Staff From Congressman Griffith’s Office to Visit

A member of staff from the Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith’s office will be at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office conference room in Jonesville. Residents that are needing assistance with any federal issues are encouraged to attend Monday afternoon, February 26th from 2-4 p.m.

Lee County School Board Meetings

The Lee County School Board will have their next work session for the Fiscal Year 2019 on the following dates, with their locations to be announced later.
Thursday evening March 22nd a Public Hearing at 6 p.m.
Thursday evening March 8th, 2018 at 5p.m. before the regular school board meeting.
Thursday evening February 22nd at 6 p.m..

Burning Law In Effect

Locally the Burning Law is currently in effect from February 15th until April 30, 2018. There is a maximum fine of $500. For additional information you may contact the Virginia Department of Forestry.
But a breakdown of what the Burning Law means is basically:
01) No burning allowed until after 4:00 p.m. if within 300 feet of woodland or grass brushland leading into woodlands.
02) Fires must be attended to at all times if located within 150 feet of woodland or brushland that leads into woodland.
03) No fuel may be added or the fire rekindled after midnight.
04) The Burning Law appllies to camp fires, warming fires, brush piles, household trash, stumps, fields of broomstraw and brush or anything capable of spreading fire.

Virginia Department of Health LENOWISCO Offering REVIVE! Classes Locally

The Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) LENOWISCO health district is offering REVIVE! Training. This is Virginia’s Opioid and Naloxone education provide that will provide Narcan aka Naloxone to individuals completing the short training session free of charge.

REVIVE! Classes are scheduled in February at local health departments in Lee, Scott and Wise counties that are intended to reach professionals, stakeholders and concerned community members on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency by administering Narcan which is a brand name for Naloxone.
Naloxone reverses the effects of opiates on the brain, allowing time for emergency services to respond and provide medical services. The training also includes information on risk factors for opioid overdoses. These classes are offered free to the public and only last thirty minutes or less. No preregistration is required.

The classes are available at:
Lee County Health Department located in Jonesville, Wednesday February 21st, from 8a.m. until 4 p.m.
Wise County Health Department located at 134 Roberts Avenue in southwest Wise. Thursday February 15th from 12 noon until 7 p.m. Then again on Tuesday February 27th from 8a.m. until 4 p.m.
Additional information is available by contacting District Health Educators Dan Hunsucker at 276-386-1312 or Melanie Deel at 276-328-1904.

A Very Important Message from Dr. Marissa Levine; the Virginia State Health Commissioner and the Virginia Department of Health

Lee County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

The latest Press Release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office concerns a search that happened in Pennington Gap, Virginia on Friday that led to the discovery of Methamphetamine and resulted in the arrest of five Lee County residents.
Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons reports that deputies from his office, along with an officer with Pennington Gap Police Department responded to a call at the Old Mill Apartments of a person intending to harm themselves. Once at the apartment building a lady stopped Deputy Chad Rouse and informed him that there were people in her apartment with drugs.
Parsons said that Deputy Rouse along with Deputy Mark Vanhuss and Officer Matt Johnson proceeded to search the apartment after being given consent. Upon entering the apartment they smelled a strong chemical odor. They quickly located 3.5 grams of methamphetamine along with digital scales, suboxone, and a smoking device laying inside a child’s playpen. Officers with the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force also responded to the scene.
According to Sheriff Parsons five individuals were arrested. 38 year old Michael Thacker of Pennington Gap, 33 year old James McQueen of Keokee, 37 year old Gary Napier of Pennington Gap, 35 year old Margaret Potter of Pennington Gap and 28 year old Amanda Newman of Jonesville.
Parson said all were charged with Possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic and Possession of drug paraphernalia. Parsons commended all of the officers involved for their work and the excellent spirit of cooperation between agencies.

Widespread Flooding in Southwest Virginia

This steady heavy rain has led to quite a bit of local flooding across Southwest Virginia with shelters opening because of mudslides, rockslides and impassable roads. With Flood Advisories issued for Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Letcher, Hancock counties and beyond. The waters have receded but caution is still advised when travelling.

Fatal crash in Wise County

Locally in the news, over in Wise County, Virginia the State Police are currently investigating a fatal crash that happened just before six a.m. along US 23 near the Indian Creek Flea Market.
Virginia State Police released the name of the woman killed as being Michaela S. Maine, age 41, of Pound, Virginia. Maine was driving a 2006 Toyota 4Runner north on Route 23 when it ran off the right side of the highway. Maine overcorrected which then caused the SUV to cross over into the northbound lanes and run off the left side of Route 23. The Toyota then continued thru the median and struck a 2010 Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck head on, which caused the Toyota to go off the southbound land and continue down an embankment. The Chevrolet then collided when a 2016 Kia that was southbound.
Both drivers of the other vehicles, the Chevrolet and the Kia, were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.. The cause of the crash continues to be under investigation with the Southbound lanes of US 23 still closed at this time. Meanwhile accident reconstruction teams will be at the scene.

Virginia Employment Commission Unemployment Data

Locally in Southwest Virginia in our designated market areas saw a percentage drop in area unemployment in 2017, according to data collected by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Overall ten localities saw an average drop in unemployment numbers of 1.95%. Buchanan County led with the biggest percentage of a 3.2% drop in unemployment but were tied with Dickenson County for the highest unemployment rate in the region for December of 6.6%.
Data was collected and compiled for Bristol, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Norton, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington and Wise Counties.
Scott County had the lowest unemployment rate in the region last December with 3.4%. Lee County unemployment rates went from 5.0% last December to 6.8% in January 2018. As of today's date the National average is 4.8 % with Lee County Unemployment rates at 5.3%.

Discounted Annual Permits for Spearhead Trails

Norton residents along with county residents of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Wise and Tazewell are now eligible to receive discounted trail permits from their respective counties.
Those counties along with Norton have generously contributed to the operational funds as well as providing maintenance services for Spearhead Trails, the organization announced.
Residents of these counties or of Norton are eligible to buy an annual permit for Spearhead Trails normally $60 for the discounted price of $25. All permits expire at the end of the year on December 31st, 2018.
Spearhead Trails stated they hope to make this discount a yearly event and that eventually the discount program could expand into other counties as more new trails are created in other areas.