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Photo: HCSO

NEWS RELEASE: On September 10, 2019 at approximately 5:33pm a threatening message was discovered inside Hanes Brands Inc. located at 380 Beaver Creek Dr., Martinsville, VA. The message indicated that an explosive device had been placed inside the facility. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Explosives Detection Canine and his handler along with other deputies conducted a systematic search of the building. Nothing suspicious was located.

The Henry County Department of Public Safety and local volunteer fire and rescue units were on scene as a precaution. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Hanes Brands officials worked together to ensure the safety of the employees. Through the course of the investigation a male employee was developed as a suspect.

Alvin Donnell Hunt, 22, of 1004 Smith Lake Rd., Martinsville, Va. was charged with one count of Threat to Bomb (Felony).  Hunt was released on a $3,500 unsecured bond.

Anyone having information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2500.00 for information related to crime.  The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.



NEWS RELEASE: – A jury in U.S. District Court in Abingdon convicted an inmate at Red Onion State Prison of sending threatening communications through the mail following the conclusion of a one-day jury trial, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced. Randall J. Keystone, 55, was convicted yesterday of two counts of transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure another person.

“Communicating threats of death or bodily harm is a serious federal crime and one that we will aggressively prosecute,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today.  “I am grateful for the hard work of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Virginia Department of Corrections in bringing this defendant to justice.”

According to evidence presented at trial, Keystone, while incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison, sent a pair of threatening letters to the former state prosecutor who handled his case in the late 1990s. The former state prosecutor, who is now an Assistant United States Attorney in North Carolina, received one letter at his home and one at his office.

In both letters, written on or about January 11, 2017, Keystone wrote, “How’d you like someone to put a bullit [sic] in your head? How’d you like me to be the one to do it?”

The investigation of the case was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service for the Western District of Virginia and Eastern District of North Carolina and the Virginia Department of Corrections.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer R. Bockhorst and Cagle Juhan are prosecuting the case for the United States.

NEWS RELEASE: The Roanoke County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a person of interest in a grand larceny that occurred on Monday, September 2 at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the 5300 block of Peters Creek Road. More than $500 and mainly tools were stolen. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Saul at the Roanoke County Police Department at (540) 777-8641.
Click here to see surveillance video taken outside the business.

UPDATE FROM ROANOKE COUNTY POLICE: On Tuesday September 10, 2019, a Volvo sedan was traveling southbound on Brambleton Ave. in Roanoke County when it rear ended a Toyota driven by 48-year-old Thomas Orr II.  Mr. Orr’s vehicle then left the right side of the roadway where it struck a utility pole.  Mr. Orr was pronounced dead at the scene.  The sedan continued southbound on Brambleton Ave. where it struck a Cadillac and pushed the Cadillac into a pickup truck.  The driver of the Cadillac was transported to the hospital and has been released.  The driver of the pickup truck was not injured.  The driver of the Volvo was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  All parties were wearing their seat belts.  Speed along with drugs and alcohol, may have been a factor in the crash.  Brambleton Ave. was closed for a period of time while members of the Blue Ridge Regional Crash Team worked to reconstruct the incident, but all lanes of Brambleton Ave are back open at this time.  Charges in this case are pending, and the investigation ongoing.

PREVIOUS FROM ROANOKE COUNTY POLICE: At 2:30 today, a single vehicle struck multiple vehicles at the intersection of Brambleton Avenue and Garst Mill Road. The accident resulted in two being transported with non-life-threatening injuries and one fatality. Speed was a factor in the accident. The police department received additional reports of a possible suspect vehicle involved in an additional accident on Brambleton Avenue.

Police and VDOT are on scene diverting traffic. People should avoid Brambleton Avenue northbound because it is completely blocked. Brambleton Avenue southbound traffic should go to Pinevale or View avenues. People should also avoid Garst Mill to Brambleton and detour to Cresthill Drive.

These roads will remain closed for a number of hours while POLICE continue to investigate.

NEWS RELEASE:  Virginia State Police Trooper M.G. Mays is investigating a motor vehicle crash which resulted in a fatality.  The crash occurred Monday (Sept 9) at 8:02 a.m. on Route 671, one tenth of a mile south of Route 1143 in Franklin County.

A 1994 Nissan Pathfinder was traveling north on Route 671, when the vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected, crossed the roadway and struck a tree.

The driver was identified as Nila J. Pizarro, 67, of Glade Hill, Va.  Ms. Pizarro was not wearing her seatbelt and died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

NEWS RELEASE:  Virginia State Police Senior Trooper W.I. Davis is investigating a single vehicle crash which resulted in a fatality.  The crash occurred Sunday (Sept 8) at 12:32 a.m. on Whitmell School Road, 3 miles north of Mt. Crossroad in Pittsylvania County.

A 1996 Ford F-150 pickup was traveling north on Whitmell School Road, when the vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway, struck an embankment and overturned.

