11:31am, 10/30/14
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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Updated 10/30/14 @ 7:35 am


DUI charges in Grove Park crash:
(Danville, Va.) -- A 66-year old Danville woman is facing DUI charges after running her car into her home’s living room yesterday afternoon.
          Danville Police say it happened in the three-hundred block of Pendleton Road in the Grove Park subdivision shortly after 3 p.m.  They found a Ford Fusion was sitting inside of a brick frame home.
          Police think Cheryl Allen sparked a small fire by trying to back out of the house and spinning the tires hard enough to ignite some paper on the floor. The fire caused little damage.
          Investigators think Allen backed out of her driveway, went across the street and up a neighbor’s lawn.  She hit a tree with the back of her car.  They think she panicked and hit the gas, heading back across the street, up her driveway and crashed into her house.
          Allen charged with DUI and driving on a suspended license. No one was hurt.  Police estimated damage to the home at $20,000 --- $6,500 in damages to the Ford. (Photo: Leonard Harville)

Jobeless rates down, along with workforce participation:
(Danville, Va.) -- The good news is the Danville area jobless rate is down sharply from a year ago.  The bad news, there are a thousand fewer people in the local workforce.  The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics says Danville and Pittsylvania County lost two-and-a-half percent of the workforce over the past 12 months---the second-highest drop in the nation, behind only Atlantic City.  The reduced number of available jobs helped lower the unemployment rate from 8-point-3 percent a year ago, to 7-point-2 percent in September.  In Virginia, Martinsville’s 11-point-one percent jobless rate was the highest in the state.

Third suspect convicted in home invasion:
(Chatham, Va.) -- A 33-year old Danville man who forced his way into a house on Halifax Road last fall could spend the rest of his life in prison.    
          A Pittsylvania County jury yesterday recommended three life terms plus 13 years in jail for Enrique Hernandez.  He and two relatives forced their way into a home in the county last September and shot the homeowner during the course of a robbery.
          The homeowner says three armed Hispanic males forced their way into his house in the Java area and demanded money. When he told them he didn’t have any, he was blasted by a shotgun. The trio fled but were arrested a couple of days later when deputies went to investigate a drug call on Mount Cross Road. The two other suspects have already been convicted and sentenced.

Rocket explodes off Virginia's Eastern Shore:
(Wallops Island, Va.) (AP) -- Orbital Sciences Corp. says it hopes to know soon what caused a liftoff explosion of its supply rocket on Tuesday evening at its launch site in Virginia.
          Company executive vice president Frank Culbertson says things began to go wrong 10 to 12 seconds into the flight and it was all over in 20 seconds. What was left of the rocket came crashing down into a fiery blast that sent flaming debris flying over the beach-side launch area in Wallops Island.  An innkeeper 16 miles away witnessed the explosion.
          The supply capsule was ferrying 5,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. The payload included supplies and scientific experiments. NASA says none of it was needed crucially.
          NASA says Orbital Sciences had insured the project, valued at more than $200 million. NASA is paying several space firms billions to make deliveries to the orbiting lab.

Danville Humane Society proposes regional shelter:
(Danville, Va.) -- The Danville Area Humane Society has submitted a proposal to Pittsylvania County for the operation of a regional animal shelter run by the DAHS.
      Since 2007, the shelter has had an agreement to accept cats from Pittsylvania County animal control. Negotiations between the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County resulted in a monthly payment of $3,950, based on the total percentage of animals received from the county, not just the stray cats that the animal control officers bring to Danville.
      In 2012, the animal shelter built an adoption center. This center is attached to the public animal shelter, and houses both City of Danville and Pittsylvania County animals
     Director Paulette Dean says that a regional shelter would serve the needs of Danville and Pittsylvania County. About 50% of the animals received annually come from Pittsylvania County. 
      Under the plan, the shelter could accommodate an additional 1,100 animals than the current county public animal shelter receives. 
      Dean proposes a three-year contract to manage the combined facility. Under the plan, Pittsylvania County would build a 700 square foot room onto the current Danville animal shelter. This room would serve as a housing area for puppies and small dogs. The estimated cost of construction would be capped at $100,000.
     Pittsylvania County would also purchase 15 banks of Shoreline cages, with a purchase cap of $40,000. If the contract is terminated after three years, Pittsylvania County retains ownership of the cages.
     Pittsylvania County would also pay the DAHS $125,000 annually, in monthly installments.
     The Humane Society would provide monthly financial statements and a copy of the annual audit to Pittsylvania County; the shelter would vaccinate and de-worm dogs and cats upon intake, and seek veterinary treatment and care for sick and/or injured animals; the shelter would continue to provide spay/neuter programs for the residents of Pittsylvania County; and would have sole responsibility for the adoption program, promoting adoption partnerships with rescue groups.
      An additional 2-to-3 employees would be hired to help take care of the higher number of animals and Danville would assist County animal control officers, when possible, in transporting animals to the shelter.
Rockingham Co. Deputy rescues three in fire:

(Summerfield, N.C.) -- A Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputy may have saved three lives this morning.  A spokesman says Sgt. Jon Peters passed by 173 Hunter Glen Road in Summerfield at around 4:30 a.m., while headed to another call nearby. He saw that a house was on fire. He was able to get the two adults and one child inside the home out safely. More details are expected soon.

Registrars report no major problems yet with new requirements:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Registrar Peggy Petty says she’s doing her best to get the message about the new photo ID requirement for Virginia voters.  Those who show up at the polls without proper ID Nov. 4th will be given a provisional ballot, but that won’t count unless they can come up with a valid ID within three days.
     Petty says most in need of photo ID cards are the elderly who now longer drive. But she says there are other forms of identification that can be used at the polls, such as a passport, an employee photo card, or a student identification card---as long as they haven’t expired.
     Across the state, the Virginia Department of Elections has issued about 2,000 voter identification cards. Petty says her office has printed 23 ID cards.

FERC asked to approve gas pipeline:
(Richmond, Va.) -- More questions are being raised about a proposed gas pipeline that would link up to Pittsylvania County---even as the companies who want to build it take the next step.
          Two national energy companies proposing the 330-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline have pre-filed for a Permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The line would run mostly through West Virginia and enter the state in Southwest Virginia to before reaching its delivery point near Chatham.
          Pittsburgh-based EQT and Florida-based NextEra Energy will need a federal permit before beginning any work.
          The Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected to provide at least two-(b) billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.  Deliveries to Transcontinental Gas Pipeline’s compressor station in Pittsylvania County could begin by the end of 2018.
          A citizen’s group in Montgomery County last night raised concerns over the 42-inch gas main.  They’re worried about possible environmental impacts.  Right now, an estimated 15-hundred properties in Virginia could be impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

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