes and vice-chair Bettye Jenkins.

Dated April 18, the letter stated, “As you have likely heard, Guilford County Schools (GCS) started a high dose tutoring program following the pandemic in 2021, using funds from the federal government intended to help recapture some of the learning loss experienced by children in our community. That program has proven to be very valuable and has demonstrated effectiveness in providing students who need more robust instruction with the tools they need to succeed.”

With the funds due to run out this year, Hayes and Jenkins requested the towns budget a specific amount in their FY2024-25 to continue the tutoring program. For Stokesdale, the amount was $20,286; for Oak Ridge, $30,384; and for Summerfield, $27,108.

Addressing Stokesdale Town Council at its May 9 meeting, Summerfield resident Maria Adams urged the council not to give the BOE the requested funds.

“Personally, I don’t trust the board chairperson with our funds … for example,

in 2022, $700,000 was moved from maintenance into capital improvements for a recording studio at one of the schools,” she said. “Meanwhile, our community came together and raised over $.5 million to upgrade the trailers at NWHS.”

Stokesdale Town Council members unanimously agreed to decline the request, with Mayor Pro Tem Derek Foy noting it amounted to 4% of the Town’s annual budget and there was no guarantee the money would be allocated to Stokesdale Elementary School.

Council members also questioned whether the BOE had voted to request funding from the towns, or if Hayes and Jenkins had acted on their own.

District 3 School Board representative Michael Logan suggested the best way for the town to help Stokesdale Elementary was to “Read to the kids; Help the teachers. But don’t give them money.”

Although the topic was not on the agenda for Summerfield Town Council’s May 14 meeting,, at Oak Ridge Town Council’s meeting last week, council members echoed the concerns of those in Stokesdale, emphasizing it is the responsibility of the state and the county to allocate money to the public school system, not the individual towns.

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Pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, remains one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. The Town of Stokesdale installed two pickleball courts at its park this past December, and reports they are well used. The Town of Oak Ridge has plans to install pickleball/tennis courts as part of Phase 2 of Heritage Farm Park, but the new park’s second phase has not yet been funded so the timeframe hasn’t been determined.

I read your article last month about the grand opening of Heritage Farm Park (in Oak Ridge). Has there been any discussion about putting in pickleball courts at any point?

I’ve seen people playing in the

taped-off area of the parking lot (of Oak Ridge Town Park) along Lisa Drive. Pickleball is very popular and I’m sure they wouldn’t have any trouble getting folks to use the courts. It would be nice not to have to drive to Greensboro or Kernersville to play.

Plans for Phase 2 of Heritage Farm Park do include pickleball/tennis courts as

well as an outdoor basketball court and several additional small picnic shelters, Oak Ridge Town Manager Bill Bruce confirmed recently in an email.

However, he noted, “These improvements are currently identified on the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan for Year 6+, which is another way to say that funding has not been programmed at this point.”


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as reported by PATTI STOKES

Mayor Pro Tem Derek Foy called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with council members Jim Rigsbee, Jimmy Landreth, and Tim Jones present, along with Town Clerk Robbie Wagoner, Finance Officer Kim Thacker, Attorney Chuck Winfree and about 15 citizens. Mayor Mike Crawford was absent.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Council member Tim Jones gave the opening prayer, and in it he gave thanks for those who have taken care of Mayor Crawford during his illness over the last several months.

 4  0 to adopt the meeting agenda after removing one discussion item.

 4  0 (in two separate votes) to approve the March 14, 2024 regular Town Council meeting minutes and April 2, 2024 special called meeting minutes.


On behalf of Stokesdale Fire

Department, Wagoner reported the department responded to 93 calls for service in April: of these, 56 were medical-related, 10 fire-related and 27 miscellaneous.

Sheriff’s department. Sergeant Ryan Seals reported in writing that the sheriff’s District 1 office responded to 141 calls for service in April; of these, 12 formal case reports were filed.

Seals noted that warmer weather has come with a spike in car breakins at public parks and trailheads in Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Kernersville. Cases in which the department has obtained leads have shown the subjects use stolen IDs to attempt to cash stolen checks at area banks and obtain cash at retailers, which is the same M.O. (modus operandi) as that of the Felony Lane Gang, he wrote.

“A crew linked to a recent case in Summerfield was from Florida and was caught with numerous stolen IDs in High Point late last month,” Seals wrote.


Water system. On behalf of Priscilla Hunsucker, the town’s water system customer service manager, Wagoner reported 807 water customers were billed in April and zero accounts are more than 60 days past due; 23 water meters are on hold for builders and seven applications were received for transfer of water service and water meters.

Coldwater Road water project. Surveying for the water line extension project on Coldwater Road has been completed and information sent to the town’s engineer firm, Hazen and Sawyer. The project has moved into the preliminary design phase and Hazen and Sawyer plans to enter the bid phase in the third quarter of this year.

Ellisboro Road water project. Bid documents for the water line extension project on Ellisboro Road are under review; once finalized, they will be returned to Kennerly Engineering to distribute to vendors identified by the town.

Online legal ads. Wagoner said he recently spoke with the clerk for Guilford County’s Board of Commissioners regarding posting legal ads online. Guilford County will be the first county in the state to do this, and Stokesdale would be the first in the county, along with Oak Ridge.


Property Committee. Rigsbee said Jones has been working on the grass around the pickleball and basketball courts. As a side note, he said earlier in the day he had noticed the pickleball, basketball and volleyball courts were all in full use.

Town Park and Improvement. Committee Chair Tee Stephenson reported Andrew Knesel and his fellow Scouts have started work on Knesel’s Eagle Scout project, which includes both the design and development of a nature trail in Stokesdale Town Park.

Athletic field lighting. Sealed proposals for athletic field lighting in the town park are due June 4.

The new playground accessories should be installed by early June.

Security cameras. According to Wagoner, Sentry Watch is preparing a proposal for adding two security cameras at the park’s pickleball and basketball courts. Self-closing mechanisms for the gates at the courts are also being considered.

Storage shed. Wagoner has obtained pricing for a storage shed so the concession building could be cleared out and used for selling concessions. See discussion later in meeting.

Bypass. Wagoner, who represents Stokesdale on Greensboro’s Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Technical Coordinating Committee, reported the committee voted on May 6 to recommend amending the area thoroughfare and collector street plan to remove the U.S. 158 bypass. Following that recommendation, on May 8, the Transportation Advisory Committee voted to amend the plan and an updated map of the street plan, without the bypass, will be sent to all municipalities in the county.

Parking. Additional paved parking spaces across from the pickleball and basketball courts are also being considered.


Finance Officer Kim Thacker gave an overview of the monthly financial activities for the General Operations Fund and Water Enterprise account.

It was noted that Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Utilities, from which the town purchases its water, is considering increasing the cost of water by as much as 7%.

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„ Summerfield resident Maria Adams referenced a letter the Town received from Guilford County Board of Education Chair Deena Hayes and ViceChair Bettye Jenkins, requesting that Stokesdale allocate $20,286 in its FY2024-25 budget to help fund a high-dose tutoring program. Adams said she was not aware there had been a vote of the board to make this request.

“We already pay property taxes and they go to GCS; we’re already paying for these services, so this should be in their instructional budget,” she said. “Why are they asking municipalities to contribute more? … They’re asking Stokesdale to contribute $20,000, but there is no way to track it, and I don’t know if it’s being used for what they said it will be used for.” See related article on p. 3.

from p. 6

Michael Logan, District 3 School Board representative, said a lot of federal funding was allocated to help with the effects of shutting down schools during COVID. While those funds will soon expire, he advised the council not give the BOE funds.

“If you want to help, my suggestion is, ask how you can help at that school,” he said. “Read to the kids; help the teachers. Don’t give them money.”


Legal notices. Wagoner said effective July 1, Guilford County will offer the option to place legal notices on its website, which will be at a fraction of what the Town currently pays to place them in local newspapers (the Town spends about $7,000 annually to place legal notices in the Greensboro News & Record).

 4

 0 to approve the e-notice publication agreement, with citizens invited to be included on the Sunshine List so they will be notified when a legal notice has been posted on the county’s website.

 3  1 (Rigsbee opposed). To place small weekly line ads in the Greensboro News & Record for 12 months, alerting citizens that the Town’s legal notices are being posted exclusively online as of July 1.

Request from Guilford County Schools. This references the aforementioned letter dated April 18 and written to Mayor Mike Crawford. The letter, signed by GC Board of Education Chair Deena Hayes and Vice-Chair Bettye Jenkins, requests Stokesdale to contribute $20,286 for high-dose tutoring in its next fiscal year budget.

through the county taxes they pay and once through state taxes.

“The obligation (to fund the tutoring program) is with the county and the state,” he said. “… And to think this would be additional money for Stokesdale Elementary because of this, there is no guarantee.”

After further discussion, Foy requested the meeting minutes reflect that the request came from two School Board representatives, not the entire board. Jones asked it also be noted that this request is for about 4% of the Town’s operating budget.

 4  0 to have Wagoner draft a letter to the BOE chair and vicechair, saying the council has given this request consideration and will be unable to contribute at this time.


Tested for every weather extreme

“These federal funds get programs started and then ‘boom,’ it starts coming out of someone else’s pocket,” Landreth said. “… We are a limited services government and weren’t designed to fund the schools… I want the children to have what they need, but we pay a lot of money in property tax … I’m not even willing to consider this.”

Rigsbee said his concerns about this request were coupled with his concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding how the bond money Guilford County Schools (GCS) got is being spent.

Jones said over 50% of the county’s budget goes to GCS, and this request didn’t indicate whether the money would be used at Stokesdale Elementary, or somewhere else.

“I can’t support sending (GCS) over $20,000 … and I wonder why they are doing this. It’s not good government,” he said.

Foy noted that citizens are already taxed twice for the schools – once

 3  1 (Jones opposed) to schedule Board of Adjustment meetings, which occur only on an as-needed basis, at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month (as opposed to during a regular council meeting), effective July 1.

 4  0 to approve a grant project ordinance which encumbers the full $725,000 the Town received in federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to known park and public safety projects. Thacker noted this is a recommendation of the League of Municipalities.

 4  0 to approve a contract with C. Randolph CPA, PLLC to perform auditing services for fiscal year 2023-24, for a total not to exceed $10,900.

Storage unit. Council discussed the merits of renting a storage shed at an annual cost of $847, from Rymack Storage on U.S. 158, as of June 1. Rigsbee said he favored pursuing a long-term solution for storage, and the town could probably get a metal storage building for about $6,000

8 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 ...continued on p. 42
special financing Subject to credit approval, see store for details
Ask about

OAK RIDGE town council


OAK RIDGE – Mayor Jim Kinneman called the monthly meeting to order, with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Stone and council members Ann Schneider, Jim Harton and Michael Greeson present.


Statehouse flag. State Rep. John Faircloth (District 62) presented the town with a U.S. flag flown over the state capitol which recognized Oak Ridge for its celebration last year of 25 years of incorporation.

“I won’t forget you,” said Faircloth, a Republican who is not seeking re-election in the Nov. 5 election.


District 1 Office. Sgt. Ryan Seals reported the sheriff’s District 1 office responded to 118 calls for service in Oak Ridge in April, resulting in nine formal case reports.

Seals noted officers are increasing

patrols and investigative efforts after reports of two car break-ins at Oak Ridge Town Park last month and a third from a vehicle in the Cascades Preserve parking lot on Goodwill Church Road, northwest of Oak Ridge. (See related discussion later in this coverage.)

Fire Department. Capt. James Hill reported the department responded to 66 calls for service last month. Personnel obtained 624 hours of training.

The department’s new fire training facility is operational, Hill said, adding that Chief Ken Gibson is determining a date to invite the public to view the facility.


MST easement

 5  0 to delay until the council’s June 6 meeting a public hearing about the possible closing of a Mountains-toSea Trail (MST) easement in the Ashford subdivision, under development on

Brookbank Road. The developer sought the continuance, Kinneman said.


„ Lindsey Clark, a Bear Creek homeowner who lives next to the MST easement, reiterated her view that last year’s adoption of the easement by the Planning and Zoning Board violated the town’s development ordinance.

While the easement is located in the Ashford subdivision, it touches the eastern side of Bear Creek, upsetting Clark and other homeowners who don’t want a public trail bordering their property.

Aside from closing the trail easement, Clark is asking the council to define restrictions on future easements, such as a minimum setback from adjacent properties, in an ordinance.

„ Bill Goebel said he has obtained 3,500 signatures from voters, giving him more than enough support to run as an unaffiliated candidate in the District 3 school board race on Nov. 5.

Goebel said his campaign has raised $25,000, with pledges for another $25,000, and three fundraisers are being planned.

„ Sam Anders said he served as a


medic on last month’s Triad Honor Flight that took 101 veterans on a oneday trip from PTI Airport to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials.

Anders urged people to donate to the Triad Honor Flight nonprofit, which spends between $115,000 and $125,000 per trip, and allows veterans to travel at no charge.

„ George McClellan complimented the council for holding “a very productive meeting,” noting his support of the conservation easements and progress on security cameras for the parks.

MANAGER’S REPORT Reappointment

 5  0 to reappoint Jason Streck to the Planning and Zoning Board.

Heritage Farm Park update. The town plans to reschedule the grand opening ceremony for Heritage Farm Park after the cancellation of May 4 festivities due to the forecast of rain.

Among recently completed improvements, the park is now served by electricity, according to Town Manager Bill Bruce.

“The park is looking fantastic and ...continued on p. 26

to all Guilford County graduates, and a special congratulations to graduates of Northwest Guilford High School, which has the largest class of graduating seniors in the county, and the many students in the northwest Guilford area who are graduating from Early/Middle Colleges and academies.

