50/50 Arrangement Will Pay for SML Water Treatment Plant

brwaAn agreement for cost-sharing for the Smith Mountain Lake water treatment facility between the Bedford Regional Water Authority and the Western Virginia Water Authority was agreed to by the BRWA board Tuesday. The News & Advance reports, the 50/50 split will go a long way in helping the BRWA build lines to serve Bedford and Forest. The plant will provide both authorities room for expansion and each will serve its own customers. The agreement requires back up lines to serve the town. The project is meant to satisfy the agreement made when the city of Bedford reverted to a town.


Howell: House Republicans “resolute” in budget impasse, calls on Warner to oppose shutdown threats

Speaker of the House William J. Howell Facebook photo

Speaker of the House
William J. Howell
(Facebook photo)


Republican leaders in Richmond call it blinding hypocrisy, accusing Democrats who opposed federal government shutdown threats last fall of an obvious about-face in threatening a state government shutdown come July. They have asked Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner to support their position and call for an end to state budget shutdown threats. Evan Jones has the story:

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House GOP leaders say opposition to VA Medicaid expansion remains firm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ House Republicans say they remain resolute in their opposition to using federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to as many as 400,000 low-income Virginians.  During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, House Speaker William J. Howell said he is optimistic that Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democratic lawmakers would back down from their support of a proposed state budget that includes expanding Medicaid eligibility. State services could shutter if a state budget isn’t passed by July 1.  House Republicans also sent a letter to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner asking him to support their position. Last year, Warner condemned national Republicans who forced a federal government shutdown over a failed effort to defund the Affordable Care Act. Howell said McAuliffe is using similar tactics in the Virginia Medicaid expansion debate.


Scientific Data & Public Feedback Sought In Conservation Effort

bl rdge conservancy logoAs part of its effort to identify the best lands for conservation, The Blue Ridge Land conservancy is reaching out to the public. The conservancy has been in existence for 16 years; and a more proactive policy was adopted last fall. Implementation began early this year, with the organization encouraging conservation throughout the region. Last year the Virginia Outdoors Foundation preserved more than 3,550 acres in the Lynchburg area and more than 56,000 acres statewide. Now the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy is gathering feedback to develop a plan on a county-by-county basis across the region; and will soon begin to gather scientific data as part of the targeting process.


Social Services Adoption Event Planned For April 26

dept. soc services logoThe Virginia Department of Social Services will host a free foster care adoption event later this month. According to the VDSS, more than 1,300 children in Virginia await adoption. A foster child will have to wait on average nearly three years before finding a permanent home. Organizers say the event will features a panel of local adoption experts. The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday April 26 at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg. CLICK HERE to learn more about adoption.


SHOPO Has an Autism Community Awareness Walk for Local Youth Coming Up

The Self Help Obtaining Positive Opportunities Foundation for Youth Inc. has organized the event down Rivermont Avenue in Lynchburg. Walkers will meet at the entrance to Riverside Park at 11:30 a.m. on April 26th; with the walk beginning at noon. Autism experts will be on hand following the event. Volunteers are still needed…Call (434) 238-3757 or email shoponation2014@gmail.com


UPDATE: Missing man with dementia believed spotted in Lynchburg area

Jess Gratehouse

4/16/14 Update: The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office advises that Mr. Jess E. Gratehouse was located in Greensboro, NC.

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Driver Indicted On Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

A Bedford County man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a single-vehicle crash that killed a Bedford man last year. According to the News & Advance, 21 year old Durham Westley Falabella has been indicted following his arrest last week. The wreck that killed 21-year-old Evan Patrick Nichols occurred on the afternoon of Nov. 27. A jury trial is set for Aug. 12–If convicted, Falabella faces one to 10 years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge; he is also charged with driving under the influence.


B & W Could Face Layoffs

B&W logoThe Babcock & Wilcox Company has announced plans to restructure its mPower Small Modular Reactor program to focus on technology development; a move that sources say could lead to some layoffs in Lynchburg. Based in Charlotte, N.C. – B&W employs about 2,400 people in the Lynchburg area. The mPower unit operates a scale-model testing facility with about 20 employees at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Bedford County, as well as a control room prototype and fuel technology center at the Lynchpin Industrial Park.


Conservation Easement Plan Being Crafted In Hill City

consv. easement signCity officials are working up a new policy on conservation easements. It will be the first for the city, and is expected to serve as a template for city leaders and property owners. There have been a number of inquiries from citizens about easements, and concerns have been raised regarding the current system; the limited land availability and the permanency of approving them. An Easement evaluating committee is creating a formula and will make a recommendation to the planning commission.


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