'6 ThÂ»BÂ«Â«:DonvUIÂ«.Va., Monday, Morcfi U, 1977 Two Youngsters Enjoy Refreshments During Mental Hospital Open House 2,000 Af Open House An open house at the Southern Virginia Mental Health 'institute Sunday attracted over 2,000 people to the regional mental hospital slated lor opening Thursday in Danville. Dr. Aldo Mell, director of the hew hospital, said he hopes to have a full staff within three months. Only a portion of the 100-bed institute will be opened this week. In addition to Dr. Mell, the hospital has two psychiatrists on board and about 50 other employes. The open house this weekend gave the public a chance to see the $3.1 million building and lo meet some of the new department heads and their staff members. Sponsored by the institute and the Danville-Pittsylvania County Mental Health Association, the open house featured tours of the hospital facilities, chats with staff members, visits with legislators who worked to get state money for the construction and operation of the institute and outdoor fun in the sun for the young'uns. T h e l o c a l m e n t a l h e a l t h association was assisted in preparation for the open house by the Wednesday Club, Junior Wed- nesday Club, three Business and Professional Women's Clubs in Danville and the Danville Business Women's Club. Greeting visitors at the door were Dr. Mell, G. Warren Chukinas, Danville area member of the State Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; Dr. B. R. Ashby; Delegates Calvin Fowler and Frank Slayton; State Sen. Coleman B. Yeatts; Dr. Leo E. Kirven, acting commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and Allen Wolfe, assistant commissioner. Bedford Site Proposed For Regional Airport Regional Commuter Service Airline Plan Offered D a n v i l l e C h a m b e r o f Commerce's Transportation Committee heard a presentation from Sunbelt Airlines last week on providing air commuter service f r o m Danville to other cities throughout the Southeast. Joseph Aron, representing Sunbelt Airlines, introduced a plan whereby his company would provide flight service from Danville's Municipal Airport to Greensboro, N. C., R a l e i g h - D u r h a m , N. C.,. Washington, D. C., 1 Myrtle Beach, S.- C. and other major near-by air facilities. The company would fly 19- passenger Swearingen Metro Aircraft which can travel up to 300 miles per hour. Baggage service would be included, but no drinks, meals or connection service to major airlines would be provided, Aron said. He said Danville qualified as a likely prospect for commuter. service because it is located one hour away: from.. the nearest, 'major ;airport,. and there are^ a= number, of industries here dependent on air travel. Victor White, city engineer and a member of the committee, noted the presentation was of an exploratory nature and Aron was referred lo the Band Boosters For GW Expect To Reach Goal The George Washington High .School Band Boosters announced this morning they expert to have reached their $7,000 fund-raising goal when all the pledged contributions are collected this week. "We were extremely pleased with the response of Danville citizens, both individual and corporate, and we are pleased to announce we have reached our goal due - to t h e i r cooperation," said band booster Robert W. Thompson. Thompson noted there still Hearings Scheduled On Tax Complaints ."Hearings for taxpayers' ''complaints about real estate reassessments will be March 29, 30 and 31, with times set aside on the latter two days for taxpayers to call in questions to the office at 799-5120. Attorney Herman G. Koplen, chairman of Danville's Real Estale Board of Review, said hearings were extended from the usual one or two half-day hearings because all city property has been reassessed at 100 per cent of fair market value for 1977. The last two hearing sessions will begin in the morning so they can continue into the afternoon if necessary, he noted. But Koplen emphasized, "The tax rate is determined only by the City Council." The review board's function is to determine whether or not property was appraised at fair , market value and can make upwards or downwards adjustments. He also noted, "Taxpayers 65 years of age or older who desire relief and meet the necessary r e q u i r e m e n t s should see the City Real Estate Assessment Office and not appear before the board." are some monies verbally pledged but hot -received yet from civic organizations, businesses and individuals. But he said he hoped to know the total amount received by the end of the week. The money will help send the 120-merriber GW band to Bradenton, Fla. next week to participate in the Hernando DeSoto Band Festival. Cost of the five-day trip is estimated at $11,000. Thompson, who headed the fund-raising project, said, "I want to thank the people and businesses for their great support and remind them the band is planning a citizen's appreciation day." The band is giving a special p e r f o r m a n c e f o r l o c a l residents on the GW field Sunday at 2:30. The free program will include selections the band will perform in n a t i o n a l c o m p e t i t i o n i n Florida. Thompson also thanked the news media for their support. Although it appears the goal 'will be reached, he noted contributions still were being accepted. Chamber Board of Directors. "We were looking at it from the business end," he said. "It would almost-have to have Chamber backing ^to be successful." ; -'" W h i t e n o t e d ' F e d e r a l A v i a t i o n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n records show commuter service in the Southeast practically is non-existant. Aron pointed out that industries are trying to locate in smaller areas, but access is an important factor they must consider. He said Eastern Airlines has agreed to provide service for area passengers if Sunbelt could get them to Charlotte or Greensboro. v 'Â· Aron told the local com. mittee his company -would have to have an initial capital investment of about $300,000 from private investors and were figuring on operating at a loss of about $32,000 