The Ford was driven by Cody Lee Barber, 19, of Dry Fork, Va.  Mr. Barber and two other passengers, which were riding in the passenger area of the vehicle, were not wearing seatbelts and were injured.  They were transported to Danville Sova Health Medical Center.

Three individuals were riding in the bed of the truck and were ejected. One was transported to Danville Sova Medical Center.  Another was taken by helicopter to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries.  The third, De Andre Najee Smallwood Davis, 19, of Danville, Va. died at the scene.

Speed and alcohol are believed to be a factor in the crash.  Charges are pending.

Senior Trooper Davis is working to obtain more information on the passengers involved in the crash.

The information in this release is all that is available at this time.

The crash remains under investigation.

NEWS RELEASE: The rising cost of college is a concern for all college-bound high school students and their families. In an effort to bring more clarity and transparency to our pricing, today Randolph College announced a reduction of approximately 35 percent in our tuition, room, and board. Tuition will drop from $40,521 to $25,000, and room and board will decrease from $13,580 to $11,000.

 “The cost to attend Randolph College after grants and scholarships is already competitive with all of Virginia’s top colleges and universities, both public and private,” said Randolph President Bradley W. Bateman. “Today’s change will narrow the gap between our ‘sticker price’ and what students and their families actually pay for a Randolph education.”

The change will begin with the fall 2020 incoming class, and the College is working to ensure there will be no negative impact on current students’ net tuition and fees.

“The personalized approach to college education that Randolph students enjoy is a transformative experience,” Bateman said. “At a small college like ours, everyone is seen; everyone is important; everyone has a part to play. Randolph is a community that welcomes every student, and the opportunities that a Randolph education provides are limitless.

“But as college costs continue to rise, private colleges are viewed by many as overpriced and available only to a select few,” he added. “As a result, our message isn’t getting through to some families, who understandably won’t even consider a college whose advertised price seems well out of their reach.”

The fact is that for most private colleges, this “sticker price” is just a starting point. Most private colleges practice a “high-tuition/high-discount” model, offsetting high tuition costs with large financial aid packages. In fact, most private colleges only charge half of their “sticker price” after the financial aid packages have been awarded.

But most families don’t know this—and as a result, the admissions process tends to favor families with the knowledge, time, and resources to navigate the system. Randolph believes this model is both unfair and unsustainable. By resetting tuition, room, and board to be closer to what families actually pay for a Randolph education, the College is doing its part to change it.

“With this tuition, room, and board reset, and our generous financial aid policies, our message is simple,” Bateman said. “If you’re interested in a high-quality education at a place where every student gets personalized attention from outstanding professors, Randolph College can make that kind of education affordable for your family. We offer a lifetime of opportunity at a very affordable price.”

The news of this price reset is just one of many exciting things happening this year at Randolph. In addition to a major technology upgrade this summer, the College has made numerous other improvements on campus. The gymnasium received extensive renovations, and the stadium turf and tennis courts were refurbished. In addition, Randolph looks forward to the ongoing renovation of the athletic building over the coming year. The M.F.A. program continues to grow dramatically and is drawing talented students and esteemed faculty from all over the nation. The College also added a new data science minor, and thanks to a grant from the Endeavor Foundation, began a new college transition program for first-years this summer.

“There is much going on, and even more to be proud of here at Randolph,” Bateman said.

NEWS RELEASE: Virginia State Police Trooper N.A. Keister is investigating a two vehicle crash which resulted in a fatality.  The crash occurred Thursday (Sept 5) at 3:45 p.m. on Route 29, two tenths of a mile north of Route 29 Business in Pittsylvania County.

A 2017 Peterbilt 330 transport truck was traveling south on Route 29, when it ran off the right side of the road and struck the guardrail.  The Peterbilt then crossed the southbound lanes, then ran through the median and struck a 2014 Nissan Rogue; which was traveling north on Route 29.

The driver of the Nissan was identified as Josephine Gee, 63, of Chatham, Va.  Ms. Gee was wearing her seatbelt and died at the scene.

The information for the driver of the Peterbilt is not available at this time and charges are pending.

The crash remains under investigation.

NEWS RELEASE: The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating a report of a malicious wounding on Chambers Street last night.

On September 5, 2019 at 9:51 p.m., officers responded to the 400-block of Chambers Street for a report of a malicious wounding. One male had suffered a non-life threatening injury to his foot. He gave a description of a suspect who officers identified and detained near the scene.

After further investigation, officers determined the man had shot himself in the foot and gave false information about a suspect. Ronnie Eugene Moore III, 27, of Lynchburg, was charged with filing a false report to police, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of firearm by a convicted felon. He is being held in the Lynchburg Detention Center without bond. Linda Hardin, 40, of Lynchburg, is charged with filing a false report to police. She was released on bond.

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Miller at (434) 455-6160 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on a mobile device.

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