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St. Paul , Virginia
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October 17, 2013     Clinch Valley Times
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October 17, 2013
 

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.. Page 2 CLIMCH V,~LLEY TIMES, St. Paul, VA, Thursday, October 17, 2013 wax,. by Ann Young Gregory Reprinted from August 26, 2010 Adequate Y arly Progress. Simply put, that's the requirement which public schools in the United States must meet in Order to be in tiny with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The legislation was proposed by theGeorge W. Bush administration, and, proving that education makes strange bedfellows, was led through the Senate by Senator Ted Kennedy. The bipartisan bill received massive support. Many immediately took issue with the bill, some, like me, merely because of its name. The notion of having all children achieve on a more or less equal basis, and having all of them progress through elementary school; then middle school on their way to high school and raduation is a utopian concept. In spite of the fact that I'm basically an Optimist, it seems to me :that it's really no more than wishful thinking. I wish'it were possible for no child to be left behind; that 6ach one could be motivated and encouraged and .stimulated and well-nourished and supported at home and blessed with adequate mental capacity--all those things so that each one could succeed, graduate, and be a productive citizen. The sad truth, however, is that many children have disabi- lities which prohibit their achieving levels which those who don't. have those disabilities can reach. In addition, and- qtfite unfortunately, the educational level and socioeconomic status of the child's family are players ini.ilfi s drama, and while many families which haven't ,been as fortunate as others realize that education is the way to a better life, and provide the support and couragement for their children to succeed in schgo!, many others do not, seeming not to care whether their children go to school or drop out. The No Child Left Behind Act doesn't set academic standards itself, but depends upon each state to provide the: standards required of its children. That's actually one of the primary reasons that the legislation came into being and was so enthusiasti- cally supportedI by Congress in the first place-- educational pe rrrnance in many states was declin- ing, and it was'felt that some states weren't paying sufficient attention to what and how its children in public schools..were studying--and learning. Fortunate! .7.'v'irginia has maintained reasonably high standard r years, changing them from time to time (that cari bably be read "from administration to administratig i.'), but the standards have been there. By the time .N . Child Left Behind (NCLB) came along, Virgini ig Standards of Learning were being tested, and recall, whatever federal entity (I suppose it Department of Education) was charged wi ' yi yiewing standards set by the state, approved the- dards of Leaming (SOLs). Students in Virginia's elementary and secondary schools have been resl fsible for achieving at least minimum scores on thg $OLs for some time. Admittedly the SOLs have feebived criticism since some maintain that teachers are limited in the scope of what they provide to students since the SOLs require quite a bit of detailed information to be digested by students. In addition to the state-required standards, the NCLB has had elements added, which include testing for students with disabilities and requiring increased graduation rates, among others. The 2009-2010 AYP results for Virginia schools were announced a few weeks ago by the state's De- partment of Education, and thirty, of 123--24 percent-- of Southwest Virginia's schools failed to achieve AYP. Even so, our legion's average surpassed that of the entire state, which saw 40 percent of public schools complete the two 2009-2010 terms withqut achieving Adequate Yearly Progress. I was particularly horrified to see that four of Wise County's schools were on the "failed to make..." list. The only high school on the list is Appalachia High School, and it's likely that the graduation rate requirement was the culprit, since I don't believe AHS has ever had this NCLB result at the end of the year. The other three schools, not affected by the graduation requirement, are the county's three middle schools--Coeburn, L. F. Add- ingtonin Wise, and Powell Valley in Big Stone Gap. Failure of an entire district which, as far as I know, didn't occ in any Southwest Division, results in loss of some federal funding, as well as other penalties. Of course, I wasn't there, and soI don't know what happened that nearly 25 percent of Wise County's 17 schools should fall so