Truck crosses I-77 and crashes; driver dies

I-77-logoFrom Virginia State Police: At 8:06 a.m. Friday (July 3), Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper D.A. Phipps was called to the scene of a fatal crash in the southbound lanes of Interstate 77. The crash occurred near the 22 mile marker in Carroll County.  A tractor-trailer pulling double trailers was traveling north on I-77 when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as it came through a curve. The tractor-trailer ran off the left side of the highway, went through the median, and overturned across the southbound lanes of I-77. When the tractor-trailer entered the southbound lanes, the second trailer struck a 2014 Chevrolet Aveo. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Randall O. Page, 36, of Charlotte, N.C., died at the scene. The driver of the Aveo, a 22-year-old Ohio woman, was transported to Wythe Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  The cause of the crash remains ongoing.

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Former Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver dies

Virginia-Tech-LogoBLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Former Virginia athletic director Jim Weaver has died. He was 70. The university said in a news release that Weaver died Thursday morning. He disclosed in 2008 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and he retired for health reasons in 2013. He served as Virginia Tech’s athletic director for 16 years, the second-longest tenure in school history. Weaver arrived in September 1997, when the Hokies played football in the Big East and all other sports in the Atlantic 10. By 1999, the Big East invited the Hokies to become an all-sports member. Five years later, they moved again, joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. He also presided over many facilities upgrades, including expansion of Lane Stadium to a capacity of 65,632.

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One lane of 12th Street scheduled to close temporarily

lynchburg logo - important announcementsOn Thursday, July 9, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the northbound lane of 12th Street will be closed to allow for southbound traffic to be redirected to that lane. Northbound traffic will be detoured to Dunbar Drive. This change in traffic patterns is to allow for slope maintenance. Motorists are cautioned to be aware of the change and to observe caution.

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Virginia’s Pamunkey Indian Tribe granted federal recognition

WLNI-SNORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The Department of Interior has granted federal recognition to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the first in Virginia to receive the designation. The designation allows federal spending on medical care, housing and education. It also could lead to the tribe seeking a casino through a separate approval process, although the Pamunkey have say they have no plans to do so. Still, the tribe’s application was opposed by MGM Resorts, which is building a casino at the National Harbor outside the nation’s capital in Maryland. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus also opposed recognition, saying the tribe had a history of banning interracial marriages with blacks. The tribe’s 200-acre rural reservation is about 25 miles east of Richmond. It has about 200 members.

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New leadership steps in at Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar CollegeSWEET BRIAR, Va. (AP) _ Sweet Briar College has a new president and a new board of directors. The changing of the guard occurred Thursday under terms of a mediated settlement to keep open the small liberal arts college that was scheduled to close in late August. In a statement issued by Saving Sweet Briar, the college’s new president, Phillip Stone, said the “tremendously fierce commitment” of the school’s alumnae had not been tapped when they were needed most. He also said it is not his intention to keep the school running for just one more academic year, adding that the aim is to keep Sweet Briar open for another 114 years. In early May, the now former leadership of the women’s college said Sweet Briar would have to close because of insurmountable financial challenges.

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Lynchburg man arrested for robbery, abduction and carjacking

Brandon Hayes

Brandon Hayes

From Lynchburg City Police: On June 30, 2015 a victim reported being robbed by a male armed with a handgun in the Sandusky area of Lynchburg. The suspect forced the victim to put a variety of electronic equipment into the victim’s vehicle. The suspect then forced the victim to drive him to Simons Run where the suspect, still armed with the handgun, told the victim to get out of the vehicle. The victim complied and the suspect then stole the vehicle. Shortly after the incident was reported, the stolen vehicle was located parked and unoccupied on Simons Run, without the numerous electronic equipment. As a result of an intense investigation, the Lynchburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division identified the suspect as 25 year old Brandon Alexander Hayes, of Lynchburg. Warrants were obtained for robbery, abduction, carjacking, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and preventing someone from summonsing law enforcement. On July 2, 2015, a search warrant was executed by the Criminal Investigations Division, with the assistance from the LPD Tactical Unit, at a residence in the 700 block of Leesville Rd. Hayes was taken into custody without incident. This incident is believed to have been a targeted crime and not random as the suspect and victim had previous contact.

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Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb to run for president

Former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb

Former Virginia
U.S. Sen. Jim Webb

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is running for president, joining a field of Democrats challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton for the nomination. Webb says in a message on his website that the nation “needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us.” Webb was the first Democrat to form an exploratory committee, announcing his interest in a presidential campaign last November. A Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary under President Ronald Reagan, Webb was elected to the Senate in 2006 and served one term.Webb has made frequent trips to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. But he faces long odds in a field dominated by Clinton that also includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

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Man gets community service for defacing Confederate monument

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A man must perform 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to defacing a Confederate monument in Richmond. Media outlets report that 39-year-old Joseph Weindl of Richmond pleaded guilty on Thursday to defacing a public monument. A Richmond General District Court judge suspended a 90-day jail sentence and ordered community service. Weindl also must pay $200 in restitution. Police say Weindl spray-painted an “L” on the base of a monument honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis on June 28. Weindl’s attorney, Daniel Watkins, said earlier this week that his client regrets the action.  Confederate symbols have been the focus of debate since the June 17 massacre at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. The accused gunman had posed in photographs with the Confederate battle flag.

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Small plane crash lands at Va. airport; 2 people injured

WLNI-MHILLSVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Virginia State Police say two people suffered minor injuries when a small plane made a crash landing at Twin County Airport. State police say the 1979 Piper Cherokee Warrior crash landed about 200 to 300 feet short of the Hillsville airport’s runway while trying to land shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday. The pilot and a passenger were taken to Galax Hospital. State police identified the pilot as 70-year-old Roger L. Kempfer of Riner. The adult male passenger wasn’t identified. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

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Officials: Students’ gender identity determines restroom use

WLNI-SNEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) _ The U.S. Justice Department says in a court filing that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The department says in a statement of interest filed Monday that failure to do so amounts to sex discrimination under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972. The document is in response to a federal lawsuit filed against the Gloucester County School Board by a 16-year-old transgender student who wants to be allowed to use the boys’ restroom. The lawsuit says Gavin Grimm used the communal restrooms without incident until the board adopted a policy in December requiring transgender students to use a private facility. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an order allowing Grimm to use the boys’ restrooms

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