Local News

  • Family upset over SCC scholarship


    Fran Blandford was a student at St. Catharine College when she was killed in a car crash in March of 2000. Following her death, her parents, Albert and Mary Jane Blandford, established a scholarship fund in her memory. They also created the Fran Blandford Memorial Garden on the college campus and maintained that garden over the years since.

  • Local officials say closure will negatively impact economy

     With Saint Catharine College closing its doors at the end of July, county and city officials are looking at the repercussions down the line. 

    According to Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles, the immediate damage will hurt.

    “Last year, their portion that they paid to the county in occupational tax was $42,242.50,” Settles said. 

  • Distinguished Young Women program is Saturday

    Fourteen rising seniors at Washington County High School will be competing Saturday for the chance to be Washington County’s next Distinguished Young Woman.

    This year’s program will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the old WCHS gym, but for the entire group, preparation for the event began months ago.

    And some have even been working to attain the Distinguished Young Woman title since they were young girls, according to Lauren Riney, one of the program’s chairpersons.

  • Schools moving forward with tax

    The clock is ticking for those who want to put a stop to the recallable nickel – that’s because Washington County School Board members voted 3-1 to move forward with the tax after a public hearing last week.  


    With board member Julita Nance-Leachman absent from the June 2 meeting, several board members took time to explain the reason behind their votes.


    Jeremy Thompson was the lone dissenter.

  • St. Catharine College to close July 31

    When Saint Catharine College closes its doors signaling the end of summer classes, they will not be reopened in the fall.

    The school has announced it will be closing permanently on July 31, which will put a quiet end to the college’s 85 years of providing education to the tri-county area.

    John Turner, chairman of the board for SCC, and school president Dr. Cindy Gnadinger said the decision to close the Roman Catholic liberal arts college wasn’t one that was taken lightly.

    “It was a long meeting; it was a difficult meeting,” Gnadinger said.

  • Esper shares her story as a cancer survivor

    Jean Esper, 71, has been a cancer survivor for more than a decade. And while she’s been through a lot, she still remains positive to this day.

    “I have been very blessed with how everything’s turned out other than my having to live with the complications from my scarring tissue,” Esper said. 

    Sixteen years ago, Esper was working for the United States Postal Service as an auditor when she began to feel ill.

  • Celebrating history

    A very special birthday is coming up, and a big party is being planned.

    The 1816 Courthouse will celebrate its 200th birthday on July 1, the same day an Independence Day celebration is planned.

    “We’re having a birthday party that day,” Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said. “This building that we’re in is 200 years old this year.”

  • WCSD accepts bid for renovation

    The Washington County Board of Education received a new bid for the renovation of the old high school and it came in a lot lower because of their decision to sit tight and rebid the project out. 

    American Roofing won the project with a base bid of $1.2 million plus the cost of alternate projects. In total, the project will be $2.1 million.

    “The other bidder was $200,000 higher,” board treasurer Judy Spalding said. 

  • An in-depth look at the nickel tax

    The future of Washington County Schools will be decided during a public hearing at Washington County High School tomorrow. That’s because a public hearing regarding the adoption of a recallable nickel tax will be held there on June 2 at 5:30 p.m.

    According to Washington County Schools Superintendent Robin Cochran, the decision to look at the tax has been around for a while. 

    “The discussions have been ongoing for a couple of years now,” Cochran said.

  • Mt. Zion Covered Bridge under construction

    The Mt. Zion Covered Bridge – the longest covered bridge in the state – is getting a facelift. 

    According to Hamilton Simms of the Washington County Covered Bridge Authority, the bridge is now under construction, and the project, which will take at least 500 days, is the first of its kind since 1982.

    Simms said the contractor, Arnold Graton, of Arnold M. Graton Associates, Inc., from New Hampshire, will do the work.