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County opens $9M judicial center

The new Westmoreland County Judicial Center — a facility that has been in the planning stages for 25...

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

Longtime educator takes over at W&L High School

When Dashan Turner was a boy growing up in a small town in Mississippi, one of his teachers told him...

Montross council productive July meeting

On July 22, Montross Town Council quickly took care of electing officers for the new fiscal year. R....

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Westmoreland County’s Parker Farms Supplies Produce to East Coast

Parker Farms, headquartered near Oak Grove with 2,000 acres of produce growing along the Rappahannoc...

“Bridge Closed” signs up on Rt 205

“Bridge Closed” signs were posted this week on State Route 205 in Westmoreland County as the Virgini...

14-year-old equipment endangering lives

Oak Grove VFD Chief Mike Gutridge recently advised that he is very concerned about the decaying cond...

 

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Search continues for missing man

Updated: 10:10 p.m., June 4

The body of Perry Smith was found at approximately 7 p.m. this evening. Read more here.

Updated: 4:46 p.m., June 4

There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Perry Smith.

Anyone with information about Smith’s whereabouts please contact the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Department at (804) 493-8066.

Smith, 54, is 5'8" and approximately 125 pounds with graying brown hair and a beard.

Smith’s truck and wallet were left behind and he hasn't been seen since Wednesday evening, according to neighbor and employer Barbara Camp.

Smith has worked for Stuart Camp Plumbing for approximately 34 years and he lives on the Camp’s property.

Colonial Beach Police and the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office began a search of the Camp’s 6-acre property on Buena Vista Drive last night, but it was called off because of the storm.

Law enforcement resumed the search this morning and expanded the search radius.

CBVRS, CBVFD, Virginia Marine Resources, CBPD, Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Northern Neck Jail all are participating in the search. The Department of Corrections brought out two bloodhounds. NCIS performed flyovers this morning, hoping to spot Smith.

Nothing was found today, according to the sheriff's office. The search will continue tomorrow with the boats.

— Kathy Flanagan and Leslie Kompara

O’Gara files site plan for new driving course

Westmoreland County Zoning Administrator Robert Fink told The Journal this Tuesday morning that he is reviewing site plan material associated with O’Gara Group’s development of the Westmoreland-based tactical training facility’s driving course.
“O’Gara applied for a new phase [of development] a couple weeks ago,” Fink said. “The car control training course is on the same property as the shooting range and classrooms. The [site plan] material came in over a week ago, the county commented, and now we are waiting for more information to come in.”

Read more: O’Gara files site plan for new driving course

Unpermitted punk rock fest leaves neighbor discontent

The Journal missed what web postings suggest may have been the biggest event of the year in rural Westmoreland County. The annual Tri-State Punk Fest apparently came to 4618 Leedstown Road and as many as 27 punk rock bands delivered three days of live music performances in what a neighbor thinks was a clearing Northern Neck ATV Park operator and owner Frank Iannarelli created in a wooded area near the mud-bog tracks.

G.W. Fisher said the music rattled his family’s china right off the cupboard shelves and was louder and bigger than the previously held live music event. He said the lyrics were filled with the worst kinds of obscenities and were offensive to his own Christian standards.

Read more: Unpermitted punk rock fest leaves neighbor discontent

Northern Neck Sears Hometown Stores now open Sundays

Sears of Kilmarnock and Sears of Tappahannock are now openon Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

“A driving factor behind this decision is that a good number of people in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula have relied upon and trusted the Sears, Craftsman and Kenmore names for decades,” owner Kyle Hodges said. “We wanted to make our products and services available to those folks for their Sunday projects around the home and yard.”

Both the Kilmarnock and Tappahannock Sears Hometown stores are locally owned and operated by Carol and Kyle Hodges. The Hodges are family-oriented and have deep social and religious ties to the community.Through the efforts of the Hodges and their dedicated teams, both of these Sears Hometown stores strive to adhere to, if not exceed the customer satisfaction standards established by Sears of Chicago back in 1886.

Sears Hometown Stores is a unique retailing concept thatcombines the feel and exceptional customer service of a small community store with the wide assortment of tools, appliances, electronics and lawn &garden merchandise offered by larger Sears stores. This unique format allows customers in small communities to have access to the great products and brands usually only found in Sears stores in large metropolitan areas.

Sears of Kilmarnock is located in the Lancaster Square Center next door to the Food Lion and can be reached at (804) 435-0920. Sears of Tappahannock is located in the Essex Square Shopping Center next door to Bella’s Pizza and a few doors down from the movie theaters and can be reached at (804) 445-8181.

