Here are some of the top Botetourt View stories of 2010.
Snowy weather. Snows in early 2010 and recently in December, have brought in hundreds of photo submissions. The winter of 2010 will long be remembered in Botetourt County.
Politics. The death of Don Meredith, retired iconic LBHS basketball coach and Fincastle Supervisor in January 2010, garnered lots of hits. The selection of Donna Vaughn to fill the seat by Circuit Court Judge Bo Trumbo, until the special election put a woman on the board until the special election in November when three candidates including Vaughn’s husband Steve, Gwen
Ikenberry and Larry Ceola ran for the Fincastle seat. Ceola was elected by just over 60 votes. His election gave a more conservative flavor to the board and just last week fellow conservatives, Bill Martin and Don Assaid were elected Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. Newsworthy– for now the BOS put the skids on wind energy when it ordered land owner Jerry Fraley to remove the MET Tower from his north Botetourt Property.
Two State Championships for James River High School. The JRHS boys basketball team captured the 1A state championship in March at the Segal Center VHSL state competition. The ten young men., coaches and managers brought home a well deserved trophy for the community and school! In November, the equally deserving James River volleyball team left a host of challengers in their wake and once again at the VCU Segal Center brought home a well deserved trophy to the community and school. Both teams have championship signs on either end of the Town of Buchanan bringing to the total of 5 state championships teams from the school in the decade 2000-10! ( The other three were JRHS girls softball teams.)
Blue Collar Joes. Daniel Knight suffered a house fire that destroyed his home. However to his happiness the home is being reconstructed. He had a banner year with the doughnut shop. Blue Collar Joes was voted by Fox News nationally as being one of the best doughnut shops in the USA and in November Knight traveled to the Food Network to compete in a baking challenge. The results will be in this spring when the show is aired!
Daleville Town Center and Orchard Marketplace. The DTC has a new Lewis Gale Imaging building going up and served as host for the Food Expo this year and changed the way it does business with profer changes. Across the street, the strip mall remains unoccupied and a leased tenant DL Nails waits to find out when her nail studio will get into the building. CVS opened and new Carilion construction including a large dentistry practice are underway. These were significant building events in a down turned construction economy.
State budget woes. The state budget crisis hit the county in operation and the school division as well. The schools cut 4 million from a budget that had already lost 2 million from the year before . Thus far new Gov. Bob McDonnell is looking unfavorably at public education. Many core functions are now being pushed to the localities from the state level. On a side note of the budget crisis is the retirement of Va Tech Extension Agent Glenda Snyder. According to her information, Virginia Tech doesn’t appear to have a 4H agent in store for Botetourt County. Significantly only one 4H float participated in the two Christmas parades in December. Years previous there were always several in both parades. Leading to the question, “What will happen to 4H and other programs in Botetourt County?”
Goodwill Industries opened at Botetourt Commons. The site is appearing to have plenty of traffic by the observed parking lot. A store location and drop-off center, the building had plenty of dignitaries at the dedication. Little Caesar’s Pizza located next to the store and two other storefronts remain empty.
Business and Industry. JTek closed for good, but cement trucks are once again traveling Catawba Road from Roanoke Cement. Several small business closed including the Buchanan Family Furniture, Mountain View Restaurant, Hot Dog Shack, Galloways in Cloverdale, which provided public safety news as well when owner Eric Wooten was arrested, tried and convicted in Federal Court. Others opened. They include new hamburger place in Fincastle called Charades, a Chinese restuarant, CL Asia, Miche Bags and Creative Marketing, Fantzarelli’s in Buchanan, Edward Jones in Fincastle, All State, a new site for Valley Mortgage company and several others. Southern States has a new location ready to open. Road improvements announced at Exit 150 may have an impact on business. This confirmed last week at the Board of Supervisors joint meeting with the school board. Out going Chairman Terry Austin remarked that the new VDOT barriers will limit businesses in the area and keep growth and needed tax dollars away from the Exit 150 area.
Schools. A new school for Botetourt is on the horizon in Blue Ridge. School kids here rock! Botetourt students performed well on testing, in the sports arena and on paper they are some of the best and brightest around. Botetourt County has seven elementary schools, two middle school, a technical school and two high schools. We feature thousands of photos of the 5,000 plus students on our photo galleries, Paparazzi stops at Proms and Homecoming and other events and in print as many as space allows. Sports are always a top news getter.
Eagle Rock Library dedication. The first new library built in years reflected the need for northern Botetourt to have a central gathering place and place to have computer and check out books. Libraries were the target of budget hits early in the year but were rescued by public outcry. Likely they are once again on the table for budget year 2011-12.
Relief. Across the county new food pantries at churches, Haitian earth quake relief, Botetourt Food Pantry, Botetourt Resource Center, help for local organizations, schools, mission trips, cancer, and other charitable events and opportunities took place. We even have an international relief organization for the Deaf–ICCD headquartered in Cloverdale. Botetourt County citizens as a community are very giving.
Parks and Recreation and Tourism. The Botetourt Sports Complex continues to bring in popular tournaments. Rec teams abound in sports in the county including sandlot superbowl champs from Botetourt County as well as the new Boxley sports plan on the drawing board shows the need for more fields. A Women’s Expo and numerous trips, fishing carnival and other events keep the county moving and shaking! The Upper James River Water Trail and tourism through the Wine Trail as well as the three towns in Botetourt have kept the county on the map locally, state wide and nationally.
Towns: Troutville has a strategic plan and a terrific park with many events. Fincastle has history and a new part-time town manager and some sidewalk construction. Buchanan has a Civil War weekend, Mountain Magic, a new water filtration plant and unfortunately, a faltering downtown business climate.
Botetourt County had an interesting 2010 by all news accounts.