All the good parts of this week’s snowstorm that’ll make you feel like a kid again
Snow was perhaps the most common conversation topic in Southwest Virginia this week, and as adults we sometimes tend to focus on the roads, the power going out and how to get where we need to safely. But, in this weeks Feel Good Friday segment we want to highlight the good parts; the excitement from kids, the fun with have with our pets and the joyful moments.
Communities keep traditions alive despite another pandemic Easter
The Easter Bunny is hopping into town, and while kids may not be able to give him hugs or sit on his lap for a photo again this year, they are finding creative ways to make memories.Although this will mark the second year in a row we have spent the Easter holiday socially distanced, there is still a lot to celebrate. Families are making the most of it.
Frontline farmers now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
Agricultural groups like the Virginia Farm Bureau know farmers are essential workers, and they are supporting efforts to get them vaccinated against COVID-19. “Our nation’s food supply depends on farmers’ and frontline agricultural workers’ ability to work safely,” said Ben Rowe, national affairs coordinator for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. Despite swift implementation of best practices and state and federal guidance in the fields and processing facilities, the agricultural workforce remains at heightened risk of infection, as do the frontline critical-risk workers.”AdFood and agriculture workers and veterinarians are eligible under the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 1b. Every health district in Virginia has moved into Phase 1b, which means these workers are eligible regardless of their home county. “We have all seen the significant toll that disruption of the agricultural food supply chain places on communities and families.
Court rules in favor of SWVA Wildlife Center in case brought by neighbors
ROANOKE, Va. – The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center wins favor of the court in a second lawsuit brought by neighboring property owners. The Circuit Court of Roanoke County again ruled in favor of the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center Wednesday in the lawsuit related to a Special Use Permit to build an aviary to rehabilitate large birds. Gilbert Law, PC, attorneys for the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center, made the announcement via Facebook Friday. The announcement states “although the pending case could be appealed, the Supreme Court of Virginia held on November 2, 2020 that the neighbors failed to prove standing in the first case and refused to hear the appeal.”In total, neighbors have filed three lawsuits against the SWVA Wildlife Center. Litigation has been ongoing since 2018.
Local 10-year-old turns birthday parade into charity fundraiser
SALEM – A local 10-year-old chose to give gifts instead of receiving them this year for his birthday. For his birthday he wanted to take up donations for the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center, and the community certainly showed up. A number of vehicles drove through his birthday parade and dropped off donations the center needed. 10-year-old Gabe asked for donations instead of presents for his birthday parade. AdThe wildlife warriors, a local group that supports the SWVA Wildlife Center also gave Gabe a gift of his own.
Many southwest Virginia business owners not taking advantage of available PPP money
There is still CARES Act money available for businesses struggling to pay their employees, but many in southwest Virginia aren’t taking advantage of it. Forrester said interested business owners should contact their banks to find out if they are eligible. AdThe SBDC is doing a roadshow across the region to help business owners one-on-one apply. She says there is no way to track how many permanent closures have happened, but we will begin to see a comparative number as business owners renew business licenses in 2021. AdForrester said it’s crucial that business owners take advantage of all resources available to them in order to make it through this year.
The Gauntlet business competition hopes to help rebuild local economy
As 2021 begins, business owners face a rapidly shifting landscape. But business is different, and the way many business owners operate is different too. We all know our small businesses need a lot of help to make it through the pandemic. AdThat’s why Patterson’s focus is supporting local entrepreneurs starting and building their businesses through the Gauntlet Business program and competition. “We have to put our money where our mouth is and support our local businesses,” Patterson said.
Over 100 local entrepreneurs head to the Gauntlet to bring their business idea to life
The state’s largest business competition program begins Tuesday night and there’s still time to sign up. 10 News is working for you to help rebuild our local economy by sponsoring Virginia’s largest business competition, the Gauntlet. Applications are still open for the 7th Annual Gauntlet Business Program and Competition online. The Gauntlet incorporates participants from Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, the Alleghany Highlands, and Rockbridge County. State Farm is the lead sponsor for the 2021 season, donating $35,000 to the Gauntlet Business Competition.
Church closings for Sunday, February 7, 2021
ROANOKE, Va. – Due to Sunday’s wintry weather, dozens of churches have canceled or changed services. Continue to check back as this list will grow. Click here. We have discontinued our phone system and all status changes must be submitted online. Click here if you’re using the WSLS 10 app or having trouble seeing the list.
Have a great business idea? Sign up for the Gauntlet business competition
10 News is working for you to help rebuild our local economy by sponsoring Virginia’s largest business competition, the Gauntlet. Started by the Advancement Foundation in Vinton, the Gauntlet helps entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses. The Gauntlet provides a 10-week program that helps entrepreneurs create a business plan. The Gauntlet incorporates participants from Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, the Alleghany Highlands and Rockbridge County. Applications are now open for the 7th Annual GAUNTLET Business Program and Competition online.
Church closings for Sunday, January 31, 2021
ROANOKE, Va. – Due to Sunday’s wintry weather, dozens of churches have canceled or changed services. Continue to check back as this list will grow. Click here. We have discontinued our phone system and all status changes must be submitted online. Click here if you’re using the WSLS 10 app or having trouble seeing the list.
Hospital bills mounting: Community servants now need the community’s help
SALEM – More than $40,000 from more than 400 people has been raised to help C.J. Before Samantha was transferred, she began receiving renal dialysis to filter toxins from her blood due to her renal disease. In Charlottesville, renal specialist continued with a battery of tests and the continuation of renal dialysis to help stabilize and potentially restart Samantha’s kidneys. could be home with baby Anderson and care for him like any new parent should. They remain steadfast in their faith and take happiness in their time together with baby Anderson.
Its important our city hears the voice of peace: Sunday service on Roanokes Market Square
Hundreds of people pulled up chairs and participated in a worship service on Market Square. Its so important that our city hears the voice of peace, hears the voice of Jesus coming in the midst of chaos, Henderson said. Were bringing togetherness; thats our mission.This was the second Sunday in a row Hendersons event occupied Market Square. We want to know that the city of Roanoke wants to gather and worship Jesus appropriately, McClure said. Let us leave this event today saying I have to be better, added Pastor Michael Anderson of New Generation Church.
’It seems to be a race to the bottom’: Rep. Denver Riggleman criticizes GOP, considers leaving party
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Denver Riggleman is no longer hiding his concerns about his own party and the congressman said he may leave the Republican Party if the situation does not change. In an interview with 10 News on Wednesday, Virginia’s 5th District congressman criticized fellow Virginia GOP members as moving too far to the political right. “Republicans have always been about a big tent party, centered on individual liberty, and I think we’ve lost our way,” Riggleman said. “What if there was a governor who cares about the people of Virginia rather than just a party platform of moving on up?” Riggleman said. “If they can have a message of hope and a message that is not completely extremist, I think that’s the person that is going to win.”
