Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rome's Colosseum Opens Gladiator Pits

Rome’s Colosseum has opened the underground pits where gladiators and wild beasts waited before being winched from darkness into the light of the killing ground, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday.

At the same time, the famed monument is also reopening its third story, closed since the 1970s, which offers a breathtaking view of Rome.

The two new attractions aim to boost visitor numbers at the site, which is already Italy's single most visited monument at some 19,000 people a day.

Crowds were already flocking to get up to the 33 meter (108 feet) third ring to enjoy its spectacular views Friday, while fans of ancient bloodletting will have to wait until Tuesday when groups of 25, strictly by reservation, will take the first steps by members of the public into the underground pits.

According to Colosseum site director Rossella Rea, the gladiatorial areas are all the more fascinating because "they were completely buried in the 5th century AD and have been perfectly conserved."

"They never suffered the depredation which the surface parts of the monument were victims to," ANSA quoted her as saying.

The so-called 'hypogeum' (literally, 'underground') has been restored in a project that has also installed new, muted lighting.

Rea said the aim was to recapture "some of the atmosphere" of the breathless moments before the games commenced, when the armored or naked fighters and the wild animals were hauled up through 80 trapdoors.

The visit starts from the Porta Libitinaria, named after the goddess of the dead Libitina, through which the gladiators marched in and from which their corpses were taken out, ANSA said.

Construction on the city's iconic monument started between 70 and 72 AD under the Emperor Vespasian.

It was completed in 80 AD by his son Titus. Titus inaugurated it with 100 days of games including the recreation of a sea battle between Romans and Greeks.

Absentee Voting Deadline is Nearing For Virginia Voters

RICHMOND, VA. — The deadline is approaching for Virginians planning to vote by absentee ballot.

The State Board of Elections says the deadline to apply to vote by absentee ballot for the Nov. 2 election is Oct. 26 by mail. Virginians looking to vote by absentee ballot in person can apply and vote by Oct. 30.

There are more than 18 different ways to qualify to vote by absentee ballot. That information and an application are available on the State Board of Elections website.

Officials are encouraging qualified voters to consider voting by absentee ballot to make sure they are able to take part in the election.

The board says there are currently more than five million voters registered in Virginia.


Accomack Property Owners At Risk For Identity Theft

An Accomack County employee returned from apersonal holiday to Las Vegas without a computer that belongs to the county. Files in that laptop contain vital information, including the Social Security numbers of local personal-property owners.

No, Josh Taylor, who works in the Information Technology (IT) Department, didn’t gamble away the equipment. Sources close to the situation say it was stolen from either his hotel room or the vehicle he rode to the airport. Taylor was not available for comment. The taxpayers could become the victims of identity theft.

Local officials said Wednesday they aren’t sure how many files were stored in the computer. They aren’t saying if it was acceptable for Taylor to have taken the laptop on the trip. But they don’t suspect foul play by any of their workers.

Finance Director Mike Mason said the computer was stolen on Oct. 7 and was reported as such to the county on Oct. 8. Another source said Mason sent Taylor home from the job on Tuesday to await further action. Central Accounting told a caller that Taylor was expected back at work Monday. Part of his duties reportedly will be fielding calls from property owners concerned about this issue.

Now officials are trying to figure out how they are going to keep the thief from accessing the programs, how they will deal with Taylor (who is still on the clock), what policies they will enact to keep this mishap from being repeated and what will happen when property owners start complaining. Sources said hiring a company to help with the problems could cost $300,000 to $500,000.
After more than an hour in a closed session. Wednesday evening, Accomack supervisors voted to release a brief statement. Supervisors Ron Wolff and Steve Mallette were absent. Supervisor Phil McCaleb voted against going into the private meeting where personnel issues were discussed and advice from County Attorney Mark Taylor (no relation to Josh Taylor) was obtained. I voted no because I did not believe that all of what we were to discuss was covered by the ‘Closed Meeting’ criteria,” McCaleb said on Thursday in an e-mail. “Our deliberations on what to do and how to handle the employee should be closed.
The stolen computer was the result of ‘brain vacuum’ idiocy and in all likelihood the result of either a lack of a clear written policy regarding laptop computers or a failure to consistently enforce same.

I made the comment in the meeting that I do not believe this is a ‘fireable’ offense unless there is a written policy requiring it.”

According to the statement released by the supervisors, “The
theft is under a separate criminal investigation. There is no allegation
of criminal wrongdoing by the employee or anyone else affiliated with Accomack County.

Accomack County believes that the stolen computer contained a file or files
from which taxpayer identity might be extracted.

Any citizen who is concerned about the security of their identity may request a fraud alert on their credit report by calling 888-766-0008, 888-397-3742 or 800-680-7289.

Citizens who may be affected will receive a more specific written notice from AccomackCounty. This is Accomack County’s entire comment on this matter pending advance of the ongoing criminal investigation and the internal personnel issue involved.” Board Chairwoman Laura Belle Gordy called for Wednesday’s meeting Eastern Shore Post that afternoon.

The announcement stated that the meeting would be closed and would only be used to discuss personnel. The session started at 5 p.m. and began with the usual prayer and
Pledge of Allegiance. Before a motion was made, Gordy said, “I know we can go into closed session for personnel, but that’s not the real reason.” The attorney suggested
that they also meet under another section of law that allows the group to speak privately with him.

County Administrator Steve Miner defined taxpayer identity as name, Social Security number, perhaps address and the personal property owned. He said real-estate holdings are not in question.

Josh Taylor did not attend the session. Miner, Mason, County Treasurer Dana Bundick, Commissioner of the Revenue Leslie Savage and another IT worker attended the private session.

Asked about the IT Department, Miner said there is only one person “who reports back to me” and others who work in IT are under other departments. He said he is unsure if the
employee in question regularly takes the laptop home. “I’m not sure but suspect the answer is no,” Miner said.

"I don’t provide anyone with Social Security numbers,” Savage explained Thursday. “Josh Taylor has been part of the project team” working on software that provides the county with the capability of twice-a-year billing.

Las Vegas Police Officer Marcus Martin said Josh Taylor reported the incident on Oct. 8. Taylor was staying at the Mandalay Bay, an upscale hotel and casino. Upon awakening that morning
he found that clothing was thrown on the floor and the laptop and a red backpack were gone, Martin said.

An investigation of the electronic entry to the room showed that between 10:53 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. on Oct 7 and from 8:14 p.m. Oct 7 and 9:21 a.m. Oct 8, the door to Room 16122, where he
was staying was “not properly latched.” Martin said it is unclear why. Taylor was out of the room between 8 p.m. Oct 7 and 2 a.m. Oct 8 and hadn’t noticed anything missing or in disarray
upon return. Martin added that the case just landed on a detective’s desk and he had not had time to check a video of the hallways.

