LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MARCH 2021 REPORT

THE LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE PUBLISHED ITS MONTHLY REPORT FOR MARCH 2021 LISTING OVER 5,000 TOTAL CALLS RECEIVED AT THE DISPATCH OFFICE. OF THE 5044 TOTAL CALLS RECEIVED, 851 OF THESE CALLS RESULTED IN A DEPUTY BEING DISPATCHED. OTHER DOCUMENTED CALLS INCLUDE:

494 CALLS DISPATCHED TO THE FIRE WARDEN, CONSERVATION OFFICER, VDOT, JUVENILE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, ANIMAL CONTROL, VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AND THE TOWNS OF PENNINGTON GAP AND JONESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENTS.

THERE WERE ALSO 29 RESCUE SQUAD CALLS PLUS 10 AMBULANCE CALLS DISPATCHED AS WELL AS 74 FIRE DEPARTMENT CALLS DISPATCHED.

ALONG WITH EXECUTING 3 SEARCH WARRANTS, LEE COUNTY DEPUTIES SERVED 107 FELONY AND MISDEMEANOR WARRANTS, 100 SUBPOENAS, 33 SHOW CAUSE SUMMONS AND 205 CIVIL PAPERS FOR THE COURTS. DEPUTIES ALSO PROCESSED 51 PEOPLE ON 107 CHARGES, SERVED 79 PROTECTIVE ORDERS AND TRANSPORTED 4 PROSONERS FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

THE LEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES ALSO ESCORTED 14 FUNERALS AND UNLOCKED 42 VEHICLES FOR THE CITIZENS OF LEE COUNTY. WHILE DOING ALL OF THIS WORK, DEPUTIES TRAVELED A TOTAL OF 58,509 MILES WITH A LITTLE OVER 1400 BEING ON TRANSPORTS.

NEW TRASH CANS FOR PENNINGTON GAP

THE TOWN OF PENNINGTON GAP IS WORKING TO HELP KEEP EMPLOYEES SAFE WHILE SUPPLYING TRASH CANS TO PENNINGTON GAP RESIDENTS. THESE NEW ROLLING TRASH CANS WILL START BEING ISSUED TODAY BY TOWN EMPLOYEES TO EACH PENNINGTON GAP HOUSEHOLD. THIS PROCEDURE WILL NOT ONLY HELP TOWN RESIDENTS BUT HELP KEEP THE TOWN’S SANITATION PERSONNEL SAFE WHILE DOING THIER JOB. THE TRASH IN THESE NEW CANS WILL BE COLLECTED WITH A NEW, HANDS FREE COLLECTION DEVICE WHICH WILL HOPEFULLY NOT ONLY MAKE IT SAFER FOR THESE EMPLOYEES BUT ALSO MAKE IT QUICKER AND EASIER TO COMPLETE THIS SERVICE.

ONE TRASH CAN WILL BE ISSUED AT NO COST TO EACH HOUSEHOLD BUT, IF MORE THAN ONE TRASH CAN IS NEEDED FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD, YOU CAN OBTAIN ONE FROM THE TOWN FOR A MERE $5.00 CHARGE. THIS ADDITIONAL TRASH CAN WILL BE ADDED TO THE MONTHLY WATER BILL TO MAKE IT MORE CONVENIENT FOR HOUSEHOLDS NEEDING ONE.

WITH THIS CHANGE, THE TOWN OF PENNINGTON GAP TRASH POLICY WILL ALSO BE MODIFIED TO WORK WITH THESE NEW PROCEDURES.

TRASH WILL NOW ONLY BE PICKED UP FROM TOWN ISSUED CANS ONLY.
TRASHCANS MUST BE PLACED BESIDE THE CURB ON THE SCHEDULED PICK UP DAY FOR YOUR AREA.
TRASHCANS MUST NOT REMAIN BESIDE THE CURB AFTER BEING EMPTIED.
TRASH THAT IS NOT IN THE TRASHCAN WILL NOT BE PICKED UP.
THE ACCOUNT HOLDER FOR THE HOUSEHOLD WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRASH CAN.

IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF PENNINGTON GAP AND DO NOT RECEIVE YOUR NEW CAN, NEED ADDITIONAL CANS OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS NEW TRASH GUIDLINE, PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWN OF PENNINGTON GAP AT 546-1177.

Scouts in the River Cleanup

Scouts in the River Cleanup will be held on April 24th starting at 8am. Sponsored by the Town of Pennington gap and Girl Scout Troop 603, this is the 3rd year of this program that works to keep our stretch of the Powell River Clean. There is an abundance of trash that collects along the Powell River adjacent to the Pennington Gap Greenway throughout the year. This trash, as everyone knows, hurts our wildlife and takes away from the beauty of our area. This day is set aside each year to remove this unwanted trash to clean the river to its normal, beautiful state.

There are many ways you can volunteer your time along with much needed donation support to help with the valuable project. The Town of Pennington Gap is looking for sponsors for T-Shirts at a cost of $25.00 which puts your company name on the back of the event t-shirts. They are also asking for donations of snacks and water for the participants cleaning the area.

If you would like to participate in this event, the first 100 people to attend and participate will be given a free t-shirt you can wear proudly to show your support. Participant Volunteers are asked to meet that the Riverview Shopping Center Greenway entrance the morning of the event to receive instruction and supplies to help with this cleanup event. So come out and join your friends and neighbors while helping our town and environment.

For more information on the 3rd Annual Scouts in the River Cleanup, you can call the Town of Pennington Gap Town Hall at 546-1177.

Say Goodbye to Plastic Straws

A new Virginia executive order signed by Governor Northam aims to decrease plastic pollution and reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfills.
Executive Order 77 puts Virginia on a path to eliminate most single-use plastics at state agencies, imposing a near-term ban on several unnecessary disposable plastics and requiring the phase-out of other plastic items by 2025.
Executive Order Seventy-Seven requires all executive branch agencies to stop buying, selling and distributing items like disposable plastic bags, single-use plastic water bottles, styrofoam food service containers along with plastic straws and cutlery within 120 days. The order allows for near-term exemptions for items necessary for medical, public health or public safety uses, as well as long-term exemptions for medical and emergency applications. Agencies will be required to develop plans to phase out all non-medical single-use plastic and Styrofoam items by 2025.
Governor Northam also signed House Bill 533, which bans the use of Styrofoam for all food vendors by 2025. This executive order along with House Bill 533 is probably the first step in trying to eliminate as much single use plastic and styrofoam as possible in the state in the coming years.
With all the trash we see on the side of the road, any trash that can be eliminated should be on everyone’s mind. A lot of work has been done to try and clean our county roads and work continues every day. We here at WSWV thank everyone that has put cleaning our roadsides in motion and the hard work that has been done. This is thankless work but is important to our community in more ways than one.

Rain Causes Flooding

Thankfully the rain chance for today is almost zero but there is a good chance there is still standing water on many roadways, and the ones that were flooded yesterday could have potential debris and standing water on them. Be extremely careful today on our roadways and give yourself more time to get to your destination.

U.S Marshal Service forms Missing Child Unit

Lee, Scott and Wise County Sheriff’s Offices are only a few of the agencies that are now a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Missing Child Unit. This new task force is partnering with federal, state and our local agencies to protect and recover missing children in our region. This task force is not only committed to finding and return children to safely but also resolve issues for runaways, giving them the chance to be healthy as well as happy members of our area.
With more and more children have a presence and spending many hours online, this is a critical time to have a task force like this working to keep them safe. Statistics show a large increase in tips concerning child related internet crimes last year, a trend where forming a local taskforce like the Missing Child Unit will help make our children more safe from predators. This taskforce is committed to using every resource available to ensure every missing child case is addressed quickly and efficiently.
With over 20 agencies from local police, social service agencies and the FBI, there are many resources not only in personnel but sharing information as well as counseling and debriefing after a case has concluded. The partnerships this task force creates will be invaluable to bringing more children to safely and uniting families in our community.

