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Secondary Math Teacher

Career Opportunity

If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of Virginia’s youth, then we want you to become part of our Team!  Private rural residential special education facility for teen girls and boys seeks a full-time secondary Math Teacher to teach Algebra I and II.  Math degree and experience teaching Algebra I and II preferred.  Will give serious consideration to candidates with a degree in a subject other than Math if the applicant possesses a Math endorsement from the Virginia Department of Education.  Qualified candidates should possess a current Virginia Teacher’s License with math endorsement.  Qualified candidates must possess the analytical and observational skills to make decisions which safeguard the health, safety, and educational plans of students in care. 

Competitive salary & benefits.  Compensation package includes employer matching 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision, & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screen and criminal background screening.  EOE.  Position opened until filled. 

E-mail, fax or mail resume and cover letter to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Attn: Chris Thompson
Job # 2020-5
546 Walnut Grove Drive
Jarratt, Virginia 23867
Fax: (434) 634-6237

Career Opportunity

Secondary Science Teacher

Would you like to provide educational direction and instruction to Virginia’s disadvantaged youth in a small class setting?  A private rural accredited residential special education facility seeks experienced Virginia licensed Secondary Science Teacher.  This position teaches Secondary Science courses including but not limited to:  Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science.  Qualified candidates must possess a Virginia Teacher’s License with endorsement(s) in the Sciences or meet the eligibility requirements to obtain the required license.  Qualified candidates must possess the analytical and observational skills to make decisions which safeguard the health, safety, and educational plans of students in care.

Competitive salary & benefits including employer sponsored health, dental, vision, & life insurance and a 401(k) retirement plan with an employer match.

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and drug free work place.  Applicants must satisfactorily complete criminal background, CPS, and drug/alcohol screenings.  Position open until filled.

E-mail, fax or mail resume and cover letter to:

Chris Thompson
Re:  Job #: 2020-4
546 Walnut Grove Drive
Jarratt, Virginia 23867
Fax: (434) 634-6237



Career Opportunity


Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for youth located ten minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks Virginia licensed LPN. Psychiatric experience a plus.   Full-time position.  Twelve hour evening/overnight shift (8PM to 8AM).

Compensation package includes employer matching 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screening and criminal background screening.  Position open until filled. EOE.

E-mail, fax, or mail cover letter & resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2020-3
Attn: Chris Thompson
Fax: (434) 634-6237

Career Opportunity

Residential Counselors

If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of Virginia’s youth, then we want you to become part of our Team!  Residential Treatment Facility located in Jarratt, Virginia seeks positive role models to work directly with adolescent boys and girls in a residential treatment program.  The Residential Counselor is responsible for role-modeling healthy behavior and teaching life skills while implementing trauma-informed treatment practices.  This is a full-time position.

Must possess the availability to work weekends, evenings, and holidays.  Flexibility is a must.  Seeking candidates with experience working in the department of corrections (adult or juvenile), or working with youth in the community or in a formal setting.   A Bachelors’ degree is preferred but NOT Required.  Starting pay ranges from $12.50 to $14.50/hr. depending upon experience and credentials.  Shift differential is provided for week-day evening shift and for first and second shifts on the weekend.

Compensation package includes 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screen and criminal background screening.  EOE.  Positions open until filled.

E-mail cover letter and resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Attn: Chris Thompson
Job # 2020-8


Total positive Coronavirus Cases in our Community, as reported by the Health Department:

Locality Emporia Greensville* Brunswick* Southampton* Sussex*
Positive Reported Today 175 482 228 267 302
Positive Reported Previously 171 438 212 225 280
Total Deaths Reported 15 11 2 13 9

Cases in our area are still on the rise. Please continue to wash your hands and avoid thouching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.

*There are State Correctional Facilites in each of these counties.

Wear a mask in public

(a properly worn mask COVERS YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE and does not hang below your chin or rest atop your head),

continue to socially distance

and wash or sanitize your hands often.

The death toll in Emporia has risen significantly in the last few days. Between June 26 and July 2 the City reported the loss of NINE (9) souls to Covid 29. Properly Worn Masks, Social Distancing and Proper Hand Washing/Sanitization may well have saved even one or two of the NINE (9) people who died during those eight days.

We're all in this together...

As we begin to enter Phase Two, masks are REQUIRED IN PUBLIC and everyone is still strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and regular handwashing.

Lee Recognized for Service on VCU Health CMH Board of Directors

John Lee (right) is pictured here receiving a plaque from W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, in appreciation for his nine years on the CMH Board of Directors.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recently acknowledged John Lee’s three terms of service on the hospital’s board of directors, including the past year as board chairman. The hospital’s bylaws limit service on the Board to three consecutive terms and each term is for a three-year period.  W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health CMH, recognized Lee for volunteering his service to the organization and presented him with a commemorative crystal award at the board’s June meeting.

"As a member of the CMH Board of Directors, John has been a vital part of the many positive changes that have occurred at CMH over the past nine years.  From chairing the committee that led to our affiliation with VCU Health, to building a new hospital; John, among other dedicated members of the board, has helped lead the board through these grand achievements of our hospital.  We are fortunate to have people like John, that volunteer their time, and put tremendous effort into making our community a better place," said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health CMH.

Lee commented on his tenure on the board, stating, “Serving on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital board of directors has been a highly gratifying and educational experience, and I am very proud to have been a part of the hospital’s considerable accomplishments in the past nine years. Our affiliation with VCU Health was a game changer for our hospital and the quality of care offered to this region, and the board’s efforts to seek out and secure an affiliate was challenging work, but in the end incredibly gratifying, especially now after they have proven themselves to be worthy partners, time and time again.”

VCU Health CMH is a community-owned nonprofit hospital providing health services for the south-central region of Virginia and portions of northern North Carolina, offering quality, state-of-the-art health care in a safe, convenient, patient friendly environment. Since 1954, the hospital’s employees, physicians, volunteers and board of directors have supported the organization’s mission of providing excellence in the delivery of health care.

Today, VCU Health CMH has a new hospital with 70 private patient rooms and a long term care facility with an additional 140 beds, providing a wide array of in-patient services, including acute care and long-term care along with many outpatient programs such as home health, hospice and many others. Since its inception, the hospital has grown to be one of the area’s largest employers with more than 800 employees, more than 100 volunteers and 177 providers, representing 26 medical specialties, on staff.

“It’s been and honor and privilege to serve on the board and to work with my fellow directors and Scott and his capable team at the hospital. All of them are highly dedicated and work diligently to provide high quality health care, with desirable options, at a contemporary, state of the art facility…I’d say we’re doing all that successfully. Serving our community on the VCU Health CMH board has been a great opportunity for me to give back to my community, and I wish them continued success,” Lee added.

Lee is President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and EMPOWER Broadband, Inc. in Chase City. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) proudly powers over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex in Virginia and portions of Granville, Northampton, Person, Vance, and Warren counties in North Carolina.  It is headquartered in Chase City and has district offices in Chase City, VA, Emporia, VA, Gretna, VA, and Bracey, VA.

"Is it Fair"

In traveling one sees lots of things
hat to most I'm sure amaze
yet you wonder how their pets feel
on these overheated days.
Now you're traveling down the freeway
or a scenic tour there and about
well you may be enjoying all you take in
but your pets would like to get out.
Well of course its an inconvenience
yet you knew of this ahead
they didn't need to make this journey
for you could have left at a shelter instead.
Yes I'm sure you’d get an earful
if your pets could only talk
most would like to decide foe themselves
when to get up, lay down or walk.
Now their not always ready to eat and drink
just because that's what you say
yet you're responsible and have to try
for from home you're now miles away.
Yes do yourself a favor of sorts
no matter what you may hear
give your pets a vacation too
and leave them at home next year.
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


Truck Driver:  Drives tanker truck to predetermined destinations. Work with paving crews. Maintains a truck log in accordance with state and federal regulations and company policy. Communicates any problems with traffic or with site conditions. Gets information on the location of the job site and the locations of any light bridges or roads on the way to the site. Complies with all aspects of truck maintenance, cleanliness and repair in accordance with the guidelines. Performs other job-related duties as required or assigned.  Job Order #2010182

Heavy Equipment Operator:  Operate/drive construction type/truck equipment. Wear and work in different types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Climbing/stooping while wearing PPE. May assist in the training of new or less skilled equipment operators. Read and interpret site-specific safety plan at each site; may be amended daily. Read and interpret equipment operator manuals, etc.  Job Order #1981219

Administrative Assistant:  Computer skills including proficiency in a Windows environment which includes Microsoft Office, Excel and PowerPoint. Ability to use drop down menus, point and click software, multiple screens and the ability to enter data accurately. Ability to use word processing and spreadsheet software. Demonstrate knowledge of basic accounting and mathematics. Assists in the preparation and monitoring of the annual budget. Ability to maintain confidentiality on sensitive matters.  Job Order #2009818

Tax Preparer:  Conduct face-to-face tax interviews with clients. Prepare complete and accurate tax returns. Generate business growth, increase client retention, and offer additional products and services. Provide IRS audit support. Support office priorities through teamwork and collaboration. Ability to effectively communicate in person and in writing. Experience working in a fast-paced environment, etc.  Job Order #2008828

Heavy Equipment Operator:  Receive raw materials, checking for trash and other contaminants. Work through the various stages of production using heavy equipment wheel loader for blending, grinding and screening. Load bulk trucks with wheel loader. Some tote and bag production using forklift. Responsible for monitoring equipment for preventative maintenance. Keep accurate records. Keep production equipment and area neat and clean.   Job Order #1974082



The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

VCU Health CMH Announces New Board Directors & Officers


Cindy Pecht  (left) was first appointed to the CMH Board in 2002.  She is a past Vice-Chairman and past Treasurer of the Board, and serves on a number of hospital committees, including three at VCU Health System in Richmond.  Cindy resides in Lawrenceville, VA, where she is a fourth-generation beer wholesaler and owner of Pecht Distributors, Inc.  Pecht currently serves as Chairman of the Lawrenceville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.  She is also active in the Lawrenceville Rotary Club and Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Cathy Palmer (below left)is a Pathologist and since 2003 has been the Laboratory Medical Director at CMH.  She joined the Pathology Department at VCU as Assistant Professor in 2016.  She attended medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine and did her Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at VCU, finishing in 2000.  She has previously held the position as the Director of Medical Affairs at CMH and is currently involved in leadership of the medical staff at CMH including work with Medical Staff Quality Improvement, Grand Rounds (Continuing Medical Education), Tumor Board (Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference), and as Chair of CMH Credentials Committee.  Outside of VCU Health CMH, she is the Regional Commissioner, and Virginia Assigning Commissioner for the College of American Pathologists, for laboratory accreditation.  

Don Bright (below right) is the President at Meherrin River Forest Products in Alberta Virginia.  He has held this position since 2011.  He is also a graduate of Virginia Tech University.











VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill is pleased to announce the newest members of the CMH Board of Directors. Governed by 10 citizens of its service area and four representatives of VCU Health, the 14-member board of directors is comprised of both medical and non-medical individuals representing a wide array of businesses and professions. These dedicated volunteers along with VCU Health and CMH Administration share a fundamental belief that local communities are in the best position to identify and meet local health care needs.  

The CMH Board of Directors represent our service areas of Brunswick, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg counties.  In general, each member serves three consecutive three-year terms; however, there is a provision for them to serve longer when necessary.  The Board sets policy, oversees the financial well being of the hospital and is responsible for long-range planning.  In addition and most importantly, the Board is responsible for oversight of the quality, safety and service levels that patients receive at CMH and for approving the appointment of physicians and other licensed providers as members of the Medical Staff.   

New members joining the Board during the June meeting were:  Dr. Cathy Palmer, Pathologist and Laboratory Medical Director at VCU Health CMH and Don Bright, President at Meherrin River Forest Products.    

The officers of the CMH Board of Directors for this year are:  Chairman, Ms. Cindy H. Pecht representing Brunswick; Vice-Chairman, Mr. William E. “Billy” Wells, Jr. representing Mecklenburg; Treasurer, Mr. Jay Stafford representing Lunenburg, and Secretary, Mr. Paul Neimeyer with VCU Health. 

“The Board is committed to continuing and expanding the availability of quality health care services in the region.  We deeply appreciate the wonderful people who make VCU Health CMH a great hospital, and we are grateful for the strong support CMH receives from the VCU Health System in Richmond.,” said Chairman Pecht. 

Other Board Members include: Clint Clary representing Brunswick; Cecil Shell representing Lunenburg; Kendele Underwood and Billy Wilkinson representing Mecklenburg; and Mr. Ron Clark, Dr. David Chelmow, Ms. Melinda Hancock and Dr. Tom Yackel representing VCU Health.  Legal Counsel is provided by Mr. Paul Neimeyer with VCU Health; Dr. Desi Rimon represents the CMH medical staff as the Chief of Staff and Kenny Pitts represents the CMH Auxiliary as the Auxiliary President. 

The CMH Board of Directors volunteer their time and expertise to assure that our community, nonprofit hospital remains on a strong course for the future.  These Directors generously give of themselves, their time, experience and skills and in turn to their community to ensure that VCU Health CMH continues to enhance the health and well-being of the citizens of Southside Virginia and Northern North Carolina. 

Pecht also stated, “We are in the midst of what is certainly one of the most challenging times in our hospital’s 66-year history.  It is truly awe-inspiring to see the dedication and bravery shown by the medical staff, senior leadership team, and each and every employee of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital as they protect and provide care for the community during a pandemic.  I am humbled to serve as Chairman of the Board of this extraordinary organization.”

Gordon Franklin Barnes

January 12, 1939-August 7, 2020

Visitation Services

Saurday, August 8, 2020, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Echols Funeral Home Chapel
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia

Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 3:00 P.M.


Monumental United Methodist Church
300 Southampton Street
Emporia, Virginia, 23847


Gordon Franklin Barnes, 81, of Emporia, Virginia left his earthly home and entered his heavenly home on August 7, 2020 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Nancy Wendell Barnes. Left to cherish his memory are his daughter Terry Barnes Braddy and husband Bubba, son Douglas Gordon Barnes and wife Lynn, along with his grandchildren Hannah (Blake), Holton, Ethan, and Elizabeth Grace Barnes “aka his doodlebug”,  his brother Donnie Barnes (Linda), sister Shirley Barnes Phillips (Homer), sister inlaws Wilhelmina Barnes, and Mary Hattan (Jake), and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Gordon Venable Barnes and Lois Harrell Barnes, and brother Ronnie Albert Barnes.

