Anchorman and The Office actor coming to Winston-Salem

"Comedian/Actor/Writer David Koechne will appear July 16-18 at the Laughing Gas Comedy Club in Winston-Salem.
Best known for his roles as Todd Packer on “ The Office ” and Champ Kind from
“Anchorman” and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”, Koechner recently received rave reviews for his role in the dark, twisted and film festival award-winning thriller “Cheap Thrills.” He stars in
Paramount’s “Scouts vs. Zombies” and Legendary / Universal's
" Krampus ," both set to release in late 2015.

An alumnus of Chicago’s Second City Theater, Koechner got his first break
as a cast member on “ Saturday Night Live ” and since has become an
instantly recognizable face appearing in more than 130 films and television
shows. Additional notable film credits include “Waiting,” “Out Cold,”
“Talladega Nights,” “Get Smart,” “Extract” “Thank You for
Smoking, ” “Dukes of Hazard,” and “A Haunted House.” When not
filming, Koechner performs live stand-up comedy across the country and
creates original content videos for his YouTube channel, “Full On


- A Press Release

Frances Griffith named new Education Coordinator at Theatre Art Galleries

"Theatre Art Galleries welcomes Frances Griffith as its new Education Coordinator. Mrs. Griffith is an art therapist with four years of experience facilitating art workshops with all ages in a variety of settings, including schools, community centers, hospice care, and inpatient and outpatient mental health settings. Most recently, Frances spent a year in Tanzania learning about the functional art making practices and cultural perspectives of women and children in the villages of Kondoa.

Frances has diverse education interests, such as the role of art in promoting cross-cultural learning, but she has a particular interest in coordinating community-wide art programs to encourage creativity and cohesion among diverse groups. Frances will bring this passion for community cohesion to TAG in the 2015-2016 school year.

TAG will continue their in-school art education program—ArtSmart—combining art education, history, and appreciation to help elementary school students reframe their identities as artists in the context of the commercial art world. You’ll also see the TAG table at High Point community events and festivals throughout the year as a part of ArtOut, offering engaging and accessible art activities for children and adults. Finally, Frances will be partnering with Millis Regional Health Education Center to offer a new program—Art for Health, using art as a vehicle to increase awareness of healthy lifestyles in the High Point community through educational programming and public art around town.

Frances will also continue conducting summer art camps at Theatre Art Galleries throughout the remainder of the summer. All summer camps are still open for registration and include: Mega Monsters, Portrait Dolls, Wacky Weavings, Miniature Tree Houses, and Drawing Skills. All camps run from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Tuesday through Friday. The cost is $90 for TAG members and $100 for Non-Members. For more information and to register online, please visit

Theatre Art Galleries is located in downtown High Point at 220 E. Commerce Ave. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00-5:00 p.m. For more information contact the TAG office at 336-887-2137 or visit"

- A Press Release

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Rep. Virginia Foxx Visit Forsyth Tech to Observe Innovative Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Programs

"(Winston-Salem, NC) – On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, and Representative Virginia A. Foxx visited two of Forsyth Tech’s state-of-the-art facilities. The purpose of the visit was to observe first-hand the leadership role the college is playing in creating unique apprenticeship opportunities for students with regional industry partners and supporting regional workforce development through innovative training programs.

The first stop for Perez and Foxx was the Forsyth Electrical Lineman Pre-Apprenticeship program located at the Northwest Forsyth Center in King, NC. Students enrolled in this program acquire academic and hands-on experience in the utility industry. Top regional employers, including Pike Electric and Duke Energy, recruit program graduates to participate in a paid apprenticeship program.

The Secretary and Congresswoman observed multiple student demonstrations modeling general and emergency procedures on the electrical poles, which highlighted the students’ advanced technical capabilities.  

In a conversation with some of the students, Perez said, “You all have a really bright future ahead; the sky is truly the limit.”

Perez and Foxx also visited the Oak Grove Center on Forsyth Tech’s Main Campus in Winston-Salem to view the college’s new, high-tech Science Skills Lab, which is utilized by biology, chemistry and biotech students.