As a senior, you have many paths to choose from and where you go from here is up to you, whether that be to continue your education, pursue specific job skills training, military service, enter the workforce, or start a family.

Some paths may be more challenging or open than others, and seeking advice from those who have walked similar paths can be invaluable. Know that your path may also change, leading you in new directions.

Whatever path you follow, do it with pride because it is your path and it is up to you to choose.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024, and best wishes!



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Logan for Guilford County School Board

Michael Logan, candidate

What is leading you to run for the District 3 School Board representative seat?

I was a teacher with Guilford County Schools for 26 years. During my tenure, I experienced the changes and challenges that all parents and teachers face. Three years ago, I started attending school board meetings and I spoke on issues that affect the learning experience for students. I asked about policy issues and opportunities needed for student success. I also provided solutions and asked for accountability. I have always been motivated to increase public involvement. My coworkers and members of the public asked me to represent them.

You were appointed last year to serve the remainder of Pat Tillman’s term after he vacated his school board seat to serve as a Guilford County commissioner. What do you think you’ve brought to your role as school board representative thus far?

I offer an open dialog and honest feedback to students, parents, teachers and the public. My experience as an educator and as a school board member makes me uniquely qualified to see both sides of issues and challenges. As a board member I have two employees, the superintendent and school board attorney. I also provide information to the public and assist in navigating the system.

What is your main focus as a school board member?

I work to bring information to our residents and I work to involve the public in decision making. I always strive to have open communications and an informed response or to provide direction to an answer.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a school board member?

Time and involvement. So, the school board is my only area of focus and my main involvement.

What are some of the most rewarding parts of being a school board member?

Helping the public get answers for a solution or a problem and hearing someone say “thank you, I didn’t know that.” Being an educator never stops. I enjoy seeing the opportunities and success of students.

Are you involved with any professional organizations or nonprofits?

I serve as president of Guilford County Republican Men’s Club, am involved with Carolina Teachers Alliance, and have been an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) master technician for 25 years. Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation are my two favorite charity organizations.

On a personal note, would you share a little about your background and how you came to live in this area?

I grew up in the Guilford College area, attended Guilford Middle and Western Guilford High School and graduated from GTCC’s ASSET program. I found my house from a listing that read “Coming Soon, within walking distance to Northwest schools.” I walked to school as a kid, and I wanted my children to have the same opportunity.

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

Not sure what downtime is. There always seems to be something and I enjoy it all.

Any little-known facts you can share about yourself?

I love to cook for large gatherings, and I am afraid to play my wife in pickleball.

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N.C. 68 emerges as ‘funnel’ of commerce

Five years after the opening of Interstate 73, the stretch of N.C. 68 south of Oak Ridge is brimming with development, and more is coming

NW GREENSBORO – Just south of Oak Ridge, yet another groundbreaking is drawing near for one of the few remaining undeveloped tracts on N.C. 68 at Interstate 73.

The strip center will join Sheetz and 600,000 square feet of distribution space already operating in the area. More than 300 apartments are rising on the south side of N.C. 68 at Leabourne Road, along with plans for an ABC store, Bee Safe Storage and All American Pet Resorts fronting the highway.

The stretch of N.C. 68 is “the funnel between Summerfield and Oak Ridge and the airport,” Perkins said in an interview earlier this week.

Nearly 20,000 square feet of retail space is planned for the vacant grassy strip on the north side of N.C. 68 that’s in front of the Retreat at SixtyEight apartments, according to Robbie Perkins, market president for NAI Piedmont Triad, the commercial broker listing the property. The owner of the apartments, Berkley Hall Cos., will get the project underway next month.

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The construction of Boom Supersonic’s $500 million factory (in background) is at the center of economic development efforts at Piedmont Triad International Airport.

An aerial view of the facilities under construction by Piedmont Triad International Airport’s two new major tenants: Marshall Aerospace, shown in the foreground, and Boom Supersonic, with the white roof.

“Everybody’s got to go through there.”

The marketing flyer for the shopping center notes that, on a daily basis, 32,000 vehicles travel on that stretch of highway, while 68,000 travel on I-73. The traffic helps explain why the new center is going to be “100% speculative,” according to Perkins, reflecting the developer’s confidence that it can secure tenants.

The bustling activity mirrors predictions by developers five years ago when the 7.4-mile stretch of I-73 from northwestern Greensboro to U.S. 220 between Summerfield and Stokesdale opened. As the new interstate pulled tractor trailers and other vehicles from secondary routes in northwestern Guilford County, the highway’s northbound and southbound exits at N.C. 68 gave relatively easy access to the growing number of businesses on the road.

A short distance to the south at Piedmont Triad International (PTI) Airport, Boom Supersonic and Marshall Aerospace are constructing giant boxlike facilities along I-73 where jobs will be created for hundreds of employees in the coming years. Over the past decade, aviation-related employment at PTI has more than doubled to 8,600 people as longstanding tenants such as FedEx, Honda Aircraft Co., HAECO Americas and Cessna have expanded.

PTI has readied 1,000 acres for

“The apartment developers have correctly recognized that that whole area is a good place to be because of the jobs at the airport,” he said.

Meanwhile, Perkins added that relatively high incomes and housing values in northwestern Guilford County are also attractive to businesses opening along N.C. 68.

Just north of Sheetz, the design of the ABC store is underway, with plans to open the store in 2026, said Niegel Sullivan, general manager of the Greensboro ABC Board.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital has owned 6.32 acres along N.C. 68 at the I-73 southbound exit ramp since 2022. The hospital has “nothing to announce at this time,” spokesman

Doug Allred said in an email. PTI is primed for more growth in the two years since Boom Supersonic selected the airport for production of passenger jets flying faster than the speed of sound, according to Kevin Baker, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.

Boom, a Denver-based aviation startup, considered potential locations globally, putting Greensboro in the spotlight for aviation companies looking to set up new operations, Baker said.

“Site selection consultants all over the world were watching this,” he said. “So that was a huge win for us. In many ways, we don’t really have to advertise anymore because the whole world knows we’re here and knows what we’ve got going on.”

more development, including an 800-acre tract across I-73 from the airport terminal. The creation of commerce and new jobs puts the stretch of N.C. 68 in a prime spot to capture business in the vicinity of the airport, according to Brian Hall, real estate president for Samet Corp., the developer of three distribution centers operating behind Sheetz.

All but 100,000 of the 600,000 square feet of warehouse space is occupied by the U.S. Postal Service and other distributors, he said.

A stoplight on N.C. 68 separates the distribution complex from the entry ramp to southbound I-73, opening the way for trucks to access Interstates 40, 85 and other major highways, without requiring travel on N.C. 68.

“The truck traffic does not want to travel on N.C. 68 any more than anybody else does,” Hall said. “So being able to go straight across the light to get directly onto the highway is a huge benefit. And that helps explain why the distribution and the industrial space has developed the way that it has.”

The lack of municipal water and sewer services in Oak Ridge and Summerfield limits high-density development, making the stretch of N.C. 68 even more attractive for multi-family residential development, Perkins said.

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 13
Photo courtesy of Piedmont Triad Airport Authority
Craftsmanship CJ Builders is a three-generation family builder offering a wide range of services in a wide range of areas. Casey Johnson 336.706.1887 Call Casey today to talk about building your next custom home.

Disney Construction Co.

Passing the baton to the next generation

Francis Disney (right) passes the “business baton” to his son Mark as he prepares to take the helm at Disney Construction Co.

When Oak Ridge residents Francis and Patti Disney started their construction business over 40 years ago, their goal was to provide a premium product backed by superior customer service.

Disney Construction Co. has long since met those goals while establishing a time-tested reputation for quality home building and becoming one of the most sought-after custom home builders in the area.

Patti still remembers the company’s first spec home, a small ranch house located on Zack Road in Oak Ridge. From those humble beginnings, the company has built numerous custom homes throughout northwest Guilford County, all while remaining true to its small family business values.

“Patti and I are honored and grateful for the many people who trusted, assisted, supported and gave us confidence along the way,” Francis said recently.

During their 40-plus years of being in business, the Disneys have seen it all – record-high interest rates, volatile swings in the real estate market,

and rapidly increasing residential development. Patti credits Francis’s steadfastness, faith and determination for keeping the company on even ground in both the best and the most challenging of times.

“When the industry experienced low points, Francis never failed to put on his work boots, pack his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and set out to earn what was needed for the family,” Patti said.

“Today it’s a ham and cheese, but his work ethic remains the same.

“During our career, we have relied on St. Joseph the carpenter and foster father of Jesus as an intercessor for our business,” she added.

“Our faith is the root of the company’s success.”

The couple has been blessed with a second generation eager to follow in

their parents’ footsteps. Their son Brian started his own successful custom home building business, Brian Disney Homes, several years ago and another son, Mark, has worked closely with Francis for over 16 years.

As Francis and Patti begin to transition away from the center of the business, they are thrilled to be able to pass the baton to Mark and confident the company will continue to flourish under his watch.

Mark has proven to be a skilled craftsman and also an influential force in the local industry. He has served as president of the Greater Greensboro Builders Association and was one of Triad Business Journal’s 2018 “Forty Under Forty.” His wife, Jennifer, assists with selection and design of new homes and oversees the company’s marketing and social media program.

The Disney family offers the highest praise and appreciation for the people

14 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 builder/realtor SPOTLIGHT
We do the homework that sells homes Jason Smith: (336) 451-4921 Tonya Gilbert: (336) 215-7138

who have helped build their company –their loyal subcontractors, sales representatives, and suppliers.

“Our subcontractors and suppliers are like extended family,” Patti said. “We rely on them to help provide our homebuyers with personal attention and walk them through the process of building their custom home. In the end, they take as much pride in the finished home as we do.”

The Disneys hope the next generation will see homeownership and a career in skilled trades as valuable pursuits, based on their belief that homes

provide the place where family members can be nurtured and familial bonds strengthened, while skilled trades offer individuals the chance to use their God-given abilities to create that sacred place.

Benefiting from Francis and Patti’s well-earned reputation to deliver highquality construction and homeowner contentment, coupled with the dynamic leadership and vision brought by Mark and Jennifer, Disney Construction Co. seems well poised to maintain its legacy for years to come.

(336) 643-4219 •

time,” as well as access to town buildings, servers, social media accounts and finance and planning software.

Hall refused, saying she could be criminally charged and face other consequences if “I give you the passwords to the server and to our QuickBooks, where all social security numbers of every Council member and employee are stored since 2000.”

Hall said her communications with the NC League of Municipalities and the UNC School of Government backed her stance.

“I don’t know how more clearly to say that the government cannot be run the same way as the private sector,” Hall wrote in an April 1 email to council members and staff. “As long as this remains a Council/Manager form of government, this is what the state statutes say and it cannot be changed.”

After subsequent email exchanges between Robinson and Hall, Whitaker requested in an email to council members that they “please stop harassing Dee specifically about this information and do not contact other employees or our IT vendors about the matter. It is inappropriate and unbecoming of elected, policy-making officials.”

Updates on the topics in this article will be provided in the coming weeks at

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 15 CANCELATION, UNCERTAINTY ...continued
3 Photos courtesy of Disney Construction Co.
from p.
Time-tested reputation of excellence in quality home building for over 40 years Established 1981 From our family to yours –We are so thankful for your support over the past 40 plus years. We would enjoy partnering with you to build your dream home. – Mark, Jennifer, Patti & Francis Disney 336-643-4219 • Designed and built just for you! Now building and developing in some of northwest Guilford County’s finest neighborhoods or wherever you want to be!

Summerfield rezoning request upsets homeowners

SUMMERFIELD – A neighborhood business rezoning request drew opposition from nearby residents despite the property owner’s offer to limit potential uses for the land.

As proposed, the rezoning application “opens up Pandora’s box,” Vineyards at Summerfield homeowner Len Bluitt said during an informational

meeting this past Monday, May 13. He was among a half dozen residents who opposed owner Bob Caviness’s application to rezone 1.25 acres at 1431 N.C. 150 West.

Even though Caviness limited the number of potential uses for the property in his rezoning application, opponents who live in the Vineyards objected to several remaining uses, such as a place of worship, an athletic field and several retail establishments including a florist. They cited the potential for worsening traffic, noise, light pollution and further business development in the area.

During the meeting, Caviness eliminated many of the remaining uses from his application.

“I’m trying to be agreeable,” he said, even though he initially told those attending the meeting he wants to give potential buyers an array of possible uses if he were to sell the property.

The parcel is part of roughly nine acres owned by Caviness on the stretch of N.C. 150, east of U.S. 220 and abutting the Vineyard subdivision to the west. He and his wife built a house on the property, while their daughter and

her family live in another house on the property.

From his backyard, Vineyards homeowner Kee Lee can see a gravel parking area for Caviness’s construction equipment and trailers.

“How can I protect my property and privacy?” Lee asked in an interview.

A row of evergreen trees Lee planted to block the view are still small, with some dying at the top. During the meeting, Caviness raised the possibility of planting trees to shield the view of his property.

The town will hold two public hearings on the rezoning request. The first is scheduled for next Monday, May 20, when the Planning Board will hold a public hearing and then make a recommendation to the Town Council. The second public hearing would be held at the council’s June 11 meeting, after which it would be expected to make a final decision whether to approve or deny the request.

16 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
Photo by Chris Burritt/NWO Vineyards at Summerfield homeowner Kee Lee said his property value and privacy are being threatened by his backyard neighbor, Bob Caviness, who is seeking neighborhood business rezoning of 1.25 acres.
(336) 345-3263 | Mitch Bullins (center) with his parents, Lisa and Ray Bullins, at Ray Bullins Construction Co., Inc. (336) 442-8657 (Matt Walraven) (336) 207-7790 (office) OHHHH! Like us on Facebook
(336) 362-1777 | Don & An on & An Like what you see? Call Don at 336.362.1777 to talk about your new home! Voted #1 New Home Builder

MAX imizing your real estate experience

Nicole E. Gillespie

Nicole E. Gillespie


RE/MAX Realty Consultants

336.210.3895 cell • www.