Radford University students start moving back on campus for school year
Radford University students started moving back to campus Saturday morning, as the university prepares for in-person classes. School resumes August 12, but the university spread out the on-campus move-in schedule across the first two weeks of the month for social distancing reasons. Many Radford students such as Emily Godwin had been away from campus since March due to remote learning. Tom Santa, the parent of a Radford sophomore, said he believes his daughter will be safe on campus. “In my home county, Carroll County, we have a population of 6,000 people and have about 300 cases,” Godwin said.
Nature enthusiasts enjoy last free weekend at Carvins Cove before admissions resume
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Carvins Cove Nature Reserve has been free throughout the advent of COVID-19, but time is running out to enjoy the water without opening your wallet. Dozens of visitors came out to enjoy Carvins Cove’s last free weekend. Some visitors such as Mark and Maureen Rimer say they will keep coming to the cove, regardless of the cost. “Every time we have come over, we wonder if we have to pay or if we don’t, it’s not really an issue,” Maureen Rimer said. “We figure when it is time to pay, we’ve been here so many times for free that we really owe it to them.”You have to bring your own boat to the reservoir; Carvins Cove has stopped its boat rentals because of COVID-19.
Virginia Commonwealth Games wraps up while decision awaits on high school sports
The Virginia Commonwealth Games wrapped up with events such as baseball, softball, and sand volleyball. Its awesome playing these teams and meeting teams from all around, said Aaron Crummett, whose team traveled from Harrisonburg to play in the Commonwealth Games. Many of the Commonwealth Games athletes are in high school, and the Virginia High School League is on the verge of deciding how their school seasons will play out. Crummett and Jones said their kids are recovering from already losing a high school season because of the pandemic. Jones hopes the VHSL makes a decision that will allow Commonwealth Games athletes to step back on the field.
United Way of the New River Valley Stuffs the Bus with school supplies
CHRISTIANSBURG Families are still preparing for the start of school, but an annual tradition helped get school supplies for kids in need. United Way of the New River Valleys Stuff the Bus donation site set up shop on Main Street in Christiansburg. The program to donate money and school supplies launched at the beginning of the month. Executive Director Sara Bohn said a fair share of people stopped at the bus to give what they had. The kids...we need to get them off to a great start for their life, with anything we can do to make that happen, Bohn said.
New Franklin County Animal Shelter opens after years of planning
ROCKY MOUNT, Va. Franklin Countys adoptable dogs and cats officially moved in to more comfortable surroundings this weekend. The new Franklin County Animal Shelter opened Saturday after more than a year of construction. The new shelter is three times as large as its replacement. Shelter manager Cindy Brooks said the old shelter lacked handicap access, did not have air conditioning, and was in an inconvenient location for many in the county. I feel were going to have a lot more people come visit us in this location compared to the other one, Brooks said.
Roanoke will proceed with Lee monument removal despite damage
ROANOKE, Va. The city of Roanoke has released a statement after the Robert E. Lee memorial was found toppled over Thursday morning. An officer was reportedly driving near Lee Plaza in downtown just before midnight on Wednesday when he noticed the monument lying on its side and broken in two pieces. Police say that evidence suggests that the monument was intentionally damaged. It is an unfortunate incident, but this will not deter us from going through the legal process to remove the monument, said Mayor Sherman Lea. No arrests have been made and police say this is an ongoing investigation.
‘We can not wait for a hero’: Amherst NAACP leads march, rally for equality
AMHERST, Va. – A peaceful protest for civil rights popped up in Amherst Saturday evening. “No lives matter if Black lives can’t matter, and we have to say Black lives,” said Amherst NAACP President Gloria Witt. “They don’t think about us as a young voice. Some say, ‘oh, you’re so young, you don’t need to be heard.’”Before the march, county leaders explained what steps they have taken for equality. “As young people, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you can’t do,” Watkins said.
The power of paint: two new Roanoke street murals mix bright colors and civic pride
ROANOKE, Va. Downtown Roanoke received a splash of color this month, thanks to two street murals. This is something that has really ignited this city, Roanoke mayor Sherman Lea said. Both Lea and Muir believe public art like this is an essential part of making Roanoke an ideal city. The idea of different colors and love and inviting people to come and enjoy where they live.Its important to me that we come together as a city, Lea said. We want to make everyone in this city proud of whats going on.
Dr. Oliver White Hill, son of legendary Roanoke civil rights attorney, dies at 70
Richmond Dr. Oliver White Hill Jr, the son of the legendary civil rights lawyer Oliver Hill who grew up and practiced law in Roanoke, has died. Hills father was an attorney who was involved in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. A historical marker now sits outside the Oliver Hill House in Roanoke, ensuring Oliver Hills legacy will live on. 10 News interviewed Hill in 2018 when he was in Roanoke for the dedication of his fathers home. A memorial service will be held at Scotts Funeral Chapel, 116 East Brookland Park Blvd, Richmond, VA. A live stream of the service can be found here.
‘We need everybody on board’: Skateboarders, roller skaters protest for racial equality
ROANOKE – Hundreds of people in Roanoke’s Elmwood Park put a new spin on social justice marches Sunday afternoon. The Rolling for Reform demonstration featured skateboarders, roller skaters, cyclists, and everyone in between using their wheels for justice. The group rolled out from Elmwood Park and went through downtown Roanoke, including Market Street. “The cause that we’re standing together for, against systemic racism, is a cause where we need everybody on board,” Preston said. “We want to do things where we’re consistently bringing in people from different demographics and groups.”
Roanoke artists paint ‘End Racism Now’ on street outside of Municipal Building
Dozens of artists painted the message “End Racism Now” on the 200 block of Campbell Avenue, which is overlooked by the historic Municipal Building. The mural, which was planned by Roanoke’s Urban Arts Project, received approval from city leaders before artists started painting. “We are all working together to end racism now,” said Eboni Harrington of the Urban Arts Project. “In art, it’s up to you,” said Aly Jones of the Urban Arts Project. After the phrase, artists painted several names of people killed by police violence.
