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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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

SURRY—After major security concerns were brought to light over the summer, DRE voting machines used by Surry County were decommissioned by the Virginia Department of Elections Friday.

In anticipation of the decommissioning, the Surry County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to replace its compromised machines with eight new DS200 voting machines, to be used in the upcoming November election. The payment of $82,999 for the new election equipment will be deferred by the county until July 2018. 

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The Smithfield Community Blood Drive is Thursday, Sept. 14, noon to 6 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 201 Cedar St. in Smithfield. The blood drive and food canteen sponsor will be the United Methodist Women of TUMC.

Summer supplies run critically low. Schedule a time at 1-800-733-2767, www.redcrossblood.org, or the Red Cross blood donor app in the Google Play or iPhone App stores.

 

Town Council cool to complete closure

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

State officials are eying late 2020 as the year that work begins on repairing the Cypress Creek Bridge in Smithfield, according to Town Manager Peter Stephenson.

The project was discussed at an Aug. 29 Smithfield Town Council Committee meeting.

Stephenson said VDOT was looking for feedback on two options — to either close the bridge for the duration of the project or set up traffic signals that would facilitate leaving one lane of traffic open.

To replace the bridge using the complete shutdown option would take 11-12 months, while the one-lane option would cause the project to take 18-24 months to complete, Stephenson said. 

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Group claims Virginia tribal status

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

An application for a property tax exemption for the Rushmere Community Development Corporation was denied by the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors due in part to what county staff called “factually questionable” information contained in the request.

RCDC, which applied under the name of the Mathomank Village Tribe, did not have proper permitting to pursue activities it proposed for the property, according to County Administrator Randy Keaton at the Aug. 17 meeting.

In its application, the non-profit listed plans to create an educational and training facility at the site, which is not allowed under the current rural agricultural conservation (RAC) zoning status of the land, and would require a conditional use permit, according to the staff’s recommendation to the Board.

RCDC president Rosa Turner said in a phone interview that the issue of permits was “irrelevant” to the application. 

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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The debate over cellphone use in public schools is more than a decade old, and a new School Board policy in Isle of Wight County is set to refine the division’s position.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, recently approved by the Board for the new school year, allows students to bring their personal electronic devices to school with them to access and utilize the school’s Wi-Fi. Different areas of the school buildings will be designated as either Red, Yellow or Green “zones,” which will dictate the amount of usage allotted for the devices in those areas.

Areas in a building labeled as Red zones means that use of the electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like, is strictly prohibited there. Yellow zones, meanwhile, will mark areas in the building where the use of devices is at the full discretion of the teacher. Green zones will signify that students may use their devices for research, reading “and other education activities,” according to the policy. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Sentara Healthcare has signed a letter of intent with Practice Velocity, which will manage its urgent care facilities, including Sentara St. Luke’s in Carrollton.

Practice Velocity, a for-profit company with its headquarters in Machesney Park, Ill., is a software and billing company that works with urgent care facilities, according to its website.

Practice Velocity plans to manage all of Sentara Healthcare’s urgent care facilities in Virginia, according to Sentara spokesperson Kelsea Smith. 

The company claims it can increase profits through more accurate coding and documentation, improve performance and simplify management, according to the company’s website. 

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State now allowing localities to regulate the invasive plant 

 By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

Bamboo may be a panda bear’s favorite snack, but in Virginia, the invasive plant is anything but welcome.

The nearby presence of running bamboo has been a longtime headache for Windsor resident Mark Middlecoop, who addressed the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors this month to urge its members to establish an ordinance that would penalize property owners whose bamboo spreads to neighboring yards.

Middlecoop said he has been experiencing the issue firsthand at his property, stating that his next-door neighbor’s bamboo is has been creeping over to his land, cracking his driveway. 

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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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