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VDOT Adding Guardrails, Flashing Lights, Paved Shoulders on Route 122 Citing Safety Concerns

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

vdot2FRANKLIN COUNTY - If you drive Route 122 daily, there's no doubt you've noticed changes taking place around the Blackwater Bridge. It's all part of VDOT's efforts to improve the overall safety of the state highway.

According to Jen Ward, Communications Coordinator for VDOT, the work has just begun. 

vd1Even though commuters likely noticed the construction of a new paved drainage ditch recently, Ward says the ditch replacement is actually a seperate project that needed to be constructed after workers discovered the old ditch had basically washed away.

The main project involves adding wider paved shoulders, rumble strips, and guardrails along with flashing lights from the Rocky Mount town limits to an area just north of the 621 interesection, near the Booker T. Washington National Monument, Ward explained.

One sign of the progress this week has been the removal of a group of trees along a sharp curve right before one approaches the Blackwater River Bridge heading northbound. 

There have been several accidents on the curve in previous years, locals say.

The $1.8 million contract with Adams Construction is expected to be complete in November 2017. 

The new ditch construction falls under VDOT's regular maintenance budget and is seperate from the major project. 

 

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Battle of the Bases Kicks Off Friday Night

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

CapturebbasesROCKY MOUNT - Fourteen softball teams from around the region will converge on the Varsity and Junior Varsity fields at Benjamin Franklin Middle School this weekend as part of the annual "Battle of the Bases" Tournament. 

The Franklin County Lady Eagle Softball team plays Northside at 7 p.m. on the varsity field Friday night. The lady Eagle's then play Cosby at 9 a.m. Saturday Staunton River at 1 p.m. Saturday on the same field.

The annual event is an early season jamboree; a chance for all to see where each team stands as they enter the regular upcoming season. Unlike other early practice sporting events, the results from the tourney count as part of each team's record.

Other teams participating include: Amherst, Hidden Valley, Blacksburg, Amherst, Jefferson Forest, L.C.A, Turner Ashby, Randolph Henry, and Halifax.

Cable 12 will be at the event, covering all Franklin County games in their entirety.

Games start Friday at 5 p.m., and the last game played is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Saturday. 

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Franklin County's CASA Recruiting Volunteers to Serve as Advocates for Children

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

CASA-Logo-1ROCKY MOUNT - The Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is recruiting volunteers to serve as advocates for children in our community. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life, educational backgrounds, and professional careers. These individuals are trained community volunteers, appointed by a judge to speak up for children who are involved in judicial proceedings related to abuse, neglect, or children in need of supervision or services. CASA program promote safe, permanent outcomes for the children they serve.

The Franklin County CASA program has served our community for almost 24 years and just last fiscal year, served 125 children. There are currently 28 CASA volunteers advocating for children in our community. Applicant for this program must be 21 years of age, possess mature judgment, and have the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Applicants must be able to interact with people of various educational and ethnic backgrounds. They need to be objective and have a sincere concern for the well-being of children.

Before entering the CASA new recruit training class, a number of local, state, and national background checks will be conducted. Staff will also conduct character reference checks and personal interviews. Individuals entering into the training program will receive 40 hours of intense training related to their volunteer duties and two additional 2 hours of court observation. After being sworn-in they are mentored by an experienced volunteer for their first two cases. All CASA volunteers are asked to make an annual commitment of service.

CASA volunteers should be able to commit to 5-10 hours a month, after new recruit training, and should be able to appear in court for hearings.

While Franklin County CASA volunteers have diverse careers, cultural backgrounds and interests, they all share the desire to make a positive difference in the life of a child, and they all do just that.

“Volunteers with our agency make a true difference in children’s lives,” said Joyce Moran, “and it’s done because it’s the right thing to do, standing up for those less fortunate.”

The role of a CASA is child advocacy. Information is collected and compiled in a report including: case and family history, current family conditions, concerns, and recommendations to ensure children remain safe and have permanent homes. CASAs also assist guardian ad litems, the child’s attorney, monitor each case for compliance with the court’s orders, and report their findings back to the court. All CASAs are mandated reporters of abuse and neglect.

Training begins March 27 th and will be at the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center located at 300 South Main Street in Rocky Mount. For more information, on CASA and all our service programs look at our website at www.southernvacac.org. Call 540-484-5566 for more information.