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Photo: Virginia Lottery

NEWS RELEASE: Lisa Carter was on her way to work with her husband when they stopped at H & H Market on East Jackson Highway in Big Island. While they were there, they picked up a Hold ‘em Poker Scratcher ticket from the Virginia Lottery. By the time they got to work, the Rockbridge County couple was $200,000 richer. “We’re still kind of in denial,” she said. “We can’t believe we’ve won that kind of money.”

Ms. Carter is the first person to claim the top prize in Hold ‘em Poker. The Scratcher game features prizes ranging from $5 to $200,000. Three top prize tickets remain unclaimed in this game. The odds of winning that top prize are 1 in 1,040,400, while the odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 4.71. “It’s still unbelievable!” she said.

Photo: Roanoke County PD

OCTOBER 31 UPDATE: Roanoke County police have arrested Kenneth Inger and charged him with involuntary manslaughter following the fatal accident on September 10th that claimed the life of 48 year old Thomas Orr II. It happened near the intersection of Brambleton Avenue and Garst Mill Road. Roanoke County police said at the time that drugs and alcohol may have been a factor in the multi-vehicle crash. Inger is being held without bond.

PREVIOUS: Roanoke County Police have identified the suspect in the multiple vehicle crash last week that killed a driver on Brambleton Avenue at Garst Mill Road. He is 58-year-old Kenneth Inger of Roanoke. Police say no charges have been filed yet, but an earlier news release said speed, drugs and alcohol were all possible factors.

NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke County Police confirm the alleged suspect involved in the multiple vehicle crash on Brambleton Avenue on September 10 is Kenneth Inger, 57, of Roanoke. Charges are pending the conclusion of the ongoing criminal investigation.

PREVIOUS 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: 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.

Isabel Shae Hicks

FROM VIRGINIA STATE POLICE:The Virginia AMBER Alert for Isabel Hicks and Bruce Lynch has been canceled as both have been located in Virginia. Miss Hicks has been safely located and Lynch taken into custody. The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office will provide an update shortly…please be patient, as they’re still in the midst of the investigation and arrest.

Isabel Shae Hicks

From Virginia State Police: The Virginia State Police and the Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse has issued an AMBER Alert on behalf of Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, for a child abduction that occurred on October 21, 2019 at 0100 hours.

The child is believed to be in extreme danger and was last seen at her residence in Bumpass, VA.
Abducted is Isabel Shae Hicks, White, Female, Blond hair, Blue eyes, 14 years old, 4 foot 11 inches tall, weighing 120 lbs.
The child is believed to have been abducted by Bruce William Lynch, White Male, Brown hair, Brown eyes, 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 195 lbs, date of birth November 22, 1985.
Possibly traveling in a 2003 Toyota Matrix, VA tag VEM-9071.
For further information contact the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office at 540-967-1234 or visit www.vaamberalert.com

NEWS RELEASE: On October 15, 2019 members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office began serving multiple drug indictments obtained through the Franklin County Grand Jury. Thirty two drug related indictments were issued on 16 different offenders.  The subjects listed have been arrested on the corresponding charges. As a result of the arrests, deputies and investigators obtained and executed three additional search warrants. Several additional felony and misdemeanor charges are pending as a result of the searches.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

  • Incident: Narcotics Arrests
  • Incident Reported: October 15, 2019
  • Location of Incident: Numerous locations in Franklin County
    • Suspect #1 Name: Randall Layne Stump of Ferrum, VA
    • Suspect #1 Age: 36
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #2 Name: Shawn Delante Wright of Rocky Mount, VA
    • Suspect #2 Age: 31
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #3 Name: Jerry Lee Hodges of Ferrum, VA
    • Suspect #3 Age: 59
    • Charges:
      • Manufacture Marijuana (x2)
      • Possess with intent to Distribute Marijuana (x2)
    • Suspect #4 Name: Ethan Ryan Hundley of Glade Hill, VA
    • Suspect #4 Age: 26
    • Charges:
      • Distribute of Schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Suspect #5 Name: Amanda Dawn Martinez of Glade Hill, VA
    • Suspect #5 Age: 39
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Suspect #6 Name: Jeffrey Lynn Blankenship of Penhook, VA
    • Suspect #6 Age: 49
    • Charges:
      • Manufacture Marijuana
      • Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
      • Possession of a Firearm with over one pound of Marijuana
    • Suspect #7 Name: Shannon Lee Saari of Wirtz, VA
    • Suspect #7 Age: 33
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #8 Name: Randal Eugene Manley of Henry, VA
    • Suspect #8 Age: 59
    • Charges:
      • Possession of schedule I or II controlled substance (x3)
      • Possession of Firearm with Schedule I or II Controlled Substance
      • Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon
    • Suspect #9 Name: Christopher Lyn Tolley of Rocky Mount, VA
    • Suspect #9 Age: 43
    • Charges:
      • Possession of schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Suspect #10 Name: Tiffany Michelle Hodges of Ferrum, VA
    • Suspect #10 Age: 44
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance
    • Suspect #11 Name: Lorrie Earlene Hicks of Rocky Mount, VA
    • Suspect #11 Age: 23
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #12 Name: Teresa Gayle Craighead of Rocky Mount, VA
    • Suspect #12 Age: 42
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #13 Name: Jerry Wayne Underwood of Callaway, VA
    • Suspect #13 Age: 34
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #14 Name: Julie Lynn Law of Boones Mill, VA
    • Suspect #14 Age: 29
    • Charges:
      • Possession of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
    • Suspect #15 Name: Amanda Elizabeth Harding of Huddleston, VA
    • Suspect #15 Age: 29
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance (x2)
      • Possession of Ammo by a Convicted Felon
      • Felony Child Endangerment
    • Suspect #16 Name: Mary Elizabeth Blankenship of Rocky Mount, VA
    • Suspect #16 Age: 38
    • Charges:
      • Distribution of Schedule I or II controlled substance
      • Conspiracy to Distribute Schedule I or II Controlled Substance




