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SOL test scores: Mixed bag

Halifax makes the grade half of the time with passing rates, but dropoffs outnumber gains

Judge nixes lawsuit by motorsports instructor

Case dismissed after Wilborn contested firing

Jobless rate rises to 8.8 percent in July

Halifax County’s unemployment rate jumped from 8.3 percent in June to 8.8 percent in July. Over 900 people left the labor force, which numbered 15,974 in June, but fell to…

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Comets fall in opener to Jefferson Forest

A quick, athletic Jefferson Forest squad proved too potent offensively for the Halifax County High School varsity football squad Friday night, speeding past the Comets, 50-30, in South Boston.

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Owen tapped for vacant Halifax supervisor seat

SoVaNow.com / March 20, 2014
Ray Owen, who lost his November race for Board of Supervisors by only four votes, was tapped by board members Tuesday night to fill the ED-3 seat left vacant by the Feb. 3 resignation of Earl Womack.

Womack attended only one meeting of the board before resigning. Owen was the second place finisher behind him in the November general election.

After postponing their scheduled Monday evening meeting due to weather conditions, Board members just beat the 45-day deadline for making an appointment with their choice of Owen Tuesday.

Supervisors selected Owen on a 5-0 vote with two abstentions.
Owen was nominated for the seat by ED-7 Supervisor Lottie T. Nunn, seconded by ED-4 Supervisor Doug Bowman. He also garnered the support of ED-1 Supervisor J. T. Davis, ED-6 Supervisor Larry Giardano and ED-2 Supervisor Tom West.

Abstaining from the vote were ED-5 Supervisor Barry Bank and ED-8 Supervisor W. B. Claiborne.

Owen was one of three candidates who filled out an application expressing an interest in serving on the board. The other two were Arthur Reynolds, who also lost to Womack in the November election, and a newcomer to the political scene, Lawrence Coleman, a 1976 graduate of Halifax County High School.

Owen will have to run again in the special election in November if he wants to retain his seat on the board for the remainder of the term which ends on December 31, 2017.

Bowman expressed thanks from the board to the other two men, saying he hopes they will continue to be involved with county matters.

The Tuesday evening emergency session lasted less than half an hour with the only other matter of business being the approval of financing options for the County which were presented by Davenport & Company.

Mitch Brigulio of Davenport advised board members that his company had sought bids from a number of banks in the state and nation, including three local ones — Carter Bank & Trust, BB&T and Sun Trust. Of the three, he pointed out that Carter had submitted the lowest interest rates across the board of 2.10 percent on an eight year loan for $455,000 which is the refinanced amount of a $1 million loan initially made in 1992 to renovate the Mary Bethune Complex. Supervisors also approved an estimated $2,755,000 loan from Carter Bank for 20 years at an interest rate of 3.25 percent to pay for the renovations to the Sheriff’s Department and the interim court facilities which will serve as the permanent home of the County Administration after the Courthouse Project is complete.

Carter, Brigulio pointed out, had also included no penalty for early prepayment of the loans. While Davenport had also looked at the Virginia Resource Authority for loans, Brigulio said their interest rate would not be known until later in April, but estimated it to be around 3.45 percent.
“What you have in Carter’s bid,” he said “is the lowest in public or private bids, but we have to close by April 11 to hold the rate.”

Supervisors on a roll call vote approved a resolution providing for the issuance, sale and award of public facilities general bonds to support the loans.

Supervisors will meet again on Monday evening, March 24 at 5:30 p.m. to host a public hearing on the 2014 Reassessment of real estate which had earlier been scheduled for this past Monday evening. They will also host a public hearing on the County’s $87.9 million proposed budget for FY 2015 which includes the school budget.

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