The Martinsville Fire & EMS Department reminds the public that a statewide burning ban goes into effect on Saturday.

The ban affects open-air burning before 4 p.m. that occurs within 300 feet of woodlands. The ban continues through April 30.

City fire code also requires that all open-air burning be completed by 8 p.m. There is a danger that fire can spread during this time frame because of higher winds, lower relative humidity and extremely dry fuels on the forest floor.

All outdoor fires shall be attended at all times.

For more info call 276-403-5325.

Distinguished Alumni deadline

Friday is the deadline to nominate for the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation’s 14th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Nominees must have graduated with a degree or certificate or taken a minimum of 24 credit hours from PHCC and must have demonstrated success within their chosen career or field of expertise, given significant community-based services, and be able to attend the awards ceremony slated for May 1 at the Chatmoss Country Club.

To access the alumni nomination forms visit www.patrickhenryfoundation.com, under the “Helpful Links” section; visit the Foundation Office in the Frith Building on PHCC’s campus; or contact Letitia Pulliam at 276-656-0250 or at lpulliam@patrickhenry.edu.

Riggleman’s office hours

U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Charlottesville), whose district includes a sliver of Henry County, will have a representative available for “office hours” at noon-1 p.m. Tuesday at the Blue Ridge Regional Library Ridgeway Branch in Ridgeway- Meeting Room.

Constituents can meet with a member of Riggleman’s staff about issues involving federal agencies, including Social Security benefits, Medicare, immigration, veterans’ benefits and more.

For more information, call 434-791-2596.

Griffith’s office hours

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Abingdon), whose district represents the remainder of Henry County, Martinsville and Patrick County, has staff hours coming up on Feb. 26.

A representative will be at the Patrick County Administration Building, 106 Rucker St. in Stuart, at 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., then at the Martinsville Municipal Building at 2-3:30.

For more information, call 276-525-1405.

Absentee voting ongoing in primaryAbsentee voting is ongoing for the Virginia Democratic presidential primary, which is March 3. Voters can request ballots be mailed to them by going to www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal or find the form to mail to their local voter registration office at www.elections.virginia.gov/forms. Republicans will choose delegates to their national convention at a state convention, so no Republican candidates will appear on the ballot.

In-person absentee voting is available at 8:30 a.m. daily at elections offices in Henry County and Martinsville and at 8 a.m. in Patrick County. Check schedules at www.elections.virginia.gov/vro.

Other important dates:

The last day to register to vote or update voter registration information in order to vote in the March election is Feb. 10.

» The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25.

» The deadline to vote absentee in-person is Feb. 29.

» The deadline for returning your ballot by mail is on Election Day, March 3.

A list of the 20 acceptable reasons to vote absentee is available at www.elections.virginia.gov/absentee. Voters voters casting an absentee ballot either in-person or on Election Day must show an acceptable photo ID. More information can be found at www.elections.virginia.gov/registration or by calling 800-552-9745.

Road work projects

Virginia DOT has alerted motorists of these projects underway in Henry and Patrick counties:

» Installation will begin in the next few weeks for a two emergency pipe replacements on U.S. 220 Business, one just north of Speedway Road and on U.S. 58/220 at Greensboro Road and William F. Stone Highway. Drivers can expect lane closures at both locations. The completion date is scheduled for August.

» Lee Ford Camp Road and Soapstone Road will have intermittent traffic disruptions as AEP crews work on the power lines. Work will continue through March 1.

» Work continues in the turn lane for U.S. 220 South/U.S. 58 East Bypass began work, and drivers may experience brief periods of flagging on Route 877 to off load equipment and materials. A temporary right lane will be in place during the working hours of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Estimated completion is May 22.

» A portion of Old Mill Road in Patrick County remains closed for a bridge replacement over Spoon Creek. There are detours and posted signs to guide motorists. The project is expected to be completed by May 1.

Staff reports

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