VDOT dips into highway construction funds to help pay winter snow removal bill

VDOTVDOT officials says once all the bills are in, they expect their snow removal spending this winter to total $350 million dollars, well over twice what was budgeted. As a result, VDOT is cutting back on some other maintenance spending and re-allocating $65 million in federal construction funds. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Click here for the full VDOT news release. It includes a list of all Lynchburg District construction projects included in the plan.

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Howell: House Republicans “resolute” in budget impasse, calls on Warner to oppose shutdown threats

Speaker of the House William J. Howell Facebook photo

Speaker of the House
William J. Howell
(Facebook photo)

 

Republican leaders in Richmond call it blinding hypocrisy, accusing Democrats who opposed federal government shutdown threats last fall of an obvious about-face in threatening a state government shutdown come July. They have asked Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner to support their position and call for an end to state budget shutdown threats. Evan Jones has the story:

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VA gas prices so far this year: the largest average decline in the US

Virginia gas prices are pretty much where they were a year ago on average, and for the year so far, they’re almost 24 cents a gallon lower. Experts say its mostly the result of a domestic oil boom, and still lower pump prices may follow. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Budget impasse now appears likely to go on for months longer

virginia-general-assembly-logoIt is increasingly clear that Virginia’s budget impasse is going to be a long, drawn-out affair, with little apparent chance of any resolution until late June at the earliest. That’s opening the door for more outside groups to run broadcast ads either for or against Medicaid expansion in Virginia. Legislators have not yet set a date to return to Richmond and attempt to find a budget agreement. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Appomattox remembers one of Civil War’s final battles as 150th anniversary countdown begins

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Appomattox County Historical Society photo

The biggest year in half a century is now underway in Appomattox County: the countdown to the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender in 1865.  This weekend, re-enactors will remember Sailor’s Creek. one of the Civil War’s final battles. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Click here for full information on this weekend’s re-enactments

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Today’s “roller girls”: Roller Derby empowers women, but the hits keep on coming

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Star City Roller Girls photo

The Roanoke area’s Roller Derby team is preparing for another bout this weekend, and they promise an entertaining time with “a track full of women hitting each other”. The Star City Roller Girls host a 10-hour tournament Saturday at the Salem Civic Center, starting at 10:00 am. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, they say the days of staged outcomes are long gone, and Roller Derby today features the athleticism of the women who participate.

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Click here for the Star City Roller Girls web site

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McAuliffe signs mental health bill that resulted from Deeds’ stabbing, son’s suicide

Creigh Deeds

Sen. Creigh Deeds

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A key part of Sen. Creigh Deeds’ efforts to fix Virginia’s mental health system is now law.   Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation Monday that extends the length of time allotted for finding a psychiatric bed for those under an emergency custody order from six hours 12 hours. And after eight hours of searching, if no private beds can be found, a state hospital will now be required to admit those under an emergency custody order.

Deeds’ son attacked his father then committed suicide at their Bath County homestead last November. The incident occurred after the local community services board said it was unable to locate an available psychiatric bed for Gus Deeds within six hours.

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Total breakdown a way to resolve the budget impasse? Richmond political expert says it might happen

The Virginia General Assembly resumes its special budget session today, but Richmond political observers see little chance of any agreement soon. Democrats remain united with Governor McAuliffe on including Medicaid expansion in the budget, and House Republicans remain united in opposition, saying they should be considered separately. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, one possible scenario calls for eventual resolution through a complete budget breakdown.

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The Great “Copper Caper”…. an ambitious breaking and entering in Roanoke with a possible start in Lynchburg

Police say a truck stolen from Southern Air in Lynchburg was used to help thieves make off with 6,000 pounds of copper from Ferguson Enterprises in Roanoke sometime between March 29th and March 31st. The suspects stopped at a convenience store in Salem after the heist, so there are security camera pictures of them and a silver SUV getaway car. WLNI’s Gene Marrano has the story.

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If you have any information, you are asked to call your local law enforcement agency or Ronaoke Valley Crimeline at 540-344-8500.

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A different “Final Four”: Lynchburg company lets you help decide who gets a new roof

As the Final Four get set to contest the college basketball championship this weekend, a Lynchburg company has its own Final Four contest going on: you decide who gets a free roof. Lynchburg Roofing selected the four from among the many who applied, and the four finalists are on-line. Company owner Chris Good says choosing the finalists was not easy.

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Voting continues through Saturday, April 12th. Click here for full information.

 

 

 

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