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Rotary Independence Festival is July 2

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

ROCKY MOUNT - This year's Rotary Independence Festival will be on Thursday, July 2 at Franklin County High School.

Singer and songwriter Ashley Hammock will be among the performers this year.

Events get underway at 5 p.m. with the fireworks show starting after sunset.

It's too early to tell what the forecast is. A rain date is set for July 10 just in case.

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YMCA Slates Upcoming Events

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE -  Come out to the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA in their first fundraiser with Paint Nite!  Tickets are $45.00 and you will take home your own painting masterpiece. Painting: 6:30-8:30pm *please arrive no later than 6:15pm.

Other Upcoming Events at the YMCA include:

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VLGMA Names Hankins as Virginia Assistant Manager of the Year

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

hankinsVIRGINIA BEACH – Rocky Mount’s Matt Hankins is Virginia’s local government Assistant Manager of the Year. The Virginia Local Government Managers Association presented the award to Hankins Thursday morning at its annual summer conference in Virginia Beach. VLGMA represents local government managers throughout the Commonwealth, connecting managers to improve professional skills and networking for county, city and town administrators. VLGMA selected Hankins from a pool of nominees comprised of assistant managers from localities of all sizes.

Hankins has served Rocky Mount as assistant manager since 2007. He is also the Town’s community and economic development director, planning & zoning administrator, subdivision agent and spokesperson. Outgoing VLGMA president Brenda Garton, awards committee chair Cindy Mester and Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin presented the award.

“I thank VLGMA for this honor,” said Hankins. “I don’t do what I do for personal recognition, but this selection by Virginia’s local government managers is an uplifting affirmation that what I do, what we as local government employees do, creates lasting, real-life, positive impacts that matter to Virginia’s communities.”

“Local government employees are in this business for what they can do for others, and I’m grateful to work on improving lives and opportunity for people in Rocky Mount and throughout the region,” Hankins said. “This is truly a career highlight, and I thank VLGMA for recognizing the value of my contributions to Rocky Mount.”

Hankins served as the lead developer for the town’s Harvester Performance Center, which played a key role in his nomination and selection.

“No one is successful in this type of job without the help of lots of other people,” said Hankins, who also serves as chief executive of the Harvester. “My fellow department heads, our council members, our town employees and my staff, our Harvester volunteers, business owners and local industry leaders all deserve to share in the honor of this award.”

Ervin nominated Hankins for the award.

“I nominated Mr. Hankins for a body of work that has ranged from drafting a community drought plan to finding a way to build a new house for someone in need to building and operating Southwest Virginia’s best new music venue, one of the most amazing economic development projects I’ve ever been a part of,” said Ervin. “Mr. Hankins has all the tools of great leaders in local government: perseverance, creativity, communication skills, a passion for innovation, an ability to work with the community and with elected and appointed boards.”

“Mr. Hankins doesn’t treat this work like governance,” Ervin said. “He treats it as public service, carrying out our higher moral purpose to further democracy by executing the agreed-upon direction of elected representatives. I can think of no one more deserving of this award, and I’m very happy that the awards committee agreed.”

Hankins previously served six years as communications director for the City of Martinsville, as a newspaper editor, hospital public relations director and as a legislative aide in the Virginia House of Delegates. He is a graduate of Emory & Henry College, Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management and the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center. Professionally, Hankins is a member of VLGMA, the International City-County Managers Association (ICMA), the Virginia Economic Developers Association and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He also serves as secretary and executive board member of the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. He is married to Dulcie Webster Hankins, a furniture store owner in Rocky Mount. He is a father of three and attends Fairmont Baptist Church in Boones Mill, where he serves as Sunday School superintendent and on the media and finance committees. Hankins’ award follows on the heels of the Virginia Municipal League President’s Award, the league’s highest award, presented to Rocky Mount in October, and the Harvester’s recent selection as Southwest Virginia’s Best Music Venue by Virginia Living Magazine.

“We are pleased that Rocky Mount and its staff were able to win these amazing awards as we continue to make Rocky Mount a destination,” said Mayor Steve Angle. “We’re particularly proud of Matt Hankins because his dedication to Rocky Mount shines through in his hard work and his concern for the community. Over the past eight years, he has worked continually to make Rocky Mount better every day, and we’re thankful that the professionals of VLGMA have rewarded that effort.”

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Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Travels All The Way to Virginia

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

BLACKSBURG - Meteorologists generally use satellite imagery to see clouds in motion as storm systems form and move across the globe. But different spectrums from GOES (Geostationary Environmental Operational Satellites) can be used to see water vapor, fog, and in Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning's case: smoke from Canada!

fire explainerThe visible spectrum of the GOES satellite picked up the layer of smoke Wednesday morning, and meteorologists quickly picked up on the source of the image by tracking the jet stream, a river of high winds over 20,000 to 30,000 feet to wildfires currently burning in Southern Canada.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg sent out a view of the smoke on Facebook Wednesday morning.

With such a quiet weather pattern with dry air in place through all of our local atmosphere, anything showing up on satellite imagery not directly associated with any weather system is pretty easy to distinguish. For example, had today been cloudy, the smoke basically would not stand out like it has today.

As of this writing, the thickest smoke can be seen on visible satellite imagery from Eastern Kentucky local smokeinto West Virginia, generally south of Charleston, and into Virginia, stretching from the Allehgany Highlands to the Staunton/Charlottesville area eastward into the Richmond area.

In our local area, the smoke is basically north of Highway 460 and gets thicker into Rockbridge, Alleghany, Bath, Highland, and Nelson Counties. 

Smoke and fire monitoring networks combined with weather balloon data confirm the orgin of the smoke. 

If anything, the smoke is a very effective illustration of just how fluid and connected the weather really is within our atmosphere.

The NWS, in the aviation section of their morning area forecast discussion (the aviation section of the discussion is near the bottom of the linked page), mentioned the smoke and wildfires in Western Canada, telling pilots and the public to expect a general haze in some areas, reducing visibilities to around six miles in the areas where the smoke has advanced via the jet stream. 

The smoke particles in the upper atmosphere can scatter visible light, making for very orange and reddish sunrises and sunsets. 

If you have any interesting sunset pictures from Tuesday evening or sunrise pictures from this morning, we welcome you to post them to Meteorologist Jamey Singleton's Facebook Page or the Cable 12 Facebook Page.

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VA Law Enforcement Converge on FCHS Campus For 'Active Shooter' Training Exercise

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

alerrrtROCKY MOUNT - If you notice a heavy police presence at Franklin County High School today, don't be alarmed. Law enforcement from throughout the state are taking part in an active shooter training class at the school.

The class is being hosted by the Franklin County Sheriff's office and sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The Virginia State Police and area law enforcement from Salem to Hampton and Henrico are taking part in the class.

The "active shooter" class is being put on by the "ALERRT", or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program out of Texas State University.

According to their website, the ALERRT Center has trained over 60,000 police officers since it was created in 2002 and is part of a $27 million program funded by the State of Texas and the United States.

School Superintendent Mark Church is also on hand for the event. The class started at 9 a.m.

 

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