Fall has arrived in all it’s glory.  Mornings are a little crisp.  Leaves are changing color and falling all over the place.  The days have gotten shorter and this weekend we “fall back” an hour as we turn our clocks back.  And of course, we’re all gearing up for the election next week.

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In slang, this phrase is used to convey the speaker's frustration or annoyance with someone else.  The term has been used repeatedly by former Vice President Joe Biden.  He uses it with the rare reporter or voter that is able to catch him away from his handlers.  Biden frequently uses the te…

The session finally ended last Friday.  The General Assembly, by constitution, meets for 60 days in even years and 45 days in odd years.  This year, the Governor called a special session to begin on August 18th.  Putting that into perspective, it lasted 60 days.  Two weeks longer than the no…

This session has been remarkable for many things, including its length, procedural irregularities, and the bad legislation that has been produced. Below is a list of the 'worst of the worst' legislation introduced by the New Democrat Majority this session. 



Every October, the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students celebrates National Transfer Student Week. This year Southside Virginia Community College will participate with a Virtual Transfer Fair, which will run October 19–23, 2020.

We’re just three weeks away from Election Day.  Despite all the ads, the rallies and polls, almost everyone I know has already made up their minds as to who they’re supporting and many of them have already cast their ballots.

That now famous quote from former President Obama’s chief-of-staff and, later, mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has proven to be the guiding light of the Democratic Party at both the federal and state level.  We see it everywhere.  Last week, Michigan’s governor accused the criminals involved i…

Colonel Thomas C. Johnson was born near Lynchburg, Va., on the 22nd of March, 1820. He joined the Methodist Church at age seventeen. In 1842 he graduated from Randolph Macon College, Boydton, Va. In the fall of1842 he married Martha R. Scott, daughter of H. B. Scott, of Nelson County, Va. He…

Our prayers go out to our President, Governor, their wives, and to all who have been infected with COVID-19.  We wish them fast recoveries.  Likewise, keep the families of those who have lost loved ones this sad year.  This strange virus affects people in different ways.  Every individual’s …

With election day less than a month away, people are talking about the big changes in voting this year.  Actually, the biggest changes have been dealing with how to vote safely during a pandemic.  We’ve seen other changes, and bigger ones, over the years.

The 2020 Special Session to date has largely focused on police and criminal justice reform even though the General Assembly's primary charge was to address the Commonwealth's budget shortfall. As evidenced by the actions of their Senate colleagues, House Democrats have gone too far in their …

Compassion is a good thing when you are using your resources in assisting others in a time of their need.  It is far different when you, as a legislator, are shifting the cost of that compassion to others, such as taxpayers, and claiming that you a good and righteous person.

During her lifetime grannie was a firm believer in clean air. As a matter of fact she never owned a horse, never had a driver’s license, never rode on a bus, airplane nor train and hated/feared riding in a car. So for the sixteen years she worked at Craddock-Terry, piece rate, averaging abou…

I watched an amazing video the other week.  The video shows then President Richard Nixon making a somber speech to the nation, announcing the tragic failure of the first manned mission to the moon and the loss of astronauts Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin in July of 1969.

You decided to try growing herbs this summer and now that they are ready to harvest, you might need to know exactly what to do.  There is not one rule for all herbs so I will attempt to break it down for you.

Editor’s note: We are saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. John Caknipe, Jr. To honor his memory and love for the history of Mecklenburg County, The News Progress will continue to run his column through the end of the year.

A group I belong to was considering a fall plant sale since everything was canceled this spring due to the pandemic.  One member commented “What’s the point?”.  I thought there are probably a lot of people that think that gardening wraps up at summers end. That couldn’t be further from the t…

It’s Tuesday and fall officially starts today.  Unofficially, it started a couple of days ago with a cool snap that dropped temperatures to levels usually not seen till late October.

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All over America, there are efforts to change law enforcement.  In some cities, there has been an open effort to defund the police.  In other areas, those efforts have taken the form of some insisting that money be shifted from law enforcement to support social services.  Not to be outdone, …

The 2021 General Assembly Special Session continues to move slowly, as the House did not meet at all last week. 

This story is dedicated to the history buffs and is designed simply as a historical chronical that outlines the development, members and prosperity of the Roanoke Valley Navigation Company, LLC. After the CivilWar the company continued to focus on uses of the river for shipping, but began to…

A recent Economic Impact study undertaken by Dr. Vincent Magnini, a researcher at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business in Blacksburg, examined the impact Southside Virginia Community College makes across its ten-county service area and throughout the Commonwealth. The findings identif…

Last week, I wrote about the several laws that were changed during the 2020 regular and the on-going Special Session.  My focus was on how the laws were changed this year to skirt around the laws that have been put in place by both political parties over the years to ensure that voting is en…

Sometime, whether at a plant sale or plant swap, I got a Hurricane Lily from my dear friend Mildred.  It has a very unusual life cycle so I am surprised every time I see it emerge.  The plant goes by many names including Resurrection Lily and Red Spider Lily but the botanical name Lycoris ra…

I have not found a story about Thomas F. Goode that respects his true military career. So in a nutshell these are many of the highlights. In 1859 Captain Thomas F. Goode aided in the recruiting campaign held at Randolph Macon College for militia reserves. He was a very outspoken mn and heate…

The 2021 General Assembly Special Session continues to move slowly, only meeting on Thursday and Friday last week, with no guidance on when it will be over. 

