A jump in the credit rating for Botetourt County is a sign of sound financial management. Standard and Poor’s rating service two-increment upgrade from double-A minus to double-A plus is based on Botetourt County’s wealth and buying income, low unemployment levels and sound financial management. WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:
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Virginia Tech’s Division Two club hockey team – meaning its not NCAA-sanctioned – plays home games at the Roanoke Civic Center. Tech has two home games this weekend and hosts number one Florida Gulf Coast next Sunday. Chris Arnold is the team’s general manager…he says don’t come expecting fisticuffs.
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It won’t be named until the Grand Opening some time in April, but Roanoke City’s newest municipal park on 33 acres will have a “soft” opening today. Some schools and local residents have already been using it. Set on more than 20 acres, it incorporates a new section of the Lick Run Greenway, a playground and a picnic shelter.
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End of life, in-home hospice care is not the norm in China … so a Chinese contingent stopped by Good Samaritan Hospice headquarters in Roanoke today to learn more. Good Samaritan Hospice president and CEO Sue Ranson says the model is changing in China, as families get smaller with the one-child policy and many now leaving home to work in the big cities. There’s a need for in-home hospice care to assist people at the end of their life.
He’s well-known as a business magazine editor and a blog pundit … now Dan Smith is a novelist. Dan Smith, a former editor and co-owner of Valley Business Front, left “The Front” last year to finish Clog!, a novel about a rural high school quarterback who is also on a competitive square dance team.
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More out-of-towners have read about the Roanoke Valley than perhaps ever before. The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau reports a record increase in media coverage in 2013 over 2012 – 40 percent more says Catherine Fox, the Director of Public Relations & Tourism. The visit-roanoke-va dot com site also helped attract more than 60 travel journalists to the region. Gene Marrano reports:
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Now-retired 11th District Delegate Onzlee Ware was “surprised” to learn he was going to be awarded the key to Roanoke City at yesterday’s City Council meeting. Normally Ware says he doesn’t accept awards for doing his job – but he is honored by this one. Sam Rasoul and Octavia Johnson are vying for his seat in the General Assembly during a special election today.
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Its not good for any animals to be unprotected in cold weather like this – whether its a pet or one of the more exotic breeds at Mill Mountain Zoo. Robin Lentz is the animal collection curator there. The mammals are being locked in to shelters where additional bedding and extra heat sources are being used. Lentz went through this before – during a 3-day cold snap at a zoo in Jacksonville, Florida that featured African and Australian animals.
Greg Habeeb, the 8th District Representative based in Salem, has been holding town hall meetings – live and on line – and has conducted surveys, asking for feedback on what people want legislators in Richmond to focus on. Habeeb says job creation, education funding and debating the possible expansion of Medicaid are at the top of the to-do list for constitutents – and in Richmond for the next 60 days.
If you’re pulling out the space heater as temperatures head below zero tonight, Roanoke City Fire & EMS has a few tips. Don’t use extension cords – they normally are not designed to handle space heaters – keep the room well ventilated and make sure the space heater won’t tip over. Roanoke City’s fire prevention specialist, Tiffany Bradbury, also says clearing out room around the space heater is important.