short of the federal standard. I do know, however, that it's the responsibility of the school board and superintendent, as, well as principals and teachers, variously to oversee, evaluate and teach our students. Having been a part of a Wise County School Board for a number of years, I first fault the school board for apparently not requiring the superintendent to see to observation and evaluation of principals. (I think some people tend to forget, but it's good to keep in mind that the school board employs the superintendent, and not the other way around.) You probably won't be surprised to learn that I believe that one of the reasons that such a situation was allowed to occur is that both the school board and the superintendent have spent far too much time trying to consolidate the schools and not enough time doing what they're there to do--and that's to see to the education of our children! Congress is presently working on revisions and additions to No Child Left Behind, toward reauthori- zation of the bill. I admire the diligence of Congress in addressing the problem of failing schools; however, I hope in revising NCLB, members take a more realistic look at the entire educational system, and acknowledge the societal and economic gaps that exist, resulting in part in the sad fact that some children, are, in fact, left behind. .e ha, Letters! the editor.. i,f o i, ~ Readers are inviteli- write letters on matters ' general interest to the publjc.'Letters do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or -i;editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the-right to edit letters. The. ' Clinch Valley Times will .not print unsigned letters. To the Editor: o-'.,- St. Paul Elemen ,gy' Assoc- iation of Parents and Teachers (APT) would like to thank everyone who attend'eelSmad sup= pored our annual all Festival this year; it was andth~,r great success only becafis'e'-'of the community's continued support. The real gratitude'Will come fxom those who we are' able to help because of your, support and generosity (providing classroom supplies, saving for playground equipment, and improx, ing our Jermings-Nationwide Insurance, Castlewood Insurance, Carter Bank & Trust, Big M, Gio-. vanni's, Ma & Pa's Restaurant, Hileman's Tobacco Outlet, St. Paul Builders, Federated Auto Parts, All Tangled Up, Stop & Shop, Advance Auto Parts, H&R Block, Morgan-McClure Chev- rolet, Bonanza-Lebanon, Flower Country, Mountain Materials, Castlewood Funeral Home, Riverside Diner, El Palenque, BB&T, Walmart (Norton, Leb- anon & Bristol), Save-A-Lot- Lebanon, Food City-St. Paul, Brumley Gap Corn Fusion Maze, Tater Babies, Studio 22, Terry Ramsey Trucking, Pepsi Bottl- ing, Kroger-Abingdon, Amelia Trent Avon, Jessica's Little Feet, Wolfe, Williams, Rutherford & Reynolds, and Fran's Farm and Feed. Again, thank you. Sincerely, Melissa Slemp, President St. Paul Elementary APT school). This event is not only about Russell County raising funds for our s~hool but also a time for the community, Board of IDENTITY THEFT... (Continued from page 1) placed orders for the merch- depot and astonished the na- andise and he was not liable for tives, who thought the business payment. This attitude was of the house was growing with viewed with extreme skepticism tremendous rapidity. The goods by the wholesale suppliers. were delivered at M. V. Bates Most people thought Bates Sr. old store, but it was noticed that had been a co-conspirator of wagon loads of them were Bates Jr. These allegations were shipped off to other points. At vehemently denied by Bates Sr. MAYOR'S MESSAGE... (Cominued from page 1) our recreational growth is attract and provide lodging and travel accommodations. The IDA and others are working toward this goffl. As most of you have noticed, our downtown business area has been greatly improved during the year. The fagade portion of the CDBG grant to remove blight is nearing completion. Bids on the streetscape portion will be opened in October and construction will begin on new sidewalks, lighting, and land- scaping from Riverside Drive to Russell Street On 4~ Avenue. St. Paul has received a VDOT Enhancement Grant to continue the improvements all the way up to Farmers Market Square. We will continue to apply for additional VDOT Enhancements funds each year to eventually complete the upgrades through- out the downtown area. The Clinch River Farmers Market is a solid success and a monthly winter market is being considered again this year. In addition to offering an array of fresh locally grown vegetables, fruits, and honey, the market also showcases arts, crafts, clogging, and good blue grass music. Spending time at the market has become a weekly social event for local residents, but also draws visitors fro*m Russell, Dickenson, Wise and Scott counties, as well as those visiting the