Local News

Weekly jobless claims in Virginia approach 150,000

Weekly jobless claims in Virginia approach 150,000

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Nearly 150,000 Virginians filed unemployment claims in the last week, the third straight week of record-setting claims in reaction to the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that 149,758 claims were filed in the state in the week ending April 4. That’s about a one-third increase over the previous… ... Continue Reading
New Panthers coach misses his players

New Panthers coach misses his players

The Carolina Panthers play here on WPLY – but no one is playing or training right now due to COVID 19 and social distancing. New Carolina head coach Matt Ruhle reflects: WPLY-MIN ... Continue Reading
Southwest Virginia LewisGale practices implement telehealth options

Southwest Virginia LewisGale practices implement telehealth options

Lewis Gale Physicians are now offering telehealth visits for all specialties in Southwest Virginia practices. WFIR’s Ian Price has more: 04-09 Telehealth WRAP ... Continue Reading
Q99 breaks format Easter Sunday, will air “Day of Inspiration”

Q99 breaks format Easter Sunday, will air “Day of Inspiration”

WFIR’s sister station Q99 is  breaking its usual format in a big way Easter Sunday in efforts to bring hope and optimism to listeners dealing with the many coronavirus impacts upon their lives. Q99 will replace “Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” for 11 hours Sunday with a “Q99 Day of inspiration”. The station will present uplifting… ... Continue Reading
Local delegate does not want to see May muni elections moved

Local delegate does not want to see May muni elections moved

Governor Northam has now called for the General Assembly to vote on moving next month’s municipal elections to November due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, but one local delegate objects to that move, as WFIR intern reporter Rachel Meell reports: 4-9 Joe Mac-Elections Wrap ... Continue Reading
Roanoke County employee tests positive for COVID-19

Roanoke County employee tests positive for COVID-19

NEWS RELEASE: (Roanoke County, VA —April 9 , 2020) In an email notification to Roanoke County employees on Thursday, County Administrator Dan O’Donnell shared that a Roanoke County employee has tested positive for COVID-19. “The individual was last in the workplace on Saturday and began exhibiting mild symptoms on Sunday, ” said O’Donnell. “The employee… ... Continue Reading
34 more Virginia COVID-19 deaths reported in one day

34 more Virginia COVID-19 deaths reported in one day

The Virginia Department of Health reports 109 deaths statewide from COVID-19, an increase of 34 in one day. That is by far the single largest one-day jump since the virus first arrived in the commonwealth. At least 35 of those 109 deaths are at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility in Henrico… ... Continue Reading
Northam: No easy options in balancing COVID, elections

Northam: No easy options in balancing COVID, elections

Governor Northam wants Virginia’s May municipal elections postponed until November – and he has delayed June’s congressional primaries by two weeks. The governor said Wednesday there are no easy options trying to balance the importance of elections with the current COVID-19 health crisis. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more: 04-09 Northam Voting Wrap1 ... Continue Reading
The mental health aspects of COVID-19

The mental health aspects of COVID-19

How are people – especially the older population most at risk – dealing with the constant drumbeat of COVID-19 news and stay at home orders? One local psychiatrist weighs in, as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports: 4-9 Trinkle-Wrap#1 ... Continue Reading
Pedestrian sustains serious injuries after being hit by two vehicles in Roanoke County

Pedestrian sustains serious injuries after being hit by two vehicles in Roanoke County

From Roanoke County Police Department :Roanoke County Officers were dispatched to the area of Electric Road and Ogden Road in reference to a report that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle. Officers arrived on scene and located the subject, who had been struck by 2 different vehicles. The victim was transported to the… ... Continue Reading
Northam proposes postponing this year’s May elections to November

Northam proposes postponing this year’s May elections to November

Governor Northam wants the May municipal elections delayed until November. Many cities and towns, including Salem and Vinton, are scheduled to hold their elections next month, but Northam says delaying them is the best way to proceed under current circumstances. 04-08 Northam Bite1 It is up to General Assembly to enact that proposal. As for… ... Continue Reading
“Takeout maps” show you which local restaurants are still open

“Takeout maps” show you which local restaurants are still open

Many local restaurants have had to close because of the coronavirus, but there are some that are still in operation offering takeout. How can you know which ones are open? WFIR intern reporter Rachel Meell has more: 4-8 Takeout Maps Wrap For the takeout maps and other resources from Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, click here. ... Continue Reading
Can’t go to the Grandin to see a flick? Let the Grandin come to you

Can’t go to the Grandin to see a flick? Let the Grandin come to you

The Grandin Theatre has launched a Virtual-On-Demand platform allowing you to see new movies at home. Patrons can click on the Grandin Theatre homepage and scroll down to see this week’s offerings. Executive Director of the Grandin Theatre Foundation Ian Fortier says it won’t be blockbusters like the new James Bond. There’s currently five films… ... Continue Reading
Ronald McDonald House still looking to help families

Ronald McDonald House still looking to help families

The news that Carilion Children’s is closing its NICU to all visitors as of yesterday – coupled with a directive from Ronald McDonald House Charities a few weeks ago – means the local Ronald McDonald House is no longer offering shelter to families in town while their child is receiving medical treatment. Anna Semonco is… ... Continue Reading
Study gives Virginia and its localities grades for social distancing

Study gives Virginia and its localities grades for social distancing

An independent company has measured how well people are social distancing – and our region did NOT make the dean’s list. WFIR’s Ian Price has details: 04-08 Social Distancing VOICER Review the grades that are updated daily by clicking HERE ... Continue Reading
Virginia Tech to move summer classes online, freeze hiring

Virginia Tech to move summer classes online, freeze hiring

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech announced it will move all summer classes online and impose a hiring freeze amid the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to moving classes online, new student orientation for the fall semester and summer conferences will also take place digitally, the university said Monday. Events that cannot be moved online are slated to be… ... Continue Reading
VT food safety expert: Don’t do this with food delivered to your door

VT food safety expert: Don’t do this with food delivered to your door

A Virginia Tech food safety expert says there is a very low COVID-19 risk from any food you order on line for delivery to your home – or from its packaging. Joell Eifert says the greater health risk is leaving any delivered food outside for more than 20 minutes. She spoke with WFIR’s Evan Jones:… ... Continue Reading
Chargers GM says they are happy with ex-Hokie Tyrod Taylor at QB

Chargers GM says they are happy with ex-Hokie Tyrod Taylor at QB

Cam Newton is a former number one overall NFL pick and a league MVP who took the Panthers to a Super Bowl. Could the LA Chargers be a landing spot? GM Tom Telesco says for now they figure to stick with former Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor: WPLY-MIN ... Continue Reading
Center in the Square asks for help with the doors closed

Center in the Square asks for help with the doors closed

It takes more than 2 million dollars a year to operate Center in the Square and support the dozen organizations housed there. Right now there is no revenue coming in – so the President and General Manager is asking for help, as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports: 4-8 Center-Sears Wrap#2-WEB ... Continue Reading
How do laundromats deal with COVID? Start by removing all the chairs

How do laundromats deal with COVID? Start by removing all the chairs

Laundromats are not businesses where social distancing is the typical norm. So in this coronavirus era, owners are quickly coming up with ways to comply. The owner of six Roanoke-area businesses has removed all the chairs so customers will wait in their cars. And they are asked to do their folding now at home, not… ... Continue Reading

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