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On July 1, legislation passed during the 2020 General Assembly session will become law, with some exceptions. This session was the first with Democrats newly in charge and they used their new legislative majority to pass sweeping changes in Virginia, often on party-line votes. Below is a sna…

Governor Northam recently announced his plan to reopen Virginia’s schools.  It followed the same pattern as his previous announcements -- vague and with little actionable information.

I’m an incurable romantic and Cheryl’s birthday was Sunday.  Birthday’s during the pandemic are tricky because we both agreed that we wouldn’t be going out but would enjoy a quiet birthday at home.  

History is ugly!  If one looks closely at each and every age and time, you will find things that are abhorrent to today’s society and understanding of what should be.  Yet, if we fail to look back at those previous times and events, we are unlikely to learn from them or appreciate the lives …

June 22 – 29, 2020 is National Pollinator Week led by the Pollinator Partnership.  The purpose is to bring focus on the beneficial functions of our pollinators that include the familiar birds, butterflies, moths and bees but also bats and beetles.  Many of these species are in decline.

I have many herbs, native perennials, daylilies and roses in my garden but to be perfectly honest, I have world-class weeds.  It is no surprise.  I am surrounded by hay fields on threesides and a cow pasture on the other.  So I have what would be considered field weeds, big ones.  Admittedly…

As protests over the killing of George Floyd have progressed, a demand to 'defund the police' has become more and more prevalent.  Some Democratic politicians, such as the mayor of Minneapolis, have agreed and begun to disband their police departments.

Southside Virginia Community College will celebrate its 2020 graduates during the institution’s first ever virtual graduation ceremony. The event will recognize the excellence of our students and honor faculty and staff commitments in support of student success. Students, parents, families, …

The term “thin blue line” is used to refer to those law enforcement officers who are assigned the task of keeping society from descending into chaos.  During the last couple of weeks, their role has been challenged.  Because several officers in Minneapolis did not live up to their responsibi…

Hello Senator Ruff: I pray this email finds you well. I am writing to respond to an opinion piece that was printed in The South Hill Enterprise, dated June 8, 2020.

On Thursday, Governor Northam launched his biggest distraction from his failures to lead yet, the removal of the Lee Monument on Monument Avenue. Between his efforts and those of Mayor Stoney, there will be no Confederate monuments in public spaces by this time next year.  In fact, just this…

Regrettably, when someone lacks a strong belief in values, they tend to flap this way and that like a flag in a breeze.  This is sometimes referred to as lacking a moral compass.  It is not a compliment!  Most of us in my generation were taught at home and at church that we should have a set…

I spent virtually my entire career as a reporter and I really hate to criticize the news media.  Having said that, it really does bother me that suddenly, there seems to be next to no coverage about the Covid-19 pandemic.  It isn’t like the virus has disappeared or that we’ve found a cure.  …

This year has been a challenging one, to say the least.  The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week is just the latest in what seems to be a series of terrible events happening in the US and around the world.  The George Floyd killing set off a frenzy of protests around the nation, i…

We all grew up being told more, bigger, and better is good.  Such phrases as “keeping up with the Jones” was the mantra of the 60’s and 70’s.  If the neighbors got a new car, then some felt they “needed” to buy a new car.  The battle went on and on with much of our society.  It continues on …

I’m seeing a lot of posts lately about how our rights are are being taken away away from us. That some vast conspiracy is afoot and that sinister forces are trying to control us.

This is a time for mourning.  We began the week as we have traditionally done with Memorial Day, mourning for those that we have lost in the various wars in which our nation has fought to protect the values that we share.  Values that are encompassed in many of our faiths, but that are also …

A year ago when I accepted the offer to serve as Southside Virginia Community College’s sixth president, the world was a different place. People have commented about what a topsy-turvy year it has been, but I am pleased to have been tasked with a leadership role in such challenging times. Th…

A week ago or so I got an interesting email.  The writer told me they had hacked into my computer, had my password, access to all my financial information, my contacts and all the relevant information about me.  The writer also assured me that they had activated the webcam built into my comp…

Getting out of a paper bag should be easy.  For some, it proves to be a major challenge.

There wasn’t a big storm last week and while there were some breezy days, there wasn’t a major amount of wind.  When we stepped out and found a large tree had split with half of it falling across the deck and the back yard.  I think both Cheryl and I were pretty surprised.  What was even mor…

Story after story has addressed issues regarding the coronavirus.  If one takes the time to compare stories side by side, government decisions make little sense.

Everything in life should and must be balanced.  We can never let pursuit of the perfect destroy the opportunity and ability of others to achieve their needs.  This is particularly true in government.  Idealists want everything as they believe is ideal but, as elected representatives, we hav…

I’ve been retired now for about six months and I have to admit it, after 40 plus years it was mighty nice to not have any real deadlines to worry about.  I didn’t stop work completely because the paper and I decided I’d still cover a few events, some local meetings and hammer out this column…

The 2020 Reconvened Session was memorable if for nothing else than for the first time in 400 years, the House of Delegates met outdoors. Republicans stood firm to protect jobs and our business community from increased costs, the integrity of our elections, and for the safety of our communiti…

That was the motto for a national retailer where I once worked.  Simply put, you can set the stage by buying inventory, hiring employees, turning on the lights but all that is for naught if a customer does not come into the store to buy something.  Once that purchase is made, those dollars c…

Just when we thought this year's General Assembly could not get any stranger under the new majority, now they have decided the Reconvened Session will be held outside somehow.  Legislators found out about this through the press.  The logistics of how this will work are still being determined…

This week we return to Richmond to consider the revisions that Governor Northam has made to various legislative proposals that passed both the House and the Senate.  Some of those changes I will support while others I cannot.  Some were to better please his Democrat friends.  Other changes w…

I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend remembering the crucifixion, death, burial of Christ and of course, celebrating Resurrection Sunday.  For those of us used to celebrating Resurrection Sunday and every Sunday in a Church setting, surrounded by friends and family, having to find new way…

This week, Governor Northam proposed moving town and city elections to the November 3rd general election and primaries to June 23rd.  In both cases, he cited the Coronavirus in which his “stay at home” order added to the problem.  The General Assembly will have to agree to change the town el…

spotlight

The members and families of Chase City Masonic Lodge 119 wish to extend our eternal gratitude to the people serving in essential services on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. This includes fire and rescue, police, correctional officers, grocery store clerks, gas station attendan…

Most Virginias were surprised this week when the Governor announced on Monday that he was ordering a statewide Stay at Home order.  This order is in effect until June 10, which is much further out than most states across the country have put into place.  The precarious timing of June 10 has …

For some, legislation that would permit local government to remove monuments was an emotional issue.  Under the final version of the bill,  cities and counties will be allowed to remove Confederate monuments they own and maintain under legislation passed and sent to Gov.  Northam for his signature.

A month ago we sent off a Letter to the Editor congratulating the County Supervisors, School Board, and School Administrators for moving toward a conclusion to the long overdue upgrade of our secondary public school facilities and programs. As a University Professor and Middle School Teacher…