By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

Last month, the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors signed off on a task force made up of community stakeholders to provide input on the updating of the county’s comprehensive plan.

The Isle of Wight Planning Commission, which is legally tasked with preparing the county’s comprehensive plan, was not asked to comment concerning creation of the task force. However, the commission has been told of the formation of the task force and given the list of names of who would be on it, according to Planning Commission Vice-Chair Cynthia Taylor.

Taylor said she did not know who will manage the task force. 

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Youthful ghosts and goblins, as well as superheroes, princesses and whatever else can be imagined are invited to downtown Smithfield to enjoy Safe Trick or Treat on Halloween, Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The annual event, hosted by The Smithfield Times, the Smithfield Police Department and local businesses, features businesses and organizations handing out candy, a Jack o’lantern contest and a costume contest.

Trick or treating begins at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street.

Refreshments are also available on The Smithfield Times’ lawn.

Those wanting to enter the Jack o’lantern contest are asked to bring their creations between 4-5:30 p.m. and should include the carver’s name, as well as a candle for night judging.

The costume contest is open to all ages. Inexpensive, age-appropriate prizes will be awarded.

After the festivities, subside on Main Street after 6:30 p.m., trick-or-treaters are known to head over to Grace Street, where residents have made it a tradition to elaborately dress up their houses and yards for visitors.

A town ordinance restricts trick-or-treating for children age 12 and under.

For more information about Safe Trick or Treat, call 357-3288.

Supervisors in search of 'true north'

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors set out last week in search of the county’s “true north.”

They believe they may have found it in “choice” and “care.”

“A community of choice that cares” is the county slogan supervisors settled on at the end of a two-day retreat in Suffolk last week, with “cares” serving as an acronym for Choice, Accountability, Rural, Ethics and Service. 

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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

Isle of Wight County schools Superintendent James Thornton wants to allow the completion of a class project to be eligible to count as a “final exam” for high school students.

However, a School Board policy that permits students to be exempt from final exams under certain circumstances prevents it, mandating that there be an exam that students can be exempt from, according to Thornton.

To overcome the roadblock, the division’s staff submitted a proposal to change the terminology of the existing “exam exemption” policy to instead be called a “culminating activity” policy. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

RESCUE — Jeff Knutson has lived across the road from the Rescue Community Hall for 37 years, and for as long as he’s been there, it’s been used for a variety of events, ranging from meetings to wedding receptions.

Recently, the owners of the building, the Rescue Community League, posted a letter to Rescue residents stating that the building will be sold and that the Rescue/Battery Park Ruritans are dissolving.

Knutson is concerned over what comes next — will it be a hectic business with a lot of traffic? 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A Rushmere woman was arrested on multiple charges in connection with the double homicide of an elderly woman and her son.

A juvenile living in her home was also issued petitions on similar charges in connection with the Sept. 23 murders of Nancy and Kenneth Starnes.

Sharon Galvin, 37, was arrested Oct. 4 on a felony charge of buying or receiving stolen property. She was released on bond, but was arrested again Oct. 11 with conspiracy to commit a felony and obstruction of justice. She was again released on bond. 

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DNA test says Singer slayer was Hispanic

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The man who killed Carrie Singer was not her boyfriend but an unknown Hispanic man.

That’s the conclusion presented last week by the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office concerning the unsolved 2004 murder of Singer, 28, whose body was dumped in a farm field off Blount’s Corner Road.

The revelation was part of the Discovery Channel’s series, “The Killing Fields,” which will feature the Singer’s unsolved murder this season.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall said his investigators had tools available to them now that did not exist 13 years ago — namely DNA phenotyping that can pinpoint a person’s ancestry, coloring and some semblance of facial features based on DNA evidence.

That same technology was also able to eliminate Singer’s boyfriend, Robert Dezern, as a suspect. Dezern died in 2013. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A dog got into a fight with a raccoon that ended up testing positive for rabies on Oct. 5 near Morgart’s Beach Road.

The dog, which had been vaccinated against rabies, was given a booster vaccine and will be under a 45-day observation period, according to the Isle of Wight County Health Department.

This is the tenth case of rabies reported in Isle of Wight County this year, according to Jay Duell with the Isle of Wight County Health Department. Other reported cases occurred in Zuni, Central Hill, Days Point Road and Sugar Hill Road and involved four raccoons, two skunks, two foxes and two feral cats. Raccoons usually top the list, said Duell.  

The number of rabies cases reported this year is considerably higher than the previous two years, where four cases was reported in 2016 and two in 2015. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Economic development around the new Joseph W. Luter Jr. sports complex has been predicted ever since the town began planning the facility. That prediction is now coming true.

The Smithfield Recreation Association’s softball commissioner, Tom Dawson, plans to open a brewery across the street from the sports complex. Down the street, Jignesh Nisar is opening the “Main Street Food Mart” in the former Hearn’s Bait Barn building.

757 Brewing Company plans to offer a tasting room for craft beer, live entertainment and food via a food truck, said Dawson.

Nisar plans to operate a mini-restaurant, offering burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and submarine sandwiches along with convenience store sundries, bait and gasoline. 

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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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