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Features

  • By John Barnhart

    Staff Writer

    johnbarnhart@bedfordbulletin.com

        George Nester, Bedford County’s director of community development, is leaving for Halifax County. He takes over as that county’s administrator next month.

        Nester worked as town manager of Vinton for seven years and also as city manager of Covington. He was Franklin County’s county administrator for eight years before taking up his current job in Bedford County.

  • For Johnny Martin, serving as a marshal during the Advance Auto Parts Blue Ridge Brawl Elite series tournament last week was an experience he’ll never forget.

        “It’s like an on the water classroom experience,” Martin said. “It’s the best $100 I’ve ever spent.”

  • When Craig Amo first opened Cup-a-Joe at the end of 2005, he did so knowing that Bedford was still suffering withdrawal symptoms from the closing of R-U-Up, a popular coffee shop. R-U-UP closed in May of that year.

  • The Blue Ridge Garden Club held a potting party last week. This, however, wasn’t something Sheriff Brown was worried about. It was perfectly legal.

        The club decided to celebrate its 80th anniversary with a new approach to the annual spring fundraiser. Part of this is to sell container gardens. The potting party was a gathering of club members to create these gardens. They come in various sizes, each in a ceramic container, and the club’s master gardener members helped design them. No two are alike.

  • A group of professionals will join together, donating their services for a pilot program to help cancer patients. It’s called A Path to Healing, and the progam starts on April 20.

  • Back in October, 1942, a young man from Brooklyn named Angelo Basile, received a written invitation from the U. S. Army to personally participate in World War II.

        Basile ended up in the 80th Infantry Division, nicknamed “Blue Ridge Division.” Its division patch, which Basile wore on his dress uniform, featured three bluish mountains. Today, he lives among those mountains. He and his wife, Mary, reside with their son, Philip, on the Bedford County side of Smith Mountain Lake.

  • ne of Bedford County’s premier historic jewels, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, opens for a new season today. Governor Tim Kaine will be on hand for this year’s event.

        Long before he became our third president, Thomas Jefferson became governor of Virginia, serving as its first governor after the Old Dominion joined 12 other colonies in declaring their independence from Great Britain. The state house where Virginia’s General Assembly still meets today was designed by Jefferson.

  • For Kevin and Phyllis Dellis, last week marked a new beginning.

        In the early morning hours of this past Christmas Eve, Phyllis woke up to find flames in the home. “I didn’t smell any smoke,” she said. “It was foggy...The good Lord woke me up.”

  •     Although all county elementary schools participated in the Young Authors contest, Body Camp Elementary did something different.

        Brenda Dooley, the school’s reading coach, found a company that offered a kit that allowed winning stories to be turned into a bound book. Dooley took the children’s manuscripts and typed them leaving room for artwork. The children then drew pictures to illustrate their books. This took a good bit of time, but Dooley feels it was worth it and hopes to do it again next year.

  •     Two old friends have joined up to bring a new food experience to Smith Mountain Lake.

        Benjamin McGehee and Matt White, owner of Mariner’s Landing, have been friends for 30 years, ever since they played Little League baseball together. When White needed somebody to take over the food service at The Pointe at Mariner’s Landing, he thought of McGehee. McGehee started Benjamin’s Great Cows and Crabs in Forest several years ago.

        “His reputation precedes him,” White commented.

  • If Frank Lewis missed work, people knew that something was wrong. He retired from Golden West Foods, owned by Brooks Food Group, last month after 49 years. He had perfect attendance for 45 of those years.

  •     People looking for a historic experience in Bedford now have a new opportunity.

        The Loft on Lawyers Row opened for business last month, taking it’s first guests on Valentine’s Day weekend.

  • It’s been a successful year for The Electric Company.

        The business, located on Depot Street, takes it’s name from the fact that it occupies the building that formerly housed the city’s electric department. Patti Siehien and Al DeWeese purchased the old building in the autumn of 2007, after the electric department moved to new quarters. They opened for business on Jan. 8, 2008.

  • Naturally, when we face economically trying times, the social safety nets become ever more important.

        With people losing jobs and companies cutting back on hours and benefits, obtaining health care becomes more of a concern.  Oftentimes, illness or injury can be the straw that breaks a family’s financial back.

        That’s where places such as the Bedford Christian Free Clinic (BCFC) and the Free Clinic of Central Virginia (FCCV) can offer help.

  • Dee Duffy knows Stump, the winner of this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, well. She’s one of his breeders.

        The Montvale resident was in Indiana on Dec. 1, 1998, when Stump was born and she watched with tears in her eyes Feb. 10 as the Sussex Spaniel was named “Best in Show” at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, outclassing some 2,500 other champion dogs for the title.

  • Tomorrow, Feb. 12 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. This year also marks the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” in which he set forth his theory of evolution. To mark these dual anniversaries, Answers in Genesis is sponsoring two free national conferences to provide a biblical, science-based response to Darwin’s theory.

        The conferences are called “Answers for Darwin” and one will be held at Thomas Road Baptist Church, in Lynchburg, from Feb. 15 through 17.

  • Goode’s Country Kitchen closed its doors for the last time Sunday.

        The restaurant has stood on U. S. 460, on the eastbound lane just east of Bedford, since 1981 when Betty and Norris Goode acquired the shell of a building and turned it into Bedford County’s first country buffet. It finally closed, a victim of steeply rising food prices and the passage of time.

  • The world of professional music can be just as competitive as any sporting event.

        Just ask Michael Inge.

        The former Bedford resident makes a living creating music in Nashville, Tenn., and is now one of two finalists in the Duke’s Mayonnaise jingle contest.  And the fact is, his hometown can help him win that contest.

  • About 2 million people were on hand for President Barack Obama’s inauguration, but  only saw him on a TV screen. Cory Watkins, of Bedford, saw President Obama from about 20 feet away.

        Watkins, a 2006 Liberty High School graduate, is a member of the Hampton University Marching Force, the university’s marching band. The junior, majoring in business management and  minoring in Spanish, plays clarinet, the instrument he took up in sixth grade.

  • LaCarol Wynne wasn’t about to miss the inauguration of President Barack Obama last Tuesday so Monday afternoon she and two others set out from Bedford for Washington D.C.

        “It was so overwhelming,” she said of the event, which drew an estimated crowd of at close to 2 million people. “We didn’t get any sleep, but it was worth it.”