Saturday, December 7, 2013
Updated 12/07/13 at 7:15 am
Wintry mix possible on the Southside:
(Danville, Va.) --The National Weather Service is calling for mixed precipitation in the Danville area this weekend.
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for much of the state -- including Southside -- beginning at four a.m. Sunday and extending through early Monday morning.
Meteorologist Ken Kostora in Blacksburg says the Danville region may see a mixture of rain and sleet Saturday night and Sunday morning. But he admits it’s hard to speculate on accumulations at this point, as temperatures are expected to hover around freezing Saturday night and and throughout the day Sunday.
He says the system will start as rain but will transition to sleet and freezing rain as colder temperatures move into our area from the north, probably early Sunday morning.
The highest ice totals will occur in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Highlands.
Man wanted for Danville homicide arrested in Roanoke:
(Danville, Va.) -- The search for Harry James Gladmon has ended.
Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service arrested Gladmon in Roanoke Thursday night. He has since been returned to Danville, where Gladmon is being held in the city jail under no bond.
Gladmon is charged with first-degree murder and stab, cut or wound in the commission of murder.
Investigators had been searching for Gladmon in the death of Gilmore M. Cowan. The 56-year-old Cowan was stabbed repeatedly during the early morning hours of September 30 as he got off his job at the Pure Station on the South Boston Road. He was getting into a friend’s car when two men wearing Halloween masks grabbed him. One stabbed Cowan repeatedly before the pair fled on foot. Police were called to the emergency room after learning that one of the assailants was cut during the attack.
Va. Tech names new president:
(Blacksburg, Va.) (AP) - Timothy Sands has been named the 16th president of Virginia Tech, succeeding President Charles W. Steger.
Tech's Board of Visitors approved the hiring of the Purdue University provost Friday.
In June, Steger announced he was stepping down after 14 years at the helm of the Blacksburg university. He agreed to stay until his successor was named.
Steger was thrust into the national spotlight on April 16, 2007, when a student-gunman killed 32 students on the Tech campus in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed himself after the rampage.
During his tenure, Tech increased its enrollment, saw its research portfolio grow by more than 300 percent, and established a school of biomedical engineering and created a school of medicine.
Carlisle to lease former I.W. Taylor School:
(Danville, Va.) -- Carlisle School has found a new home for its Danville campus.
The Danville School Board voted Thursday night to enter into a lease agreement with the private school to lease the former I.W. Taylor Elementary School on Piney Forest Road, which has been vacant since the school closed last June.
Danville School Superintendent Dr. Ed Newsome says the board has been in negotiations with Carlisle for the past several months and both sides have agreed to a three year lease, starting in the spring and extending through June 2016.
Carlisle operates schools in Martinsville, Danville and Chatham, but a decline in enrollment has led to the closure of the Pittsylvania County campus. The Danville campus was too small and the Taylor location will allow the private school to expand its offerings.
Newsome describes the agreement as a "win-win" for all concerned. He says "it will not have a significant impact on the numbers of students that we have (and) we don't feel like there is competition with the public schools."
Newsome says the agreement covers a three year period and is renewable on a yearly basis.
Human remains found in Franklin County:
(Franklin County, Va.) -- The Franklin County Sheriff's Department says possible human remains were found Thursday in the Henry area of Franklin County.
A news release from Lt. Phillip Young said the remains will be sent to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke. Until a positive identification is made, police will not release any further information on what Young described as “an active investigation.”
The charred remains of 53-year-old Vicky Harbour Purdy were discovered October 6 inside a burned vehicle in the 2000 block of Philpott Road in Henry. Her death was later ruled a homicide, but the cause of death was not revealed.
Investigators have been searching for 53-year-old Ricky Dodson of Bassett. Dodson was reported missing on Oct. 7 by his mother. She said her son had dated Purdy on and off for years.
Kiwanis announces 2013 Citizen of the Year:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Kiwanis Club awarded Charles H. “Charlie” Majors the 81st Annual Citizenship Award. Majors is a Georgia native and a graduate of Auburn University. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Majors came to Danville to join the firm of Clement & Wheatley before joining American National Bank where he served as Chief Executive Officer for 20 years. Majors is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the bank.
Majors was a member of the Danville School Board for nine years, then served as Chairman of the School Board for five years. Majors has served on a number of boards in the Community, including Averett University Board of Trustees, the Danville Regional Foundation Board of Directors, and the Virginia Economic Development Foundation.
Charlie Majors and his wife Carol are also active members of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church.
Bristol passes Danville for highest metro jobless rate:
(Richmond, Va.) -- For the first time in years, the Danville area jobless rate is not the highest among Virginia's metropolitan regions. Thursday's report from the Virginia Employment Commission shows the October jobless rate in Danville and Pittsylvania County at 7.2%. It was 7.1% in September and 7.7% a year ago.
A sharp spike in Bristol's jobless rate -- from 6.8% in September to 8.1% in October -- pushed that city ahead of Danville in the monthly survey.
The state's highest single jobless rate is still in Martinsville, at 12.5%. But that city's rate was down more than two-and-a-half percent from a year ago.
