Protect a rare creature

Published 4:42 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

I have a favor to ask.

On Wednesday, we featured a photo on the front page of The Tidewater News of an ever-so-rare albino deer. Really cool photo of this white doe running alongside a brown doe, which I just had to share with our readers.

My fear is that during hunting season, or prior to the season, someone may kill this deer. I’m not opposed to hunting. I hunt and have taken deer in addition to a trophy antelope in Idaho and red stag in New Zealand. Got the mounts on my wall.

But this albino deer is a rare thing found in nature. Residents who have seen this deer in their Franklin neighborhood have named it Casper for the friendly ghost. Let others enjoy the pleasure of seeing this unusual creature. I’ve never seen an albino in the wild, but it would surely be one of those great moments if I ever do.

• Have you seen the 5-foot silver pinwheel around town? If you have, you may be a winner.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention. Each year thousands of children are abused and neglected nationwide, according to DeAnna Cheatham, supervisor for the Franklin City Department of Social Services. In Virginia alone, from July 2009 through June 2010, 48,915 children were reported as possibly being abused or neglected. During the fiscal year 2010, the Eastern region, which includes Western Tidewater, had more child fatalities than any other region in the state.

In Franklin there were 102 referrals during the 2010 fiscal year, involving more than 300 children, Cheatham reported.

Join the Franklin’s Department of Social Services to promote child abuse prevention. Throughout April, be on the lookout for the giant pinwheel in front of local businesses. If you are the first to find the pinwheel, you will win a prize donated by a local business.

Bring your family and pick from the Pinwheel Garden at Franklin City Social Services, 306 N. Main St. On May 21, participate with motorcycle riders in the first No Excuse for Child Abuse Poker Run. The event will kick off at 9 a.m. at Don Pancho’s at 1200 Armory Drive. The registration fee is $10 per driver and $5 per rider. Contact Jill Gorgei 562-4241 for more information.

If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected or if you are the victim of abuse or neglect, call Franklin Department of Social Services at 562-8520.

• Jean Copeland, retired guidance director for Southampton High School, was pleased to pass on that her granddaughter, Brittany Copeland, was honored for earning a 3.6 grade-point average. A senior at North Carolina State in Raleigh, Brittany was recognized by the university’s graduate school.

Brittany is the daughter of E. Rick and Penny Copeland. Her dad is a 1978 graduate of Forest Glen High School in Suffolk. Her grandfather, Enoch Copeland, is a member of the Suffolk School Board.

An avid swimmer, Brittany used to visit her grandparents’ home in Holland in the summers and practice swimming at the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA in Franklin.