Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Council to step up fight against blight:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council Tuesday approved the City Manager’s request to step up the fight on blight...but it wasn't unanimous.
The Capital Improvement budget already includes $1.75 million to expand blight eradication. But Joe King says there are 166 properties already in the "demolition pipeline." That includes 53 houses ready for asbestos inspections---63 houses ready for demolition---and 54 owners that have been issued demolition orders. King says it’ll take more than two (m) million to handle those cases.
Councilman Lee Vogler and Fred Shanks objected to the idea. Vogler suggested the city appoint a Task Force to come up with other ideas to fight blight, and not just "continue throwing money at the problem." Shanks said its not the city's job to clean up "other people's messes."
But Councilman Adam Tomer said Danville had become a "Mini-Detroit," and needed extra help to clean up an again housing stock.
Council voted 7-to-2 to approve the extra money for blight eradication.
Danville man arrested on domestic assault charges:
(Danville, Va.) -- A Danville man is being held without bond after a domestic dispute last night at a house on Parker Road. Captain Timothy Jones says it happened at around nine pm. Officers went to the house and found a woman suffering from lacerations and contusions to her face. She did not have to go to the hospital. 27-year old Jonathan Tyler Saunders was arrested at the scene and taken to the Danville City Jail. He’s being held without bond in the Danville city jail.
(Photo courtesy Leonard Harville)
Truck takes out utility pole on W. Main:
(Danville, Va.) -- A tractor-trailer truck struck a utility pole on West Main Street near the Old Dutch Supermarket early Tuesday afternoon, knocking down power lines and forcing police to close the southbound lanes in front of the Dollar General store.
The truck was attempting to turn onto Garden Grove Street to make a delivery when the accident occurred. Police rerouted traffic until the downed lines could be cleared. No injuries were reported.
Moonshine bust in Pittsylvania County:
(Chatham, Va.) -- State alcohol regulators say they have arrested a Pittsylvania County man after they seized 339 gallons of moonshine from his home.
Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents and Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office deputies said they also found 18 weapons and cash during the raid Monday at the home of Ronald Way Bray.
The ABC's special agent in charge, Kyle Blanks, said undercover operatives purchased moonshine from the 63-year-old Bray in the months leading to the bust.
Charges are being sought against Bray, including selling alcohol without a license. A telephone listing could not be found for Bray.
DCC launches ambitious expansion:
(Danville, Va.) -- A new initiative from Danville Community College will try to fill a shortage of skilled manufacturing workers in America.
The announcement came at Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. The Southern Virginia Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing will double the size of DCC’s current advanced manufacturing offerings. It also includes partnerships with industry, K-12 school systems, and local economic developers.
School President Doctor Carlyle Ramsey says SVCAM is expected to make DCC’s program one of the largest in the Commonwealth for training advanced manufacturing workers.
$3.7 million dollars approved by the General Assembly will renovate the Charles Hawkins Engineering and Industrial Technology building on DCC’s main campus to expand the machining program’s laboratory and classroom space from 6,500 to over 20,000 square feet. It will also pay the cost to build a new technology facility behind the Hawkins building to house the Welding, Printing, and Building Trades programs.
School resource officer grant coming to Pittsylvania County:
(Richmond, Va.) -- Pittsylvania County is among two dozen Virginia localities that will receive state grants to put school resource officers in public schools.
Sheriff Mike Taylor pushed the program, which was approved in a pared down form by the Board of Supervisors. The matching grant will help pay the cost of putting an officer in each of the county’s schools.
Statewide, officers will be placed in a total of 42 elementary, middle and high schools that don’t currently have school resource officers. The state money will help cover the cost of salaries and benefits.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday that the Criminal Justice Services Board had approved the matching grants.
In Pittsylvania County, the money would pay for resource officers in all four county Middle Schools. The four High Schools already have resource officers. The Board of Supervisors will have to sign off on the local share of about 45-thousand dollars.
Altavista officer cleared in fatal shooting:
(Altavista, Va.) -- A special prosecutor says an Altavista police officer who fatally shot an armed 83-year-old woman acted properly.
Sgt. L.P. Rigney Jr. shot Delma Towler last September after police were alerted to an emergency call at Towler's home.
An investigation found that Towler was shot outside her home after she raised a gun and pointed it at Rigney, despite demands that she drop the weapon.
Roanoke County Commonwealth's Attorney Don Caldwell was appointed special prosecutor in the case.
Caldwell concluded Monday that Rigney's shooting of Towler was "an act of justifiable homicide." Rigney will not face criminal prosecution. Towler's family says they're exploring possible civil action.
High speed chase covers 32 miles in two states:
(Reidsville, N.C.) -- Police in Virginia and North Carolina joined a high speed pursuit Sunday that ended in the arrest of 22-year-old Joshua Kyle Moore of Eden.
The chase started in Reidsville, after Moore allegedly kidnapped his girlfriend in Eden, beat her and then released the woman near the Reidsville YMCA.
