Year in Review: Southside News of 2012

Danville, VA -A lot of big changes happened in the Southside in 2012. Good and bad, these events made their mark on the region.

Governor Bob McDonnell started off 2012 setting a tone for the uranium mining debate, stating his opinion to keep the ban. Others have followed like Martinsville City Council, individual Pittsylvania County board members, and even a Congressional candidate.

"I know about uranium, it's dangerous and if it gets into your water and it gets into your air it's going to ruin the Southside. This is as clear a case as we have ever seen," said John Douglass, the Democratic nominee.

Controversy followed Pittsylvania County into the supervisors' chambers. In February, a federal judge ordered the Board of Supervisors to stop praying at their meetings until a decision could be reached, after the ACLU sued on behalf of an anonymous citizen. Just a few days later, Jane Doe got a name: Barbara Hudson.

"We are standing up for what we believe is right," said Tim Barber, chairman of Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

The case isn't resolved yet, the two parties are currently in mediation.

Parts of Danville look very different from just a year ago. The Downtowner has been demolished, Hylton Hall has become a blighted building after an April fire, and the River District is in the process of a makeover.

"It's worth it, I think, in the long term just to improve the appearance of downtown," said Norman Aquilo, owner of Riverland Music.

Toward the end of 2012, former Halifax County Sheriff Stanley Noblin saw the other side of the justice system when he was indicted on 21 counts of forgery and embezzlement. He turned himself in November.

As of now, the Pittsylvania Count Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution on uranium mining asking lawmakers to review the studies and its effects. And the city of Danville is in the middle of working on Phase 1 of the River District.