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Jobless numbers improving in Halifax County

The jobless rate improved in Halifax County in March as the unemployment rate fell to 9 percent, eight-tenths of a percent lower than the 9.8 percent jobless rate in February, according to the latest Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

Traveling farmer gives farewell salute to military

The Gazette-Virginian’s “traveling farmer” who began his military career 38 years ago in 1973  when he joined the U.S. Air Force at the suggestion of his father finally feels it is time to retire.

Manhattan Piano Trio coming to The Prizery on Friday

“These days the humanity is in a frantic rush to multitask, and in a way many people feel they can not afford to stay still and quietly listen. Well, I am pretty sure, at some point people feel completely exhausted emotionally. That's the right time to go to the concert and feed your soul. Music gives us a chance to feel human, to experience a range of emotions, something that might not be part of our daily life.”   Milana Strezeva  

Kids Kollege plans in the works

Teachers are already working and planning to make the July Kids Kollege program an exciting, stimulating experience for the children.   

Parsons-Bruce Art Association official has engaged some of the best instructors available to work with children ages 4-12 in a variety of areas including art, music, theater, crafts, computers, robotics and science. 

• Kids Kollege theater teacher, Sandy Slayton, has worked both on the stage and behind the scenes.  She directed “Winnie the Pooh” and “Ramona Quimby” for the Halifax County Little Theater.  Slayton has organized and implemented summer theater camps for Little Theater, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and three Sleepover Theater Camps at The Prizery.  She has 28 years of teaching experience on the kindergarten and first grade level.  Slayton will be offering two theater classes this summer through Kids Kollege.

 • Susie Robbins, one of Kids Kollege’s art teachers, has been working in Kids Kollege for approximately 18 years.    She studied art at Longwood University and has been The Prizery Pre K Arts Academy art instructor and lead teacher since the program began in 2005. Robbins is known for her creative ideas and special rapport she has with the students.  Her art class, Christmas in July, will be offered during the second session.

• Robotics, the science of the future, will be taught by Regan Priest.  Priest, the youngest member of the Kids Kollege team, will bring his special computer knowledge and skills to the classroom.  Priest, a Halifax County Middle School robotics instructor, will teach classes on three different levels for three different age groups.

• Wanda Williamson who has worked in the Kids Kollege program for 10 years will teach reading and science classes.  A veteran teacher of 34 years with the Halifax County School System, Williamson is certified to teach developmental reading to children from preschool through 12th grade.  She has a master’s degree in reading and serves as a reading specialist at Cluster Springs Elementary School. She enjoys getting to know the children who attend Kids Kollege and loves being able to teach fun, hands on lessons.

• Desiree Shaffer will teach art and music in Kids Kollege.  Shaffer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in graphic design and illustration.  She painted furniture for the Wind Rose and has done designs for gift wrap, paper ribbon and gift cards. Her clients included such companies as Shamrock, MPR, Lexington Furniture, San Francisco Music Box Company and American Greetings.  She has taught art to home-schooled students for many years and has offered classes at The Prizery for the past two years.  She is proficient in many areas of art; having chosen Around the World in Art, music makers, and drawing to present to Kids Kollege participants this summer. 

• Annette Ferguson is one of the most popular teachers in Kids Kollege.  She has worked with the program since its inception and has developed quite a following of students.    Ferguson has been involved with crafts in a number of local venues including the Holiday Living Show.  Students enjoy her class and always delight in the projects they can take home.  Ferguson, the librarian at Cluster Springs Elementary School, also will be teaching a class for younger students which focuses on books as well as puppets, songs and crafts. 

• Diane Holmes, computer teacher, taught Kids Kollege in the 1990s and has taught computer applications classes for Southside Virginia Community College.  Her expertise was also utilized when she wrote and implemented the technology curriculum for the Halifax County Elementary Gifted and Talented Program. Holmes, a retired teacher in the gifted and talented program, has the capability to turn the ordinary into fun and give students the techniques needed to create imaginative and professional documents.

• Linda Owen, supervisor of elementary education, for Halifax County Public Schools, will be offering a satellite class in the northern part of Halifax County.  She is very excited about the opportunity to offer her CSI class to students along the county line who do not have transportation to participate in the other Kids Kollege classes.  Owen has worked with Kids Kollege before and is enthusiastic about the chance to do this again.  

 Registration for classes will be Saturday, May 19, from 10-12 at The Prizery. Those who wish to register before this date can access or parsonsbruceartassociation 

For additional information, contact Peggy Crews at 572-4778 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Pat Burgess at 476-6210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ward Burton gives back to injured service members

This Friday, Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and Freedom Alliance are set to cohost the American Hero Event in Clover.

American National reports first quarter 2012 earnings

American National Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ:  AMNB), parent company of American National Bank and Trust Company, announced first quarter 2012 net income of $4,175,000 compared to $1,778,000 for the first quarter of 2011, a $2,397,000 or 135 percent increase.  

United Way talent showcase set May 26

United Way of Halifax County will host its first talent showcase fundraiser, “Bright Lights and Hollywood Nights,” at the Halifax County High School auditorium on May 26. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for early birds and the show will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. 

Some enchanted evening for Halifax prom

Several hundred people gathered in front of Halifax County High School Saturday night to watch as students arrive and make their entrance into the school’s annual Junior-Senior Prom. The theme of this year’s prom was “Enchanted Evening.”


Award boosts South Boston business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville is launching its third annual Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards competition. Darden is accepting applications and recommendations from qualifying Virginia businesses at through July 2.

Wall-to-wall art at middle school show

Halifax County Middle School “Spring into Art” show held Thursday had wall-to-wall art for viewers who entered the school’s cafeteria.