Lynchburg man charged with stealing two cars and crashing them both

Christopher Houston

Lynchburg Police say a city resident stole two cars yesterday and crashed them both in hit-run accidents. Police say 38-year-old Christopher Houston first stole a vehicle from the Auto Connection on Lakeside Drive and crashed it later in the day Virginia Beach. At that point, say police, Houston stole a second vehicle and crashed that one as well in Virginia Beach. He faces multiple charges.

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Man charged with animal cruelty for shooting neighbor’s dog; dog’s owner also faces charges

More charges have been filed against a Bedford County man who authorities say shot a neighbor’s dog in front of children — and the dog’s owner faces her own charges. It surrounds an incident earlier this month in Goodview when a man told sheriff’s deputies he shot the dog after it bit his grandson. 60-year-old Fred Dooley was charged at the time with reckless handling of a firearm, and now, he faces an animal cruelty count. The sheriff’s office says Natasha Simpson is charged with failure to vaccinate for rabies and failure to register the dog.

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Now on line: a map that shows every accident location in Virginia — and the cause of each

You can now go on line and see exactly how many accidents have occurred on any Virginia roadway or intersection. You can search by street — or by accident cause like speeding, texting or alcohol use. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story;

07-26 Crash Map Wrap-WLNI-WEB

Click here for the DMV interactive accident map

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Poll: Gillespie and Northam with 44% support each

A new statewide poll shows the race for Virginia governor is currently neck-and-neck. The Monmouth University Poll finds 44% of those questioned favoring Democrat Ralph Northam — and an equal 44% for Republican Ed Gillespie. It also finds that support for and opposition to President Trump has the potential to impact the fall election. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

07-25 Monmouth Poll Wrap-WLNI-WEB

Click here for full Monmouth University Poll results and methodology.

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Photo: suspect sought in Forest tobacco store theft

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office hopes a surveillance photo will help  identify and find the man who broke into a Forest tobacco store over the weekend. Officials say it happened shortly before dawn Saturday at the Tobacco Express at Forest and Graves Mill Roads. The owner tells investigators the thief took off with 14 cartons of smokes.

(Continue reading for the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office news release.)

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CVCC awarded $150,000 scholarship grant for nuclear industry studies

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has awarded a $150,000 grant to Central Virginia Community College, one supporting scholarships for students studying for jobs in the nuclear industry. Those studies are in machining, welding and nuclear technology. CVCC is one of five community colleges nationwide to be awarded such a grant, and the only one in Virginia.

From Central Virginia Community College: LYNCHBURG, VA – Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) has been awarded a $150,000 Trade School and Community College Scholarship Grant by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The primary objective of this NRC grant is to support scholarships for CVCC students who are studying machining, welding and nuclear technology and are interested in obtaining a job in the nuclear industry. CVCC Dean of Science, Math & Engineering, Dr. Cynthia Wallin stated, “We are thrilled to be one of five community colleges nationwide to be awarded such a grant, and the only one in Virginia.  Due to our strong partnership with local companies such as BWXT and AREVA, this is a great opportunity for our students.”

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Does the campaign cycle ever end? 2018 Virginia campaigns already making news

This year’s election is still more than three months away, but next year’s Virginia Senate race is already in the news. Within the last week, Corey Stewart announced his candidacy, and Tim Kaine announced key members of his campaign staff. WLNI Political Analyst Bob Denton says for better or worse, this simply reflects the current state of U.S. politics. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

07-20 2018 Campaign Wrap-WLNI-WEB

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Investigators seek whereabouts of Madison Heights teenage girl missing more than three weeks

Da’ja Johnson

The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding a  teenage girl missing for more than three weeks. Officials say 17-year-old Da’ja Johnson of Madison Heights was last seen June 22nd. They think she may be in the Gretna area.

From the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office: The office needs your help with locating a missing juvenile. Da’ja Monique Johnson, 17, of Madison Heights was last seen in the Madison Heights area on 06/22/2017. She is 5’ 6” and approximately 150 lbs and may be in the Gretna area. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lieutenant John Tetterton at 434-946-9373 ext. 3.

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Report: credit newcomers pay 84% more for Virginia auto insurance than excellent credit drivers

A new report shows that auto insurance rates in Virginia are 84% higher on average for buyers without credit scores than for buyers with excellent credit — a higher difference than the national average. The difference mainly affects credit newcomers, typically recent college grads or someone with no bank account history. The report comes from the free-credit-score website Wallet Hub. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones:

07-17 Auto Rates Wrap-WLNI-WEB

Click here to see the full WalletHub report.

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Bedford Co. 911 gets call for “unresponsive child” who had been in a home pool

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office says a couple showed up at the Georgia Pacific plant’s guard house in Big Island this afternoon with an unresponsive two-year child. Arriving rescue units learned the child had been in a home pool – the child was then transported to Central Lynchburg General Hospital. No further details are yet available.

From the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: At 1:50 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from the guard house at Georgia Pacific on Lee Jackson Highway in Big Island. The caller advised that a couple showed up there with an unresponsive two year old child. Bedford County Fire and Rescue and Big Island Rescue units were dispatched along with Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies. After rescue units arrived on the scene they learned that the child had been in a home pool. The child was transported to Centra Lynchburg General Hospital. An investigation into this incident is being conducted to determine the whereabouts and cause.

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