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108TH YEAR, NO. 120

SUNDAY

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Emporia man faces trial for Franklin man’s homicide

AUGUST 4, 2013

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BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/STAFF WRITER Stephen.cowles@tidewaternews.com

COURTLAND—An Emporia man charged in the first-degree murder of a Franklin man is scheduled for a jury trial at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, in South-

WATERMELON FESTIVAL: Mur-

freesboro is the site of the annual North Carolina Watermelon Festival. The parade is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. Activities include music, watermelon eating and seed-spitting contests, amusement rides and music. Fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m. For more information, call 252-3987695, email: melons@watermelonfestivalnc.com; or visit www.watermelonfestivalnc. com.

ampton County Circuit Court. La’mon Frederick Bradshaw, 18, was 17 years old when he was arrested and charged with helping Sol “Dukey” Damascus Burke shoot Eric “E.T.” Smith on Nov. 8, 2012. Smith is be-

lieved to have been shot when he answered the door at his mother’s home on Pearl Street. The 30-year-old victim, the father of four children, died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Burke allegedly killed

Smith after Smith beat him up in September during an attempted robbery in Southampton County. At the time of Bradshaw’s arraignment, he was to be tried as an adult. Other charges include the

Tidewater Academy alumna to lead school Frances Joyner brings enthusiasm for community she grew up in

BLUEGRASS CONCERT: The Wind-

sor Dairy Queen Bluegrass Music Show will be from 7 to 9 p.m. today, Aug. 3. The Winds of Bluegrass Band wl perform. For details, call 242-6446.

ONLINE POLL

What you tell us |

What are you going to the Franklin/ Southampton County Fair for this year?

The bands

The rides/ The 4H midway activities (2%, 1 Votes) (3%, 3 Votes)

(18%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

I’m not going

use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, shooting in public and three counts of shooting at an occupied dwelling. Burke is scheduled for a pre-trial Thursday, Sept. 19, with the trial set for Monday, Oct. 21.

Steinert sentenced STAFF REPORT

COURTLAND—A Courtland man received his sentence report in Southampton County Circuit Court for the first-degree murder of his estranged wife. Charles Bernard Steinert got a life sentence, plus 83 years, for murdering Tammy Jo Steinert at her home on June 12, 2010. Detectives have said that on that date, Charles Steinert took a revolver to the house and first shot her uncle, Joseph Michael Wise, in the stomach. Then Charles Steinert shot out the sliding glass back door to get inside. He reportedly chased Tammy Jo Steinert and two girls, Jessica Austin and Rebecca Gray, into a bedroom, where he apparently shot and killed his wife; she was 37. Charles Steinert barricaded himself and the girls, holding them hostage. Austin was Tammy Jo’s daughter from a previous marriage, and

Gray was a visiting friend of hers. The girls were released unharmed that afternoon. Charles Steinert surrendered to police later that evening. At the trial’s conclusion on March 27, the jury took about 45 minutes to return the unanimous guilty verdict on the third day of Charles Steinert’s trial. However, deliberation for what punishment he should receive for the murder and 10 other charges took approximately two hours. In addition to the life sentence, he was given a total of 83 years for the following charges: malicious wounding of Wise; using a firearm maliciously; the abduction of Austin; using a firearm to do so; the abduction of Gray; using a firearm to do so; armed statutory burglary; using a firearm to commit a burglary; the use of a firearm to commit murder; and maliciously discharging a firearm at or within an occupied building or dwelling.

(77%, 68 Votes)

DEATHS

Obituaries on Page A3 |

Police search for pit bull owner

Donte Hines, 20

INFO

So you can contact us | The Tidewater News 1000 Armory Drive P.O. Box 497 Franklin, VA 23851 (757) 562-3187 editor@tidewaternews.com www.tidewaternews.com

STAFF REPORT

CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

INSIDE

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OPINION OBITUARIES IT’S HAPPENING HERE FAITH AND WORSHIP ADVICE KID’S PAGE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY LIFE CELEBRATIONS CLASSIFIEDS

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New Tidewater Academy Head of School Frances Joyner stands in Senior Hall by the handprints, where her handprint once adorned the wall. Joyner hopes to keep alive traditions such as this, foster new ones and bring back others. CAIN MADDEN/MANAGING EDITOR cain.madden@tidewaternews.com

WAKEFIELD—More than 15 years have passed since Frances Joyner last regularly walked the halls of Tidewater Academy, but now she again roams the familiar setting, only this time it is from the other side. Joyner is the new Head of School at the academy in Wakefield, a school that she fondly remembers. “I remember being in Carolyn Stanley’s math class, stressing about geometry,” she said. “Or in Mrs. Hellyer’s class, listening to her recite ‘Hamlet.’” “I still, to this day, proof

my pages as if they are being turned into Mrs. Hellyer to be graded. She expected a lot.” Class isn’t all she remembered. “I walked through senior hall, and it still smells the same way it did,” Joyner said. “I remember where I used to sit and eat lunch. I stepped into the gym, and I can remember buzzer beater basketball games, with the gym packed out, standing room only. I remember football games, and homecomings, which we were known for. “You can’t hide TA pride.” After living away from home for a number of years,

