Roanoke Valley home sales, prices at highest levels in years

wfir-defaultRoanoke Valley home sales are off to their best start in a decade. More than 2,400 homes sold in January through June, and the average sales price last month neared $219,000, the highest for any month in years. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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As gypsy moths make a return, Forest Service considers plans to combat them

USDA photo

USDA photo

Gypsy moths are back in force, at least in some parts of southwest Virginia, and the U.S. Forest Service is already working on plans to control the damage come next year. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Hospitals, Virginia Health Department use program adopted in 2002 in efforts to fight Zika now

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

Virginia’s health care providers and the State Health Department are using a program adopted about 14 years ago in current efforts to treat cases of the Zika virus — and prevent its spread. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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10 years, 600,000 power poles; Apco undertakes lengthy inspection project

APCO Appalachian PowerAppalachian Power has started a  project in recent months  that will inspect 600,000 of its utility poles. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, it’s a project expected to take at least a decade to complete.

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Active shooter exercise Saturday in Bedford may be loud, but sheriff says it’s necessary

Bedford CountyBedford area residents may see plenty of law enforcement vehicles and ambulances tomorrow and hear loud bangs and sirens. The Bedford County Sheriff’s office is conducting an active shooter exercise for its deputies, especially those new to the force. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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State conducts feasibility study on Bedford Amtrak stop

Amtrak-LogoThere is currently no plan to include Bedford when Amtrak service extends to Roanoke next year, but state transportation officials are now conducting a feasibility study. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

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It helped bring Eldor, so Botetourt County prepares another building-ready industrial site

Botetourt-CountyBotetourt County is already preparing another site at its Greenfield Industrial Center in hopes of being ready for the next Eldor opportunity — and the jobs it would bring. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Storms create flash floods, knock out power to thousands

This afternoon’s heavy rains  led to localized street flooding in the downtown Roanoke area as close to two inches of rain came down in about 45 minutes. Roanoke Fire-EMS reports its  Swift Water Rescue Team helped a stranded motorist in the 900 block of Campbell Ave. The thunderstorms that moved through also left more than 1,800 customers in Roanoke City and County without power.

Doug Bock photo

Doug Bock photo

Water Rescue

Roanoke Fire-EMS photo

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Tim Jones named police chief; Roanoke native, long-time officer

Tim Jones

Tim Jones

From Roanoke City:  — At a press conference held in the north lobby of Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building on Tuesday, July 12, Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill announced that Tim Jones has been selected as Police Chief for the City of Roanoke. Jones has been serving as Acting Police Chief since March 2016. This announcement culminates a four-month national search and recruitment process, which included gathering input from various organizations within the community and using a citizen interview panel with participants who reflect Roanoke’s diversity. From the 42 applications received 11 finalists were selected.  After video interviews, four candidates were invited for onsite interviews of which three were interviewed by the citizen panel, technical panel (which included Chief Kelvin Wright from the City of Chesapeake) and the city manager.

“I am pleased that after an extensive national search, we found the right candidate in our own department.  Tim Jones has the professional experience, academic background, and deep knowledge of the community to lead the Roanoke Police Department during these challenging times.  I look forward to working with Chief Jones as we continue to build a safer community through stronger relationships with our citizens and neighborhoods,” said Morrill.

(Continue reading for the rest of the news release.)

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“Justice for Kionte” members promise to keep pressing Justice Department for investigation

Kionte Spencer

Kionte Spencer

Advocates  for a Justice Department investigation into the fatal police shooting of Kionte Spencer say they will keep showing up at the U.S. Attorney John Fishwick’s office until the department takes up the case. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.

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