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Thursday, April 27, 2017
Updated 4/27/17  12:06 pm

Traffic moving slowly through Riverdale Wednesday morning (Photo: Brenda Hudson)

Riverdale businesses flooded by rising waters:
(South Boston, Va.) -- Floodwaters forced officials to close the intersection of U.S. 501 and 58 in Riverdale Wednesday.
      Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Chad Loftis said while vehicles were moving through the intersection and allowed to pass through pools of water earlier in the day, the river’s rise made it too dangerous for traffic by late morning. 
      The detour sends traffic on U.S. 58 coming from Danville to Turbeville Road to Cluster Springs Road then to U.S. 501 to East Hyco Road to Ponderosa Road.
       Major flooding continues in South Boston, with several businesses in flood prone Riverdale underwater Thursday morning. The river level at South Boston was expected to crest at around 29 feet -- which is major flood stage -- according to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.
      Meanwhile, the Dan River continues its slow fall in Danville. While the Riverwalk Trail remains closed, Danville Public Works has reopened Goodyear Boulevard from the U.S. 29 bypass to Gypsum Road. Trade Street at Advance Street remained closed early Thursday morning.

State Police identify Gretna woman killed in Monday wreck:
(Pittsylvania County) – Virginia State Police have identified the Pittsylvania County woman who was killed in a single-vehicle accident on the Kentuck Road Monday night as 47-year-old Dorothy M. Scearce of Gretna.
     According to state police, Scearce was driving a 2003 Ford Mustang on State Road 727 when her car ran off the left side of the road, went down an embankment and struck a tree.
     Scearce was not wearing a seatbelt, and was thrown from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
     The trooper who investigated said speed was not a factor in the accident, which happened about 9 pm Monday.

Eden man dies in Halifax County crash:
(Halifax County, Va.) -- A 40 year old Eden, N.C. man died in a single-vehicle accident in Halifax County Monday night.  
      Virginia State Police say John P. Dalton died when the 2002 Nissan SUV he was driving veered off the left side of US 58 about a half mile east of its intersection with State Route 751. The vehicle then struck a tree. Dalton died at the scene of the accident, which happened just after 8:30 Monday night.
     A 19- year-old passenger in the SUV, Kaitlyn Mitchem, was transported to Duke Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
      Both were wearing seat belts.

Flooding off River Street leaves vehicles submerged Tuesday. (photo:Susan Pugh Irby)

Trade St. behind Cici's Pizza. (Photo: Anna Marie Jasko)

Dan River crests just below Major Flood Stage in Danville:
(Danville, Va.) – Flood waters left cars submerged off River and Bridge streets and much of the Value City parking lot was covered in pools of water as Danville experienced its worst flooding  since 2007.
      The Dan River reached a crest of 25.3 feet Tuesday afternoon, just below the major flood stage of 25.5 feet.
      National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Laconto says the Dan River is Danville is beginning to fall slowly and should drop below flood stage Thursday evening.
      But the river continued to rise further upstream in Paces and South Boston and is projected to approach 29 feet, which is considered major flood stage. Loconto says the Riverdale area will see flooding over the next several days into the weekend.
     Here in Danville, police reported no weather-related accidents.
     Goodyear Boulevard from the U.S. 29 bypass to Gypsum Road and Trade at Advance Streets were closed Tuesday because of rising waters. River Street remained open but traffic was restricted to a single lane as public works crews pumped water from the street.
    Flooding also forced the city to close the Riverwalk Trail indefinitely until the waters recede and a damage assessment can be made. The raging river also left the dam in front of the Danville Family YMCA completely submerged and flooded the ground floor conference center of the new Spectrum Medical Center downtown.      


Flooding at Leggett's Bottom on 58 East. The Dan River is expected to crest near 29 feet in South Boston by Thursday. Major flooding is possible in Riverdale.

The Dan River at its highest level in a decade. (Photo:Dianne McMahan)

Downtown along the Riverwalk Trail

Water covering River St. along the S Curves Tuesday. (photo: Sherri Myers-Keatts)


Value City parking lot (Dan River Church) Tuesday afternoon.

Flooding at the new Spectrum Medical building downtown. (Photo: Dianne McMahan)

Fishing in the flooded Value City parking lot. (Photo: Buford Arnn)

Arrest made in Martinsville robbery:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- Frederick Valentino Hariston, II, 26, of Martinsville has been charged in an armed robbery at the Northview Garden Apartments.
      Officers responded to the Stultz Road apartments on Monday at around 9 p.m. and the victim identified Hariston as the robber. He was arrested in a nearby apartment. Police seized two guns and some drugs when they took him into custody.
     Hariston is charged with robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, shoplifting, and possession of marijuana.
     He is being held in the Martinsville City Jail under no bond. Additional charges are pending.

