Obituary for Rex Andrew Gearheart

Rex Andrew Gearheart of Bristol, Virginia left us Thursday, May 26, 2016.  He was a loving and devoted father to his daughters Baylee Joann and Daelan Marie.  He was an educator and served at Jefferson Forest, Narrows, and Radford City Schools.  He was Superintendent of Bristol, Virginia City schools at the time of his passing.  He loved Southwest Virginia and was an advocate for his students and co-workers.

Rex was preceded in death by his Grandparents Fred Ruthford and Faye Counts Gearheart, and Clinton Silas and Mary Chaffin Dulaney.  He is survived by his wife Ashley Odell Gearheart of Bristol, Tn. Grandfather Cecil E. Counts of Salem, Va., Parents Rodney Rex and Shirley Dulaney Gearheart of Dublin, Va.  Brother Latha Allen and Kerrie Weddle Gearheart and their children Samuel Latha and Gemma Leigh of Clinton, S.C.  Aunts Madeline Gearheart Terry of Greensboro, Glenna May and husband Bill Hammond of Salem, Uncles Charles Edward and wife Melody Counts of Meadowview, Jack Allen and wife Ilonka Dulaney, Russel Wayne and wife Judy Dulaney of Roanoke.  Mother in Law Joy Cooley, Father in Law Darrell (Bucky) O’Dell, and numerous Cousins, Great and Great – Great aunts and uncles of Central and Southwest, Virginia and Park County, Montana.

Rex was loved by his many Pulaski County High School (1989) and Virginia Tech (1993 and 1995) school mates, his Galax Fiddler’s Convention Family, his Flash Light Hollow Hunt Club Brothers and Sisters, all of the Friends of Potts Creek campers, and again the wonderful staff and student bodies of the schools he passed through.  Rex delighted in picking and singing in “The Land of The lights” or on the banks of  Catawaba Creek.

Visitation will be from 4 PM till 7 PM Sunday at Seagle’s Funeral Home in Pulaski, Va.  A graveside service will be conducted at the church Rex grew up in – New Dublin Presbyterian Church in Dublin on Monday, May 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.   The Reverend Andrew Troutman-Taylor will officiate.  A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rex A. Gearheart Memorial Fund, Bristol City Schools, 220 Lee Street, Bristol, Va. 24201.

A special memorial service will be held on Tuesday May 31 at Virginia High School in Bristol, Va. at 7 PM.   Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.seaglefuneralhome.com  Arrangements by Seagle Funeral Home, Pulaski.  540-980-1700

Verizon, unions reach deal in principle for 4-year contract

NEW YORK (AP) — Striking Verizon employees may be back to work next week after the company and its unions reached an agreement in principle for a four-year contract.

About 39,000 landline and cable employees in nine Eastern states and Washington, D.C., have been on strike since mid-April, one of the largest strikes in the U.S. in recent years.

Verizon had trained other workers to step in but there were still delays in installations for Fios customers.

Verizon said that it had high health care costs for its unionized workers, which have shrunk as it sold off large chunks of its wireline unit and focused on its mobile business, which was not unionized. It also wanted the union workers, just over one-fifth of its U.S. workforce, to agree to move around to different regions when needed, which the union opposed.

The union and Verizon are not giving details of the contract, so it’s not clear yet what the agreement entails for workers. As the number of organized workers shrinks, union fights in recent years have tended to be defensive, aimed at holding the line for their members rather than winning new benefits, said Jake Rosenfeld, sociology professor at Washington University, in an interview before the agreement was announced.

The president of the Communications Workers of America union, Chris Shelton, did say in a statement that the agreement is a “victory for working families” and that there will be new union jobs at Verizon. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Verizon released a statement saying it’s pleased with the agreement, which has “meaningful changes and enhancements” that will make its wireline business more competitive.

The deal does include a first contract for Verizon wireless employees, says the CWA. It applies to about 165 workers in six wireless stores in Brooklyn, New York, and one store in Massachusetts.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Friday that the agreement is being written and will be submitted for approval by union members, and he expects workers back on the job next week.

The workers had been working without a contract since last August.

New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. and the unions have been negotiating at the Department of Labor for the past 13 days, Perez said.

Verizon Communications Inc. shares rose 46 cents to $50.62. They are up 2 percent over the past year.

Feds expect more Atlantic tropical storms than last 3 years

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. government forecasters expect a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, after three relatively slow years. But they also say climate conditions that influence storm development are making it difficult to predict how many hurricanes and tropical storms will arise over the next six months.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook Friday called for a near-normal season with 10 to 16 named storms, with four to eight hurricanes and one to four “major” ones with winds reaching 111 mph and up.

The long-term season averages are 12 named storms, with six hurricanes and three major ones.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1, but tropical weather got a head-start this year: Hurricane Alex made an unseasonable debut in January over the far eastern Atlantic.

