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News editor
Isle of Wight Sheriff candidate J. Russell Stephenson says he received disability payments while working for the Sheriff’s Office several years ago, but the issue was resolved and the money was paid back to the state.
Stephenson, a former Isle of Wight County deputy, is challenging incumbent Sheriff Mark Marshall, who is running for a second term.
Stephenson said he suffered a work-related back injury in 1993 while working as a deputy for the Isle of Wight Sheriff Office.

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Despite requests from Windsor town officials and residents, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 against rescinding its formal support of the proposed Route 460 bypass.
Board Chairman Rex Alphin cast the only vote to support rescinding the resolution that was passed in February.
Windsor Supervisor Dee Dee Darden advised against rescinding the resolution given that the county had gotten the access points it wanted with the proposed northern route, particularly to the intermodal park.
Isle of Wight has invested more $20 million in the intermodal park and it is important that the county maintain its position, Darden said.

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With an unexpected reversal by Windsor Supervisor Dee Dee Darden, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors denied the controversial ISLE 2040 plan Thursday with a 4-1 vote.
Hardy District Supervisor Rudolph Jefferson cast the only dissenting vote, citing a lack of age “diversity” among the residents speaking out against the plan.
There were not enough younger people appearing to give their opinion, he said.
The Board received a standing ovation after the vote was taken.

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By Abby Proch
Staff writer

Former School Board Chairman Kent Hildebrand has been charged with stealing more than $200,000 from an elderly woman.

Hildebrand, 62, of Carrollton, allegedly defrauded Carol Jackson, 80, of $206,000 after she gave him access to her checking account to help pay her bills, according to the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

Jackson is also a resident of Red Oaks Mobile Home Park where Hildebrand works as manager.

Hildebrand has been charged with 15 counts of grand larceny, one count of identity theft and one count of credit card fraud.

He was arrested Monday afternoon from Red Oaks and is being held without bond at Western Tidewater Regional Jail, said Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, he said.

The alleged thefts occurred through more than 300 bank transactions between February 2008 and March 2015.

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Believing it is close to a resolution, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors unanimously decided Thursday to postpone action on a petition to restore contributions to two fire departments that have yet to sign the facilities use agreement.

Earlier in the evening, firefighters from the two stations that filed the petition — the Windsor and Carrollton volunteer fire departments — threatened further legal action if the petition wasn’t honored.

The petition requested that funds from fiscal 2015, which ended June 30, be disbursed.

Carrollton was budgeted for $254,536 and Windsor was budgeted for $122,918.

County staff had recommended denial of the petition, but the Board has 90 days, or until about Sept. 10, to respond.

According to Dale Scott, captain of the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, the petitioners must go to court within 30 days of denial by the Board. However, based on the Board’s lack of action Thursday, Scott is unaware at this time what the next step will be.

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By Abby Proch
Staff writer

The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office has debuted a new tool to keep residents informed of neighborhood crime.

Last week, the Sheriff’s Office invited residents to access a crime map that illustrates where crime occurs in Isle of Wight County.

The website, called RAIDS Online and run by Bair Analytics, displays a map where users can see where crime happened in Isle of Wight County during a given period.

The interface allows users to filter the crimes by date range, as well as the type of crimes.

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By Abby Proch
Staff writer

Pastels, oil paintings, photography and more created by member artist of the Arts Center @ 319 are on display now through Aug. 22.

The annual members’ show debuted July 10 with a reception at the Center’s gallery at 319 Main Street.

This year, the experience has been streamlined with a show but no contest.

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By Abby Proch

Staff writer

Heat caused several issues at commencement

After nine people needed medical attention, some due to heat exhaustion, at the Smithfield High School graduation in June, the school division is considering moving the event indoors.

Isle of Wight School Board Chairwoman Denise Tynes asked school staff to research indoor venues outside the county that could fit Smithfield’s graduating class, around 300 students, to prevent future incidences of heat illness.

The June 13 ceremony took place at Packer Field and began at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, in an effort to avoid the heat.

National Weather Service records show Wakefield reached a high of 96 degrees that day, though not at 9 a.m.

Still, people were observed shading themselves with umbrellas, fanning themselves with anything resembling a fan and even taking refuge under the field’s bleachers.

Graduates, as well as teachers and administrators who sat on the field, were given water bottles to stash under their chairs.

One parent told Tynes she missed her daughter accepting her diploma because her younger child fell ill.

Isle of Wight Rescue Squad Chief Brian Carroll said county fire and rescue agencies treated nine people for heat exhaustion, diabetic issues, cardiac care, bee stings and general illness.

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By Abby Proch
Staff writer

 Overgrown grass and an overall unkempt appearance of Winsor Castle Park has prompted the Smithfield Town Council to consider hiring a dedicated park maintenance employee/park ranger.

 “The park could look a lot better,” said Councilman Randy Pack at recent Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.

 Packed rattled off a list of unseemly things: uncut grass, weeds growing through the brick sidewalks, and a storm-damaged tree left untouched for weeks.

 Mayor Carter Williams, who walks the trail almost daily, noted washed-out trails and counted upwards of 50 boards needing replaced on the trail’s bridges and piers.

 The town has not treated the wood with protectant since the wooden structures were built in 2010.

 “If you don’t keep treating it, it’s not going to stay out there,” said Williams.

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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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