Martinsville Henry County - Comedy of Errors

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Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:18 am

Martinsville Henry County - Comedy of Errors

Post by BLUEDEVIL1 »

I must voice a few thoughts on my hometown. Thanks to the efforts of previous local political leaders who did their best to protect the local family owned textile and furniture factories by keeping more modern companies out of the area so that the locally owned companies could get by with paying low wages to their workers. This was the decades old way of doing things in Martinsville & Henry County Virginia. Now that the factories have mostly closed, ( over 15,000 manufacturing jobs lost in past decade ), the area has thousands unemployed, a few more thousand who have left the area all together. The Weldon Cooper Center at UVA announced 2 weeks ago that the Martinsville & Henry County area has lost over 3,500 citizens from December 2000 through December 2005.

To make matters worse, the local city and county government leaders still refuse to work together. City leaders have been working on a possible reversion to "town" status because of a worsening economic situation in the city, but county leaders want no part of that. This lack of cooperation is one of many reasons why prospective companies will not locate to that area. Another reason is that 40% of the adult population in Martinsville & Henry County Virginia has no High School Diploma or GED. Decades of coddling the local families who got rich have left the area with an over supply of poor.:-1
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:51 pm

Martinsville Henry County - Comedy of Errors

Post by TruthSeekerToo »

There are local residents that refer to that situation as the Martinsville "plantation mentality" where the "haves" dictate to the "have-nots" by edict via social status connectivity. Here are two simple examples:

In 2004 and 2005, the Henry County school system accused the local newspaper, The Martisnville Bulletin, as reporting inaccuracies about the school system and related matters. In March 2005 a Bulletin reporter, Hays Burchfield, was served no-trespass papers by the Henry County Sheriff's office. A March 27, 2005 Martinsville Bulletin article "Schools block reporter" stated the reason for the action as "Burchfield was found in unauthorized areas of the schools' administration offices, that he talked with students without their consent and in unauthorized at Bassett High school, and that he interfered with the administartion's ability to respond to a bomb threat at Magna Vista High School." As a result of this and related issues, the Henry County School system launched its own newsletter, The County Courier, to provide accurate information to the community. That venture can be viewed at

In July 22, 2005 Martinsville Bulletin articles, local elected officials and Martinsville Chamber of Commerce officials lauded the progress of the city and county, but we currently find the city and county at odds, as usual. The front-page of the Martinsville Bulletin that day had a color picture of Martinsville Mayor Joe Cobbe, Chamber of Commerce Chairman George Lester and Henry County Board of Supervisors Chairman Paula Burnette grasping hands and smiling together at the Chamber-sponsored "State of the City and County Luncheon." under the "Archive" link.

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