Archives for January 2017

Officer seeks nomination

A Roanoke County police officer is seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff in Roanoke. McLaren Westland filed to run against incumbent Democratic Sheriff Tim Allen in this fall’s election. Westland is a veteran law enforcement officer as well as having served in the military.

Kroger will be Call Center

The former Kroger store in Lynchburg’s Forest Hills Shopping Center is being converted to a call center. The former grocery store space has been vacant for several years and other merchants in the shopping center hope the new tenant will bring some foot traffic to them. Sources tell WDBJ the call center could be up and running by the end of March with as many as 200 employees.

Roanoke Schools

Roanoke County Schools would open earlier if a new academic calendar is approved. Under the proposal the school district would start the 2018-2019 school year on August 13th and end May 22nd. The change would allow the first semester to wrap up before winter break. A survey distributed to students, staff and parents showed that 53-percent preferred the option that starts a week earlier. The school board is expected to approve the calendar at their next meeting.

Officer put on Leave

A Lynchburg police officer is resigning after being placed on administrative leave following a shoplifting arrest last month. Senior Officer Travis Dooley had been with the department seven years. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office was charged with shoplifting a bag of dog food at the Kroger store in Forest on December 19th.

Youth Pastor

A former youth pastor is spending the next six-years behind bars after being sentenced for computer solicitation and indecent liberties with a minor. Major Lance Hillman was found guilty of the charges last November in Campbell County Court. Court documents show the 23-year-old Lynchburg man solicited a 14-year-old girl attending a church where he volunteered.


Roanoke police are investigating a robbery in which the clerk was assaulted. The robbery happened around 6:30 yesterday morning at Star Valley Mini-Mart in the 800 block of Highland Avenue. Authorities say the suspect pointed sunglasses at the clerk and demanded money then assaulted the person behind the counter. The clerk was not seriously hurt and the suspect left without taking any cash.

Lynchburg Man

A Lynchburg man is facing multiple charges in connection with a robbery. Police say 20-year-old Oscar Orlando Floyd was caught on store surveillance video at the Sunshine Market on Campbell Avenue grabbing a woman and holding her while demanding money from the clerk. The robbery happened Tuesday night. Floyd was arrested around 7:30 last night and is being held without bond at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.

Roanoke apartment Fire

Fire officials are blaming smoking materials as the cause of a Roanoke apartment fire. The fire happened around 9:30 yesterday morning at the Walnut Knoll Apartments on Walnut Avenue Southeast. The resident of the apartment where the fire started was able to get out safely. The fire was contained to the first floor unit causing 50-thousand dollars in estimated damages.

Industrial Accident

A Campbell County man is dead after an industrial accident. Authorities say around 10 o’clock yesterday morning 68-year-old Louis Pettigrew Junior was on an 18-foot platform attached to a forklift at Lynchburg Powder Coating when he was electrocuted causing him to fall to the floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was an electrical contractor and volunteer of the Concord Rescue squad for 28 years.


More flight conveniences are being added for travelers flying out of Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. American Airlines will no longer use turboprops as it switches to larger regional jets on flights to Philadelphia which means extra room for carry-on luggage. American is also adding two additional flights to its Charlotte, North Carolina hub. Airport spokesman Bradley Boettcher says the additional seats should help bring the cost of flying down