Jehovah’s Witnesses move Roanoke convention online due to COVID-19 concerns
ROANOKE, Va – One of Roanoke’s largest annual events has moved online due to social distancing. Last year’s Jehovah’s Witness convention drew more than 4,000 people to the Berglund Center. However, spokesperson Robert Hendriks says the faith decided to hold a virtual convention this weekend for its millions of members. However, he said the adversity of COVID-19 is a reason to remain faithful and connected, even through a computer screen. “Joy is a quality of the heart.”Jehovah’s Witnesses have not ruled out returning to the Berglund Center for an in-person convention in 2021.
Roanoke museums educational material giveaway runs out of items in 30 minutes
ROANOKE, Va. The Science Museum of Western Virginia cleaned out its closet and gave away educational materials in Market Square Saturday morning, but the items did not last long. Executive director Rachel Hopkins said their surplus ran out within half an hour. She said about a hundred kids and their parents came to their sidewalk social, and some lined up an hour before the event started. I think theres a demand for such items.The items included books, board games, and other assorted materials to help elementary-age children learn. The Science Museum of Western Virginia is still closed to the general public, although it is offering summer camps for children.
Missing animal found after break-in at SWVA Wildlife Center
Roanoke An animal that went missing after a break-in at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center has been found. The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke shared an update on their Facebook page on Thursday night. The juvenile squirrel went missing after someone vandalized its outdoor cage, among others. (SWVA Wildlife Center of Roanoke)Good news! Were pretty positive weve recovered the patient that went missing after last weeks break in.
Back the Blue or police reform? Dueling rallies cover both sides of debate
ROANOKE/LYNCHBURG, Va. If the Fourth of July celebrated the red, white and blue, the Fifth of July focused on black and blue thanks to two opposing events. A Back the Blue rally in support of police congregated at Roanokes Veterans Memorial Sunday afternoon. Its not okay.The rallies were extreme opposites when it comes to the issue of police reform. Attendees at the Back the Blue rally, including recently retired Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones, strongly opposed any decrease in police budgets. It was repulsive and disgusting.That officer as an individual, he brought shame on the blue, Arrington said.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest welcomes visitors for Fourth of July
FOREST, Va. – Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, one of Central Virginia’s strongest ties to the founding fathers, welcomed Independence Day visitors in a different way this year because of covid-19. Poplar Forest guests could still tour the Third President’s former home, but tours were limited to ten people at a time. Everyone at Poplar Forest had to wear a mask, and the museum organized several outdoor activities to keep people at a distance. “A couple of weeks ago, we were very worried that we wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Massie said. However, the house did not open to the public until Independence Day 1986.
’It’s time to start owning some stuff’: Lynchburg Black Lives Matter rally touches on Black financial independence
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg’s Black Lives Matter chapter did not take a day off for the Fourth of July. Instead, it invited people to Miller Park for a discussion about Black independence. About a hundred people came to the rally, many of whom wore black in solidarity with the cause. “We possess so much strength, wisdom and knowledge,” said Glover-Tucker, while quoting a fellow Black Lives Matter Lynchburg member who recently passed away. “In our community, it’s time to start owning some stuff.”Hobson said home ownership is especially important because renting leaves communities at risk of displacement.
As a believer, I have a responsibility to pray: Hundreds worship at Lynchburg prayer service
LYNCHBURG, Va. Faith can be a powerful feeling, especially when others are around to embrace the spirit alongside you. We are open to that today.As a black man, I have a responsibility to stand and speak, added Younger. As a believer, I have a responsibility to pray.The outdoor Sunday service featured songs, scripture readings, and even a handful of on-the-spot baptisms. Dupin hopes the prayer service inspires attendees to turn the prayer into action. I dont want to rename Lynchburg, I want to redefine it, Younger said.
Two museums host discussion to help parents talk to kids about racial issues
ROANOKE, Va. The time since George Floyd's death has been a time for many Americans to reflect on how race and privilege shapes the nation. Two Roanoke-area museums helped parents explain how to bring those conversations to their kids on Sunday. The Harrison Museum of African American History and Culture and the Salem Museum partnered for 'Children Are the Bridge to Our Future.' The live streamed event passed along advice the panelists learned from raising their own kids. The earlier for me to prepare your kids for that conversation and how to handle it is best.
‘We need to do our part to open their eyes’: Family-oriented Black Lives Matter march strolls through Grandin Village
ROANOKE, Va. – A Black Lives Matter demonstration marched through the heart of Grandin Village Saturday afternoon, but this protest focused on families first. “This is about the whole family structure coming out in unison with black lives and being able to do that peacefully on a beautiful morning,” said Roanoke activist Jordan Bell, who helped lead Roanoke’s first Black Lives Matter march after George Floyd’s death. “As hard as it can be to have these discussions with the kids, we need to do our part to open their eyes,” Shires said. “This is just a small step in that process.”Bell says the Black Lives Matter movement has come a long way since the initial march at the end of May, and demonstrations like this are signs progress is still being made. “A lot of conversations are happening, but we hope those conversations turn into action and substance,” Bell said.
Vigil remembers Kionte Spencer, teen killed by Roanoke County police, while petition for dashcam video gains traction
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A group of protesters rallied Saturday afternoon where a teenager was shot and killed by Roanoke County police officers four years ago. 18-year-old Kionte Spencer died near the intersection of Electric Road and Brambleton Avenue in February 2016. “George Floyd, he brought more light to Kionte’s case, which is a good thing,” said Carl Spencer, Kionte’s older brother. A petition asking the Roanoke County Police Department to release the video collected nearly 20,000 signatures at the time of the vigil. “We’ll never know what happened until they release the raw, unedited video footage,” Carl Spencer said.
Dozens of car enthusiasts take vintage vehicles for a cruise
ROANOKE, Va. The sun finally shined on Roanoke Saturday morning after days of rain, and car enthusiasts took advantage of the clear skies with a drive. Star City Motor Madness organized a car cruise from Roanoke to Botetourt County. Dozens of vintage vehicles filled the Valley View Grand Home Furnishings parking lot before their journey to the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Buchanan. Some, including Gunther Hoyt, said they could not wait to get out of the house to reunite with their friends. We found out last week, and everybody shined up the cars, got them gassed up, and got ready to go.The car enthusiasts also used the cruise to raise money for the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Flash flooding not likely to leave lasting damage on roads
ROANOKE, Va. The flash flooding which put parts of Southwest Virginia at a standstill Wednesday is fading away, and it likely has not left much of a lasting impact on the areas major roads. Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Jason Bond believes the flooding did not cause any major damage on any highways. He said the biggest challenge is repairing roads severely damaged by Mays rainstorm, particularly Route 116 in Franklin County and Route 460 in Giles County. The Route 116 repairs are estimated to cost $2 million, while the Route 460 repairs have an estimated price tag of $1 million. It has pulled resources off of those repair jobs onto other flooded routes.Bond projects the Route 116 repairs could finish around Labor Day.
