Lynchburg School officials are awaiting a ruling on their request for dismissal of a racial discrimination lawsuit against the School Board. A former maintenance worker filed suit in January, claiming that he was denied two promotions, in 2007 and 2009 because he is African-American. He alleges he was terminated in 2012 in retaliation for complaining that less-qualified white employees were being promoted ahead of him.
The Lima Company Memorial: The Eyes of Freedom arrives in Lynchburg Friday. The painting memorial depicts 23 fallen Marines from the Lima Company which faced high casualties during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The motorcade is expected to pass by the weekly troops support rally at Monument Terrace tomorrow, on its way to the CallahamBuilding on Commerce Street, where it will be on display from 5 p.m. Friday through noon next Thursday. To learn more about the memorial, visit: www.limacompanymemorial.org .
The Nelson County arson/murder trial continues today. Linda Campbell Blackwell is charged with multiple counts including first-degree murder in the death of a family friend. August of 2009 was the first fire at the home which left her husband with severe burns, and killed James Shelton. The same house caught fire in February of 2012 and again in May of 2013. Blackwell also faces three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and three counts of burning a dwelling; she pleaded not guilty to all seven charges. Prosecutors on Wednesday said the three fires in four years were intentionally set to collect insurance money.
A state-mandated stormwater requirements meant for construction and development projects has been implemented in CampbellCounty. The Board of Supervisors adopted the ordinance following a public hearing on Tuesday. The ordinance would place the stormwater management plan and corresponding permitting process under county management, as required by the state. Each Virginia locality is required to adopt an ordinance and fee structure by May 15 and assume management of the program July 1. Along with the erosion and sediment laws already in place, the mandate means higher fee structure and more stringent technical criteria for water quality and pollution reduction.
Federal Authorities are requiring payment from a $20 million project that redeveloped buildings in downtown Lynchburg to be held in reserve– A grant advisory committee was informed on Thursday that most of the recouped money from the Bluffwalk Center will be put into a temporary lock box to assist with future loan payments. Media outlets report, In addition to the reserve, a piece of the BluffwalkCenter repayment will go back into the city’s general fund. Most of the money the city diverted to the loan was pulled from a pool of federal grant money provided each year to pursue priorities like neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and economic development. Sources say, the money will be returned to the program once the loan agreement is closed out in about nine years.
Lynchburg School officials are working toward finalizing the budget…but, the next step is for City Council to sign off on the proposal. More than 40% of the city schools’ budget relies on funding from the state. According to media outlets, the school board is requesting over 700-thousand dollars in additional annual funding from city council. The proposal includes a 2 percent raise for staff members; a new evening maintenance crew; and added staff positions in the information technology, curriculum and instruction and finance departments. A school system’s budget will be finalized following final funding numbers from the state and city. Officials have set May as a goal deadline.
A few previously tabled items were reintroduced by Campbell County Supervisors on Tuesday, during the board’s capital improvement plan discussions. The list was created based on the county’s list of priority initiatives and department head requests. Nearly 60 percent of the plan is allotted for emergency services and law enforcement, mostly for the purchase of equipment and vehicles. The capital improvement plan also includes several projects that have been put on hold; but no projects were moved up in the timetable; although several were delayed or removed. The $16.9 million five-year plan will be voted on by supervisors at the April 1 meeting.
According to the Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a statewide registry of beds that are available for emergency psychiatric patients went live yesterday. The registry has been in the works since last year; and bills were pending in the General Assembly that sought requirement of the activation. But the urgency to move the bills through came last fall when state Sen. Creigh Deeds, was attacked by his son, Gus, who then committed suicide.
The former president of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now known as Randolph College, has passed away. Bill Quillian Jr., became president 1952 and retired from the college in1978. According to media outlets, Quillian died early Tuesday morning. Details of Funeral arrangement are expected to be released tomorrow. Quillian would have celebrated his 101 birthday in April.
Live Healthy Lynchburg organizers have announced the winners of January’s Healthy Plate Challenge. The wellness initiative launched in 2012 challenged participating restaurants to create a dish that abides by an updated version of the food pyramid introduced in 2011. The competition was judged by customer votes; the best dishes went to The Drowsy Poet for children’s plate and Isabella’s for adult plate. To learn more about the initiative visit: www.livehealthylynchburg.com