Category Archives: News

Weather: The ever-changing fable

Weather: The ever-changing fable

Weather forecasting, a “meteorologist” once said, is a science. “Horsefeathers,” said another.  “It’s guesswork based on ever-changing conditions.  Even consistent conditions produce inconsistent results.” On Monday, the forecasters at The National Weather Service office in Blacksburg predicted a solid week of rain starting Tuesday with a possible break on Sunday before more rain next week.… Continue Reading

May weather: The heat is on

May weather: The heat is on

The cool patch from the first week of May is gone this week, replaced with more sun, higher temperatures and, of course, afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Forecasts from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg predict a high of 77 in and around Floyd Monday, 78 Tuesday and in the 70s for the rest of the… Continue Reading

Dining with a child molester

Dining with a child molester

In 1987, I sat down for a bowl of chili and a beer (or two or three) with a newly-elected Congressman and his chief aide at Hard Times Cafe in Arlington, Virginia. At the time, I did not know that I was also dining with a child molester. The dinner invitation came from Peter Vroom,… Continue Reading

A Loving Story that Virginia could not stop

A Loving Story that Virginia could not stop

In the 1950s, Richard and Mildred Loving seemed, at best, an odd couple — particularly in Virginia at the time. Richard sported a crew cut, a thick backwoods Virginia accent and seemed, as his lawyer would later say, “like a redneck.” Mildred, the woman he married in 1958 in tiny Central Point, Virginia, was half-black,… Continue Reading

R.I.P. Nicole Mittendorff and damnation to cyberbullies

R.I.P. Nicole Mittendorff and damnation to cyberbullies

Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff, 31, killed herself in Shenandoah National Park. Investigators say cyberbullies, many identifying themselves as male firefighters, tormented her online and are still taunting her memory on social media. Let’s hope the taunters were no more than fire department wannabes and not members of the Fairfax County squad where Mittendorff worked… Continue Reading

We ride. Sometimes we crash

We ride.  Sometimes we crash

The dangers motorcyclists face each and every time we ride hit hard in the area over the weekend. Carl Edward Pence, 35, of Rocky Mount went down when his 2002 Harley Davidson struck a dear in the northbound lane of U.S. 220 just south of Route 635 around 8:35 p.m. in Franklin County Sunday. Pence… Continue Reading

Is the truth out there?

Is the truth out there?

At some point between the second and third cup of coffee in the morning — between the hours of 0500 and 0600 on a normal morning — for the creative juices to flow well enough to start typing. I browse the wire services of Associated Press, Reuters and AFP.   A scan of front pages of… Continue Reading

Co-hosts of The Floyd Radio Show bowing out

Co-hosts of The Floyd Radio Show bowing out

Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt, co-hosts of The Floyd Radio Show since its inception five years ago, shocked the capacity audience of Saturday night’s show with an announcement that the show on the first Saturday night of May will be their last. “We made the decision before we started this season,” LaPrelle told the audience.… Continue Reading

What is mainstream media?

What is mainstream media?

Speaking to a college media class recently brought a basic question from a student:  “What,” she asked, “is ‘main stream’ media?” Damn good question.  I’ve spent more than half century in “media” and don’t really know the answer. Some define any media outlet owned by a national chain as “mainstream.”  Others say the national news… Continue Reading

Another Washington problem

Another Washington problem

As a resident of the National Capital Region, better known as the metropolitan area of five million people who live and work in and around Washington, DC, I lived for 23 years with a sort of perverse pride that we had the worst traffic in the nation. Stories of traffic atrocities appeared almost daily in… Continue Reading

Super Tuesday is over:  Who won?

Super Tuesday is over: Who won?

In Virginia on Tuesday (Super Tuesday nationally) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton beat Bernie Sanders handily statewide. She also was the big winner in the primary contests around the state, even a bigger winner than gadfly Donald Trump on the Republican side. The Virginia Department of Elections reported Clinton winning with 64.30% (501,880 votes), Bernie Sanders… Continue Reading

Another Valentine’s Day snow storm

Another Valentine’s Day snow storm

With snow on the ground, schools closed for Monday in Floyd County and most of the rest of Southwestern Virginia as a President’s Day snowstorm moved into the area Sunday night, leaving roads covered and slick and more weather havoc. While less than the 10 inches forecast by some weather prognosticators did not greet residents… Continue Reading

When danger lurks online

When danger lurks online

The murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell of Blacksburg is a harsh reminder of the dangers posed to the young online. She was a child who faced bullying at school because of her pudginess and scars from surgeries.  She found a fantasy, danger and death in an Internet world where predators swarm. Her online fantasies also… Continue Reading

Violence & murder from Virginia Tech?

Violence & murder from Virginia Tech?

Too much bad news locally as the first month of 2016 winds down. A day after the missing teenager from Blacksburg was found dead just over the North Carolina line in Surry County, two Virginia Tech students are in jail — an 18-year-old freshman and a 19-year-old sophomore, both from Maryland. Violent crime seems to… Continue Reading

Stupid is as stupid does

Stupid is as stupid does

Interesting week and one that proves the point that fictional Forest Gump made: “Stupid is as stupid does.” In Iowa, the “everything is about me” Presidential candidate Donald Trump demanded $5 million in charitable contributions as the price for him to appear in the final Republican presidential debate before this Monday’s Iowa primary caucus and… Continue Reading

Hills of snow in them, there hills

Hills of snow in them, there hills

Floyd County public schools remain closed Tuesday as the area continues to try and dig out of the snow storm that left about a foot of white stuff on the ground. No word yet on a scheduled basketball game against Radford at the high school gym Tuesday night.  School officials will have to consider rain… Continue Reading

It’s showtime for Floyd County government

It’s showtime for Floyd County government

Spending this Tuesday morning with the micro-politics of Floyd County government. delivered to us by the Board of Trustees in its first regular meeting of the month. The board opens its new year with a new vice-chairman after former second-in-command Lauren Yoder of the Locust Grove District was openly dumped by his colleagues after new… Continue Reading

Bigotry against Muslims: National shame

Bigotry against Muslims: National shame

Walked away from a infuriating series of Facebook posts Tuesday because of the bigotry, hate and stupidity aimed at the President of the United States. While I am not a fan of Barack Obama and feel that he disappointed a lot of people who voted for him, the open disrespect and outright lies posted about… Continue Reading

Don’t like ‘the media?’  That’s your problem

Don’t like ‘the media?’ That’s your problem

Randy Hallman, a friend from high school days and son of the the couple who guided me into a career as a newspaperman, has long reported for The Richmond Times-Dispatch and was also an acknowledged sportswriter who covered NASCAR in its formative days. Like many of us who love our profession and has watched it… Continue Reading