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Today's News

  • 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."

  • Summer's bummers: beach bummers

    While Mike and I were sitting on our balcony at Virginia Beach last week, watching the breakers and some really poorly-played volleyball, it occurred to me that time spent at the ocean brings a bumper crop o’ bummers. Since Mike was all sad about the less-than-impressive response to my plea for guest writers, once again, I am rescuing him (and me) from the resultant bad mood. Please, PLEASE help me!

  • Wanted: rec league umpires

    Wondering how you might be able to stay connected to a sport you love beyond lying on the couch while watching Baseball Night on ESPN? Feel you’re not quite ready to go all-in for beer-league softball?

    Perhaps umpiring is the ticket.

    “I would like to have more umpires,” stated Harry “H Tee” Thompson, who is in charge of athletic programming for Bedford City Parks and Recreation. “You cannot have too many of them.”

  • Commentary: Food fight

    Let’s suppose you’re a farmer, if you already aren’t.

    Let’s further suppose that you are having difficulty getting water for your farm. Because the creek that ran past your land was diverted or the water table dropped, you are not able to get that precious H2O anymore. Trucking it in is cost prohibitive.

    You are reduced to watching helplessly as your crops wither in the fields. Even your livestock are threatened.

  • Commentary: I'm not catching Olympic fever

    Are you having as hard a time getting excited about the upcoming summer Olympics as I am? What’s worse, I doubt that when the games kick off on August 8, I will have shed my cloak of disinterest.

    If you’re in the same boat as I am, I’d like to share with you the three reasons for my Olympic-sized doldrums.

    First, there is no villain here to root against. Many of you recall the good old days of cheering against the Russians or, as they were known back then, the Soviets.

  • The Supreme Court's decision last week to uphold an individual's right to bear arms should cause those pushing for gun control to refocus their efforts

    Those who hold the sanctity of one's right to bear arms can breath a sigh of relief after last week's ruling by the United States Supreme Court affirming that right.

    The 5-4 decision struck down a ban of handguns in the District of Columbia. If there was any troubling aspect to the ruling, it was that the vote was so close. One vote made all the difference. That shows how important those justice appointments by the President of the United States are.

  • Letters

    Shaquille O'Neal will lose his special deputy's badge in Maricopa County because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant.

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center's use of racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in January and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse earlier this month.

  • Striving for energy independence

    As we approach the height of the summer travel season, families must factor in a much higher cost for gasoline. It is becoming evident that many families are being forced to either cancel their summer travel plans or at the very least limit much of their activity to an area closer to home. With every passing day, as gasoline surpasses $4 a gallon, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil grows more and more apparent.

  • House passes expanded G. I. Bill

    By an overwhelming, bipartisan margin, the U. S. House of Representatives has passed an expanded G. I. Bill, and this version does not include any tax increases. The bill passed 416-to-12; I voted for the measure.

  • Preserving Virginia's historical and natural landmarks

    One of my highest priorities in the Senate is to preserve Virginia’s abundant natural, historical, and cultural resources. As we approach the height of the summer travel season, I am pleased to report that we have enjoyed several significant accomplishments.