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Local News

  • Motion granted

    A Bedford County man may appear before a Bedford County Circuit Court Jury for as many as seven separate trials, following a motion to have separate trials on the 12 felony charges he is facing.

    Keith Lee Dotson of Otterhill Road, was charged in February with 12 felony sex offenses involving two girls under the age of 13. Dotson faces four counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of aggravated sexual battery and five counts of inanimate object sexual penetration.

  • Boxley quarry yields two-ton stromatolite

    It looks a bit like a flying saucer, but it has nothing to do with outer space. It's a stromatolite and it came out of the Boxley Quarry located off U. S. 460 right on the western edge of Bedford County.

    What's a stromatolite?

    Stromatolites are formed by mats of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. These microbes have chlorophyll and produce oxygen via as a byproduct of photosynthesis. They also secrete carbonate minerals which, mixed with any sediment that gets mixed up with the bacterial mat, form layers of stone.

  • Long overdue

    A Navy Squadron recently received a presidential unit citation for service in a combat zone — in Vietnam.

    Most units that receive citation are so honored shortly after leaving combat. Robert Gross, a Big Island resident, believes three factors contributed to his unit's delay.

  • Concerts slated for Lake area

    Last year, the board of supervisors rezoned land in Moneta to clear the way for a a proposed amphitheater. Although construction has not yet started, people looking for the quality entertainment that the amphitheater's developer has promised to bring to the area will have something this summer. The developer, Sweetwater Entertainment Group, will bring seven concerts to the Smith Mountain Lake area in August.

  • FEMA study may be in error

    A recent study by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), that moved a thousand parcels to a higher flood risk zone, may have been in error.

  • VDGIF urges safety on the Lake

    Local law enforcement officials are hoping boaters at Smith Mountain Lake will play it safe this summer.

    At least for the July 4th weekend, that seems to be happening.

    Only two boating mishaps were reported by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries over the weekend ? one occurred just after a boating safety event was held for local media representatives and the second in the early morning hours Monday.

    "The weekend was very safe," noted Lt. Tony Fisher of VDGIF. "It was a very safe (weekend) as far as boat wrecks go."

  • Overcoming difficulties

    Rachel Farren Short and Mike Short want to set the record straight.

    Rachel Short is Travis Campbell Farren’s mother and Mike Short is his step-father. The couple said that jumping from an Appalachian Trail foot bridge had nothing to do with Farren’s drowning in the James River last month.

    Travis Farren was not one to complain about his problems. One problem he didn’t complain about was that he suffered from epilepsy. Friends knew it, but it wasn’t something he talked about.

  • Bedford County Sheriff's Office cuts ties with O'Neal

    The relationship between Shaquille O'Neal and the Bedford County Sheriff's Office has been severed as the result of a rap with obscene lyrics that O'Neal performed. The rap was performed in a New York City nightclub and has made its rounds on Internet video sites.

    O'Neal has been a reserve deputy for the Sheriff's Office for several years and made public service announcements for the federal Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program. Brown said he was ICAC's first celebrity endorsement and that he also recruited other celebrities, including Miss America to get involved.

  • Sex ed material included in 5th grade hygiene packets

    The school division got an unpleasant surprise in the personal hygiene packets sent home with fifth graders at Otter River Elementary at the end of the school year, according to Ryan Edwards, Bedford County Public Schools' spokesman.

  • Chamber holds town hall meeting

    The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce held it's first town hall meeting over lunch at Liberty Lake Park last week.

    Bedford Mayor Skip Tharp said that the number one issue for the city right now are talks with the county on the city's reversion to town status. He said that the talks are making positive progress and although residents of the town will get both a town and a county tax bill, he hopes that the combined total will be less than they now pay.

    "Nobody has any secret agendas," he said.