03:43am, 10/26/14
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Sunday, October 26, 2014
Updated 10/26/14 @ 12:05am

Fire guts home near Salvation Army Headquarters:
(Danville, Va.) -- A Saturday afternoon fire caused heavy damage to a North Danville home.
     Police, fire and rescue units responded to a vacant house near the intersection of Henry and Keen Streets just before 3 pm and found heavy smoke and fire showing from the back of the frame house. The roof had collapsed into the structure and that hampered efforts to reach the flames.
      Three engines, a ladder truck, four support vehicles and 17 firefighters responded and had the fire knocked down in about a half-hour. They remained on the scene for nearly two hours dousing hidden fires and hot spots.
     There were no injuries, but the house suffered heavy structural damage.
     The cause of the fire remains under investigation. (courtesy photo)

Remains identified as Hannah Graham’s:
(Charlottesville, Va.) -- Human remains found during the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham have been identified as those of the 18-year-old, officials said Friday.
     The remains were found Saturday on an abandoned property near Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, less than 10 miles away from where Graham was last seen.   
     Graham was last spotted on September 13 in downtown Charlottesville with Jesse Matthew, who is charged with abduction with the intent to defile. Her remains were found last weekend on some abandoned property in Albermarle County, about 12 miles from downtown Charlottesville.
     Matthew is being held in isolation at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing December 4 on the abduction charge.


Crash claims the life of slain sheriff's deputy's son:
(Pittsylvania County, Va.) -- Virginia State Police are investigating another traffic fatality that happened early Friday morning on the Pine Lake Road.
      Sgt. Bob Carpentieri says the single-vehicle accident happened shortly before 2 am and claimed the life of a Danville man.
      The preliminary investigation indicates a 2008 Honda Civic operated by 24-year-old Frankie Lynn Betterton II ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree. Betterton was wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash but was pronounced dead at the scene.
      The victim was the son of slain Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Deputy Frankie Lynn Betterton Jr., who was killed during a traffic stop on U.S 58 on May 17, 2002.
       The Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Department and the Danville Lifesaving crew also responded to the accident, which left four passengers injured. Two were transported to Danville Regional Medical Center and the other two were flown from the scene by helicopter to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Their names, ages and conditions were not available.
      Sheriff’s deputies directed traffic around the accident scene.
      Carpentieri says Virginia State Police are continuing their investigation.  

 

Ringgold woman killed in four-car collision:
(Blairs, Va.) -- A four-car collision in Blairs claimed the life of a Ringgold woman.
      Virginia State Police say 57-year-old Evelyn Hawkins Bryant died at the scene of the crash, which happened about 5:30 Thursday afternoon in front of the Computer Barn on Highway 29, North.
      According to the investigating trooper, a 16-year-old Danville resident was southbound when his 1999 Ford Explorer crossed over into the northbound lanes near Railroad Lane in Pittsylvania County. He struck a 2003 Cadillac sedan and a 2002 Toyota Sienna van, before hitting a 2005 Toyota Camry head on. Bryant was driving the Camry and died at the scene.
     The teen was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center for treatment.
      37-year-old Nicole Gibson of Blairs and Breesha Jones, 22, of Blairs were both taken to the emergency room, where they were treated for minor injuries.
     All four drivers were wearing seat belts.
        The 16-year-old driver was charged with failure to maintain proper control of his vehicle.
        The crash had traffic backed up for several hours as Virginia State Police conducted their investigation. (Photos: Leonard Harville)

Former first lady faces February sentencing:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell's sentencing on nine public corruption convictions has been set for Feb. 20.
      McDonnell had originally been scheduled for sentencing Jan. 6, but she asked for a postponement because one of her attorneys has a scheduling conflict that day.
      U.S. District Judge James Spencer approved her motion last week and set the new sentencing date Thursday.
     Former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted in September of performing "official acts" to promote former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams' dietary supplement products in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts, trips and loans.
     Bob McDonnell was convicted on 11 public corruption counts. His sentencing remains set for Jan. 6.
     Va. governor's ethics commission to meet Monday

