THOMASVILLE — Thomasville High School held its 2021 commencement ceremony Saturday at the school.
Avery Thomas Adams, Mia Elizabeth Adams, Princess Tiana Adams, McKenzie Alisha Aderhold, Stephanie Aguinaga Nino, Jeremy Edward Alford, Sofia Alvarado Martinez, Lisbeth Amaya Granados, Brandon Jay Ashby, Jose Miguel Avila Arevalo, James Luke Bailey, Raven Lee Baisden, Tavares Rashaad Banks, Robert Lee Barnett, Abner Abisai Bautista, Za’Koury Ryan Billy, Joshua Miles Bivens, Kenya Renee Breaux, Carmen Davida Brown, Noah Buchanan, Emily Rose Burgoon, Joshua David Butanda-Martinez, Gandhi Elizabeth Cabrera Ibalva, Keaton Nayae Caldwell, Montajah UniQue Caldwell, Brandon Cody James Callahan, Daniel Alfredo Cano, Juan Reyes Cano, MyAsia Danielle Carpenter; Claudia Ivonne Centeno Serrano, Rachel Faith Clark, Mariana Jackelin Claros-Tineo, Jaiseri Jerome Clay, Reagan Nicole Clay, Mercedes Clinton, Rayna Doneise Coggins, Anaestasia Zeranek Collins, Maven Malik Allaya Comer, Erick Yahir Contreras, Juan Carlos Cueto, Shay Daniel Cullipher, Sincere Malik Curlee-Boykin, Bikash Darjee, Brianna Symone Davis, Claudia Terriana Davis, Jada Latrell Dearmon, Joel Diaz Vital, Tymarra MyAsia Dinkins, Matthew Scott Doughten, Khazya Sy’Rai Dow, La Terian Edwards, Briana Kentrell Euceda, Alexandria Di’Asia Everette, Antonio Darnel Mo’nat Ford, Jada Marissa Gainey, Dondrail Monte’ Gladden, Hailey Ann Godwin, Janasia Aniyah Golden-Poole, Rebekah Caroline Gonneville; Monica Gonzalez Herrera, Coral Gutierrez, Taylor Nicole Harris, Jeremiah Harrison, Joseph Wesley Hawkins, Katherine Mayely Henriquez Ayala, Caleigh Breah Hepler, Thomas Anthony Hernandez Boyce, Myles Kenneth Howell, Tramya Renee Hunter, Travis Sentell Hunter, Esther Ignacio Cruz, Landon Isaiah Johnson, Nathaniel Gerard Johnson, Kelsey Morgan Jones, LaTricia Nicole Jones, Brandon Daniel Junco Pulido, Nykristian Sayun Kennedy, Malcolm Cedric O’Neal Knight, Tahj Ali Knight, Raven Helanah Lee, Janiah Laurin Lewis, Chakiya Little, Shakira J’nae Little, Enilson Lopez Castillo, Luis Mario Lopez Ibarra, Kevin Alexander Lopez, Haley Leeanne Lovingood, Ashley Michelle Luna-Martinez, Jason Ivan Marroquin; Donovan Nasir Marshall, Alondra Anahi Mata, Dallas Aaron Maynor, Christopher Dawes McGee, Brandon O’Neil McIntosh, JyKala Elizabeth McIntosh, DaQuan McLendon, Xavier Alejandro Mejia Cruz, JoseMendoza Aguilar, Rafeal Mishoe, Brianna Moore, Josiah Camden Mora Rios, Juan Esteban Moss, Elijah Tyree Mouzon, Taujmel Diquan Najera, John Steven Nieto, Liliana Elizabeth Oliver Martinez, Amanda Olverson, Jakaurie Kalonji Osborne, Kierra Nicole Pantaleon Mota, Elias Pantoja-Villegas, Jose Manuel Payne, YuNeeke Perez-Velediaz, Brandon Pettit, Seth Hunter Pugh, Christian Jakye, LJ Ramirez, Vanessa Ray, Gabriel Julian Delain Rendon-Perez, Katherine Reyes Vargas, Karen Adriana Rivas Morejon; Flor De America Rivera Penaloza, Mitzi Ahilet Robles Valdez, Ivan Romero-Trevino, Jairo Romero-Trevino, Samuel Romero-Trevino, Kearria Dayonna Rucker, Emely Ruiz Gevara, Ashly Daniela Salgado, Itzel Danishia Sanchez, Naomi Aliss Sanders, Jennifer Daniela Sandoval-Bejarano, Christopher Shah Saucedo Aleman, Afzaal Haider, Shannon Alexis Smart, Myriam Sosa, Trevor Anthony Steed, Jariyah Lanay Steele, Sarah Elizabeth Stonestreet, Janiya Tamarah Stuckey, China Sturdivant, Xavier Tate, Sara Nohemi Tellez Cisneros, Nyasia Marie Thoby, Khira Thorne, Grecia Valdez-Valdez, Johan Valdez-Valdez, Belsabet Molina Valdez, Olivia Marie Vargas Mauer, Karen Vasquez-Silva, Jennifer Guadalupe Ventura; Jesus Guadalupe Villagomez Hernandez, Brantley Anderson Walker, Haden Drew Wickum, Ashia Noel Williams, Phillip Jamel Williams, Kaya Amber Yarrington and Tyvis Devon Zimmerman.
