Altavista has a brand new look and a new economic development program. The Campbell County town recently completed five phases of street-scape improvements that added new features to the downtown area. Linda Rodriguez, the Executive Director of Altavista on Track, an economic development agency tells WDBJ-7 that the “ Pop Up” Program is a comprehensive plan to bring new businesses into town. As part of the effort, organizers plan to survey town residents to learn what kinds of businesses they’d like see. The information will be used to recruit specific types of entrepreneurs.
Three years after closing down the Thomasville building in Appomattox has a new owner. The furniture manufacturing plant shut down in 2011, citing weak furniture sales. The company that handled the bankruptcy auction, tells media outlets that they can’t say who the new owner is yet because they haven’t closed on the deal but the sale is expected to be finalized within the next 60 days.
A Lynchburg man pleaded guilty Wednesday to repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend’s lover. The News & Advance reports, 29 year old Jamel Owen Davis, was arrested in April and charged with one count of malicious wounding on Wednesday, prosecutors filed a motion to reduce that charge to unlawful wounding a lesser offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. With the charge amended, according to the article, Davis pleaded guilty. A pre-sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 22.
Authorities say two robberies early Wednesday morning are connected. The first happen at the 7-11 just past the Lynchburg City line in Campbell County. A masked man with a gun walked in demanded money. About 30minutes later, it was the Shell Station not far away this one inside city limits. The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and the Lynchburg Police Department have confirmed the suspect as the same person. Both robberies remain under investigation.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Testimony has wrapped up in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Closing arguments are set for Friday morning. The last witness Thursday was an FBI agent who testified that the McDonnells were together 90 percent of the nights during the 22 months that were the focus of the investigation. The testimony is intended to undercut a defense claim that the McDonnells’ marriage was so fractured they couldn’t have engaged in a conspiracy. The McDonnells are charged with taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company’s dietary supplements. Williams testified under immunity that he spent lavishly on the McDonnells only to secure their help. McDonnell denied criminal wrongdoing.
A young bald eagle that looked barely alive earlier this month will be returned to the wild later today. Workers at a landfill in Dublin found the eagle yearling about two weeks ago, and after rehabilitation at a wildlife hospital, the eagle looks good to go and will be released at Claytor Lake State Park. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
Click here for full information on this eagle’s recovery and return.
WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ A Massachusetts Air National Guard officer says authorities are still searching for the pilot of a fighter jet that crashed in Virginia and do not know whether the pilot may have ejected. The single-seat F-15C crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday morning. Col. James Keefe of the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard said at a news conference in Westfield, Massachusetts, that the missing pilot is an experienced flyer. He said the plane was on its way to New Orleans to have a radar installed as part of routine maintenance. Keefe said he had not received confirmation that anyone had reached the crash site. Officials say the pilot reported an inflight emergency, then lost radio contact.
A motion hearing was held this week in the case of a Lynchburg man accused of killing a Campbell County woman. 27 year old, Anthony Dale Witt, stands accused of killing 53-year-old Barbara Martin inside her Concord apartment in August 2012. On Tuesday, an attorney with the Capital Defender Office, asked that potential jurors be questioned individually; BUT the judge ruled that the panel of 18, potential jurors will be divided into groups of the three for sensitive questions. The judge also ruled against a motion by defense to allow for a victim outreach specialist in Witt’s case. Prosecution and defense are required to submit their questions for the jurors 21 days before the trial gets underway in February 2015.
The trial for a man accused of stabbing to death his father-in-law in Campbell County has been delayed. Vincent Earl Spinner is charged with robbery and the capital murder of 89-year-old James Payne at his Rustburg home in August of 2012. The judge in the case, on Tuesday, agreed to continue the trial which was originally set for October. One motion presented by prosecution, argued that defense counsel must convey Spinner’s alibi, if they hope to use an alibi defense during the trial. The judge said he will consider the motion and rule on it; and decide on the new trial date at a Sept. 16 hearing.
Pittsylvania County officials hope a speed reduction will help keep drivers safe and ultimately decrease the number of crashes on the county’s country roads. There have been ten fatal accidents already this year in Pittsylvania County. There are many gravel roads, one-car bridges, and unmarked pavement across the rural locality. VDOT recently completed a speed study on those problem areas… the result, is a speed limit reductions from 55 to 45 miles per hour on those roads. VDOT has not actually said the roads are safe or unsafe, but they did find enough evidence and enough information to lower the speed limit.