“It appears the suspect also drank (the contents of) two mini liquor bottles” while in the room, the officer said.

Wow! That's quite a story! But which is it? Was it taken from the rental car or was it taken from the room? From 8 p.m. on Oct. 7 until 2 a.m. on Oct. 8. Taylor was out of his room yet the door was not "properly" latched until 9:21 on the 8th. And whomever stole the laptop from the room was thirsty enough to sit and have a drink. I don't know about anyone else but I don't think so. Not much of this makes alot of sense.

So, because Mr. Taylor was whooping it up in Las Vegas Accomack taxpayers have endure the risk that private information has been obtained by those other than Accomack County workers. Shame on you, Mr. Taylor, for being so inconsiderate! Keeping hours like those it"s quite apparent that you did not intend on doing any "work" while vacationing.

And shame on Accomack County for not knowing if employees ARE allowed to take laptops home. Well, Mr. Taylor and Accomack County officials this isn't the "brain vacuum idiocy" you claim it is. This is lack of consideration for ALL of the people that now may be jeopardized with fraud and identity theft. And YOU expect US to straighten it up by calling the telephone numbers listed.

The county is in bad enough shape without having this happen. Besides, when hard working Accomack County taxpayers pay their taxes we assume our private information is just that. PRIVATE!! Lock those computers to the desks!

Most computer users today go to great extremes making sure that their personal computers do not become privy to hackers. We are very concious about everything we do on our computers.
Identity theft is a horrible thing to happen. And NOW because of ONE person one must be concerned about the practices of the employes hired by the county.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Somerset County Arrests

REVOKED LICENSE. David Alan Widdowson, 48, of Pocomoke City was issued a citation for driving on a revoked and suspended license on Oct. 5 by Somerset deputies. Deputies rersponded to the area of Whitehaven Ferry road regarding a car in the ditch, and found Widdowson to be the driver. Widowson was released after signing citations.

FAILURE TO APPEAR. Richard Nathaniel Armstrong, 42, of Salisbury was taken into police custody on Oct. 5 by Somerset deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Armstrong was later held on a $500.00 bond.

FAILURE TO APPEAR. Ernest Wells, 40, of Princess Anne was taken into police custody on Oct. 6 by Somerset deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Wells was held on a $500.00 bond.

DRUGS. Robert William Handy, 48, of Crisfield was taken into police custody on a Circuit Court indictment for drug possession - not marijuana and narcotics possession with intent to distribute on Oct. 11 by Somerset deputies. Handy was later held on a $75,000 bond.

DRUGS. Clifton Ricardo Fields, 34, of Crisfield was taken into custody on a Circuit Court indictment for drug possession - not marijuana and narcotics possession with intent to distribute on Oct. 11 by Somerset deputies. Fields was later held on a $75,000 bond.

FAILURE TO APPEAR. Quinton Jerome Bailey, 27, of Princess Anne was taken into police custody on Oct. 12 by Somerset deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Bailey was later released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

PROBATION VIOLATION. Gregory Davis Sterling Jr., 28, was taken into custody by Somerset deputies on Oct. 12 on a bench warrant for violation of probation. Sterling was later held without bond.

FAILURE TO APPEAR. Kenneth Martin Stachowski Jr., 45, of Princess Anne was taken into police custody on Oct. 13 by Somerset deputies on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Stachowski was later released after posting a $500.00 bond.

SUSPENDED LICENSE. Larry Kefford Linton, 40, of Pocomoke City was issued a citation for driving on a suspended out of state drivers license on Oct. 13 by Somerset deputies. Linton was later released after signing citations pending trial.

SUSPENDED LICENSE. Stacey Paulette Holden of Withams Virginia was issued a citation for driving on a suspended out of state license on Oct. 13 by Somerset deputies. Holden was later released after signing citations pending trial.

SUSPENDED REGISTRATION. Elizabeth Anne Cullen, 31, of Marion was issued a citation for driving on a suspended registration on Oct. 13 by Somerset deputies. The Maryland Motor Vehicle placed a police pick up order on the tags for insurance violations. Cullen was later released after signing citations pending trial.

Trial Set For Steven Molin- Son Accused In Mother's Death

SNOW HILL -- A man charged with murdering his mother by hitting her with a van on a rural Worcester road has pleaded not guilty, and is set to have a jury trial on Jan. 4.

Steven Molin, a 58-year-old man from Darby, Pa., was charged after allegedly running over his 85-year-old mother, Emily Belle Molin, with a large work van on Carey Road on Aug. 31.

Police were alerted to the crime when Molin called 911 around midnight to report a serious motor vehicle accident, according to officers from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

Molin later told police he and his mother were riding in his vehicle, which he was driving, when his mother fell out. He told police once he realized she had fallen, he stopped and drove in reverse.

Accident reconstruction specialists looking at the scene were able to tell the elderly woman had been driven over two to three times, police said.

Based on his interview with police and the forensic evidence from the scene, Molin was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter. He is being held without bond in Worcester County Jail.

Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd said he is not seeking the death penalty for Molin if he is convicted. Under Maryland law, to press for a sentence of death there must be "aggravating circumstances," such as a robbery or rape, which are not present in this case, Todd said.

Burton Anderson, assistant public defender for Worcester County, is representing Molin. "Because the case is pending before the court, it would be inappropriate for me to make any comment," Anderson said.

Court records show the Public Defender's Office has filed several motions to prepare Molin's defense, including one seeking a transcript of the 911 call made by Molin, as well as copies of all police photographs taken at the scene.

The Public Defender's Office has also filed routine motions to receive pre-trial documents and evidence, including the name and address of each person the state intends to call as a witness, and the criminal history of anyone the state intends to call as a witness or who has been viewed as a suspect.

CVS Fined For Selling Meth Ingredient

CVS Pharmacy, the largest retail drug store chain in the nation, agreed to pay $77.6 million in fines for unlawfully selling pseudoephedrine to criminals who made methamphetamine, the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles announced today.

It's the biggest civil penalty in the history of the Controlled Substances Act.

CVS' troubles began in mid-2007, when Mexico banned the sale of pseudoephedrine.

Los Angeles County soon saw a spike in sales of cold and cough remedies that contained the ingredient used to make the often addictive methamphetamine street drug.