Continuous George Floyd protest outside of Roanoke Police Department passes two week mark
ROANOKE, Va. – A protest on May 30 at the Roanoke Police Department served as a catalyst for change in the wake of George Floyd’s death. More than two weeks after the original protest, demonstrators such as Tatiana Druant are still proclaiming the message “Black Lives Matter” outside of Roanoke’s police headquarters. “It feels like the only move to make,” said Druant, who is with the group No Justice No Peace Roanoke. The second goal is for the Roanoke Police Department to recognize Kionte Spencer, an 18-year-old killed by the Roanoke County Police Department in 2016. “We make sure they hear Kionte’s name so they know they also have the power to call for justice," Druant said."
Bob Good wins GOP nomination for 5th District Congressional seat
Challenger Bob Good knocked off incumbent 5th District Rep. Denver Riggleman in the district’s convention on Saturday. Good told his supporters shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday that he defeated Riggleman 58 percent to 42 percent. “We look forward to making the 5th District bright red again, as this is a strong conservative district,” Good told supporters in his victory speech. Good’s nomination was decided by a delegate system, in which more than 3,500 representatives from across the district cast ballots for their home areas. — Denver Riggleman (@Denver4VA) June 14, 2020Good dismissed Riggleman’s allegations in his victory speech.
Delegates select GOP Fifth Congressional District nominee at drive-through convention
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Fifth Congressional District will likely know its Republican nominee on November’s ballot by the end of the weekend. Delegates chose between incumbent Rep. Denver Riggleman and former Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good during a drive-through convention at Tree of Life Ministries on Saturday. The conventions are normally conducted in person, but the district switched to a drive-through model due to COVID-19. However, Fifth Congressional District Republican Chairman Marvin Adams believes the party will unite no matter which candidate wins. 10 News attempted to contact Rep. Riggleman, but has not received a response.
George Floyd protesters march from Roanoke MLK statue to police department
ROANOKE, Va. Roanokes Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial became the starting point for a social justice march in memory of George Floyd on Sunday. Approximately a hundred people gathered at Kings statue, many of whom held signs that said, Black Lives Matter. The group marched from the memorial directly to the Roanoke Police Department. Protesters have demonstrated against police brutality in front of the Roanoke Police Department daily for more than a week. Demonstration organizer Tatiana Druant said the march aims to encourage city leaders to budget less money for police and more money for education. We can all sweat and scream, but nothing is going to change unless we take direct control of our system, the system that is supposed to be here for us, Druant said.
Volunteers hand out masks to Roanoke public housing residents
ROANOKE, Va. Masks have become an important item in Virginia to stop the spread of COVID-19. Thats why dozens of volunteers made sure people in need had the necessary tools to protect themselves. The group, led by the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps and Delegate Sam Rasoul, handed out safety kits in Roanoke's public housing complexes Friday morning. The kits included masks, as well as hand sanitizer and water. The masks came from a larger shipment of 20,000 masks recently delivered by the Virginia Department of Healths Health Equity Work Group to the city of Roanoke.
Roanoke re-opening its municipal building June 8, some employees returning June 15
ROANOKE, Va. Roanoke is slowly reopening amid the coronavirus crisis, and that includes city government. City leaders announced in a Zoom press conference Wednesday that the Noel Taylor Municipal Building will open again to the public on June 8. The municipal building will feature services from the commissioner of revenue and the city treasurer when it re-opens; however, Department of Motor Vehicles services will not resume until July 1. Additionally, City Administrator Bob Cowell said some city employees will start working from the municipal building again starting June 15. Cowell said the timeline for reopening library buildings depends on Gov.
Claytor Lake State Park experiences small Memorial Day Weekend crowd due to social distancing
CLAYTOR LAKE, Va. – Claytor Lake State Park usually experiences a Memorial Day Weekend rush of people longing for their first taste of summer. Some people decided to make the trek to Claytor Lake, despite social distancing. “We do typically come down to the lake on Memorial Day Weekend," Williams said. They expected the typical Memorial Day Weekend crowd, but were proven wrong when they arrived. Cicadas have started to emerge at the park, and torrential rain from the week filled Claytor Lake with murky water and driftwood.
‘We will go down in history’: Amherst County graduates experience commencement from their cars
AMHERST, Va. – COVID-19 and social distancing meant Amherst County High School had to get creative with its graduation plans. The solution played out on Saturday: A formal commencement, but every graduate stayed in a car with their loved ones. "We’ll do anything for our kids.”Senior class president Zamire Andrews said he worried about how his high school days would end after COVID-19 cut Amherst County’s school year short. While the graduates spent most of the ceremony in cars, they did physically walk across the stage. “I’m still a kid from Amherst, and right here, this is just us coming together as a whole family," Andrews said.
North Cross School graduates celebrate with victory lap in school’s parking lot
ROANOKE, Va. – Saturday marked the end of the road for North Cross School’s Class of 2020. However, instead of celebrating the conventional way, graduates rolled through the finish line in their cars. The small band of graduates drove a lap around the school’s parking lot with teachers and loved ones cheering them on. School officials say the idea for a drive-thru celebration came from senior Isaiah Harris, who is North Cross’ student body president. “This right here is fine with me.”North Cross School is still planning an in-person commencement later in the summer.
‘The power of water is amazing’: Dan River reaches moderate flood stage in Danville
DANVILLE, Va. – Danville experienced major flooding from the Dan River for the second time this year on Friday. The river swelled to more than 27 feet by Friday evening, which is past the moderate flood benchmark of 26 feet. According to National Weather Service records, the flooding is a top-five high water mark for the Dan River in Danville. Onlookers watched the river rise from several places in town. He watched the Dan River from the Union Street Bridge and was fascinated by how powerful it became.
Botetourt County’s Class of 2020 honored with parades for high school graduation
BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Botetourt County’s high school graduates experienced a weekend to remember. Seniors from both James River High School and Lord Botetourt High School participated in parades through their respective towns, following each school’s baccalaureate service. James River’s parade went through downtown Buchanan, all the way up to the river the school is named for. Before the ride, senior Payton Kreklow reflected on their last year of high school as a test of resilience. Botetourt County Schools has plans for a possible in-person graduation ceremony in the fall.
