Residents recall learning of Japanese attack
By Diana McFarland and Ryan Kushner
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, and the beginning of the United States involvement in World War II. The attack occurred just before 8 a.m., Hawaiian time, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, and by the time news arrived in Isle of Wight, many residents were on their way home from church. Here is what a few remember as children or teenagers when the attack occurred.
Doris Gwaltney, 84, grew up on a peanut farm about six miles south of Smithfield. The family had come home from church and was listening to the radio, which sat on a shelf in the kitchen. As her mother prepared the midday meal, what they called “dinner” back then, the regular radio broadcast was interrupted with news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Gwaltney was nine years old.
The family just sat there and looked at each other, Gwaltney said.
By Ryan Kushner
Preserve Smithfield Inc., which has frequently criticized the Smithfield Town Council and its employees over its handling of the Pierceville housing development proposal this past year, is now asking for the town’s support or financial aid — potentially up to half a million dollars.
The request for support from the town comes as the non-profit suffers fundraising setbacks in its effort to purchase and restore the crumbling 1730s structure and its surrounding 58 acres, despite its previous confidence that it was on the verge of securing the necessary funding for the project from a prominent donor.
Mark Gay, a Goose Hill Creek Way resident who has led the charge in the organization’s persevering effort to prevent 151 single-family home units from being built on the Pierceville property at 502 Grace St., blamed Pierceville owner Mary Crocker, 84, and The Smithfield Times for impediments incurred by his group.
By Diana McFarland
The potential to add high-speed internet providers to Isle of Wight County’s new public safety radio towers appears to be an added bonus to the equipment upgrade.
The new system will include four towers, located at Nike Park, the Isle of Wight County fairgrounds, Woody Acres Way and Holly Run Road.
The towers will range in height from 300 to 400 feet.
“The towers can easily be overlaid with broadband,” said D. Terry Hall, director of the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg Regional 911 Emergency Communications Center. Hall, who is assisting Isle of Wight, gave an update on the $6.9 million project Thursday during an Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors work session.
Each tower will have the capacity to include two more users, such as wireless or broadband, Hall said.
By Ryan Kushner
SURRY — The Surry County Board of Supervisors met Thursday night to discuss a contract that would transfer control of the county’s sewers to Hampton Roads Sanitation District —but the evening ended with few definite answers to the Board’s questions about the contract.
The hanging inquiries and lack of a vote were largely due to the noticeable absence of HRSD General Manager Ted Henifin, who failed to show up for the discussion, instead attending an Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors meeting that same night.
One aspect that was made clear to the Board at the Surry County meeting’s discussion is that the contract between the two entities still needs some tweaking.
Dendron District Representative Michael Drewry called the contract sent in by Henifin “very generic.”