Multi-Million Dollar Producer | Lifetime Achievement Award | Hall of Fame Award Winner | Pinnacle Achievement Award

Thank you to Nicole Gillespie for sponsoring this issue’s reader photo page

Thank you to Nicole Gillespie for sponsoring this issue’s reader photo page

Going near or far? Be sure to pack up your Northwest Observer and send us your NWO on the go photos!

Email your high-res photo to:

Bill and Lynne Toth enjoyed a Sunday brunch at Bistro 150 last month with John, a childhood friend of their sons Ryan and Charlie, and John’s daughter, who had come to Greensboro for a soccer tournament. Before they said their goodbyes, the Toths did as any good hosts would do and introduced their guests to the Northwest Observer!

Bill and Lynne Toth enjoyed a Sunday brunch at Bistro 150 last month with John, a childhood friend of their sons Ryan and Charlie, and John’s daughter, who had come to Greensboro for a soccer tournament. Before they said their goodbyes, the Toths did as any good hosts would do and introduced their guests to the Northwest Observer!

Members of the Morris family took a break from the sights and sun in Palm Springs, California, to catch up on the latest hometown news.

Members of the Morris family took a break from the sights and sun in Palm Springs, California, to catch up on the latest hometown news.

Northwest Observer’s editor, Patti Stokes (far right), recently enjoyed visiting with members of Summerfield Charter Academy’s Newspaper Club and their teacher/club leader, Chelsea Shelton (center, in yellow T-shirt). While there, Stokes spoke about the challenges and rewards of her role with the Northwest Observer and enjoyed learning about the students’ role in publishing their school newspaper, “SCA Today.”

recently enjoyed visiting with members of Summerfield Charter Academy’s Newspaper Club and their teacher/club leader, Chelsea Shelton (center, in yellow T-shirt). While there, Stokes spoke about the challenges and rewards of her role with the Northwest Observer and enjoyed learning about the students’ role in publishing their school newspaper, “SCA Today.”

We love that the Watson family takes our motto of “NWO on the Go” seriously! This family from Summerfield, with Northwest Observer in tow, recently completed the “Watson Grand Tour 2024” through Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.

We love that the Watson family takes our motto of “NWO on the Go” seriously! This family from Summerfield, with Northwest Observer in tow, recently completed the “Watson Grand Tour 2024” through Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.

Going near
far? west Observer and
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which became the community of Summerfield in the early 1800s, as well as a second set of Summerfield founders, the more recent residents who worked diligently to incorporate the community and protect its identity in 1996.”

Students with Greensboro Performing Arts will help kick the festival off Friday evening with onstage performances, and carnival rides will be running from 6 to 10 p.m. There will also be a variety of food trucks and vendors to make sure no one goes hungry, and thanks to sponsors, there will also be inflatables and a rock climbing wall for attendees to enjoy free of charge.

Cheryl Gore, the Town of Summerfield’s events planner, said the Town’s amusement ride vendor is new this year, and will be bringing a variety of carnival rides for kids of all ages.

The festival starts again on Saturday at 10 a.m., and a highlight of the morning will be the annual Founders’ Day parade, which winds down Summerfield Road, from Centerfield Road at Summerfield Elementary School to Oak Street, just beyond Summerfield Feed and Seed.

Former mayor Mark Brown, who organized the first and second Founders’ Day parades over 25 years ago and returned at the helm last year, is excited that Summerfield resident Ron Willis accepted the honor of being the parade’s grand marshal. Willis is a veteran, a retired civil engineer with NCDOT, and a longtime volunteer with the Town of Summerfield.

“He served our town on the Board of Adjustment since it started,” Brown noted.

Gore pointed out that Willis is also

very involved with the Rockingham County Honor Guard, which provides official military rites at the burial sites of any veterans whose family requests the services.

“They travel all across the Triad area to honor fallen soldiers,” she said of the Honor Guard. “Just this week, they’re going to three funerals. That takes a lot of time and a lot of commitment.”

~SPACE IS LIMITED to 50 kids ages 6–12.

~Registration begins May 21, the form is available at www.summer

~Bring your rod & reel or use ours—bait provided. ~Free t-shirt!

FREE event: sat., june 15

8:30 AM –11:30 AM

: 8:30AM–9:00AM shing: 9:00AM–11:00AM closing ceremony: 11:00AM–11:30AM

contact Cheryl Gore with questions: 336-643-8655 or cgore@summer

Rides will run on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food vendors will include Domino’s, Grammy’s Smoken Grill, Jamaican Cuisine, Taco Bros, West Coast Wanderer, G&T Concessions, Kona Ice, Mackie’s Munchies of the Carolinas and Blue V’nilla; there will also be 40 craft and business vendors set up, inflatables and balloon twisting for the kids, the rock climbing wall, caricature drawing, outdoor lawn games including cornhole and ladderball and once again, live entertainment by musicians and dancers.

“GPA helped us with lining up performers from local schools,” Gore said. “They’re going to encourage people to get up and dance, and will be leading community line dancing classes.”

Founders’ Day is the most attended community event held in Summerfield each year, and you won’t want to miss it. On behalf of the staff and volunteers who serve on the Founders’ Day Committee and bring it all together, they extend their appreciation to the many Founders’ Day sponsors, volunteers, local vendors, Summerfield Fire District and Summerfield Merchants Association for their role in making sure this family-friendly community event is as much fun as – or even more than – the ones before it.

20 MAY 16
2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
FOUNDERS’ DAY ...continued
A fundraiser for Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker & his family
from p. 1
7999 Winfree Rd., Summerfield sponsor:NCWildlifeCommission
Sportsman Wildlife Club

*A fundraiser for Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker & his family

All donations and event proceeds will be donated to the family of Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker. The Town Council voted 4-1 this past February to put Scott on notice that after 12 years of working for Summerfield, his annual employment contract will not be renewed in June; his last day as town manager will be June 10. While pursuing other employment options and a possible relocation, Scott is also exploring very costly options to bridge the gap in his family’s health insurance coverage; it’s especially critical that it not lapse, as Scott’s wife, Emily-Sarah, is undergoing treatment for triple-negative breast cancer. Scott’s son and Emily-Sarah have often attended and helped with community events, and their absence will leave a tremendous void in our community. Please show your support for the Whitaker family, and let them know their 12 years of service to our town is appreciated.

start times) 7966 Highfill Road, Summerfield Registration fee $35/person To register or make a donation, use this QR code or visit Summerfield/keepingsummerfieldkind
fun run
8 10am-1pm (flexible

And the (water)wheel on the mill goes round and round

After owners repaired a pond gate and replaced the pipe, the Old Mill’s waterwheel is turning again

OAK RIDGE – For the first time in about two decades, the waterwheel of the Old Mill of Guilford on N.C. 68

is turning again.

“Fingers crossed, we hope it happens,” said Darrell Klug, who owns the 18th century mill with his wife, Amy. On the morning of Saturday, May 11, they were joined by more than 25 supporters who waited anxiously to see whether water released from a pond and rushing through a long metal pipe would set in motion the red wheel of the

Oak Ridge landmark.

The crowd cheered when the wheel started to turn, as it had done for decades until leaks in the previous pipe and the failure of the pond gate forced operators to halt the wheel.

Owners of the mill for almost 16 years, the Klugs repaired the gate and more recently replaced the pipe. Eventually, they plan to repair the generator that converts the water

power into electricity to operate a pair of stones that grind grain for flour, corn mill, grits and mixes. Meanwhile, electricity from Duke Energy continues to power the stones.

“Once we fix the generator… we can power the mill and the (adjacent) house and have enough power to sell back to the electric company – just from the water from the pond (which is spring fed),” Klug said.

22 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
From left, Darrell Klug explains how the waterwheel is going to start turning again as his wife, Amy, and employees Carola Schroeder and Annie Laura Perdue join a crowd of more than 25 people for the celebration on May 11. The crowd cheered after water from a pond rushed through a long metal pipe and set the red wheel of the Oak Ridge landmark into motion. Photo by Chris Burritt/NWO
Thanks to our advertisers for supporting this community newspaper and making it possible to provide it free-of-charge to our readers. FOR ADVERTISING RATES/INFORMATION, email or call (336) 644-7035, ext. 10
Oak Ridge’s Kyle Anders watches the spinning of the waterwheel, in operation for the first time in about 20 years.

A record number of pups and their beloved humans showed up for the 10th annual Canine Capers, held on Saturday, April 27, at Oak Ridge Town Park. Featuring dog contests and dog-gone fun activities along with an array of vendors and both longtime and first-time sponsors, the fundraiser brought in over $5,400, which will be divided among participating animal rescues.

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Photos by Patti Stokes/NWO

Oak Ridge Commons

Bistro 150

Where delicious food, fun and friendship are

After nine years of owning and operating Bistro 150, Jennifer Mun is still counting her blessings.

“Every day when I open the back door to come into work, I feel like I’m opening up a treasure box,” she said.

Mun’s warm, enthusiastic smile and welcoming personality naturally draw people into her orbit – and once there, they’re not likely to pull away. That’s a bonus of her business which she didn’t expect and cherishes.

“I haven’t made a lot of money, but I’ve made some incredible friends,” Mun said. “They are priceless.”

Over the years Bistro 150 has developed a large base of loyal customers, including a few who even come daily for their “Bistro fix.” Along with this faithful group of locals, there are those who discovered the Bistro while traveling through the area and

come back whenever they are in town – such as the out-ofstate customers who come to the High Point Furniture Market twice a year and always reconnect with Mun at their favorite Oak Ridge hangout before heading home. There’s also the couple from Virgina Beach who come to the Bistro every year as they’re driving through – in fact, they recently stayed in town an extra night just so they could see Mun and eat at the Bistro before they left. First-time and long-time customers alike say they appreciate the restaurant’s expansive menu options and delicious food, as well as the cozy, welcoming atmosphere and warm greeting they get when they step inside the restaurant.

As for the food, Mun and her employees enjoy cooking up long-time favorites – including

Classic dishes and daily specials blend the freshestingredients of the highestquality and showcase our chef’s innovativeculinaryabilities . 336.643.6359 | Live music from 6 - 9pm every Saturday Our baked salmon with lemon orzo and broccoli is always a customer favorite! Hiding your smile? We can help! Complimentary exam | Financing available Insurance accepted | Braces & Invisalign for children & adults (336) 441-7007 | 2205 Oak Ridge Rd., Suite CC, Oak Ridge © Novant Health, Inc. 2024 2/24 • GWS1610014 As a parent, you expect safe, high-quality care for your child. And you need care that fits your busy lifestyle. We provide care that grows with your child — from newborns and toddlers through the tween, teen and even into the college years. Healthcare made easy for your kids
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A surprisingly uncommon experience in the heart of Oak



Oak Ridge, at the corner of NC Highways 68 and 150

delectable seafood and pasta dishes, salads, and ramen bowls – as well as creating innovative new dishes. Many customers also agree Bistro 150 has the best burger in town.

To add variety, daily dinner specials are offered Monday through Saturday and sometimes become so popular that they gain a permanent spot on the menu.

Sunday brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the menu featuring signature dishes ranging from a traditional breakfast to a hearty skillet dish, blueberry pancakes and fruit bowls.

Bistro 150 has a full ABC permit, and offers an affordably priced wine list, a wide array of bottled and draft beers, and liquors.


Stop by Bistro 150 and say hello to (L to R) chef April Littreal, owner Jennifer Mun, and kitchen assistants Jim Mun and Juan Salinas.

A rotating lineup of local musicians perform at the restaurant every Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Mun looks forward to introducing one of Oak Ridge’s newest musical groups, the Fox Garden Band, for a special performance on Friday, May 31.

Whether dining inside or, in warmer weather, outside on the Bistro’s front patio area, Mun and her team strive to ensure their customers’ experience is enhanced with “flavor, flair and a warm smile,” and that those who enter as strangers leave as friends.

For more information about reserving the Oak Ridge Room, call the Bistro at the number above.

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we are excited to show it off when we’ve got a beautiful day to do it,” he said.


Proposed budget. Bruce presented a draft of the town’s $2.7 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that leaves unchanged the property tax rate of 8 cents per $100 of valuation.

With construction of Phase 1 of Heritage Farm Park almost complete, next year’s spending plan earmarks funds for continuing the renovation and expansion of the historic Redmon house into the Farmhouse Community Center, according to the manager’s budget message. It also sets aside money for building a boardwalk to a reflective area as the second phase of the Veterans Honor Green planned for the park.

Authorized by separate capital project ordinances, federal, state and county grants of nearly $8.4 million will pay for construction of a 250,000gallon elevated water storage tank behind Town Hall and a 3.2-mile water line to connect the tank to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities.

The council did not ask any questions about the budget. The council will hold a public hearing during the June 6 meeting for citizen feedback on the budget before voting on whether to adopt it.

Later in the meeting, Finance Committee Chair Stuart Mease said he believes the committee and town staff produced “a very fiscally responsible budget.”

Water system addition  5  0 to schedule a special called meeting (date to be determined) to consider accepting the Village Woods water system into the town’s municipal water system.

Village Woods, a residential development, is set back from N.C. 68, behind Starbucks. If the council takes over its water system, it would become the town’s second water customer. The first is Honeycutt Reserve, a subdivision under development on Bunch Road.

“Acquiring the Village Woods system continues the Town’s commitment to growing its municipal water customer base,” Bruce wrote in an April 26 memo to council members. “A return on this investment will be realized over decades as more and more residents are connected to a safe and reliable source of drinking water.”

