VaNews for Bath County
The scale of damage to mountain ridges in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline remains open for debate, but Bill and Lynn Limpert say they have no doubt what the project would do to an old-growth forest along the mountain ridge facing their retirement home in Bath County.
“If the Atlantic Coast Pipeline comes through our property, all these trees will be gone,” Bill Limpert said at a midday protest Thursday outside the office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe in downtown Richmond.
Prosecutors have dropped election fraud charges against a member of the Bath County Board of Supervisors, who had been accused of running for office while a resident of neighboring Highland County.
A judge in Bath County Circuit Court granted a request by the prosecution to drop six felonies against Stuart Hall on Wednesday, according to online court records.
Three members of the Bath County Board of Supervisors cannot be legally removed from office based on a revolt by angry voters, a judge ruled Wednesday.
In dismissing petitions that sought to remove the supervisors, Circuit Judge John Wetsel ruled that a violation of the state’s open meeting law, one of the complaints raised by critics, was not enough to merit the drastic step of having the judicial system override the results of an election.
Bath County Circuit Court Judge John Wetsel heard arguments Tuesday from three Bath County supervisors seeking to retain their positions, and from petitioners who seek the supervisors’ removal from office. After hearing arguments, the judge said he would issue his decision within a week.
A legal effort to remove three Bath County supervisors from office is a politically motivated move by a small band of critics, a lawyer for the three elected officials argued Tuesday.
“What this case is really about is the efforts of a few to run Bath County,” said Jim Cornwell, referring to petitions filed in November that ask a judge to kick Claire Collins, Richard Byrd and Stuart Hall off the Board of Supervisors for misuse of office.
Local politics is so heated in Bath County these days that the board of supervisors moved its Dec. 13 meeting to the county’s circuit courtroom to accommodate an overflow crowd, which watched the proceedings in quiet disapproval.
Three of the supervisors — Chairwoman Claire Collins, Richard Byrd and Stuart Hall — could soon find themselves back in the same courtroom.
Angered by the board’s surprise vote in September to eliminate the county’s director of tourism position, a group of citizens has launched a legal effort to have the three supervisors removed from office.
Bath County citizens filed petitions with the Bath County Circuit Court on Tuesday, seeking to remove three county supervisors from office. The petitions seek the removal of supervisors Claire Collins, Cedar Creek Magisterial District; Stuart Hall, Williamsville Magisterial District; and Richard Byrd, Valley Springs Magisterial District.
Williamsville district supervisor Stuart Hall surrendered to the Bath County Sheriff’s Office about 10 a.m. last Thursday. Hall was indicted by a Bath County grand jury Monday, Sept. 19, and is charged with six felony counts of perjury and election fraud.
The U.S. Forest Service has written the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to express concerns about an Atlantic Coast Pipeline access a road in Bath County that parallels a stream channel and access roads and stream crossings of three tributaries in Augusta County.
The letter from Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson of the Monongahela National Forest FERC was dated Thursday.
Thompson asks that the pipeline re-evaluate the proposed stream crossings and locations of access roads while considering forest plan standards and best practices relating to soil and water.
The Homestead announced plans Tuesday to conduct a historic structures report on the bathhouses at the Jefferson Pools.
“We want to move forward in taking care of the oldest buildings on our property,” Homestead managing director David Jurcak said. “This is not only important to The Homestead, it’s important to Bath County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”