Showing posts with label Eastern Shore of Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eastern Shore of Virginia. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2013

UPDATE On Bomb Scare In Onley, Virginia

A black briefcase was found abandoned at the CVS pharmacy in Onley Friday afternoon.

The store was closed and the parking lot was blocked awaiting the arrival of the State Police bomb squad which was in route.

When the bomb squad arrived, they opened the case and found it to be empty.

CVS will be open for business as usual today.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Free Fishing Days June 1-3, 2012 In Virginia

Gather the kids and grab your fishin' poles; free fishing days are here again! This year anyone in the Commonwealth can fish without a license June 1-3. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) the agency which regulates freshwater fishing, would like to encourage Virginians to take advantage of this once a year opportunity to fish for free while spending some quality time with friends and family.

"You don't have to travel very far to find fantastic fishing anywhere in Virginia" according to Bob Duncan, Executive Director, VDGIF.

"Fishing is a great way to reconnect with nature, escape the stresses of modern life, and create lasting family memories. I hope everyone will give it a try."

No fishing license of any kind will be required for recreational rod and reel fishing during free fishing days, except for a special trout license in designated stocked trout waters. All fishing regulations, including size, season, catch limits and gear restrictions, will remain in effect.

Want to Fish After the First Weekend in June? Fishing in Virginia is a Bargain!

A Virginia saltwater fishing license costs only $17.50 a year for state residents, while annual freshwater fishing and trout licenses are merely $23.00 each for state residents. Those license fees support valuable fisheries work across the Commonwealth. The VDGIF also offers short term licenses—ideal for visitors—and a variety of combination licenses to benefit anglers.

To purchase a fishing license online – and for freshwater fishing regulations and information on Virginia lakes, rivers, boating access and more, visit

 For size, season, and catch limits of saltwater species, please go to:

Not sure how to get started in fishing?

For free online fishing tips, visit the Department's YouTube channel: and click on the "Fishing 101" series of instructional videos.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fugitives From October 6 Drug Sweep

I posted this a few weeks ago with the lists of those arrested during this drug sweep.  Unfortunately, law enforcement was not able to nab everyone they wanted so below are photos of the fugitives.  Maybe the public eye can spot these wanted men and help put them behind bars.

Leanna Caplan
EASTERN SHORE, Va. (WAVY) - More than 75 law enforcement officers converged on the Eastern Shore for a drug sweep that resulted in more than $500,000 worth of drugs seized and criminal charges on 43 people.

Law enforcement officers served the indictments, arrest warrants, and the execution of two search warrants on October 6, a news release from Virginia State Police said.

The Eastern Shore Drug Task Force, which consists of the Accomack and Northampton County Sheriff’s Offices and Virginia State Police, worked with the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Worcester County, Md. Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began in late 2009 with the DEA. Police said its purpose was to target primarily cocaine distributors on the Eastern Shore.

The initial step of the investigation was dubbed "No Refill," due to the overwhelming number of people that were charged with prescription drugs during this phase of the investigation.

During this phase, more than $5,000 in cash, nine firearms, two pounds of cocaine, more than 169 marijuana plants, 1263 grams of marijuana, five vehicles, seven grams of heroin, and an assortment of prescription drugs were seized.

The following individuals are still fugitives and wanted:

- Princeton Bragg, Pierre Brickhouse, Markee Kellam, Antonio Robinson, Deidron Kelley, and Sheicora Bagwell are all wanted on distribution of a controlled substance.
- Earl Elder is wanted on felony distribution of marijuana.
- Norris Malone is wanted on ABC violations.
- Johnathan Johnson is still a fugitive on federal charges related to cocaine conspiracy charges and gun trafficking charges.

Wanted: (Top row) Sheicora Bagwell, Princeton Bragg, Pierre Brickhouse,
(Middle) Earl Elder,
 Johnathan Johnson, Markee Kellam,
(Bottom) Deidron Kelley, Norris Malone, Antonio Robinson
Police departments in Exmore, Cape Charles, Parksley, Onley, Onancock, and Hallwood assisted with the investigation. Other agencies that assisted include Virginia Marine Police, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries-Law Enforcement Division, Virginia Probation and Parole, and Virginia State Police Melfa barrack.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Solar Farm Near Melfa Ok'd By Accomack County Supervisors

By  Candy Farlow
The Accomack County Board of Supervisors has given the go ahead for the construction of a solar farm in the Melfa area.

