Archives for May 2016

Apex Meeting

Apex Clean Energy held a second public meeting in Botetourt County for the introduction of what may be Virginia’s first commercial wind farm. Groups gathered yesterday afternoon at the Eagle Rock Library to learn and give feedback on what’s being called the Rocky Forge Wind Farm. Apex is requesting to build up to 25 turbines atop North Mountain near Eagle Rock.
The turbines would generate enough energy to provide 20,000 homes with electricity. Apex hopes to have the turbines installed by 2017.

McAuliffe on state funds

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is threatening to withhold state funds from the Metro transit system. McAuliffe announced he will put into place protocols to align the state’s transportation needs with WMATA. McAuliffe says he’s had it with Metro’s ongoing safety issues, and says the state should not have to contribute more money unless safety benchmarks are met. The governor went on to say he is a fan of Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, who is still new on the job. He says Wiedefeld is doing a good job so far in addressing maintenance needs that should have been addressed years ago.

Owen’s Pharmacy closing

Sad News coming from Owen’s Pharmacy, they are selling the pharmacy to CVS after being a part of our community since 1981. Charlie Kahle, the Pharmacist and owner posted a letter to Facebook addressing the closure. He said with insurance payments declining over the past years, it was time for him to sell Owen’s Pharmacy, at their Clifton Forge location, 1610 Main Street, to CVS pharmacy. Last day of business will be in a few weeks, on June 21st. he assured all customers their information will be safe during the transition, and said said his crew stands ready to lend a helping hand.

Getting the lowdown on hitech in VA

A move to improve high technology in the commonwealth. Virginia officials want residents to help them pinpoint what areas in the state lack access to broadband Internet service. The new initiative announced Tuesday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe is aimed at helping officials fill gaps in broadband coverage across the state. McAuliffe is asking residents to sign onto a new website to let officials know the level of Internet connectivity they have.

River Greenway

Close to 300,000 people use the Roanoke River Greenway each year. Local leaders want to make sure help is available along the path, if needed. “We are getting more tourists so it is good to have someone who knows where things are. Where is there a bathroom or water fountain?” said Liz Belcher. Belcher said the Greenway Ambassador program will kick off this summer. She hopes to have 12 to 20 trained volunteers, identified by brightly colored shirts or vests, help people along the path. In addition to providing information, the ambassadors will serve as an extra set of eyes and ears.

Ballast Point Beer

The Commonwealth of Virginia is quickly becoming the San Diego of the East.
Ballast Point has confirmed plans to purchase a massive 259,000 sq. ft. building in Botetourt County, where it will build its first East Coast production facility. According to a press release from the office of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the company plans to spend $48 million to build the new outpost. The new location will include a large-scale production brewery, distribution warehouse and retail taproom. The company — which was acquired by Constellation Brands for $1 billion last November — is also considering a restaurant component, she added.

Amtrak Service

We’ll soon be one step closer to restoring passenger train service for the first time in decades. It was recently announced that work on a new Amtrak platform will start this fall in Roanoke near Norfolk Avenue. The plans bring good news for the disabled. Instead of having to climb steps to get into the train, the plans have changed to call for level boarding. This will be the only Amtrak station in the state to have that feature. A state official tells the “Roanoke Times” service between Roanoke and the Northeast corridor should start in the fall of 2017.

Roanoke poll on President

Voters in Virginia seem to agree on one thing at least — they don’t like either presidential candidate. A new Roanoke College poll shows less than a third of the state’s voters view either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as favorable. Despite that, only two-percent say they won’t vote in November. As for those Virginians who will vote, 38-percent favor Trump and 38-percent favor Clinton. The poll’s director tells WDBJ-7 he can’t remember ever conducting a poll that was this close.

Tic or Click it

As part of the nationwide ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign, Roanoke County Police are stopping drivers who aren’t wearing seat belts. Over the next few weeks, the department will hold 10 different checkpoints. Officers will be looking for valid driver’s licenses and proper seat belt use. Sgt. Jeffery Johnson with the Roanoke City Police Department told us officers have zero tolerance for drivers who don’t buckle up.

Roanoke Airport

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport celebrates a decade-long partnership with Allegiant airlines. Firetrucks gave an arriving Allegiant flight a water cannon salute yesterday afternoon. And $200 travel vouchers and cake were also given to passengers. This airline was the first low-fare carrier the airport contracted with. During the 10-years, Allegiant has carried nearly 540,000 passengers. Most recently, the airline added a flight to Saint Petersburg, Florida.