The first week of July brought a narrowing of candidates for Elkin Schools system’s superintendent; the closing of Lawrence Dry Cleaners after 89 years in business; continued progress on the library renovations; and a very enjoyable and successful Fourth of July celebration at the Elkin Municipal Park, even after a day of stormy weather that flattened grape vines in two local vineyards.
The town of Elkin allocated $100,000 in its new budget towards economic development which included $20,000 to the Reeves Theater project and $10,000 to the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild in conjunction with matching grants.
The second week of July brought yet another business closing to downtown Elkin. Snickerdoodles owner claimed victim to the rising gas prices and economic downward slide of the economy as the reason for a lack of patronage enjoyed in prior months.
Rains although welcome, were not yet significant enough to change the status of drought in the area.
The Northwest Regional Library system faced budget cuts and clarification of the administrative sector supported by the state and the actual libraries. The issue of clarification caused confusion and distress to patrons, but Martha Smith, Elkin’s librarian held the faith and confidence of patrons and helped alleviated and eliminate the stress of the situation.
July’s Elkin town board meeting introduced a petition for an ordinance to prohibit registered sex offenders on the town’s public parks. A proposal from Lloyd Payne, town manager, was put forth for a water loss survey due to the water loss estimated by Elkin’s Public Works director, Robert Fuller.
Food banks in the area were beginning to see a significant rise in the request for food and financial assistance.
The FAC announced a new program called F.A.I.R., Foothills Artist in Residence, creating opportunities for local artists to share and showcase their talents.
The Elkin EMC practiced swift water rescue training after attending classes in Bryson, City, N.C.
The last week of July brought Elin City Schools a new superintendent. Dr. Randy Bledsoe accepted the position and was welcomed to the system by all three city principals and the community.
The hot temperatures and continued rising gas prices was slated as the reasons for the decrease in tourists to the area in July, although neither affected the community attendance of “Kiss Me Kate” at Elkin high school.
Another Fourth Friday brought residents to downtown to hear the blues, milder temperatures and a pottery demonstration.
August brought new technology to Elkin Middle School, with the purchase of AirLiners and projector, allowing students and teachers more individualized interaction while teaching the entire class. Storms blew in and blew trees down and gave little help to the drought.
August also brought the completion of the library renovations completing the ADA requirements.
Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, emergency personnel, doctors and nurses in the area participated in a Triad Regional Advisory Committee drill with Iredell County. The drill was unannounced to test the response of both counties readiness for a disaster and was a complete success.
A ‘Safety for Kids’ event was held at Elkin’s Municipal Park through Safety Net for Kids.
The Tribune’s Wanda Walls was promoted to General Manager and “Breaking Dawn” by Stephanie Meyer was released and a midnight party was held at Diana’s bookstore with area teens waiting in anticipation for the newest release in a series about teenage love and vampires.
Skateboarders in Elkin protested the lack of a skateboard facility in Elkin to help wile away the days of summer.
Tax free weekend brought parents out to take advantage of discounts on school supplies, but a large economic gain was not felt with consumers spending excessive amounts of funds on gasoline.
Elkin’s walkability study was completed by the many volunteers who walked every street in Elkin to provide the town with vald data to use in planning for street improvements.
Mid-August brought a rash of break-ins to Elkin’s churches. Grace Clinic opened with the vision of Lynn Sloan Barnes, providing Elkin residents without insurance access to medical care.
The Fairfield Inn Marriott opened its doors for guests and Elkin’s Main Street was milled and repaved.
A county animal spay and neuter program opened providing transport and financial assistance to Forsyth County for pets under the direction of Melanie Morrison.
The end of August brought record breaking rainfall with Hurricane Fay lessening the area drought status.
September found graffiti on downtown properties, and The Tribune welcomed a new managing editor, Steve Steiner.
A local doctor lost his home to fire and a counterfeit pocketbook crime ring was busted.
Elkin’s town board amended regulations regarding the height of grasses allowed before being in violation of the town’s code, Muscadines became ready for harvest in the area; and Elkin’s town board approval of Virginia Shaw Funds, along with Wal-Mart, G & B Energy and the Chatham Fund monies enabled Elkin’s Parks and Recreation director, Brent Cornelison to order the new handicap access playground equipment for the park.
A skydiving accident in mid-September proved fatal for two visitors to the area, and a house fire that started in the laundry room left an Austin community family homeless.
Bow deer hunting started again with allowances for in town hunting and Mountain Park Elementary school opened their new playground.
The Yadkin Arts Council hosted the Harvest Festival which was a fun time for all and Pleasant Hill VFD celebrated its 50th anniversary and Surry County teenagers were apprehended for theft. Ladies in the Zephyr community grew potatoes that looked like Cabbage Patch dolls and The Ark held its annual yard sale ,which was an overwhelming fundraiser for the organization.
Austin VFD held a 50th year celebration with food, games and honors for charter members, and Caroline Rice was crowned Elkin High School’s homecoming queen.
Hodges Funeral Home’s Tim Hodges came under fire with the suspicion of misappropriation of funds that had been prepaid to the funeral home by a family’s relative prior to their death and Elkin City Schools received recognition from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for achieving the highest graduation rate in the state.
Elkin’s Main Street was finally completed with striping and parking spaces marked.
