RAYSAC seeking donations

RAYSACNow that ten years of Drug Free Communities grant funds are ending for the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition, the nonprofit is looking for ways to raise money. Coalition Director Kathy Graham Sullivan says they reached out the Ceres Foundation, which helps organizations similar to RAYSAC, and Ceres made a matching funds donation challenge of $35,000. RAYSAC has until September 1, 2015 to raise the funds; Sullivan says they’re half way there. If you would like more information or to donate, click here.

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Powers plant regs draw yays and nays

AP Photo

AP Photo

The new national power plant pollution regulations announced Monday are getting strong reactions. WFIR’s Luke Church reports.

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Local “Friends” chapter chair bikes across country for BRP

Friends of the Blue Ridge ParkwayThe chairman for the “Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway” Peaks of Otter chapter is winding up a cross-country bicycle ride to raise money and awareness … he gets a local sendoff this morning as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:

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Virginia Democratic Senator backs Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is backing the international accord with Iran. The former Democratic Party chairman made the announcement on Tuesday in a speech on the Senate floor. He says the deal takes Iran’s nuclear program that was on the verge of success and disables it for many years through peaceful diplomatic means. He said the pact reached by the United States, Western powers and Tehran is a “dramatic improvement over the status quo” in boosting global security. Kaine is a member of the Foreign Relations and the Armed Services committees. His support is crucial to the Obama administration and its all-out campaign to secure the backing of congressional Democrats in the face of uniform Republican opposition.

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McAuliffe to lead national redistricting effort by Democrats

State-NewsRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is helping lead a new national effort to give Democrats a greater say in drawing future congressional boundaries. The Democratic Governors Association announced Tuesday that McAuliffe will be co-chairman of a new redistricting fund aimed at ensuring Democratic governors in key states hold power in 2020, when states will begin redrawing congressional maps. Republicans ran a similar effort in 2010 with much success, which has helped the GOP maintain a sizeable majority in the U.S. House. In Virginia, Republicans control 8 out of 11 congressional districts, despite the fact that GOP candidates haven’t won statewide office since 2009. McAuliffe will partner with EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock on fundraising and promoting the new effort, which is being called the 2020 Redistricting Fund.

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Princeton Review names Roanoke College one of nation’s top colleges

Roanoke-CollegeFor the fifth year in a row, The Princeton Review has named Roanoke College one of the best colleges in the United States. According to the Princeton Review survey, students say Roanoke has great career services, a great library and happy students. In addition, the school was named a great college for students who major in business/finance, computer science and psychology.  Roanoke is one of 380 colleges and universities listed in the 2016 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual Best Colleges guidebook.

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Portion of Main Street in Salem closed today

SalemSalem City officials say a part of Main Street will be closed to traffic all day today as the big paving project nears completion. Eastbound traffic on Main Street heading from Lake Spring Park to downtown Salem will be detoured onto 4th Street starting at 8 am.

 

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Second Artisan weekend at Explore Park this Saturday

Explore ParkSouthwest Virginia artisans are heading to Explore Park to share their crafts this weekend. WFIR’s Luke Church has a report.

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Botetourt Co. firefighters battle brush fire atop Tinker Mountain

Botetourt Co. FIre-EMS

Botetourt Co. Fire-EMS

From Botetourt County Fire & EMS: Daleville, VA – At 3:34 units from Troutville were dispatched to the Tinker Mountain area just off of Interstate 81 Exit 150 for a report of a fire on top of the mountain. First arriving units found there to be a red glow and obvious fire atop the mountain. Additional resources from Botetourt County and the Department of Forestry are on scene. The fire is estimated to be less than 5 acres in size at this time. Crews will remain on scene throughout the day working on containment.

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State to hold public meeting on Claytor Lake State Park plan

wfir-linkDUBLIN, Va. (AP) _ Proposed updates to Claytor Lake State Park’s master plan will be discussed at a public meeting later this month. The proposals include construction of a new park office and welcome center, trails, picnic shelters, cabins, an amphitheater and a three-slip boat dock. The draft master plan also includes restoration of the historic Howe House and improvements to bathhouses, trails and the road that leads to the cabins. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has scheduled the meeting for Aug. 24 at the park’s Water’s Edge Meeting Facility in Dublin. State park master plans are updated every 10 years.

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