Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Updated 12/04/13 at 5:25 pm
No city money used to demolish Hylton Hall:
(Danville, Va.) -- We’re learning more about the demolition of Hylton Hall and just who’s is paying to have the historic building taken down.
According to a city official, a memorandum of understanding is in place between the building’s owner -- Hylton Hall Partners -- and the Danville Industrial Development Authority.
According to the agreement, Hylton Hall Partners agreed to contract with an asbestos abatement company -- ECO Services LLC -- to perform asbestos removal. Hylton Hall Partners also signed a contract with Marshall Construction to demolish the building. That process started this week.
Once the demolition is completed, Hylton Hall Partners will have the site graded. The IDA will purchase the lot once it has been cleared and graded, for a net of $100,000. The IDA will then hold the property for future sale or development.
Hylton Hall Properties purchased the former Dan River complex in 2008 with plans to convert it into upscale apartments for seniors. Those plans fell through when the recession hit and were abandoned when fire destroyed the building in April of last year.
Mayor invited to White House summit on manufacturing:
(Washington, D.C.) -- At the request of the White House, Mayor Sherman Saunders is attending a summit Thursday in Washington, D.C., where he will join local leaders from around the country to discuss manufacturing as a core policy focus of President Obama’s Middle Class Jobs Agenda.
The event will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature presentations from White House economic advisor Gene Sperling, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
In addition, panel discussions will allow Saunders and other leaders to share information on how they are improving their competitiveness for manufacturing investment and jobs.
Saunders said he welcomes the opportunity to share the Danville story and to learn from the success of other localities.
The meeting will take place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located next to the West Wing and houses a majority of offices for White House staff.
Dec. 17-18 set for recount in Va. AG's race:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The recount in Virginia's historically close race for attorney general has been scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18.
Richmond Circuit Judge Beverly W. Snukals set those dates at a hearing Wednesday, allowing Fairfax County to begin its recount on the 17th with the rest of the state's localities joining in the next day. The additional time was given to Fairfax County because of its population and array of voting machines.
Once localities complete the recount, a three-judge recount court will convene to settle any challenged ballots.
Democrat Mark Herring has a 165-vote edge over Republican Mark Obenshain in the closest statewide race in modern Virginia political history.
Obenshain requested the recount, which will be done at taxpayer expense.
Both men are hoping to succeed Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Police cordon off the Mall entrance near Belk's after a suspicious package was found.
Danville Mall cleared out for "suspicious" package:
(Danville, Va.) -- A portion of the Danville Mall was evacuated last night after a suspicious package was found near one of the entrances---turns out it was a false alarm.
Danville Police Captain Matt Carter says the call came in just before nine o-clock. Someone spotted a clear, plastic package sitting in front of the Belk’s entrance. The mall was evacuated and the State Police Bomb Squad unit was called in.
Carter says they found nothing suspicious with the package.
Danville Police report increase in burglaries:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are reporting a spike in residential break-ins over the past month or so, particularly in two areas.
Detectives says the North Main Street corridor has seen a number of residential burglaries since the start of November, as has the area around Danville Community College in the south side of town.
Detective Shannon Conner says its too early to say who’s responsible, but she notes Police have received multiple reports of groups of juveniles walking through neighborhoods, peering into windows.
Conner says folks should secure their homes and make sure no Christmas presents or other valuable items are locating near uncovered windows. Also, with new electronics purchases, try not to leave boxes outside until just before trash pickup.
Southside gun case on hold:
(Washington, D.C.) -- A former police officer in Rocky Mount and a Bassett Gun Store owner will wait until a big Supreme Court case before they enter pleas to federal gun counts
US Attorneys say 57-year old David Carson Haskins paid people to buy guns from Town Police Supply in Collinsville---a company that provides gun to law enforcement. Haskins then re-sold the guns on the internet. He runs Southern Gun Incorporated in Bassett
Prosecutors say 25-year old James Marion Slate of Rocky Mount made at least two of the straw purchases---while he was a patrolman with the Rocky Mount Town Department.
Both will plead guilty---but only after the nation’s highest court weighs in on another gun case with ties to Southside Virginia.
Federal prosecutors say 33-year old James Abramski used his police discount to buy a glock-19 from a Collinsville gun store in 2009. He then sold it to his uncle in Pennsylvania. The ATF says Abramski lied to the dealer when he signed a form identifying him as the “actual purchaser” of the weapon.
Abramski says since he and his uncle were legally allowed the own guns, he doesn’t qualify under the legal definition of a “straw purchaser.” The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments during their next session.
Each defendant faces a maximum five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. Haskins could get up to 18 additional years on the extra charges.
Crews begin demolition of Hylton Hall complex.
Gov. Bob McDonnell to speak at Averett:
(Danville, Va.) -- Governor Bob McDonnell will deliver the keynote address at Averett University's commencement exercises. The school announced Tuesday that McDonnell will address graduates Saturday, December 14 at the Grant Center.
The appearance comes just a couple of weeks before McDonnell ends his term as the state’s chief executive.
Judge Milam named to panel that will oversee recount in AG’s race:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Circuit Judge Joseph Milam has been named as one of three judges who will oversee the recount for attorney general of Virginia.
In addition to Milam, Judge Junius P. Fulton, III and Judge Beverly W. Snukals will serve on the panel.
The race is one of the closest in the state’s history, with just 165 votes separating Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain. That’s out of more than 2.2 million ballots cast statewide.
Election officials have said the process may take a month to complete.
City approves expansion of Rental Inspection District:
(Danville, Va.) -- Six years after Danville City Council set up a Rental Housing Inspection Program, they voted last night to expand it to the Old West End.
This program was developed to deal with housing conditions and blight. There are two Rental Housing Inspection Districts, one in the north --- the second in the south part of the city. These two districts have a total of 2,465 rental units.
A recently completed Old West End Rental District Study recommended adding the historic area to the district. The program tries to ensure that rental tenants live in safe, decent, and sanitary dwellings.
Postal officials explain closure of Main Street office:
(Danville, Va.) -- Postal officials are saying more about why they closed Danville’s Main Street Post Office last week. The office closed last Wednesday after suspected lead-based paint was found during a safety and health inspection.
The building failed inspection because of the paint. It will remain closed until further notice.
A notice posted on the building says all mail and parcels were removed on Monday. Customers must pick up their mail at the main Danville post office on Teal Court.
The post office says the inspection found chipping paint in back rooms that hadn't been painted since the 1970s. Crews are being brought in to address the problem.
There’s no word on when the Main Street office will reopen. The station had previously stopped window service; however, the postal department later resumed window hours on a limited basis.
Danville man seeks dismissal of sex convictions:
(Danville, Va.) -- A 48-year old Danville man is trying to get multiple sex convictions overturned.
Lawrence Matherly was convicted in September of two counts of sodomy, two counts of forcible sodomy, and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a 15-year-old girl. The incidents happened between September 2012 through January of this year.
Doctors said the girl has the mental capacity of a seven-year old. The victim’s mother found out about the relationship after she read Facebook messages between Matherly and her daughter.
At his trial, Matherly denied ever touching the girl. A judge will hear more testimony after a brief hearing on Tuesday. If the conviction stands, Matherly faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced.
Volunteers help put up the 57th Chrismon Tree at Ascension Lutheran Church