01:02pm, 07/24/14
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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Updated 7/24/14 @ 11:10 am

Tornado kills two, injures 20:
(Cape Charles, Va.) (AP) -- Virginia State Police say two were killed and at least 20 injured when a fierce storm slammed a campground on the state's Eastern Shore.
     Spokeswoman Corinne Geller confirmed the deaths and injuries early Thursday at the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort in rural Northampton County.  No names have been released---most of the injuries were minor.
     The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for the area that expired at 9 a.m. Thursday.
     Volunteer firefighter Brittney Eder says she was at the campground ahead of the storm and described the sky as "jet black."

Pitt. Co. requests drought disaster declaration:
(Chatham, Va.) -- The National Weather Service reports Pittsylvania County is three inches below average rainfall so far this year.  Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors asked the Governor to declare the county a Drought Disaster area.  Local Extension Agent Steve Barts says grain crops like corn and wheat are suffering---as is the county’s top cash crop...tobacco.   Barts says the most frustrating part for some farmers is the sporadic nature of the rainfall.  He says the county’s soybean crop should be in a good shape.

Local home sales down slightly:
(Danville, Va.) -- The latest report on Southside Virginia home sales shows a slight decline.  The second-quarter survey from the Virginia Association of Realtors shows the number of homes sold in the region is down 2-point-3 percent from last year.  State-wide, second-quarter sales were down seven-percent.  The report shows local home foreclosures are up from the first three months of the year, and the median price of local homes sold is slightly lower than last year.

$1,000 reward offered in puppy cruelty case:
(Danville, Va.) -- Four newborn puppies were stuffed into bags and left to die in a dumpster.
     Shelter Director Paulette Dean says the discovery was made Tuesday evening by woman who was dropping off some trash at the Mount Tabor dumpster in Pittsylvania County. She heard the dogs’ cries and found four newborn puppies at the bottom of the dumpster in two plastic bags that had been tied shut.
     The puppies were brought to the animal shelter and placed with a nursing mother cat but did not survive.
     Dean says they have few leads but are hoping someone will provide information that will lead to an arrest and conviction. The number to call is (434) 799-0843.

Charges expected after kids left in hot car:
(Danville, Va.) -- Charges are pending against the parents who left three children unattended in a hot car Tuesday.
     Danville Police were called to the Charles H. Harris Financial Services Center on Memorial Drive Tuesday, after receiving a report that the kids -- a 10-year-old and two 4-year-olds -- were inside the vehicle. The car was cut off and the windows down, with a can of beer left on the roof. An officer took the children out of the sweltering heat and into the air conditioned building. They were not harmed.
    The parents have not been identified but police say they expect to file charges. (Leonard Harville photo)
Pellet shootings leave damage and injury:
(Danville, Va.) -- Someone is shooting a pellet gun at cars and pedestrians, and Danville Police are hoping to stop the recent spree of vandalism.
      Investigators have received multiple reports of damage to cars involving a pellet gun on BB rifle. All have happened during the past several days and - in most instances -- the damage was to parked vehicles. But police have also received a complaint Tuesday from two people who were struck by pellets on Sunset Drive. At about the same time, officers were called to Glenn Street, where a car had been damaged by pellet fire. Another incident was reported earlier in the day on Guilford Street. 
     Witnesses told police the shots were fired from a white Dodge or Chrysler mini van with writing on the side. The van was occupied by two to three black males around 20 years old. One victim received medical treatment from EMS personnel as a result of his injuries.
     Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call Danville Crimestoppers at 793-0000.

DCC program gets another boost:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Community College’s Precision Machining and Welding program has landed another gift.
          The National Institute for Metalworking and the Gene Haas Foundation announced yesterday they’ll send $2,500 to help local students get industry certifications before they graduate.
          DCC’s precision machining facilities is being expanded to add 12,000 square feet to the 8,000 square feet of current space. The welding program will relocate with two other technical programs into a new 7,500 square foot building.

