Virginia L. Hall Killed in Car Crash

In another Lee County crash that took place on Route 352, less than one mile north of Route 421. A 2000 Chevy Cavalier was going west on Route 352, when it crossed over the center line and struck an oncoming 2008 GMC Acadia.
Virginia L. Hall, age 64 of Pennington Gap, perished at the scene. A juvenile passenger in the same vehicle was transported to a Kentucky hospital for treatment of their injuries, categorized as “serious.” The Acadia driver received treatment for minor injuries.

John W. Conner Succumbs to Injuries

A recent crash in Lee County has resulted in the death of John W. Conner, age 78 of Harrogate, Va. According to the Virginia State Police, investigators say that Conner was operating a SUV, when he drove through a stop sign and his vehicle was hit by a pickup on Highway 58, at the Flanary Bridge Road intersection of Jonesville. Conner was rushed to a hospital in Kentucky where he later perished due to his injuries.

U.S. Penitentiary Inmate Brawl in Jonesville

Locally in the news, is the press release from officials connected to the United States Penitentiary in Jonesville, Virginia regarding the initiation of an internal investigation into the matter of inmates brawling. According to the released information, the incident involved multiple inmates, with one inmate injured and requiring offsite medical care.
Following the incident, the inmates were confined to their housing units and the entire facility was placed on “Limited Operational Status.” The FBI was notified of the incident and alerted to the fact that there has been an internal investigation initiated.
The facility is considered a High Security Penitentiary and currently houses 1,469 male offenders. The staff immediately responded to the incident and secured the facility’s inmates. Officials went on to give their assurance that no staff, nor any additional inmates had been injured and that at no time was the public in any danger.


Full Time Dispatcher Wanted

A full time dispatcher is wanted for Scott County, and all applicants must be able to perform technical and administrative work. Must also be able to answer emergency and administrative phone lines and dispatch emergency responders in emergency situations. Applications will continue to be accepted until position is filled.
Submit your application in a sealed envelope with resume marked “Confidential – Dispatcher” to Freda R. Starnes, County Administrator, 190 Beech St, Suite 201, Gate City, VA 24251. Pay DOQ/E. EOE. For more information, call 276-386-7220 or 276-386-6521.
(From their website is the following additional details)
GENERAL DEFINITION OF WORK:  Performs intermediate technical and administrative work answering emergency and administrative phone lines and dispatches law enforcement, fire, rescue and other agencies, equipment and personnel usually in response to emergency situations.  General supervision is provided by the Director of E911.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/TYPICAL TASKS:  (These are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work performed.  The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.) · Receives administrative and emergency calls by telephone and multiple radio frequencies; determines location and nature of emergency and transfers calls to appropriate agency; ensures proper protocols are followed. · Receives and refers non-emergency requests to appropriate agency. · Documents and records calls for service. · Receives reports of fire and medical emergencies; and, utilizing computer aided dispatch, processes the information and dispatches equipment to ensure rapid delivery of emergency services. · Operates computer aided dispatch, digital mapping display, computer based telephony equipment, microprocessor controlled communications console and multiple channel fire/EMS/local government radio system. · Assists in development and maintenance of E-911 database by using DPS unit, aerial photographs and topographic maps. · Monitors the activity of and maintains radio contract with dispatched units from initial report to termination of event. · Conducts radio systems tests.  Maintains printers and related equipment. · Provides incident numbers and times to field responders. Provides information to user agencies. · Operates VCIN/NCIC computer terminals.  Sends and receives messages through the system.  Routes messages to proper personnel.  Enters and removes a variety of information from VCIN/NCIC.  Performs warrant checks and sends confirmation messages on wanted subjects. · Assists general public via telephone. · Maintains records and files on calls received and related pertinent data; enters data into computer.  Assists with the compilation of various reports and statistical data as required. · Works varying shifts and flexible schedules. · Performs general housekeeping/custodial duties in work area and maintains an orderly work area. · Assists with tasks during an emergency declaration in County. · Performs related tasks as required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:  General knowledge of the methods of operating the communications system; general knowledge of computer, radio and teletype procedures; general knowledge of the geography of the county and its town and location of important buildings and emergency service providers; ability to type at a reasonable rate of speed; ability to speak distinctly; ability to operate all communications equipment; ability to deal courteously with the public under stressful conditions; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates and the general public, ability to operate a motor vehicle.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:  Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school supplemented by additional course work or some experience in emergency communications, Geographic Information Systems or computer system operations.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  This is sedentary work requiring the exertion of up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to move objects; work requires reaching, fingering, and repetitive motions; vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word, and conveying detailed or important instructions to others accurately, loudly, or quickly; hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels, and to receive detailed information through oral communications and/or to make fine distinctions in sound; visual acuity is required for preparing and analyzing written or computer data, operation of machines, determining the accuracy and thoroughness of work, and observing general surrounding and activities; the work is not subject to adverse environmental conditions.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:  Current certification, or ability to be certified, by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as a dispatcher within one year.  Possession of, or ability to obtain, VCIN Certification.  Possession of a driver’s license valid in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Must be 18 years of age and a U. S. Citizen.  All candidates subject to pass a security investigation in conformance with County requirements.