As proposed, water user fees would pay for construction of new lines drawing water from the main line proposed for N.C. 150 from Kernersville to Oak Ridge.

Park security system

 3  2 to delay a decision on town staff’s recommendation to spend about $71,210 to install security cameras at Town Park and Heritage Farm Park.

Citing a need for additional time to review the proposal, Kinneman, Stone and Greeson voted to defer discussion until

a later meeting in the next few weeks. Schneider and Harton voted to proceed with a vote on the project to install the security system as soon as possible.

A $140,000 grant from Guilford County will cover the cost of the system, which will include eight cameras that can read license plates and four wideview cameras, as well as expanded Wi-Fi coverage and electrical services. The town awaits a quote on three additional cameras, Bruce said.

Noting that council members just received the proposal a few days earlier, Kinneman said delaying consideration will give them more time to review specifics. As soon as the outstanding quote arrives, they’ll also have a better gauge on the project’s final price, he added.

“I don’t think anyone is saying we don’t want to do the project,” the mayor said, with Greeson adding he thought it would be wise to wait until the town has a final price.

Harton, however, said he was confident the final quote won’t push costs above the additional 10% above the quoted amount that is allowed for contingencies.

“I think we should move forward on this,” agreed Schneider, noting she was impressed with a demonstration of the equipment. The arrival of warmer weather is bringing more people – and thieves – to the parks, she said.

Earlier, Sgt. Seals with the sheriff’s department had said some of the smashand-grab thefts from vehicles in area parks have been confirmed to involve the Felony Lane Gang, an organization that uses stolen IDs to get cash. The group’s name comes from its practice of attempting these transactions through bank drivethrough lanes, sometimes from the most distant lane to disguise their true identities.

Stone challenged Schneider’s view, saying that “doing the right thing includes taking care of taxpayers’ money. We can’t afford to approve things off of ideas. We need solid numbers.”

“This project has taken a long time,” the mayor said. “The fact that it may take an extra two or three weeks to get everything together isn’t (going to make) a material difference.”

Later, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member Caroline Ruch said she was disappointed by the council’s decision to delay consideration of the project, especially after the sheriff’s report about park thefts.

Conservation easement grants

 5  0 to approve two Conserving Oak Ridge through Easement (CORE) Initiative Grants at a combined cost of more than $25,000.

Over the past two years, the council has set aside $40,000 for the grants. Another $20,000 is appropriated in the proposed budget for next fiscal year.

In its first grant, the council agreed to spend $7,526 to defray costs for establishing a conservation easement on the Sanders-Blaylock house, at 1815 Oak Ridge Road (N.C. 150). Owners Roy Nydorf and Terry Hammond applied for the grant to help pay for the easement that will protect the house from the possibility of demolition or the adjoining property from development.

Preservation North Carolina, a nonprofit organization, will get $7,500 from Oak Ridge to monitor compliance of the property to easement requirements.

Sign up Now!

Seals urged park visitors not to leave their purses and wallets behind in their vehicles and instead carry these items with them or place them in their trunks before arriving at the park.

“Let’s just do the right thing for the safety of our citizens,” Schneider said, adding that she trusts the staff’s recommendation to proceed with the security system. Earlier, it won the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

“Any inference that there’s any distrust of staff is completely baseless,” Kinneman said.

In a second vote, the council approved spending up to $18,050 to help pay for an easement for approximately 17 acres of open space at 2120 Beeson Road. Owner Jack Blaylock is seeking permanent preservation of the land. The Piedmont Land Conservancy will monitor the easement, at a cost of $7,000.

Kinneman said he thought property owners seeking grants had “more skin in the game” financially.

Homeowners pay for an appraisal and private legal advice on the easement, according to Schneider. Property that goes under an easement typically decreases in value due to the prohibition of demolition and restrictions on development, she added.

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Later, Hammond said she and her husband had invested years of “blood, sweat and tears” into preserving the Sanders-Blaylock house.

Stephanie Farrell, chair of the Conservation Easement Committee, said committee members are talking to the owner of another historical property about possibly establishing an easement.

GCS request for contribution

 5  0 to reject a request by the county’s Board of Education for $30,384 to continue a “high-dose” tutoring program next fiscal year when federal pandemic relief funds for the program expire.

“This is the responsibility of the Board of Education to deal with,” said Kinneman, explaining he plans to write a “one- or two-paragraph” letter telling board Chair Deena Hayes and Vice Chair Bettye Jenkins about the town’s decision. “We pay our taxes at the county level.”

Noting that Oak Ridge has gotten county appropriations for various projects while supporting education in various ways, Schneider said a terse denial letter from the town would result in “missing an opportunity and not building a relationship.”

Later in the meeting, District 3 Board of Education member Michael Logan said, “I think Oak Ridge Elementary School deserves some money, but it doesn’t need to come from Oak Ridge.”

Grant services

 5  0 to approve a resolution accepting as much as $30,000 from a pandemic relief program providing assistance in grant research, the submittal of grant applications and the management of grant awards.

The state’s League of Municipalities is funding the program, which will rely upon a consulting firm to provide grant assistance. Initial discussions by town staff have focused on grants related to water and parks infrastructure, according to Bruce.


Planning and Zoning Board. Board member Patti Paslaru said the board discussed plans for two proposed subdivisions: Manderley on N.C. 150 near East Harrell Road and Southern Pines at N.C. 150 and Forsyth Road.

Southern Pines is located in Oak

Ridge’s ETJ (extraterritorial jurisdiction), and the project’s developer plans to seek annexation into the town, Paslaru said. Mountains-to-Sea Trail Committee.

Committee member Stephanie Farrell said two recent workdays focused on repairs to the Headwaters Trail, with volunteers putting down 7,000 pounds of gravel in a mucky area.

Special Events Committee. Chair Patti Dmuchowski said fundraising for the second phase of the Veterans Honor Green exceeds $12,000.

Tree Committee. Co-chair Roy Nydorf said construction of the veterans’ site will provide protection for pine trees in the vicinity of the project.

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Co-chair Adrian Echenrod said park staff plans to post signs putting the Town Park amphitheater off limits when it’s not in use, explaining that unsupervised children are throwing rocks and causing damage to stairs and other concrete at the amphitheater.

Historic Preservation Commission.

Commission member Courtenay Harton said the commission approved a COA (certificate of appropriateness) for residential fencing at 2100 Oak Ridge Road.

Triad Municipal ABC Board. Jimm Barbery, Oak Ridge’s representative on the board, said Oak Ridge collected $258,357 in ABC distributions this fiscal year, topping the town’s estimate of $250,000.

Oak Ridge Military Academy. Caroline Ruch urged residents to support fundraising for an estimated $500,000 in repairs to Maple Glade, saying exterior damage threatens the structure.


„ Stone urged people to support the renovation of Maple Glade, saying, “It does take money.”

„ Harton thanked volunteers serving on the Finance and other committees.

„ Noting that some residents are calling for greater agreement and compromise among council members, Schneider said she also favors “more civility and respect and trust that make for productive discussion in and out of council meetings.”

„ “We are actually getting noticed a lot,” said Kinneman, explaining that two local television stations recently aired stories about Heritage Farm Park and Canine Capers. The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.


I propose a 5-point plan to keep our children safe while obtaining an excellent education. I’m calling this the “Starfish Plan,” where we collaborate between parents’ involvement, school curriculum, businesses, faith community, and government agencies.

Ultimately, our goal is to prepare our children with a competitive advantage to be productive members of society. We can do this by being “Better Together” as a team.

Faith-based Organizations play a supportive role in schools by offering moral guidance, values education, and community engagement opportunities. They provide resources, volunteer support, and counseling services that align with their beliefs and values, helping to foster a sense of belonging and moral development among students. However, it's essential to maintain a balance that respects diverse religious beliefs and ensures that education remains inclusive and secular.

Please speak with your Faith-based Organization and your school principal on how you can help.

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 27 | 336.202.6485 paid for by Citizens for Common Ground
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Parents’ Involvement School Curriculum Faith Community Government Agencies Starfish Plan Local Businesses



z Children’s fishing derby | Registration will soon open for the Town of Summerfield’s annual children’s fishing derby for kids ages 6 to 12 (accompanied by a parent or guardian), to take place on Saturday, June 15, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Sportsman’s Wildlife Club, 7999 Winfree Road. Space is limited to 50 children. Details and registration available at www. (see town calendar section). Also, see display ad on p. 20.


z Farmers & Specialty Market | Northwest Guilford farmers market is now open Wednesday evenings from 4 p.m. to dusk and Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Greensboro Performing Arts, 7200 Summerfield Road. More info: Nicki Wagoner, (336) 817-7765 or



(336) 643-8984


z Founders’ Day | Town of Summerfield will host its annual two-day Founders’ Day festival Friday, May 17, 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 7300-7400 Summerfield Road, next to Summerfield Fire Station #9. The annual Founders’ Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and wind along Summerfield Road. See display ad on p. 5 for more info.


z Walk for hunger | Good Samaritan Ministries of Stokesdale will sponsor a walk for hunger followed by a Pentecost service and an ice cream social on May 19, starting at 2 p.m. at the walking track at Bethel Methodist Church, 8424 Haw River Road in Oak Ridge. Participate in the walk, or just donate money and attend the service and ice cream

Loving care for pets and their families

Full-service medicine, surgery and dentistry Surgical and therapeutic laser Acupuncture and ultrasound

Wendy Camp, DVM | Tina Becker, DVM 1692-J NC Hwy 68 N, Oak Ridge • (336) 643-8984

social. More info: stokesdalegoodsamaritans.


z Food pantry | Good Samaritan Ministries’ food pantry in Stokesdale will open for those in need of food on May 25, 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Gideon Grove United Methodist Church, 2865 Gideon Grove Church Road. To receive assistance or to donate to the ministry, contact Terri Johnson, (336) 643-5887 or


z Memorial Day ceremony | A Memorial Day ceremony will take place May 27, starting at 10 a.m. at Oak Ridge Town Park, 6231 Lisa Drive. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. More info: (908) 334-2370 or


z Budget presentation | Summerfield Town Council will present a draft budget for FY 2024-25 on May 30, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Summerfield Community Center, 5404 Centerfield Road. More info:


z Community movie night | The Summit Church in Oak Ridge will sponsor a movie night featuring “Wonka” on May 31 at Oak

Ridge Town Park, 6231 Lisa Drive. Food trucks will be onsite at 6:30 p.m., games start at 7 p.m.; the movie begins at dark. Admission and concessions are free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. More info: visit or see ad on p. 30.


z Training facility tour | Citizens are invited to tour the new Oak Ridge Fire Department training facility at 8325 Linville Road on June 1, starting at 9 a.m. More info: call Chief Ken Gibson, (336) 643-3783. z Gem, mineral & jewelry show | The Greensboro Gem & Mineral Club will sponsor its 11th annual gem, mineral & jewelry show on June 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, 2914 Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax. More info:, or email



z Kiwanis Club | Kiwanis Club of Northwest Guilford, which supports childrenrelated projects, will meet June 4, starting at noon at Bill’s Pizza, 1431 N.C. 68 in Oak Ridge. More info: z Summerfield Merchants | Summerfield Merchants Association (SMA), which focuses on serving the Summerfield

...continued on p. 30

28 MAY 16
JUNE 19, 2024
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Register online: triadnc
Go to, select “community calendar” on the main menu, then “event submission” from the dropdown menu. Once approved, your event will appear online AND be considered for our print edition. Deadline for inclusion in print is ... 9 a.m. on Monday before each Thursday paper submitting your calendar event is
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Join Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford and Randolph counties as we come together to celebrate our survivors, remember those we have lost, and fight back to end cancer.

Ordinary people, Extraordinary impact

“Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.” – Albert Schweitzer

Wesley Lean, service bound

The now 17-year-old began volunteering at age 8 and hasn’t stopped since

Wesley Lean’s desire to serve others surfaced early in his life. At age 8, he volunteered with a local organization called Kids of Childhood Cancer and was charged with securing food and prizes for the group’s annual 5K race. He was so successful that it wasn’t long before he was asked to join the nonprofit’s board.

Two years later, when the group’s founder moved away, Wesley wasted no time looking for his next place to make a difference.

Both his late father and his uncle were involved with The Arc of Greensboro, a nonprofit that advocates and provides programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Through volunteering with The Arc, Wesley found a way to continue the legacy of the two men, whom he described as his “biggest motivators.”

Not yet old enough for a driver’s license, the then-adolescent talked his grandparents, Ron Lean and Diane Dillon, into volunteering with him in The Arc’s Challenger Sports League. While starting out as an assistant baseball coach, the energetic young man quickly began taking on more responsibility.

The now 17-year-old is dual enrolled in homeschool and Forsyth Technical Community College, and has helped manage the league’s concession stand and set up and clean up at every Saturday morning game.

These days he can be found behind the announcer’s microphone, calling the action and adding his own color commentary.

“He’s an amazing young man,” said Lindy Garnette, executive director of The Arc. “He makes all the players feel appreciated and important.”

Wesley’s contributions aren’t just limited to the games, however. He also helps with the league’s Christmas and end-of-season parties.

His grandmother proudly talks of Wesley’s enthusiasm for promoting the organization as well as his ability to get others involved.

“Wesley has a knack for talking about and sharing the joy of what he’s involved with,” Dillon said.

That “knack” has been very beneficial in fundraising. For example, if the teams need uniforms, or even snacks for an upcoming party, he’s on it. A thoughtful writer, Wesley does most of his fundraising by sending out letters that have directly and indirectly brought in several thousand dollars for the organization.

Garnette relates the story of how Wesley decided he wanted every team member to have a real ball cap.

“On his own, he contacted all the attorneys in Greensboro and got enough money to get every player a cap,” she said.