My eye surgery, now two weeks ago, went well but was a little more involved than the doctor expected.  I’m supposed to have the stitches removed next week and have hopes all the swelling has gone down and the healing is complete enough that they can figure out my new prescription.  I don’t e…

Free and fair voting is the basic premise of any democracy.  Remember the stories that came out of Iraq after the fall of the Shah?  People gleefully showed their purple fingers.  This was their proof that they had taken part in the electoral process.  The purple ink was the government’s way…

I am so tired of all the ignorant self-righteousness of a handful of society’s failures who want to abolish, desecrate and rewrite history. So I am hopful that some folks reading this story will pass it on (you may have to read it out loud so they can hear and understand it) to those protest…

Whoever said, “Never underestimate the healing power of a quiet moment in the garden,” knew what she was talking about.  The benefits of gardening – fresh air, exercise and mental stimulation - are well documented.

The House of Delegates adjourned last Friday and is subject to the call of the Speaker with 48 hours' notice.  As of this writing, that means the earliest we could be "recalled" would be Wednesday, no doubt to another virtual session.  We still have no idea why the Special Session is moving …

For three quarters of the last century, Virginia was effectively a one-party state.  That political party could enact anything they wanted.  Because they controlled the redistricting process, they could draw district lines to prevent the minority party from gaining much traction at all.  Lik…

Page 1 When the war started, Mecklenburg and neighboring counties were generally known as being rich counties. In the July 4, 1861, issue of the Richmond, Virginia, Daily Dispatch, a correspondent noted that “Old Mecklenburg is by no means the least among the counties of Virginia in size, we…

Last Tuesday we returned to Richmond to make adjustments to the state budget caused by COVID-19.  Certainly not because the Governor wanted us to interfere with his sole power, but rather because the state constitution requires it.  The Constitution states that if the expected tax revenue is…

If you had asked me several years ago about my feelings relating to ornamental grasses, I would have said blah.  A lot of people share this feeling. We tend to only know the overused Pampas Grass or the invasive Maidengrass.  A few years ago I heard a presentation by The Perennial Diva, Step…

When the 2020 Special Session convened on Tuesday, August 18th, Democrats presented HR 514, a rules change that would have, if Republicans had consented to its immediate consideration, allowed for virtual meetings of the House and votes to be taken at virtual committee meetings.

The last two months we have seen many demonstrations regarding equality for all.  It is right and fair to have orderly conversations and demonstrations about where we are in our treatment of others.  However, no one is guaranteed anything in life.  We should focus on giving everyone the oppo…

Southside Virginia Community College will reopen its doors on August 24 with a full schedule of offerings and a range of attendance options that incorporate in-person, online, and hybrid classes. Short-term workforce programs that require hands-on learning will be offered in small groups. We…

The 2020 General Assembly Special Session is set to begin Tuesday, August 18th in Richmond.  The annual Special Session’s purpose has always been for legislators to return to Richmond to finalize the details of the bi-annual budget; however, this year is very different.  We have yet to learn…

Successful gardeners learn to read the weather in their region – and more importantly, get to know the soil that supports their plants. For Sandi Slocum, who moved to Halifax County a few years back with her husband, George, the adjustment to growing in red Virginia clay took time and patience.

I haven’t given up on doing this column but I have to admit, it’s been a rough few weeks.

With only 76 days to election day, Nov 3rd, more and more presidential campaign signs are appearing in the County.  We all believe that our candidate is the best and with that said, how about we show respect for the other Party’s signs, property, and each other.  Whoever stole the 4’ X 8’ Bi…

Serena Sayles was a tough, yet frail; intelligent, yet withdrawn and independent. This seemed to create friction between her and her husband. In her history of south side Virginia I was unable to find any strife between her and neighbors. I found no church she attended and no one she sociali…

Last week I told you how the parole board was under investigation by the Office of the State Inspector General.  The investigation was set in motion due to the release of Vincent Martin, who was convicted in 1979 of killing Richmond Police Officer Michael Connors.  

About this time every summer our gardens are often looking as wilted, as we are if we spend any time in the heat.    We often think of this time of summer as the Dog Days when the weather is hot and humid and often dry. This period got its name from the dog star Sirius which not counting the…

I suspect that some of you have thought, at some time in your life, about how all those folks who came to the new world, arriving in New York and Pennsylvania Colonies ended up in the Smokey Mountains – from Pittsburg to Atlanta (the eastern range of the Appalachian Mountain Range.). In the …

We have been inundated with data about the Coronavirus since March.  The news media has covered the issue relentlessly for over five months, giving most of us an unending fear that we all are going to get COVID-19 and will probably die.  Most are living in unbridled fear for themselves and t…