An amended boating-safety bill passed by the General Assembly has implications for boaters on Smith Mountain Lake. The version of the bill passed on Saturday will permit some experienced boat owners to skip the course and test, but only if he or she has held a Virginia registration certificate for a motorboat for at least six years in a row. The boating-safety legislation passed after a Moneta couple was killed at Smith Mountain Lake in a two-boat crash in 2005. A man was also killed that summer in a Jet Ski accident. The first phase of the regulations took effect in 2009 and required those age 20 or younger to take a safety course to operate personal watercraft. Each summer a new age group has been introduced. Had this amended bill not passed, motorboat owners between 41 and 45 years of age faced a July 1 deadline to pass the course.
Changes for Appomattox County have been in the works since 2010– the majority of those proposed amendments are updates to ensure the ordinance reflects the county’s current practices and state code. The News & Advance reports, the special uses section contains notable changes, including allowing chickens in residential areas, as well as adjusting buffer and landscaping requirements for convenience stores, gas stations, campgrounds, commercial outdoor shooting ranges and mobile home parks. According to the article, revisions also include modifications to the home occupation regulation in order to create two categories, as a way to better reflect the county’s different population densities.
The Civil War Trust is seeking volunteers in Appomattox and across state to help clean and restore up to 16 battlefield sites in Virginia. The spring cleaning is part of Park Day, a nationwide effort on April 5 that includes approximately 100 sites in 26 states. Besides general maintenance, volunteers will paint signs, plant trees and rake leaves. In Virginia, volunteers are sought at Appomattox Court House among others sites. In exchange for their labors, volunteers will receive T-shirts and hear from local historians. Last year, nearly 8,000 volunteers donated their time at 105 U.S. historic sites. Virginia volunteers are encouraged to check in a local Civil War sites to learn about the day and joining in.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will hold a teen leadership conference this summer at Longwood University. The Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project conference is scheduled July 14 through July 18 at the university in Farmville. The conference will include workshops, presentations and opportunities to network with trained youth leaders who have participated in previous conferences. According to the Education and prevention manager, young leaders in high schools across Virginia, including Lynchburg and surrounding counties can play an active role in prevention. Visit: www.yadapp.com for more information.
Two people were injured in an accident on Wadsworth Street in Lynchburg Sunday afternoon. Authorities say a Dodge Durango rear ended a Mazda around 1:20pm. Investigators say both drivers were wearing their safety belts; both cars were towed and the driver of the Durango was charged with a minor traffic offense.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is seeking input from local residents on long-range planning for the James River State Park. The News & Advance reports, the DCR is required by the state to view and update the master plans every five years for all 36 state parks managed by the department. According to the article, the James River State Park master plan was created in 1998. This will be the second time it is revised. Representatives with DCR will present proposed revisions to the department’s master plan at a public meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. March 13 at the park’s visitor center in Gladstone. For more info: Visit www.dcr.virginia.gov
The Appomattox Board of Supervisor is slated to vote on proposed changes to three county polling sites this evening. The county’s electoral board proposed moving the three polling sites in January. The main reasons for the request were because the current sites are too small. If approved, the precincts to change will be the Courthouse precinct; the Chap precinct; and the absentee precinct. Tonight’s meeting was originally scheduled on Monday, March 3, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Organizers say the seventh year of the Wildfire Weekend was a success. An estimated 10,000 plus people attended the conference at Liberty University. Event planners say, in the past they averaged around 3,000 people a weekend. The two-day faith based event for men featured speakers, workshops, exhibits on hunting, fishing, sports and other outdoor activities.
Authorities say there were no serious injuries in a two-vehicle crash on Candler’s Mountain Road on Sunday. Police responded to the intersection outside of River Ridge Mall at 1:40 p.m. The wreck caused and prolonged traffic to back up. According to media outlets, a Dodge pickup truck crashed into a Mercedes after failing to yield the right of way. Police say the drivers sustained minor injuries but the drivers were not transported to the hospital. The vehicles were towed and one driver was charged.
Ivy Lake residents have met to discuss the specifics such as legalities, financing and maintenance of forming a homeowner’s association. Sunday’s gathering is the first step for lake homeowners in an effort to move toward an agreement of possibly claiming ownership of the 112-acre lake. Liberty University has said they are open to transferring the property and its upkeep to an association. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has required the dam’s spillway be repaired to handle a worst-case-scenario storm. Liberty recently lowered the lake by as much as 20 feet in order to temporarily satisfy state regulators. According to the News & Advance, a private association of homeowners owning the lake would be a first since it was formed nearly 30 years ago.