10:58pm, 04/25/15
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 Saturday, April 25, 2015
Updated 4/25/15 @ 9:23 am


Pittsylvania Co. woman dies in crash:
(Danville, Va.) – A Pittsylvania County woman died in a single-vehicle crash in Danville early Sunday. Danville Police, the Fire Department and the Danville Life Saving Crew responded to a car crash at the intersection of Piney Forest Road and Nor Dan Drive just after three a.m. Officers say Stacie Marie Adkins of Pittsylvania County was operating a 2006 Pontiac and was northbound on Piney Forest Road when her car struck a traffic light pole at the intersection. Adkins was unresponsive and CPR was administered. She was transported to Danville Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Three people were taken by ambulance following a two-car wreck on Ridge St. Thursday afternoon.


Averett tops fundraising goal; groundbreaking set for sports stadium:
(Danville, Va.) -- Averett University will break ground on the $3.5 million Frank R. Campbell Sports Stadium later this year.
    Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks made the announcement Thursday as the school celebrated the success of its First Comprehensive Capital Campaign. She said it is appropriate that the stadium be named in honor of Campbell, who spearheaded the university for seventeen years. Campbell launched the North Campus on which the stadium will be located and was also responsible for starting the Averett Cougars football program.
     The school will break ground on the new stadium November 2, after the fall football and soccer seasons have ended.
     Franks also announced the success of the university’s $25 million capital campaign, which was launched five years ago. As of March 31, the campaign had raised $28.2 million dollars. The campaign will continue through June 30.

ebay to expand operations in Martinsville area;
(Henry County, Va.) -- eBay will expand its operations in the Martinsville-Henry County area, making it the region’s second largest employer.
      eBay Solutions is adding 191 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of more than $4 million and investing $5.8 million in capital improvements.
      The new facility will receive merchandise, fill orders and ship them. It will service clients including Bath & Body works, Stein Mart and The Company Store.
      The new facility is expected to be up and running by mid-July.
      The company will move into a 400,000-square foot facility on Joseph Martin Highway in Ridgeway, where it already has other operations. Work has already begun to upgrade the building and add new equipment.
     Following the expansion, eBay’s combined presence in the region will span 1.3 million square feet, with almost 500 full-time employees. eBay also has operations in the Bowles Industrial Park near Patrick Henry Community College.

Danville Police looking for robber:
(Danville, Va.) --
Danville Police are looking into a robbery last night at the CVS on South Boston Road. 
     The call came in at around quarter to nine. An employee said a white male, standing 5’11” and weighing 225 pounds, walked in.  He was wearing khaki pants and a blue and white flannel shirt. He demanded unspecified merchandise.
     The robber did not produce a weapon. He took an undisclosed amount of merchandise and left the store on foot. No one was hurt. Anyone with information can call Danville Crimestoppers at 793-0000.

Danville woman indicted in fatal Pittsylvania Co. crash:
(Chatham, Va.) --
A Danville woman will stand trial for her role in a two-vehicle crash last October that claimed the life of a Blairs man. It happened on Route 41 near the Hughes Home.
     Troopers say a 2014 Nissan Sentra, operated by 25-year old Nikki Johnston of Chatham, was northbound on Route 41 in the left lane. Her car rear-ended a 1999 Chevy Blazer driven by 55-year old Mark Edward McNichols. The Blazer flipped and McNichols was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnston suffered minor injuries in the crash. 
     She was indicted this week for involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment, since her child was in the car with her at the time.

Danville man to face Grand Jury on "sexting" counts:
(Danville, Va.) --
A Danville man charged with solicitation of a minor by using an electronic device will now go before a Circuit Court grand jury.
     Charges against 21-year-old Christopher Isler were forwarded following his preliminary hearing this week.  He was arrested in February.
     Danville Police say someone called them saying Isler had been sending improper texts to a minor. Police say he used a messaging app that does not store text data.
     Isler was also served with a protective order to not contact the alleged victim. He's being held without bond in the city jail.

