Lynchburg lowers fluoride level in city drinking water

City of LynchburgFrom the City of Lynchburg: The Lynchburg Department of Water Resources announced today that it has lowered the concentration of fluoride in drinking water to comply with new recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water. Water Resources will limit the amount of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter instead of the 0.9 milligrams previously recommended. The recommendation from the Virginia Department of Health came after the Center for Disease Control and U.S. Public Health Service revised their recommendations for the optimal fluoride concentration in drinking water from the previous range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter with the recommended concentration dependent upon location to 0.7 milligrams per liter everywhere.

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State rail safety task force issues initial report, recommendations

AP photo

AP photo

From Governor McAuliffe’s Office: Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the release of the Virginia Railroad Safety and Security Task Force’s Initial Report and Recommendations.  Those recommendations include:

  • Increase risk-based rail safety inspections.
  • Require more frequent ultrasound examination of rail on tracks carrying passengers, crude oil, or bulk hazardous materials.
  • Require railroads and federal regulatory agencies to share all safety-related records.

Governor McAuliffe formed the Railroad Safety and Security Task Force on May 9, 2014 after a derailment and explosion of crude oil rail cars nine days earlier in Lynchburg. Since it was formed, the agencies comprising the Task Force have increased the frequency of rail inspections on high-hazard routes, delivered crude oil response training across Virginia, and developed additional hazardous materials response capability in concert with local jurisdictions.

Click here to read the full report

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McAuliffe vetoes bills limiting police surveillance technology

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation aimed at limiting police storage of automatic license plate reader data. The governor said Friday he was vetoing the legislation because it could jeopardize public safety. Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed several measures with support from lawmakers across the political spectrum aiming to rein in police surveillance on citizens. The vetoed bill would have limited to seven days how long police could keep data collected by automatic license plate readers, as long as the information is not part of an investigation. McAuliffe tried to amend the bill last month to make it 60 days, but lawmakers rejected those efforts. The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association cheered McAuliffe’s veto, while civil liberty advocates blasted the move.

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US, Canada unveil rules to boost oil train safety

AP photo

AP photo

WASHINGTON (AP) _ New safety rules are coming for oil trains to reduce the risk of fiery crashes like the one in Lynchburg one year ago. The requirements by U.S. and Canadian officials include stronger tank cars. The rules require tank cars within 5 years to have an outer shell, a thermal lining and thicker steel walls to prevent them from rupturing in an accident. Most oil trains also must have electronically controlled brakes by 2021 that stop all a train’s cars at the same time, instead of sequentially. The oil industry has opposed the stronger tank car design, while railroads have fought the new braking requirements. Both have billions of dollars on the line. There’ve been dozens of fiery oil train crashes in recent years, including one that killed 47 people in Canada.

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VCU men’s basketball coach Wade to earn $1 million annually

WLNI-SRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Will Wade will be paid $1 million per season as the men’s basketball coach at VCU, and his five-year contract has bonus opportunities that could significantly boost his annual compensation. The 32-year-old Wade, hired earlier this month after Shaka Smart left for Texas, will draw a base salary of $450,000 and make $550,000 in supplemental compensation such as radio and television programs and participation in events affiliated with the university. Wade and the university had agreed in principle to terms when he was hired, but the paperwork was not completed and executed until April 24. Among the bonuses available are $50,000 for making the NCAA tournament, $75,000 for each victory in the first three rounds and $100,000 for making the Final Four and winning the national championship.

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Federal program helps Va. collect $54 million in debts

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal program has helped Virginia collect more than $54 million in delinquent debts. A report released Thursday shows Virginia’s collections for fiscal 2014 included about $42 million in child support obligations and about $10 million in  state income taxes. Virginia collected the debts through the Treasury Offset Program. Overall, the report shows states collected more than $3 billion in delinquent debts through the program in fiscal 2014. States submit debts to the program. It’s then used to intercept eligible federal and state payments to the debtors. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which released the annual report.

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VA Attorney General seeks meeting with Sweet Briar and group hoping to stop its closing

Sweet Briar CollegeAttorney General Mark Herring has sent letters to representatives of Sweet Briar College and the group hoping to keep it from closing. The letter asks for a meeting sometime in May in hopes of finding a resolution that does not involve costly litigation. The letter re-affirms Herring’s previous statements that his office has no standing to take a position one way or another.

Click here to read the full Attorney General’s letter

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Accident or violence? Lynchburg Police search for answers in man’s “significant” head injury

LPD lynchburg policeFrom Lynchburg City Police: On 04/28/2015 at approximately 0707 hours Officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to a report of an injured person behind a building located at 1003 Church Street. Upon arrival, Officers located a white male who was suffering from a significant head injury. The male was identified as Larry Wayne Moses w/m, age 45 of Lynchburg. Moses was transported to the Lynchburg General Hospital where he is being treated for his injury. He is currently listed in critical condition.  The Lynchburg Police Department is currently working hard to determine if the injury sustained by Moses was caused by an accidental act or an act of violence.

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Traffic: Milling and paving scheduled

lynchburg logo - important announcementsBeginning this Sunday, and continuing through Sunday, May 17, from 6:00 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily, milling and paving operations will be conducted on 501 South between the Graves Mill Road exit and just beyond the Timberlake Road exit. Traffic will be restricted to one lane.

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Judge denies bond for Noah Thomas’ father

Noah ThomasPULASKI, Va. (AP) _ A Pulaski County man whose son was found dead in a septic tank has lost another bid for bond. Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Bradley Finch denied bond for 32-year-old Paul Thomas on Wednesday. Finch’s decision came on Thomas’ appeal of a bond denial by a Juvenile and Domestic Court judge. Thomas is charged with felony child abuse and neglect. One count is related to the death of Thomas’ 5-year-old son, Noah, and the other is linked to his infant daughter, Abigail. Paul Thomas and the children’s mother, Ashley White, are accused of leaving the children home alone on March 22. The boy’s body was found on March 26. White also is charged with felony child abuse and neglect. She was denied bond last week.

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