Based on Wesley’s devotion and determination, it’s not surprising he was named The Arc’s Volunteer of the Year for 2023.

“The longevity of his involvement and his age are both impressive,” Garnette said. “What he’s done for the organization as a whole by reaching out has been phenomenal. There’s no one more deserving than him.”

Photo by

Rather than focusing on his accomplishments, though, Wesley’s passion for the organization is what seems to drive him.

“I love the camaraderie and (the fact that) the people are not a dime a dozen,” he said. “They’re all unique and I like to think of myself as being unique as well.”

When he’s not volunteering, Wesley stays busy soaking up history, writing books, stories and letters, playing video games and spending time with his young cousins.

With his love and respect for veterans, he’s considering joining the military one day – but there are a few other career opportunities he’s also considering, including becoming a history teacher. One thing is certain, he’ll continue volunteering and serving others in whatever way he can.

Stokesdale 7705 Highway 68 N (336) 441-8066 Summerfield 4420 US Highway 220N (336) 793-5391 Madison 706 Burton Street (336) 548-6674 High Point 2410 Eastchester Dr (336) 841-6553 Eden 406 N. Bridge Street (336) 627-9400 Thanks to Tire Max for sponsoring this monthly feature in which we recognize “ordinary” people in our readership area who make an extraordinary impact on others. To nominate an “ordinary” person for this feature, email with their name, a detailed description of how they positively impact others, and your contact info.
Annette Joyce/NWO Wesley Lean was designated as The Arc of Greensboro’s Volunteer of the Year in 2023.

With over 100 vendors, you can always find something Fun and Unique!


...continued from p. 28

community and providing networking opportunities for local professionals, will meet June 4, 6:15 to 8 p.m. More info or RSVP:

z Friends of Stokesdale | Friends of Stokesdale, a nonprofit committed to preserving Stokesdale’s history and downtown charm, will meet June 4, 7 to 8 p.m. at Stokesdale United Methodist Church, 8305 Loyola Drive. More info: or (336) 708-0334.

z Budget workshop | Stokesdale Town Council will hold a budget workshop June 4, starting at 7 p.m. at Stokesdale Town Hall, 8325 Angel Pardue Road. More info:


z Free community meal | Gideon Grove UM Church at 2865 Gideon Grove Church Road in Stokesdale will serve a free hot dog dinner on June 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. More info: gideongroveumc.

JUNE 5, 11, 13 & 20

z Senior programs | Senior Resources of Guilford County will sponsor a senior program including activities and a takehome lunch from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 5 at Oak Ridge First Baptist Church, 2445 Oak Ridge Road; on June 11 at Shady Grove Wesleyan Church (119 N. Bunker Hill Road in Colfax); on June 13 at Stokesdale UMC (8305 Loyola Drive); and on June 20 at Summerfield First Baptist Church (2300 Scalesville Road). More info and/or RSVP: call (336) 373-4816, ext. 265.


4537 US Hwy 220 N,

z Town Council meeting | Oak Ridge Town Council will meet June 6, starting at 7 p.m. at Oak Ridge Town Hall, 8315 Linville Road. More info:


z Veterans’ coffee | Bethel Methodist Church at 8424 Haw River Road in Oak Ridge invites local veterans to a monthly event for coffee and fellowship June 7, starting at 8:30 a.m. More info: Larry McDonald, (336) 215-3141.


16 - JUNE 19, 2024

z Music in the Park | The Town of Oak

Ridge will host a Music in the Park event on June 8 at Oak Ridge Town Park Amphitheater, 6231 Lisa Drive. 80z Nation will perform starting at 6 p.m. There will be several food trucks; alcoholic beverages will be for sale. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The event is free, but donations for the band are appreciated. More info:


z Grand opening | A grand opening celebration of Heritage Farm Park at 8515 Scoggins Road in Oak Ridge will be held June 9, from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, free pony rides for children and the new inclusive playground for kids to enjoy, as well as food trucks. More info:


z Northwest Guilford Woman’s Club | NWGWC will meet June 10, starting at 7 p.m. More info or to attend the meeting as a guest: Tiffany Hansen, president, at (336) 404-8038 or

z Annual meeting | Oak Ridge Fire & Rescue Company at 8325 Linville Road will hold its annual meeting June 10, starting at 7:30 p.m. The meeting

agenda includes election of officers, presentation of annual reports and other business. More info: (336) 643-3783.


z Town Council meeting | Summerfield Town Council will meet June 11, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Summerfield Community Center, 5404 Centerfield Road. More info/ meeting agenda:


z Town Council meeting | Stokesdale Town Council will meet June 13, starting at 7 p.m. at Stokesdale Town Hall, 8325 Angel Pardue Road. More info/ meeting agenda:


z Kiwanis Club | Kiwanis Club of Northwest Guilford will meet June 18, starting at 12 noon at Bill’s Pizza, 1431 N.C. 68 in Oak Ridge. More info:

z Northwest Guilford VFW | Northwest Guilford VFW invites veterans and individuals who have served overseas in a conflict to attend VFW Post #7999’s monthly meeting June 18, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Summerfield Community Center, 5404 Centerfield Road. More info: Andy Schlosser, (336) 456-2199, or Rick Dunlap, (336) 601-0941.

30 MAY
Summerfield (336) 643-6994 Mon-Sat 10-6
Sun 12-6 Join us for Kevin Golden
Car Cruise-In June 2, 12-5pm
Night! June 6, 6-9pm
in July July 1-31

NWHS principal transitioning to GCS central office staff

NW GUILFORD – Northwest Guilford High School principal Ashley Young will soon be joining the school system’s central office. There, she’ll become a Zone 1 principal supervisor, stepping in for Dr. Denise Patterson, who is retiring.

Young first came to NWHS in 2006 as a teacher. She later served as assistant principal under Ralph Kitley, before taking over as principal at Dalton McMichael High School in Rockingham County and then at Northwest Middle School. She returned to NWHS as principal in 2020 after Kitley retired.

Combining her 15 years at NWHS and two at NWMS, she’s been a member of the Northwest community for 17 years.

“That’s a really long time… it’s going to be exciting to take on this new position, but very, very hard to leave,” she said in an interview this week. “There are people with me who have been here since I first came in 2006.”

As she prepares to leave behind the “fast-paced, intense” work flow and day-to-day managing of a large school community, she said what most excites her about her new role is being able to support and assist eight other principals, one of whom will be brand new next year.

Recognizing that every school and community is unique, she also looks forward to gaining different perspectives from principals in other areas of the county.

“I’ve been at other schools besides Northwest, but this will broaden my perspective,” she said.

With NWHS’s graduation coming up on June 7, Young said she’s given it a lot of thought.

“I always do, because it is such a big event,” she said. “But I’m thinking about it a little extra hard this year, because I’ve been with the kids who will be graduating since the 7th grade (dating back to her time at NWMS), and I’ve seen the culmination of six years in growth. Knowing this is the last graduation will be tough. When I was AP here before and I left for Rockingham County, in my heart, I was hopeful I would be back at some point. This time, there is so much more of a finality to it. I will definitely be emotional.”

In reflecting, she credits former NWHS principal Ralph Kitley for being such a “huge part of why and where I am at. He’s been instrumental in mentoring me and helping me.”

When asked about any advice Kitley passed along, she promptly responded, “He told me, ‘You have to keep children at the center of every decision you make – there’s not a lot you can mess up if you do that.’” For her successor and those she’ll be mentoring and supporting in her new role, she’ll add this advice: “Along with centering on students, you have to support your teachers and your staff. They do so much more in 2024 than 15 or 20 years ago. You’ve got to support and listen and care for them. I’ve tried to do that.”

She expressed her gratitude to all the people she has been surrounded by in her years at Northwest, not the least of which is her “amazing staff.”

“I do feel like I am who I am professionally and personally because of all the amazing people I’ve worked with and been surrounded by … you accumulate that advice and wisdom and skills throughout the years, and you take those best pieces of people. I owe a lot of gratitude to all the people who have contributed to my growth, and I owe a great debt to the northwest community.”

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 31 Home | Auto | Motorcycle Life | Business 5709 W Friendly Avenue Greensboro (336) 299-5185 Enjoy the view knowing you are FULLY COVERED. Proudly serving the Triad since 1963 The Most Trusted Hearing Care Experts in The Triad Trusted by Thousands of Local People, Families, Physicians, and Organizations for Over 12 Years Pediatric and adult audiological services Expertise on all levels of hearing technology and assistive devices (336) 294 9617 529 College Road Suite B Greensboro NC 27410 Speciality in Cochlear Implant evaluations, device selection, and programming Tinnitus assessments and individualized counseling
Ashley Young Photo courtesy of GCS

welcome to ... youth link

A regular section in the Northwest Observer focused on the youthful matters of northwest Guilford County

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Summerfield and Greensboro

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Only God Choir performs at U.S. Capitol

The youth singing group which seeks to impact others through music, preaching and service has performed at over 50 churches, festivals and other venues since forming over two years ago

STOKESDALE/WASHINGTON, D.C. –When approached by three young students in the 2021-22 school year to start a choir, Xavier Kelley (aka “Mr. X”) initially hesitated – not because he wasn’t willing, but because he wasn’t

sure the students were serious enough. Giving credit to the Lord for doing His work and giving him a nudge, Kelley agreed to direct the students and before long the choir was singing in school chapels and services at Oak Level Baptist Church in Stokesdale.

16 - JUNE 19, 2024

The following school year, Kelley was teaching rising sixth graders at Oak Level Baptist Academy when on the first day of school one of the choir members asked to do the choir again, which received unanimous consensus among the students. After the group was

invited by Pastor Jerry Walker to accompany him to a revival he was preaching, doors began to open from there.

The students recorded their first CD in December 2022, and the following month they began raising

...continued on p. 37

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996

32 MAY
Members of the Only God Choir stand with U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx and their director, Xavier Kelley, inside the U.S. Capitol building while there for a performance earlier this month. Photo courtesy of CL Photography and Only God Choir
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Northwest Guilford’s record-setting QB looks ahead

After passing for a record 7,034 yards in high school, Tanner Ballou plans to compete for the starting quarterback job at HampdenSydney College this fall by CHRIS BURRITT

NW GREENSBORO – Three weeks before his high school’s graduation, Northwest Guilford’s record-setting quarterback Tanner Ballou is already preparing for his freshman season at Hampden-Sydney College this fall.

Ballou is following his college coach Vince Luvara’s instructions: lifting weights five days a week and sprinting. The coach “wants the whole team to get faster and

stronger than we are right now,” Ballou recently said in an interview.

Starting in first grade, Ballou played football on Oak Ridge Youth Association teams and in his Stonehenge neighborhood with older kids, including his brother, Connor. Their father, Jeff, first realized Tanner’s potential while he was playing his fifth year for the Oak Ridge Colts, and foreshadowed his son’s achievements at Northwest Guilford Middle and High schools.

A high school starter for three seasons, Ballou threw 84 touchdowns for 7,034 yards, the most for a player from a North Carolina High School Athletic Association school in Guilford County. Ballou passed former Page High School quarterback Will Jones and earlier

34 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
Tanner Ballou, a NWHS senior and three-year starter on the football team, passed for a record 7,034 yards in high school, the most for a player from a North Carolina High School Athletic Association school in Guilford County. This fall he’ll attend Hampden-Sydney, an all-male private school in Virginia, on a football scholarship. Photos courtesy of Jeff Ballou
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eclipsed Northwest High School’s passingyardage record held by Rusty LaRue, who went on to play football and basketball at Wake Forest University and then in the National Basketball Association.

Tanner “loves the game and he’s talented, a combination that really helped,” said Jeff, who raised his two sons and their older sister, Rylan, with his wife, Angela, a teacher at Northwest High School.

Rylan, 24, achieved her father’s dream for one of his children to reach the National Football League: she’s a video coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, a professional team in Nashville.

Tanner is getting a football scholarship at Hampden-Sydney, an all-male private school in Virginia. As a member of the National College Athletic Association’s Division III, it’s less competitive athletically than Division I and II institutions.

Tanner “turned down a lot of Division II offers, but once we went up to Hampden-Sydney, he was hooked,” his father said. The school has “a wonderful brotherhood. Tanner is going in as an 18-year-old and coming out a 22-year-old man. Playing football is icing on the cake for me.”

A broken wrist ended Ballou’s football season during his junior year at Northwest. At 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 180 pounds, Ballou said he looks forward to competing for the starting quarterback’s job at Hampden-Sydney. He’s going up against last season’s starter, Carter Sido, a junior this fall.

“The coach has been telling me that he is watching my film and he knows me,” Ballou said. “So it’s going to be competitive coming into my freshman year.”

Ballou threw his final three touchdown passes last November in Northwest’s season-ending playoff loss to Charlotte’s Chambers High School.

The Vikings entered last season with a new coach, Chris Rusiewicz.

“When I got there, I noticed that Tanner was a workaholic in the weight room,” Rusiewicz said. “He dedicated himself to understanding football and he loved the game.

“All of the records that he broke weren’t by default,” Rusiewicz added. “He earned every piece of it.”

Ballou played three years for Kevin Wallace, now the football coach at West Forsyth High School in Clemmons. Not only does Ballou have “a very good, accurate arm, he’s also very smart on the field,” the former coach said.

“We focused on being able to read defensive coverages to give our team an advantage,” Wallace said. Ballou “really adapted and evolved with an understanding that helped him succeed after the snap” of the football.

As Ballou’s new coach, Rusiewicz said he and his staff emphasized “continuing to develop Tanner. My philosophy as a former college football coach is to develop these kids at that level and prepare those who choose to play college football.”

