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Womack to share Lost Histories of the Pittsylvania Calvary

Patrick Womack will read from his book “A Son of Pittsylvania County Joins the Confederacy: The Letters and Diaries of James A. Womack” at Crema & Vine in Danville on Saturday, July 21.A non-fiction, the book recounts the history of the Womack family of Southside Virginia during the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras.

  • icon Posted: July 18

Recent Headlines

Wednesday 07/18/2018
Altavista man facing attempted murder charge among many
Posted: July 18, 2018

A 21-year-old Altavista man faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder and a number of other charges relating to a shooting incident alleged to have occurred in northern Halifax County on Monday night.

Leesville Dam begins testing on Thursday
Posted: July 18, 2018

Appalachian Power will perform a required capacity test of its electricity generating units at the Leesville Dam on Thursday, July 19, beginning at approximately 3 p.m. and lasting through early Friday.

Campbell County man’s guilty pleas cannot be rescinded
Posted: July 18, 2018

Campbell County man Franklin Lee Thomason, Jr.’s guilty pleas to a second degree murder charge and two firearm charges cannot be taken back after a panel of appellate judges upheld his conviction for killing Douglas Wayne “D. W.” Grubbs, Jr. on January 24, 2016.

Goldy's celebrates tenth anniversary
Posted: July 18, 2018

Goldy’s Truck Plaza and Restaurant held its Tenth Year Anniversary Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, July 14.

Rustburg Community Health Center opens display for student art
Posted: July 18, 2018

Rustburg Community Health Center, a division of Johnson Health Center, has proudly opened its permanent art exhibit featuring the paintings of William Campbell High School students. The Rustburg branch of JHC opened in February this year; the art gallery opening took place June 22.

Robotics campers have fun while learning real-world school lessons
Posted: July 18, 2018

Imagine a large group of elementary and middle school students voluntarily doing math calculations during summer vacation and having a good time doing it. Does it seem far-fetched? Cindy Watson can attest that it has happened--recently and locally.

Council approves Gladys VFD to use Booker Building in October
Posted: July 18, 2018

Following various requests by organizations to rent park facilities for special events, the Altavista Town Council decided that it needs an event policy to address use of public facilities. Council continued its discussion of the matter in its June 26 Work Session and decided on the specific case of a request from the Gladys Volunteer Fire Department.

1st National Bank announces local promotions, Stone is senior vice-president
Posted: July 18, 2018

1st National Bank recently announced several promotions including Shawn Stone.

Truck & Tractor Pull set for Saturday
Posted: July 18, 2018

The 3rd Annual Java Truck & Tractor Pull will be presented by the Ricevill-Java Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m., at 1600 Stone Road, Java.

APD steps up vigilance in drug arrests
Posted: July 18, 2018

Drug arrests are up in Altavista this year, but that doesn’t mean crime is up, reported Altavista Police Chief Mike Milnor. There have been 16 drug arrests since June 1 (through July 12), ranging from marijuana to methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Those arrested come mostly--but not exclusively--from out of town.

Council tackles new problems with cats
Posted: July 18, 2018

Cats claimed the spotlight as the topic of heated debate among neighbors at Altavista Town Council’s July meeting. Council members were called upon to sort through two public nuisance hearings arising from complaints of animal nuisance. Cat owners and plaintiffs alike provided their take on the conflicts. Vice Mayor Beverley Dalton presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Mike Mattox.

Tuesday 07/17/2018
Brush Fire in Campbell County Outside of Altavista
Updated: July 17, 2018 - 5:00 pm

At approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday, Altavista Fire Company was dispatched for a possible brush fire in the 3700 block of Tardy Mountain Rd with heavy smoke in the area. Crews arrived to find approximately 1.5+ acres on fire on a main transmission line with extremely poor access. Crews are currently on scene of a now 3+ acre fire and growing. Crews from Company 17 (Evington) and Company 14 (Gladys, special request assignment) are currently being dispatched for man power.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public Assistance with Locating Two Wanted Subjects
Updated: July 17, 2018 - 5:06 pm

 Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public Assistance with Locating Two Wanted Subjects

Friday 07/13/2018
“Flame broiled” goes too far in grease fire at Hardee’s
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:57 am


Police are Searching for a Missing 14-Year-Old Girl-UPDATE
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:57 am


Kaine & Cockburn make stops in area
Posted: July 13, 2018

Tim Kaine greeted and talked to citizens at South Boston’s Downtown Farmer’s Market before speaking and introducing Democratic Congressional candidate Leslie Cockburn at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday July 7.

