Harvester Generates Best Profit Since Opening

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

Harvester VTCROCKY MOUNT - The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount has posted its best operational performance since its 2014 opening, recording a second straight profitable year in 2017. Harvester Chief Executive Officer Matthew C. Hankins presented the annual results to Rocky Mount Town Council this week for venue which completes four years of operation in April.

“For 2017, the Harvester Performance Center posted a profit of $18,328, about 19.6 times higher than the 2016 profit,” Hankins said. “Overall ticket revenue, per- show ticket revenue, per-show concessions revenue, per-show attendance, overall attendance and sponsorship income all reached new heights in 2017, while keeping ticket prices, concessions and merchandise accessible to more music fans.”

The year-end report was just completed by the independent accountant who reviews the Harvester’s books. The Harvester is an economic development initiative
of the Town of Rocky Mount, charged with hosting performances to bring in visitors to the community for world-class performances by well-known artists in an intimate
environment with outstanding acoustics. The Harvester received a clean audit report in the Town’s audit, as well.

“As long as the performances profit by $1, the Harvester staff is doing its job, bringing people into our community to experience Rocky Mount’s restaurants, shops
and lodging,” said Hankins. “I am proud of the work the staff is doing to bring so many people to our community, and happy that we get to help so many people
experience so many different forms of music and so many great artists.”

The Harvester hosted ticket buyers from 39 states and Washington, D.C., and at least five foreign countries, including five French cities, Italy, Great Britain, China
and the Netherlands.

“We make it a priority to have all types and all kinds of price levels so everyone can afford to come see a show, and more and more people are finding out about the
venue, its amazing sound and our friendly atmosphere,” said Hankins. “Most of our customers drive from within a three-hour radius, but we’ve hosted visitors from all 50
states and at least 17 foreign countries during our four years in business.”

Although the Harvester promoted fewer shows than in previous years, attendance was up and so was income across all sectors in 2017. Ticket revenue topped $1.5
million, exceeding all of the previous year’s revenue on its own.

“The Harvester staff and volunteers continue to create a great atmosphere for artists and fans alike, and we are pleased with the financial progress we’ve been able
to make,” Hankins said. “We are off to a great start for 2018, and we look forward to bringing visitors to experience world-class music in a great setting, with inviting
shops, restaurants and hotels ready to welcome the world to our community.”

The music, comedy and theatre performance facility is owned by the Town of Rocky Mount, which leases it to the Harvester. Rocky Mount underwrites the operations personnel, maintenance and utility costs paid for by increased tax revenues from meals, lodging and shopping taxes generated by Harvester visitors.

“Eight of the 12 months of 2017 saw record meals tax collections for that month,” Hankins said. “The four years before the Harvester opened, restaurants sold averaged
selling $23.5 million in meals in Rocky Mount; since we opened, restaurants have averaged $28.6 million in combined annual sales, and for the first time ever in 2017,
crossed a combined $30 million in sales.”


SML Woman to Kayak Entire 500-Mile Perimeter of SML April 7 for Child Advocacy Center

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

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April to August Journey to Benefit Area Children and Families

Smith Mountain Lake, Va.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sue Gallagher, 68, a Smith Mountain Lake resident, plans to show her support for area children and families by kayaking the 500-mile perimeter of the Lake to bring awareness to the Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center (SVCAC). The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center provides vital services for abused and neglected children in Franklin, Pittsylvania, Henry and Patrick counties. 


Gallagher will launch her kayak from the dock at Smith Mountain Lake Community Park, 1482 Parkway Avenue, Moneta, VA 24121, on Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend the celebration for the start of Gallagher’s odyssey.


“This is yet another example of how each of us can make a difference in the service to others, especially vulnerable populations.” Joyce Moran, Executive Officer stated.  “There are a limitless number of resources throughout our community and Ms. Gallagher’s kayaking journey is a unique example of one way to raise awareness and funding for victims of child abuse,” Moran said. “The journey itself will provide opportunities for more people to learn about our services and ways to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.  With the current technologies available, everyone can be a part of this Sue’s adventure.”


A non-profit agency, the center provides vital child-friendly services to support the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Services are comprehensive and tailored to meet the unique needs of the children and non-offending caretakers receiving them. As a community facility and a regional resource for victims of family and community-based violence, volunteers and partnerships are valued and vital. Close to 700 abused and neglected children received services offered by SVCAC in fiscal year 2017 but the agency faced great challenges with limited resources, staff and volunteers necessary to meet every child’s needs. As a volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer for children, Gallagher decided to raise awareness and funds for the organization by Kayaking Smith Mountain Lake for Kids’ Sake.  


“We need to do whatever it takes to help keep these kids safe. If we had more, we could do more,” Gallagher, an avid kayaker, said. She expects to paddle approximately 16 weeks, kayaking 10 to 12 miles every other day, weather permitting.


Supporters can follow her progress on her journey’s Facebook page at, and can make donations, too, either through the Facebook page, or by mailing checks, made payable to Southern Virginia CAC, to Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center, 300 South Main Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.




Five Arrested, One Wanted in Series of Franklin County Break-Ins

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

6packFRANKLIN COUNTY - Investigators are still searching for a Rocky Mount man and have arrested five after a series of break-ins and larcenies in Glade Hill, Hardy, and Wirtz in February, according to Captain Phillip Young.

The investigation began on February 15. Investigators were able to indentify a pattern to the crimes, Young said.

Alan Crook, 25, of Glade Hill has been charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit larceny, two counts of receiving stolen goods, two counts of grand larceny, breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony and possession of a controlled substance. 

Austin Crook, 20, of Glade Hill is charged with conspiracy to commit larceny, two counts of grand larceny, and breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.

Bradley Smith, 29, of Rocky Mount has been charged with three counts of receiving stolen goods and three counts of conpiracy to commit larceny.

Travis Hicks, 29, of Callaway has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit larceny and two counts of receiving stolen goods. 

Ethan Hundley, 24, of Glade Hill is charged with conspiracy to commit larceny, grand larceny, and two counts of possession of a controlled sustance.

The Sheriff's Office is still searching for Taylor Hardy, 27, of Rocky Mount. Hardy is charged with conspiracy to commit larceny and two counts of receiving stolen goods.