the first year. He also said he expected commuter service to be federally subsidized within two to three years. The Blue .Ridge Air Transportation System (BRATS) steering committee decided during a recent meeting in Roanoke to recommend a site near the intersection of Rt. 24 and 122 to Bedford County for construction of a regional airport. Jerry Speece, chief of physical planning for West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC), said there still is a lengthy procedure ahead before the site selection is finalized. Alternate Plans The Bedford County site was chosen from five alternate plans and from three sites suggested In the preferred plan. The project consultant was asked to "develop a full range of information about this particular sile," Speece said. He noted the consultant's report would go back to the steering committee which would send it on to the four planning districts involved. The consultant expects to Â· finish his work in about four weeks. But Speece said the review and comment process by the various jurisdictions within the planning districts could take more than a year. "We're a long way from getting a regional airport," he continued. Speece estimated it would take five to eight years to complete, even without any opposition. However, he noted, "People in Bedford County have spoken out quite loudly that they do not want an airport in their area." One of the other sites considered also was in Bedford County and the third was in Franklin County near Burnt Chimney. Several other municipalities, that could participate in the regional airport project, including Danville and Martinsville, have been less than enthusiastic, Speece said. 'Not Prow' "The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is not prone to want to invest money in an area where it is not wanted," be continued. "The ideal situation, as I understand it, would be for all of the various jurisdictions- Roanoke, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Danville and that general portion of Virginia-to participate in the operation of a centralized facility," Speece explained. AJong with the WPPDC, regional commissions from the Fifth Planning District, Central Virginia Planning District and New River Planning District are involved. Speece said financial support and management of the airport probably would be based on population, usage and other factors. "It is expected the people in Danville and Martinsville will continue to use the Greensboro airport faculties for practical reasons as long as Greensboro can continue to provide services," Speece noted. Roanoke residents aho want assurance air carrier servke at Woodrum Field will be continued, he said. With the centralized concept proposed by the FAA, tocal passenger services could be discontinued and air fields maintained only as general facilities. City/Ski te Danville, Va., Monday Afternoon, tyarch 14,1977 Robb Wants To Run 'Positive Campaign 1 COLLINSV1LLE (AP) -Charles S. Robb says "for as long as possible I want to continue to run a positive campaign, just talking about some of the things 1 can do for Virginia," in his bid to become the state's next 'lieutenant governor. "I want to discuss the leadership I think I can provide," Robb said Saturday as he denied charges he is relying on out-of-state campaign money. The accusation had been made Friday by supporters of R. S. Reynolds 111 of Richmond, one of two members of the House of Delegates running a g a i n s t R o b b f o r t h e Democratic nomination. The other is Ira Lechner of Arlington. Reynolds has called Robb, a son : in-law of the late President Lyndon Johnson, an "instant Virginian." Reynolds also has talked of Robb not being a longtime Virginian and of Robb's connections with the Johnsons and with national political and social leaders. Four of Reynolds' backers told a Friday news conference in Richmond that Robb'was relying on out-of-state financial support to buy the office of lieutenant governor. They cited a recent fundraising dinner at the Robbs' McLean home that was attended by Joan Kennedy, the Averill Harrimans and other prominent Washington figures. While campaigning here, Robb said the accusation was "so preposterous that I don't even think it deserves the dignity of a reply." Five Felony Trials, Show Cause Hearing Slated Today In Chatham CHATHAM -- Five felony trials are slated today in the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court along with a show cause hearing for Jan Kaye Holmes, convicted June 30, 1976, of prostitution. _ Ms. Holmes had appealed her conviction,' 12-month jail sentence, with six months suspended on the condition of five years good behavior, and $1,000 fine to the Virginia Supreme Court. During the appea! process, she was free on a S1.500 cash bond. The State Supreme Court has refused Ms. Holmes' appeal. In the circuit court, the'de- fendant is slated to appear and show cause why bail should not be revoked. Ms. Holmes, 22, of Westover Trailer Court, was one of. five persons arrested Feb. 19 when the Virginia State Police raided two suspected bawdyhouses in Pittsylvania County. She was arrested at Rt. 58 Truck Stop. Harry Robert Hammack, 20, of Asheboro, N.C., is slated for trial this morning on statutory burglary and grand larceny charges. He is charged with burglary Wesley Bowens Goes On Trial In Robbery Of Winslow St. Man Wesley Lemont Bowens went on trial on a charge of robbery this morning before a Danville Circuit Court jury, with Judge James Ingram presiding. Bowens was accused of being one of three persons who accosted James Jones, 61, of 234 Winslow St., about 9 p.m. Feb. 12 in the vicinity of an alley off Mabin St., where Jones was robbed, of the contents of his pockets--his wallet and coin purse containing about S8, papers and keys. The opening statement for the commonwealth advised the jury to expect the retired robbery victim to testify that a cloth or coat had been thrown over his head, but that it had slipped, enabling him to see and recognize two of his assailants. According to the victim's account, B o w