Church creates signs of support for South Roanoke Nursing Home residents
As previously reported, 33 residents and 28 staff members at the nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began. McCracken said the situation at South Roanoke has personally affected the church. We have almost a dozen [residents related to church members]," McCracken said. Hes watching his friends disappear.The church collected the signs and plans to hand them to South Roanoke when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, McCracken hopes the residents and staff of the nursing home know much they are supported by church members.
Congregations return to indoor church services, but with socially distanced changes
Virginias Phase One reopening model, which took effect on Friday, allows churches to gather indoors at half capacity. Lighthouse Bible Church in Vinton jumped at the chance to reunite on Sunday after two months apart. Pastor Jay Richards said his church had only met through livestreamed services in recent weeks. Richards said some churchgoers decided to stick to the livestream this Sunday, and many of the church members who came wore masks. I wouldnt pastor if I didnt, Richards said.
We all need to be here: Historic Roanoke City Farmers Market back open for business
Vendors lined up on City Market Saturday morning for the first weekend farmers market since Virginia Gov. The customers are really appreciating it," said Tim Belcher, who has sold flowers at City Market for thirty years. The vendors booths were spread apart, all of the vendors wore masks, and customers had to stand six feet apart at all times. Despite the restrictions, Tim Bratton decided to buy bags of goods from the market. Belcher said it is still significant to see both vendors and customers out on Market Street.
Starlite could resume drive-in movies by May’s end
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Drive-in movie theaters are a valued entertainment option for Virginians with social distancing in effect and a Christiansburg drive-in is preparing to show films again. The Starlite Drive-In has sold concessions every Friday and Saturday, but full-fledged movies could return to the theater by the end of the month. The drive-in’s screen needed repairs, and a GoFundMe helped raise money to fix it. While Starlite is not yet reopen for movies, Lexington’s Hull Drive-In and the Eden Drive-In in Eden, North Carolina reopened Friday.
Blacksburg restaurants celebrate patio service and Virginia Tech graduation
BLACKSBURG, Va. Virginias Phase One reopening came at a very fortuitous time for Blacksburgs restaurants. Eateries celebrated both the return of dine-in patio service and Virginia Techs graduation on Friday. We just werent sure when we would be open again, said Grayson Lucas, the general manager of downtown Blacksburg restaurant The Cellar. Were just excited.Both The Cellar and its neighboring restaurant, Sharkeys, had capacity crowds on their patios for lunch on Friday. He believes the restored option to dine outside gives restaurants a new sense of purpose.
‘The support for her has been unbelievable’: Woman burned in Roanoke County fire pit accident receives more than $15,000 in donations
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Jess Perkins is the life of the party who has no trouble making friends says her sister Lindsay Brown. "She collects friends through every stage of life.”Her wide network of friends came to her aid with GoFundMe donations after a devastating accident this weekend. “She simply stumbled and lost her balance and fell face first into the fire pit,” Brown said. Perkins, who moved from Roanoke County to Nashville four years ago, was back in town to attend a funeral. "She’s already been out of work for about 8 weeks and her savings are depleted.”Brown said Perkins’ recovery could take a year.
Love is in the air; Local pilot writes Mother’s Day message in the sky
ROANOKE, Va. – A local pilot flying out of ROA sent all moms out there a Mother’s Day greeting from the skies! Rick Gillmore set a flight course Sunday morning that, on radar, spelled out the word “Mom” in the middle of a heart. “We wanted to do something for mothers," Gillmore said. "At first, I was going to write, ‘Hi, Mom,’ but that’s kind of cheesy. “I thought no one was going to see it, you can’t really look up in the sky and see me,” Gillmore said.
Church bells ring in Bedford for the 75th anniversary of V-E Day
BEDFORD, Va. – Bedford has a deep connection to World War II, and the town commemorated one of the war’s most important dates Friday morning. Church bells filled the air for the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, the day World War II officially ended in Europe. 19 men from Bedford, known as the “Bedford Boys,” were killed while storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, which itself commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day last year, had planned a parade in town for V-E Day. Although the parade has been canceled, National D-Day Memorial President April Cheek-Messier said the bells still illustrate the significance of this day.
Need flowers? Downtown Roanoke is giving away flowers planted at City Market
ROANOKE, Va. – If you have a green thumb, you can soon bring home a piece of downtown Roanoke for your garden. Downtown Roanoke Inc. is giving away the flowers planted throughout downtown next week as it prepares to plant a new batch. The flowers come from the planters at City Market and the Roanoke Amtrak station. Jaime Clark with Downtown Roanoke Inc. said it’s a way to make sure these flowers do not go to waste. We hope people enjoy it.”The giveaway times and locations will be announced on the Roanoke Farmers Market Facebook page.
Mother’s Day gift guide for on-the-go moms
On-the-go moms -- that's all moms, right? Trust me when I say these seven items will make the perfect Mother's Day gifts to do just that. Just an FYI, Graham Media Group may collect a small share of sales from the links provided on this page. Plus, after a long day, I love to brew myself some hot tea to relax. Robotic vacuum📷Speaking of moms working 80-plus hours a week, after all the running around and cooking dinner, then there's cleaning to do?
‘He’s a fighter, and he can do this’: Surprise ceremony encourages former officer with cancer
FOREST, Va. – Dave Weeks served as a police officer in Lynchburg for 34 years. On Sunday, his old department provided him with a different kind of service to help him through his fight with cancer. Zuidema said he called all of the surrounding law enforcement agencies to help with the surprise visit. “He’s a fighter and he can do this.”Weeks served with the Lynchburg Police Department from 1958 to 1992. “He’s been a great light to us, and he’s a great man," Eldredge said.
‘He’ll always be a hero now’: 10-year-old honored for saving grandfather from house fire
ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – 10-year-old Dalton Pennington started April 19 playing video games at his grandfather’s house in Falling Spring. He went to open the door to his room and flames went flying in his face.”Pennington and his grandfather, Robert Persinger, escaped the fire. Falling Spring Fire Chief Thomas Andrews heard about Pennington’s actions, and decided to surprise him on Saturday. "I definitely would take him on as a future firefighter.”The Falling Spring Volunteer Fire Department drove their fire trucks to Pennington’s home in Low Moor. Andrews presented Pennington with a plaque to honor his actions and an Xbox One to replace the game console lost in the fire.
Cute video shows Giles Co. boy catching his first fish - “It’s a big one!”
Giles County – A major milestone in a child’s life was caught on video, and is sure to bring a smile to your face. Witten Atkins of Giles County caught his first fish last week in Glen Alton. Throwing his own cast, he pulled a citation brook trout and reeled it in by himself. He and his sister were fishing with his parents Zach and Morgan Atkins. As shown in the video, he was a little scared at first at what he pulled out of the water, but that quickly turned to excitement as he clapped and yelled, “I caught a big one like daddy.”