The vote to issue a conditional use permit was unanimous and included a list of conditions including what is to happen should the project fail. Lincoln Renewable Energy plans to establish the Virginia Endeavor Solar Farm on some 180 acres off of Racetrack Road.

The solar photovoltaic farm will be comprised of 20 one megawatt solar panel blocks with each block containing nearly 5,000 solar panels and a substation. The conditions under which the company can build the facility include the establishment of a landscaped buffer around the site and the execution of security agreements for maintaining the buffer in the future. A security agreement is also being required and for the removal of equipment and the restoration of the property to its current agricultural state should the venture cease to operate.

It is estimated that some 100 workers will be needed during the six month construction process, however, once construction is complete only one full time local worker will be required for the operation.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene Predicted For Late Saturday

5:00 AM Wednesday

Dangerous Hurricane Irene continues to move through the Bahamas early this morning. The projections have now inched eastward and as of now, Irene is expected to pass just off the coast late Saturday. That's still 3 days off and the the forecast will likely change although the computer models should start to come together as we get within three days out and where Irene will actually go as it passes by the Eastern Shore should begin to clarify as we move through the next 24 hours or so.

Right now, the computer models have the center of Irene passing just East of us late Saturday or early Sunday and hitting New England full force late Sunday or early Monday. Please be aware that the Weather Channel and other major networks will focus a lot of their time on the effects the storm will have in places like New York and Boston because of the large population in those areas.

As of 5:00 this morning Irene has intensified and winds around the center are 110 mph and the pressure is at 962mb.

It will depend entirely on how far offshore Irene passes as to how it affects us. If it moves within 100 miles of us, expect a lot of rain, wind, power outages and tidal flooding especially on the bayside of the Shore as winds will shift hard to the west as the storm passes by and will result in tidal flooding in the usual places along our bayside creeks. If Irene passes further off the coast the effects here will be minimal.

Hurricanes Donna in 1961 and Floyd in 1999 are two benchmark hurricanes of comparable size and strength that passed East of here but caused considerable damage.

For more information go to Hurricane Preparedness Guide:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Painted By Nature

The grass has been cut.  Edging done.   Gardening complete!  Flower beds have been raked and weeded and now hold the blossoms that will last throughtout spring into summer.... then fall.

So many finely manicured lawns on the backroads of the Eastern Shore in Virginia.  Or anywhere else during spring.  Neatness counts for most if does for me.

But I  still prefer to watch and see what Nature designs in Spring.

She always paints with such beauty all of her  disorganized organized mess.

Always leaving just the right touches.

Get out and enjoy the Spring and enjoy the works of Nature.......while the beauty is  still here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scott Rigell 'Working' For Virginia's Eastern Shore

Working to restore the economic viability of Virginia's Eastern Shore communities, Representative Scott Rigell (VA-02) called on Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to address issues impacting recreational opportunities at NASA/Wallops Flight Facility in Accomack County and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. In two separate letters to the Secretary, Rigell called on the Department to work with the Eastern Shore on a land swap agreement as well as preserve vital beach parking that plays an integral role in the local economy.

In working to implement a land swap between Accomack County and the NASA/Wallops Flight Facility which would help preserve a local park while moving forward on a new Wallops Research Park, Rigell urged Secretary Salazar to "consider relaxing or modifying" policies that regulate land deals in accordance to monetary gains. Rigell recommended the Department adhere to an acre for acre land swap rather than a dollar for dollar land swap, allowing for the development of a new Wallops Research Park that Accomack has agreed to lease at market rates.

"Accomack County officials are working to create good jobs in their community and NASA is a partner in this effort," wrote Representative Scott Rigell. "Accomack County is committed to building a 32 acre recreational park nearby. I see this course of action as a "win-win" for everyone involved," added Rigell. This proposed expansion would create new, quality jobs for people of the Eastern Shore.

