The Seniors of Knightly News

By Rachel Epperly and Cameron Hildebrand

As May 1st came this year seniors all over the nation paid their deposits and took a step closer to their future. May 1st is considered National Decision Day because most colleges make incoming students commit or pay their deposits on or by this date.

As this year comes to an end we have many seniors that will be graduating from Knightly News. Many of these seniors are planning to further their education at two or four year schools. Here are the following seniors that have been a part of Knightly News, where each of them will be attending, and some other information as well.

Tessa Jones plans to attend Roanoke College in the fall. Here she will study physical therapy.

Erin Walker plans to attend Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall. She will be studying psychology with a minor anthropology.

Katie Keith plans to attend Old Dominion University in the fall. She is still unsure what she will be studying in.

Elizabeth Rice will either be attending Virginia Western Community College or Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Lexxi Bursey is going to Radford University with the major of undecided. She is not sure what she will be doing as far as the career field she wants to go into.

Alyson McCullough plans to attend Roanoke College in the fall. She is not sure what her major will be, but her end goal is to complete pre-law and become a Child’s Advocate Attorney.

Bailey Marshall is one of a couple who will be attending Virginia Tech. Here, she will be double majoring in agribusiness and animal science. Later in life she wants to do something along the lines of public policy or agricultural law with a masters in agricultural leadership.

Cameron Hildebrand will be attending Randolph-Macon College, while majoring in pre-med, with a minor in sociology. After her undergraduate she wants to pursue Physician Assistant graduate school.

Olivia Hoye will also be calling Blacksburg home in the fall at Virginia Tech while majoring in journalism.

Rachel Epperly will be attending Radford University in the fall hoping to graduate in 3 years. She will be majoring in Interior Design with a minor in Dance. Her end goal is to become an interior designer.

Sarah Lam will be attending Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in the fall to major in nursing. She later wants to become a licensed practical nurse.

Sydney Newcomb will either be attending Virginia Western Community College or Bridgewater College in the fall with the major of undecided.

Along with a few, Evie Melvin plans to attend Radford University in the fall. Here she will major in nursing. She plans to be a nurse practitioner in women’s health.

Ian DeHaven will be attending the College of William & Mary to major in international relations and is thinking about minoring in arabic or mandarin.

Tyler St. Clair will not be going to college, but instead he is planning on going to Flight Safety Academy in Florida to one day become a pilot.

Jackson Mabe among others will also be attending the College of William & Mary to major in international relations.

Bunni Smith and Brianna Baldwin will be taking a gap year. They are unsure what they will be doing during this time, but are excited for their time off.

James River is excited to watch these seniors graduate and see what their future has in store for them. Knightly News has been honored to have each and every one of them working on the website and writing articles this year.

Senior Trip to King's Dominion

By Tessa Jones and Erin Walker

For this year’s senior trip, the Knights traveled all the way to Doswell to tear up Kings Dominion. While the weather wasn’t ideal, the group of about 40 bundled up and headed into the park, ready to ride their heart out. Even though not all of the rides were up and running, these fearless seniors proceeded to ride everything the park had to offer.

Our group started out with the Intimidator 305, a steel roller coaster reaching speeds of 91 miles per hour. It's the tallest, fastest roller coaster on the East Coast! The ride was fantastic, fast and if you blacked out, you momentarily forget that you’re freezing.  

After the Intimidator, we headed over to the Anaconda. Just like the serpent, this coaster was filled with ups, downs, loops, and corkscrews. Suspended over a small pond, this ride gave riders the illusion that they just might be dropped into snake-infested waters. This ride was smooth, fast, and it took your breath away!

As we got off of the Anaconda, we headed over to the Avalanche. Interestingly enough, the Avalanche isn’t on an actual track for 90% of the ride. Riders got into carts as if competing in the bobsled event in the Olympics with two people sitting in each other’s laps. After the first hill drop, the cart became disconnected with the track and instead followed a waterpark-like tube that included steep turns and drops!

Next up was the Dominator. The Dominator was non-stop action and holds the world’s record for the longest floorless roller coaster at 4,210 feet in length! The ride reaches speeds of up to 67 miles per hour, and everyone loved it! The camera placed in the middle of the ride added a nice touch of hilarity as we could see the pure terror/happiness on our faces.

Third was the Flight of Fear. This was Erin’s personal favorite, the mystery and low lighting built up suspense and adrenaline. The alien theme also added a nice touch. While the ending was abrupt, everyone loved it. Erin said, “I loved the Flight of Fear, I rode it three times! The first time Lilli prayed and then the third Anna screamed the whole time. I had a lot of fun and would love to ride it again.”

Fourth was the Delirium, and while it wasn’t a roller coaster, it still got your heart pounding. The hang time was insane and the rush you got coming down was nothing to joke about. The maximum arc this thrill ride offered was 120 degrees and reached heights of 115 feet!

After the Delirium we took a break and ate lunch. The group decided on Panda Express, a popular Chinese chain eatery. The food was great, but the portion offered with our meal ticket was small. Most people decided on the Orange Chicken with Chow Mein, but Lizzy spiced it up and got coconut honey shrimp with rice. Tessa said, “Panda Express stole my heart. I personally adore Chinese, and Panda was the perfect spot for lunch to step out of the rain and have a hot meal.”

Next we rode the Grizzly, and boy did it live up to its hype. It's one of the most popular wooden roller coasters on the East Coast. While the top speed was only 51 miles per hour, it felt like it was super sonic. The ride had several drops and was spectacular. Not only was it fast, but the constant fear of falling out of your cart added a fun plot twist!

After the Grizzly, we rode the Racer 75. While it's not the tallest or the fastest, it is a great ride for beginners. The ride was also featured in the 1977 movie “Rollercoaster.” It has given more rides than any at Kings Dominion and is the oldest one there. The classic up/down track provided the riders with the constant need to scream and throw their hands up.

The Twisted Timbers was next on the list. This coaster is the newest at Kings Dominion as a steel coaster built on wooden supports where the Hurler used to be. This coaster was hands down Tessa’s favorite. The Twisted Timbers featured corkscrews and many drops that kept Tessa and her ride buddy Lizzy screaming and laughing the entire time.

The group ended our trip with a very short game of Bean Boozled on the bus that, ironically, made many people want to throw up after eating the “Barf” flavored jelly bean. The participants in this game were not happy with their choice in playing very soon after “Dead Fish” and “Canned Dog Food” were eaten. Right after our short snack, the bus stopped at the Short Pump Mall in Richmond for a bite to eat before heading home to Buchanan.

Despite the weather being miserable for the day, the Knights had a great time taking a break from school to ride rollercoasters and relax for a day. Now that the Trip is over, all that’s left for the seniors is Spring Break and May 21st!

Buti Yoga

By Bailey Marshall and Rachel Epperly

On March 29th, Gina Wheeling hosted a fast-paced exercise class called “BUTI” yoga. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., the high intensity workout lasted approximately an hour and a half. Around thirty women united in the private room at Tizzone located at the Daleville Town Center to participate in the event.  

Women arrived from surroundings areas around 6:40 p.m. to prepare themselves for the class. Provided in the room were glow in the dark markers and glow sticks. The participants spent around twenty minutes fellowshipping and decorating their bodies with the glow materials. Additionally, the room was completely closed off, illuminated by strobe party lights while upbeat music played.

After they were all “glowed up”, the women found a spot on the floor with their yoga mats. Soon, Ms. Gina Wheeling and her assistant began gathering the class around for initial instruction. Participants were informed that the exercise session was a mix of pilates and yoga combined with fast tribal movements. Gina encouraged class members to move through the workout with purpose in order to have a total mind and body experience that served as a stress reliever.

Towards the beginning of the workout, movements started out slow so participants could get a feel for the style of the class. After about ten minutes, the speed of the songs picked up and the beat intensified as the movements and yoga positions became quicker and more advanced. Even though there were many advanced movements involved in the workout, the instructors provided modification options for those starting on the beginner level. As the workout progressed, so did the energy in the room as women became more and more comfortable with the environment, and started to become more aware of what their bodies were needing and experiencing.