Woman celebrating 90th birthday surprised with parade in her honor
HOLLINS, Va. – COVID-19 has made conventional birthday parties nearly impossible, but Lillian Barton’s family found a way to celebrate her 90th birthday. Barton was surprised with a parade of family and friends Sunday afternoon. Loved ones drove to her house and dropped off signs and gifts in her honor. “I just thought it was a coincidence, and then the cars kept coming," Barton said. "I knew my daughter had gotten this all together to tell everybody how old I am.”
Beloved Virginia Tech therapy dog diagnosed with cancer, GoFundMe created for medical bills
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech’s top dog is taking on a serious health challenge, but fans are making sure he won’t face it alone. Moose the therapy dog has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. His handler, Dr. Trent Davis of Virginia Tech’s Cook Counseling Center, said the Labrador retriever has already started chemotherapy and will begin radiation treatment soon. "It’s been a bit of a shock.”Moose’s former veterinarian has started a GoFundMe to help Davis pay for the dog’s medical bills. “It’s a mixture of gratitude, appreciation, and a little bit of sadness," Davis said.
Mama ducks and nest rescued by Lynchburg animal control
Working to spread a little happiness, the Lynchburg Police Department shared a cute video that's gotten a lot of love on social media. According to LPD, mama duck and her nest of eggs were found close to a business on enterprise drive. Yesterday Animal Control Officers Craft and Marks responded to a call for a duck who had made a nest and laid eggs near a business on Enterprise Drive. They were able to safely move Mama Duck and her five eggs to a more suitable location. Officers said they’ll be checking back on her soon to see if her ducklings have hatched.
5 simple ways you can support local businesses during coronavirus pandemic
While there isn’t a whole lot we can do as restrictions are put in place, there are a few measures we can take to support our favorite local businesses during these unsettling times. Buy gift cards from your favorite restaurant or boutique. We’re all pretty used to shopping online (Amazon Prime Day is basically a holiday at this point), so one way you can support a local business is shopping from your computer or cellphone. Not all boutiques or retail stores may have the option to offer online shopping, but if they do, it’s a great way to support a small business and practice social distancing. Not everyone is able to do this, but if your income won’t be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, consider a donation to a local business that could need it.
Roanoke restaurants continue St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, despite statewide coronavirus concerns
ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of events across Virginia and the nation have been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, but restaurants in downtown Roanoke still went on with their St. Patrick’s Day plans. Two restaurants held large celebrations on Saturday, despite the cancellation of Roanoke’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled for the same day. In text messages to 10 News, owner Jason Martin said St. Patrick’s Day is the busiest and most important day for the restaurant. He said attendance dipped by 25 percent due to the coronavirus crisis and the cancelled parade. Corned Beef and Company also held an outdoor event on the stretch of Jefferson Street outside of its restaurant.
Roanoke seeking volunteers for its St. Patrick’s Day Parade
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is right around the corner, but the city needs your help for it to run smoothly. Downtown Roanoke Inc. needs up to 70 volunteers to assist with parade operations. Volunteer jobs include lining up the parade floats, checking IDs and serving concessions. The organization does have some volunteers who help with the parade every year, but more are needed this year because of some special guests. The parade takes place on March 14.
Orvis moves annual festival to Roanoke’s Elmwood Park
ROANOKE, Va. – A new festival is coming to Roanoke, but the company behind the event is no stranger to the Star City. Outdoor sporting goods company Orvis announced it will move its Down The Hatch Festival from Asheville to Roanoke this year. The festival takes place on March 21 at Elmwood Park. The festival will feature fly fishing demonstrations, short films and live music at Elmwood Park. Orvis will divide the money from the festival between the Roanoke Outside Foundation and Roanoke’s Trout Unlimited Chapter.
Freezin’ for a reason: Polar Plunge raises nearly $60,000 for Special Olympics Virginia
The Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics Virginia through fundraising leading up to the event. This year, the Polar Plunge raised nearly $60,000 for Special Olympics Virginia, surpassing the organization’s goal of $55,000. It’s really exciting to see.”'WSLS 10 raised more than $8,500 for the Polar Plunge, which was second-most among all fundraising teams. The top team was the Virginia Tech chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, who raised nearly $15,000. "A week into me being in the organization, they had me raise money for the Polar Plunge, so they get you started early with that kind of stuff.”The money raised during the Polar Plunge will be used for a myriad of important costs within Special Olympics Virginia.
VDOT spends Thursday prepping roads for snowy weather
ROANOKE, Va. – Before snow started falling in Southwest Virginia, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) took steps to make everyone’s drive safer. Every major highway in VDOT’s Salem Region received a coating of brine by the early afternoon. Additional trucks also laid down salt on some roads. The main concern for VDOT is not the snow, but ice and slush that could form on freezing roads later in the night. “With these low temperatures, we can see moisture come in right around rush hour and overnight," said Jason Bond of VDOT.
‘It’s all about revitalizing the heart of the city’: Mast General Store fills all jobs for upcoming Roanoke location
ROANOKE, Va. – Mast General Store is inching closer to opening its new Roanoke location, but if you wanted to work there, you’re too late. Mast General Store listed 25 open positions last month, and quickly received more than a hundred applications. Moretz said Mast General Store will honor the old Heironimus store by plastering the new store’s walls with stories of what it once was. Mast General Store is looking for people to share their memories by e-mailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. “It’s all about revitalizing the heart of the city and inviting people to come back downtown,” Moretz said.
“Kindness matters” taught to local kindergarten students
Allegheny Co. – Spreading kindness is an important lesson for Edgemont Primary School kindergartners, and they are doing their part. During a field trip this week, they spent their time promoting the lesson “kindness matters” by mailing cards to local veterans at the Covington Post Office. Students also visited Alleghany Health and rehab where they gave two special performances to residents and even donated items for them to use as bingo prizes and for folks there in need.
Angels of Assisi introduces ‘Doggy Day Out’ to give rescues a break from shelter life
ROANOKE, Va. – A local animal shelter is trying to give dogs a break from life in a kennel. Angels of Assisi in Roanoke is launching a new program called Doggy Day Out. You'll be able to take a dog out for a few hours - or the whole day - to help them relieve some of the stress that comes with living in a shelter. "Many of our animals come from tough situations,” said Angels of Assisi Executive Director Lisa O’Neill. Angels of Assisi will join more than 75 animal welfare organizations, including Roanoke’s Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection, that already offer the Doggy Day Out program.
