Saturday, January 24, 2015
Updated 1/24/15 @ 2:25 pm
Jury recommends 15 years for murder conviction:
(Chatham, Va.) -- A Chatham jury has recommended Teu Medley Pointer serve 15 years in prison for the stabbing death of her husband last April.
The same panel convicted her of murder at the conclusion of a two-day trial Thursday night.
It took jurors about an hour to fix her punishment Friday. She had faced a possible sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
Teu said she and her husband had argued on the phone about their children. When he got home, the fight escalated. She testified that John hit her and knocked her glasses off, and claimed her husband was holding her down and choking her. That's when she says she bit him and grabbed a knife.
The defense claimed John lunged at the knife, while the prosecution contended Teu stabbed him.
Pointer, who is a former Pittsylvania County School Guidance Counselor, was convicted of second-degree murder.
Bipartisan support for reforms of Va. tobacco commission:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and a powerful Republican lawmaker are proposing tighter grant-making rules for the embattled Virginia tobacco commission.
The commission's chairman, GOP Del. Terry Kilgore, introduced legislation Friday that would require greater scrutiny and transparency over how the commission spends its funds. The legislation is backed by McAuliffe.
Created 16 years ago to spend Virginia's portion of the national tobacco settlement, the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has doled out more than $1 billion on a wide range of projects in an effort to spur economic development in southwest and Southside Virginia.
The commission has come under fire recently for what critics say is an opaque, haphazard system of awarding grants often based on political considerations.
Virginia bar suspends law license of convicted ex-governor:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) - The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board has suspended former Gov. Bob McDonnell's license to practice law, citing his felony public corruption convictions.
The bar said Friday that the suspension takes effect next Thursday. McDonnell was directed to appear before the disciplinary panel on Feb. 20 to show cause why his license should not be further suspended or revoked. However, the former governor is scheduled to report to federal prison on Feb. 9 to begin serving his two-year sentence.
According to the bar, McDonnell's license also was administratively suspended for nonpayment of dues to the organization since Oct. 15.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of accepting gifts and loans from a vitamin executive in exchange for promoting his products. Maureen McDonnell will be sentenced Feb. 20.
Another not-guilty plea in teen's abduction:
(Chatham, Va.) – Another Not Guilty plea yesterday from one of the suspects in last year’s abduction of a Pittsylvania County teenager. 24-year old Kevin Scott Parrish (pictured, left) (pictured, right);(pictured, right);(pictured, right);(pictured, right);will be tried February third, alongside 21-year old Kayla Michelle Hoy (pictured, right); who pleaded not guilty earlier this week. 36-year old Denise Shaver’s trial is set for February tenth. The trio is charged with taking 15-year old Dustin Wade Shaver from his foster parents’ home in Long Island last July. He was found safe a few days later in Benson-North Carolina. Denise Shaver is Dustin’s biological mother. (pictured, right);
State police look for box truck in fatal hit-and-run:
(Henry County, Va.) – Virginia State Police have identified the vehicle that may have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run that happened on Dec. 22 in Henry County.
State police say a white International, 3-axle box truck with a silver car in tow was in the area at the time 66-year old Hubert L. Griffin was struck and killed on his bicycle. Both the box truck and Griffin were northbound on Route 220, with Griffin being struck from behind. The box truck, which did have a logo on the side, could have damage to the front passenger side.
Griffin was riding a metallic gray, 21-speed Mongoose bicycle that was hit by a vehicle on Route 220/Virginia Avenue, just north of Bassett. He was thrown from the bike and struck as well. Griffin was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. His remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy.
Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to call the Virginia State Police at 540-375-9500. Griffin and his bicycle were struck at around 10 p.m. on Virginia Avenue near Towson Drive, in front of Kennett's Used Cars and The Pool House.
