Decision marks culmination of delegation’s fight against attempts to derail construction in Blackstone, Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, along with Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Representatives Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, Gerry Connolly, Robert Hurt, Dave Brat, Don Beyer and Scott Rigell released the following statement welcoming the groundbreaking of a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC) at Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Virginia.

“After years of unnecessary delays and hurdles, the brave men and women who serve in our embassies around the world – many of whom call Virginia home – will finally have a dedicated facility to receive the best possible security training before they embark on assignments in high threat countries across the globe. We are especially proud that such an important facility will be located in Virginia. As four different federal agency evaluations and an independent cost-benefit analysis made clear, only Fort Pickett meets every requirement for a consolidated Foreign Affairs Security Training Center making it by far the best site – both from a strategic and cost perspective. We are pleased that groundbreaking is finally underway in Nottoway County.”

For months, members of the Virginia delegation have fought back against attempts to derail the construction of a FASTC at Fort Pickett. According to an independent cost-benefit-analysis released in December and a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last September, Fort Pickett is the only site that meets four requirements deemed critical in the selection of a diplomatic security training center, including: 1) consolidation of training venues; 2) proximity to Washington, D.C.; 3) exclusive use of the facility for State Department diplomatic security training; 4) use of the facility 24 hours/7 days a week to allow for nighttime training missions. In addition to meeting these four critical training criteria, the independent analysis found Fort Pickett to be the lowest-risk, most cost-efficient option - by approximately $90 million - when compared to the next closest alternative.

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Obituary-Jerry Mattox

Jerry Mattox, 67, of Drewryville, passed away Wednesday, February 3, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Kim Mattox; son, Ashton Mattox and wife, Theresa; four grandchildren, Austin Lee Mattox, Braelyn Mattox, Cameron Mattox and Grayson Mattox; a sister, Becky Ferrell and a brother, Stan Mattox. A graveside funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Drewryville Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Thomas Memorial Baptist Church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Drewryville Volunteer Fire Department or Thomas Memorial Baptist Church or to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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Obituary-Agnes Conwell Holloway

Agnes Conwell Holloway, 86, of Jarratt, passed away at home on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton W. Holloway, Sr.; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morton Lee Conwell and a brother, M. L. Conwell.

She was a longtime member of Concord United Methodist Church and an educator in the Sussex County Public School System for 31 years.

Mrs. Holloway is survived by a daughter, Cindy Holloway Strickland and husband, Peter of Angier, NC; a son, Clinton W. Holloway, Jr. and wife, Beth of Jarratt; three grandsons, Clay Holloway and wife, Amory, Adam Holloway and wife, Stephanie and David Holloway and wife, Morgan; one granddaughter, Sadie Strickland; three great grandchildren, Claire, Braxton and Belle; two sisters, Florence C. Atkins and Edith C. Carraway and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 5 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, February 6 at Concord United Methodist Church with interment to follow in the church cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sappony Ruritan Club Scholarship Fund c/o Robert Douglas Poarch, 10305 Reed Rd, Stony Creek, Virginia 23882, or to Concord United Methodist Church, c/o of Alice Spiers, 25713 Courthouse Rd, Stony Creek, Virginia 23882.

Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com

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Lawmakers Honor Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer

By James Miessler, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – After a successful career at Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer won’t be forgotten any time soon. On Thursday, both houses of the General Assembly honored the recently retired football coach with a center-aisle ceremony.

Legislators presented Beamer with a resolution to express their “admiration for his achievements and best wishes on a happy retirement.”

“We’re here today to honor one of the greatest football coaches in all America on his retirement,” said Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, whose district includes the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.

With the former coach and his wife Cheryl standing by, Edwards delivered a speech praising Beamer.

“He is one of the most successful and respected college football coaches in the entire country,” Edwards said. “He coaches the way that he is as a person – with character and decency – which is part of the reason for his remarkable success.”

Edwards shared the accolades that comprise Beamer’s illustrious career at Virginia Tech.

“At Virginia Tech, he’s had 23 consecutive winning seasons and Bowl game appearances and a national championship football game appearance,” Edwards said. “The team’s very first season with the ACC in 2004, the Hokies won the ACC title and an appearance in a Bowl championship series game, and Frank Beamer was named the ACC Coach of the Year. Altogether, the Hokies have won four ACC championships since 2004.”

Beamer was well known for getting all of his players involved in scoring. This style of play was successful enough to garner its own nickname.

“Coach Beamer pioneered an aggressive style of special-teams play that has come known far and wide as ‘Beamer Ball,’ ” Edwards said.

But Beamer didn’t just see success on the field. Throughout the years, he saw many of his players earn their degrees.

“Of particular pride to Frank Beamer and to Virginia Tech is that over 94 percent of his senior football players from 2001 to 2014 earned their college degrees,” Edwards said.

Edwards drove home Beamer’s impact on college football at the end of the speech: “Frank Beamer has finished his career as the winningest active football coach in all of the NCAA.”

Lawmakers presented Beamer with House Joint Resolution 75, which they had passed last month. The primary sponsors of the resolution were Republican Dels. Joseph Yost of Pearisburg, Greg Habeeb of Salem and Nick Rush of Christiansburg.

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