11:43pm, 03/26/15
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 Thursday, March 26, 2015
Updated 3/26/15 @ 4:30 pm

Missing boy’s body found:
(Dublin, Va.) -- A 5-year-old boy missing from Pulaski County since Sunday has been found dead.
      The body of Noah Thomas was found in a septic or sewage tank, but so far no one has been arrested. Police received more than 100 tips from around the country in the search for Noah. Some said they had seen the boy, while others reported suspicious vehicles in the child's neighborhood.
      Noah was last seen on Sunday morning by his mother at the family's Dublin home
Authorities have said they did not suspect foul play and the family was cooperating.
     The boy’s body was discovered just hours after the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office announced a $5,000 reward for tips in the case.
 
Work continues on Pace Building:
(Danville, Va.) -- Renovations are underway at the Pace Building – formerly home to Wise Hundley -- at 322-328 Main St.
      River District Ventures LLC plans to convert this historic building into 14 one- and two-bedroom residential units and three commercial spaces. The residential units will feature high-end amenities, such as wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and tile bathrooms. The street-level commercial units will range between 1,500 to 2,100 square feet. This new project will bring approximately $1.8 million of new investment into the River District.
     The developers plan to complete the commercial space by late summer and the residential space by October. Furnished residential units will also be available for lease.

Durham man charged with Caswell Co. hit-and-run:
(Caswell County, N.C.) -- The Caswell County Sheriff’s Department has charged 33-year-old Angel DeJesus Calderas-Marroquin with felony hit-and-run in a morning accident that sent a 13-year-old to the hospital.
     A spokesman with the North Carolina Highway Patrol says Calderas-Marroquin is also charged with passing a stopped school bus, failing to report a collision, and driving without an operator’s license. He’s being held in the Caswell County Jail under a $500,000 bond.

      The incident happened about 6:15 Wednesday morning on Route 86, a mile north of the Orange County line.
     Troopers say a Dillard Middle School student was preparing to board his bus. The bus had stopped in the southbound lane of traffic, with its warning lights flashing.
     As the boy crossed the road, police say a northbound passenger car hit him, then left the scene. The teenager was airlifted to Duke Medical Center. His name and condition were not immediately available.
     A Highway Patrol spokesman says officers recovered a side view mirror at the scene. Witnesses reported that the car was a red, four-door passenger vehicle with damage to the windshield.

     Caswell County Sheriff’s Deputies found a car matching that description at a nearby construction site and took Calderas-Marroquin into custody.

Population losses continue in Southside Virginia:
(Danville, Va.) --
A troubling trend continues in Southside Virginia. New population estimates released this morning by the Census Bureau show we’re still losing people in the region.  The report shows the Danville-Pittsylvania County Metro Area population is now below 105-thousand. This, after the loss of more than 500 people over the past year, and more than 17-hundred since the official Census in 2010.  The numbers are similar in Martinsville and Henry County. They’ve lost nearly 500 people over the past 12 months---more than two-thousand over a five-year period.  Halifax County lost nearly 200 people in just the past 12 months.

Danville gets low marks in new Health Survey:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville's smoking and obesity rates are among the highest in Virginia. That's according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation.
      The survey shows Danville ranked seventh from the bottom among Virginia's 133 localities included in the survey.   Pittsylvania County ranked 79th.   That was the best in Southside Virginia.
     The report shows Danville in second-to-last place statewide in terms of socio-economic factors like education, income and the city's crime rate.  It also notes a high degree of physical inactivity and less access to exercise opportunities.
     The report also shows Danville’s Sexually Transmitted disease rate is twice the state average.
     Henry County and Martinsville also scored low in the survey---each ranking in the bottom ten in Virginia.  Halifax County was 96th…just beyond the lowest quartile.


Local leaders request DEQ help with water:
(Danville, Va.) –
The Department of Environmental Quality has agreed to try and help figure out what’s going on with our water.
     Crews began pumping carbon into the supply last month after algal blooms caused a musty smell and taste.  They stopped last Tuesday. But by Friday, customers were again calling to complain about the taste and smell.
     Yesterday, operators said they could no longer could detect an odor in the raw water nor any odd taste or odor in the treated water. They will continue feeding carbon indefinitely, however, as a precaution.
     The water in the system has been through all of the treatment processes, and all tests show it is safe to drink.

Taylor launches re-election bid:
(Chatham, Va.) -- Mike Taylor is looking for four more years as Pittsylvania County’s Sheriff.  The two-term incumbent kicked off his reelection bid last night.
     Taylor has been with the sheriff’s office 40 years.  He was elected sheriff in 2007, beating two other candidates to replace former Sheriff Harold Plaster.  Taylor easily won re-election in 2011.
     So far, he does not have any opposition in the Nov. 3 election.  The deadline to file is June 9.


Man dies during dog attack:
(Madison, N.C.) – A Mexican man visiting Rockingham County last fall died of a heart attack, while trying to fend off dogs that were attacking him.  That’s according to an autopsy report released yesterday.  62-year old Jose Robles’ body was the found the day after he was reported missing November 23rd.  He was covered in dog bites.  Deputies seized 15 dogs from a neighbor’s home that day.  Those dogs are still at the Rockingham County Animal Shelter as authorities explore possible charges against their owner.

Sweet Briar officials fire back:
(Amherst, Va. (AP) - Sweet Briar College says its president and board members aren't going to resign.
      Sweet Briar says in a statement to media outlets that allegations against President James Jones and the board are unfair and wrong.
     An alumnae group, Saving Sweet Briar Inc., called for Jones and the board to resign on Monday. The group alleged that Jones and Sweet Briar's board members had violated state charitable solicitation laws and breached their fiduciary duties.
     Saving Sweet Briar is trying to block the board's decision to close the private women's college at the end of this academic year.
     The college says changing its leadership won't change what it calls "insurmountable financial, recruitment and operational challenges."

Motorcycle crash leaves one dead, another critical:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) – Virginia State Police say 24-year-old Michael Scearce of Danville was killed when his motorcycle collided with another dirt bike early Sunday morning.
      The collision happened about 12:35 a.m. on the Ponderosa Road, near its intersection with Tightsqueeze Road.
     According to Trooper C.T. Turner, Scearce was northbound on his Kawasaki KX60 motorcycle and 23-year-old Michael Hall of Danville was southbound on a Honda 150 when the motorcycles sideswiped one another.
      Scearce died at the scene and Hall was taken by helicopter to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Neither was wearing a helmet.
        A preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol appears to have been a factor in the accident, which remains under investigation.


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