There were so many noteworthy events that took place in 2012 that The Yadkin Ripple wasn’t able to fit it all into one year in review summary.
The year 2012 saw some big changes for Yadkin County as well as some tragedy and sadness.
These are the remaining five of the top ten stories of 2012.
1. “You Are Here” films in Yadkin County
Not many people may look at the rolling hills and far reaching farmland of Yadkin County and envision the perfect place for a film. That changed this summer when You Are Here filmed in several places around Yadkin County and Winston-Salem.
The film, starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Jenna Fischer, had scenes filmed on Dinkins Bottoms Road and at D&J Galaxy grocery store in Boonville.
A large crowd turned out to see the filming at D&J Galaxy and there were several sightings of the celebrities and crew at local restaurants. Bobby Todd, director of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce, said that the film brought a significant amount of revenue and recognition to the Yadkin County area.
2. Junior Johnson auctions his Yadkin County estate
A racing legend left his longtime home of Yadkin County this year. The NASCAR legend was born and raised in Wilkes County and learned his fast driving techniques bootlegging in the foothills throughout his adolescent years.
Johnson built his flawless estate in Hamptonville with the earnings from his successful years as a NASCAR driver, team owner, owner of Yadkin Valley Foods and co-owner of Piedmont Distillers.
Johnson decided to rid himself of the property after a series of health issues that made it impossible for him to care for the property. The 150-acre estate went up for auction on Aug. 7, 2012. It sold for $2.3 million.
3. Yadkin insurance agent charged with embezzlement
A Yadkinville insurance agent and football commissioner for the Yadkinville Sertoma Sports Club was charged with one count each of embezzlement by an insurance agent, common law forgery and making a false statement.
Charles Everett Collins is the owner and an agent of Moore-Moxley Insurance Agency in Yadkinville. Collins was charged with forging a signature for a refund check in the amount of $4, 452 that was issued to the policy holder and then deposited the funds into his insurance agency’s bank account without the policy holder’s permission.
Collins was also accused of signing and issuing a certificate of insurance for the Sertoma Sports Club when he knew that the policy had been cancelled months prior for non-payment of premiums.
Collins surrendered at the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 19, 2012 and was placed under a $50,000 unsecured bond.
4. Body found in eastern Yadkin County
On May 6, 2012 the body of an unidentified female was discovered by local residents riding all terrain vehicles in a wooded area off of Vance Road in Eastern Yadkin County. The body was later identified as Ginger Sue Gross, 41, of Hilltop Apartments in Winston-Salem.
Yadkin County Sheriff Ricky Oliver said that foul play is suspected in Gross’ death and that she was not listed as a missing person.
In August 2012 the state of North Carolina offered up a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Gross’ murder.
5. Korean War soldier’s remains returned to Yadkin County after 60 years
U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Harold M. Brown was returned to his living family members after 60 years of not knowing his whereabouts. Sgt. Brown was serving in the Korean War in 1950 when his battalion was overtaken by the Chinese and he taken prisoner of war.
Brown’s remains were returned by Chinese officials decades later and identified by U.S. Army officials in Hawaii. They were returned to Sgt. Brown’s family over 60 years later.
A memorial service and burial was held in Yadkinville and Hamptonville. His closest remaining relative, his aunt Vetral Brown Gardner, accepted the ceremonial flag at his burial as well as Sgt. Brown’s war medals and honors.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.