Contribute to Town of Fincastle hanging baskets


The Town of Fincastle will be hanging 40 flower baskets around town in a couple of weeks. Town businesses and citizens have generously contributed to help fund this effort

We would not be able to continue with this project without your support. Contributions may be sent to the Town Office. Please make checks payable to Town of Fincastle and send to P.O. Box 250, Fincastle 24090.

Thank you for helping beautify our town.

David Tickner

Fincastle Town Manager


Questions elected officials’ decisions


Botetourt County… I love it. I have lived here all of my life. I just do not get what has been going on the last few years with some of the decisions made by elected officials and various assessments that taxpayers fund.

Most recently, The Herald reported that, “According to a 2018 professional engineering assessment, the Courthouse has reached the end of its useful life.” Whew, that’s a good one. So now they want to move various departments and 50 positions to the Greenfield Education and Training Center. I guess they had to find some use for that facility. I went over there a couple of years ago to substitute teach at 8:30 in the morning and the door was locked. A custodian let me in. We were the only people there. Boy, that was money well spent.

Not long ago it was reported that Botetourt County Schools should cut agricultural programs. This is Botetourt County… are you kidding me?! Who comes up with this stuff?

The elected and hired officials need to realize where they are hiring. I know most of them are not from Botetourt County, but they need to start acting like it.

Mark R. Woodie



The need for good lighting


Anyone who has driven on US 220 between Exit 150 and Fincastle can attest that the traffic has increased significantly in the past couple of years and that development along this corridor has expanded greatly. All this progress on US 220 – and throughout the county, for that matter – has underscored the need for appropriate outdoor lighting.

Too many people have a willingness to accept the degradation and eventual loss of night skies as being a natural consequence of development. Botetourt, of not too many years ago, was known for its relative lack of sky glow, and areas not too far north of LBHS still had relatively dark skies. Sadly today, it is a different story.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

As evening darkness settles, look at the outdoor lighting in the new Cedar Plateau plaza in Daleville, tucked between a steep hill and Bellacino’s Pizza and across from Freedom First Credit Union on US 220. Notice how the outdoor lights all point downward, and are shielded from direct side view. Their light casts to the ground, where it is needed, not into the sky or onto the street, where it would be wasted. That is the face of good, attractive lighting.

(It would be even better, making for not just good, but great lighting, if the LED color temperature was 2700K. That would likely give a more pleasing appearance, as well as better illumination.)

Instead of complaining that good lighting is too expensive or worrying that people won’t feel as safe without bright, glaring lights (while ignoring the fact that most crime occurs in the well-lit daytime), wouldn’t it enhance the quality of life of Botetourt residents if all outdoor lighting was representative of the lights at Cedar Plateau plaza? It wasn’t too expensive for them, and, as can be seen, their area has plenty of light for customers to feel safe.

What to do? Drop a note to your county supervisor stating that, as development in Botetourt continues on the upswing, the need for responsible outdoor light – i.e. fixtures that are shielded, downward cast, and that house lights of lower color temperature with suitable lumens – becomes more and more important.

This is something that has a solution. This is something that is not hard.

John Goss



Sheriff is a powerful constitutional office


The office of sheriff is one of the most important and powerful constitutional positions in Botetourt County. Because citizens entrust this one person with great authority and influence, our decision of who will best fulfill the duties of chief law enforcement officer should be made carefully and wisely, as a result of thorough examination of each of the prospective candidates.
For this reason, some of the statements made by Deputy Matt Ward and his supporters are troubling. Ward decries what he calls “negativity,” a trendy buzzword lifted from the lexicon of inane cultural claptrap. In doing so, several of Ward’s friends have cheered and extolled him– not for his qualifications for the office– but merely for making an appeal to an unquantifiable character trait.
Three Republican candidates are seeking the party’s nomination for Botetourt County’s sheriff. Most residents will not have the opportunity to get to know each of them personally prior to the November election. Therefore, contrasting the candidates is necessary and crucial, even if Matt Ward considers it an unseemly intrusion.
Voters recognize that each candidate possesses unique strengths and weaknesses (positives and negatives) that must be weighed according to varying standards. But the office of sheriff is a political position of leadership requiring honesty, integrity, stability and wisdom at every turn. It’s not a place for unseasoned novices. This election is not a popularity contest and must not become so profaned.
Ronnie Sprinkle has served Botetourt County well for many years. Filling his role is a daunting challenge. We ask a great deal of sacrifice from the sheriff and few people fully appreciate all that the position entails. Matt Ward’s effort to deflect scrutiny of his professional career and personal judgment by avoiding objective measurement is cause for grave concern about his maturity and honesty, and by extension, his suitability for the office.

Timothy Buchanan



Vineyard: ‘I am proactive’


I am proactive, a hard charger, and a “get the job done” kind of man. I am the only combat beteran in the campaign for sheriff. I am the only one that holds a degree in criminal justice. I am the only candidate that is experienced in the local, state, and federal court systems. I am the only candidate that has worked on multiple task forces on the local, state, and federal levels to get drugs out of the hands of children.

The other candidates are good men. However, they are lacking in experience to lead.  This lack of experience is not their fault; but I simply have worked harder to broaden my horizons in the field of law enforcement and have been exposed to so much more than the others. Therefore, I am seeking your vote on June 11.

I urge voters not to use rumors as a basis for their choice for sheriff, but facts.  Don’t allow your neighbors to tell you who to vote for.  But, instead, I would encourage voters to attend the upcoming question and answer forums at the Buchanan Theatre on May 7 at 7 p.m. and at the Eagle Rock Library on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. I would also urge all of the sheriff candidates to attend as well.

Thank you, Liz Parker, for your interest in our county’s sheriff candidates. Hope to see you there.

Mike Vineyard 

Candidate for Sheriff