We’re a bit late calling your attention to this but over on The Roanoke Times “Refresh RT” blog, they’re asking: How did you get your news while the power was out?
There’s a brief questionnaire. You can check it out here. (And if you got some of your news through The Botetourt View — either the website proper or our Facebook/Twitter updates — don’t forget to mention that somewhere!)
We learned today that The Botetourt View has won two awards in the Suburban Newspapers of America annual contest.
* The Botetourt View took second place in the “best niche site produced by a local newspaper.”
* The Botetourt View also shared second place — with its sister publications in Salem and Southwest Roanoke County — in the “best web/print combination” category.”
The judges said:
The Botetourt View, So Salem and SWoCo are print / online projects produced by The Roanoke Times that combine user-generated contributions, a community journalist, local advertising sales and online-first, edited-for-print content in the way that many media companies can and should.”
Meanwhile, our parent site — www.roanoke.com — took first place in the “best overall local news site” category, although Botetourt and our other community publications drew an indirect mention there. The judges said:
“Roanoke.com and The Roanoke Times cover all the bases with this excellent site and suite of interactive-media services including mobile for Blackberry, IPhone and Droid. News texting , even digital billboards for breaking news? Great stuff. Nice design. Especially liked photos of the week and the local community sections.”
As the judges pointed out, we rely on you — the reader — to share many of the photos you’d like the community to see, so we here at The Botetourt View thank you!
Cathy Benson was named the 2009 recipient of the Rugaber Award.
Community journalist Cathy Benson was named the 10th recipient of The Roanoke Times’ Rugaber Award. Benson, who writes for The Botetourt View and its sister blog, The Notebook, was recognized for her contributions in launching the successful weekly publication.
Benson “has helped set the tone, been an avid cheerleader, a loyal employee and a supportive co-worker, providing leadership to the entire team,” Roanoke Times editor Carole Tarrant said in presenting the award May 13.
The Rugaber Award is named for former Roanoke Times publisher Walter Rugaber. It annually recognizes the newsroom employee “whose work in the past 12 months has displayed, day in and day out, an intense curiosity, a depth of understanding, and an enterprising drive to discover unique and significant stories.”
James River After Prom was a Mardi Gras theme. Parents and other volunteers worked diligently on Friday night and during the day on Saturday to decorate the school for the annual party. Students and parents and volunteers stayed up til after 4 a.m. playing games and winning prizes. On Sunday, the decorations came down in about two and a half hours. This morning the school once again looks like James River High School.
Looking for the paparazzi photos from James River prom? We’ll be putting those up sometime this afternoon. Do you have photos from either James River or Lord Botetourt prom? You can share at email@example.com.
Bryan Roth started Blue Ridge Home Educators as a support group and community for like-minded people who want to homeschool. He began the group about seven months ago to provide social activity for his homeschooled son, Tyler, 14. While Roth says there are good homeschool groups in existence, none fit the bill for his family. He mainly wanted to provide social activity for his son. It was also important to have a Christian foundation.
So far, 15 students have joined from nine families. Families come from all over Botetourt, and several are members at Fincastle Baptist Church where the group meets. At their weekly meeting, students participate in classes taught by the parents. Every six weeks, a new topic is covered. Currently, the theme is World Geography, and on this particular Thursday, Greek traditions, culture and art are the subject.
Past topics have included photography and art. Guitar and karate instruction are being considered for future meetings. Special instructors would be coming to facilitate the lessons and a small fee charged to cover the cost.
After class, families eat lunch together. While each family usually brings lunch from home, they often have a special snack to share that fits the theme of the day. When lunch is over, they have free time. Sometimes, they play basketball or chase. Other times, it could be games or outdoor activities.
“The kids have a lot of fun,” says Cori Layman, who recently moved to the area from Ohio and taught a class on silhouettes during the art rotation. “They get to build relationships by seeing the same people each week. We would encourage other people to come.”
Her son, Noah, 11, agrees that he would like even more kids to join.
“We do fun things most of the time,” he says. “Today we learned about Greece and the Trojan horse.”
Max Wright, 11, says he likes a lot of things about the group. “There are a lot of people to play with, and I like that because we live in the country.” He has really enjoyed the monthly field trips to places like Thunder Valley, Ikenberry Farm and The Skate Center.
Blue Ridge Home Educators is open to anyone who homeschools and would like to be part of a Christian-based group. The group meets every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p,m, at Fincastle Baptist Church, where Roth attends church.
“Our pastor’s philosophy is children first,” Roth says of the Rev. Kevin Cummings. In light of that, the church has provided a free meeting place for the families including nursery space for children too young to participate in certain projects.
“We have created what we believe is a safe family environment. We’re like a big family, a community of people who share their lives and are there for each other,” Roth says. “It really does take a village to raise a child.”
Visit the Blue Ridge Home Educators Web site at brhe.org for more information, or call Fincastle Baptist Church at (540) 473-2861.
Dylan Turner and Michael McBane of LBHS both have proud mothers in Lori Turner and Jennifer McBane who were happy to supply photos of Saturday April 24th’s Blue Ridge Marathon. The boys were the two youngest official runners and finished first and third in their age divisions and 43rd for Dylan and 50th for Michael over all. Neither young man had ever run 26.2 miles all at once and considering the difficulty of the altitude climb in the marathon they really rocked and rolled! Both finished under four hours.
Lori Turner had this to say
“I just wanted to reemphasize that Peter Walton, L.B. track coach and running mentor, spent the day on his bike moving to different locations to support the boys and keep them focused as they ran the marathon. He has been a constant support and influence in preparing them and seeing them to the finish line!”
She added:” After a successful run, Dylan donned a tux and escorted his date to the LB prom. It was a great day and these boys have much to be proud of!”
The Roanoke Times is looking for a few good teens. Once a week, we publish The Edge, a print page that is planned, written, and photographed by local teenagers. With Roanoke Times staff as advisors and mentors, high school students learn the ropes of journalism, hands on. Sometimes, students are inspired to make a career of it.
Are you interested in exploring journalism? The Edge is accepting applications from high school students in the region. We need writers, photographers and artists for next year’s staff.
Roanoke Times staff photographer Jared Soares was on hand to memorialize JRHS’s victory over Buckingham County High on Saturday, March 13, for the A Division 2 VHSL State Boys State title at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Siegel Center in Richmond.