Woodstock council hears of finances; recognizes officer

An audit of Woodstock’s finances this week was quick and painless.

Auditor James Kelley from Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates was at the town offices Monday and Tuesday.

Town Manager Angela Clem said everything looks good according to preliminary indications.

“We are in excellent shape,” she said.

Kelley and town Finance Director John O’Neill will continue to work on the audit, drafting a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that is anticipated to be completed and released in December.

Clem declined to release preliminary details of the audit until that time.

During the meeting, the town recognized the life-saving actions of a Woodstock police officer.

Town officials presented a plaque to Woodstock Investigator Stuart Leake, who in April saved a choking Sgt. Brian Miller by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

“I wasn’t expecting a plague. It was a surprise. It is a little embarrassing because it was for doing something anyone would have done in that situation,” Leake said afterwards.

“I am thankful he is OK.”

Woodstock officers are trained in performing the Heimlich maneuver but don’t expect to use it on one of their own.

Leake said the event was ironic because a week before the incident he realized he had never performed the maneuver and wondered if it would work.

Leake’s family was in attendance to witness the award.

Miller and Leake had driven to the Roanoke area to interview a suspect in a criminal investigation. They obtained a confession and on the way back to Woodstock they stopped to eat and talk turned to the case.

Miller reached for his throat.

“I asked him if he was choking and he waved me off,” Leake said.

“I did not think I was choking at first, then it set in,” Miller said.

Miller stood up to go the bathroom.

Leake asked him, again, if he was choking. This time his colleague shook his head yes.

Leake performed the maneuver, clearing Miller’s airway. The two then went back to eating, they said.

The council also heard:

• The town anticipates street paving season to be done within next two weeks.  The remaining streets are Water Street from Mill Road to Foundry Street as well as West Court Street from Main Street to Muhlenberg Street.