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If idle hands are the devil’s workshop then Old Scratch plainly faces an uphill battle at the Whites’ abode at Smith Mountain Lake. Mark White, 63, likes staying busy. After completing a host of other projects, he returned several months ago to building a steam-powered launch — the same family of boat that hosted star turns by Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in the 1951 movie classic “The African Queen.” George Blosser, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, described White’s project as “an engineering marvel.” He said he is not aware of any other steam launches at Smith Mountain Lake but said some North Carolina residents who have a steam launch have participated in the chapter’s boat shows. On June 4, White steamed a long, thin length of Atlantic white cedar so that he could bend it to his will for the “strip planking” construction of the watercraft, which will measure about 19 feet 8 inches from stern to bow. “Boats are very hard to build,” he said.
Blue Ridge Caucus
SHAWSVILLE - Entering the fall of 1943, Douglas Flick said, his only real objective was to complete his senior year in high school. Little did the 18-year-old from Pulaski know, the journey to reach that goal would include crossing the Atlantic, traveling along the front lines of the Second Great War and being wounded twice in an effort to help liberate Europe from Nazi control. It was a journey that resulted in Flick rising to the rank of corporal and being awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, one Bronze Star for helping fellow wounded soldiers, another for active combat and Battle Stars for the campaigns in the Ardennes, the Rhineland and Central Europe. Flick's daughter, Reva Flick, said she remembered sitting on her father's lap as a child and watching footage from the war as he scanned the scenes looking for himself and pointed out the places he'd been. Other than this faint memory, however, she said her father kept most of his service history to himself until more recently. In February the now 87-year-old Flick was thanked by France for his time as a member of the 317th infantry regiment of the 80th Division of the United States Army and was awarded the French Legion of Honor, class of Chevalier. The medal helped provide the former soldier with a venue to finally share publicly the story of the service he performed for his country during his early adulthood. "You can't possibly write all this down in an article," Flick said as he began. High school on hold Drafted in October of 1943, Flick immediately inquired about getting a possible deferment to finish high school. Flick had broken his right arm in the second grade, and he said his teacher decided his handwriting wasn't good enough for him to advance to the third grade and made him repeat the year.
Well-known area television meteorologist Jamey Singleton was ordered by a judge Monday to pay a $200 fine for causing a February wreck that sent three men to the hospital. Singleton, 34, of Rocky Mount pleaded not guilty in Bedford County District Court to misdemeanor reckless driving, according to online court records. The charge was amended to driving on the wrong side of the highway, an infraction, court records show. Police
For a discussion about the sad state of voter turnout, one need look no farther than Roanoke County and the statewide Democratic primary last Tuesday. Could it have been any more embarrassing? There are 67,189 voters in the county. How many turned out? A total of 619. That's not in any one precinct, mind you. That's across 32 precincts. The final vote total was 646 because 27 people voted absentee.
The Roanoke City Council voted Monday to hold off on awarding itself a large pay raise in order to discuss other salary options next month. Council members voted 5-2 to table the second reading of an ordinance that would have raised council members’ pay by 28.5 percent and the mayor’s pay by 15 percent. The ordinance establishing the raises had passed by a 4-3 vote June 3, a margin narrow
Electricity has been restored to all of Appalachian Power Co.'s customers in Southwest Virginia after Thursday's brief but brutal storm. The remaining 500 or so Roanoke County customers who had been without power since last week had their lights turned back on Monday evening, the utility company reported on its website. At its peak Thursday evening, as many as 69,000 Appalachian customers reported being without electricity in the region, including
A Christiansburg man was sentenced to nearly two and half years in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to assaulting two Montgomery County sheriff's deputies. Steven Patrick Gurnee, 32, was found guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court of two counts of felony assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, according to a news release issued by Montgomery County Commwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt. According to Pettitt, deputies went to a
>An Altavista police sergeant has been cleared of any potential criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of an 83-year-old woman who reportedly raised a loaded handgun in his direction last year. Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case, released his report Monday. In it, he wrote that Altavista police Sgt. L.P. Rigney's shooting of Delma Towler on Sept. 19 "was an act of justifiable
The Mexican restaurant Rancho Viejo is opening an eatery in downtown Roanoke. The restaurant will be located on the city market in the space where Horizon Bar and Grill closed last year. Rancho Viejo has restaurants in Roanoke County near Tanglewood Mall, Vinton, Daleville, Salem and Moneta. The company also owns several Rancho Viejo locations elsewhere in Virginia. Rancho Viejo will join two other Mexican restaurants downtown: Alejandro's and Queso
Roanoke solid waste workers will not pick up bulk items this week in order to pick up brush left behind after Thursday's storm. City crews will clean up brush and tree debris the next two weeks. Bulk pickup will resume the week of July 1. Trash and recycling pickup will continue as scheduled.
