Notebook for Thursday, Feb. 9: Downtown keeps growing

Published 3:09 am Thursday, February 9, 2023

FARMVILLE – The numbers look good for the Farmville Downtown Partnership. These are numbers of a different kind, showing the downtown area expanded in terms of businesses over the last few months. In the last quarter of 2022, the downtown area added seven new businesses, with 10 jobs created. Business owners also put in $177,800 in private investment for interior and exterior renovations. Public improvements, coming with money from the town or county, added another $350,000.  

Longwood signs deal with Nike

We’re keeping the positive news going with the second piece in today’s briefs. Longwood University has signed a deal with Nike. Effective July 1, Nike will be the official supplier of footwear, apparel and accessories for Longwood’s athletic teams. 

 “Nike has a legacy of championship-level innovation and success,” said Longwood Athletic Director Tim Hall. “We are excited to be entering this partnership with Nike as we always look to build and improve our student-athlete experience. Our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans will all benefit from this relationship.”

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 The two sides join together at a time when Longwood has been highly successful on the field and court. The Lancer basketball programs claimed Big South titles in 2021-22, and four teams advanced to their conference tournament championship game.Both basketball programs advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the NCAA Division I level, with the Lancer women winning an NCAA First Four game for the team’s first DI postseason win.

This transition will further support our efforts to continue to build our program and brand,” said Longwood men’s basketball coach Griff Aldrich. “This new sponsorship with Nike will assist us in many areas from recruiting to marketing and brand recognition. I look forward to a great partnership with Nike and the positive impacts it can have on Longwood Basketball and Longwood University.”

Courthouse Connector gets funding 

Now, let’s talk about some trails. Cumberland County will be able to start paving the Courthouse Connector Trail soon. That’s because the Virginia Tobacco Commission gave the county $218,000 from its Southern Virginia program. The paving will from from Bear Creek Lake State Park to Cumberland Courthouse.

What’s happening at the hotel? 

We’ve received a couple questions about this in recent days. Not sure when you last drove by the Farmville Days Inn, but it looks slightly different these days. The hotel, located at 2015 S. Main Street, is undergoing a complete renovation. The property’s been sold and the new ownership group is making changes. Renovations are expected to be complete by the spring. 

Cumberland girls soar into playoffs

Shifting gears for a minute, we turn to some some good news for Cumberland High, as the girls varsity basketball team finished their regular season on a roll. The team beat Buckingham 47-31 in the final game, bringing their James River District schedule to a perfect 12-0. Overall, the result was about the same, as they went 18-1 on the season.

Look up for a Green Comet

Finally today, we mention a true once-in-a-lifetime sight. From today until Tuesday, Feb. 14, you’ll have one last chance to see the “Green Comet” as it flies away from Earth. If you look up after sunset, you can find it near Mars in the Taurus constellation. You’ll be able to see a green haze up in the night sky.  

Why is it called the “Green Comet”? Well, that’s because it has a very distinct color. This comet is a bit rare, in that it has diatomic carbon present. That carbon mixes with solar radiation as the comet travels through space, giving it that green look.

Why is this such a big deal? Because unless you plan on living to a very old age, this will be your only chance to see it. The last time the “Green Comet” or Comet ZTF to use its technical name, passed by Earth was 50,000 years ago. That’s not really uncommon for a comet. Made up of ice and dust, they have orbits ranging from 200 to 250,000 years.