A new treatment could be next option for the PCB problem at the Altavista emergency overflow pond. Town officials are considering an experimental remediation plan to treat the contaminants. The process would fight the toxins with two techniques: the first includes planting switchgrass in the soil, the second phase would inject the plants with bacteria that can metabolize the PCBs. The DEQ has requested peer reviews and a risk mitigation report for the new method. The proposed experiment will come before council in November—Once approved, the process would span 12 to 18 months beginning this winter.
A jury trial began this week for a man facing prison time for stabbing his ex-wife’s lover. 35 year old, James David Fincher, of Moneta, is accused of repeatedly stabbing 35 year old, Houston Walthall, on July 4th of last year. The Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney introduced a blood-stained hunting knife into evidence on Tuesday; along with a forensic nurse that testified that there were six lacerations, with the worst injury, being a severed artery on Walthall’s left forearm. Prosecution will have closing arguments today with the defense expected to present its evidence.
From the City of Lynchburg: The city and Lynchburg College will hold a joint Open House for residents and city and college stakeholders on Thursday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m. to learn more about the Lynchburg College Lake Dam study. The Open House will take place in the Community Meeting Room at the Lynchburg Public Library, 2315 Memorial Avenue. Earlier this summer, the City, in close collaboration with Lynchburg College, began a study to investigate potential solutions to the spillway inadequacy at College Lake Dam. The outcome of this study will help the City determine what actions should be taken to comply with new dam safety regulations adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
(Continue reading for the rest of the news release.)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Employment Commission says the state’s jobless rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent in September. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September also was the same rate as a year ago. Officials say Virginia’s jobless rate has increased slightly for the past five months. Jobs decreases wereseen in industries including private education and health services, professional and business services, construction, total government and miscellaneous services.Increases were seen in finance, as well as trade and transportation. Employment in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and mining were unchanged.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Department of Health is helping answer questions from the public and provide the most up-to-date information regarding Ebola to Virginians. The agency says it has set up a hotline that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline can be reached at 877-275-8343. Officials say Virginia’s 211 Call Center will be handling these calls using frequently asked questions developed by the department. State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine says Virginians are understandably concerned about their risk of catching Ebola and the agency is responding through multiple channels. Updates and answers to frequently asked questions are also being shared daily via the agency’s website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Voting rights groups are worried that Virginia’s new voter ID law will disenfranchise some Virginians in next month’s midterm elections. Anne Sterling, president of the League of Women Voters of Virginia, says that rural, poor and elderly voters could face a harder burden to vote this year because they will have to show a photo ID. Her group is working to help people obtain IDs ahead of the election. Defenders of the state’s voter ID law say it provides ample opportunities for people who don’t have photo IDs to get them in time to vote. The law’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, argues the law is important because it buttresses voter confidence in the electoral system.
The search for missing Nelson County teen Alexis Murphy will resume next month. Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks says they were searching an area in Orange County as recently as August but delayed the search until the fall because of thick vegetation. The 17-year-old was last seen August 3, 2013 at a Liberty gas station in Lovingston. A jury convicted Randy Taylor of murder in the commission of an abduction and abduction with intent to defile in Murphy’s disappearance. He’s currently serving a sentence of two life terms.
The Lynchburg City School Board is set to vote today on pay raises for substitute teachers along with other key substitute positions. The News & Advance reports, the division is looking to meet requirements set by the state and federal government. According to the article, the division’s director of personnel, told the board on Oct. 7 that only 67 percent of the positions needing substitutes during September were filled. The assistant superintendent for operations and administration, says the number hit 54 percent on one day last month. Other items on the agenda for tonight’s board meeting include, a decision being made regarding employee benefits enhancements and lighting upgrades.
A proposed expansion of the Region 2000 landfill had opponents attending a second public hearing on the matter this week. The projected lateral expansion would allow the landfill on Livestock Road to operate until 2027 and hold an additional two million yards of waste. Neighbors expressed concerns on Monday about landfill growth; and what it means for their property values and the possibility of more trash resulting in more sewage treatment sludge. According to the News & Advance, the master plan is still in its preliminary phases; and officials say opportunities will be available to comment throughout the process during other public hearings.