Evan Jones

Photo: Appalachians Against Pipelines

State Police say an Arizona man faces multiple charges – some of them felonies – for his protest of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Montgomery County. Troopers say 24-year-old Galen Shirman-Grabowski of Tucson locked himself to a contracted pipeline helicopter yesterday. Charges include felony tampering or damaging an aircraft.

NEWS RELEASE: ROANOKE Co, Va. – The morning of October 7, 2019 the Virginia State Police was notified that an unknown individual was attached to a contracted pipeline helicopter, located on Cove Hollow Road, near Route 460 in Montgomery County. Pipeline security responded at 6:40 a.m. and located a male subject which was attached by a Sleeping Dragon to the rotor mast of the helicopter.  The subject was wearing a mask and refused to release himself from the helicopter. The Virginia State Police Tactical Field Force, Cut Team responded to the scene and removed the device.  Galen Sol Shirman-Grabowski, 24, of Tucson, Az, was removed and arrested.

Grabowski was charged with the following:

5.1-22 – Tamper/Damage an Aircraft; felony.

18.2-422 – Prohibition of Wearing of masks in certain places; felony.

18.2-460 – Obstructing justice, without force; misdemeanor.

18.2-121 – Entering property of another for the purpose of damaging it; misdemeanor.

18.2-146 – Breaking, injuring, defacing, destroying or preventing the operation of vehicle, aircraft or boat; misdemeanor.

18.2-137 – Injuring property; misdemeanor.

Grabowski is being held without bond.


The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office wants help identifying and locating suspects wanted for stealing agricultural hemp from a local farmer. Investigators say it happened last Friday. There is no official word on exactly where in the county it occurred; Campbell County is mainly south of Lynchburg













Photos: Campbell County Sheriff’s Office

NEWS RELEASE: The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating unidentified subjects wanted for theft of agricultural hemp from a local farmer. The unidentified subjects are wanted on suspicion of theft of agricultural hemp which occurred on Friday, October 4, 2019. The subjects are assumed to be male in gender, and while the quality is less than perfect, snapshots from the game-camera are attached. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office at (434) 332-9574 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Enter a tip ONLINE at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on your mobile device.


Virginia’s air quality continues to get better. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality monitors the air in several metro areas around the state, and the numbers say it has improved a lot in the last two decades. No alerts have been issued for the Roanoke area, for instance, since 2012. And this year, for the first time since such monitoring began, the Richmond region had none. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

10-08 AIr Quality Wrap1-WEB

DEQ NEWS RELEASE: As we enter fall, daylight hours grow shorter, temperatures get cooler and ground-level ozone levels are expected to remain well below their summer peaks. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has suspended daily ground-level ozone forecasts until next spring. However, daily air quality forecasts for particle pollution will continue without interruption for these locations and will continue to be emailed daily and posted on the DEQ Air Quality Monitoring Data page and the AirNow website.
This has been a historic year for our air quality. For the first time since ozone pollution monitoring began in the 1970s, Richmond didn’t experience any days with poor air quality, when sensitive people are advised to reschedule strenuous activities (days when the Air Quality Index reaches “Code Orange” or “Code Red” levels). This is down from a high of 76 days with poor air quality in 1993. Northern Virginia experienced four exceedances, down from a high of 74 days in 1991.

Luisa Cutting (Radford PD photo)

Photo: Alexa Cannon Facebook

OCTOBER 7 UPDATE: A former Radford University student pleaded guilty today to killing her college roommate last January. The judge then sentenced Luisa Cutting to 20 years in prison. Cutting admitted fatally stabbing Alexa Cannon at the off-campus apartment they shared.

SEPTEMBER 5 UPDATE: The former Radford University student charged with fatally stabbing her college roommate has waived her right to a preliminary hearing. The attorney for Luisa Cutting told the court there are “significant mental issues” related to the killing. Cutting made her first court appearance since she was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Alexa Cannon. The case is scheduled to go next before a grand jury September 13.

JANUARY 25: Radford Police identify the person fatally stabbed Thursday as Alexa Cannon. Police say she was a Radford University student who is formerly from Roanoke. 21-year-old Luisa Cutting is charged with second degree murder.

PREVIOUS: A Radford University student is charged with fatally stabbing another woman. 21-year-old Luisa Cutting of Culpepper County faces a second-degree murder charge. Radford City Police say they were called this morning to a residence where they found the victim dead with multiple stab wounds. They have not yet released her identity. University officials confirm Cutting has been enrolled as a student there.

An October article from the Radford student newspaper refers to a Luisa Cutting as President of the Student Latino Alliance.

From Radford City Police: On January 24, 2019 at 7:45 a.m. the Radford City Police Department was dispatched to the 1200 block of Clement Street in reference to a 911 call. Upon arrival officers located a deceased female who had multiple stab wounds. The victim is not being identified at this point, due to identification and next of kin notification.

After an investigation, officers have made an arrest in this incident. Luisa I. Cutting, age 21, from Jeffersonton, VA, has been charged with violating Virginia Code 18.2-32- Murder in the second degree. No further information will be released at this point. Anybody with any information is asked to contact the Radford City Police Department at (540)-731-3624, or email crimestoppers@radfordva.gov .