Gordon married the love of his life Nancy, after only six months of dating, on January 18, 1959, six days after his 20th birthday.  His mother Lois had to sign the marriage license for him because at the time you had to be 21 to get married. Gordon loved cooking, gardening, ball games, racing, hunting, the rescue squad, his church, and fishing. Before his children started playing ball he loved going to races on the weekends.  Another one of his favorite past times was fishing with his buddies even though he couldn’t swim. If you had to describe him with a word it would be service, he loved serving his community any way that he could. He was a charter, lifetime and master member of the Greensville County Volunteer Rescue Squad and was an active member for approximately 30 years. He also served in the National Guard for 8 years. He coached football and baseball for the EGRA for many years. He was chairman of building and grounds at Monumental United Methodist Church where he served for many years and would always help cook for fundraiser dinners too.

Gordons pride and joy was his family. He loved cooking for his family and watching any kind of ball game. He spent most of his time following his children and grandchildren to ball games. You could always find him with a wagon packed down with goodies for everyone at the field. When he was at travel ball games for any of the grandchildren on the weekends, he was considered the team Papa. He always had soup when it was cold and country ham sandwiches in the summer. Later in his life you could find him outside riding his scooter with the flag around the yard.

While his loss leaves a hole in our family that will never fill, we will always cherish the thousands of memories we have with him. 

Visitation will be on August 8, 2020, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., at Echols Funeral Home, and the funeral will be at Monumental United Methodist Church on August 9, 2020 at 3:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Monumental United Methodist Church or Greensville Rescue Squad.

Online condolences may be made at

Geraldine Allen Bass

August 15, 1929-August 6, 2020


11 a.m. Saturday, August 8

Fountain Grove Baptist Church Cemetery

11539 Lowground Rd
Emporia, VA 23847

Geraldine Allen Bass, 90, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, August 6, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas E. Bass, Sr.; her daughter, Mitzi Cantrell, a sister, Audrey Whitehead and two brothers, Elton Allen and Calvin “Butch” Allen.

Mrs. Bass is survived by her daughter, Janie Kitchen of Skippers; son, Thomas E. Bass, Jr. of Little Elm, TX; grandson, Duane Kitchen (Robin) of Orange County, CA; sister, Mildred Pittard (Don) of Murfreesboro, TN; three brothers, Troy Allen of Rocky Mount, NC, Graham Allen of Wake Forest, NC and Gilbert Allen of Roanoke Rapids, NC; sister-in-law, Faye Allen of East Point, GA and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Saturday, August 8 at Fountain Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Anne “Bobs” Bass Dodd

August 20, 1920 - August 5, 2020

Anne “Bobs” Bass Dodd, 99, passed away on August 5, 2020. Mrs. Dodd was the daughter of the late Maude Beaty Bass and Mack G. Bass, Sr. of Wilson, NC. She survived her husband of 59 years, Felix V. Dodd, her grandson, Paul N. Masters, and great-grandson, Barry T. Lamm.

She died peacefully attended by her daughter, Linda. Mrs. Dodd died in her own bedroom at the home of David and Linda Chandler where she had resided over four years.

Before she married “Bobs” Bass was born and raised in Wilson, NC., and graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1937. She went to Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, NC., where she met her future husband. She then attended Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

On February 29, 1940, she exchanged vows at the First United Methodist Church in Wilson, NC., with the love of her life, Felix V. Dodd. “Bobs” and Felix enjoyed traveling and liked playing golf. No one was more surprised than “Bobs” when during a woman’s tournament, she got a hole-in-one. She also enjoyed traveling overseas to many different countries with family and friends.

Mrs. Dodd leaves behind three daughters: Julia D Masters (Edwin P.), Linda D. Chandler (David W.), Martha Dodd – Slippy (Thomas). She has three grandchildren: Lori Lamm, Travis Masters, and Anne Barmer. Mrs. Dodd had seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Dodd was a member of several clubs and organizations in the community as well as an active member of the Main Street United Methodist Church. She belongs to the UDC and DAR as was her mother. Reading was a hobby of hers, and for many years she taught American Red Cross First Aid. In Lieu of flower donations in the memory of Anne B. Dodd to be given to the American Red Cross.

Online condolences may be made at


Pino's Pizza Explosion Injures Three

An explosion at Pino's Pizza in the early evening hours of Wednesday, August 5 sent three employees to VCU Medical Center, one with reported second or third-degree burns.

The explosion, which is still under investigation, blew out ceiling tiles in the West Atlantic Street eatery and in the Convenience Store next door.

According to published reports, fire officials believe that the explosion may have been caused by a propane tank.

Brent Elliott Watkins

June 9, 1982-August 3, 2020

Brent Elliott Watkins passed away Monday, August 3, 2020. He is survived by his fiancée, Ashley Townsend; son, Brent “Boo” Watkins, Jr., daughter, Haylee Watkins; his mother, Barbara Britt; two sisters, Rebecca Allen Moore and April Watkins; brother, Charles R. Allen; nephews, Steven Allen, Raymond Cottrell and Gavin Allen and niece, Layla Allen.

The family will schedule a memorial service at a later date.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Governor Northam Launches COVIDWISE Exposure Notification App to Help Contain COVID-19

Virginia is first-in-the-nation to use Apple-Google Bluetooth framework to protect personal privacy

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the launch of COVIDWISE, an innovative exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virginia is the first state in the country to design a COVID-19 app using Bluetooth Low Energy technology developed by Apple and Google, which does not rely on personal information or location data. Users opt-in to download and utilize the free app.

“We must continue to fight COVID-19 from every possible angle,” said Governor Northam. “The COVIDWISE exposure notification app gives you an additional tool to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community, while maintaining your personal privacy. I encourage all Virginians to download and use this app, so we can work together to contain this virus.”

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) developed COVIDWISE in partnership with Spring ML using funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The free app is available to download through the App Store and the Google Play Store. COVIDWISE is the only app in Virginia allowed to use the exposure notifications system (ENS) application programming interface (API) jointly created by Apple and Google. Other countries, including Ireland and Germany, have successfully used this technology in similar apps.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to be identified across the Commonwealth, it is important for people to know whether they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the disease,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “COVIDWISE will notify you if you’ve likely been exposed to another app user who anonymously shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Knowing your exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk. The more Virginians use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention.”

COVIDWISE works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10 to 20 minutes. iOS and Android devices that have the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity for at least 15 minutes. Each day, the device downloads a list of all random keys associated with positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users and checks them against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, COVIDWISE may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity. 

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be notified by a VDH case investigator and will be given a unique numeric code. This code is entered into the app by the user and serves as verification of a positive report. Others who have downloaded COVIDWISE and have been in close proximity to the individual who reported as being positive will receive a notice which reads, “You have likely been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.” This is your alert to get tested.

The notice includes the estimated number of days since the exposure and provides several options for taking further action, including contacting a primary care physician or local health department, monitoring symptoms, and finding nearby test locations. The Virtual VDH tab within the app also provides links to online resources and relevant phone numbers.

Anyone who downloads the app has the option to choose to receive exposure notifications, and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to share their result anonymously through COVIDWISE. No location data or personal information is ever collected, stored, tracked, or transmitted to VDH as part of the app. Users have the ability to delete the app or turn off exposure notifications at any time.

Widespread use is critical to the success of this effort, and VDH is launching a robust, statewide public information campaign to make sure Virginians are aware of the COVIDWISE app, its privacy protection features, and how it can be used to support public health and help reduce the spread of the virus.

To learn more about COVIDWISE and the download the app, visit


~ The Great American Outdoors Act will help address $1.1 billion in maintenance needs at Virginia national parks ~

~ Bill could create 10,000 Virginia jobs ~

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. The bipartisan legislation includes Sen. Warner’s Restore Our Parks Act, which would help tackle the $1.1 billion in deferred maintenance at Virginia’s parks and could create up to 10,340 jobs in the Commonwealth alone. The legislation overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives earlier this week and was approved by the Senate in June.