Foundation awards Halifax Co. grants:
(South Boston, Va.) – The Danville Regional Foundation’s Fund for Halifax County has awarded its third round of grants. The Halifax County Advisory Committee chose Triangle Volunteer Fire Department and Halifax County Emergency Services to each receive $525 grants. The committee also awarded the South Boston Medical Fund $475 to the American Red Cross Halifax Branch. The checks were presented Thursday at The American Red Cross Office in Halifax.
Governor out of the hospital:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been released from the hospital after receiving treatment for injuries he suffered on an African safari.
McAuliffe's office announced Thursday morning that the governor had been released from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond and has resumed a schedule of meetings and private events.
Several weeks ago McAuliffe was thrown from a horse during a family vacation in Tanzania and broke seven ribs. He entered VCU Medical Center on Monday after suffering shortness of breath.
While hospitalized the governor underwent a two-hour surgical procedure in which doctors drained 1 1/2 liters of blood from his right lung, which was punctured in the accident.
Global company to set-up operations on the Southside:
(Richmond, Va.) -- Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that Hardide Coatings, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced surface coatings, will invest $7.25 million to establish its first Virginia operation in Henry County. The investment will create 29 new jobs with an average salary of $50,000.
Virginia successfully competed against Oklahoma and Texas for the project, which is a result of Governor McAuliffe’s meeting with company officials outside London during the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow.
Hardide Coatings is the leading global maker of advanced tungsten carbide-based coatings that significantly increase the life of critical metal parts operating in abrasive, erosive, corrosive and chemically aggressive environments. The company was formed in 2000 by a team of U.K.-led venture capitalists to develop and commercialize a process that was invented by scientists in Soviet Russia at Moscow State University.
McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henry County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $170,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program.
Danville Police probe robbery, attempted robbery:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are investigating a robbery and an attempt robbery that happened overnight.
Captain Barry Creasy says shortly after ten o-clock, the clerk at the Sunrise Store on Westover Drive reported that two males entered the store wielding handguns. A customer told the suspects to "put them guns up" and they both fled the store.
One was wearing white tennis shoes, blue jeans a dark hoodie and his face was covered. The second was wearing dark clothing and his face was also covered. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
15 minutes later, Police heard from a man who said he was in the 100 block of Pleasant View Avenue when a black male known to him only as "Quentin" pulled his backpack off and punched him with his fist on his left cheek. The robber fled on foot towards Riverside Drive.
The backpack contained a H.P. Gateway Laptop Computer, an audio mic, headphones and portable speakers. The victim did not require medical treatment.
Report gives Virginia failing grades for tobacco control:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- The American Lung Association gives Virginia failing grades for its tobacco control efforts.
Virginia received F's for tobacco prevention, smoke-free air, tobacco taxes and access to cessation services in an annual report released by the lung association on Wednesday.
The report also gives Virginia a "thumbs-down" for having the second-lowest cigarette tax in the nation at 30 cents per pack.
According to the report, Virginia spends only 12 percent of the funding level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tobacco prevention and cessation.
The American Lung Association in Virginia is asking lawmakers to restore funding for tobacco use prevention programs, eliminate smoking in all public places and workplaces, and increase funding for state tobacco cessation services.
Police investigate shooting:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are investigating a shooting that sent a local man to the hospital.
Officers were called to the 100 block of Garland Street just after 1:00 Tuesday afternoon after receiving a report of a shooting.
The victim was taken to the emergency room of Danville Regional Medical center and was being treated for what police described as non-life threatening injuries.
The shooter is described as a tall, slim male wearing a gray hoodie.
Authorities are continuing their investigation and additional details were not available.
City Council approves zoning issues:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council last night unanimously signed off on a couple of rezoning cases. They approved a change in the code to allow Leggett Town and Country to operate a large-scale wholesale trade business out of unused space in their building on Mount Cross Road. They also signed off on a rezoning on 16 acres on Piney Forest Road, next to Golden Skillet. That will allow the owner to market what’s now a trailer park, hoping to find a commercial client.