By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The Walter Noona Trio is returning to the town of Smithfield this month, and it’s bringing the sounds of the Mediterranean with it.

The musical excursion, a special extension of the Summer Concert Series, is designed to take listeners on a melodious cruise around the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church. The concert features songs to transport attendees from Rome to Casablanca and back home, without any chance of seasickness.

Tickets are free but are required for admission. They can be picked up at The Smithfield Times and the Isle of Wight Arts League. Seating is limited to 140. Approximately 90 tickets remained to be distributed Tuesday. 

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Traditional formats don't appeal to many prospective members

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

News that the Rescue and Battery Park Ruritan Club was dissolving due to declining membership is symptomatic of the challenge faced by many civic organizations — enticing young members to join and getting them to stay.

Every group has that problem, said Glen Schlickenmeyer, speaking for the Smithfield Ruritan Club.

“Our group is aging, like all of them are,” he said.

Jim Henderson with the Carrollton Ruritan Club was particularly excited over the prospect of a new 30-something member. Henderson, who is also with the Isle of Wight Citizens Association and the Carrollton Civic League, joked, “a young person is in their 50s.”

As for new members in their 20s, 30s or even 40s, “it’s a rarity,” Henderson said. 

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Ordinance already in place

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

Property owners who have spent thousands of dollars installing private wells in Isle of Wight County may now be required to pay thousands more to hook up to the county’s water system.

An existing county ordinance requires that all properties located near county waterlines connect to them within one year of being notified of their availability. Residents who have received notification of a new waterline alongside their property might not be aware of the mandated connection however, because the county’s notification doesn’t state that, according to Director of Utility Services Don Jennings.

“I have a feeling that all these letters went in the trash can,” Jennings said of the county notifications at a Board of Supervisors work session Thursday.

The verbiage of the notice was adopted in 2005, according to Jennings, and merely informs residents that a new waterline is “abutting” the homeowner’s property, but does not specify that hooking up to it is mandatory. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Isle of Wight County has one of the highest on-time graduation rates in the Hampton Roads region, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

The division’s rate of 93.8 percent of on-time graduates exceeds the state average of 91.1 percent and trails only York and Poquoson in the region, according to Isle of Wight County schools.

At Windsor High School, 96.6 percent of the class of 2017 earned a Board of Education approved diploma, and 92.7 percent from Smithfield’s most recent graduating class earned the same.

The graduation rate for all IWCS subgroups, including economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and black students, also exceeded the state average for each subgroup. 

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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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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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