“As the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to financially strain communities across the country, this new law will help create tens of thousands of jobs and make a positive economic impact for gateway communities that depend on our national parks,” said Sen. Warner. “Now that this bill is the law of the land, Virginia’s historical sites will finally start receiving crucial repairs that have been postponed for years. I want to thank my colleagues for joining me in my years-long effort to create jobs and make sure our nation’s historical treasures are around for years to come.”

Today’s bill signing comes nearly three years after Sen. Warner’s initial effort to provide relief to national parks in Virginia, where the maintenance backlog currently sits at $1.1 billion dollars.

In June, the National Park Service released a report that estimated that an average of 40,300 direct jobs and 100,100 direct and indirect jobs would be supported nationally by the Restore Our Parks Act if passed as part of the Great American Outdoors Act. In Virginia, it is estimated that 10,340 jobs would be created or supported as a result of Sen. Warner’s push to address the national parks backlog.

In addition, a recent NPS study highlighted the financial impact national parks sites have on Virginia’s economy. Last year, 22.8 million individuals from around the world visited national parks in Virginia, spending $1.2 billion. Additionally, national parks in Virginia helped support 17,300 jobs and contributed over $1.7 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy. Because of the economic impact national parks have on communities across the country, more than 800 organizations have pledged their support for the Great American Outdoors Act.

Sen. Warner’s effort to address the maintenance backlog began in March 2017, when he worked with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to introduce the National Park Legacy Act, which would have eliminated the NPS maintenance backlog by creating a thirty-year designated fund to take care of maintenance needs at visitor centers, rest stops, trails and campgrounds, as well as transportation infrastructure operated by NPS such as the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Arlington Memorial Bridge. That same year, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced its own proposal, drawing heavily on the initial proposal from Sens. Warner and Portman. However, the Administration proposal – which was introduced in the Senate as the National Park Restoration Act by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Angus King (I-ME) – would not have established a dedicated funding stream for NPS maintenance.

In March 2018, after extensive negotiations among Sens. Warner, Portman, Alexander, and King, the bipartisan group introduced the Restore Our Parks Act, a bipartisan consensus proposal endorsed by the Trump Administration, to invest in overdue maintenance needs at NPS sites. The bill would reduce the maintenance backlog by establishing the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” and allocating existing revenues from onshore and offshore energy development. This funding would come from 50 percent of all revenues that are not otherwise allocated and deposited into the General Treasury, not exceeding $1.3 billion each year for the next five years. In February 2019, Sen. Warner reintroduced the Restore Our Parks Act and, the bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in November.

In March 2020, following the President’s announcement that he would back the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act as well as full and permanent funding for LWCF, Sen. Warner, along with Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Portman, King, Alexander, and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide $9.5 billion over five years to the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education to address the deferred maintenance backlog at these agencies. The legislation would also provide permanent, mandatory funding for the LWCF, which provides states and local communities with technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve and protect public lands. Virginia has received approximately $368.5 million in LWCF funding over the past four decades to help protect dozens of national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, trails and more.


Dr. Darrell Brown Joins VCU Health CMH

Darrell Brown, MD, FACOG

South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Darrell Brown to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Brown specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Brown is a Board Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 28 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from St. Georges University School of Medicine, located in Grenada, West Indies and completed his residency training at multiple locations including Jersey City Medical Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey; Sinai Samaritan Medical Center located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and The Stamford Hospital located in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Dr. Brown most recently worked as an OB/GYN for Ashley Women’s Services in Crossett, Arkansas and at the Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  He also has many years of teaching experience, the last two years as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University.

Dr. Brown is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located inside the new C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

Dr. Brown joins Dr. Ramesh Seeras, OB/GYN and Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  Throughout pregnancy, you’ll receive excellent prenatal care from this team of providers.  To view a full list of services visit:


RICHMOND – As the Virginia State Police prepares for Tropical Storm Isaias, Virginians are encouraged to get ready and plan ahead, too. Forecasts are currently calling for the eastern and central regions of the Commonwealth to be significantly impacted by heavy rains and strong winds.

Virginia State Police have all available troopers and supervisors working through the night and Tuesday as the storm makes its way across the Commonwealth. To prevent unnecessary traffic crashes from occurring on Virginia’s highways during the storm, state police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving, when possible.

If having to travel during the storm, drivers are reminded to do the following:

  • Slow your speed. Though state police works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to identify problem areas on Virginia’s highways during a storm, drivers still must drive for conditions. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash, downed trees and/or debris in the roadway. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.
  • Turn Around. Don’t Drown. Never drive through standing water. What looks like a puddle can be deep and swift-moving water. Turn around and find another, safer route to your destination.
  • Don’t tailgate. You need increased stopping distance on wet road surfaces. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear end collisions.
  • Use headlights. Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid standing water and/or flooding. Headlights also help other drivers see you better, especially in a downpour when visibility is limited.
  • Buckle Up. Most crashes that occur during inclement weather are caused by vehicles sliding off the road or other vehicles. Wearing your seat belt protects you from being thrown around the inside of your vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.
  • Put down your phone. Having to drive in heavy rain requires a driver’s full, uninterrupted attention. Do not text and drive or shoot video of the bad conditions while driving, as these actions put you, your passengers and other vehicles at extreme risk of a crash and/or injury.
  • Check Your Vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, tire tread, battery life, etc.

For the latest in road conditions and updates, please call 511 on a cell phone, download the App or go online to the VDOT Virginia Traffic Information Website at

Virginians are advised to only call 911 or #77 on a cell phone in case of emergency. It is essential to keep emergency dispatch lines open for those in serious need of police, fire or medical response.

Thomas James Floyd

December 23, 1962-August 1, 2020

Graveside Services

11 a.m. Friday, August 7, 2020

Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery
4438 Independence Church Road
Emporia, Virginia

Thomas James Floyd, 57, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, August 1, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bettie Lynch Floyd and William Luther Floyd.

Mr. Floyd is survived by his sister, Ann Floyd Barnes; his brother, Lawrence Floyd (Ann); numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and his extended family and caregivers at Arch Support Residential Services including special friend, Alyce Chambliss.

A graveside funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, August 7 at Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Narcissa Petterossi Callahan “Cheesa”

June 19, 1939-July 30, 2020

Visitation Services

12:30-2 p.m. Thursday, August 6

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia


2 p.m. Thursday, August 6

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia


Narcissa Petterossi Callahan “Cheesa” 81, from Emporia, Virginia went to her heavenly home on July 30, 2020 surrounded by her family at Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.

Cheesa was born on June 19, 1939 in Endicott, New York to Mercedes Hurt and moved with her mother and family to Richmond, Virginia when she was four years old.  She graduated from John Marshall High School in Richmond and worked at Shell Oil company before meeting and marrying the love of her life, Melvin and moving to Emporia in 1968.  Cheesa worked for several local lawyers, Clary Realty, First Citizen’s Bank, and New York Life Insurance before beginning a job for Greensville County as an Administrative Assistant where she retired in 2006.

Cheesa was a devoted and loving wife and mother to Melvin and Dawn and always very kind and welcoming to everyone she met.  She enjoyed reading her Bible and following her family and friends on social media.  She enjoyed bowling, playing golf, horse racing, doing puzzle with her husband, watching Dancing with The Stars, The Voice, and going on shopping trips with her daughter and granddaughter. She loved watching baseball and college football and would pull her favorite teams, the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Washington Nationals to victory.  One of the highlights of her love for watching baseball was when the Washington Nationals won the World Series and she was able to rag her grandson who pulled for the NY Yankees.  Although there were many things that Cheesa loved, she loved nothing more than her family, friends, Johnny Mathias, and the movie Dirty Dancing.

