Bluefield Christmas Parade Announced
Posted 11/20/14 10:06am
This is an invitation to all floats, cars, walking units, pageant queens, marching units, bands, VIP’s, clubs, organizations, club presidents, and individuals and antique car owners.
The Bluefield Christmas Parade Committee would like to invite everyone to the Annual Christmas Parade to be held on Saturday, December 13 at 1:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s parade is “Christmas in Bluefield." All entries are asked that everyone incorporate this theme into your float. The parade route will start on the corner of South and Bland Streets, then travel North on Bland Street to Federal Street and right at Princeton Avenue ending at the green space where the former Princeton Avenue parking garage stood.
We invite you to participate by entering your float in any of the above categories. First place will be awarded $250.00, second place $100.00, third place $75.00 and most unusual $50.00. If an entry wishes to be judged for one of the above prizes, an application and entry fee of $25.00 made payable to the Bluefield Christmas Parade Committee, must be sent to 200 Federal Street Bluefield, WV 24701 no later than December 1, 2014.
For questions or forms please call, 276.326.3341 or click here. Forms can be picked up at the Mercer County CVB, Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, and Landmark Antiques.
RPD and VSP Respond to Domestic Related Shooting
Posted 11/17/14 11:10pm
On Friday, November 14, 201411/14 at approximately 11:04 pm, Richlands Police Department/ Virginia State Police responded to 209 Rockbridge Ave. in Richlands regarding a domestic related shooting incident. During the course of the investigation it was learned that Kenneth Clarence Jones (age 65) shot Michael Keith Hamm (age 34) while at the residence.
Hamm was transported to Clinch Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. Hamm was transported to the State Medical Examiners in Roanoke the following day for autopsy.
Jones has not been charged in the incident due to the fact that preliminary findings indicate that the shooting may have been in self defense. This case is still under full active investigation with further determination to be made upon receipt of autopsy result and analysis of collected evidence. Results of
autopsy and evidence analysis will not be returned for several weeks.
Brown Arrested After Standoff With Police
A woman barricaded herself inside her home on Laurel Creek Rd. in Boissevain today after Deputies with the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office were attempting to arrest her after she was identified through DNA evidence linking her to an incident that occurred at the Crazy Horse II. In July a masked unknown person walked into the store located in Boissevain, and took close to $2000.00 and left. Through the course of the investigation, and with assistance from the State Forensic Lab, arrest warrants were obtained on Joann Brown, age 39, for Grand Larcany, Wearing a Mask in commission of a crime, and Breaking & Entering. After Deputies arvived at her home and spoke with Ms. Brown through the storm door, she slammed the inside door locked it and ran through the house, grabbed a shotgun and fired one shot inside the house. Deputies on scene backed off of the house to a safe distance and called for back up, deputies then surrounded the house, along with the department's Emergency Response Team. Throughout several phone calls to Ms. Brown, Hostage Negotiator Sgt. Mike Brown was able to convince Ms. Brown to surrender herself. "We are happy that this situation ended with no injuries, and that we were able to resolve the crimes that happened at the Crazy Horse II" states Sheriff Brian Hieatt. In addition to the original charges the deputies were there on, Ms. Brown now faces three additional charges of Brandishing a Firearm, Obstruction of Justice and Discharging a Firearm in an Occupied Dwelling. Joann Brown is currently being held without bond at the Southwest Regional Jail Authority in Tazewell.
Smith Still Missing
As the one year anniversary of the disappearance of a 42-year-old Cedar Bluff, Va., man approaches, the search efforts continue by local and Virginia State Police to find him. It was Nov. 8, 2013, that family members say they last saw Eric G. Smith. Since his disappearance, $20,000 has been established as a reward for any information that leads to Smith’s location and/or recovery.
According to family, Smith headed out early on the morning of Nov. 8, 2013, to go hunting on his property along West Hurt Buggy Road in Cedar Bluff. When he failed to return home that same evening, family members began searching for Smith and eventually called 911. The Cedar Bluff Police Department responded and initiated a search effort and, with the ongoing assistance of the Virginia State Police, a subsequent investigation into his disappearance.
Smith is 6 feet 1 inch in height and weighs approximately 210 pounds. He is a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He has been a long-time employee of CONSOL
“Even 12 months later not a day goes by that I don’t think about Eric,” said Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills. “We refuse to give up hope that we will find Eric, but we truly need the public’s help to bring him home. Anyone who has any information about him is asked to please reach out to us. Anonymous calls are welcome.”
Anyone with information about Smith or his whereabouts is asked to call the Cedar Bluff Police Department at 276-963-3975 or the Virginia State Police at (276)228-3131 or toll-free in Virginia at 1-800-542-8716.
The reward offered for Smith has steadily increased over the past 12 months. Smith’s employer, CONSOL Energy, has been a significant donor with the hopes of generating new leads in the case that will ultimately help law enforcement locate him.
Posted 9/26/14 6:47am
On Thursday, September 18th, 2014 Deputy Travis Hayton along with 50 other deputies, troopers and officers from around the region were recognized for their outstanding work in reducing the numbers of drunk drivers on the road by the Bristol Regional MADD organization at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center. Deputy Hayton has been responsible for taking 78 drunk drivers off of the roads of Tazewell County over the past 3 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there are approximately 11,000+ DUI related fatalities nationwide annually,
while in Virginia there are on average 250 such related deaths each year. Annually deputies, troopers and officers from around the region are brought together after being nominated by their respective agencies for the work they have done and are doing in reducing the numbers of drunk drivers on the road in our communities.
