• For six years, local legislators have campaigned on behalf of our community to reverse the impending closure of the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Carroll County.
    But this year, with the mental health facility still slated to close by the end of June, after 40 years, there’s a deep sense of loss and discouragement. Our state representatives’ efforts once again were denied advancement in the 2018 General Assembly.

  • The effort to draw interest and create a sustainable community in Grayson County is nothing new; in fact, steady (and at times, staggering) improvements in our locality such as job creation (Oak Hall, Nautilus), agricultural stability (Matthews Farm, the GATE Center), and countless recreational resources regularly headline our news copy.
    But in recent months, we’ve seen a refreshing new surge of interest in the betterment of our county, from our new county administrator, William “Bill” Shepley.

  • The video is short, only a few seconds long.
    It is shot from below desk level, where a girl in a dress and a boy in shorts are huddled.
    The students’ talking is interrupted by the explosion of gunfire — 15, maybe 16 shots in all, as the kids scream. The shooter isn’t in their classroom, but is close, and the children’s terror is nauseatingly apparent.
    The snippet of video appeared on social media last Wednesday afternoon, shortly after reports first emerged of an active shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

  • It’s time for Virginia to stop holding driving privileges hostage to try to make people pay court costs and fines. The practice does more harm than good.

  • The Virginia General Assembly has in this session a tremendous opportunity to dramatically improve the commonwealth’s approach to transparency in government.
    Numerous bills now pending before the legislature would make documents more accessible, strengthen the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and bolster accountability for public officials. They would afford residents a clearer view of how government works, which is essential in a democratic republic.
    Crucial to this effort will be a freshman class of legislators for whom openness is a priority.

  • Last month’s exit of Eddie Rosenbaum from the Grayson Board of Supervisors came with a rehashing of the county’s abandoned coyote bounty program, which was shot down for a second year at the close of 2015.

    The vote to cull the bounty program — which was only opposed by Rosenbaum even after the program cost the county twice as much money and resulted in a lawsuit when one bounty hunter attempted to pass off a coyote from another locality — brought an end to a controversial debate from citizens and experts alike.

  • Some wars never really end. There may be progress, but the fight goes on.
    That’s the case with the battle to end homelessness among military veterans — even in Virginia, where a victory of sorts was declared in 2015.

  • In defiance of economic theory, financial analysis and logical reasoning, Senate Republicans approved sweeping tax-reform legislation projected to increase the national deficit by $1.4 trillion in the coming decade.
    The nearly 500-page measure was originally pitched as a way to streamline and simplify the tax code for millions of Americans, particularly those in the middle class. It promised to deliver corporate tax reduction, which has general support from across the ideological spectrum.

  • A Virginian Pilot Editorial

    Earlier this month, 13 federal agencies released an exhaustive assessment of the country’s climate, concluding that Americans are now living in the “warmest period in the history of modern civilization.”

  • You hardly know who to believe these days, when actual events can be very strange and comedians can imitate politicians so well you have to ask, “It that him, or someone pretending to be him?”
    There always seem to be experts who disagree on a given topic, and often, there’s no telling just how authentic an “expert” is.

  • Police officer down.
    The entire community holds its breath when it reads or hears those words, hands clasped and heads bowed, in the fervent hope that its worst fears are not realized.
    In incident involving a Portsmouth officer shot five times in the line of duty las week should spur us to take a moment to consider the challenge of police work in this day and age, a vocation that routinely requires the risk of life and limb in service to the public.

  • As the holiday season gets fully underway, we should remind ourselves that certain kinds of gifts are more appreciated than others.
    Once children are past the age of wanting – desperately! – the latest toy or fashion, it gets harder to provide a really special gift. We offer the excuses of “I don’t know what’s in style right now,” or “I don’t know what kind of music the kids are listening to these days,” or even, “I don’t know what size anybody wears.”

  • A Virginian-Pilot editorial

    Fresh from his sweeping victory on Tuesday night, Gov.-elect Ralph Northam on Wednesday outlined an ambitious agenda he intends to pursue for the next four years.
    Speaking the morning after his win made national headlines, the Eastern Shore Democrat ticked off his priorities for his administration, a list that included the economy, the environment, health care and sea level rise.

  • A Virginian-Pilot Editorial

    It will happen again. That much is nearly certain.
    It may be at a concert or at a nightclub. It may be at a university, a community college, a high school or an elementary school. It may be at a ball field or in the welcoming confines of a church.
    Nobody knows where or when the next deadly mass shooting will take place in the United States — only that we lose dozens more American lives when it happens, as it eventually will.


    One dead. Dozens injured. It’s time to stop calling what transpired in the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday a white supremacist “rally” and say what it really was: a riot. A brutal clash between protesters and counter-protesters swinging clubs and baseball bats, throwing bottles and spewing expletives. And finally, a car plowing into a crowd of pedestrians that left one person dead and 19 injured, at last count.

  • The recent success of the first-ever LandCare Rocks the River outdoor event in Fries is just one notable example of how the little riverside community has stepped up its level of appeal to tourists and locals alike.
    Organizers expected around 150 people for the LandCare celebration, which was put on to celebrate our many local, natural resources used for livelihood, as well as recreation (the river, the trail, etc.) The final total not only met this goal, but went over by 500 more.

  • By Stephen Nash

    It’s a little mystery that Galax-area voters have almost figured out, but not quite. Why are realtors, the health industry, beer wholesalers and bankers, coal operators and electric utilities shoving all that cash into the Virginia legislature?
    “Puzzles plus money produce the view that the money explains the puzzles,” legal scholar Lawrence Lessig wrote. “In a line: We don’t trust our government.”

  • A Virginian-Pilot editorial

    While serving as U.S. minister to France in 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote to future Chief Justice of the United States John Jay about the prospects of the new nation. As a farmer, Jefferson was particularly optimistic about the potential of vast and fertile land.

  • It has been more than half a year since the events of last November’s presidential election, and probably even longer since most of us have made it through a quiet morning of checking emails and reading news articles without seeing something questionable related to our nation’s politics. There’s no doubt, no matter which side you take in the argument, that our nation is very divided right now; and those who are not still angry towards either the left or right side (or both sides) may have fallen into a bit of a slump when it comes to staying informed.

  • A Virginian-Pilot Editorial

    Shortly after his election as president, Virginian James Monroe, a veteran of America’s founding war, climbed upon his horse and set out to visit all of the existing states. No president before had done so.
    Time and again, in his long journey, as Monroe trotted up to a new community, his compatriots in the American Revolution — veterans — appeared along the road, cheering on the new president as one of their own.