Special Olympics athlete selected to compete in NBA All-Star Game event
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Floyd County native Blake Hairston is taking his basketball talents to Chicago for the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Hairston is one of twelve Special Olympics athletes worldwide selected for the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Game. Special Olympics Virginia announced Hairston’s honor during its basketball tournament at Virginia Tech on Sunday, which Hairston participated in. The game pairs up athletes such as Hairston with basketball legends such as Muggsy Bogues and Dikembe Mutombo. Hairston will leave for Chicago this week; he hopes his selection will inspire Special Olympics athletes all across the region.
'Everybody is the same when they come together like this’: Special Olympics basketball tournament takes over Cassell Coliseum
BLACKSBURG, Va. – An important basketball game happened at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum on Sunday, but the Hokies never touched the court. Rather, Special Olympics Virginia’s Southwest Region basketball tournament attracted 25 teams around the region to Blacksburg. “Out of all of the places they play, Tech is their favorite place,” said April Alley, who coaches Pulaski County’s Special Olympics basketball team. “They love it.”Although Virginia Tech’s basketball team gave up the Cassell Coliseum court to the Special Olympics athletes, Hokie basketball players watched from the sidelines and cheerleaders helped the athletes make a glamorous entrance into the arena. The tournament kicks off a significant month for Special Olympics Virginia.
’It’s a pretty good flood’: Dan River flooding leaves South Boston intersection underwater
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – The intense rain that fell in Virginia this week caused some South Boston residents to predict the Dan River would overflow in their town. “When you get a lot of rain like we’ve had in the mountains and all the water comes down the Dan River, that’s when we really flood,” said longtime South Boston resident Floyd Sreves. That premonition came true Saturday; according to the National Weather Service, the Dan River reached the moderate flooding stage in South Boston, with a measured height of 29 feet. The river lashed near the bottom of the Watkins Bridge, which carries Highway 501 into downtown South Boston, and flooded the road leading up to the bridge. "This is not the worst that we’ve seen in Halifax County, it’s been a lot worse than this.”The Dan River is not expected to crest in South Boston until early Sunday morning.
Botetourt County citizens celebrate 250th anniversary
DALEVILLE, Va. – People in Botetourt County celebrated a very special anniversary Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of residents filed into Lord Botetourt High School to commemorate the county’s 250th anniversary. Botetourt County was officially established on January 31, 1770. The event, which featured speeches and historical artifacts, kickstarts a year full of sestercentennial anniversary events within the county. Bank of Botetourt CEO Lyn Hayth, who is a lifelong resident of Botetourt County, says he’s both proud of the county’s history and hopeful for what’s next.
Hundreds rally in support of the Second Amendment in Wytheville ahead of Lobby Day demonstration
WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Southwest Virginia became the site of a sizable Second Amendment rally on Sunday, one day before tens of thousands of gun rights supporters are expected to rally at the State Capitol in Richmond. “Since we’re getting stepped on, we’re stepping back," said rally organizer Linda Meyer. "We want Richmond to know we’re alive and we’re well.”Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters, many of whom sported the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s “Guns Save Lives” sticker, gathered in the parking lot of the Rural King in Wytheville. The group united in support of their right to bear arms, while also encouraging the “Lobby Day” protesters who will travel to Richmond on Monday. “I hope today, and tomorrow in Richmond, we create a shout that is heard around the world.”“The First Amendment takes care of the Second Amendment," said Mike Hamm, who traveled from Galax to attend the rally in Wytheville.
‘Governor Northam kicked a hornet’s nest’: Militia muster call unites Second Amendment supporters in Floyd County
FLOYD COUNTY, Va. – A sizable group of gun owners gathered in a Floyd County park Saturday afternoon, in defense of the Second Amendment. The group Concerned Citizens of Floyd organized a militia muster call, in search of men who could serve in a “well-regulated militia” if one is needed in Floyd County. “The main thing we’re here for is freedom to do what we want to do and be left alone," said George, a Floyd County resident who did not disclose his last name. “Governor Northam kicked a hornet’s nest,” said Steven, who came to the militia muster call with George and also refused to disclose his last name. Dimmel said the turnout shows Second Amendment supporters in Floyd County have become politically energized.
World War II Army paratrooper from Roanoke dies at 98
John Kessler, a Roanoke native who served as a paratrooper with the Army in World War II, died on Tuesday. He returned to Roanoke after WWII, and worked as a printer with the Roanoke Times for more than 30 years. Kessler often talked about his service in later years, and served as the Grand Marshal of Roanoke’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2012. Bernard Marie, a friend of Kessler’s who organizes an annual dinner for WWII veterans, says Kessler’s death is a reminder his generation is fading away. “John was certainly the guy who said, ‘World War II veterans need to tell people what we did,’" said Marie.
People enjoy Roanoke River Greenway during unusually warm January day
ROANOKE, Va. – Saturday night’s storms gave way to a clear and sunny Sunday, and people took to the Roanoke River Greenway to take advantage of it. Temperatures reached the 60s in Roanoke Sunday afternoon, which is unseasonably warm for the region at this time of the year. The runoff from Saturday night’s storms made the water under the bridge connecting Wasena and Smith parks too dangerous for cars. However, pedestrians and bikers were still able to enjoy the greenway and the weather. It’s a lot like Colorado," said Kevin and Jeannie Edwards, who experienced the greenway for the first time on Sunday.
New Freedom Farm expands with community center for veterans in need
BUCHANAN, Va. – A Buchanan horse farm focused on helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder now has a new addition. The Steve Goodwin Veterans Center opened at New Freedom Farm Saturday morning. The center provides a place for veterans to relax indoors, as well as New Freedom Farm’s offices. “New Freedom Farm means everything to me," said Andrew Kintgen, an Army veteran who teaches at the farm. "He had more faith in me than I did.”New Freedom Farm has been in operation since 2016.
Roanoke NAACP starts off 2020 with Jubilee Day celebration
ROANOKE, Va. – While most people celebrated the start of a new decade on New Years’ Day, hundreds of people packed into a Northwest Roanoke church to commemorate a different holiday. The Roanoke chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted a Jubilee Day celebration Wednesday afternoon. Jubilee Day commemorates the day in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery. Roanoke NAACP President Brenda Hale hopes the people who came to celebrate Jubilee Day went into 2020 as motivated as ever. We cannot be silent, no matter how oppressed people are in our nation.”Roanoke mayor Sherman Lea also addressed the Jubilee Day crowd.
