Appomattox County officials, this week, will be deciding on a hiring process for a new County Administrator. Aileen Ferguson announced last month that she would retire in June of next year. The Board of Supervisors plan to meet on Wednesday to discuss options for filling the position. Suggestions already presented, include contacting Campbell County to request specifics on how that locality replaced its County Administrator; another option, is to have supervisors write down ideas and bring them to the meeting, which replaces the originally scheduled Oct. 25 retreat, that was removed from the county’s schedule.
The Artisan Trail network is working to connect crafters throughout the state. Bedford, featuring 86 members, is the newest of the 16 trails. Nelson and Albemarle counties, could eventually connect with Bedford if localities in between, were to get involved and that’s just what the Artisan Center of Virginia hopes will come to fruition. Franklin County’s Southwest Virginia trails, borders Bedford’s, leaving open, a possibility for collaboration with that group as well. ACV is working on an economic impact study of artisan member on the trail, to gauge their success.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Rising costs have prompted some Central Virginia apple growers to change their production methods. The Nelson County Times (http://bit.ly/1usDNqw) reports that many orchards have bought smaller trees or dwarf trees, which are easier to prune and harvest. The smaller trees reduce labor costs and require fewer ladders. Saunders Brothers owner Jim Saunders says the orchard wants to harvest fruit as close to the ground as possible. The family-owned Drumheller’s Orchard reduces labor costs by putting family members to work. Morris Orchard has begun planting more varieties of apples and apples that are more resistant to disease. Owner Judy Barnes says people want newer varieties of apples in addition to traditional varieties.
Update: Mon., 10/20/14 4:03 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Police blocked off roads and were searching for clues in an area where they found remains that could be missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. The 18-year-old Graham hasn’t been seen since Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. The remains were found Saturday about 12 miles from campus. The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. He’s being held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 4. It’s not clear how long it will take authorities to identify the remains they discovered over the weekend.
The debate over a new natural gas pipeline is likely to intensify in Virginia as pipeline plans become firmer. As things stand, one of the routes would carry natural gas under parts of Nelson County. The industry says pipelines are the safest way to transport energy sources, but opponents say they can be disruptive to homeowners and the environment. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more on the debate.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A new report says support staff salaries at three public higher education institutions in Virginia exceed the average of similar schools nationally. According to the report, the average salaries of upper- and mid-level support staff at most public higher education institutions were near or below the average of their peers nationally. Average salaries at the University of Virginia, Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Tech topped the average of similar schools nationally. The report says the primary reasons for the higher-than-average salaries appeared to be the base salaries of top executives, senior institutional officers and academic and associate deans. Virginia Tech, U.Va. and VMI tell the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1sYNlwB) that the report’s conclusion is based on faulty peer groups. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission released the report last week.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands wants to double the school’s $800 million endowment and make the university one of the top 100 world research institutions. The Roanoke Times reports Sands made the comments Friday at his official installation, four months after taking the job. Sands also wants to make a Virginia Tech degree affordable for any Virginia student who can qualify for admission. The comments come as Virginia grapples with a $2.4 billion budget shortfall that has already led to $45 million in cuts to higher education. Sands is the school’s first president since James McComas to have no previous ties to Virginia Tech. He has spent much of his time in office meeting with students, faculty, staff and state and local leaders to listen to their concerns.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Senate candidate Ed Gillespie is behind in the polls and campaign cash with little more than two weeks before Election Day in Virginia. But the former high-powered Washington political operative says he’s enjoying his underdog campaign and feels that momentum is in his favor. The Republican Gillespie is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner, a popular former governor seeking a second term. Gillespie says the media and pundits are missing what’s happening on the ground, and that people unhappy with President Barack Obama’s energy, health care and tax policies — and Warner’s support for them — will help Gillespie win in November.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is embarking on his second international trade trip with scheduled stops in Japan, China and South Korea. McAuliffe’s office announced Friday that McAuliffe would attend a welcome dinner Sunday hosted by Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan. Other planned stops on the week-and-a-half-long trip include a University of Virginia alumni breakfast in Japan, a Virginia wine event in China, and meetings with the president and prime minister of South Korea. McAuliffe went to China and England in July and has made luring international businesses to locate Virginia one of his top priorities.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is organizing multiple state agencies into a unified command group as part of an effort to safeguard against any spread of the Ebola virus in Virginia. McAuliffe announced Friday that the group will work to make sure first responders have adequate training to treat Ebola patients and that state hospitals are able to coordinate potential care. State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine said Ebola prevention efforts are based on the same principles and approaches Virginia’s health system uses every day, but the unique aspects of the virus required the state to make sure its plans are up to date. The agencies involved include the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, the state police, and the Virginia National Guard.