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.
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.
From Roanoke County Fire and Rescue: Fire investigators have determined that unattended cooking sparked the blaze in the 500 block of Polk Avenue last night in Vinton. Crews from the Vinton station, along with firefighters from Read Mountain and Mount Pleasant stations, arrived promptly and had the fire under control in about 10 minutes. A mother and her juvenile daughter were home at the time of the fire and escaped without injury. One dog escaped the blaze, but sadly another dog died inside the home. The family is displaced and the Red Cross is offering assistance. The fire caused $65,000 in damages.
A Floyd County man received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and other medals for his military service — 70 years later. Erbie Huff was wounded in action on Okinawa in June of 1945. He earned several medals but never received them until Congressman Morgan Griffith presented them this week. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The Department of Interior has granted federal recognition to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the first in Virginia to receive the designation. The designation allows federal spending on medical care, housing and education. It also could lead to the tribe seeking a casino through a separate approval process, although the Pamunkey have say they have no plans to do so. Still, the tribe’s application was opposed by MGM Resorts, which is building a casino at the National Harbor outside the nation’s capital in Maryland. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus also opposed recognition, saying the tribe had a history of banning interracial marriages with blacks. The tribe’s 200-acre rural reservation is about 25 miles east of Richmond. It has about 200 members.
SWEET BRIAR, Va. (AP) _ Sweet Briar College has a new president and a new board of directors. The changing of the guard occurred Thursday under terms of a mediated settlement to keep open the small liberal arts college that was scheduled to close in late August. In a statement issued by Saving Sweet Briar, the college’s new president, Phillip Stone, said the “tremendously fierce commitment” of the school’s alumnae had not been tapped when they were needed most. He also said it is not his intention to keep the school running for just one more academic year, adding that the aim is to keep Sweet Briar open for another 114 years. In early May, the now former leadership of the women’s college said Sweet Briar would have to close because of insurmountable financial challenges.