Parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest remain closed, the result of last week’s heavy rains and localized floods. The forest service says some roads, trails, and recreation areas near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Botetourt and Rockbridge Counties are affected. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.
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Click here to see the latest alerts from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.
Click here for U.S. Forest Service information on flash floods.
A parade for hospitalized veterans is set to step off tomorrow morning in Salem. Organizers say it’s an important way to thank veterans no longer able join in a parade on their own. The story from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-18-Veterans-Parade-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=05-18 Veterans Parade Wrap1-WEB]
A local Postal Workers Union official say he has been told the Roanoke Mail Processing Center will survive a first round of national cuts, but its future beyond that remains unclear. The President of American Postal Workers Union Local 482 sasy he is still awaiting further information. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the latest.
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It was a pretty good winter for Advance Auto Parts, but the latest results are still below expectations. Advance reported its first quarter earnings today, and its stock price promptly dropped almost 17% in Thursday trading. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-17-Advance-Wrap2-WEB.mp3|titles=05-17 Advance Wrap2-WEB]
Click here for the latest Advance Auto parts stock price information from Yahoo! Finance
They’re making a racket, but not for much longer — and after that, not for another 17 years. This particular group, or brood, of cicadas lives in several counties along Virginia’s Blue Ridge. They’ve been underground for 17 years, living off tree roots. Now it’s time to emerge, mate, lay eggs, then die off. The noise comes from the males seeking to attract the females. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-17-Cicadas-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=05-17 Cicadas Wrap1-WEB]
Roanoke Valley police and prosecutors say synthetic drugs are becoming increasingly popular in the region, and these can be especially harmful. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, they want parents of teens to pay attention.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-16-Synthetic-Drugs-Wrap_WEB.mp3|titles=05-16 Synthetic Drugs Wrap_WEB]
Such drugs are frequently sold as “not for human consumption” in efforts to circumvent existing law, but police say the laws are changing — and they are stepping up enforcement.
Click here for Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition’s information page.
A retired Marine who served in Iraq is now on another mission, and he is walking 500 miles to accomplish it — a mission taking him through Roanoke. Mac McCollum is walking from Knoxville, Tennessee to Washington D.C. to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps treat war veterans for their physical and psychological wounds. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-16-Marching-Marine-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=05-16 Marching Marine Wrap1-WEB]
Click here for McCollum’s web site, which includes links to the Wounded Warrior Project and the opportunity to make a donation.
A Roanoke River Greenway ribbon-cutting today will serve as both a celebration and campaign kickoff to build the greenway’s missing link. The “Bridge the Gap” campaign hopes to raise $7 million to complete the four-mile stretch from the Memorial Bridge area to Rotary Park in Salem. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-15-Greenway-Wrap2-WEB.mp3|titles=05-15 Greenway Wrap2-WEB]
One of the country’s leading trackers of gasoline prices says we’re at one of those times when you might save at least a little by holding off on your next fill-up. Gasbuddy.com expects national averages to fall another 20 to 30 cents a gallon by July 4th. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-14-Gas-Prices-Wrap2-WEB.mp3|titles=05-14 Gas Prices Wrap2-WEB]
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will hold a special meeting later this week to consider tuition and fees for the next school year. The Visitors postponed action last month, indicating they would like to see in-state rates hold steady, but there is no indication yet whether that will actually occur. The board meets in Arlington Thursday.
(Continue reading for the full Virginia Tech news release)