Danville teen sentenced to 24 years in stabbing death:
(Danville, Va.) -- Aisha Saunders has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for a fatal stabbing in November 2015.
     The 19-year old was charged with first-degree murder, malicious wounding and two other counts. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received 24 years and seven months in jail.
      Danville Police say Saunders got into a fight with 18-year-old Octrival Townes, and another 24-year old woman in the 200 block of West James Street.
      Saunders pulled a knife and stabbed Townes in the back, puncturing her lung. The other woman was stabbed in the thigh and foot. Townes died later that day.
South Boston hotel project receives $475,000 IRF Grant:
(South Boston, Va.) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe has awarded a large IRF grant for the revitalization of the John Randolph Hotel in South Boston. The Industrial Revitalization Fund awards went to three localities, including the IDA of South Boston, and the towns of Big Stone Gap and Cape Charles, each receiving $475,000 and $500,000.
      The funding provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in economically distressed communities.
      South Boston has also applied for a $1 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, but has yet to receive word on that request.
      South Boston has been working to renovate the building into a boutique hotel since 2012, and the local Industrial Development Authority agreed to apply for $500,000 in historic rehab tax credits in February.
     Plans call for developing the building into a boutique hotel with 27 guest rooms, a restaurant and a roof top bar.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorses Perriello in Virginia:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has endorsed Tom Perriello in the Virginia governor's race.
     Warren's endorsement means Perriello now has two of the leading progressive voices in the Senate backing his campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Perriello earlier this month.
     Perriello is running an insurgent campaign against the state party's establishment pick, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and has sought support from prominent national Democrats. The two will face off in a June primary. Virginia and New Jersey are the only states set to elect governors this year.
     Warren made her endorsement in an interview with the Huffington Post on Monday.
     Both Perriello and Northam have been critics of President Donald Trump, but Perriello has made opposition to Trump a focal point of his campaign.
Gretna man killed in freak accident:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) – A Gretna man was killed when a tree fell on his car Sunday afternoon.
      State Police identify the victim as 65-year-old Nathaniel Tyrone Coles. Authorities say he was driving his car on Route 40 near Tucker Road when a large tree fell and struck the automobile. It happened just after 6 p.m.
      State Police say Coles' wife, 70-year-old Denny Lea Coles, was in the passenger seat. Both were wearing their seat belts.
      The trooper who investigated said speed and alcohol were not factors in the accident.
      Both were taken to the hospital in Gretna, where Nathaniel Coles was pronounced dead. His wife suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover.

Arrest made in Rockingham County robbery:
(Eden, N.C.) – Just two hours after he robbed a Rockingham County convenience store, authorities arrested a 38-year-old suspect.
     A clerk at the J Mart on East Stadium Drive reported the robbery at around 4:15 Saturday morning.
     Rockingham County sheriff’s investigators arrested Christopher Michael Martin without incident at 6:30 that morning.
      Martin is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was taken to the magistrate’s office and jailed under a $50,000 secured bond. Martin is scheduled to appear in court on May 10.

Fire destroys former furniture factory:
(Martinsville, Va.) – The cause of a fire that destroyed the former American of Martinsville furniture building remains under investigation.
      Firefighters were called to the Aaron Street location just after 5:00 Saturday afternoon and were on the scene throughout the night.
       While the area was under a severe thunderstorm watch at the time, investigators say the fire was not caused by a lightning strike.
      The building housed Bargains Galore and officials say neither the owner nor the tenant had insurance.  
      Rains helped contain the fire, as firefighters from Martinsville, Collinsville, Ridgeway and Fieldale pumped water on the flames. Hot spots were still smoldering Sunday.
     The fire marshal says it may take some time to determine a cause.

Shootout in Eden parking lot leaves two wounded:
(Eden, N.C.) -- Two men were hospitalized after they were wounded in a hail of gunfire in an Eden parking lot Saturday morning.
Police responded to Summers Bar & Grill on the 200 block of W. Kings Highway and found cars hit by gunfire and evidence that multiple rounds had been fired. 
     Police said two groups of people were firing shots at each other across the parking lot.
     As police were pursuing a car thought to have been at the shooting scene, two people were brought to the emergency room of Morehead Hospital, both suffering from gunshot wounds. 
      Benjamin Joseph Evans, 21, from Greensboro and David Lashawn Blackwell, 24, from Reidsville were transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 
      The Eden Police Department is asking anyone with information to contact authorities.

Abbott St. fire ruled arson:
(Danville, Va.) – An early morning fire on Abbott Street was set intentionally. The Danville Fire Marshal has ruled arson as the cause of a fire at 1112 Abbott Street.
      Firefighters responded to the address just before 5:00 Saturday morning and found flames shooting through the roof of the single-family home. Crews searched the interior but quickly determined that the house was unoccupied.
     The fire was contained but damage to the building is described as “significant.” Three engines, a ladder truck and support personnel responded to the house fire, along with Danville Police and the Danville Life Saving Crew. There were no injuries.
    The fire marshal’s office is continuing its investigation.

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