Town council considers parking along Avondale Dr., seeking input from citizens
Posted: July 13, 2018

Altavista Town Council discussed the issue of parking along Avondale Drive in its most recent work session. A resident of that street had brought the matter to Mayor Mike Mattox with the complaint that when cars are parked along both sides of the street, it reduces traffic flow to one lane. The complaint included a request to limit parking to one side of the street. 

Altavista narrows search for new chief
Posted: July 13, 2018

The search for a new chief of police for the town of Altavista is approaching its conclusion. The field of candidates has been narrowed to three, and those three have been interviewed. Town leadership hopes to select the candidate and offer the position soon, reported Waverly Coggsdale, Town Manager.

Cox couple surprised with 60th party
Posted: July 13, 2018

“I hope we see more of each other in years to come,” Jabo Cox wrote in his sweetheart, Doris’s, yearbook decades ago.  He signed the paragraph-length note with “yours always.”  The young lovers would indeed see more of each other in years to come.  Last weekend, Jabo and Doris Cox celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary.

Second arrest made in death of Lisa Henderson
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:58 am

The investigation into the April murder of Lisa Simone Henderson, 23, of Appomattox, has resulted in a second arrest.

Industry changes lead to new committment in community journalism
Posted: July 13, 2018

Over the years you have counted on Altavista Journal to be the source for news, sports and community happenings. We print the birth announcements of your children and the obituary notices after a life well lived. Week after week, this newspaper has been here through good times and bad in The United States of America. This relationship will continue, but difficult times are here for the newspaper industry.

Gladys man Pleads Guilty to killing Father
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:58 am

Gladys man Tyler Staples’ trial on Thursday for murdering his father, John Wesley Staples II, came to a surprising conclusion when midway through a jury trial at Campbell County Circuit Court where Tyler Staples was pleading “not guilty” due to self defense, he changed his plea to “guilty” to second degree murder after striking a charge agreement during the lunch break.

Press Release: Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Assistance with Identifying Subject: UPDATE
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:58 am


Tuesday 07/10/2018
DEQ Has issued a Notice of Violation to Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:59 am

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP) for alleged violations of the Virginia Stormwater Management Act and Regulations, the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law and Regulations, the Virginia Water Protection Permit Program and Regulations, and Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification No. 17-001 at locations where land disturbing activity is occurring along the MVP pipeline project.

Thursday 07/05/2018
Gladys man pleads guilty to second degree murder of his Farther
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:59 am

Tyler Staples, 20, Gladys, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the shooting death of his father, John Wesley Staples II, Thursday afternoon, in Campbell County Circuit Court. In the plea agreement, he changed his plea from not guilty due to self defense, to guilty to second degree murder,  with a felony charge of using a firearm in the shooting being dropped. 

Missing Two-Year-Old’s Body found at Smith Mountain Lake
Updated: July 18, 2018 - 8:59 am

The body of two-year-old August Farley, who went missing Thursday morning from Rosewood Lane, Huddleston, was found by Smith Mountain Lake rescue divers just before 1 p.m. near a dock located at the end of Rosewood Lane.

Man arrested in Wednesday morning incident
Posted: July 05, 2018

A call came in to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday to respond to the 12000 block of Rockford School Road where a female family member was being held at gun point by a man in another location.