Authorities from Rockingham and Caswell Counties joined the pursuit after Moore’s ’96 Ford Ranger pickup crossed into their localities. The truck then traveled into Virginia and ended up back in Rockingham County, where officers used stop sticks to pop three of its tires in Ruffin.
That didn’t stop Moore, who attempted to run over a deputy and twice slammed into the side of Lt. Tim Newman’s patrol car before Newman made a maneuver that forced him to stop.
He wouldn’t come out of the truck, so police smashed the window and placed Moore in Handcuffs.
He faces 19 charges including attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, eluding police, driving while impaired, kidnapping, assault on a female and failing to stop for blue lights and siren.
He was treated for minor injuries suffered in the pursuit and jailed under a $104,500 secured bond. Moore will make his first court appearance June 27th.
Researcher finds groundwater contamination in test drills:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) -- Paul Robinson says the state of Virginia needs to act now to establish a comprehensive set of regulations governing uranium mining before future exploration is allowed in Pittsylvania County.
Robinson is a researcher from New Mexico who prepared a 20-page report on behalf of the Roanoke River Basin Association, a chief opponent of the mining and milling operations.
He says his research found groundwater contamination from exploratory drilling and inadequate record keeping by Virginia Uranium Inc, the company that wants to mine the Coles Hill site near Chatham.
Robinson found contamination for uranium and radium in two of three groundwater wells that are continuing to be sampled, and that contamination was picked up from the beginning of 2008 through the end of last year. Robinson outlined his findings during three appearances in Danville and Pittsylvania County Monday.
Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a 20-million-pound uranium ore deposit at the Coles Hill site near Chatham.
Work progresses on Danvile Science Center theater dome. (Photo: Travis Hackworth)
Danville man charged with Caswell Co. theft:
(Caswell County, N.C.) -- A Danville teenager has been returned to North Carolina, where he faces charges related to the theft of $100,000 worth of property from a Caswell County home.
Tyler McDaniel of Crestwood Drive was arrested by Danville Police last week after officers obtained search warrants and recovered 32 guns, jewelry, coins, ammo and electronic and outdoor equipment. The items were found at a home on Halifax Road.
McDaniel is now charged with felony larceny but additional charges are pending.
He waived extradition back to Caswell County and was returned to North Carolina over the weekend. McDaniel is scheduled to appear in Caswell County District Court June 26. He is being held under a $100,000 secured bond..
Police ID pedestrian struck & killed on North Main:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police have identified the pedestrian who was struck and killed on North Main Street Friday afternoon as 50-year-old Linda Conner. Witnesses reported that Conner was walking across North Main into oncoming traffic at the time of the accident, which happened about 4:35 Friday afternoon in the 2400 block of North Main.
Conner was struck in left northbound lane by a northbound 2003 Honda Pilot. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by rescue personnel.
At the time of the accident, officers were re-routing northbound traffic around the scene. Conner was hit near Bank of America and Northmont Exxon.
The driver was questioned at the scene but no charges have been filed. A reconstruction team was also called to the accident scene and remained at the site for several hours.
Child on bike struck on Glen Oak Drive:
(Danville, Va.) -- A City of Danville Public Works Department vehicle struck a 7-year-old boy riding a bicycle Friday afternoon on Glen Oak Drive in the Schoolfield community.
The police report indicated the child suffered injuries and was transported by emergency medical services for medical care.
Police responded to the call at 1 p.m. The accident took place at 93 Glen Oak Drive.
The investigation found that the boy entered the roadway from the driveway of 93 Glen Oak Drive and rode into the path of the Public Works Department truck. The vehicle struck the boy in the roadway. No charges were issued against the driver.
200 show up for 100 available Martinsville jobs:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- Monogram Food Solutions will add a hundred new jobs at their plant in Henry County. At an open house on Saturday, more than two-hundred applicants showed up, hoping to fill those positions.
Monogram is starting a new line of foods. It’s their third growth spurt in the last three years. Two years ago, Governor Bob McDonnell personally stopped by to present them with a two (m) million dollar check from the state’s Small Business Loan Authority. That allowed them to add a hundred jobs.
Monogram’s Henry County workforce has increased from 135 to 410. They took over the facility in 2009 from Knauss Snack Foods.
Monogram makes co-packed and company-owned brands of meat snacks.
City leaders approve transit proposal:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Transit bus fares will stay where they’ve been the past twenty years. Earlier this month, Danville City Council decided to transfer some money to make up for a loss of grant funding. Last night, they made it official.
Transportation Director Marc Adelman said the drop in population below the 50-thousand threshold means less state and federal funding ---about 16-thousand dollars less Adelman proposed a 10-percent fare increase.
At a work session, Councilman Lee Vogler proposed Council apply some of the 100-thousand dollars in higher-than-expected levels of tax payments to make up the difference.