Previously, Rusiewicz coached at Guilford College, which, like HampdenSydney, belongs to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Ballou reminds Rusiewicz of college quarterbacks who were “smart, committed to the game and were athletic enough to do some things with their feet, but had strong arms.”

Ballou said he still loves playing football as much as he did when he started playing competitive tackle football in the first grade.

“I played a ton of different sports, but football was definitely the main sport,” he said.

As the record book shows, Ballou said, “passing is definitely my first option.” And then he added, “there are other small things, like being able to communicate with my teammates in an easy way, and leadership.”

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 35
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Kids’ Korner

Meerkats may be small but they can be f ierce when threatened. Sometimes they will gather together and hiss to scare o a predator!


Meerkats live together in groups, called mobs, of different sizes, ranging anywhere from three to 50 meerkats. All members of a mob live together underground in burrows that can be 16 feet long with multiple entrances and rooms.

Find cover!

While a mob looks for food, one member, called a sentry, stays back and finds a high point, like a termite mound, and perches on its back legs. It scans the sky and surroundings for predators such as eagles, hawks and jackals. If a sentry senses danger, it will let out a high-pitched squeal, sending the mob scrambling for cover.

Can you find the differences? 12


...continued from p. 32

funds to travel to Washington, D.C. Through their time together, a unique bond developed among the students, many of whom come from broken homes and difficult backgrounds.

At the end of the school year, Kelley said he felt the Lord leading him to expand the choir as an independent ministry to allow students from different schools and churches to participate in the endeavor.

“The students who sing in our choir currently have a mix of backgrounds, both good and bad, and it is remarkable how God is using them,” Kelley said. “Not without challenge and obstacle, it’s a story of

faith, resilience, and hope. We are excited for what God is going to do!”

After over two years of fundraising and singing

at over 50 churches, festivals and other events, the Only God Choir was thrilled to be invited by U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) to perform inside the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

“We are so grateful for how God worked a miracle in our favor this past Wednesday (May 8),” Kelley wrote on the group’s Facebook page after returning home. “After a private tour of the U.S. Capitol with Rep. Virginia Foxx, we discovered there was a rare scheduling issue with our Capitol event. We were bewildered and shocked, but Dr. Foxx proactively came up with a solution, and God got the glory – our venue was upgraded!

“First, Rep. Foxx allowed our choir to have a private concert on the Capitol building’s Speaker’s Balcony, which overlooks Washington, D.C. There were several people down below who heard our choir sing “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” This part of the Capitol is very secure, and it was nothing short of the grace of God that we sang there. Then, we traveled to the U.S. Capitol rotunda where we sang several songs and Christ was proclaimed loud and clear.

“Earlier in the day, Rep. Foxx took the choir to

the House floor during session. In a very rare turn of events, the girls were on the floor when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made the motion to remove Speaker Mike Johnson from office. The girls were able to take the representative’s voting card and vote to keep the Speaker. This was extraordinary! All of our adults were in the balcony watching our choir be a part of history, and the students could even be seen on C-Span.

“We’re grateful for how God worked this to His maximum glory, and we praise His name for all He did,” Kelley continued. “…When we saw Rep. Foxx cry on the Speaker’s Balcony – and sing along with us – we were confident that God had used her to be a beacon of hope to us as well as others. Jesus Never Fails.”

want more info?

Learn more about the Only God Choir at and follow them on Facebook. The choir is looking for more singers in the fifth-eighth grades – if interested, email

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District 1 Sheriff’s Office

has recently responded to

following incidents in northwest/northern Guilford County


April 16

| A resident of the 8900 block of Osage Road in Stokesdale (near N.C. 65) reported a physical altercation and being threatened with a knife; a 43-year-old female was arrested for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

April 26 | Law enforcement officers responded to a reported physical altercation in the 2100 block of Pleasant Ridge Road in northwest Greensboro.

April 30 | A 59-year-old male was arrested in the 1800 block of Cude Road in Colfax for assault with a deadly weapon.

May 1 | Officers responded to a reported assault and burglary in the 8100 block of Shoeline Road in Stokesdale (near U.S. 158).

May 4 | A resident of the 1400 block of Scalesville Road in Summerfield report-

ed a known suspect trespassed on her property and threatened her.

May 5 | A resident of the 8200 block of Kandi Drive in Stokesdale (near N.C. 68 N) reported a known suspect made lewd comments that made her feel intimidated and threatened.

May 6 | Officers responded to a reported physical altercation in the 7700 block of Tannery Road in Summerfield (near U.S. 220 N).

May 7 | A 56-year-old male was arrested in the 7800 block of Summerfield Road in Summerfield for simple assault.


April 16 | Officers responded to an attempted suicide via narcotics overdose in the 8000 block of Bartonshire Drive in Oak Ridge (off N.C. 68 N).


April 18 | Officers conducted a death investigation in the 5100 block of Medearis Street in Summerfield (off Summerfield Road).

April 18 | Officers conducted a death investigation in the 8000 block of Pate Drive in Oak Ridge (off E. Harrell Road).

April 19 | Officers conducted a death investigation at Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax.

April 21 | Officers conducted a death investigation in the 4500 block of Orleans Drive in northwest Greensboro (near Pleasant Ridge Road).

April 23 | Officers conducted a death investigation in the 8900 block of Belews Creek Road in Stokesdale.


April 19 | A citizen reported she lost her engagement ring at Circle K gas station in Colfax.

May 1 | Officers responded to a report of a metal hip replacement part found in the 6900 block of Wooden Rail Lane in Summerfield (near U.S. 220 N).


of U.S. 220 N in Summerfield reported an unknown suspect fraudulently used her personal I.D. info.

April 22 | An employee of Bank of Oak Ridge in Summerfield reported an unknown suspect committed identity fraud.


May 12 | Officers arrived at 7876 Eversfield Road in Stokesdale at 5:04 p.m. and found Troy Surface, 38, with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A suspect was not immediately identified, and law enforcement officers employed K-9s and drones in the ensuing investigation. On May 13, 18-year-old John Austin Cain was arrested at a residence in Rockingham County and charged with first-degree murder.


May 4 | Officers responded to reported suspicious activity involving an unknown suspect casing a site in the 2100 block of Pleasant Ridge Road in northwest Greensboro.


Barbour & Williams Law

April 17 | An employee of SherwinWilliams in Oak Ridge reported $1,859.73 worth of paint had been purchased with a bad check.

April 18 | A resident of the 8500 block of Benbow-Merrill Road in Oak Ridge (off Beeson Road) reported an unknown suspect defrauded him of $9,550.

April 18 | A resident of the 7700 block of Snow Road in northwest Greensboro (off Edgefield Road) reported an unknown suspect attempted to blackmail him.

April 22 | A resident of the 4400 block

April 15 | Officers responded to two reported vehicular thefts at Oak Ridge Town Park; in both instances, an unknown suspect broke in through a window and stole purses containing wallets, banking cards and identification documents.

April 19 | An employee of CVS Pharmacy in Summerfield reported an unknown suspect shoplifted one item worth $5. April 22 | A worker on a construction site in the 200 block of Marshall Smith Road in Colfax reported an unknown suspect stole a metal brake, nail guns, an air compressor and a saw.

April 24 | A resident of the 5500 block ...continued on p. 46

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GRINS to...

„ Oak Ridge Bagel and Starbucks in Oak Ridge for your loyalty and support. Your donation for our tree dedication/memorial in the park for Sergeant Dale Nix was truly appreciated.

„ Central Baptist Church and Awaken Church for hosting Stokesdale Elementary’s Girls Sweetheart Dance in March. Also, thanks to Oak Ridge Methodist Church for loaning their black lights! The event was wonderful – thank you all for being great community partners!

„ Cierra from the Oak Ridge Lowes Deli Department for her pleasant disposition for an early morning request a few weeks ago. She handled it with great customer service and a lovely smile.

„ Nicole at Enjoy Nutrition/Cheer. Thanks to her, my granddaughter achieved her back walkover and gained confidence in her cheer/tumble skills. Nicole’s expertise and enthusiasm ensure remarkable progress in every session.

„ Oak Ridge Lions Club for its generosity in helping out a very deserving member of the Summerfield community with the purchase of a pair of glasses. They go above and beyond for our deserving patients and should be recognized!

„ Oak Ridge and Summerfield fire departments. Within about five minutes of noticing someone’s shed on fire and calling 911 on April 24, a convoy of fire trucks showed up. The fire tax is one that I’m happy to pay and very thankful for such responsive fire personnel.

„ Dillon Tree Service. They showed up with some very impressive high-tech equipment and took down and hauled off four trees at my house in two hours, including grinding the stumps! Zero damage to my lawn and landscaping.

„ The WFU graduate school student

celebrating a major milestone. My grin gets bigger each day as I drive past the giant flock of flamingos placed in your front yard in Oak Ridge announcing your graduation achievement.

„ Mike Stone for still enduring the attempts from the old regime to oust him even after the voters have spoken.

„ Stokesdale Community Choir and Huntsville Elementary chorus for an outstanding concert on May 4. As a veteran, I appreciated the patriotic theme and enjoyed hearing some great American favorites! Thanks for your hard work and dedication!

„ Danny Oliver, a terrific contractor, who did a great job putting a roof over our back porch!

„ The staff at Pine Knolls golf course for their great response to our friend who had a medical incident on Tuesday, May 2, especially since the 911 response took 40 minutes!

„ Bistro 150 in Oak Ridge Commons, for having reliably delicious food every time! Our family loves the chocolate chip pancakes and omelets! If you haven’t been here, you are missing out!

„ Cara Dohner for stepping up as a candidate for Guilford County District 5 School Board representative!

„ Bojangles in Oak Ridge. The last three times we went there, they had chicken. Glad to see they have gotten their act together.

„ Stokesdale Elementary PTO members for taking time out of their days to volunteer at our school and make it special. Whoever designed the rock for teacher appreciation rocked it.

GRIPES to...

„ Whoever cancelled the monthly car show in Oak Ridge Commons from April through October. This event has been happening for

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several years and was always-well attended and provided non-Oak Ridge residents the opportunity to support our local businesses. Big mistake!

„ The clique who controls the local Oak Ridge moderation of If you dare to criticize them, your account will be “Temporarily Suspended” indefinitely. The propaganda ministers would be proud!

„ The fallen fence at Kelly Ford Road. Instead of “a barn raising,” how about “a fence blazing?” It has gone on long enough. Can anyone help?

„ Those who misused the bulky item drop-off dumpster at Stokesdale Town Hall. It’s disheartening to witness such disregard for community spaces. Bulky items are meant to be placed inside the dumpster, not strewn across the parking lot. Completely unacceptable.

„ Oak Ridge council members Ann Schneider and Jim Harton for their rush to approve a proposal for security cameras at Town Park. This will not deter crime (any more than our Ring cameras stop them targeting cars in driveways). Stop reckless spending!

„ Drivers who don’t use their turn signal! And speed limit signs aren’t put up for looks, so when driving, go the speed limit or a couple MPH above. And you wonder why you get tailgated!

„ Summerfield Town Council members Janelle Robinson, Heath Clay and Jonathan Hamilton for their last-minute decision to postpone the May 14 council meeting – your concern about overlapping with voters in the primary could have been addressed weeks ago and been much less disruptive.

„ Tire Max on N.C. 68 – you have a lot of nice young folks working there, but I shouldn’t have to come back a second time to get my vehicle repaired.

„ The over-zealous tree trimmers from Asplundh. They sprayed their herbicide all over and beside my garden. Maybe we can catch some two-headed fish since they hit the banks of Belews, too.

„ Oak Ridge Town Councilman Mike Stone for disrespecting the flag of our country by wearing a stars and stripes T-shirt to Music in the Park on May 11. Read section 8, paragraph (d) of the U.S. Flag Code!

Stonefield Cellars

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 41 Oak Ridge Business Center 8004 Linville Rd, Suite G, Oak Ridge (336) 643-7577 Tax Preparation  Bookkeeping  Compilations Samuel K. Anders, CPA, MSA Jennifer M. Barrow, CPA 35 Years Experience A & B Anders & Barrow CPAs, PC
Winery, TasTing room & evenT venue 8220 NC Hwy 68 N, Stokesdale • (336) 644-9908 Tasting Room Hours: Thurs., Fri. & Sat., Noon-6pm ● Sun. 1-6pm Indoor and outdoor seating year round ● Large variety of wines ● Private party rentals ● No outside alcohol or pets ● Smoke free property Friday Flavors Concert Season: June - September, every Friday night 7-9pm Held rain or shine ● Food truck at each concert ● Advance ticket purchase recommended For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Follow and share our events via

...continued from p. 1

delayed consideration of House Bill 5 (HB 5) for a second consecutive week and put the legislation on the calendar for Thursday. However, it’s unclear when the House of Representatives will consider the bill. As of midday yesterday, the House’s calendar for this Thursday wasn’t available, according to the General Assembly’s website.

“You won’t know the calendar until the legislative leaders announce it,” sometimes the night before the next day’s session, said John Blust, a former state senator and representative. He is now the Republican nominee for the District 62 House seat in November’s election.

In recent weeks, opponents and supporters of HB 5 have intensified lobbying of legislators ahead of votes on the bill.

State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger supports de-annexation of developer David Couch’s 978 acres in Summerfield. As a result of Berger’s influence in the Senate, de-annexation opponents are focusing efforts on the state House.

“The Senate vote is a foregone conclusion,” said Blust, noting that he’s urged lawmakers to oppose HB 5 in recent visits to Raleigh.

Summerfield Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Williams DeVaney, other council members and other

de-annexation opponents have also visited Raleigh to appeal to legislators in person. On the other side, Couch, his lawyer Tom Terrell and his lobbyists have been reaching out to lawmakers as well.

