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Miss Virginia shines at Miss America Pageant

Courtney Garrett, whose grandfather lives in Halifax County, is first runner-up

Spirits of the past

In the 1920s and 1930s, if you lived in Franklin County, most likely you were in involved in the county’s biggest industry — making illegal whiskey or moonshine.

Mecklenburg County, Boydton looking for funds to upgrade plant

Help sought with $4 million cost


12 runners, 208 miles, 36 hours, no sleep

Recently, a group of twelve local runners took on the challenge of participating in the Blue Ridge Relay. A grueling, two hundred plus mile relay spanning two days, mountainous terrain,…





Power and the glory

Any change in the established order is going to produce winners and losers — that’s an easy fact to overlook in this era of the much-hyped Win-Win. If only it were so. Change would be a lot easier to achieve if everyone came out ahead in the bargain.

Expectations rising

Twittering through the news:

Burn mode

I’ll have that stromboli with a side of budget cuts, thanks.

Putting on the brakes

One day this column will consist entirely of a long string of Tweets.

By the numbers

As of this writing, the two chambers of the General Assembly are far apart on the issue of state funding for local schools. The State Senate has produced a budget that restores $100 million of the funding that school divisions have lost over the past three years; the House version perpetuates a regrettable trend of dwindling state support for education. (A major difference between the two budgets is the House goes along with Gov. Bob McDonnell’s proposed $150 million raid of the general fund for transportation, whereas the Senate balks at using the money for anything other than traditional General Fund purposes). One would hope that the upper chamber would get its way on education, but we shall see. In the meantime, schools are sure to fare better than expected under McDonnell’s budget version announced in December. For one thing, the revenue picture has brightened somewhat since the governor produced his numbers. For another, the legislature always seems to pull rabbits out of its appropriations hat. Mecklenburg Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Thornton initially calculated a state funding reduction this year of $2 million. The final number won’t be so bad — how bad it will be, however, remains to be seen.

NR Sultans of Swag

Several weeks ago The Virginian-Pilot published an eye-opening article on Virginia’s economic development incentives and where the money’s gone over the past year. (The piece was written by the redoubtable Bill Sizemore, a Clarksville native and one of the Pilot’s top reporters.) Of the $50 million earmarked by the General Assembly, nearly half — $23.8 million — went to just 22 companies, by and large deep-pocketed corporations that aren’t exactly desperate for the cash. Help for small business? Not so much.

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