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Kling Principal Heads To County

  • Written by Kit Huffman

With school set to begin in Buena Vista next Monday, the principal of one of the city’s two elementary schools has resigned, effective Aug. 29.

Christine Wood, principal of Kling since Jan. 2, will leave that job to work in the Rockbridge County school division.

Buena Vista Superintendent Dr. John Keeler, who confirmed Wood’s resignation, said he has no plans to hire an interim principal at Kling, being confident a replacement could be found before Aug. 29. The opening has been posted on the division’s Web site.

Rockbridge County Superintendent Dr. Jack Donald said yesterday that he intends to recommend to the School Board at its Aug. 26 called meeting to hire Wood to work with Twila Brown, director of special education. He said more details will be available after that meeting.

Wood’s short tenure at Kling was part of an administrative switch, in which Wood, then assistant principal at Parry McCluer High School, replaced then-Principal Sherrie Wheeler, who then became assistant PMHS principal, Woods’ old job. Woods had been assistant principal at PMHS since 2012. Before that, she was principal at Enderly Heights Elementary for four years. However, most of her 27 years in education were spent in special education. She graduated from the former Lexington High School and has degrees from Longwood College and the University of Phoenix.

Vote On Truck Parade Put Off

  • Written by Roberta Anderson

A request from Lee Hi Travel Plaza to hold a truck parade through downtown Lexington along Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 11, was tabled by Lexington City Council last week after the request received a tepid reception from some Council members.

One of the primary concerns is that the parade falls on the same weekend as parents’ weekend at Washington and Lee University.

The parade is part of the festivities planned for a national truck show sponsored by LargeCarMag to be held that weekend at Lee Hi. The parade would include only Bobtails (trucks without trailers). This is the second year that the event is being held here.

Stephanie Wilkinson, director of Main Street Lexington, addressed Council regarding a survey of downtown merchants who were polled by e-mail to ascertain their reactions to the parade being held. Wilkinson said the responses were about evenly divided, although those opposed to the parade were lengthier in their reactions. Mayor Mimi Elrod also read a response from one of those opposed to the parade that cited the diesel exhaust and noise of the trucks as reasons for not having the event. Elrod said the communication was addressed to the mayor and Council.

Councilman Frank Friedman and Councilwoman Camille Miller both shared another approach to the request. Friedman asked if there was anyone present who attended last year’s parade and suggested that the event should actually be experienced before judgment is passed.

Friedman further suggested that W&L and the truck event organizers work together to resolve any conflicts.

Miller said Lee Hi owner Bobby Berkstresser has made invaluable contributions to economic development as part of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. She added that if Berkstresser’s plans for an artisans’ center in Raphine are realized that Lexington would benefit greatly from this enterprise.

Council Approves Funding For Waddell Project

  • Written by Roberta Anderson

A new elementary school will be built in Lexington.

Lexington City Council Thursday evening approved the appropriation of an additional $850,000 required to cover the shortfall in funding for the new school. The vote was unanimous and won a round of applause from the handful of supporters of the new school that attended the meeting. Councilwoman Mary Harvey-Halseth was not present for the meeting.

The additional funding is necessary to cover the project cost of approximately $14.1 million, including the most recent $12.4 million construction bid from the contractor. Council had previously approved a $12 million bond sale to finance the school prior to receiving bids from the contractor, an action that Councilman Frank Friedman called, “putting the cart before the horse.”

The city already had set aside approximately $1.3 million to be used for the new elementary, including money received from a stormwater grant. Additional funding will include $640,000 from the city’s undesignated fund balance, leaving $2 million in available money in than account and $115,000 remaining in the school fund surplus account.

Council also voted to apply the $97,454 that city anticipates receiving from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That money represents the reimbursement to the city’s general fund for expenses incurred in cleanup costs after the 2012 derecho.

Taking on the debt for the school will bring the city to its maximum debt level as set by policy.

The Lexington School Board will meet Monday to formally accept the bid on the school.

Small Business Seminars Planned For Area

  • Written by submitted

 A series of workshops entitled “Business Smarts - Lexington” will start in May for business owners and managers and leaders of nonprofit organizations.

The series of six workshops is sponsored by Virginia Small Business Development Center – Shenandoah Valley, Main Street Lexington, the Chamber of Commerce serving Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The workshops will be held the third Friday of every month from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. in the boardroom of CornerStone Bank in Lexington. The cost is $10 per session.

The sessions are as follows:

“Business Life-Cycle Stages,” May 16;

“What, If Anything, Is Special About Your Business?” June 20;

“Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Accountant,” July 18;

“Having The Right Employees Who Do Right By Your Business,” Aug. 15.

“What Will Your Business Be Worth When You Want Out?” Sept. 19;

“Business Storytelling Is The ‘New Marketing,’” Oct. 17.

For more information, visit Register by calling the Shenandoah Valley SBDC at (540) 568-3227 or by visiting



Jim White, Created Old Virginia Log Home Building Company

  • Written by Submittted

James H. “Jim” White died in Virginia Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.

He was born in Detroit, Mich. in 1934 and spent much of his youth in Watertown, N.Y. and Oak Park/River Forest, Ill. He attended Swarthmore College. A good student while there, he also excelled in lacrosse and soccer, setting many records which stand today. He will be inducted posthumously into the Swarthmore Athletic Hall of Fame in October of 2014.

He worked in sales for many years. His love of wood and construction led him to his true vocation and in 1989 he created Old Virginia Log Home Building Company. He and his wife Dottie retired from that business in 2003. A quiet man, Jim enjoyed a good book, a good chocolate bar (Hershey's would do), good sushi and a good joke.

He is survived by his wife, Dottie Puffer, two sons, Chad White and Houston White and their families; a sister, Cynthia Smith and her husband David; and three stepdaughters and their families.

In thanks for all of the medical aid he received in his life, his body has been donated to science.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Rockbridge Regional Library and Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity.