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ROCKY MOUNT — The eradication of dangerous low-head dams in Rocky Mount is marching forward, with crews in town to remove the dam on the Pigg River next to Veterans’ Memorial Park. Since two people died near a low-head dam on the Blackwater River within two months in the summer of 2009, the town has sought to modify or remove this type of dam, according to Matt Hankins, Rocky Mount’s assistant town manager and community development director. The smaller form of obstruction in a river, which allows water to flow over its top, creates a hydraulic effect at the bottom that can trap people who go under the water. Contractors began work last week to remove the dam near South Main Street in Rocky Mount. While the town has simply placed large rocks over the other low-head dams, eliminating the danger to boaters, the dam near Veterans’ Memorial Park also has been causing problems for another population. Federal officials have gotten involved in this project, shouldering most of the cost, as part of an effort to save the Roanoke logperch, an endangered species of fish native to the Roanoke River watershed. The U.S.
Blue Ridge Caucus
Steve White has played with one band or another for the 20 years he's lived in Roanoke. Anytime he's asked to play a benefit, White's there. That's one of the reasons event organizer Willow Rosenblatt wanted to stage a benefit concert for White's family once she learned his stepdaughter, five grandchildren and great-grandchild were burned out of their home on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. That and the fact Rosenblatt knows only too well the devastation of watching from the curb as your home and all your treasures - a lock from your child's first haircut, the first photo after his birth - burn. Ten years ago, and just three days before Christmas, Rosenblatt and her children were that family.
As dawn greets the day, temperatures will rise and whatever weather event the Roanoke and New River valleys encountered Sunday will be over. "Perhaps it's not quite as bad as we anticipated. But it's not over yet," Robert Beasley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, said Sunday evening. The threat of an ice storm kept people mostly at home on Sunday with the supplies of batteries, bread
Five local school systems have joined nearly 60 others across the state calling for a dramatic overhaul of the state’s aging system of standardized tests that measure learning. Since 1997 Virginia students have taken Standards of Learning assessments, which are used to hold school systems accountable and gauge student achievement. While the curricula and tests have seen revisions over the years, what’s been missing, some say, is large, systemic change.
Dave Trinkle ended speculation on Sunday that he’d launch an independent run for the House of Delegates. In three successive tweets, Trinkle told his supporters that while he appreciates the enthusiasm from Saturday’s Democratic primary, he will not seek the seat as an independent. Sam Rasoul bested Roanoke Councilman Trinkle by 44 votes in a four-way primary in which 2,632 voters turned out to nominate a Democrat to fill the
A 21-year-old Covington man has been arrested in last week's slaying of a 71-year-old Selma man. Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin Hall said Dustin Thomas McLear was picked up at a relative's home where he had been staying in the 300 block of East Hawthorne Street and was taken to the sheriff's office for questioning. He was then charged early Saturday with second-degree murder of Joe Ray Rumfelt. McLear is being
By the time Jesse Freedman joined one of Roanoke County’s volunteer environmental committees, the ideas were already in motion. With only a year and a half of participation under his belt, Freedman is now preparing to take over as chairman of RCCLEAR, a county-sponsored program that aims to reduce carbon emissions across the locality. He appeared alongside county General Services Director Anne Marie Green at a November meeting, in which
Roanoke Fire-EMS responded to an electrical fire early Sunday at a house in the 1100 block of Rugby Boulevard. The fire was reported at 2:28 a.m., caused about $20,000 in damages and displaced seven residents, according to a fire department spokeswoman.
