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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Updated 2/26/15 @ 3:30 pm



Photo from Charles Fulcher

 

Life returning to normal following snowstorm:
(Danville, Va.) -- The official total at Danville Regional Airport was 6.8 inches. And while this was a wet snowfall with no ice, it still caused some problems with power outages as lines weighed down by the snow fell to the ground.  As of 3 p.m. Thursday, 1,000 Danville residents were without power. Service has been restored to about half of the customers who experienced a power outage. Crews will work through the night until all service is restored. In addition to four city power repair crews in the field, three contract electrical crews and three tree trimming crews are assisting in restoration of service. None of the outages involve loss of power due to feeder issues or broken poles. At noon, 950 customers were in the dark in Halifax County, 800 in Henry County and more than 200 in Pittsylvania County were without power.
     Driving conditions are improving and the main roads are clear and have been plowed. Danville Public Works crews are now in the residential neighborhoods and most are passable. That could change as the temperature drops and the slush refreezes tonight. This storm didn’t present nearly as many challenges to road crews, since the snow was wet and powdery, unlike the freezing precipitation that fell a week ago.
     Danville Police report two weather- related car accidents, but neither involved injuries.

 


Photo from Alice Woodson


Police seek information following sexual assault:
(Danville, Va.) -- The Danville Police Department is looking for the man who sexually assaulted a woman outside the Danville Salvation Army Wednesday morning.
A 51-year-old Danville woman reported that she was smoking in front of the Salvation Army headquarters on Henry Street, where she was volunteering.  Just after 10:00 a.m., a stranger approached, began a brief conversation and suddenly forced her to the ground. He was able to remove some of her clothing and fondle her before the victim's husband came to her aid after hearing her screams. After pulling the suspect off his wife, the attacker ran to a car described as a gray or silver Nissan or Honda and fled the scene.
      The attacker was a black male in his mid-30s with dreadlocks, stocky build, and wearing glasses, a black hoodie, and black pants.
     Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Danville Crimestoppers at (434) 793-0000. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Danville man charged with "sexting" minor:
(Danville, Va.) -- A Danville man is in jail for soliciting a juvenile via text message.  City Police say 21-year old Christopher Isler used a messaging application that does not store text data outside of the device being used to send the explicit message to a minor.  He was arrested Monday afternoon without incident. He was also served with a protective order to have no contact with the victim. He is currently being held in the Danville City Jail under no bond.

Buggs Island Lake bill heads to Governor:
(Richmond, Va.) -- A local lawmaker’s bill dealing with the name of a Southside Lake has cleared the General Assembly and is headed to the Governor’s desk.
     Mecklenburg County State Senator Frank Ruff says area tourism officials got quite a surprise when they began looking into using the name Kerr Reservoir, along with Buggs Island Lake, to promote the tourist attraction.  They were told that was illegal.
     Turns out a 1952 resolution from the Virginia General Assembly prohibits localities from using Kerr Reservoir---even though that’s the name the Federal Government gave to the Army Corps of Engineer project.
     For more than 60 years, Virginia residents have called it “Buggs Island Lake.”  Ruff says that had led to confusion.
            Ruff’s bill to allow either name be used to promote the lake cleared the House of Delegates yesterday on a unanimous vote.


Council expected to authorize repayment of Marcerata Wheels grant:
(Danville, Va.) -- Staffers are asking Danville City Council approve $1.5 million dollars for the latest round of repayments to the Virginia Tobacco Commission for projects that never materialized.
            The total includes $600,000 to settle the grant issued two years ago to Macerata Wheels. The company promised to create 101 jobs and invest $8,000,000 over a three-year period.  Macerata was supposed to have 25-percent of those goals met at this point but still has no employees. Council will be asked to authorize full repayment of the Macerata performance grant and to transfer money from the fund balance to make the payment.
The $1.5 million also includes the second of four payments for U.S. Green Energy. The first $400,000 installment repayment was made by the Industrial Development Authority.  The agreement obligates USGE to repay the entire $1.6 million grant.  The first payment to the city of Danville is due by June 30. 
The figure also includes $250,000 each for the first installment on repayments to the Tobacco Commission for grants awarded to Web Parts and GOK Furniture. The city of Danville is pursuing legal action against those two companies.

Driver injured in snow-related crash:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) -- Icy road conditions contributed to an accident that forced state police to close 729 for nearly an hour Tuesday morning after a Chevy Malibu slid on the ice, went down an embankment and wrapped around a tree.
     Ringgold Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Neal says emergency personnel from Kentuck and Ringgold responded to the 2,600 block of Kentuck Road about 10:20 this morning. Pittsylvania County sheriff's deputies assisted at the scene.
    The 24-year-old driver had to be cut from the wreckage. Neal says she appeared to be in fair condition upon transport to Danville Regional Medical Center. 
   

Local shelter director attacks "Anti-PETA" bill:
(Danville, Va.) – A lobbyist for PETA says a bill making its way through the General Assembly could force closure of the group's Norfolk shelter. But animal rights advocates who are critical of PETA say the bill would simply require them to make a better effort at adoption.
     Locally, Danville Area Humane Society Executive Director Paulette Dean calls it a “revenge bill.”  A PETA worker last fall captured a family pet along with a group of strays. The animal was euthanized.  But Dean says that shouldn’t result in a bill targeting private shelters state-wide.  She’s worried it could lead to quotas on animals taken in versus those put to death.
     Supporters say the bill clarifies what constitutes a private animal shelter, but makes it harder for groups like PETA to euthanize animals without first trying to find them homes. Dean says that may sound good on the surface, the spillover effect this would have on public shelters like the one here in Danville would be counter-productive.
 
Halifax County Board of Supervisors bill suddenly killed:
(Richmond, Va.) -- The latest effort to break the stalemate on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors was suddenly shot down this week on the floor of the Senate. Last month the Board deadlocked in a series of 4-4 votes on electing a new chairman.  They cannot conduct any business until they do.  The Senate yesterday voted to send the measure back to committee.  It had already passed the House of Delegates.  South Boston Delegate James Edmunds’ bill would’ve increased the number of members of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors to nine.  The Senate was swayed by an e-mail from four of the Board members, who asked the General Assembly NOT intervene in a local issue.


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