11:31pm, 12/22/14
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Monday, December 22, 2014
Updated 12/22/14 @ 3:45 pm

EPA does NOT classify Coal Ash "hazardous":
(Washington, D.C.) -- The EPA will let states decide the rules for storing and handling coal ash.  The federal agency unveiled their long-awaited guidelines over the weekend. It came nine months after a massive Coal Ash spill into the Dan River, contaminating 70 miles of the waterway. Environmental groups are disappointed the EPA will NOT designate coal ash as a “hazardous material.”  The federal government always has left it up to the individual states to manage coal ash storage and disposal.

Two shot over weekend in Danville:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are investigating a pair of weekend shootings.  The first happened Friday night at around 11-30 in the 100-block of Cumberland Street.  A 19-year old was treated and released for a gunshot wound to his side.  The second happened yesterday evening, just before eight o-clock, in the 14-hundred block of South Boston Road.  Police say a 29-year old man was shot in the right side.   He was taken by private vehicle to Danville Regional Medical Center.  No one’s been arrested in either shooting.   Police are still investigating.

Another appeal in prayer case:
(Danville, Va.) -- Pittsylvania County will file a petition in district court today over the issue of prayer at meetings.  This comes after it lost an appeal last week.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the county's appeal, preventing the Board from opening its meetings with prayers associated with one religion.  Senator Bill Stanley is representing Pittsylvania County in the lawsuit.  He says they’ll ask Danville Federal Judge Michael Urbanski to lift or modify the permanent injunction he issued last year, barring Supervisors from opening meetings with sectarian prayers.

Three arrested following home invasion:
(Caswell County, N.C.) -- Caswell County officials have arrested three men in connection with a Caswell County home invasion in which the homeowner was tied up and robbed at gunpoint. 34-year-old Donald Philip Riley III of Gibsonville, NC is charged with one count of felony breaking & Entering and three counts of felony larceny. 49-year-old Harold Lee Williams, Jr. of Yanceyville, NC is charged with counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and felony breaking and entering. 36-year-old Ronald Richard Whitfield, Jr., of Mebane, NC, is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony breaking and entering. All three men are being held in the Caswell County Detention Facility under secured bond.
Deputies make arrests following a series of break-ins:

(Caswell County, N.C.) -- A Greensboro man was arrested in connection with the October 28th break-in of Heather’s Market in Yanceyville. The suspect is also connected to the break-in of Smith’s Store in Ruffin. 32-year-old Spencer Maxwell Armstrong is in the Guilford County Detention Facility on counts of Felony Breaking & Entering, Felony Larceny, and Injury to Real Property. His court date is set for January 22 of 2015.

Martinsville Police search for robbery suspect:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- Martinsville police are searching for two men who robbed another man at gunpoint early this morning.  The victim was leaving the CVS on East Church Street around 3 a.m. when two men walked up.  They demanded his wallet, keys and cell phone. One of them had a gun. Both left the scene before police arrived.
Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the Martinsville Police Department or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME.

State Senator Proposes Animal Cruelty Registry:
(Richmond, Va.) -- Questions over the price tag led to a delay for a local lawmaker’s bill dealing with animal abusers.  Now he hopes a re-tooled version will clear the General Assembly when they convene next month.
          The Senate Finance Committee earlier this year opted to wait until 2015 before taking up the proposal from Franklin County State Senator Bill Stanley.  It would create an Animal Cruelty Registry.
          Stanley says the revamped measure will cost only a fraction of the original estimated pricetag.
          The registry would include the names of folks convicted of certain felony animal cruelty offenses. A person on the Registry could request removal of his name after 15 years, provided that he has no additional felony convictions.

Dr. Stanley Jones named Danville School Superintendent
(Danville, Va.) --
The Danville School Board last week hired Dr. Stanley B. Jones as the next superintendent.
          The 53-year old Jones has served as Superintendent in King and Queen County since August 2013. Under his leadership, King and Queen County Public Schools have expanded career and technical offerings and increased dual-enrollment opportunities for its students.
          Before that, Jones served as Executive Director of Instruction for Spotsylvania County Schools; Director of School Safety and Discipline Hearing Review Officer for Hanover County Schools; and, for seven years, was Principal of Lee-Davis High School in Hanover County.
          Jones has also served as the Minority Achievement Coordinator in Williamsburg Schools. He began his career in student services positions with Radford University and Lynchburg College.
          School Board Chairman Ed Polhamus says Jones brings a wealth of experience, skill, and enthusiasm to the position.
          Jones is originally from Roanoke and married a Patrick County native. He has degrees from Radford University; William & Mary; and Virginia Tech.

Census Bureau shows 37% of Danville's Children in Poverty:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville has the eighth-highest overall poverty rate in Virginia, and the fourth-highest rate among school-age children.  The city also has the state’s lowest median household income.
          That’s according to the latest poverty survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. It shows more than 37 percent of Danville's school-age population lives in poverty. That’s down slightly from a year ago.
          The overall poverty rate in Danville is 25 percent.  The under-18 poverty rate in Danville is Virginia's third-highest and is more than double the state average. Pittsylvania County's rates were also above the state average.
          The Census Bureau also says the median household income last year in Danville was around $30,900 dollars. Pittsylvania County’s was almost 41-thousand.  The state median was nearly 63-thousand.

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