The main difference between this and many other traditional yoga classes was the fast pace and tribal movements incorporated throughout. This class also provided a fun atmosphere which was inviting and exciting. Gina made sure that every women that came felt welcome and encouraged throughout the entire class. Throughout the workout, there was music and lights that created a vibrant atmosphere, which provided an exciting physical, mental, and even spiritual experience.

As the music began to slow down, the women were encouraged to find a comfortable spot on their mat as the instructors came around and offered them a damp towel fused with essential oils. The participants used that time to meditate and cool down their muscles. Soft music played as those involved calmed their heart rates, using the time to listen to their mind and bodies.

This class is a wonderful opportunity for people to relieve stress while working out, burning calories, and having fun all at the same time. It was a fast paced class, but it was full of positive and encouraging energy throughout the whole night. The class closed with three hard slaps to the ground to end as a whole and release the final energy that was remaining. Everyone was encouraged to come back and take another class when they could, knowing that continued participation would have positive effects on each participant.

At the conclusion of the class, participants were offered a drink of their choice and a Tizzone meal with a 25% off discount. Those that could not stay and partake were given a gift card so that they knew they were invited to come back at their convenience. There were also free Rodan and Fields samples to take home.

We encourage you to take a class from these women if you get the opportunity and take part in the incredible experience that they offer.

Interact Club's Diversity Day

By Katie Keith

Interact Club was created in memory of Rachel Joy Scott who was killed in the Columbine shooting. She was an anti-bullying advocate and created a building block for anti-bullying guidelines. Interact club is also a part of Rotary, which advocates leadership and goodwill. Interact Club focuses on stopping bullying and encouraging the community to become nicer and kinder. The James River Interact Club went to Diversity Day at Lynchburg University. Diversity Day is an all-day event with other schools Interact clubs all over the county. They bring 100 students for the day. Diversity is all about trying to have a diverse group of people. No matter the looks, no matter the beliefs, they are welcome to attend Diversity Day. All the schools gather and discuss a certain topic. This year topic was stereotypes and judgement based on the economic status. Students recognize prejudice and respect. The schools will come together and discuss the wide range of economic backgrounds.

One of the club members that went to Diversity Day was Ryley McKinney. She is a freshman at James River. She is an amputee and an advocate for anti-bullying. This was her first Diversity Day. “My first diversity was really fun and I loved that I was able to meet so many different people, it was eye-opening,” she said during the interview. “After coming back from Diversity Day, I wanted to bring all the lessons I learned there and use them in our school. You know try to make the school a better and more comforting place for the students.” Ryley wants to use the lessons of removing stereotypes of financial differences. “At James River, certain people with less money get more degraded than bullied. I noticed that a lot of the other schools had massive issues with this, and all the schools tried to help by giving them ideas.” When asked about her ideas on how to help out the school members with less money, she said she wants to help them feel more accepted. The Interact club also had the idea to start a closet that students with less money can discreetly come in and pick up things needed. Things like hygiene products, coats, school supplies, and more. “Another school had something similar for prom dresses, but just all around school year. This would just help their lives be easier.”

Another student that went to Diversity Day was Rachel Zerumsky. She is another freshman at James River and is in Interact Club. This was also her first Diversity Day. “I learned how accepting people can be, and I really want to bring that into this school. Our school is not very accepting when it comes to finances cause people get judged on what they have and don’t have,” she said during an interview with her. “I didn’t realize how many people were going to be there and how involved everyone is.”

One more student that went was Bailey Daniels, another freshman going to her first  Diversity Day. “I wasn’t expecting to meet so many people who were so similar to me. All these people were into the same things as me,” Bailey said during her interview. “There is definitely a divide between financial groups, and we need to be more accepting of everyone. Everyone here is too scared to be who they are due to either finances, sexuality, race, religion, gender identity, anything. They are too afraid of being judged, and I want to help change that.”

One last interview is with the Interact sponsor, Sharon Keith. “We go to Diversity Day to learn how to make the environment of our school more diverse. It allows me to network without teachers and what is working in their schools,” she said. This is the fifth time James River High School has go to Lynchburg for Diversity Day. “We have used several ideas from other schools and put our own twist on them. Freespace Fridays where students could come before school and talk about things that bother them in a safe zone. Another thing is the Gossip Box is a test about how much social media impacts our school. We also do several Rachel’s Challenge activities throughout the year.”

From a range of diversity and economics, James River has many ideas on how the school can fix the issues between bullying and economics. Interact is determined to make James River a more open-minded and safe place for its students. Through closets to small positive messages, River is on its way to its goal of acceptance.

A Bachelor’s Guide: The Short Report

By Ian DeHaven

For three long, hard months, we have worn long clothes and covered our legs. We have tolerated days where the chilly morning yielded into a pleasant afternoon, leaving us overdressed and overheating. We have abandoned the shorts, a staple garment for casual wear allowing comfort and mobility otherwise impossible in jeans.

But that’s over! To celebrate, here’s a handy weather report from your local bachelors with a focus on what days are okay to once again bust out your favorite shorts.

Sunday, March 24th

This coming Sunday will be a perfect day to wear shorts; the high will be around 64 with a low of around 46. It will be cloudy, but with the temperature in the 60s it should be a perfect day to spend outside in your shorts. You may want to carry a light jacket with you if you get a bit chilly, but make sure to have your shorts on. The first weekend of spring will be an astonishing welcome to the new season and the now-neglected corner of your wardrobe that will now proudly come back into effect.

Monday, March 25th

Monday will be a rainy day, so you may want to bring the jeans back out. The temperatures will range from 36 on the lower end to 65 on the higher end. So while the temperature will definitely be warm enough to wear shorts, if you are afraid of getting wet, you may want to stick with the jeans. Either way, if you are going out you are going to want to have a rain jacket and maybe even an umbrella with you, or maybe just stay inside and nap to the sound of the warm spring rain coming down.

Tuesday, March 26th

Tuesday the rain will start to clear out and we will begin to start seeing some sunshine once again. With a forecast of partly cloudy and temperature ranging from 29 to 53, you will probably want some longer pants for this cooler day. It may be warm in the sun, but once you step into the shade, you will get a bit chilly. If you are brave enough to face the cooler temperatures, wear shorts with a jacket, but most people will want to stick with longer pants.

Wednesday, March 27th

Wednesday is an entirely sunny day with a low of 31 and a high of 57. Slight winds outside may turn the faint of heart away from wearing shorts, but the unwavering sunny weather still allows for shorts to be comfortably worn. Just like on Tuesday, you should bring a jacket with you just in case you want to remain adequately warm even without longer pants on.

Thursday, March 28th

Thursday looks cloudier than Wednesday does, but a temperature range of low 39 and high 64 puts it as an arguably more favorable day to wear take your shorts around the town. Some winds will require a windbreaker, but should offer no pause to anyone looking to proudly re-introduce shorts into their wardrobe.

Friday, March 29th

Friday follows Thursday’s trend of being a day cloudier than the last, but offering even higher temperatures for anyone looking to dress in summertime attire. Low of 50 and high of 68 makes Friday especially inviting for wearing shorts, even with the same chilly wind blowing past your exposed legs.

Saturday, March 30th

Ending the trend of mere progressive cloudiness, Saturday brings rain and with it a temperature range from low 50 to high 69. Long pants are advisable on rainy days like this to avoid getting excessively wet, so take an umbrella and consider leaving the shorts at home this time. Feel free to wear them if you are feeling especially adventurous, though; after all, taking risks is an integral component of the fashion world.

With such a multitude of shorts currently available on the textile market, it can be hard to find some that fit your own style. Like with any article of clothing, it’s always subjective as to what fits your own physique and style, but a personal recommendation for this upcoming summer would be Patagonia Baggies; as a short comprised of nylon with netting, they work just as well in the water as out of it. With different inseam lengths to offer a customizable fit, Baggies also are available in a variety of colors to work with any outfit once the summer rolls around.