— Staff report
WALLBURG — Ledford hadn’t played well in a couple key games this season. This time it got the job done.
The Panthers pitched well throughout, took advantage of a handful of fluke opportunities and beat rival North Davidson 6-4 in Central Carolina 2A Conference baseball Friday at Ledford’s Gary Hinkle Field.
“I’ll tell you what we did, we competed better tonight than we had in the previous big games we’d played,” Ledford coach Chris Adams said. “It was no secret that I was very disappointed with how we played against Oak Grove and South Rowan.
“And we had a week off since we played South Rowan last week. So, we just tried to spend some time this week working on us and just competing. Getting out of that first-inning jam was big — we could’ve gone in the tank right there. But we got out of that, they got a couple in the third, but the kids just kept battling.”
Bailey Smith had a hit, a run and two RBIs to lead the Panthers (9-2 overall, 7-2 conference), who finished the regular season tied for third in the conference. Owen Finley also had a hit and two runs.
Ledford — celebrating seniors Gavin Sentell and Bradley Shoaf before the game — fell behind 3-0 in the top of the third, but it answered with two runs in the bottom half as Smith sent a single bounding over the shortstop with two outs.
Two innings later, in the fifth, the Panthers had two on with two out. Lucas Glover lofted a fly ball to right, but the outfielder dropped the ball — allowing both runners to score. The Black Knights argued the play but to no avail.
The next batter, Walker Bethune, then popped up to first. But again the fielder did not make the play, allowing the run to score. And suddenly Ledford, needing a big win to potentially keep its playoff hopes alive, led 6-4.
Glover, who worked in relief of starter Garrett Roark, who struck out eight in three innings, completed his three innings having struck out four while allowing no runs, no hits and only one walk in earning the win.
Sentell, after walking the leadoff batter, then struck out three straight to pick up the save. Merritt Beeker, who struck out 14 in 4 2/3 innings, took the hard-luck loss for the Black Knights (9-3, 8-1), who finished tied with Oak Grove.
DAVIDSON COUNTY — Davidson County Board of Commissioners were brought up to speed Thursday on pending litigation the county is part of against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Davidson County Attorney Chuck Frye explained to commissioners that the state’s Department of Justice and its Association of County Commissioners collaborated to define a settlement fund allocation model. Its goal, he said, was to ensure resources reach communities as quickly, effectively and directly as possible.
“Probably the most important piece is that there is the expectation that a national settlement agreement will be forthcoming,” Frye said. “This will be a settlement with the ‘big three’ drug distributors and an anticipated resolution of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case.”
In North Carolina, 76 counties and eight municipalities have filed lawsuits in federal court to hold accountable several companies involved in manufacturing, marketing, promoting and distributing prescription opioid drugs. Those cases, along with thousands of others across the country were consolidated into multi-district litigation.
In September 2018, the board decided to retain representation from Wisconsin-based Crueger Dickinson in its litigation. This followed a presentation in which commissioners heard that pharmaceutical companies made roughly $10 billion in sales in 2015, representing more than a 40% increase from the $6 billion it made in 2006.
In 2016, researchers from the CDC estimated the annual economic burden of prescription opioid abuse in the U.S. at $78.4 billion.
According to the allocation model established by a committee of North Carolina county managers, attorneys and commissioners, 80% of the opioid settlement funds will go to local governments listed in the agreement. Of the remaining funds, 15% will go to the state and 5% will be used for the county incentive fund to bring other counties into the fold.
“The committee is really wanting to reach out in August during the NCACC conference and hold some meetings with the additional counties and commissioners there to dispel any rumors or myths,” Commissioner Chris Elliott said, adding that he had spoken with a member on the committee. “It’s almost to a point in time where you either sign up or get left behind.”
The settlement, according to the office of Attorney General Josh Stein, would be with five companies, including the “big three” drug distributors Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, as well as opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma. A total of $850 million could be distributed across the state for opioid remediation over the span of 18 years, front loaded to bring the most of the money in the first three years.
Conversation in Davidson County about joining the suit began in earnest in 2017, when Frye began to bring information to the attention of commissioners regarding the issue. Frye said that more than 67% of the county’s foster care placements are considered a product of parental substance abuse. The attorney cautioned that joining the suit offers no guarantees, but could defray costs sustained by the county.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3578 or at email@example.com.