Mill Mountain Zoo plans free Sunday

Mill Mountain ZooIt’s a way to thank the community for their support.  The Mill Mountain Zoo announced a “Renew the Zoo” campaign earlier this year, and on Sunday, the zoo is waiving admission fees from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  to give back.  Details from WFIR’s Kelsea Pieters:

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Virginia holiday travel forecast shows big increase

AAA-LogoChristmas is next week,  which means a lot of Virginians will be hitting the road for holiday travel. WFIR’s Kelsea Pieters has the latest on AAA’s travel forecast:

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Five face charges for TV/radio tower sites thefts and damage

Roanoke County PoliceFrom Roanoke County Police – On November 19, the Roanoke County Police Department was notified that a tower site on Poor Mountain had been broken into and various items stolen. As the investigation progressed, it was determined that additional tower sites on Poor Mountain had suffered property damage. The subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the following individuals:
Connie Light, 59, of Copper Hill, was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny.
Daniel Light, 24, of Copper Hill, was charged with Damaging Property, Grand Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny.
William Dillon, 30, of Floyd, was charged with Damaging Property, Grand Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny.
Matthew Ratcliffe, 26, of Floyd, and Amanda Hale, 23, from Copper Hill, will also be charged with Damaging Property, Grand Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny.
Ratcliffe and Hale are currently fugitives. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the Roanoke County Police Department at (540) 562-3265 or the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 745-9334.

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Pipeline company and opponents hold events in Salem

Mountain Valley PipelineThe proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline brought competing interests to the Salem Civic Center Wednesday night.   The story from WFIR’s Kelsea Pieters:

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Salem police officer pleads guilty to bribery charge

Gavel-Court-LegalFrom the U.S. Department of Justice:  A police officer employed by the City of Salem, Virginia, and assigned to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) task force pleaded guilty today for soliciting and receiving sexual favors from a cooperating defendant in exchange for agreeing to recommend a favorable sentence to a federal prosecutor on the defendant’s behalf. Kevin C. Moore, 42, of Roanoke, Virginia, was a Salem Police Department officer and was assigned to the DEA task force in Roanoke, Virginia.  According to his plea agreement and accompanying statement of facts, between June and September 2014,  Moore informed a female cooperating defendant that he was in a position to help her with her pending federal methamphetamine trafficking case.  In August 2014, for example, in a series of text messages with the cooperating defendant, Moore made clear that he could recommend a favorable sentence to the prosecutor on the cooperating defendant’s behalf in exchange for sexual favors.  Moore then convinced the cooperating defendant to go for a ride in his official vehicle where she performed a sexual act with Moore.

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Elmwood Park receives award

Elmwood1Roanoke’s Elmwood Park won the Best New Renovation/Addition Award at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. The awards ceremony is a state-wide program that honors individuals, agencies and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence in several areas during the previous calendar year. The award submission focused on many key features of the new park including the 4,500 capacity amphitheater with its cascading grass terraces for seating and array of fountains that line the walkway and stage.

 

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UPDATED: Roanoke County to Give Away Surplus Items

Al Bedrosian photo

Al Bedrosian photo

UPDATE:  Roanoke County officials report by 9:02 a.m. Saturday, all the items had been taken by citizens on a first-come, first-served basis.  The Sunday event is cancelled.

From Roanoke County: The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors has created a unique opportunity for citizens to take home surplus County property free of charge. Items are being removed from the former William Byrd High School industrial shop building at 100 Highland Road in Vinton, to make room for future economic development opportunities. The event will be held from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, rain or shine. Examples of items that will be available include youth school chairs, adult school chairs, tables, student desks, wood cabinets, drafting tables and metal filing cabinets. All items will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Salem promotes from within for new police chief, deputy chief

Tim Guthrie

Tim Guthrie

Mike Crawley

Mike Crawley

From the City of Salem: Just like the two men who preceded him in the job, Salem’s new Police Chief made his way to the top of the city’s law enforcement ladder by gaining valuable experience at every stop along the way. Earlier today, City Manager Kevin Boggess took the “acting” portion off of Tim Guthrie’s title as he appointed him Chief of Police for Salem, effective immediately. He replaces Jeff Dudley, who retired as Salem’s Chief on December 1. Boggess and Guthrie conferred with one another about the appointment of Salem’s new Deputy Chief and both are pleased to announce that Sgt. Mike Crawley will assume that role and rise to the rank of Deputy Chief immediately.

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Roanoke Fire-EMS Appoints New Deputy Chief

Melvin SaundersFrom Roanoke Fire-EMS: We are pleased to announce that Melvin Sanders is being promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief effective December 23, 2014 . Sanders will take over for Deputy Chief Jeff Beckner who retired earlier this year.  Sanders has devoted nearly 30 years of service to the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department and the citizens of Roanoke. He has been a native of the City of Roanoke since 1962. He graduated from William Fleming High School and joined the armed forces as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. Sanders started his career with the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department on January 25, 1985. He rose through the ranks and most recently served as an operations Battalion Chief.

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UVA President outlines components of action plan for safety

UVA-LogoUVA President Teresa Sullivan yesterday announced key components of an action plan designed to achieve a climate of safety at the University of Virginia. The plan includes creation of an ad-hoc group to explore policies, practices and organizational structure, as well as the resources necessary to support the ultimate goal of providing an outstanding education while ensuring the safety and well-being of students. The plan also includes formation of an administrative task force charged with implementing the advisory group’s recommendations. Sullivan’s action follows recent reporting in Rolling Stone magazine telling the story of a UVA student getting gang raped at a fraternity house. Since the article’s publication, the magazine’s editors have backed away from the story.

Click here to read the full action plan.

 

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