What’s News Today: I-81 construction, new cigarette tax

Here’s a look at some of the stories we’ll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia.

What's News Today (WSLS 10)

If you travel Interstate 81 in Botetourt County, you can expect delays during the evening and overnight hours. Work will take place nightly between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. this week. There will be alternating lane closures between mile markers 168 and 169 as crews pave. This work is part of the I-81 Safety Improvement Project. Exit 168 will be closed tonight.

Martinsville City leaders will present the city’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year to city council. Council will hold work session later this week and next with with a public hearing scheduled for May 25th. Council could vote to approve the budget on June 8th.

Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Commission will meet today. The Commission was formed in March to study gun violence in the community and make recommendations to city council on way to reduce gun violence in the community. The meeting will take place on Zoom at 5:45 p.m.

Patrick Henry Community College holds the third of four forums, as it looks for its next president. The candidates are visiting the college and meeting with the community. They will answer questions during the virtual open forums.

Salem City Council will get an update on construction at Salem High School. As we’ve reported, the $36 million construction project will bring a new main entrance, updated classrooms, a common area for students and more. Crews are expected to begin moving furniture and classrooms next month.

Lynchburg City Council will hold a public hearing about rezoning the Kirkley Hotel. As we’ve reported, Healthcare Enterprise Runk and Pratt owns the hotel wants to convert it into a senior living facility. It would feature nearly 100 units with renovated kitchens, bedrooms and dens, as well as a pool and dining area. the planning commission unanimously recommended approving the application.

The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors could approve a 25 cent per pack cigarette tax. the tax would take effect January 1, 2022. The General Assembly changed state code, allowing for localities to approve a tax. It’s expected to bring in approximately $250,000. The board could also approve grants for the development of the Gish Mill property in Vinton.