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 Wednesday, April 16, 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

The Willard Companies - Click for Website
Town proposes $6.5 million budget
Spending plan includes no tax, fee increases for next year
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

Rocky Mount Town Council was presented Monday night with a $6.5 million budget plan for fiscal year 2014-15 that includes no tax or fee increases for town residents.

In addition to the general fund proposal, town Manager James Ervin presented council with an $11.1 million five-year capital improvement plan (CIP).

The budget proposal includes a 3-percent pay increase -- a 0.5 percent cost of living adjustment and a 2.5 percent, one-step increase -- for town employees.

The general fund budget includes most services that town residents receive, including public safety, public works, building and grounds, community development and administration.

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Union Hall man killed in crash Saturday night

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A Union Hall man was killed Saturday night when his pickup truck ran off the road and struck a boulder.

Kenny Dean Zeigler, 56, was traveling north on Route 890 (Snow Creek Road) in Union Hall in a 1995 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck when he ran off the right side of the roadway, according to Sgt. Rob Carpentieri with the Virginia State Police. The truck struck a boulder and then hit a utility pole.

Zeigler was not wearing a seat belt, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Carpentieri said.

The fatal crash occurred about 10 p.m. Saturday on Snow Creek Road, one-tenth of a mile south of Route 659.

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First concert draws 325 music fans to Harvester Center

Rocky Mount's new music venue opened its doors Friday with a crowd of over 325 music fans raising the curtain to see headliner Levi Lowrey and local musicians Kyle Forry and Justin Arnett.

"I couldn't have predicted a better opening," said Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins, who led the development of the Harvester Performance Center. "Great music, great fans, great volunteers, great weather."

Fans lined up starting an hour before the doors opened, with over 100 in line when the center opened. By the time the first concert started, the just-finished performance center was over two-thirds full.

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It’s not just for men
Three women enrolled in welding program at PHCC
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In a career largely populated by men, some women might think twice about signing up. But three women enrolled in the welding program at Patrick Henry Community College said they didn't have any second thoughts about their intended careers.

"My grandpa is a welder, my dad is a welder and my brother is a welder -- I've been around it my whole life," said Alexandria Divinie, who will finish the welding program this summer. "They're really proud of what I'm doing."

Divinie started at PHCC in 2010 when she came back through the Middle College program to earn her GED (General Education Development) certificate. She has already certified in MIG (metal inert gas) welding and is working to gain other certifications.

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School breakfast, lunch prices to increase by 10 cents

The prices of school lunches and breakfasts will increase next year, according to food services Supervisor Chuck Hutto.

The price of lunch in elementary schools will increase from $1.95 to $2.05.

In secondary schools, the lunch price will increase from $2.25 to $2.35.

The price of breakfast will increase from $1.25 to $1.35 in both elementary and secondary schools, Hutto said.

The reduced-price for breakfast and lunch, 30 cents and 40 cents, respectively, will remain the same, Hutto said.

The price increase is mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the National School Lunch program, Hutto said. The increases next year will put the school division's prices in compliance with the USDA's formula for reimbursement through the national program.

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Local soldier receives Silver Star for valor
Robert Ashwell is a teacher in Franklin County
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Local soldier, Staff Sgt. Robert Ashwell, along with seven other solders from 3rd Special Forces Group, were honored March 27 with the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for valor, for their actions in Afghanistan.

Ashwell, who is also an eighth-grade science teacher at The Gereau Center, received his award from Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, commander of Army Special Operations Command, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

On April 6, 2013, Ashwell, 10 other Special Forces soldiers, a forward observer, a combat controller and two interpreters were sent into the Sono Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar province.

Their mission was to extract friendly forces pinned down by more than 100 Taliban and foreign fighters who had surrounded their compound near Bar Ghunday Village in Shigal Wa Sheltan District.

The enemy fighters were within 200 meters of the perimeter, engaging the friendly forces from elevated, fortified fighting positions using small arms, machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

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Harvester Center - Town of Rocky Mount - Click for Website
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