With bitter cold air and frigid wind chills city officials are urging caution when trying to keep homes warm tonight. The region’s typical highs for this time of the year range from daytime highs of about 45 degrees to overnight lows at around 25 degrees—but for tonight extremely cold conditions are expected with lows in the single digits and wind chills -5 to -15. Lynchburg’s communication department is encouraging residents to be aware of cold weather dangers particularly when it comes to alternate heating sources to warm their home. Experts say citizens should use caution with sources and never leave them unattended.
The coldest air so far this season has arrived; emergency preparedness experts suggest steps to prevent water damage from frozen pipes. If not already done, residents are encouraged to seal all air leaks and to insulate pipes exposed in unheated areas. Water Resources advises residents to keep the water meter box lid closed to prevent the meter from freezing. If pipes do freeze, open the cold water faucet close to the frozen pipe to relieve the pressure of the expanding ice. Gentle heat from a light bulb, hair dryer or heat tape is good to de-freeze the pipe. If the pipe bursts from ice, locate the main water cut-off valve.
A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for the entire region, as gusts tonight will make the air feel as cold as 5 to 15 degrees below zero. No precipitation is expected, but winds will be between 15 and 25 miles per hour and experts say the best way to insulate is by layers, rather than a single heavy coat and National Weather Service in Blacksburg advises citizens that today, tonight and tomorrow is the time to bundle those layers. Bring any pets inside as prolonged exposure will cause frostbite or hypothermia for them too.
Search-warrant affidavits offer a glimpse into one witness’ account of what happened during the last minutes of a Gladstone Man’s life. 43 year old, Clayton Thomas Morgan died in the parking lot of a Madison Heights motel on New Year’s Eve after being stabbed. Source say Morgan’s death followed a dispute with 47 year old, Charles Lynwood Allen Jr., of Lynchburg, at the Bestway Inn, where they were guests. Allen was arrested the following day and charged with second-degree murder. The News & Advance reports, Allen was appointed an attorney by way of a video advisement hearing on Tuesday and opted to schedule a bond hearing that will precede his preliminary hearing, which is set for 9 a.m. March 26.
Closing and consolidating schools has been talked about in Campbell County for many years, yet the board of Supervisors have remained divided until perhaps today. Campbell County’s middle and high schools were built between 35 and 80 years ago and each one needs upgrades. The school board voted in 2013 to consolidate all four of its middle and high schools into two new campuses, costing 170 million dollars while renovating would cost 223 million dollars over 30 years. Supervisor J.D. Puckett worries closing the existing schools will erase the identity of small communities. Supervisors will discuss and take action during their regular meeting at 4pm today.
Campbell County Supervisors, today, are expected to discuss whether to expand the regional landfill in Rustburg. The Region 2000 Services Authority purchased property next to the landfill with the intention of using soil to cap and line the existing landfill. It’s that adjoining property for which a special use permit and rezoning request will be considered. If approved, the requests would expand the current landfill’s size by more than 130 acres and the lifespan by about 50 to 60 years. The county’s planning commission opposed the proposal in December after a number of neighbors spoke out against it.
Three people were injured in a single vehicle accident in Bedford County Monday night. Emergency crews were dispatched just before 11 p.m. to the site on Rt. 460 When they arrived, they found three people were injured; two had been ejected from the vehicle. Media outlets report, one person was removed from underneath the vehicle and taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital by helicopter; the other victims were transported by ground to local hospitals. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
A new study shows Liberty University is a big contributor to the Lynchburg area’s economy. The study, which was commissioned by Liberty; according to AP, estimates the school was responsible for upwards of $1 billion in economic activity during the 2013-2014 fiscal year of that, $567 million was generated by students, tenants and visitors that spent money in the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area during the period. The Area includes the city of Lynchburg and Appomattox, Amherst, Bedford and Campbell counties. Officials believe the impact of the University will be beneficial when city leaders meet with bond rating agencies.
Campbell County officials next week are expected to make some kind of a decision regarding schools. The Board of Supervisors will meet on January 6, and will review and discuss the previously submitted options of either renovating the existing middle and high schools or construct an east/west campus. The school board has endorsed the consolidation plan but the board is split on the proposal. Under the current projections, both the consolidation and renovation proposals would likely increase taxes; and sources say, there is a possibility that supervisors will request that the school board come up with another alternative.
The main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacked that killed two Nelson County residents, has been rearrested. Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi is one of seven suspects being tried in Pakistan in connection with the attacks, which killed 166 people; including 58 year old Alan Scherr, and his 13-year-old daughter, Naomi, who were traveling in India with a delegation from the Synchronicity Foundation. According to the Associated Press, in an anti-terrorism court, on December 18, a judge granted him bail citing a lack of evidence–But Pakistani police arrested him again this morning on another case. Scherr and his daughter were killed inside a hotel café.