e n s -- e a s i l y recognized in the light from a near-by store--was the person who removed the contents of his pockets while he was lying on the ground, before the trio fled. The opening statement by defense attorney French Conway advised the jury to expect testimony that Jones was mistaken in his identification. "This boy was not there," Conway said, adding that the d e f e n d a n t "has a f i n e reputation." A c c o r d i n g t o d e f e n s e counsel, testimony would show that Bowens was with several companions at another place at the time of the robbery. They were together on a porch in the neighborhood, he said, when Jones came by in a police patrol car during the search for the persons who had committed the robbery. of Annie Lee and William R. Jones' trailer on June 11, 1976, and the theft of $620 in properties. Another burglary and lar- ,ceny trial is scheduled in the case of Robert Frank Kitchen, 29, of 401 Girard St. in Danville, charged with the Nov. 8 break- in' at Melvin Overstreet's apartment and theft amounting to $1,760. The third burglary and larceny trial today is on charges lodged against John Lee Petty, 17, of Keeling Rt. 1. Petty is charged with a Dec. 19, 1976, break-in and larceny of Collie Swanson's property. The malicious shooting trial of Lewis Waller, 73, of Dry Fork Rt. 1, was set today. Waller is charged in the Nov. 6, 1976, shooting of Thomas Lee Â·Waller. Norman Lee Warner, 31, of Danville Rt. 4, is to be tried on a charge of secreting mortgaged property. In circuit court activity Friday, Judge W. Carrington' Thompson convicted three persons of felony charges. Sentencing is slated April 19 for Donald Wayne Nichols, convicted of manufacturing alcholic beverages on April 29, 1976, and George Washington Wilson, found guilty of operating a motor vehicle after being declared an habitual offender. Judge Thompson also found James Henry Gilbert, 16, of Gretna Rt. 2, guilty of a felony charge. The youth was charged Jan. 9 with breaking and entering the Peoples Mutual Telephone Company building in Gretna. Thompson handed Gilbert 20 years in the state penitentiary, suspended on the condition that the defendant serve 12 months in jail, five years on probation and 20 years on good behavior. The court also convicted Gilbert of petit larceny and sentended him to six months in jail on that count. The youth was charged with a $2.94 theft from the telephone company on the same day. Electoral Officials Sworn In CHATHAM--C. Preston McElheney, W. Carlton White and Dexter E. Amos were sworn in today for new three- year terms as members of the Pittsylvania County Electoral Board. In reorganization of the board, White, a Chatham at- t o r n e y , was re-elected secretary. McElheniy, ending his first term, was elected chairman of . the unit which supervises county elections. Truckers Near ing Deadline On Licenses Truckers in Virginia and North Carolina are nearing the end of their line...their licensing deadline, that is. Apportioned license plates have been required since Jan. 1 in both stales but a grace period was granted through March 31. As the deadline nears, David Davis, manager of the Danville Division of Motor Vehicles, says (he truckers are rolling in to apply for plates. "Trucks without plates are being issued warnings during this grace period," noted Davis, "but they have to have plates by the end of March." The apportioned plates are required on all vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 26,000 pounds, on vehicles with three or more axles regardless of weight and on those used in combination when the gross weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds. Davis noles an example of such a combination would be a truck pulling a flatbed trailer. A combination, he says, consists of two units, both of which are capable of carrying goods or merchandise. The apportioned plates are so called because the fees are based on the vehicles' weights and the proportions of their mileages recorded last year in the states included in the compact. Through this compact, a trucker can go to the Danville DMV office and pay his fees for operating in 19 states and the Canadian province of Alberta. Previously, fees were paid through contacts in each state. Davis notes that the plan is to get as many states as possible in the compact. Virginia joined in 1975, and North Carolina became a member state on Jan. 1 of Ihis year. "The biggest change this year is the effect of North Carolina joining the compact," says Davis. "We are so close to the N. C. line that a lot of our truckers operate In North Carolina. We just now are picking up the business in N.C." Davis points out that 26,000 pounds, the point at which trucks come under Ihis licensing law, is not a large amount. "People think of trucks as coast-lo-coast tractor-trailers, but these trucks can be much smaller than that," he says. Vehicies excluded from this licensing law are recreational vehicles, liiose displaying restricted plates, buses used for chartered parties and government owned vehicles. The fees vary considerably from around $100 upward depending on the weight of the truck, the number of states in which it travels, iis private or "for hire" status and the percentage of miles it travelled in the different states from Sept. 1,1975, through Aug. 31,1976. In Virginia, the fees run from S3.80 per thousand pounds for a private truck weighing 26,000 pounds to S3 per thousand for a private truck with a gross weight exceeding 55,000 pounds. To that total, S10 is added so that the minimum for a trucker running only in Virginia would be $108.80. License fees on trucks for hire in Virginia alone range from $6.10 per thousand pounds at 26,000 pounds to $12 over 55,000 pounds. A truck in the top category would carry a fee of S740 on 60,000 pounds. Davis notes that through the registration plan fees owed to other member states are mailed by the licensing state to the appropriate authorities for the trucker's convenience. MAR* U l R G I N I f t * 78 . APPORTIONED .
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