RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of a drone to deliver medical supplies to a clinic in Wise County. The approval came Tuesday, clearing the way for the unmanned, six-rotor aircraft to make a series of short sorties to the Remote Area Medical clinic on Friday. The annual clinic tends to the medical and dental needs of thousands in southwest Virginia. According to organizers, the drone will hover over a horse ring at the fairgrounds and lower medical supplies. The supplies will be released from their tether once they make contact with the ground. Some organizers are hopeful the development of a drone industry will take flight in the Coalfields region, which has been battered by layoffs amid decreased demand for coal.
At 4:45 p.m. today, the Lynchburg Health Department will close the doors to its Thomson Dive office for the last time. The LHD will reopen next Wednesday at its new location on Alleghany Avenue. The new office is located in the lower level of The Plaza shopping center, in the old StarTek building. The department says the new site will enable employees to better serve the public. The Alleghany Avenue facility includes expanded waiting rooms and parking lots, separate department entrances and new exam rooms. The LHD phone numbers will change. Calls to individual employees will be forwarded for a 90-day period, and calls to the main number will be forwarded indefinitely. The new location can be reached directly at (434) 477-5900.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Developers have revised a proposed natural gas pipeline’s route in Virginia to avoid a historic area. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the alternate route announced Wednesday would run about 6 miles from west of Wingina in Nelson County and cut about a mile through the James River Wildlife Management Area. Last fall, the state recommended that the Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District be listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would begin in Harrison County, West Virginia, and run through Virginia and North Carolina to Robeson County, near the South Carolina border. The pipeline is being proposed by Dominion, Duke Energy and other partners.
At its meeting on July 10, the City of Lynchburg’s Electoral Board appointed Karen Patterson as the General Registrar. She will begin her four-year term on July 27, replacing Carolyn Sherayko who has retired. Patterson, who has been a resident of Lynchburg since 1992, has broad experience in administrative positions and office management with government agencies and non-profit organizations. Most recently, she has been Contracts Supervisor for Delta Star, Inc.
Authorities say a freight train was struck from behind by a second train traveling in the same direction in Virginia, causing one locomotive and five empty cars to derail. Some diesel fuel was spilled, but no serious injuries have been reported. Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay as saying that a westbound Norfolk Southern train was struck from behind by a second westbound Norfolk Southern train in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon. She said that in addition to the five empty cars, one of the two locomotives pulling the second train derailed, spilling some diesel fuel. According to Terpay, two crew members from the second train were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office is trying to identify two individuals who used two different stolen credit cards to buy items from the Lynchburg Target. The incidents happened on July 9 and July 10. If you can identify the suspects call Investigator J. Brandon Epperson at 434-332-9850 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has set a tentative date for a court-ordered special legislative session to redraw Virginia’s congressional boundaries. McAuliffe’s office said Tuesday the governor has informed leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly that he intends to call a special session on Aug. 17. A 2-1 ruling in June by a panel of judges directed the General Assembly to draw new boundaries by Sept. 1 to correct a 2012 redistricting plan the court found used race as the predominant factor in drawing boundaries. But Republican state legislative leaders asked the judges Tuesday for an extension, saying said they want to wait and see if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal on the case. McAuliffe said he’d reconsider the special session date if the judges granted an extension.
RUSTBURG, Va. (AP) _ Authorities say a 51-year-old woman has been sentenced to 12 months in jail after pleading guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old boy. Melissa Wilson Edwards was sentenced Tuesday in Campbell County Circuit Court. In April, Edwards pleaded guilty to two felony counts each of having carnal knowledge of a minor and indecent liberties with a child. Edwards was arrested in early January. Prosecutor Brooke Willse-Gaddy says Edwards had developed inappropriate feelings for the boy, who she knew through her daughter, and showed obsessive behavior toward the boy. Edwards’ attorney, Matthew Pack, says Edwards has confessed and taken responsibility. A judge sentenced Edwards to 10 years on each of the four felonies but suspended the time after a year of incarceration.