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Evan Jones

Photo: Madison Keaton Facebook

State Police say a Hardy woman was killed last night when her car was struck buy an SUV at Hardy Road and Route 122 a few miles west of Smith Mountain Lake. Troopers say 24-year-old Madison Keaton failed to yield the right of way at the intersection. There is no information on the other driver.

NEWS RELEASE:  Virginia State Police Senior Trooper S.A. Richardson is investigating a two vehicle crash which resulted in a fatality.  The crash occurred Tuesday (Aug 13) at 7:39 p.m. on Route 122, at the intersection with Hardy Road in Franklin County. A 2001 Nissan Sentra was traveling east on Hardy Road and failed to yield the right of way at the intersection with Route 122, and was struck by a 1996 Jeep Cherokee. The driver of the Nissan was identified as Madison Shyanne Keaton, 24, of Hardy, Va.  Ms. Keaton was wearing her seatbelt and died at the scene. At this time there is no other information regarding the driver of the Jeep.  The driver was injured and was taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment. The Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was called to assist with the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

Roanoke County Police have charged one of their officers with falsely padding pay sheets over a two-year period. 33-year-old Steven McChesney faces three separate counts. Police say McChesney recorded time on department time sheets that was not actually worked.

NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke County Police Officer Steven W. McChesney, 33, of Roanoke has been charged with one count of obtaining money by false pretense, in excess of $200, and two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, in excess of $500. The arrest warrant was served Tuesday afternoon and McChesney was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond. An internal investigation revealed recorded time on department time sheets that had not been worked over a two-year period. The discovery was made in June and McChesney was placed on paid administrative leave. McChesney was employed with the Roanoke County Police Department from 2013-2015, left briefly, and returned in 2016. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison from the City of Lynchburg has been assigned as the special prosecutor in this case, and the investigation is ongoing. There is no further information to release at this time.

2019 winner Brianna Hodge (Photo:

The organization that administers the “After Prom Grand Finale” in southwest Virginia is asking for your on-line votes to receive a $25,000 grant that can help it continue the program in the future. YOVASO — Youth in Virginia Speaking Out — now administers the program that encourages alcohol-free after-prom nights in high schools across southwest Virginia, but its original funding source to administer the program no longer exists. After-Prom Grand Finale Coordinator Becky Parr joined us live in studio for a conversation about the event — and how your votes can help fund its continued existence:

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Click here to vote for this program. You may do so up to 10 times a day, and the deadline to do so is midnight August 23.

Kevin Salisbury

Courtney Rucker

A man and woman are jailed in Maryland, charged with stealing a purse from a woman attending a funeral in Moneta — then taking off in her vehicle. Police say it happened early this month, and Kevin Salisbury of Vinton and Courtney Rucker of Fincastle were located several days later in Maryland while still operating the victim’s vehicle. Both face multiple charges in several jurisdictions.

From the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office: On 8/3/19, the female victim was attending a funeral at a church on Lakemount Dr. in Moneta. A male and a female subject entered the church and stole the victim’s purse. The subjects then left the church on the victim’s vehicle. Investigator’s with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were able to retrieve video evidence from the church. The male and female were soon identified as Kevin Salisbury and Courtney Rucker. The vehicle was entered as stolen. On 8/6/19, the two subjects were located in Montgomery, MD, still operating the victim’s vehicle. Investigator’s from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were able to obtain a confession in the larceny of the vehicle. Both suspects were charged with felony Grand Larceny of a motor vehicle by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. They face additional charges in Montgomery, MD, as well as Vinton, VA and Bedford, VA. Both subjects are currently being detained in Montgomery, MD.

A committee formed to recommend how to best spend $2 billion in Interstate 81 improvements holds its first meeting today in Lexington. It comes after the General Assembly approved that new funding this spring, largely through higher gas taxes in cities and counties along the 81 corridor. The same measure also called for an Interstate 81 Advisory Committee, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports:

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The Interstate 81 Advisory Committee meets at 2:00 pm at the Lexington Hampton In..

Photo: NCSO

Photo: NCSO

A Salem man faces multiple charges — including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer — following a high-speed pursuit early Saturday morning south of Charlottesville. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office says the chase began after a deputy attempted a traffic stop, and it ended when Timothy Massie deliberately rammed the deputy’s car. Massie and his passenger, Elizabeth Hensley of Roanoke, are both charged with possessing methamphetamine.

From the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office: Two individuals are in custody this evening following an early morning pursuit that started in Nelson County. At approximately 5:25 this morning Deputy Trevor Ross, with the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, attempted to stop a 2010 Nissan Rogue for erratic driving on River Rd when the vehicle began to flee. The pursuit extended into Albermarle County and came to an end in the area of Banjo Lane when the suspect driver, Timothy Herman Massie, 28, of Salem intentionally rammed Deputy Ross’ vehicle. The impact of the collision caused airbag deployment in both vehicles and caused Massie to flee on foot.

The passenger in the vehicle, Elizabeth Autumn Hensley, 30, of Roanoke was then taken into custody. A search of the area was conducted with Nelson County Sheriff’s Office K-9, Xombie, and Massie was located hiding in underbrush. He was taken into custody without further incident. In addition, methamphetamine and drug distribution equipment was located inside the vehicle.

Deputy Ross and Hensley were both treated and released at local medical facilities following the incident. Massie and Hensley have both been transported to Albermarle Regional Jail on the following charges:

Timothy Herman Massie –

• 46.2-817 – Felony Eluding
• 18.-248 – Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine
• 18.2-57 – Felony Assault & Battery of Law Enforcement Officer
• 18.2.-32 – Attempted murder of Deputy Ross in the First Degree

Elizabeth Autumn Hensley –
• 18.-248 – Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

Both are being held without bond. Additional charges are pending.


Chief Ryan Zuidema

Lynchburg Police Chief Ryan Zuidema says he has directed his officers to make immediate arrests if they encounter anything like that seen on some recent viral videos from New York City — citizens dousing officers with buckets of water. Zuidema says it is more than disrespect: it is a matter of officer safety and Virginia law. He spoke with WFIR’s Evan Jones:

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Here is Chief Zuidema’s full response:

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A former Bedford County Sheriff’s Deputy – who was a school resource officer at Liberty High School – entered a guilty plea today to an inappropriate relationship with a student.  Daniel Clark was charged with inappropriate text messages and conversations with a teenage girl. The judge kept any sentencing under advisement until November 2021. In the meantime, the plea agreement calls no contact with the girl or her family, and Clark must submit proof of professional counseling services.


The National D-Day Memorial begins a new effort tomorrow to connect a major day in 20th century history to the small community that bore such a burden on it. The Bedford Boys Homefront Bus Tour shows some of the places around town where the soldiers socialized, worked and otherwise lived their daily lives until being sent off to war. WFIR’s Evan Jones the story:

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