Downtown parking changes take effect August 1; lower hourly fees, but ticketing begins

wlni-defaultFrom the City of Lynchburg: On Monday, August 1, the Parking Ambassadors will move away from the warnings and will be issuing expired meter parking tickets to vehicles that do not have time registered with the pay stations.  Patrons will need to make sure that they visit the pay stations to get their free time or to pay for additional parking time. Parking tickets for not having time on the meter carry a $20 fine.  Approximately six months ago, the City of Lynchburg introduced an on-street paid parking pilot program for downtown.  The purpose of the program was to better manage parking in the 1200 block of downtown to create parking space turnover that would ensure customers have close and convenient parking for shopping and conducting business.  The 1200 block was chosen due to the high traffic generated by the Lynchburg Community Market and the concentration of other small shops and businesses. The pilot program consisted of the installation of new parking pay stations in the 1200 block of Main Street.  Pay stations were also installed in the Community Marketing parking lot to assist in creating an effective pilot program for the on-street paid parking. Since the pay stations have been in operation, Parking Ambassadors have distributed information to motorists about the paid parking program.  During this time, a grace period for parking meter violations has been in effect.  Parking Ambassadors have been issuing warnings to vehicles without time on the meter to remind visitors to make sure that they visit the pay stations. “We wanted to be sure that patrons knew about the paid parking program and had time to understand how to use the new pay stations before we began issuing tickets,” said Parking Manager Dave Malewitz.

(Continue reading for news of revised hourly parking fees)
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Hospitals, Virginia Health Department use program adopted in 2002 in efforts to fight Zika now

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

Virginia’s health care providers and the State Health Department are using a program adopted about 14 years ago in current efforts to treat cases of the Zika virus — and prevent its spread. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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GOP pre-files bills that McAuliffe vetoed

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Republican lawmakers are set to try again on a trio of bills that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed earlier this year.

GOP lawmakers announced they had pre-filed legislation on Monday, the first day to do so ahead of the 2017 General Assembly session.

The legislation includes a bill to allow school security officers to carry guns, a bill to clarify that subscription-based primary care service is not insurance and a bill to limit the influence of labor unions on small business franchises.

Democrats Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Mark Sickles, both openly gay, also pre-filed legislation Monday to repeal Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, a ban overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

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10 years, 600,000 power poles; Apco undertakes lengthy inspection project

APCO Appalachian PowerAppalachian Power has started a  project in recent months  that will inspect 600,000 of its utility poles. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, it’s a project expected to take at least a decade to complete.

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Battle over felons’ voting heads to Virginia Supreme Court

Virginia Supreme Court SealRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Supreme Court will meet Tuesday to hear arguments in a Republican lawsuit trying to block more than 200,000 former felons in the state from voting in November.

At issue in the case is whether the state’s constitution allows governors to restore voting rights to ex-felons en masse or requires them to be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Republican lawmakers who sued McAuliffe say the governor clearly violated the constitution and ignored decades of practice with his April executive order. McAuliffe says he’s confident he’s on firm legal ground. But he has said he will restore all roughly 206,000 former felons’ political rights individually if he has to.

As of July 11, 9,500 ex-felons whose rights were restored by the governor since April 22 had registered to vote.

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State Police: man found along Bedford County highway was probably struck by lightning

Bedford CountyFrom Virginia State Police: State Police were notified Thursday afternoon there was a unresponsive male on the north side of the roadway on Route 122 near Bowyers Loop. The Male was identified as Robert Daniel Miller, Jr. 23, of Moneta, VA.  Mr. Miller was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The Virginia State Police opened the investigation as a Hit and Run by a vehicle.  Through the investigation, involving the Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, it has been determined that Mr. Miller was not struck by a vehicle and was not a victim of a criminal act. Medical personnel have stated that Mr. Miller was most likely struck by lightning while walking in the storm Thursday. Mr. Miller is currently at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

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National D-Day Memorial hosting Family Day

Family Day D-Day MemorialThe National D-Day Memorial in Bedford invites people of all ages to take a step back in time this weekend and experience life in the 1940s. WLNI’s Starr Anderson has more details on the annual Family Day.

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UPDATE: French Police find ID in truck used in Bastille Day Attack; Two Americans among 84 killed

Photo by AP

Photo by AP

NICE, France (AP) — The Latest on a truck that drove into the crowd in Nice:

Two French police officials say identity papers found alongside the attacker behind a killing spree in southeastern Nice belonged to a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian descent with previous misdemeanor convictions but no known link to extremist groups.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Friday that the papers were those of Nice resident. They cautioned that DNA and identity checks with acquaintances were pending to fully verify the identity.

The suspect died in a shootout with police after mowing down dozens of people with a truck on Nice’s seaside Promenade des Anglais during national Bastille Day revelry Thursday.

The Paris prosecutor’s office, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby says two Americans were among those killed in Nice on Thursday when a large truck plowed through a crowd gathered for fireworks.

Kirby didn’t identify the individuals by name, citing privacy concerns.

He says the U.S. is providing assistance to those affected by the attack, while the embassy tries to account for all Americans in the Mediterranean city.

The French Interior Ministry has raised the death toll to 84 from the attack on people celebrating Bastille Day in the Riviera city of Nice. The additional four deaths were apparently from the 18 people who were seriously injured when a truck slammed into the crowds. Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said extra medical-legal police were being sent to Nice to speed the identification process so bodies can be returned to families.

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Active shooter exercise Saturday in Bedford may be loud, but sheriff says it’s necessary

Bedford CountyBedford area residents may see plenty of law enforcement vehicles and ambulances tomorrow and hear loud bangs and sirens. The Bedford County Sheriff’s office is conducting an active shooter exercise for its deputies, especially those new to the force. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Review: Abuse reports ignored by Rockbridge social services

wlni-fbLEXINGTON, Va. (AP) – An internal review has found reports of child abuse and neglect that were ignored by Rockbridge social services.

The review identified 41 problems, including evidence that a former Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services supervisor shredded reports before they could be investigated. Other problems cited in the report include slow responses to emergency calls, missed deadlines, altered documents and low staff morale.

The review also cites one case in which a child later died. Police are investigating that case as well as others. Susan Reese, head of the social services’ Piedmont Regional Office, says the three-month review, which was completed in May, is “very concerning.”

The regional office conducted the review after receiving several complaints from the county sheriff’s office and other state agencies.

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