Photo: Chad Erndt Facebook

UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: The victim in this incident has been identified as Chad Erndt, 30 of Roanoke. No arrests have been made regarding this incident at this time.

PREVIOUS: On October 5, 2019 just before midnight, Roanoke Police responded to a report of shots fired in the 3800 block of Williamson Rd NW. Arriving officers located an adult male with gunshot wounds outside of a business [WR Brews] in the immediate area. Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel pronounced the male deceased on scene. This is an ongoing investigation. Police do not believe there is any further danger to the community regarding this incident. No arrests have been made at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.

WFIR/Evan Jones

The group behind efforts to see Amtrak service extended to the New River Valley say state transportation officials are firmly behind the idea — but local supporters must be prepared to remain patient. Rail advocates say visit last week from Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine to Christiansburg was very encouraging. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story:

10-07 NRV Amtrak Wrap1-WEB


UPDATE: VDOT reports the accident has been cleared.

PREVIOUS: VDOT reports one southbound lane is open, but backups have grown to at least five miles.

PREVIOUS: For the second time in four days, a multi-vehicle accident is blocking Interstate 81. This time, it is on the southbound side in the Arcadia area near mile marker 168. A northbound accident Thursday in the Glenvar area killed two people and blocked the highway for hours.

From VDOT: On I-81 at mile marker 167.9 in the County of Botetourt, motorists can expect delays due to a multi-vehicle accident. All South lanes are closed. Traffic backups are approximately 4.5 miles. There is one mile of northbound congestion.

A Bedford County Sheriff’s Deputy administered an antidote for opioid overdoses today to a student at Jefferson Forest High School. School officials say the student was unresponsive when help was summoned, and the deputy administered Narcan. The student was then taken to the hospital for further treatment.

BEDFORD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE: On 10/4/2019 a student at Jefferson Forest High School was found unresponsive on the school property and was brought to the school nurse for treatment.  The School Resource Officer was called to assist and upon arrival, the S.R.O. administered a naloxone hydrochloride EVZIO® Injection (sometimes known as NARCAN), which revived the student.  Medical personnel arrived on scene and the student was transported to the hospital for further care.  This incident is under investigation and no further information will be released at this time due to the age of the student and the ongoing investigation.

Roanoke set another record high temperature yesterday, and while conditions are likely to return closer to normal for a while, the continuing dry spell is raising fall wildfire concerns. The National Weather Service says the long-range outlook through the end of November calls for warmer temperatures than normal — and less precipitation than normal — at a time when drought conditions are already increasing. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:



UPDATE: State Police say two area drivers were killed yesterday on Interstate 81 when a tractor trailer ran into two cars and another big rig that were stopping for traffic. The two men driving cars were both killed; police identify them as Jeffrey Noffsinger of Roanoke and Peter Ozolins of Blacksburg. Troopers say the truck driver, Joshua Bernard of Elizabethton, Tennesee is charged with reckless driving, and the investigation is continuing.

The accident occurred around 6:00 last night in the northbound lanes of 81 in the Glenvar area, and police and crews needed several hours to investigate, clear the wreckage and re-open the highway.

UPDATE FROM STATE POLICE: ROANOKE Co, Va. – Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.K. Hawse is investigating a four vehicle crash which resulted in a double fatality.  The crash occurred Wednesday (Oct 2) at 6:00 p.m. on the northbound side of Interstate 81 at the 134 mile marker in Roanoke County.

Interstate 81 northbound near the 134 mile marker, traffic was slowing and coming to a stop. A 2014 International tractor trailer, traveling in the right lane struck two cars and another tractor trailer which were stopping for traffic.  The International came to rest in the median.

The 2014 International was driven by Joshua A. Bernard, 38, of Elizabethon, TN.  Mr. Bernard was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.  Bernard was charged with Reckless Driving.

The 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe was driven by Jeffrey A. Noffsinger, 51, of Roanoke, VA.  Mr. Noffsinger was wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

The 2009 Lexus RX-350 was driven by Peter C. Ozolins, 64, of Blacksburg, VA.  Mr. Ozolins was wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he later died.

The 2016 Freightliner was driven by Yang Li, 33, of Rancho Cucamanga, CA.  Mr. Li was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.

The Virginia State Police Crash Investigation Team and the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Unit was called to assist with the crash.

The crash remains under investigation.

PREVIOUS: WDBJ-7 is reporting two people were killed during a tractor trailer accident yesterday on I-81 in Roanoke County. State police say two tractor trailers and two cars were involved in the crash at mile marker 134, which is between the Dixie Caverns and Wildwood Road exits. The identities of the victims have not been released.

PREVIOUS: An accident brought northbound Interstate 81 to a standstill in the Glenvar area Wednesday evening. VDOT traffic cams show several vehicles in the road near milemarker 134, which is between the Dixie Caverns and Wildwood Road exits — and no traffic getting through. In addition, one southbound lane is closed.

From VDOT: On I-81 at mile marker 134 in the County of Roanoke, motorists can expect delays due to a tractor trailer accident. All North lanes are closed. The South left shoulder and left lane are closed.