Local Children Experience Nature at County Sponsored: ‘Jakes Field Day’

Earlier this month, the Wythe County Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a day long environmental education event aimed at providing local children opportunities to experience the thrills of the great outdoors.

Participants, all of whom were under the age of sixteen, were treated to multiple hands-on lessons taught by many of the region’s premier outdoor teachers. Instructions included lessons in archery, casting, BB gun shooting and safety, and reptile identification.

The event, hosted at the Rural Retreat Lake, was the first of its kind and was sponsored in part by the National Wildlife Turkey Federation.

Additional activities included a butterfly display and lecture from Ellen Reynolds, owner of the Beagle Ridge Herb Farm & Environmental Education Center, an owl pellet dissection and presentation on raptors led by representatives of the Blue Ridge Discovery Center, and a K-9 presentation presented by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).1175488_560436090658205_1072641568_n

VDGIF officer Wes Billings brought his K-9 partner, Josie, to demonstrate how K-9s assist both Conservation Police Officers and other agencies with law enforcement. Billings talked about the different disciplines the K-9 is trained in, as well as demonstrated the dog’s ability to search for illegally harvested wildlife.

The kids were presented with a K-9 trading card with Josie’s picture and information about the VDGIF Law Enforcement K-9 Program.

“The day was a great success. We cannot possibly thank each of the partners enough for their help. The children appreciated each of the presentations and hands – on learning opportunities,” said Gary Cody, Wythe County’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, adding that his department is already eagerly anticipating next year’s event.

The department would also like to thank Trout Unlimited, out of Smyth and Wythe Counties, for their help in making the event possible.

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Wythe County Disbands Lead Mines Rescue Squad

This morning, the Wythe County Board of Supervisors made the unanimous decision to dissolve the Lead Mines Rescue Squad.

Virginia Code §27-10 provides that the governing body of the county may dissolve a fire or rescue (EMS) company for any reason it deems advisable.

The decision comes after numerous reports of inefficient service, including multiple failures to respond to the emergency requests of citizens.

In addition to having multiple concerns as to the squad’s management and business plan, E-911 records reveal that the department failed to respond to a total of 18 calls between the dates of July 1 and August 12, 2013.

The Wythe County Board of Supervisors places the safety of county residents as its highest priority and feels that in order to adequately meet the needs of the residents of eastern Wythe County prudent measures are necessary.

Wythe officials have engaged the services of the Wythe County Rescue Squad to provide emergency medical services to the area during the transition process.

The Wythe County Rescue Squad will be providing a team of emergency responders entirely dedicated to servicing the Lead Mines area.

The Wythe County government is dedicated to ensuring that all citizens receive exemplary emergency services from all the county’s first responders.

Countywide, the men and women who serve as Wythe County’s emergency responders provide an unparalleled level of service; it is the goal of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors to ensure those living within the Lead Mines coverage area are able to enjoy that same level of care.

Construction Crews Dam Cripple Creek to Lay Underground Water Pipe

As the last major portion of Wythe County’s Speedwell Waterline Extension project steams toward completion, construction crews are now tackling many of the project’s greatest obstacles, including crossing the winding stream, known as Cripple Creek.

Beginning their work on Monday, construction crews from Central Builders and Cherokee Construction worked to build a cofferdam around the north bank of the brook, just inside the community of Speedwell.

After a cofferdam was successfully constructed, crews pumped the dammed area Tuesday morning and then proceeded in digging a trench three feet below the creek bed.

Workers then installed the waterline along the northern section of the creek, before encasing the pipe in concrete.

Wednesday’s often rainy weather slightly delayed the work, however, crews continued their operations on Thursday, along the southern side of the creek – ultimately  laying the 350 feet of pipe that spans Cripple Creek by Friday evening.

The work is part of a greater operation aimed at providing water to residents along multiple roadways, including Grayson Turnpike, Cripple Creek Rd., Crockett Rd., Tabernacle Rd. and Old Stage Rd.

In addition to supplying residents along the waterline’s path affordable and dependable drinking water,
Bill Vaughan, Wythe County Engineer, says the new line will also be a critical component in providing an added measure of security to county residents.

“This new waterline will increase public safety in the area by providing a reliable source of water for the local fire department by removing the need to draw water from dry hydrants or more distant existing hydrants.”

Additionally, Vaughan says the water will be cleaner and “not subject to contamination from surface bacterial sources.”

Construction on all portions of the present waterline projects are expected to be completed by December of this year.

Once construction is finished and health officials test the water, local residents will then be permitted to hook up – this is projected to occur in January 2014.

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Wythe County Hosts Emergency Services Fire & Rescue Appreciation Day

Members of Wythe County’s emergency services were honored this past Saturday at the newly opened Wythe County Emergency Services Building, located in Fort Chiswell, Virginia.

The event, dubbed “Wythe County Emergency Services Fire & Rescue Appreciation Day,” was the first of its kind and featured dozens of door prizes, a catered meal and additional gifts for all in attendance.

Organized by the Wythe County Administrator’s Office, at the request of the county’s Board of Supervisors, invitations were sent out to all six of the county’s fire departments, as well as the county’s three rescue squads.

“Today’s event is a way for us to show our appreciation to Wythe County’s emergency service members and their families. The hard work and long hours they put in says a lot about the type of people they are,” said Tim Reeves, Wythe County’s Supervisor At-Large.

Other board members in attendance expressed gratitude to the county’s emergency workers and volunteers, including Supervisor Coy McRoberts, who thanked the departments for “the many times they’ve been there for my family over the years.”

With well over one hundred in attendance and over fifteen sponsors, county leaders are calling the event a great success.

“We were overwhelmed at the level of support shown to us by local businesses, as well as several national corporations. Because of their help we were able to give away great door prizes to a very deserving group of people,” says Ikey Davidson, Wythe County’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

This year, the Board of Supervisors appropriated approximately $1.1 million toward the county’s emergency services.

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Click Here to Win Four FREE Pulaski Mariners Tickets!

The Wythe County Public Information Office is giving away four FREE tickets to attend any remaining home game of the Pulaski Mariners!

The winner will be drawn on Thursday, August 15, 2013!

Step 1. Like Wythe County on Facebook!

Step 2. Share This Contest With Your Facebook Friends!

Step 3. Register Your Contact Info!

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