RALEIGH — While announcing a cumbersome set of guidelines for schools to reopen in August, Gov. Roy Cooper pointedly made no promises about whether he will, in fact, allow North Carolina schools to open at all. Citing a recent rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Cooper raised doubts about the…

The emergence of Brood 9 of the 17-year periodical cicada this spring in northern Wilkes and parts of Surry, Alleghany and Ashe counties added an appropriately odd backdrop to the year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My five-year-old granddaughter, Salem, got her first taste of fishing last week on the Pamlico Sound in northeastern North Carolina. Her father, T.J., got a friend of theirs to take them out on a boat and then sent my wife and me a short video of the outing.

Many years ago, the head of Sears Roebuck’s advertising department reported that half of all the dollars they spent on advertising was wasted, he just didn’t know which half.

As of Saturday, summer will be officially underway. That’s the day of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

RALEIGH — Should Gov. Roy Cooper continue his current approach to reopening North Carolina’s shattered economy, speed up the pace to save more jobs and businesses, or slow it down in response to increases in hospitalized patients with COVID-19?

A book published last year by UNC Press explores the history of fast cars and moonshine in North Carolina (and Wilkes County), a path well-trod by historians.

The phrase, “a life well-lived,” is a commonly used expression to describe someone who lives their life with intention and purpose.

Before COVID-19 shutdown all live sports, Major League Baseball was in the heart of its spring training schedule with its sights set on opening day, which was supposed to be March 26.

The Class of 2020 will always remember their senior year as “different.” This group of students missed many senior memorable moments, such as prom, senior awards assembly and baccalaureate, not to mention the graduation ceremony itself, which hopefully will be held in July.

I told a friend Saturday that despite everything in the news, “I’m still optimistic about the future of our country.” Look how far we’ve come. Look how close we are to living in a just and righteous world.

During the past few months, my husband, Drew, and I have been spending our Wednesday afternoons riding around Wilkes County roads, re-organizing and substituting on some of the newspaper’s home delivery routes.

RALEIGH — Our elementary and secondary schools will reopen this fall. During these past months of disruption, dismay and despair, I’ve never once doubted it. There really is no practical alternative to reopening schools. Life, work, and education must proceed.

RALEIGH — A decade ago, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, business analysts and policymakers thought they saw a turn toward a new urbanism. Downtown lofts and dense developments were the vogue. There was an uptick in transit use. Old-style suburbs and market-bubble exurbs were suppose…

North Wilkesboro and Wilkes County were in the news this week as a COVID-19 hot spot.

At various times in our state’s history we’ve been compared to Rip Van Winkle, the lethargic sleepy-head, or the Dixie Dynamo,” a fast-moving, progressive economic engine. Right now we are more the former than the latter.

The other day, my wife told me to come over and look at something she’d seen online.

Something happened in June 1978 that radically changed my world. I got my driver’s license.

For a while it appeared North Carolina’s leaders were heading down the road of bipartisan cooperation, something we can all applaud. But in recent days that journey has taken a partisan turn.

My wife and I confess to a guilty pleasure during these homebound times: watching the hit TV series “Outlander,” which is set largely in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for seasons four and five.

RALEIGH — As we follow news about the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, remember that the most-tracked statistics offer at best a distorted and incomplete picture of the situation.

Tomorrow, NASCAR finally returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway. Only, there’s a mighty big catch.

Occasionally, I get notes or emails from readers, often with a kind word, but sometimes not so kind. I am appreciative that people are willing to spend time reading my thoughts and one reader asked who I read on a regular basis.

Last week, here at the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, an important message flew throughout the building-Lowe’s Home Improvement has toilet paper. Employees quickly sent out text messages so family members could hurry over and pick some up.

Efforts in response to the coronavirus raise memories of another viral threat – the polio epidemic of the 1940s and early 1950s.

In the fog of a pandemic, look no further than your local educators who are spreading hope and light through the valley of this crisis. Our educational leaders continue to make an impact in the midst of these uncertain times. Whether it is parading by a student’s home in their car to feel co…

In a normal year in Wilkes County, this week would have been spent gearing up for MerleFest.

The number of cries to reduce restrictions and re-start our economy grow louder each hour, it seems. Yes, we are tired of our movements being restricted and from being unable to earn our livings. All of us have experienced the pain of this pandemic.  

One of my coverage areas at the Wilkes Journal-Patriot is the N.C. Highway Patrol, which has its district office on School Street in Wilkesboro.

Despite limitations on human contact during the COVID-19 outbreak, people in Wilkes County are finding ways to help others.

It was bound to occur. In truth, it was surprising that resistance to the restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19 didn’t surface sooner, but now they are organized, becoming louder and more heated.

About a week from now, had the coronavirus not reared its ugly, spiked head, I’d be gearing up to cover another MerleFest for this newspaper. While I’m deeply disappointed that won’t be happening, that doesn’t mean we can’t be uplifted by music at home from April 23-26.

RALEIGH — Robert Heinlein — the author of pathbreaking science-fiction works such as Starship Troopers, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, and Stranger in a Strange Land — was a man of wit and insight.

Pastors will tell you they count on a full church at Christmas and Easter Sunday. Except for this year. As we re-read the old story of those who discovered an empty tomb on that day of Resurrection, this year we will be discovering empty churches. Who knew we would be giving up church for Lent?

March 23, I interviewed Wilkes County native Aimee Call via FaceTime for an article for the newspaper. Aimee had just returned to North Carolina from Florence, Italy, after spending six months as dean of students at Instituto Lorenzo de’ Medicii.

On National Census Day, which was April 1, there was no better time to remind households that responding to the 2020 Census is convenient, confidential and critical.

Frohn and Marcia Krause of the Cranberry section of Roaring River are extremely puzzled by something they’ve been seeing flying in the sky on clear nights for about three months.

Stay at home orders. Social distancing. MerleFest cancelled. Social gatherings banned. Schools and businesses closed. Church meetings cancelled.

If someone were a follower of astrology, I suppose they could argue that we are all now under the sign of the “black swan.”