Weather forecast here:

Fuel Truck Fire Closes 220 in Fincastle

By Elizabeth Rice

The news spread like fire last week. 477 crashes unfortunately occured between midnight and 3:45 PM in Virginia, but the most talked about crash was the crash with a fuel truck resulting in flames.

James Willard Yarbrough Jr. accidentally caused a fire on Wednesday, February 27th at 6:15 A.M on his way to Clifton. He was trying to avoid a deer but ended up wrecking on 2700 block of Botetourt Road in Fincastle, Virginia. He was charged with reckless driving as a result.

He was driving a truck filled with 8,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Luckily nobody was badly injured as the result of the fuel spilling and fire occurring, but 114 fish sadly died in Catawba Creek due to the gasoline.

There has also been a warning to not let livestock drink from the Catawba Creek until the water is announced to be safe to drink. Jason Ferguson who is the Chief of Fire Department EMS for Botetourt said, “The product was running off source by having these drains that would typically carry rainwater away to the creek bed.” and “we basically had a stream of liquid fire.” However since there is no wells close enough, people’s drinking water is still safe.

The fuel that spilled out of the truck also caused a pipe to break underground. Jason Ferguson said, “The large culvert pipe underneath the roadway supporting the primary road here because of the extensive fire load and heat- collapsed on itself.”

Jason Bond who is The Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman also explained the situation saying, “The tanker was hauling gasoline that spilled, caught fire, and flowed into a pipe from a drainage inlet in the median. The metal pipe passes beneath all four lanes of Route 220 near Route 676 (Peck Road/ Martins Lane). The burning fuel entered the pipe, flowed beneath the northbound lanes, causing the pipe to heat up, weaken and collapse.” He also said, “We’re going to have to replace the 110 feet of pipe on the northbound lanes, we don’t know if we can get to that pipe, we don’t have pipe of this type just ready to go.” and “Now we are able to put some stone in to make that traffic switch, we are going to have to come back at some point and pave those tie-ins between the lanes where it squeezes down to one lane in each direction.”

Roads will be closed until the damage on the roads is repaired. Southbound traffic will have to travel on Mary Alice Road then West Wind Road to Old Fincastle Road to return to Route 220. Northbound traffic will have to travel on Old Fincastle Road to West Wind Road to Mary Alice Road and return to Route 220.

Some residents of Fincastle spoke out about the accident including Scott Wilson who said, “he heard a “pretty big boom” and then saw heavy flames and smoke.”

A guy named Billy Simpson also spoke out saying, “All the neighborhoods were sitting and watching. It was like a sideshow.”, “The situation was bound to happen sooner or later, due to the Route 220 detour. We’re talking about 100 to 150 trucks a day, these roads are just not made for it. It’s an inconvenience but, we will deal with it.”

Interviews on the fuel truck’s accident and its impact on traveling

Q: What did you think about the accident?

A: Lexxi Bursey: “I thought the accident was unfortunate and I was concerned for the welfare of the driver and the environment.”

A: Meaghan Hix: “I am very happy that there was nobody hurt, and that it it didn’t do much damage even though there is a piece missing of the road on the south side of 220.”

Q: How did the road’s closure due to the accident impact you?

A: Lexxi Bursey: “The closure impacted me by delaying my arrival to destinations, making me leave earlier if possible, and often times it was not possible to leave earlier due to work. The detour provided by VDOT I thought was very inconvenient and I found Poor Farm Road to 220 in Fincastle to be much better. Because I don’t live very close to the accident, I don’t have many ways it impacted me directly or indirectly other than my daily commute.”

A: Meaghan Hix: “We had to go the long way to get anywhere. It took longer, and we had to leave earlier to get anywhere on time.”

Knights in New York City

By Bailey Marshall, Cameron Hildebrand, and Olivia Hoye

On February 28th, the James River High School Knights traveled to New York City. Over thirty James River students grades nine through twelve set off on an Abbott bus at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. After a nine-hour trip, a stop at Chick-Fil-A, and a few bathroom breaks, the students arrived in the city around 4:00 p.m.

The bus driver, Gale, pulled the bus to the side of the street where she let students out. As the wide-eyed kids layered up to brave the cold they met their tour guide, Janet. She has lived in New York for thirty-two years but is originally from London.  Janet went everywhere the Knights went and provided local and educational insight during the stops.

The trip began with a midtown walking tour where students viewed Times Square and Rockefeller Center with the final destination being at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest standing cathedral in the United States today. It houses mosaics with thousands of detailed pieces as well as shrines to saints in the Catholic Church.

Soon thereafter, students walked to Ellen’s Stardust Diner which is known for their singing wait staff. Students enjoyed a Broadway-like performance from employees as they snacked on traditional American cuisine.

To top off a wonderful first day in the Big Apple, the Knights traveled to the Empire State Building. There, students had the opportunity to travel to the top and take in the sites. Olivia Hoye states, “The Empire State Building was one of my favorite parts of the trip because of how beautiful the view was. The city looked so small yet so big at the same time, it blew my mind.”

After a good night of rest on Thursday, students were up for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. The anticipation grew as participants were dropped off at Rockefeller Plaza where they sat outside of NBC studios to claim their fifteen seconds of fame on national television. You may have noticed some James River signs saying “Buchanan VA → NYC” being waved proudly on the day the show aired.

A tour of Radio City Music Hall was next on the agenda for the day. After meeting a Rockette and viewing the Music Hall, students walked to lunch at Grand Central Station. A highlight of the station was the whispering wall where people are able to stand in the corners of a room, talk into it, and have a person from the other side hear them and be able to speak back.

The next stop was the Fashion Institute of Technology in Chelsea. Students got to experience seeing the Fashion Museum there and then they embarked on a surprise trip. With aid from Janet, chaperones were able to take a small group to see Kleinfeld Bridal Shop where Say Yes to the Dress is filmed.

Next was dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Students received the classic Hard Rock experience with the New York twist. After that, the Knights walked a few blocks up Broadway to see Aladdin, the Broadway show. The spectacular theatrical play lasted for two hours. Tired from a busy day, students traveled back to the hotel around 10:30 p.m. to get some rest and prepare for day three.

After a busy second day, the students woke up Saturday morning and were ready for another eventful day when they arrived at breakfast at 7:00 a.m. They woke up to snow-covered ground and were looking forward to their first stop, Ellis Island. In Jersey they got to board the ferry with Janet and visit the immigration museum while getting a fabulous look of the Statue of Liberty.

Following two hours exploring Ellis Island, the students hopped back on the ferry and headed over to Manhattan. Here they spent time walking through the financial district where they saw the famous “Charging Bull” and the “Fearless Girl” statue. After walking past Trinity Church and the New York Stock Exchange, the students took a break for lunch in Brookfield Place.

Directly after the students made their way to the World Trade Center. Here, they spent a few hours in the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the 9/11 Memorial, which was emotional for some on the trip. In the museum, there was everything one could imagine. Included was anywhere from tributes to those who lost their lives, to remaining pieces of the fire trucks that were first responders.

To end the day on an upbeat note, they then traveled to Chinatown where they had time to shop, explore, and bargain in the shops along the streets. To end the evening they enjoyed an authentic Italian meal at Grotta Azzurra.

On Sunday, the Knights woke up early and headed to Central Park. There they saw the Imagine Memorial to John Lennon at Strawberry Fields as well as where he used to live. After that, they made a stop in Greenwich Village, one of the more residential areas of New York City and home of New York University, where they saw the infamous Friends apartment. They stopped by Washington Square Park which Janet described as “a backyard for NYU students.” They also visited SoHo, the art district of Lower Manhattan and popular shopping destination. There the students were given free time to shop at stores like Adidas and Urban Outfitters.

The last destination of the trip was the Chelsea Market for lunch. Previously the home of the Oreo cookie, the building is now an urban shopping mall and food court with over thirty restaurants to choose from.

If you’d like to see more pictures of the trip, visit James River’s twitter or look up the hashtags #JRNYC2019 and #KnightsInNewYork!

Top Adventurous Things To Do in Virginia

By Sydney Newcomb

You always hear “Virginia is for lovers,” but how often do you get bored of doing the same old things over and over? Virginia has some of the greatest places to get outdoors and stay active. Everything from waterfalls, to theme parks, to even skydiving is offered in this beautiful state. Make sure to check out some of these thrill seeking adventures the next time you’re in the area!

