ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Authorities have identified a man’s body that was found in the Roanoke River near a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook. The Roanoke Times (http://bit.ly/1pbnoVv) says an autopsy determined that 46-year-old Charles Dolby of Roanoke died of injuries suffered in a fall from a bridge. The bridge spans the river near an overlook on the parkway. Parkway supervisory ranger Steve Burton tells the newspaper that it appears Dolby jumped from the bridge. But he says the possibility of an accidental fall can’t be ruled out. Dolby’s family reported him missing on Oct. 7. His truck was later found at the overlook’s parking lot. Buxton says kayakers saw the body in the river on Sunday afternoon.
A vacant house fire that occurred in Madison Heights Friday night is being investigated as arson. Emergency crews were called to the abandoned house on Rt. 29 at about 9:15 p.m. Officials say the house was fully ablaze when fire crews arrived and found the blaze suspicious after finding that the house been vacant with the utilities were turned off. No suspects have been identified. The house was owned by a local realtor.
Nelson County residents will have the opportunity this week to comment on safety improvements for the 151 corridor. The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing this week to address a proposed plan for two new turn lanes in the Rockfish Valley. A recent study evaluated about 14 miles of the road and 13 intersections to identify problem areas. According to the study, a total of 111 crashes were reported on the corridor from January 2008 to December 2011. Of those crashes, there were two fatalities and 53 injuries. The public hearing will be held on Thursday, at the Rockfish Valley Fire Department in Afton from 4 to 6 p.m.
The search is on this weekend, for old stuffed animals to give them a new life in a child’s home just in time for Christmas. Gleaning for the World is holding the “Teddy Bear Brigade.” Drive. Businesses, churches, and community groups are encouraged to collect the animals and bring them in loads to Gleaning for the World’s headquarters in Concord. Gleaning President, Ron Davidson tells WDBJ-7, that it can be any kind of stuffed toy. The non-profit is trying to collect 15,000 cuddly critters for orphans in Central and Latin America. The deadline for donations is Monday.
Authorities say safety measures may have helped prevent any injuries to children during a school bus accident early today. The school bus was on its way to drop of students at the Hutcherson Early Learning Center, just before 8:00 this morning, when a vehicle ran into the back left side. The 15 to 20 young students on the bus, according to officials, all were wearing safety harnesses. Police say the bus was slowing down at a stop on Lakeside Drive, when the car behind couldn’t stop; but did swerved to try and avoid the collision that driver has been charged with reckless driving.
It will be five years next week. There are no suspects and a murder case remains unsolved. 23 year old, Cassandra Ann Morton, of Lynchburg was reported missing on Oct. 14, 2009. She was last on Oct. 10 in the Park Avenue area of downtown; her body was discovered off of Camp Hydaway Road on Candler’s Mountain in Campbell County on Nov. 29, 2009. According to The Campbell County Sheriff’s office, Morton’s body was so badly decomposed when it was found that no DNA samples were recovered. The cause of her death was not released; but officials say the case remains open and investigators continue to follow up on leads.
Pawn Shops will now operate under a new list of codes in Campbell County. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, approved updates to the county’s code, which was missing sections and language regarding pawn shops. Now, sections mirroring the state code to help pawn brokers understand the requirements and clarify the licensing process have been added. Altavista Town Council made the required updates last month and capped the number of pawnshops within the town at two, it currently has one. Campbell County also will limit the number of pawn shops; there is already one established in Timberlake.
The Lynchburg Planning Commission on Wednesday postponed action on a pending rezoning request for the former Jones Memorial Library. The structure was built in 1900 as the city’s first library; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Rezoning the site would allow the historic building to be used for events, offices and educational purposes, but officials say limited availability of parking presents challenges. The planning staff will continue to work with the applicant and the matter would be taken up again at the Oct. 22 meeting. City Council will make the final decision after holding a public hearing at a later date.
Plans are underway to transform an abandoned railroad tunnel in Lynchburg, for future educational opportunities. Construction to restore the tunnel into a 2,000-square-foot exhibit space , for Amazement Square, is slated to begin early next year. Sources say, the historic transportation feature, is just behind a warehouse, which will be demolish for the new education center. The first phase of a fund-raising campaign is under way. The second phase of the project includes incorporating a futuristic look; creating an interactive “time tunnel”; the project is expected be the attraction’s most sophisticated exhibit to date and a first in the nation.
The man being sought for an attempted weekend robbery in Madison Heights is now in custody. Authorities say Lonnie Rose turned himself in to police Monday evening after the Sheriff’s Office posted his wanted information on social media. Rose was wanted for the unsuccessful robbery of the Wendy’s on Sunday night; he is being held without bond on charges of attempted robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.