Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Police fire shot at armed intruder:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are looking for a gunman in a home invasion late last night. The call came in shortly after eleven-thirty from the 700 block of Claiborne Street. When policed pulled up, a woman frantically ran out to the officers and said there was a masked gunman inside. Police went into the house and saw a man standing near the back door holding a gun. When the man pointed the gun towards the officers, one of the officers fired a shot at him from a shotgun and then took cover. The man ran from the house out the back door. Officers brought in K-9 units to track the suspect, but they were unsuccessful. Evidence suggests that the man was not hit by gunfire. The man is a black male with dreadlocks. He has a thin build and is about six feet tall. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call Danville Crimestoppers at (434) 793-0000.
Devastation from a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.
God's Pit Crew mobilizing massive response to Oklahoma:
(Moore, Ok.) -- It’ll be a bittersweet return to Oklahoma this week for God’s Pit Crew. It was a massive twister in the Sooner State in 1999 that led Randy Johnson to organize the crew. Today, they’ll send everything they have after last night’s devastating tornado.
The state medical examiner's office in Oklahoma is expecting more victims of yesterday's deadly tornado to be found today. For now, the official death toll stands at 24 -- revised downward from the initial tally of 51 dead. The higher number reflected double-counting that occurred on the ground and at funeral homes.
Johnson says they’ll also make use of equipment they had in Texas over the weekend. Several of those drivers were already headed back to Danville when the twister hit in Moore-Oklahoma. Those trucks will load up relief supplies in Tennessee and head out to Oklahoma.
Johnson says all that travelling is taking its toll on their financial reserves. He notes that it takes $2,800 to send just one truck on a round trip. You can make a donation through their website at God’s Pit Crew-dot-org. They’re also accepting supply donations at their warehouse on North Main Street. Johnson says they need bottled water, canned food, baby supplies, personal hygiene products and pet food.
Local restaurant assists God’s Pit Crew in Oklahoma:
(Danville, Va.) -- God’s Pit Crew will be getting some local help as volunteers head from Danville to Moore, Oklahoma.
The all-volunteer organization needs money for diesel fuel to take truckloads of bottled water and relief supplies to those left homeless by that EF-5 tornado, and the Checkered Pig has volunteered to help out.
This Thursday, 15% of the proceeds from every meal sold in Danville and Martinsville will be donated to the relief effort in Oklahoma.
WBTM and WAKG will be at the Checkered Pig throughout the day Thursday to encourage folks to respond.
Danville's low temps a record high:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville had a record high low temperature yesterday…and today could be more of the same.
The National Weather Service says the low temperature yesterday at Danville Regional Airport was 68. The old record for the date was 67 degrees from 1998.
The low temperature so far today in Danville is 70 Degrees. If the temperature does not fall lower by midnight...it will tie the record high minimum temperature for this date from 1960.
Records for Danville date back to 1948.
Man jumps into Dan River to avoid trial:
(Danville, Va.) -- A 46-year old Danville man scheduled for a Circuit Court trial Tuesday morning left the courtroom and jumped into the river.
Anthony Falden was set to go to trial on a charge of possession of cocaine. Police say he left the courtroom, walked to the Martin Luther King Bridge, and got on the Riverwalk trail. From there, he jumped into the Dan River.
Police negotiators tried to get Falden to grab a buoy they tossed his way. They said Falden would grab the buoy, but then would let go.
Police got in contact with Falden’s family members by cell phone. When his daughter showed up, Falden came out of the water. He was a hundred yards downstream of the bridge. The incident lasted about thirty minutes.
Falden was not hurt, but he’s being taken to the hospital for an evaluation. Additional charges are pending.
No speakers at budget public hearing:
(Danville, Va.) -- Folks had a chance last night to let Danville City Council know what they think about next year’s proposed budget. No one showed up to speak at the public hearing.
A surplus in property tax revenue allowed Council to drop the city manager’s request for a five-cent hike in the real estate rate.
Several Council members said they had heard some concerns over a package of water and utility rate increases in the budget. The package includes four-(m) million dollars for River District and industrial park development---along with $1.75 million for blight eradication.
The budget also includes bond money to complete the new Lynn Street fire station and 911-communication center, make improvements to the adult detention center and replace the Brantley substation transformer.
The budget also sets aside $1.13 million to implement the new pay classification and compensation plan under study. Under this new plan, preliminary figures show more than half of all city employees will receive a pay adjustment in the next fiscal year.
Danville Public Schools will receive the full $17.4 million as requested by the School Board. The budget also sustains support for key economic development and community programs like River District development and blight eradication.
