Evan Jones

Kent Willis

An era ends this week for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. Long-time Executive Director Kent Willis steps down after 23 years. The ACLU infuriates some people, while others applaud it. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more on its long-time Virginia leader.

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Ewell Hunt

Virginia State Police released this statement Wednesday afternoon:

SALEM – Special Agents from the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation have charged Former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell A. Hunt with misconduct by an elected official. The investigation stemmed from an August 2011 request by Special Prosecutor Michael R. Doucette of Lynchburg, to examine the actions of then Sheriff Hunt on or about May 30, 2011.  Specifically, whether Hunt’s actions or inaction, related to a series of crimes committed by Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Agee, constitute a violation of law.

On May 28, 2012, after a lengthy investigation into the matter and upon the review and recommendation of the special prosecutor, a warrant/summons was obtained for former Sheriff Hunt from a Franklin County Magistrate.  State police agents served the summons on May 29, 2012.  A hearing date has been set for July 11, 2012.

A new study for the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Commission concludes the Roanoke region lags behind many others in its fiber optic broadband infrastructure, and that could have a major long-term negative impact on new job creation. It suggests local governments should treat fiber optic development as a digital infrastructure priority. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford is planning a special tribute to Bob Slaughter one week from today when it next marks the D-Day anniversary. Slaughter died yesterday at age 87, and as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, he will be remembered as the guiding force behind the memorial’s very existence.

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Bob Slaughter with President Bush at the D-Day Memorial dedication

The man viewed as most instrumental in creating the National D-Day Memorial has died. Bob Slaughter passed away this morning at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. His family says Slaughter did not speak about his wartime experiences for decades, but as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, that changed in a big way starting in the 1980’s.

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The summer travel season is just getting started, and VDOT believes a recently-introduced app can be very useful in planning and keeping tabs on any road trip you might take. It includes real-time maps and traffic cams showing trouble spots — along with travel times for interstates and other major roadways. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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The National D-Day Memorial honors some frequently-overlooked participants in the Normandy invasion today — flight nurses who helped evacuate and care for the wounded. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, they are paying tribute in particular to one of those nurses who lives in Huddleston.

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Click here for more information on today’s Memorial Day observance

The Botetourt County Sheriff’s office has released one of the calls that came into 911 shortly after a school bus overturned Wednesday morning with 39 students on board. The call is from a student, and it provides some sense of both the disorientation and calmness that witnesses described at the scene. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Here is the entire call as provided to us (the student’s name and telephone number have been deleted):

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World War II veterans are older and fewer in number every day, and that is one big reason for a Memorial Day weekend event in Vinton. It’s a gathering of “Greatest Generation” veterans tomorrow at William Byrd High School, vets who will share many of their wartime experiences.  Organizers hope younger people who attend might gain a fuller appreciation of the sacrifices made at a time when the liberty of many nations was threatened.

The event runs tomorrow from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It also includes displays and models of World War Two vehicles and aircraft. Click here for more program information.

A new statewide poll shows Virginia remains a key state in this year’s presidential election, and at this point, the race remains a tight one. A Marist Poll for NBC News shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney at this point in Virginia 48% to 44%, with 7% undecided at this point. Looking at those with a good or excellent chance of actually voting this fall, the poll shows a 48% to 45% lead for the president.

Click here to view full poll results.