County supervisors pay tribute to Eddie Sutphin

The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors used a moment of silence at the beginning of their meeting Monday morning to pay tribute to Eddie Sutphin who passed away early Sunday.

“Pulaski County lost a true friend to our recreation community Sunday.  Eddie Sutphin passed away Sunday morning,” Chairman Andy McCready said.

“Eddie had been an employee of the Town of Pulaski and Pulaski County for well over 30 years, and he dedicated his life to ensuring that our young folks had recreation opportunities and opportunities to get out and learn skills, learn life and what it meant to be an adult,” McCready continued.

“Eddie was a tremendous asset to our county,” he added.

Sutphin died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

Saunders, Hale Honored For Service

The supervisors honored two members of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office who are retiring this week.

Capt. Jeff Saunders and Deputy Terry Hale will both retire Saturday, June 30.

Saunders has 32 years of service in the department, having started work on July 1, 1986. He is also a 37-year veteran of the Dublin Volunteer Fire Department.

Hale has 28 years with the sheriff’s office, starting there on Nov. 16, 1989.

Guthrie Asks For Safety Review Of Route 11

Cloyd District Supervisor Joe Guthrie expressed concern over safety issues on Route 11 between Dublin and Radford.

He told a Virginia Department of Transportation representative Monday that a recent fatal accident had focused attention on some problem areas on the stretch of roadway.

Guthrie asked VDOT to look closely at safety issues including the area near Motor Mile Speedway where Route 11 goes from four lanes to three – almost without warning.

Complicating the situation, he said, is the fact that Old Route 11 merges into the roadway in the area in an awkward way as well.

He mentioned visibility concerns for drivers coming off Stone Ridge Drive, and the need for a deceleration lane at Ruebush Road.

Guthrie also asked VDOT to take a look at the deterioration of the roadway on Viscoe Road in Fairlawn, which handles a volume of both passenger cars and large trucks.

Supervisors Travel To Washington

McCready reported that members of the board were traveling to Washington D.C. later Monday for meetings and tours at the White House and the Capitol on Tuesday.

The board was meeting with other members of the National Association of Counties and members of the Trump Administration who would brief the supervisors on new laws on the way that would affect localities.

McCready said they would have the opportunity to tour the White House and parts of the Capitol and were meeting for lunch with Ninth District Rep. Morgan Griffith in the Capitol Club.

Only county supervisors from across Virginia were invited to participate.

Dual Enrollment Class Changes Coming?

McCready noted the board anticipates more discussions with New River Community College in the days ahead about the ACCE (Access to Community College Education) and AIME (Access to Industrial and Manufacturing Education) programs.

He noted the county will also be looking at issues surrounding dual enrollment classes at Pulaski County High School in which students take classes at PCHS and earn college credit at NRCC.

McCready said the General Assembly now says the school system or parents must pay tuition for the classes. Even though, he said, the school system provides certified teachers for the classes.

“Now the state wants to charge us for these classes. We don’t know how that is going to turn out. It complicates the higher education picture for Pulaski County,” McCready said.

He said supervisors are looking forward to learning how many Pulaski County students are going to NRCC.

“Those numbers will be the basis of our discussions with NRCC in seeing how to make the ACCE and AIME programs a reality,” McCready said.

He said Pulaski County continues to see a shortage of skilled workers in the county.

“We’re very concerned about that. We want to take steps that hopefully will provide more employees,” he said.

Bamboo Ordinance Delayed

Supervisors were expected to take up the county’s new bamboo ordinance at this week’s meeting. However, the board decided to hold off on that after the state released its own template for a bamboo ordinance.

McCready said County Attorney Tim Kirtner will review the state’s template and see if any changes need to be made in the ordinance concerning bamboo which he created recently.

Kirtner’s proposed ordinance was believed to be the first of its kind in Virginia prior to the state’s issuing its own template.