The Roanoke Times
Casey is a business reporter at The Roanoke Times, where she previously served as a county government reporter. Here are some of her stories:
- On Penhook tobacco farm, one more time to plant, one more time to harvest: When the certified letter from Farm Credit of the Virginias arrived, Johnny Angell wasn’t surprised. The struggling tobacco farmer, battling a changed industry and failing health, knew he’d fallen behind on payments.
- There’s no place like home for telecommuters: Austin and Jaci Larrowe sit on their living room couch, each with a laptop, their miniature golden doodles nestled between them. A candle burns and HGTV is on, muted, in the background. The environment beside their Old Southwest home is relaxed, cozy. But this isn’t a lazy weekend morning — it’s a work day.
- Seeking solitude and social distancing, vacationers turn to campgrounds, lake rentals and RVs: Charlene Nibert planned to celebrate her retirement from teaching on an Alaskan cruise. But it was canceled because of the coronavirus. So Nibert, of New Port Richey, Florida, used the money she’d set aside for the cruise to buy a recreational vehicle.
- Farm stress: Younger farmers confront physical and emotional challenges: Rose Jeter posed a question to her Facebook friends last summer: Why did they think struggling farmers were turning to suicide?
- Focus on racial justice brings attention to Black-owned businesses: When Kevin Berry saw people asking on social media for Roanoke-area Black-owned businesses they could support, he compiled a list and posted it to Instagram and Facebook in early June.
- Technical education courses in demand by students, but facilities lag: When Franklin County High School seniors gather at Cy Dillon Stadium in red and white caps and gowns, the moment is bittersweet for county school board officials. Graduation marks another generation of students joining the ranks of the school’s alumni, but also another year of opportunity lost for students denied the chance to take career and technical education courses because of crowded facilities.
- Landing the Ironman in Roanoke Valley required a last-minute kick by backers: It was a race to the finish to bring Ironman to the Roanoke Valley. Just weeks before the July 30 announcement that the region would host a triathlon in 2020, there was a scramble to bring hesitant government officials on board.
- Virginia’s commercial hemp rush launches after changes in laws: Despite the buzz around industrial hemp, which Virginians can now grow commercially for the first time in decades, many farmers are exercising caution, choosing to start small. Matt Hagan is not among them.
- Franklin County schools spent $90,000 in 7 months on legal fees for special education: Franklin County Public Schools spent more than $90,000 on legal services related to special education in seven months, a number that starkly contrasts with years past and other nearby school districts.
- Homestead Creamery milkmen deliver dairy and nostalgia, with sunrises as a bonus: As Justin Carter drives through a Bonsack neighborhood around 6 a.m. Wednesday, the headlights of his Homestead Creamery delivery truck illuminate the otherwise dark and deserted streets. The only other light comes from the moon, still high in the sky.
- Franklin County community counters anti-gay slur with love: When Rachel Blankenship-Tucker went outside the morning after Election Day to remove a sign from her yard supporting Hillary Clinton, she was disappointed by more than the race’s outcome.