Tuesday 07/03/2018
Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Makes Second Arrest in Lisa Henderson Case
Posted: July 03, 2018

On July 3, 2018 at approximately 12:30 p.m., Campbell County Sheriff’s Office Investigators arrested Marquie Brandon Williams, age 25, of Regal Court, Lynchburg, in connection with the April 5th homicide of Lisa Henderson. Williams is currently charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Williams had been involved in a relationship with Henderson prior to her death.

Campbell County is gaining solar energy facility, jobs
Posted: July 03, 2018

Solar energy farming is coming to Campbell County. Charlottesville-based Apex Clean Energy has a project in the developmental stages to launch a solar farm in Lynch Station.

New Roundabout in Concord expected to make intersections safer for drivers
Posted: July 03, 2018

Most drivers know of intersections that are highly dangerous--the ones where it is not unusual to see an accident, and in many cases where it seems like at least one fatality occurs annually. These are the junctions about which people often exclaim, “‘They’ need to do something about this dangerous intersection!”

Town of Altavista considering downtown parking
Posted: July 03, 2018

The issue of parking downtown came up during Altavista Town Council’s May work session, when Town Manager Waverly Coggsdale reported on the matter. Town staff had previously been instructed to investigate the issue of parking in Altavista’s central business district, particularly as it relates to downtown residents and business employees. This directive came following public comment made regarding the matter at a Council session. Main Street Coordinator Emelyn Gwynn assisted by surveying downtown business owners.

Vet collects war debris for tribute to Independence Day display
Posted: July 03, 2018

When patrons walk through the front doors of the Staunton River Memorial Library in Altavista and look to the right, they encounter a display of battlefield artifacts. The display was set up by Bill Simpson of Hurt, a Vietnam veteran with an impressive collection of artifacts from the Civil War, both World Wars, the Vietnam War, and even Native American arrowheads.

Brothers-In-Arms will help those in need
Posted: July 03, 2018

A new non profit organization just set up by David Cox of Altavista and his friend, Patrick Moody of Rustburg, is off and running since receiving its 501c3 status. Brothers-in-Arms was formed by the men, both of whom are former fire fighters and EMTs, who have been diagnosed with illnesses that has taken them out of work for an indefinite period of time. Moody was a fire fighter/EMT for ten years before being diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Cox, was a fire fighter/paramedic for 15 years before being diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.  Even though they’re now fighting for their lives instead of fighting fires, they are looking for ways to help others with similar challenges. “Being the first response for first responders is our goal with the creation of our new non-profit. We want to provide some assistance to first responders and their families in the early stages of a life debilitating illness diagnosis stemming from an injury that will require long-term care or something like a cancer diagnosis. Both of us have had benefits held for us to help with finances. It’s a big help in times of crisis,” says Moody. 

Friday 06/29/2018
71-Year-Old Nathalie Man Dead from Multiple Gunshot Wounds
Updated: July 03, 2018 - 9:53 am

A 71-year-old Nathalie man is dead, and his 36-year-old daughter, Shelley E. Thornton, is in custody, stemming from a shooting that occurred at a residence on Waller Road in Nathalie around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Five People Dead after a Shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis Maryland
Updated: July 03, 2018 - 9:53 am

Another tragic shooting occurred Thursday leaving five people dead after a shooter opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper on Bestgate Road in Annapolis around 2:30 p.m., according to law enforcement.

Liberty University Professor Arrested
Updated: July 03, 2018 - 9:54 am

Liberty University professor Stephen Kilpatrick, 63, Forest, was arrested Wednesday for the online sexual exploitation of a minor, says the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Wednesday 06/27/2018
Full EMS backup not available until August 1
Posted: June 27, 2018

Pittsylvania County must go without long-term, 24-hour backup emergency ambulance service until Aug. 1, when the next contract for such service is expected to go into effect.