Joyner started to feel a need to return, especially after her grandmother, Anne Hatch, passed away in January. “She was a huge community supporter who gave back a lot, especially as part of the Tidewater Academy Patron’s Association,” she said, noting that her grandmother had been president of the organization for a number of years. “I thought I would come back, and give back to the community like she had done for all of those years.” Joyner knew was feeling homesick by January, but at SEE JOYNER, P. A10

FRANKLIN—Franklin police are searching for the owner of the two pit bulls that escaped and attacked officers this past weekend, where one of the animals was shot and killed during the attack. Warrants are on file for Michael Anthony Scott, 24, of Pine Street in Franklin, who is the owner of the animals. Scott is charged with allowing dogs to attack, two counts of allowing dogs to run at large, two counts of having no dog license and two counts of dogs not wearing tags, said Lt. Tim Whitt, police spokesman. The second pit bull involved in the attack is still on the loose. The incident began at 8:07 a.m. Saturday with a call about two pit bulls roaming around the Southern Food Store on South Street. While checking the

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grounds, one officer was attacked by both dogs and got puncture wounds in his right arm, said Whitt. The injured officer was first attended by EMS and later went to Southampton Memorial Hospital for more treatment. The animals reportedly went to their yards. Because the dogs were unrestrained and there was no one home to answer for them, the police established a perimeter around the yard as a safeguard for civilians. On arrival of the Animal Control Officer, the two pit bulls again attacked the officers. They defended themselves and fired on the dogs, shooting one dead in the ordeal. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Scott and the wounded dog is asked to contact the police at 562-8575.


Community News Burdette Baptist pastor took an early call

A10

THE TIDEWATER NEWS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

Collis ‘Buck’ Bryant accepted Christ as a teen BY MERLE MONAHAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER merlemonah@aol.com

BURDETTE—The Rev. Collis “Buck” Bryant III says the fact that he’s a pastor is God’s fault. “He told me when I was a teenager that I was to preach His Word and here I am,” the 47-year-old said with a smile. Bryant has been bi-vocational pastor of Burdette Baptist Church for just under a year. He came to the small country church from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Franklin, where he was the bi-vocational pastor. Prior to that, he served as the full-time pastor at Fellowship Baptist in Elizabeth City, N.C. Born and raised in the Suffolk-Franklin area, he says he and his family, wife Lisia and three daughters, Rachael, Rebecca and Charity, are “right at home” in the Burdette area. His two sons, Caleb and Joshua, are grown and live elsewhere. “The people are wonderful, God-loving people,” Bryant went on. “They also love their church, which, by the way, will be 105 years old in October.” Bryant added the brick church is the second structure on this site. The first, a frame building, was

struck by lightning and burned in 1974. According to the church history, lightning struck the steeple and destroyed most of the building. Members tore down what was left of the burned structure, and by 1975 the present church was completed. When Pastor Buck, as he is called, assumed his duties at Burdette, the church had been without a pastor for a few months, he said. “Attendance was down to around 20 to 25 on any given Sunday. There was no choir. “But, I am happy to say that now there are from 60 to 70 in the congregation each Sunday and 90-plus on special occasions, like when we have a children’s program or at Christmas.” A typical Sunday service, he says, starts with Bible study at 10 a.m. and the worship service at 11 a.m. He adds that they also have a pianist and Bryant, who is himself an accomplished musician, sings a solo during the service. His plans for the church are to start more programs for youth and to continue to build membership in the church, “like the ones I grew up in,” he said. The young pastor said he re-

members when he was about five, watching Pat Robinson on television before church. “He talked about sinning and said if you did something wrong, it was a sin and if you prayed to God for forgiveness, He’d forgive you. “Well, I remember praying with Pat several times,” Bryant said, grinning. “My family all went to church,” he added. “In fact, I went to kindergarten at First Baptist Church in Suffolk, then we moved to Franklin and attended Calvary Baptist. “I accepted Christ at Calvary, but when the day came for me to be baptized, I was sick, so I was later baptized at Liberty Baptist in Suffolk, by my pastor from Calvary.” Bryant says he was at a Christian youth camp when he realized God had called him to preach. While a senior in high school, Bryant was accepted at a Bible College in the fall of 1983 and went on to finish his training at Atlantic Bible College in Chester. He said he is where he wants to be. He is humbled that God has called him to preach and thankful that God sent him to Burdette. “It is a wonderful experience,” Bryant said.

MERLE MONAHAN | TIDEWATER NEWS

Collis “Buck” Bryant III is the pastor at Burdette Baptist Church.

JOYNER: She likes closeness of private school FROM PAGE A1 that time she didn’t know in what capacity. Then, the opportunity to work as the Head of School at her alma mater came up, and she jumped at the chance. “You could say it was on my bucket list, even though I am too young to have a bucket list,” she said. “I’m thankful it worked out this way, that I have the chance to give back to this school that I care about so much.”

Joyner is hoping to bring back the traditions she remembers so fondly, such as football and homecoming, but to do that enrollment has to go up. And she does have a strategy for boosting numbers that includes fundraising and strengthening the alumni community. “We hope to bring in support for the school through alumni,” Joyner said. “Alumni and parents are our best recruiters.”

