From Vinton Town Police: On July 6, 2015 at approximately 4:51 am, Vinton Police officers were dispatched to the report of a break-in that occurred at a resident in the 400 block of Craig Avenue in the Town of Vinton. Responding officers found that the suspect, identified as Ryan Matthew Perry, 20 years old from Bedford County, had forcibly broken into a residence. The residents of the home were asleep inside when Perry broke open the front door. Perry fled into the street after the homeowner chased him outside and was taken into custody just outside of the home. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that prior to the break-in, Perry had gained access into the interior of two vehicles in the 300 block of Craig Avenue and had stolen a wallet from inside one of them. He had also attempted to enter another home int he 200 block of Craig Avenue but ran from this location before entering the residence.
The debate over normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba made its way to the Roanoke Valley over the holiday weekend. The “Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan to Cuba” is delivering donated school and other supplies to Cuba. The Caravan and its supporters cheer the recent restoration of diplomatic relations, and they now urge a lifting of the long-standing trade embargo. Critics say doing so would wrongly legitimize the Castro regime in the eyes of the world. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia peanut and soybean growers have planted more acres this year than they did in 2014. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says soybean growers planted an estimated 670,000 acres, an increase of 10,000 acres from 2014. Peanut growers planted 23,000 acres, an increase of 4,000 acres. Corn acreage was unchanged at an estimated 500,000 acres. Upland cotton acreage declined by 2,000 acres to an estimated 85,000 acres. The department says an estimated 19,500 acres of flue-cured tobacco are expected to be set for harvest, down 3,000 acres from 2014. Burley tobacco acreage is expected to drop by 200 acres to 1,300 acres. Dark fire-cured tobacco acreage is expected to increase by 20 acres to an estimated 350 acres.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ More drivers in Virginia have been ticketed for passing too close to cyclists since a state law went into effect last year. The law increased the minimum passing distance from 2 feet to 3 feet. The Richmond Times-Dispatch says Supreme Court of Virginia data show police statewide wrote 12 tickets during the law’s first 12 months on the books. That’s up from two tickets during the previous 12 months. The law went into effect July 1, 2014. Lloyd “Bud” Vye with the Virginia Bicycling Federation says he has noticed an improvement. He says he hopes another law that went into effect last week will continue the improvement. That law allows drivers to cross the double yellow line while passing.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ More than 70 people took oaths to become U.S. citizens during an annual naturalization ceremony at Thomas Jefferson’s home. Media outlets report that 78 people from 40 countries became naturalized U.S. citizens on Saturday at the 53rd annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony at Monticello. Gov. Terry McAuliffe was the event’s keynote speaker. He told the new citizens to exercise their right to vote. The Charlottesville and Albemarle Voter Registration Offices and League of Women Voters held a voter registration drive at the event.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Bald eagles are back in record numbers along the James River, decades after they almost disappeared. Aerial surveys in March and April show that 236 pairs of eagles produced 313 young this spring. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that as recently as 2000, there were just 56 eagle pairs in the James River region. In the mid-1970s, the majestic birds were nearly wiped out by pesticide pollution. Eagle expert Bryan Watts says the 236 pairs probably are the most along the James since Colonial times. He says the increase in their numbers in the past 15 years is “just mind-blowing.” Moreover, for the first time in modern history, three pairs of eagles nested this year in Richmond. The survey found 51 nests in Charles City County alone.
A Roanoke Valley organization dedicated to finding permanent homes for stray cats holds an adoption event Saturday. Barn Cat Buddies will bring the felines to “Kittenpalooza” at Towers Shopping Center Petco from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Founder Diane Novak says these events often help those thinking about such adoptions:
The cats have all the vaccinations and medical procedures, and they’re even microchipped. Each adoption costs $50 — or you can adopt a bonded pair for $75.
From Virginia State Police: At 8:06 a.m. Friday (July 3), Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper D.A. Phipps was called to the scene of a fatal crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 77. The crash occurred near the 22 mile marker in Carroll County. A tractor-trailer pulling double trailers was traveling north on I-77 when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as it came through a curve. The tractor-trailer ran off the left side of the highway, went through the median, and overturned across the southbound lanes of I-77. When the tractor-trailer entered the southbound lanes, the second trailer struck a 2014 Chevrolet Aveo. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Randall O. Page, 36, of Charlotte, N.C., died at the scene. The driver of the Aveo, a 22-year-old Ohio woman, was transported to Wythe Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The cause of the crash remains ongoing.