Sales tax holiday coming August 5-7; school supplies, emergency preparedness, appliances

wfir-defaultFrom the Virginia Department of Taxation: Legislation enacted by the 2015 General Assembly combined Virginia’s three sales tax holidays into one three-day holiday beginning the first Friday in August at 12:01 a.m. and ending the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. This year’s sales tax holiday is August 5-7. During the sales tax holiday period, consumers can purchase qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax. This includes qualifying items purchased online, by mail or over the phone. In addition to the specific items exempted, retailers may also choose to offer other items “tax-free” by paying the sales tax themselves during the holiday.

Click here for the Department of Taxation’s sales tax holiday web page

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Police: wrong-way driver dies in head-on US 220 crash

State Police photo

State Police photo

From Virginia State Police: ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – Virginia State Police Trooper J. D. Eames is investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash that occurred on July 20, 2016.  The crash occurred at 12:33 pm on Route 220 in front of Midway Chevrolet in Franklin County. A 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes on Route 220 and struck a 2013 Dodge Charger which was traveling north on Route 220 in front of Midway Chevrolet. The 1999 Suzuki was driven by George Jackson Porter, 86, of Boones Mill, Va.  Mr. Porter was wearing his seatbelt and died at the scene. The 2013 Dodge was driven by Diane A. Law, 64, of Glade Hill, Va.  Ms. Law was wearing her seatbelt and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of her injuries. The Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was called to assist with the investigation. The crash remains under investigation.

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Man, woman arrested for Bonsack bank robbery

wfir-defaultFrom Roanoke County Police: July 20, 2016 – The Emergency Communications Center received a report Wednesday of a robbery at 11:26 a.m. at the BNC Bank in the 4000 block of Challenger Avenue in Roanoke County. After an investigation, Michael J. Barger, born in 1987, was arrested and charged with Robbery, Grand larceny, use of firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The suspect’s vehicle was also located and was impounded pending further investigation. With assistance from the local office of the FBI, a second subject, Jill F. Holloman, born in 1962, was arrested and charged with being an Accessory after the fact to a Robbery. Both are being held without bond. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Division at (540) 777-8641.

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Man with fake tags charged after chase in Henry County

William Rea

William Rea

From The Henry County Sheriff’s Office: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office attempted a traffic stop on a 1998 Ford pickup with fictitious tags on Bowles Rd.  The vehicle failed to stop and accelerated in speed.  The vehicle wound through the area of Daniels Creek Rd. and Kings Mountain Rd.  The vehicle went north on Daniels Creek Rd. reaching a top speed of 80 mph.  The vehicle came out onto Virginia Ave. at the end of Reed Creek Dr.  The vehicle was travelling southbound in the northbound lane.  Due to excessive speeds and reckless driving by the suspect the Henry County Sheriff’s Office deployed spike strips on Virginia Ave. just below Reed Creek Dr.  The Ford pickup was stopped and the driver was taken into custody after a short foot chase.

William Bradley Rea a 32 year old white male of 66 John Redd Blvd. will be held in the Henry County Jail under no bond.  William Bradley Rea was charged with the following:

  • Felony Elude a Class 6 Felony
  • Suspended Operator’s License a Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • Possess with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine a Felony
  • Possess Marijuana a Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • Improper Registration
  • Possess Improper or Fictitious Tag a Class 1 Misdemeanor

Anyone who has information regarding this crime is urged to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crime Stoppers at 63CRIME (276-632-7463). The Crime Stoppers program offers reward money up to the amount of $2500 for information related to crimes. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information provided will determine the amount of reward paid for information.

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Police name, seek suspect for Roanoke County purse thefts

Joshua Wheeler

From Roanoke County Police: On Friday, July 15 at 2:50 p.m. at the Food Lion in Hollins, a purse was taken from a woman’s shopping cart. A purse was then stolen from a woman at the Bonsack Walmart on Saturday, July 16 at 8:45 p.m. Another purse was stolen on Sunday, July 17 from the Clearbrook Walmart at 2:30 p.m. The suspect has been identified as Joshua Allen Wheeler. A white female has also been seen with Wheeler during the incidents. The pair were last seen in a silver Toyota Camry. After the victims finished loading their groceries into their vehicles, he waited for them to return their shopping carts and removed their purses from the vehicles. The two have been seen on video driving through the parking lot for 15 minutes looking for the perfect target and then act quickly. Citizens should use caution and call the Emergency Communication Center at (540) 562-3265 with any information on Mr. Wheeler’s location.