2020 VMDAEC Scholarships

Locally in the news, the 2020 VMDAEC Scholarships awards provided  by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives' Educations Scholarship Foundation has provided nearly eight hundred scholarships to graduating high school students, totaling more than $680,000. The deadline for the application is Friday, February 28, 2020. Recipients will be notified no later than June 1, 2020. Any high school or home schooled senior granduating in Spring of 2020 and whose primary residence is served by Powell Valley Electric, is eligible to apply for a $1,000 scholarship to be applied to a two- or four-year college or trade school.
An applicant must be entering his or her first semester at a postsecondary or technical/trade school in the Fall of 2020. Scholarship funds, which will be sent directly to the educational institution, must be used toward tuition, student fees, room and board, or textbooks.
The online application is posted at Questions regarding donations and the application process should be directed to Sam Brumberg, Scholarship Program Coordinator at


Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp on Governor’s Proposals

According to social media posts, Chuck Slemp, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County & City of Norton commented on new proposals;
Many criminal justice reforms have been proposed recently by Governor Northam and the new Democratic majorities in the General Assembly. House Bill 285, prohibits a court from requiring a secured bond as a condition of pretrial release of a person arrested for any crime, felony or misdemeanor.
Basically the new law prevents judges from ordering criminal suspects jailed or requiring them to post a secured bond for pretrial release, no matter how clear a threat to public safety they pose. This virtually guarantees a revolving door for criminals.
In strong opposition to the Governor’s proposal to return us to the failed and dangerous parole system Slemp stated;
The parole system lied to jurors when they sentenced individuals upon conviction. It also lied to victims when it told them they would be safe from the criminal for a set period of time. The reality of the parole system is that the amount of time a criminal spends in prison isn’t determined by the citizen jurors or judges that heard the evidence. Instead, that time is determined by a group of appointed bureaucrats who are empowered to ignore the decisions of juries and judges and cut a sentence by seventy-five percent. All victims of crime should be very concerned with this proposal.
Virginia is one of the safest states in the nation. Yet our Governor has made it clear that he wishes to see violent criminals released from prison early and disarm law abiding citizens at the same time. His plan will serve to ignore the voices of the victims, undermine the efforts of law enforcement and risk the safety of all citizens across the commonwealth.
Northam’s agenda also includes marijuana decriminalization, parole reform, lowering the penalties for those caught stealing smaller dollar items, and reducing the number of Virginias with suspended driver’s licenses. Commonwealth Attorney Slemp admitted to being concerned by proposed criminal justice reforms, and labels the governor’s agenda as “radical.”


Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and TRIAD Meeting

As usual, H. Fuller Cridlin’s office works closely with area senior citizens to educate them on issues relevant to their interests. Las week at their monthly TRIAD meeting, they reviewed the requirements for obtaining a Real ID from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Beginning on October 1st, all citizens are required to show a Real ID or passport to fly or enter certain federal buildings. Office Manager Joe Rasnic, and paralegal, Martha Elkins, took the initiative concerning this and presented helpful information at the monthly meeting. Anyone with questions regarding Real ID, are encouraged to contact Commonwealth Attorney for Lee County, H Fuller Cridlin’s office.

Second Annual George F. Cridlin Memorial Scholarship

The George F. Cridlin Memorial Scholarship is being offered again this year. Like last year, one thousand dollars in scholarship funds will be awarded to a Lee High student, and a Thomas Walker Student.
George F. Cridlin lived his life to serve others and to support his community. To apply for the scholarship, write an essay, with a minimum of three pages, on what community service means to you. Why is community service important? Describe how you have helped your community in the past and how you intend to serve others in the future.
Essays must be submitted to your guidance office by April 20, 2020. Like last year, the winners will be selected by a panel of teachers at each school. For more information, contact your guidance counselor.
This is a great way to honor George F. Cridlin and encourage students to think about serving their community, a topic that was important to him, at the same time.
A heartfelt thanks to Powell Valley National Bank, Roy Jessee, and Estes Brothers Construction for their invaluable assistance in setting up this scholarship and continuing it again this year.


Cridlin and Slemp Attend VACA Bill Reading

Last week, according to a joint statement from Commonwealth Attorneys H. Fuller Cridlin of Lee County and Chuck Slemp III of Wise County and the City of Norton, they recently traveled together to Richmond to attend the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Association (VACA) Bill Reading. They also visited the capitol and the offices of members in the General Assembly. This was their opportunity to lobby for or against proposed legislation, in a bipartisan manner, so that lawmakers know where they stand.
Throughout the day, they expressed their opposition to all proposed legislation that would disarm law abiding citizens, and infringe upon constitutional rights. They also opposed proposals that would reinstate the possibility of parole for hundreds of violent felons who have been sentenced since parole was abolished in 1995.
Overall, it was a long day for both, but as the General Assembly Session continues, they will continue to express their concerns about any legislation that impacts public safety and our Constitutional rights.


Lee County Man Sentenced to Five Years

Locally the Lee County Circuit Court has sentenced William Wallace to serve five years in the Virginia Penitentiary for crimes relating to possessing precursors to manufacture methamphetamine and violating probation. Following the term of active incarceration, the defendant will then serve an additional five years on probation. Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lee County, H. Fuller Cridlin released the following statement:
“Most methamphetamine cases we prosecute involve high quality crystal methamphetamine imported from outside the country, however, we still occasionally see homemade operations. These operations involve dangerous chemicals that are combined to essentially produce poison which leaves behind highly explosive waste. It is important to identify and stop such operations, however small they may be.
In this case, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office observed the potential operation while in a home to serve a warrant. The officers contacted the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, who then processed all the relevant chemicals as evidence, decontaminated the scene, and referred to my office for prosecution. The defendant’s conviction and sentence is a reflection of their hard work and commitment to public safety.