News Journal

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 • USPS 387-780 • • 75 cents Blacksburg quilters plan show of support for NRV Members of the Quilt- ing Party quilt guild in Blacksburg are sponsor- ing “A Day for Quilts” on Tuesday, June 2, to show their support for all essential workers as well as those complying with stay-at-home recommen- dations. “We want to celebrate everybody,” said Paula Golden, president of the guild. The idea is for quilt makers and quilt owners throughout the New Riv- er Valley to display their quilts in a front window, over a porch rail or on a line strung between two trees on June 2. “We want to honor all essential workers,” said Golden. “Medical work- ers, trash collectors, gro- cery store workers, and those staying at home, including teachers and parents who are trying to help children learn.” Quilting Party usu- ally sponsors an auction, their major fundraiser, and a pot luck in June, so the display project is a departure for them. “We like to touch and create” with textiles, Golden said of the guild members. But in the era of social isolation, they have redirected their energy. “We are doing something for the com- munity,” she said. With nearly 50 mem- bers, Quilting Party is in- viting quilters from oth- er local quilting guilds to join them. Both Radford and Floyd have their own guilds. Some people who don’t quilt may own family heirloom quilts or quilts found at auctions, and they are welcome to participate. Quilt owners who Pat Brown Contributing writer NRV health task force to host COVID-19 virtual town hall today The New River Valley Public Health Task Force will host an interactive virtual town hall on CO- VID-19 and its impact on local and small businesses today, Wednesday, May 27, from 6 to 7 p.m. All area residents are invited to participate. This is the fourth in a six-week series of town halls. Each has a specific focus and features a panel of local experts who will offer remarks and answer questions. This week’s panel includes represen- tatives from Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., the Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski County chambers of commerce, Giles Coun- ty Tourism, the Radford Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center. The last two town halls will be held on June 3 and June 10 from 6-7 p.m. The topic on June 3 is Education/K-12 with a panel from the public schools of Radford, Floyd County, Giles County, Montgomery County and Pulaski County. The topic on June 10 is Education/ Colleges and Universities with a panel from New River Community Col- lege, Radford University and Virginia Tech. The public may submit questions for the panelists at any time, in writing at townhall; by recording questions by voicemail at 540-391-0385; and on Twitter with the hashtag #NRVStrongerTogether. Written questions can be submitted during each town hall (at http://mont- ), and will be addressed as time allows. The town halls stream live at com/montgomeryva, and are archived on YouTube, agency websites and so- cial media, and rebroad- cast on local cable access stations including Com- cast and Shentel Channel 190 (Christiansburg and Montgomery County) and Comcast Channel 2 (Blacksburg). The New River Val- ley Public Health Task Force is composed of lo- cal health, public safety, education and govern- ment agencies that work to provide local residents and communities with information about CO- VID-19, to coordinate efforts to reduce its local impact and to facilitate community recovery. For more information, visit coronavirus and www.vdh., or call the New River Health District public health call center at 540-267-8240. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon and Sun- day, noon to 4 p.m. After hours, leave a message. See Quilters , page 5 RADFORD - The New River spilled over its banks Thursday, putting Bis- set and Riverview parks, the community garden, Sparky’s Run dog park and low-lying areas of the city under water. According to the Na- tional Oceanic and Atmo- spheric Administration ( the highest wa- ter level of the event was 21.71 feet, which occurred at 3 a.m. on Friday, May 22, and held until 4:30 a.m. It was the sixth high- est crest recorded for the New River. The highest was 36.96 feet in 1940, fol- lowed by: 24.1feet in 1977, 24.04 feet in 1995, 23.83 feet in 2018 and 21.73 in 1989. The flow rate of the river at the high crest time last Friday was 93,000 cubic feet per second. Gardeners at the Rad- ford Community Gar- den surveyed the damage Friday morning, noting many of their plantings Flooding puts Radford parks, community garden under water See Flooding , page 2 PHOTO BY SAVERIO TRUGLIA Third Coast Percussion will perform a new work online Friday. Moss Arts Center to present Grammy winner Third Coast Percussion Join Grammy Award-winning quartet Third Coast Percussion as it performs a new work created by four-time Oscar nominee and renowned film composer Danny Elfman. The Moss Arts Center presents a livestream performance of Elfman’s new work, “Percussion Quartet,” along with exclusive, never-before-seen interview foot- age with the composer, and a live question-and-answer session with the members of Third Coast Per- cussion. The free online event, “Digital Third Coast Percussion: Danny Elf- man,” goes live at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 29, and can be accessed on the Moss Arts Center website. Third Coast Percussion, an art- ist-run quartet of professionally trained percussionists, will perform “Percussion Quartet” live. A benefit of its decision to shelter as an en- semble since March, Third Coast will perform together in its state-of- the-art performance studio. Composed specifically for the ensemble, Third Coast premiered “Percussion Quartet” in October 2019 at Philip Glass’s Days and Nights Festival. This virtuosic and elegant piece is the latest work from Elfman, one of the world’s most versatile and accomplished film composers. The livestream event also includes the premiere of ex- clusive interview footage with the composer. Elfman has scored more than 100 films over the course of his 30-year career, beginning with Tim Burton’s “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” He has received Oscar nominations for his scores for the films “Milk,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Big Fish,” and “Men in Black.” In addition to his film work, Elfman wrote the iconic theme music for the television series “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives.” Members of Third Coast Per- cussion will be available for a live question-and-answer session, tak- ing questions submitted electroni- cally from viewers. A direct connec- tion with the audience is at the core of all of Third Coast Percussion’s work, whether the musicians are speaking about a new piece of mu- sic or inviting the audience to play along in a concert or educational performance. “It’s exciting to join such wildly See Third Coast , page 5 PHOTO BY HEATHER BELL If all goes as planned, families will be able to watch their graduating seniors receive their diplomas in person, but Bobcat Stadium will be divided by family to ensure social distancing. It will not have the close proximity of people seen in this 2012 photo of that year’s graduation audience. RHS graduation in Bobcat Stadium tentatively set for June 26 RADFORD - If all goes as planned, the Radford High School Class of 2020 will be getting a fairly traditional graduation cer- emony, tentatively set for June 26 at Bobcat Stadium. Radford City Public Schools Superintendent Robert Graham said Tuesday the plan for the cer- emony is set, provided Gov. Ralph Northam allows Virginia to pro- ceed with phase two “re-opening” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “As of right now we are on for June 26, but this is all contingent on the governor re-opening the state for phase two,” Graham said Tuesday morning. Graham said the relatively small size of Radford’s graduating classes will allow the school to maintain See Graduation , page 2 Heather Bell Sparky’s Run Dog Park is under water in this Friday photograph and will need significant clean-up before it can re-open. PHOTOS BY ETHAN BELL Water is high under the railroad trestle spanning the New River in this Friday photograph. It was the sixth highest crest recorded for the New River at Radford.