Cheesa leaves to cherish her loving memory to her husband of 54 years Melvin Callahan, her daughter Dawn Guy and husband David, her grandchildren who were her pride and joy, Laurel Wright (Dustin), Jake Pope (Sara), and Ashley Pope.  She is also survived by her great- grandchildren that brought her so many special blessings and smiles, Emerie and Ellison Wright, Grady Pope, Kendall Hedgepeth, Bryson, Austin, and Weston Pope, brothers–in-law Bob Callahan (Sarah), Pat Callahan, Mike Callahan (Bernice), several cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews.  She also leaves to cherish her memory, her best friend who was like her sister, Ann” Jenks” Pollard and her goddaughter Kristen Petty.

She was predeceased by her mother Mercedes Hurt, her step brother Michael Hurt, her brother-in-law Jerry Callahan and sister-in-law Kay Callahan.

A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, August 6 at Owen Funeral Home where the family will receive friends 12:30 – 2 prior to the service.

Greensville County BOS Votes to Remove Civil War Monument

Momemts ago the Greensville County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 (Supervisor Conwell dissenting) to remove the Jim Crow era Civil War Monument from Courthouse Square in Downtown Emporia.

Several residents spoke at the Public Hearing, which can be viewed during the first 20-30 minutes of the video found by following this link.

The monument in question was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy decades after the end of the civil was as a message to the black community to "stay in their place," that the white communty was still firmly "in charge." These twentieth century monuments were meant solely to demoralize the black community, They had nothing to do with honoring the war dead.

According to the resolution passed after the August 3 Public Hearing, the monument will be made available to "any museum, historical society, government or military battlefield," as designated in the Code of Virginia.

If none if the designated entities requests to take posession to of the monument by September 8, 2020, or at a subsequent meeting, the board shall determine where the monument will be relocated after its removal from Courthouse Square.

As authorized by the Code of Virginia, the Board will pay the cost of the removal of the monument.

The Board also heard a Rural Solar Development Coalition Legislative Update from Advantus Strageties.

The Board approved use of the Washington Park building by the Cover 3 Fountation for a feeding program.

The board also heard a bried COVID-19 Update and Huricane Isiasis Update before adjourining.

2020 Moses Clements VT Scholarship Golf Tournament

Over the last 20+ years the Greensville/Southampton Hokie Club and Alumni Chapter has supported freshmen entering Virginia Tech with total scholarships exceeding $40,000.  These donations have been funded by hole/meal sponsors and teams entering the annual golf tournament as this is the one scholarship fund raiser annually.

This year we have 10 scholarship winners from the Emporia/Greensville, Roanoke Rapids and Southampton County area – Brooke Battle, Charles Preston McElheney IV, Jami Leigh Walters, Tanner Watson, Ethan Ray Drake, Dalton Harrison, Ashton Hatfield, Mariah Monet Leonard, Sadler Lundy, Tyler Rae.

The tournament is named for Moses Clements, our beloved Hokie who passed away way too early.  The Scholarship Program and the Scholarship Tournament both bear his name – the Moses Clements Scholarship Program and the 2020 Moses Clements VT Scholarship Golf Tournament, in remembrance of his dedicated service to the club and especially the Scholarship Program.  It was his annual joy to review and present the scholarships at the summer dinner.

This year the tournament will be held on Friday August 28th at the Emporia Country Club at noon.  The event will start with a box lunch and open driving range.  There will be a shotgun start at 1:00 PM.  The cost to play is $60 per player which includes golf, golf cart, green fees, goody bag, beverages, 2 mulligans, box lunch and hors d’oeuvres after the event at the awards ceremony.

All efforts will be in place to abide by all State Covid recommendations while setting up and running the tournament.  Every worker and player will be screened at check-in.

The Emporia Country Club is located at 578 Country Club Road, Emporia.

Hole sponsorships are $100 and should be reserved in the next 10 days as the new signs will need to be produced and placed on the holes.

To enter the tournament or to be a hole or meal sponsor, please contact Barry Grizzard at or 804.929.3146 or any Emporia Hokie Club Board Member – Kevin Swenson, Wilson Clary, Meade Horne, Mike Roach, Jeff Robinson, Hall Squire, Roly Weaver, Katie Richardson, Jeffrey Pope or President Matthew Lynch.

Follow this link for the entry form.

Governor Northam Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Hurricane Isaias

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Isaias, which is expected to impact parts of coastal Virginia starting on Monday, August 3, 2020. 

“Hurricane Isaias is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may impact parts of Virginia as early as this weekend,” said Governor Northam. “This state of emergency will ensure localities and communities have the assistance they need to protect the safety of Virginians, particularly as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions, monitor local weather forecasts, and stay alert.”

A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and equipment needed for response and recovery efforts. While the track of Hurricane Isaias is still uncertain, it appears increasingly likely that Virginia could see impacts and therefore must prepare for the possibility of flooding, high winds, and potential storm surge that could come along with a tropical storm or hurricane.

Virginians are encouraged to consult the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which outlines preparedness, response, and recovery actions designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and protect public health. 

The Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) is actively monitoring the situation and coordinating resources and information to prepare for this storm. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) will coordinate preparedness efforts with local, state, and federal officials.

The full text of Executive Order Sixty-Nine is available here.

Recommendations for Virginians  

  • Know your zone. Evacuation may become necessary depending on the track and severity of the storm. Review Virginia’s evacuation zones at It is important to note that the zone colors have been updated for 2020. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar of the website to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone. If internet or computer access is not available, call 2-1-1 to learn your zone. Residents not residing in a pre-identified evacuation zone should listen to evacuation orders from local and state emergency agencies to determine if and when to evacuate.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. For a list of recommended emergency supplies to sustain your household before, during, and after the storm visit Given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, emergency kits should include face coverings and sanitization supplies.
  • Stay informed. Virginians should follow the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for preparedness updates and their local National Weather Service office for the latest weather forecast, advisories, watches or warnings. Download the FEMA app on your smartphone to receive mobile alerts from the National Weather Service. Power outages are always a concern during weather events—make sure you have a battery-operated radio available so you can still receive life-saving alerts.

For more information about preparing your business, your family, and your property against hurricane threats visit and Additional information about preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Governor Northam Urges Virginians to Prepare for Hurricane Season Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Agencies and cabinet members participate in preparedness exercise to test hurricane readiness, plan for disaster response during ongoing health crisis

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam is reminding all Virginians to prepare now as peak hurricane season approaches and the Commonwealth continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, the Governor and his cabinet joined state local public safety agencies for a virtual exercise to test Virginia’s hurricane readiness and address the challenges of managing disaster response and recovery efforts during the ongoing health crisis.

“Hurricane season brings added challenges this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are committed to ensuring that Virginians know their risks, get prepared, and stay informed,” said Governor Northam. “Our administration remains actively focused on planning for simultaneous emergencies, and we will continue to adjust our plans as needed to protect public health and keep the Commonwealth safe. As our government agencies prepare for the possibility of a complex incident involving a major natural disaster amid virus outbreaks, it is also important that individuals and businesses make sure they are ready as well.”