Hiking Trails:

Some of the most popular hiking trails in Virginia include The Peaks of Otter, McAfee Knob, and Dragon’s Tooth. If you’re looking for a good exercise with a great view, these hiking trails might be for you!

Photo by Rachel Epperly

Photo by Rachel Epperly

The Peaks of Otter: The Peaks contain several different trails you can choose from including, Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Sharp Top is the most popular trail among the three. It is the steepest and most strenuous of the three trails and it's strongly recommended that you are in good health and take plenty of water with you for your hike. Sharp Top is only 1.5 miles to the summit, it’s not the longest hike but you’ll definitely get your workout in! Harkening Hill is the highest summit at the peaks being 3.3 miles high. Here is the Peaks Of Otter website, make sure to visit if you’re interested in taking in the beautiful scenery at The Peaks!

McAfee Knob: The Appalachian Trail is one of the best know trails not only in Virginia, but throughout states starting in Georgia and going all the way up to Maine. McAfee Knob is one of the most photogenic hiking trails in Virginia with it’s “tilted rocky mountain, sticking out into thin air like a diving platform.” This hike is 3 miles both ways, but it’s totally worth it. Make sure to check out this unique trail with a unique view!

Dragon’s Tooth: Looking for a bit more of a challenging hike, then Dragon’s Tooth might be for you. You may be wondering why it’s called Dragon’s Tooth, it’s because of its unique rock design which is shaped like a tooth! A bit of a rocky climb, but this challenging 5.7 mile hike is so worth it so check it out!  


Not only is Virginia a great place for hiking, but it also has some breathtaking waterfalls. Although there are several waterfalls all throughout virginia, some of the most famous ones include Falling Springs, Roaring Run Falls, and Apple Orchard Falls. If you want more than just a view of the mountains while you hike, considering visiting one of these wondrous waterfalls!

Photo by Sydney Newcomb

Photo by Sydney Newcomb

Falling Springs: One of the tallest waterfalls in the state standing at 80 feet is Falling Springs in Allegheny. So if hiking isn’t your thing, this .01 mile “hike” might be. With it’s amazing overlook right off of 220 you can take in it’s outstanding scenery. Unfortunately you’re no longer aloud to swim in the water, but taking in the view is the next best thing!

Roaring Run Falls: Another favorite in the area is Roaring Run in Eagle Rock. Although it’s a small hike, but the 35 foot waterfall is worth every step. The majority of this jagged hike is made up of stone rocks which make the hike so much easier. Once you get through that mile of steps  and jagged trail, you’ll be at the top of what feels like the universe!

Apple Orchard Falls: In Buchanan, a little closer to home, you can find Apple Orchard Falls. This 5.6 mile hike will give you a workout for sure, but the streams you see along the way and the fall at the top is so worth it! You can even camp out along this trail, the best spots for camping would be within the first mile of the hike. Rather you’re looking for an overnight hike or just a day of fun, make sure to visit Apple Orchard Falls!


Looking for more of a thrill than hiking? You’re in luck because Virginia offers several places for skydiving! SKydive Orange and Virginia Skydiving Center are the two most popular in this area. Although you might have to drive an hour or two, it’s so worth it to get that spin-tingling feeling when you jump out of the plane!

Skydive Orange: Ever wanted to go 2 miles above the ground just to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? It might sound insane to some, but to others its the ride of their life. In Charlottesville Skydive Orange gives customers the opportunity to do just that! Unfortunately for your first dive you can’t go solo it must be a tandem dive, but maybe once you’re experience you’ll ride solo. At Skydive Orange a tandem dive is $259 cash, $270 credit, and for just $125 more you can get a video and picture package of your experience!

Virginia Skydiving Center: Another popular skydiving center in Virginia is Virginia Skydiving Center located in Petersburg. Both facilities are very similar in price; a tandem dive being $249 and video and picture package being $125. That 60 second dive will be so worth the money and wait!

Other adventurous activities

Photo by Sydney Newcomb

Photo by Sydney Newcomb

Humpback Bridge: Another famous location in Allegheny County is Humpback Bridge. Humpback is the oldest covered bridge left in Virginia built in 1857. Humpback is very well known not only for its bridge, but its huge love sign you can’t miss.  Humpback is a great spot to visit during all season, so make sure to visit soon

Devil's Bathtub: Although Devil’s Bathtub is technically a trial and waterfall, after this 3.2 mile hike you can enjoy a nice swim in the “bathtub.” Make sure to make this trip a necessity on your next trip to fort Blackmore. Combine hiking and swimming with the Devil’s Bathtub and make it a day of fun!

These are just a few of the thousands of adventurous things you can get yourself into. Whether it's hiking, skydiving, or other adventurous activities you can find something. Now you know why Virginia is for lovers!

James River Envirothon Team

By Jake Mabe

James River’s 2019 Envirothon Team, an annual event designed to test and enhance students’ knowledge of the environment natural resources, is currently being sponsored and organized by our own Mrs. Stull.

The Envirothon has its roots in a small program from Pennsylvania, initially referred to as the “Environmental Olympics,” beginning in 1979. After expanding to include the states of Massachusetts and and Ohio in 1988, Canadian high schools were integrated in 1992, and currently 45 states in America and nine Canadian provinces take part every year, with a total engagement of more than 500,000 students across the North American continent. Participation will only increase as bids to join the coalition of the Envirothon have been received from countries like Australia and Japan.

The topics of discussion and focus in the Environthon’s interactive testing vary from year to year, but four of the mandatory five subcategories are occupied by the following focal points in the environment: aquatic ecology, forestry, soils and land use, and wildlife. The fifth category is reserved for a specific issue relevant in the respective year; the current 2019 competition will focus on the role of agricultural technology and its abilities to assist in the feeding of our population. Different activities pertaining to each category are organized to demonstrate a well-rounded knowledge of the environment; for example, an analysis of the aquatic ecology variety could consist of taking chemical samples of water to determine its quality or acidity.

The Envirothon combines traditional written tests with hands-on examinations of a student’s or group’s ability to analyze and assess conditions or problems in the environment; other formats of testing include presentations, available for the first time this year to be completed via PowerPoint presentations as opposed to pencil-and-paper work. Scoring is based on five different written tests, each scored on a hundred-point scale, and the two-hundred-point presentation. At the end of testing, different states and provinces are represented by the single team (typically sponsored by a high school, although the home-schooled are allowed to partake in the activities as well) with the highest composite score at the international NFC-Envirothon competition, which is hosted by a different state each year (North Carolina for 2019).

Coach Phillips' Time at James River Comes to an End

By Rachel Epperly, Cameron Hildebrand, Bailey Marshall, and Olivia Hoye

Photo courtesy of Licensed Sports Photos

Photo courtesy of Licensed Sports Photos

Jake Phillips, head football coach and physical education teacher at James River High School, will be leaving at the end of the 2018-2019 school year to coach the Fighting Leemen at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Virginia.

Starting in 2015, Mr. Phillips took on the role of head football coach at James River High School. His background as a player for William & Mary’s football team, as well as being apart of the Green Bay Blizzards 2010 roster, qualified him for the job and his experience pushed the team to success. At the time, the JRHS team was 2A and had not hired a new coach since 2003. The team was also one of two Timesland schools without a playoff game victory.

Jake Phillips was the starting quarterback at Bath County High School and led his team to the 1A state title in 2001. The Chargers had a record of 49-4 during Phillips years there. He finished his high school career with more than 9,000 yards of total offense, and 128 touchdowns. While claiming the state title in 2001, the team made it to state finals in 2000 and 2003. In 2003, Phillips was named the National Associated Press Group A Offensive Player of the Year.