Aside from those efforts, both sides have produced booklets and other materials for legislators. Amid an email and telephone campaign by opponents, Summerfield released a nearly four-minute “Killing Summerfield” video last month, one element of the town’s $75,000 public relations campaign.

Hired as Summerfield’s attorney in March, Greensboro lawyer Jim Hoffman is part of Summerfield’s team fighting de-annexation. For April, he billed the town $50,150 for a range of legal services; that amount made up more than two-thirds of the town’s legal bills totaling $72,998 for the month, according to Summerfield’s finance officer Dee Hall, who filled the Northwest Observer’s public records request for the town’s recent legal expenses.

Couch, owner of Summerfield Farms, sought Berger’s support for de-annexation last year after the Town Council twice denied Couch’s requests for changes in development rules that would accommodate higher-density housing, including Summerfield’s first apartments.

Last October, under the threat of legislative de-annexation, the council voted 3-2 to amend the town’s unified development ordinance. However, according to Terrell, the text amendment didn’t provide an economically practical route for the development of Villages of Summerfield Farms, which would offer a range of housing options from apartments to houses costing more than $2 million.

Look for updates on this issue throughout the month at

plus the cost of a concrete pad and lighting.

 1  3 (Foy for) to rent a storage unit for 12 months, effective July 1 (the motion failed).

 4  0 to reallocate $100 from the “Events” line item to the “Park and Lighting” line item, within the same category.

 3  1 (Landreth opposed) to rent a storage unit from Rymack Storage on a month-to-month basis for up to three months, starting June 1. In the meantime, a workday will be scheduled for cleaning out the concession stand at the park.


„ Foy said he spoke with Mayor Crawford, who is feeling better and should be back soon. He then wished a happy anniversary to his wife and to Landreth and his wife Karen.

„ Landreth thanked the farmers and truck drivers for the much-needed jobs they do, and congratulated his grandson for hitting his first home run earlier in the evening.

„ Jones said he also visited Mayor Crawford recently and “he looked good.”

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:13 p.m.

16 - JUNE 19, 2024

Thanks to Revolution Academy for hosting our meeting on May 7! Shown in photo, L-R: Robin Helms, Director of Operations; Michele Harris, Principal; and Erin Chicka, Director of Student Services.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, June 4 from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., and we’ll be joined by members of Merchants of Oak Ridge. RSVP on our website. For more info about SMA: email visit or An association of professionals supporting each other and our community

...continued from p. 8

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CHOICE TIRE AND AUTOMOTIVE. Oil changes, inspections, alignments and general automotive repairs. 1080 US Hwy 66 S, Kernersville, NC. (336) 992-9002


BAKER/BAKERY MANAGER experienced in commercial bakery, baking, managing workflow and production. M-F schedule starting at 5:30am. Contact Mike at (336) 949-4802. Kalo Foods, LLC.

CONSTRUCTION LABORER position. The specific responsibilities and requirements may vary depending on the company and project. This position will require out-of-state travel. Full-time. If interested please respond to

NORTHWEST DAY SCHOOL summer camp youth counselors needed for 10 weeks from June 9-August 16 for children from 6-9 yrs. of age. Located at 3231 Horse Pen Creek Rd., Greensboro, NC. Ages to apply between 17-23 years. Salary is $13/hour. Call Kris at (336) 617-7700 or text (336) 210-1350

STAFF OPENINGS in local childcare center. Need fun, loving, energetic teachers, full- or part-time. Experience preferred but not required. (336) 643-5930

The GARDEN OUTLET in Summerfield. Looking for bobcat operator, landscaping crew, holiday floral designer. Please call (336) 643-0898 for more information.


EXPERIENCED CAREGIVER needed on Saturdays, 9am-3pm. Bethany Road area in Madison. (336) 549-3003


SENIOR HELPERS. Homecare for seniors and others including companion, personal needs, transitional, chronic disease, VA, respite, post-surgery assistance. Can provide house chores as part of service at no extra charge. Knowing your loved one is happy, safe, and cared for is your priority and ours too! Locally owned and operated. Call (336) 893-0300.


NOTICE of DESTRUCTION, DONATION or AUCTION of articles in the possession of the Piedmont Triad International Airport Police Department.

Notice is hereby given that the Piedmont Triad International Airport Police Department has in its possession bicycles, small electronics (cell phone, tablets, laptops), watches, jewelry, wallets, purses, clothing, keys, knives, etc., that have been collected through seizure, confiscation or Found Property. These items have been in the possession of said Police Department for more than the statutory required days. All persons who have or claim any interest therein are requested to make and establish such claim or interest to the Piedmont Triad International Airport Police Department’s Evidence and Property Section no later than 30 days from the date of this publication. All claims for said property must be made to Piedmont Triad International Airport Police Department (336) 665-5642 or at 1000A Ted Johnson Parkway Greensboro, North Carolina. The Police Department will offer all unclaimed items for donation, destruction, or auction after the 30 days.

This notice is given in accordance with Section 15-12 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.


YARD SALE. Fri., May 17, and Saturday, May 18, 7am-until, and Sunday, May 19, 1-5pm. 8429 Rumbley Road, Summerfield.

SUMMERFIELD NEIGHBORHOOD YARD SALE. Sat., May 18, 7am-noon. Multiple sales throughout The Vineyards. North on Hwy. 220, right on NC 150; neighborhood on right, follow signs to sales on Denison Rd. & Toscana Trace.

YARD/GARAGE SALE. Saturday, May 18, 8am-noon. 4516 Fence Dr., Greensboro (corner of Fence & Middle). Rain or shine.

ARBOR RUN multi-family community yard sale. Saturday, June 8, 7am-12noon. Enter the neighborhood at the intersection of Haw Meadow and Haw River. Sponsored by Ramilya Siegel, Realtor, Keller Williams.

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 43 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 43
best in luxury auto service at
EuroHaus for the very
(336) 891-3876.
FLOATERY (tubing company)
Madison, NC, now hiring. Visit for info. Have a job opening? Place your ad at Auto Sales / Services ........ 43 Employment .................... 43 Homecare Needed .......... 43 Homecare Available ......... 43 Public Notice ................... 43 Yard Sales 43 Home Services ........... 44-46 Misc. Services .................. 46 Misc. for Sale .................. 46 Misc. Wanted 46 Pets/Animal Services ........ 46 Real Estate ...................... 46 NEED HELP? Call (336) 644-7035, ext. 10 Mon-Fri • 9am-12:30pm DEADLINE: Monday prior to each monthly issue Place online at INDEX continued on p. 44
Planning a YARD SALE? Hosting an EVENT? Let all your neighbors know about it! Place your classified ad online at



HVAC MAINTENANCE and REPAIR. Affordable. Dependable. Flat rates, no service fee. If I don't fix it, you pay nothing. (336) 706-0103.

A-ACTION AIR. A/C check-up, $79.95. (336) 268-6768 or (336) 382-3750



Gutter cleaning, pressure washing. Fully ins. (336) 595-2873

CHRISTIAN MOM needs work cleaning houses, running errands. Quality cleaning/ budget friendly. Pet sitting also avail. References. Call Laura Bennett, (336) 231-1838

ANNASARAH'S CLEANING. Excellent references. Trustworthy. Family-owned business. Free estimates. (336) 543-3941

MAID-2-SHINE. Excellent service, 15 years experience. Free estimates, excellent references. (336) 338-0223

PAOLA CLEANING SERVICE. Residential & commercial. Insured. (336) 669-5210



EXPERIENCED INTERIOR DECORATOR & personal furniture shopper will help you with style, color, shopping & furniture placement. E-mail or call Ann Appenzeller, (336) 314-1411


CKH ELECTRIC, LLC. Give us a call for your next residential, commercial, or industrial project. Free estimates. Licensed, insured, and BBB accredited. (336) 944-4820


Residential & commercial electrical services. Generac home standby generator sales and service. (336) 298-4192

Do you have ELECTRICAL NEEDS? Call Coble Electric, LLC at (336) 209-1486




Installation of hardwood, laminate, carpet & tile; hardwood sanding & finishing. Commercial & residential. Insured, 20 yrs. exp. Free est., excellent references. Visit our new showroom at 605 N. Main St., Kernersville, or, or call (336) 215-8842

Check in with your neighbors:


CLOCK SERVICE. Free house calls for sick clocks. 8103 Windspray Dr., Summerfield. (336) 643-9931.


“We get you mowing!” Comm./res., all models. Oak Ridge, NC. Please call (336) 298-4314

GENERAL HANDYMAN. Repairs, installations, assemblies, etc. Light electrical and plumbing. Yard work and power washing. Insured. No job too small. Give Gordon a call, (336) 253-7700


New decks, repairs/replacement, wood rot repairs, bathroom remodeling and other home repairs. “No job too small.” (336) 669-7252

See our display ad on p. 11 of this issue (Neighborhood Marketplace).


“Providing value for the home-ownership experience.” Gary Gellert, serving NC’s Piedmont Triad area., (336) 423-8223


Why move when you can improve?


APPLIANCE REPAIR – Call Mr. Appliance A step above the rest! (336) 609-5707


GRADING CONSULTANT, Bobby Lipstreu, former owner of H&L Grading. I can match your project to appropriate local contractor. I also provide custom rough-cut cutting with a portable sawmill. (336) 543-7867

GAULDIN TRUCKING, grading & hauling, bobcat work, lot clearing, driveways, fill dirt, gravel, etc. (336) 362-1150

E&W HAULING & GRADING INC. Driveways, fill dirt, demolition, lot clearing, excavating, bobcat work, etc. (336) 451-1282

BRAD'S BOBCAT & HAULING SVCS, LLC Debris removal, grading, gravel/dirt, driveways, concrete work. (336) 362-3647.


Excavating, land clearing, demolition, dirt, available. Zane Anthony, (336) 362-4035



GUTTER CLEANING. Affordable. Dependable Call anytime for free est. (336) 706-0103.

much more!

ALLPRO SEAMLESS GUTTERS. Installation of 5” and 6” seamless gutters, downspouts and leaf protection. Insured, free estimates. (336) 362-2099 See our display ad on p. 11 of this issue (Neighborhood Marketplace).

SOUTHERN LAWNS. Mowing, maintenance, hardscaping and more. Free estimates. (336) 279-6591


Lawn maint., landscaping. Irrigation/landscape contractor. Hardscaping & landscape lighting. 26 years exp. (336) 399-7764

BAJA LAWNCARE. We do all aspects of lawncare – mowing, trimming, seeding, fertilizing and everything else that's needed to make yards green and beautiful! (336) 215-6319. See our display ad on p. 11 of this issue (Neighborhood Marketplace).

MEDLIN'S LANDSCAPING. Res./comm. lawn service. Fully insured. Call/text (336) 817-3036

AQUA SYSTEMS IRRIGATION. Quality irrigation systems. NC licensed contractor. We service all systems. Free est. (336) 644-1174

COLFAX LAWNCARE. Core aeration & seeding. Fertilizing, mowing, trimming. Complete lawn care maintenance. Res./comm. Fully insured. Serving the Triad for 35 years. (336) 362-5860

DILLON TREE SERVICE. Certified arborists. BBB accredited. Fully insured. Familyowned. Tree removal and trimming. Available for emergency removals 24/7. Free estimates. (336) 996-6156. See our display ad on p. 2.

44 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 44 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
WILSON Seamless Gutters Stokesdale 336-420-0200 Installation, repair, replacement, Leaf Guard
Your home services company should be here!
Place your classified ad online at
SEAMLESS GUTTERS S&M SEAMLESS GUTTERS install new gutters repair and clean old gutters FULLY INSURED Call for a FREE estimate 336.587.8223 | 336.709.5944
construction well pumps ● plumbing ● foundations sagging floors...and
(336) 643-1184
One call fixes all!
licensed general contractors



Total tree removal, storm damage cleanup, shrub and tree pruning. Free estimates. Licensed & insured. (336) 643-9157

DELIMA LAWNCARE. Commercial & residential. Free estimates. (336) 669-5210 See our display ad on p. 4 of this issue.

CM STUMP GRINDING, LLC. Family owned and operated. Commercial/residential. Free quotes! (336) 317-4600

SOUTHERN CUTZ LAWN CARE. Offering complete lawn maintenance services, landscaping, bush hogging, privacy fence installation/repair/staining, and stump grinding. Nathan Adkins, (336) 430-6086


EST. 40+ yrs. exp. Fully insured. Any phase of tree work. Natural area thinning and cleanup. Oak Ridge. (336) 643-1119

BRADY LANDSCAPES. BBB accredited A+. A full-service landscape contracting co. Seasonal color, mulch & pine needles. Shrubbery bed installation & renovation. 40 years exp. Fully insured. FREE EST. (336) 621-2383.

EXTERIOR GREENSCAPES. Lawn maintenance service. Call for a free estimate (336) 682-1456

STRAIGHT EDGE LAWN CARE. Free estimates. Please call (336) 306-0274

GUZMAN LANDSCAPE & MAINTENANCE Pine needles, mulch, leaf removal, tree pruning, complete lawn maint. (336) 655-6490

GOSSETT'S LAWNCARE. Complete lawn care/maintenance. Res./comm. Fully insured. In business for 33 yrs. (336) 451-5216


INTEGRITY TREE SERVICE, LLC Tree removal, risk assessment, tree pruning, dead wood removal. Affordable/competitive pricing. Fully insured. Owner-operated. Call for free estimate, (336) 210-8310


HILL LAWNCARE & OUTDOOR SERVICES Free estimates. Call (336) 669-5448


COLONIAL MASONRY. 40 yrs. exp. Specializing in outdoor living spaces; dry-stack natural stone and flagstone. Let us help you plan your patio, fire pit, fireplace, kitchen –or anything else you would like! Call (336) 949-9019.

