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Burtons join field for September VIR race

2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton and NASCAR driver Jeb Burton will compete in a special exhibition race at Virginia International Raceway Sept. 22.

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VIR’s big moment arrives with Michelin GT Challenge

Motorcycle crash claims life of former local resident

2002 HCHS graduate dies in Texas

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Comets pick up sluggish win

‘Green’ Comets show some cohesion in 13-7 benefit victory

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Halifax County to pay ‘line of duty’ premiums for safety personnel

SoVaNow.com / December 09, 2010
Due to cost-cutting measures in state government, Halifax County and other municipalities around Virginia will start having to pay premiums into a state fund for all public safety workers — everyone from deputies to courtroom security to volunteer firefighters.

In Halifax, that’s about 500 people, said County Administrator George Nester.

The fund will make reimbursements for a public safety worker killed or disabled in the line of duty; it will also provide health insurance benefits for surviving spouses and children, or for officers disabled in the line of duty plus their spouses and children.

The death benefits portion is estimated at about a half-million dollars per year, but the health insurance benefits may come to about $8.9 million, according to Mary Jo Fields of the Virginia Municipal League.

Exactly how much this new state mandate will set back the county has yet to be determined, Nester told Halifax County Supervisors during their Monday night meeting.

Then there’s the additional matter, particularly in the ranks of volunteers, of who is an active volunteer who could get in harm’s way, and who serves in a more honorary, or less perilous, position.

Nester believes that, if anything, the fund will make it easier to recruit emergency volunteers because the men and women will know that they’ll be take care of if something were to happen to them while out on a call.

The premiums will start being paid July 1, 2011.

First enacted in 1972, the act used to pay death benefits straight from the state’s general fund.

Localities have the option of self-funding benefits from their own coffers if they reject the state plan.

“Stay tuned,” said Nester. “We’ll find out more in January.”

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