She also plans to make changes to the curriculum. “There will be new electives and courses,” Joyner said. “We’ll have programs to help with 21st century skills — financial literacy, technology and things for the cooperative experience. We are working with businesses for credits.” She said there is a lot special about the school. “It is the best school as far as value in the community,” Joyner said. “No

where else do you get a small class size, student-to-teacher ratio. They also get instilled moral values. “Here we have leadership and volunteerism for students, and they are critical to the functionality of the school. In a public school, if no kid does anything, the school will still function. Here, it is expected and it works.” Joyner graduated from Tidewater Academy in 1996, and then went on to get her undergrad degree at Randolph-Macon in 2000. “My love for teaching started at Tidewater Academy, with a history teacher named Mr. Brian Justice,

and I just found a connection with history,” she said. “At college, I had an excellent history teacher too, and I decided to major in history and minor in education.” Joyner started student teaching, loved it, and got a job where she student-taught in Ashland at Patrick Henry High School, which had more than 1560 students. Later on, in 2007, she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a master’s in educational leadership. She comes most recently from the Hanover County Public Schools, where she was the assistant principal at Hannover High School, which had more than 1,300

students. There is a big difference between her public school experience and the private school world, and it is one she said she prefers. “A major difference is that you can put a name to each face, and you know their parents, where they live and where they work,” Joyner said. Tidewater Academy will have two open houses from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 and Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the school, 217 Church Street, Wakefield. “I would just like to encourage you to come out and meet me and see the school,” she said. “I’m excited to be here and so thankful that it worked out this way.”

Information on stolen goods released STAFF REPORT

FRANKLIN—The Franklin Police Department released Wednesday that the suspect in the Washington Street burglary and rape took items valued at more than $200. Tremaine M. Porter, 26, was formally charged Monday in connection with a Washington Street burglary

and rape, said Lt. Tim Whitt, spokesman for the Franklin Police Department. Porter, 26, last known address 305 Edwards St., Apt. A, in Franklin, was arrested in Suffolk on July 24 in connection with a rape and abduction of a juvenile victim, which occurred on July 23. The suspect reportedly led the 17-year-old victim

to the back of an apartment complex that evening, where he allegedly abducted and raped her by force. The next morning, he is alleged to have forced entry through a back door of a Washington Street location and sexually assaulted the 48-year-old resident. Franklin police were led to information on the rape of the juvenile victim while investigating the Washington Street rape and burglary. Porter is being held in the Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond. Porter’s charges in connection with the juvenile victim are rape and abduction. His charges in connection with the Washington Street incident are rape, abduction, four counts of sodomy, burglary and grand larceny.

No action taken by IW school board STAFF REPORT

ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight School Board Chairman Robert Eley told The Tidewater News on Thursday that the board did not act on what was discussed during an earlier closeddoor session. On Monday, the board announced its intention to meet, adding only that three personnel matters would be the subject. Eley could offer no further details about the meeting.


A2

Opinion

THE TIDEWATER NEWS

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

YOUR TURN

Bring back The Book Buddy Volunteer Program risk first-grade students with casion to accept a challenge and community adults who volunresponsibility to assist in bettertarily committed their time and ing our children’s futures, and energy to work one-on-one with thus our community. Twelve years ago, we began the our city children to assist with their educational progress. (AtBook Buddy Community Adult risk children are those experiVolunteer Tutoring Program in Franklin City Schools with an ed- encing academic failure due to adverse social factors and negaucational grant from the state to tive environmental influences institute an experimental such as poverty, single-parent two-year pilot program for homes, drug and/or alcohol first-grader students expeabuse, mental/physical/sexual riencing language difficul| abuse, family instability or neties. The grant was non-reHow to submit your opinions glect. These students will continnewable, but the school ue to experience educational system had the option of The Tidewater News values the failure without appropriate intercontinuing or discontinuopinions of its readers. vention.) ing the program based on We want our Opinion page to be a The Book Buddy Intervention measurable results. The marketplace of ideas about Franklin, Book Buddy Volunteer Pro- Program was extremely successSouthampton County and Isle of ful due to the outstanding comgram was (and continues Wight County. We also welcome our to be) extremely successful mitment of the community volreaders’ take on state, national and unteers and supported by the beyond all early expectainternational affairs. high year-end test-measured tions. Submissions should not be defamgains by children enrolled in the The program paired atatory or in poor taste. We prefer opinions on issues rather than personalities. We also discourage submissions about individual, consumer-oriented disputes with businesses or organizations. Our position on local issues Letters to the editor should be 250 words or less. Letters must be signed and must include a phone number and mailing address; only the writer’s name and hometown will appear in print. More in-depth opinions of up to 750 words are encouraged for “Your That’s why having support iving alone with your Turn.” groups helps, and we comproblems can be difficult. “Your Turn” submissions should be mend Dr. Douglas Boyce, forThere is something about accompanied by a photograph of the mer president of the Paul D. the human psyche that often author and a one- or two-sentence Camp Community College, for leads us to becoming bitter, biographical sketch. attempting to get a support and perhaps more defeated, We prefer to receive letters and group fro Parkinson’s disease the more we feel alone in the “Your Turn” columns by e-mail at edioff the ground. world. Perhaps that is why oftor@tidewaternews.com. Parkinson’s disease most oftentimes when a spouse dies, Submissions may also be faxed to ten develops after the age of 50, the other’s death is not far be757-562-6795, mailed to P.O. Box 497, and it is a disorder of the brain hind. Franklin, VA 23851, or hand-delivered For whatever reasons, having that leads to tremors and diffiat 1000 Armory Drive, Franklin. culty with coordination. It is a someone else to listen to your disease in which there is presproblems helps — perhaps it ently no known cure, and the just makes us feel like we beonly treatment that exists is long to something. In regard to your Wednesday, July 31st editorial, “Everyone’s Opinion Matters,” I accept your invitation to share my concerns on a matter that truly affects our community and the education of our children. This situation greatly distresses me, as well as many others, who have risen to the oc-

