News Briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 1: We’ve got some school delays

Published 5:30 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

FARMVILLE – As rain falls (and in some cases, a bit of ice) across the region this morning, we’ve got a few school delays and one cancellation to report. First off, let’s talk about school delays. All schools in Prince Edward County, Cumberland County and Buckingham County are on a two-hour delay this morning. Staff in all three districts said that was a precaution, due to concerns about ice forming on the roads. Fuqua School is also operating on a two-hour delay this morning. 

We also received a note about an event being postponed. This coming weekend, New Store Baptist Church in Buckingham County was scheduled to have a Community Valentine’s Day Brunch. Due to the potential for bad weather, event organizers are postponing it for later this month. We’ll let you know as soon as we get an update in. 

Hampden-Sydney moves on up

 Now let’s talk about some local sports. In case you haven’t been following the team, Hampden-Sydney’s men’s basketball team is having a great season. Already nationally ranked, they moved up the list this week to take the #18 spot in the Division 3 Top 25. To put this in perspective, it’s the highest ranking for the Tigers since the 2013-14 season. 

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The team itself is riding a seven-game winning streak and stands 16-4 on the season, 10-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The 16 wins are another record, the most under fourth-year head coach Caleb Kimbrough since he took over prior to the 2019-20 season. It’s also the team’s highest win total since 2015, when they finished with 17 wins. Hampden-Sydney gets a chance to improve their record tonight, as they go on the road to face Virginia Wesleyan University. VWU stands at 13-6 on the year, 5-6 in ODAC play. The game tonight tips off in Virginia Beach at 7 p.m. and we’ll have results on the site, as well as in tomorrow’s newsletter. 

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. 

An old folk tale? Or fact?

As rain poured down overnight in Prince Edward County, you could clearly hear thunder, which several people pointed out to The Herald. That brings an old folk tale into play. You may have heard it said that if it thunders in winter, then you’ll see snow within 10 days. Is that true? According to the National Weather Service, it’s true about 70% of the time.

The group’s Blacksburg office pointed us to their website, which says “thunder in winter is an anomaly often caused by a big dip and a big rise in the jet stream (a powerful wind current that acts like railroad tracks, guiding high and low pressure systems from west to east across North America and separating cold air in the north from warm air in the south).”
As cold air moves south, it replaces warm air and lifts it up, often causing thunderstorms. The cold air behind the front settles in. Depending on the strength of the front, it may hang around for many days. When the next weather system arrives several—if not exactly 7—days later, temperatures may still be cold enough to cause the moisture in the system to fall as snow. And in case you’re wondering, there is a chance of some winter weather next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, right within the 10-day window.

Look up for a Green Comet

Finally today, we mention a true once-in-a-lifetime sight. Tonight and tomorrow, the “Green Comet” will make its closest pass to the Earth. So close, NASA scientists say, you’ll be able to walk outside and see it without a telescope. If you have a telescope, it’s technically visible now, by looking up in the constellation Draco. But on Wednesday and Thursday, you’ll be able to head out after dark, look toward the northern sky and see a green haze as the comet passes by. 

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.