area from out of state. We have several ongoing utility projects at this time. The painting and repairs to six of our seven water tanks is near completion. The Gray Hill tank is the only remaining tank and it will be completed within the month. Completion of this pro- ject, funded by the Virginia Department of Health, offers reassurance to our citizens that all of our water tanks are in excellent sanitary condition. The encourages citizens that will be out of town for several days to inform the department so of- ricers will be aware to monitor these homes. The Town Treasurer's office was audited for the 2012FY with an outstanding report of a clean audit with no findings. We are indeed fortunate to have the office staff that we employ, especially when we read about all of the problems other area towns and cities have faced. I can assure the citizens of St.. Paul that while we are exercising our options to improve our town parks, pool, downtown, and our infrastructure, the Town is build- ing a reserve fund to provide for future development and unfore- seen emergencies. While we strive to make sure our current residents enjoy the amenities in our community, I believe we must make sure our town re- mains in sound financial stand- ing for our future citizens and leaders. St. Paul does not employ a large work force, but we have a dedicated group of workers who manage to keep our tawn clean, provide the best water in South- west Virginia, and keep our infrastructure in reliable con- dition. You can thank those employees and a group of for- ward thinking council members for much of our success. In closing, I would like to express my appreciation and recognize the volunteer groups -who work constantly to improve St. Paul and provide an atmos- phere for expanded economic growth and a better quality of life in our community. Thank you to the Farmer's Market Committee, St. Paul Tomorrow, the Main Street committees, and all of those who volunteer their individual time to assist with the maintenance of our trails, the Railroad Museum, Appalachian Heritage Days, the Santa Train Sludge Removal Project is com- and plete and the site for the new regional wastewater treatment plant is ready. The water and sewer line crossing on the 58A bridge is also 95% complete and will allow an above ground method of transporting water and sewer across the, river. The wastewater treatment plant is ready for bid and we are hopeful Christmas Bazaar, the Christmas Parade and Tr~ Light, Clinch River Days and Kid's Fishing Tournament. A small town such as Ours is able to provide so much because of the time and dedication of so many. Thank you, Hubert Kyle Fletcher Mayor that construction could begin in early spring. Funding for the Coffee Time at Sludge Removal, 58A Bridge -,r ~11 Attachment and construction of Llorary the Regional Wastewater Treat- ment Facility is a combination of loan and grant from USDA Rural Development, ARC, and the Virginia Tobacco Commis- sion. The Tdwn has also been awarded a Rural Development grant and loan to replace the downtown sewer lines and pro- vide sewer infrastructure to the West Hills section of St. Paul. We expect the design portion of this project to begin late fall or early winter. We are very pleased to get this project funded because our downtown sewer lines have been causing pro- blems for quite some time and the West Hills residents of St. Paul have been promised sewer last some of the merchants of and he was eventually able to for more than thirty years. Lynchburg became suspicious, furnish corroborating proof. He As we enter the fall season, and sent drummers to St. Paul to also negotiated a settlement with we have severalupcoming look into the matter. They soon the defrauded merchants. The unearthed the whole swindle, to criminal charges against him the amount of thousands of were dismissed but his cry- dollars, and had the two Bates dibility had been destroyed. His arrested Dale escaped into personal assets and stock in Kentucky. On investigation the trade were lost to garnishments, house of M. K Bates was found levies, and attachments. With- full of the goods fraudulently obtained, and all his property and assets were levied upon by the sheriff for the benefit of the creditors. As many as ten houses were swindled in Lynch- burg, two in Richmond, one in Knoxville, and several in other cities, including a New York building became the property of pare for bad weather and pos- qotion house in Roanoke. The another merchant. Later, Bates sible power outages. I encourage Lynchburg merchants hope to Jr. returned to Kentucky with his our elderly citizens or any other save themselves in a measure by wife and children. The Bates citizen needing assistance to having first detected thefraud cousins were forgotten and their contact the town hall at 762- out credit