WANTED: VIEWS

By E. Warren Beale Jr.

program. To further assist with literacy readiness, a Kindergarten Book Mice Program was begun with volunteers and open to all (not just those at-risk), which paired adults with children in a quiet reading environment that demonstrated and developed the pleasures of reading. Due to its outstanding success, the program was continued when the grant ended. The only cost to the school system was the salary for a part-time Literacy Coordinator. All other funding needs were addressed through local organizations, individual donations, and contributions. Through these 12 years, donations for the continuation of the Book Buddy Program have come from The Franklin Educational Foundation, Inc., the Ruth Camp

FranklinSouthampton has to be more competitive

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At face value, this seems a noble calling and a fitting set of issues for a community group, and in reality the entire community, to strive for. But this list of issues paints an incomplete picture, leaving out some significant problems that should not only make it onto this list, but also create an outcry of protest that far exceeds the volume of one aimed at high electric bills. Which brings me back to my original point. Franklin, like every other community, has its imperfections. Including, but not limited to, the fact that we experience crime. Usually it’s the garden-variety property crimes, cars being broken into, homes being burglarized and those sorts of things, which fill the police blotters but largely fly under the public radar. But violent crimes, the ones that grab our attention and tend to linger longer in our collective consciousness, happen as well. They do not set us apart, as violent crimes affect all communities at one time or

hat does FSEDI mean to you? First, it stands for Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Incorporated, usually spoken as “fuhseedy,” and if you live in Franklin or Southampton, and especially if you are a property owner, it means a lot. Most residents of this community expect certain things from local government, particularly good fire and rescue service, crime control, quality education, and, in many areas, infrastructure including sewer and water facilities. These vital services cost money, a lot of money, and we pay for them in taxes, which we hope are fairly billed to all of us. County and City government struggle to control expenses, yet prices increase. For example, you know how much gasoline for your car or truck has gone up. So, too, it has gone up for fire trucks, school buses, police cars, refuse trucks and ambulances. For local government there are hundreds of other items from pencils to computers that cost more. And the taxes we pay go into the pot to pay our local government’s bills. Now back to FSEDI. When a new store or industrial plant opens, it does two things; it provides jobs and pays taxes. When it pays taxes, it compensates in a small or large way for the taxes that must otherwise be paid by community residents. When it employs people, they also pay taxes, and some of these taxes are paid by formerly unemployed people who may have been on the welfare role at taxpayer expense. Instead of being a financial minus, they have become a plus. So economic development is a very, very desirable thing. That makes the competition between localities for new businesses are fierce. And this intense competition has led economic development organization in the various communities to become much more complex and much more sophisticated and professional. With FSEDI, we have that sort of organization. With only three employees, FSEDI is challenged by Hampton Roads, Suffolk and many, many other localities, but has brought to our area a substantial list of prospects. The top management of two of the most recent has publicly paid tribute not only to the professionalism of the welcome and assistance they received, but the continued support after they had decided to come. They extended this tribute to involved City and County employees who worked with them. One facility is in the County and the other in the City, but they are mutually beneficial. As Board of Supervisors Chairman Dallas Jones said about the one in Franklin, “Somebody in Southampton County will get a job there.” Modern businesses looking for a location are not looking for land with problems – drainage, transportation access, no usable water, zoning challenges, and neighbors who don’t want them. It is easier, and quicker, to go somewhere else, where those problems have already been solved for them. They want to proceed with their projects, not wade through zoning and environmental procedures, uncertain real estate prices, neighborhood relations and any unexpected glitches that might pop up. Economic developers solve that by having land secured by local government with all of those details solved. And we, as residents, want to be able to choose where industry will be located — in the most appropriate locations. So what do Franklin and Southampton offer? The Turner Tract has 80 acres left. The Pretlow Industrial Park in the City has 160 acres (not all developable), and Southampton Business Park has 35 acres. That adds up to 275 acres. Sound like a lot? Next door, Isle of Wight has 1,500 acres, Sussex has 1,000, Greenville has 1,500, and Suffolk has 1,000 acres at Center Point east of Holland alone. So they each have from five to six times what we can offer. If we are going to have the business sites we must have for success, the citizens and local government must provide it.

SEE PRIORITIES, P. A3

SEE FSEDI, P. A3

SEE LETTER, P. A3

EDITORIAL

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The Tidewater News relies greatly on our readers to be extra sets of eyes and ears in the community. If you see news happening or have a suggestion for a good feature story, send an email to editor@tidewaternews.com or call us at 562-3187 and ask for the editor.

