McAuliffe making it easier for felons to get voting rights

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is making it easier for felons to regain their voting right.

He made an announcement that he is reducing the waiting period for violent felons to apply for reinstatement for five years to three years, and that he is removing drug offenses from the list of violent crimes that are subject to the waiting period. 

McAuliffe is using the basis from former Governor Bob McDonnell's efforts to streamline the process. More than 800 Virginians have already had their rights restored in his first three months in office.

Still no water for some Appalachia homeowners

In Appalachia, there are still homeowners that are still without water.  According to the Appalachia City Manager, that the water problems is caused by a new water system was put into place, which would raise the water pressure to a normal level.  The older pipes could not handle the increase in pressure, which is causing the problems for homeowners.

The city is using grant money to add pressure reducing valves for the more than 80 homes affected.  Repairs should be finished by the end of the week.

Pennington Gap April meeting

The Town of Pennington Gap monthly meeting was held on April 21 at 6:00 pm.

The Lee Theatre has been a great success to the Town of Pennington and Lee County. Even though numbers were down for the past two shows, the Theatre is still making a profit. The theatre will be installing the balcony seating on May 5 or 6th. 

Tony Lawson stated that there are still many upcoming shows and for the summer they are considering doing movies and concerts during the week.

During last months meeting some businesses have not paid for their business license for the town and refused to do so.

The Town Attorney got approval from Council members to send letters to business owners for business licenses.

Scott County Fugitive Caught in Mississippi

A Scott county man from Duffield was arrested in Mississippi as a fugitive from a statutory rape charge in Southwest Virginia. 20 year-old Austin Hunter is charged with having sex with a child age 13 or 14. He was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month and will be extradited back from Mississippi.

Big Stone Gap Man Reports Vandalism

In Big Stone Gap a man called police to report that a vandal had scrawled a message referring negatively to his parenting skills on the side of his van and that he drove his van around unaware that written on the side were the words—–”Send your kids to school dumbass.”

Coeburn Burglary

A Coeburn woman reported a burglary at her house and later called back to say whoever did it must have kicked and broken the kitchen circuit breaker, because none of her appliances have worked since then. She says all the food spoiled in her refrigerator so she wanted that added to the police report.

Scott County Wildfire

Firefighters in Scott County spent Easter Weekend battling a wildfire that grew to 115 acres off Route 653 between Dungannon and Fort Blackmore. Volunteers from Duffield and Fort Blackmore helped two twenty-person crews from the Virginia Department of Forestry and the US Forest Service. A Clinch District Ranger says they aren’t sure how it started but wishes people to keep in mind the burning ban is still in effect and burning is prohibited before 4pm. Because dry conditions will persist this week the forestry firemen will stay nearby for the next few days.

Lee County Extension office workshop

The Lee County Extension Office will be hosting another workshop on April 24th at 6:00 at the Adult Learning Center near the Lee County School Board Office.

This workshop will be featuring Dr. Alex White, who will be speaking about farm and personal financial management and retirement planning for farmers.

White has a Ph.D from Virginia Tech, where he did a lot of research centered on retirement planning strategies for agricultural producers and small business owners.

A meal being provided for those who register. To register, please call the Lee County Extension Office at (276) 346-1522 or email<>.  These workshops are designed to help you ask questions and find questions that you need to ask your local preferred professionals.

Upcoming meetings

The Town of Pennington Gap and Public Service Authority (PSA) will be holding their monthly meetings this week.

The Town of Pennington Gap's meeting will be at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 21st.  The meeting will held in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall.

The PSA meeting will be on Tuesday, April 22, at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the PSA office near the Cumberland Bowl Park in Jonesville.

UVA-Wise formal inauguration

The University of Virginia's College at Wise will have a formal inauguration of the eighth chancellor Donna Price Henry on Tuesday, April 22, at 2 pm at the David J. Prior Convocation Center.

After the unexpected death of the former chancellor David Prior, age 46, Henry was elected as chancellor on December 7, 2012 and assumed office on January 18, 2013.

Henry as extensive experience in higher education.  She served many years in different departments at the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

She earned a bachelor of arts in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, with a minor in Spanish, and a doctorate in physiology from Thomas Jefferson University.

Henry and her husband Allen Henry, a pilot for Federal Express, have twin daughters, Jessie and Margaret.

A reception will immediately follow Tuesday's inauguration ceremonies.