Criminals were turning to CVS to buy the products because the chain, unlike others, allowed customers to make repeated purchases that exceeded the federal daily and monthly limits. The criminals inundated stores in the Los Angeles area and Nevada, buying cough and cold remedies that contained the key ingredient, sometimes wiping out store shelves, authorities said.

They also noted that there were sales violations at CVS stores in more than 20 states.
"This case shows what happens when companies fail to follow their ethical and legal responsibilities," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement. "CVS knew it had a duty to prevent methamphetamine trafficking, but it failed to take steps to control the sale of a regulated drug used by methamphetamine cooks as an essential ingredient for their poisonous stew."

Authorities said that CVS eventually cracked down and changed its sale practices, but only after learning that federal investigators were probing the matter.
The problem, authorities said, was that CVS in 2007 implemented an "electronic logbook system" to record sales of pseudoephedrine sales, but it failed to prevent multiple purchases by an individual on the same day.

As part of the historical settlement, the government has agreed not to pursue criminal charges. CVS has agreed to pay $75 million in fines by Friday and $2.6 million in profits from sales within 30 days.

In a statement issued today, Thomas M. Ryan, chairman and CEO of CVS Caremark, the parent company, said: "We are announcing today that we have resolved this issue, which unfortunately resulted from a breakdown in CVS Pharmacy's normally high management and oversight standards.

"While this lapse occurred in 2007 and 2008 and has been addressed, it was an unacceptable breach of the company's policies and was totally inconsistent with our values."

Military Wants To Ban Synthetic Marijuana Sellers

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. ( - The military wants to ban synthetic marijuana sellers, and heard from local retailers selling Spice on Thursday.

Former Marine, Andy Martin drove an hour and a half to get to Lazy Dayz Hookah Lounge in Newport News. "Keeps kids from running out on the streets, doing drugs, you can come in here, lounge, get a hookah, get on your laptop, sit on a couch with your friends and do your thing," said Martin.

The Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board heard from business owners selling Spice.

"It was part public flogging, part sincere information seeking," said Lazy Dayz Owner Jay Sedwick.

Sedwick and co-owner Andrew Erickson presented their side. "We don't sell to people in uniform or fatigues or anyone that has a military ID," said the owners.

The Military said it will put Lazy Dayz and any other business on the Off Limits List if it doesn't stop selling Spice. Spice is on the military's zero tolerance policy. It's packaged and sold as an incense, but when smoked, acts like marijuana.

Andy Martin showed the kind he likes.

"It's comatose candy," said Martin.

Comatose candy is just one brand of Spice.

Lazy Dayz owners said it's unfair for the military to put them on the Off Limits List, especially since they say servicemembers are a huge part of their clientele.

"With service men and women coming back from Iraq, Dubai, Afghanistan, Hookah smoking is a big hobby over there," said Sedwick.

So, why not stop selling Spice?

"They definitely asked us that, there's a huge demand for it, we're in America we shouldn't have to choose one market over another," said Sedwick.

Sedwick and Erickson believe if the military bans all the big spice selling shops, service members will likely buy spice from smaller shops and gas stations, that they say could sell a more dangerous counterfeit version of the product.

"I hope they'll see our side and will take into consideration what we said," said Sedwick.

Lazy Dayz does not allow customers to smoke spice in the Hookah lounge.

The Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board will make a recommendation to the Regional Commander next week.

The admiral will then make the final decision and a letter will be sent to the business.

Chincoteague Elementary School Pumpkin Tour

CHINCOTEAGUE -- The Chincoteague Elementary School Parent Teacher Association's Pumpkin Tour will be held at the Island Nature Trail on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 6:30-8 p.m.

Carve a pumpkin and donate $5 to the PTA to have a pumpkin displayed on the tour. Prizes will be awarded.

Businesses, organizations and families are invited to participate. Bring flashlights. Admission is $1 with refreshments available for purchase.

Contact Joanne Moore 443-569-9003 for more information.

Virginia Zoo Giraffe Calf Failed To Survive

Norfolk, VA – The Virginia Zoo is sad to announce that the giraffe calf born on October 9, 2010 has failed to thrive. He died Thursday, October 14, 2010. Preliminary findings from the necropsy indicate he had acute septicemia.

Abnormalities were observed in the calf’s heart and lungs. The final results of the histopathology (microscopic examination of tissues), in 2 weeks, may more clearly show the cause of death.

Although the young animal had appeared alert and well, he collapsed on Thursday morning. Zoo keepers were providing supplemental feedings for the calf because its first time mother displayed minimal maternal instincts.

This lack of care is common in the wild where the concept of survival of the fittest is protection for the herd. If a mother in the wild senses that a newborn is not healthy and will not thrive, conditions that are not detectable to humans, she may abandon it. These instincts are strong even in animals living in Zoos.

The male calf was the offspring of the Zoo’s adult male giraffe, Billy, and one of the females, Keana. He was Keana’s first calf. The Zoo’s other female giraffe gave birth to a female calf in October 2009. That giraffe proved to be healthy and strong, and she was transferred to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this week where she will join a herd of young giraffe on exhibit.

Accomack County Lap Top Stolen~ Social Security Numbers Compromised

ACCOMAC — An Accomack employee had a county-owned laptop computer stolen while on a personal vacation to Las Vegas, and with it the names and Social Security numbers of roughly 35,000 county residents.

In some cases, actual addresses of county residents also may have been included in computer files.

“It was taken there without permission,” said County Administrator Steve Miner of the computer.

Miner said the worker remains employed. The matter was discussed during a closed meeting of the Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

“We really haven’t resolved the personnel side of this,” he said.

The incident happened on the evening of Oct. 7. The county waited seven days before issuing a prepared release to media warning citizens of it.

He said letters will be sent to affected residents “very soon.”

Miner said the county began determining what was on the computer immediately after its theft.

“We have since been trying to work on the problem,” he said. “That was not something we knew, in terms of files. That took some forensic work. Then we had to figure out what it meant.”

Neither Miner nor the release named the employee who had the computer stolen.

A prepared release stated the theft is under criminal investigation. An official with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed the investigation on Thursday.
County officials believe at least one file, and possibly several, on the computer contained taxpayer identity information, according to the release.

The county advised any citizens who are concerned about the security of their identity may request a fraud alert on their credit report by calling 888-766-0008, 888-397-3742 or 800-680-7289.

The release stated that the county will not comment further during the criminal investigation and personnel review.

“We’re working with all the diligence we can muster through the number of issues to get to a place where we can speak to the matter further,” said county attorney Mark Taylor.

Missing Coast Guardsman's Body Located


The body of a Coast Guardsman who fell overboard during an anti-terrorism training exercise was found this afternoon.