The lab was funded by a $15 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCT) grant awarded to Forsyth Tech by the U.S. Department of Labor in the fall of 2012. Forsyth Tech’s bioscience programs have produced highly skilled workers who are now employed by top area companies including Herbalife, Carolina Liquid Chemistries and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

In their conversation with Perez and Foxx, bioscience students expressed appreciation for the lab’s flexible hours. Currently, the lab is open and staffed from 7 am-10 pm. Beginning in fall 2015, the lab will also be open on weekends to accommodate student schedules. Students also spoke highly of the relevance and practicality of the experiments conducted and the specialized skills they are developing.

Dr. Gary Green, president of Forsyth Tech, explained how the bioscience programs meet students where they are, working with their schedules and making their education possible.

Following the lab tour, Perez and Foxx met with top area employers for a roundtable discussion of Forsyth Tech’s current momentum and future. Some of the local employers who participated included  Nanotech Labs, Inc., NC Biotechnology Center, Herbalife, and Wake Forest Innovations.  Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines was also in attendance.

Foxx, a former community college president herself, commented, “Forsyth Tech has been a vital part of the community since it began, leading in innovation for the state and the country.”

At the conclusion of the roundtable discussion, Perez commended participants saying, “You have built culture in your collaborations.”

Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the sixth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff."

- A Press Release

GCS Students Named State FFA Champions

Students will compete at national competition in October

"Greensboro, N.C. – Southern High Students were recognized for their understanding of state, national and international agricultural issues. The school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter took first place at the state’s FFA convention, and will move on to compete in the national competition this October.

The competition asks the students to demonstrate the pros and cons of a current agricultural issue and present forums on their topic during the conventions. The Southern High students presented the topic: “U.S. Raised Chicken Exported to China for Processing.” For their research, students talked to Triad businesses, agricultural professors and state and federal legislators about everything from trade relations with China to food safety and consumer perception.

“I was worried the students wouldn’t be interested in legislative matters; however, they became very passionate about this topic since it affects consumers directly,” said advisor Melanie Griffin. “This event helped the students realize the influence government regulations have on U.S. citizens on a daily basis, and as a result, the students began encouraging their peers to become more knowledgeable about USDA and FDA policies. They also developed analytical and critical thinking skills that will help them in future careers and enable them to be informed citizens.”

The national competition will be held Oct. 28 – 31 in Louisville, Ky."

- A Press Release

Biscuitville Crowns 2015 Biscuit-Making Champions

Biscuitville 2015 Bake Off_Crew Champion
Maroua Abbou with Burney Jennings CEO
and Connie Bennett COO
Greg Kearns and Maroua Abbou win 15th annual
Bake-Off competition to make the perfect biscuit