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Associate Publisher Tony Clark Managing Editor Cain Madden Publisher and President Steve Stewart Publisher Emeritus Hanes Byerly The Tidewater News is published every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday by Tidewater Publications, LLC, 1000 Armory Drive, Franklin, Virginia 23851. Second class postage paid in Franklin, Virginia. Telephone: 757-562-3187. Circulation rates: Home delivery (mail or carrier) within a 40-mile radius of our office: $27 per six months; $49 per year, $93 per two years. Mail delivery in North Carolina or Virginia outside 40-mile radius: $38 per six months; $72 per year, $136 per two years. Mail delivery to other states: $89 per year, $170 per two years.

merely to control it. Presently, people are able to control the systems through medication. But another aid in the process is a positive attitude, and feeling like you belong to something can go a long way toward that. Or, as Dr. Boyce said it better: “That’s what a support group is all about — living with it.” We encourage people living with the disease to contact Dr. Boyce at 562-4432 or through email at dboyce124@gmail. com.

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The Tidewater News is always looking for articles and photography that help us tell the stories of the communities we serve. Please feel free to submit your news to us, and photos as well. While we gladly accept articles and photographs by mail or dropped off in person at our office on Armory Drive, the preferred method of delivery is electronic. Electronic delivery of articles and photographs assists us in getting your submission into print sooner. It also reduces the risk of errors that occur during the typesetting process. E-mail your submissions to editor@ tidewaternews.com Articles generally should be 500 words or less, though we will consider longer pieces in special circumstances. Photographs should be saved at a resolution not less than 150 dots per inch. Send them in color and we will convert to black-and-white if necessary. Photographs printed on ink-jet printers are not of acceptable quality. Any questions about article or photo submissions should be directed to editor@tidewaternews.com. Or call 562-3187 and ask to speak to the editor.

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ranklin, for all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies, is in most ways like any other small city I’m familiar with. Generally speaking, it is a great place to live and to work. There are many close-knit relationships and a sense of familiarity that easily develop here, even if you are not native to the community. It is an easy place to fall in love with if you are relatively new, and a place in which many want to stay and live in forever if it is your hometown. It is rich with history and traditions that are unique to Franklin, yet not altogether unlike those in other communities. But, like any place else, it is not without its flaws. As is the case with many other communities in Southside Virginia, the previous decade has not been kind in terms of the economy. As a result the unemployment rate is unacceptably high, and the predictable fallout has been a steadily declining middle class. Much hard work has been done to reverse the trend, and a number of positive announcements recently been made with regard to new industry and new jobs prove that out. And, I optimistically suspect, that there are even more to come. But for the time being, times are still a little tight, and no one feels that more than the working poor or unemployed. Which makes it understandable, to a certain extent, that a

group of citizens would join together to give a unified voice to their collective concerns. The group formerly known as Concerned Citizens Against High Utility Bills is a perfect example. Believing their utility bills were unjustly high, a group of individuals unified to air their grievances with the city to push for change. While I don’t believe that their fundamental complaints were based in fact or sound reasoning, I absolutely believe that organizing for the purpose of bringing attention to their cause was both well within their rights and the most effective way to go about demanding change. Having run into a proverbial brick wall on their complaints over high utility bills, the group, led by Linwood Johnson, has changed its name and the scope of their issues. Now seeking to be known as Citizens United Against High Taxes, Johnson recently stated that the group’s purpose would be to “keep real estate taxes low, promote economic growth and opportunity for all citizens, only support redevelopment that respects and protects the rights of all property owners, and find an equitable solution to lower the garbage, water and electric bills that will make this city attractive for people and businesses to move into” (“Citizens group dissolves, new group arises,” by Cain Madden, The Tidewater News, Wednesday, July 24, 2013).

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FORWARD THINKING BY TONY CLARK


Opinion

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

THE TIDEWATER NEWS

LETTER: Book Buddy was successful FROM PAGE A2 Campbell Foundation, the Franklin Rotary Club, the Franklin Chapter of AARP, High Street Methodist, Emmanuel Episcopal, Franklin Baptist, New Hope & Cool Springs, Shiloh Baptist, Fellowship Around the Word, Congregational Christian and Hunterdale UCC. Many individual, personal and confidential donations were also made from the adults involved in the program and some not involved. The Book Buddy Program provided the intended academic tutoring, but also mentoring, friendship, guidance, acceptance and social-emotional support for these children. They strive and grow unbelievably with the total attention of a single dependable adult arriving at the school, just for them, several times a week. Aside from the cognitive value, the love, growth, caring,

sharing and bonding of child to volunteer cannot be measured in statistics. That is evidenced in the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, the little handmade gifts, the promises to return to see each other again next year and the difficult separation at year’s end. Those bonds formed continue as the child moves on through the grades and is evidenced by past program children returning over and over to “just see” their mentors. The first-grade program had been so successful that several years later, a second-grade Book Buddy Program was added as an intervention tool for those a year older at risk. The community has whole-heartedly supported this program for the past 12 years with their continued dependable volunteer attendance and funding. They have given up their personal time twice a week during the school year to assist our

school system…because they care. Volunteers who worked individually with these students came from retired Union Camp workers, the Bronco Federal Credit Corp, the Village at Wood’s Edge, the retired teaching and administrating force, grandparents, community organizations and businesses, retired CEO’s, fire department personnel (including the chief ), the police department, the clergy, church members and from all those who just wished to give back for the betterment of their city. Thousands and thousands of hours have been freely donated to this program to assist Franklin’s children with the development of their literacy skills. The Franklin Educational Foundation had already approved another grant to assist with the continuation of the Book Buddy Volunteer Program for next year.