Crews discovered the body near the Monitor-Merimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel about 5 p.m., a Coast Guard news release said.

The Coast Guardsman's identity was being withheld pending notification of his next of kin. He was an enlisted man from New York, said Capt. Mark Ogle, commander of the service’s Hampton Roads sector.

The accident occurred between the Monitor-Merrimac and Hampton Roads bridge-tunnels at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday as high tide began.

Ogle said the guardsman was part of a team being trained in how to recapture ships that are taken over by terrorists. The crewman was boarding a buoy tender via a ladder as part of an exercise with the cutter Frank Drew when he fell in the water.

The guardsman was wearing a personal flotation device, but it’s not known whether it inflated properly when he fell in the water, said Lt. j.g. Scott McBride.

“We know he had on the same kind that’s a standard part of our tactical gear, but that’s all we can say right now,” McBride said.

A search for the man continued through the day. Ogle said participants in the search included the Coast Guard, police and fire departments from Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Hampton and Norfolk, the Virginia Marine Police, the state police and the Navy. A helicopter and airplanes were also used.

“It is a difficult task to conduct any search and rescue operation, even more so, when it is one of your own that needs help,” Ogle said.

The missing crew member was part of the Coast Guard’s Maritime Safety and Security Team New York, which is based in New York. The unit is in Hampton Roads working with local Coast Guard crews.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dedication Of The New Chincoteague Draw Bridge Will Be Held Staturday

CHINCOTEAGUE -- Those who attend the Saturday dedication of the new Chincoteague drawbridge will witness the formal completion of the project and have a chance to own a piece of history.

The Virginia Department of Transportation, which is organizing the 11 a.m. dedication at Robert Reed Park near the island library, will distribute commemorative keepsake plaques recognizing the event.

The plaques, which are 5 by 7 inches, will contain a piece of the old bridge. There will be 1,000 available and will be distributed while supplies last.

"We're hoping that every family will have an opportunity to have a piece of the old bridge," said Nora Chivers, VDOT spokesperson. "It's a piece of history."

Expected at the dedication will be state and local officials, including members of the state transportation board.

From noon-2 p.m., the public will be able to walk on the old swing drawbridge that is being replaced and have photos taken on it. The photos will be available on a website following the event.

The new bridge opened to traffic at 7:41 p.m. on April 1 after decades of planning and a $70 million construction project that lasted more than three years.

It replaces two bridges built in 1939 and 1940, which along with the causeway connected Chincoteague with the mainland.

The first bridge connecting the island to the mainland was finished in 1922.

The old drawbridge will remain open until the Marsh Island Connector is complete. Then it will be removed, Chivers said.

The bridge dedication is being held in conjunction with the island's annual Chili and Chowder Cook-off, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Reed park.

The park provides a view of the past and present for those at the bridge dedication.

Learn How To Be A Ghost Hunter

SNOW HILL -- Have you ever seen ghost hunting shows on TV and wondered how it is done, or if it is even real? Now is your chance to find out. From 7-11 p.m. on the night of Oct. 30, come explore the grounds of Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum with the Peninsula Ghost Hunters Society. Participants are welcome to bring their own camera and encouraged to bring a flashlight.

The Ghost Hunters will explain the basics of what to look and listen for when trying to find evidence of the paranormal. Then, join them for a real investigation of the grounds of Furnace Town.

Space is limited and advance registration and payment is required. The cost of this program is $20, with the proceeds benefitting Furnace Town and the Peninsula Ghost Hunters. The program is intended for mature audiences; participants must be 18 years old or older. Please call 410-632-2032 to make reservations.

~~Happy Birthday Wishes~~

It is memories like these and hearing your voice that put a bright spot into any dreary day.
Hope your day is filled with lots of happiness and lemon meringue pie!
~~HAPPY BIRTHDAY~~ We all love you.

Embarrassment Might Just Be The Right Punishment ~ For Some

When 18-year-old “Bert” came out the doors of the new Halloween Express store in the Rio Hill Shopping Center, he never expected to be wearing a Sesame Street character costume and holding a sign that admitted he was caught shoplifting from the store.

As funny as the Bert costume may seem, it's no laughing matter for those involved. Despite the presence of surveillance cameras at Halloween Express, the young man decided to walk up to the counter, grab a pair of fangs and walk off.
"He walked off and he's looking at merchandise. Once he got to [a corner of the store], he slipped them into his pocket and walked on around the corner," said store owner, Andrew Perry.

Police agreed to let the Perry and the teen settle the shoplifting crime by having the 18-year-old wear the Bert costume and hold the sign of guilt in shifts for a total of six hours. However, if the young man does not show up for the rest of punishment on Saturday, the store will press charges.

Perry was also gracious enough to leave the young man's identity concealed by the costume, acknowledging that a petty theft charge could ruin his life.

"It could mess up the rest of his life. You go to get a job, it shows you shoplift, no-one wants someone with a criminal background. So, I thought it be nice to get the word out and take care of it," said Perry.

Shoppers agree the deal is more than fair. While the 18-year-old getting busted and having to pay it off wearing the costume and sign is quite humorous, they say it also serves a purpose without costing the public.

“I would much rather wear a costume, than have charges against me,” said Ellen Sonifrank.

If he gets a little bit of embarrassment out of it may be he'll learn a better lesson from it,” added Misty Turner.

As the Sesame Street character stands alone out in front of the seasonal store in Albemarle County, his message to anyone else thinking about getting sticky fingers.

“Don't shoplift. It's not worth it.”

T. Boon Pickens -"End Dependence On Foreign Oil Sources"

Richmond, Va. --
America needs to use its abundant natural gas to end its dangerous dependence on foreign oil, Texas oil and gas executive T. Boone Pickens told the Governor's Conference on Energy yesterday in Richmond.

America's dependence on overseas petroleum puts U.S. dollars in hostile pockets, Pickens said, at the same time the country has a 200-year supply of natural gas.

Thanks to recent gas shale discoveries, "we're No. 1 in the world with natural gas," he said.

If the U.S. doesn't take advantage of those resources, he warned last night, "We're going to go down as the dumbest generation that ever came to town."

More than a thousand business representatives, government officials, academic researchers, energy entrepreneurs and lobbyists filled the Greater Richmond Convention Center for the energy conference, which ends today.

And state Secretary of Commerce and Trade James Cheng told the conference, "Energy means jobs" for Virginia.

America imports two-thirds of the oil it consumes, Pickens said, mostly to fuel cars and trucks. Just by converting the nation's fleet of 18-wheelers to natural gas, the U.S. could cut its dependence on OPEC oil in half in seven years.