After finishing his high school career, he would head to Williamsburg, Virginia to play for William & Mary. At William & Mary Phillips was redshirted, meaning he was eligible for five athletic years. During his last two seasons at W&M, 2007 and 2008, he was the 6 foot, 3 inch, starting quarterback. He started 23 games while at William and Mary. Visible in his stats below, he was a clear example of the qualities of dedication, effort, and achievement:

College stats courtesy of Tribe Athletics

College stats courtesy of Tribe Athletics

When asked about his college and pro career Phillips mentioned, “I enjoyed both my collegiate and professional careers, though I only played one season of Arena football.  I will say that playing Arena was a huge adjustment but it was a lot of fun and I understand why it is so much fun to watch because there is a lot of action and scoring. I made the commitment to either move up to the Canadian Football League or higher after my first season and if not I would look to move on from football.  I was fortunate to coach at Bath County right out of college while I was pursuing a professional career, and that is when I realized that teaching and coaching high school was what I wanted to do for my career.”

Wanting to learn about his career through his perspective, we took some time to interview Jake about his time here at James River and his plans moving forward. We first asked him why he originally decided to come to James River. “I was looking for a head coaching opportunity, and the JRHS job came open. I felt it was a really good fit for me. I knew the area with my wife going to River, I had played and coached against River previously, my family was regularly attending Fincastle Baptist already, and I knew quite a few people in the community. I was ecstatic about the opportunity to be a head coach and also teach at such a great school with great kids.” Phillips said. Next we asked what he considered to be his biggest accomplishment and regret during his coaching career at James River. “Biggest accomplishment was working with the players and being a part of this school and community for the past 4 years.  I truly enjoyed it! I can remember a few games that really stand out 1) Giles game this year with an epic comeback win, 2) Radford overtime victory in 2017, and 3) the Radford game in 2015 when we dominated a team that was undefeated and had intentions of winning the state championship that year...we played with guts and toughness, and that was a turning point for our players to see the fruits of their labor and put us on the map in Division 2. The one thing I wish we could have accomplished was winning a playoff game. We went to the playoffs in 2015 and 2018 which were only the 6th and 7th time James River had ever reached the playoffs, and in 2015 we were just a couple of plays away from getting that 1st playoff victory. In 2018 we executed our game plan but just came up short,” Phillips said.

We are excited for all that is coming to Phillips and were curious about what he sees and hopes will happen with this job change. We asked him what his goals are for his career change? “I am looking forward to being a part of the new school which will be built by the 2020 school year and the process of changing the name and mascot at the school.  It is really exciting being the first head coach at what will be Staunton High School, but it is also building off the tradition of the former Robert E. Lee High School,” he said.

Phillips has not only been involved with football, but also helped out with other sports here at James River. “I was able to coach baseball at James River and be very involved with the athletes through Strength & Conditioning. Baseball is a good "change of pace" for me compared to the grind of coaching football so it was fun to adapt to the style needed to coach baseball.  But what was consistent throughout coaching multiple sports and running the weight room was how great the athletes were, especially in regard to their character. It makes coaching even more enjoyable when the players buy-in to the work ethic needed to be successful, they have a positive attitude, and compete to their full potential,” he said. He’ll be assistant coaching baseball in the spring as his last coaching endeavor here at JR.

After hearing the news, we asked some football players from the 2018 football season that had first-hand experiences and relationships with Phillips about their feelings on his departure. First, we interviewed current senior, defensive back, slot receiver, and WDBJ7 Player of the Week River Clonch. We first asked him how he felt about the news. He said, “Well it’s kinda shocking but I was definitely glad to [have been] a part of what he’s done at James River for the past four years. I’d like to see him do well at his new school and for him take his new opportunity that he has and run with it.” We followed by asking if he was surprised to hear that Jake would be leaving. “Yeah I was pretty surprised, I didn’t think something like this would happen this soon.”  

Next, we interviewed freshman, wide receiver, and strong safety, Tanner Dillow. He will be continuing to play football in the upcoming seasons despite the absence of Coach Phillips. This seems to be the general consensus between returning underclassman football players. We followed up by asking what he is hopeful for in the future football team and the upcoming seasons. “I expect to keep winning. I think roster-wise we have the pieces we need to be successful. I fully expect us to be in the playoffs next November,” Tanner said.

Phillips positively impacted not only our sports teams here at James River but also the school and students’ morale. While James River is sad to see Mr. Phillips go, we are very excited to see what his future holds and are grateful for his time that was well spent here at River. As a school that is prideful about athletics, we are grateful for the time that he devoted to building our football program and will always be supporting him as he furthers his career as a coach. Once a Knight, always a Knight.

Kane Brown Concert

By Alyson McCullough

Photo by Sarah Earls

Photo by Sarah Earls

At 7 o’clock on Thursday, January 31st, 2019, Kane Brown and two other country singers came to the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Virginia to perform as part of Brown’s Live Forever tour.  Danielle Bradbery kicked off the show with an amazing performance using her outgoing spirit to get the crowd going and ready for the rest of the show. Her part was very soulful, sweet, and laid back. Bradbery is the definition of a southern peach. She has a loving and sweet energy about her and still has the country attitude. She sang songs including ‘Potential’ and ‘Goodbye Summer,’ originally performed with Thomas Rhett. Bradbery is not a well-known artist, but she is astonishing and definitely worth the time to listen to some of her music.

After Bradbery, Granger Smith attacked the stage with an amazing and upbeat performance. He was dancing and jumping to get the crowd involved. He came into the audience for part of his song Don’t Tread on Me and was waving a flag around that said exactly that. Some of the songs Smith sang were They Were There, a song that is bringing to the listener's attention that there are men and women overseas that cannot be here with their families because they are fighting for us, and his notorious Country Boy Song that is the anthem for most of the male population in Botetourt County. Smith’s performance was very amusing because he is not afraid to be himself and dance like no one is watching. At one point, he had signed his shirt and threw it into the audience.

Kane Brown, the main performer, was incredible, to say the least. Brown started the show with one of his new songs named Baby Come Back to Me and the entire stadium was involved in the song. He used lights and smoke machines to make the show even more entertaining. Brown used the perfect balance of upbeat songs, songs most people knew and could sing along to, and slower, more heartfelt songs. Other songs, such as Work, are about his beautiful new bride Kate, who he loves dearly. He continued to say Work was written to help him remember and keep his mind clear when they have arguments. He later made his way into the crowd to interact with his fans a little during his show.

I attended the concert with seven of my close friends, Emily, Meaghan, Brandon, Coby, Naomi, Nic, and Rachael. When asked who what her favorite part of the show was and why Emily stated that her favorite part was Brown because “He was just so uplifting and amazing and he shared his experiences with us.” He had shared about his past experiences with his horrible stepfather and how he had been abused by him. This inspired one of his songs that he titled Learning. Naomi also said that Brown was very inspiring to her and listening to his music has helped her through a large amount of her life. She likes the song Learning because it helps her to remember to let the past go and that everything is going to be perfectly fine.

Photo by Casey Compton

Photo by Casey Compton

I had a close friend, Austin, introduce me to Kane Brown when he had first started recording and I am so incredibly thankful for him. Since then, Kane Brown has been in the majority of my music selection because his songs are very relatable and their tones change. He has love songs that make me happy and feel good, but he also has songs that are about when things do not go as planned. I have found that these songs help me cope with situations I am not sure how to handle. Brown’s songs can address moods when all I want to do is cry and the complete opposite mood of I am scream singing his music with my windows down. He has the perfect balance of emotions within his soundtracks. Live Forever is one of my top favorite songs that Brown has released. It makes my heart melt every time I listen to it. This song is the definition of a love song because the listener can feel the emotion, heart, and thought that he had put into this song. This is another song that he had written for his lovely wife.

If you are looking for someone new to listen to, Kane Brown, Granger Smith, and Danielle Bradbery are all amazing choices. You do not necessarily have to enjoy country music to fall in love with their voices.

Literary Magazine Achievement in VHSL Competition

By Olivia Hoye

Hannah Wright, the editor of the James River High School literary magazine, Currents, worked all of last year, along with her dedicated staff, on the 2017-18 magazine titled Transcendence. Their efforts were recognized in the VHSL competition this fall, winning a First Class award.

