Delta to end Roanoke-Detroit service, will add larger plane to Atlanta

Delta-LogoFrom the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission: Roanoke, Virginia (September 30, 2014) ‐ In response to customer demand Delta Airlines has announced, effective November 1, the airline will enhance its service between Roanoke‐Blacksburg Regional Airport and Hartsfield‐Jackson Atlanta International Airport via aircraft upgrades that will enable the airline to accommodate up to 320 passengers daily. Currently Delta operates one 126‐seat Airbus 319 and three 50‐passenger Canadair Regional jets and plans to improve operations with two Boeing 717 110‐passenger and two 50‐passenger jets. At the same time, Delta plans to eliminate its direct service between Roanoke and Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The decision to discontinue this service is a result of decreased passenger numbers over the past twelve months. Delta reports that, on average, passenger loads for flights between Detroit and Roanoke have not been profitable for the airline. As a result of these combined decisions, Atlanta will become the hub for connecting Delta passengers traveling into and out of Roanoke.

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

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Police: man hops off bicycle, robs two women, takes off on bike

Roanoke-PoliceFrom Roanoke City Police: On September 29, 2014 at approximately 8:15 p.m. Roanoke Police were called to the 1700 block of Cove Road NW to investigate a robbery.  Once on scene officers interviewed two victims who advised that they were leaving the location when they observed a light skinned man ride by them on a bicycle. The victims said the man on the bicycle turned around, got off the bike, and walked up to them.  At that point, the victims said the man produced an apparent firearm, ordered them to drop their handbags on the ground, and, after the victims compiled, took both handbags.  The victims said the suspect then got back on his bicycle and rode east on Cove Road.  The suspect was described as being approximately 5’8″ to 5’9″, average weight, wearing a dark hoodie and blue jeans.  The suspect’s accent was described as being Hispanic.  The suspect’s bicycle was described as being green and black in color, and appeared to a children’s bicycle.  If you have any information that can help investigators please call the Roanoke Valley Crime Line at 540-344-8500.  Tips are anonymous and rewards are offered for the right information.

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Accused kidnapper back in Charlottesville, Hannah Graham still missing

Jesse Matthew (FBI Photo)

Jesse Matthew
(FBI Photo)

Jesse Matthew, the man accused of abducting missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, has a court appearance in Charlottesville scheduled for later this week. The FBI says a chartered plane returned Matthew to Charlottesville Friday evening. Authorities in the Galveston, Texas area arrested him last week.

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Poll: McDonnell should go to prison

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

A new Roanoke College poll finds that 56 percent of Virginians think Bob McDonnell should serve prison time for his convictions on public corruption charges.  Harry Wilson, Director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, says fewer than a third of those responding felt that the public humiliation is enough punishment. At the same time, the poll found nearly three-quarters of Virginians didn’t think McDonnell’s conduct was unusual for a public official. The former governor and his wife are set to be sentenced in January.

 

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Drug Take-back day set for Saturday

Got Drugs takebackThose waiting to clean out their medicine cabinets can take advantage of another “Drug Take-back” day this Saturday at eight sites around the Roanoke Valley. It’s sponsored by a coalition of police and various agencies including the Western Virginia Water Authority. Kathy Graham Sullivan with the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition says they’ve taken back more than six tons of prescription drugs over the last eight take-back days. It’s Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m….and you can find a list of locations here.

 

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Statewide poll finds Warner continuing to hold strong lead over Gillespie

election-2014From Roanoke College: Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner holds a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, according to the latest Roanoke College Poll. Also, in an early look at possible 2016 presidential match-ups, Hillary Clinton holds significant leads over potential Republican opponents Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan. These results are similar to the July Roanoke College Poll, although Warner’s lead has shrunk slightly. Still, he has the highest favorable ratings of all other statewide elected officials. Clinton has widened her lead over both Paul and Ryan, but Christie’s margin is unchanged.

Click here for full poll results and methodology.

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BREAKING: Suspect now charged in UVA student disappearance

Jesse Matthew, Jr.

Jesse Matthew, Jr.

Charlottesville police now say they have charged Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., 32, in the disappearance of Hannah Elizabeth Graham. Matthew is wanted for abduction with the intent to defile, in addition to two reckless driving charges previously announced. Police are currently looking for Matthew and have released a wanted poster for his arrest. Investigators believe Matthew is the last person the 18-year-old Graham was with before she disappeared early on Sept. 13.

(Continue for new wanted poster issued by Charlottesville PD Tuesday night)

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Berglund Center getting facelift

roanokeciviccenter.com

roanokeciviccenter.com

New seats, lighting, a paint job and more secure doors. The 45-year-old Roanoke Civic Center is getting more than a new name. The Berglund Center also will be transformed. WFIR’s Gene Marrano explains:

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Roanoke traffic: Railroad maintenance closes streets this week

Traffic-ReportFrom the City of Roanoke:

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 23, several streets will be closed due to Norfolk Southern’s railroad maintenance project. These closures will conclude Friday, Sept. 26. The following streets will be closed:

Norfolk Avenue, between Market Street and Campbell Avenue

Campbell Avenue, between 3rd Street SE and Williamson Road

A detour will be established. Norfolk Southern will furnish all barricades, signs, cones, etc.

Valley Metro buses will run their usual schedules. Trip Planning on Valley Metro buses is available via Google Transit at www.valleymetro.com.

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UPDATE: Home of man seen with missing UVa student searched again

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

Mon., Sept. 22 3:02 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Authorities are again searching the apartment of a man they believe is the last person seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared. A Charlottesville city spokeswoman says police returned Monday with a new search warrant at the apartment of 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. His apartment was first searched Friday morning. Matthew is being sought on arrest warrants charging him with reckless driving, but authorities also say they want to talk to him about 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who has been missing since Sept. 13. He hasn’t been charged in the disappearance. Charlottesville police Chief Timothy Longo says Matthew had stopped by a police station Saturday with several family members and asked for a lawyer. He was given a lawyer but left, driving at a high rate of speed.

Charlottesville Police also on Monday issued a wanted poster for Matthew. He may be driving his sister’s 1997 Nissan Sentra with VA license plate VAC4575.

Click her for Jesse Matthew Wanted Poster

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