Rigell also petitioned Secretary Salazar on efforts by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to move beach parking on Assateague Island. This is part of FWS's fifteen year conservation plan for the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. In his letter, Rep. Rigell emphasized the local communities' desire to meet the Refuge's purpose as a wildlife sanctuary while at the same time preserving all beach parking and public recreation at the National Seashore.

"Our local communities, as well as visitors from across the country, have been alerted to several proposed alternatives that would significantly change the current conservation management plan to reduce direct recreational beach access and eliminate parking facilities for individual vehicles. I am concerned that these alternative parking ideas, to include introducing trolleys or busses to ferry families to and from the beach, are not in the best interests of the people of Accomack County or our country's visitors to the Chincoteague NWR."

There is a concern that this could potentially impact the local and regional tourism based economy of the Eastern Shore.

"Economic viability for Virginia's Eastern Shore communities and recreational opportunities for the Mid-Atlantic Region rely on a continued public investment that must be successfully managed at the Refuge and Seashore. It is essential that any alternative presented during the NEPA EIS Review not negatively impact the local and regional tourism based economy."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maj. Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy for Sheriff

ACCOMAC -- Todd E. Godwin, a longtime deputy with the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, formally announced his candidacy for sheriff in the November election.

Godwin has over 25 years experience in law enforcement and is a 20-year veteran of the sheriff's office.

Godwin, of Parksley, will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008. Giddens is retiring.

Godwin has been chief deputy second in command with the rank of major in the department since January 2008.

Godwin began his law-enforcement career in 1985 as an officer with the Parksley Police Department followed by employment with the Virginia State Police as a weight-enforcement officer in 1987.

Godwin then joined the sheriff's office in 1990 as a patrol deputy and became the county's first certified K-9 officer in 1994 with his K-9 partner, Nitro.

He was promoted to corporal in 1995 and patrol lieutenant in 1999.

As lieutenant, Godwin was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the uniform patrol division, including the SWAT team, K-9 units, dive teams, and dispatch.

In 2002, Godwin also assumed responsibility of supervising animal control and began supervising the newly constructed Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility in 2005.

In addition to his training at the Peninsula Tidewater Academy of Criminal Justice and the Virginia State Police Academy, he has received training in numerous areas during his career. Those areas include lawful employment practices for law enforcement, freedom of information training, managing jail risk and liability, budgeting for criminal justice executives, FBI first line supervisor school, liability issues for K-9 handlers, raid liability and planning, FEMA national incident management system ICS-100, 200, 700, 300 and 400, breath alcohol operator course, vehicle inspection course, uniform drug interdiction training, SWAT training, basic and advance patrol and narcotic K-9 schools, street survival and tactical use of police K-9, basic radar operator, domestic violence training, community policing in small town and rural areas, basic animal control school, and gang training.

As chief deputy, Godwin is responsible for the management of all departmental divisions to include law enforcement, corrections, courtroom security/civil process, communications, animal control and the animal control facility.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office consists of 75 sworn and non-sworn personnel.

Godwin is a member of the Eastern Shore of Virginia 911 Commission, member of the Chesapeake Bay ASAP Policy Board and a member of the Eastern Shore Regional Jail Board.

Godwin, 46, resides in Parksley, with his wife, Sheila, and their two sons, Johnnie and Logan.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy For Sheriff

Longtime deputy for the Accomack County Sheriff's Office Todd E. Godwin has announced his candidacy for Sheriff in the upcoming November election.

Godwin, a 20 year member of the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, announced on Monday he will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008 until the end of this year when he will retire.

Godwin's other experience includes being a member of the Parksley Police Department as well as the Virginia State Police. He has been in law enforcement for 25 years and is currently a Major, the second in command in the Accomack County Sheriff's Department.

No one else has publicly announced they will run for the Sheriff's seat in November.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two New Church Men Charged With Possession of Cocaine

SALISBURY -- Two New Church men were charged early today with cocaine possession after their vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation near the Wawa store on South Salisbury Boulevard, Maryland State Police said.