Rain dampened the Pumpkin Festival but supporters turned out at a wine-tasting fundraiser for the Reeves Theater project.
Butter Cup Gourmet showcased her delectable delights at the Pumpkin Festival and offered her services for pastries, pies and cakes, and Elkin saw the opening of a faith based daycare with SHEMA.
October brought downtown merchants plans for holiday shopping and local Judge, Mark Badgett was removed from office as a local district judge, and removed from the ballot for re-election.
One-stop voting got underway with county residents flocking to the polls early in anticipation of heavy turnout on election day.
The Elkin Elementary teachers participated in their annual McDonalds ‘McTeacher’ night, Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry was forced to limit the number of clients as well as the amount of funds that would be eligible for assistance.
A fundraiser was held for “American Heroes Return,” an organization that is building a retreat camp for military personnel returning from combat to transition them back into the world with their families, friends and co-workers.
Brushy Mountain Winery introduced a new wine, Red Bud Ridge, along with the second anniversary of the winery.
The end of October brought Halloween ghouls and goblins, princesses and super-hero figures out to gather candy from participating Elkin residents. Flu clinics were scheduled in preparedness for the season’s illnesses and the month ended with temperatures in the high 60s.
November brought a drug bust from a driver’s untimely wrong turn, and election day voters came out in force.
The nation, as well as the state and local municipalities woke up Nov. 5 to a new field of lawmakers and elected officials. The Ark named a new executive director with Mary Jane Jenkins and a Veteran’s Day celebration was held at the Elkin Municipal Park.
The Mountain Park community dedicated a new park with kitchen, picnic and amphitheater facilities for all in the community to enjoy.
Hugh Chatham Memorial held what they hoped to be the first of many outside issue information programs in a mix and mingle, where patients and community members could drop by and ask questions of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals concerning matters that interested or concerned them.
Graffiti found its way on downtown structures again without a resolution to the culprit, and the new McDonald’s on CC Camp Road opened to lines of traffic.
November saw yet another business closing with Jeanna Maines-Snider closing her Spring Valley Realty office.
Elkin hung the Christmas wreaths downtown after restringing with new lights and bows.
Elkin City Schools held its annual Career Fair with over 80 participating businesses.
Elkin Parks and Recreation department asked county commissioners for $500,000 for improvements to the Elkin Recreation Center, The Colonial Candle outlet held its grand opening at its new location in the Starmount Crossing shopping center and Theo’s prepared and served its annual free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone in need of a meal.
Elkin City Schools, along with every other school system in the state was told they would have to revert funds to the state after budget cuts at the state level.
A fuel oil spillage that came from a damaged Elkin High School boiler entered the creek through a storm damage access. A sewer line break leaked 1.5 million gallons of wastewater at Dutchman’s Creek.
Black Friday brought shoppers out in droves, but many held on to the coins in their pocket fearing worse days ahead.
December brought live Christmas trees to downtown for sale, along with wreaths and holiday decorations on the doors of businesses and residences in anticipation of the holiday season.
Sad news for long-time employees came in early December with the announcement of Vaughn-Bassett’s closing of its Elkin furniture plant.
Larry Wagoner and James Westbrook were sworn in for another term on the Elkin School Board and a new chairman was named with James Freeman. Stewart Roten became the vice-chairman after three years as chairman.
“The Mountain” claimed yet another tractor-trailer, this one loaded with Christmas trees bound for Florida; the Second Harvest Food Bank held a food drive in Elkin; the ECS system recognized and remembered a long-time employees commitment to her job and her family; and the Community Chorus presented its 48th annual Christmas concert, bringing area residents into Elkin First Baptist Church to capacity.
Elkin’s “Light Up Night” brought families out for the festivities and children to make last requests to Santa Claus. Although the night was frigid, the attending participants enjoyed the tradition. The annual gingerbread house competition was held at the Elkin Public library with Nancy Banner winning first place.
News of embezzlement charges against a former employee of The Ark were discovered; a state prison was proposed for Northern Surry County; and Goodie Mercantile opened across from Homecoming B&B, with unique gifts and old-fashion candies.
Elkin’s mayor, Lestine Hutchens retired as executive vice-president of the Yadkin Valley Bank after 40 years of service planning to devote more time to being the mayor and beginning a semi-retirement phase.
Elkin held its annual Christmas parade with marching bands, floats, old-timey cars and trucks and lots of candy for the kids. Santa Claus made his appearance, thrilling little onlookers.
The Howln Wolf celebrated its first anniversary and Brushy Mountain winery held its Christmas open house.
Donald Wilmoth was named Elkin’s firefighter of the year and Poppie J’s restaurant opened in Jonesville with pizza and a family fun zone for the kids.
Elkin’s Peggy Petrocy looked forward to Christmas with her new daughter joining their family from Ethiopia and Christmas shoppers found exceptional last minute deals with the deep discounts offered by retailers who could not move merchandise due to the lack of funds in the economy. Retailers hoped for better sales beginning the day after Christmas.
The end of the year in Elkin brought best wishes for a much more prosperous 2009. Downtown merchants along with larger retailers offered sales on merchandise and Elkin residents prepared for a cold remainder of winter. The close of the first day of 2009 brought sleet mixed with snow to the area.