The Courier-Record



I’m not sure more laws are needed to address Blackstone’s dog issue. Town Police currently have authority to write Dangerous Dog violations using the State Code. Those citations need to be written when applicable, and such dogs need to be placed at the County shelter until a Judge makes a ruling. People and animals are being bitten and yet no actions are being taken to make residents and pets safer.


Tickets, not warnings, need to be given when dogs (regardless of breed or size) leave their owner’s property without being walked on a leash. Blackstone is willing to hire an animal control officer, but the Town must be given access to the County shelter to make that endeavor worthwhile. The Town SHOULD NOT consider building its own animal shelter or even temporary holding area. The state has tough regulations concerning those accommodations. Nottoway needs to expedite its new animal shelter and, meanwhile, ship-out or euthanize those dogs that have not been claimed within the State’s required 10 days. That’s the unfortunate truth.

If Council does adopt another ordinance, it should be formally titled, The Blackstone Dangerous Dog & Derelict Dog Owner Ordinance of 2023. Which reminds me: in addition to my longstanding $200 reward for catching someone throwing litter from their vehicle (including cigarettes) and getting a conviction in court, I’m also offering a $200 reward if you catch someone letting their dog “do their business” along Town roads, the cemetery, or other property and getting a conviction in court. Blackstone’s infamous ‘Pooper Scooper’ law now enters its 21st year. How many tickets have been written? I bet you fewer than the number of sneakers needing a good cleaning.


I’m told that a date in March is being eyed for renaming of Fort Pickett to Fort Barfoot. A reader and contributor called the other day. I won’t mention his name — we’ll just call him “Doug C.” He wants to know what happened to the bust of General Pickett that for many years greeted vistors in the former Post Commander’s Office. I’m told that all things pertaining to “Pickett” and other Confederate names out there — such as street signs like JEB Stuart Lane etc., — are all going to be trashed and discarded by Uncle Sam. I personally would prefer an auction with the proceeds going to help recover the BILLIONS we’re spending on a proxy war with Putin. Or, set funds aside so the West Entrance gate can reopen sooner. The overall cost of renaming Pickett has been placed at $2 million. All together, renaming Pickett and other bases with Confederate names is $21 million+.

Blackstone Town Council last week held a two-hour organizational meeting that covered a lot of good topics and not just dogs. Look for the deteriorating old Dillard Crawley Hardware building to be a major newsmaker this year. The Town has declared it blighted and is considering acquiring it or condemning it. Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck reports that a recent visit revealed the sprinkler system inoperable or turned-off. Also, be prepared for what likely will be high Feb. 1st light bills from the prolonged cold we had over Christmas.

Work is about to begin at the Harris Memoral Armory. The Town and other organizations are busy getting items out of the building. It’s not too early to ask, where the Chamber of Commerce will hold this year’s Arts & Crafts Festival?

Dolly Parton’s Birthday is being celebrated this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at the Blackstone Library. Her “Imagination Library” foundation has given a lot of books to Nottoway County and a lot of other poor areas to get more kids reading. I hear there may be cupcakes. Should we sing “Happy Birthday,” “Jolene” or “Hard Candy Christmas?” Wouldn’t it be cool if Dolly herself showed up for the celebration? You just never know. I mean, this is Blackstone, Virginia.

Alumni of old Blackstone High School will hold what I’m told will be the “final” schoolwide reunion. “Final” sounds kinda morbid. I know a lot of you Rams who are still mighty young. Take it one year at a time. The event is set for June 1st at The Inn at Blackstone. That’s a Thursday when rates are cheaper. If you’re a Ram alumnus, look for information in the mail in the next month or two. Should be a great celebration. Just please comply with the Town’s curfew.

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