July 2015


    SOUTHAMPTON CO., Va. –Virginia State Police are investigating a hit-and-run that occurred on Route 258 in front of the Southampton Mobile Home Park in the early morning hours of Sunday (July 26, 2015).

    Initially, Virginia State Trooper S.W. Johnson was assisting deputies with a large crowd that gathered for a party at a residence located off of Route 258. While patrolling the area, Trooper Johnson was notified that a female pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at approximately 12:10 a.m. The vehicle left the scene. The 25 year-old female victim was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

    Witnesses describe the vehicle as a blue minivan traveling north on Route 258. The vehicle is believed to be a 2013-2015 Dodge Caravan with minor damage to the right front area and/or headlight. The minivan’s passenger side mirror may also be damaged or missing its glass.

    Anyone who may have been in the area at the time or has seen a vehicle matching this description is asked to call the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division at 757-424-6800. They can also email Trooper Johnson at Sterling.Johnson@vsp.virginia.gov.

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  2. Neighborhood Watch Meeting August 11

    The Emporia Greensville Neighborhood Watch will be holding a meeting August 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Greensville County Ruritan Club.

    Dustan Jarratt and his drug K9 Caiman of the Emporia Police Department will be putting on a demonstration of the work they do and answer questions.

    Don’t let yourself or someone you know get scammed. Come and hear how to avoid scams. Learn how to protect yourself while shopping, on the road and at home.

    For Additional information call Francis Drummond 434-634-2428 or Lynwood Matthews 434-634-6902


  3. New Details in King Election Fraud Case

    In addition to the open letter from Mr. King published on EmporiaNews.com on Thursday morning, Emporia News now has a copy of the arrest warrant, a brief statement from the Virginia State Police and interviews with both Mr. King and his attorney, Monica Wilson.  Ms. Patty Watson, Greensville County Commonwealth’s Attorney was out of the office and unavailable for comment.

    The statement from the Virginia State Police reads as follows:  “On July 28, 2015, Virginia State Police arrested Stephen E. King of Emporia, Va., on one felony count of filing a fraudulent application (Code of Virginia 24.2-1016). The charge stems from an investigation by state police Special Agent K.L. Darden that was initiated as a result of a complaint concerning King’s place of residence in relation to him running for public office in Greensville County. The investigation remains ongoing at this time by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office.”

    At the heart of the matter is Mr. King’s answer to question three on the Certificate of Candidate Qualifications for Local Offices.  Question three states “I have been a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the year immediately preceding the election for the office I am seeking,” and the candidate answers yes or no. 

    Mr. King maintains that he moved back into the county, renting a room from his father, in October 2014.  When asked if he had receipts for rent payments, Mr. King affirmed that he does.  Mr. King further explained that he had been living in a North Carolina home on his family’s farm, which straddles the Virginia/North Carolina state line, and had intended to move into the home attached to his store, which is not yet ready.  Mr. King also asserts that the investigator for the Virginia State Police had not contacted his father to verify residency. 

    At the end of the interview, Mr. King added, “this is corrupt politics and back room politics at its best.”

    King, who was never taken into custody, voluntarily surrendered to the Southside Regional Jail and was released on Personal Recognizance with no travel restrictions.  The entire process of arrest and release was over by 8:45 Tuesday morning.  He is to appear in the General District Court on August 3.

    Monica Wilson, Mr. King’s attorney, states that they were never presented with any evidence and that she was allowed to read the complaint against her client but not given a copy.  Ms. Wilson did provide Emporia News with a copy of the Arrest Warrant.

    The Warrant asserts that Mr. King did “willfully commit election fraud by making a false statement on the Commonwealth of Virginia Certification of Candidate Qualification {Local Offices}.”  The Magistrate found that there was probable cause for the Arrest Warrant based solely on the testimony of the Investigator with the Virginia State Police.

    At Mr. King’s bail proceeding on Tuesday morning, his attorney was not presented with any evidence and was not allowed to accompany King through the Sally Port.  Mr. King was not allowed legal representation at Tuesday's proceeding.

    Correction:  Emporia News previously reported the the complaint had come from Commonwealth's Attorney Patty Watson.  Ms. Watson confirmed that the complaint was made to her office, not by her, as previously reported.  The prosecution has been turned over to a special prosecutor.


  4. Open Letter from Sheriff Candidate Stephen King

    To the Citizens of Greensville County and Emporia,

    My name is Stephen E. King and I hope to be your next Sheriff.  Many of you already know my family and me.  For those of you who don’t, I’d like to introduce myself.   I was born and raised in Emporia and I have roots here going back several generations.  I was educated in Greensville County Public Schools and I own and operate Woodruff’s Country Store in the Brink community.  Additionally, I work for my family farm which stretches across the Virginia border into North Carolina.

    This past week, an investigator with the Virginia State Police notified me that Patricia Watson, Commonwealth Attorney, had filed a complaint contesting my Virginia residency.   This allegation is baseless and most likely politically motivated.  I assure you that I meet all of the legal requirements to hold the office of Sheriff.  I look forward to a speedy trial and the opportunity to clear my name.  In the meantime, I will continue to work hard to earn your vote.  I will not be distracted by dirty politics or by the conniving of people who are invested in maintaining the status quo.  You deserve better.  The office of Sheriff will require me to balance many serious matters of urgency at the same time.  I consider this to be good practice. 

    With your support, I intend to use my more than twenty years experience as a proven leader in corporate management to restore transparency and integrity to the office of Sheriff in Greensville County.  I will put an end to back room politics.  Let’s feed everyone out of the same spoon.  I intend to be an accessible Sheriff who is always available to the citizens, not just during an election year.  Please feel free to contact me directly:  434-637-0843.  Together we can put an end to back-room politics and corruption in Greensville County,we can move this community forward through building relations and open communications with New, Strong, Firm , but Fair Leadership.


    Yours truly,

    Stephen E. King

    (Editor's Note: Letters reflect the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of EmporiaNews.com)

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  5. Greensville County Sheriff Candidate Arrested on Charges of Election Fraud

    Stephen Earl King, one of four candidates for Sheriff in the November General Election, has been taken into custody on charges of Election Fraud.

    The charges stem from alleged false information on forms filed with the State Board of Elections.  If found guilty, of “knowingly making any untrue statement or entry” to the State Board of Elections, which  is a felony under Virginia law, Mr. King could face a fine of up to $2,500 and/or confinement for up to ten years. He may also lose his right to vote.

    In the charges filed on Tuesday, the Commonwealth alleges that Mr. King is not a resident of Greensville County  for long enough to be qualified as a candidate.  Virginia law requires that all persons seeking office must, generally, be a resident of the Commonwealth for one year immediately preceding the election.

    In May Mr. King provided Emporia News with copies of complaints that his attorney had filed against the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Ms. Patty Watson, and one of the attorneys in her office.  The complaints of misconduct were filed with the State Bar Association.  These complaints were not published as the State Bar Association requires that they remain confidential.

    In the message that accompanied the complaints, Mr. King wrote: “Actions like this is what's wrong with our Justice System and it's integrity of it.  Things have been done the same ol way for oh so long time for us to Stand up for Honesty, and Integrity in our limping justice system (sic)”

    Neither the State Police nor the State Board of Elections could be reached for comment.  Emporia News will publish more details as information is released.

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  6. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Earns Excellence Through Insight Award for Overall Employee Satisfaction

    Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) was recently recognized with an Excellence Through Insight award for “Overall Employee Satisfaction” in the Medium Hospital category by HealthStream, Inc.

    SVRMC was awarded this honor for its commitment to excellence in employee satisfaction. To qualify for an award, a hospital must have been an employee satisfaction client of HealthStream in 2014 and scored in the 75th percentile or better. SVRMC was chosen for receiving the highest ratings in employee satisfaction from among HealthStream’s clients, as well as for exceeding industry standards.

    HealthStream CEO Robert A. Frist, Jr. said “We applaud Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s high-level commitment to excellence in healthcare and are pleased to recognize their achievement through our presentation of an Excellence through Insight award.”

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  7. Obituary-Fenny Rockel Taylor Jr

    Fenny Rockel Taylor Jr of Emporia Va age 75 died at Johnston Willis Hospital in Richmond VA.on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 7am.

    Fenny remembered for his involvement in his familys owned business "the Emporia Grill"  was born on November 24 1940 to the late Fenny Rockel Taylor Sr and Elsie Doyle Taylor. He was also preceded in death by his sibling Carolyn Taylor St. Sing.

