Local News

  • County man represents Virginia in national truck driving competition

    By John Barnhart

    Staff Writer


    A Bedford County man is headed for the American Trucking Association’s National Truck Driving Championships in Houston, Texas. The championship takes place from Aug. 19-23.

    Robbie Cottrell, a Bedford County resident, has been a professional truck driver for 22 years, most of that for Con-way Freight. He works out of Con-way’s freight center in Roanoke, off Peters Creek Road next to the interchange with I-581.

  • Quilt show bightens library

    The Peaks and Pieces Quilt Guild has decked out the Bedford Central Library with scores of brightly colored, hand-made quilts, some of them even hand-stitched. This is part of their annual quilt show, which runs until July 22.

    One of the features of the show is a raffle quilt. Visitors buy chances to win this quilt and proceeds are distributed to area non-profits. This year’s beneficiaries will be Hospice House, the Bedford Christmas Station, Bedford Habitat for Humanity and Bedford Domestic Violence Services. Half of the proceds go to the liberay.

  • City planning commission appoints

    Bedford’s planning commission set up a committee, when it met Thursday night, to look at the sidewalk situation on Independence Boulevard.

    Steve Wandrei, an attorney representing Becky Stanley, who wants to build a beauty salon on Independence said that building a sidewalk in front of the property would be cost prohibitive. Wandrei, who spoke before the planning commission, said that it would cost $70,000 to do so.

  • USDA helps volunteer fire department

    Saunders Volunteer Fire Department members would have had to cook up a lot of chickens to pay the $226,000 that their new tank truck cost. Fortunately, county money and a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reduced the amount that they have to raise.

    The new truck, with a 3,000 gallon capacity replaces a 31-year-old truck with a capacity of a little more than two-thirds of that. What’s more, the old truck was worn out and could no longer be safely kept on the road.

  • Lowe's is now open

    Most places hold a ribbon cutting to mark their grand opening. Lowe’s has a board sawing.

    A local dignitary does the honors with a hand saw. Lowe’s helps out a bit. The board is already sawn nearly in two, so the dignitary only has to complete the process. Thursday morning, District 7 Supervisor Gary Lowry did the honors.

  • They can compete with Lowe's, say existing business owners

    The opening of the new Lowe’s store, last week, brings new competition to a number of existing Bedford area businesses. They say they can handle it.

  • Getting their hands dirty

    For 20-year-old Jed Mabry of Bedford, the past five weeks have been an opportunity for him to literally dig into history.

    Mabry, a history major at Liberty University, is excited to take back what he's learned from his time at the 20th annual Summer Field School in Historical Archaeology at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest.

    The nine students participating this year wrapped up their work July 4. While Mabry was local, the others came from all over the country, including the states of Virginia, Michigan, Oregon, Alabama, Ohio, Pennsylvania and


  • Lowe's opens its doors in Bedford

    By July 4, Bedford Lowe's manager Steve Pingley said the store was ready for business. On Monday, it opened its doors.

    "We could have opened last week," Pingley said of getting the store ready.

    The official grand opening of Lowe's of Bedford, located at 1820 E. Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, will be this Thursday, July 10. There will be a "Board Cutting" ceremony at 10 a.m. and shopping spree give-aways throughout the day.

  • Bedford man gambles himself to 90-day jail sentence

    James Keith Norman of Bedford, convicted last September for embezzling money to help pay for a gambling habit, was scheduled to appear in court for sentencing earlier this year.

    Norman, however, didn't appear for his court date and he was picked up in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March, and extradited back to Bedford County.

    Norman appeared in court last Tuesday, July 1, for his sentencing after what Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James Updike called "about as a severe a case of failure to appear" as he had ever seen.

  • City: Power outages on AEP side

    According to Bedford City Manager Charles Kolakowski, the cause of Monday's multiple power outages in Bedford has been tracked down.

    The city lost power numerous times during the late morning and early afternoon hours. The outages disrupted businesses, causing computer systems to go down multiple times.

    Kolakowski said that city electric department crews, working in cooperation with American Electric Power (AEP), traced the problem to control wires on circuit breakers at an AEP substation that feeds power to the city's power grid. AEP has fixed the problem.