Robots, Laser-guided Carts, and Northampton Supervisors

Northampton County Supervisors Larry Trala, Willie Randall, and Oliver Bennett, with Janice Williams, assistant to the County administrator, before their tour of the factory. No photos were permitted in the factory. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

August 27, 2012

Members of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors went on a field trip last Thursday. They visited the Stihl manufacturing plant in Virginia Beach.

“I heard it was a good trip to see how high quality businesses function,” said board Chairman Oliver Bennett, who is also a teacher. “I wanted to see the operation, and see what we should be teaching our students.”

Bennett drove the small white activities bus that took the group to the factory. The building was huge — more than 2 million square feet of interior space on 150 acres, with 1,900 employees.

Most of the work was done by enormous robots, with a skilled technician manning two or three machines at a time. Long assembly lines filled several buildings, with people in high-tech workstations fitting, measuring, and inspecting the products in 12-hour shifts.

“What are you looking for in a student coming out of high school?” asked Supervisor Willie Randall. [Read more…]

Creative Writing Soars with 10-Week Workshop

Authors Lenore Hart and David Poyer give writers wings at Eastern Shore’s Own.

Special to the Wave

August 26, 2012

Creatively grounded? Why not get serious about starting — or finishing — that novel, short story, memoir, nonfiction article, nonfiction book, play, or screenplay?

Two much-published authors — Lenore Hart and David Poyer — are ready to coach both new and experienced writers in a weekly Creative Writing Workshop at the ESO Arts Center in Belle Haven. The class starts September 4, lasts 10 weeks, and is limited to eight writers on a first-come, first-served basis.

The popular workshop is in its 16th year. David Poyer’s 32 books have been reviewed in the New York Times and on USA Today’s bestseller lists. His work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, and Italian, and rights have been sold for films and audiobooks. He teaches in the MA and MFA in Creative Writing programs at Wilkes University.

Novelist Lenore Hart will be the primary instructor this fall. Her books have been alternate selections of Book of the Month, Doubleday, and The Literary Guild, and have won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Her six critically acclaimed adult novels include Waterwoman, Ordinary SpringsBecky and, most recently, The Raven’s Bride. They have been translated into Norwegian, Swedish, and Portuguese, and two have been optioned for film. [Read more…]