OBITUARIES However, the administration at S.P. Morton Elementary has decided to discontinue the firstgrade program. I am in hopes that someone on the school board, or on city council or in the school administration can give a reasonable explanation of why one of the most successful programs Franklin City Schools has ever had, with the most community volunteer involvement ever, has been disbanded… especially when we are supposedly “Striving for Excellence.” I find this to be dismissive of the wonderful, loving and giving volunteers who have been so faithful to our children throughout these years. I salute you, special people, and promise you that your efforts will continue to be rewarded through the years as those you have mentored become better educated individuals and productive citizens. A statement in today’s

(July 31, “Striving for Excellence) Tidewater News regarding the school system, states, “I appreciate all of you who make Franklin City Public Schools an outstanding educational organization. As a community member, you are an integral part of the success of our school division. We welcome your input, support and presence in our schools.” Really? The decision to cut the first-grade Book Buddy Volunteer Program must be explained… and…revisited!

FSEDI: more land needed for business development FROM PAGE A2 On a happier and more promising note, we have an active, professional economic development team with demonstrated success and results. But the sites are running out, and when the cupboard is bare we can only watch with envy the successes of our neighbors who are dedicated to economic growth. The paths are clear. We can run a crippled economic development pro-

gram with little to offer potential clients, or we can support a vigorous program with a product, good, secure sites that will welcome new taxpayers to help ease the loads on those who bear it now and will increasingly in the future. We all want a brilliant future for our community, from the Blackwater to the Meherrin and from the state line to beyond Route 460. We want a community where our children can

find employment and make their homes. We want the good schools and roads and security, and we should want some really good businesses to come in and help pay for those things. And locally we have allies. Financial support for FSEDI is provided by both localities plus the Camp Family Foundations and Franklin Southampton Charities. This means the County Supervisors, the City Council men and women, and the

boards of the two private institutions know that we must look ahead to build opportunities for the future. But they need the support and encouragement of all citizens. We cannot build the community we need operating day to day on hope. We must have qualified, ready real estate available or we will fall behind and betray the hopes for our future. E. WARREN BEALE JR. is chairman of the Board of Directors for the FSEDI.

PRIORITIES: Turning a blind eye to violent crime? FROM PAGE A2 another, whether it is in Chicago, Ill., or Sanford, Fla. It’s the way we seem to react to them, or more specifically don’t react, that does. It was just last Wednesday, July 24, when Franklin citizens awoke to learn that two people, a 17-year-old

girl and a 48-year-old woman, had in separate incidents been attacked and sexually assaulted by the same man. No public vigil was held. Community leaders issued no statements. Yet on Wednesday, July 31, a program was held by a local seniors’ group to show support for the family of Trayvon Martin, the

young man shot and killed during an altercation in Sanford nearly 18 months ago. No civic group, not even one whose stated objective is to “make this city attractive for people and businesses to move into,” has uttered a single word decrying the senseless and violent crimes that took place right here in Franklin

a little more than one week ago. I find it a sad state of affairs, indeed, when a light bill generates a public reaction and the assault and rape of two of the city’s residents does not. Franklin has problems like every other community. I just wonder if we know what our priorities are.

NOW OPEN!

The Tidewater News

Faith D. Atkinson Franklin, Va.

A3 |

Donte “Duke” Hines Donte “Duke” Hines, 20, departed this life suddenly on July 25, 2013 in Virginia Beach, VA. A Homegoing Service will be 12 noon, Saturday, August 3, 2013 at the Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Pastor Tyrone Johnson, Officiating and the Reverend E. Andre Brown, Eulogist. Immediately following the service, Donte will be laid to rest in the Saints Rest Cemetery in Virginia Beach. Public viewing will be August 2, 2013 at the church from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Dignified and Courteous Services provided by: Sterling Brook Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Windsor, VA, 757.242.3600. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www. sterlingbrookfh.com


THE TIDEWATER NEWS

Advice Developing better nutritional habits |

ASK ABBIE By Abbie Long My grandson comes to visit me a lot. All he gets at home is junk food, so he won’t eat the healthy food I serve when he comes to visit me. His mother, my son’s wife, refuses to cook. I tried to talk to my son, but he got upset and said I just don’t like his wife. I like her, I just don’t like the way she acts, and I am really worried about my grandson. I feel like I am ϐighting a useless battle. What do you suggest? Matt sluggishly exited the van. As usual his mother was too hurried and distracted to bother with the trash that fell out of the overflowing floorboard much less to tell Matt goodbye. The bell rang. Joey ran to the cafeteria, grabbed a tray, and reserved he and his best friend Matt a seat. This was the normal routine. Today, however, Matt arrived late and with yet another