Taylor gets two life terms in death of Nelson Co. teen:
(Lovingston, Va.) (AP) -- A man convicted of abducting and killing a Nelson County teenager has been sentenced to two life terms in prison.
      Randy Taylor was sentenced Wednesday in Nelson County Circuit Court. The judge imposed the sentence recommended by jurors who convicted him in the August 2013 death of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy. Her body has never been found.
      The 49-year-old Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder in commission of an abduction and abduction with intent to defile.
      Murphy was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston. Surveillance video from the gas station showed Murphy's vehicle following Taylor's truck. Murphy's car was found several days later in an Albemarle County parking lot.
 N.C. health agency says it's OK to use Dan River
(Raleigh, N.C.) -- It’s safe to swim and boat in the Dan River.
     So says the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which on Tuesday lifted a recreational water advisory for the Dan. The river was the scene of a massive coal ash spill on Feb. 2 when a drainage pipe collapsed, spewing 39,000 tons of coal ash that turned the river gray for 70 miles downstream.
    Duke Energy has completed removal of the largest deposit at the base of the Schoolfield Dam in Danville and federal environmental officials say Duke has finished removing large pockets of coal ash from the river.
     While other environmental groups aren’t convinced, the North Carolina agency says the Dan River now poses no health risk for recreational users, but is still advising against eating fish or shellfish caught immediately downstream from the closed power plant in Eden.
God’s Storehouse is in need of food:
(Danville, Va.) -- The cupboard isn’t bare, but God’s Storehouse is in need of just about everything.
     Executive Director Karen Harris the food pantry is running out of staples at a time when they’ve experienced a surge in demand and a decline in donations. They’re especially in need of staples liked canned meats, vegetables and fruits, boxed cereals and Sloppy Joe mix.
     She says SNAP benefits are depleted by the end of the month, money is running out, and more people are coming by the warehouse for food. They average about 185 families per day, but that number has topped 200 recently.
     Harris says you can help out by buying a little extra at the supermarket and bringing it by the food pantry on Memorial Drive.

DRMC residents utilize simulation lab:
(Danville, Va.) -- Averett University’s partnership with Danville Regional Medical Center continues to grow.
     The school and hospital held a physician simulation lab education exercise at Averett’s Riverview Campus on Bridge Street Tuesday.
     DRMC residents utilized Averett’s world-class medical simulation center,
which combines an emergency department, an ICU unit, a birthing suite and a neonatal unit in one space. Using the lab, the program is able to provide simulation for birthing techniques in one area, and for cardiac procedures in another. So, if a mother in labor goes into cardiac arrest, health-care providers deal with both conditions at the same time.
      Dr. Michael Moore, director of DRMC’s internal medicine residency program said the programs include family medicine, internal medicine and traditional rotating internships -- all of which utilize the simulation lab.
       Dr. Darnell Cochram, Averett’s interim dean of the school of nursing, said Averett is pleased to partner with the hospital and its residency program.
McAuliffe won't seek state control of failing schools:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he won't appeal a judge's ruling that overturned a law allowing the state to take over chronically failing schools.
     McAuliffe says in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the law altered the relationships between the state and local school boards in significant and unconstitutional ways.
     The law created the Opportunity Educational Institution. The institution was slated to take control of six schools that were denied state accreditation in Norfolk, Petersburg and Alexandria.
     A circuit judge in Norfolk ruled June 10 that the law is unconstitutional. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Virginia School Boards Association and the Norfolk School Board that challenged the institution's creation.

Danville police continue search for man expected to surrender:
(Danville, Va.) -- A Danville man wanted for stalking has been released on bond in West Virginia and has yet to surrender to local police.
       Berkley Allen Furgurson was arrested in Pocahontas County, West Virginia on July 15. He was released by West Virginia authorities on bond with the condition he immediately return to Virginia. Investigators say Furgurson is wanted in Danville for a stalking warrant related to a domestic incident.  
      Furgurson has failed to turn himself in and remains wanted in Danville. He may be operating a gray 2003 Jaguar with Virginia license plates.
     Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Danville Crimestoppers at (434) 793-0000
Ruff says Berry Hill couldn't compete:
(Mecklenburg Co., Va.) -- A Southside legislator says Chesterfield County was better suited to the needs of a Chinese paper company and beat out Pittsylvania County for the multi-million dollar facility.
     Mecklenburg County state Senator Frank Ruff says Chesterfield County had interstate access and other advantages that the Berry Hill Mega Park lacked.
     While the lower site offered the advantage of lower median pay, Ruff says that was offset by advantages in shipping and utilities.
     Tranlin Paper Company will invest more than $2 billion in the greater Richmond area and will create 2,000 new jobs.

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