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Gene Marrano

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The Lynchburg Hillcats organization is issuing an apology for what it calls last night’s “lackluster” fireworks show after the game. Hillcats president Chris Jones says they are addressing that issue with the fireworks company. In the meantime, everyone is invited back to City Stadium tomorrow for a night of free baseball — and another fireworks show.

From the Lynchburg Hillcats: “On behalf of the entire Lynchburg Hillcats organization, we would like to apologize to our fans for yesterday’s disappointing fireworks show,” said Hillcats President Chris Jones. “We understand how much fireworks mean to our fans and community, especially on Independence Day, and the satisfaction of our fans is our highest priority. We are currently in communication with the fireworks company to address the unfortunate deficiencies with the show that was supposed to be the biggest and best of the year.”

With that in the mind, the Hillcats would like to invite the entire community back to City Stadium on Saturday, July 6, to enjoy the baseball game and our next fireworks show FREE of charge. Anyone that has already purchased tickets for July 6 will be able to redeem those for any other fireworks night for the remainder of the season.

(Lynchburg PD) On June 29, 2019 at 11:20pm, officers of the Lynchburg Police Department were dispatched to the 1400 block of Augusta Street for a report of a large party and loud music. A crowd had gathered in the street and a short time later, multiple shots were fired from the crowd. Medics arrived on the scene and transported an adult victim with a single gunshot wound. Two other adult victims arrived at the hospital. One victim suffered a single gunshot wound and another with a head injury. All three victims’ injuries are nonlife threatening. Two vehicles were also struck by gunfire.This case is active and ongoing

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) – Police in Virginia have arrested the mother of a missing 2-year-old boy who authorities now believe is dead. Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult told news outlets at a Friday night conference that specific charges against 34-year-old Julia L. Tomlin are pending, and the search for Noah Tomlin is intensifying. Noah was last seen around 1 a.m. Monday, and his mother reported him missing at 11 a.m. that day.

Police say they don’t have specific information pointing to a landfill around 10 miles from Noah’s home, but have spent the last few days searching it based on past experience. The FBI is assisting.

White House photo

(AP) The pastor of a Virginia church has asked God to give President Donald Trump wisdom to lead the country. Standing with Trump at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, pastor David Platt said Sunday that “fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Trump made an unannounced stop at the church after leaving his private golf club in Sterling, Virginia. The president bowed his head as Platt led the congregation in audible prayer. The president did not address the congregation but mouthed “thank you” as he left the stage.

The White House said Trump stopped at the church to visit with the pastor and pray for the victims of Friday’s deadly mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Rev. Franklin Graham called for a nationwide day of prayer Sunday for Trump

(from Fox News) National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch ripped Rep. Ilhan Omar after she blamed the gun rights group for the deaths inside a Virginia Beach municipal building on Friday. The Minnesota Democrat took a swipe at the NRA just hours after a disgruntled city employee went on a shooting spree that left 12 people dead and four more injured.

“I am outraged and heartbroken,” she wrote in a tweet. “How much longer will we ignore the pain of our communities? We need to immediately confront the power of the NRA and end the epidemic of gun violence in this country.” DeWayne Craddock, the suspected shooter, died in a gunfight with police officers. He was a veteran employee of the Public Utilities Department who made multiple legal firearm purchases, including for a handgun and rifle, in recent weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A police officer was also wounded, but was saved by his bullet-proof vest. The police didn’t reveal the motive for the shooting. Omar’s comment about the NRA prompted the group’s spokeswoman to question how it was related. “This was a heinous tragedy,” Loesch wrote in a tweet. “Your remarks move me to ask: What do 5 million members of the NRA have to do with this man’s crime? Was this man a card-carrying member? His purchases were legal, whose fault is that? Does he bear any blame at all? Serious questions.” The Minnesota Democrat has long been opposed to the NRA, often decrying the supposed influence of the group on the gun control debate in the country.

The News & Advance reports that animal-rights activists protested the planned opening of a new aquarium yesterday over allegations the company behind the interactive aquatic exhibits has abused and exploited animals.

SeaQuest Lynchburg is a planned 22,000-square-foot, $5 million aquarium slated to open inside River Ridge mall this summer. The aquarium is expected to feature several hands-on exhibit and hundreds of species, including sharks, stingrays and exotic birds.

The aquarium has generated significant interest since it was announced in March, according to mall officials, but protesters warn the company has a history of misconduct. The group carried signs denouncing SeaQuest, a for-profit company based in Idaho, and  pointed to allegations of neglect at other SeaQuest locations across the country as proof the company poses a threat to animals.

SeaQuest sent a statement outlining the features of their new aquarium and noting that they often house rescue animals. The statement did not specifically address protesters’ concerns about allegations of animal abuse. The River Ride Mall manager told the News & Advance she was confident the animals would be well cared for.

(from Virginia State Police) Virginia State Police Trooper T.M. Wertz is investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash in Bedford County. The crash occurred May 4, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. on Route 460 near Harvest Lane. A 2007 Hyundai Elantra was traveling east in the westbound lane of Route 460 when it first struck a westbound 2012 Nissan Maxima and then struck head-on a westbound 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe. The driver of the Hyundai, Owen W. Smith, 86, of Lynchburg, Va., died en route to the hospital. Smith was wearing a seat belt.


The driver of the Nissan, Autumn R. Ledbetter, 38, of Prince George, Va., was treated for minor injuries and released from Lynchburg General Hospital. Her passenger was not injured in the crash. Both were wearing seat belts.The driver of the Chevrolet, Lester B. Wilkenson, 61, of Lynchburg, Va., was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. His wife and passenger, Eugenia Wilkenson, 61, was flown to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Both were wearing their seat belts. The crash remains under investigation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia regulators have approved the first round of what’s set to be about $1 billion in new spending on energy efficiency programs designed to reduce the need to produce and distribute electricity. The State Corporation Commission on Thursday approved 11 new programs costing $226 million requested by Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electric utility. The commission also approved energy efficiency spending by Appalachian Power, the state’s second largest electric utility.

Regulators ordered both companies to show evidence in the future whether the programs were reducing energy consumption. The increase in energy efficiency spending was mandated by lawmakers in 2018.

Mike Young Va Tech photo

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech President Dr. Tim Sands and Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced on Sunday that Mike Young has accepted the men’s basketball head coaching position at Virginia Tech. The Radford, Virginia native joins the Hokies after a record-setting 17-year tenure at Wofford. The Terriers posted a 30-5 overall record in 2018-19, including a perfect 18-0 mark in Southern Conference play and registered a convincing 84-68 win over Seton Hall in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

“We are fortunate to have been able to recruit Mike Young to Virginia Tech, not only because of his proven leadership and coaching ability, but because Coach Young is home in Southwest Virginia and leads his life in the true Hokie tradition of integrity and commitment to service,” Dr. Sands said.

(from News & Advance) After serving children in need for nearly 60 years, Patrick Henry Family Services is closing its Brookneal campus this summer. The 700-acre campus was the location of the nonprofit’s residential boys home since it began helping youth in 1961, with services like a farm program, swimming pool, gym and tennis courts.

Now, CEO Robert Day said the organization is shifting its focus from group homes to placing children in short-term care with local families. In October 2018, Patrick Henry Family Service’s 28-member board of trustees voted to close the Brookneal campus, which costs around $150,000 to maintain annually. Day said the decision came after five years of strategic planning and evaluating the shifting landscape of children’s homes. Additionally, the federal government enacted new legislation in 2018 that stresses prevention and early intervention in child welfare.

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