    Fenny is survived by his nephew David St. Sing married to Pheobee St. Sing of Texas as well as uncles aunts and cousins who loved him. His home for the last few years was the Laurels of Willow Creek in Richmond VA.

    Fennys memorial will be held at Victory Fellowship Church in Emporia VA at 2 pm on Wednesday August 5th 2015.

    Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Echolsfuneralhome@telpage.net.


  8. Greensville County Sports Tryout Schedule Announced

    Greensville County High School fall sports practices will begin August 3, 2015.  All interested students must have a current physical form on file before they can try-out.  Forms can be picked up from the school’s main office or printed from Greensville County High School website (gcps1.com) under sports zone.


    Cheerleading                TBA

    Cross Country              6:30-8:30

    Football                         8:00am

    Golf                               10:00am-12:00pm

    Volleyball                       9:00am-12:00pm

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  9. Obituary-Virginia Inez Hodges Phillips

    Virginia Inez Hodges Phillips, 78, of Emporia passed away on July 28, 2015.  She is survived by her husband Lawrence “Monk” Clayton Phillips and numerous nieces and nephews.  Visitation will be held Wednesday, 6-8pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral services will be held Thursday, 2pm, at Independence United Methodist Church with burial following in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Independence United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com


  10. Obituary-C. Elmore Saunders

    C. Elmore Saunders, 85, of Emporia passed away on July 26, 2015.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ritchie and Edith Saunders and his brothers, Robert Saunders and Curtis Saunders.  He is survived by his wife, Jean Watkins Saunders; daughter, Mary Meade Saunders; his sons, Carson E. Saunders, Jr. and wife Sherry and Jim Saunders and wife Michelle; his grandchildren, Annecurtis Saunders Vinson and husband Daniel, Mary Warren Saunders, Carter Saunders, and Reagan Saunders. A memorial service will be held 11am, Saturday, August 1, 2015 at Main Street United Methodist Church.  A reception will follow the service in the church social hall. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church or the Emporia YMCA.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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    The W.E. Richardson, Jr. Memorial Library, Emporia will be closed August 6, 2015 to prepare for the installation of a new circulation desk. The library apologizes for the disruption of service during this construction phase.

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  12. Bikes and Ice Cream on A Hot Summer Night

    Twelve members of the Colonial Heights Rotary Club traveled to Jackson-Feild August 22nd to deliver 16 brand new bicycles.  With help from several of our residents the Rotarians worked tirelessly in the hot sun assembling all the bicycles. The bikes are Road Master bicycles with large tires which are needed to ride the gravel roads around the Jackson-Field Campus.

    The funds to purchase the bicycles were provided by a grant from Rotary District 7600. Local Rotary Clubs can request grant funding for needs within their communities. A grants committee within the District must approve all grant requests.

    After the bikes were assembled residents, guests and staff gathered in Robinson Gym for an old-fashion ice cream social. The Rotarians provided ice cream and all the toppings which brought smiles to the faces of residents.  Everyone had a great time.

    Rotary International is an organization consisting of 34,282 service clubs with 1,200,000 members world-wide. Colonial Heights Rotary is one of 62 Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 7600.  Their club members embody the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”.

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  13. Obituary-Dennis Bryant

    Dennis Bryant, 64, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, July 26, 2015. He is survived by a brother, Raymond L. Bryant, Jr. and wife, Twyla; sister, Sandra Noel and husband, Bruce; two nephews, Michael Bryant and Jamie Bryant; niece, Allison Hayes; four great-nieces and a great-nephew. A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, July 30 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Grace Community Fellowship Church or Greensville Rescue Squad or to the Emporia Volunteer Fire Department. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.


  14. County Resident Now in Charge of City Elections

    New City of Emporia General Registrar Ashley K. Wall being sworn in by Clerk of the Circuit Court Bobby Wrenn.  Shown with Miss Wall are Norris Dickerson, Secretary of the Emporia Electoral Board; Antoine Claiborne, Father; Veronica Atcherson, Mother; Antonio Atcherson, Brother; Dr. Wynne Legrow, Vice Chairman or the Emporia Electoral Board.  Not present was Mr. Robert Grizzard, Chairman of the Emporia Electoral Board.

    Ashley K. Wall was sworn in as the new General Registrar for the City of Emporia on Friday.  Miss wall is only the fourth General Registrar in City History.  At 23 years old, she is also the youngest.  She is the first to not be a resident of the City.  Miss Wall replaces Lucille Dunlow, who has been General Registrar since about 2003.  Ms. Dunlow was the Assistant Registrar for many years before her appointment.

    Miss Wall, a 2010 graduate of Greensville County High School, was one of several candidates interviewed for the appointment which was recently vacated by Ms. Dunlow.

    Below is the transcript of the interview done with Miss Wall after she was sworn in.

    Emporia News:  What made you decide to apply for the position of General Registrar?

    Ashley Wall: (Pause while thinking) Well, because I love the community, and I definitely love Emporia; so to see that type of position open and knowing how young I am - I 'm able to go out, reach out into the community, maybe get to voters that haven't been tapped into yet.  So that's what made me apply.  I saw it as a position of power and a position where I'm able to lead.

    EN: You are obviously interested in politics, then?

    AW: Yes.  Yes I am.

    EN: Dr, Legrow has said that you just graduated from college.  Where did you go and what was your degree?

    AW: I went to Virginia State University.  I graduated in December 2014 and my major was Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.  So I wanted to go into Public Relations but pretty much move into the public affairs sector, working with the government.

    EN: And you think that the Mass Communications degree with the concentration in Public Relations will help in this position?

    AW: Definitely, Definitely.  Those communication skills are important, and talking to people who held the position before, I know that you're going to need them.

    EN: You talked to Lucille?

    AW: Well, her assistant...

    EN: Linda?

    EN: You've just said that you've lived here for 10 years, but were born in D. C.  Did you stay in D. C. until you moved here?

    AW: Yes, Yes.

    EN: What experience do you have working on political campaigns?

    AW: I actually worked with Delegate Roslyn Tyler for a little while, while I was in high school.  So that's most of what I've had.  Um...I worked with the grassroots campaign when Michelle Obama came to Virginia State; and you know that we did a lot of the prep work and planning for that.  And that's a little bit of the politics that I have .  I want to kind of get my hands in some more and I think that this position will really  help with that.

    EN: What all did you do for Delegate Tyler?

    AW: Well, I was...I don't remember the official title of it, because I don't think there was an official title.  But, you know, we helped with passing out campaign materials, you know, knocking on doors and stuff like that; and then we did help with some voters, like, getting voters to the polls and stuff.  That was like 2008, so it was a long time ago.

    EN: Do you have any experience registering voters, voter registration drives or anything like that?

    AW: No, not much experience.  So this is a whole new experience for me, and that's why I'm excited to take on the role, because it's new, its a learning opportunity.

    EN: You actually live in the City?

    AW: Um...I live in the County.  I live almost in Skippers, right before you get to the truck stop.

    EN: Do you have any plans to actually move into the City?

    AW: Not at the current moment, no, not at the current moment.  I have the security of living with my parents.  I'm not rushing to leave Mommy and Daddy. (Editor's Note: The original advertisement, as posted on the City's website, stated, very clearly, that "The successful applicant must be a registered voter in Virginia and a resident of Emporia prior to taking the oath of office."  It is unclear when that requirement changed.)

    Independent-Messenger: Anything else you'd like to add about this position? When you got it, wheat were your feelings when you got the job?

    AW: I was speechless.  I was excited.  I was so glad that...I asked how many people applied for the position, because to know that they are trusting me in such a leadership position, you know, really, my first career job after college.  I'm so excited; you know, just happy.  I'm humbled.  I can't wait for the new opportunities and knowing that the people that held the position held it for so long; I'm ready to jump in and see why they loved it so much and why they were committed for so long.

    EN: You say your "first career job." how long do you see yourself staying in Emporia?

    AW: I can't answer that question because I don't know.  You know, I never know what the future holds.  So, at least for the next four years, you have me here.  I'm not going anywhere.

    In an effort to find out more about Miss Wall's experience, Emporia News reached out to the office of Delegate Roslyn Tyler.  When asked about the name, none of the people asked knew who Miss Wall was.  Miss Wall's name was not on any of the lists of campaign volunteers.  One of the Delegate's staff even reached out to Del. Tyler, who also did not remember Miss Wall.

