Back to school

A Monday in early September 1987 was the first day back at school for teachers in the South Boston and Halifax County schools as preparations continue for the official school opening on Tuesday. A special back to school breakfast was held at C. H. Friend Elementary School Monday morning for city teachers at which time they heard Dr. Ida Johnson Hill, the assistant superintendent for technology with the State Department of Education. Here the teachers are shown listening as Dr. Hill (left) speaks on the subject of “The Role of Technology in Achieving Excellence.”

10 YEARS AGO | 2010

• Hurricane Earl is expected to spare Halifax County as it makes its way northward later this week, according to officials with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg. NWS Meteorologist Jan Jackson said the hurricane that hit islands in the northeastern Caribbean earlier this week with high winds, and heavy rain is predicted to affect the coastal region of Virginia but not track inland. “No, not in its current path,” said Jackson when asked if the hurricane would track as far inland as Halifax County.

• When it comes to women in business, VIRginia International Raceway Managing Partner Connie Nyholm has a prowess second to none. Nyholm, and partner Harvey Siegel, took a famous dormant racetrack and resurrected it into a nationally known major-league road racing circuit and tourist attraction. They also developed an industrial park that has attracted business and research and development facilities, and is still growing. Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell, wife of Governor Bob McDonnell, visited VIR Monday, taking some laps around VIR’s Patriot Course in VW Jetta TDI Cup car built at a Volkswagen facility at VIR and driven by Nyholm.

• The Halifax County High School golf team was unable to make up ground on district leader Franklin County High School in Monday’s Western Valley District tournament at Danville Country Club. Halifax County logged a 331 total in Monday’s action, finishing 18 shots behind winner Franklin County High School. “We lost a little ground to Franklin County and were a little disappointed about that,” said head coach David Graham. Patrick Henry High School finished third with a round of 333, tournament host GW finished fourth with a 373, and William Fleming High School rounded out the field with a total of 448.

20 YEARS AGO | 2000

• Philip Morris, the world’s biggest tobacco company, is telling the World Health Organization that it could support sensible global regulations on smoking and would like to have a broader role developing them. The company, which makes Marlboro and other cigarette brands, told the U.N. health agency that while it supports measure to keep youngsters from smoking, the regulations should preserve the rights of adults to smoke and treat tobacco companies equally.

• Approximately 50 farmers gathered for the tobacco tour held Wednesday afternoon at several farms in Halifax County. Halifax County Extension Agent Larry McPeters led the tour, focusing on tobacco varieties resistant to the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, dark-fired test crops planted in Black Shank-infested fields, and urging barn conversions before the next deadline on July 1, 2001.

• Attentiveness prevailed for the Halifax County High School girls tennis team in their 9-0 win at William Fleming High School. Depsite the change of courts due to the weather, the Comets blanked their opponents to take a non-district match and up their record to 3-1. “I’m very proud of the girls for staying focused,” said coach Beth Talley. Because of time constraints, both singles and doubles were pro-stepped in the non-district matches with the top-seeded Mary Catherine Thompson winning her singles match 10-5.

40 YEARS AGO | 1980

• The Halifax County Board of Supervisors has declared the county a disaster area due to the prolonged drought, which could cost farmers “millions of dollars.” The board’s action came at its regular September meeting yesterday morning, and opens the door for farmers to receive federal aid in the form of low interest Small Business Administration loans and emergency feed assistance. The board approved the resolution by a unanimous vote.

• Schools in South Boston and Halifax County opened yesterday to approximately 8,000 students in 15 elementary schools. “Everything was smooth as silk,” said Doyle Bryson, principal at C. H. Friend Elementary School in South Boston. “It was the best opening of school I’ve ever been associated with. It was calm, and we had everything going on schedule before nine o’clock this morning.” Several county elementary school administrators reported similar opening day optimism.

• The bulk of the tough, month-long practice grind now behind them, the Halifax County Comets will begin tapering of today in preparation for the start of their 1980 football season Friday night. The lid-lifter will be played Friday night in Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium, with Person Senior High of Roxboro, North Carolina providing the traditional opening night competition. Kick off time is 8 p.m. Last year, the Rockets, playing in their home stadium, came from behind in the second half to edge the Comets, 12-10.

Previously featured photos