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Tom Joyce

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

Latest Stories by Tom Joyce

A local family is temporarily without its home due to a fire, but the situation could have been much worse — thanks to a sink melting during the blaze.
The incident was reported shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday at the residence of Kevin and Nicole Atkins and their two children at 416 Branch Drive, Dobson, located off Prison Camp Road.
Members o

Fire displaces local family

A local family is temporarily without its home due to a fire, but the situation could have been much worse — thanks to a sink melting during the blaze. The incident was reported shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday at the residence of Kevin and Nicole Atkins and their two children at 416 Branch Drive, Dobson, located off Prison Camp Road. Members o

Just as compact discs replaced cassette tapes and VHS was supplanted by DVD, the way movies are shown in theatres is heading the way of the dodo — toward virtual extinction.
Hollywood is moving away from the traditional film format and switching to digital, mirroring a trend brought about by the growth of computer technology.
As a result, a

Funding means Earle won't go 'dark'

Just as compact discs replaced cassette tapes and VHS was supplanted by DVD, the way movies are shown in theatres is heading the way of the dodo — toward virtual extinction. Hollywood is moving away from the traditional film format and switching to digital, mirroring a trend brought about by the growth of computer technology. As a result, a

Police briefs

• A felony charge of assault inflicting serious bodily injury was filed Saturday against a Mount Airy man, according to city police department reports. Dwonerian Dandra Smith, 30, of 327 Cherry St., No. 18, who was confined in the Surry County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond, is accused of an assaulting a man listed as an acquaintance, Brand

Airport official says suit has no merit

The chairman of the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport Authority has responded to a federal lawsuit filed against that group by a former member who is a local businessman and pilot, saying it lacks merit. That individual, William Alfred “Billy” Hicks Jr., alleges in the suit that the authority — the governing body for the local airp

Mount Airy officials foresee an upcoming reality television show focusing on the former Spencer's industrial site possibly causing a “stampede” of redevelopment interest there, in the words of one.Excitement has run through the community since producers of “Salvage Dawgs,” a series on the DIY cable network, made a request to

City leaders hope TV show 'opens doors'

Mount Airy officials foresee an upcoming reality television show focusing on the former Spencer's industrial site possibly causing a “stampede” of redevelopment interest there, in the words of one.Excitement has run through the community since producers of “Salvage Dawgs,” a series on the DIY cable network, made a request to

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone.
The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy.
“That was the deciding fa

Mayor ending long radio career

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone. The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy. “That was the deciding fa

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone.
The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy.
“That was the deciding fa

Mayor ending long radio career

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone. The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy. “That was the deciding fa

Police briefs

• A vehicle valued at $14,000 was discovered missing Thursday from Simmons Nissan on Rockford Street, according to Mount Airy Police Department reports. The $13,000 Honda Fit was stolen from a parking area at the dealership, with the keys to the vehicle taken as well. The exact date of the crime is unknown, but it occurred sometime this month

Plane owner suing airport officials

A local pilot and former member of the Mount Airy airport governing board is suing its present members alleging that he wrongfully was forced off the group and ordered to relinquish his hangar space. Documents filed this month in federal court on behalf of plaintiff William Alfred “Billy” Hicks Jr. say this stemmed from Hicks' support

In terms of fire losses, Mount Airy has seen better years than 2014, according to an annual report released by Fire Chief Zane Poindexter.
Not only did the city suffer its first fire-related fatality in 20 years, but several other high-profile blazes occurred and contributed to a rough 12 months overall, the report shows.
In terms of monetary los

City had rough year for fires

In terms of fire losses, Mount Airy has seen better years than 2014, according to an annual report released by Fire Chief Zane Poindexter. Not only did the city suffer its first fire-related fatality in 20 years, but several other high-profile blazes occurred and contributed to a rough 12 months overall, the report shows. In terms of monetary los

Police briefs

• A break-in of a motor vehicle Tuesday resulted in no property being taken but $300 in damage to a 2003 Ford F-350 pickup, according to Mount Airy Police Department reports. The crime occurred while the vehicle, owned by Aubrey Loyd Johnson of Smith Road, was parked at an unidentified business location at 1120 N. Andy Griffith Parkway. A blu

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone.
The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy.
“That was the deciding fa