The man who saved Virginia that Virginians have forgotten
Posted: June 27, 2018

Visitors to Avoca Museum are told the story of Col. Charles Lynch, who, during the Revolutionary War learned of a plot involving Virginians loyal to the British and their design to sabotage his lead and saltpeter mining operations. This plot, if successful, would have deprived the Patriots of badly-needed ammunition to stand up to the forces of the King. Acting upon intelligence reports brought by an American spy, Col. Lynch captured more than seventy suspected participants in the plot and brought them to his plantation, Green Level (present-day Altavista), for trial. The subsequent proceedings are known to history as “Lynch’s Law”. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the trials were not organized on the basis of singling defendants out on the basis of their race – and they most certainly did not involve murder. The historical evidence does not support that accusation, but unfortunately old legends die hard.

Cambell County to hold drive-through rabies clinic
Posted: June 27, 2018

Campbell County Animal Control and Rustburg Veterinary Clinic have partnered to host a Drive-Through Rabies Clinic on Saturday, June 30, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in the town of Brookneal at Long’s Farm Supply (1103 Lynchburg Ave.).

Rashad Jennings Foundation offers new events
Posted: June 27, 2018

The Rashad Jennings Foundation is set to hold their annual 180 Weekend hosted by Rashad Jennings from Thursday, June 28th - Sunday, July 1st this year. The 180 Weekend this year consists of a Town Hall Meeting (June 28th), Open Mic Night (June 29th), Camp 180 (June 30th), and a Family Fun Fest & Health Expo (July 1st).

Campbell County recognized for water quality
Posted: June 27, 2018

The Campbell County Utilities and Service Authority (CCUSA) received the 2017 Excellence in Water Treatment Plant Performance award by the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water. The awards, distributed annually to those localities for achieving Virginia’s optimization program goals, were presented in April at the 44th Annual Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) “Water is Life” luncheon.

Avoca Museum to hold 2nd Reunion on July 7
Updated: June 27, 2018 - 9:51 am

In 2011, a new chapter began for the descendants of the Lynch family, a chapter that includes a milestone this year on July 7.

High river makes rough ride for Fun Float Day
Posted: June 27, 2018

The 42nd annual Fun Float Day in Long Island was a success this year in spite of a few minor mishaps. A huge crowd turned out for the event sponsored by the Long Island Ruritan Club, reported Brookneal Chief of Police Ricky Baldwin.

Tuesday 06/26/2018
Campbell County Sheriff's Office Seeks Assistance in Locating Wanted Subject Update
Updated: July 03, 2018 - 10:00 am

UPDATE: Campbell County Sheriff's Office Apprehends Two Wanted Subjects 

Exchange Student enjoys sports, literature, friends, host family and seeing her personal growth expand during stay in Altavista
Posted: June 26, 2018

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience--both for the exchange student and for those whose lives come into contact with the traveller. Such was the case for Anni Paatsila, who spent the 2017-18 academic year in Altavista, attending Altavista Combined School, and living with Andrew, Sheryl, and Erin Hicks (Erin just completed her junior year at ACS).

Monday 06/25/2018
River high, crowds abundant, stranded boaters rescued at Fun Float
Updated: June 27, 2018 - 10:15 am

The 42nd annual Fun Float Day in Long Island was a success this year in spite of a few minor mishaps. A huge crowd turned out for the event sponsored by the Long Island Ruritan Club, reported Brookneal Chief of Police Ricky Baldwin.

Friday 06/22/2018
TGIF at Avoca
Updated: June 27, 2018 - 10:15 am

Due to the threat of impending Thunderstorms in the area this afternoon. TGIF at Avoca has been cancelled. 

Wednesday 06/20/2018
Campbell County Sheriff's Office and Lynchburg Police Department Seek Subject for Failure to Appear in Court
Updated: July 03, 2018 - 10:00 am

The Campbell County Sheriff's Office and the Lynchburg Police Department are seeking the public's assistance in their search for Kevin Dean Witt for failure to appear in court (in Lynchburg City and in Campbell County.) A photo of Witt is attached.

Lynchburg Police Chief Retiring
Updated: June 27, 2018 - 10:15 am

Chief Raul Diaz  of the Lynchburg Police Department on Wednesday announced his is retiring  from the force, effective Sept. 1, nearly three years after joining the department in 2015.