"GREENSBORO, NC (July 2, 2015) – This week, Biscuitville FRESH SOUTHERN® (, named the grand champions of its 15th annual Bake-Off competition. The biscuit-making contest included more than a hundred Biscuitville team members from the 54 company-owned restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia competing to be named the supreme biscuit maker. Greg Kearns, operator of the N. Fayetteville St. Biscuitville in Asheboro, North Carolina, was named Grand Champion biscuit maker among managers, and Maroua Abbou of the S. Main St. Biscuitville in Graham, North Carolina took the 2015 title among crew members. This is both Kearns’ and Abbou’s first time winning the Champion titles.
Biscuitville 2015 Bake Off_Management Champion Greg Kearns
with Burney Jennings CEO and Connie Bennett COO.
“At Biscuitville, we pride ourselves in making high quality, authentic southern food, and mouthwatering made-from-scratch biscuits,” said Biscuitville Chief Operations Officer Connie Bennett. “Our team members strive to deliver Biscuitville’s brand promise to all of our guests, and this competition is an opportunity for them to demonstrate their biscuit-making skills, win a big cash prize and obtain sheer bragging rights. Among the winners, Greg is a skilled leader and biscuit-maker, and Abbou, who has been with Biscuitville for just over eight months, is a shining star in our restaurant.”
The road to the Bake-Off championship, and its $1,000 grand prize, is arduous. Contestants must first prevail in their home restaurants, then at district competitions to qualify for the final round. At the Bake-Off Grand Finale held on June 29, two finalist groups competed amongst themselves to win the biscuit champion title within their respective crew member and manager groups. They showcased their mastery of measuring, mixing and kneading in the product development test kitchen at Biscuitville’s headquarters in Greensboro. Judges assessed each contestant’s ability to follow Biscuitville’s procedural criteria and certification techniques, including accurate measuring, and proper dough rolling and flexing. Final assessments score each contestant’s ability to make the perfect biscuit based on its golden brown color, texture, height, 3 inch diameter size, weight and overall appearance.
Since 1966, making delicious, scratch-made biscuits the old-fashioned way has been serious business for Biscuitville, and it is one of the primary reasons for the company’s success. While Biscuitville’s coveted biscuit recipe only calls for three basic ingredients – flour, buttermilk and shortening – making the perfect biscuit requires special talent and a mastery of skills. Producing hundreds of biscuits each and every day with perfection, precision and pride is culinary artistry at its finest.
About Biscuitville FRESH SOUTHERN®:

Biscuitville FRESH SOUTHERN is a family-owned company headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1966 when owner Maurice Jennings opened two restaurants in Burlington, North Carolina. After several years, the company added its signature, made-from-scratch biscuits to its menu that were so well-received, business boomed and the Biscuitville brand evolved. Today, Biscuitville employs nearly 900 people and operates 54 restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia. The company, which built its success on making guests a priority and serving fresh, authentic food with integrity, recently introduced its FRESH SOUTHERN lunch menu that includes fresh-made sandwiches and sides. Biscuitville serves breakfast all day from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit for more information."

Photo credit: Bill Jarrett

- A Press Release

Dance from Above celebrates 10th party tonight at The Crown

By Rebecca Harrelson

Dance From Above (DFA) will be celebrating its 10th dance party tonight in The Crown at The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro.  DFA is known for its nonjudgmental, clean safe dance parties. Jack Bonney, one of the DFA founding members, spoke about the movement forward after the first event in June 2014.

“We took a break for December-February and then brought it back with a real marketing campaign in March with Free the Robots as the headliner,” said Bonney.  “We created a website linked in to all the social media outlets and developed a logo.  John Carey, one of our resident DJ's now (Fiftyfootshadows), has a strong graphic design background and developed all of the marketing.”

With each event growing bigger and better, some really great dance parties are taking place.
“We have July and August booked already and are planning a possible outdoor event in September.” said Bonney.  “We are still working on this and details are still being finalized, but that one could be special.”

Tonight’s show will consist of Marley Carroll, the very first DJ Dance From Above booked, and new to the DFA stage Body Games.

Excited about coming back for a repeat performance Carroll said, “It didn't take much convincing to keep me involved with DFA after that first experience. The hospitality, crowd response, setting, and visual engagement were all on-point. It was clear to me from the jump that this was a very special group of people trying in earnest to create something really cool, and succeeding.”

Body Games consists of three members, Kate, Dax and Adam. Dax and Adam are both from Greensboro, and Kate is from Raleigh.

“It’ll be exciting to perform in the city where two of us met. On top of that, DFA is such an awesome event as it is and we’ve been talking about playing it for months now.”

DFA is creating a whole new original scene in the market and has re-invigorated the Greensboro electronic/dance music scene by bringing in forward-thinking regional and national acts and curating them in a format that is unlike anything else happening in the area.

“It really does feel global in its scope and ambition,” said the members of Body Games. “Developing a community and family around this kind of scene only helps to benefit and lift up all artists in the area, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Dance from Above is held monthly in The Crown at the Carolina Theater, 310 S. Greene St., in Greensboro. The event starts at 9pm with a $10 admission fee.