or stock, neither Bates Sr. or Bates Jr. could resume business. The resulting lawsuit dragged on in court for about three years as the Bates cousins struggled to satisfy creditors and supplies to keep our town roads stay out of jail. in good condition during snow. I Meanwhile...Bate Sr's. store would also ask everyone to pry-. events that require hard work from the town employees, civic groups, and individual volun- teers. We hope each and every citizen is able to participate and enjoy the Appalachian Heritage Days, the Santa Train & Christmas Bazaar, the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. AS winter approaches, we will prepare by making sure we have the proper equipment and parents, and students to come story was consigned to St. Paul's 5297 or Police Chief Be Phillips together and get to-kn9w each Supervisors. When the bills began pour- cobwebbed attic of time. Then, at 762-5022 to be added to an other. Everyone who' supported ing in, Bates Sr. refused to pay as now, business on Russell "alert list". This list will be used them. He stated that he had not Street continued as usual. our Fall Festival by" attending, member resigns by the Police Department to sponsoring, or donating their op check on individuals that may time or equipment has.helped to The ssoll of School Bucks at C per Creek need assistance during emergen- make a difference for otir school Supervisors, by its chairman, Jon and community. Bowerbank, announced the re- :~rhe School Bucks Program mended for taking the time tO" cies or lengthy power outages. The St. Paul Police Depar- register their Food City tment, by using grant funds and ValuCard for the school, looking for quality used vehic- With the start of a new les, have greatly improved their school year the School Bucks automobile fleet. This increases Program for 2013-2014 has their ability to patrol and serve kicked off at Food City stores in the public more efficiently. Our We would like to extend a signation of one of its members, 2012-2013 was very successful special thanks to our., sponsors Larry W. Rasnake. for Copper Creek Elementary this year: Town of St,.Paul, St. On Wednesday, October 9 School. The money earned from Paul Police Departrg,~nL Clinch ~Mrl Bowerbank received from the program allowed the school Valley Times, Frank.,~Kilgore, . Rasnake a brief letter of to install a new security camera P.C., Crossroads Epgineering, resignation, effective this week. system throughout their building LLC, Dr. Lu Ellsworth, Oliver Mr. Rasnake was elected in which can be continuously men- Coal Sales, Chafi~l,o~ Firm, November 2011 to the seat' itored from the school office. Scott W. Mullins, B,,.(~.~'~lorgan- representing the yd District of Parents, other family mem- McClure Ford, Ca~y,'M!iys-State Russell County. bers, and friends should be com- Farm Insurance, Ha.~la,'~n Phar- Said Bowerbank, "The Board macy, Kristy's H o~7~f Style, appreciates Larry Rasnake's C.R. Pate, Miner~s,-~Lxchange service to the County and we Bank, New Peoplts "~ank, Ed wish him well." the area, and everyone must register their Food City ValuCard again for the new school year. police department has estab- lished a very close working relationship with both Russell and Wise County. These im- proved communications have proven to be extremely helpful in controlling drugs and crime in St. Paul. The Police Department lassified advertising works...call 762-7671 Every Wednesday at I0:00 a.m. the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library will host Coffee Time for all area senior citizens. Seniors are invited to stop by the library from 10:00 a.m. - I 1:00 a.m. and have a cup of coffee, tea, cider, or hot chocolate and light refreshments. Visit with your friends, talk about the news going on in the area, read the local newspapers or browse through our magazine selections. Make plans to come by the library each Wednesday for coffee and conversation. For more information contact the library at 276-762-9702. Clinch Valley Times MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. The Clinch Valley Times serves the four-county area of Wise, Russell, Dickenson and Scott, with offices and plant located in the CLINCH VALLEY TIMES building, 16541 Russell Street. Periodicals postage is paid at the Post Office in St. Paul, VA 24283. Alien Gregory Editor/Adv. Susan Trent Adv./Graphics ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: In advance: $28.50 in Wise and Russell counties; $30.00 in other 24-zip codes; elsewhere, $32.50. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Clinch Valley Times, P.O Box 817, St. Paul, VA 24283 SINGLE COPY - 50c Classified Advertising: Mini- mum charge, $6.00 for up to 20 words, in advance; 25c per word after 20 words. Display Advert- ising rates on application. Periodicals publication Post ISSN: 767600