George Holmes, former state representative from Yadkin County, dies

January 2, 2010

By John Hinton | Journal Reporter

Published: December 31, 2009

State Rep. George Holmes, who represented Yadkin and parts of other northwestern counties in the General Assembly for 32 years, died this morning at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Holmes, 80, announced in March 2008 that he would not run for re-election because of health problems. He said he planned to spend more time at his house in Hamptonville with his wife, Barbara, a retired schoolteacher.

David Diamont of Pilot Mountain, a former state representative from Surry County, served with Holmes in the state legislature. Diamont said he was saddened to hear of Holmes’ death.

“George Holmes was a good man,” Diamont said. “He became a powerful and well-respected member of our district in the General Assembly. He was a solid individual who always smiled. He knew the issues and he was a fine gentleman.”

Diamont laid the groundwork for a new arena at Appalachian State University, he said. But it was Holmes, when he became co-chairman of the appropriations committee, who got the money allocated for the project.

Later, ASU officials named the arena the George M. Holmes Convocation Center.

Holmes was first elected in 1974, and his only defeat came in 1976. He was elected again in 1987 and every two years after that. He ran unopposed in 2004 and 2006.

House rejects bill creating Yadkin trust

August 8, 2009

By James Romoser
Published: August 8, 2009

RALEIGH – A debate over the environment, the economy and the control of the water in the Yadkin River culminated in a late-night vote in the N.C. House of Representatives that dealt a blow to Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration in its fight over hydroelectric dams controlled by Alcoa Inc.

The House voted Thursday night against a bill that would have set up a “Yadkin River Trust,” a state corporation that the state hoped to use to take control of the four hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along a 38-mile section of the Yadkin. One of the sites is High Rock Lake in Davidson County.
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Coming off the sideline

June 18, 2009

By Kevin Austin (Yadkin County Chairman)

The Yadkin Ripple

For the longest time I stayed on the sideline. Well, not even on the sideline. More like in the stands or even at home. I stayed out of public life.

My father’s philosophy on public life was to serve quietly, to donate privately, and to not draw attention. Although he served publicly on zoning boards and housing commissions and privately through the Masonic organization and Sertoma Club, he has always been happen to remain below the radar.

His father was a little more public, as City Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem of Albemarle back in the 40’s and 50’s, until his early death.

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Musical chairs – More Jobs = More Career Paths

June 18, 2009

By Kevin Austin (Yadkin County Chairman)

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times. “Too many young people leave Yadkin County never to return.” It’s always the same complaint. Only the reasons cited show any variation at all.

The favorite reason people tend to give is, “we are a small, backward county with nothing to offer young people.” Well, that is a pretty broad and damning statement, but buried in it are some elements of truth including what I believe to be the real reason: a shortage of career path opportunities.

Please allow me to back up for just a second. Not all the young people leave Yadkin County. Not even all of the highly qualified young people. There are plenty of young professionals in Yadkin County, the great majority of them home grown.

But there is a problem of opportunities in Yadkin County.

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Republicans honor past service; elect new officers

March 18, 2009

Leanne Cloudman
Staff Reporter

TheYadkin County Republican Party met on Tuesday evening at the courthouse in Yadkinville for their annual convention. Delegates were chosen for each precinct and new officers were elected.

Ben Harding, former chairman; Jennifer Casstevens, former vice chairwoman; and Linda Williams, former treasurer, elected not to run for office again.

Harding thanked the outgoing officers and explained that he could not run again because his wife had retired. This statement amused most of the people in the room who knew the decision was also Harding’s.

The new officers are Angela Parks, treasurer; Donna Crissman, secretary; Carol Prevette, vice chairwoman; Kevin Austin, chairman.

The outgoing officers received a plaque honoring their many hours of service and the audience their appreciation through rousing appreciative applause.

Austin addressed the group as the new chairman and suggested that the next few years may be interesting.

“We may have slipped a bit, but WXII has named Yadkin the most Republican county in North Carolina, and I am pleased to be a part of that,” he said.

Harding challenged the group to become more involved, donate to the party and fight the activity currently occuring in Washington.

“This is the heart of the Yadkin Republican party,” he said. “Tell Ms. Foxx to keep voting no.”

Brad Langston, a representative from the office of Rep. Virginia Foxx, addressed the crowd on her behalf. He assured them that Foxx values Yadkin County and all the support she receives from Yadkin people.

Austin spoke about the candidate for state chair, Chad Long, and encouraged members to vote for him, extolling his qualifications to lead the North Carolina Republican Party through the next few years.

Members were directed to review the new web site and check it often for updates.

