New ferry will honor man that colonists feared

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

SURRY— The Pocahontas is set to be joined by her father on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry fleet.

The name of Powhatan had commanded fear and respect from inhabitants of Virginia before it was Virginia, and it’s now on track to adorn the side of what will soon be the newest addition to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s James River flotilla.

The Surry County Board of Supervisors voted to support naming the upcoming ferry after the early seventeenth century Native American chief Powhatan at its meeting Thursday, Sept. 7. 

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Thornton says more teachers are needed

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

An additional 73 students have shown up at Smithfield High School this year so far, and the increase may exceed 100 as additional students show up.

The increase prompted Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton to call for the hiring of seven more teachers at the school.

Thornton cited crowded classrooms with 30 or more students as a reason for the new hires, which would ease the burden on current teachers at the school.

Thornton announced at the School Board meeting Thursday, Sept. 14, that the division could afford hiring three of the seven teachers it required using additional state funds allotted for an increase in the division’s size. The teacher salaries, including benefits, would amount to $68,680 each, according to Thornton. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

SURRY — A liquor store may be coming to the town of Surry.

The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is eyeing a store to be located in the former Surry Hardware building at the intersection of Routes 31 and 10.

The agency is currently seeking comment on the possible store location, according to ABC spokesperson Becky Gettings. 

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DeGroft says Isle of Wight employees paid enough

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

RUSHMERE—Past controversies and some personal accusations surfaced during the first public forum between the candidates vying to represent the Hardy District on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors, the only race in the county with two competing candidates on the ballot this November.

Incumbent Rudolph Jefferson is currently seeking a second four-year term in the supervisor seat that represents the only minority-majority district in the county, with former School Board member Herb DeGroft running as his challenger.

During the meeting, which was hosted by the Isle of Wight County branch of the NAACP Monday, Sept. 11, DeGroft pledged to fight for tighter management of personnel costs in the county, handing out a 2015 salary comparison sheet that claimed the county paid its administrators some of the highest salaries in the region. 

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DeGroft says Isle of Wight employees paid enough

By Ryan Kushner

 

Staff writer

RUSHMERE—Past controversies and some personal accusations surfaced during the first public forum between the candidates vying to represent the Hardy District on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors, the only race in the county with two competing candidates on the ballot this November.

Incumbent Rudolph Jefferson is currently seeking a second four-year term in the supervisor seat that represents the only minority-majority district in the county, with former School Board member Herb DeGroft running as his challenger.

During the meeting, which was hosted by the Isle of Wight County branch of the NAACP Monday, Sept. 11, DeGroft pledged to fight for tighter management of personnel costs in the county, handing out a 2015 salary comparison sheet that claimed the county paid its administrators some of the highest salaries in the region. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The discussion of whether Confederate monuments should stay or go continues, and a key argument for their removal has been based on the assertion by the Southern Poverty Law Center that many went up during the start of the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras to assert the authority of southern whites over blacks.

The flurry of monument-raising occurred around those two periods of history, according to “Whose Heritage: Public Symbols of the Confederacy,” published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

But fewer and fewer people alive today remember the Jim Crow laws in the south, which sprung up after Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896 declared laws ordering mandatory segregation to be constitutional, and after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional. Many today probably do even not know where the name Jim Crow, which represented discrimination and segregation against blacks, came from.* 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

SURRY — Surry’s Confederate statue will remain. For now.

Surry County attorney Brendan Hefty said the Board of Supervisors has no authority to move the statue, which stands in front of the circuit court building, based on current Virginia law.

“The county currently does not have the authority under state law to disturb, remove or interfere with that monument,” he said Thursday at the Surry Board of Supervisors meeting. 

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Residents ask supervisors for help

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

ZUNI—When rural meets industrial, things can become tense.

Fire Tower Road, a narrow, winding road in Zuni, has become a prime example of that clash for many of its residents.

A petition submitted to the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors that garnered more than 200 signatures itemizes a number of dilemmas with the roughly six-mile stretch of road, a primary one being its frequent usage by tractor trailers as a shortcut to Windsor Boulevard (Rt. 460), which is often bustling with business traffic. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Whether to construct two new buildings at Windsor Castle Park came down to a 2-1 vote by the Smithfield Town Council Sept. 5.

After initially calling the motion a failure, town attorney William Riddick said he would check with the clerk of the General Assembly to see if the vote is legally binding, given that four council members declined to vote, but Riddick added that they were not required to abstain.

After consulting with the clerk of the General Assembly, it was determined the vote was valid, according to Town Clerk Lesley King.

“There’s no conflict here whatsoever,” said Riddick in a phone interview, referring to the decision by council members Connie Chapman, Andrew Gregory, Randy Pack and Mayor Carter Williams’ not to vote due to their ties to activities at Windsor Castle Park. 

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Edna Felts Myers

 

Edna Felts Myers, 96, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 in her home. She is preceded in death by her husband, Luther Power Myers. Edna leaves to cherish her memories her son, Robert Hall. A graveside service will be held Friday, Aug. 7, 11 a.m. in St. Luke’s Memorial Park with the Rev. Mike Frank officiating. A special thank you to Marilyn Oliver and Joe Brown for all their love and support. The family request memorial contributions to VFW POST 8545, PO Box 461, Smithfield, VA 23431.

Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton, Smithfield, Isle of Wight and the surrounding communities.  Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at colonialfuneralhomesmithfield.com.

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