“We are very proud of the work that Deputy Hayton has put in over the past year. He continues lead by example and inspire the other deputies that work with him, helping to reduce the number of drunk drivers in our communities,” said Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt.
This annual award is given typically to the deputies,troopers and officers in their respective jurisdictions for arresting the highest number of drunk drivers from July 1st through June 30th. Deputy Hayton arrested 32 drunk drivers during that time frame last year.
BC Among the Top Tier
Posted 11/17/14 10:55pm
Bluefield College has been ranked among the top tier colleges in the South in the U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges: 2015," thanks in large part to its personal attention to students and affordability.
In fact, BC ranked 54th out of the more than 100 colleges in 12 states that make up U.S. News’ South Region, including Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Only 75 colleges in the 12 states made the distinguished Top Tier.
“While there are a number of approaches in measuring the quality of an educational experience, we are appreciative of this recognition by U.S. News,” said Dr. David Olive, president of Bluefield College. “I think this reflects well on our gifted faculty and staff and our constant pursuit of excellence in our academic and co-curricular programs.”
Nearly 400 regional colleges in four regions of the United States are evaluated in U.S. News’ annual study, including 98 colleges in the South Region, the largest region in the study and where Bluefield College ranked 54th based on its strong scores in the areas of small class sizes, financial aid packages, limited debt of graduates, and graduation rates.
According to the U.S. News survey, Bluefield College boasts among all colleges in the South the 13th best number of classes with fewer than 20 students. Seventy-six percent of Bluefield’s classes have fewer than 20 students, compared to some colleges in the South that have no classes with fewer than 20 students. With that kind of small class size, BC’s personal attention to students is among the best in the South.
“Faculty at Bluefield are not distant figures intoning from the front of a lecture hall,” said BC’s Trent Argo, vice president for enrollment management. “They think of themselves as mentors, taking a personal interest in their students, and helping them to identify and harness the passion that will move them beyond mediocrity to brilliance.”
Another measure of standard that helped Bluefield College land its Top Tier status was the generosity of its financial aid. The average financial aid package for incoming freshman at BC is just more than $18,000. The overall average financial aid package among all students is $14, 942. According to U.S. News, that’s 35th best in the South, compared to the South’s worst at $3,600.
The result of that generous financial aid: less debt for Bluefield College graduates. In fact, students who graduate from Bluefield do so with just $21,553 in debt, and according to U.S. News that’s the 13th best effort among all colleges in the South to limit student indebtedness, compared to colleges on the U.S. News list who are sending students away with more than $40,000 debt.
Similarly, the college fares well in graduating its students, said U.S. News, as evidenced by its six-year graduation rate, which ranked 30th among all colleges in the South. BC is also a military friendlyschool, according to U.S. News, who ranked Bluefield 17th among all colleges in the South in its “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.
The annual U.S. News rankings offer the opportunity for prospective students to judge the relative quality of academic institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence. Schools are categorized by mission, derived from the breakdown of the types of higher education developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The categories include National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges with regions divided into North, South, Midwest, and West. Regional colleges, like Bluefield College, focus primarily on undergraduate education.
For a complete listing of the rankings for “America’s Best Colleges: 2015,” visit the U.S. News and World Report web site atwww.usnews.com/colleges.
SWCC PSSA to Hold Christmas Bazaar
The Southwest Virginia Community College Professional Support Staff Association (PSSA) will be hosting the 2014 Christmas Bazaar on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, in King Community Center Gym from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Various vendors from around the area will be available to sell items such as jewelry, purses, fragrances, candles, art, and etc. In addition to the vendors, a bake sale and a silent auction will also be available. Proceeds go toward scholarships. To learn more about the SWCC PSSA Christmas Bazaar, please contact Jacob Richardson at 276-964-7763 or Jacob.Richardson@sw.edu.
Free Gun Safety Program Initiated
Posted 10/24/14 12:18am
The Tazewell County Sheriff's Office has launched a new program for the citizens of Tazewell County. Sheriff Brian Hieatt said his department has just initiated a free Gun Safety Program that will meet the requirements for applying for a Concealed Weapon Permit. "This is a service that we want to provide to the citizens of our county. We have certified Firearms Instructors that put the course together, and we believe that a person has the right to defend themselves and their families. I also believe that it is our right as law abiding citizens to bear arms and I fully support the 2nd Amendment." states Hieatt. In the classroom participants
will be able to ask questions about defending themselves and their families, learn about the various laws that govern the carrying of a concealed weapon and such, they will also be able to view an assortment of weapons carried by Deputy
As part of this free program citizens are given the option to go to a shooting range and practice with their firearm. This is not a requirement to get their Gun Safety Certificate but an option the Sheriff's Office felt was important because many people buy a gun and have rarely if ever used one. They will be taught how to load it, unload it, manipulate the safeties, take it apart to clean and the safe handling of their firearm. Chief of Operations Mike Shawver will be overseeing classes throughout the county. For more information call (276) 988-1151 we are planning on conducting additional classes in the Tazewell and Richlands areas, if your organization would like to sponsor a class please call the number listed above.