Archives for March 2016

Fire caused by lighter

A fire on Hillcrest Avenue was caused by a child playing with a lighter. Roanoke Fire-EMS were called Monday evening, to the 3400 block of Hillcrest Avenue. The fire was under control within 30 minutes. The child sustained a burn to the hand and was treated by EMS at the scene. Damages are approximately $45,000. Remember- it’s spring break and kids are curious….keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children!

Botetourt Funding

Botetourt County Supervisors heard a final appeal Monday night from the two agencies asking for the most funding for fiscal year 2017: schools and fire and emergency services. Supervisor Chair Jack Leffel says talks on the school budget fell short of his hopes. A general fund that he says has had a more than $900 thousand hole for the past three years, but he says a two percent raise for teachers is still a top priority, because the state will be doing the same for its employees.

Clock ticks on college savings plan enrollment

Time is winding down to enroll in Virginia’s prepaid college tuition program. The deadline for the current enrollment period ends Thursday March 31. The program will then be closed to new enrollments until the next window of opportunity, typically in December. Called Virginia529, the program allows families to purchase semesters of tuition for children through ninth grade. The program covers all of the future normal full-time undergraduate in-state tuition and mandatory fees assessed to all students at Virginia public two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Trails to Botetourt County

The Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission could one day blaze new trails north to Botetourt County, providing better links to the Appalachian Trail, the Carvins Cove Natural Reserve and the upper James River. A step in that direction was taken Wednesday, when the commission recommended that Botetourt be allowed to join the regional greenway network. The governing bodies of the commission’s four members — the cities of Roanoke and Salem, Roanoke County and the town of Vinton — are expected to vote by July 1 on whether to accept their northern neighbor.

Small plane crash

Virginia State Police are releasing more details about a small plane crash. No names as of yet, still waiting to be advised. Police said Long Circle at Martinsville Highway will be closed overnight by VDOT using cones and barrels due to aircraft debris in the roadway. The FAA will be responding to the scene tomorrow to investigate. Four people were on the aircraft, only the pilot was injured. The pilot was transported for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

New flight instructor

The Appalachian Flying Service has a new instructor, and the students are loving it. “Going to the Mercer County Airport. for a flight lesson,” says students Brandon McCain. “Hopefully I’ll solo today.”
Brandon McCain is one of about 20 students at the Appalachian Flying Service. He has 27 flying hours under his belt. McCain, normally a quiet guy is feeling a bit more nervous than usual. His instructor Joe Sakellar served in the military, now he’s passing his wings along to the next student. McCain became a student in 2014 but the school went through some low’s so McCain had to wait before he came back to the school. he credits the new instructor for his success.

Shooting in Buchanan

One man is dead after an officer involved shooting in Buchanan County, Saturday morning.
A Sheriff Deputy and Town of Grundy police officer were dispatched to the scene. Shortly before law enforcement arrived on scene a second call came in from the same residence reporting the suicidal subject was armed and firing his weapon outside the home. Officers arrived on scene and were met with confrontation. The man was shot by officers and died at the scene. No officers were injured. The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office is investigating the incident.

Lexington Unites

People from all over Lexington unite in song at Hopkins Green after KKK leaflets were found in driveways and yards earlier this month. The flyers mention “White Pride” and “White Power”, then encourages others to join the Ku Klux Klan. Several Lexington Residents were very upset about this, and gathered for a rally at Hopkins Green earlier this week, because they want things to change. Those that met,plan to form a group to educate others on the importance of diversity. The Lexington Police Department is currently looking for whoever distributed the flyers.

Denied bond

The former Roanoke City Fire Department Lieutenant accused of sexually abusing a child has been denied bond for a second time. A three day jury trial is set for the end of August. David Bocock( Bow cock) was charged with sodomy last month, which will not be prosecuted, and was later indicted by a grand jury on nine more charges including two counts of rape. Yesterday, Bocock said that if released on bond he would live with his parents in Botetourt County and not contact the victim or the victim’s family. Bocock’s mother testified she would pay the bond. The judge denied his request.

Unemployment Rates

Unemployment rates increased in 52 of West Virginia’s 55 counties in February. WorkForce West Virginia says unemployment rates fell in Marion, McDowell and Wyoming counties. Jefferson County’s 4.4 unemployment rate was the lowest in the state, followed by Berkeley County at 5.2. Calhoun County had the highest unemployment rate at 17.3 percent. Mingo was next at 14.9 percent, and Roane was at 14.1 percent. Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in February to 6.5 percent.