House fire in Cave Spring area, no injuries

From News Release: Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded at about 6:05 p.m., on Thursday, November 16, 2017 to the 3500 block of Forester Road in the Cave Spring area for the report of a structure fire. First arriving crews did find smoke showing from the front of the house. Crews from Cave Spring, Clearbrook, and Back Creek responded to the fire. There are no injuries. There are 5 adult occupants of the home and three of them were at home at the time of the fire. One cat was rescued from inside the house, a dog was also found safe. The fire was mostly confined to the kitchen, however there is smoke damage throughout the home. The fire marshal’s office is on scene to investigate a cause. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

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CEO for ColorsVA Magazine announces bid for Roanoke City Council

Robert Jeffrey Jr. – Photo from Facebook

Robert Jeffrey Jr. formally announced his candidacy today for Roanoke City Council. He’s the CEO of Colors Virginia Magazine, a publication that spotlights diversity and inclusion. Jeffrey says his career has been heavily shaped by his own parents’ involvement with the NAACP and the church. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd spoke to Jeffrey:

Longer Listen with Robert Jeffrey

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Roanoke County school leaders ask for input on Cave Spring High renovation

Roanoke County school officials decided to back off on the decision announced earlier this month to relocate all Cave Spring High School students to Hidden Valley High next school year. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd reports on how they’re working to find a solution.

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Cave Spring students attending classes at Hidden Valley could still become the decision, but the school board and administrators decided Friday to put all five options they had previously been considering back on the table. Roanoke County School Board Member Mike Wray spoke to WFIR:

“We were looking at what we’re going to have to do for the students, whether it be on site. We’re looking at safety factors as well as what we can do to, you know, provide for the students,” Wray said.

Officials are looking at options that include leasing space at Tanglewood Mall as well as different ways to divide the student populations between Cave Spring High School and Middle School.

“I want to hear what they feel and what like they would like to see, because when you listen to the parents, they have great ideas,” Wray said.

The school board is holding a meeting today at 5 p.m. at Cave Spring High to get feedback. Another meeting focusing solely on the renovations will be held November 27th at Hidden Valley High.

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Senate Candidate Corey Stewart on Roy Moore’s allegations

Four women say that Alabama politician Roy Moore pursued them as teenagers while he was in his 30’s. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has more on the Virginia candidate for US Senate who doesn’t believe it.

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One of those women says in 1979 she was 14 years old when Moore drove her to a secluded area and touched her inappropriately. The other women tell The Washington Post they were between the ages of 16 and 18 when Moore pursued relationships with them. Congressional hopeful Corey Stewart says he does not judge Roy Moore. He took to Facebook Live late last week.

“There’s no way to prove it, they didn’t prove it.  But you’re presumed guilty? That’s not right. Innocent until proven guilty in this country. Innocent until proven guilty. Until there’s proof, I don’t believe it.” said Stewart.

Stewart drew suspicion for the timing of this story breaking.

“You don’t think it’s a little bit curious that his is coming out just a couple weeks before his general election? Hmm, you think that’s a coincidence?” Stewart said.

Moore has denied the claims, calling them a desperate political attack by the National Democratic Party and The Washington Post. Lillian Boyd. WFIR News.

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Roanoke County crash after driver reportedly falls asleep at the wheel

Two people were taken to the hospital following a car crashes into a Roanoke County home in a multi-vehicle wreck. It happened after a man driving a white pickup truck fell asleep while traveling north on Merriman Road Friday afternoon and veered across the center line. The truck sideswiped one vehicle and crashed head-on with a Honda Accord, according to a news release. The Accord struck a house along the road. 69-year-old Hemlata Patel and 79-year-old Thakorbhai Patel, both of Roanoke, were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. The truck driver Jerry Davis Junior was charged with failure to drive on the right side of the road.

From Roanoke County Police: At 3:56 Friday afternoon a white GMC pickup truck was traveling northbound on Merriman Road. The male driver fell asleep, crossed the center line and side-swiped a Chevy Trailblazer. The driver was uninjured.
The female driver of the Trailblazer was unharmed and not transported to the hospital. Her vehicle sustained minor damage.
The GMC then crossed the double line into the other lane and collided head-on with a Honda Accord. The Honda went off the road, backwards and struck a house in the 5800 block of Merriman Road. The Honda had a female driver and male passenger inside and both were transported to the hospital.
Residents of the home were inside but not affected. The vehicle struck the side of the house near the garage.
The crash is still under investigation at this time and we will provide additional information when it becomes available.

Suspect Vehicle:
2006 GMC Sierra
Driver – Jerry Davis, Jr, 32, of Rock Mount. He was not wearing a seat belt and had no injuries.
He’s charged with fail to drive on right side of road and no seatbelt.

1st Victim Vehicle:
2008 Chevy Trailblazer
Driver – Debra Brown, 57, of Boones Mill. She was wearing a seatbelt and had no injuries. There was minor damage to vehicle.

2nd Victim Vehicle:
2015 Honda Accord
Driver – Hemlata Patel, 69, of Roanoke. She was wearing a seatbelt. She was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.
Passenger – Thakorbhai Patel, 79, of Roanoke. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He was transported to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.

The cause of the crash was Mr. Davis falling asleep and crossing the center line. Neither speed, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

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UPDATE: Roanoke man ID’d in fatal officer-involved shooting

UPDATE from State Police: SALEM, Va. – The Virginia State Police investigation remains ongoing into the fatal shooting in the City of Roanoke Wednesday night (Nov. 8). At the request of the Roanoke City Police Chief, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting that occurred shortly after 10 p.m., at a residence in the 2600 block of Fairfield Drive NE.