crumpled write-up slip in his fist. Joey complained, Matt listened. When lunch was over Joey got up from the table, carried his empty tray to the window, and said “Thank you.” Matt eventually got up got up, carried his untouched tray to the window, and declared, “This stuff sucks!” That afternoon Matt came to visit Joey and Joey’s mom was saddened once again by his obvious lethargy, anger and unhappiness. She had been trying to help Matt develop a healthier outlook and better habits using the same approach found effective for Joey, but her infrequent exposure to Matt negated her efforts. You, however, have many opportunities to disrupt the routine causing your grandson’s bad habits. The more gaps you can create within these negative patterns, the more opportunities you will have to fill back in with a positive type of material. Consider the following approach Joey’s parents used to get Joey healthy, as you plan the next most appropriate step to help your grandson do the same. Joey’s parents focused on why and how to eat rather than on what to eat; they recognized until a healthy and positive attitude was established an underlying unwill-

ingness to exercise healthy and positive actions would exist. As a result they decided to make learning about food and nutrition fun. For instance, one day a week was “food-coloring” day. Joey got to pick a color, any color. His mother would then take him to the market and let him pick one nutritionally approved food of that color. They would then go home and come up with and cook an original recipe incorporating the new item. This memory-making exercise had a very positive impact on Joey’s attitude and was a great opportunity for Joey and his mom to bond. He also got to learn about grocery shopping, couponing and reading nutritional labels. Joey’s family’s meals occurred on a regular schedule to keep inconsistency of a healthy routine from becoming its own unhealthy habit. Meals were declared a TV and video game free work zone. This way conversation could be constructed without interruption and the focus could remain on the people around the table rather than on what the people put on the table. Regardless of whether the family dined in or out Joey was expected to remain seated and patient until everyone present had finished. Only after expressing appreciation for the meal

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

Joey’s family’s meals occurred on a regular schedule to keep inconsistency of a healthy routine from becoming its own unhealthy habit. Meals were declared a TV and video game free work zone. This way conversation could be constructed without interruption and the focus could remain on the people around the table rather than on what the people put on the table. would Joey be officially dismissed. You will never be able to control the attitude toward food in your grandson’s home. Don’t try. Focus instead on controlling the attitude toward food in your home when he visits. Remain positive and avoid any display of frustration by remembering the powerful nature of both good and bad childhood habits to influence him the rest of his life. Your grandson needs your help and is fortunate to have it. Joey was cooking breakfast one morning and looked up to observe Matt’s sluggish entrance. Matt’s fatigue from carrying the same load of lethargy, anger and unhappiness from his childhood was obvi-

ous. Joey had been trying to help his new roommate develop a more positive outlook and better habits, but Matt’s parents kept disrupting the routine of his attempts. Matt’s bad habits were rooted so deeply he would never receive the nourishment he needed to return to college, find his first job and become healthy until his parents quit stocking his junk-food drawer with decadent handouts and other spirit depleting temptations. Don’t let your grandson end up like Matt. Reassess and restock your drawer immediately. ABBIE LONG is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to askabbie@tidewaternews.com.

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A8

Entertainment

THE TIDEWATER NEWS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

The Conjuring — the scariest film in years! |

LAUREN’S REVIEW By Lauren Bradshaw Three days after seeing The Conjuring, I think I’ve finally started breathing again, though I still don’t think I’m okay with hearing clapping. The Conjuring is not only one of the most intense, scary movies I’ve seen in a long time, but it’s extremely suspenseful, as well! Hollywood has finally done the horror genre right with a film that harkens back to the golden era of The Shining and The Exorcist. Did I also mention that it’s based on a true story?! Remind me to never buy a fixer-upper house with lots of history. I’ll stick to apartment living for now. One of the coolest things about The Conjuring is that Director James Wan (Saw) filmed the movie for a PG-13 audience. He wanted to prove to Hollywood that he could make a terrifying movie with a PG-13 rating, so there are barely any curse words, little gore, and no sex. Unfortunately, after members of the MPAA screened the film, due to the sheer scariness of the content, they rated it R. When Wan asked what he could take out to bring it back to PG-13, they told him nothing, the overall tone was just too frightening. If that doesn’t get you excited about the prospect of this film, I don’t know what will! Based on a real life case file from legendary, real-life paranormal investigators Ed (played by Patrick Wilson) and Judy Warren (Vera Farmiga), the film opens in Rhode Island during the early 1970s. At first there are two different story lines, one that focuses on the Warrens and some of their creepy cases and one that follows Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lily Taylor) and their five daughters who have just moved into an old farmhouse with a sinister history. As I’m sure you can imagine,

these stories quickly converge after the Perron family find out they are not alone in their quaint farmhouse. At first, the haunting seems innocent enough. Doors creak and slam shut without a person behind them. The voice of someone who is not a Perron child is heard during a game of hide and seek. However, the situation quickly escalates after two of the children are ripped out of sleep in the middle of the night during a ghostly encounter. Because they don’t have the funds to immediately move away from the house, the Perron family enlists paranormal experts to help. Now it’s up to demonologist Ed Warren and his clairvoyant wife Judy to save this family from malevolent spirits and give them back their life. While The Conjuring does stay very true to the horror genre, complete with creepy children, creaking doors, and “don’t go down the stairs� moments, what really sets it apart is the fantastic directing and acting. The way Wan films the movie is an homage to past horror films. One shot in particular stands out as the coolest scene in a movie so far this year, a tribute to the famous hallway scene from The Shining. You’ll know it when you see it. He also finds a way to make a mundane game of hide-and-go-seek extra terrifying. Who knew clapping could be so creepy? Wan does a fantastic job building the film’s suspense shot after shot. Even when I thought I was safe and could take my hands down from my eyes, he scared me. Not to mention, the scenes with the characters peering into a mirrored clown music box were as suspenseful as when you used a jack-in-the-box as a kid, only instead of jack, there is a ghost. Apart from the excellent directing, the other standout about this movie is the acting. I don’t think there could have been better casting than Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air) and Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as the Warrens. They not only bring you into the 1970s but also bring the famous paranormal investigative couple to