"We need to use our own resources instead of buying from the enemy," Pickens said earlier, at a news conference with Gov. Bob McDonnell. "Part of what you're paying for oil is going to the Taliban."

Concerns about extracting natural gas from shale deposits by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," are overblown, said Pickens, because gas shale lies far beneath aquifers. "There's no way anything can get into the aquifer," Pickens said.

Earlier in the day, McDonnell challenged business people to suggest ways state government can aid the development of Virginia's energy sources.

"I want to solve problems," McDonnell said in a luncheon speech. "I want to fix things."

Calling energy a "critically important issue," McDonnell said he favors an "all-of-the-above strategy" that involves increased development of Virginia's fossil fuels such as coal; possible alternative sources such as wind; and also nuclear power.

McDonnell renewed his call for the drilling of oil and natural gas off the Virginia coast -- a possibility the federal government put on hold in spring, after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The governor said he expects the federal government eventually to allow exploratory drilling off the coast.

McDonnell also called on federal officials to speed up the issuance of permits for energy projects.

The governor's $500 green-jobs tax credit left Alexandria's Kent Baake cold. Baake's Continuum Energy Solutions designs and installs solar energy systems.

"I'm a business owner," Baake said. "That incentive is not a motivation for me to hire more employees."

He urged creating special tax credits to spur the solar energy business.

Glen Besa, director of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, said the governor offered "no new solutions or initiatives."

"This is a conference in search of a purpose," Besa said.

State Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech said government's role in the energy sphere, should be to:

• encourage cost-effective, viable energy alternatives, while supporting efforts to increase energy security;

• promote innovation without picking winners and losers; and

• remove unnecessary government bureaucracy while still protecting the environment.

"Get out of the way and let entrepreneurs risk their money for profit," Domenech said.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ALL Miners Rescued...........

All 33 miners successfully rescued after spending 69 days trapped!
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) - The last of the Chilean miners has been raised from deep beneath the earth. All 33 men have now been delivered from the longest underground entrapment in history.

The foreman who held the group together when they were feared lost was the last man out. Luis Alberto Urzua was hoisted to safety in a joyous climax to a flawless rescue that captivated the world

The intricately planned rescue that ended late Wednesday moved with remarkable speed -- and flawless execution -- hauling up miner after miner in a cramped cage through a narrow hole drilled through 2,000 feet of rock.

The 33 men spent more than 69 days trapped in the lower reaches of the mine after a huge collapse of rock blocked the way out on Aug. 5.

U.S. Navy Birthday



USS Freedom

Two Men Charged After Drug Bust In Worcester County

BERLIN — Two Worcester County residents have been charged with seven counts of drug related charges after the Berlin Police Department responded to a complaint.

Jerrell Lamont Harmon, 26, of Snow hill and Garry Bicille Waples, 54 of Berlin, were both charged with trespassing, possession with intent, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of paraphernalia.

After being called to Bay Terrace Garden Apartments, 517 Bay Street, officers observed the two allegedly arrive at the location. They officers had prior knowledge that Harmon had been barred from the property, according to police documents.

After placing Harmon under arrest for trespassing, police say, a K-9 unit searched the vehicle, resulting in the discovery of Oxycodone pills, Colonazepam pills, crack-cocaine, marijuana, Ecstasy pills and drug paraphernalia.

So Far So Good For The Rescue Of Trapped Miners In Chile

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and Bolivan President Evo Morales Wednesday praised the miners before rescuers hoisted the 15th man to safety.

Victor Segovia, 48, gave Pinera a thumbs up and a hug as he stepped from the rescue capsule, the 15th of 33 trapped miners rescued. Segovia kept a journal while trapped underground for 69 days.

Victor Zamora, 33, the 14th miner rescued, hugged and kissed his six-months-pregnant wife.

Carlos Barrios, 27, the 13th miner to come out, had only begun mining eight months before the Aug. 5 collapse at the San Jose mine.

Pineria said the rescues were a victory of fear over death.

"I am more convinced than ever that the greatest wealth of our country is not copper, but our miners, he said. Morales said Bolivia would not forget the rescue of Carlos Mamani, the only trapped Bolivian miner. "This incident is uniting us more and more every day," Morales said.

Earlier, cheers greeted Edison Pena, the 12th trapped miner rescued from the Chilean mine. Pena, 34, who jogged more than two miles a day in dark tunnels, kept other miners' spirits up by leading exercises and singing Elvis Presley songs, CNN said Wednesday.

Mario Heredia Gomez, at 62 the oldest miner of the group, was the ninth extracted. He donned his sunglasses to shield his eyes, then waved a Chilean flag soon after he emerged from the specially designed rescue capsule about 8 1/2 hours after the rescue operation began.

8th miner to be rescued
The miners are being brought to the surface from more than 2,000 feet below, one by one, in a rescue operation televised around the world.

Florencio Avalos, 31, was the first miner to get into the capsule after rescuer Manuel Gonzalez was lowered into the mine. Plans called for four rescuers to join the miners below the surface during the rescue operation, which was expected to take as much as 48 hours.

Gonzalez is an expert in mine emergencies and vertical ascents, the Santiago Times reported. Television news organizations aired live pictures of Gonzalez emerging from the capsule to a warm greeting from the trapped miners.

Did You Get A $10,000.00 Raise Last Year?

This is ususal as according to City of Pocomoke website, “annual salary of the Mayor shall be $7,500.” This was changed, adopted by amendment in 2007, from $2,500.00 and increased to $7,500.00.

Do you know how much our Mayor is paid according to last year's budget and this?

Executive – Mayor $12.050.00

This was in Budget for 2010 and Expenses for 2011 (fiscal) years and didn’t bother to tell anyone or even do a ‘resolution’ to change this pay; just quietly done.

On June 7th, 2010 the budget passed for 2011 without any discussion of an increase.

Then again no one in audience was given a copy of the budget. Come to think of it, does anyone in audience get a copy of the agenda? This is the thing posted on the day of the meeting on the website right? What about the minutes?

This was however stated by our government, recorded and posted in minutes "As employees have retired they have not been replaced. So at this time the City is not looking to have furlough days or lay employees off." By reading Budget for 2011 which started July, a line item is not specifically stated about Councilpersons so no one knows if Councilpersons got a raise in the 2010 fiscal year which started July 2009. And I don't see any changes to Amendments from 2007 on the web site.

