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Smyth County News & Messenger

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Smyth County School Board OKs $48.5 million budget

The Smyth County School Board is looking for just over half a million dollars in new local funding for the FY 2016 budget to help make up for fewer students and higher costs for staff healthcare coverage.

Recent Headlines

Monday 03/30/2015
Second meeting for Smyth County RAM Clinic set
Posted: March 30, 2015

A second meeting to begin planning for a Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic in Smyth County is planned for Friday, April 3.

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Extension Answers: Well-water testing program for Smyth County
Posted: March 30, 2015

Quality drinking water is one resource that is essential for good health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for municipal systems and those standards are closely monitored; however, private water supplies such as those from wells, cisterns or springs have no oversight and are the responsibility of the homeowner to inspect.

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String of Pearls: Working to preserve Smyth County's black history
Posted: March 30, 2015

Just outside of Bluefield, there is a little town named Bluewell. Upon the slopes of this little town is a significant tract of land. It is a place where I learned a valuable lesson just a few years ago.

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Sunday 03/29/2015
Rotary Club of Marion awards education grants
Posted: March 29, 2015

Each year the Rotary Club of Marion allocates up to $5,000 in educational grants to the teachers in the Marion area schools, including Sugar Grove Elementary School, Atkins Elementary School, Oak Point Elementary School, Marion Elementary School, Marion Middle School and Marion Senior High School.

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Saturday 03/28/2015
Smyth County Tourism Association recognizes its supporters
Posted: March 28, 2015

Volunteers and supporters are the life’s blood of Smyth County tourism and they were recognized for their contribution during an annual luncheon held earlier this month.

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Fundraisers planned for 4-H
Posted: March 28, 2015

Robyn Raines, director of the Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center, said fees from camps, building rentals, and other youth and adult programs held at the 78-acre facility on Hillman Highway go a long way to support the facility.

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Griffith nominates Marion student to U.S. Naval Academy
Posted: March 28, 2015

On Thursday afternoon, Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) announced the individuals who would receive congressional nominations from his office to the United States Service Academies. 

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Friday 03/27/2015
Crosswalk safety concerns get attention in Marion
Posted: March 27, 2015

Crosswalks are in the crosshairs of community members fed up with rude drivers.

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Kopp trades Washington County classroom for post as Smyth County 4-H agent
Posted: March 27, 2015

A farmer, educator and lifetime 4-H Club member, Lauren Kopp made a career change last week, a decision to follow her heart and childhood dreams.

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Joe Tennis to sign copies of Virginia Rail Trails book at Whitetop festival
Posted: March 27, 2015

Forty-five trails are featured in author Joe Tennis’ newest book. He’s visited each one, learning about their current use and their history as rail beds. The author walked some, hiked others, biked a few, and even drove some of them. He has “seen them all,” and they stretch from the commonwealth’s east coast to its western tip.

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Thursday 03/26/2015
White: Spirit of Generosity Making ‘Magic’ at Emory & Henry
Updated: March 27, 2015 - 11:29 am

Emory & Henry cultivates a pervasive spirit of generosity, and those touched by it act on behalf of others without thought of reward or recognition, according to Delilah White, a 2005 E&H graduate who has dedicated her life’s work to generous acts and nurturing the generosity she finds in others.

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Marion Civitans donate to Challenger Baseball program
Posted: March 26, 2015

Spring means baseball season for many and thanks to generous support from local organizations this season brings an opportunity for some who may never have had the chance to play the game.

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4-H director describes dream job
Posted: March 26, 2015

“When I sit and think about what my dream job would be, I realize this is it,” said Robyn Raines, who’s been director of the Southwest Virginia 4-H Education Center for the past two years.

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Whitetop to host maple festival
Posted: March 26, 2015

It's time to head back to Whitetop Mountain for a parade of pancakes seasoned with a sea of syrup.

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Marion hosts Blue Line event to show support for law enforcement officers
Posted: March 26, 2015

This year, Marion wants to go above and beyond to have the community and other fellow officers show their support for law enforcement officers -- active, retired and fallen.

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Smyth, Washington teachers to benefit from grants
Posted: March 26, 2015

The grants allow colleges and universities to provide professional development to teachers in an effort to reduce achievement gaps in math and science

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Wednesday 03/25/2015
Chilhowie low-water bridge removed to improve fishing, river conditions
Posted: March 25, 2015

A popular fishing spot in Chilhowie has been changed and hopefully enhanced by the removal of an obsolete low-water concrete bridge.