Yadkin Valley board delays vote

February 24, 2009

Bank postpones talks on expansion deal
By Richard Craver | Journal Reporter
Published: February 24, 2009

The board of directors of Yadkin Valley Financial Corp. decided yesterday to postpone by two weeks a shareholders vote on its deal to buy American Community Bancshares Inc. of Charlotte.

Shareholders were supposed to vote at 10 a.m. Thursday on the cash-and-stock deal, which was valued at $92 million when it was announced Sept. 10 and now is valued at about $48 million.

Yadkin jobless rate rising

February 20, 2009
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By Leanne Cloudman

Staff Reporter

If you’re looking for work, you are not alone. 

According to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, 1,566 people are reportedly collecting unemployment benefits and seeking new employment in this area. 

Those numbers are from Dec. 2008. Steve Hodge, ESC Branch Office Supervisor in Yadkin County expects those numbers to increase on Friday.

Politician, fervent booster of Yadkin County dies at 86

February 10, 2009

Published: February 10, 2009

Warren “W.G.” Dinkins established a reputation over his political career as a man who knew what he wanted and who wasn’t afraid to fight for it if he thought it would advance his beloved Yadkin County.

Dinkins, 86, died on Sunday.

He was a building contractor for a number of years and served on a number of community boards. But it was Dinkins’ more than 35-year career as a politician that earned him the nickname, “Mr. Republican of Yadkin County.”

You may read his obituary here

Remembering W.G. Dinkins

February 8, 2009

W.G. Dinkins February 08, 2009

Yadkinville- Mr. Warren G. “W.G.” Dinkins, passed away on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 5:02 PM in Hoots Memorial Hospital in Yadkinville. Mr. Dinkins, the youngest child of Acy Dinkins and Myrtie Williams Dinkins, was born on April 23, 1922 in the Forbush Community of Yadkin county. He is survived by a brother, Mr. Fred Dinkins and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was also predeceased by two sisters, Mrs. Locksley Hall (Nellie) and Mrs. Walter Reynolds (Eva); three brothers, Wade, Paul, and Hugh; three nephews, Johnson Hall, Locksley S. Hall, MD; and Charles R. Dinkins. A veteran of World War II, and a graduate of High Point College, Mr. Dinkins was a self-employed building contractor. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Yadkinville. He was known throughout the area as Mr. Republican of Yadkin County. He served on the Board of Directors with Hoots Memorial Hospital, Central Carolina Bank, Southern Community Bank, and was currently serving as a Director for Yadkin Valley Bank. He was past-president of the Yadkinville Sertoma Club and was named Sertoman of the Year. Mr. Dinkins was instrumental and the deciding vote for leading and establishing the Yadkin Campus for Surry Community College. He was a volunteer for the Elementary School Reading Program of Yadkinville Elementary School for over 19 years. Mr. Dinkins served on the Board of Town Commissioners, and was also Mayor for the Town of Yadkinville for several years. He was elected a member of the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners, and served as Chair of the Board. He was committed to his family, his church, and to the people of Yadkin County. His contribution thru service was his way of “giving back” to a community he loved. He gave unselfishly of himself and his time. The family would like to thank his caregivers for all the tender loving care provided. Our heartfelt thanks go especially to Mrs. Ruth Ashley, Mrs. Dorothy Williams, Ms Dianne Wood and Ms Connie Evans. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 9:00 PM Tuesday at Gentry Family Funeral Service in Yadkinville. His funeral service will be held 11:00 AM Wednesday at the First Baptist Church of Yadkinville by Rev. Chris Vogts and Rev. Linda Kelly. He will lie in-state 30 minutes prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Forbush Baptist Church Cemetery with full military honors by Yadkin VFW Post 10346. Memorials may be made to either the First Baptist Church of Yadkinville PO Box 668, Yadkinville, NC 27055 or to the Yadkin Campus of Surry Community College, PO Box 2210, Yadkinville, NC 27055. Online condolences may be made to

District Republicans hold meeting.

February 2, 2009

Fifth District Republicans gathered last Saturday at the Yadkin County GOP headquarters in Yadkinville for thereregular meeting.  Chairman Dan Barrett spoke to the capacity crowd and awards were presented.  Ms. John Brown accepted an appreciation award on behalf of the late NC Rep. John Brown from Wilkes County.  Former NC Rep. Tracy Walker accepted an award for his many years of service in the NC legislature.  Also, Former NC Rep. George Holmes accepted an award for his many years of service in the legislature as well.  Representatives from counties throughout the district spoke to the highlights and failures of this past election.  

We hope to post the minutes as soon as we get them for review.   If you would like to see photos from the meeting click here.  Also stay tuned for dates and times for county conventions.