Thumbs up…

To the town of Dobson, the Dobson Rescue Squad, Skull Camp and Dobson fire departments, and other organizations involved in the National Night Out activities in the town.

This was the first time Dobson had taken part in the event in years, joining their neighbors in Pilot Mountain who put on a big shindig every August for the national event. This is a great opportunity for those in law enforcement, government, and EMS to mingle with the public in a fun, informal manner, building relationships and making the community stronger.


To the Surry County School system and the Surry County Education Foundation for putting together the outdoor classroom at Meadowview Magnet Middle School.

This is exactly what it sounds like — a shelter with a roof but no walls, set up for students to be able to study outdoors, focusing on science and nature in ways that align with the school system’s curriculum. This is the type of out-of-the-ordinary thinking that can help keep students engaged and excited about learning.


To organizers and participants of the annual Downtown Rocks and Runs, which raised nearly $20,000 for local charities. This event is a significant part of the fundraising activities of the United Fund of Surry County, and helps that agency supply much-needed money for local charities and human service organizations.

Those efforts got off to a great start, with this year’s event setting an all-time participation and fund-raising record, far surpassing last year’s record of $14,000.


Thumbs Down to the North Carolina General Assembly for killing the state’s tax-free weekend.

That move came two years ago, but every summer as August rolls around we’re reminded of this short-sighted measure that, on paper, may look like it generates a little more revenue for the state but in reality cost state coffers and local merchants weekend sales.

Now, many shoppers in border communities, such as Mount Airy, simply slip into the bordering states for major purchases, or are more likely to go online for their supplies.

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