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Two held for assault in stabbing incident

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Heavy rainfall in the region has touched off flash flooding and swollen rivers, which in turn has snarled traffic on waterlogged roads from Danville to South Hill.


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Wine & Roses Festival Saturday at SVBG / June 05, 2014
A sunny day, the scent of warm roses and a sip of wine – what could be better?

The first Wine & Roses Festival at Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens (SVBG) offers these diversions and much more on Saturday, June 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Wines from Bright Meadows Winery and several other Virginia Wine Trail wineries will be available for tasting and purchase inside the fenced rose garden. Access to sample all the wine varieties is $10 per adult, which includes a complimentary wine glass. Food and arts & crafts vendors, rose exhibitions and plant clinics will also be available throughout the day.

A highlight of the Wine & Roses Festival is the dedication of the Native American Garden, site of a large Medicine Wheel. Larry White Eagle, founder of Thunder Eagle Wildlife, will showcase several common Virginia owls ‘on glove’ at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Larry, of Apache and Cherokee ancestry, has handled large birds since childhood. He and his wife, Blackstone native Karen Fisher, are highly trained and licensed to provide wild animal rehabilitation, especially for raptors such as owls, hawks and eagles.

Thunder Eagle Wildlife opened in 2009 in McKenney, dedicated to “Restoring nature’s balance, one creature at a time.” The center offers the only wildlife rehabilitation services available from Richmond to the North Carolina border. The 15-acre site has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a protected habitat for wildlife; the property is also maintained under a conservation program with the Ward Burton wildlife foundation. All services are provided through donations of time and resources.

In April, Thunder Eagle workers released an osprey into the wild after nursing it back to health. The bird was brought in by community members who witnessed it having an encounter with an eagle. While not all injured or orphaned animals can be saved, the Fishers have a team of volunteers, veterinarians and wildlife advocates who assess, treat and care for each one brought to them. A baby screech owl, reportedly a “hefty eater,” is currently under care and growing daily. Several owls that could not be released now act as traveling “avian ambassadors” and will be part of the educational presentation on June 7.

The Medicine Wheel was created and installed by local sculptor, Dan Shaw. “In Native American spirituality, the Medicine Wheel represents harmony and connections and is considered a major symbol of peaceful interaction among all living beings on Earth,” he explains. The Wheel is a representation of “the sacred circle of life and its basic four directions.” Carved totems representing the bear, buffalo, eagle and coyote stand at the major compass points. Dan points out, “Each direction offers its own lessons, color and animal spirit guide.”

Dan has recently added an Indian maiden sculpture overlooking the Three Sisters Garden and a garden bench for quiet contemplation. The Three Sisters are Native traditional plantings of maize (corn), beans and squash, which are sown close together (or even in the same hole) and which work together to provide dependable, ecologically friendly crops. Strong corn stalks support the climbing beans, while the squash leaves spread shade to keep the ground cool and free of weeds.

The Festival will spotlight several other favorite garden sites, including a large metal butterfly sculpture, the memorial flag and flagpole, and a special garden dedicated to a Halifax County Master Gardener. The butterfly sculpture was created as a classroom project by SVBG president and Halifax County High School teacher, Jonathan Chandler with his advanced horticulture students. Jonathan’s classes at HCHS have contributed many hours of work around the Garden by caring for the site, planting trees, building raised beds and helping with construction of the stage.

Located within Edmunds Park in South Boston, Southern Virginia Botanical Garden covers many peaceful acres of cultivated roses, daylilies, native plants and trees and rolling grass-covered hills. There are lots of opportunities to become a member or to be involved with and support this public garden and green space. Admission to SVBG and parking are free. For more information, please visit

Wine & Roses Festival Schedule:

10 am Gate opens for Wine Garden & Vendors

10 am – 5 pm Plant Clinics and Demonstrations, all ages – various sites

10:30 am Thunder Eagle Wildlife Raptor Demonstration @ Medicine Wheel

11:30 am Dedication of E. Overton Garden @ Pavilion

11:45 am Dedication of Native American Garden @ Medicine Wheel

noon Dedication of Memorial Flag and Pole

1 pm Thunder Eagle Wildlife Raptor Demonstration @ Medicine Wheel

6 pm Festival concludes

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