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Local News

  • Teacher pay raises dominate budget discussions

    Teacher salaries have taken center stage of early budget discussions by the Bedford County School Board.

    Last Friday board members took a look at several scenarios in which they could increase salaries in an effort to make the county's pay scale more competitive with surrounding districts. A study conducted by school staff shows that currently Bedford County pays about 5.3 percent less on average than the surrounding jurisdictions. The county ranks near the bottom of the pay scale in comparison with surrounding districts.

  • Stu Tinney to speak at Smith Mountain Striper Club

    One of the 100 Living Legends of American Sport Fishing is coming to the area for a visit.

  • Fire department holds annual banquet

    The Bedford Volunteer Fire Department gave itself a well-deserved pat on the back this past weekend as it held its annual awards banquet at the Bedford Welcome Center.

    Chief Russell Stevens gave his report for 2007 that included some significant statistics. The BVFD handled 898 calls over the course of the year that involved 10,000 man hours. The calls included 88 fires and 317 EMS runs.

    The chief also proudly pointed to the great amount of training that the members have undertaken in the past year to improve their proficiency.

  • A uniformed career

    Deputy Charles Quarles will end nearly half a century in uniform this month.

    Actually, his retirement from the Bedford County Sheriff's Office will be his second retirement from a uniformed career. He wore green in his first.

    Quarles is a Bedford County native who grew up in the Bunker Hill area of Bedford County. It's land that has belonged to his family ever since his great-grandfather, Jeff Quarles, a newly freed slave purchased the land in the summer of 1865.

  • Former SRHS teacher arrested

    A former Staunton River High School teacher was arrested last week and charged with three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent liberties with a minor.

    The incidents that led to the charges allegedly occurred in the fall of 2005 on school grounds, according to Major Ricky Gardner of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. Gardner said after a lengthy investigation, David Allen Cherry, 38, 1324 Oak Lawn Drive, Forest, was arrested on Jan. 8 on the charges.

  • Higher teacher pay among requests during school budget hearing

    The public got its first chance Thursday to speak officially to the Bedford County School Board about the 2008-2009 budget and one theme stood out: Pay the teachers.

    "Retaining our teachers is key," noted Vanessa Gable, who has two students in the school system, on the need to pay teachers better in the county. As the Bedford County Education Association has already asked, Gable suggested a commitment by the school board to 5 percent raises for teachers each of the next three years.

  • Housing for migrant workers proposed

    May Brothers, a Bedford County contractor, wants to build seven townhouse units on Hooper Road. The proposed housing units would be located next to the contractor's shop on Hooper Road and provide housing for the company's seasonal laborers.

    According to David St. John, president of May Brothers, the company hires seasonal laborers who work for the company from March through December doing primarily construction labor.

    "We hire hire about 20 seasonal employees," he said.

    The workers come from Mexico and St. John said that they are here legally on work visas.

  • Virginia Agriculture Census available online

    Virginia farmers are being urged by state officials to complete a special Census of Agriculture by a Feb. 4 deadline ? and now farmers can speed up the process by filing census forms online.

    The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years by the USDA?s National Agricultural Statistics Service and provides an accurate count of operating farms in the U.S., as well as production characteristics and income of the farms.

  • What to do as fertilizer prices rise?

    All predictions are in that the cost of commercial fertilizer for spring application will be higher than last year.

    Even as the farmer?s profit margin is squeezed tighter between rising fuel and fertilizer costs and falling cattle prices, the farmer cannot neglect soil fertility. As the saying goes, ?you can?t rob Peter to pay Paul.?

  • Students square off in ACE

    Do you know, to the nearest integer, what is the base 6 log of 8,000, given that 6 cubed is 216?

    Josh Levinson does. He's a member of the Forest ACE team and his knowing the answer (it's 5) helped his squad.

    Welcome to the world of ACE (Academic Competition for Excellence), a world of tough questions and fast timers. It is a world where a high intellect will get you in the door, but you'd best be quick on your feet if you want to take the prize.