But retired employee jobs "were not filled" in 2010? "No one had to (thank God) take a furlough day this year", in a state where furloughs were a plenty, the website states.

but Mayor took a raise last year. This is about a $10,000.00 (yes ten thousand dollar) increase over 2 years (2007-2009) in a time of economic struggles, increased crime and half time showing to meetings because 'running for public office'. Why isnt anyone on Council questioning any of this? Wonder if Councilperson's pay was increased too.

oh town manager received a raise over $1,000.00 this year from 2010 to fiscal year 2011.

Did you get a $10,000.00 dollar increase in your paychecks last year? What about this year? Or even a $1,000.00 dollar increase?

Didn't think so.

Racing Results For Gumboro Mudbog ~October 9, 2010

Street Class

1st Tony Kossar Dirty MoneyII FULL 8.115 sec.
2nd Clifton Taylor Blue Chevy FULL 8.313 sec.
3rd Kameron Lohmeyer Blk 96 Chevy FULL 8.335 sec.
4th Chris Stubbs Dead Last FULL 8.889 sec.
5th Vanessa McMahon Gator FULL 9.194 sec.
6th Trev McClellan Blue Chevy FULL 12.932 sec.
7th Charles Betts Grey Bronco FULL 13.042 sec.
8th Micah Hanner Paw Paw’s Toy 147’ 7”

Prostock Class

1st Chriss Stubbs Dead Laast FULL 7.013 sec.
2nd Barry Wise Blue Chevy FULL 8.253 sec.
3rd Clifton Taylor Blue Chevy FULL 10.000 sec.
4th Patrick Long All Night Soldier FULL 10.351 sec.
5th Wayne Downes Mud Hog FULL 11.172 sec.
6th Vincent McMahon Gator FULL 11.432 sec.
7th Bruce Vogel Gold Rush FULL 14.265 sec.
8th Trev McClellan Blue Chevy FULL 15.021 sec.
9th Bruce Vogel No Shame FULL 15.070 sec.
10th Orville Wells Digger FULL 16.049 sec.
11th Daniel Harrison Friends-n-Low Places FULL 16.761 sec.
12th Tony Kosar Dirty Money II FULL 19.324 sec.
13th Thomas Jackson Modzilla FULL 26.945 sec.
14th Kyler LeCates Toyota FULL 27.479 sec.
15th Lori Ann Long Grey Ghost 155' 10"

Big-Tire Prostock Class

1st Kevin Lohmeyer Blk 69 Chevy FULL 7.041 sec.
2nd Tony Kosar Dirty Money II FULL 7.157 sec.
3rd David Blough Blk Chevy FULL 7.476 sec.
4th Patrick Long All Night Soldier FULL 7.585 sec.
5th Lee Sturgis Grey Ghost FULL 8.051 sec.
6th Jimmy Hall 99 Problems FULL 8.362 sec.
7th Charles Betts Grey Bronco FULL 9.359 sec
8th Daniel Harrison Friends-n-Low Places FULL 9.894 sec.
9th Kevin Hackett Black Primer FULL 10.781 sec.
10th Greg Hanner Paw Paw’s Toy FULL 12.116 sec.
11th Bruce Vogel Gold Rush 181’5”
12th Orville Wells Digger 148’6”
13th Vincent McMahon Blk Toyota 103’4”

Small-Tire Modified

1st Aaron Ellis Bog Hog FULL 4.221 sec.
2nd Charlie Price Midnight Express FULL 7.664 sec.
3rd Kelly Hubbard High Voltage FULL 7.989 sec.
4th Chuck West Freak Nasty 115’
5th Vincent McMahon Blk Toyota 38’

Big-Tire Modified

1st Kevin Cozart Blk/Green Flames FULL 4.091 sec.
2nd Aaron Ellis Bog Hog FULL 4.151 sec.
3rd Jared Collins Orange Crush FULL 4.833 sec.
4th Charlie Price Midnight Express FULL 4.857 sec.
5th Ken Daisey Ole Blue FULL 5.117 sec.
6th Kelly Hubbard High Voltage FULL 7.000 sec.


1st Wright Townsend Mud Dobber II FULL 3.609 sec.
2nd Johnny Edwards In The Mix FULL 4.311 sec.**
2nd Ken Daisey Ole Blue FULL 4.311 sec.**
3rd Rodd Owens Mud Mistress FULL 4.661 sec.
4th Jared Collins Orange Crush FULL 5.8000 sec.
5th Bart Parker Empty Pockets FULL 6.961 sec.
6th Kevin Cozart Blk/Green Flames 100’
7th Lee Sturgis Grey Ghost 62’
8th Barry Long Sod Buster 45’
9th Patrick Long All Night Soldier 43’
10th Bryan Watson Little Red Dakota 37’
---- Aaron Ellis Bog Hog ---- DNS


1st Wesley Ward Get-n-Busy FULL 3.210 sec.
2nd John King Pure Aggravation FULL 3.242 sec.
3rd Bob Bower Swamp Rat FULL 3.549 sec.
4th Wright Townsend Mud Dobber II FULL 3.674 sec.
5th Johnny Edwards In The Mix FULL 5.943 sec.
---- Ken Daisey Ole Blue ---- DNS
---- Barry Long Sod Buster ---- DNS
---- Aaron Ellis Bog Hog ---- DNS

X Class

1st Jessie Ellis Mudslinger FULL 19.676 sec.
2nd Kevin Lewis Heaven Bound 130’
3rd Jimmy Hall 99 Problems 65’
**Another post will be coming today concerning a decision made in the Mini-Open race**

New Firehouse For Bloxom Fire Department Almost A Reality

BLOXOM -- Members of the Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company are looking forward to moving into their new firehouse nearly four years after the old one burned down in a blaze of unknown cause.

The new $1.2 million, 12,000-square-foot structure should be completed by early November, Chief Jody Bagwell said.

Construction began last December, but a month or more was lost to the nearly continuous bad weather last winter, Bagwell said.

Crutchley Enterprises of Melfa is the company building the new firehouse.

On the morning of Jan. 18, 2006, Bloxom volunteers, including Bagwell, were out fighting another blaze when they received a call for a fire at their own firehouse.

The fire destroyed the 50-year-old building, but firefighters, including some from several other fire companies, were able to protect several nearby buildings from damage.

The fire company never stopped responding to calls after losing its home, which was a center of activity in the town of 400.

The station went out on calls the day after the fire, Bagwell said at the time, with calls to the fire department for a time being forwarded to his own home phone.

The Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company is continuing to raise funds to help defray the cost of the building, including a successful car show it held a few weeks ago and an upcoming raffle. The company took out a loan with Taylor Bank of Pocomoke City to help pay for the building.

The new firehouse takes up the entire footprint of the fire company's original lot on Route 316, and additional land was purchased to accommodate parking and stormwater management.

