A ribbon-cutting is set for today in Bedford, where a former factory building is being transformed into 32 new apartments. It was once home to the Clark Plug Tobacco warehouse, more recently a furniture factory, and now set to be home to The Bedford Lofts. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, the developer sees the potential for much such projects in communities Bedford’s size.
Even as Jesse Matthew, Jr. waived extradition in Texas, the Police Chief in Charlottesville said they may have a suspect, but no sign of Hannah Graham. And as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, the chief’s request for help evokes memories of where Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington’s body was found almost five years ago.
With less than six weeks to go until election day, a new poll shows Mark Warner with a 19-point lead over Ed Gillespie, despite the challenger’s efforts to portray Warner as a rubber stamp for President Obama. Warner leads the Roanoke College poll of likely Virginia voters 46 to 27 per cent. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Warner continues to hold unusually high approval numbers for a statewide elected leader, which means continuing challenges for his Republican opponent.
Libertarian Robert Sarvis gets five per cent support. Click here for full poll results and methodology.
Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin is trying to put to rest any suggestions that the disappearances of Hannah Graham and Alexis Murphy might be related. Martin released a statement today stating there is no credible evidence right now that suggests any third party was involved with Randy Taylor in the Murphy disappearance last year, and no evidence at all that Jesse Matthew Junior had involvement in any way in the Murphy case.
The first summer is over at the renovated Roanoke Market Square, and at least one business with a front row seat there is pleased with the renovation’s results. Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op says when the square reopened in late April, the increases in both foot traffic and sales at its downtown store were immediate and obvious, and even more so on days with festivals or events like the Sheryl Crow concert. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
The General Assembly special session began Thursday with Democrats repeatedly asking Republicans to present some sort of plan to provide health insurance to about 400,000 lower income Virginians, and Republicans saying the Affordable Care Act has failed in so many ways that Virginia would be foolish to opt into it. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Bedford Delegate Kathy Byron presented one of the day’s most impassioned speeches.
Here is Byron’s entire floor speech.
Virginia’s General Assembly reconvenes today for a two-day special session, one in which proposed Medicaid expansion is expected to dominate the debate. But as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, political observers do not foresee passage of any measure that Governor McAuliffe would find acceptable.
Any school that doesn’t meet the SOL pass rates and becomes Accredited with Warning goes through through an academic review. A team will pay especially close attention to whether those schools have adapted what they teach to meet the newer and more rigorous state standards — and recommend ways to improve that school’s performance. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
More rigorous SOL tests led to an increase in schools that did not earn full accreditation this year. The state’s Department of Education reports 68% percent of schools are fully accredited, compared with 77% and 93% two years ago. All Roanoke County, Salem City and Craig County public schools remain fully accredited. In Roanoke City, seven elementary and four middle schools are accredited with warning, but William Fleming High School is now fully accredited once again after several years of troubles.