By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A 17-year old Smithfield High School student was arrested Tuesday after posting threats to shoot up the school on Snapchat, according to Lt. Tommy Potter of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. 

The male was charged with a Class 5 felony and taken to Chesapeake Juvenile Services where he awaits a detention hearing, according to Potter. 

While the youth made a threat against the high school, an investigation did not uncover any means to actually carry it out, Potter said.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office will maintain an increased presence at the schools this week. 

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Florida shooting prompts wide range of ideas

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

One resident asked for more physical barriers at Isle of Wight County’s schools, while another called on Virginia to enact stricter guns laws in the wake of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead. 

Carrollton resident Ed Easter asked the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors Thursday to appeal to the governor for stricter gun laws, such as those enacted by Connecticut after the Sandy Hook shooting, to avoid sending students to a “day prison.” Zuni resident Pete Greene suggested that grated gates, fences and Kevlar glass may better protect students. 

Easter and Greene were reacting to the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, one of many in recent years that have occurred across the country and while the ongoing debate on gun control fails to advance.   

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By John Edwards

Times Editor

An Isle of Wight cultural icon was destroyed by fire early Friday.

The Isle of Wight Hunt Club building, which in addition to deer hunters has hosted church picnics, family reunions, graduating high school classes and many other groups for more than 65 years, caught fire from an unknown cause at about midnight Thursday. 

Peter Frank Crocker lives about a half mile from it across a field. He said he received a call from a motorist shortly after midnight alerting him to the fire. Crocker said he had been standing in the yard talking with an acquaintance at about 11 p.m. and there was nothing out of the ordinary visible across the field. When the motorist called, he looked out to see flames shooting from the building. 

“I could sure see what was happening then,” he said. 

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Could be built in Isle of Wight's intermodal park

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice is eyeing Isle of Wight County’s intermodal park as a possible site for a future juvenile residential rehabilitation center, according to Isle of Wight Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson. 

The center, which would serve youthful offenders, would be a full-service facility offering educational, athletic, vocational, medical and counseling services and would be the first of its kind in Virginia, said Robertson.

The model is conceptually very different from what the state now provides for juvenile offenders, he said. 

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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The Smithfield Town Council will give itself a 10 percent raise.

The 5-1 vote came late in the evening, about 10 p.m. on Feb. 6, and after two closed sessions.

The Council’s self-approved raise comes at the same time it is discussing its employee pay scale, which has not been given a hard look since 2008, according to Human Resources Director Ashley Rogers at a recent retreat. 

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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

Isle of Wight County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton is proposing a $62.6 million budget for fiscal year 2019, with a request for $939,984 in additional funding from the county to go toward new staffing positions.

The $939,984 request in additional funding from the county would be an increase of 3.7 percent from last year.

The division requested no additional funding from the county in its budget last year. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Circuit Court Judge Carl Eason has ordered a July 24 election for Isle of Wight County Sheriff, based on a petition from the Board of Supervisors. 

The election stems from Sheriff Mark Marshall’s decision to leave his post two years early to make beer in a family-run brewery on the Eastern Shore. 

While an election outside the normal cycle, such as town elections in May, primaries in June and general elections in November, do occur in Virginia, a local special election in Isle of Wight County in July has not occurred in at least the past 20 years, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. 

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By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A top Smithfield town official has announced his plans to retire.

Smithfield Town Manager Peter Stephenson will leave his post June 30 after 22 years serving the town. 

“Smithfield has been a great place to live and raise a family over the past 22 years,” said Stephenson in a Feb. 12 announcement. 

Stephenson, 55, plans to spend more time with his family over the summer and then look for new opportunities to utilize his experience, interests and abilities, according to the announcement. 

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By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The historic Wombwell house will burn.

The Smithfield Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Feb. 6, to give the dilapidated circa 1840s structure over to the Smithfield Fire Department to torch and use as a training opportunity.

The decision follows more than a year of attempting to purge the town of the house and its outbuildings, offering the buildings up for $1 and a plan to remove them from the property, which is right next to the upcoming Joseph W. Luter Jr. sports complex on West Main Street, which is aiming to open this fall.

The town authorized burning down a large barn structure in the back of the property late last month. 

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Edna Felts Myers

 

Edna Felts Myers, 96, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 in her home. She is preceded in death by her husband, Luther Power Myers. Edna leaves to cherish her memories her son, Robert Hall. A graveside service will be held Friday, Aug. 7, 11 a.m. in St. Luke’s Memorial Park with the Rev. Mike Frank officiating. A special thank you to Marilyn Oliver and Joe Brown for all their love and support. The family request memorial contributions to VFW POST 8545, PO Box 461, Smithfield, VA 23431.

Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton, Smithfield, Isle of Wight and the surrounding communities.  Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at colonialfuneralhomesmithfield.com.

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