Obituary for Jack B. Crawford

Jack B. Crawford, age 77 of Pulaski passed away on Friday Dec. 19, 2014 at Lewis Gale Hospital – Pulaski. He was born in Honaker Va. on April 7, 1937 and was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Pauline Crim Crawford.  He was a dedicated member of Anderson Memorial Presbyterian OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChurch.  He served many years as the Church musician, and served as an Elder and Church Treasurer. In later years, he enjoyed volunteering at Lewis Gale Hospital – Pulaski and proudly served as an organist at Seagle Funeral Home.  He is survived by his wife Reba Chandler Crawford of Pulaski:  one son, Mark Crawford and his wife Stephanie of Christiansburg: two grandchildren, Megan and Noah Crawford of Hillsville: One Aunt,  Loraine Neely of Adairs Run, W.Va.,  and one Uncle, Paul Crawford of Glen Lynn, Va.  Jack was also survived by many nieces and nephews.  The family will receive friends at Seagle Funeral Home on Monday, December 22, 2014 from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by a funeral service at 7:00 p.m.officiated by the Rev. Dr. David Kester.  Interment will be Tuesday December 23, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at Fairview Cemetery, Narrows, Va. Flowers will be appreciated or consider a Memorial to Anderson Memorial Presbyterian Church P.O. Box 2349 Pulaski, Va. 24301.  Online condolences may be sent to the family by  Arrangements by Seagle Funeral Home, Pulaski.  540-980-1700

Churches join to present “Eve of the Eve” event Dec. 23

10859613_10152394901051292_847388842_nAlthough Christmas candlelight services typically occur the night before the big day, this year we are doing things a little different.  In an effort to honor families that get together & churches that offer their own Christmas Eve services, we will be holding our Eve of the Eve Christmas Candlelight service on December 23.

Like last year, multiple churches from around the Pulaski County area will come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with us as One Body, the way it should be.  So, mark your calendar, and be inviting your friends to join us for our Eve of the Eve service on December 23 at Memorial Baptist Church (995 Peppers Ferry Rd. Pulaski) at 7pm!

Donations kick off fund raising effort for PCHS After Prom Party



Martin’s Pharmacy, Sara and Dr. Joseph Bradley Terry and their company EAC2 Consulting, and Mark and Pam Hanks kick off the fundraising effort for this spring’s After Prom Party for Pulaski County High School. Pictured above are (from left) Eddie Hale and William Hale of Martin’s; PCHS Activities Director Scott Vest; Sara Terry, and Mark and Pam Hanks. (Mike Williams photo)



Throwing a party can get expensive – especially when you’re expecting 200 or more high school students. A shindig like that could cost thousands.

Matter of fact, try $8,000 … that’s the amount organizers of next spring’s After Prom Party at Pulaski County High School figure they need to raise to hold an event prom-goers at the school will want to attend.

The project – designed to give these young Cougars a safe, alcohol- and drug-free alternative to after prom mischief – got a big boost toward that goal this week when two couples and two companies put their money where their collective mouths are and donated $1,500 to the effort.

They say their donations are meant as a challenge to others in the community who are concerned about our young people to help out as well.

“We know we have a community that loves its kids,” said Pam Hanks, who along with husband, Mark – assistant principal at PCHS – donated $500 toward After Prom expenses.

Pam said Wednesday their donation, as well as those of Martin’s Pharmacy and Sara and Dr. Joseph Bradley Terry and their company EAC2 Consulting are meant as a challenge to others in the community to support the After Prom effort. According to Pam, both Martin’s Pharmacy and the Terrys donated $500 each as well.

Pam said that in the past the Pulaski Community Partners Coalition had assisted the After Prom effort using grant money it had received earlier.  Those grants have now ended, she noted.

Pulaski County’s Prom is planned this school year for Saturday, May 2 with After Prom running from midnight until 4 a.m. Sunday.  The After Prom event will once again be held at Pulaski Elementary School.

Again this year, organizers have plans for a ton of activities for the students including bull riding, a surfing machine, music and a D.J., Bingo, a coffee house and more.  Plus there will be prizes galore – not of the cheap variety either, but things like TVs and Play Stations.

And of course there will be plenty of food on hand.

Pam noted attendance at the party has declined of late with about 200 students attending last year.  Organizers hope to pump that up this year.

Anyone wishing to support the After Prom cause can send a tax deductible donation to: After Prom, Pulaski County High School, 5414 Cougar Trail Road, Dublin, VA 24084.

For more information contact PCHS Activities Director Scott Vest at 643-0747.