On Friday, the National Hurricane Center said an area of low pressure between Bermuda and the Bahamas became a tropical depression. A tropical storm warning was issued for the South Carolina coast.

Hurricane hunter aircraft were investigating the disturbance, and communities along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas should monitor its development, said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.

Obituary for Roy Everett Blevins

Roy Everett Blevins, age 66 of Pulaski passed away Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Lewis-Gale Hospital, Pulaski.

Born February 4, 1950 in Radford he was the son of the late Everett & Louise Mabry Blevins.

Roy was a retired machinist at Xaloy with 28 years of service.

He is survived by his

Wife-

Linda Horton Blevins – Pulaski

Sons-

James Everett Blevins – Pulaski

Brian Lee Blevins – Pulaski

Grandchildren-

Katlin, Jacob and James Blevins

Cody Donaldson

Sister-

Gloria & Terry Damron – Pulaski

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM – Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at the Bower Funeral Home-Chapel, Pulaski with Pastor Michael Collins officiating.

The family will receive friends one hour before service time Tuesday.

 To sign the online guestbook, visit www.bowerfuneralhome.com

Bower Funeral Chapels, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.

10 Things to Know for Today

The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. OBAMA MAKES HISTORIC VISIT TO HIROSHIMA

“Death fell from the sky and the world was changed,” the president says in a somber speech in the city where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb.

2. SIGNAL DETECTED FROM DOOMED EGYPTAIR JETLINER

The beacon narrows the search for the aircraft to a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius in the Mediterranean, where it crashed with 66 passengers and crew on board, an Egyptian official says.

3. WHO’S GETTING SERIOUS LOOK FROM YOUNG US VOTERS BESIDES SANDERS

Twenty-five percent of people under 30 in a Harvard poll say they would vote for Trump if he faced off against Hillary Clinton in the fall.

4. ALIBABA USES MONEY, INFLUENCE TO SWAY CRITICS, AP INVESTIGATION FINDS

In one instance, an anti-counterfeiting group went from calling for the world’s biggest e-commerce platform to be blacklisted to counting it among its “strongest partners” in a few short years.

5. WHAT G-7 LEADERS SEE AS MAJOR RISK TO GLOBAL ECONOMY

The leaders, gathered at a summit in Japan, cite the possible departure of Britain from the European Union as one of a number of potential shocks to the world’s financial system.

6. FATE OF SETTLER OUTPOST IS KEY TEST FOR NETANYAHU

A court order requires the Amona outpost in the West Bank be torn down by the end of the year — a move that’s expected to face staunch opposition from within the prime minister’s newly expanded hard-line government.

7. BAYLOR DEMOTES PRESIDENT, FIRES FOOTBALL COACH

The university is looking to rebuild its reputation and perhaps its football program after an outside review found its administrators mishandled allegations that football players sexually assaulted women.

8. US ISSUING PREDICTION FOR ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

The government forecast comes as experts urge coastal residents not to be complacent about their storm risks after 10 years without a major hurricane making a U.S. landfall.

9. DEADLOCK — YET AGAIN — AT SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE

The competition ends in a tie for the third consecutive year, with Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga declared co-champs after a roller-coaster finish.

10. WHICH TEAMS WILL VIE FOR LORD STANLEY’S CUP

Pittsburgh downs Tampa Bay 2-1 in a Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference crown and advance to the finals against San Jose.

Delegates in hand, Trump says he’s got GOP nomination

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — With a triumphant pile of delegates in hand, Republican Donald Trump on Thursday claimed support from “almost everybody” in his party and turned his attention to his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is still locked in a divisive primary contest.

The New York billionaire reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination hours earlier, according to the Associated Press count, just before a North Dakota campaign stop. It completed his unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

“Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal,” he told reporters. “We’ve had tremendous support from almost everybody.”

Trump’s good news was tempered by his own continuing campaign problems. Those include the abrupt departure of his political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders to declare their support for his upstart candidacy.

Trump was put over the top in the AP delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July. Among them was Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.

“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,239. Of those, 95 are unbound delegates who have endorsed him.

With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland.

Trump, a political neophyte who for years delivered caustic commentary on the state of the nation from the sidelines but had never run for office, fought off 16 other Republican contenders in an often ugly primary race.

Many on the right have been slow to warm to Trump, wary of his conservative bona fides. Others worry about his crass personality and the lewd comments he’s made about women.

But millions of grass-roots activists, many of them outsiders to the political process, have embraced him as a plain-speaking populist.

Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and an unbound delegate who confirmed his support of Trump to the AP, said he likes the billionaire’s background as a businessman.

“Leadership is leadership,” House said. “If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine.”

Trump’s pivotal moment comes amid a new sign of internal problems.

Hours before clinching the nomination, he announced the abrupt departure of political director Rick Wiley, who was in the midst of leading the campaign’s push to hire staff in key battleground states. In a statement, Trump’s campaign said Wiley had been hired only until the candidate’s organization “was running full steam.”

