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 Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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BREAKING NEWS: Moonshine still destroyed near Rocky Mount

Special agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) destroyed a 50-gallon moonshine still near Rocky Mount Monday evening.

Acting on a citizen's tip, special agents conducted a "knock and talk" at a residence on Davis Mill Road, according to Kathleen Shaw with ABC in Richmond.

The 49-year-old homeowner gave verbal and written consent for the agents to search his property, she said.

In addition to the 50-gallon copper still, agents seized 300 gallons of live mash, more than 40 gallons of untaxed liquor and numerous other pieces of distilling equipment and supplies.

ABC agents destroyed the operational still on site, she said.

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School, county employees to see cost-of-living payment
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer

Franklin County school and government employees will receive a one-time, cost-of-living payment in October.

The board of supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to give full-time employees $1,000 and regular part-time employees (averaging 20 hours per week) $500.

The move came after county Finance Director Vincent Copenhaver told the board the county has just over $1 million in carryover funds from fiscal year 2013-14. That year ended on June 30 and the final numbers are in with revenue and expenditure totals.

Of that $1 million, $385,000 would be used to cover county employees' payments and about $620,000 would go to the schools.

Copenhaver said the school system's cost for the one-time payment to employees would be just over $1.3 million. The schools have about $600,000 in carryover funding that can be added to the $620,000.

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Woman to serve 2 years for animal cruelty
Melissa Jarels admits to abandoning dogs
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By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A Rocky Mount woman will serve two years of a four-year jail sentence for abandoning nine dogs in her mobile home for 12 days in April.

Melissa Lynne Jarels, 60, pleaded guilty Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court to four counts of animal cruelty and five counts of inadequate care of a companion animal.

Jarels was sentenced to one year in jail on each of the four cruelty charges, but Judge W.N. Alexander II suspended two of the four years.

She was also ordered to pay a $250 fine on each of the five inadequate care charges, but the $1,250 fine was suspended. However, Jarels was ordered to pay $2,910 in restitution to the animal shelter for the care of the dogs.

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Rocky Mount man guilty of placing toddler in scalding water
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By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

A Rocky Mount man was found guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Circuit Court of child abuse and injuring a child for placing a toddler in scalding hot water.

Franklin County Circuit Court Judge W.N. Alexander II ruled that Shaquille Edward Hancock, 20, was guilty beyond reasonable doubt, based on the evidence presented during a trial that lasted more than two hours.

Hot water was the only logical conclusion as to what caused the child's injuries, Alexander said.

The mother of the 2-year-old boy testified that she noticed blisters on the child's feet on the evening of March 13 when she returned home from work. Hancock kept the toddler while she was at work.

Hancock testified that he gave the boy a bath on the morning of March 13 while the mother was at work after the child got food on his face and chest while eating. Hancock said the child never cried during the bath.

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‘Change your mindset for a better life’
Miss Virginia 2013 speaks at breakfast
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"We must write our own history. If not, who will?"

That was the theme of this year's annual Warren Street Festival.

In keeping with that theme, Miss Virginia 2013 Desiree Williams challenged attendees of the Warren Street breakfast to take charge of their own career ambitions, their roles in society and their health in order to become the "authors of their own history."

Williams, the guest speaker at this year's Warren Street breakfast, told guests that decisions they make every hour, every week, every month and every year will shape and determine what will become their history.

"Current trends can be used to predict the future," she said. "If that's the case, our future is looking a little bit dismal. Instead of allowing other people to write our history and instead of allowing researchers to predict these dismal outcomes for our society, we must change our mindsets and strive for a better and more productive life."

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Volunteers are ‘backbone’ of Harvester Center
More than 40 music lovers assist with operations
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By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Special to the News-Post

The response was overwhelming when the call went out for volunteers for the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount.

The center opened its 2014 schedule with a show on April 11, but the volunteers were at work even before the stage lights were turned on.

"Volunteers came in before the construction crew had finished the job," said Sheila Silverstein, assistant director of the HPC. "They were cleaning restrooms, fixtures and doing everything they could to assist in the opening. And they haven't stopped."

More than 40 names compile the list of Harvester volunteers and they range in age from high school students to retirees. The one thing they all have in common is their love of music and their community, as evidenced by the enthusiasm displayed on the job.

In addition to the county and town, volunteers hail from Roanoke, Salem and the Bedford side of Smith Mountain Lake.

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