Archives for February 2019

Extensive Renovations At Jackson River Enterprises

The Jackson River Enterprises Operations Center located at 825 W. Edgemont in Covington is
undergoing extensive repair of a large portion of the cement floor in the warehouse. As a
result, JRE will temporarily have a drastically reduced area to receive, process and store
recyclables. Consequently, JRE will be suspending the collection of certain materials we have
accepted in the past. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, JRE is suspending the collection/acceptance of glass and all plastic materials. Please refrain from placing glass or plastics in the trailers we have placed throughout
the community until further notice. All plastic and glass items should be placed with other
trash for proper disposal.

Covington Agrees To Pay Former City Manager Severance

Covington City Council unanimously approved its severance package for former city manager, Richard Douglas.
Douglas will be paid a severance allowance equal to six months salary, accrued unpaid leave and shall continue all health benefits for a six month period. For Douglas’ part, he agreed not to sue the city with respect to any issue dealing with his employment, among other items. The contract comes with a clause that reads, in part, “During his employment with the City of Covington, Mr. Douglas performed his duties in a diligent and professional manner. His decision to leave employment was a mutual one between Mr. Douglas and the City of Covington.”

Coalition Applauds Bill Passage

Fair Health Care VA, a coalition of patient, provider, and health care groups committed to securing access to life-saving treatments for Virginians, particularly those with chronic conditions, today applauded the General Assembly for passing House Bill 2126, which improves patient access to health care by reforming health insurance step therapy or “fail first” protocols. The bill, which passed the House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support, now goes to Governor Northam for signature. Virginia is now the 20th state in the nation to pass step therapy reform legislation.

Celebrating ’50 Years Of Love’

The Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism announced that it has received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) “50 Years of Love” grant fund. “50 Years of Love” is part of VTC’s efforts
to celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the Virginia is for Lovers tourism slogan, which was created
in 1969. There will be special photo opportunities, specialty signature drinks and menu items at local restaurants, unique outdoor experiences, new performances and much more – all focusing on the number 50
to celebrate the 50 Years of Love.

Board Chair Calls For Kern’s Resignation

Comments made by Alleghany County School Board member Donnie Kern has the board chairman calling for his resignation. Kern reportedly made a disparaging remarks about special needs students to an advocate who works with autistic children and their families. Kern has leveled dozens of alleguations against the board involving possible financial fraud and other criticisms. He put together a 140-page document calling for a state investigation of the school division.

CMS Community Night Happens Thursday

Band, chorus, theatre and more will be on display as Clifton Middle School has rescheduled its Community Night for Thursday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The event, originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, was postponed because of bad weather. You can turn out and see what happens on a daily basis at CMS.

Durant Road To Be Closed For Extended Period

Effective March 4th, Durant Road below Walmart will be closed to all traffic. The road reopening time is unknown but the estimated closure is approximately 3 months. You will have to access Jackson Street via S. Carpenter Drive then Edgemont Drive.

Route 220 Work Will Take At Least Two Weeks To Complete

A slope failure along Route 220 (Hot Springs Road) in Alleghany County will take at least two weeks to repair. Until the work is complete, a 16-mile stretch of Route 220 through Alleghany and Bath counties will be closed to through traffic. The slope failure is just north of the intersection of Route 684 (Dunbrack Road), between Covington in Alleghany County and Hot Springs in Bath County. Residents and business owners can access their properties by approaching from the appropriate side of the work zone. Signs and variable message boards will direct through traffic on two separate detour routes. The Virginia Department of Transportation and its emergency contractors will excavate the area affected by the slope failure, which is about 150 feet in length. Crews will install soil nails to stabilize the slope, then rebuild the roadbed and roadway. Traditional repair methods could take several months, but the soil-nail approach should allow Route 220 to reopen in a few weeks. All work is weather permitting.

Botetourt County Fire& EMS Station Input Session

A public input session on Monday, February 25, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m on the Botetourt County Fire & EMS Station Study. There will be a timed presentation at 6:30 p.m. This session will be held at the Greenfield Education and Training Center, 57 S. Center Drive, Dalevile, VA 24083. This will be the last step in the process for the team from BIRCHbark to gather information prior to final development of the study findings. The next phase of the study involves public input in two forms. First, there is currently a public input survey that is available for anyone to provide input on the fire and EMS system. This survey will be active through the end of February and can be found at

Alleghany County School Board Meeting Monday

Members of the Alleghany County School Board will meet Monday at 6 p.m. They’ll get an update on the 2019-2020 budget. Also there will be Superintendent’s reports on approval of a Title V grant application, information on the special education plan, an update on the One-to-One Initiative, a proposed Web filtering changes for juniors and seniors at Alleghany High School, Chromebook purchases and an update on capital improvements and operational maintenance.