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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Christmas tree farm looks to attract summer visitors with “Bubbleball”

BubbleballA popular Christmas tree farm is looking to bring people in during the summer months with something much different — Bubbleball. Normally, teams need to reserve in advance, but anyone can just show up Saturday or Sunday at Joe’s Trees in Newport to try it out, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports.

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Click here for full NRV Bubbleball information.

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High demand, low supply; food bank seeks help to boost supplies of peanut butter

Feeding-AmericaFeeding America Southwest Virginia is asking businesses, civic organizations and other groups to help it collect one of its most in-demand food sources — peanut butter. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Health care insurer is looking for more Roanoke-based workers

United Healthcare LogoA health care insurance company is seeking more customer service representatives in the Roanoke area — and it plans to start the training in less than two weeks. WFIRs Clark Palmer has more details:

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Click here for the United Healthcare jobs website

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