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Glasgow Firefighters Honored For 2013 Rescue

  • Written by submitted

Glasgow-firefightersAt Monday's meeting of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors, nine members of the Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department were presented with a plaque from the U.S. Marine Corps. The Glasgow firemen were honored for the roles they played in rescuing a Marine from a 200-foot ravine in the James River Face Wilderness area during a training exercise last fall. “It was a team effort from all involved,” stated Fire Chief John Hill. “The terrain and darkness made it a very difficult task and it's not very often we get to rescue a Marine, but we are happy to do whatever it takes -no matter the person or place.”

Craig Bryant (left), director of the county's fire and emergency medical services, holds the plaque while addressing the supervisors about the actions of the firemen, who are (from left) Ricky Taylor , Jason Duff, John Hill, Patrick Stump,Chris Rogers, Dylan Clark and Luis Catalan.


Lost Hikers Located

  • Written by submitted

Approximately 25 area fire and rescue workers, mostly volunteers, spent the better part of Wednesday night searching for four Washington and Lee University students who decided to take an evening hike through the Devils Marbleyard area in Arnolds Valley.

All four students were eventually found with no injuries.

“It was very fortunate that we had cell phone service to help us out,” Rockbridge emergency management coordinator Robert Foresman who said volunteers from both the Glasgow fire department and rescue squad and the Natural Bridge Fire Department were called out shortly after 9 p.m. for search and rescue operations.  Two hikers were found at the base of the Belfast Trail.  However, the other two hikers had crossed several ridges, Foresman said, and were not located until after 4 a.m. in the Little Hell Gate Creek area.

“Hypothermia was a concern because temperatures dropped below freezing last night,” Foresman said.  He noted one hiker was wearing only a t-shirt and shorts.

Two firefighters were treated at Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital for a knee injury and general illness.  Foresman estimated that the billable cost for a comparable 10-hour search and rescue operation would equate to several thousand dollars.

Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service At Manly

  • Written by Darryl Woodson

 The ecumenical Easter sunrise service for Lexington churches will be held at Manly Memorial Baptist Church, not Randolph Street United Methodist as stated in this week’s paper.

The Rev. Louis Grandberry will be preaching at the event, which will be followed by breakfast in the Manly’s fellowship hall.

The primary churches involved in this service besides Manly are Lexington Presbyterian, First Baptist, Randolph Street United Methodist and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Ruscio Responds To Law Students' Letter

  • Written by Darryl Woodson

4:30 p.m. - Moments ago, W&L President Ken Ruscio sent a message to the W&L community responding to the letter sent to the school's board of trustees last week by a group of law students about issues relating to making the climate more welcoming for "students of color." The letter was the subject of a story in today's issue of The News-Gazette.

The following is the full text of Ruscio's comments:



Last week, some members of the Board of Trustees and I received a letter from 12 Law School students expressing concerns about the climate for students of color at Washington and Lee.

In their letter, the law students issued the following four demands:

               1. That the University fully recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the undergraduate campus.
               2. That the University stop allowing neo-Confederates to march on campus with Confederate flags on Lee-Jackson Day and to stop allowing these groups to hold programs in Lee Chapel.
               3. That the University immediately remove all Confederate flags from its property, including those flags located within Lee Chapel.
               4. That the University issue an official apology for the University's participation in chattel slavery and a denunciation of Robert E. Lee's participation in slavery.

In recent days, reports about the students' demands have appeared in several media outlets, and additional media attention will likely be forthcoming.

I first want to assure the community that we take these students' concerns seriously. The issues they have raised are important, and we intend to address them.

Upon receipt of their letter, I immediately responded to the students and asked that, as a first step, a meeting take place with them and members of the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC). That committee, chaired by Marc Conner, associate provost, consists of students (both law and undergraduate) and members of the faculty, staff and administration. We created UCICC in 2008 as "an institutional platform to address issues of inclusiveness and diversity, in response to concerns within the campus community." Throughout this year, UCICC and the Office of Student Affairs have been holding focus groups with students to discuss some of the very issues that the law students are raising.

I also asked Provost Daniel Wubah to schedule a meeting with the law students.

As we consider these questions as a community, I think it is important to state several key facts as background for the discussions.

First, as you undoubtedly are aware, Washington and Lee does recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year with a University-wide MLK Legacy Week, which features a prominent guest speaker. This year, Donna Brazile spoke in Lee Chapel, on Jan. 26. Other recent speakers have included Terrence Roberts, Andrew J. Young and Julian Bond. In addition, we make available the panels, symposia and programs that we organize not only to the University community, but also to the Lexington-Rockbridge County community.

The Law School participates in the observance by holding its own programs and by cancelling classes on King Day.

We hold undergraduate classes on King Day. In accordance with the University's governing process, the faculty approves academic calendars and any adjustments to the class schedule. The law faculty controls the calendar in the Law School; the undergraduate faculty controls the undergraduate calendar. These two calendars are different in many respects, not just in terms of King Day.

Lee Chapel displays replicas of eight battle flags that represented different armies of the Confederate States of America, at the back of the chapel's main floor, near the statue called "The Recumbent Lee." These replicas are designed for historical and educational purposes. I am aware of no similar flags displayed anywhere else on our campus.

Based on Lee Chapel's policies for the use of the facility by non-University groups, a private group has reserved the chapel for a lecture on Civil War history as part of Lexington's community-wide events commemorating the Commonwealth of Virginia's holiday, Lee-Jackson Day. This is not a University-sponsored event, and W&L does not observe Lee-Jackson Day.

Finally, last year I impaneled a special committee to explore the history of African Americans at Washington and Lee and to provide a report to me and to the community. Elizabeth Knapp, senior assistant to the president, is convening that group. While we are aware of some of that history, I believe we should have a thorough, candid examination. That group has to date met in only a preliminary manner.

Let me conclude by reiterating that the students have raised important questions that relate to ongoing discussions at the University. I welcome their contributions and those of all members of the University community. I am certain we can address these matters in a manner that is both respectful and productive.

I welcome your thoughts on these issues.

Sunday Morning Beer Sales To Start In County

  • Written by Ed Smith

 Beer and wine can now be purchased in Rockbridge County on Sunday mornings.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday lifted the prohibition of beer and wine sales in the county between the hours of 6 a.m. and noon on Sundays. The change brings the county into conformity with what's allowed in Lexington and Buena Vista.

County Attorney Vickie Huffman drafted the ordinance to repeal the Sunday morning prohibition at the request of South River Supervisor Ronnie Campbell. A retailer in Campbell's district who saw he was losing customers to businesses in the cities sought the change.

A Virginia ABC law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. everyday. This statewide law remains in effect, as does one that prohibits on-premises sales after 2 a.m. Localities have the option to further restrict sales on Sunday mornings.

No one spoke at a public hearing on the repeal of the county's ordinance, which the supervisors adopted unanimously without comment.