Coeburn is operating the town’s Public Works Department

On Wednesday, April 23, the Town of Coeburn voted against renewing a public work contract with Veolia Water North America (VWNA).  Coeburn has had a contract with VWNA since May 14, 2009.

The funding is not there to continue the contract, the town of Coeburn will assume the daily operations.

Wise power plant uses waste coal

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center near St. Paul uses waste coal from old mining operations to power the station.

Dominion Virginia Power stated that waste coal, gets along the streams and rivers and about 80 percent of that waste comes from Virginia.

The station is also designed to burn waste wood from lumbering operations. Officials are hoping to use more renewable biomass as fuel for the facility.

Aerospace Days

This weekend April 26-27, the Virginia Department of Aviation is hosting Aerospace Days at the Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise, VA. The event will be feature high and low powered model rockets, remote controlled micro jets, helicopters, and propeller planes.
The aerospace teams and hobbyists will be around will be performing day and night shows. On April 26th shows will be from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and on April 27th, it will be from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Everyone is invited to attend and those who wish to participate in the launches are asked to contact Jack Kennedy at 276-275-4700 or Giovanni Colberg at 276-439-9738.

Wise Calling Center Hiring

A lot more people around the country having trouble with phones will be calling customer service in Wise County. Sykes Enterprises, the telecommunications customer service company will add 100 jobs to its center near Wise because of a new contract with a major telecom company.

True Grit to be Screened at Pennington Gap Library

True Grit is the book chosen for the national Big Read Project this year and Lonesome Pine Regional Library got a grant of nearly 10 thousand dollars to host the event in Lee, Wise, Dickenson and Scott Counties. The book by Charles Portis, a classic of western literature, is being read this month and through the month of May. In Pennington Gap the Lee County Public Library will show the version of the movie starring Jeff Bridges tonight in the community room at 5:30pm. And then on Saturday the library will host a wild west hoedown with food and entertainment by a bluegrass band.

Lee County Park and Classroom Opens Today

The new outdoor classroom and community park in Lee County on the site of a former coal transfer station is opening to the public today. Here for the official opening are the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful. The park is at the former Rand Osborne Coal Tipple Yard, which is on Straight Creek in the Stone Creek Community between Pennington Gap and St. Charles. Crews and volunteers have transformed it from an eyesore to a useful park with an outdoor classroom so kids can study and be outdoors.

Sykes Enterprise adding 100 jobs

Sykes Enterprise will be adding 100 jobs to the Wise facility by June. The telecommunications customer service company will be expanding the personnel base and will be making facility improvements.

Sykes has 200 to 250 employees since 2000. By early summer the facility will be employ 350 to 400 employees. A $1 million major renovation will be getting the facility ready for the addition.

Since the opening, Sykes was the first business located in Wise County's Lonesome Pine Business & Technology Park, and the Wise facility is also used as a model for corporate client visits and more.

Job seekers are welcome "to apply locally" and for more information 276-376-1300.

Outdoor classroom opens Thursday

The Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, U.S.. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful is hosting a ceremony and tour for the opening of the new outdoor classroom and community park.  The ceremony begins at 10 am on Thursday, April 24.

The park is located at the former Rand Osborne Coal Tipple Yard, which is along Straight Creek between St. Charles and Pennington.

Carol Doss, executive director of the Roundtable and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, stated that the site is designed to improve the quality of life for local residents and help protect the environment.  This is a great learning tool for children and for everyone to enjoy nature.

The project began nearly four years ago when funding was available the site, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, and Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District supervised the land acquisition and arranged for reclamation.

The classroom area features eight learning stations complete with educational signage. A total of 150 trees and 150 live tree stakes were also planted.

Lee 4-H’ers in Calf Competition

A 4-H and Future Farmers’ team from Lee County competed in a livestock competition last month in Fort Chiswell, Virginia. The team competed with 21 others from around the region in an event where they processed calves with vaccinations, de-worming, attaching an insecticide ear tag and other procedures. The Lee team processed their calves in 10 minutes with no complications and came in 11th out of 21 teams. To get the highest marks processing had to be complete in eight minutes or less.

Early Voting Coming to Close

Getting close to the end of the time when Lee County voters can receive an absentee ballot by mail. That will be Tuesday the 29th. Then Saturday May 3 will be the last day voters can walk in to the Lee County Courthouse and into the Registrar’s Office to vote in the Jonesville, Pennington Gap and St Charles town elections.