CASA Volunteer's 4-Month Kayaking Journey Has Already Raised $22,000

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

kayakingsml3SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE - What began in April as four-month, 500+mile kayaking journey to increase awareness and financial support for the Southern VA Child Advocacy Center (CASA), is recognizing a significant milestone; the completion of 300 miles!

Notably ahead of schedule, Sue Gallagher, 68, a Smith Mountain Lake resident and CASA volunteer for the agency, is channeling her efforts and engaging local residents of the lake to champion children’s safety as a vision for the region. Her campaign on April 7 and has shared unique and often unseen highlights of Smith Mountain Lake on the event’s Facebook page at

From sea planes to waterfalls, Gallegher's journey has captured not only the natural beauty, but the adventure Smith Mountain Lake has to offer.

Mrs. Gallagher, reflects on the incredible generosity of others from dock workers who have offered her donations during their lunch break, to residents who have opened their homes for restroom and leg stretching breaks, to those who help with transporting her to and from beginning and end points. She recognizes the assistance of her family and friends who continue to stand with her through as the journey unfolds.

To date, the campaign has provided hundreds of individuals the opportunity to learn more about prevention and treatment strategies for child abuse and neglect, as well as raising over $22,000 to support the services at the child advocacy center. From the individual donations received to the event
sponsors to the businesses that have engaged in supportive activities, like paddle boarding competitions and selling $5 pinwheels to make event wreaths, CASA is thankful. 

“The need for our services is real and unfortunately continuing to exceed our capacity,” said Joyce Moran, Executive Officer at the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center. We currently have 9 children who need advocates and we will have to triage their cases until other advocates become available for assignment or we can train more CASA volunteers."

For more information on the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, visit Training for Court Appointed Special Advocates begins late this summer. To make a donation in support of Kayaking SML for Kid’s Sake go to the agency’s Facebook page or mail checks, made payable to Southern Virginia CAC, to Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, to 300 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.


Three Franklin Co. Deputies Graduate from Cardinal Academy in Salem

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

sheriff groupSALEM - Three deputies graduated from the Cardinal Academy in Salem Wednesday (May 30). Each officer endured weeks of training on legal concepts, practical scenarios, traffic stops, physical and defensive tactics, and investigative techniques along with hundreds of mandatory standards set by the State of Virginia. 

"I am so proud of each one of these officers for their outstanding accomplishments in completing their basic training," Sheriff Bill Overton said. "The residents of Franklin County will be professionally served by these deputies."

Pictured from left to right are: Deputy Howard Ziegler; road patrol, Sheriff Bill Overton, Deputy Amy Galliher; corrections, and Deputy Wes Parker; corrections.

"As proud as their families surely are of them today, I am equally honored to be their sheriff. We will watch them become the role models for our department and the community we live in."


Wirtz Man Charged After Investigators Find Cocaine and Meth In Home

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

PatrickLynnBowmanWIRTZ - The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says a search warrant led them to a drug arrest in Wirtz Wednesday night. 

The search warrant was executed in the 100 block of Blackbird Lane for illegal distribution of narcotics, according to Captain Philip Young in a news release. 

Investigators found 29 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of meth, and $1,944 in cash in the home, Young said.

Patrick Bowman, 50, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a schedule I or schedule II substance and is being held in the Franklin County jail without bond.

Jessica Clark was also inside the home and was charged with two counts of possession of a schedule I or schedule II substance.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges could be pending, Young said.