Members of the Class of 2015 from across the Commonwealth will be applying to colleges through Friday. Students attending Lynchburg high schools are filling out applications today guidance staff are on hand to forward transcripts and help with financial aid. Representatives from several state colleges will be at Heritage High School and EC Glass High on Tuesday to waive application fees and offer advice. Sources say in the three years of the program, Lynchburg City Schools have seen an increase in the number of students applying to state colleges.
The man convicted of killing the mother of his child in her Amherst County home, will spend the next half century behind bars. Cordell Carter was found guilty earlier this year, for the first degree murder of Jennifer Johnson back in January a jury in September recommended 53 year. In addition to the charges of murder and use of a firearm in a felony the judge, this morning, sentenced him to another two years on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon, bringing his total sentence to 55 years. Johnson’s sister, Jamie Leigh Harper was charged with accessory after the fact in her sister’s death–She’s expected back in court in January.
Orange County officials are preparing to answer question regarding the search for missing teens Alexis Murphy and Samantha Clarke. Alexis Murphy went missing from Nelson County in August 2013. Randy Taylor was convicted of her murder in May 2014, and sentenced to two life terms. Murphy’s body has never been found but sources say a new search will likely begin for her in Orange County where Samantha Clarke went missing in 2010. It is also believed Randy Taylor had contact with her before she disappeared. A press conference will be held at the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday morning at 8:00 o’clock.
A panel of speakers appeared in Lynchburg yesterday to kick-off a new protection campaign from the James River Association. The initiative, “Our River at Risk,” was launched by the nonprofit advocacy group to address the hundreds of sources of industrial toxins that surround the James River; while seeking new standards for chemical storage facilities and coal ash ponds.. The community meeting on Thursday night was part of a series of sessions JRA is holding across the state to raise awareness and initiate a public discussion. To learn more about the James River Association’s campaign, visit www.riveratrisk.org.
The early winter like temperatures are perfect for making snow though we aren’t expecting much winter weather ski slopes will likely be snow covered by the end of the weekend. Thanks to these low temperatures, Virginia ski slopes are firing up their snow guns early. Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County started making snow this morning the earliest crews there have ever started their snow machines. They’re aiming to open the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Massanutten started making snow Thursday night; they say if conditions are perfect they can cover 37 acres of land with one foot of snow in 24 hours.
The Amherst Train Depot’s second phase of renovations is nearing completion. The Station was built in 1913 for passenger, and later, freight service but, by the 1970s, both services were discontinued and the structure began to decline. Renovation to the century-old structure began in the late 1990’s and has been a slow process with the first stage completed in 2008. The completion of phase two is expected this month then on to the final stage. According to the New Era Progress, the County’s Economic Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce are all set to occupy the building.
Campbell County is a step closer to a new Library. Plans for a new Timbrook Library have been talked about for years. In May, supervisors approved taking bids for the construction; last week, the Deputy County Administrator told the board that an appropriation of $35,000 was needed to cover the design and project management costs of the first phase the matter will go before the Board of Supervisors again in February. If all is approved, according to the Altavista Journal, construction will take place from about March through December of 2015.
A Lynchburg organization is working to close the loopholes on unlicensed day cares. The Child Care Resource Center at HumanKind, made the issue a priority following the tragic deaths of two children in a local daycare fire in September. Sources say Virginia is one of eight states that does not require child care providers to be licensed until six unrelated children are in the home. Child care experts say more needs to be done; There is currently a bill on the table nationally the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 is expected to be voted on by the U.S Senate today.
A special type of fish is taking a bite out of an aquatic plant problem in Smith Mountain Lake. Hydrilla became a concern after being discovered at the lake in 2007. The invasive vegetation has a history of growing out of control; and left unchecked, it’s been known to completely take over coves to a point that they can make any type of water recreation impossible, but now the pesky weed is virtually non-existent thanks to sterile grass carp that were stocked this year. According to the Smith Mountain Eagle, the carp have been devouring every sign of the dreaded vegetation since being placed there in April.