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Lundy gets three years in prison for auto fraud

South Hill car dealer avoids longer sentence after being found guilty of 51 counts

BEER BASH BOOSTS MMMG

Three big days for Chase City museum

Smoke brought quickly under control at MeadowView Terrace


Sports

Comets come out strong against Martinsville

Pick up 3-0 win in Tuesday match

Community


Opinion


A&E

Opinion

How did we get here?

A hardship story from Southside Virginia surfaced in the news a week ago, and this time it’s the world-at-large, not our small corner of it, that came off looking worse for the telling.

BTU overdrive

First rule for countering groupthink: When everyone else agrees on a plan of action, that’s when you should become suspicious. Conventional wisdom now says the path to a healthy Southside economy begins with the development of alternative energy technologies. By harvesting our natural resources in innovative ways, so we are told, Southside can become the Saudi Arabia of wood scrap, corn cobs, chicken poop or whatever.

Crime and punishment

Much to get to this week: Let’s start with Jeff Oakes. With the former sheriff stuck with a $37.50 fine for low crimes and misdemeanors (his jury bill, on the other hand, will run $1,620) people will debate ad nauseam whether the investigation into the wiped computer at the Sheriff’s Office was worth the time, money and effort, coming as it did at taxpayer expense.

Clear cut

With all the trimming, hemming and hawing that occurs in politics, it’s rare to experience a moment when clarity prevails and the depravity of segments of our so-called leadership is laid bare for all to see. Such a moment arrived late last week in Richmond when the House of Delegates — defying reason, compassion and plain good sense — rejected $125 million in federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment benefits in Virginia. The House vote, cast mostly along party lines, would have been deplorable even in the best of times. But with a terrible economy putting jobs at risk across the Commonwealth, the delegates’ action is nothing short of astounding. Let them eat cake indeed.

Member of the gang

A sage person once observed that the less said the better, but this is advice that I’ve never really been able to take to heart and I don’t blame Ted Bennett for struggling with the concept, either. Bennett stunned the political cognescenti (well, some anyway) by announcing Sunday that he was dropping out of the race for House of Delegates. After saying he would run to succeed the outgoing Clarke Hogan, Bennett took about three weeks before deciding that life in retirement wasn’t so bad, and besides, he didn’t have as much time for politics as he previously thought.

Bad company

Somehow I get the feeling that the 2009 elections won’t be as fun as a barrel of monkeys. In the governor’s race on the Democratic side there’s a decent chance the party nominee will be Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and a notable Friend of Bill and Hillary. Nothing against the Clintons, but the last thing Virginia needs is for a big-money, Wall Street-lovin’ Democrat to take over the state party and call the shots in Richmond. Ugh. On the Republican side you’ve got the presumptive nominee, former Attorney General Robert McDonnell, who is slick, smart and smooth but also holds extreme views on social and economic issues that to my mind make him a poor choice for our next governor. My hope is that one of the other Democratic candidates in the gubernatorial race — State Senator Creigh Deeds, my first pick, or former Delegate Brian Moran, also a perfectly acceptable choice — will emerge as the Democratic nominee in the June 9 primary. But about that we shall simply have to see.

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