His hiring about six weeks ago was seen as a sign that party veterans were embracing Trump’s campaign.

Some delegates who confirmed their decisions to back Trump were tepid at best.

Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh said he will back Trump on the first ballot since he won the presidential primary vote in Linton’s congressional district.

“If there’s a second ballot I won’t vote for Donald Trump,” Linton said. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.”

Trump’s path to the Republican presidential nomination began with an escalator ride.

Trump and his wife, Melania, descended an escalator into the basement lobby of the Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, for an announcement many observers had said would never come: The celebrity real estate developer had flirted with running for office in the past.

His speech then set the tone for his ability to dominate the headlines with provocative statements, insults and hyperbole. He called Mexicans “rapists,” promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and proposed banning most Muslims from the U.S. for an indeterminate time.

He criticized women for their looks. And he unleashed an uncanny marketing ability in which he deduced his critics’ weak points and distilled them to nicknames that stuck. “Little Marco” Rubio, “Weak” Jeb Bush and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, among others, all were forced into reacting to Trump. They fell one-by-one — leaving Trump the sole survivor of a riotous Republican primary.

His rallies became magnets for free publicity. Onstage, he dispensed populism that drew thousands of supporters, many wearing his trademark “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting, “Build the wall!”

The events drew protests too— with demonstrators sometimes forcibly ejected.

When voting started, Trump was not so fast out of the gate.

He lost the Iowa caucuses in February, falling behind Cruz and barely edging Rubio for second. He recovered in New Hampshire. From there he and Cruz fiercely engaged, with Trump winning some and losing some but one way or another dominating the rest of the primary season — in votes or at least in attention — and ultimately in delegates.

He incurred relatively low campaign costs — just $57 million through the end of April. He covered most of it with at least $43 million of his own money loaned to the campaign.

Trump entered a new phase of his campaign Tuesday night by holding his first major campaign fundraiser: a $25,000-per-ticket dinner in Los Angeles.

Trump, 69, the son of a New York City real estate magnate, had risen to fame in the 1980s and 1990s, overseeing major real estate deals, watching his financial fortunes rise, then fall, hosting “The Apprentice” TV show and authoring more than a dozen books.

10 Things to Know for Thursday

The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:

1. AUDIT FINDS CLINTON DISREGARDED SECURITY GUIDANCE IN USING PRIVATE EMAIL

Campaigning in California, Donald Trump noted that Clinton had received “a little bad news” and then railed against her “horribly bad judgment.”

2. WHICH STATES ARE SUING OVER OBAMA’S SCHOOL TRANSGENDER DIRECTIVE

The states are Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia.

3. HOW FEMALE CEOS ARE FARING COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS

For the second year in a row, female CEOs earned more than their male counterparts and received bigger raises. But only a small sliver of the largest companies are run by women.

4. JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER REJECTS IDEA OF VISITING PEARL HARBOR

Coming ahead of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima later this week, Shinzo Abe’s comments laid bare the complex politics of reconciliation.

5. WHO WAS CHOSEN TO BE THE NEW LEADER OF THE AFGHAN TALIBAN

Opposition within the group emerged just hours after little-known extremist cleric Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada was selected to replace his predecessor, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

6. WHERE 768 NEW SCREENERS WILL BE SENT TO DEAL WITH LONG AIRPORT SECURITY LINES

The Transportation Security Administration will send the new screeners to the nation’s busiest airports in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other hubs by mid-June.

7. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT A PREGNANT WOMAN WITH ZIKA WILL HAVE A BABY WITH BIRTH DEFECTS

The largest study to ever look at the question says the risk of one type of birth defect, microcephaly, is “substantial” — in the range of 1 percent to 14 percent.

8. HOW MANY AMERICANS LIE TO THEIR PARTNER ABOUT MONEY MATTERS

Two in five Americans who have combined finances admit to lying to their partner about financial matters, according to a study by Harris Poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education.

9. WHO MIGHT BE BANKROLLING HULK HOGAN’S LEGAL MATCH WITH GAWKER

News reports say Hogan is secretly backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007.

10. WHERE THE OBAMAS MIGHT LIVE WHEN THE PRESIDENT LEAVES OFFICE IN JANUARY

Real estate circles are buzzing over reports that Obama and his wife, Michelle, have decided to lease a nine-bedroom mansion in one of Washington’s poshest neighborhoods.

More layoffs coming at Volvo plant in Dublin

Staff Report

Sources tell The Patriot that more layoffs are coming at the Volvo truck plant in Dublin.

While no number of employees to be laid off has been released by the company, sources say the layoffs are due to reduced demand in the truck market.

Layoffs are expected to occur following the plants annual summer shutdown in July.

Production, sources say, will decline to 46 trucks per shift or 92 a day – currently that number is 120.

This round of layoffs follows February’s reduction of just over 500 employees.