In addition to the Sunday hours, both stores are open Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m

 

 

County will schedule meeting with judges to review new judicial center options

The meeting the Westmoreland Supervisors previously scheduled for last Wednesday with state lawmakers Pollard and Stuart and the local government’s consulting architect had to be canceled earlier last week.

According to the official notice issued by County Administrator Norm Risavi, the special meeting was canceled “due to a change in Senator Stuart’s schedule.”

On May 10 the supervisors met with Virginia Department of Transportation representatives who confirmed that state funding for road improvement projects has been substantially reduced and that it remains unlikely that more funding will be made available in next few years.

The supervisors envisioned the meeting with Delegate Albert Pollard and Senator Richard Stuart as an opportunity to express frustrations and ask that a new funding stream be identified or created in order to offset existing revenue shortfalls.

On June 1, County Administrator Norm Risavi disclosed no plans to reschedule the May 26 special meeting. Risavi instead addressed the second topic on the canceled meeting’s agenda that concerned construction of a new judicial complex in Westmoreland.

As long ago as July 2006 the discussions began concerning the commissioning of a county government, courts and law enforcement space needs assessment. The county’s space needs considerations took on a tone of greater urgency when Judge Harry Taliaferro requested in October 2009 that the county provide the courts with a new judicial center.

According to Judge Taliaferro, the George D. English Building’s judicial facilities are unable to fulfill contemporary security requirements and the housing of court records in the county’s old courthouse creates other kinds of logistical difficulties. The Westmoreland supervisors were put on notice that the time has come to construct a new judicial center.

County Administrator Risavi told The Journal he is currently attempting to schedule a meeting with all the judges that is mutually convenient. The judges and members of the county government will meet with the consulting architect from dBF Associates for the purpose of reviewing the options and contributing input to preliminary design considerations.

“The problem is, it’s difficult to schedule a time to meet,” Risavi said. “All the judges need to be present.”

He noted that the courts’ English Building facilities were never intended to be used as a judicial center.

Risavi additionally acknowledged the English Building’s age and said neighboring jurisdictions judicial centers are much newer than the facilities the courts use in Westmoreland.

Information associated with projected costs of possible construction options has not yet been released. The supervisors’ next regularly scheduled meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on June 14 in A.T. Johnson auditorium.

— Betsy Ficklin

O’Gara Group files site plan for development of new driving course

Westmoreland County Zoning Administrator Robert Fink told The Journal this Tuesday morning that he is reviewing site plan material associated with O’Gara Group’s development of the Westmoreland-based tactical training facility’s driving course.
“O’Gara applied for a new phase [of development] a couple weeks ago,” Fink said. “The car control training course is on the same property as the shooting range and classrooms. The [site plan] material came in over a week ago, the county commented, and now we are waiting for more information to come in.”
As far as Fink is concerned, the O’Gara driving course site plan material passes as a complete filing and the county’s administrative review of the material must be completed within 90 days of that filing date.
“I have deemed it complete,” Fink said. “It’s essential complete,” but the zoning administrator has asked for additional information to clarify considerations that may need further embellish-ment.
The Journal explored the timeline during the June 1 interview. The 90-day review period would end in August and O’Gara would be positioned to begin its new phase of construction activity before the summer season’s ending.
“It won’t necessarily take that long,” Fink said of the review period specified by Virginia statute. He advised that the site plan conforms to O’Gara Group’s previously stated development inten-tions.
Reviewing the material assembled in the Land Use office, Fink estimated the driver training course’s length as approximately 3,300 linear feet, “not including the return route.”
He explained that the driving course is sited “in the general vicinity of the shooting ranges and is fairly close to the dummy grenades range. It is located where [the former Bryan Chandler prop-erty’s] fields used to run, and some of it will be in the woods.”

Read more: O’Gara Group files site plan for development of new driving course

Special meeting will focus on funding

The Circuit Court judge wants a new judicial center. The school division says it needs a new high school. Westmoreland subdivision residents want pavement on dusty dirt roads, and drivers throughout the county are worried about potholes that still haven’t been fixed.
The Westmoreland supervisors wonder where the money will come from in a time when new or higher taxes would impose an unwanted burden on residents who are already financially stressed.
These are themes that are likely to become discussion topics when the Westmoreland supervisors convene a special session at 6 p.m. this Wednesday evening in the A.T. Johnson auditorium.

Read more: Special meeting will focus on funding

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