comedian Dr. Carl Hurley uses humor as a tool to
carry a positive message to audiences all over the
country, on television and regularly on XM Satellite
Network. His Grundy Performance will be held at
Riverview Elementary/Middle School
Legislators Gather For Breakfast Q&A Session
lawmakers aren't fond of VDOT's cost-cutting plan to
consolidate many of its maintenance facilities, citing
concerns about snow removal in the area's mountainous
Abingdon last Thursday while participating in the
Southwest Virginia Legislative Breakfast and Q&A
session at the Higher Education Center on the campus
of Virginia Highlands Community College, two state
senators and three delegates shared similar thoughts
on the plan that intends to convert the Big Rock VDOT
facility in Buchanan County into an unstaffed storage
getting to the point where VDOT is about as lean as it
can get," said Del. Clarence "Bud"
Phillips (D-2nd District), adding he has spoken to a
number of local VDOT employees. "They don't
believe they can give as good of service in areas
where consolidation will occur."
main concern among the legislators on the five-man
panel was that of the mountainous terrain that must be
fought during inclement winter weather.
just don't think [the plan] meets the mark in this
neck of the woods," said State Sen. William
Wampler (R-Bristol). "It's a much different game
when you have that kind of weather."
Sen. Philip Puckett (D-Lebanon), also in attendance,
said he and several other area legislators have asked
state Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer to
take a closer look at the hardship VDOT's plan would
create for the process of snow removal in Southwest
you look at the closures, they're all
disproportionately down in this area," said Del.
Terry Kilgore (R-1st District).
said it's obvious the plan would eliminate timely road
maintenance during snowy weather, equating to the
problem of more school days missed due to snowy or icy
basically what's going to happen," he said.
plans currently call for the Oakwood and Deskins
facilities to be used as the area's primary VDOT
facilities, with the Big Rock facility, which employs
12 people, being retained for chemical storage only.
The department has not yet announced how current
employees will be reassigned at the local or state
level. The current 335 maintenance facilities
statewide will be consolidated to 244 by July 1, 2008,
with most major changes in crew deployment not set to
begin until spring.
panel took several additional questions from the
audience during the event, including what the major
issue facing the Virginia General Assembly might be in
the next session.
panel agreed transportation remains the biggest issue
facing the assembly, although the consensus was no
real ground will be made anytime soon.
County Tax Tickets Mailed; Deadline Is
January 5, 2007
by Cathy St.
County tax tickets for 2006 were mailed out earlier this month,
giving residents two months advance notice they are due.
estate, personal property and merchants capital taxes are due
January 5, 2007.
County Board of Supervisors changed the tax due date for 2006 to
January, instead of December, in action taken in earlier discussions
on the date taxes are due.
board had changed the due date on an annual basis from December to
after the January 5 deadline will be subject to a 5 percent penalty
and 10 percent interest beginning January 6, 2007.
Tax rates are
$1.95 per $100 assessed value for personal property; 49 cents per
$100 assessed value for real estate; and $2 per $100 assessed value
for merchant's capital.
Anyone who has
not yet received a tax ticket or who has questions about them may
call Treasurer Bill Keene at 935-6551. For questions related to the
value of the real estate or personal property, Commissioner of
Revenue Victor Breeding may be reached at 935-6541.
State Sends Out Local School
Division Report Card
Achievement, Attendance Among Factors Measured
Cathy St. Clair
Note: This is the first installment in a series looking at the
school report card findings issued by the Virginia Department of
Education for schools in Buchanan County and statewide. This
week’s installment looks at the overall Buchanan school division
report. Future installments will examine high school and elementary
results in Buchanan County.)
report cards are in and the results were released Monday night
during a meeting of the Buchanan County School Board.
Virginia Department of Education recently released the reports not
only for the school division, but for individual schools statewide
Tommy P. Justus presented school board members with the report,
noting there is a lot of useful information contained in them which
gives school board members, as well as parents and others looking at
them, an overview of the Buchanan school division’s progress.
achievement, school safety, attendance and graduation information is
among the information found in the reports.
purpose of the school report card,” Justus said, “ís to keep
parents and the public informed of the progress in our schools.”
that one of the achievements Buchanan County had to be proud of was
the fact that all of its schools met federal No Child Left Behind
Act Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks for 2005-2006. The fact that
all 10 schools in the school division achieved the benchmark, Justus
said, put the Buchanan division in an elite group statewide. Only 25
school divisions in the state saw all of their schools achieve AYP.
a biggie for us, or for anyone for that matter,” Justus said.
he and other administrators had spent a lot of time in the past week
and a half checking the state report against local school division
data. Some discrepancies were found and those have been reported to
the DOE, he said.
one misleading factor in the state reports is in the counting of
awards of advanced diplomas. The state report lists zero in some
instances, when in fact some were awarded. The reason for the
discrepancy, Justus said, is that the state looks at 10 or less as
too small to count and therefore doesn’t record it. In a school
with a small enrollment, which has a small graduating class,
however, he said the number can be significant.
we’re pleased with the report cards,” Justus said.
anyone with questions to call him, Pat Fletcher, Sherry Fletcher or
Testing Coordinator Linda Duty.
division summary released showed that Buchanan County has an overall
population of 3,436 students for 2006-2007, down from 3,500 in
2005-2006 and down from 3,570 in 2004-2005.
For more of the story, see the
print edition of the Mountaineer, on sale at newsstands now.
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