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WATCH NOW: United Way, Harvest programs for child care, food continuing
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WATCH NOW: United Way, Harvest programs for child care, food continuing


United Way Executive Director Philip Wenkstern updated the Martinsville City Council on Tuesday night about his organizations efforts to meet the needs of the community during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the money from The Harvest Foundation is still available to provide a childcare subsidy of $50 per week for anyone at 300% of the poverty level or below. Applications are still available at

“To date we have 165 children enrolled in subsidies,” Wenkstern said. “We’re still enrolling.”

The emergency feeding program seeded with Harvest Foundation funds continues to operate out of the Henry County Food Pantry in Bassett.

“We disburse food every Monday from 9 a.m. until noon,” Wenkstern said. “As of August, nearly 2,000 boxes of food had been distributed.”

Despite the pandemic, the local United Way has begun it’s annual campaign to raise money that fund over 20 local organizations.

“In the midst of all of this, it looks very different this year,” Wenkstern said. “We’ve set a conservative goal of $500,000.

Wenkstern said 99 cents of every dollar raised is used locally.

Courthouse security

In July, the General Assembly authorized localities to increase the courthouse security fee from $10 to $20. The fee is levied on anyone convicted of criminal or traffic offenses and helps fund courthouse security.

“This offsets the cost of the bailiffs,” City Attorney Eric Monday said. “It was $5 and then increased to $10 in 2007, but there hasn’t been an increase since that time.”

City Council unanimously approved the increase. Henry County already had approved the increase.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassidy told council that prescription and non-prescription over-the counter drugs will be accepted for disposal on Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., in front of the Martinsville Fire Station in Uptown Martinsville.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


Rives Coleman and Marti Gardner were appointed to represent the city of Martinsville on the Blue Ridge Regional Library Board of Trustees.

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 236. Follow him @billdwyatt

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Jim Adams, Debra Buchanan re-elected as chair, vice chair.

Blackberry District Supervisor Jim Adams and Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan will lead the Henry County Board of Supervisors in 2021.

Adams was elected Chairman and Buchanan was elected Vice-Chairperson today at the Board's annual Organizational Meeting. They were unanimously selected to serve the one-year terms.

In making Jim Adams' nomination for Chairman, Iriswood District Supervisor Dr. David Martin said he was doing so based on Mr. Adams' "Leadership, Integrity, and communicative skills."

Adams previously served as Chairman for the past five years. He also held the position in 2008, 2012, and 2013. 

"It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Henry County, and even with the pandemic still looming, I am optimistic about the upcoming year," Adams said. "I am humbled by the remarks of Dr. Martin, and proud to be a part of a Board that serves with a glad heart and the utmost integrity."

Buchanan has previously served four years as Chairperson in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  She has previously served as Vice-Chairperson from 2002 to 2006 and 2017 to the present.

 Adams has been the Blackberry District representative on the Board since 2002. Buchanan has been the Horsepasture District representative on the Board since 1996. 

The Board of Supervisors also established its meeting dates for 2021. The Board will meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month, with the exception of the December meeting. That meeting is set for December 21 to avoid conflicts with the holidays.

The Board also approved its 2021 Bylaws.

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