WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal transportation officials say they’re taking a series of steps to improve the safety of trains hauling crude oil and other flammable liquids, including an emergency order limiting train speeds to no more than 40 mph in “high impact” urban areas. Among other steps announced Friday by the Department of Transportation is a warning to railroads to use the latest technology to check for flaws in train wheels. Major freight railroads are already limiting oil trains to no more 40 mph in urban areas under a voluntary agreement, but the order makes that a requirement and extends it to trains carrying other flammable liquids like ethanol. There have been dozens of fiery crashes over past decade involving trains hauling oil and ethanol in the U.S. and Canada, including the one in Lynchburg last April.
From the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: At 9:08 p.m. Thursday night, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from a female who advised that she and her husband, Michael W. McCarty, age 56, were arguing and he was threatening to burn down their house. She also advised she had left the house, however prior to leaving she witnessed him with a gas can. Deputies responded to the 2300 block of Bateman Bridge Road. As deputies arrived, they observed a man run into the house. As they approached the home they saw a man inside holding a five gallon gas can. Deputies made entry in the house and after a brief struggle McCarty complained about injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Lynchburg General Hospital and subsequently released. After leaving the hospital, deputies arrested McCarty and charged him with one count of threatening to burn an occupied building and one count of attempted arson of an occupied building. Further charges are possible. He is being held in the Bedford Adult Detention Center without bond.
State income taxes are due by Friday, May 1. The Commissioner of the Revenue Office provides free State income tax assistance to Lynchburg residents. Bring a copy of your completed Federal tax return and supporting documents to the Commissioner of the Revenue Office and someone will complete your State return. No appointment is necessary. If you have any questions you can call the Commissioner of the Revenue Office at (434) 455-3870.
On Saturday, May 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., the Mayor’s Youth Club will host the Lighten Up Lynchburg: 5K Run/Walk to Fight Obesity in Peaksview Park. A registration fee of $23 is required, and all those who register will receive a free t-shift. The race is open to all ages and will be timed by Riverside Runners. Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in various categories. For more information and to register, click here.
State lawmakers cited privacy concerns in rejecting Governor McAuliffe’s proposed amendments Wednesday to a bill that sharply limits when law enforcement can use drones to gather evidence. The governor’s proposals would have allowed more widespread drone use without warrants, but both houses voted the proposed changes down, as WLNI’s Evan Jones reports.
From Liberty University: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be the keynote speaker for its 42nd Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9. Bush served as governor from 1999 to 2007 and was Florida’s first two-term Republican to hold the position. During his tenure, he cut nearly $20 billion in taxes, vetoed more than $2.3 billion in earmarks, and reduced the state government workforce by more than 13,000. His limited government approach helped unleash one of the most robust and dynamic economies in the nation, creating 1.3 million net new jobs and improving the state’s credit ratings, including achieving the first ever triple-A bond rating for Florida. Bush is credited for environmental, health care, and economic improvements in the state and for overhauling its education system.
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