Local News

  • Nester: New ordinance a work in progress

    Progress on a new zoning ordinance is underway.

        According to George Nester, the county’s director of community development, the planning commission is in the process of looking at a draft copy of the ordinance’s permitted use table. This is being done in a series of scheduled 5 p. m. work sessions open to the public.

  • YMCA hosts health fair

        Though it was cold, people still turned up at a health fair hosted by the Bedford Area YMCA earlier this month. Bedford Memorial Hospital provided most of the information tables.

  • Breaking: BCSO continues search for 13-year-old girl

        The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the disappearance of a 13 year old girl that was first called in late Tuesday afternoon.

  • Smyth eliminates seven positions

        Smyth has eliminated seven positions at its Bedford Plant. This brings its workforce down to 128 employees.

        “We are battling increased costs,” said Ben Witt, the plant’s general manager who said that the plant has also implemented some plant-wide short work weeks.

        Witt said that the plant is paying more for electricity, raw materials and fuel.

        “That’s what we are struggling against right now,” he said.

  • Taking care of the facilities

    Having saved close to $2 million from construction projects at Jefferson Forest and Staunton River high schools, the Bedford County School Board is hoping to use that leftover money to work on several smaller projects.

  • Student takes gun to school

    A Bedford Elementary School student was taken into custody Monday morning after a teacher discovered the student had a .45 caliber handgun in his backpack.

        The Bedford Police Department received the call about 10:15 a.m. When police arrived, the school administration had already confiscated the gun, according to Bedford Police Chief Jim Day.

  • Balancing the budget

    In a survey taken last week, employees of Bedford County Schools favored taking a 1 percent pay cut over layoffs.

        That option was favored by 51.6 percent of the close to 900 employees who responded to the survey. Less than 24 percent favored a 3 percent cut in order to save some positions.

  • State cuts hit more than schools

    Although the cut in state funds for schools is the largest single hit that the Bedford area will take, other areas will also see reductions.

        According to County Administrator Kathleen Guzi, Bedford County will get $300,000 less for constitutional officers and libraries. Constitutional officers include the sheriff, the clerk of the circuit court, the county treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue. Of these, the sheriff’s office will take the biggest reduction, a cut of $130,000 in state money.

  • Balancing the budget

    Bedford County School employees were being asked this week if they would be willing to take a pay cut, as opposed to having layoffs, to help the school system deal with a $4.9 million shortfall in next year's budget.

        The results of that survey will be used to help the school board make decisions about the 2009-2010 budget.

        The board met in a work session last week to discuss the budget and will meet again tomorrow. A proposed budget by School Superintendent Dr. James Blevins suggested cutting 80 positions next year.

  • Policy for school layoffs adopted

    With thoughts in mind of having to cut as many as 80 school positions, the county’s school board adopted a reduction in force (RIF) policy Thursday night. The plan was adopted unanimously.

        According to Dr. James Blevins, superintendent of schools, no positions have yet been identified for elimination. Once that has been decided, the RIF would provide the guidelines for determining what employees would be affected.