An overnight fire has destroyed an Elon home. Fire officials say crews from multiple departments were dispatched around 1 a.m. to 555 Montrose Road, where they found the house fully involved with the fire being fueled by winds. Authorities say county water does not run in the area, the houses are supplied by wells instead. Therefore, the water supply had to be shuttled to the scene. Sources say firefighters fought the blaze for nearly two hours before it was extinguished. Neither of the two people inside the house were injured. The fire is under investigation by Amherst County Public Safety.
A new treatment could be next option for the PCB problem at the Altavista emergency overflow pond. Town officials are considering an experimental remediation plan to treat the contaminants. The process would fight the toxins with two techniques: the first includes planting switchgrass in the soil, the second phase would inject the plants with bacteria that can metabolize the PCBs. The DEQ has requested peer reviews and a risk mitigation report for the new method. The proposed experiment will come before council in November—Once approved, the process would span 12 to 18 months beginning this winter.
A jury trial began this week for a man facing prison time for stabbing his ex-wife’s lover. 35 year old, James David Fincher, of Moneta, is accused of repeatedly stabbing 35 year old, Houston Walthall, on July 4th of last year. The Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney introduced a blood-stained hunting knife into evidence on Tuesday; along with a forensic nurse that testified that there were six lacerations, with the worst injury, being a severed artery on Walthall’s left forearm. Prosecution will have closing arguments today with the defense expected to present its evidence.
The Lynchburg City School Board is set to vote today on pay raises for substitute teachers along with other key substitute positions. The News & Advance reports, the division is looking to meet requirements set by the state and federal government. According to the article, the division’s director of personnel, told the board on Oct. 7 that only 67 percent of the positions needing substitutes during September were filled. The assistant superintendent for operations and administration, says the number hit 54 percent on one day last month. Other items on the agenda for tonight’s board meeting include, a decision being made regarding employee benefits enhancements and lighting upgrades.
A proposed expansion of the Region 2000 landfill had opponents attending a second public hearing on the matter this week. The projected lateral expansion would allow the landfill on Livestock Road to operate until 2027 and hold an additional two million yards of waste. Neighbors expressed concerns on Monday about landfill growth; and what it means for their property values and the possibility of more trash resulting in more sewage treatment sludge. According to the News & Advance, the master plan is still in its preliminary phases; and officials say opportunities will be available to comment throughout the process during other public hearings.
Upcoming utility replacements, could bring potential for a host of associated improvements to Lynchburg’s down-town streetscape maybe even, the return of two way traffic. As a major water line replacement looms, the city is considering the project as an opportunity to revert back to two-way traffic on heavily traveled Church and Main Streets. The one-way traffic configuration has been in place, in several locations for decades. Some officials believe the change back is an idea that could bring many benefits to downtown. The city is planning a public outreach campaign in coming months to gauge the input of residents and business owners.
Appomattox County officials, this week, will be deciding on a hiring process for a new County Administrator. Aileen Ferguson announced last month that she would retire in June of next year. The Board of Supervisors plan to meet on Wednesday to discuss options for filling the position. Suggestions already presented, include contacting Campbell County to request specifics on how that locality replaced its County Administrator; another option, is to have supervisors write down ideas and bring them to the meeting, which replaces the originally scheduled Oct. 25 retreat, that was removed from the county’s schedule.
The Artisan Trail network is working to connect crafters throughout the state. Bedford, featuring 86 members, is the newest of the 16 trails. Nelson and Albemarle counties, could eventually connect with Bedford if localities in between, were to get involved and that’s just what the Artisan Center of Virginia hopes will come to fruition. Franklin County’s Southwest Virginia trails, borders Bedford’s, leaving open, a possibility for collaboration with that group as well. ACV is working on an economic impact study of artisan member on the trail, to gauge their success.
The lasting effects of Agent Orange will be the topic of discussion at a town hall meeting being held tomorrow. There were 30 million gallons sprayed during the course of the war. In Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, there are 5,000 Vietnam veterans. There are bills, currently, in front of Congress encouraging the continued funding and research into the effects of Agent Orange These facts and many others, will be part of a panel discussion, being held on Saturday, on the effects of the chemical. The town hall meeting will be at American Legion Post 16 on Greenview Drive from 9:00 til Noon; and will feature a question-and-answer session.
Centra officials have launched an educational campaign regarding Ebola. Although there have been NO suspected cases of Ebola reported to any of Centra’s facilities administrators have received a number of phone calls from citizens asking questions about the disease. Centra’s healthcare staff, while already trained in infection control practices is now receiving additional training; with healthcare system’s environmental services and facilities management departments establishing protocols for dealing with contaminated material. To learn more about Ebola preparedness locally, visit: http://www.centrahealth.com/ebolafacts.