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Fooling Around The R.E. Lee

  • Written by Claudia Schwab



Mark Cline does some serious “monkey bSee no Evilusiness” for April Fools Day as he attaches one of his three monkey installations to a platform on the balcony of the R.E. Lee Building above Main Street in Lexington Monday evening. Cline is the subject of a feature-length documentary to be featured in the April 5 Weekender. (Claudia Schwab photo)


BV Police Chief, Assistant Retiring

  • Written by Ed Smith


Buena Vista's police chief and assistant chief are both retiring. City Manager Jay Scudder said Friday morning that Darrell Slagle and Jay Patterson, chief and assistant chief, respectively, are stepping down.


Both officers have spent decades with the department. Scudder said neither is being forced from his job. “They're very much in good standing,” said the city manager. “They're honorable, dedicated gentlemen. They're very good people who served Buena Vista very well.”


The retirements are effective in July but because of unused leave, both will be departing well before then. Slage's last day is Friday. Patterson will be in charge of the department until he leaves in May, or until an interim chief is hired. Scudder said he's working with Mayor Frankie Hogan to find a “well-respected retired chief” to assume the post on a temporary basis.


Scudder recalled a similar set of circumstances a couple of years ago when Jack Gross, a retired local government administrator, was brought in to be Buena Vista city manager on a temporary basis. Scudder said a retired police chiefs association is being contacted in the search for prospective candidates.


“Somebody very professional will come in,” said Scudder. “We'll take our time. We'll not be in a hurry [to hire someone].”


Holm, Fox Retiring From BV Schools

  • Written by Darryl Woodson



The Buena Vista School Board approved the retirements of Dr. Mary Holm, director of instruction, and Nelson Fox, a longtime PE teacher and successful golf and basketball coach. Holm will retire effective June 17 and Fox at the end of the school year, on June 30.

Holm is a longtime educator who has served the Buena Vista division as director of instruction for the past seven years.

“We owe Dr. Holm a big thanks for stepping up as acting superintendent for a full year, after Dr. [Rebecca Gates] had resigned and during the search for a new superintendent [Dr. John Keeler],” said Board Chairman Steve Webb after Thursday night’s meeting. “She did a big job for us and helped us out tremendously.”

Superintendent Keeler said that no discussion had yet taken place about a replacement for Holm. He pointed out that Rockbridge County recently divided that job among administrators at the different levels.

Fox has been in education for 39 years, 38 of them in Buena Vista. Webb said that Fox will be “hard to replace − he was such a class act, and a leader in our school system.”

“He knew how to lose and win gracefully, and taught our students the same,” he said.



Staunton Man Dies In Forge Road Wreck

  • Written by Roberta Anderson

A Staunton man died in a one-car crash Wednesday evening on Forge Road when his 2013 Hyundai Sonata ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a tree, rolled down an embankment, overturned and caught fire.

Edward Moler Speese, 57, was wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash but was pronounced dead at the scene.  The crash occurred around 10:45 p.m. one mile north of Tinkerville Road.

Volunteer fire departments from Glasgow, Buena Vista and Natural Bridge and rescue squads from Glasgow and Buena Vista responded to the call.

Sgt. Rob Carpentieri of the Virginia State Police said an investigation of the crash is continuing.



Moody To Be Commissioned As New Director Of Music At New Providence

  • Written by submitted

Bob Moody will be commissioned as the new director of music and organist at New Providence Presbyterian Church, during the 11 a.m. service on Sunday, March 30.

All area residents are invited to attend the service and the reception that will follow.

Moody has been serving as the interim director of music at New Providence. 

After learning to play the organ "on his own," Moody, a native of Staunton, played his first church service on youth Sunday at First Baptist when he was 15.  Moody began his organ study after high school graduation in 1958 with Dr. Carl Broman at Mary Baldwin College and Trinity Church, still practicing on the instrument at Christ Lutheran on Lewis Street. He continued study with Georgia Renfro in Charlottesville starting in 1961 while a student at the University of Virginia, first in electrical engineering and then in music education.

He was supply organist at Emmanuel Episcopal in Staunton in 1959 while Dr. Ruth McNeil was on sabbatical from Mary Baldwin, and since that time he has been organist and/or choir director at St. Mark's Lutheran in Charlottesville, Hinton Avenue Methodist in Charlottesville, Covenant Presbyterian in Staunton, and Tinkling Spring Presbyterian in Fishersville.  Since 1983 he has served as guest or interim organist in well over 25 area churches from New Market to Charlottesville, and particularly enjoys playing "organs older than he is."

Moody lives in an 1832 farmhouse in western Augusta County with his wife Joy, and practices on his Rodgers digital organ in the parlor or his 100-year-old piano in the dining room each day.

Besides enjoying time with his three granddaughters and managing business pursuits, he is a member of Hebron Presbyterian in Staunton where he sings in the choir, a member of the Charlottesville Chapter of The American Guild of Organists, a member of The Organ Historical Society, a member of the board of Valley Music Academy, and is a past president of the Staunton-Augusta Rotary Club.