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Volunteers needed for litter patrol
Posted: March 25, 2015

Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter March 26 at a regional stream cleanup at North Fork River Road between Saltville and Emory. Hosted by Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, the cleanup will begin at 2 p.m. and end by 4:30 p.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at the boat launch.

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Saltville Medical Center adds optometry services
Posted: March 25, 2015

Optometry services are now being offered at the Saltville Medical Center.

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Rusty is one of the dogs up for adoption at the Smyth County Animal Shelter
Posted: March 25, 2015

“Rusty,” the Pet of the Week, is a 1-year-old male Shepherd mix. He is friendly and playful with the cutest bobtail. He’d love someone to play with. Who could resist that face?! He must be adopted by March 31.

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Tuesday 03/24/2015
Smyth County chamber seeks sponsors for upcoming Opportunity Fair
Posted: March 24, 2015

As it’s making plans for the Smyth County Opportunity Fair, the Chamber of Commerce of Smyth County has extended its deadline for sponsors until March 27.

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VHCC program has helped change lives of many students in foster care
Posted: March 24, 2015

The Great Expectations program at Virginia Highlands Community College has changed the lives of more that 85 students in the foster care system.

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Monday 03/23/2015
Daughter of AP photographer shares details of his long career
Posted: March 23, 2015

Diannah Pennington shared Harvey Georges' iconic photographs with a group of residents at the Hayters Gap library in Washington County on Saturday.

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Friday 03/20/2015
Smyth County remembers Sturgill's work to preserve its history
Posted: March 20, 2015

A man who passionately worked to preserve this community’s history for future generations “has now slipped quietly into Smyth County’s history.”

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Kiwanis Club is bringing Class Act Band to Marion
Posted: March 20, 2015

Kiwanis Club of Marion is hosting a concert featuring the Class Act Band at The Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, March 28, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets will be $15.

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Thursday 03/19/2015
Smyth County's free clinic searching for executive director
Posted: March 19, 2015

The Mel Leaman Free Clinic of Smyth County is searching for an executive director.

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Marion's Hungry Mother State Park to host two birding activities
Posted: March 19, 2015

As the trees begin to bud, the forest seems to come back to life. This time of year, the birds are active and spring is the time for many birds to display their bright colors. On Saturday, March 21, from 9-11 a.m., Hungry Mother State Park will host bird enthusiast Randy Smith.

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Wednesday 03/18/2015
Smyth County officials to hold hearing regarding CPV plant in Atkins
Posted: March 18, 2015

Smyth County’s Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will hold a joint public hearing March 26 at 7 p.m. for an electric-generating plant in Atkins.

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Four finalists named for Wytheville Community College president
Posted: March 18, 2015

The State Board for Community Colleges has certified finalists for the position of president at Wytheville Community College. The four finalists include Dr. Hara D. Charlier, of Abingdon, Virginia; Dr. Michael M. Robinson, of Marion, Virginia; Dr. Mark A. Smith, of Temple, Texas; and Dr. Dean E. Sprinkle, of Statesville, North Carolina.

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Marion church to host open house with tours, family history and more
Posted: March 18, 2015

The Marion branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have an open house on Saturday, March 28, from 3 to 6 p.m.

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Clyde is one of the Smyth County Animal Shelter's dogs and cats up for adoption
Posted: March 18, 2015

“Clyde,” the Pet of the Week, is a handsome 2-year-old male lab mix. He waited patiently at an adoption event Saturday only to be disappointed. He is friendly and loves to shake hands. A donor has sponsored his neuter fee, so there is no fee required for his adoption! He must be adopted by March 24.

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Tuesday 03/17/2015
Funeral services set for Marion councilman, veteran and family man
Updated: March 18, 2015 - 6:49 pm

The flag at Marion’s town hall has been lowered, a gesture that remembers and honors the service of one of the town’s elected servants. Councilman James D. “Jim” Owens died Monday morning.

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String of pearls: The value of sharing the history of family homes
Posted: March 17, 2015

Upon the bookshelves in my home rest leather binders full of pieces of paper and photos that I have collected during my life. These papers tell the stories of my ancestors. I have a memory associated with the discovery of each document. These volumes contain the story of who I am. They are, easily, my most valued possessions. I often find myself wondering what will become of these books in coming generations.

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Marion quilter is semifinalist in international quilt show
Posted: March 17, 2015

A Marion area quilter has been selected as a semi-finalist for 2015 AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah, Kentucky, April 22-25, at the Paducah Expo Center.

