News Briefs for Friday, Feb. 3: Prepare for some arctic cold tonight

Published 3:21 am Friday, February 3, 2023

FARMVILLE – Be careful going outside over the next three nights. The National Weather Service warns that an arctic cold front is moving in today and sticking around for a while.
“Very cold air and gusty winds are expected behind the front,” the National Weather Service station out of Wakefield said Thursday night in a statement.
And by very cold, they’re not kidding. Tonight across our region, the low is expected to be 19. Combined with a 10 degree wind chill, it’ll feel like it’s in the single digits. On Saturday night, the temperature will drop more, falling to 15 degrees around this area. With a 5-10 degree wind chill expected on Saturday, you’ll be looking at another night where it feels like single digit temperatures outside.
Once we get past the next two days, things get back to normal, with highs in the 50s beginning on Sunday. 

Special meeting called in Buckingham

There’s been quite a few special hearings and meetings held throughout the area recently and now, you can add another one to the list. Joe Chambers, chairman of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, sent out a letter on Thursday, calling for a special meeting of the group later tonight.
In the letter, Chambers says the purpose of the meeting will be to have “consultation with legal counsel and/or briefings by staff members or consultants pertaining to actual or probable litigation.”
Giving a second reason for the called meeting, Chambers says the board will also consider “the sale and purchase of real estate”. It’s unclear what real estate the board will be discussing, as none had been brought up in the last few months during public meetings. It’s also unclear why a special meeting was needed, rather than handling the business during the board’s regular one in two weeks.
The special meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the County Administration Complex, located at 13380 James Anderson Highway in Buckingham.

Envigo puppy makes her tv debut

Shifting gears for a minute, let’s talk about something a bit happier. It may not start out that way, but bear with us a minute.
In May 2022, Envigo, an Indiana-based company with a facility located in Cumberland County that bred and sold animals for scientific research, was cited for 74 violations of the Animal Welfare Act by the United States Department of Agriculture. As a result, the company’s Cumberland operations were suspended and the facility closed.
The puppies rescued from that breeding facility went all over the world. Some were adopted by families in Virginia, while others went all the way to San Diego. And now one of those pups will appear on television on Super Bowl Sunday.
The beagle puppy known as June will compete in this year’s Puppy Bowl, which airs on Sunday, Feb. 12, beginning at 2 p.m. She had been taken in by Green Dogs Unleashed, one of 11 beagles from the Envigo facility picked up by the nonprofit. 

Another shifting public session

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During their last session, the Farmville Planning Commission had discussed holding another public meeting on planned unit development, which The Herald has covered here. The idea, proposed by town staff, would be to give developers a way to bring in projects that otherwise wouldn’t fit with Farmville’s guidelines.
The problem right now, staff argues, is that under current laws, everything has to be almost strictly by the book. There are no exceptions. And that’s created problems as developers look at places to build in town.
Staff argues the current rules almost demand a suburban style of development, which they feel is not appropriate for a small town like Farmville. That translates into large lots with larger single family homes. But when you’re trying to recruit new teachers, new college graduates and other younger residents, they often can’t afford a property like that. And at the same time, they don’t always want to live in apartments. They want other alternatives.
The planning commission had voted to consider dates in March for the public session, but that has changed. Now, the next public information session will take place on Monday, Feb. 13. That’ll be held at the Moton Museum, starting at 6 p.m. 

Six more weeks of winter

And finally, we wrap up today with a more lighthearted bit of news. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so that means six more weeks of winter. Now yes, the National Weather Service does make sure to mention that while it’s a fun tradition, there’s no study showing an association between the groundhog seeing its shadow and the arrival of spring.
The tradition comes from Germany, where, beginning in the Middle Ages, there was a unique event on Feb. 2. On the Christian calendar, Feb. 2 is Candlemas, a celebration of when Jesus was first presented at the Temple. As part of the day’s events, Germans in the Middle Ages started a tradition of Dachstag or Badger Day. Much like Groundhog Day in America, if a badger emerged from its den and cast a shadow, that meant four more weeks of winter. As traditions were brought over to the United States, four weeks became six and a budget got replaced by a the groundhog.