One of the key statewide coordination efforts is the development of the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which highlights preparedness, response, and recovery actions in the event of tropical weather in coastal areas of the Commonwealth. This year’s guide includes pandemic considerations such as updating kits to include sanitation and personal protective supplies and following public health guidance. The Commonwealth is also preparing to adjust operations to ensure the delivery of critical services while adhering to social distancing guidelines and keeping people safe from storm impacts.

“As public safety professionals, the staff at our state agencies are accustomed to managing multiple issues at once, and are specifically trained in hurricane response,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “I have confidence in our preparedness efforts and ask that Virginians also take the time to plan for the hurricane season.”

The traditional Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, and forecasters are projecting an above average season—there have been eight named storms so far this year, and the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall in Texas on July 25.

Virginians know the devastating impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms and recognize these threats are not isolated to coastal areas. High winds, flooding, and tornadoes have also caused significant damages to inland communities. Hurricanes can be unpredictable in terms of timing and scope, and this year, it is particularly vital to prepare for hurricane season in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This exercise was extremely beneficial, not only in strengthening our overall hurricane coordination efforts, but in identifying limitations and risks due to COVID-19 and operating in a more dispersed, virtual environment,” said Curtis Brown, State Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “Understanding how we can enhance our preparedness, especially to support our most at-risk populations, is critical to the success of any disaster response and recovery.”

Governor Northam is calling on all Virginians and those visiting the state to prepare now by knowing your risk, purchasing flood insurance, developing a family communication plan, and making an emergency kit. It’s important to know what to do to protect yourself, your loved ones, your business, and your community.

  • Know your zone. Evacuation may become necessary depending on the track and severity of the storm. Review Virginia’s evacuation zones at It is important to note that the zone colors have been updated for 2020. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar of the website to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.
  • Complete a family communication plan. Prepare for how you will assemble and communicate with your family and loved ones. Identify meeting locations and anticipate where you will go. Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance on family communications plans is available here.
  • Check your insurance coverage. Remember, there may be a waiting period for a flood insurance policy to become effective, and be aware that not all hurricane-related losses, such as flooding, are covered under traditional policies. Now is the time to review your coverage and contact your insurance agent for any changes. If you are not insured against floods, talk to your insurance agent or visit If you are a renter, now is the time to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your belongings.
  • Make an emergency kit. Assemble an emergency kit that includes nonperishable food, water, medication, sanitary supplies, radios, extra batteries, and important documents. Learn more about building an emergency supply kit here.
  • Stay informed. Identify where to go for trusted sources of information during emergencies. Check with your local emergency management office to sign up for alerts that go directly to your phone or email. Be sure to monitor local news for watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Power outages are always a concern during weather events—make sure you have a battery-operated radio available so you can still receive life-saving alerts.

There are many resources available to assist with hurricane planning efforts. Learn more about preparing your business, your family, and your property against hurricane threats at and Additional information about preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Residents Learn About God Through Hands-On Project


The Rev. Dr. Robin Moore, chaplain at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services, is continually developing creative ways to teach residents about God.

For some kids, “church” has a negative connotation, reminiscent of stiff pews and seemingly endless monotone sermons. Dr. Moore shows our residents daily that there is so much more to spirituality than that. Most recently, she involved residents in a project to prune the 30 crape myrtle trees around the campus.

This project allowed them to learn about the physical concept of pruning as well as encouraging them to contemplate spiritual pruning. It also gave Dr. Moore an opportunity to interact and develop a relationship with residents that she otherwise would not see.

The pruning project was a way for the residents to approach discussions of God and spirituality in a non-intimidating manner. In addition, through this project, residents gained a sense of self efficacy in taking care of not only themselves and their own spirituality, but also our campus, their temporary home.

Our facility is unique in that we focus on helping residents not only in a psychiatric setting, but also in every other aspect of their lives. Each child is seen as more than just their illness or trauma, and at Jackson-Feild, they are given the tools to manage their trauma and mental illness in a well-rounded way.

Through this endeavor in particular, residents learned how a physical activity like pruning trees can also translate to a spiritual awakening. Thanks to Dr. Moore, our residents have a more beautiful campus and are building stronger relationships with God.



Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. Reports Earnings for Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 2020

KENBRIDGE, VA – Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. (BMBN), the Kenbridge-based hold­ing company for Benchmark Community Bank, announced unaudited results for the three- and six-month periods ending June 30, 2020.  Net income for the second quarter amounted to $2,533,893, a 5.3% increase from the $2,406,449 posted for the second quarter of 2019, while earnings per share increased from $0.48 to $0.57 for the period.  Net income for the first six months of the year amounted to $4,644,879, up 3.1% from the $4,506,033 earned last year, while earnings per share increased from $0.91 to $1.03.


Notable Items:


  • Net interest income increased by 4.1%, from $14.7 million to $14.8 million, when comparing the first six months of 2020 to the same period last year.
  • Noninterest income increased from $3.2 million to $3.7 million as the bank’s mortgage demand and financial services business remained strong.
  • The bank has made 923 loans, totaling $45.5 million, under the Paycheck Protection Program as of June 30, 2020. These loans carry a required interest rate of 1.00%, which will also put downward pressure on net interest margin; however, fees earned from these loans will provide additional income during 2020 and beyond as these loans are paid off or forgiven by the SBA.
  • A total of $471,596 was provisioned to the loan loss reserve during the first six months of 2020, compared to a provision of $499,811 during the same period last year. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans was 0.90% at June 30, 2020 compared to 1.04% last June.
  • Interest expense on borrowings, used to support the company’s stock repurchase program, amounted to $147,247 year-to-date. No expense was recognized last year during the same period.
  • A total of 58,774 common shares have been repurchased year-to-date at an average price of $16.72 per share.  A total of 426,774 shares were repurchased at an average price of $19.97 during the first six months of 2019. Total shares outstanding as of June 30, 2020 were 4,463,318.

As of June 30, 2020, total assets were $790.8 million, an increase of $88.5 million, or 13.4%, over the June 30, 2019 balance of $702.3 million. Over the past twelve months, total loans have increased by $85.7 million, or 16.1%, while total deposits have increased by $83.5 million, or 13.4%. Shareholders’ equity, net of unrealized gains on investment securities, was $70.2 million at June 30, 2020, an increase of $3.9 million, or 5.9%, over the June 30, 2019 balance of $66.2 million. All capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines for a well-capitalized financial institution under the Basel III regulatory requirements at June 30, 2020.


Key Financial Ratios:


  • Return on average equity (ROAE) increased from 12.49% to 13.19% and Return on average assets (ROAA) decreased from 1.33% to 1.27% year to date.


  • Yield on loans decreased from 5.58% to 5.42%.


  • The bank’s cost of funds decreased from 0.60% to 0.54%.


  • Net interest margin has declined from 4.55% to 4.40%.


  • Current book value of the company is $16.01 per share compared to $14.51 one year ago.


The common stock of Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. trades on the OTC Pink marketplace under the symbol BMBN. Any stockbroker can assist with purchases of the company's stock, as well as with sales of holdings.


Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is head­quartered in Kenbridge, VA. It is the company's sole subsidiary which oper­ates seventeen banking offices through­out central Southside

Vir­ginia and northern North Carolina. Additional information is available at the company’s website,


McEachin Votes to Support Working Families and Stabilize Child Care During COVID-19 Crisis


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today issued the following statement on his votes in favor of the Childcare is Essential Act and Childcare for Economic Recovery Act, legislation to stabilize the child care sector and provide support for working families and providers looking to safely reopen and operate.

