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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
June 16, 2011     Clinch Valley Times
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June 16, 2011

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Page 2 CLINCH V _ALLEY "I~IMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, June 16, 2011 d ships..and sealing Young Gregory A grim milestone The day Xvas beautifully sunny, and the temperature bi'gke 90 degrees, in spite of the fact that the calendar proclaimed that summer had not yet officially arrived. Outdoors, everything was calm, and appeared to be about perfect. Inside, however, the mood was totally different. The day was Fri , and the date, June 10, the closing day of school in Wise County. For St. Paul High School students, it was a particularly difficult day to face, and it bed ariae more so causing tears to flow. The day was'the last that area teenagers would attend St. Paul"'High School as students. While it's true that they might one day re-enter the building, it will not be used as St. Paul High School again. For the past four orm0re years, the prevailing majority on Wise CountyY'School Board :has evidently been determined for iwahatever reasons to split the county and initiate consolidation of the county's public schools, in spit 6/" what many of the county's citizens had to say. Of course, there were some who favored consolidation--their reasons seemed to center on saving money. So'me mentioned that a wider curricula could be offered, to students--not true, since the castlewood and St. Paul children play Little League together, go to church together, shop with their parents together--we're really one big community. The Wise County School Board just this week voted to ask the Board of Supervisors to fund a $60 million building program--for a $25 million school in Wise, the same in Powell Valley, and a $10 million addition to Coebum. This is being proposed after the fact--the student populations of the three smaller schools are to be crammed into the existing larger schools without benefit even of renovation, much less new buildings And until the Supervisors approve of the expenditure of $60 million, the proposed building program is nothing but an idea. Meanwhile, here in St. Paul, we're going to be without our high school I've been assured that all the school's yearbooks and Videos are safely retained by the Town, and the huge collection of trophies--athletic and academic--are now under the ownership of the Town. They will be collected and safel stored. The ideal situation would be, as one dedicated SPHS alumna suggested, an Alumni House to use as a sort of St. Paul High School museum, as well as a meeting Bristol YMCA approves affiliation with Russell County The Bristol Family YMCA. areas that the Y targets when Board of Directors has approved providing programs: Youth Dev- the process of establishingelopment, Healthy Lifestyles and YMCA program services to Rns- Social Responsibility. sell County. As reported inThe community is invited to November 2010, the Friends of attend upcoming information Russell County Wellness and Fitness, Inc., after receiving val- uable community input and per- forming extensive research, -voted to affiliate with the Bristol Family YMCA. This decision began a process in which the Bristol YMCA, the YMCA USA, and the Board of Russell County sessions with the YMCA steer- ing committee and representa- fives from the Bristol Y (days and times to be announced). You will have an opportunity to ask questions, discuss specific pro- grams that will be offered initially, and learn more of the vision for future development Wellness and Fitness, Inc., enter- not only of Y programs but of a ed negotiations to determine facility that can house these whether a relationship between programs and serve our our county and the YMCA could be established. On April 7, the Bristol Y Board of Directors approved affiliation with Russell County, allowing us to move forward in bringing services to residents' health and wellness needs. For this exciting opportunity to come to fruition, we will need the input and support of our entire county. Dr. Melton en- the county that will target the courages Community support and wellness and fitness of all 0wiae --fi]p of this effort, stating, residents. "Whether it be through church, What exactly does affiliation with the Y mean for our county? Chris Ayers, executive director of the Bristol Y, explains. "The relationship between school or work place, every individual in Russell County is involved in his or her com- munity. The Russell County Y- will only succeed if we can col- Bristol and Russell County will laborate with community organi- be the same as hundreds of other zation and develop partnerships communities across the country, that benefit all involved. If you We will be one association serv- like the idea of a Russell County ing two separate communities --- Internet can Woi'k its magic to offer any class, place for school-related groups, under one umbrella. As one Y' talki-t up. When you are- associati -, - approached about becomin a , t on, we are aole to serve o containing two students or two hundred, any subject. I ve been told that the St. Paul lawsmt was a larger population while sharing member of our Y, joinus!" Wise County, in'fact, helped Virginia to pioneer the dropped because of the emotional drain which has certain costs like HR respon- 1 Again,_ please be on the concept of the de'ctronic classroom. I understand that already taken its toll on St Paul's students, and would sibilities, public relations, print- ut for upcoming infer- ~ - " ed materials, etc The Bristol meett s r abg u mgo puouc today, one may earn a college degree online--surely continue to do so if the case dragged on, as was Familv YMCA will be able to " g ur new high school students can manage to learn geometry or predicted, until late July or early August Such a delay