RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court. In February, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Lawyers for two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses appealed. The lawsuit was filed by two Norfolk men who were denied a marriage license and two Chesterfield County women whose marriage in California is not recognized by Virginia.
An environmental organization is looking for volunteers to help clean and maintain a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 50 mile stretch includes access points to scenic areas in Amherst and Nelson counties. Due to a decline in funding over the past 15 years, the National Park Service allocates just one percent of its maintenance budget to keeping up the trails. The parkway has only three employees for every 100 miles… volunteers need no qualifications except time and commitment to training. CLICK HERE to learn more about volunteering.
Lynchburg’s department of emergency services is coordinating a full-scale disaster drill for next week. Residents of the Sandusky neighborhood may hear sirens, shouting, and mock gunfire. The drill is a worst-case scenario: an active shooter at a public school. William Perrow, the watch officer for Lynchburg’s emergency operations center and an organizer of the drill, told WDBJ7 that the August 6 exercise will involve everyone from paramedics to 911 dispatchers. Lynchburg General Hospital will be involved. Mock victims will be taken to the emergency room, to simulate a mass casualty situation. Actors will play the part of teachers and students, but no children will be involved.
The deadline for public input on long-range community planning in Campbell County, is just under a month away. Campbell County has had a plan since the 1960s. It is reviewed every five years, as required by the state. The information collected during this public comment period will be used to update the county’s comprehensive plan. The county will host public hearings this fall on the matter and adoption of the updates is expected to come at the Board of Supervisor’s meeting in December. Residents have until August 18 to submit comments. CLICK HERE to submit your recommendations.
Locally owned peanut company will stand trial for a salmonella outbreak. Three people, including Stewart Parnell, who ran Peanut Corporation of America from his Bedford County home, is accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people and sickened more than 700 are set to go to trial this week in Georgia. The salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts processed by PCA led to one of the largest food recalls in history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 714 people in 46 states were infected between September 2008 and March 2009. Two of the deaths occurred in Virginia.
A Maryland man was killed in a Nelson County motorcycle wreck over the weekend after a car pulled into his direct path on Route 29 in Nelson County Saturday morning. State police say around 9:50 a car traveling on 29 South in Colleen was turning left onto Rt 56 West when it was hit by a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The man driving the Harley, 47-year-old Michael Scott Murphy of Annapolis, MD, died at the scene. Sources say the driver of the car, 66-year-old Peggy Regina Arnold of Huntington, MD, was not injured. Arnold has been charged with reckless driving.
Playing with robots and computers could lead some Lynchburg students into a high-paying field when they grow up. Holy Cross Regional Catholic School is hosting a “Tech Kids Coding Camp” this month. Students in grades three through eight are getting an introduction to computer programming and robotics. According to the U-S Department of Commerce, jobs in STEM areas are expected to grow 17% by 2018, nearly double the growth for other fields. Organizers hope participants will gain a new appreciation for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM
Crash rates on the stretch of 221 between Forest and the Lynchburg Expressway are higher than the statewide average. The Region 2000 Local Government Council and the Central Virginia Metropolitan Planning Organization just finished studying the corridor. Officials have developed a list of ideas to address both safety and congestion. Region 2000 has recommended a speed study for the entire corridor and increased speed enforcement. They’re also suggesting more turn lanes at busy intersections and better timing of traffic lights.
Lynchburg city officials say milling and paving operations may impact travel next week on Wards Road. It’s the busy stretch of Wards Road from Harvard Street to Atlanta Avenue between the Liberty University underpass and Sheetz. Crews are scheduled to work on the southbound side from 6pm to 6 am starting tomorrow … running through the next Monday. It avoids the busiest travel times, but southbround traffic will be down to one lane during those hours.
UPDATE: Lynchburg is one of 50 shelters across the country competing to break their own adoption records; and is a finalist in the ASPCA 100KChallenge Photo Contest, and could win 5-thousand dollars. The Photo Contest showcases some of the animals already adopted out from participating shelters during the first half of the $100K Challenge. Vote for local pup Rust… . CLICK HERE TO cast your vote.
Friday, July 25, 2014—–Time is running out to adopt a cat or dog for only $3 at the Lynchburg Humane Society. The $3.00 fee includes the pet being spayed or neutered, their initial vaccines and a free vet visit…but hurry the offer ends on Saturday.