11:43am, 10/22/14
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Updated 10/22/14 @ 7:50 am


Council hears Public Opinion on Museum's Confederate Flag:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council met in a closed session last night to discuss a request to remove a Confederate flag monument from the lawn of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, dozens of people from various heritage groups all over Virginia gathered to show their support for keeping the flag where it is.
          For the second time this month, Danville City Council last night heard from around a dozen speakers---most of them opposed to a request from the Museum of Fine Arts and History to remove the Confederate Flag from their front lawn.          Ed Clark with the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans says it’s part of Danville’s history…and identity.
          A 1994 agreement between the city and the Heritage Preservation Association allowed the HPA to gift the city an obelisk placed on the front lawn of the Sutherlin Mansion.            But Danville resident Katrina Carter says the flag is a reminder of slavery and best left to the history books.
          The museum plans to move the flag inside as be part of an exhibit of the history of the Confederate flag. Council is still waiting for a legal opinion on whether that 1994 resolution can be altered.

Danville Council plans to return grant money to Tobacco Commission:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council voted last night to repay $2 million in tobacco commission grants given to Web Parts and GOK International.
          It’s the same plan the Commission approved earlier this year to repay a U.S. Green Energy grant.  The city will pay 25 percent up front with an additional 25 percent each year for the next three years without interest.
          That means the city has to pay $500,000 for the next four years to cover the two grants.
          GOK International was supposed to have hired 300 people and make investments of $12.5 million; Web Parts said it was going to hire 260 people and invest $10 million.  Both fell well short of their goals.
          The city filed lawsuits against Web Parts and GOK International last month. But the city is still responsible for reimbursing the Commission.

Department of Health establishes Ebola Hotline:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Department of Health is helping answer questions from the public and provide the most up-to-date information regarding Ebola to Virginians.
          The agency says it has set up a hotline that's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline can be reached at 877-275-8343.
Officials say Virginia's 211 Call Center will be handling these calls using frequently asked questions developed by the department.
          State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine says Virginians are understandably concerned about their risk of catching Ebola and the agency is responding through multiple channels.
          Updates and answers to frequently asked questions are also being shared daily via the agency's website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

American National earnings drop:
(Danville, Va.) -- American National Bank netted three-point-two (m) million dollars in the just-completed quarter.  That’s down about 21-percent from last year’s Third Quarter earnings.
          That gives them a net income of nearly ten (m) million for the first nine months of the year…compared to around 12 (m) million last year.
          Bank President and CEO Jeff Haley says they’re pleased with the numbers.  He also says their portfolio growth is leading to growth in other areas.  He thinks that growth will continue with the recent acquisition of Franklin Community Bank of Rocky Mount.
          American National lists assets of around $1.3 billion. They have 25 banking offices and two loan offices in Virginia and North Carolina.


Traffic accident causes backlog on Rt. 41:
(Danville, Va.) -- Police directed traffic around an accident on Route 41 year Reuben’s Too Restaurant following an accident Tuesday morning.
          Witnesses say a Toyota Highlander crashed and came to rest on its top in the southbound lane of traffic after it was struck by a vehicle pulling out of the Restaurant.
          According to reports, Michael Lee Hoskins, of Danville, was pulling out of the restaurant when he struck the SUV. While Hoskins was uninjured, Lisa Sutton, the driver of the SUV, was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
     The wreck happened in the 2300 hundred block of Franklin Turnpike, shortly after 11 a.m. Hoskins has been charged with Failure to Yield Right of Way. (Photos: Leonard Harville)

Va. jobless rate unchanged in September:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's jobless rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent in September. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September also was the same rate as a year ago.
     Officials say Virginia's jobless rate has increased slightly for the past five months.
     Jobs decreases were seen in industries including private education and health services, professional and business services, construction, total government and miscellaneous services.
     Increases were seen in finance, as well as trade and transportation. Employment in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and mining were unchanged.
     The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 31 U.S. states in September, rose in 8 states and were unchanged in 11. That's the smallest number of states to see an increase since April.
     The national unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

Danville man drowns while fishing:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) -- Pittsylvania County investigators say a Danville man drowned over the weekend in a canoe accident.
     39-year-old Larry Wayne Millner of Danville died Saturday evening when his canoe tipped over. Millner was pond fishing with a friend near Deer View Road in Pittsylvania County.
    The friend made it to shore but Millner drowned.