provide support and share ex- affiliation, w!th the Bristol Y; " Spanish II from'agood online class! would wreak more havoc among students who are i aP l nrC ogrea hed nvPe .,,tmg v o teUn l U sSUPtP n Research Cari'ied on by a member of Voice for having a hard time adapting to the idea of atten-di-ng The mission of the Bmtolprocess. Community Schools, St. Paul's 501(c)(3) effort to - - - - , - , Family YMCA (echoing that of xxr t~ __ - another school--and since they re reqmred to ao so-- the YMCA of the USA) is "To wise t.;ountv combat consolidation, provided the information that which one. In addition, historicallyl judges tend to put Christian principles into . " practice through programs that in West Virgirfi , which has made a push through the make decisions in favor of school boards, which (at .... " ......... Shenff' s Report . . ouna nemmy,, sptr mma ann The Wise r'oUntv past few years to-consolidate nearly the entire state, least now) are elected bodies chosen to do the Deo- body for all To achieve this .... J ........ that neither the numbers of administrators in the ' .... -- miss i0n the fi Office reports the following le s b ocuses on three p usmess as far as public educaUon is concerned, mum et are activities for the period of central office 'were .reduced by consolidating the Personall I' " " g as: youth devel- y, m convinced that the change m many onment h nithv lif .etwl .... ,4 5/30/2011 through 6/05/2011. schools, nor weft: school budgets reduced. To the Virginia school districts to elect rather than at)t)oint social "res'ponsi-'bili'+'. A'#s" Ay'Ue Wise Cent l Dispatch.received a, contrary, m0st;.sL)ent more money than they had -" pin ,, ... totmoILatscmlsrortmsseven-; school board members is the reason for the nroblems p ts out, Socml responslbihty day neriod f .q - is aoout servlno nrn~re l~en., r O the total call_ anticipated spending when the schools were still x day. Ea h district, by the way, voted as viding services in Russell Cou- . .......... which e istto c ...... ~' ........... " received 396 were dispatched to' maintained in the qarious communities. - n rovides th me nenr s umce. tot,at to whether or not it would elect its school boards. _otYrtunP. _ . e .Y the op- number of Domestic calls for this Another serious problem which surfaced in the " . , . p rtunlty to reacn mto a new .... While the system works in some places, I m sure. it ': ~,,,~,,,,,,in, ann ,,,,-,,,, f, tt,, u,h,, period was 25. Cnmmal Process. - - ................. for the same period served 25< research on cOnsolidation is t t,, some students-- does open the door for citizens to run for office toe never had the, opportunity . ~..t .... ~r .....,:, ~,:..~^ ursue .... v .......... ,, ,. particularly those ho are termed at risk," virtually . . . . toex,~,,,; .... ,h.v r~,ou~, ,~aJtaa~, v, ,vunuc- p a personal pohtlcal goal rather than to provade YMCAs offer a wide. var;, tv meaner Warrants, 2 DUI Arrest slipped througl ." .the cracks, so to speak, and were lost the best possible education for the district's children, of programs- t--o- aciaieve'-the"(r worked 2 Traffic .Accident; - .......... , ..... pals of aidih'-"'outh devel^-- lVlJ process mr mls penoa: as far as com tihity-school nurturing could haveAfter all, the cluldren are what it s all about in the . .s . ., up-- served "iv:' ""-:-- menr nromotin~ n,'~l*h,, !;,. aua ~ n rap~. L~mm~ taken them to graduation. " first place. I've repeated, probably ad nauseam as far styles ~md encouraging' "q'u's socml'*:" this . seven-day period. 26 res onsibili These gro s~ additional Criminal mvesti- In addition to" abandoning the best interests of the as some people are concerned, that education has Pl . ty.. gram ......... ..... . ..... torea to me specific needs : ........ .... community's students, consolidation has destro3>ed .... ....... aretal ' o.,,. never been a bargmn basement item m a school ,,,a , ,h,, .... ;,;,,, ! what I've alwaSt ?considered to ' hea i'0f !St,i district'S budget, and, that,' ermore, Public ;in-'Vwh'ich '"]hey &' 30 Paul--its high school. Everyone in the town and many .......... 'Hu-"es Melton current chairof man-hours ot Court Room education is probably the most n-nportant Rem that theVl~ussell County y gto.o.rlno Security for the three courts and in the surrounding area have sent their children to the taxpayers fund, considering that its effectiveness ."Committee (formerl'ay the'Bo the courthouse. _ -- St. Paul schoolsi-' aey now have to make the decision determines the future " , of Russell County Wellness and neriff's Office tran- . :" Fitness Inc a emnh*i-,'- )h,. sported 0 adult in state, 0 adult to send their cl'i]ldren 12 miles away to Eastside High We've lost our school--and our students, as have benefits of "such nVro a" min"' out of state, 3 mental patient, and ....... -. ..... ~---~ ....... ~' 9 juveniles'for a total of 12 School (Coebm ,; renamed), or to take them two miles Appalachia and Pound. The school board and the for our residents. .......... su enn " to Castlewood'/-I ,h School. Although in another - The Y i ......... ;,, a,.; u'ansports, mvo~vmg~z.anours. p tendent have caused a grievous loss to all of ven organization As the citizen.q The Shenff's Office unlocked ' '~ " ----- 4 vehicles and escorted 8 funeral county, CastlewSod is the more logical place for St. W se County s three small communities--their hearts of Russell County enoaoe with Paul children--it's obviously much closer, and their students and their economie well-being.. ' the Y, they will de.te a e what dunngthisseven-daypenod. " -- : ........ ~ '~r ~'~ " :'''.'"X ' "--" "1" " -- " ' ' Programs me Y WUl otter. Ires Let ters b the.t 2 ~k:;:L~i~'d/'/~;:: :onso ...... ' ................... . . proceSSCounty,sW,lly progrmnsenSure tlaat Russellfocus on // ~~~., '~" :\ ' " ':~- our areas of greatest need. While , [~~~,," 3~ hda o ment is proposing a 35% sewer completed, the rates will be so-" of youth development, healthy i~[ ~- ~a~