APCO sees success in effort to reduce tree-related outages

APCOThe Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Appalachian Power’s three-year vegetation management pilot program in February 2013. That allowed the company to trim, remove, or treat trees and brush near electrical lines on 30 distribution circuits across the company’s Virginia service territory. Since the launch of the program, hundreds of contract workers have completed vegetation management activities on more than 1,600 of the 2,200 line miles identified for inclusion in the pilot. The work included nearly 300,000 tree trims and 293,000 tree removals. APCO says the frequency of tree-related outages has decreased nearly 34 percent, and the service restoration times have also improved. The program is set to end later this year, but APCO plans to work toward a four-year-cycle based program similar to the company’s program in West Virginia.

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Deer tick and Lyme Disease numbers warrant caution for pet owners

WFIR-LOGO-1A study from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech has found that one-third of deer ticks recently collected from sites around Southwest Virginia carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease. WFIR’s Kelsea Pieters has more on what that means for your pet:

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Endangered Missing Child Alert issued for Hayleigh Wilson

Hayleigh Wilson

Hayleigh Wilson

The Virginia State Police Department and the Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse have issued an Endangered Child Alert on behalf of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for Hayleigh Cheyenne Wilson who was last seen in Smyth County, VA. The 14-year-old is believed to be in danger. She’s 5’5 and about 150 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a black-and white flowery top with black shorts. She is believed to be with 41-year-old Benjamin Joseph Shook. He’s 6’6 and about 175 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a blue t-shirt, black shorts and camouflage ball cap. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the TN Bureau of Investigation at 1-615-744-4600 or VSP at 1-800-822-4453, (1-800-VACHILD) or #77 on a cell.

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Three arrested and charged with felony child abuse and neglect of a child

ARSEAN JERMAINE HOBBS

Arsean Hobbs

YVETTE NICOLE HOBBS

Yvette Hobbs

SHIRLEY MAE VENABLE

Shirley Venable

On Monday night, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call reporting a possible child abuse on Mt. Airy Road, Lynch Station. After deputies arrived on the scene and investigated the complaint Bedford County Social Services Child Protection investigators were called. On Tuesday, Bedford County Sheriff’s investigators arrested 32-year-old Arsean Jermaine Hobbs, 38-year-old Yvette Nicole Hobbs and 67-year-old Shirley Mae Venable. All three live at 4093 Mount Airy Road, Lynch Station. All three have been charged with felony child abuse and neglect of a child, which is a class 6 felony. They were transported to the Bedford Adult Detention Center. To protect the identity of the victim, the victim’s relationship to the defendants is not being released.

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Windsor Hills School Board member announces resignation

RoCo SchoolsAfter 13 years on the Roanoke County School Board, Drew Barrineau will resign from that position at the end of August. Barrineau represents the Windsor Hills District. He is a Norfolk Southern employee and will relocate to Norfolk as the Roanoke corporate office shuts down.

 

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UPDATE: Man accused of robbing woman at knife point also accused of robbing 7-Eleven

WINFORD  T. JUSTICE

UPDATE: Roanoke Police say Winford Tracy Justice has been charged in connection to a robbery at the 7-Eleven on Williamson Road NW. Police were called to the store early Tuesday morning. The clerk told officers that a white male entered the store, asked to buy a pack of cigarettes, then pulled a knife and demanded money. After taking the cash from the register, the suspect left the store. The clerk was not harmed. After further investigation officers identified Justice as the suspect.

 

Around 5:54 p.m. Monday, Bedford County 911 dispatch received a call from a woman who said she had been robbed at her home by a male holding a large butcher knife to her stomach. The victim gave the suspect everything in her wallet, and after pushing her into a chair in the living room, the suspect cut the phone lines and left the house. The victim identified the suspect as 53-year-old Winford Tracy Justice. He had been doing pluming work at the woman’s home on Triggs Road. Justice was later found and arrested in a hotel parking lot in Roanoke. He’s charged with armed robbery, abduction and damage to a phone line to prevent a 911 call. Authorities say additional charges are pending.

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Lane closure scheduled for Interstate 581 at Valley View

VDOT-LogoWeather permitting, Interstate 581 southbound will have a double lane closure in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. today with slow rolls occurring throughout the evening. During a slow roll, law enforcement will slow and possibly stop traffic as work on the bridge continues over I-581. Each slow roll is anticipated to last 15 minutes. Drivers approaching the area are encouraged to slow down and use caution through the work zone. Motorists should expect possible delays or seek alternate routes. .

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Nighttime lane closures and detour scheduled this week for Elm Avenue

VDOT-LogoAs part of the Interstate 581 and Elm Avenue interchange project in Roanoke, nighttime lane closures will be in place this week as they continue to work on the bridge.

Today from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., traffic on Elm Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction for paving and there will be intermittent ramp closures to northbound I-581 for paving operations. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., a detour for southbound I-581 will be in place due to the left two lanes being closed. Traffic will detour up and over the ramps to continue on I-581 southbound.

On Wednesday, June 25, and Thursday, June 26, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. traffic on Elm Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction for paving and Williamson Road will be closed for paving operations. Traffic using Williamson Road will need to seek an alternate route. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., a detour for northbound I-581 will be in place due to the left two lanes being closed. Traffic will detour up and over the ramps to continue on I-581 northbound.

On Friday, June 27, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., traffic on Elm Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction for paving operations and Williamson Road will be closed for paving operations. Traffic using Williamson Road will need to seek an alternate route.

On Saturday, June 28 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., traffic on Elm Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction for paving operations. The southbound off ramp to I-581 will be closed due to paving and traffic will need to seek an alternate route.

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Former assistant town manager in Abingdon pleads guilty to program fraud

Department of Justice37-year-old William Garret Jackson admitted that from 2007 through 2014, while he was assistant town manager of Abingdon, he used his town-issued credit card for personal use. He admitted to using the card to purchase a subscription to Netflix, buy groceries, pay his personal cell phone bill, buy electronics and purchase other unauthorized goods and services. In all, Jackson spent $76,404 on the town’s credit card for personal expenses. As part of his guilty plea yesterday, Jackson agreed to pay back the full amount by September 1. At his sentencing, he faces a maximum possible penalty of ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

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New program promotes reading to young children

Roanoke-CityValley Metro and the Roanoke Public Libraries are teaming up to launch the new “Books on Buses” program, to promote reading to young children in the City of Roanoke.  Parents with children will be invited to select a reading bag located at the front of the bus. Each reading bag will contain five books, with various reading levels. Parents will be encouraged to take a book home with them or return it to the reading bag as they exit the bus. The routes chosen to pilot this program are Bus 75/76-VA Hospital, Bus 11/16-Valley View and Bus 81/91 Goodwill Salem. These three routes, which serve the Melrose/Rugby, Williamson Road, and Landsdowne neighborhoods, were identified as having the largest number of family ridership.

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