Q. With the holidays here, a steady stream of family and friends will be visiting us here in the Star City. We've taken them to the [Mill Mountain] Star and all the other familiar places countless times now. Can you give us some off-the-beaten-path sites and activities for these holiday visitors? Andy Angiano, Roanoke A. What a well-timed question. As many of us prepare for an onslaught of friends and
Jim — who asked that his name not be used for this story — has survived at least 20 heart attacks over the past 20 years. At 69, his life is hard — he barely makes a living off of his and his wife’s retirement checks and a reverse mortgage. And yet, when he talks about his troubles, the cheerful expression in his eyes and the soft smile that plays
Botetourt Planning Commission Regular meeting When: 6 p.m. Monday Where: 5 W. Main St., Meeting Room 102, Fincastle Salem City Council Regular meeting When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, work session; 7:30 p.m., regular meeting Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 114 N. Broad St., Salem On the agenda: Public hearing and consideration of resolution authorizing issuance of $7.25 million in general obligation bonds; presentation regarding Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year ending
1988 (25 years ago) "The chairman of Center in the Square is a little bit amazed that it's ready to expand just five years after opening its doors." " 'O. Henry's Christmas Carol,' Mill Mountain Theatre's holiday offering and opening play of its 25th season, is a true event. Milton Granger, associate professor of music at Hollins College ... wrote the lyrics, book and music. The result is a considerable
MONTEREY — Ann Foster’s allergies have taken her over many a mountain in search of a cure. Foster lives in rural Highland County, where there is no hospital, no practicing physician, not even a pharmacy. To see a pulmonary specialist, Foster recently had to drive to Harrisonburg, a three-hour round trip on winding country roads. “It shoots a day by the time you travel over the mountains,” Foster said. Highland
Officials say neither person who died in separate car crashes in Franklin and Alleghany counties this weekend was wearing a seat belt. In the first crash, Taylor Renee Fridley, 17, died at the scene in the Covington area when the truck she was riding in struck a tree and overturned, said Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Rob Carpentieri. Fridley was the passenger in a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado that ran off
The History Museum of Western Virginia will send Jolly Old St. Nick off to the North Pole at Santa’s Yuletide Party. Santa’s band, The Figgy Pudding Band, will perform in concert. Where: History Museum of Western Virginia, 1 Market Square S.E., Roanoke When: 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 22 Cost: $15, $10 children, free for children 3 and younger Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 342-5770
With implementation of Virginia’s new voter ID law seven months away, state election officials are scrambling to create a photo ID card that will be provided to voters for free. They also are gearing up to educate the public about the law that will take effect July 1. The state is organizing a marketing campaign and vetting vendors charged with the creation of a voter identification card that will meet
Calendar control and funding are, not surprisingly, top priorities for area school systems as they lobby lawmakers and line up agendas before the General Assembly convenes in Richmond next month. Most local divisions are once again trying to overturn Virginia’s “Kings Dominion law,” which prohibits schools from opening before Labor Day without a waiver from the state. A bill to repeal the law was pre-filed this week. Intended to protect
Sunday Old Southwest Parlor Tour With nine houses available for viewing, and proceeds benefiting Old Southwest Inc. Tickets can be bought at the entrance to Highland Park the day of the event. When: 1 to 5 p.m. Where: Various locations, Old Southwest, Roanoke Cost: $20 Contact: www.oldsouthwest.org Candy Cane Express Celebrate the holidays at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Train rides, take your own pictures with Santa, family activities, model
Joe Tinsley, 60, remembers a time in his youth when he could quit a job in the afternoon and have offers of two or three new ones before the day was out. “It’s not like that anymore,” he said. Jobs are hard to find and there are dozens of applicants for each one. Tinsley was born in Lynchburg and attended Dunbar High School. His parents insisted he learn a trade,
Remember the old-time office Christmas party? They could get pretty wild. Nowadays they’re mostly memories — we live in an age of liability that discourages work-premises drinking and encourages sex harassment complaints. But before we completely bid good riddance to them, here’s the story of the wildest one I ever attended. The odd thing is, it also helped me afford gifts for my family that year. It was in either
HOT SPRINGS — Virginia Republican leaders on Saturday urged party activists to pull together after losing a gubernatorial election that exposed divisions in the GOP ranks, and to work toward broadening the party’s appeal in a diverse state. U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Henrico County, told a luncheon audience at the annual Republican Advance that recent election defeats “have inflamed a lot of tension and, as a result, we’ve been witnessing
A carefully choreographed routine plays out in the cold, pre-dawn hours. The players wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., climb into a four-wheel drive vehicle and brave slick roads. They’re on a deadline. Primarily facilities and transportation staffers from area school systems, they also monitor weather reports and talk to the Virginia Department of Transportation and law enforcement before making a recommendation to a division superintendent about whether it’s
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims