Pittsylvania County officials have planned a visit animal shelters in our area tomorrow. The Board of Supervisors and staff will be touring the Lynchburg Animal Shelter, which has not opened yet, on Old Graves Mill Road and the Amherst County Animal Shelter, to gather information and gain a better perspective on design elements to consider for a new facility in their county. Pittsylvania County Supervisors voted in September to pursue a long-term strategy to build a new animal shelter. Architecture consultants will present a report to supervisors in March, the board is expected to review the study before deciding on the matter.
The Centers for Disease Control released a warning today cases of the flu is spreading throughout the state. Flu cases continue to grow across the county and the flu season isn’t even close to being over yet. Health officials say the current flu vaccine isn’t working well against one common strain; so far this season, there have been 56 cases of child deaths; three have died here in Virginia. The CDC reports that flu in Virginia is now widespread – updated from about a month ago when it was just regional. Doctors say still get vaccinated, even though one strain isn’t working because there are still many other strains going around.
A local relator is looking for artistic tenants for a former factory in Bedford. Steve Drake is the real estate agent marketing the old Hampton Looms property; he says he sees the giant factory building as something different than what it housed in the past there are more than 100 working artists in Bedford County; .Drake says all he needs are creative ideas and people who could support things like galleries, museums, or perhaps a concert hall.
Officials in Franklin County are considering medical training for 911 dispatchers. The Franklin County Board of Supervisors is considering the change to ensure that emergency calls are better handled because dispatchers would have the ability to give medical advice in situations such as cardiac arrest, allergic reactions, or drowning advice, officials say, could save lives when emergency services may be several minutes away. According to the Smith Mountain Eagle, Supervisors are weighing the cost of training–Dispatchers in Roanoke, Bedford, Pittsylvania, and Henry County are all able to give medical assistance.
Parents and child care advocates, yesterday, renewed their calls for better oversight of home day cares. There are a number of bills on the issue currently working their way through the legislative process; and child care advocates hope it results in stricter regulations. Supporters of reform want to see licensing —training and inspection standards — required for all home day cares; they also calls for background checks to be based on fingerprints rather than names. They are also urging tougher penalties against those who violate state regulations —but lawmakers are already indicating that compromise may be needed on some measures, in order to win approval on others.
A new conservation program may bolster restoration efforts along the James River. The Department of Agriculture recently announce its plan to invest in public-private partnerships to help improve water quality, support wildlife habitat and enhance the environment. The 370 million competitive grant is part of the five-year Regional Conservation Program made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Robert E. Lee Soil & Water Conservation District, which serves Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst, Appomattox and Campbell reimburse farmers who build fencing to keep livestock out of waterways. Projects must be supported by local and regional partners.
The Appomattox Town Council has changed its schedule to meeting only once of month. Council members will no longer be meeting twice a month; the change to a single monthly meeting is being implemented this year. Sources say, Council will not hold workshop meetings like it did in years past; however, council will still hold regular session meetings on the second Monday of each month with the exception of holidays or otherwise specified. If a meeting is cancelled due to inclement weather, council will meet the following night. The 2015 Council Meetings begin on Feb. 9.
Sweet Briar College is exploring options to stay viable in the future. Sweet Briar is at a crossroads as school leaders look at ideas to help the college survive and thrive amid challenging times for small, private liberal arts schools in the United States. The New Era Progress reports the college has contracted with the Art & Science Group to conduct market research about possible ideas to grow enrollment. Completion of the market research study is expected in the late Spring; according to the article, the strategic plan includes the possibilities of partnering with other schools.
The Town of Altavista is pursuing an emergency notification system. Town staff are in the process of gathering more information and working out a contract for the system, that officials say, will have comprehensive notification process, with the ability to inform citizens before, during and after events, whether emergency or non-emergency. 911 information the town already has for residents and businesses could be moved to the new system. The Altavista Journal reports, the town may need to do a campaign to collect other contact information. According to the article, Bedford and Lynchburg are already using the system.
Work has begun on a second phase of renovation on Wright Hall at the campus on Randolph College. The five-story building was constructed in 1909…this is the first renovation of the building since 1994. It is one of six residence halls at Randolph. Officials expect the renovations to be complete by Aug. 1.