05:07pm, 11/27/14
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Local News

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Updated 11/27/14 @ 10:45 am

Charges filed in child's death:
(Danville, Va.) --
Danville Police have filed charges in a toddler’s death last week…and more charges could be on the way.
          28-year old Michael James Gill is in the Danville City Jail under a $50,000 bond. He’s charged with felony abuse and neglect in the death of 20-month old Aleigha Grace Sadler.  An autopsy showed her death was a homicide from blunt force trauma.
          Gill lived with Sadler’s mother, Jessica on West Woodlawn Drive. When emergency responders arrived last Thursday, they found Aleigha unresponsive on the floor. Doctors soon discovered multiple bruises, a brain bleed and a mark on her cheek.
          She was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center before being flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment. Sadler died Sunday afternoon.
          A search warrant shows investigators spent most of Tuesday afternoon at the home, looking weapons that could cause blunt force trauma.  Police took pictures of the house, they also seized a metal pipe, a baseball bat and two sections of wall panels.

Store clerk robbed at knifepoint:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are investigating an armed robbery.  Lt-John Henderson says the call came in just before Midnight this morning from the Citgo on North Main Street. The 23 year old clerk said as she was closing the store, a man walked in and pulled a knife. He demanded all of the money and lottery tickets. He took an undisclosed amount of cash then ordered the clerk to get down on the floor. The robber left the store, crossing North Main. He’s a young black male with a light complexion---about 5’ 6”, 120lbs.  He was wearing dark colored clothing, including a hooded coat.  The clerk was not hurt.

Study estimates cost of Coal Ash Spill:
(Winston-Salem, N.C.) -- A Wake Forest professor estimates monetary damage from the Coal Ash spill into the Dan River at 300 (m) million dollars.  And he says it could go even higher.
          Research Biologist Dennis Lemly says the figure is based on measures taken six months after the February spill from Duke Energy’s former power plant in Eden.
          Lemly says the spill mostly harmed mussels and other aquatic life that survive in river bottoms. That stretch of river near Eden is home to a rare fish and mussel that have been declared endangered species, and another mussel that is being considered for protection.
          There are also concerns about longer-term harm to fish and species at the bottom of the food chain, which could work its way up the food chain.
          Earlier this week, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported promising new test results showing that aquatic insects "appear to be thriving" downstream of the Eden plant.


The latest Riverwalk expansion plans

Council to vote on Riverwalk extensions:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council next week will weigh in on the latest portion of the Riverwalk Trail.
          The Federal Highway Administration has awarded Danville $200,000 in funding for the Riverwalk-Sandy River trail project.  The Riverwalk Master Plan includes an extension of the Riverwalk along the north side of the Dan River to the Robertson Bridge. 
          The recently completed Phase II brought the trail to the former Danville Plaza.  This will extend the trail across the Sandy River on a 115-foot bridge, continuing via a 300-foot boardwalk to Commerce Street. 
          Planners call this a critical portion of the Riverwalk, linking the trail to the Trade Street area and leaving only one section left to connect it with the Robertson Bridge.
          Meantime, city leaders are ready to accept bids to run a multi-use trail across the Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge. 
          Plans call for the Riverwalk Trail to extend from the Main Street Plaza across the river; linking with the Riverwalk Trail on the north side.  They’ll need a pedestrian crosswalk signal at Patton and Bridge Streets.
          Last year, the City got an $800,000 matching revenue sharing grant to build the Main Street Plaza.  There’s about $400,000 left over that can be used for this extension.
          Danville's Riverwalk continues to be the community's most used outdoor recreation asset, attracting as many as 300,000 trail users annually.

Chamber of Commerce urges local Christmas shopping:
(Danville, Va.) -- Local business leaders are reminding area shoppers, “it’s all here." The annual promotional campaign from the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce is trying to entice locals to do more of their Christmas shopping close to home. Chamber Executive Director Laurie Moran says when you shop locally, we all benefit. And Moran says with new specialty stores opening up and the continued development of the River District, there are fewer and fewer items that can NOT be found locally.  Moran says their recent Southside Show-Biz Trade show allowed the Chamber to highlight some of those shops.  Moran says you also save money on gas---not to mention time, when you shop locally.