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  15. Fate of Downtown Auditorium Decided

    The fate of the old High School Auditorium as been decided, for now.  After a lengthy overview of the cost of the debt service on an estimated $7 Million project that would renovate and restore the Auditorium and add an adjacent City Hall, and in a change from City Council's recent history, limited public comments were allowed at the beginning of the discussion, as opposed to the end of the meeting.

    Mrs. Mary Woodruff was the first of three speakers, all in favor of saving the 1934 Public Works Administration building.  Mrs. Woodruff shared a photo of the Auditorium, and shared that the reason for the photo was that the "fate of the Auditorium is once again alarming.  How can demolition of the Auditorium even be in question."  She further pointed out that the facility remained structurally sound, asking Council Members "when was the last time you walked through?"

    "In 2013, just two years ago, you required the Foundation to improve the exterior appearance of the Auditorium, which meant spending  money, or it's existence was in jeopardy.  We complied with your request, and now, tonight, you are once again considering demolition."  Work on the building has included exterior painting and a new roof over the cafeteria section; moisture was allowed into the building when the schools were torn down and the connection to those buildings was not sealed.

    "Since the City took title of the property, the threat of demolition has, too often, loomed over us."

    Mrs. Woodruff explained the history of the Civic Center Foundation and City Council.  According to Mrs. Woodruff, as late as 2014 City Council Members all agreed that they wanted to save the Auditorium.  The future of the building was discussed at the April 2014 retreat and City Council agreed to a partnership to save the structure as a cultural venue with multi purpose potential for the City.  This was done as part of Council's Strategic Goals and Priorities.  The Civic Center Foundation met with City Manager Thrower, where he "stated that the City would take the lead in the Civic Center project with the Foundation.  Mrs. Woodruff called this the "best news," and stated that it "brought renewed hope that the restoration would happen.

    Mrs. Woodruff pointed out that just one year later, in April, 2015, "the threat of demolition has once again arisen.  One year you're in favor of saving the Auditorium and you're agreeing to be in partnership, and one year later, the threat of demolition s alive once again. To date, there have been no City/Foundation conversations on the future of the Auditorium.  Together we should be having conversations about how to save the facility, about its programing, about its operational sustainability.  Instead, the discussion is how to tear it down.  Nothing positive, only negative."

    "Even you, council, must agree that a Civic Center would be good for our community.  It would be good for all it's citizenry.  It would be good for those that are considering making Emporia their home.  It would be good for Economic Development - a good tool to tout when selling our City to businesses; an asset in every sense of the word. A Civic Center would enhance our quality of life."

    Mrs. Woodruff also shared the story of the Cultural Arts Center in Chesterfield, stating that "Communities can learn from Communities."  The center in Chester was in the works for 12 years before the County agreed to sell bonds for the renovation.  According the the Memorandum of Understanding, the Chesterfield Foundation needed to raise a certain amount of money, that included operational funds before the county would agree to the Bond Issue.  She added, "according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, they have almost reached their goal.  This could be Emporia and the Civic Center Foundation!  Whenever the City feels that its financial condition can support the project, the Foundation would conduct a fundraiser, to include operational funds.  The fact that, presently, the City cannot fund the Civic Center is not a reason to tear it down."

    Before closing with a quote from Earl Nightingale, Mrs. Woodruff added, "again, I remind you, in early 2014 you all wanted to save the Auditorium.  Please remember that when you cast your vote.  Please don's tear down such an important Main Street Landmark.

    Mr. Danny White spoke next, stating that as a business owner in Emporia, White's Shoes has been a long time supporter of civic groups.  He added that the Civic Center, were it to happen, would be in that group.  Mr. White also added that when he brings guests to town, whether friends of business associates, they all find our city "Charming, Southern Rustic, but most of all, Friendly."

    "We have such a need in this community for a theater program.  There is no facility in our community that allows children to try theater.  There is nothing here."  Mr. White continued, "The Civic Center Foundatin promises that if we get things started, we will add live theater to our community.  Communities as small as Littleton, NC, support local theater," so Emporia can too.

    In addition to the theater program, Mr. White mentioned the need for banquet facilities in the City.  Currently, there is no large banquet facility, and all of that revenue goes to Greensville County when people rent Golden Leaf Commons.

    Mr. White closed his comments by saying "every time something is toen down in a community, years later, you hear regret.  If we bulldoze all the historic buildings in our town, we're left with no foundation.  If we have no foundation, the house crumbles.  This is our foundation, this is what gives us the character and the charm that bring people here.  Another cinder block building, or tin building, with 25 year life expectancies will do nothing for us."  White asked Council to remember this while considering the future of a building that "absolutely needs to be saved."

    The most inspiring comments came from Rev. Charles Moore.  His comments appear below, transcribed from a recording of the meeting.

    "I'm  here in support of saving this building.  I am a resident of the City of Emporia, and next month will have been here 60 years. I didn't come here to tear down, I came to build up.  The greatest Teacher of all time said he came into this world not to condemn it, but to save it.Whe he met the needs of 5,000 people on a hillside, he fed them and told them to pick up the fragments, the broken pieces, so that nothing was wasted.  These are two principals have guided us for the last twenty-something years at the Samaritan Helping Hands Home."

    "I know a little something about the restoration of a building.  In the nineteen-neinties we accepted two buildings on East Atlantic Street that were condemned; destined to be put in a landfill.  We picked up the broken pieces.  Today, we have a thrift store, we have storage units - useful buildings performing a useful purpose. Once we moved our store to East Atlantic Street, we had the opportunity to renovate our 405 North Main Street Building.  Sleeping quarters on the second floor with a soup kitchen, food pantry and chapel on the first floor, all being used.  We're serving over 1,000 meals to people in need each month."

    Some time ago I saw a flyer for saving a building.  The flyer depicted a donkey kicking down a building,  with the text 'any donkey can tear down a building, but it takes a good carpenter to build one'."  "Save this building, folks, for two reasons.

    First of all, it is needed, you don't have one.  Why is it needed? for an event like we had nine days ago on July 12, 2015. More than 100 people - African-American, Hispanic, Caucasian - came together at Veteran's Park for a real worthy cause. It was hot.  It was humid, and we perspired - in the country we would have been sweating.  If you think that's fun, why didn't we meet tonight at Veteran's Park?  When was the last time that Council met in Veteran's Park?  That is where a lot of events take place'; we shiver in the winter and sweat in the summer."

    "Not only is it needed, the people want it.  I looked on the computer this afternoon - people have voted for and against saving this building.  The people who put you in your seats tonight.  93% voted in favor of saving keeping it.  You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. By the way, I read where possibly $100,000 would be spent by the City to demolish this building; why don't you spend $100,000 to preserve  it?"

    "I read where we want to beautify our City.  Then tell me why we left the ugly duckling hole at Brunswick Avenue, that looks like a cow with a camel's hump and horses teeth?  Is that beautifying the city?  Lets not make that mistake again, folks.  Save. The. Building.  Tonight or whenever you vote on this project. We who put you where you are tonight, let us see the mentality of a visionary, not the mentality of a donkey."

    After a motion by Council Member Dale Temple, the only discussion came from Woody Harris: "the $100,000 dollars is already in reserve.  It is money that was allocated by Council some years ago when the school was torn down, that was kep in reserve for the point in time when the Auditorium was to be addressed.  So its money that is not in our budget, it already in reserve, as we allowed an extension of, I guess, 15 years for the group working to come up with a plan to address the auditorium."

    After Harris' comments, Mayor Person called the question, and the "Ayes" carried.  The only two Council Members in favor of wasting $100,000 to tear down a building in good condition were Woody Harris and Jay Ewing.