COURTESY

life, showing that they are the rock stars of their field. The Ghostbusters have nothing on them! Lily Taylor was also fantastic as the matriarch of the Perron family, taking a lot of the movie’s emotional core on her shoulders. Her character has the biggest character arc and she pulls off the transition amazingly. Please go see The Conjuring this weekend. If for no other reason, your ticket purchase will let

the movie studios know that THESE are the type of horror films we want to see, not the torture porn or found-footage films that have become so prevalent. It’s nice to finally have a scary movie that isn’t a sequel or remake and has so many edge-ofyour-seat thrills, you feel like you just ran a marathon after you leave the theater. This is definitely a movie to see opening weekend, and I hope it gets the box office

numbers it deserves. **Don’t miss the reference, at the end of the film, to another of the Warren’s most famous cases Amityville Horror! My Review: ALAUREN BRADSHAW grew up in Courtland, graduated from Southampton Academy and double-majored in foreign aairs and history at The University of Virginia. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and can be reached at lnb5e@virginia.edu.

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Community News

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013

Courtland Ruritan scholarships awarded

THE TIDEWATER NEWS

A9

Bats visit Library

SUBMITTED

Courtland Ruritan Club Scholarship Committee chairman Irwin Cruey presents the club’s two scholarship awards to Kristen Cooke and Jamie Bulls. Pictured from right are Irwin Cruey, Jamie Bulls, his father Al Bulls, Kristen Cooke, and her parents Dianne and Eric Cooke. Kristen plans to attend the University of Virginia; while Jamie will attend Christopher Newport University. The Courtland Ruritan Club uses fundraisers such as their annual Chili Sale (coming in November) and their Valentines Day Steak Dinner to obtain funds in order to provide such scholarships and to support worthy local causes.

SUBMITTED

Denise Tomlinson of Bat World in Franklin, Branch Manager Bonnie Roblin, Joseph Doering, Emma Wright, Samuel Doering, Hannah Doering and Jaiden Temple get a close look at Kobi, a 13-year-old African straw-colored fruit bat. Kobi is larger than any bat that we have in North America and eats fruit.

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Chowan faculty member supports African well project MURFREESBORO, N.C.– Around 3 years ago, the members of Sandy Run Baptist Church’s Junior Philanthia Sunday School joined Chowan faculty member Jill Awuni’s family in an overseas effort to drill a well for one of Awuni’s mother’s villages. Awuni’s mother is in charge of in a remote region of Ghana, Africa.  “After I shared with them what I and mom had done to assist women in these villages, Janet Boschen and her ladies group at the church in Roxobel contacted me to find out how they could be a part of such a great cause,� said Awuni, Chowan’s Instructor of religion, business and critical Thinking. “With the villages my mom creates, we help abused women and their children find sustenance through farming projects to help them back on their feet.� This trying task began around 30 years ago when Awuni’s mother was ostracized from her family for her stance in her newfound Christian faith based on Acts 15:29. She took a stand for Christ against all of the Akandikorigo tribal gods, refusing to accept Christ as just another god among many, holding Him as the one and only savior.  After being ostracized by her royal family, she lived at the mercy of strangers as she shared her beliefs from village to village. After a few years of struggle, she was “blessed and uplifted� with a wealthier home, business and stature in the community. In the face of strong opposition from elders, spouses and even local witch doctors, she began working with women and their families in similar situations, as she found many others were discouraged for their beliefs. The women she helped began to grow empowered in their Christian faith and more self-sufficient as their farming and food sales at markets made them less reliant on Ghana’s heavily male-dominated lifestyle. Today, Awuni’s mother has gained the respect from the men and women of Ghana, old and young, and she pays it forward through projects like these nurtur-

ing farm villages, which all began decades ago with just a shed and some seeds. After conflicts with drillers’ work schedules and complications with soil composition and water quality on this project, her mother found a way to send water from a far-off town into their village of Wingogo, near Bolgatanga in the upper east region of Ghana. “Due to the cost of digging and piping water from a long distance, I did not think it was something they should worry about. To my amazement, after my presentation on my trip to the

Holy Land on June 19th at Sandy Run, the Junior Philanthia group asked me to stay and then they informed me they want to help bring clean water to my mom’s village.� “Talk about dedicated Christians sharing love with total strangers - that is Sandy Run!� Awuni said. “I am blessed to have such lovely friends who don’t take no for an answer. They gave their word three years ago, and even though several things have changed, they will not give up.� Awuni heads to Africa this week to oversee the project come to fruition.

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