Lewisville, NC doesn’t get a lot of newsworthy action. Occasionally a house will burn down, a serious accident will happen on Highway 421 or some other noteworthy-for-an-hour event will occur. My family lived there for almost 12 years, from July, 2004 to February, 2016, and in that time there were a few actual newsworthy events, like the discovery of bodies or even a couple of murders, but you rarely heard of armed robberies or things of that sort happening.
That’s why it caught my attention when I saw on the news that the Wells Fargo bank in Lewisville had been robbed. There are only a couple of banks in Lewisville, and the Wells Fargo branch is literally next door to the library and one door down from Town Hall, which is where the sheriff has a couple of officers stationed. In other words, it’s in the heart of downtown and not what I’d call the most inviting target for a robbery due to the high likelihood that you could be seen and/or caught in pretty short order.
Well, to confirm that this wasn’t the work of a criminal mastermind, we learned today that a suspect has been arrested and the sheriff didn’t have to look far to find him. From the Winston-Salem Journal:
Jason Brant Henderson of the 6000 block of LaGrande Place Drive in Lewisville faces charges of robbing the bank as well as the robbery of the E-stop convenience store at 130 Lewisville-Clemmons Road and the Four Brothers store at 6351 Shallowford Road in Lewisville.
As you can see from the map below, the guy basically decided to rob the bank closest to his apartment. Maybe he just wanted a day he could walk to work?
In the region in which I live the small town I live in, Lewisville, NC, is a bit of a mecca for road cyclists. Several times a week you will see large groups of cyclists meet in downtown Lewisville and depart for long rides in several different directions. The good townspeople of Lewisville are split on their feelings about the cyclists – some welcome their presence and wonder how the town can make hay out of Lewisville’s reputation within the cycling community, while others find them a nuisance as they wait for an opportunity to pass the riders on Lewisville’s two-lane country roads – but they’ve been a presence for many years and in the ten years I’ve lived here I’ve always wondered how Lewisville came to be known as a cycling hot spot. Scott Sexton’s recent column in the Winston-Salem Journal reveals how it all got started:
(Gene) Gillam was born in Iowa and grew up in Greensboro before heading to The Citadel. He became a pilot with the U.S. Army Air Force and flew B-26 bombers.
Sixty-one times he flew missions over Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland and the Ardennes. He was shot down several times, and was rescued by French families and the French Resistance — the sorts of things that awe us today but were almost routine to men of his generation…
It was through his hobbies that a lot of people got to know Gillam. He was an avid runner and, later on, became something of a pioneer within the local cycling community. That’s where Ken Putnam, the owner of Ken’s Bike Shop, first met and got to know Gillam.
“He used to live out in Lewisville, on Grapevine (Road),” Putnam said. “A group of us would meet out at his house and just go ride. That’s why all the rides now start in Lewisville, because we’d leave from Gene’s house.”
Again, that might not seem like much more than a couple of guys out indulging a hobby — until you consider what has transpired since a handful of oddballs started heading west from Gillam’s house in Lewisville each weekend in the early 1970s.
The routes plotted out by that little group eventually got written down, named and taught turn-by-turn to new groups of riders as they discovered the sport. That small group grew by twos and threes, and turned into other groups of differing interests and abilities.
These days, hundreds of riders leave from Lewisville in any given week throughout the spring, summer and fall.
I read Scott Sexton’s column about Ken Glazener with great interest because Mr. Glazener walks by my house just about every day and unfortunately I knew nothing about him other than:
- He walks alot
- He picks up a lot of trash which he totes back to his house
- I’m pretty sure he lives in the subdivision behind my house because when he returns from his walks he usually takes the road by our house back into the subdivision.
Other than that I knew nothing about him even though I’d seen him for years. Now I know what he’s been up to:
Most days, he walks upwards of 10 miles along Forsyth County roads with an equally scruffy dog by his side, carrying a plastic grocery bag that he fills with discarded cans and bottles…
Glazener is a retired dentist, “not rich but comfortable,” he said, while recounting one of the many times a kind stranger approached to offer a few bucks for a hot meal…
Some days he starts his walk with a plastic bag in his pocket. Others, he figures (correctly) he’ll find one that’s been tossed and he’ll use it. He recycles bottles and saves aluminum cans until he has enough – 200 or so pounds – to rate a trip to OmniSource, a scrap metal yard off U.S. 52 across town.
“I bet I get 300 cans a week,” he said. “Unfortunately most of them are beer cans. If I thought people were drinking them at home, sobering up and then leaving to throw them out on the roadside I’d be wrong. It’s scary to think about.”
The money he gets for the cans, a few hundred bucks a year, he sends to a scholarship fund he set up at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.
