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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…

Sports

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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South Boston’s EcoMod housing discussed

SoVaNow.com / May 30, 2013
Screening for tenants for the new ecoMod houses recently sited in South Boston’s Poplar Creek Subdivision is expected to be carried out during the month of July. On Tuesday evening Town Council members during their monthly committee work session heard an update on the homes from Town Manager Ted Daniel who described the three bedroom homes as being nearly completed.

Daniel said the heavy rains of past weeks had delayed the project slightly, but he expects landscaping for the homes to begin early next week with the finishing touches to be completed by June 15.

Although the project is being carried out by the Southside Outreach Group, the Town donated the land on which the two homes are located.

“We want to continue to develop that type of housing in the area, “ Daniel said, noting that he hopes the Town can submit a CDBG grant application in the fall to further help with the development of sidewalks, streets and water and sewer lines there.

Daniel said a tentative date for a ribbon cutting and open house has been set for August 12.

The futuristic housing units which were manufactured by Cardinal Homes of Wylliesburg are of two types — the passive and the code houses and are being monitored by architectural students at the University of Virginia for their energy efficiency.

Daniel said the passive house has 12 inch thick walls filled with styrofoam and are supposed to maintain 60 degree temperatures inside with no other source of heat when temperatures are as low as zero degrees outside.

In another related housing issue Daniel advised council members that the Fairmont Apartments (now Miller Homes of Poplar Creek) are at the top of the state list of preliminary ranking to receive low income housing tax credits while the Country Green Apartments are also high on the preliminary list in sixth place.

“This is good news,” Daniel said, because it allows the developer or owner to upgrade the facilities by selling off the tax credits. “It’s just like money,” Daniel said, noting that he does not expect the listings to change much when they are formally announced next month.

Council members also heard Daniel review the work of town staff and Hill Studios in updating the town’s zoning ordinance. The town manager pointed out that several revisions are being considered for the zoning update including the inclusion of a rural residential agricultural district which would contain some of the larger properties which lie within the town limits.

Another new district which is being considered is a Dan River District which would include properties lying along side the Dan River. Two other new districts would be an historic district, primarily of businesses along Main Street, and a neighborhood conservation district.

“We’re trying to clearly define what types of districts we will have in our town and we want the citizens of South Boston to be fully informed of these revisions,” he said noting that he expects the Town Planning Commission to hold public hearings after the draft zoning ordinance is completed and reviewed at the Commission’s June 12 meeting.

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