Council holds off on water rebate proposal:
(Danville, Va.) --
Danville City Council is holding off on calls for a rebate for water customers---at least for now.
Councilman Lee Vogler made the suggestion last night at a work session.  He says the water has been, at times, undrinkable since February. But with the odor and taste issues stillpresent, most on Council agreed now is not the time to talk about a rebate.
     The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says raw water samples collected from the Dan River and tributaries earlier this month were inconclusive in determining the source of the odd taste and odor.  But Bryce Simmons with the Danville Office of Drinking Water says it’s algae blooms dying off upstream in the Smith River.  He says it’s releasing a compound into the river that is causing the problem.
      The city’s water plant operators continue to add carbon to the treatment process. At the recommendation of the Office of Drinking Water, the city began feeding a higher dosage of carbon earlier this month. Simmons says those are "best practices," but it's likely the problem will simply have to run it's course.
     Also this month, the city flushed out water storage tanks across the city as recommended by the Office of Drinking Water to remove in them any water with a bad taste and smell.  The city also has arranged for the assistance of an outside consulting firm with expertise in taste and odor treatment control. The firm will evaluate current operations and make recommendations.

Residents near Duke ash dumps told not to drink well water:
(RALEIGH, N.C.) (AP) -- State officials are advising an undisclosed number of residents near Duke Energy coal ash dumps not to drink or cook with water from their wells after tests showed contamination with toxic heavy metals.
      A law passed after last year's spill into the Dan River required the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to sample wells within 1,000 feet of Duke's 32 coal ash dumps.
      The Associated Press obtained letters sent to 19 homes and a church near Buck Steam Station in Salisbury advising people not to consume their well water. Several of the letters cite high levels of vanadium, a naturally occurring element found in coal ash classified as hazardous by federal health officials.
      State environmental officials have refused to comment on how many families are affected statewide.

Marshall named as chair of House committee:
(Richmond, Va.) – Danville Del. Danny Marshall will be appointed as Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, beginning next year.
     House Speaker William Howell said, Marshall brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the issues and “will do a tremendous job as Chairman.” The Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee is responsible for legislation related to Virginia’s largest industry.
      Marshall said he was honored to be named to the leadership position in a committee that deals with issues that directly affect his rural district and all of Virginia. Marshall has served on the ACNR Committee since 2006 and will become chairman when the General Assembly convenes for the 2016 session next January.
      Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources is one of 14 standing committees at the Virginia House of Delegates.

Panel makes seven utility recommendations:
(Danville, Va.) -- They’re not recommending the city sell their electric utility, but a committee IS making seven other recommendations to keep power costs down and increase efficiency.  
     The Electric Steering Committee has been meeting since October. It was formed after large industrial customers complained that the city’s rates were not competitive.  Among the recommendations---getting the word out about reducing peak demand. 
     Other recommendations include building more local power generation facilities, hiring a power supply consultant to get a handle on purchases, and making the Danville Utility Commission an independent panel.
     The utility commission has to approve the recommendations --- then they will be presented to city council next month.

Doss indicted for murder in Dec. beating death:
Chatham, Va.) -- A Gretna man who has been in jail for months on a malicious wounding charge has now been indicted for murder in the death of a Chatham woman.
      29-year-old Henry Daniel Doss Sr. is charged with second degree murder in the beating Mary Adkins Hooker, 44, on Dec. 1 at a home on Daniel Road.
      Doss was charged malicious wounding a week after the assault, while Hooker was still in the intensive care unit. She died Dec. 11 at Danville Regional Medical Center.
      Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins said at the time that he was reviewing the case to determine whether Doss would be charged with a more serious offense. A Pittsylvania County grand jury met Monday and returned indictments charging Doss with second degree murder and aggravated malicious bodily injury. Doss is being held without bond.
     According to the court records, Doss was intoxicated when he allegedly grabbed Hooker by her hair and banged her head repeatedly on the floor before punching Hooker with his fist multiple times. The victim told investigators the two were not in a relationship and she didn’t know why he assaulted her.
     The sheriff’s deputy who answered the call said Hooker’s injuries included three broken ribs, possible nose bone fractures, fractures around her eyes and a contusion to her chest.

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