NEWS RELEASE: Mark Linkous bought two tickets for the Virginia Lottery’s February 2 Cash 5 night drawing. He had the exact same five numbers on both tickets: 9-20-27-31-33. When those ended up being the winning numbers, both of his tickets won the $100,000 top prize for a total win of $200,000.
“I couldn’t believe it!” the Pulaski man told Lottery officials as he claimed his prize.
He bought both tickets at BP Express Stop, located at 611 East Main Street in Pulaski.
He discovered he had two winning tickets as he sat watching television the day after the drawing. At first he thought he’d only matched three numbers, rather than all five.
Cash 5 drawings are held daily at 1:59 p.m. and 11 p.m. The odds of winning the $100,000 top prize are 1 in 278,256.
The Virginia Lottery is good fun for a great cause. Mr. Linkous lives in Pulaski County, which received more than $2.9 million in Lottery funds for K-12 public education in Fiscal Year 2019. For more information and a complete list of Lottery funds distributed to Virginia school districts, visit the Virginia Lottery’s Giving Back page.
NEWS RELEASE: On February 17, 2020 at approximately 4:00 pm, National Park Service dispatchers received a report of a vehicle off the roadway and down an embankment near parkway milepost 23. Reports came from pedestrians near milepost 23 who spotted the pickup truck while jogging along the parkway. Rangers responded and found the operator, James Jenkins, 84 years old, of Brightwood VA, deceased in his crashed vehicle. The accident and cause of death are currently under investigation.
UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: An 18-year-old Alexandria male has been arrested and charged in Saturday’s double homicide in Halifax County. On Thursday (Feb. 13, 2020) morning, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office took Mohamed A. Aly into custody without incident in Alexandria, Va. Aly has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Aly will be held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax, Va.
At 2:51 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8), Virginia State Police responded to Route 58 in Halifax County near Melon Road. A silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median with Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., found deceased and lying in the grass nearby. Both had suffered gunshot wounds.
“State police personnel have been working around the clock pursuing multiple leads related to this homicide investigation,” said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office. “We cannot thank the public enough for providing the tips and information necessary to aid our special agents with effecting an arrest so quickly.”
Since Saturday, the FBI Richmond Field Office, ATF and several other local law enforcement agencies have been assisting state police with the homicide investigation. State police has also been assisted with various evidentiary searches in Halifax County by K9 teams from the Virginia Department of Corrections and Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.
As the investigation remains ongoing at this time, the Virginia State Police is still encouraging anyone with information about this incident or individuals involved to contact us at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email email@example.com. Anonymous calls are welcome.
PREVIOUS: The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office continues to follow up on various leads related to the ongoing double homicide investigation in Halifax County. Investigators are still encouraging the public to come forward with any information related to the victims and/or the circumstances surrounding their deaths alongside Route 58 in the Turbeville community early Saturday morning.
At 2:51 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8), Virginia State Police responded to Route 58 in Halifax County near Melon Road. A silver 2009 Nissan Maxima was located in the median with Ntombo Joel Bianda, 21, of Alexandria, Va., and Ayanna Munne Maertens Griffin, 19, of Germantown, Md., found lying in the grass nearby. This particular stretch of Route 58, also known as Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours.
The two victims were close acquaintances. The silver Nissan is registered to Bianda. Their remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner for examination and autopsy. At this stage of the investigation, state police is not releasing each victim’s cause of death. This particular stretch of Route 58, named Philpott Road, is fairly isolated and not heavily traveled in the overnight hours.
“Our special agents are diligently working to determine Mr. Bianda and Ms. Griffin’s exact destination Saturday morning and the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths alongside Route 58 in Halifax County,” said Capt. David O. Cooper II, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office. “We are exploring multiple possibilities to include there being a second vehicle involved, which is why it is so important for anyone who may have seen or heard something suspicious early Saturday morning along Philpott Road to reach out to state police.”
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128 or #77 on a cell phone or to email firstname.lastname@example.org. State police are looking for anyone who may recall having seen the silver Nissan Maxima with Virginia license plates anywhere between South Boston, Va. and Danville, Va. between the hours of 11 p.m. Friday (Feb. 7) and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8). State police would also like to hear from anyone who may have passed through this stretch of Route 58/Philpott Road near Melon Road between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 8) and saw or heard anything suspicious. Anonymous calls are welcome.
NEWS RELEASE: Appalachian Power representatives are planning a second set of open houses for the Joshua Falls – Gladstone phase of the Central Virginia Transmission Reliability Project. The project provides a new electrical source for the region, increase s reliability for customers and supports the retirement of aging equipment. The project includes several phases over the next few years in five central Virginia counties. The Joshua Falls – Gladstone phase involves building approximately 15 miles of transmission line and improving four substations in Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell and Nelson counties.
From Lynchburg Police Department: LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Campbell Avenue Citgo overnight.
UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: Virginia State Police Trooper M. A. Wilkinson is investigating a two vehicle crash in Appomattox County. The crash occurred on Monday (Jan. 27) at 1:50 a.m. in the 7700 block of Redhouse Road (Rt. 727) when a 1998 Toyota Camry crossed the center yellow line and collided with a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado traveling in the opposite direction.
The driver of the Camry, Martha Giles, 43, of Lynchburg, Va, died at the scene. She was not wearing a seatbelt.
The crash remains under investigation.
This is all the information we have at this time. We will follow up with additional details once they become available.
PREVIOUS: Virginia State Police Trooper M. A. Wilkinson is investigating a two vehicle crash in Appomattox County. The crash occurred at 1:55 a.m. this morning (Jan. 27) in the 7700 block of Redhouse Road (Rt. 727). There is one confirmed fatality. The crash remains under investigation.
(Check back for updates)
From Liberty University:Liberty University junior Natalie Hathcote was selected from a pool of 18,000 college undergraduates to compete on one of the most popular TV quiz shows of all time, “Jeopardy!,” in its annual college tournament.After Hathcote submitted her online audition in October, which included a 50-question quiz, she received an invitation to perform an in-person audition in Los Angeles in November. Of the 250 students who were selected to audition, only 15 made it through. Hathcote was among them.Hathcote will travel to California to tape the show early next month, and it will air in April.
NEWS RELEASE: Lynchburg City Schools was informed this afternoon by Liberty University that the Vines Center will not be available for graduation in May due to a construction project that starts on the facility in April.
Although we had not signed a contract, we had requested a save the date, which the Vines Center planner had previously confirmed.
Due to the lateness of this new information coming to our attention, and the need to solidify plans, 2020 graduation ceremonies will remain at the respective high schools.