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SHS garden

 SHS garden

Students (from left) Kaleigh Walker, Schylor Sweatt and Rusty Bryant check out the produce

growing in one of their gardens at Smithfield High School. See story in this week's paper on page 9. 

 

A new superintendent

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Staff writers

The School Board on Friday unanimously tapped controversial Mecklenburg County School Superintendent Dr. James Thornton to the helm of Isle of Wight County Schools.

Thornton will assume his new role on July 1, replacing current Isle of Wight Superintendent Dr. Katrise Perera. Perera, who joined Isle of Wight in 2011, is resigning on June 30 to move closer to family in Louisiana.

"I am excited about the opportunity to work with the School Board, faculty, staff, and the community of Isle of Wight County,” said Thornton. “I believe in a culture of excellence in which students and educators create beautiful, quality work. “I look forward to meeting everyone soon.”

Thornton leaves Mecklenburg with a series of controversies in his wake.

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VDOT told IW to look at traffic

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News editor

Isle of Wight planners were sent back to the drawing board last month to determine if the residential density increases in ISLE 2040 would generate enough vehicle trips to warrant a review by VDOT.

The threshold for a review by the state is adding more than 5,000 vehicle trips a day to major roads, said VDOT spokeswoman Laurie Simmons.

What VDOT is finding hard to understand, however, is where Isle of Wight came up with the numbers it is using to justify ISLE 2040, she said.

“That number is just a lot,” said Simmons of the estimated 27,000 new residents projected to come to Isle of Wight in the next 25 years.

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Taking property OK'd for bike trail

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News editor

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to allow the use of eminent domain to acquire property for the Nike Park bike and pedestrian trail.

Newport District Supervisor Buzz Bailey cast the dissenting vote.

Chairman Rex Alphin announced that Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen had taken ill before the meeting and was unable to attend.

Condemnation would only be used as a last resort, said Alphin.

Isle of Wight County attorney Mark Popovich said that unless the county proceeds with acquiring right-of-ways and other activities associated with constructing the trail, the money will no longer be available.

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A frustrated Casteen won't run

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News editor 

Pure frustration has driven Smithfield Supervisor Al Casteen not to seek a third term on the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors.

Casteen said the difficulty of trying to serve has exceeded the rewards.

“I find myself differing in the preferred approach and procedures in approaching the administrative and legal affairs of the county,” he said Friday.

“I’m a minority,” Casteen said of his position on the Board, where he was often at odds with the other supervisors and many times cast the only dissenting vote.

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