June 8, 1978

Almost half of the students at Rappahannock elementary school are reading a year or more behind grade level, according to a recent survey taken by the administration.

As a first step toward attacking the reading deficiency that has alarmed parents and teachers alike, county School Board members voted unanimously at a special meeting held last Wednesday to offer summer school this year.

The summer school program will focus on reading and language skills only. Classes, beginning June 19, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. According to current plans, enrollment will be open to children in grades one through seven. However, participation may have to be limited to specific grades, should more than a third of the students eligible for the program indicate an interest in attending summer school.

Assistant superintendent Ray Hogan announced that eight teachers were “definitely interested” in teaching with three more possibly willing to work in the summer reading program. He noted that the program’s success was dependent in a large part on keeping a low pupil teacher ratio, approximately 10 to 12 students per teacher.

“Sorry, Mr. Bankston.”

That was Supervisor Chairman E. P. Luke’s response to game warden Jim Bankston after the Rappahannock Supervisors turned down two proposed hunter control ordinances at last Thursday’s Board meeting. Luke joined Supervisors Clarence Baldwin and Butch Eastham in voting down ordinances that would have made it illegal to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or on a public right of way without permission to hunt from landowners on both sides of the road.

Supervisor Dick Latham said he’d heard arguments that the ordinances were unenforceable but added that a neighboring county had 29 convictions out of 31 citations written under a similar law. “They can be enforced if anyone takes the time to do it,” he maintained.

Baldwin announced that he was prepared to vote against adoption since large landowners near Flint Hill — the area of the county with the biggest problem with illegal roadside hunting — were satisfied with current laws and opposed to the new ordinances.

“These are crafty people you’re dealing with. They can unload a gun while they’re pulling over for the game warden,” he said. “The solution to the problem lies in getting Mr. Bankston some help,” Eastam stated.

Jan. 25, 1979

Power line towers fall “very, very seldom,” construction superintendent Raymond Mims assured the Rappahannock Board of Zoning Appeals last October.

Mims appeared before the BZA to request a permit application for office and storage trailers to be located on Amissville Fire Company property during construction of concrete foundations for Vepco’s power line towers.

The “very, very seldom” happened last week as a tower built along Route 627 outside Flint Hill came tumbling down. The concrete foundation was still in place but the rivets holding the tower to the base appeared to have worked loose.

Linda Welk, a property owner who reported the accident to the Rappahannock News, said that her husband had noticed about a month ago that the tower “wasn’t anchored down.”

When speaking before the BZA at its October 12 meeting, Mims explained that the towers weren’t anchored in rock because that procedure requires on-the-job presence of an engineer at all times to check if the rock is solid. According to Mims, this makes rock anchoring both expensive and time consuming.

Asked to comment on Tuesday, Vepco personnel at the Warrenton office knew nothing about the topple of the tower.

After agonizing for two hours over a 20 percent increase in the administrative portion of the 1979-80 welfare budget, the Rappahannock Welfare Board authorized a new social worker position requested by social services director Elizabeth Buntin.

“There are a dozen reasons why we should hire another social worker,” said Mrs. Buntin in justifying her request for the additional position. “As you’re aware, I haven’t been able to get my work done. I’m behind on the board minutes. I’m behind on everything. The worst of it is adult services are going lacking. You might not see it because no one has complained but the lack is there.

“There are five referrals on my desk that haven’t been handled — all for adult protective services,” Mrs. Buntin continued, acknowledging that this was her area of responsibility. “A slipshod job done with any part of our services hurts our reputation with the community,” she added.


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