RICHMOND — Virginia is in a strong bargaining position to get the flexibility it wants if it opts to expand Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, the state's top health official said today. And the state has already made much progress reforming its Medicaid services on the lines that this year's budget compromise on expansion calls for, said the chairman of the legislative panel that
Salem police broke up a burglary in progress early Sunday morning but are still looking for two suspects, according to a news release. Salem officers arrived at a residence in the 10 block of McCauley Drive, just off East Main Street, at 5:12 a.m. Sunday, the release said. An occupant of the home was on the phone with dispatchers. Officers found a man and a juvenile female suspect at the
RICHMOND — Montgomery and Pulaski counties are among two dozen localities in Virginia getting state grants to place school resource officers in public schools. Gov. Bob McDonnell said today that the Criminal Justice Services Board approved the matching grants. The funding will help pay for school resources officers’ salaries and benefits. The officers will be placed in a total 42 elementary, middle and high schools that don’t currently have school
For the past six years, Methodist Moving Day meant nothing to the Rev. Gary Robbins’ congregation at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church. This year, it means the downtown Roanoke church will part with a pastor, a leader and a friend. “It’s hard to talk about without crying. It’s a very emotional time. We’re all going to miss him here,” said Debbie Brown, director of Greene Memorial’s program ministries. Each year,
A tractor-trailer crash on northbound Interstate 81 that caused delays near Salem this morning has been cleared as of 9:20 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation website. The crash took place at mile marker 135 in Roanoke County. A Virginia State Police dispatcher said two vehicles were involved. The dispatcher did not have any further information about the crash or potential injuries. Earlier this morning, traffic backups had
A water main break caused traffic delays Monday morning on westbound U.S. 460 in northeast Roanoke. The Western Virginia Water Authority confirmed that a water main break in the 1300 block of Orange Avenue, at 13th Street Northeast, closed one westbound lane in the wee hours of the morning. Bob Benninger, the authority’s director of water operations, said a pipe ruptured and undermined the pavement of the road. He said
Q. Whenever I watch a major college football game on TV, I always see at least one burly state trooper hovering around the coach following the game. (This does not seem to apply to smaller colleges, although their games usually aren’t televised, either.) Please tell me that my tax dollars aren’t being spent on security for these “million dollar babies.” Conversely, if these state troopers are moonlighting as private security
West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice made his fortune in coal and agriculture, and he is revered in his home state as the man who rescued the historic Greenbrier resort from bankruptcy. Worth an estimated $1.7 billion, Justice is a prominent member of the tiny West Virginia community of Lewisburg, keeping a modest home and finding time to coach basketball at the local high school. He ranks No. 292 on a
1988 (25 years ago) "Spurred by the need to increase nationwide marketing of the Roanoke Valley, The Regional Partnership of Roanoke Valley has almost tripled its budget for the upcoming year." "Clip-clop. Clip-clop. Clip-clop. Clip-clop. That's the sound of money pouring into the Roanoke Valley economy. Now in its 17th year, the Roanoke Valley Horse Show has grown to be one of the biggest income-producing events in the area, pumping
Roanoke City Council Regular session When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday Where: Council Chamber, fourth floor, Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, 215 Church Ave. S.W. On the agenda: 2 p.m. session will include the second reading on the council's pay increase; the 7 p.m. session includes a public hearing on a proposal to raze 3209 Southwood Manor Court and to rezone 619 Centre Ave. for a new Mincon office
If you ever have to crank out several thousand hot meals in short order, under emergency conditions, three things in particular might come in handy: A 53-foot long mobile kitchen An eager and dedicated staff Practice Those factors all came together over the weekend as 15 volunteers participated in the American Red Cross' Disaster Kitchen Training course. Sunday morning they climbed aboard the Red Cross' Spirit of America, a cooking
Three people were injured Saturday afternoon in a single-vehicle wreck on Interstate 81 in Montgomery County after the driver fell asleep at the wheel, according to state police. The crash, which occurred about 2:25 p.m., involved a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer traveling in the left southbound lane, according to Trooper Todd Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury said the Chevrolet lost control and ran off the road near mile marker 114.9. It came back across
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