The literary magazine has a very interesting and complex history that many people are unaware of despite the many banners hanging in the library and lobby. The name of the magazine, Currents, has stuck for over a decade. Interestingly, the name came from a book that previous librarian, Ms. Woodie, wrote after realizing how perfect the title fit with the school’s location next to the river. Ms. Woodie was the first adviser of the James River High School literary magazine, which she started in 2003. After advocating for a creative writing class and convincing the school’s principal to go through all sorts of channels at the school board, Mrs. Woodie finally got permission to start a magazine. She used her previous experience in publication to mentor two seniors who served as her writing and art editors. To kickstart the magazine, the literary staff raised three thousand dollars thanks to generous donations from the Bank of Botetourt, VFW, and local Kiwanis Club. These sponsors enabled them to produce a colored magazine that won a trophy title at the VHSL Creative Writing Booklet State Level Competition in 2004. Their success at the competition became a recurring theme, as noted by the banners around the school, and Currents has been produced here at James River ever since.

The VHSL competition judges literary magazines based on unifying elements, layout and design, literature, and art, rating each on a scale of four classifications: superior, excellent, good, and needs improvement. The evaluators look for consistency in quality, cohesiveness, variety in chosen works, use of space and color, proper writing techniques, and creativity. The VHSL committee holds student publication to a very high standard as “students not only learn to publish for an authentic audience, but they also receive training in specific disciplines: writing and editing, layout and design, art and photography, technology, and business management. Beyond that, students develop responsibility, dependability, leadership, teamwork, and ethical decision making,” as stated in the VHSL 2018-19 Evaluative Criteria Booklet. VHSL also places importance that the competition, evaluation, and critiques of the magazines are for the students’ benefit and growth; the awards come second.

The magazine showcases students’ works of visual art and creative writing featuring everything from poetry to short stories and watercolor to oil pastel. By working in Ms. Week’s Creative Writing class and spending countless hours outside of school, the 2018 magazine was designed, printed, and then sold at Knight of the Arts in May. The magazine’s theme, Transcendence, by Merriam-Webster’s definition, means the quality or state of being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge. The theme brings together works with a mystical and euphoric style, making the magazine cohesive while showcasing and celebrating the authors and artists within the school. The staff was very excited to finally be able to give a theme to the magazine because VHSL hasn’t allowed themes in previous years. Being able to work around a single idea made the magazine come together in a way it hadn’t before.

Hannah worked with her staff, Brooke Cuddy, Jake Mabe, Erin Walker, Lilli Clevenger, Elizabeth Rice, Jessie Rocha, Michael Burnett, Dani Keffer, Paige Fitzgerald, and Evie Melvin on the magazine every day during their ninety-minute creative writing class. Many different elements go into the creation the magazine. Some of these elements include designing the layout, perfecting the artwork, writing letters to possible sponsors of the magazine, and tedious spell checking. The team also utilized time outside of class in order to submit the magazine for competition by the June deadline. The current -- no pun intended -- staff is working diligently to put together this year's magazine, which is set to come out in May. They will be hosting an Open Mic Night February 15th for $5 admission in order to raise money for the publication expenses.

The James River community is so proud of Hannah, her staff, as well as the authors and artists that contributed to the magazine. If you are interested in being a part of the magazine staff, talk to Hannah or the newest adviser, Mrs. Wingo, to find out how to get involved in Literary Club!

Abuelo's Experience

By Elizabeth Rice

My friends and I ate at the Mexican restaurant, Abuelo’s, last Friday at seven. There was many reasons why we enjoyed the experience.

The hosts were very polite and explained to us that we had to wait but as soon as they had an open seat, they would clean it off and then let us have it. They also had nice comfortable benches for us to sit down while waiting.

The hosts then directed us toward a table near the middle of the restaurant. I thought the table had enough room for all of us to eat comfortably. It also helped that it was a six person table, and we were a group of five, so that we could put the stuff in the spot where nobody was sitting.

The waiter almost immediately gave us chips and three different kinds of sauces. He explained what the sauces were and that the third one had the most spice. I personally did not think the chips and sauces were that great. However, I also do not care for spicy foods, and two out of the three sauces were spicy.

The chips were also thin. The sauce in the middle was green, and my friends and I honestly thought the sauce tasted like leaves. My friends also didn’t think the sauce was that spicy, so they asked for the spiciest sauce the restaurant had which was actually spicy.

The waiter then came back and asked us for our drinks order and gave them to us in a reasonable amount of time just like he did for our meals. When he asked us for our orders, I ordered the Shrimp Mojo Tacos which is shrimp with Mexican-style garlic butter sauce, diced tomatoes, napa cabbage, fresh mango relish, carrots and creamy cilantro lime. I enjoyed the whole meal but particularly liked the mangos because they were sweet but not too sweet that it took over the rest of the taco.

The sauce with my meal also very good. I honestly am not sure how to explain it but it was different than any sauce I’ve ever had even though it was just garlic butter sauce, but I guess it’s because it had a Mexican style twist. Overall, the meal was very delicious and worth the eighteen dollars.

As far as the building, it is a big and beautiful restaurant.  The ceiling was painted like the sky. Also, as soon as we came in there was a very tall and cool looking statue.

Don’t just hear it from me though!

My Friend’s Reviews:

Tessa J: “I thought the hosts were very nice greeting us right away and giving us a waiting time right out of the gates to give us a heads up, and they were very quick to seat us. The service and server was also really good! The server never let our drinks get below halfway and was very nice and knew the menu really well. The meal was FANTASTIC. I think the price was reasonable for the amount of food that each meal was and how good it was. I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant, and it was lowkey and chill. I didn’t like the fact that the music was loud, so to hear the group talk to you had to halfway yell to be heard.”

Erin W: “The hostess was very helpful! She was quick to find us a table and kept us updated on the table’s availability even though the restaurant was busy and she had other things to do. She was very nice and complimented my sweater! The waiter was also very nice and stayed patient with our indecisive group of friends including me. My meal was very good! It wasn’t the very best I’ve had, but the rice was amazing! I also am not a big fan of beef tacos, so it’s my fault that I didn’t like my meal. I liked the ceiling, it was painted like the sky and added a good touch. I didn’t like how open and big it was. I felt exposed. Overall, it was nice!”

Maggie S: “The waiter was fun, had great attitude, and was patient. My meal was excellent. I like how it feels like a hotel. I don’t like the overwhelming menu.”

Hours: Monday 11AM-10PM

Tuesday 11AM-10PM

Wednesday 11AM-10PM

Thursday 11AM-10PM

Friday 11AM-11PM

Saturday 11AM-11PM

Sunday 11AM-9PM

Address: 4802 Valley View Blvd NW, Roanoke, VA 24012


BoCo and RoCo Coffee Shops

By Tessa Jones and Erin Walker

Tessa and I love coffee. Whenever we go out anywhere together or if indoor track practice gets cancelled after school, we always end up going to Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea in Daleville. Coffee shops always have a good atmosphere for homework or to just hang out with friends! Because we spend so much of our time drinking coffee, Tessa and I decided that we would explore our area to find the best local coffee shops.  

We travelled to an assortment of local coffee shops in Botetourt and Roanoke Counties to rate* their service, taste, pricing and aesthetic. Erin and I visited Land of a Thousand Hills in Daleville, Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea in Daleville, Little Green Hive in Grandin, and Sweet Donkey Coffee in Roanoke. At every location we ordered the same thing in the same size (if possible) in order to accurately compare the different recipes: an iced chai latte for Erin)and an iced caramel latte for Tessa. We highly encourage you to visit these coffee shops and check them out for yourself!

Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea- 20 Kingston Dr, Daleville, VA 24083

Overall: 4.125 out of 5 stars

Service: 4/5

  • They were friendly but not overly enthusiastic. They weren’t very busy and very quick to get our order fixed.  

Taste: 4.5/5

  • Tessa: There was a good mix of coffee and milk - the milk didn’t overpower the coffee. The taste was very good and creamy.

  • Erin: There was the right amount of spice in the chai latte, many coffee shops put too much milk. The ice to drink ratio was very good.