Mayor ending long radio career

Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran has a dual role as a local radio personality — but she'll be leaving the airwaves next month after nearly 35 years at the microphone. The combined demands posed by wearing both hats prompted a decision by Cochran to retire from WSYD, one of two AM radio stations in Mount Airy. “That was the deciding fa

A filmmaker with ties to Mount Airy is producing a documentary about how this community is meeting the economic challenges of recent years in unique ways.
“It's a story about my hometown and Andy's hometown,” Bill Hayes explained in reference to Andy Griffith, the city's most famous native son.
“But it's really about small-town

'Real Mayberry' documentary being produced

A filmmaker with ties to Mount Airy is producing a documentary about how this community is meeting the economic challenges of recent years in unique ways. “It's a story about my hometown and Andy's hometown,” Bill Hayes explained in reference to Andy Griffith, the city's most famous native son. “But it's really about small-town

Shooting victim dies; investigation continues

DOBSON — An elderly shooting victim has died, but an investigation of the case remains open, a Surry County Sheriff's Office spokesman said Tuesday. Donald Gray Hall, 83, whose address has been given as Pebble Lane, Dobson, in southern Surry, suffered a gunshot wound to the head at his residence on the morning of Jan. 13 which initially was

While trying to come to grips with a topic this week I suffered a sprained wrist. Okay, I realize that's not as funny as I first thought, or, to be perfectly honest, not funny at all. However, writing is not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams, damn it. No siree, sometimes you have to work at it.
On some occassions the words flow as freely as t

List of must-read books comes up short

While trying to come to grips with a topic this week I suffered a sprained wrist. Okay, I realize that's not as funny as I first thought, or, to be perfectly honest, not funny at all. However, writing is not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams, damn it. No siree, sometimes you have to work at it. On some occassions the words flow as freely as t

Along with the “usual suspects” such as education and taxes, the two Republican legislators who represent Surry County in the N.C. General Assembly want to tackle other issues during its upcoming session.
Removing “rigid” regulations on foster care families, seeking alternatives to prison, Medicaid reform and even tweaking

Foster care, prison changes sought in Raleigh

Along with the “usual suspects” such as education and taxes, the two Republican legislators who represent Surry County in the N.C. General Assembly want to tackle other issues during its upcoming session. Removing “rigid” regulations on foster care families, seeking alternatives to prison, Medicaid reform and even tweaking

Looking around a meeting room containing a number of young faces Saturday night, a moderator for a program honoring Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledged the generation gap between the late Dr. King and some audience members.
“Many of us in the room grew up in the same time period in which he lived and became a leader,” Cheryl Yellow Faw

Youths urged to follow King's example

Looking around a meeting room containing a number of young faces Saturday night, a moderator for a program honoring Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledged the generation gap between the late Dr. King and some audience members. “Many of us in the room grew up in the same time period in which he lived and became a leader,” Cheryl Yellow Faw

DOBSON — The future of green energy in Surry County is getting brighter with the construction of a solar farm by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp.
A ribbon-cutting will be held on Jan. 30 for the facility, located at a breaker station of the local electric co-op in the Fairview community near Dobson.
“This is something pretty muc

Solar farm constructed by local co-op

DOBSON — The future of green energy in Surry County is getting brighter with the construction of a solar farm by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp. A ribbon-cutting will be held on Jan. 30 for the facility, located at a breaker station of the local electric co-op in the Fairview community near Dobson. “This is something pretty muc

DOBSON — The future of green energy in Surry County is getting brighter with the construction of a solar farm by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp.
A ribbon-cutting will be held on Jan. 30 for the facility, located at a breaker station of the local electric co-op in the Fairview community near Dobson.
“This is something pretty muc

Solar farm constructed by local co-op

DOBSON — The future of green energy in Surry County is getting brighter with the construction of a solar farm by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp. A ribbon-cutting will be held on Jan. 30 for the facility, located at a breaker station of the local electric co-op in the Fairview community near Dobson. “This is something pretty muc

Grant sought for auto builder, 14 jobs

City officials are seeking a $70,000 grant to help an out-of-town company that builds cars launch an operation at a vacant former textile facility here and supply 14 jobs. The unnamed company, known by the code name “Project Velocity,” is based in eastern North Carolina and has been in business for 25 years. In addition to building com





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