Since our house fronts one of the roads that Mr. Glazener travels I can attest to the fact that most of the bottles/cans discarded from passing cars contained an adult beverage before they were tossed. For 10 years I’ve been finding empty bottles of a certain brand of vodka and more empty PBR cans than I can even count in the ditch in front of our house. It’s disheartening to know that some of our neighbors are boozing it up behind the wheel and that they have such terrible taste.
Next time I see him I hope to thank Mr. Glazener for his service and for being smart enough to do his community service while also getting some great exercise. Let’s just say he doesn’t look close to the age, 71 years old, that’s mentioned in the article.
From the Town of Lewisville’s Facebook page:
**UPDATE ON THE WILLIAMS RD BRIDGE CLOSURE**
The NCDOT now plans replace the bridge as a part of the necessary repairs that are needed due to a vehicle striking it some time ago. While work will start sometime around the month of January 2015, the bridge is not expected to be closed the until next March (2015).
The bridge will continue to be two lanes, but there will be added width to allow for a sidewalk to be added in the future.
The bridge is expected to be closed between March and August, 2015. Please share this with friends and family that may be effected.
NCDOT had said that the construction would begin this summer, so the delay is a bit of a bummer, but the expanded width to accommodate a sidewalk is very good news.
This is a bit of navel gazing, but I figured I'd put it here for future reference. After 10 years of volunteering with the Town of Lewisville, first with the Zoning Board of Adjustment and then with the Planning Board, I had to step away due to other commitments in my professional and personal life. The folks on the Town Council were nice enough to give me a plaque at the January Council meeting (video below).
It was truly an honor to work with a lot of great people.
This is big news for the Yadkin Valley wine community and for the town of Lewisville, NC:
Westbend Vineyards – one of North Carolina’s oldest and most pioneering wineries – stunned the Yadkin Valley wine industry with its announcement that it plans to close its winery, brewery and tasting room to the public March 2.
Winemaker Mark Terry offered this twist on the news: He and his daughter Nicole are opening a wine and beer retail store in downtown Winston-Salem. They hope to open Corks, Caps & Taps in early April. From that location, Terry will market Westbend’s extensive wine portfolio, in addition to other North Carolina wines…
Terry said Westbend will continue to maintain the vineyard, keep winemaking permits current and continue making wine until all inventory is sold through the new retail store. The future of the grapes – and the winemaking facility and equipment – is unsettled at this time, he said.
The Town of Lewisville recently posted the following on its Facebook page:
***VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR TOWN RESIDENTS***
It has come to our attention that some Lewisville residents have been contacted by Waste Industries to become Waste Industries customers for recycling services.
IF you are a town resident, you are ALREADY provided garbage and recycling collection though Lewisville's contract with Waste Management.
With four days left to register we have the following candidates registered to run for seats on Lewisville's Town Council:
Dan Pugh (Incumbent)
Jeff Zenger (Incumbent)
Robert Greene (Incumbent)
Mike Horn (past council member)
Fred Franklin (Incumbent)
Ed Smith (Incumbent)
Ken Sadler (past council member)
The only current members of the council who haven't filed are Sandra Mock and Tom Lawson, and since Mr. Lawson has reached his term limit he can't file.
If no one else files then this election will be dull as dirt since there are only six seats on the council, plus the mayor, so everyone will be running unopposed if things stand as they are. On the positive side we could save a lot of trees since our candidates won't have to print any signs.
For all the folks in Lewisville wondering about the status of the Williams Road bridge – you know, the one between two traffic circles – the latest I've heard is that construction won't begin until some time next spring and when construction does begin NCDOT will close the bridge for however long it takes to repair (replace?) it. Apparently they're also going to raise it so that there won't be a repeat of trucks with oversize loads hitting the underside, but unfortunately they won't be widening the span to allow for pedestrian or bike lanes. They'll also occassionally have to shut down 421 and detour traffic during certain parts of construction, similar to what they're doing on I-40 at Union Cross road right now.
For those of us who live on the south side of 421 it's going to make our trip to downtown Lewisville just a tad more circuitous.
2013 is an election year for many NC municipalities and Lewisville is among them. Folks can register as candidates between July 5-19 so whose hat is already in the ring now that we're not quite halfway through the registration period? Here's a quick rundown:
Mayor – Incumbent Dan Pugh has registered and right now he's running unopposed.
Council – Incumbents Fred Franklin, Jeff Zenger and Robert Greene have filed to run. Former councilman and mayor Mike Horn has filed to run for a council seat after sitting out last term due to term limits.
That's it for now, but the next six or seven days should bring a flurry of filings. Incumbent council member Tom Lawson has reached his term limit so he'll have to take a break for at least one term. That leaves only two other incumbents, Ed Smith and Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Mock, who have yet to file.
FYI, you can find the list of registered candidates at the Forsyth County Board of Elections website.