Pricing: 4/5

  • The pricing is very competitive, the cheapest out of all the coffee shops we went to.

  • Iced caramel latte: $3.06

  • Iced chai latte: $3.66

Aesthetic: 4/5

  • Mill Mountain has the stereotypical coffee shop aesthetic and a very homey vibe. The lighting is very good and there are many places to sit, including a deep couch.  

Land of a Thousand Hills- 90 Town Center Street #106, Daleville, VA 24083

Overall: 3.625 out of 5 stars

Service: 5/5

  • The barista took our order very quickly, was very helpful and nice! Erin had questions, and he was very knowledgeable about his craft.

Taste: 3/5

  • Tessa: It tasted like there was more milk than coffee - the coffee taste wasn’t strong at all. There was also a lot of ice in the drink, which also diminished the coffee taste.  

  • Erin: There wasn’t enough spice in the iced chai latte, it wasn’t strong enough.

Pricing: 3/5

  • This was the priciest coffee shop we went to by far, we both went with 12 oz and the price after tax was over $5.

  • Iced caramel latte: $4.95

  • Iced chai latte: $4.65

Aesthetic: 3.5/5

  • The interior had clean lines and a fireplace, which paired nicely. There wasn’t much privacy, all the tables were close together and there aren’t many places to sit.

Sweet Donkey Coffee- 2108 Broadway Ave. Roanoke, VA 24014

Overall: 4.375 out of 5 stars

Service: 4.5/5

  • The service was very fast and the cashiers were polite even though it was very busy. They were enthusiastic when they asked for our order. The only downside was that Erin asked for an iced chai latte and they gave her a hot one. She didn’t give it back though.

Taste: 5/5

  • Tessa: The best latte out of all the coffee shops! The coffee was good and strong, letting the milk compliment it beautifully.

  • Erin: The latte was good! Usually I don’t like hot drinks, but the chai was very strong and I know it would be good if it was cold.  

Pricing: 3.5/5

  • They weren’t the most expensive and they were competitively priced.  

  • Iced caramel latte: $4.50

  • Iced chai latte: $4.25

Aesthetic: 4.5/5

  • Sweet Donkey is so cute! It’s slightly small, but the atmosphere is great and there is a lot of outdoor seating. The interior is adorably sweet!

Little Green Hive- 1402 Grandin Rd SW Roanoke, VA 24014

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Service: 4.5/5

  • They were fast to take our orders and quick to get our drinks to us! They were very nice!

Taste: 4/5

  • Tessa: The latte was very good with a good milk to coffee balance. I could easily taste the coffee and would gladly go again!

  • Erin: The chai was a little weak and it seemed like there was a lot of milk. There was a good ice to drink ratio, many places have too much ice.

Pricing: 4.5/5

  • The pricing was competitive and relatively inexpensive!

  • Iced caramel latte: $5.27

  • Iced chai latte: $5.06

Aesthetic: 5/5

  • Little Green Hive is the cutest! They have great windows with views of Grandin Road. The location is great (although parking may be difficult.) The artwork is very unique! The interior was green and gave off a vintage vibe. The inside is a little small but overall very whimsical!

“After all of the coffee tasting, I found my personal favorite coffee shop to be Little Green Hive on Grandin. The overall comfy atmosphere was immediate when I walked through the door, and I didn’t want to leave! The coffee was also fantastic with a good blend of coffee and milk, letting the coffee taste shine. I would definitely go again".” - Tessa Jones

“The best chai, in my opinion, is from Mill Mountain. Everything about the taste was perfect, and being located in Daleville, it's very convenient. It's a great atmosphere to hang out in, relax and drink coffee!”- Erin Walker

(*All opinions are the opinions of the writers.)

The Annual Guns and Hoses Hockey Game

By Rachel Epperly

Normally, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs play their home games at the Berglund Center. Based in Roanoke, the Rail Yard Dawgs are members of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Dawgs had their first home opener game on October 21st with a sold out crowd, but on Saturday, January 19th, the Berglund Center hosted the annual Guns and Hoses charity hockey game. This game has been helping raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years. These firefighters and cops have been going head to head on the ice every year for sixteen years now. Of course both sides want to win, but the main goal of this event is to see how much money they can raise for the cause.

According to Ralph Berrier of the Roanoke Times, last year's game made almost $45,000 for the MDA, which brought the fifteen-year total to more than $300,000 raised. This hockey game is not only for a good cause, but is also one of the most entertaining hockey games to watch. As family members and employees of the departments get on the ice there to play a game that will keep you on your toes, family, friends, and fans gather to show their support for the fellow red and blue.

Photo courtesy of Toby Martin

Photo courtesy of Toby Martin

This year to start the game off, members of the Roanoke County honor guard came out on the ice for the presentation of the colors. This included (from left to right) Janet Smith, Chad Epperly, John Kaylor, Peter Begley, and Brittany Johnson. Janet then amazingly sang the National Anthem making the crowd go wild.

Although this game is a charity event, there is still sure to be lots of trips to the penalty box. This year amidst the throwing of punches, there was even a fight that ended with both players losing their helmets. Even though some players are older than others, you can’t tell by how they all bring it on the ice.

For the past two years the hoses have been on a winning streak, but this year the guns crushed their streak winning with a final score of 6-3.

This game, always guaranteeing to draw a crowd, was not only fun to watch, but it was also for a good cause that helped out the community. All in all, this game is worth going to annually and should be a tradition for your family.

The guns team included: Head Coach Caitlin Francis and assistant coaches Tom Gallagher and Dave High and players Andrew Palmer (2), Dave VanOsten (3), Chris Kuyper (4), Nick Harper (6), Kevin Smusz (7), Eric Charles (8), Brian Corcoran (10), Bob Carpentari (17), Brock Newton (19), Eric Flagg (20), Greg Staples (25), Joseph Muha (29), Daniel Gallagher (30), Pat Pascoe (31), and Michael Polley (63). Along with two hurt players: Kevin Assenat (13) and Erik Johnson (29).

The hoses team included: Head Coach Leo Hirsbrunner and assistant coaches Tom Mougin and Steve Mills and players Dan Goodwin (1), Jake Lavoie (2), Brian Reger (4) , Issac Wilson (7), Jayson Anuszkiewicz (8), Danny Irvin (9), Josh Hull (10), Thomas Mougin (13), Chris Murry (17), Matt Moomey (19), John Ferron (22), Barry Cornet (23), Nicole Martin (26), Mike Moomey (27), Kenny Malloch (51), and Barry Beckner (82).

Weather Recap: January 12th-29th

By Elizabeth Rice

Christmas might be over, but the winter season is not. Snow occurred last Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday (January 12th, 13th, and 17th) in many areas including and around Roanoke.

The snow caused a bit of a winter wonderland this weekend. It started snowing on Saturday afternoon, January 12th around one. Then the snow started to pick up even later in the evening and went on into Sunday morning. The results were seen when looking outside on Sunday morning, the snow adding up to around three inches.

The next Monday, January 14th, freezing fog covered the area. According to AccuWeather, “freezing fog occurs when droplets that the fog is composed of are “supercooled.” Supercooled water droplets remain in the liquid state until they come into contact with a surface upon which they can freeze.”

Some churches were closed that Sunday, January 13th. The schools in many counties including Botetourt were also closed until Wednesday, January 16th, and even on that day, the school was on a two-hour delay due to the impact of the winter storm.

This was not the end though. While the old snow was melting, more snow made its way to the ground. The winter advisory started at one on Thursday, January 17th and continued until 10 a.m. the next morning, meaning snow, sleet, and freezing rain fell. This caused roads to be slippery to travel on. The student drivers were allowed to leave early before the roads got even worse with the amount of snow falling. The snow also caused school to be canceled the next day, January 18th.

The snow that evening seemed like it occurred all of a sudden. The Knightly News looked out the classroom window and saw the snow was quickly coming down and flowing all over the place. Everything outside looked whitish-grayish with snowflakes flowing everywhere. Even though less than an inch ended up falling and sticking to the ground, white snow filled the air.

