The Presbyterian Homes & Family Services has been postponed a public hearing on a proposed athletic facility in order to address neighbors’ concerns. Presbyterian Homes intends to build on pastures between its core campus and Westminster Canterbury. According to media outlets, the retirement community has expressed concerns regarding placement and traffic. The new amenities will replace out-dated and undersized facilities. The existing pool, basketball court and base-ball field on the campus’s front lawn will be torn out. The public hearing will be rescheduled in January.
Recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows the unemployment rate was up slightly across the Lynchburg area in October. Because of a delay from the October government shutdown, the BLS released unemployment statistics for both September and October last week. According to the News & Advance, only Nelson and Bedford counties had rates below the statewide unemployment rates for both months. The rate was down month-to-month and year-to-year in every locality in the Lynchburg area during September and dipped below 6 percent regionally.
The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office through the Safe Surfin’ Foundation in partnership with Moose International, has raised the funds needed to outfit six law enforcement agencies with ballistic protection. According to the Sheriff’s Office website, the foundation funding partner began a nation-wide effort to raise the money for ballistic vests for those departments that otherwise would not have access to due to budgetary restraints. The Safe Surfin’ Foundation, which provides Internet safety materials, will supply the Top Line Armor Systems, ballistic vests to police, sheriff’s deputies and college campus police across the country.
The Virginia University of Lynchburg has another legal proceeding pending in a Lynchburg Circuit Court room. On Aug. 27, students moved out of their off-campus housing on Rivermont Avenue after the school was served “Notice to Vacate, reportedly in response to the school failing to pay rent. The landlord filed a $1 million lawsuit in October claiming VUL failed to fulfill the terms of the lease contract and owed more than $100,000 in back rent. The News & Advance reports, the school filed a $100,000 counterclaim for breach of contract against the landlord last month. According to the article, the cases are two of five active lawsuits involving VUL.
PRESS RELEASE 12/8/13
CREWE, Va – Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) is closely monitoring the winter storm system . According to the National Weather Service (NWS), which has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of SEC’s service territory, periods of sleet and freezing rain have been predicted with possible accumulation of a quarter-inch to a half-inch of ice in some areas. Members in the western and northwestern portions of SEC territory could experience 1-3 inches of snow accumulation as well. The NWS-issued watch is in effect through Monday morning.
Icy conditions are anticipated, and the possibility of downed lines, poles and other electrical equipment is expected. According to George Felts, SEC Manager of Engineering & Operations, SEC is currently making all necessary and appropriate preparations for the approaching storm. “Per our Emergency Restoration Plan, we have requested additional contract line crews to aid us in any possible restoration efforts. Ice can be particularly damaging to SEC’s electrical infrastructure, and we are taking this threat very seriously. All essential Cooperative employees and contractors have been placed on stand-by and will be available to deal with any power outages that may result from this storm,” noted Felts.
SEC Members are reminded that there is the potential for power outages as a result of ice accumulation on lines, poles and nearby trees. Members are urged to make the necessary preparations to deal with any interruption to their electric service resulting from the storm. These preparations include: flash lights with fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food items, alternate sources of heat, telephones that do not require electricity to operate, and emergency contact numbers. SEC reminds all members to stay away from downed power lines or fallen trees/limbs that may be in close proximity to power lines. All damage should be reported to the Cooperative, and if necessary, local law enforcement.
If you experience a power outage, please call the Cooperative’s toll free outage number: 1-866-878-5514. Periodic updates on SEC’s power restoration efforts can be obtained on our outage map @ http://outage.sec.coop:8181. Please check for updated news releases @ www.sec.coop and also check for updates at our Facebook page: www.fb.com/SouthsideElectric
The Virginia Department of Transportation crews will continue to treat roads through the night with chemicals to prevent icing and create better traction for travel. Roads with the highest traffic volumes are treated and cleared first. These are interstates and primary roads, then major secondary roads followed by subdivision streets. Freezing rain is expected to continue overnight for Lynchburg area. This amount of ice will likely cause power line issues. VDOT has coordinated with tree removal contractors and utility companies to clear fallen tree branches and other debris that may impact power lines. Motorists are urged to avoid driving on icy surfaces and call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org to get the latest road condition information. Temperatures will slowly warm with most areas changing to rain in time for the rush hour commute Monday morning.
VDOT rews have treated interstates and primary roads with salt brine or anti-icing chemicals in the Staunton, Salem, Northern Virginia and Culpeper regions. Anti-icing helps to prevent snow and ice from sticking to the roads. Crews will continue to work through the weekend and into the week treating and clearing roads. VDOT has also coordinated with utility companies to prepare for possible power outages should downed tree branches and other debris hit power lines.
For updated traffic info visit: www.511virginia.org/
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the Lynchburg area until 9:00 am Monday. The National Weather Service says freezing rain overnight may leave ice accumulations of 1/4 to 1/2 inch by morning, creating the potential for hazardous driving conditions during the morning commute. Lynchburg City Schools said Sunday evening they will operate on a two-hour delay Monday morning. Click here for the latest weather-related cancellations and delays.
VDOT says many of the roads in the region were in “minor” condition Sunday evening, which means while most surfaces were bare, you might encounter some slick spots. Click here for the latest VDOT highway information.