10th Street reconstruction in Roanoke reaches final stages
ROANOKE, Va. – After years of construction, the 10th Street improvement project is nearly done. The stretch of 10th Street between Orange Ave. and Williamson Road is now completely paved, and crews finished striping the road on Friday. An earlier estimate expected 10th Street to finish construction by the end of the year. “This way is beautiful now," said Hargrave, who lives on 10th Street. It makes the neighborhood look much better.”Work on the second phase of the 10th Street improvement project began in 2017 was expected to end in late 2019
“Blue Santa” spends day after Christmas spreading cheer at Carilion Children’s Hospital
ROANOKE, Va. – Chritsmas may be over, but Santa Claus still had one last stop to make in Roanoke. The Roanoke Police Department accompanied Santa as he visited families at the Carilion Children’s Hospital. That included 7-year-old Declan Nichols and his family. “What we thought was a stomach bug turned out to be a ruptured appendix,” said Christopher Nichols, Declan’s father. “It’s been wonderful, it’s been great," Christopher Nichols said.
“We were looking for someone who needed us”: Pets find new homes at mass adoption event
Angels of Assisi’s Home for the Holidays adoption event featured more than 100 dogs and cats from various animal shelters throughout the region. We were looking for the right dog, someone who needed us as much as we needed them.”Young Allieson Davis convinced her mom to adopt Egg Nog the cat from the Regional Center for Animal Care & Protection’s booth. “When I first looked at him, I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll get him because he’s so nice and cuddly,’” Davis said. However, when Richardson learned Bones’ previous owner had died, she decided to give him a new home and a new name: Christmas. “He came up to us, laid down, and laid his body up against our chest," Richardson said.
A birthday to remember: Buchanan boy goes from empty birthday party to receiving surprise from NFL team
BUCHANAN, Va. – Gavin Price of Buchanan hoped to help the hungry with his 8th birthday party this weekend, but no one showed up. “I hope he remembers it all,” said Gavin’s father, Bill Price. “Not just the good part, but the bad part.”Gavin’s father said his son originally didn’t want a birthday party but decided to have one in order to collect jars of peanut butter for the hungry. The Philadelphia Eagles’ owners heard about Gavin’s cause as well, and sent him a special surprise for the party. “I’ve told him before, ‘Don’t try to change the world, just try to change the little area where you live,’" Bill Price said.
Safeside Tactical, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare partner for “Mental Health First Aid” class
ROANOKE, Va. – Two Roanoke organizations are exploring the intersection of mental health and firearms with a training course during the weekend. Safeside Tactical, a gun store and range in Roanoke, will host Blue Ridge Behavioral Health’s “Mental Health First Aid” course Saturday morning. The training focuses on suicide prevention, as well as looking for mental health warning signs in others before they pick up a gun. Sheila Lythgoe, who runs the training for Blue Ridge Behavioral Health, said Safeside Tactical reached out to her first about collaborating. “It’s really just asking those tough questions about, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?’" Lythgoe said.
‘I was very disappointed:’ Lead investigator breaks silence three decades later as Jens Soering, Elizabeth Haysom granted parole
Gardner was an investigator with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office in the 1980s and has worked his way up to major. Up until now, Gardner has been silent on one criminal case for the last three decades. “Common sense tells you, the only two people that benefited from the death of her parents was Soering and Elizabeth. Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, who were convicted for the murder of Haysom’s parents, Derek and Nancy in 1985, were granted parole last week. Gardner tells 10 News he plans to retire next year and is glad this case was put to rest before leaving the sheriff’s office.
Historic Roanoke church reopens sanctuary after eight months of repairs
ROANOKE, Va. – The stained glass windows inside Greene Memorial United Methodist Church’s sanctuary are no longer obscured by scaffolding. The sanctuary, which was built in 1892, reopened for Sunday service after it had been closed for repairs since March. “There is an energy that was crackling in the sanctuary today," said Greene Memorial United Methodist Church’s pastor, Rev. "It’s an enthusiasm and a hopeful feeling as they looked at all we had done in 8 months. Greene Memorial had held its services in its basement and in its lobby while the sanctuary was being repaired.
’A compassionate, fun-loving individual’: Roanoke police sergeant laid to rest after death from brain cancer
ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of friends and fellow officers honored a former Roanoke Police Department sergeant during his funeral Saturday afternoon. Erik “Ed” Johnson passed away Nov. 15 at 45 years old from brain cancer. He had served with the Roanoke Police Department for 21 years before his death, and also served with the Army in Afghanistan. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones said Johnson knew how to show his human side, even while wearing the badge. A soldier presented one to his widow, while Jones presented the other one to his only child.
On The Rise reopens in Grandin Village seven months after devastating fire
ROANOKE, Va. – A restaurant in the heart of Roanoke’s Grandin Village damaged by fire is now open again. On The Rise Bakery reopened Thursday morning after seven months of repairs. The restaurant had been shut down ever since a fire gutted its neighboring restaurant, The Community Inn, overnight Easter Sunday. She says she’s happy to be back in the community after waiting and working for so long to reopen. "The cooking wasn’t nearly as much of a struggle as it was to get the building ready for the reopening.
Constitutional law professor explains effectiveness of Second Amendment sanctuaries
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A growing number of counties in Central and Southwest Virginia are labeling themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” ahead of the new legislative session, but what affect will that have on gun laws? Appomattox, Carroll, Charlotte, Patrick, and Pittsylvania counties have already declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, which will oppose gun control measures; Franklin and Pulaski counties are considering making the same declaration. However, University of Virginia Professor Rich Schragger, who specializes in constitutional law, said some gun control measures are constitutional, which means the Second Amendment sanctuaries would likely not be able to block them. Mostly, declaring yourself a Second Amendment sanctuary is more of a symbolic statement.”Schragger said the wave of new Second Amendment sanctuaries also signifies more rural communities’ efforts to have their concerns heard at the State Capitol. "It’s similar to when urban communities have made statements in the other direction for gun control.
Roanoke Fire EMS gives away bricks from demolished Fire Station 7
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s Fire Station 7 was recently demolished after nearly a century of serving Grandin Village, but people got to take a piece of its history home for free this weekend. Roanoke Fire EMS gave away more than 1,000 bricks salvaged from the historic structure, which had stood since 1922. Many people sought after the free bricks to complement their own memories and experiences of the “Old No. I felt like it was so woven into the fabric of the neighborhood.”Roanoke Fire EMS saved some Fire Station 7 bricks for itself as well. One of the walls of the new fire station, which is estimated to be completed in about a year, will be consturcted with bricks from the old station.