John Robert Roseboro, 35, and Rashaw Strand, 31, were arrested just after 2 a.m. after a search of their vehicle revealed a small amount of cocaine, troopers said.

The two men were transported to the Wicomico County Detention Center, where they were charged with possession of cocaine and paraphernalia, according to police.

Monday, September 27, 2010

~~ Rainy Days And Mondays....

The local news station has named the expected rainfall in the Easter Shore of Virginia area .....

'The Drought Buster'

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Accomack County Circuit Court

Accomack County Commonwealths Attorney Gary Agar reports the following trials and sentencings took place in Accomack County Circuit Court:

Milton Faison, 28 of Nassawadox, was found guilty of armed burglary, robbery, attempted burglary and use of a sawed off shotgun.

John Tucker, 27 of Chincoteague, was found guilty of burglary and grand larceny.

Phillip Dix, 44 of Tasley, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and 3 years post release supervision for a conviction of his 3rd offense of larceny.

Joe Pruitt, 68 of Chincoteague, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with 6 years suspended for 3 counts of grand larceny and 2 counts of forgery.

Justin Scarborough, 23 of Painter, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with all but time in a detention and diversion center suspended for distribution of cocaine and two counts of a subsequent offense.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eastern Shore Musician Is One Of Five Finalists In Song Competition

Don't forget to cast your vote real soon!

Eastern Shore musician Thelma Peterson has entered her song "I Am At War" in a national competition sponsored by USAtoday. The competition is for songs which relate to the Gulf Oil Spill.

Peterson was informed last week that her song is one of five finalists and her song, along with four others, have been posted on the USAToday website. On the website you will be able to listen to the song and vote on your favorite.

Please click the link below today and vote for the Eastern Shores own Thelma Peterson's song "I Am At War."

More Information Gulf Oil Spill Tragedy Contest and to hear her song...............

"After returning from a Veterans Day service with my dad, who landed on the first wave at Omaha Beach, I saw for the first time the horrific images of oil-coated seabirds," says the
songwriter, THELMA PETERSON of Machipongo, Va. "It seemed to me as if they, as well as all of men, are in a war not so very different from the war that was talked about that day, which was fresh in my mind. It was a very emotional day."

Craig's comments: "I think this song sums up the way many of us feel. The music is very haunting. The lyric reminds us there's a battle between exploiting our natural resources and protecting our environment; between holding the guilty accountable and yet keeping the jobs these companies provide; between cheap oil and expensive consequences. This war touches the lives of many, but particularly those who are the casualties on the front line, as well as the seacoast itself. "

Thelma Peterson's video can be found on YouTube: I Am At War - Thelma Peterson

What a wonderful way for our sentiments to be sent than through this song.................Vote for Thelma Peterson.......Let's show America how strong the Eastern Shore can be!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Health Education Office Name In Memory of Sharone White Bailey

The Late Rural Health Secretary

To memorialize the untimely death of a person who cared deeply about the Eastern Shore, the Health Education office in the new Onley Community Health Center was named after the late Sharone Bailey.

Reverend Don Broad held a moment of silent in memory of Bailey shortly before reading the invocation of the grand opening ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

"She was a colleague, she was a friend, and mostly recently secretary of our Board of Directors," commented Nancy Stern, CEO of Eastern Shore Rural Health. "We continue to try and accept the unthinkable with Sharone's tragic death Today at this wonderful event we are honoring her She worked hard and steadfastly for Eastern Shore Rural Health. She looked forward to this day."

Bailey was murdered on Friday, July 9. Derrick Epps, a man who Bailey had reached out and helped, was arrested and charged with her murder.

"Let us continue her good work to reach out and take care of people on the Eastern Shore," Stern said emotionally. "Let us forever keep her in our hearts and memorialize her by naming the Health Education Office after Sharone."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Accomack County Court

Richard Copes, 31, of Withams was found guilty of robbery, grand larceny and abduction. A presentence report has been ordered.

