Gene Marrano

KNOXVILLE, TN. – The Rail Yard Dawgs (27-17-4) roared to life late, outscoring the Knoxville Ice Bears (29-18-3) by three in the final period for a 7-5 win at Knoxville Civic Coliseum {Saturday night]. Mac Jansen notched two goals, Spencer Kennedy had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, Alex DiCarlo notched his first pro goal, and Nick Ford and CJ Stubbs added goals as well.

Roanoke earned a power play off the opening faceoff, as Kennedy baited Ryan Devine into a penalty early on. At 5:26, DiCarlo tipped a long-range shot by Jarrad Vroman for his first pro tally to open the scoring. Knoxville tied the score at 1-1 on a Bailey Conger goal at 16:34, and the score remained knotted up entering the first intermission.

The second period was a back-and-forth affair, with the Dawgs retaking the lead at 6:32 on Ford’s right-wing laser. Knoxville tied the score at 2-2 just 68 seconds later on a Carter Cowlthorp tally from an odd-man rush. The frame featured 14 combined penalties as the game grinded to a halt, but Jansen notched a power play goal during 4-on-3 play to give the Dawgs a 3-2 lead at 9:03. The Ice Bears tied the game at 11:04 on a Jagger Williamson power play finish. Another power play goal, this time by Knoxville’s Conger, gave the Ice Bears their first lead at 14:19. Roanoke trailed 4-3 after 40 minutes.

The Dawgs roared out of the locker room for the third period, as Kennedy tied the score at 2:26. Valerian finished off a gorgeous feed by Billy Vizzo at the 5:42 mark, and Roanoke went on the power play moments later. Jansen’s left-wing missile at 6:21 gave the Dawgs a 6-4 advantage. Knoxville cut the deficit late on a Rasmuz Waxin-Engback score at 17:05 that made it 6-5. Stubbs capped off the Roanoke win in the final minute with an empty net goal, as Roanoke prevailed to split the weekend in a game that featured 39 combined penalties.

Tyler Roy saved 18-of-23 shots faced in net in his first pro start for Roanoke, while Knoxville’s Kristian Stead stopped 29-of-35 shots. Roanoke went 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Ice Bears were 2-for-5. Roanoke will return home next Friday night, March 24 at 7:05 p.m. EST against the Fayetteville Marksmen at Berglund Center.

(update) The Roanoke County Fire Marshal’s Office reports that the fire on Plymouth Drive this morning originated in the kitchen and is still currently under investigation.  Damages are estimated at $60,000.

(Roanoke County, VA—March 19, 2023) Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded at 8:27 a.m. on Sunday, March 19, 2023 to the 100 block of Plymouth Drive, in the Hollins area of Roanoke County, for the report of a residential structure fire. First arriving crews from Station 5 (Hollins) found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of a 1.5 story brick home and marked it a working fire.

At the time of the fire, the home was occupied by one teenager and a dog and two cats. There are no injuries to people or pets. The fire was brought under control in approximately 15 minutes. A family of three will be displaced and staying with family in the area. The American Red Cross will be assisting this family. We appreciate the assistance of Roanoke Fire and EMS on this call. The Roanoke County Fire Marshal’s Office is on scene to investigate a cause and provide a damage

G Marrano photos

He didn’t have much to say as a long tribute got underway but Valley Metro bus driver Charles Saunders was honored today for being on the job for 50 years.  Its estimated that since he joined Roanoke’s transit company in 1973 that Saunders has given rides to more than 2 million passengers. A key to the City of Roanoke was presented this afternoon to Saunders – who has driven a bus for Valley Metro since March 1973. Mayor Sherman Lea made the presentation.  Valley Metro General manager Kevin Price spoke at the new 3rd Street depot still under construction:


SALEM, Va. – March 17, 2023 – The Salem Red Sox today announced that the club has entered into an agreement to sell the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), an organization that owns and operates select Minor League clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB). The Salem Red Sox will remain in Salem, Virginia as the Single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and current staff will continue to be led by General Manager Allen Lawrence.

“We anticipate a smooth transition in the coming weeks and know that DBH puts fans and community first,” said Lawrence. “Our day-to-day operations will not change, and our entire organization remains focused on creating an exceptional player development program for Red Sox players, and a positive experience for our fans in the Roanoke Valley.”

“For 16 years, Allen and the entire team in Salem have been incredible partners who have made the entry point into the Red Sox Minor League system one that is welcoming and sets the standard for our culture,” said Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy. “Our connection to Allen and the entire player development team in Salem will remain intact and I know the organization is in good hands with DBH leaders like Pat Battle and Peter Freund at the helm. What they are doing to enhance the Minor Leagues through investment and technology will benefit Salem greatly and I have no doubt they will continue to build on what has been established in Salem under Allen’s capable guidance.”

Throughout its long history in the Roanoke Valley, the Salem Red Sox have fostered a devoted community of supporters and DBH plans to continue building on the club’s success and connectivity with the fans and city of Salem. DBH is an experienced leader with a growing portfolio of Minor League Baseball clubs in markets across the country including the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, the Portland Sea Dogs. Focused on creating highest-quality baseball experiences, DBH prioritizes fan and community engagement while driving additional growth and value for each club by investing in best-in-class facilities and technological innovation and through direct partnerships with MLB on opportunities like sponsorship and merchandising.

Update: The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office says 16 year old Kacey Crimmins of Vinton, who was reported missing Tuesday has been found safe. Details about her disappearance are limited.

Previous: The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile. Kacey Crimmins , age 16 of Vinton left her residence around 5:30pm on 3-14-2023. She was wearing a grey shirt, blue jeans, and pink/white Vans shoes. She is 5’2, 140 pounds, light brown hair with highlights. She wears dark black glasses and her ears are pierced. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827.

Virginia State Senator Steve Newman announced today that he is not seeking re-election to the Senate of Virginia in 2023, ending a 35-year career in public service. Newman, a Republican who represents portions of our listening area, spent 4 years as a delegate and 28 years in the State Senate. He looks forward to, quote, “spending much more time with my wife, children, and a new grandbaby. We have run a good race.” Steve Newman served under 9 Governors dating back to Douglas Wilder while in the General Assembly.


RAMP 2023 Cohort- RAMP photo

The latest round of high-tech entrepreneurs and startups looking to take their business vision to the next level have been announced as members of the Spring 2023 cohort at the RAMP accelerator in downtown Roanoke. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has the story: