11:17am, 07/30/14
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Updated 7/30/14 @ 10:50 am

N.C. Food company coming to Danville:
(Danville, Va.) -- A North Carolina company will resurrect a 20-year old Shell Building in Danville’s Airside Industrial Park. 
          Sky Valley Foods announced this morning they would bring their food production company to town.  They’re planning to hire sixty workers immediately, and hope to have a hundred on board by the end of next year.
          Two weeks ago, Danville City Council signed off on a two-point-seven-five (m) million dollar loan to purchase the former Shorewood building.  Its been vacant for a year since Amcor purchased the local operation---then shut it down.
          Six months ago, officials from Sun Valley approached the Office of Economic Development to talk about expanding into Danville.  They liked the Amcor building. 
          Sky Valley will make a variety of food and drink products that will be sold under well-known trademarks to major food and grocery chain stores.  They specialize in natural and organic salad dressings and sauces.

Local jobless rates down from 2013:
(Southside, Va.) -- Danville-area jobless rates are steady from a month ago, but down from a year ago.  That's according to the June report this morning from the Virginia Employment Commission. 
     The Danville Metropolitan area rate was 7.8% in June...up from 7.7% in May.  It's down from eight-and-a-half percent a year ago.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Danville and Pittsylvania County lost about 900 total jobs in the year-to-year period.  That 2-point-3 percent drop was the highest in Virginia.
     The state’s highest jobless rate is no longer Martinsville.  Their 10.3% rate is better than Lexington, who shot up to nearly 11-and-a-half percent. Martinsville’s rate is down from 12-point-2 last year.  The Danville City rate is just under ten percent.  Pittsylvania County’s six-point-six percent rate was the lowest in the region.



Early morning fire destroys home; no injuries:
Danville, Va.) -- An early morning house fire on Danville's east side left a home in ruins but no one was hurt.
     Battalion Chief Dallas Swinney says the call came in shortly after 2 am from the 100 block of Cain Street, just off South Boston Road.  Crews found a house with heavy fire. Crews deployed attack lines and knocked down some of the fire before entering the house to search for occupants. No one was inside. The occupants were out of town last night.
    The house suffered heavy damage throughout and is now unlivable. Swinney says the family has a place to stay and did not need any help from the liocal Red Cross.
     The Danville Fire Department responded with three Engines, one Ladder Truck, a Battalion Chief and a Safety Officer.  16 personnel were on the scene for almost three and a half hours making sure the fire was out and helping the family. The fire marshal's office will investigate to determine the cause. (Leonard Harville photos)

Martinsville woman charged in daughter's overdose death:
(Martinsville, Va.) -- Martinsville investigators say a five-year old girl died last year after consuming methadone, cocaine, painkillers and other prescription drugs.  They have charged the mother with murder.
     It was last November when Martinsville Police got a report of two unresponsive children at a house on Dunlap Street.  Five-year-old AahLayah Martin died about an hour after officers arrived on the scene.  A second child, a 2-year-old girl, was experiencing what police described as “a medical emergency” and was taken to a Roanoke hospital.  She has since recovered.
     Prosecutors charged the girl’s mother, Dominique Lanier Martin.  Investigators say the medications were not prescribed to her.


Gov. McAuliffe discusses workforce development at DCC:
(Danville, Va.) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe listened Tuesday as educators and business leaders offered suggestions for upgrading workforce training on the Southside,  and said the state must do a better job of “tying what our students are learning with the jobs and the skill sets of the future.”
      Nearly every hand in the room went up when McAuliffe asked how many local employers have unfilled jobs because they can’t find workers with the training needed to fill those positions. McAuliffe told the gathering that “the system as it exists today is not working.”     
      McAuliffe said the jobs are available, but “we’ve got to match what jobs are out there with what they ought to be taught in school.”
     Several suggestions were made during the hour-long roundtable discussion at Danville Community College, and Gov. McAuliffe said he will include those ideas in an executive order he is preparing on workforce development.

McAuliffe hails ruling striking down same-sex marriage ban:
(Danville, Va.) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe says he welcomes an appeals court’s decision striking down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The governor said he "was overjoyed" by the ruling adding: "Virginia needs to be open and welcoming to everyone."
      McAuliffe’s comments came in Danville, a day after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled that state laws banning gay marriage violate the U.S. Constitution.
      Gov. McAuliffe said the ruling underscores his belief that Virginia should have an open door policy. He said  Monday's decision "sends a signal that Virginia is open and welcoming to everyone."
     The decision applies throughout the circuit, which includes North and South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland.
     The issue will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Terry McAuliffe addresses the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
(Leonard Harville photo)

Gov. McAuliffe brings his wife & cabinet to Danville:
(Danville, Va.) -- Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe threw out the first pitch at the Danville Braves baseball game Monday night.  On Tuesday, he was joined by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and his cabinet for a series of stops in the area.  McAuliffe visited Goodyear workers during shift change and stopped by the Danville Chamber of Commerce's State of the Region Breakfast. McAuliffe held a full cabinet meeting at The Institute before moderating a roundtable discussion on economic development and workforce development at Danville Community College.

Dorothy McAuliffe meets with residents of Danville House (Ken Warrick photo)

Trial reveals governor's wife had 'crush' on CEO:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- An attorney for the wife of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says during the couple's corruption trial that their marriage was broken and the former first lady developed a crush on a businessman who gave the McDonnells gifts and cash.
     The McDonnells are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for helping promote his dietary supplements company.
     Maureen McDonnell's lawyer William A. Burck said Tuesday during opening statements that the former first lady was "duped" by Williams into thinking he cared for her.
     Burck said Williams also fooled the Department of Justice and has received immunity from a $10 million stock fraud investigation in exchange for testifying against the McDonnells.

Shooting victim's condition is upgraded:
(Danville, Va.) -- A Danville man who suffered multiple wounds in a weekend shooting is showing signs of improvement. Danville Police say he is now listed in stable condition at Danville Regional Medical Center. The victim had been listed as serious after suffering multiple gunshots wounds late Saturday night. The incident happened at around 11:30 in the 100 block of Macon Street. Capt. Barry Creasy said officers responded to a report of shots fired and found a 38 year old male victim inside a car. The man was shot several times and was taken to the emergency room by the Danville Life Saving Crew. At last report, no arrests had been made. (photo: Leonard Harville)

US court: Va. gay marriage ban unconstitutional:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.
     A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
      In February, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Lawyers for two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses appealed.
      The lawsuit was filed by two Norfolk men who were denied a marriage license and two Chesterfield County women whose marriage in California is not recognized by Virginia.

North Carolina AG to no longer defend gay marriage ban:
(Raleigh, N.C.) (AP) -- North Carolina's attorney general says his office will no longer defend the state's voter-approved ban on same sex marriage in court after a federal appeals court ruled a similar prohibition in neighboring Virginia unconstitutional.
     Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling made it highly likely North Carolina's ban will be overturned. North Carolina is part of the 4th Circuit. Cooper said any federal judge in North Carolina would be bound by the ruling.
     Cooper, a Democrat, said further opposition to the four federal lawsuits challenging his state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage would be "futile."   Cooper had previously said he personally opposes the marriage ban, but his duty as attorney general was to defend the state law approved by voters in 2012.

     State Senate leader Phil Berger says Cooper should defend North Carolina's same sex marriage ban. The Eden Republican said after the Senate session on Monday that Cooper should stand up for the people of North Carolina and uphold its constitution. More than 60 percent of voters approved the amendment in 2012.

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