Christopher Barcroft, 21, of Cheriton was found guilty of two counts of burglary and two counts of grand larceny. A presentence report has been ordered.

Steve Kilgore, 25, of Exmore was found guilty of armed burglary, attempted robbery, use of sawed-off shotgun and firearm by felon. A presentence report has been requested.

Douglas Bragg, 26, of Painter was found guilty of possession of cocaine and was sentenced to 12 months with all but 30 days suspended.

Kerwin Mears, 25, of Accomac was found guilty of second-offense possession of cocaine with the intention to distribute and second-offense possession of marijuana. A presentence report has been ordered.

Edward Trader Jr., 28, of New Church was found guilty of credit card larceny and obstruction of justice. A presentence report has been ordered. Daniel Mains, 34, of Norfolk was found guilty of driving while habitual offender. Sentence guidelines have been requested.

Carl Wingender, 40, of Belle Haven was found guilty of credit card fraud and credit card theft. He was sentenced to 12 months with all time suspended on each count.

Davon Davis, 21, of Painter was found guilty of armed burglary, attempted robbery and possession of sawed-off shotgun. A presentence report has been requested.

Gail Byrd, 59, of Onancock was found guilty of felony shoplifting and was sentenced to 12 months, with all but 60 days suspended.

Brittany Edwards, 20, of Hallwood was sentenced to five years with all but two days suspension on each count of burglary and grand larceny, to serve concurrently.

Rahiam Hope, 21, of Tasley was sentenced to five years with all but six months suspended in each count of leaving scene of accident and eluding, to serve concurrently.

Lavar Crawford, 24, of Norfolk was sentenced to five years with three years and 12 months suspended for eluding and reckless driving. He was also sentenced to 12 months for driving without a license, to serve concurrently.

Joseph Davila, 22, of Onancock was sentenced to 30 days with all suspended for bad checks.
Charles Shields, 51, of Painter was sentenced to five years with all but seven months suspended for distribution of cocaine.

Charles Miller Sr., 61, of New Church was sentenced to five years with all but one month suspended for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and was sentenced to five years for possession of a firearm while in possession of cocaine, to serve consecutively.

John Marshall Jr., 47, of Horntown was sentenced to five years with all but two years and four months suspended for third-offense assault and battery.

Martese Creekmore, 19, of New Church was sentenced to youthful offender program for robbery, grand larceny and abduction.

Dashon Scarborough, 25, of Atlantic was sentenced to five years with three years suspended for burglary and five years with three years suspended for grand larceny, to serve consecutively. He was also sentenced to five years with all time suspended on each two counts of conspiracy to uttering, to serve concurrently.

Christopher Phillips, 27, of Parksley was sentenced to 10 years with seven years and three months suspended for grand larceny. He was also sentenced to three years with all time suspended on each five counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, to serve consecutively.

Thomasena Capers, 39, of Oak Hall has had his probation revoked.

Robert Paskill Jr., 33, of Onancock has had his probation revoked.

Tony Linton, 48, of Sanford has had his probation revoked.

A grand jury in Accomac on Monday indicted 15 people, including three Painter men who police say have admitted involvement in a string of break-ins in that town in March and April.

James Phillips Johnson, 37, and Spencer Lee Sample, 53, both were indicted on eight counts of burglary and grand larceny related to a string of break-ins in March and April at two Painter residences and the Gravities Light clothing store.

Michael Lee Sample Jr., 25, was indicted on six counts related to break-ins at the residences.

  • Also indicted were:

    Troy Wayne Beacham, 43, of Cheriton, maiming.

  • Storm Carter, 59, of Keller, grand larceny.

  • George G. Gaskill Jr., 45, of Onley, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

  • Keenan S. Goodwine, 18, of Atlantic, robbery and use of a firearm.

    Leroy Handy, 63, of Bloxom, grand larceny.

    Shawn Lamont Harmon, 24, of Onancock, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance.

    Wanda D. Stratton, no age or town given, seven counts welfare fraud.

    Keith Leander Parker, 41, of Onley, grand larceny.

    Victor Manuel Scott, 20, of Bloxom, carnal knowledge.

    Devric Jamar Hinmon, 25, of Temperanceville, attempted burglary, felony property destruction, maliciously shooting at an occupied dwelling.

    Jennie Net Tumblin, 58, of 25241 Estate Lane, Parksley, shooting at an occupied dwelling.

    Joseph Lamont Washington, 33, of Exmore, grand larceny.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Court Testimony Shows Strands Family Found His Slain Body

    ACCOMACK — Murder charges against a man accused of killing Johnny Strand, a popular local restaurant manager, were certified to a grand jury at a preliminary hearing in General District court here.

    Fernando Carrillo Sanchez, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, stands charged with killing Strand, 49, the manager of the Onley Pizza Hut.

    Commonwealth’s attorney Gary Agar presented evidence that showed that the black Ford Expedition that was stolen from Strand’s Melfa home was found several days later near the residence of the accused man.

    He said also that Carrillo Sanchez made and signed a confession the night he was picked up by the police and that there was a previous unspecified relationship between the two men. Investigators found Strand’s telephone number on the defendant’s cell phone.

    Gladys Church, a relative of Strand’s, answered Agar’s questions about May 1, the day she found Strand lying naked, face-down and covered with blood in his bed at his Melfa home.

    Church said she became concerned about Strand when he failed to pick her son up from his late- night job at Perdue. She picked up her son herself and drove to Strand’s house.

    “We went there at about 2 a.m.,” she said. There were no lights on and his SUV was not there.

    “The next morning, we kept calling and calling and he didn’t pick up,” Church said, adding she was nervous because Strand never missed work.

    Church told the court she made repeated calls to Strand’s telephone and went to talk to some of his friends to ask if they knew where he was. No one did, she said.
    At about 1 p.m., Church said she went to the police.

    “I told them my Uncle Johnny was not answering his phone.” Church and her son drove to Strand’s home again.

    The door was locked and his vehicle was not there. She said she and her son used a credit card to gain entrance to the trailer.

    She began to sob almost uncontrollably as she described the horrific scene.

    “We walked in. I got halfway down the hall.” Her son, ahead of her screamed, “‘Oh, no, Don’t come in here.’ I said, ‘I am coming in.’”

    “He was lying on his stomach, face to the wall,” she said. “I could see blood splattered up the headboard, up the wall and on the floor.”

    “I was screaming. We went back outside. I said, ‘Somebody killed him. Why, why.’”

    Beverly Jacks, a volunteer emergency technician with the Melfa Fire and Rescue, was the next to arrive on the scene.

    Jacks described the scene just as it had been told by Church. She said it looked like Strand had been dead for some time.

    Tom Hedge, an investigator for the sheriff’s department at the time, described the murder scene. He said Strand had trauma to his head from multiple blows.

    There were no signs of forced entry or a struggle, he said.

    He said the wounds were consistent with the victim being killed where he lay, describing him as “unaware.” He found a blue Little League baseball bat covered in blood under the bed where Strand lay.

    Strand’s vehicle was not located until four days later. The sheriff’s department received a tip that it was in Dreamland One mobile home park. They found the vehicle and asked neighbors to which trailer it belonged.

    A person was seen running to that trailer, he said, and then refused to answer the door when police knocked. Finally three men came out and all were taken into custody.

    Investigator Anthony Bright, with the help of an interpreter, questioned the suspect for several hours. He described Carrillo Sanchez as “very calm.”

    “He began to cry and then made a confession,” Bright said. The accused man said he was forced into sex with Strand, Bright said. He claimed that Strand hit him with the baseball bat. Bright said he saw no wounds or bruising on the defendant’s body.

    Carrillo Sanchez was defended by attorney Garrett Dunham.

    Intern Builds Amateur Radio Station

    WALLOPS ISLAND -- Chris Billie, an engineering intern at Surface Combat Systems Center, Wallops Island, and a second year engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has completed a project to design and install a military recreation amateur radio station at the command's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center.

    The hands-on project allowed Billie to learn about multiple phases of the system engineering process, resulting in an operational high frequency/very high frequency amateur radio station.

