Thanksgiving celebration

Members of the Health Occupations Students of America Chapter at the senior high school took homemade pies to the Banister Missionary Home and Younger’s Adult Home in November 1989 to be enjoyed during the Thanksgiving celebration. Students and residents pictured at the Banister Home are (seated, left to right) William Gaines, Beauty Glenn, Minerva Anderson, Mary Wiley, Geraldine Stovall, Lacy Dalton and Verlie Terry; (standing, from left) Annie Wade, Ann Martin, Candee Seamster, Tanyanita Younger, Tammy Comer, Louis Garner and Clifton Traynham.

10 YEARS AGO | 2011 

  • A dozen opponents of a proposed National Weapons & Tactical Training Center spoke out in force Tuesday night telling Halifax County Planning Commission’s members in no uncertain words they are against such a facility locating in Nathalie. County planners responded by recommending denial of the conditional use permit to build an indoor and outdoor firing range with on-site lodging on 95 aces located at 5160 Morton’s Ferry Road in ED-2 as requested by Margaret A. Ashe and Jeff Biorn of South Boston. The hearing room was filled to capacity for the first of two public hearings held Tuesday night in Halifax on the weapons and training center. According to Planning and Zoning Director Robbie Love, his office received a petition containing more than 500 signatures of county residents opposed to the training facility locating in Nathalie, approximately .70 of a mile east of its intersection with Lake Conner Road on Route 624. In addition to the dozen citizens who spoke against the facility during Tuesday’s hearing, Love said the proposal has “generated a lot of calls to board members.” Only three proponents spoke in favor of the proposal Tuesday evening including the developers – Ashe and her husband, Jeff Biorn. The county board of supervisors is scheduled to hold another hearing on the weapons training center before making the final decision at its Dec. 5 meeting.
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host a citizen information meeting regarding spot improvements to Route 501 in Campbell and Halifax counties on Thursday, Dec. 15. The meeting will be held between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Brookneal Elementary School gymnasium located at 133 Charlotte Street in Brookneal. In case of snow, the meeting will be held at the same location on Monday, Dec. 19. Robert H. Cary, PE, LS, VDOT Lynchburg District administrator will make presentations at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m. providing information about the project and the planning process. The primary purpose of this project is to improve traffic flow and safety on Route 501 from the intersection of Routes 24 and 501 in Rustburg to the intersection of Routes 360 and 501 in the town of Halifax. Spot improvements are anticipated to include, but are not limited to, passing zones, adding a third lane to serve as a left turn lane, additional right turn lanes at connecting routes, adding a third lane to serve as a passing lane, adding signs for safety and improved traffic flow, improving vertical sight distance and installing additional guardrail and widening shoulders. The approximately $11.2 million project could be advertised for construction in June 2014.
  • Halifax County High School Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Larry Epperly was hoping he would see good things from his Comets team in Tuesday night’s scrimmage here against Dan River High School. He saw a few things, but not nearly as many good things as he had hoped.The Comets struggled during Tuesday night’s pre-season test, leaving Epperly and the team with several things to try to fix as the team looks toward a second pre-season scrimmage this morning.“We looked like a team that hadn’t practiced,” Epperly said following Tuesday night’s scrimmage.“I felt we would be a little bit better in our chemistry and precision. But, it’s a new system and the guys are trying to learn. It takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight.” As far as the numbers went, the Comets lost 66-65 through four regulation quarters, and lost 12-6 in a fifth quarter in which both teams primarily used reserves. The Comets’ biggest struggles came on defense and rebounding.

20 YEARS AGO | 2001

  • Virgilina residents are taking the fight to keep their elementary school open to the streets. Approximately 40-50 people turned out Tuesday night for a meeting of the recently formed Save Our Schools (S.O.S.) group to map strategy in advance of a Dec. 10 public hearing on the issue at a session of the Halifax County School Board. The fate of Virgilina Elementary School may be sealed soon after, but Virgilina residents are not waiting to take action. Virgilina Mayor John Youngk, who was present at the meeting, thinks that the impending closure of the school is hurting the town’s chances for attracting new businesses and residents. “The town’s people are going to fight it. There’s still plenty of passion here,” said Youngk. 
  • Marion Vanselette loves her job. The cafeteria manager at Halifax Elementary School has been feeding the children of the Halifax community for over 37 years. “I started in 1962 substituting for my mother who worked here,” Vanselette said. She was so good at her job that when she was hired full-time it was as cafeteria manager. “Back then things weren’t like they are now. I don’t even know what the requirements are today,” she said. “I like to cook and I like working with children, so I guess it’s the natural job for me,” said Vanselette, the proud grandmother. A lot has changed over the years, but the kids are basically the same. “All the kids are well-mannered. Now they may get a little excited around the holidays, but that’s to be expected,” Vanselette says. “Kids like anything they can pick up with their hands, that hasn’t changed a bit,” she said with a smile. 
  • A good beginning. That’s how Halifax County High School varsity boys basketball coach Garrett Dillard viewed his team’s scrimmage Tuesday night against Dan River. “I thought it was a good scrimmage for us,” Dillard said. “We hit the fast break. We got some easy shots. We had some good defensive possession where we made steals or made them work really hard to get a shot.” The upshot of it all was a “win” for the Comets who topped the Wildcats in four of the six eight-minute quarters that were played and tied them in one other.   

40 YEARS AGO | 1981

  • Eleven Halifax County and South Boston young men who died in the Vietnam War were among 1,289 Virginians who were memorialized Friday with the dedication of the new Vietnam wing at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. All of the names are permanently etched in large letters on tall glass panels as a lasting reminder of the price Virginia families paid in that Southeast Asia conflict. Gen. William C. Westmoreland, commander of United States forces in Vietnam during the war, was the dedicatory speaker Friday, praising the noble effort of American fighting men there. Gov. John N. Dalton and the man who will succeed him in January, Charles S. Robb, himself a former Marine officer in Vietnam, also were present for the ceremony.  
  • The auctioneer’s chant has faded into the rafters, and the warehouse doors have been closed for another season. The 1981 year was considered by some to have been the best ever for tobacco growers. For others, it represented a chance to recoup some of the devastating losses sustained during the 1980 selling season. For still others, it was just a mediocre season with costs eating sizably into the profit margin. The 1981 season was highlighted by what the Federal-State Market News Service called record-breaking grade prices and total dollar value. The percentage of gross sales placed under loan was a little lower than that in 1980. Old and Middle Belt gross sales averaged a record high of $163.80 for the season, presenting an unprecedented increase of $20.57 per hundred over the 1980 average. 
  • The Halifax County Senior High School football team will play a slightly less demanding schedule next fall. Or, at least it shapes up that way on paper, since the Comets have replaced two Group AAA opponents with two nearby neighbors from the Group AA ranks. The Comets will pick up Park View High of South Hill and Dan River High of Ringgold for their second and third dates of the 1982 season. Park View will be played here, Dan River at Ringgold. 

Previously featured photos