Wythe County Water Quality

Earlier this month, a small portion of the county’s water system experienced quality issues.  The concerns were minor and affected only 110 customers.

The affected customers were limited to the Wythe County – West Water System, which includes West Lee Highway and Radio Drive, as well as the spurs connecting to their respective lines.

Per Virginia Department of Health regulations, the water department took additional precautions in order to ensure the county’s water quality was adequate for all customers.

The action included, flushing the entire water system along West Lee Highway and the associated lines which branch from the line, thoroughly inspecting the water system, and slightly raising chlorine residuals to help prevent any future problems.

Additionally, the Wythe County Water Department is in the process of implementing proactive measures to insure future water quality in the area remains acceptable for all residents.

More recent water quality testing has consistently shown that the water meets all health department requirements.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Should you have any questions please contact us at 223-4501.

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Wythe County Graduate Has Big Opening Day at UVA

Daniel Hamm

Wythe County gridiron fans have long been familiar with the name Daniel Hamm, the Fort Chiswell graduate who rushed for nearly two-thousand yards, last year, in his senior year of high school.

Over the weekend, ACC fans from across the nation became acquainted with the walk – on freshman tailback, as he rushed for 136 yards and scored two touchdowns in his debut game at the University of Virginia.

Immediately following the game, the eighteen-year-old Wythe County graduate was overwhelmed with local well-wishers, who flocked to his Facebook page offering congratulatory remarks.

Hamm provided an interview with WytheTheNews.com Monday afternoon, stating, “It was such a blessing and honor to come in my first game and perform the way that I did. I’m so grateful that the line was creating great holes up front and made it a little easier for me.”

When asked what he attributed his success to, Hamm immediately spoke of God, saying, “I can’t begin to express how much He has blessed me with this opportunity and everything that I have. My family also played a major role. I was raised to be a competitor and had some great examples of athletes ahead of me. I can’t thank my family enough. My coaches did a great job teaching me what to do in order to be an effective runner ever since I was a little kid.”  Hamm went on to brag on the effort made by his offensive line.

Reminiscing about Wythe County, Hamm’s words steered toward his friends.

“My friends have been there for me – keeping me up when things weren’t always going my way. They were a major help. I wouldn’t be the same person without these people.”

When asked about his greatest Wythe County memories, the walk-on tailback spoke of his community and former teams.  “I can’t explain in words how much they all supported me and were together. It means so much to have those people behind me all the way no matter what.”

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PHOTO CREDIT: Irish Typepad

Wythe County residents are encouraged to bring their hazardous waste to the transfer station located at 169 Kents Lane (south entrance to Progress Park), this Saturday, between 9 a.m. and noon.

The annual hazardous waste day event will provide local citizens with an opportunity to dispose of their hazardous waste in a safe and environmentally conscious method – completely free of charge.

Acceptable waste items include household cleaners, pool chemicals, all automotive fluids, mercury products, herbicides, insecticides, all types of batteries, fluorescent lights, paint thinners and a variety of other products (a complete list of acceptable and unacceptable products may be found on the county’s official website: www.WytheCo.org).

The event is open to Wythe and Bland County residents only.  Refuse from businesses, including home-based businesses will not be accepted.

For more information regarding Wythe County’s Hazardous Waste Day, please contact Ikey Davidson at 223-6033.

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Orange BagsEarlier this summer, Wythe County officials established a partnership with the New River Valley Regional Jail in order to secure inmates for weekly trash pick-up duties throughout the county.

Two months into the effort, Sheriff’s officers say the program is responsible for collecting approximately 11,130 pounds of litter along county roadways.

To put that number into perspective, it is equivalent to the weight of nearly 50 newborn elephants, 450 car tires, and 162,498 paper cups.

In addition to being responsible for cleaning the trash from at least one interstate exit, inmates are also tasked with picking up debris that collects along county roadways.

Keith Dunagan, Chief Deputy for the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office, says the project has been an overwhelming success.
“The program has been very well received by the public. We’re hearing great responses from local citizens who are happy to provide their input regarding which roads are most in need.”

One of the things that make the program so unique is the level of public participation it encourages.

Local residents are encouraged to provide their input regarding roads which stand in most need of clean up. Concerned citizens are asked to contact their district’s Supervisor or email the county at [email protected] with their suggestions for road clean-up.

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Full Slate of Community Events This Saturday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAResidents of Wythe County will have a full slate of recreational events to choose from this Saturday, as local organizations bid farewell to summer by offering a full litany of events.

The Max Meadows Heritage Day, sponsored by the Max Meadows Ruritan Club, is set to begin at 10 a.m. at Max Meadows Community Field.

The free-admission event will provide numerous live displays, including antique tractors and tools, black smith demonstrations, soap making and apple butter production.

Event organizers say in addition to live displays, visitors to the festival will find numerous venders, as well as food and drink concessions, offering “everything from pinto beans and corn bread to hot dogs and hamburgers.”  Games and children’s events have also been scheduled.

In addition to Max Meadows Heritage Day, local residents can instead elect to attend the New River Trail’s ‘Family Fest,’ slated to be held at the New River Trail State Park, located in Foster Falls, Virginia.

Activities at the state park will include children’s outdoor nature activities, as well as a 65-mile long triathlon.  For more information regarding ‘Family Fest,’ citizens may contact 276-699-6778.

The day will close inside the town limits of Wytheville, with the Dickie Boyles Memorial Cruise-In.