    As one of only 45 licensed military recreation stations, it will provide amateur radio recreational opportunities to amateur operators who are active duty, retired, reserve military personnel and their dependents, government service and contractor personnel at SCSC; enable Workforce Development Center students to conduct experiments and receive training in radio communications; and provide backup radio communications capability to the command during emergencies."Building an amateur radio station enabled Chris Billie to have a hands-on experience with systems engineering. His low-cost solution to engineering a platform to stimulate science, math, technology and engineering areas is now realized as future students can now pursue a Federal Communications Comm-ission Amateur Radio license. The FCC license exam covers basic regulations, operating practices and electronics theory, with a focus on VHF and UHF applications and allows the licensee to operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television and single-sideband voice," said SCSC commanding officer, Cmdr. John Keegan.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Federal Judge Denies Request of Federal Attorneys Concerning Lawsuit Challenge

    Virginia's lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's health care reform law cleared its first legal hurdle Monday as a federal judge ruled the law raises a host of complex constitutional issues.
    U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson's decision stemmed from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's claims that Congress exceeded its authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause by requiring citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

    Hudson's ruling denied the Justice Department's attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying further hearings must take place before he can weigh the merits of the case. An Oct. 18 hearing had previously been set in the case.

    "Unquestionably, this regulation radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America," Hudson wrote in his 32-page decision.

    The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year exempting state residents from the federal coverage mandate. Hudson wrote that the attorney general had a right to defend that state law.

    Cuccinelli announced in March that he would challenge the national law. More than a dozen other state attorneys general have filed a separate lawsuit in Florida challenging the federal law, but Virginia's lawsuit is the first to go before a judge.

    Hudson said Virginia's case raises several complex constitutional issues -- mainly whether Congress has the right to regulate and tax a person's decision not to participate in interstate commerce.

    The health care law aims to ensure coverage for all, requiring most U.S. residents to carry health insurance starting in 2014.

    Insurers would not be able to refuse insurance for sick people under the law, which also expands Medicaid to help the poor. It also provides tax credits to help middle-class residents pay premiums. People facing financial hardship would be exempt from the coverage requirement. However, people who can afford insurance but refuse to sign up would face a tax penalty.

    On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters during a teleconference that Hudson's decision was a procedural step.

    "That just means there will be a full hearing on the arguments. We remain confident that the case is solid and there is full constitutional backing for the passing of the Affordable Care Act," she said.

    Sebelius said Hudson's ruling will "move us to the merits of the debate."

    Requests for comment from Cuccinelli's office were not immediately returned.

    Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, a former state attorney general who enthusiastically supported Cuccinelli's challenge, was pleased with Hudson's ruling.

    "It is meritorious and constitutionally correct. The requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance or face a penalty is not permitted under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution," McDonnell said.

    Shortly after he took office in January, McDonnell signed into law the legislation intended to block the requirement that individuals buy health insurance. It was the first such legislation in the U.S. to take effect as a state law.

    Last month, Hudson heard more than two hours of arguments in the case.

    The state argued that refusing to buy something is commercial "inactivity," not activity that can be regulated. Federal prosecutors have argued that the relevant commercial activity is the purchase of health care services, not insurance.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Forest Fire At Evans Wharf Burns 75 Acres

    The Onancock Fire Department responded to a fire Friday at Evans Wharf, near Cashville. According to Chief Mike Truitt, the Fire Company was at the blaze most of the day Friday.

    According to Truitt, 25 acres were burning Friday and continued into Saturday. Onancock was called to assist the Department of Forestrresponded to a fire Friday at Evans Wharf, near Cashville. According to Chief Mike Truitt, the Fire Company was at the blaze most of the day Friday.

    According to Truitt, 25 acres were burning Friday and continued into Saturday. Onancock was called to assist the Department of Forestry in case the fire spread, but through fire lines they were able to keep the fire from spreading towards Cashville Road. According to Truitt, up to 75 acres of land were affected by the fire.

    Truitt said they are not sure of what caused the fire, but he added it was "certainly accidental."