Roanoke Police responded to a 911 call for a domestic situation at the residence on Fairfield Drive NE. When the officer arrived, he encountered two individuals – to include an armed male – on the front porch of the residence engaged in a verbal dispute. When the female began walking away, the male pointed the gun at the female. Despite the Roanoke officer’s repeated commands to drop the weapon, the male subject shot at the female. The Roanoke officer subsequently shot the male subject.

The male subject, Victor D. Bray, 31, of Roanoke, Va., died at the scene. His remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. The 30-year-old female Roanoke resident was not injured in the shooting. The Roanoke Police Officer was not injured in the shooting.

The investigation remains ongoing at this time. Once the State Police concludes its investigation, the findings will be turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for final review and adjudication.


PREVIOUS: A man was fatally shot last night by a Roanoke police officer in a northeast neighborhood. An officer reports he found a man on the porch of a residence with a firearm after responding to a domestic situation around 10 p.m. The man allegedly fired his weapon after being told to drop it. The officer then shot him. It’s the first reported officer-involved shooting since 2015. Lillian Boyd has more:

11-9 Shooting WEB Wrap 2

From Press Release: Roanoke Police confirm that an officer involved shooting took place Wednesday evening, November 8th, at approximately 10:09 pm at 2622 Fairfield Drive NE. At 10:08 pm, an armed subject call was aired for the 2622 Fairfield address. Roanoke E-911 advised a loud disorder was heard in the background during the 911 call. A Roanoke Police Officer, who was on foot in the immediate area on an unrelated call, heard E-911 announce the armed subject call, and walked to 2622 Fairfield where he observed two subjects on the front porch. The subjects were involved in an active disorder as the officer approached. The male subject was observed with a gun and ordered to drop the weapon by the responding officer. The male subject did not comply with the officers demands. The male subject fired a shot and the officer returned fire, striking the male subject. The officer requested rescue to respond to the scene. The female involved was not struck and the officer was not injured.

The male was pronounced dead at the scene.

In accordance with department policy, the Virginia State Police were notified and will be utilized for the criminal investigation of this incident. The officer involved has been placed on administrative assignment per department policy. The suspect’s identity will not be released at this time to allow for proper notifications to be made. The Virginia State Police Public Information Officer, Corinne Geller, will be the media’s point of contact for further inquiries on the investigation. She can be reached at 804-674-2789.

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Earth Fare brings in hundreds for early morning ribbon cutting in Roanoke

WFIR Photo by Lillian Boyd

Roanoke’s newest grocery store held its ribbon cutting this morning. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd was at the event that attracted hundreds of people to line up out the doors.

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Earth Fare is now open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 2203 Franklin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24014

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Democrat Mark Herring wins second term against John Adams

Mark Herring

The Democrats swept the state races in this year’s election. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has details on Virginia’s next attorney general. Incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring has won the state’s attorney general race, beating his challenger Republican John Adams. After a successful campaign of raising more than 8-million dollars, it’ll be Herring’s second term.

11-8 Herring WEB Wrap 1

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New Poll: Northam leads by 6 points, Gillespie scores on taxes and economy

A poll released this morning shows Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by 6 points in the Virginia governor’s race ahead of tomorrow’s election. The latest poll from Christopher Newport University found 2 percent for Libertarian Cliff Hyra, with another 2 percent still undecided. Results show a much more favorable lead for Northam than the latest poll from Roanoke College – it shows each candidate in a tie at 47 percent each. Gillespie scored higher on taxes and the economy; while Northam won the day on health care and education.

From the Wason Center Poll: As Virginia voters prepare to choose their next governor on Tuesday, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam leads former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie, 51% to 45%, dropping one point to a 6-point lead in the final tracking survey of likely voters by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Libertarian Cliff Hyra takes 2% of the vote, with 2% undecided.

Allocating the undecided voters according to their historical pattern in Wason Center surveys of Virginia
statewide elections indicates a Northam victory on Election Day, 51.3% to 46.8%.

Final Tracker Trend Line

Northam’s lead is demographically and regionally broad. He leads among independents by 13 points (51% to
38%) and moderates by 29 points (62% to 33%). He holds significant leads among women, black voters, younger voters, voters with incomes below $50,000, and in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. Gillespie leads among white voters and men, but the candidates are statistically tied among voters 45 and older and voters in Southwest-Southside, two normally reliable Republican segments.

Likely voters are firmly in their partisan and ideological corners, with Northam getting 98% of Democratic and
91% of liberal votes and Gillespie taking 95% of Republican and 86% of conservative votes. “While each
candidate seems to have locked down his base, Northam appears to be winning the appeal to political
independents and ideological moderates,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.

“It’s hard to see how Gillespie can make up this deficit when he has consistently trailed Northam among independents by more than 10 points,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “To put it
in perspective, in 2013 the Republican led among independents but still ended up losing by 2.6 percent.” Down-ticket, the Democratic candidates continue to lead their Republican rivals. In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Justin Fairfax leads Republican state Sen. Jill Vogel, 50% to 45%. Seeking a second term as attorney general, incumbent Democrat Mark Herring leads John Adams, 49% to 45%.

The Wason Center surveyed 839 likely Virginia voters, Oct. 29-Nov. 4. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.5%.

Click here for full poll results.

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Local roller derby team reacts to ESPN coverage of championships

A local roller derby team was thrilled to learn that the Women’s Flat Top Derby Association Championships would be featured on national television for the first time ever this year. But days later the network changed its mind. WFIR’s Ian Price has details:

11-3 Derby WEB Wrap 1

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