Sheriff Mike Brown (Photo: BCSO)

From Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown: I am, at this time, officially endorsing Captain Mike Miller for Sheriff of Bedford County. Prior to the June Republican Primary, in which there were three candidates vying for the GOP endorsement, I took a position shared by loyal members of the Republican Party of remaining neutral during this event. The Primary was open to all registered voters and the voters “spoke”; they elected Captain Mike Miller as their candidate for Sheriff.

Captain Miller is 35+ year veteran of the sheriff’s office and has served with distinction in Personnel/Administrative/Budget, and is currently the Captain of Operations which encompasses Investigations, Vice/Narcotics, Tactical/SWAT Team and Patrol Operations. Mike has initiated and directed numerous community outreach programs and was instrumental in organizing and providing Anti-Active Shooter Programs to religious, fraternal, educational and industrial entities.

He directed the investigation in Bedford County of 40 year old “cold case” of the Lyons sisters who were abducted out of Maryland and murdered in Bedford County. As a result of this investigation the subject was arrested and convicted of the murders in Bedford County Circuit Court. In addition to this case he directed the investigation in the abduction and murder of Raymond Wood from Lynchburg in Bedford County. As a result of this investigation five MS-13 members were arrested with two having been found guilty and the remaining subjects awaiting trial.

He is currently enrolled in Duke University’s Divinity School and has completed advanced training courses sponsored by the FBI, DEA, AFT, National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Mike continually expands his horizons in his chosen profession…law enforcement!

I ask you to vote for Captain Mike Miller on November 5, 2019.


State Police say the Floyd County man charged with firing at a sheriff’s deputy – striking him in the hand — then taking off, remains jailed without bond, with more charges pending. Troopers say it happened at traffic stop early last Friday morning, and 34-year-old Samuel Hale of Floyd was later taken into custody after police disabled his vehicle. The deputy was released after hospital treatment.

FROM STATE POLICE: FLOYD, Va. – At the request of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (Salem), is investigating an officer involved shooting which occurred Friday morning, October 11, 2019 in Floyd County.

The incident began at 1:17 a.m. when a Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop an older model, blue, Dodge flatbed pickup for suspicious activity.  The pickup truck came to a stop when the deputy activated his lights.  A male driver exited the vehicle and opened fire with a handgun on the deputy; striking the deputy in the hand.  The male then got back into the pickup and fled; a pursuit of the vehicle ensued.

The pursuit continued into Montgomery County on Christiansburg Pike, near Little River Road, where the pickup was disabled.  The driver again exchanged gunfire with officers.  The subject then barricaded himself in the pickup truck and would not comply with the officer’s commands to put the weapon down.

With the truck disabled and the subject contained, a Floyd County Sheriff’s Office Negotiator was able to open dialog with the subject.  Through this negotiation, the extremely intoxicated subject agreed to put the gun down, and was then taken into custody by the Virginia State Police Division VI Tactical Team.

Samuel Wayne Hale, 34, of Floyd, Va. was treated and released by EMS for minor injuries received during the incident and the arrest.  Hale has been charged with Malicious Wounding of a Law Enforcement Officer and was transported to the New River Valley Regional Jail; where he was held without a bond.  More charges are pending.

The Floyd County Deputy was treated and released from the hospital.

The incident remains under investigation.

BEDFORD COUNTY SHERIFF NEWS RELEASE: At 10:28 p.m. Monday night Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from a female who reported that she had received a text from her husband that he had taken a large amount of medication. The caller said she and her husband, Ralph Saunders were separated and he lived on Conner Lane. She also advised that he said that he would shoot the first person who arrived at his residence. Bedford County Sheriff’s Office TACT Team, Negotiators and Bedford County Fire and Rescue units were dispatched.