Danville Regional implements Ebola Preparedness Program:
(Danville, Va.) -- There have been no Ebola cases on the Southside, but Danville Regional Medical Center is implementing a plan to train staff and screen patients who may show symptoms of the disease.
     DRMC Infection Prevention Specialist Linda Sokos says a group of health care professionals began meeting in August to develop a plan of action and the hospital will start intensive training with “front line staff” this week.
       Groups of doctors, nurses and representatives from most departments in the hospital are meeting weekly to make sure plans are in place to “detect, protect and respond,” should anyone in our area be exposed to the virus.
      Should a patient have a fever or exhibit symptoms of Ebola, they will be asked if they have traveled outside the country in the past 21 days, particularly in areas were the disease is prevalent. If the answer is “yes,” hospital staff will immediately place the patient in isolation and contact the Virginia Department of Health about testing for Ebola.  
     She says DRMC is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure proper preventive procedures are in place.


House explodes in Reidsville:
(Reidsville, N.C.) – No one was hurt Monday night when a home exploded in Reidsville.  It happened a little after 8:30
at a vacant house on Route 158 East. 
      Rockingham County Fire Marshal Robert Cardwell says it appears copper thieves cut a liquid propane gas line, sparking the blast.  It sent debris flying 200 feet away, damaging a truck that was passing nearby. 
rews spent about an hour bringing the fire under control. 
      So far, no one’s been charged in connection with the blast. (Photo: Leonard Harville)
Pitt Co. School leaders approve teacher evaluation changes:
(Chatham, Va.) – The Pittsylvania County School Board has adopted some minor changes to their teacher evaluation process.
          Superintendent James McDaniel says they wanted to make the process as fair as possible throughout the district and lessen what some teachers called “subjectivity” in the old process.
          But since many of the changes made two years ago were state-mandated, McDaniel says their options were limited.  But they adopted 13 recommendations---most dealing with clarity and better communication.
          School Board Chairman Calvin Doss chaired a study committee that made the recommendations.

Suspect in Va. abduction charged in DC area rape:
(Fairfax, Va.) -- (AP) — A man charged with the abduction of a University of Virginia student has been indicted in suburban Washington, D.C., with a 2005 rape, abduction and attempted capital murder.
     The indictment against Jesse L. Matthew Jr. was handed up Monday by a Circuit Court grand jury in Fairfax County.
     Matthew is being held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on a charged related to the Sept. 13 abduction of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old from northern Virginia. 
      Law enforcement officials who have been searching for Graham found human remains over the weekend. The state medical examiner has not made a positive identification.

Danville man beaten, robbed:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville Police are investigating a robbery that happened outside a local convenience market.
     Officers were called to the Joy Food Store on Riverside Drive to respond to an assault around 11:40 Sunday night.
Police say a man was leaving the store when someone attacked him from behind.
     The robbers made off with his cash. Police do not have a description of the robber, or robbers.
     The victim was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center.
     His injuries were not life-threatening.
(Photo: Leonard Harville)

North Carolina man killed in Henry Co. accident:
(Henry County, Va.) – Virginia State Police have identified the driver who was killed in a single-vehicle accident in Henry County about 3:30 Saturday afternoon.
   The trooper who investigated said Roy Kendrick, 81, ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected, and then ran off the left side of the road. The vehicle traveled down an embankment and crashed into a tree.
    Investigators say alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the wreck. 
    The crash remains under investigation.

Remains may be those of missing UVA student:
(Charlottesville, Va.) -- Human remains believed to be those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham have been found, authorities announced Saturday evening.
     The 18-year old Graham of the Alexandria-area of Fairfax County, vanished in the early hours of Saturday Sept. 13. She was last seen by witnesses on the Downtown Mall with a man identified by police as Jesse L. Matthew Jr. of Charlottesville.
     Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said authorities must still make a conclusive determination that the remains are Graham’s. But he said authorities have notified the teen’s family.
     Matthew was arrested in Texas last month in Graham’s disappearance and charged with abduction with intent to defile, indicating that police believe Matthew planned to sexually assault Graham. He is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail without bond.
     Matthew has not spoken to investigators since Sept. 20, when he walked into the Charlottesville Police Department and asked to speak to a lawyer. Matthew’s attorney, James L. Camblos III, has declined to comment about details of his client’s case.


Pedestrian struck on Wooding Avenue:
(Danville, Va.) – Charges have been filed in a Friday afternoon accident that sent a pedestrian to the hospital. 
     Danville Police say two vehicles were racing in the 400 block of Wooding Avenue when the cars collided and left the roadway, striking a 20-year-old woman who was walking nearby. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital, where she was released following treatment.
     One of the drivers fled the scene but was apprehended a short time later. Police have since charged Jontay Edmund Coles of Danville with reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and felony hit and run.
     The other driver, Eugene E. Glaze, was treated at Danville Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Charges against Glaze are pending.
     The wreck happened around 4:40 Friday afternoon. (Photos: Leonard Harville)

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