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Response to Sheriff's election comment
If Sheriff Brown is so disturbed by Mr. Green's negative race, then I personally would like for him to write an editorial explaining where Mr. Green and his supporters are wrong.
He should be sure to explain how the deputies were falsely criticized. I thought the letters were very accurate. They caused him to give out more signs each week, but caused me to hear more complaints about him and his office every day.
As for the Internet crimes against children task force, named Blue Ridge Thunder by Brown, he should be sure and give a complete history on this. Such as who used it before he became Sheriff, the number of people arrested from 2000 thru 2006, how many were from Bedford County, and how many were from other counties and states. It would be good to give the counties cost for prosecuting and incarcerating these that he brought into Bedford County. He should be sure to mention the number of homes raided without justification and the treatment and insults the residents received from his deputies that were involved.
It would be a good time to explain why he never attended the news conference concerning the A.J. Nuckols family. Don't forget to mention how the millions of dollars were spent from the federal grants.
Sheriff Brown states that he will continue to bring celebrities in to promote Blue Ridge Thunder. Let's look at his choices: Shaquille O'Neal comes in and helps make a botched raid and then disappears, as well as Sheriff Brown, and then doesn't remember participating. The drug problems Shaq was supposed to quell have gotten worse.
Another choice, Erik Estrada, who, according to Sheriff Brown, parents pay attention to him. I would like for Sheriff Brown to share Mr. Estrada's past activities with the parents and then take a new poll.
Miss USA, who was on TV before millions, with most of her clothes off, came to Bedford to teach teenage girls how to avoid sexual predators. You try and figure that one out.
As for the Sheriff's budget being gone over with a fine tooth comb, why not let the county residents see exactly how the money was spent. A fine tooth comb needs the expenditures itemized.
The election wasn't won or lost because of negative campaigning, but because the media presents Sheriff Brown as something he is not. Rarely is he represented as a publicity seeker and big spender that he is, along with poor service to the county. Also, why he has some Gestapo type deputies, and covers up things that shouldn't be covered up.
If Sheriff Brown will respond to this editorial accurately, I, as well as the citizens of Bedford County, would appreciate it.
Billy T. Hackworth
Took pride in victory
Another election year is over and the winners have been selected.
Of all the candidates that I have managed, for over 28 years now, I took special pride in my good friend Sheriff Brown's re-election bid. Four times he has ran for this office and four times he has met the challenge.
This election was no different from most others. Nasty insinuations and half truths galore. The Sheriff kept the high ground and winners always do that. Instead of firing back when being attacked, he continued to thank his deputies for the great job they always do for him and the citizens. A class act that we don't get to see much of these days.
Although he more than doubled the vote of the next competitor, he thanked him for a job well done. After winning 28 of 31 precincts over that candidate and 29 of 31 over the other, he met with his volunteers and congratulated them for their hard work. I guess that's why all the celebrities, that seem to upset a couple dozen people, travel here to see Sheriff Brown. He and his deputies have advanced the art of law enforcement in so many ways that it's the envy of departments nationwide. He brings new meaning to the phrase "star of the south."
I'd like to thank all the citizens who let us into their communities and homes during the last four years. The input and advice can only make your sheriffs department even more efficient and strong in the years to come. Your letters of support have always focused on the issues and your appreciation for Sheriff Brown and his deputies. Never demeaning a candidate in order to make another look better. I admire all of you for staying on the high road right long with the Sheriff.
My heartfelt thanks to Sheriff Brown for that commitment to excellence that isn't just a phrase to him. The county will always be grateful. And a big thanks to Janet Brown who I've had the pleasure of traveling with from one end of this county to the other. She kept the Sheriff on time for many events and presented herself as one of Bedford's grandest first ladies.
Looking forward to four more years of excellence.
Re-elect Brown Committee
Generosity appreciated; needs exist
Because of the generosity of residents of Bedford City and County with time, donations and money, the Bedford Community Christmas Station had an outstanding first year ? helping over 300 Bedford City and County families.
We realize that as the holidays arrive, we all become busier and hope that you will make time to help the Christmas Station this year. Volunteers are needed to organize clothes, food, toys, coats and household goods before shopping can begin. Volunteers are also needed on the shopping days Dec. 6, 7 and 8 to assist shoppers and load vehicles.
The Christmas Station is still in need of food, children?s clothes and toys. The Christmas Station hopes to help nearly 1,000 of our neighbors celebrate Christmas this year ? but we need you to make this dream a reality. Those interested in helping may call Karen Hughes at (540) 587-8990, Ext. 101.
Bedford Community Christmas Station
Disgusted by actions
I am so disgusted with the actions taken by the Republican party these days.
At the first district's convention in Caroline County, Robert Wittman was selected as the Republican nominee to fill the seat recently vacated by the death of Jo Ann Davis.
I can only ask, "Where has the intelligence of the Republican party gone? Where has common sense and 'conservatism' that once prevailed in the republican party gone?"
I am thankful to Jo Ann Davis that, prior to her sad passing, she co-sponsored Rep Virgil Goode's (R-5th) - House Concurrent Resolution 40 to express the sense of Congress that the United States should not build a North American Free Trade (NAFTA) Super Highway System, nor enter an agreement with Mexico and Canada to form a North American Union (NAU).
