Blackstone officials have decided against appointing a committee to help it come up with uses for the Harris Memorial Armory, which the Town is now planning to renovate for a multi-use community center after results of the Nov. 3rd referendum.
In the true spirit of gratitude and giving, members of a Blackstone family who recently recovered from COVID-19 each spent more than two hours Friday donating their plasma to potentially help other victims of the dreaded coronavirus.
In an effort to make a planned hotel at VUMAC a reality, Blackstone officials have agreed to hire a bond attorney and use the Town’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to help developers secure necessary financing for the estimated $10-11 million project.
Once one of Blackstone’s biggest community assets, the former Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center has sat idle since 2016. The 1922 building originally was home of Blackstone College for Girls, which closed in 1950.
5-0 VOTE, BUT SCHOOL REP. WANTS ‘FEAR’ AMONG STAFF
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly curtailed restaurant activity, the Town of Blackstone -- in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020 -- saw a 16% reduction in its meals tax collections.
As they have done since mid-March, Piedmont Health District officials are urging Nottoway residents to continue wearing face masks and maintain social distance to combat an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases here.
Petersburg developer Dave McCormack appeared Monday night (Nov. 16th) before Blackstone Town Council to propose buying the Town’s lot on Second Street, on the west side of College Avenue, where the Town’s million-gallon concrete water basin is located. McCormack said he’d like to build approximately 35 apartments -- similar to his new “Nottoway House” beside Lunenburg Avenue Lofts -- to serve FASTC trainees at Fort Pickett. Two public hearings will be held Monday, December 21st on his proposal.
Blackstone officials Monday night authorized Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck to prepare a grant application to the state Dept. of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and to search for other funds to begin renovations to the Harris Memorial Armory.
TWO DAYS A WEEK IN BLACKSTONE AND CREWE
NO EXCUSE EARLY VOTING LEADS TO HIGH NUMBERS
The Town of Blackstone has owned the 1936 National Guard armory building at High & Tavern Streets since 1988. What to do with the landmark has been the focus of considerable, often-intense debate over the past two decades. Voters in last Tuesday’s non-binding referendum expressed support for the Town to renovate it -- for a multi-use community center -- by a 54-46% margin. In a competing advisory question, voters opposed the Town erecting a new community center buiding on South Harris Street by a margin of 745-684, or 52-48%. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the Town’s 2,143 registered voters responded to the referendum questions.
They talk about it every year, but the Nottoway Board of Supervisors and School Board are finally going to hold a joint meeting -- for the first time in more than six years. I hope they set aside ample time for introductions, because some officials may have forgotten one another. “Oh my gosh, you look great! Haven’t seen you since 2014!”
President Donald Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden by 1,056 votes in Nottoway County on Tuesday, but the race nationwide was too close to call at Courier-Record presstime at 11:00 p.m.
WOMAN APPEALS, FACES DEADLINE
At its regular meeting last Monday night (Oct. 19th), Blackstone Town Council agreed to allow on Town property -- including the Armory and Schwartz Tavern grounds -- campaign signs either for or against renovating the armory -- as well as signs for or against building a proposed new community center. But officials agreed that Town Manager Philip Vannoorbeeck is to remove from Town property any and all signs promoting a particular candidate(s). The Town Code prohibits advertising on Town property. Next Tuesday’s referendum is advisory (non-binding). Mayor Billy Coleburn has called a Special Council Meeting for Monday, Nov. 9th at 7:00 p.m. for Council to discuss results and to chart a course of action to implement wishes of voters, who also may vote NO on both questions.
FRAUD USES FAMILIAR NAME TO TRICK RECIPIENTS
Kristin Gallagher (left) and Sarah Dunn, both of Blackstone, were among those voting early last week in the Nov. 3rd elections. The number of residents voting ‘in-person absentee’ has increased dramatically this year due to COVID-19 concerns and new laws that don’t require a reason for voting early. These photos were taken Friday at Blackstone Police station, which will be open to all Nottoway registered voters again today (Wednesday) and Friday (9-4), and Saturday (9-5). Polls open next Tuesday at Nottoway County’s nine polling places at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Photos by Scott Matthew
How Burkeville can best maintain its infrastructure, attract new businesses, and remain a safe place to live -- with limited Town revenue -- is the challenge facing three men running for Mayor.
Well-known Southside Virginia golfer, Randy “The Rock” Whitlow of Kenbridge, shot a final round 67 Sunday and captured his third club championship at South Hill Country Club.