The late Dickie Boyles was a longtime employee of the Town of Wytheville Parks and Recreation Department, who recently passed away.

“Dickie Boyles was very instrumental in starting cruise-ins on Main Street.  We wanted to honor his memory by attaching his name to the festival,” says Teresa King, owner of Petals of Wytheville.

King went on to state, “the festival will be a great opportunity to remind the community to continue to support our downtown and local businesses.”

The cruise-in is scheduled to last from 4 p.m to 9 p.m.


The Dickie Boyles Memorial Cruise-In has been rescheduled for September 28, 2013.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, Wythe County’s Progress Park provides over 750 jobs to local citizens and delivers millions of additional dollars in revenue to the county each year; however, local officials are being proactive in seeing those numbers grow.

Thanks to a four-year project that moved approximately 3.5 million cubic feet of dirt, southwest Virginia’s top industrial park has taken its place as the premier manufacturing site in the entire southeast.

Speaking to an audience of community leaders and businessmen, Mary Rae Carter, deputy secretary for the Virginia Department of Commerce and Trade, applauded Progress Park’s newly completed mega-site known as Lot 24.

Describing the 232 acre lot as being “second to none,” Carter stated, “You are all a model for rural Virginia communities. I see a lot of localities that are interested in becoming a global competitor, but they aren’t willing to put their skin in the game.”

The “ready-for-construction” pad is served by a Class – I rail line, boasts of a 16-inch water line with service from two directions, three 138kV electric transmission lines and three interstate high-pressure natural gas transmission lines.

“You simply can’t find this level of infrastructure anywhere else in the Commonwealth,” noted Artie Hall, West Wytheville’s representative on the Wythe County Board of Supervisors.

Hall added, “A lot of folks are asking why the county has made such a large investment. The answer is very simple, because we’re expecting a great return.”

Supervisor Tim Reeves seconded Hall’s comment, “When manufacturers go out looking for a suitable site to build their next factory, they don’t have the time to wait five years for the site to be made ready for construction. We’ve gone through the hassle of getting the permits, grading and putting the infrastructure in place – so they can immediately get to work in providing jobs to local residents.”

State leaders pledged their fullest support in attracting a large-scale, well-paying manufacturer to the site.

“The Virginia Economic Development Partnership is already marketing this site to consultants all over the globe. We’re contacting companies in the United States, Asia and Europe. Many have already expressed interest in this site,” announced Mike Lehmkuhler, Vice President of Business Development for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Lehmkuhler added, “Not only do you have the best manufacturing site in Virginia, but you have the premiere manufacturing site in the entire southeast.”


Last month, county officials tasked the Wythe County Rescue Squad with serving the Lead Mines Rescue Squad’s former coverage area; mandating that qualified emergency responders be based out of the Wythe County Emergency Services Building, located along Fort Chiswell Road, in Fort Chiswell.

 With responders being ready to go, around the clock, data from the county’s emergency communications center is proving their decision was for the betterment of the people.

 According to the E-911 center’s data, emergency response times in the area have been cut by a total of more than three minutes since the Board voted to dissolve the Lead Mines Rescue Squad.  This is significant, because numerous studies have proven that there is a substantial correlation between the final outcome of a patient’s health and the response times of qualified medical personnel.

 Additionally, E-911 data revealed that between the dates of August 14 and September 6, 2013, Wythe County Rescue Squad had zero rollover calls.  This number can be compared to eighteen calls rolled over by Lead Mines Rescue Squad for the same area between the dates of July 1 and August 12, 2013.  Rollover calls occur when an emergency rescue squad is unable to answer to the request of a citizen and the nearest rescue squad from another agency is forced to respond.

 Earlier this week, county officials were able to reach a consensus in their effort to ensure local residents receive the highest level of care possible.  They agree that that emergency response units dedicated to servicing the area will maintain the identity of “Lead Mines.”

 The Board of Supervisors will be voting upon their final resolutions regarding the future of emergency services for the eastern portion of the county at a later date.

 Encouraged by the data which confirms that his organization is surpassing expectations, J.D. Hancock, Executive Director of the Wythe County Rescue Squad thanked his organization’s career and volunteer personnel.

 Hancock added, “Since the county asked us to expand our coverage area to include eastern Wythe County, our agency has responded to 242 emergency calls, 66 of which have been in that area. We have crews stationed in both Wytheville and Fort Chiswell 24/7 with advanced providers to ensure citizens receive the care they need quickly.”

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Certified Bob Ross Instructor to Host Painting Class

The Wythe County Department of Parks & Recreation has scheduled Judy Moore-Gist, an experienced and certified Bob Ross Instructor, to provide local residents with lessons in painting landscape scenes.

The program, entitled, “Experience the Joy of Painting,” is scheduled to be held at the Max Meadows Ruritan Building on Sunday, September 22, 2013 (lasting from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

Students will learn the “wet-on-wet” painting technique used by Bob Ross, the PBS-TV host who inspired millions each week with his television show, The Joy of Painting.

“This class has always been a great attraction for the area. Judy Moore-Gist is an amazing artist and first time students are always blown away by their masterpiece,” says Tina Brown of the Wythe County Department of Parks & Recreation.

Brown added, “If you like to paint or are a Bob Ross fan, come give this class a try.”

The registration cost of the four-hour class is $65 and is required to be turned in no later than Friday, September 20, 2013.

For registration information, residents are asked to contact the Parks & Recreation Department via phone (276) 223-4517 or email [email protected].

The class will require a minimum of eight participants and is open to the general public ages 15 & up.