NEW PHASE CONCRETE. Here for all your concrete needs including pouring driveways, patios, garage slabs, pool decks, etc. Specializing in decorative stamp, stained, epoxy and all other concrete finishes as well. Also offering refurbishment of existing stamped concrete. Make your existing stamped look like new again. (336) 399-1474 or (336) 595-4654


ON EAGLE'S WINGS residential home design/drafting. Call Patti, (336) 605-0519

JUNK & DEBRIS REMOVAL, construction, remodeling, and general cleanup, outbuildings, garages, basements, yard waste, etc. Also can haul mulch. Call (336) 706-8470.

PEARMAN QUARRY LCID. Inert debris landfill. Yard waste, concrete, etc. Mulch and fill dirt available. (336) 803-2195 or (336) 558-7673


CARLOS & SON PAINTING. Interior & exterior. 24 hours/7 days per week. Free estimates. Licensed/insured. (336) 669-5210 See our display ad on p. 4 of this issue.

STILL PERFECTION PAINTING. Reliable, skilled, affordable. Painting, pressure washing, handyman services. Scott Still, (336) 462-3683,


PAINTING INTERIOR & EXTERIOR , 40 yrs. exp. Sheetrock repair. Average BDRM walls $100. Insured. Call Brad Rogers, (336) 314-3186.

LAWSON'S PAINTING. Custom decks, pressure washing, boat docks, block fill, wood repair, stain work, textured ceilings, sheetrock repair. Call (336) 253-9089


WEBSTER & SONS PLUMBING, Inc (336) 992-2503. Licensed, insured, bonded. 24/7 service. Plumbing, drain cleaning, well pumps. Give us a call, we do it all! Go to for more info.

BRANSON PLUMBING & SOLAR No job too small! Experienced, guaranteed. Lic./ Ins. Cleanliness in your home is our #1 priority. Call Mark, (336) 337-7924


COX POOL SERVICE. Openings, closings, routine maintenance, weekly service. No contracts; free estimates! (336) 327-5122


POWER WASHING/SOFT WASHING, window cleaning. Affordable. Dependable. Free estimates. (336) 706-0103

PRESSURE WASHING, gutter & window cleaning. Fully insured. Crystal Clear, www. or (336) 595-2873.



Construction Services, INC


Screened porches | Sunrooms | Eze-Breeze ® (336) 644-8615 office (336) 508-5242 cell

RESTORATION of old barns and log structures. Also new construction of pole barns/ barndominiums. (336) 430-9507.

WHITE OAK FINE CARPENTRY. Remodel, custom cabinetry and home repair. Follow us on social media. (336) 497-7835


N.C. general contractor with 30 years experience. Specializing in new homes, room additions, kitchens & baths, garages, decks, vinyl siding and windows, painting, tile, laminate and vinyl plank, and remodeling of all kinds. Quality for the right price. Free est. Please call (336) 362-7469.

RENOVATION WORKS, INC. New construction, remodeling, additions, kitchen, bath and decks. We are a locally owned, full-service design and build company, A+ accredited with the BBB. Visit or call (336) 427-7391 to start your next project.

BEK PAINT COMPANY. Residential and commercial professional painting company serving northwest Guilford County and beyond since 1998. (336) 931-0600 See our display ad on p. 11 of this issue (Neighborhood Marketplace). continued on p. 46

AFFORDABLE HOME REPAIRS. One call fixes all! A+ with BBB. For a free estimate call (336) 643-1184 or (336) 987-0350

The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 45 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 45
Roof Soft Washing House Soft Washing Driveway Cleaning Gutter Cleaning 919-931-0856 ● locally owned and operated Serving the Triad since 2018
Licensed & insured NC Gen. Contractor #72797
Get. Be. Connected.Stay.



Kitchens/baths, custom decks, garages, dock work, siding, windows, roofing, rotted wood. Senior discount. 44 years exp. (336) 362-6343



40 + years experience. (336) 643-8191.


All your roofing needs. Residential or commercial. Call (336) 430-9507

BELEWS CREEK CONSTRUCTION. Lifetime shingle and metal roofing Free estimates. Since 1979. (336) 362-6343.

DUSTIN CLINARD ROOFING. Certified 50-year non-prorated shingle warranty. Certified commercial roof systems and coatings. Offers commercial maintenance as well as shingle, metal and leak repairs. Free estimates. (336) 268-1908


6705 US Hwy 158, Stokesdale (336) 643-9963

(affiliated with Stokesdale Storage) locally owned & operated

KIMBERLY THACKER. Accounting & Tax Services for individuals and businesses. Intuit Quickbooks ProAdvisor. See our display ad on p. 11 of this issue (Neighborhood Marketplace).


PIANO LESSONS, all ages and levels. Summerfield area. Patti, (336) 298-4181

PORTABLE WELDING SERVICE. Welding & fabrication services. Call (336) 908-6906

WELDING AND TRAILER REPAIR Call Tim, (336) 402-3869

ATCHISON WELDING. General welding, blacksmithing & custom iron work. Local & honest. Mike Atchison, (336) 486-9837 & (336) 643-9963 • 8207 B & G Court, Stokesdale

Gated access with 24/7 camera surveillance


FRESH PRODUCE, FLOWERS, vegetable plants, hanging baskets & some trees and shrubs. Knight's Plants & Produce, 14809 Hwy. 158, Summerfield. (336) 708-0485 Got stuff? Need stuff? Place your ad today:


Wanted: FARM EQUIPMENT to buy. All kinds. Please call (336) 430-9507.

$$$ – WILL PAY CASH for your junk / wrecked vehicle. For quote, call (336) 552-0328


YARN NEEDED to make children's hats for homeless shelter. Call Beth, (336) 644-8155.

FREE PICK-UP of unwanted riding & push mowers, tillers, generators, power washers, 4-wheelers, mini-bikes, golf carts, go-carts and other gas-powered items. (336) 491-1565


WENDY COLLINS PET SITTING, LLC. Certified, bonded & insured. Summerfield/Oak Ridge area. (336) 339-6845

PET SITTING. Daytime or overnight. Make your vacations easy with pet sitting by an experienced and compassionate veterinary student. Book now in time for summer.



...continued from p. 38

of Spotswood Circle in Summerfield (near U.S. 220 N) reported an unknown suspect stole her black Apple iPhone 15. April 28 | A citizen in the 4300 block of U.S. 220 N in Summerfield reported an unknown suspect broke into her vehicle through a window and stole her wallet containing banking and identification cards.


May 10 | In the 5800 block of Lake Brandt Road in northern Greensboro, an 18-year-old male and a 19-year-old male were arrested for trespassing and causing damage to land; another 19-year-old male was arrested on the same charges along with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possessing a gun on educational property.


April 27 | A 45-year-old male was arrested in the 4500 block of U.S. 220 N in Summerfield for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.


April 14 | A resident of the 7600 block of Henson Forest Drive in Summerfield (off N.C. 150 W) reported an unknown suspect broke into her vehicle, though no items were reported stolen.

April 20 | A resident of the 2400 block of Hunters Crossing Trail in Summerfield (off Witty Road) reported an unknown suspect vandalized his vehicle.


FINISHED CORNER LOT. Located on Stafford Mill Rd., Oak Ridge. (336) 209-1296

SUMMERFIELD area homesites! Brand new on the market. One-plus acre lots. Restricted but no HOA. Call (336) 314-3773 anytime. Only seven available.

April 28 | A resident of the 8400 block of Linville Road in Oak Ridge reported an unknown suspect broke into his vehicle, though no items were reported stolen.


April 18 | A 32-year-old female was arrested in the 2300 block of Brandt Forest Court in northern Greensboro (off Lake Brandt Road) for possessing a firearm as a felon.

District 1 Sheriff’s Office 7504 Summerfield Road

Main number: (336) 641-2300 For non-emergency incidents: (336) 373-2222 • 8 a.m.–5 p.m., M-F our-county/sheriff-s-office

46 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 46 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (336 ) 643-4248 SELLERS & BUYERS We Help Everyone! covering northwest Guilford County’s local matters since November 1996


Include your name, daytime phone number and name of community. Letters from the same writer will be published no more than every 30 days.

Ashford trail easement should be removed from final plat

This letter addresses concerns regarding the approval process for the final plat of the Ashford subdivision in Oak Ridge. Examination of the plat approval process, per Oak Ridge ordinances, reveals potentially numerous breaches of ordinance.

Primarily, per Appendix B, table A-2, a preliminary plat requires depiction of all easements and areas dedicated to the public. Instead, only on

the final plat for approval, a public trail easement was included along the property line (running uncomfortably close to existing neighboring backyards). This was not on the preliminary plat, yet it was administratively approved by the town.

According to case law in N.C., any alteration to basic ordinance standards is substantially similar to a variance which requires a quasi-judicial hearing by the

Board of Adjustment. This change is ineligible for non-discretionary administrative approval. As this hearing did not occur, and as I assume the developer has no interest in having the easement addition be heard by the board (since he has since requested the easement be removed by the town), I am insisting to the town that the final plat approved is illegitimate, should be revoked, and a final plat without the easement should be eligible for approval.

The town has the power to administratively revoke approval in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 160D 403 (f). Additionally, the town is urged to approve the revised plat presented by the developer, omitting the trail easement, consistent with the preliminary plat. This option was presented by the developer mere weeks after plat approval, involving alleged misrepresentation by the town.

The Town Council could also

amend this matter of procedural non-compliance by a judicious vote of closure of the Ashford trail easement at the upcoming public hearing June 6th. It is in the best interest of the public to maintain trust in our town government. I have notified the town of this (and potentially additional) offense that, I’m confident, all would agree make this easement unique and illegitimate compared to other easements through town. I believe this distinction underscores the obligation for immediate corrective action to uphold the integrity of our community’s development processes.

Lindsey Clark, OAK RIDGE Editor’s note: According to Sean Taylor, Oak Ridge’s planning director, “the addition of an easement does not constitute a substantive change to the approved preliminary plat. Town staff followed all applicable procedures in approving the final plat for the Ashford subdivision.”



Kimberly Thacker Accounting 11

Anders & Barrow CPAs, PC ......................... 41


Destination Arts BC

School of Rock Greensboro 35


EuroHaus 43

Oak Ridge Auto and Trailer Sales 39

Prestige Car Wash 24

Tire Max 7, 29, 33


CJ Builders ........................................................ 13

Don Mills Builders 17

Disney Construction Company 15

Old School Home Repair 11

Ray Bullins Construction 16

R&K Custom Homes 19

TM Construction Services 45

Walraven Signature Homes ........................ 16


Bill Goebel, candidate school board 27

Michael Logan, candidate school board 9 COMMUNITY COLLEGE


Summerfield Merchants Association 42 DENTAL SERVICES

Summerfield Family Dentistry 10, 37 EVENTS Friday Flavors at Stonefield Cellars 41

Movie Night at The Summit Church 30 Relay for Life 28

Summerfield Fishing Derby 20

Summerfield Founders’ Day 5

Whitline Fun Run/Walk 20, 21


& Dick 6

Clips 25


Home Repair 44

Guttering LLC 11

Lawncare 11

Paint Company 11 Carlos & Son Painting 4


The Northwest Observer • Totally local since 1996 MAY 16 - JUNE 19, 2024 47
by Direct 40 DeLima Lawncare, LLC 4 Dillon Tree Service............................................. 2 Martins Pressure Washing 45 Nature’s Select 12 New Garden Landscaping 3 Rymack Storage 46 S&M Seamless
44 Southern
23 Stokesdale
Stokesdale Storage 46 Superior Outdoor Spaces 12 Wilson Seamless Gutters 44 INSURANCE Gladwell Insurance Agency.......................... 31 LEGAL SERVICES Barbour & Williams Law 38 MEDICAL / CHIROPRACTIC / HEARING / PT Aim Hearing & Audiology 31 Forsyth Pediatrics.............................................24 New Hope Medical 35 Oak Ridge Physical Therapy 25 ORTHODONTIC CARE Olmsted Orthodontics
Reynolds & Stoner Orthodontics 32 PET SERVICES & PRODUCTS King’s
Nicole Gillespie, RE/MAX 10, 18 Ramilya Siegel, Keller Williams 2 Smith Marketing, Allen Tate 14 RESTAURANTS Bistro 150 24 Ridge Shrimp & Oyster 25 Rio Grande 25 RETAIL David Cole Pottery 11 Golden Antiques & Treasures .................... 30 SCIENCE CTR/ZOOLOGICAL PARK Greensboro Science Center 36 YOUTH SPORTS / CAMPS Oak Ridge Youth Association 26, 33
Outdoor Living
Heating & Air 8
24, 37
Crossing Animal Hospital 3
Animal Hospital 28
New Dawn Realty 11, 46
Submit your letters (maximum 350 words) online: email:
More than just great dancing dance, ages 18 months and up ● acrobatics/tumbling, ages 3 and up ● private music lessons, ages 5 and up or call (336) 740-6891 TWO LOCATIONS: Summerfield: 4446-J US Hwy 220 North, Summerfield & Oak Ridge: 2205-X Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge SUMMER CAMPS & Classes NOW REGISTERING at our Oak Ridge and Summerfield locations Find details about our camps & summer classes at or call (336) 740-6891 Camps Include: Squishmallow Camp ● In My Swiftie Era Camp Princess Academy Camp ● Sparkle Squad Camp Totally Trolls Camp ● Barbie Party Camp PLUS... 4 week summer classes Summer music lessons Let us help your little ones bloom into lifelong learners, prepared for Kindergarten and beyond, through positive social interaction and creative opportunities. Half-day preschool with a fine arts focus. REGISTRATION NOW OPEN PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Oak Ridge, NC Permit No. 22 ECRWSS Postal Patron PO Box 268, Oak Ridge, NC 27310 • (336) 644-7035

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