For first time in 30 years, VA waters may become open to oil & gas exploration

WFIR-LOGO-1The oil and gas industry welcomes a federal government move that could eventually lead to drilling off Virginia’s shoreline, but environmentalists do not share that enthusiasm. The Obama administration has approved the use of seismic technology to explore for oil and gas in waters from Florida to Delaware. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Sheriff: murders may be connected to drug pipeline and much more

Homicide-Update-WFIRThe murders of two brothers in Henry County has led to two arrests — and officials say the investigation goes much further, including a drug pipeline, forged ID’s and possible immigration issues. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Roanoke County schools take new step in efforts to help special ed parents

Education-News1Roanoke County Public Schools are taking a new step to help parents of special education students. Today, for the first time, their Parent Resource Center is using a state grant to hold a parent training program designed to help families learn more about options and resources available. About 15% of the county’s 14,000 students are enrolled in special education. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Goodlatte plays key role as House passes permanent ban on taxing Internet access

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (Roanoke Co.-R) goodlatte.house.gov

Rep. Bob Goodlatte
(Roanoke Co.-R)
goodlatte.house.gov

 

 

The House of Representatives has approved a permanent ban on taxing Internet access — with Roanoke Congressman Bob Goodlatte playing a key role in the process in its passage. Backers say the ban would continue spurring America’s digital economy and avoid more tax burdens on its citizens. Opponents say it could force some states to raise other taxes or cut services.  WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Magazine ranks Roanoke Memorial Hospital among best in Virginia

Carilion Logo2U.S. News and World Report ranks Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital as fourth best across Virginia — among the 129 hospitals statewide. Factors in the magazine’s rankings include outcomes, patient safety and the hospital’s reputation among medical specialists. U.S. News and World Report says Carilion was among 24 Virginia hospitals meeting “standards for strong performance within the state.”  Click here to see the Virginia rankings and methodology used to create them.

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Roanoke gas prices among the lowest in the U.S. — but any Gulf hurricane could change that in a hurry

Gas-Prices1As the Outer Banks saw over the weekend, hurricane season is now here. Hurricanes have the potential to affect our region’s gas prices more than anything else in the coming months, depending on where they strike. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

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Click here to see the nation’s lowest average gas prices from GasBuddy.com.

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What fire officials do at fireworks sites before the shows begin

FireworksMany communities will hold fireworks displays tonight, but before anything shoots into the sky, fire departments work with organizers in efforts to avoid any trouble on the ground. In Roanoke City, for instance, the department establishes safety zones for tonight’s program at River’s Edge. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Roanoke’s mayor puts law practice on “leave of absence”

Roanoke Mayor  David Bowers

Roanoke Mayor
David Bowers

Roanoke Mayor David Bowers calls it a “leave of absence”, stepping aside this week from his law practice of 35 years. Bowers says at age 62, it’s harder to get through the longer hours a private practice and public elective office frequently require. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Bowers says his future plans are not yet clear, and he is not ruling out a return to his law practice.

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Registrar turns to animation and You Tube to get the word out on new voter photo ID law

It’s now state law: as of yesterday, you must present a valid photo ID whenever you vote in Virginia. Registrars are preparing to educate voters, and at least one in the Roanoke Valley is turning to animation and You Tube to get the word out. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Cheer, jeers in VA: reaction to Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” ruling

Supreme CourtVirginia women’s reproductive rights advocates say the Supreme Court got it all wrong in yesterday’s “Hobby Lobby” decision”.  But others, like Liberty University’s legal arm, say it’s a great decision for religious liberty. The story from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

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