The two new high schools in Wise County will open next Month and the school board says they are not only being finished on time, but under budget, too. Because of this the board has notified the Wise County supervisors that of the 2 and a half million the commissioners gave to the school building project, the schools will likely be able to give back to the county 700 thousand dollars left over.
Condolences to the family of Big Stone Gap Councilman Greg Dalton, whose friends called him Butch, and who died from cancer Tuesday night. He knew a lot about cancer as the director of radiology at Lonesome Pine Hospital. His passion on the council, which he insisted on attending right up to the end when he was very ill, was developing the Big Cherry Reservoir for recreation. The cancer was diagnosed less than a year ago and spread swiftly. Funeral arrangements are being planned by Holding Funeral Home in Big Stone Gap.
Plenty of holiday events at the Lee Theater. Tomorrow is the screening of the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life, sponsored by the Pennington Gap Women’s Club. 7pm. 2 dollar admission. Then on Sunday, the Long Hollow Christian Church Pre-School presents a musical called The Incredible Gigantic Humongous VeggieTales Christmas Show, featuring pre-school children ages 3 to 5. Free admission and it is Sunday at 5pm. On Wednesday, Lee Theater presents A Community Christmas Carol, sponsored by the Rock Lick Baptist Church, which is requesting any donation for admission. And a big Christmas show on Friday the 20th when Elvis impersonator Michael Hoover performs in a show called Rockin’ Little Christmas. Tickets are 15 dollars.
A wild story from Saltville, where a 6th grader told his teacher he found a handgun in his backpack. The mother explained to police that when she was out shopping with her son over the weekend she didn’t want to leave her semi-automatic handgun in the car so she put it in her boy’s backpack and forgot about it. There was no bullet in the chamber but there were several in the clip.
Work continues on the building of a community park called an outdoor classroom on a former coal transfer station site near St Charles, because of some generous donations. The project to build walking trails, install plants and flowers, put up signs and fences and to make the new park a beautiful spot just got another 20 thousand dollars in a grant from Lowe’s to Keep American Beautiful, which pass it on to Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful. The park is next to Straight Creek in the Stone Creek Community of Lee County. UD Fish and Wildlife put up the 166 thousand dollars to buy the land and restore the stream and stabilize the creek bank, and the park also got grants from companies to buy trees and do other work. Many volunteers working to create the park. Some filled pizza boxes with concrete to make stepping stones.
Governor Bob McDonnell announces that Wise County is one of five recipients of an industrial revitalization grant from the state. The state gave out 2 million dollars in grants, and Wise County gets 200 thousand of that to put into the Wise Inn Redevelopment Project.
North of Big Stone Gap an annual Christmas tradition in Appalachia for the past six years is the giving of a brand new book to every single student for free, courtesy an accounting firm in Fairfax. Fritz & company looked for a holiday project to do good and settled on helping the kids get interested in reading at Appalachia Elementary school. The company set up what looked like a book fair at the school again this month, and each child picked a shiny new book to keep for free. Over the 6 years Fritz and Company has given more than 2 thousand books to Appalachia kids.
School officials at Central High School in Wise found a handwritten message on a wall implying an intention to commit violence, but determined there was no valid threat. They said they took the situation seriously and narrowed the culprits down to a couple of kids and determined the implied threat and the comments critical of school administrators was baseless.
Pennington Gap and the surrounding area are under a winter weather advisory this morning. Freezing rain switching over to snow, accumulating up to two inches in some areas. Also an ice buildup is possible, causing hazardous driving conditions. Could get heavy ice on tree limbs and power lines. Bridges and overpasses will be especially treacherous. The advisory will expire at 11am.
There’s a Christmas Bazaar set as a fundraiser for the Stickleyville School Community Center. Lots of one of a kind Christmas crafts and decorations for sale on Saturday, December 7 at the school. Money raised goes to keeping the center maintained for events and activities year round. If you want to participate call Kathy Lawson at 546-3426.