State Police identify wrong-way I-81 driver

I-81-AccidentState Police have identified the man they say was driving the wrong way on Interstate 81 over the weekend, leading to a head-on crash that seriously injured a Salem teen. Police say 39-year-old Kenneth Craft of Roanoke was driving south in the northbound lanes Saturday near the Roanoke-Montgomery County line. Sergeant Robert Carpentieri says they’re still working to determine why Craft ended up on the wrong side of the highway.

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17-year-old Connor McCauley had to undergo open-heart surgery after the accident. No official word from Carilion on his condition. As for Kenneth Craft, a Carilion spokesperson says he has no information available.

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Experts expect strong campaign from Gillespie, even if it starts as an uphill battle

election-2014The Virginia Senate race is now set: Republican Ed Gillespie and incumbent Democrat Mark Warner. Gillespie captured the GOP nomination over the weekend at the party’s state convention in Roanoke.   Political experts say Gillespie faces an uphill battle, but they expect him to run a strong campaign, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports.

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GOP to select Senate candidate this weekend in Roanoke

Republican Party of VARepublicans from across Virginia are converging on Roanoke this weekend to select their U.S. Senate candidate. Four people are seeking the nomination, and former GOP National Chairman Ed Gillespie is widely considered the favorite to prevail. Whoever wins will take on incumbent Democrat Mark Warner this fall. WFIR’s Evan Jones looks ahead to Saturday’s convention.

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D-Day veterans converge on region for 70th anniversary observance

D-DayHundreds of D-Day veterans are converging on the region today in advance of tomorrow’s 70th anniversary observance in Bedford. National D-Day Memorial officials say it is likely to be the last time so many D-Day vets are assembled together and able to tell of their experiences on that day. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Click here for full 70th anniversary observance information from the National D-Day Memorial.

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Why Governor McAuliffe may have the most to lose if budget impasse cannot be broken

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

 

 

Less than four weeks remain now before Virginia’s July 1st budget deadline. Political experts say both parties have a lot at stake in breaking the impasse, but Governor McAuliffe may have most — for reasons that have nothing to do with Medicaid expansion or saving political face. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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611′s absence may have adverse economic impact – but its return may more than make it up

NW-611-SmallVirginia Museum of Transportation officials say the temporary absence of the 611 steam engine may lower attendance some — but once it is restored and returns to pull passenger excursions, that may well make up for any economic impact lost during its absence. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Leo Hirsbrunner returns to WDBJ newscasts after lengthy battle with vertigo

Leo HirsbrunnerRoanoke TV meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner returned to the air today for the first time since October 20th, when he came down with vertigo. Hirsbrunner went through months of rehabilitation; and he went back to work several weeks ago, but this was the first day he returned to his normal morning weathercasts. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Roanoke River to be promoted as a recreational “blueway”

RVARC photo

RVARC photo

The Roanoke region will soon have a “blueway” to go along with its greenways — a way to develop and promote the Roanoke River from eastern Montgomery County to Smith Mountain Lake. Planners have identified and mapped amenities already in place, and now it’s on to phase two: determining what is needed next and how to fund it. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Click here for the Roanoke River Blueway web page

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Roanoke Gas prepares for $700,000 in customer refunds

Roanoke Gas CompanyRoanoke Gas Company says it will refund about $700,000 to its customers, starting with bills sent out in June.  The average residential customer will see a credit of about $8.60. The utility says  its rate structure provides for customer refunds if winter temperatures are significantly lower — and its resulting revenues noticeably higher — than anticipated. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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As summer driving begins, gas prices likely to fall through June

Gas-Prices1With June just around the corner, experts say gas prices are likely to head lower in the coming month, just as many people hit the road for vacations.  Pump prices have been gradually declining in the Roanoke region since their high point in late April. At GasBuddy.com, which tracks prices across the country, analysts say prices are likely to reach their low point as we approach July 4th. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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