Lillian Boyd

The Department of Environmental Quality has approved a plan intended to preserve water quality during construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The agency says the erosion, sediment and storm water control plans for the pipeline will protect water quality in all areas of Virginia. Until now, pipeline work has been limited to cutting trees along its path and leaving them where they fell. MVP is now permitted to begin full-scale construction.

From Virginia DEQ: RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has approved the Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management, and Karst Protection Plans for the Mountain Valley Pipeline effective today, March 26, 2018. These detailed site plans specify engineering designs that will protect water quality in all areas of Virginia, including karst, during and after construction of the pipeline project.

DEQ began its plan review in March 2016, which continued with a more thorough review beginning in June 2017 by EEE, an independent consulting firm. Today’s approval authorizes MVP to begin land disturbing activities in Virginia consistent with these plans. No changes to the plans may be made without obtaining prior approval from DEQ. The basis for the design specifications for the plans are contained in Virginia’s erosion and sediment control and stormwater management regulations.

“Protecting water quality and water supplies is our greatest concern,” said David K. Paylor, DEQ Director. “We required MVP to submit detailed plans for every foot of land disturbance, and we carefully reviewed all aspects of these plans.”

Draft plans were posted for the public for input in September 2017, and the final plans are now available to view at

In response to public interest, DEQ has sent a report to the State Water Control Board (Board) detailing the approval of the Erosion and Sediment Control, Stormwater Management, and Karst Protection Plans, which are required by regulation to protect the Commonwealth’s waters.

“DEQ’s enhanced review, along with our new stop-work authority, gives the agency a variety of tools to protect water quality across the range of pipeline activities and ensure developers comply with Virginia’s rigorous regulatory requirements,” added Paylor.

Activists across the nation plan to demonstrate tomorrow for gun reform in the wake of last month’s shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school — and the Roanoke Valley is no exception. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has more on local efforts for the movement.

When: Saturday, March 24, 2018, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Vinton Moose Lodge Family Center, 2127 E Washington Ave., Vinton

After 44-thousand likes and 27-thousand retweets, news of a former Roanoke City Social Services employee getting fired late last week spread quickly. 22-year-old Storm Durham claims she was escorted out of work by three police officers after supervisors said she was a safety risk …just for having a concealed carry permit. The city has issued a release saying the dismissal in question was not based on anyone exercising their second amendment rights. Ms. Durham spoke to WFIR Overnight Report Lillian Boyd about the incident and the aftermath of going viral.

Today’s Longer Listen with Storm Durham is available on the WFIR News website. Ms. Durham’s Youtube Channel is called “The Conservative Storm.”

A Cave Spring Middle School student has been taken to a juvenile detention center after bringing a loaded handgun to school. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd reports on the emotionally charged Roanoke County school board meeting that followed the incident. Former candidate for the 8th District at the House of Delegates Bryan Keele was at the meeting.

Grover Price-FB photo

Grover Price is a co-founder for The Hope Center – a non profit that serves those in need in Northwest Roanoke. He’s also announced his candidacy for Roanoke City Council as an independent. Price has been outspoken about issues that impact so-called neglected communities… he took to social media to say there’s a growing presence of gang activity in Roanoke, although some won’t acknowledge it. WFIR’s Overnight Reporter Lillian Boyd spoke with Price.

From Roanoke Police: On February 13, 2108 at 11:29 p.m. Roanoke Police responded to the 1300 block of Hershberger Road in reference to a robbery. They spoke with the 53 year old female victim who said that she had came to the bank to make a deposit from the business where she is employed. As she exited her car and was walking to the night deposit, she was approached by a white male who demanded she give him the money. The suspect pushed the victim, and took the bank bags containing a large amount of cash. The victim fell to the ground and the suspect fled west on foot from the bank back into the wooded area behind adjacent businesses. A search by responding officers and a K-9 unit did not locate the suspect, The suspect is described as a white male, 20 to 30 years of age, 5’8′ tall and 190 pounds, wearing a black jacket and black pants. The victim had been purposefully followed by a separate employee, in another vehicle, to the bank who gave a similar description of the suspect to responding officers. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone having information on this incident can call the RPD Tip Line at 540-344-8500. Callers can remain anonymous. Anonymous text messages can be sent to 274637. Please begin your text with the keyword “RoanokePD:” to ensure that it’s properly sent.

From Press Release: The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is performing a Rural Transit Study. The study will cover the Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, the Towns of Clifton Forge and Rocky Mount, and the City of Covington. As part of this study, this survey will be used to determine transit needs in the region’s rural localities to/from the Roanoke Valley and from the Alleghany Highlands to regional rail stations.
“After looking at existing transit conditions in the rural areas of the region, we developed two surveys to get to the heart of what needs are or are not being met. From the surveys, we will look at what people are saying and ask why is it needed. As these needs are recommended, it is important to identify the potential service providers, transit options, and funding source and costs of service. Localities will then ultimately decide if and how to move forward, be it through applying for grant funding and/or budgeting for new service options.” said Regional Planner III, Bryan Hill.
At present, there is a short, five question survey designed to collect basic information. Anyone who provides their contact information will not only be sent a link to take a second and more in-depth survey, but will also be entered for a chance to win a $10 gift card from Kroger.
According to Bryan Hill, “These surveys will greatly help us develop a needs assessment for transit in the rural localities of the region. Each locality has transit needs, which may or may not be the same as another, so it’s important to get a diverse and representative number of respondents from all of the rural areas targeted in the survey. Public involvement at this step in the process is crucial.”
To date, we have not received many responses to the survey from localities in the Alleghany Highlands. In order to proceed with an accurate representation of all of the localities targeted in this study, the Regional Commission is asking for your help in completing the surveys.
The survey can be taken online at
If you need help completing this survey in a different way, please contact Bryan Hill by email at or by phone at 540-343-4417.

From News Release: The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising drivers to expect possible icy and slick road conditions on Sunday, February 4, due to a wintry mix of snow, freezing rain, sleet and rain that is anticipated to pass through southwestern Virginia starting before sunrise and continuing into the day.

Drivers are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and plan travel around the winter storm and consider postponing trips until road conditions improve.

VDOT started pretreating interstate and primary roads throughout the region on Friday and will continue on Saturday as temperatures allow in preparation for an event that is expected to start out as snow or freezing rain and transition to rain.

Travelers can get real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads by using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the website and phone system, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.

The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, and Roanoke.