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NEWS RELEASE: (Asheville, NC) – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Blue Ridge Parkway is increasing recreational access at campgrounds in both Virginia and North Carolina. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning July 31, 2020, the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen access to four campgrounds at the

following locations:

Virginia:

  • Peaks of Otter Campground, Milepost 85.9
  • Rocky Knob Campground, Milepost 169

North Carolina:

  • Julian Price Park Campground, Milepost 297
  • Linville Falls Campground, Milepost 316.4

Reservations for each location are now available through www.recreation.gov with dates beginning July 31.

The following areas continue to be available:

  • Select concession operations (additional details available on park website)
  • Picnic Areas
  • Select Additional Restrooms
  • All Parkway trails, and
  • All other sections of the motor route in North Carolina and Virginia, except for a road closure from Milepost 115.5 to Milepost 135.9, from the Explore Park Access Rd. to Adney Gap, due to multiple road hazards

With public health in mind or due to ongoing projects or repairs, the following seasonal visitor facilities remain closed:

  • Visitor Centers park-wide
  • Otter Creek Campground
  • Doughton Park Campground
  • Crabtree Falls Campground and Picnic Area
  • Mt. Pisgah Campground

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Blue Ridge Parkway, the operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. The parks continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders in North Carolina and Virginia, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website at www.nps.gov/blri and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

NEWS RELEASE: LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating a breaking and entering that occurred overnight. On July 25, 2020 at 10:45 p.m., officers responded to the 6200-block of Old Mill Road for a report of a breaking and entering. After investigation, officers determined an individual entered a residence through a window before fleeing on foot.

Anyone with information about this incident, or who may have seen anyone in this area around 10:45 p.m. tonight, is asked to contact Officer Canzone at (434) 221-9107 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on a mobile device.

NEWS RELEASE: Lynchburg, Va.- The Lynchburg Hillcats are pleased to announce the Dogwood District Senior Game that will take place at 6:00 pm on Sunday, August 2nd at Bank of the James Stadium.

“After the success of the Ronnie Roberts Classic and seeing the impact the game had on not only the Seminole District Seniors but our entire community, we are excited to host the Dogwood District for a memorable night at Bank of the James Stadium,” said Hillcats’ President Chris Jones. The game will start at 6pm and feature 22 high school seniors from the Dogwood District.

“Having seven seniors this year, we were heartbroken that they lost the opportunity to run onto the field one last time together. We’re excited and thankful that they will get that chance now. They are just a great group of guys!” said Altavista High School Head Coach Kyle Hoehne.

Tickets for the game are on sale now! Tickets can be purchased online (https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/BuyNew.asp?EventID=310389) and at the Bank of the James Stadium box office.

“It’s been a heart breaking spring for all these seniors. I’m excited to see them all play one last time together,” echoed Andy Haga, William Campbell High School Head Coach.i

Concessions will be open for fans to enjoy while watching the seniors play. Due to social distancing rules a maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold.

NEWS RELEASE: Randolph College announced Thursday that it would be moving classes online for the fall semester.

In a message to the Randolph community, President Bradley W. Bateman said the College originally planned to return to campus in the fall. However, recent developments have prompted a change to the plan. Central to the decision was the lack of quick, large-scale asymptomatic testing and contact tracing, as well as the impact the pandemic-related changes would have on student life.

“The simple truth is that we do not see the situation in our country improving before our campus opens to our full student body in a month’s time. Because of this, we are not confident the College would be able to remain in-person the entire semester without serious COVID-19-caused disruptions,” Bateman said.

“By committing to online instruction for the fall now, we are not only able to give our faculty more time to prepare their courses, but we are able to hopefully alleviate some of the uncertainty that has existed for students and families this summer,” he added. “We just do not believe the limited in-person experiences we would have been able to provide this semester, not to mention the extremely regimented residence hall policies, would meet the expectations of our students and families.”

Lessons learned from the abrupt shift to remote learning during the spring have allowed the College to improve its technology and online offerings. The College’s small size also lends itself to providing a unique, personalized online academic experience for students. Numerous virtual experiences will be planned to help students stay engaged and connected with one another and the College during the semester.

“Our faculty members are extremely dedicated to our students-and to teaching-and I know they will make sure our students receive the best possible experience,” Bateman said. “The hallmark of an education at Randolph is the close, personal attention given to every student. That will continue this fall, and it is also what will make our students’ experiences richer and more rewarding than those offered by larger online providers.”

More information is available on the College’s website at www.randolphcollege.edu/COVID19. While Randolph hopes to resume classes on campus for the spring semester, a final decision will be made later in the fall.

“Living the life more abundant often requires us to adapt and change as the road curves and weaves in front of us,” Bateman said. “Our community is resilient and strong, and I know that when we are once again together behind our Red Brick Wall, we will be even more grateful for the family that is Randolph College.”

To read the email sent to students, faculty, staff, and parents today, please see https://www.randolphcollege.edu/covid19/

Photo: ACSO

NEWS RELEASE: On June 18th, 2013 Thomas W. Sprinkle Jr. was reported missing to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office. At the time Mr. Sprinkle went missing, he was driving a white 2001 Dodge Van. On 7/21/2020, The Virginia State Police dive team was assisting in the recovery of a vehicle that was accidentally lost on the boat ramp at Monocan Park when they found a white van on the river bottom. The van recovered on 7/21/2020 has been positively identified as the van belonging to Mr. Sprinkle. The investigations division is working to excavate the interior of the van and have found suspected human remains which have been transported to the medical examiner’s office.This will remain an active investigation until the suspected remains are positively identified, but at this time no foul play is suspected.

NEWS RELEASE: Due to a break on the raw waterline from the Pedlar Reservoir, Lynchburg Water Resources is using the James River as our source water until further notice.There will be no interruption in water service during this time. Water sourced from the James River is treated to the same strict standards as water sourced from the Pedlar Reservoir. We will notify the public when the waterline is repaired and when we begin to source water from the Pedlar Reservoir.For more information, please call Lynchburg Water Resources at 434-455-4250.

NEWS RELEASE: LYNCHBURG, Va. – An anonymous donor is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) who fired shots at Lynchburg Police Department Officers the night of June 1, 2020.

On June 1, 2020 at 10:42 p.m., two officers were patrolling the area of Park Avenue and Stuart Street in connection with a protest in the area of Miller Park. At that time, individual(s) fired multiple shots from an automatic weapon in the direction of the two officers.

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Campbell at (434) 485-7267 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on a mobile device.

MGN

NEWS RELEASE: Wirtz,VA. (July 12, 2020) –On Saturday, July 11, 2020, the Franklin County Communications Center received a 911 call at approximately 9:00 pm alerting of a subject in the river in distress. Witnesses were unable to locate the subject. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin County Public Safety responded to the incident in the 5000 block of Brooks Mill Road. Rescue searches were conducted and unable to locate; rescheduled the search to this morning (Sunday, July 12, 2020) during daylight hours.

In the early hours of Sunday, July 12, 2020, an additional 911 call came in from fisherman who had located a deceased person in the water. Franklin County deputies and Public Safety responded. The victim is Charles Jacob King, 26 years old of Hardy, VA.While this investigation is ongoing, no foul play is suspected at this time.If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 483-3000.

Photo: VSP

SENIOR ALERT: The Virginia State police is looking for Sonya Babiy Riche, race: white, sex: female, age 80 years old, height 5 foot 2 inches, weight 148 lbs., with hazel eyes and gray hair. She was last seen on July 11, at 1430 hours leaving her residence on Larboard Drive in Moneta, Virginia, traveling to Cary, North Carolina. She was last seen wearing brown pants and a blue sweater.

She is driving a 2008 white Acura TSX sedan with Virginia registration, 19SD95. She may be in North Carolina but at this time it is unknown.

The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearance poses a credible threat to her health and safety as determined by the investigating agency.

Please contact the Virginia State Police Salem Division with any information regarding her whereabouts at (540) 380-5700 or you may find complete information at http://www.vasenioralert.com

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