Deputies continue search for missing woman:
(Henry Co., Va.) -- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a missing person report.  Kristy Haynes Dillard has been missing since November 22, 2014.  Kristy Haynes Dillard is described as a 37 year old white female.  She was last seen operating a gray 2006 Nissan Altima bearing Va. tag LUVJNJ.  A teletype has been sent to surrounding jurisdictions in reference to attempting to locate her and check on her well being.  Ms. Dillard has ties to the Roanoke area and they have been notified.
          Anyone who has information regarding this is urged to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crime Stoppers at 63CRIME (276-632-7463).

Pittsylvania searches for man charged with malicious wounding:
(Pittsylvania Co., VA) -- The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office needs help finding a man wanted on malicious wounding charges.
          On Sunday morning at around 2:00, officers received a report of a shooting at 155 Adams Lane in Hurt.
          Travis Broggin of Brookneal is wanted by the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's office in connection with this incident.
          Broggin is described as a black male, age 27,  5' 8” tall, and weighing 230 pounds. According to police, he has the letter “B” tattooed on his hand.
          Anyone that may have information about this incident or knows the location of Travis Broggin is asked to call Investigator Molly Motley or Deputy Byron Abbott at the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's office at 434-432-7931 or the Pittsylvania County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-791-0044.

Danville woman assaulted; robbed:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville police say a woman was knocked down in a strong-arm robbery Tuesday night at the Loan Max on Riverside Drive.
          A 52 year old female employee was leaving the business at around seven o-clock when two men approached her from the rear of the building --- they knocked her to the ground and took an undisclosed amount of money from her before running away. She was not seriously injured.
          One of the robbers wore a dark hooded sweatshirt with a red bandanna on his face. The police investigation is ongoing.

Martinsville leaders eye Medical School:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- Martinsville wants $3.5 million from the state tobacco commission to help the Integrative Centers for Science and Medicine establish a medical school in their city.
          Martinsville City Council voted 4-1 yesterday to apply for the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund grant. ICSM plans to locate the College of Henricopolis School of Medicine in a former supermarket building on Fayette Street uptown.
          Councilman Danny Turner cast the dissenting vote. He tells the Martinsville Bulletin he is concerned that the city would have to pay back the grant if ICSM fails.
          Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins says if the school ultimately is not launched ICSM would have to repay the grant to the city and, in turn, the city would pay back the tobacco commission.
          ICSM President Dr. Noel Boaz said the medical school’s planned opening has been pushed back from the fall of next year to the fall of 2016 because of a lack of funds to renovate the building.

Blairs man killed in Pitt. Co. crash:
(Chatham, Va.) -- State Police say a Blairs man died Sunday evening in a two-vehicle accident.  Sergeant Bob Carpentieri says it happened shortly before 11:00 pm on Route 29 near the Chatham business exit.  Troopers say 52-year old Jeffrey Lynn Fuller was driving a 1999 Chevrolet northbound.  The SUV ran off the left side of the road, hit a guard rail, then went off the right side of the road.  It hit another guard rail.  Fuller was ejected.  He was then hit by a Hyundai while he was lying in the roadway.  Fuller was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash --- he was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the crash.  There’s no word yet on the Hyundai’s driver.  The crash remains under investigation.

Gretna man charged with killing girlfriend:
(Gretna, Va.) -- A Gretna man is charged with killing his girlfriend with his car over the weekend.  Police say 65-year old Robert Gilbert was drinking Friday evening.  He apparently got into an argument with his girlfriend, 49-year Daisy Bennett. Police say Gilbert got in his car, and drove into Bennett’s apartment on Creasy Street in Gretna. Police believe she was directly hit by the car---she was pronounced dead at the scene.  Gilbert is charged with second degree manslaughter, DUI, and reckless driving.

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