The Town of Boones Mill has announced a matching grant opportunity that will help move the historic train depot before it is demolished by Norfolk-Southern for safety concerns. The town has already received a $50,000 challenge grant. Mayor Ben Flora says they are working on the other 50,000 needed by May 1st. The historic train depot sits on Norfolk-Southern property. Flora says the town would like to turn it into a cultural center…The Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation is collecting donations on behalf of Boones Mill. The official donation form can be found on the Boones Mill town website (www.townofboonesmill.org) or on the “Restoring the Boones Mill Norfolk & Western Railroad Station” Facebook page.The Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation is accepting the donations on behalf of the Town of Boones Mill. Donations can also be mailed to:
Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation Attn: Boones Mill Depot Fund PO Box 1366 Roanoke, VA 24007
WFIR’s Gene Marrano spoke with Mayor Flora about the historic depot’s significance to the town:
WFIR’s Gene Marrano has an extended conversation with Froth owner Michael Carroll on his purchase of the coffee shop (from former owner Luke Higginbotham):
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is not entitled to more details on what they claim he did wrong. McDonnell’s lawyers have complained that the 14-count indictment in his public corruption case is too vague. They’re asking for a “bill of particulars” spelling out in more detail exactly how he allegedly broke the law. In court papers filed Monday, prosecutors urged a judge to reject the request. They said the indictment fairly apprises McDonnell of the charges, allows him to prepare a defense and enables him to avoid undue surprise at trial. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the CEO of a health supplements company in exchange for helping promote his products.
DANVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Police in Danville are investigating the theft of more than $15,000 worth of manhole covers that were stolen from various parts of the city. Nearly 50 manhole covers have gone missing, including more than 30 covers that were taken from one area alone.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has awarded five grants for alcohol education and enforcement initiatives on Virginia college and university campuses. Officials say the grants totaling nearly $5,000 will support campus-based educational efforts of student organizations at the College of William & Mary, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Tidewater Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University. The money will fund programs that encourage safe spring break practices.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ More than 1 million Virginians have signed up to participate in a statewide tornado drill. The drill set for 9:45 a.m. today is a joint effort between the state Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.
At that time, NOAA Weather Radio will broadcast a test warning from the National Weather Service. The test warning will then be aired by television and radio stations. When the test warning is heard, participants should move to a safe area, such as a basement, bathroom or closet on the lowest level of a building.
Sixty-seven tornadoes have struck Virginia in the last three years, killing 10 people and injuring more than 100. More information is available at www.ReadyVirginia.gov.
TAZEWELL, Va. (AP) _ Tazewell County has agreed to allow the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority to operate the county’s portion of a new trail system. The county Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding with the authority last week for the Spearhead Trail.
Supervisor Mike Hymes tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1dHI0SP ) that the county will build the trail. The Spearhead Trail will be open to all-terrain vehicles, bikes, horses, hikers and others. It’s an initiative of the regional authority.
The first section opened in Wise County in 2013. Plans call for the trail to be extended through seven Southwest Virginia counties and potentially link with West Virginia’s Hatfield-McCoy Trail system.
A Virginia Tech research team has developed a battery than runs on sugar, and these batteries may soon be able to power everything from flashlights to tablets and cellphones. It’s not yet ready on a practical basis, but researchers believe it can be in three to five years. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
AirBnb started in California’s Silicon Valley – through a website people rent out rooms in their homes to visitors passing through town. Roanoke City wants to classify one AirBnb renter as a bed-and-breakfast…but River Laker he says that shouldn’t be the case since he doesn’t serve food (the room he rents is pictured at left; courtesy River Laker). WFIR’s Gene Marrano has this report and an extended conversation with River Laker.
Listen here: an extended conversation with River Laker on the AirBnb concept:
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to a reported residential structure fire in the 4500 block of Rosecrest Road at about 3:15 this afternoon. When crews first arrived, they reported heavy flames coming from the side of a single story house. Firefighters from the Cave Spring and Back Creek stations had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. The fire was contained to a sun-room added to the side of the house. There is heat and smoke damage to the rest of the first floor and water damage to the basement floor. A family of three lived in the home. One male was transported to a local hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries. The Red Cross was called upon to assist the family. A dog and cat were found dead in the house. Another dog was rescued and taken to the veterinarian. No fire service injuries reported.