By Ryan KushnerStaff writer
Isle of Wight and Surry County school students and staff have another reason to walk tall this week.
All schools in both counties received full accreditation from the Virginia Department of Education, and can now wade into the new school year with a sweeping thumbs-up from the state that the counties are meeting standards and headed in the right direction.
The accreditations, which were announced Thursday, Sept. 14, are determined largely on student Standards of Learning exam scores administered by the state, in which both Surry and Isle of Wight schools saw stability in overall scoring this year.
Zoning ordinance changes proposed
By Diana McFarlandManaging editor
Isle of Wight County is considering changing zoning regulations for a variety of business types, including tattoo parlors, events centers and adult entertainment establishments.
Faced with a lengthy set of changes, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors Thursday deferred further discussion to a work session on Oct. 6.
The idea is to provide more flexibility for businesses in Isle of Wight County, said Isle of Wight County interim Planning and Zoning Director Richard Rudnicki.
The proposed changes would shorten the distance between an adult entertainment establishment from one mile to 1,000 feet from another similar business, as well as residential areas, schools, child care facilities and parks.
By Diana McFarlandManaging editor
The Smithfield Christmas parade was moved from its traditional second Saturday in December to make way for the Christmas Evening Market.
Breakfast with Santa, hosted by the Smithfield Kiwanis, will remain on the second Saturday in December, while the Christmas parade moves to Dec. 17 — eight days before Christmas.
The parade and breakfast have traditionally been held on the same Saturday morning, and families have participated in first the breakfast, then the parade.
The parade was moved because Isle of Wight tourism wanted to use what it considers the optimal shopping weekend for its Christmas Evening Market, said Amy Musick, director of The Smithfield Center.
Music lovers have another chance to soak up the sound this weekend at the 11th annual Aiken and Friends Music Fest in Smithfield.
In addition to Mike Aiken, the weekend includes singer/songwriters Jack Sundrud, Paul Jefferson, Lewis McGehee Jacob Vanko and Richard Spano.
The fest kicks off Friday, Sept. 23 with a songwriters-in-the-round concert featuring Aiken, Sundrud and Jefferson. The concert is 7:30 – 10 p.m. at the Smithfield Little Theatre, with doors opening at 7 p.m.
Enjoy an afternoon tailgate party Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 – 7 p.m. outside at the Smithfield Little Theatre. The party includes the Cotton Pickin’ Stage with McGehee and more, while local pickers will enjoy an afternoon with Jim Masters — bring your own instrument and settle in for some good sounds.
The weekend wraps up with the Tall Tales and Troubadours Show with Aiken at the Little Theatre 7:30 - 10 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Weekend passes are $40 and include the Friday and Saturday concerts. Tickets for the writers-in-the-round concert are $25, as are tickets for the Tall Tales concert on Saturday. The tailgate party is free.
Tickets can be purchased online at aikenandfriendsfest.com or at the Christmas Store at 108 Main St. or the Visitors Center at 319 Main St. For more information, call 635-0240. The Smithfield Little Theatre is located at 210 N. Church St.
The Aiken and Friends Music Fest is presented by Smithfield Music, which raises money to further music education in Isle of Wight County.