Appalachian offers energy efficiency savings:
(Richmond, Va.) (AP) — Appalachian Power is proposing ways for its Virginia customers to reduce energy usage and demand.
     The utility on Friday filed a request with the State Corporation Commission seeking approval for four residential programs and two for commercial and industrial customers.
      The residential programs would provide home assessments and incentives for long-term energy reduction; provide free pickup and cash incentives for removing second refrigerators or freezers from the power grid; give incentives if new manufactured housing is built to efficiency standards; and offer retail rebates and markdowns for high-efficiency lighting and appliances.
     A financial incentive for commercial and industrial users would tie to specific results from installing high-efficiency lighting and heating and cooling equipment. Another would provide rebates for certain larger energy conservation projects.
     Appalachian Power has about 500,000 Virginia customers.


Danville City Council will not remove Confederate flag:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Manager Joe King said Wednesday that City Council does not have the authority to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Sutherlin mansion.
     According to a news release, City Council will consider a resolution at its November 6, 2014 meeting "stating that it has determined that under Virginia law, the City does not have the legal authority to remove the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History."
     On September 30, King received a letter from Cara Burton, Executive Director of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, conveying her board of directors’ request that the city remove the Confederate flag.
      The November 6th resolution directs the city manager to notify the museum board of directors that it cannot consider its request, because "The veterans memorial (which consists of the granite base, pole and flag) is protected under the State Code of Virginia, and cannot be altered in any way."

Council hears more on Confederate flag:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville City Council met in a closed session Tuesday night to discuss a request to remove a Confederate flag 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.
      City Council heard from around a dozen speakers, most of whom opposed the request from the Museum of Fine Arts and History to remove the 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.
      But Danville resident Katrina Carter says the flag is a reminder of slavery and best left to the history books.
      A 1994 agreement between the city and the Heritage Preservation Association allowed the HPA to give the city an obelisk placed on the front lawn of the Sutherlin Mansion.           
      The museum wants to move the flag inside as part of a Confederate history exhibit.
     
Puppy left in dumpster; reward offered by Humane Society:
(Danville, Va.) -- The Danville Area Humane Society is seeking information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who abandoned a terrier puppy in a dumpster at Woodside Village Apartments on Piney Forest Road.  A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered. 
     Late Tuesday afternoon, the police department received a complaint about a puppy that was in a crate in the dumpster. Officers responded and took the puppy to the animal shelter.
     The puppy is a female terrier mix puppy, about three months old. She will be held the legally-required stray time and then be placed for adoption.
      Paulette Dean, executive director, said, “Our first choice is to find a home for this little sweetheart in the Danville area. However, if we cannot, we are confident that she will be transferred to one of our adoption partners.”
      Abandonment of any animal is illegal, and it is also cruel. Dean said, “A puppy in a crate in a dumpster has no hope of survival without human intervention. We are grateful that a concerned citizen heard her whines and called the police.”
     Anyone with information about this puppy is urged to call 799-5306. Calls will be confidential.

City leaders want "Danville-Specific" coal ash solutions:
(Danville, Va.) -- Danville leaders want Danville-specific solutions as Duke Energy continues their cleanup from the massive Coal Ash Spill in Februrary. 
     Duke President Davis Montgomery gave City Council an update this week.
     Mayor Sherman Saunders says the city has been harmed more by perception than pollution. 
      Montgomery says Duke has pledged $500,000 to improve boating and fishing facilities, new walkways, parking, and other things at Abreu-Grogan Park. The company used the park as a staging area this summer to clean up coal ash that had accumulated at the base of the Schoolfield Dam.  They’ve also formed a community stakeholder group to give people a voice in future projects. 
     Overall, Duke Energy is pledging $10 million dollars on clean-up and improvement projects at waterways in five states.


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