"Reliable, safe and available child care is essential for working families, including the frontline workers who are keeping our communities safe and healthy during this pandemic," said Congressman McEachin. "Sadly, our child care system is struggling – decreased revenue, alongside increased expenses associated with necessary safety measures such as social distancing, masks and disinfection regimens, have caused too many to close their doors. Today, I was very pleased to vote for two urgently-needed bills to provide child care relief for families and providers across our country. The Child Care is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act ensure that all families have access to child care today and in the future."

Governor Northam Announces $644.6 Million in Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund Dollars Distributed to Local Governments

Second round of payments completes allocation of funding Virginia received under federal CARES Act, provides a total of $1.3 billion to localities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Commonwealth will distribute $644.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to local governments in its second and final round of allocations. These payments represent the remaining 50 percent of local allocations and do not include $200.2 million that Fairfax County received directly from the federal government. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide funding to states and eligible units of local government navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia received approximately $3.1 billion as its share of the $150 billion CRF. While the CARES Act does not require that states distribute funding to local governments with populations less than 500,000, the Governor recognizes that cities and counties of all sizes have expenses related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and directed these federal dollars to localities.

“Virginia was one of the first states to provide such a large share of its federal aid directly to local governments,” said Governor Northam. “We are committed to making sure localities of all sizes get the assistance they need to respond to COVID-19 and keep Virginians safe during these unprecedented times.”

Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne sent a memorandum to cities and counties in Virginia on May 12, 2020 outlining the distribution of the first round of allocations to local governments, totaling $644.6 million. Once the second and final round of payments are disbursed, the Governor will have distributed 100 percent of the local allocations the Commonwealth received under the CARES Act, providing a total of $1.3 billion to localities.

“Local governments are responsible for spending the money they receive, and we need them to step up and make sure that these federal dollars are going to the right places,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne. “Localities must be able to demonstrate to taxpayers that they are spending these funds wisely.”

Similar to the first round, the second round of funding will be allotted proportionally based on population. Consequently, the second round of allocations will be equivalent to the amount each locality received in the first round on June 1, 2020. The Secretary of Finance issued an updated memorandum to cities and counties regarding the second and final allocation of federal CRF dollars. The updated memorandum, which includes the distributions by locality, is available here.

To receive the second allocation, localities must submit a new certification form and complete an online survey regarding the use of their CRF dollars. After these two documents are completed and submitted, the Department of Accounts will initiate the transfer of funds to the local Treasurer. Localities can expect to receive the transfer from the State Comptroller within five business days following confirmation of receipt of the completed documents.

The CARES Act requires that CRF dollars only be used to cover costs that (1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, (2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the state or government; and (3) were incurred during the period of March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

Current federal rules prohibit state and local governments from using the CRF to replace lost revenues and address significant budget shortfalls. State and local government officials have requested that this restriction be lifted in future stimulus packages, or that additional federal funds are provided to address the loss of state and local revenue.

The Governor previously announced $246 million to support the state’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, including $205 million in federal CARES Act funds. Governor Northam also allocated an initial $50 million to launch the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program and help Virginians who are unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia also recently unveiled a $70 million economic recovery fund to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations whose normal operations were disrupted by the ongoing health crisis.

The Commonwealth has distributed more than $600 million to K-12 schools and higher education institutions and $70 million to assist child care facilities in providing services for essential personnel. Virginia also allocated $85 million in CARES Act funding to support child nutrition programs, and $219 million for the Pandemic EBT program through the Department of Social Services.


Important Information About Reaching Social Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic


By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, VirginiaDuring the current coronavirus pandemic, we continue to provide help to you and other people in your communities.  While our offices are not providing service to walk-in visitors due to COVID-19, we remain ready and able to help you by phone with most Social Security business.  You can speak with a representative by calling your local Social Security office or our National 800 Number.  You can find local office phone numbers online by using our Social Security Office Locator at

We offer many secure and convenient online services at, where you can:

  • Apply for Retirement, Disability, and Medicare benefits;
  • Check the status of an application or appeal;
  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas);
  • Print a benefit verification letter; and 
  • Much more.

Although you can do most of your business with us online, we know that service channel isn’t right for everyone.  You can still count on us by phone.  If you have a critical situation and we cannot help you with by phone or online, we may be able to schedule an appointment for you.

If you need help, please don’t wait until we can see you in person.  Call us now and get the help you need.  We also understand that getting medical and other documentation can be difficult due to the pandemic, so we are continuing to extend certain deadlines wherever possible.

Governor Northam Signs Legislation to Ease Transitions for Military Families

New laws improve expedited licensure process for military spouses

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today signed legislation to expedite the occupational and professional licensure process for military spouses during a special ceremony that kicked off the quarterly Virginia Military Advisory Council meeting.

Joining the Governor at today’s event at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond were Blue Star Families CEO and Board President Kathy Roth-Douquet, Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, State Senator David Suetterlein, Delegate Rodney Willett, and Delegate Carrie Coyner. Watch the video of today’s event here.

“As an Army veteran and as a Virginian, I am committed to ensuring the Commonwealth continues to provide an environment where our veterans and military families can thrive,” said Governor Northam. “Complex rules about license equivalence and the portability of certifications too often result in the unemployment or underemployment of military spouses. This legislation will enable the spouses of the men and women who serve our country to maintain their professional licenses and continue their careers in Virginia with a streamlined and simple process.”

Governor Northam was also joined by representatives of the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to sign a Regional Intergovernmental Support Agreement that will improve the delivery of resources to their military installations in Northern Virginia. The support agreement strengthens the partnership between the Department of Transportation, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region – Marine Corps Base Quantico, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to find opportunities for the use of transportation goods and services throughout the Northern Virginia region.

Virginia’s existing expedited application process for military spouses requires licensing boards to determine if a military spouse’s out-of-state license is equivalent within 20 days and issue an automatic one-year temporary license, affording the spouse the opportunity to begin finding employment immediately upon settling into their new communities. This legislation and process address the issue of portability of the professional and occupational licenses of military spouses.

“Taking care of military families is of the utmost importance to us,” said Delegates Rodney Willett and Carrie Coyner, and Senator David Suetterlein. “We are grateful for the opportunity to assist our service members, their families, and for being able to improve upon Virginia’s existing professional and occupation licensure process. This legislation expands access to transitioning service members, our National Guardsmen, and all of the military spouses of our neighboring states and Washington, D.C.”    

House Bill 967, sponsored by Delegate Rodney Willett and Senate Bill 981, sponsored by Senator David Suetterlein, improve Virginia’s expedited licensure process for the spouses of military service members assigned to installations and residing in the Commonwealth by:

  • Expanding access and eligibility to the spouses of service members in all surrounding jurisdictions;
  • Expanding access to the spouses of National Guardsmen who are active on federal orders to deploy oversees;
  • Expanding eligibility to the spouses of recently transitioned service members; and
  • Granting the Commonwealth’s licensing boards greater authority to determine a substantially equivalent license.

“This enhanced process will help our military spouses find employment opportunities quicker and without the stress of worrying if their credentials will carry over to Virginia,” said Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos L. Hopkins. “Implementing innovative ways to support our military families is one of the reasons Virginia continually ranks as one of the best states for service members, veterans, and their families.”

“Military spouses were hobbled before COVID-19, and our research forecasts that military spouse unemployment and underemployment rates could climb upwards of 30 percent and 77 percent, respectively, as we emerge from this public health and economic crisis,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families. “That’s why the expansion of Virginia’s expedited licensure policy is so key—it removes a critical barrier to military spouses working in the fields of their training. We are grateful to Governor Northam and the Virginia legislature for taking action on this important issue.” 

