The Lynchburg Humane Society is one of three finalists in the running to win the $25,000 Community Engagement Award in the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Wednesday the other finalists as Clay County Animal Care & Control in Green Cove Springs, Fla. and Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Mo. All three also are in the running to win the $100,000 grand prize. The winners for the national event will be announced on October 7, 2014. Roanoke’s Angels of Assisi also had been competing for the prize in the contest that ran from June through August of this year.
(Continue reading for news release from the ASPCA)
Updated: Thurs., Sept. 18 at 7:11 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Police say they’ve reviewed additional surveillance videos from two businesses showing a missing University of Virginia student and others walking the night she disappeared. Charlottesville police Capt. Gary Pleasants said Wednesday night the videos of 18-year-old Hannah E. Graham taken early Saturday are from the Downtown Mall, a popular row of shops and restaurants. According to the Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1uJMFuy), Pleasants says one video shows Graham walking by a shop’s doorway, and a male who had stopped there steps out and follows her. Pleasants says another business video filmed two minutes later shows the same male following Graham, who is next to someone else. Police released two other surveillance videos earlier Wednesday showing her walking past a pub and running past a service station. Graham’s friends reported her missing Sunday.
ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ A jury weighing criminal charges against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak will decide the case without hearing one fact — that nine people died after eating the company’s tainted peanut butter. Jury deliberations were scheduled to resume Thursday in the federal trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two co-defendants. Parnell ran the company from his home outside of Lynchburg, Va. Prosecutors say Parnell knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter and faked lab tests for salmonella. During nearly six weeks of testimony, jurors heard evidence that people got sick. But prosecutors never mentioned deaths. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore says prosecutors felt they could build their strongest case around fraud charges, and testimony regarding deaths would have distracted jurors and possibly made any convictions vulnerable to appeals.
Staff writer Velvet Hall contributed to this report.
Virginia’s General Assembly reconvenes today for a two-day special session, one in which proposed Medicaid expansion is expected to dominate the debate. But as WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, political observers do not foresee passage of any measure that Governor McAuliffe would find acceptable.
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (AP) _ Law enforcement officials say they are getting close to finding out who is responsible for the disappearance of two young sisters from Maryland nearly 40 years ago. Authorities said at a news conference Wednesday that information led them to Taylor Mountain in Bedford County, Virginia, where police are searching for evidence in the disappearance of 10-year-old Katherine Lyon and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon. The sisters vanished from a mall in Wheaton, Maryland, March 25, 1975. Montgomery County, Maryland, police Capt. Darren Francke say authorities have zeroed in on the suspects. In February, Montgomery County Police said they had identified a convicted child sex offender in a Delaware prison as a person of interest in the case.
(Continue reading for Bedford County Sheriff’s Office news releases and FBI photos)
Click HERE for more information on the Federal Bureau of Investigation case.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia is the latest state to detect a respiratory illness caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that Virginia is among 16 states where the infection enterovirus 68 has been confirmed. State public health officials say seven of 10 children have tested positive for the virus. Dr. Laurie Forlana is the state epidemiologist. She said Wednesday all seven children are within Richmond and the surrounding region. Forlano said the median age of the children is 6. The suspected germ is an uncommon strain of a very common family of viruses that typically hit from summertime through autumn. The virus can cause including runny noses, coughing and wheezing.
Amherst County utility customers will have a chance to speak out regarding the possible changes to their bills in the coming year. County residents are invited to be heard regarding the Service Authority’s approval of an advertisement of rates for water and sewer service. Customer bills are composed of a fixed basic service charge and a commodity charge that is determined by the customer’s usage. If approved, the proposed increases from 6.15 percent for water customers to 9.15 percent for sewer customers would take effect as of Jan. 1—But before they do, a public hearing for the new rate changes in Amherst County is set for Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
A Lynchburg teenager faces misdemeanor charges in connection with a recent fake 911 call. The Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office says the juvenile is responsible for the hoax the prompted police response after receiving a call that a woman shot her six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter on September 2nd. While on the phone with dispatchers, the caller said he too was shot and the call dropped.Deputies searched for the scene but never found anything. The 15 year old boy, is being charged with two counts of falsely summoning law enforcement, two counts of calling 911 with intent to annoy and two counts of threatening over public airwaves.