Bagwell said the company also has replaced the equipment it lost in the fire, thanks in part to a FEMA grant. The company lost two ambulances in the blaze. Isle of Wight County, Va., and Caroline County, Md., firefighters donated equipment to Bloxom soon after the fire.

The fire company plans to hold an open house once the firehouse is ready for occupation, both to celebrate its opening and to thank the extensive list of people who have donated toward its cost.

Donations to the Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company can be sent to PO Box 132, Bloxom, Va. 23308.

Fall Wildland Fire Season In Virginia Begins October 15th

October 8th through 14th is National Fire Prevention Week, and the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) reminds everyone that fall wildland fire season is just around the corner. The only way Virginia will avoid most wildland fires is if people are very careful.

John Miller, VDOF’s director of resource protection, said, “Virginia had a very dry summer, though Tropical Storm Ernesto provided some much-needed rainfall and has seemed to shift things back to a wetter cycle. We’re still going to need some steady rain about every five days or so for the next two months to reduce the risk of wildland fires during the fall fire season.”

Fall fire season in the Commonwealth runs from October 15th through November 30th. The combination of fallen leaves, low humidity, increased winds and minimal rainfall make conditions ripe for wildland fire.

Fred Turck, VDOF’s fire prevention coordinator, said, “Human carelessness, negligence or actual intent caused nearly all of the 1,208 wildland fires we’ve had in Virginia this year.”

These wildland fires have burned 12,665 acres of land and destroyed or damaged 58 structures in the Commonwealth this year. Most of the land and the structures were owned by private citizens. But it could have been much worse. Suppression efforts by various fire departments and the VDOF prevented the loss of nearly 800 structures this year.

Since most wildland fires are human-caused, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk:

  • Always check with your local fire department or the Virginia Department of Forestry for any regulations that prohibit outdoor burning.

  • Clear the area around a brush pile before burning it;

  • Never burn on windy days;

  • Always place a wire mesh cover over a burn barrel;

  • Dispose of fireplace and wood stove ashes in a metal container – don’t just dump them out;

  • Stay with your fire until it is “dead out;”

  • Never park a vehicle you’ve driven on top of dry leaves or in tall, dry grass, and

  • Keep water and a shovel or a rake with you while burning.

  • For more information about wildfire in Virginia, go to You can also visit for helpful tips for preventing wildland fire around your home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Did You Get A $10,000.00 Raise Last Year?

Be here at 8:00 in the morning to read why I asked.

'Friendliest Town' Offers Many Positives ~~From Mayor Mike McDermott

RE: "Shift in services is a big concern in Pocomoke City," Oct. 11; "Pocomoke residents are looking for some answers," Oct. 12

Public safety is a core mission of government that is taken seriously by Pocomoke City's mayor and council. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in technology dedicated to thwarting and reducing crime in our city. This includes a bank of 24/7 targeted surveillance cameras monitored by police personnel. We have also focused efforts on building strong ties and relationships with our young people, in particular those deemed to be "at risk."

This has been done through direct support of the Save the Youth Organization, the Salvation Army Youth Programs, and a host of grant funded programs created and administered by our police department. We are the only municipal government in Maryland to be consistently recognized and awarded each year by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for these efforts.

We are an active partner with our local schools and were thrilled last week when Pocomoke Middle School received national recognition as one of the top schools in the nation. Principal Caroline Bloxom and her staff represent everything that is right in fostering a protected, learning environment for our young people. She provides them with hope and a future.

Pocomoke City takes a multi-faceted approach:

~A new comprehensive master plan for growth and development
~Comprehensive zoning review
~Housing enforcement review
~Downtown economic development
~Targeted industrial development
~Engineering studies of critical infrastructure needs.

Considering our city's future needs, we are reviewing options for construction of a new police department facility. Our existing facilities provide a full gymnasium for use by local nonprofits; we are examining ways to continue providing this service. Once all options are identified, they will be discussed openly at a regular meeting of the mayor and council.

With local investment in our downtown, including the Mar-Va Performing Arts Theater, Delmarva Discovery Center, new Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Sturgis One-Room Schoolhouse, Costen House and the new riverfront restaurant breaking ground in the spring, it is no wonder new businesses are locating here.

City Hall will remain in its historic location, downtown, irrespective of any potential move by the police department. The city's commitment to a thriving downtown is self-evident.

I recently attended a celebration honoring Bishop Isaac Jenkins for his 50 years of service as pastor at New Macedonia Baptist Church. One can learn much from the dedication and commitment the reverend has displayed over five decades. He always focuses on that which is "good" and "positive," encouraging us to do the same.

Anyone can throw stones, but it takes vision to see how each stone can be used to build up a community. Pocomoke City has been blessed with citizens who gather and build up "the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore."

  • Mike McDermott is mayor of Pocomoke City.


    Google Inc. To Invest In Wind Farms

    Google Inc. has agreed to invest in a transmission network project that would harvest electricity from wind farms off the Mid-Atlantic coast.
    Google will buy a 37.5 percent stake in the development stage of the Atlantic Wind Connection project, Rick Needham, director of green business operations at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, said on Google's blog. The project will cost about $5 billion and Google's initial investment will likely be about $200 million, according to project leader Trans-Elect Development Co. of Chevy Chase.

    The network, running from New Jersey to Virginia, would tie into the electrical grid that serves 13 states and Washington D.C. It would carry enough electricity to power hundreds of thousands of homes.

    The transmission network is likely to spur the development of wind farms, including one planned off the coast of Ocean City, which could produce 1 gigawatt of electricity, according to the Maryland Energy Administration. Ian Hines, spokesman for the agency, said the network would make offshore wind farms more affordable.

    Hines compared the transmission line to a power-strip that homeowners would use to connect many appliances. Instead of each wind farm sending electricity back to shore, "you've got a big power strip, a 350-mile power strip that these wind farms can plug right into, and that will direct the energy right onto the land. The point is that if there are four places where that energy is coming onto the land rather than 14, that makes it much more cost-effective for everybody."

    The network and Google's involvement will help spur the wind energy industry in the U.S., which has lagged behind China in installing turbines, said Charlie Hodges, a wind industry analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London. Wind-power investment may reach $202 billion within two decades, according to estimates at industry group Global Wind Energy Council.

    "The North American wind industry hasn't had any players involved with the motivation and financial heft to really move this market forward," Hodges said. "Google could play that role."