US Airways flights were able to get in and out of Lynchburg Sunday, but flights were snarled across much of the eastern US. If you have air travel plans, you are urged to check with your airline before heading out. Click here for the latest Lynchburg Regional Airport arrival and departure information.
Appalachian Power brought in crews and assessment teams from West Virginia and Tennessee for staging in Wytheville and Roanoke through Monday morning to help with any storm-related repairs. Click here for the latest Apco outage information.
Due to the inclement weather and out of concern for the traveling public’s safety, the Lynchburg Christmas Parade scheduled for today, December 8 has been cancelled. The decision was made by The Parade Committee in partnership with the City of Lynchburg. According to the Parade’s Facebook page, organizers can NOT reschedule because of the number of police officers planning to be involved, along with EMT’s, dozens of city workers, and scores of others. There were also many bands and other organizations that had made OTHER holiday obligations. Coordinators posted “Sadly our event is too big to be rescheduled this late in the month (due to Thanksgiving it was the second weekend in Dec. instead of the first weekend as traditionally it is). Another post reads: THE ENTIRE PROGRAM WILL BE DUPLICATED NEXT YEAR. PLEASE “LIKE” THE PARADE PAGE FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
PRESS RELEASE: 12/6/13
A winter weather system is slated to track through the Central VA area over the weekend, potentially producing ice, snow, or sleet. These fronts can create hazardous conditions in a short period of time, including power outages, downed trees and/or power lines and icy roadways. To minimize weather-related risks, citizens are reminded to take the following safety steps:
• Obtain the recommended three-day supply of water (three gallons per person) and non-perishable foods. Other items to have on-hand include: battery-operated radios, flashlights, extra batteries, basic tools/manual can openers, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines, sanitation supplies, pet food and adequate fuel for generators and other equipment.
• If necessary to use a generator due to power outages, place the unit outside to minimize exposure to toxic fumes. Connect appliances directly to the generator, not building wiring systems, to avoid the risk of electrical shock. Refrain from using matches, candles, or other open flame sources of lighting – flashlights and battery-operated lanterns and lighting sources are better choices.
• Use extra caution if using wood, kerosene, or other fuels as supplemental heating sources. Ensure proper ventilation is present; refill units outside. Keep space heaters away from flammable items. Have chimneys inspected and cleaned prior to winter use.
• If pipes freeze, carefully remove the insulation layers and wrap pipes with rags. Open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting at the most exposed point.
• If at any time you detect the smell of natural gas, evacuate immediately to another safe shelter. Do not ignite matches/lighters, or use any devices/objects that may produce sparks. From a safe distance, call your local gas company as well as 911.
• Check on neighbors who may need assistance.
• Be aware of conditions which cause “black ice”. Even though roadways may appear to be clear, certain areas may be exposed to lower temperatures causing un-detectable icy patches, especially on shaded pavement sections and on bridges and overpasses. Reduce speed to ensure safe travel. Watch for slippery patches on sidewalks and in parking lots.
• Avoid traveling if roadways are impacted by wintry precipitation. If travel is necessary, ensure vehicles’ gas tanks are filled with fuel and windshields/windows are fully de-iced for maximum visibility.
• Be aware that highway service vehicles will be clearing and applying materials to roadways– take measures to park your vehicle in an area that will not obstruct snow/ice removal efforts. If following a highway service vehicle remain at a safe distance.
• Place an emergency kit in the vehicle that contains water, blankets, a cell phone/charger, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit, non-perishable food items, a brightly colored safety flag, bag of sand or kitty litter (for tire traction) and all emergency contact numbers.
• Do not cross roadways obstructed with trees, debris or downed power lines; assume all downed power lines are live.
• If your vision is hindered by excessive precipitation, select a spot to pull over that is out of the line of traffic and away from trees, power lines, and other structures. Turn on caution lights to indicate your location to other drivers. Tune into local radio stations for updates.
• If stranded, call for assistance immediately, noting your location. Hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window. Remain in your vehicle unless shelter is clearly visible. Run the engine/heater approximately 10 minutes each hour for warmth. Open a window slightly and clear snow from the exhaust pipe (to minimize the risk of possible carbon monoxide poisoning). Drink fluids to avoid dehydration and move arms and legs periodically to generate heat.
• Call the Virginia Department of Transportation’s hotline at 511 or visit http://www.511virginia.org for updates on road closings or delays.
An on-line emergency plan template is available at: http://www.vaemergency.gov/ReadyVirginia/MakeAPlanForm.
• If you have special needs, contact your local Public Safety or EMS office for assistance in coordinating specific emergency resources.
• Monitor local conditions and stay tuned to local media for updates; keep apprised of public safety notices and the opening/locations of any emergency shelters. For additional preparedness resources, citizens may visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM) website at http://www.vaemergency.gov or the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at: www.fema.gov
Donations of blood are always needed, but during the holidays, the number of contributors declines. According to the Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. The Altavista Journal reports a greater need for Type O blood. In the article, a donor recruitment representative from Lynchburg says the type is a universal blood and type can be given to anyone. Type O-positive can be given to all positive types. A unit of donated blood, about a pint, lasts 42 days. To give blood, individuals must be 17 or older. Donors can give every 56 days. For more information about donating blood or platelets visit www.RedCrossBlood.org