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Governor McAuliffe Announces $1 Million Investment in Carroll County

~ Thomas Automation Management, LLC to expand and create 15 new jobs~ 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Thomas Automation Management, LLC (TAM), an automation firm that solves industrial IT problems for companies around the world, will invest $1 million to expand its operation in Carroll County, creating 15 new jobs.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “As we work to build a new Virginia economy, we need more innovative companies like Thomas Automation Management in the Commonwealth.  What started as a local business has evolved into an operation serving companies in at least six countries, further solidifying Virginia’s position in the global marketplace.”

“Information Technology is one of the key industry sectors in which the Commonwealth is a leader, and we are proud to include a Virginia-grown company like Thomas Automation Management on our roster of tech companies,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  “We look forward to the company’s continued growth and contribution to the economic health of Carroll County and the Commonwealth as a whole.”

Thomas Automation Management was established on July 1, 2010 by Ricky Thomas, a former employee of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco who had the opportunity to retire. He discovered that his talents of building control systems were not only needed back at R.J. Reynolds under contract, but were also needed by other companies around the world. TAM is a firm that provides updates for control systems and builds new systems to replace obsolete technology, and is also a UL-Certified panel build shop where customized equipment can be placed directly into operation without further inspection. TAM represents International Tobacco Machinery from Poland and currently conducts business in at least six countries.

“We are excited to expand our operations in Carroll County,” said Ricky Thomas, Owner and President of TAM.  “We appreciate the assistance from the Commonwealth, Carroll County and the Carroll County IDA, and Virginia’s aCorridor in making this expansion a reality.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Carroll County, the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority, and Virginia’s aCorridor to help secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $60,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Mr. David Hutchins, Chair of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, said, “The Thomas Automation Management expansion is one of the best gifts that Carroll County could have been given during this season. TAM is an extraordinary company with world-wide influence that will provide opportunities for our community to grow an information technology provider. The work that TAM is doing to assist companies around the globe will bring focus back to Carroll County and the Commonwealth that makes all of us proud. This is our record-setting fifth economic development announcement during 2014 and I look forward to what 2015 brings Carroll County.”

Mr. Barry Hicks, Chair of the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority said, “TAM is leading the way with automation solutions as a support company. The TAM expansion will give untold experiences in the growth of young IT minds as they work to solve complex problems around the world.  Five economic development announcements in one year is truly a blessing for Carroll County, and we wish to thank all who have assisted in making this happen.”

“On behalf of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, I want to congratulate Thomas Automation Management on this expansion that will bring 15 new jobs to Carroll County,” said Senator Bill Carrico, member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “It’s great to see that they are growing the type of high-tech jobs that are so important to our future. In addition to the $60,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, this announcement is highlighted by TAM’s capital investment of $1 million, which demonstrates their commitment to Carroll County and the Twin County Region.”

Obituary for Dorothy Ann Ray Lester

Dorothy Ann Ray Lester, age 78 of Dublin passed away Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at the Lewis-Gale Hospital, Pulaski.

LesterBorn May 10, 1936 in Kentucky, she was the daughter of the late John Nelson Ray & Virginia Tennessee Dotson Ray

She is survived by her husband of 54 years

James Kenneth Lester – Dublin


James Darrell Lester & wife, Abi – Christiansburg

Jamie Shawn Lester & wife, Amanda – Pulaski

Kimberly Newberry-Missouri

Nine Grandchildrern and one Great Granddaughter


Junior Ray – KY

Turner Ray – KY

Randy Ray – Dublin


Erma Graham Trail– Fairlawn

Funeral services will be held Saturday 11:00 a.m., December 20, 2014 in the Bower Funeral Home Chapel, Pulaski with   Rev. Richard Johnson and Pastor Billy R. Akers officiating. Interment will follow in Highland Memory Gardens, Dublin.

Visitation will be Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until service time at Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski.

To sign the online guestbook, visit

Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the Lester family.

Obituary for Larry John “LJ” Sheridan Potts Jr.

Larry John “LJ” Sheridan Potts Jr., 43, of Goldsboro passed away at his residence. He is the son of Thomas Baker Sr. and the late Linda B. Baker, and Larry Potts Sr., and wife Sharon; and was husband of Julie Massengill Potts. He had been a cabinet maker for Master Brand.

PottsA graveside service will be held on Saturday at 1:00 P.M. at Highland Memorial Gardens in Dublin, Virginia.

In addition to his wife he is survived by a sister, Angie Hylton and husband, Todd of Floyd, VA; a brother-in-law, Jason Massengill and wife, Carey of Goldsboro; his mother-in-law, Eunice Massengill, Goldsboro, NC; two nieces, Emma Grace Massengill of Goldsboro and Courtney Parnell of Floyd, VA; a nephew, Austin, Hylton of Floyd, VA; two great nieces, Kenzie and Alexis of Floyd, VA.  He also leaves behind his very special kitty cat, Scuffy.  She was his pride and joy.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Relay For Life c/o “The Flip Flop Gang” 120 Sheridan Forest Rd., Goldsboro, NC 27534.

Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Potts family and online condolences may be directed to


AAA: Busy holiday travel season for Virginians

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than one-third of Virginians are expected to travel this holiday season.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says more than 2.8 million Virginians will be traveling 50 miles or more from home for the 2014 year-end holiday season that runs from Tuesday until Jan. 4.

That’s 3.5 percent more than last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday period in the auto club’s records.

Nearly 91 percent of Virginia travelers will celebrate the holidays with a road trip, up more than 4 percent from 2013. More than 151,800 travelers are expected to take to the skies, down less than 1 percent.

The auto club says hotel and car rental rates are expected to rise modestly. However, gas prices in Virginia are down nearly 80 cents from last holiday season.

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Forecast: Wintry mix, but not much snow

National Weather Service’s latest forecast:

  • Friday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Northwest wind 6 to 8 mph.
  • Friday Night – A slight chance of snow after 3am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 29. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Saturday – Snow before 3pm, then rain. High near 36. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Saturday Night – Rain, snow, and freezing rain before 3am, then a chance of snow. Low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
  • Sunday – Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38.
  • Sunday Night – A chance of sleet. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
  • Monday – Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40.
  • Monday Night-  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30.
  • Tuesday – A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Tuesday Night – A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Wednesday – A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 50%.


McAuliffe proposes Virginia state budget changes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to more than double the pot of money he can spend trying to attract companies to Virginia, ease school districts’ teacher retirement burdens, and give raises to rookie deputy sheriffs.

To help pay for these and other programs, McAuliffe wants to limit tax credits designed to bolster the coal industry and sell off $250 million worth of unclaimed property that’s been turned over to the state.

The Democratic governor unveiled these and other proposed changes to the state’s biennial budget Wednesday at a Capitol briefing to state lawmakers. He said he was proposing common sense ideas that should garner bipartisan support when the GOP-controlled General Assembly takes up his budget during the 2015 legislative session, which begins in January.

“We literally have gone through every single item in the budget and we’ve done it in a way to try and protect our core assets,” McAuliffe told reporters after his presentation.

But while Republicans leaders praised some of McAuliffe’s proposals, they acted coolly toward others and made it clear that they will be responsible for determining what the final budget looks like.

Much of the current budget season has been marked by bad news as revenues have come in smaller than initially forecast, thanks partly to a slowdown in federal defense spending. Lawmakers and McAuliffe already adjusted the current budget in September, when they agreed to tap the state’s rainy day fund and making cuts to higher education and aid to local governments.

Budget officials said the situation has brightened in recent months due to several factors, including large savings in the state’s current Medicaid program, slower-than expected public school enrollment and low interest rates. These factors spared McAuliffe from having to make draconian cuts, allowed him to avoid eliminating money for K-12 public education and gave him new money to put into some of his top policy goals.

McAuliffe also wants to use a one-time $250 million sell off of unclaimed property that’s been turned over to the state, like stocks, bonds and insurance policies, to help reduce school districts’ teacher retirement liabilities and future costs and to help with new school construction.

One of the governor’s top priorities is to put an additional $10 million a year in the Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund, which McAuliffe has used to help lure companies to locate in Virginia. Currently, the governor has about $7.5 million a year available to spend.

In his speech to lawmakers, McAuliffe touted his record of bringing foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to Virginia and ticked off a list of 18 foreign ambassadors he’s met with as part of his effort to boost the state’s economy.

The governor also is looking boost state funding by putting new limits on Virginia’s tax credit program for the coal industry, which was designed to help increase the demand for coal and increase hiring by coal companies. McAuliffe cited a review by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, General Assembly’s watchdog agency, which found the coal credits don’t appear to be reaching their intended goals. Other changes to tax policy proposed by McAuliffe include limiting tax credits for land preservation and combining the state’s three sales tax holidays into one three-day event in August.

And the governor said he was fulfilling a campaign promise by increasing the salaries of deputy sheriffs so that new officers will no longer have to apply for public assistance in order to make ends meet.

“I think that it’s a disgrace that in the commonwealth of Virginia that our deputy sheriffs are on food stamps,” McAuliffe said.

The governor is also renewing his push to expand Medicaid, a longshot top legislative priority that’s been repeatedly blocked by Republican lawmakers who control the General Assembly.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. said the governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid and his embrace of “the coal-killing policies” of the Obama administration — along with McAuliffe’s recent announcement of proposed gun control measures — showed that the governor’s rhetoric did not match his actions.

“While he talks about bipartisan collaboration, he throws out hand grenade issues he knows are going to be very divisive,” Norment said.