Roanoke police say a lockdown, evacuation and extensive search of Valley View Mall turned up nothing unusual. SWAT teams stormed the shopping center Monday evening, after two people called 911 to report seeing a man with a gun in Macy’s department store. Authorities received the first call around 5:00 p.m. Officers watched surveillance video of a man wearing a tan jacket and carrying a long, black object. They saw him enter the mall, but did not see him leave. Police wrapped up their search around 3:00 a.m. and say they found nothing out of the ordinary. Normal hours resume today at Valley View.
More than 1.1 million Virginians have signed up to take part in a statewide tornado drill Tuesday. The National Weather service will trigger the alerts at about 9:45 a.m. Laura Southard with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management says those participating in the exercise will then go to the safest area of their homes, schools and offices. Southard says spring is the season when tornados are most likely to strike Virginia, but she warns they can happen any time.
A Roanoke Valley woman whose daughter teaches English in Japan and lives on the northeast coast says she has heard from her daughter and is relieved to know that she is okay. Della Gilliam says her daughter has an apartment right on the water, but was fortunate not to be home when today’s earthquake struck. She says Mary Margaret Gilliam was traveling on a bus when she felt the quake. She texted her mom: “There’s been a tsunami–I’m okay.” Gilliam says her 25-year-old daughter is in her second year living in Japan.
Roanoke City Public Schools will be registering children for kindergarten and first grade Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11 between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Parents should register at the school their children will be attending. They’ll need to bring a number of documents, including birth certificates, a report of a comprehensive physical examination for the child, immunization records and proof of residency. You can get more details by clicking on the link below, or calling 540-853-2816.
Virginia Tech is looking for Roanoke-area volunteers to help with a study on whether a certain type of exercise can help head off diabetes. Dr. Brenda Davy, an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, says they’re looking for people between 50 and 69 who don’t smoke and don’t exercise regularly. It would mean sessions with a personal trainer in Roanoke twice a week for three months. The idea is to see whether increased muscle strength might improve how the body handles glucose.
If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, a free seminar in Roanoke next week could offer you a recipe for success. Business development specialists will show you how to launch a restaurant–and keep it open. Lisa Soltis, economic development specialist with the City of Roanoke, says the seminar to mark National Entreprener Week will cover everything form taxes to tips to customer service. It will look at why 60% of new restaurants fail, and will offer other information on the business of eating out.
The Roanoke Police Department is investigating more property damage to vehicles. Five cars on Bosworth Drive and Darwin Road were damaged Tuesday night. This past weekend, 48 cars in the city were damaged from either a BB gun or air rifle. The original number was 57, but a spokesperson for the department says some cars were counted twice.