    Google and Good Energies, an investor in renewable-energy projects, agreed to each buy 37.5 percent of the equity portion of the project. Japan's Marubeni Corp. will own a 10 percent stake and a group led by Trans-Elect will own the remaining 10 percent, said Trans-Elect CEO Robert L. Mitchell.

    The transmission network will span 350 miles and will be able to connect to 6,000 megawatts of power from wind turbines, according to the companies.

    The group will conduct a feasibility study by 2013 and plans to start the first phase in 2016, Marubeni spokesman Yo Nomura said, declining to comment on the cost of the project.

    Mitchell says the first phase will run 150 miles in federal waters from New Jersey to Delaware and will be complete by early 2016. It would be capable of delivering 2,000 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power about 500,000 homes.

    Hines said that while the Maryland Energy Administration had not been involved with this specific proposal, it has worked with Trans-Elect in the past year and a half to encourage the federal government to consider state priorities when deciding energy regulations.

    Trans-Elect, formed in 1999, owns and manages more than 12,600 miles of transmission lines in North America, according to its Web site. Over the years, the company expanded its business to develop and build new transmission projects.

    In 2004, Trans-Elect partnered with Pacific Gas and Electric and the U.S. Department of Energy's Western Area Power Administration to build a $250 million power line in California to address transmission deficiencies that contributed to the rolling blackouts a few years earlier.

    Google made its first direct investment in clean energy in May, buying a $38.8 million stake in two North Dakota wind farms.

    "We believe in investing in projects that make good business sense and further the development of renewable energy," Needham wrote in a blog post Monday. "We're willing to take calculated risks on early stage ideas and projects that can have dramatic impacts while offering attractive returns."

    Google has also been trying to rely on renewable energy sources for its data centers, whose demands for power are increasing as the company sets up more computers in its bid to index all of the world's online data.

    Former NASCAR Ward Burton Provides Special Place For America's Heroes

    Halifax, Va. -- James "Mac" McGee popped a few painkillers, washed them down with Sprite and soaked in the serenity surrounding him.

    The thick forest, the open fields, the still ponds.

    "It's a really nice place to be," said McGee, an Army veteran who had been, by his own description, in a "bad place" physically and emotionally, as he recovered from injuries suffered in a fall in Iraq.

    "If you want to just get away from the world, you can come here, and get your mind right. It's quiet. It relaxes me. It's amazing."

    Former NASCAR driver Ward Burton, who knows and loves this place better than anyone, couldn't have described it better.

    As a child, he roamed these woods. As a young man, he discovered tranquility here that helped give direction to his life. As a successful racer, he helped purchase the property through his foundation and preserve it for future generations.

    "This land is like one of my children," Burton said Friday as we sat in the shade on a glorious autumn afternoon.

    All of which gives you a sense of how personal and heartfelt it is when Burton invites military veterans -- "American heroes," as he calls them -- to spend a day enjoying the outdoors with him and other volunteers in this piece of paradise.

    The Cove is its name, given because of the horseshoe route the Staunton River takes around the 2,000-acre property. I believe we can describe it as deep in Southside Virginia. The route to this destination in northern Halifax County goes from four-lane to two-lane to a gravel path meandering through the woods.

    It's quiet enough to hear your spirit reboot.

    Twice a year, the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation, along with corporate partners, opens The Cove to dozens of veterans for a day of fishing, archery and target shooting. It's a way, South Boston native Burton says, to say thank you and to let them know they are not forgotten. It's also an opportunity for the vets, many of whom still are dealing with the effects of their service, physical and otherwise, to take a break from the stress, frustration and even depression that characterizes so many of their lives.

    "You can't imagine what we're talking about unless you live that way," said McGee, 48, who remains part of the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Eustis in Newport News. "I can't tell you in words what this place has done for me and my family.

    "If God could reach in and grab your heart and just touch it and give you that special feeling, that's how I feel about this place."

    McGee, who has attended previous events at The Cove, joined 44 other vets from around the country at Friday's outing. Participants are selected from various veterans' organizations, but Burton -- who last raced in 2007 and is almost as well-known now for his conservation work -- is always open to hear from others who might want to visit.

    When he started this program three years ago, Burton figured it would focus on wounded warriors only. But he discovered quickly the need -- and advantage -- of including not just those with obvious injuries.

    "The first event, we had six guys from Texas," Burton recalled. "Three of those gentlemen had lost a limb, and the other three had not been able to quite figure out how to deal mentally with their experiences. We spent three days with them and what we saw happen was the gentlemen who had lost the limbs were still just as gung-ho . . . and they picked up the ones dealing with some backlash mentally.

    "When those six left, they left as one."

    Billy Herrell, 35, who suffered a back injury in Iraq, requires the assistance of a walker to get around and has been in the transition unit at Fort Eustis for more than two years, said a gathering at The Cove is "a lot like a family reunion."

    Burton would like to develop permanent facilities for future events as a way to connect the heritage of the land with the legacy of America's military service.

    "We don't know from the current conflict to some of the ones in the past whether they were right or wrong; the truth will always come out in time," Burton said. "But at the end of the day, that doesn't matter. It's the men and women doing what they're asked to do for our country. They're true patriots and heroes."

    Prostock Racing Results~ Gumboro Mudbog


    Racing Results For Prostock Class Saturday October 9, 2010

    1st Chriss Stubbs Dead Laast FULL 7.013 sec.
    2nd Barry Wise(Short 'n' Sassy) Blue Chevy FULL 8.253 sec.

    3rd Clifton Taylor Blue Chevy FULL 10.000 sec.
    4th Patrick Long All Night Soldier FULL 10.351 sec.

    5th Wayne Downes Mud Hog FULL 11.172 sec.
    6th Vincent McMahon Gator FULL 11.432 sec.
    7th Bruce Vogel Gold Rush FULL 14.265 sec.

    8th Trev McClellan Blue Chevy FULL 15.021 sec.
    9th Bruce Vogel No Shame FULL 15.070 sec.

    10th Orville Wells Digger FULL 16.049 sec.

    11th Daniel Harrison Friends-n-Low Places FULL 16.761 sec.
    12th Tony Kosar Dirty Money II FULL 19.324 sec.
    13th Thomas Jackson Modzilla FULL 26.945 sec.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Last Day To Register In Virginia

    Virginians looking to vote in the November election have until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    The state Board of Elections says Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote or to update voter information. Virginians can register to cast a ballot as long as they will be 18 or older by Nov. 2.

    They can register to vote at any of the 74 Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles customer service centers or 57 DMV Select locations throughout the state or at their local registrar's office.

    Residents also can check their voter status and polling places on the board's website,

    Assistance also is available by calling the board at 1-800-552-9745 or the local registrar's office.