Here you can find the following letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times:
Once again, Southwest Virginia is leading the way in the state for litter control and local environmental protection.
The assign-a-highway program that utilizes the endless supply of labor from probationers got its start in Buchanan County, has spread to almost all the coalfield counties and is now adopted in several other state jurisdictions, including the Eastern Shore.
Judge Joe Carico, a former prosecutor and deputy attorney general, has launched the state's first environmental court in the Wise County General District Court. He has levied hefty penalties, up to $5,000, against litterbugs and people who dump trash and waste along roadsides and into streams.
Many coalfield counties have adopted ordinances, allowing their litter wardens to bring such cases to court under Virginia statute. Enforcement that hits the pocketbook stops littering and dumping.
Only the most dedicated idiots now dump trash in our region, and they are routinely caught with hidden cameras and very dedicated litter control wardens.
It's now hard to find roadside trash in Buchanan, Tazewell and Dickenson counties, and Wise and Russell counties are gaining ground.
Carico deserves our thanks for being innovative. Hopefully, his idea will catch on in the rest of the region and state.