  16. Reader Responds to Editorial About Auditorium

    I complement you on a well-written and informative editorial regarding the pending proposal to tear down the old Emporia Elementary School auditorium. Assuming that your alleged historical facts leading up to that proposal are correct, then I find nothing in your opinion piece with which I disagree.
    I am one who has fond memories from having grown up attending various assemblies in that facility, of having been there several times when my sons attended school there, and of having participated in and being in attendance at various other functions there over the years.
    The one thing that stands out in my mind from a trip to Rome, Italy many years ago, was how so much of that city's buildings and infrastructure had been maintained and preserved for many decades, and even centuries.  Here in America, we--and particularly our governments--regular demonstrate a preference and even a fondness for tearing down the old and building new from the ground up.
    One suggestion during this period of time pending a supposed final vote about how to proceed would be to appoint a citizens' committee of persons not only simply interested in preserving the structure, but who would have expertise and knowledge appropriate to the situation from a practical standpoint.
    As a county resident with no legitimate right to have input in this matter, I nevertheless would further suggest that such a study not be done by using taxpayer's dollars to pay for professional opinions, but by persons willing to study and make recommendations that are both practical and in the best overall interest of the city as well as the entire community.
    Keith W. Mitchell  

    Editor's Note:  The subject of the Auditorium will be debated by the Emporia City Council at this evening's City Council Meeting.  Also on this evening's agenda is a public hearing about the change of the Polling Place for City District 5.  The public hearing begins at 6:30 and the regular meeting will begin immediately after.


  17. Dominion Virginia Power Offers Tips to Save Energy on High Heat Index Days

    The comfort and safety of our customers are a priority in the next several days as temperatures will average about 5-8 degrees hotter than a normal late July day in Dominion Virginia Power’s service area statewide. High humidity is making conditions feel like 100+ degrees. As temperatures soar, we are asking our media partners to help inform and prepare the public for the extreme temperatures ahead. Take special precaution when caring for the elderly, pets and anyone who is vulnerable to the heat.

    High temperatures outdoors can also translate into high energy bills. To help conserve, Dominion suggests the following energy-saving cooling tips:

    • Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature. Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy recommend 78 degrees for maximum efficiency.
    • Use programmable thermostats to save money by automatically turning up your AC while you're away.
    • Close blinds or drapes during the day to keep out the sun’s heat. Highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by as much as 45%.
    • Turn off and unplug everything possible when not in use or you are on vacation.
    • Turn off ceiling fans when leaving the room. Ceiling fans don't cool spaces, but cool people by creating a wind chill effect.
    • Replace or clean forced air cooling system filters monthly.
    • Keep the water heater set at 120 degrees and insulate the heater and adjacent pipes to prevent heat loss.
    • Using an outdoor grill during hot weather lowers cooling costs.


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  18. Editorial-Money to Burn

    Our city budget is tight.  Things were so bad that last month City Council approved a budget that included a 1% increase in both the Lodging and the Meals Tax.  In addition, the Real Property Tax rate was increased by 3 cents per 100 and increased both the water and sewer rates.  After increasing taxes, water rates and sewer rates, City Council has money to burn by spending $100,000 to tear down the Auditorium on Main Street.

    City Council did nearly the same thing in 2012.  The FY 2013 budget included an increase for both water and sewer, an increase in the sanitation fee, and an increase in the Real Property Tax.  In May, 2012, City Council had an opportunity to sell the school buildings and auditorium to a developer for $5 Million.  The plan may have killed the Civic Center, but would have been boon for the City.   Given the fact that the buildings did not cost the city anything, that $5 Million would have been pure profit.  City Council blew their second chance at selling the buildings for a huge profit.  Shortly after the sale was voted down, Council wasted $199,000 to tear down a perfectly good set of buildings.

    Shortly after the City was deeded the buildings, in 2004 or 2005, the first developer approached the city.  His plan was to use the school buildings for housing units and pay for the renovations to the Auditorium and Cafeteria sections for use as a Civic Center.  This plan would have been a win-win-win for the City.  We would have had a profit of $5 Million in the general fund, we would have seen an increase in much needed rental housing units, AND we would have had a Civic Center.

    In the City’s “Strategic Goals and Priorities” as adopted in May, 2014, the following are listed:

    • Cultural and Recreational Opportunities - Develop cultural facilities while supporting our existing recreational providers
    • City Appeal - Vitalize the overall appearance of the City to create an atmosphere that is attractive and appealing to citizens, businesses, and visitors

    How does tearing down the Auditorium, which a recent report presented to City Council described as being in “Good Condition,” support the “development of cultural facilities?”  How would enlarging a vacant lot on Main Street “vitalize the overall appearance of the City?” 

    Saving the Auditorium would certainly support the development of cultural facilities.  The Follies could make a comeback or a city wide repertory theater (like Lakeland) could be started.   Perhaps, instead of spending the money to tear down the building, City Council could make a $100,000 donation to the Civic Center Foundation.

    Most importantly, how is spending $100,000 to tear down a building that is in good condition make financial sense, especially in the same month that those tax and rate increases take effect.  Our City Council has proven, though, that it has no financial sense, especially where this property is concerned.


  19. Given the shortfall in the budget and the Tax and Rate increases, should City Council spend $100K to tear down the Auditorium?

    6% (13 votes)
    94% (188 votes)
    Total votes: 201
  20. SVCC Classes Start on August 20!

    Sign of the Times!!  Just in case you need something to do August 20, 2015, Southside Virginia Community College will be at your service as classes start for the fall semester.  Now is the time to register for classes, get information on financial aid, take placement tests, meet with counselors, visit a campus near you!!  For information on classes and how to register, visit www.southside.edu or call 1-888-220-SVCC (7822) The sign says it all..your future begins August 20!!!

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  21. Southside Regional Medical Center Offers Heartsaver® CPR AED Training

    Petersburg, VA – Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) will offer Heartsaver® First Aid CPR AED Training on August 4 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The class will be held in SRMC’s A&B Classroom, located at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg. Participants of this training will learn first aid basics, how to recognize and treat environmental and life threatening emergencies, including cardiac arrest and choking, and how to operate an AED. They will also learn how to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke in adults and breathing difficulties in children.  Class size is limited and the fee to attend is $100. The deadline for registration is close of business on July 29. For more information or to register call 804-765-5614.

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  22. Obituary-Robert “Bobby” E. English, Sr.

    On July 15, 2015, the Lord wrapped his arms around Robert “Bobby” E. English, Sr. and welcomed him to heaven. After a short battle with cancer, he passed away peacefully, knowing he was loved by his family and friends. His wife, Judy V. English, will continue to cherish the many memories made during their 42 years of marriage.

    Bobby and Judy were blessed with two children, daughter Sara E. Rutherford and husband Mike, of Winston-Salem, NC, and son Robert “Robbie” Earl English, Jr., of Kernersville, NC. He was an exceptionally doting and supportive father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by two grandchildren, Ryan Grant Rutherford and Daisy Lee Rutherford, who loved their Papa very much.

    The son of Stanley Claude English and Vida Virginia English, he was born in Franklin and raised in Southampton County, VA. He lived a majority of his life in Emporia, VA, and resided for the past five years in Kernersville, NC.

    Bobby loved gaining and sharing knowledge, and earned degrees from Chowan College, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University, including a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Library Media and Instructional Technology. He spent his entire life as an educator, leader, mentor and adviser. He nurtured eager minds from elementary schools, correctional facilities, and community colleges. He spent his final 13 years of life as an instructor for Bluefield College, which was very dear to his heart.

    Bobby was very active in the Emporia community, where he was on the Board of Directors of the Emporia-Greensville Recreation Association (EGRA). In the 1980s and 90s, he was a mainstay at the local ballpark, where he served as a coach, commissioner and vocal advocate for the Virginia Dixie Softball league. Bobby was instrumental in bringing the Dixie Softball World Series to Emporia in 1994. He also coached youth basketball for the EGRA, and helped to create a girls’ only basketball league, after seeing the need.

    He was a member of the Virginia Education Association, National Education Association and Virginia Library Association. He was also a member of St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church.

    Bobby’s personality and character matched his physical stature. He enjoyed a lively conversation with laughter, listening to Motown music, reading Rita Mae Brown, watching the Atlanta Braves, and soaking up the energy and joy of his grandchildren.

    Along with his wife, children and grandchildren, Bobby is survived by his sisters, Rudy Pate and husband Wayne, of Stockbridge, GA, and Carolyn Armes, of Boydton, VA. He is also survived by brother-in-law Michael Veliky and wife Dawn of Emporia, VA, sister-in-law Cynthia Murphy and husband Timothy, of West Palm Beach, FL, and sister-in-law Priscilla English, of Greensboro, NC, as well as two nieces, three nephews and many cousins. He also cherished the friendship of two special ladies, Althea Brooks and Aunt Mary Hobbs.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, brother J.C. English, and nephew John English.

    A memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 19 at 4:00 pm at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church in Emporia, followed by a graveside service at the church’s cemetery on Purdy Road.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church, 1351 W. Atlantic St., Emporia, VA 23847. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.


  23. Fun at the Library

    Monday Morning Movies at the Library on Monday, July 20thwill feature The Book of Life.  This movie is rated PG and is 95 minutes long.  The movie will be shown at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.  Snacks are welcomed.  Children under the age of 8 must be supervised.

    On Thursday, July 23rd be prepared for songs, fun, puppets, and more with the Sundae Puppets.  The program will be held at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and 2:00 pm at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia. 

    Show begins promptly and seating is limited to a first come basis.  For more information contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.



    (EMPORIA, VA) – Troy Watson has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for June 2015. Mr. Watson, who has been employed at SVRMC since May 2008, is an Engineering Technician in the Engineering Department.

    Employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior highlighted during that month. The highlighted Standard of the Month for June was Responsiveness. Mr. Watson was nominated by his department manager who wrote, “There are many things Engineering is asked to do or to assist with every day, from the toilet that might not be working correctly to being asked to assist with someone’s car that will not start. Troy readily responds to any request for assistance, and always does so in a professional manner. Troy is a hard worker and is dedicated to his job and our organization. He is a go-to guy that is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. We can always count on Troy to be there when we need him; he answers all of our requests, and offers assistance without being asked to do so. Troy is known throughout the facility, and is respected by his coworkers, peers, SVRMC staff and administration.”

    As SVRMC’s June Employee of the Month, Mr. Watson received a certificate, balloons, cookies to share with his co-workers in the Engineering Department, a cash prize and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2015 Employee of the Year.

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  25. Obituary-Virginia Merlie Harrison Spivey

    Virginia Merlie Harrison Spivey Passed away Sunday, July 12, 2015 at the age of 102. The daughter of the late Thomas H. Harrison, Sr. and Hazel Lucille Creamer Harrison, she was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but was raised at Jackson-Field Episcopal Home for Girls and was the oldest alumni at her death. She was preceded in death by her husband, Emerson Leo Spivey, Sr. and sisters, Bertha Harrison Self, Edith Christine Wheeler and a brother, Thomas Harrison. She is survived by sons, Thomas Patrick Spivey of Emporia and Emerson Leo Spivey, Jr. and wife Olive of Greensboro, NC; two grandchildren, Andrew Gary Spivey and wife, Lisa of Huntersville, NC and Doeserena Spivey of Greensboro, NC; five great-grandchildren, Tanner Lee Cochran, Nikki Cochran, both of Richmond and Taylor Andrew Spivey, Clayton Andrew Spivey and McKenzie Lauren Spivey, all of Huntersville, NC. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at Victory Fellowship Church (the former Christ Episcopal Church of which she had been a member for eighty years and was the oldest member), 200 South Main St, Emporia, Virginia. Interment will follow at Emporia Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.


  26. Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

    Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe authorized and signed a proclamation noting Jackson-Feild’s 160th anniversary. Presented to President and CEO Tricia Delano by Mrs. Sharron Kitchen Miller (wife of Virginia Senator John Miller), this official document recognizes our longevity and success. 

    Gubernatorial proclamations are issued in order to call to the attention of Virginians the special honors, milestones and events, and to create awareness of the good works done by the recipients.

    We are pleased and proud to receive this proclamation commemorating our 160th anniversary, and we look forward to continuing our excellent service to children with behavioral health issues.

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  27. "Nourish Your Digestive System” Program Offered in Emporia

    Did you know that digestive disorders are among the most common problems in health care today? About 30 to 40 percent of adults say they experience frequent indigestion, and more than 50 million visits are made every year to health-care facilities for symptoms related to the digestive system. Experiencing digestive issues may not mean that you have a severe problem. Some of your daily behaviors may simply be disrupting normal digestion.

    Join us Tuesday, August 11 at 6 p.m. for “Nourish Your Digestive System”.  This program will take place at the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 105 Oak Street Emporia, Virginia.  You will become familiar with the digestive system and ways to improve your digestive health.  Learn to nourish your digestive system and become healthier in the process.

    There is no cost to attend this program, but participants must register to attend by Friday, August 7. For more information or to register, call the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233.

    Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. If you are a person with a disability and require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program, please call the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least five days prior to this event. TDD number is 800-828-1120.


  28. Virginia State Police Investigate Deadly Crash in Brunswick County

    Virginia State Police Trooper K.H. Pearce responded July 11, 2015, to an ATV crash in Brunswick County. The crash occurred at 12:55 a.m., on private property at a residence in the 14,000 block of Western Mill Road.

    John W. Mullen Jr., 51, of Chesapeake, Va., was operating a Can-Am Renegade 800 ATV on the property when it overturned. Mullen died at the scene.

    Mullen was the ATV’s only occupant.

    The incident remains under investigation.

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  29. Dominion Virginia Power Warns of Scams

    Over the last several days, scammers using phone spoofing software have targeted small business customers across Virginia. The scammers fast talk victims and threaten to turn off electricity if payment isn’t received within an hour or two.

    Dominion does not threaten to turn off power in exchange for immediate payment.

    Dominion provides customers with multiple notifications by mail and by phone to work out a plan before power is disconnected, but does not take payment over the phone. Customers will be directed by the Dominion representative to make payment through the customers’ online MYA account, by mailing a check to the billing department,

    While Dominion may phone customers whose bills are in arrears to remind them payment is due, we never ask for specific payment information -- we only direct customers how to make a payment. If you have a problem paying your bills, we will work with you to figure out a reasonable payment plan -- we do not threaten you.

    What can customers do?

    •  Collect as much information as you can from the scammers:
    •  Ask them for the address of the location where they are expected to buy the card & the type of card
    •  Capture any phone numbers, call back numbers, first and last names,
    •  Ask if you can mail payment and collect a physical address
    •  Ask if you can pay at a bank and the name and address of the bank
    •  Ask how the payment process works and document it
    •  Note the gender or anything noteworthy about the caller, such as an accent
    •  Note the time of day they called
    •  Ask why there is a change in the payment process
    •  Ask if they will be provided with a confirmation number or receipt if payment is made


  30. "A Call for Unity" in Rememberance of the Victims of Emanuel AME

    The Emporia-Greensville National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a vigil in honor of the nine victims of last months shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.  Sunday's event, called "A Call of Unity," was well attended.

    Below is a slideshow of the event.

    Psalm 34

    I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.

    O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

    I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.

    Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.

    This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.

    The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

    O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

    O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.

    The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

    Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

    Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?

    Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.

    Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

    The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.

    The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.

    The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

    Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.

    He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.

    Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

    The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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  31. Matters of the Heart

    Men and women experience heart attacks differently

    Emporia, VA By: Saquib Samee, MD– According to the American Heart Association: 

    • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is leading cause of death in America, accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths
    • In America, someone will suffer a coronary event every 29 seconds, and one will die every minute
    • Approximately 250,000 Americans die each year of CHD without ever being hospitalized.

    These statistics are daunting, and for those who have never experienced a heart attack, recognizing and identifying symptoms as heart related may not be as easy as one would think.  Hollywood would have us all believe that heart attacks begin with sudden, sharp chest pain, staggering and ultimately collapse. In reality, the signs of a heart attack are much more subtle, and may vary from person to person making it difficult for the average individual to accurately identify.

    We’ve all heard about the differences between Mars and Venus when it comes to men and women, and matters of the heart. These differences hold true when it comes to heart health, as well. Knowing how to recognize the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, can help men, women and their doctors prevent it, or intervene in time to minimize the damaging effects on the heart.

    Men usually experience what we know as the “classic” signs of a heart attack, which include any combination of heavy squeezing or chest pain, discomfort in areas of the upper body (arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach), stomach/abdominal pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, lightheadedness, cold sweat and/or nausea.

    Women suffering a heart attack sometimes experience chest pain, but not as frequently as men, and they experience other symptoms that people don’t generally link to heart trouble like unusual/unexplained fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion, anxiety, dizziness, cold sweats, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. The onset of these symptoms often occurs much earlier in women than in men, whose symptoms typically come either rightbefore, or during a heartattack.  This is supported by research by the National Institutes of Health that indicates womensometimes experience different physical symptoms as long as a month or more before experiencing a heart attack. In a  2007 study of more than 500 women, 95 percent of participants reported experiencing new symptoms at least a month before their heart attack, including unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance and shortness of breath. Less than 30 percent of women studied experienced chest pains prior to the attack, and 43 percent had no chest pain during the attack. Other symptoms included indigestion and anxiety. The study was one of the first to examine the differences in the way men and women experience a heart attack.

    Knowing the differences is important for many reasons. Women who experienced these non-traditional symptoms did not identify them as a heart attack and put off seeking medical attention, significantly decreasing their chances for preventing, or surviving, the attack. The American Heart Association estimates that about 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

    The reason these differences are just now coming to light is that heart disease has, for decades, been considered a man’s disease, so naturally, research focused primarily on men. However, cardiovascular disease has claimed the lives of more women than men every year since 1984, thus making it clear that heart disease isn’t just a men’s disease.         

    Remember that symptoms may come and go. Even if you’re not sure if it’s a heart attack, it’s important to be checked by a doctor. New medications and treatments are now available that can stop some heart attacks in progress and save lives, but these drugs must be administered at the first sign of heart attack symptoms for maximum effectiveness.

    Talk to your doctor about steps you can take to educate yourself about heart health and any recommended health screenings based on your individual profile.  Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and how to minimize its effects will help ensure that you and your loved ones maintain good heart-health for many years to come.

    The information in this article was provided by Saquib Samee, MD.  Dr. Samee, an interventional cardiologist, provides in a variety of services, and practices all aspects of interventional cardiology including, echocardiogram, stress echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), carotid ultrasound, nuclear stress test, preventive cardiology, coronary artery angiogram, coronary artery intervention, intervention via radial artery, peripheral vascular studies, peripheral arterial angiogram, peripheral stent placement, and transradial catheterizations.   His practice is located at 6 Doctor’s Drive in Emporia.  For more information on services offered by Dr. Samee or to schedule an appointment, call 434-336-1900.



  32. In Memory of Ted Blankenship and George Blick AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE

    EMPORIA, VA – Each summer, the supply of blood collected by the American Red Cross (ARC)  through volunteer donations drops off significantly, with approximately two fewer donor appointments scheduled at each blood drive than the actual patient need.  This decline can add up to as many as 100,000 fewer donations during the months of June, July and August.  Unfortunately, the need for lifesaving blood and blood products remains constant throughout the summer season.  Approximately 400 units of blood are needed every day to meet the patient demand in our geographic area alone.  That equates to about 60,000 units needed annually. 

    The American Red Cross services over 2700 hospitals nationwide, with patients who depend on the ARC for blood products. Greensville County Public will host a blood drive on Wednesday, July 22nd from 12:00 PM until 6:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church at 201 South Main Street.  This blood drive is dedicatedIn Memory of Ted Blankenship and George Blick, two devoted blood drive coordinators who both recently passed away in May this year. They were long-time supporters of the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross, serving as blood drive volunteers and blood donors in Greensville and Emporia.

    All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.   To schedule an appointment, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

    For more information on this blood drive, contact Donnie Clements, at 434-577-2950. For more information about donating blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

    Puma Rihanna Creeper



    EMPORIA, VA – In today’s world, picking up a newspaper or tuning in to any news program often seems like a fictional crime drama.  Thankfully, every once in a while a bit of heartwarming news comes along that restores the belief that there are still compassionate and loving people out there who go the extra mile to make a difference out of the goodness of their hearts.  Recently, one of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s (SVRMC) physical therapists (PT) did just that when she went beyond what is required or expected to help a patient get a new wheelchair. 

    PT patient, Earl Hargrove, has a history of chronic strokes that dates back over 12 years.  A couple of years ago, one such event left Mr. Hargrove completely wheelchair bound.  During a recent PT appointment, his PT noticed that his personal wheelchair was in extremely poor condition.  Taking the matter into her own hands, she asked other staff in the department about wheelchair regulations, and how she might go about obtaining a new and properly working wheelchair for him.  By chance, a fellow patient, who asked to remain anonymous, had mentioned that she had a wheelchair that she no longer needed, and that she would love to donate it to anyone who may be in need.  This patient told the staff, “If that was me, I would love for someone to have done the same for me.”  In addition to the wheelchair, a customized seat cushion was also donated to Mr. Hargrove, and both items appeared to be in perfect condition!  Both Mr. Hargrove and his wife are truly grateful for the unexpected acts of kindness from staff, and the generous gift of “new wheels” from a stranger.

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  34. Obituary-Barbara Ferguson Driver

    Barbara Ferguson Driver, 82, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at The Bloom Center in Emporia with family at her bedside.

    There is no love like the love of a mother. They love us in spite of ourselves; they have confidence in our abilities to succeed, and faith we will take the right paths in life. As thankful as we are that Momma didn’t suffer, the child in us wanted her with us. We will miss her until God calls us home. We will seek her wisdom in each decision of every day. We love you and miss you Momma.

    “Bobbie” was a stranger to no one.  She was full of life, love, and energy; she anticipated “needs” of others and set out to fulfill their needs.  Whatever she strived for, she was the best, from getting the lead part in her high school play to selling the most World Books on the east coast and being whisked off to Chicago for her hard work and dedication.  She worked side by side with her husband, M.C. raising their children and grandchildren.  She was gifted with a love of music and sang on the radio with her husband in their early married years and later for church, weddings, and funerals.  She was also the choir director at Fountain Grove Baptist Church.  She sought out ways to ensure her children and grandchildren knew they were special.  She made the work her family did “less work” and more “special” saying which ever child did the “best” job would receive their own half gallon of ice cream; “all” children won, 5, half gallons of ice cream!  She made blackberry dumplings, fudge, and sea foam candy for her family, like no other! 

    She was preceded in death by her husband, M.C., grandson, Chase, and brother, Bill Ferguson.  She is survived by her five children: Earl Conway Driver and wife Susan of Powhatan, VA, Morris Conway Driver II and wife Lynn, of Capron, VA, Glenn Patterson Driver and wife Pam of Halifax, NC, Greg Timothy Driver of Emporia, VA, and Alma Dee Driver Rhodes and husband Bryan of Rocky Mount, NC.  She was blessed with 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

    The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, July 12 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Virginia, 1700 Bayberry Ct, Suite 300, Richmond, Virginia 23226 or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  35. Obituary-William Chris Jarratt

    William Chris Jarratt, 53, of Emporia, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2015. He is survived by his fiancee’ Vickie Gray; son, Joshua Jarratt; three step-daughters, Samantha Grizzard; Dianna McDowell and Jamie Gray; four grandchildren, Jaylon Grizzard, Cameron Grizzard, James Crowley and Maddox McDowell; his mother, Mary Taylor; sister, Shirley Gill; brother, Mike Taylor; three step-brothers, Shawn Jarratt, Dean Jarratt and Ricky Jarratt and step-sisters, Pam and Kim. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  36. Neighborhood Watch Meeting July 15th

    Neighborhood Watch Organization will be having a meeting at the Jarratt Fire Department in the meeting room on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 7:00 P.M.

    A short program will be presented by Trooper Keith Sasser on crime prevention. Please plan on attending this very informative meeting to learn some great crime prevention tips and bring a family member, friend and/or neighbor.

    We all need to be aware of our surroundings and what is going on in our neighborhoods and community.

    All residents in Jarratt, Greensville, Sussex Counties and Emporia are invited to attend this program. Please come and voice your ideas to help our area to prevent crime and make our area a safer place to live and enjoy.

    If you have any ideas for programs you would like to have presented at the meeting, please contact Dana Kinsley or Roderic Tuell.

    For additional information call Dana Kinsley 434-637-7553 or Roderic Tuell 434-535-9191

    Please tell your neighbors about this meeting and encourage them to attend.


  37. Obituary-Andy Wirtanen

    Andy Wirtanen passed away on July 4th ,2015 at he age of 88 years

    Born in Finland on August 24th 1926 , Andy immigrated to Canada via steamship on October 11 , 1926 , and then to the united states of America in 1959. Andy and his family moved to emporia Virginia in 1970 from L'Anse  Michigan .

    Andy attended  Queen University in Kingston , Ontario , graduation with a degree in Mechanical Engineering . Andy's  work career took him to Donnacona , Quebec , Canada  , L'Anse, Michigan and Jarrett , Virginia  where Andy served as Plant Manager for the Georgia Pacific Facility .

    He is survived  by his four sons and spouses , Richard and Monica of great falls Virginia , Eric and Julie of Niagara on the Lake , Ontario, Canada, Jeff  of Roanoke Rapids NC ,and john and Guinnevee of Virginia Beach , Virginia  and grandchildren Mikhel , Gray, Brooke , Zack , Jake , Candice and Charley . Jake is currently serving in the Air Force in Iraq.  Andy was preceded in death by his wife Bernice and Daughters Leah and Connie .

    Andy was a compassionate man whose focus was the well-being and happiness of  his family . he will sorely be missed by all . A celebration of Andy's life will be held on  August 22nd,  2015 at 439 Deep Creek Point , Roanoke Rapids , North Carolina between 4pm and 8 pm .

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  38. Lawrenceville Lions Install New Officers

    The Lawrenceville Lions Club held its annual installation banquet on Monday, June the 15th at Elm Acres. The following officers were install by Otis Thomas, Secretary of the South Hill Lions Club: Rodney Elmore - President, Emory Samford - 1st Vice-President, Johnie Carpenter - 2nd Vice-President, Lynda Daniel - Secretary, Johnny Peebles - Treasurer, Daven Lucy and Anthony Rigoli - 2 year directors, Sharon Propst and Dawn Jenkins - 1 directors, Anne Rylands - Tail Twister, and Lonnie Powell - Lion Tamer.

    Lion Joe Johnson was recognized for the many, many years he has served as Lion Tamer.

    Johnie Carpenter was recognized for 40 years of service, T. Norby Nelson and Ray Tho as were recognized for 30 years of service, and F. M. Arthur was recognized for 25 years of service.

    Lion Lynda Daniel was named Lion of the Year.

    What a great club to be part of!!! If you are interested in joining a great group of people, please see one of club members for information or call President Rodney Elmore at 434-447-9913.




  39. Obituary-Wayne Lee Turner

    Wayne Lee Turner, 81, passed from this life on Sunday, July 5, 2015 at Greensville Manor Nursing Home in Emporia, Virginia. He was born in Beckley, WV on January 14, 1934 and graduated from Mark Twain High School. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wadie and Verna Peters Turner of Martinsville, VA and wives, Virginia Brewer Turner and Irene Lynch Turner. Wayne is survived by four children, Fred and wife, Kathy Turner of Moyock, NC, Chip Turner; John and wife Leslie Turner, all of Greensboro, NC and Lesa and her husband, Kip Greer of Raleigh, NC; two stepchildren, Dave Lynch and Sharon Simmons and seven grandchildren. Wayne managed Days Inn in many locations, including Knoxville, TN, New Orleans, LA, Danville, Virginia, Martinsville, VA and lastly Emporia, Virginia. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions in memory of Wayne Turner may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 310 N. Main St., Emporia, Virginia 23847 or to the American cancer Society.

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  40. SVCC’s New Student Orientation Dates - Fall 2015

    Southside Virginia Community College is inviting all incoming Fall 2015 students to attend NSO 2.0 (New Student Orientation) to be held Thursday, July 16 at the John H. Daniel Campus located in Keysville, VA; Friday, July 17 at the Christanna Campus located in Alberta, VA; and at both main campuses on Friday, August 14.

    SVCC is encouraging all new students to attend one of the orientation sessions that are available.

    All sessions will begin at 9:30 AM.

    This fun, half-day event will jump start our new students’ academic career and ensure a successful transition to SVCC.

    To RSVP or find out more information, please visit www.southside.edu/orientation.

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  41. Obituary-Robert Lewis Longamore

    Robert Lewis Longamore, age 78, of Lawrenceville, Va. passed away July 7, 2015 after a long illness.  A Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend,  he leaves behind his loving wife of 45 years, Marilyn Louise Maslen Longamore; his children, Creig Weaver and wife Carolyn of Tenn., David Longamore and wife Barbie of Kentucky, Susan Price and husband Chuck of Tenn., and Robert W. Longamore of Virginia; ten grandchildren, Ken, David, Kevin, Daniel, Kaleb, Darius, Andrew, Courtney, Joshua and Nicole; fourteen great grandchildren; his brother, Fred Longamore of NY; two sisters, Nancy Schneeburger and husband Gary of NY and Shelby Campbell of NY; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Floyd William and Carrie Longamore; four brothers, Steven, William, Donald and Richard Longamore and a sister, June Bee Bee.  Robert was born and raised in Evan Mills, New York and came to Virginia in 1995 to be with his father-in-law William Maslen and Brother and Sister-in-law, Bonnie Maslen and the late Frederick Maslen.  He assisted his wife who operated a small convenient store called Mr. Kool on Rte. 58 in Brodnax, VA for three years.  Robert proudly served in the U.S. Air force from 1956-1960.  He loved his church family at Faith Baptist Church in Emporia, Va. which he attended many years.  Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 a.m. Friday at Faith Baptist Church, Emporia, Va. with interment in Oakwood Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Va.  The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, Va.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

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  42. Obituary-Elisabet “Lisa” Bradley

    Elisabet “Lisa” Bradley, 64, of Chester, formerly of Emporia, passed away Monday, July 6, 2015. She is survived by her life partner and former husband, Bill Bradley; one daughter, Linda B. Watkins and husband, David of Emporia; three grandchildren, Brian K. Sexton, Jr., Travis Watkins and Krista Watkins; sister, Helga Maria Bragadottir; brother, Bragi Thor Bragison, both of Iceland and a number of nieces and nephews. A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, July 10 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the home of her daughter in Emporia. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.


  43. In Case You Missed the Fireworks

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    Holiday Weekend Drunken Driving Arrests Increase

    RICHMOND – Preliminary reports indicate the 2015 Fourth of July holiday weekend experienced the fewest fatal traffic crashes since 2002. A total of four fatal crashes have been reported for the three-day holiday weekend. Three drivers and one passenger died in the four crashes that occurred between July 3, 2015, and July 5, 2015, in the counties of Carroll, Henrico, Pittsylvania and Washington. The Washington County fatal crash claimed the life of a 5-year-old Houston, Texas, girl. The girl was not secured in a booster seat at the time of the crash.

    During the holiday weekend, Virginia State Police participated in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored, national program that encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays. The stepped-up law enforcement operation was part of the nationwide Drive to Save Lives (#DrivetoSaveLives) campaign that aims to not only reduce traffic fatalities by 15 percent in 2015, but to also increase officer safety for those on patrol.

    As part of the Operation C.A.R.E. enforcement effort, Virginia State Police troopers arrested 96 impaired drivers for DUI—an increase from the 77 DUI arrests made over the July 4 holiday in 2014.

    “Despite the record decrease in traffic deaths over this past holiday weekend, the fact that DUI arrests increased by almost 20 percent is of extreme concern,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Such an increase means 96 individuals made the irresponsible and potentially deadly decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Those drivers put countless other motorists at risk for a crash, injury or death.”

    During the summer and fall months, Virginia State Police is an active participant in Checkpoint Strikeforce, an intensive law-enforcement mobilization aimed at deterring and detecting impaired drivers in the Commonwealth through aggressive DUI enforcement and education. For more information, click on


    In addition to DUI arrests, Virginia state troopers also cited 8,942 speeders and another 2,259 reckless drivers statewide. Troopers also cited 822 safety belt violations and 327 child safety seat violations. State police investigated a total of 690 traffic crashes, four of which were fatal.

    Previous July 4th Fatality Statistics*:



    # of Days
















       *Traffic Crash Facts, VA Highway Safety Office, DMV                       

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  45. Your Old Refrigerator May Be Costing You More Money

    - Inefficient refrigerators could add more than $100 to your energy bill annually

    - Dominion Virginia Power will pick up and recycle old, less efficient refrigerators at no cost

    - Customers will receive a $50 incentive for participating

    RICHMOND, Va., July 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Did you know that old refrigerator in your garage could be adding more than $100 to your annual energy bill? Through its new Residential Appliance Recycling Program, Dominion Virginia Power is making it easy for customers to recycle their old refrigerators and freezers. Dominion will pick up and recycle appliances at no cost and customers will receive a $50 incentive for participating.

    "Refrigerator efficiency has improved dramatically in the past 20 years," said Ken Barker, vice president of Technical Solutions at Dominion. "Homeowners oftentimes don't realize how much their old refrigerators may be impacting their energy bills. We not only want to educate our customers on this lesser-known source of wasted energy, we want to help them do something about it."

    The Environmental Protection Agency encourages consumers to shift to Energy Star appliances which are over 15 percent more energy efficient than appliances built according to 2009 regulations. Energy Star estimates that out of approximately 170 million refrigerators currently in use in the United States, more than 60 million are over 10 years old. When kept in a hot garage or exposed to the elements, these older refrigerators consume even more energy. To find out how much it costs to run your old refrigerator, visit Energy Star's Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator.

    To qualify for Dominion's appliance recycling program, refrigerators and freezers must:

    • range from 10 to 32 cubic feet in capacity,
    • be at least 10 years of age, and
    • be operational and empty at the time of pickup.

    To participate:

    • Residential customers in Virginia can enroll online at www.dom.com/appliancerecycling or call 1-844-685-7462.
    • Dominion's contractor, JACO Environmental, will call the customer to schedule a pickup date and time.
    • Following the pickup, the $50 check will be mailed to the customer. Customers are eligible to recycle two qualifying appliances per account over the life of the program.

    After appliance pickup, Dominion's contractor will disable the unit, recycle the applicable components, and properly dispose of the refrigerant chemicals.

    The Residential Appliance Recycling Program joins 12 other Dominion programs that promote energy conservation. For more information, visit www.dom.com and search energy conservation.



  46. Jackson-Feild Homes Public Release for Free and Reduced Price Meals

    Jackson-Feild Homes is eligible and participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. A copy of the policy governing this program is on file at the school and may be reviewed by any interested party.

    The program receives support from the Federal government. Although all children receive the meals at no charge, the household size and income will be used to determine the number of children eligible for free or reduced price meals.  The result of this process determines the amount of support received from the Federal government.

    TheU.SDepartmentofAgricultureprohibitsdiscrimination  against its customers, employees,and applicants for employment on the basis of race,color, national origin, age,disability,sex,gender identity,religion,reprisal, and where applicable,political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived fro many public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Serviceat (800)877-8339;or(800)845-6136(Spanish).

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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  47. Eye Health: Vision Basics & Exams

    Emporia, VA, Thomas J. Robertson MD; To maintain proper eye health and vision, it is important to visit an eye doctor periodically if you have normal vision and no symptoms of a problem, and immediately if there is sudden vision loss, eye pain or irritation.  Having a complete exam with an eye doctor is important because most eye diseases can be treated when found in the early stages.  If health problems such as diabetes exist, visiting the eye doctor more frequently may be necessary to detect any complications. 

    Your eye doctor will take a thorough medical and ophthalmic history, followed by an examination, which can be simple or complex, depending on your eyes, medical conditions and any current eye complaints. Visiting an eye doctor does not need to be intimidating, especially if you are aware of a few special tests that may be performed during an eye exam.

    Refraction measures the eye’s refractive error, or need for glasses at both distance and near.  Doctors will ask patients to look at a chart, usually 20 feet away, through a special instrument known as a phoropter.  The doctor will ask which of the choices looks clearer, which will determine the appropriate prescription needed for glasses or contacts.  Adding magnification to the distance prescription as the patient focuses on a near card mounted on a Prince Rule constitutes the near test to determine bifocal or progressive add power.

    A Slit-lamp Exam looks at the front of the eye by shining a beam of light shaped like a small slit on the eye.  This eye test can be used to help diagnose cataracts, retinal detachments, conditions of the eyelids, conditions of the cornea and other ocular surface structures, including the tear film.

    Tonometry helps doctors diagnose glaucoma by measuring the amount of pressure needed to flatten a portion of the cornea, using either the Goldmann applanation tonometer or a specialized strain gauge called a Tonopen.  Both instruments are used after the cornea (clear front window of the eye) is anesthetized with special eye drops.  The Goldmann requires the use of a yellow dye called fluorescein and a blue light; the Tonopen requires only the anesthetic drop.

    During Pupillary Dilation the doctor places special drops in the eye that cause the pupil to dilate, or expand.  By dilating the pupils, the doctor can examine the retina, optic nerve, and vitreous gel for signs of disease.  The doctor normally uses handheld magnifying lenses with either a slit lamp (biomicroscopy) or a head-worn indirect ophthalmoscope.  For most ophthalmic photographs, the pupils are dilated ahead of time, but with a non-mydriatic fundus camera, photos can be taken without dilation.

    During Corneal Topography, a computer is used to create a “map” of the curvature of the cornea.  The computer analysis will show any distortions of the cornea such as scarring, or astigmatism.  This eye test is used to screen patients before they undergo certain eye surgeries, such as cataract extraction with toric (astigmatism-correcting) intraocular lens implantation or corneal transplants; before they’re fitted for contact lenses; and for the diagnosis of such corneal dystrophies as keratoconus.

    Keratometry measures corneal curvature for cataract surgery planning and contact lens fitting.  Either Ultrasound or Partial Coherence Interferometry is used to measure eye length to aid in intraocular lens selection for cataract surgery.

    Fluorescein Angiogram(FA) is used to evaluate the blood circulation in the retina.  It is useful in helping diagnose diabetic retinopathy, new blood vessel growth (neovascularization) in age-related macular degeneration and other macular disorders, and retinal detachment.  During this eye test, fluorescein dye is injected into a vein in the hand or arm and the dye quickly travels to the blood vessels.  Once the dye reaches the eye, a specialized camera equipped with distinctive filters that highlight the dye is used to photograph the fluorescein as it circulates through the blood vessels in the back of the eye, potentially leaking into extravascular spaces and highlighting macular disease, such as circulation problems, swelling, leaking or abnormal blood vessels in the eye. 

    Ocular Coherence Tomographyor OCT is now nearly ubiquitous and has supplanted FA for most retinal imaging.  OCT requires no injections and gives the doctor a good look at topographic and cross-sectional retinal and optic nerve anatomy, creating images that look much like those of an MRI.

    Ultrasounduses sound waves to provide a picture of the eye’s internal structure.  This exam is useful in evaluating tumors as well as the retina.  Ultrasound is often used when cloudy ocular media preclude optical visualization of the structures in the back of the eye.

    While a patient may experience pressure on the eye, none of these tests are painful beyond the momentary sting of eye drops or of the IV needle insertion for FA.    Most vision health coverage plans will cover a portion or all of the expenses associated with vision care.  Most medical insurance plans cover eye examinations for medical diagnoses of the eye (like cataract or glaucoma) or for systemic diseases that can affect the eye (like diabetes). 

    The information in this article was provided by Thomas Robertson, MD, who is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.  Dr. Robertson practices general medical and surgical Ophthalmology, with special interests in cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, anterior segment disease and pediatric ophthalmology.  His practice, Watson Eye Associates, is located at 400Nash medical Arts Mall, Rocky Mount, NCwitha satellite office conveniently located at 508 Belfield Drive, in Emporia, VA.  For more information on services offered by Dr. Robertson or to schedule an appointment, call (252) 443-1006 or toll free at 800-241-2015.



  48. 48th Year for Church Street Independence Day Celebration





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  49. Independence Day Celebrated in Veteran's Memorial Park

    Emporia Celebrated Independence Day with all you would expect Saturday evening.  There was free watermelon, live music, dancing, a bounce house, fried Oreo cookies, French fries, and funnel cake.







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  50. Obituary-Robert T. Allen

    Robert T. Allen, 82, of Emporia passed away on July 1, 2015.  He was predeceased by his parents, William Glenn Allen, Sr. and Mamie Everett Allen.  He was a retired farmer and had a passion for watching horse races.  A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 3, 2015 at 1pm in Emporia Cemetery. Condolences may be made to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  51. Move-O-Matic Kicked Off the Summer Reading Program

    The Meherrin Regional Library kicked off their Summer Reading Program: Read to the Rhythm on Thursday, June 25th.  Drexel Pierce, from the Virginia Cooperative Extension presented a dance program. 

    For more information on the Summer Reading Program, contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.


  52. Movies, Music, and More at the Library

    Penguins of Madagascar is the movie of the day, Monday July 13th for Monday Morning Movies. The movie will be shown at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.  It is rated PG and is 92 minutes long.  Children under 8 must be supervised.  Snacks are welcomed. 

    Next Thursday, July 16thmagician and juggler, Jonathan Austin, will be here for a great program. The program will be held at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and 2:00 pm at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia. 

    All shows begin promptly and seating is limited to a first come basis.  For more information contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.

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