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Supervisors to honor memory of law officer

Halifax County Supervisors are expected to honor the memory of veteran law enforcement officer Steve M. Cassada tonight when they hold their regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

Cassada passed away unexpectedly Jan. 5 while dining with family and friends at a restaurant in Altavista.

The lifelong Sinai community resident was 59.

Supervisors will present his wife, Vicky, and other family members with a resolution following approval tonight.

Cassada was dining out with his wife and other family members when he lost consciousness while eating, according to Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark.

He had served as a lieutenant and was a vital component of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office where he had served in various positions during his 34 years on the job.

Cassada served under six sheriffs including Sheriffs Jim Miller, Woody Bane, Eugene Shortt, Jeff Oakes, Stanley Noblin and Fred Clark.

Cassada had served in positions of lieutenant, major and captain and was the evidence custodian for the sheriff’s office at the time of his sudden death. In addition, he was the public relations officer and served as a liaison for the department with the various news organizations.

Also during tonight’s meeting, County Administrator Jim Halasz is expected to recommend the board approve submission of a $12,500 Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant application and match it with $6,250 in cash and a like amount of in-kind match.

The county ag development committee has been evaluating opportunities to enhance economic benefits of the agricultural sector in the county, and the committee’s top priority has been to explore development of a small scale animal processing center here.

According to Halasz, the facility would be a USDA inspected business that would permit local and regional beef, lamb, goat and swine producers to have animals processed and brought to a market locally and in the mid-Atlantic region.

“The benefits of such a facility include avoiding transportation costs and losses for local producers, more stable market prices for local producers, higher quality and healthier meats for local consumers and job creation among producers and at the processing facility,” he added.

“With the large and growing number of animal producers in Halifax County, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this developing market,” Halasz said.

According to the county administrator, Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services staff has reviewed the work of the ag development committee and Ag Development Director Leah Brown and believes the proposed project is “an excellent match” for Halifax County and Southside Virginia under the grant purpose and guidelines.

The budget for the program would be $25,000 with $12,500 of the funding coming from the grant and the other from a $6,250 cash commitment and the rest from in-kind matches, Halasz explained.

Other items slated for discussion during tonight’s meeting include the following:

Request to lower the speed limit on Logan Road;

 Confirmation of committee assignments for 2013;

 Update on Republican Grove voting precinct;

 Appointments to vacancies on the Southside Regional Group Home Commission, Transportation Safety Commission and Improvement Council; and

 Appointments to term expirations on Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, Improvement Council, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Recreation Commission, Southside Planning District Commission and Southside Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.

At the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting, supervisors are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters, the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal council and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.