After arriving at the residence, deputies made contact with Saunders who refused to cooperate. On several occasions Saunders walked out on the front porch made gestures to the deputies and would go back into the house. At 12:03 a.m., Saunders opened a bedroom window yelled out, pointed his shotgun and discharged it. At 12:35 a.m., Saunders exited the house, unarmed, through the front door and walked towards his vehicle. At this time deputies took Saunders into custody on an Emergency Custody Order and transported him to a local hospital. At this time several criminal charges are pending against Ralph Saunders. This was the first call law enforcement had been called to this residence.

Photo: Roanoke Co. Fire and Rescue

NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded at about 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 to the 7800 block of Bending Oak Drive, which is located in the Catawba/Masons Cove area, for the report of a vehicle fire that was 20 feet from a house. First arriving crews from Catawba found heavy fire and smoke showing from a pick-up truck and a single-story house on fire as well. The fire was brought under control in about an hour. There were no injuries. The home was occupied by a single adult male who was able to escape. Units from Catawba, Masons Cove, Hollins, Cave Spring, Fort Lewis and the City of Salem responded to the fire.

The structure fire is determined to be accidental, due to an accidental vehicle fire too close to the residence. One male and a dog are displaced but staying with family in the area. The estimated damages are $50,000.00.


Attorney General Mark Herring says Mountain Valley Pipeline has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2.15 million for violating environmental regulations. And MVP agrees to submit to court-ordered and court-supervised compliance with environmental protections.

NEWS RELEASE: RICHMOND (October 11, 2019)—The Commonwealth of Virginia has reached an agreement with Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC that will force the company to submit to court-ordered and court-supervised compliance with environmental protections, impose additional layers of independent, third-party monitoring on the project, and require the payment of a significant $2.15 million civil penalty. The agreement will resolve the lawsuit filed in December 2018 by Attorney General Mark R. Herring on behalf of the State Water Control Board and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and includes the following key terms:

  1. Places MVP under court-ordered and court-supervised compliance with the State Water Control Law, Stormwater Management Act, Erosion and Sediment Control Law, the state-issued Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification and all other applicable environmental laws for the duration of construction, adding additional layers of tough oversight and accountability. Any future violations would be a violation of both applicable environmental laws and a court order, which carries much more significant consequences.
  2. In court filings, MVP stated that it planned to challenge the validity of the Section 401 Certification issued by the State Water Control Board. If MVP had succeeded, construction would have continued but all the conditions and environmental protections the Board placed on the project would have been wiped away. This agreement locks MVP into the terms of the certification issued by the Board, and MVP waives any right to contest the previously filed suit.
  3. MVP will have to spend its own money for enhanced monitoring of erosion control measures throughout the project and for new monitoring of fisheries and wildlife in work areas. Independent, third-party auditors, who must be approved by DEQ, will make bi-weekly assessments to ensure that best management practices are being used and that erosion and sediment controls are installed and functioning properly.
  4. MVP must immediately confirm that it is in compliance with all applicable provisions of environmental laws, including remediation of previously identified instances of alleged noncompliance.
  5. MVP must pay a $2,150,000 civil penalty that will support ongoing environmental protection and enforcement activities in Virginia. By comparison, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection recently resolved similar allegations for just $266,000.
  6. If any future violations occur, MVP will have to immediately clean up the damage and restore the site at its own expense, and will be subject to an expedited process for imposing significant financial penalties of a predetermined amount.
  7. Advance notification to DEQ of any land-disturbing activity in or around each waterbody or wetland.
  8. The Commonwealth retains the ability to pursue any necessary remedy to protect public health or the environment during construction, and the Commonwealth can recover its costs for enforcing any provision of the consent decree.
“This is one of the most significant financial penalties ever imposed in Virginia for this kind of case, and more importantly, we have secured significant new monitoring, supervision, and enhanced standards for the duration of the project,” said Attorney General Herring. “This resolution really sets a new standard for resolution of environmental damages cases in Virginia. By utilizing the consent decree approach of the EPA under the Obama Administration, we were able to quickly secure a major civil penalty, force significant concessions, and impose important environmental, health, and safety protections on the project that may not have been attainable if this had gone to trial.”
“This consent decree significantly strengthens our ability to ensure MVP is meeting its environmental responsibilities,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “The decree stipulates that MVP will be automatically fined for any violations of the terms of this agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia, while also imposing a significant fine for past noncompliance.”
In December 2018, Attorney General Herring, DEQ, and the State Water Control Board filed suit against MVP, LLC alleging environmental violations in Craig, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke Counties, particularly violations that occurred during significant rain events. The suit alleged that MVP violated the Commonwealth’s environmental laws and regulations as well as MVP’s Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification by failing to control sediment and stormwater runoff resulting in impacts to waterways and roads. The matter was referred to the Office of Attorney General by the director of DEQ after numerous inspections identified violations at multiple construction sites.
In accordance with state law and State Water Control Board regulations, the settlement has been approved by Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Herring, and DEQ Director Paylor and will now be subject to 30 days of public comment before being submitted to the Circuit Court of Henrico County, the circuit in which the suit was filed.