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Roanoke Police seek help to recover to “Bad Boy” ATV’s

From Roanoke City Police: On July 1, 2016 at 11:43 a.m. Roanoke Police responded to the 4800 block of Melrose Avenue NW, Roanoke Golf Cars, to investigate a report of two vehicles being stolen from the lot. The vehicles stolen were a pair of Bad Boy Recoil 4×4 off road vehicles. Both vehicles were camouflage in color with four person occupancy. A picture of what the stolen vehicles look like is below, as well as a still shot of the suspect vehicle taken from a nearby surveillance camera. Anyone with information can call the RPD tipline at 540-344-8500. Callers can choose to remain anonymous. Anonymous text messages can also be sent to the number 274637 [CRIMES]. Please start the text message with the keyword RoanokePD: to ensure that it’s properly sent.

Stolen ATVSuspect Vehicle

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State Police: man found along Bedford County highway was probably struck by lightning

wfir-defaultFrom Virginia State Police: State Police were notified Thursday afternoon there was a unresponsive male on the north side of the roadway on Route 122 near Bowyers Loop. The Male was identified as Robert Daniel Miller, Jr. 23, of Moneta, VA.  Mr. Miller was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The Virginia State Police opened the investigation as a Hit and Run by a vehicle.  Through the investigation, involving the Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, it has been determined that Mr. Miller was not struck by a vehicle and was not a victim of a criminal act. Medical personnel have stated that Mr. Miller was most likely struck by lightning while walking in the storm Thursday. Mr. Miller is currently at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

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UPDATE: Amber Alert cancelled

Flora Khatun

Flora Khatun

UPDATED 6:00pm — The Washington Post reports Liz Khatun is in custody and the Amber Alert is cancelled.

PREVIOUSLY: From Virginia State Police: The Virginia State Police and Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse have issued an Amber Alert for a child abduction on behalf of the Fairfax County Police Department in Annandale on 07/11/2016 at 11:00 am.  The Fairfax County Police Department is looking for Liz Khatun, white, female, age 6 weeks old, height 1 feet 07 inches, weight 9 lbs, with brown eyes and short brown hair. The child is believed to be in extreme danger and was last seen at 7611 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA. The child is likely abducted by Flora Khatun, white, female, age 31 years old, height 5 feet 02 inches, weight 120 lbs, with brown eyes and brown black hair wearing black t shirt, black yoga pants, unknown shoes. They may be traveling in a 2011 blue Toyota Sienna, VA license XJG 1035.

Please contact the Fairfax County police department at (703)246-7800 or the Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453 (1-800-vachild).

You may find complete information at hyperlink www.vaamberalert.com

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U.S. Attorney Fishwick is recused from any role in Kionte Spencer case

John Fishwick, Jr.

John Fishwick, Jr.

Kionte Spencer

Kionte Spencer

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Virginia:  First Assistant United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle will handle all matters pertaining to the shooting death of Kionte Spencer for the United States Attorney’s Office after the Office of the Deputy Attorney General determined that United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. should be recused from further involvement to preclude any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict arising from an unrelated matter that United States Attorney Fishwick worked on prior to being appointed the United States Attorney. The General Counsel’s Office for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General notified the United States Attorney’s Office of the recusal decision on July 12, 2016, after receiving United States Attorney Fishwick’s request for a review. Mr. Fishwick made the request on June 28, 2016, immediately after he became aware of facts arising from the unrelated matter and curtailed his further involvement with the office pertaining to the February incident. The Department of Justice determined that, to preclude any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict, and pursuant to the United States Attorney’s Manual and the United States Attorneys’ Procedures, Mr. Fishwick should be recused from any further role in the Kionte Spencer matter.

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New member appointed to Roanoke County School Board

Roanoke County SchoolsFrom Roanoke County Public Schools: ROANOKE – The Roanoke County School Board has appointed Donald T. Butzer as the new Catawba District member for the school board.  Mr. Butzer will fill a portion of the unexpired term of Tom McCracken, who resigned from the Catawba District school board seat in June.  Mr. Butzer will serve on the school board until the November 2016 special election is certified.

Mr. Butzer is a retired manager from Verizon where he was responsible for managing several aspects of business facilities and operations.

“We had five highly qualified candidates and considered all applicants very seriously. We want to express our thanks to all those who applied for this interim position,” said Roanoke County School Board Chairman Mike Wray.  “Our decision was made based on Mr. Butzer’s strengths and his knowledge of how the education system works.  Even after Don was unsuccessful in last November’s election, he remained very active and involved in our schools,” Wray said.

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