VA ranks 6th Highest Energy Bill

We at WSWV have heard many negative comments on their electricity bill in the last few months. In doing a little research, a report from Porch.com shows that, although Virginia residents rank a low 31st in the highest average electricity price for residential pricing at just a little over 12 cents per kilowatt hour, the average monthly electricity bill ranks 6th highest at just over $135.00. The reason for the high average monthly bill is due to also ranking 6th in average monthly consumption at an average 1,121 kilowatts per bill.
Hawaii by far has the highest residential price per kilowatt hour at over 32 cents and those residents experience the highest average monthly bill, even though they rank the best in average monthly consumption that is less than half than usage by Virginia residents.
Another interesting fact this report shows is that Virginia, as a whole, ranks 20th in average price over all sectors. This implies that non-residential customers may be paying a higher percentage rate compared to other states.
Also, according to a different study by commodity.com, Virginia is energy dependent. This study shows Virginia imported 177.1 million Btu per person in 2018. This ranks Virginia 20th among the states with Wyoming exporting the most energy and Delaware being the largest energy importer. There is also report that shows the United States was a net exporter of energy in 2019, the first time this has occurred since 1957.
Of course, these numbers are averages and our experiences in this area may be a little different that the state average as a whole but the one thing that this report proves is the way to have a lower energy bill is to lower the usage. It is not as easy during extreme conditions but something to think about.
Links to the reports and more useful information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at wswv.net.

US Energy Production: Which States Export the Most Energy? – Commodity.com
States with the most/least expensive electricity (porch.com)

Scouts in the River

April 24th is scheduled for Scouts in the River. The Town of Pennington Gap is accepting donations and sponsorship for t-shirts in the amount of $25.00. This will be a great day to clean one of our prettiest areas in the town and is open to anyone wishing to participate. There are many more details unavailable at this time and we promise to provide more details later.

Northam Eases Covid Restrictions & Local Changes

Tuesday, Governor Northam issued his 4th Amended Executive Order 72 easing some COVID-19 restrictions that lead to key changes to this Executive Order that go into effective April 1st include:

The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people for indoor settings, and from 25 to 100 people for outdoor settings.

All indoor and outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity. Indoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity or with a maximum of 500 people, an increase from the current cap of 250 people. Outdoor venues must operate at 30 percent capacity, with no specific cap on the number of attendees.

This amended order has allowed some local restrictions to be eased also. Keith Harless, town manager of Pennington Gap, informed WSWV that any organized sport that wishes to use Leeman Field can come to the town office and sign a waiver/release to use the facility and agreeing that all COVID guidelines will be adhered to. This includes softball, baseball, soccer, horse events, etc.

The Pennington Gap Town Pool will be scheduled to open using the updated guidelines and hopefully in the not too distant future be able to have events at Lee Theatre.

Lee County School Boards Appoints Brian Dean

In their latest Press Release, the Lee County School Board appointed Brian Dean as Division Superintendent during its regular meeting and work session. Dean has served as the Interim Superintendent since January 15th.
“Mr. Dean has been an asset to LCPS for many years and his dedication to Lee County has been proven. I’m confident we can move forward-getting back in the full swing of things, putting our students first!” stated Mike Kidwell, Board Chairman and District I representative.
Dean has many years of experience in education in Virginia, including serving as Lee County’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the past three years. He has previously served in many roles including Director of Finance, Director of Instruction, Director of Human Resources, Division Director of Testing, Principal of St. Charles Elementary School, and teacher of History and Sociology and Assistant Volleyball Coach at Lee High School. Dean has spent his entire career in K-12 education serving Lee County for twenty-three years.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in History from East Tennessee State University in 1997, his Master’s Degree in Education from Lincoln Memorial University in 2005, and his Education Specialist (EdS) degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 2007. He is a Lee County native and alumni, graduating from Lee High School in 1992.
He is excited to lead the division he has served for many years, “I am very humbled and grateful to be given the opportunity to serve Lee County Public Schools as Division Superintendent. It is a privilege to work with both students and staff who have shown just how resilient and earnest they are in their educational pursuits,” said Dean. Brian and his wife Tina live with their family on a farm in Jonesville, Va.