Virginia may be 100% open by June 15th

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced today that more restrictions will be lifted on May 15th, and his goal is to completely re-open all businesses by June 15th

By May 15th social gatherings can be as large as 100 indoors, 250 outdoors.  Restaurants will be allowed to be open past midnight.

By June 15th the Governor plans to roll back all capacity and social distancing limits, including restaurants.

This is a developing story.  Additional details can be found here.





Lexington City Council approves system for street renaming

Lexington City Council has voted in favor of a new policy for renaming city streets.

The new policy lays out the procedure for how City Council can rename streets in the future.

Property-owners interested in renaming their street must pay a $400 application fee.

They also have to present a petition with signatures of at least 75 percent of property owners on the street who support the name change.

Council would then have to decide whether to change the street name.

VMI names new superintendent

Virginia Military Institute’s Board of Visitors on Thursday appointed Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins to serve as VMI’s 15th superintendent.

Wins, a 1985 VMI graduate, had been serving as VMI’s interim superintendent.  He is the first Black superintendent in VMI’s history, retired from the U.S. Army in 2019 after a 34-year career.

John William Boland, president of the VMI Board of Visitors, said Wins has distinguished himself as a leader whose dedication to the Institute’s mission and to the Corps of Cadets has endeared him to many during his brief time as interim superintendent. Boland said Wins is the right person to preserve and advance VMI’s unique system of education.

Gen. Cedric T. Wins

Natural Bridge State Park recognized officially as an International Dark Sky Park

Natural Bridge State Park has been recognized as an International Dark Sky Park.

The status requires approval from the International Dark-Sky Association.

The status has been granted to about 130 parks around the world.

“With the designation of Natural Bridge and Sky Meadows, Virginia State Parks has a total of four dark sky parks and Virginia has a total of five, more than any other state east of the Mississippi,” said Virginia State Parks Director Dr. Melissa Baker. “The designation represents years of hard work and dedication by the staff and volunteers at both parks. Our commitment to providing visitors with unique opportunities to enjoy and learn about our natural resources is at the forefront of this project.”

Natural Bridge is the fourth Virginia state park to receive the designation. Other state parks in Virginia with the designation are the Sky Meadows State Park in Fauquier County, the James River State Park and the Staunton River State Park.

Courtesy of Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Virginia lawmakers legalize marijuana possession in time for summer

Virginia will legalize the use of recreational marijuana among adults this summer, as the General Assembly on Wednesday backed a proposal from Governor Ralph Northam to allow Virginians over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to four cannabis plants at home starting on July 1.

Virginia joins nearly 20 other states that have voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Sales will remain illegal until 2024.




Next Lexington Police Chief named

Angela Greene has been named the next Police Chief for the City of Lexington.  Greene will begin as Chief on May 10.

Greene replaces Mike Frost who has served as Interim Police Chief since this past October.

Greene joins the Lexington Police Department with 20 years of law enforcement experience, serving most recently as Chief of Police for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia.

Greene is a native of New Jersey and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pre-Law and Political Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public Administration with Old Dominion University.

She is also a member of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Greene is the proud mother of two daughters, ages 15 and 20, and one son, age 24, who serves as a firefighter for the City of Chesapeake, Virginia.

Rockbridge and Parry McCluer to hold outdoor graduation

Both Parry McCluer High School and Rockbridge County High School are planning to stage outdoor graduation ceremonies in the wake of changes from Governor Ralph Northam that allows 5,000 people or 30 percent of a venue capacity for outdoor events, whichever is less.

Those attending the graduation ceremonies must wear masks and socially distance.

Parry McCluer’s graduation ceremony will take place Saturday, May 29, at 11 a.m. on the football field at Bobby Williams Stadium at PMHS.

Rockbridge County’s graduation ceremony will take place Friday, June 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the RCHS athletic stadium.

Munters Moving To Botetourt County

Munters is making plans to move its operations from Buena Vista to the Botetourt Center at Greenfield in Botetourt County.

Munters Corporation, a Swedish company, is investing $36 million to build a 365-thousand-square-foot manufacturing facility in Troutville.

The new facility should be ready to go by the summer of 2022.  Specializing in industrial and commercial climate control, Munters plans to bring the Buena Vista workforce of nearly 200 employees to the Botetourt Center.