Members of the first district Republican convention should have selected Dick Black. Dick is an experienced former VA Delegate, with a good conservative voting record in striving to keep our taxes low, and he would support Goode's HCR 40. I doubt that Robert Wittman even knows all of the detriments that a NAFTA Super Highway System and NAU, can bring to our once great Constitutional Republic.
I can only say, "It is past time to wake up America! Think, when you go to the polls on election days. If you don't you are going to wake up one day and find that you are living in a 'Police State,' with a loss of our national sovereignty and no longer in the 'land of the free and home of the brave'."
My-oh-my how much I can see the need in November 2008, to put Ron Paul in the White House, and a whole bunch of solidly constitution minded third party candidates in the US Congress.
Selling it cheap
They want to sell the First National Bank Corporation, FNB, in Christiansburg to the Culpepper-based Virginia Financial Group, VFGI, and they want to sell it cheap.
The ?THEY? are nine of the 12 directors and the current FNB President William Heath, Jr. Under the proposed sale FNB shareholders will receive 1.58 shares of VFGI stock for each share of FNB stock, equivalent to $26.85 per FNB share. FNB stock was selling for over $43 on the NASDAQ nine months ago. FNB Corp wants its shareholders to sell their bank with over $1.5 billion in assets for roughly $240 million.
A group of concerned shareholders, former FNB executives, and the three FNB directors that did not vote for the sale formed the FNB Corporation Shareholders Committee to oppose the sale and return the FNB to the community bank it has always been. The committee has been labeled ?dissidents? by the FNB Corp management.
In September FNB Corp and Virginia Financial Group filed a Registration Statement, or Form S-4, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Even though the S-4 calls the sale ?a sale,? FNB Corp management does not use this term but has coined the phrase ?merger of equals.? Under the sale scenario FNB would go away and be replaced by a new bank with a yet-to-be-determined new name. FNB signs will come down and everything that customers have come to know and trust about FNB for over 100 years will be gone.
Since no self-respecting director would vote himself out of a job, the new bank, with its Corporate Board in Charlottesville, will have 24 directors: 12 from the former FNB and 12 from VFGI. Seems like a lot of directors considering General Motors somehow manages to run its corporation with only 13. I guess this is what they mean by ?a merger of equals.?
As the current president of FNB Corp Mr. Heath presumably goes to work every day and manages the bank. As per the S-4 filing he is now paid $286,650 per year. Under the sale scenario he becomes Chairman of the Corporate Board in Charlottesville. He will attend monthly board meetings and get paid $325,000 a year, a 35 percent salary incentive, an automobile allowance, and a country club membership. He definitely supports the sale.
The community? ?Devastating ? If we can believe Mr. O.R. Barham, Jr., the current president of Virginal Financial Group and slated to be president of the new bank. In a July 30, 2007, article in the American Banker, Mr. Barham believes that ?the future is in new markets,? specifically in the Charlottesville - Richmond ? Virginia Beach corridor and into North Carolina. He states that he ? plans to use FNB?s deposit base to fund loans in higher growth markets in the state.? He is going to take FNB deposits out of our community to fund loans from the Piedmont to the Tidewater. The good news is that Mr. Barham will still let us make deposits into his new bank.
The employees? Current FNB employees might need to worry about their jobs. Combining two businesses always results in the elimination of duplicate functions. The S-4 filing says that corporate management will be located in Charlottesville while bank operations will remain in Christiansburg. It has been my experience that geography and distance matter. If all the banking action is going to be from Charlottesville to the east, how long will the new bank keep the operations center a 2 and 1/2 hour drive to the west?
I hope the shareholders do not vote to sell the bank for a lowball $27 a share, and I don?t think they will. But what is the bank really worth, and what would be a serious offer that the shareholders should consider?
The financial adviser hired by the FNB board, Davenport & Co, LLC, made a presentation in February 2007 that recommended against the sale and that FNB should receive $58 per share as opposed to the $27 now offered. The FNB Shareholders Committee engaged Dr. Vittorio Bonomo, nationally known finance professor from VA Tech, to do an independent analysis. He reported that a fair price would be about 2.7 times book value, or $65.34 per share.
In an October 12 American Banker article, the Carson Medlin Co. of Raleigh, NC said, ?FNB is a premium franchise. It has almost 30 offices, $1.5 billion, and is 100 years old. That is a trophy franchise?[these] don?t come along very often?the owners deserve a high premium for the company.?
Well, I don?t know what FNB is worth, but I do know this. In 1984, Central Fidelity Bank of Richmond purchased the Bank of Christiansburg and exchanged 6.25 shares of Central Fidelity stock for each share of Bank of Christiansburg stock. The Bank of Christiansburg was established in 1888 and had three offices at the time of the sale. I was a stockholder and hated to see the bank go, but I voted for it because it was a deal that we just could not turn down. I figured I traded a Chevrolet for 6.25 Cadillacs. Now FNB Corp wants me to trade a Cadillac for 1.58 Chevrolets.
No, I don?t think so.
F. Spencer Hall