The Babcock & Wilcox Company has announced plans to restructure its mPower Small Modular Reactor program to focus on technology development; a move that sources say could lead to some layoffs in Lynchburg. Based in Charlotte, N.C. – B&W employs about 2,400 people in the Lynchburg area. The mPower unit operates a scale-model testing facility with about 20 employees at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Bedford County, as well as a control room prototype and fuel technology center at the Lynchpin Industrial Park.
City officials are working up a new policy on conservation easements. It will be the first for the city, and is expected to serve as a template for city leaders and property owners. There have been a number of inquiries from citizens about easements, and concerns have been raised regarding the current system; the limited land availability and the permanency of approving them. An Easement evaluating committee is creating a formula and will make a recommendation to the planning commission.
Bedford Domestic Violence Services has won the 2013 Excellence in Business Award among nonprofits from the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. The group which helps victims of abuse fielded 325 calls to the organization’s hotline just last month. CLICK HERE for more information about the program and for hotline phone number.
During an Appomattox Town Council meeting on Monday, several Main Street business owners expressed concerns about once again increasing the meals tax. Although there has been no formal proposal to raise the tax, the suggestion of implementing a cigarette tax and raising the meals tax to replace the revenue the town currently gets from a real estate tax, was mentioned during the Feb. 25 meeting. Media outlets report, Appomattox has one of the highest tax rates among Virginia towns; only seven towns in the state have a meals tax higher than 6 percent; the meals tax in Appomattox was raised from 5 to 8 percent last July.
Lynchburg City Schools is slated to break ground on the new Heritage High School next Tuesday. The Heritage High project will rebuild completely the current problem-plagued high school building on the same site it’s located on now. School officials approve the bid for the construction last month; and planners estimate the new facility being ready for students by fall 2016. Demolition of the old school and additional site work would continue another 8 to 10 months. A Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m on April 22 at the Heritage athletic fields.
Virginia’s first lady Dorothy McAuliffe will be among guest speakers at the Urban Agricultural Summit in Lynchburg this week. The summit officially begins tomorrow ( Tues. April 15, 2014) at the Holiday Inn and will run through Wednesday. But tonight at 6:30, there will be a special screening of the film “Growing Cities: A Film about Urban Farming in America” On Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion about the economic and health benefits of urban agriculture. CLICK HERE for the documentary trailer -OR- visit the EVENT page for schedule and registration.
The ACE program has release initial feedback regarding the updated GED testing. It has been slow going according to the Adult Continuing Education of Central Virginia. In January, a new online version of the test was launched; it is not only more expensive than the paper version, but also is described as more difficult. Students who took the paper test but failed to complete all of the sections by Dec. 31 were forced to begin the process a new. As of last month, only 42 test-takers had successfully completed and passed the new test statewide. CLICK HERE to learn more about the new test and the ACE program.
A Forest-based manufacturing company is set to complete wood flooring for several sections of the new 49ers’ Levi Stadium. More than an acre of wood will go into several section of San Francisco’s first new NFL stadium since 1960. Nydree Flooring has been working on the design for nearly two years and the actual installation began late in January of this year. Sources say about 20 percent of the wood used, will be reclaimed red oak, recycled from out-of-use barns, warehouses and other buildings. The recycled wood is being used for club seating, a fan store area and the Hall of Fame. CLICK HERE for the story on the company’s blog – OR- visit Levisstadium.com for more on the new stadium.
A Bedford County woman will spend six months in jail for assault. Jessica Blair Hiner pleaded no contest in September 2013 to one count of an unlawful wounding that took place in December 2012. But was found guilty on Friday to an amended charge of assault and battery; and sentenced to 12 months with all but the six months suspended.
Despite construction of three wireless communication towers last year– dead spots continue to plague cellphone coverage along the Rt. 60 corridor in Amherst County…BUT change is coming… County officials recently contacted Verizon Wireless to reminded the provider of their commitment to the community and the need to work together to solve the coverage problems. Prior to 2012, an ordinance limited communications towers height to 50 feet, but it was changed to allow for 120-foot poles to accommodate upgrades to service. Construction on three towers have been underway since last year; two of which are currently in service BUT only for data service and not yet for voice. Sources say Verizon has been made more fully aware of the county’s focus on the public safety aspects and the need for reliable cellphone coverage in the entire county.