The Danville City rate was 8.6%; Pittsylvania County's rate remained steady at 6.3%; Halifax County's rate of 8.9% was unchanged from a month ago and a year ago. Henry County's 7.9% jobless rate is down more than a full percentage point from last year.
Body identified as missing Lynchburg teenager:
(Lynchburg, Va.) (AP) -- Lynchburg police say a body found in a heavily wooded area has been identified as that of a missing teenager.
Police say the medical examiner's office in Roanoke positively identified the body as 18-year-old Jamisha Gilbert of Lynchburg. Police say there's no further information to release.
A team searching for Gilbert found the body Wednesday morning.
She was reported missing Sunday by her mother. Friends last saw her between midnight and 1 a.m. Friday.
Police found her car crashed into a guardrail in the city late Friday morning.
Groups provide health care sign-up assistance:
(Danville, Va.) -- Two groups were in Danville Thursday, offering a pair of forums designed to help Southside residents enroll in the new Affordable Care Act.
Amber Poron works for Enroll Virginia in Lynchburg, a nonpartisan group that assists Virginians applying for coverage under the new health insurance marketplace.
She spoke Thursday on the campus of American National University, formerly known as National Business College. About 60 attended the campus forum. Many lack insurance and wanted to know how to sign-up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. While the website had a difficult rollout, Poron said she has found that many of the problems have been corrected and she has helped dozens select plans and enroll over the past two weeks.
Campus Director Carlene Wilson says "knowledge is imperative," since many of her students are training for careers in the health care field as surgical techs and medical assistants.
Poron says local resources are also available. PATHS Medical Center on Main Street has two certified applicant counselors.
Jobless rate holds steady in October:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady in October at 5.6 percent.
While the October rate was unchanged from September's unemployment, the Virginia Employment Commission says the two months blunted a four-month climb in the jobless rate. From April's 5.2 percent rate, unemployment increased to 5.8 percent in August.
VEC said Thursday that the October rate was affected by the partial government shutdown.
In October, employment gains were made in private education and health services and in the leisure and hospitality sector, among others. Job losses were in the professional, scientific and technical services sector.
The department says while nonfarm employment is trending upward, it has yet to surpass the pre-recession peak in April 2008.
Virginia's unemployment rate compares favorably with the U.S. rate, which was 7.3 percent in October.
Juveniles arrested in connection with neighborhood break-in:
(Danville, Va.) -- Three juveniles are in custody following a burglary that occurred Wednesday morning.
Shortly before 10:00 am, 911 dispatchers received a call about three suspicious youths going behind a house in the area of the 100 block of Third Ave. West. Uniformed officers and plainclothes investigators responded and apprehended two males and one female. A canvass of the area revealed that a residence in the 100 block of Downey Ln. had been burglarized. Property identified from this residence was found in the possession of the suspects. A burglary was attempted at another residence in the 200 block of Starmont Dr., but entry was not made.
All three were charged with burglary, grand larceny, and malicious damage. Their names are being withheld due to their age. They are currently being held in the W.W. Moore, Jr. Juvenile Detention Home.
Recent burglaries in this area remain under investigation. These arrests are the result of a citizen quickly reporting suspicious activity to the 911 dispatchers. The Danville Police Department would like to remind everyone who witnesses activity that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary to call 911 without delay.
Fieldale man sentenced for murder:
(Henry County, Va.) -- A Fieldale man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison in a March 20 shooting death in Henry County.
35-year-old Marcus Barnes pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in September. He also pleaded no contest to firearms charges.
28-year-old William Bradley Doss of Bassett died of a single gunshot wound.
Barnes’ defense attorney said the victim invited Barnes to Doss’ home. He claimed Doss provoked the fight and that Doss was armed with brass knuckles and a knife, which were found near his body.
Witnesses testified that after Doss tried to hit Barnes, Barnes pulled a small-caliber handgun and pulled the trigger. The firearm did not discharge and Barnes ran to a car driven by his girlfriend. He reportedly fired the fatal shot after Doss and his brother surrounded the car and began pelting it with rocks.
Barnes fired a single shot, which struck Doss in the chest. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a Martinsville hospital.
No city money used to demolish Hylton Hall:
(Danville, Va.) -- We’re learning more about the demolition of Hylton Hall and just who’s is paying to have the historic building taken down.
According to a city official, a memorandum of understanding is in place between the building’s owner -- Hylton Hall Partners -- and the Danville Industrial Development Authority.
According to the agreement, Hylton Hall Partners agreed to contract with an asbestos abatement company -- ECO Services LLC -- to perform asbestos removal. Hylton Hall Partners also signed a contract with Marshall Construction to demolish the building. That process started this week.
Once the demolition is completed, Hylton Hall Partners will have the site graded. The IDA will purchase the lot once it has been cleared and graded, for a net of $100,000. The IDA will then hold the property for future sale or development.
Hylton Hall Properties purchased the former Dan River complex in 2008 with plans to convert it into upscale apartments for seniors. Those plans fell through when the recession hit and were abandoned when fire destroyed the building in April of last year.