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Marion church to host fund-raising dinner for prison ministry
Posted: March 17, 2015

In 1959, a gentleman named Bill Simmer entered the jail in Fairfax County to minister to the spiritual needs of those incarcerated there. He became their first chaplain and founder of the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. Today that organization has chaplains in 22 states and 22 foreign countries.

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Monday 03/16/2015
Northwood High School students get lessons on distracted driving dangers
Posted: March 16, 2015

Keeping kids as well as adults safe from the dangers of substance abuse and distracted driving is the mission of the Saltville H.O.P.E. Coalition, formed six years ago in response to the deaths of two teenagers.

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Smyth County supervisors asked to help fund Summit Center for VHCC, WCC
Posted: March 16, 2015

Virginia Highlands Community College’s vice president of institutional advancement asked Smyth County leaders for funds to move forward with a partnership between his school and Wytheville Community College.

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Police investigate apparent suicide at Rural Retreat Lake
Posted: March 16, 2015

An Elk Creek woman apparently hanged herself Sunday in the playground at Rural Retreat Lake, police said. The body of 43-year-old Beverly Brown Montgomery was discovered around 12:45 p.m.

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Extension Answers: How to use your soil sample report information
Posted: March 16, 2015

Taking a soil sample is a relatively easy task.

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Marion mourns the loss of Councilman Jim Owens
Posted: March 16, 2015

This morning, the town of Marion confirmed the death of Councilman Jim Owens. 

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March of Dimes supports Baby Basics Moms Club for Smyth, Washington counties
Posted: March 16, 2015

The March of Dimes Virginia Chapter is working to advance maternal and infant health in Smyth and Washington counties by supporting the Baby Basics Moms Club Program through a grant to Mount Rogers Health District.

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Sunday 03/15/2015
Chilhowie faces more water woes
Posted: March 15, 2015

Efforts to replace the Mill Creek Water Treatment Plant in Chilhowie have been accelerated due to problems at the current facility related to recent winter weather.

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Marion farmers market to hold organization meeting
Posted: March 15, 2015

“All area farmers, crafters, backyard growers, we want you!” That’s the message the Marion Regional Farmers Market is sending out. The town of Marion and Marion Downtown are accepting applications for the upcoming market season, which kicks off Saturday, May 2.

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Smyth County students honored by Royal Oak DAR chapter
Posted: March 15, 2015

Students and their family members, school officials and special guests gathered Wednesday afternoon at Royal Oak Presbyterian Church in Marion for an annual awards presentation. Students were being honored by the Royal Oak Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for their winning entries in the American History Essay Contest.

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Saturday 03/14/2015
Saltville looks at water pressure issue
Posted: March 14, 2015

Several residents of Sycamore Road in Saltville came to the town council meeting Tuesday night to express outrage over losing water pressure a month ago and what they said were no straight answers from the town or water company.

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Marion's Ice Plant Dam, Chilhowie bridge up for removal
Posted: March 14, 2015

On March 16 work will begin to remove the Marion Ice Plant Dam on the Middle Fork of the Holston River. The dam removal and the removal of a low-water bridge on the river later in the week in Chilhowie will remove barriers to fish passage and open up 15 miles of the river for wildlife and recreational use.

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Groseclose-based sea cadets corps undergoes inspection
Posted: March 14, 2015

Members of the 1st Virginia Battalion U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps underwent an annual inspection in February at their headquarters of Mountain Empire Airport in Groseclose.

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Friday 03/13/2015
Smyth County March of Dimes ambassador family shares story of two preemies
Posted: March 13, 2015

Jamie and Amanda Bradley were destined to be together. From childhood, their brief connection would grow into a love strong enough to envelop a family of five children and survive near tragedy in bringing the last two into the world.

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EXTENSION ANSWES: Coping with stress
Posted: March 13, 2015

All of us experience stress at times. It comes in many forms and is often characterized by symptoms of physical or emotional tension. Stress can be positive such as planning for a family vacation or negative like dealing with natural disasters. Stress can be beneficial by helping develop the skills needed to cope with and adapt to new and potentially threatening situations. Any benefits are lost, however, when it becomes severe enough to overwhelm one’s ability to take care of self and family. Symptoms of stress include tension and irritability, loss of appetite, anger, increased use of alcohol and drugs, feeling powerless, crying and problems sleeping. Learning healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life can help put problems in perspective and help symptoms of stress subside.

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