According to the United States Department of Labor, more than 34 percent of all military spouses in the labor force require an occupational or professional license. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Department of Health Professions administer the process of granting professional licenses for all professions regulated under Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia. Additional information about the licensure process for military personnel and their spouses is available here.


RICHMOND – The public will have an opportunity to offer comments regarding the Virginia State Police when a national accreditation team assesses the Department in August. The Virginia State Police is in the process of reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).

“Accreditation provides both the Department and the public with quality assurance that the Virginia State Police is in step with today’s policing standards and practices,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We welcome the CALEA assessment team and the public’s input concerning this process and our abilities to fulfill our mission to best serve and protect the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

When the Virginia State Police achieved its initial accreditation from CALEA in 1986, the Department was only the second state law enforcement agency in the nation to receive this prestigious recognition.  Since then, the Virginia State Police has successfully maintained an accredited status. The reaccreditation process takes place every four years.

The public is invited to share its comments with the CALEA site-based assessment team on Aug. 3, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through a public information session on the Virginia State Police official Facebook page at

If for some reason an individual cannot participate during the public information session, but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone or written correspondence.  The assessment team will be available to take phone calls Aug. 3, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A toll-free telephone number has been established for those wishing to contact the team: 1-866-468-4903. Telephone comments during the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the Department’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.

Those wishing to offer written comments about the Department’s ability to meet reaccreditation standards are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155 or email with a subject line of, “VSP Public Comment.”

The CALEA assessment team is comprised of the following law enforcement practitioners:  Mr. W. Dean Register, Director of the Criminal Justice Professionalism Division of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Mr. Geoffrey Ice, (retired) of the Connecticut State Police.

Through the review of written materials, and interviews, the assessors will examine the Department’s policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services for compliance with CALEA standards. The assessment process ensures that the Department regularly reviews all aspects of its operations and is in compliance with law enforcement standards established by the Commission.

A copy of the CALEA standards can be viewed by the public at the State Police Administrative Headquarters at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.  For those with additional questions, please contact Ms. Vanessa Casale, Virginia State Police Accreditation Manager, at 804-674-2005.

CALEA was created in 1979 to develop a set of law enforcement standards and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.

"Just Looking Back"

I can still remember my school days
and the routine I went through
yet the resemblance to those days gone bye
today they are but few,
We used to wake up early
for the breakfast mom would prepare
she knew she didn't have to
but she showed her loving care.
Then we hurried up to get ready
for the bus coming down the hill
I never cared for busses then
and probably never will.
We made it to the school on time
with a little time to spare
yes then we sat in our assigned seats
so the teacher knew we were there.
At the end of the day when the bell did ring
we made our plans for home
now I had books and homework in my hands
but I was not alone.
Just as soon as I stepped off the bus
I started on my chores to do
for the most part there weren't many
yet at times they added a few.
In a short time we were called inside
for the evening meal was prepared
together by mother and father
still showing us they cared.
We all filled up rather quickly
and left the table one by one
there was no free time for fun and games
until our homework all was done.
Well nite time was upon us
and another day ahead
we said our prayers and got our hugs
then all did go to bed.
Now if this method was used today
school problems could be solved
hold back cell phones and video games
and let the parents get involved!


                         - Roy E. Schepp

A Letter from Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services CEO

Dear Friends,
This year has brought monumental changes that included a global pandemic and a renewed call for social justice. We are reminded that we live in a rapidly changing world, and Jackson-Feild is a reflection of this world.
We are ever ready to adjust and adapt, always drawing upon our core values of service, compassion, dedication, integrity, and leadership. These values have guided us through 165 years of helping children who are experiencing the painful effects of trauma and/or mental illness.
I am proud of how we have proven our ability to acclimate to new and uncertain global environments. Confronted with this pandemic, each week has presented new challenges providing us with opportunities to demonstrate our flexibility and inventiveness. Our proactive and recurring measures have ensured that we have not had a positive case of COVID-19. Without hesitation, and through innovation, we have found new ways to better serve our children.
We continue to educate our children who could ill afford to miss instruction. We find ways to enrich and engage residents during these “dog days” of summer.
Our founder, the Rev. William M. Jackson, noted we have to be revolutionary from time to time. Now is such a time. Jackson-Feild provides daily opportunities to transform young lives thanks to caring folks like you. We embrace change that will strengthen us, as we remain true to our core values.
Warm regards,
Patricia H. Delano
President & CEO 

Virginia Department of Health Urges Virginians to Engage with Legitimate Contact Tracers, Avoid Scams

Contact Tracers Will Not Ask for Social Security Numbers or Bank Details

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) encourages all Virginians to respond and engage with legitimate contact tracing calls and emails while remaining vigilant against scams. Caller ID will read “VDH COVID Team.”

The Commonwealth employs contact tracers to notify individuals who have been exposed to known cases of COVID-19. Contact tracers will offer information, encourage individuals to monitor themselves for symptoms, and refer those who develop symptoms for medical evaluation and testing to help contain the spread in Virginia.

Contact tracing saves lives by preventing the spread of COVID-19, so we encourage every Virginian to do their part and answer calls, text messages, or emails from the Commonwealth’s contact tracers.

Recognizing the signs of a scam is important. Contact tracers will not ask for money or information such as a Social Security Number (SSN), bank account details, or credit card numbers.  The Commonwealth does not charge individuals for contact tracing services.

Contact tracers will offer to enroll Virginians in a voluntary contact monitoring platform called Sara Alert, which individuals can use to update local health departments on their health status during the period of time they are participating in public health monitoring. The Sara Alert system is secure and always contacts users from the same phone number or email: 844-957-2721 or

In addition to being vigilant, there are several other ways to stay safe from scams:

  • use multi-factor authentication for online accounts;
  • enable auto updates for the operating systems and apps on your electronic devices to ensure you have the latest security;
  • and back up the data on your devices regularly, so you won’t lose valuable information if a device gets malware or ransomware.

Verizon Communications, Inc provided the Caller-ID feature for VDH contact tracers without charge.

Additional information from the Federal Trade Commission on contact tracing scams is available here.

Library Announces Phased Reopening

 The Meherrin Regional Library closed to the public on March 18th in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the governor’s stay at home orders. Since then the library has been working behind the scenes to bring books and services back to the community. While closed, the library staff have been preparing library facilities to promote social distancing; acquiring PPE for enhanced cleaning of books and other surfaces; converting the annual Summer Reading Program into a virtual experience; increasing online ebooks, newspapers, magazines and other offerings; installing contact-free locker pick up services; and developing plans to meet the community’s needs in a new normal.

Starting Monday, June 29th MRLS will be reopening its doors again to welcome patrons back to the library. The Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia, will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM until further notice (closed July 3rd for Independence Day). On closed days each library will continue to provide contact-free locker service and will be using that time to adapt to developing needs and sanitizing surfaces.

Face coverings and hand sanitizing will be required for all visitors entering library facilities during this initial reopening phase. Each library will have a ten patron building capacity. Because of this restriction the library suggests that patrons limit their visit to 30 minutes. Copier, fax, and scan services will be available as well as 30 minute public computer and printer sessions. Walk-ins are welcomed, however library use appointments will be accepted to minimize potential wait times.

For questions concerning library services contact the Richardson Memorial Library at 434-634-2539 or The Brunswick County Library may be contacted at 434-848-2418, ext. 301 or MRLS is also found on Facebook at Meherrin Regional Library System.


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