Pitt. Co. leaders approve pared-down School Safety plan:
(Chatham, Va.) -- Instead of being able to hire up to 16 new school resource officers, Pittsylvania County’s Sheriff’s will be able to apply for a grant that would fund most of the costs for SIX new officers.
The Board of Supervisors last night voted to remove the original one-point-seven (m) million dollar line item from Sheriff Mike Taylor’s School Safety Initiative. He’s now hoping for the US Department of Justice Grant that would foot 75-percent of the bill for a three-year period. The County would match 25-percent for three years, then pay the full cost for a fourth year.
The Danville Register and Bee reports that would come out to around 200-thousand local dollars.
Council begins approval process for downtown fountain:
(Danville, Va.) -- A local company is upping their donation, allowing a new downtown water fountain to become even MORE noticeable. And Danville City Council last night took the first step to make it happen.
JTI-Tobacco originally donated $400,000 to build the fountain. The low bid came in at 425-thousand dollars. The city had also asked bidders to look into adding programmable-color lighting. That came in at an additional $40,000. JTI has agreed to donate money---that’ll boost their overall donation to 465-thousand dollars.
Council members says the fountain could give Danville a whole new identity.
Construction of the park is underway at the intersection of Main and Craghead---near what used to be the entrance to the northbound lanes of the King Memorial Bridge.
City finalizes dam purchase:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville leaders last night finalized a plan to buy the former Schoolfield Dam and lease it back to the company that’s been using it the past 23 years.
Dan River and STS Hydropower of Michigan Corporation entered into a lease for STS to operate the four-and-a-half megawatt, federally-licensed hydroelectric facility at the Schoolfield Dam in 1989 with the lease ending in 2014.
Dan River filed for bankruptcy five years ago. All their property, including the Schoolfield Dam, came under the control of bankruptcy trustee. A bankruptcy court judge has signed off on the deal, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has lent their blessings.
The city will purchase the dam for 175-thousand dollars, then lease it back to STS. They would pay over 17-hundred dollars per year, through the year 2063.
Leaders lend preliminary approval for Danville Braves lease:
(Danville, Va.) -- The city is one step away from signing a deal to keep the Danville Braves in town for at least five more years.
City Council last night approved a first readin of a Lease Agreement with the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, allowing the Danville Braves to continue to use American Legion Stadium as their home field for five years. The lease also contains the option for an additional five-year lease.
The Danville Braves will pay the City an annual rent of over 60-thousand dollars. The Lease also calls for various improvements to the stadium over the initial five year term. That will include expanding and enclosing the batting cage, field renovations, and outfield wall and concourse renovations.
The Braves have been in Danville since 1993.
Fryer fire closes seafood restaurant temporarily:
(Danville, Va.) -- A fire at Long John Silver’s restaurant on Piney Forest Road has forced the business to close temporarily.
Danville fire trucks were called to the scene just before 1:00 Monday afternoon. The manager advised firefighters that the restaurant had been evacuated and all employees were accounted for after a fryer fire. Attempts by employees to put out the fire were unsuccessful.
Firefighters found a small fire in the fryer, which had to be disassembled before using the restaurant’s extinguisher.
The restaurant was closed for business so the equipment could be repaired and the kitchen cleaned from the fire. Prior to reopening the restaurant will be inspected by the Fire Marshal's Office and the Health Department.
Uranium Mining foes say McAuliffe is on board:
(Danville, Va.) -- Uranium mining opponents say Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is in their corner. They’ll soon meet with freshly-minted Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli. The Roanoke River Basin Association says they met with McAuliffe earlier this month in Danville. They say he called Uranium Mining a “horrible idea.” Gov. Bob McDonnell has not decided his response to a suggestion that he direct state agencies to put uranium mining regulations in place to help guide the 2014 General Assembly if it considers ending a decades-old moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia.
Indictments handed down in Henry County homicide:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- A Henry County grand jury Monday handed down an indictment in a domestic homicide from earlier this year.
It happened January 29th at a house on Bittersweet Drive in Bassett. Deputies found a woman suffering from what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
Investigators say 57-year old Linda Sue Mitchell was shot by her husband David. She was taken to Martinsville Memorial Hospital and later air lifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center --- where she died two days later.
64-year old David Mitchell is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. He's being held in the Henry County jail without bond. A trial date has NOT been set.
Sheriff Mike Mondul presents a $1,000.00 scholarship check through the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute to rising Averett University senior Taylor Hayden. Hayden is a criminal justice major who currently boasts a 3.75 overall GPA.