More precipitation came with rain most of Saturday the 19th and into Sunday the 20th. The wind got up to 24 miles per hour early Sunday morning. The temperature also got as low as sixteen degrees on Sunday afternoon and even lower on early Monday morning, being only ten degrees and the temperature throughout the day only reached up to twenty-seven degrees. Storm Team 10 advised preparing for the temperatures by dressing in layers, wearing hats and gloves, limiting exposure, and bringing pets inside.

A flash flood watch was in effect from Thursday, January 23rd at 10 p.m. until 11 a.m. the next day, January 24th, in many areas around and including Roanoke. Around two or three inches will fell during this time making it possible for water sources such as streams or creeks to overflow.

This past weekend, January 26th and 27th, the weather was projected to be partly cloudy with only ten percent of a change for precipitation. It was also projected to snow the following Monday and Tuesday, January 28th and 29th. The weather that was projected mostly came through. However, the snow on Tuesday, January 29th was not as much as it was projected.

Overall the weather over the next couple of weeks will be changing a lot. The weather will go from being sunny to rainy to snowing. The temperatures will also be from as high as fifty degrees to as low as eighteen degrees, so be prepared for anything!

The following chart is provided by the Weather Channel.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 12.04.37 AM.png

Why Do Businesses Die in Buchanan?

By Bailey Marshall

Buchanan, Virginia is small but not isolated. Buchanan is only thirty miles away from the nearest city, so really it could be worse, right? Let’s be real. The opportunity for economic development is prevalent. Buchanan is located right along Appalachian Trail and the James River nearly runs through the town, making Buchanan the perfect place for outdoor recreation. Buchanan is also a stop off for one of the busiest highways on the east coast, Interstate 81. You would think with all of the traffic coming off I-81 alone, business would be booming, but it is not. Why is this? Why do businesses fail so often, and what makes the ones that do not fail successful?

In the early days of Buchanan’s establishment, the town, that was not yet a town, served as a transportation hub. Because it was situated between mountainous valleys and along the river, Buchanan provided a great segway between civilizations in order to transfer raw materials. In fact, “the Town of Buchanan has always been distinguished as the point of intersection between two principal transportation corridors: the great northeast-southwest overland route west of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Pennsylvania and the old Upland south; and the James River, the principal river system of central Virginia that provides an east-west route for transport of goods from Mountain and Valley Region, through the Piedmont, to the Tidewater and Chesapeake Bay,” according to

Buchanan is known for being a prime location for fostering economic development, so as the twenty-first century began, why did growth become stagnant?

For starters, Buchanan has a population of 1,094. The median age for people who live in the town is over forty years old… not the generation that fosters a vibrant social life. Out of those 1,094 people, only 584 of them are employed, which aids in creating a poverty rate of 6.31%. If all of that weren’t enough to aid in keeping an economy stagnant, the average household income has declined over 4% since 2010.

So what? There are towns all across the United States that are small but also contribute largely to the economy, which allows them to pour money back into their town. Something must be off if the Buchanan Carnival attributes the largest economic impact of the town every year.

Some blame it on the town’s aging rules. For example, it is illegal to play live music past 9:00 p.m. at night unless you purchase a special permit. There goes the night bar and music scene for young people. It is also illegal for people under the age of eighteen to go to a dance hall or any kind of place that fosters a dancing environment. The list goes on and on. It is also hard to pay town utilities as a business owner starting out if you do not have a lot of traffic. That fact combined with a non-conducive environment for a social scene, makes it challenging to keep a business afloat in Buchanan.

Rules and regulations are necessary, yes, but rules are also meant to be changed to keep up with the ebb and flow of society. Small towns come with small-minded people; not everyone is open to having music playing past their bedtime, to be frank. This lifestyle is slow, and it is what we are used to as Buchanan residents. That’s fine, really it’s fine, if you want the town to remain the same as it watches the world grow around it.

However, there is hope. Businesses have been succeeding in Buchanan. In fact, “The Foot of the Mountain Cafe,” situated right off the Arcadia exit in the northern part of Buchanan, is thriving. With local support and business from those traveling up the I-81 corridor, “The Foot” has the right idea. Buchanan may not have enough traffic coming solely from locals, so let's have restaurants and festivals that target an out-of-town audience. The town still gets the money whether it is from the townspeople or not.

For example, The Beaver Dam Farms’ Annual Sunflower Festival brings people from across the state to participate in their unique fall tradition. Also in the summer, a reggae festival is hosted by the town. The festival allows people to enjoy the James River, one of Buchanan's finest assets, and just relax with friends.  

The beautiful thing is that it’s proven that Buchanan is capable of supporting itself economically. Buchanan is however at a crossroads. If Buchanan doesn't make some changes to encourage permanent business in the town, Buchanan will eventually not be able to support itself fiscally.

Greenways in Botetourt County

By Lexxi Bursey

Greenways are large, clear, undeveloped corridors for scenic use by the public. While they can be beneficial to the community in several ways, are they actually worth the funding it costs?

The new greenway plan, which has been undergoing planning since at least last year, would connect many areas such as Daleville, Buchanan, and other trails together to provide a linked community and other modes of travel for the communities it passes. However, this comes at a cost.

According to the Fincastle Herald, The Board of Supervisors held a public meeting to debate whether to designate a new section to the Comprehensive Plan, a section that received the endorsement of the Planning Commission previously. The newly proposed section titled, “Parks, Recreation, Greenways, and Blueways,” deals with the planning and the funding of the recreational facilities and programs in Botetourt County. This five year plan includes $2.15 million dollars worth of recommended projects to develop and to expand the recreation facilities and greenways within Botetourt County. Of this budget, $500,000 is proposed just for the development of the greenways for the next five years, according to the Fincastle Herald.

The downfalls to creating the new greenways relative to the cost are numerous. While there is the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, which places compliances that certain facilities must meet, several fall below the realities of disabled citizens being able to use them. The Greenfield Greenway located in Botetourt County is one of the most accessible scenic trails for handicapped citizens. Following the regular description of greenways, it is wide and clear cut, and relatively level as compared to hiking trails. This allows room for wheelchairs, however the path in itself is hardly, if at all, accessible in a wheelchair. One reason being a big section of the path contains loose gravel serving as the pathway.

Another problem greenways cause is the destruction of nature. The land used for greenways often is described as not being able to be developed, it still houses a variety of resources for wildlife. Beside the destruction of the natural land to create to create a greenway, there comes pollution with the use of the greenway. Noise pollution is unlikely to cause to a major problem, but it still is a factor. Litter is the main problem greenways face. Many local students have been to Roaring Run near Eagle Rock. As it has became more popular, the local trail has faced more and more pollution. From tires to diapers, to shoes, baggies, wrappers, and bottles, the scenery of Roaring Run has been diminished. The disruption of nature is also a factor in the creation of trails and greenways. While it is good to explore, hikers often go off the trail, creating damage and litter off of the site.

Scenic trails can also go forgotten as the younger population moves away and the remaining adults age. More specifically, There is a paved walking trail in Alleghany County that has experienced a loss of use and maintenance.

Greenways are not all bad news if used regularly so they are worth the financial, economical, and environmental costs. Greenways can increase the value of your home and your land, depending on where you live and the proximity of the greenway. Greenways are also a deterrent of traffic flow, providing a bike route and walking route to commute. This keeps some of the traffic from the roads and will give a safe corridor for the bikers to use. This is only true, however, if the greenways are in a centralized location which would allow for people to walk or to bike to places, unlike where we live. Greenways can also boost the local tourism and its economy by bringing in locals outside of their neighborhood and into the surrounding communities. This could potentially boost the economy by putting them near “hubs” of small businesses or shops.

The new greenway plan for our area has had several proposals for the location and connections, possible routes, and also attachments to other, bigger trails (like the A.T.). It is unsure where exactly the new greenway would be fixated through, but it is sure to eventually connect several of our local areas to other towns and areas. With the costs of greenways in mind, including all the impacts beyond financial, would a new greenway in our area be beneficial? Would the pros outweigh the cons and lead to success and maintenance of the greenway, or would it deteriorate over the years, never getting much use to begin with?