611’s Roanoke-based excursions return this weekend

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The Virginia Museum of Transportation is getting ready to fire up its only Roanoke-based steam N&W 611 excursions of the year this coming weekend. And it will need hundreds of volunteers to make each of the runs possible. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Click here for full 611 excursion information.

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I-81 driver run over, killed after accident ejects him from vehicle

State Police say a Harrisonburg man was killed on Interstate 81 in Montgomery County when he was ejected from his car in an accident, then run over by a pickup truck. Troopers say it happened yesterday morning between the Dixie Caverns and Elliston exits, when 34-year-old Adam Ring’s vehicle left the roadway, struck an embankment and overturned, throwing him onto a travel lane, where he was struck. Ring died later while under hospital treatment.

(Continue reading for the State Police news release.)

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Developer Ed Walker: Salem is “awesome” and holds plenty of downtown residential promise

Salem City Council approved an incentive agreement last night to bring a new purpose and new life for the former West Salem Body Shop. Ed Walker and his partners will purchase the building for $160,000 and agree to spend up to $2 million to transform it into residential units and ground-floor commercial space. This is one of three Salem buildings Walker and his group have recently purchased, and as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Walker sees more such possibilities in Salem.

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Work begins to take Botetourt County tourism promotion to next level

Tourism promotion for Botetourt County is increasing, and a public meeting this morning is one of the first steps to get the effort going. When the county increased its hotel and motel tax, the additional money was designated to go for tourism marketing. And as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, which is already the region’s main tourism promoter, is now fully including Botetourt County in its efforts.

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Roanoke region appears poised to be designated as mountain biking destination

Roanoke-area mountain biking advocates will submit their application this month for a designation that could significantly boost the region’s standing as a mountain biking destination. The International Mountain Biking Association designates dozens of locations as certified Ride Centers. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, IMBA’s Roanoke chapter is filing an application for such a local designation.

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Ed Walker: Brewers from several countries take a look at former Valleydale building

Roanoke — and now Salem — developer Ed Walker says the new owners of the former Valleydale building in Salem are getting plenty of inquiries, especially from brewers. And those inquiries, he says, come from several countries and as far away as Europe. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Walker spoke live Wednesday on The Roanoke Valley’s Morning News. Here is the full interview:

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Walker’s group has created a web site specifically promoting the building for use as brewery. Click here to see it.

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Ed Walker: former Valleydale plant getting plenty of interest from prospective companies

Roanoke developer Ed Walker says the former Valleydale plant in Salem is drawing plenty of attention from prospective companies, including brewers from both the U.S. and several foreign countries. Walker is part of a group that purchased the plant earlier this year for $1 million. Walker’s comments came in a live interview on WFIR. Here is the entire live appearance:

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What’s with gas prices? Going down into Memorial Day

Gas prices have been heading down at a time of year when they usually peak, now below $2.00 a gallon at many area stations. WFIR’s Evan Jones looks ahead to the coming summer driving season:

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Fire officials: damage is too extreme to determine cause of overnight house fire

Roanoke County Fire and Rescue officials say they are unable to determine what started a house fire overnight because the fire damage is extreme and includes the collapse of the roof and floor. Firefighters were summoned to the 4100 block of Rutrough Road, near Explore Park, around 4:30 am, and they arrived to find the single-story fully involved. Nobody was home at the time, and no injuries are reported. Damage is estimated at $75,000.

(Continue reading for the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue news release.)

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DMV prepares to issue new licenses you’ll need to board domestic flights as of 2020

Your Virginia driver’s license will get you onto any domestic flight right now, but in a few years, you will need a different kind of license to do so. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Virginia’s DMV plans to start issuing such licenses late next year.

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(Continue reading for the full DMV news release.)

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