VaNews for Highland County
Water is back and OK to drink in Monterey after nearly two weeks without it.
According to a release, the town water samples from Monday and Tuesday of this week passed potable water quality standards. The Virginia Department of Health lifted the boil water advisory today shortly after 4 p.m., the release said.
Area delegates, senators ask: What’s the rush to approve? Reflecting a growing sense of urgency among local and state elected officials, Highland County supervisors began looking into the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s water pollution safeguards during their Aug. 16 work session.
The Highland County Cave Survey has filed a protest over Dominion’s April 11 Valley Center route variation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby told The Recorder earlier the company has not adopted the variation.
Permanent ridgetop deforestation. Development on slopes exceeding 25 percent. Both concepts — key to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline — contradict the Highland County Comprehensive Plan, Dominion employees were told last week while pitching the project.
Virginia's forests had a good year last year, with a sharp drop in fires and less damage from two common pests, State Forester Bettina Ring reports.
Her annual State of the Forest review also reported a rise in the number of acres of forest land protected by conservation easements – formal agreements to keep land as forest.
The annual review reported a 26 percent drop in the number of forest fires during fiscal year 2015, while the acreage burned fell by 61 percent to 4,941 acres.
Cave authority and Burnsville resident Phil Lucas told Highland supervisors the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be a calamity if construction proceeds as proposed through the karst topography of Highland.
“If an engineering firm looked at this area they would be scared to death and look at another area,” Lucas said, in response to audience member Bill Ellenburg’s question about what impact the proposed pipeline might have.
People in much of the Valley are more likely than other Virginians to have no health insurance, new Census Bureau data show.
Highland County, in fact, has the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the state, according to Census data from a 2009 survey.
Highland Elementary School Principal Teresa Blum has a theory: If a teacher tries to recall each of their students' name after the second day of a new school year, they might forget one.
That's not a problem in Highland County.
There are just 217 children in the county's one school building. By the time the 18 kids in pre-kindergarten graduate, 14 years from now, that building and the school system's 70 staff are going to seem very familiar indeed. It's the smallest school system in the state, but one of the highest performing. It was one of only four districts to make adequate yearly progress for 2011 and has graduated more than 99 percent of seniors the past five years.
Rarely are farmers so happy to cover up good land with construction that they throw a party to celebrate it.
Dozens gathered to do just that Saturday at the groundbreaking for a meat processing center that growers in the region hope will simplify their business and help it thrive.
Scheduled to open in December, the Alleghany Highland Agricultural Center is expected to cut transport times for farmers shipping beef, pigs and sheep for slaughter and add value to meat that leaves the county.
In agribusiness, selling processed meat fetches more dollars than selling animals, said Lloyd Bird, a member of the five-person board who organized fundraising and planning for the processing center.