NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. (AP) _ An emergency official says two Washington & Lee University students were chilly but uninjured after they became lost while hiking and spent the night in the James River Face Wilderness. Rockbridge County Emergency Management coordinator Robert Foresman says searchers reached the students around 4:15 a.m. Thursday at Devil’s Marbleyard. Foresman says the students were among four who were hiking at Devil’s Marbleyard on Wednesday evening when they became lost. The other two students were quickly found. He says one student rescued Thursday was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Temperatures dropped to around 28 degrees Wednesday night. One firefighter twisted a knee during the search. Another was taken to a hospital after feeling ill. Devil’s Marbleyard is an inclined rock field of boulders.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has approved two more historic markers for Pierce Street in Lynchburg. The neighborhood is rich with black history; and the markers will bring the total number to seven along the notable street. The signs commemorate the Amelia Perry Pride Dorchester Home, a retirement community for freed slaves, and Camp Davis, a Civil War camp that became a refuge for freed slaves during Reconstruction. The buildings no longer exist, though local historians had to provide extensive documentation with each application; the markers are expected to be up before the fall of the year.
A Bedford County pharmacy has agreed to pay more than $200,000 to settle allegations of drug law violations. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office PharMerica Corp., was faulted over alleged lapses at its non-public pharmacy on Hardy Road. Federal prosecutors say some prescriptions lacked a doctor’s signature; some drugs were dispensed without a prescription at all. Others lacked correct patient and/or doctor information. Media outlets report the business agreed to the settlement and agreed to ensure future compliance with the Controlled Substances Act.
The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a phone scam. Phone scammers falsely claiming that the resident’s spouse or family member is wanted for failure to appear for jury duty. They instruct the person to pay a fine to keep their loved ones from being arrested. Authorities remind residents that the sheriff’s office will never ask anyone to pay a fine over the phone; and ask anyone who receives such a call to write down the callback number given plus the number that appears on caller ID and report it to the sheriff’s office. CLICK HERE to learn more about this scam and how you can report it.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a judge’s decision rejecting a conservative group’s attempt to obtain a former University of Virginia climate researcher’s emails. The justices on Thursday agreed with retired Arlington Circuit Judge Paul Sheridan that Michael Mann’s emails are exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The records were sought by the American Tradition Institute, which disputes the assertion by Mann and other climate scientists that decades of heat-trapping carbon gas emissions into the atmosphere are responsible for global warming. Republican state Delegate Bob Marshall joined the institute in seeking the records. According to the court, the emails are proprietary records exempt from disclosure because they deal with academic research.
A judge yesterday ruled to honor a jury’s recommended sentence in the case of the man convicted of involuntary manslaughter. 37 year old, Shawn Lee Johnson was found guilty of choking Thomas “Coach” Belford to death during an August 2012 fight in Lynchburg. Johnson was convicted of on Dec. 16; he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claimed self-defense in the fight. Involuntary manslaughter could carry a maximum of 10 years; the judge on Wednesday upheld the four years sentence and credited Johnson with time served.