The National Weather Service in Blacksburg is looking for SKYWARN® spotters to help identify and describe severe local storms. WLNI’s Velvet Hall has details:
Click here for a list of free courses offered across central and southwestern Virginia.
(AP) Longtime Republican operative Boyd Marcus’ appointment to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board likely won’t last much longer. A House panel voted Wednesday to reject Marcus’ appointment to the $130,000-a-year job, widely viewed as a plum political appointment. Republican lawmakers view Marcus as a party traitor after he shocked the Virginia political establishment last year and endorsed Democrat Terry McAuliffe over his Republican rival. Records show Marcus was paid $140,000 to consult for the McAuliffe campaign. Marcus argued Wednesday that he’s qualified for the position. House Democrats said the General Assembly should give the governor wide latitude in making appointments.
Federal Authorities are requiring payment from a $20 million project that redeveloped buildings in downtown Lynchburg to be held in reserve– A grant advisory committee was informed on Thursday that most of the recouped money from the Bluffwalk Center will be put into a temporary lock box to assist with future loan payments. Media outlets report, In addition to the reserve, a piece of the BluffwalkCenter repayment will go back into the city’s general fund. Most of the money the city diverted to the loan was pulled from a pool of federal grant money provided each year to pursue priorities like neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and economic development. Sources say, the money will be returned to the program once the loan agreement is closed out in about nine years.
Lynchburg School officials are working toward finalizing the budget…but, the next step is for City Council to sign off on the proposal. More than 40% of the city schools’ budget relies on funding from the state. According to media outlets, the school board is requesting over 700-thousand dollars in additional annual funding from city council. The proposal includes a 2 percent raise for staff members; a new evening maintenance crew; and added staff positions in the information technology, curriculum and instruction and finance departments. A school system’s budget will be finalized following final funding numbers from the state and city. Officials have set May as a goal deadline.
A public policy think tank based in Richmond says a compromise now being debated in the General Assembly that would offer health care to more low-income Virginians may work as an option to Medicaid expansion. Michael Cassidy is president of The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis… he says one promising Senate proposal involving private insurers is viable. WLNI’s Gene Marrano has this in-depth interview with Cassidy.
A few previously tabled items were reintroduced by Campbell County Supervisors on Tuesday, during the board’s capital improvement plan discussions. The list was created based on the county’s list of priority initiatives and department head requests. Nearly 60 percent of the plan is allotted for emergency services and law enforcement, mostly for the purchase of equipment and vehicles. The capital improvement plan also includes several projects that have been put on hold; but no projects were moved up in the timetable; although several were delayed or removed. The $16.9 million five-year plan will be voted on by supervisors at the April 1 meeting.
According to the Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a statewide registry of beds that are available for emergency psychiatric patients went live yesterday. The registry has been in the works since last year; and bills were pending in the General Assembly that sought requirement of the activation. But the urgency to move the bills through came last fall when state Sen. Creigh Deeds, was attacked by his son, Gus, who then committed suicide.
The former president of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now known as Randolph College, has passed away. Bill Quillian Jr., became president 1952 and retired from the college in1978. According to media outlets, Quillian died early Tuesday morning. Details of Funeral arrangement are expected to be released tomorrow. Quillian would have celebrated his 101 birthday in April.
Live Healthy Lynchburg organizers have announced the winners of January’s Healthy Plate Challenge. The wellness initiative launched in 2012 challenged participating restaurants to create a dish that abides by an updated version of the food pyramid introduced in 2011. The competition was judged by customer votes; the best dishes went to The Drowsy Poet for children’s plate and Isabella’s for adult plate. To learn more about the initiative visit: www.livehealthylynchburg.com
A delay request in a Campbell County murder case has been put on hold. Defense attorneys for 27 year old, Anthony Dale Witt, on Tuesday filed a motion to postpone the pending June 2nd trial. The judge felt too few details were presented and did not issue a ruling on the motion. A follow-up letter has been ordered by the court from the expert who indicated he cannot complete pre-trial evidence in time. Witt of Lynchburg is charged with capital murder and robbery in the death of 53-year-old Barbara Martin, whose body was discovered in August 2012 at her Concord home. Court officials expect another hearing on the delay request will be rescheduled.