State police: Forensic evidence links Graham, Harrington cases

Morgan Harrington

Morgan Harrington

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

Tues., Sept. 30 5:00 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. One was found dead nearly five years ago. The other is still missing. And now police believe they’ve found a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham — forensic evidence pointing to a 32-year-old man who fled the state when he learned police wanted to question him about the Graham case. Jesse Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach near Galveston, Texas, last week and was brought back to Virginia to face a charge of abduction with intent to defile the 18-year-old Graham. State police say the arrest has produced a forensic link to the Harrington case, but they’re not providing details.

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Loft apartments: no longer just for larger cities, now in Bedford

Town of BedfordA ribbon-cutting is set for today in Bedford, where a former factory building is being transformed into 32 new apartments.  It was once home to the Clark Plug Tobacco warehouse, more recently a furniture factory, and now set to be home to The Bedford Lofts. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports,  the developer sees the potential for much such projects in communities Bedford’s size.

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2014 Bedford County Invitational Marching Band Competition

bedford county schools logoCome join the Liberty, Jefferson Forest, and Staunton River High School Marching Bands as they host the 2014 Bedford County Invitational Marching Band Competition at Staunton River High School Stadium on Saturday, October 4th. The performances will begin at 3:50 pm and will feature exhibitions from all three Bedford County marching bands, as well as exciting performances from nine other competing bands that have received local, regional, state and national recognition for their excellence in music.
All proceeds from the Bedford County Invitational go towards supporting music education for Bedford County Public School students. Tickets will be available at the gate: $5 for adults and $3 for students. There will be plenty of free parking as well as souvenirs, concessions, and great shows to enjoy! We want to extend a special welcome to those who have participated in BCI over the years to come and enjoy the show. We will be recognizing alumni who have been involved in the past 25 years.

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Verizon Wireless Announcing 4G Voice Data in the Next Couple of Weeks

verizonThe long wait is nearly over for some Amherst County residents. Verizon Wireless has announced that 4G Voice Data will soon be available along the US-60 Corridor. Three recently built communications towers were activated for data service earlier in the year, but at the time did not permit voice transmissions. The company has announced that VoLTE would be available within the “next couple weeks.” The New Era Progress reports AT&T recently also announced that it has expanded 4G LTE coverage. According to the article, those customers will see improved coverage along the intersection of U.S. 29 and U.S. 60.

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More than 50 Students Attend YOVASO Training

Virginia-flagMore than 50 middle school students from across the Commonwealth attended a YOVASO training at Jefferson Forest High School on Friday afternoon.  400 thousand plus people were hurt in car crashes in the U.S. in 2012. . The Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety Organization’s mission is to change that number by reinforcing safe teen driving habits! Corporal Ryan Hilbish with the Bedford County Sheriff’s office says the highlight of the program is for students to build a peer to peer relationship. Hilbish tells WDBJ-7 distractions behind the wheel are a problem with drivers of all ages.

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Lynchburg City Council in Session to Discuss Year-End Figures

lynchburg logo - city councilLynchburg City Council is in a special retreat session this afternoon to discuss early review of year-end figures from the ’14 budget. The 2014 budget which ended this summer, is one of several agenda items…such as capital improvement needs being discussed at the Annual Strategic Planning session today. Council will be tackling concerns as well as considering possible changes to city code and policy for reimbursing developers. The session is expected to last until 5 p.m. For more information or to view the agenda, search city council meetings online at: www.lynchburgva.gov.

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Search continues for Va. student who vanished

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A search team is working with canine units in attempting to find a University of Virginia sophomore who vanished more than two weeks ago. The search Saturday for 18-year-old Hannah Graham follows the return to Charlottesville Friday of a suspect arrested in her feared abduction. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was returned from Texas after he fled Virginia. The 32-year-old hospital worker is expected to make his first court appearance in Charlottesville on Thursday to face a charge of abduction with intent to defile — or sexually molest. Mark Eggeman is the search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He’s leading a team of about 20 trained search personnel and canine units. Eggeman says they have been searching for the northern Virginia woman since she was reported missing. Last weekend, more than 1,200 volunteers searched Charlottesville. The search area has widened to the rolling hills outside of town.

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Blue Ridge Parkway sees increase in visitors

Parkway-Sign-4-150x125ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Travel is up on the Blue Ridge Parkway following the restoration of some funding that was cut in 2013. The Roanoke Times (http://bit.ly/1BuMlRp) says National Park Service data show that around 8.5 million visitors traveled the parkway through August. That’s an increase of about 800,000 from the same period in 2013. But this year’s numbers lag behind 2012, when the parkway drew about 9.9 million visitors through August. Several parkway sites closed in 2013 because of federal budget cuts. Parkway spokeswoman Leesa Brandon says services have been restored in many areas. She says parkway staff are looking forward to a continued increase in visitors through the remainder of the year. The 469-mile scenic byway connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

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Accused kidnapper back in Charlottesville, Hannah Graham still missing

Jesse Matthew (FBI Photo)

Jesse Matthew
(FBI Photo)

Jesse Matthew, the man accused of abducting missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, has a court appearance in Charlottesville scheduled for later this week. The FBI says a chartered plane returned Matthew to Charlottesville Friday evening. Authorities in the Galveston, Texas area arrested him last week.

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Two Men Plead Guilty to Robbery

police lineTwo men not from the Lynchburg area, have pleaded guilty to the robbery of a local AT&T Wireless Store that occurred back in April. 23 year old, Michael Deondre Towler, of Danville; and 33 year old, Henry Eugean Brown Jr., of Raleigh, N.C. appeared in separate hearings in Campbell County last week both pleaded guilty to burglary and grand larceny. Sources say Altavista Police who had stopped a car for speeding, received a “be-on-the-lookout” alert for a vehicle of the same description. After a search warrant was obtained, the stolen items stolen were found inside the car. Brown will be sentenced on Dec. 10. Towler’s sentencing date has not been set.

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