Local News

Second “Groceries Not Guns” coming June 25

Second “Groceries Not Guns” coming June 25

Brenda Hale at podium- Alex Powell photo

The Roanoke NAACP, Roanoke Quaker Meeting, Roanoke City Police Department, and Grant Writer Catherine Stromberg are teaming up to put on the second “Groceries Not Guns” event where members of the community can give away their guns in return for gift cards worth from 150 to 250 dollars to purchase groceries. Event organizers hope “Groceries Not Guns” will reduce gun violence in an “unconventional way”. It will take place on June 25 from 11am to 3pm at the Melrose Community Center. Brenda Hale the President of the Roanoke Branch of the NAACP:

05-26 Hale-Groceries Not Guns-WEB

 

 

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Henry County drug bust doesn’t come easy

Henry County drug bust doesn’t come easy

(from Henry County Sheriff’s Office) On May 25 at 7:00 pm, deputies from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office went to 244 Grassy Creek Rd., Martinsville, VA, in an attempt to arrest Ronald Gene Edwards Jr.  (pictured) Mr. Edwards was wanted on felony drug indictments.  When deputies approached the residence, Edwards retreated into the home.

Deputies were able to make contact with Edwards, and he stated he was armed with a knife and refused to come out.  Negotiators from the Sheriff’s Office responded and made continuous attempts to contact Edwards without success.  A search warrant was obtained to enter the residence.

At approximately 11:00 pm, a tactical unit from the Sheriff’s Office made entry into the residence; after a comprehensive search of the home, it was discovered that Edwards was located in the attic.  Deputies made contact with Edwards, and he again advised he was armed with a knife and refused to come out.  At approximately 11:50 pm, deputies were able to remove Edwards from the ceiling of the home, and he was taken into custody.

Ronald Gene Edwards Jr, 33, of 1805 Eggleston Falls Rd., Ridgeway, VA, was taken into custody on the following charges.

  • Distribution of Fentanyl (felony)
  • Distribution of Tramadol (felony

In addition, he was charged with Obstruction of Justice (misdemeanor) for failing to exit the home.  He is currently held in the Henry County Adult Detention Center without bond.

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At the Movies: Top Gun Maverick

At the Movies: Top Gun Maverick

Brent Stevens At the MoviesNow here’s Brent Stevens from Hollins University “At the Movies” … with what’s new at the historic Grandin Theatre: the long-awaited sequel, “Top Gun-Maverick.”

ATM 5-26-WEB

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Total Action for Progress holding free back tax clinic

Total Action for Progress holding free back tax clinic

Graphic from TAP Facebook page.

A free tax clinic has helped area residents receive tens of thousands of dollars in back tax returns. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.

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Roanoke City Sheriff discusses need for more school resource officers

Roanoke City Sheriff discusses need for more school resource officers

Following the fatal school shooting in Texas ,Roanoke City’s Sheriff wants more resource officers stationed at schools across the district. WFIR’s Clark Palmer has that story.

5-26 Hash SRO Wrap-WEB

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NCAA women’s lacrosse championship in Salem this weekend

NCAA women’s lacrosse championship in Salem this weekend

Salem is set to host the NCAA women’s lacrosse championships for two divisions next year, but this weekend it’s already hosting a national championship for one. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.

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Salem hosts NCAA DIII softball championship

Salem hosts NCAA DIII softball championship

A university from inside the commonwealth has the best record in NCAA DIII softball–and its quest for a national championship swings into Salem this morning. WFIR’S Camden Lazenby has more.

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Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts record 1000 COVID-19 related deaths

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts record 1000 COVID-19 related deaths

Two years after the pandemic shut down the country, the area health districts have logged a grizzly milestone. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.

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RCAHD offers hepatitis A vaccines to taqueria diners

RCAHD offers hepatitis A vaccines to taqueria diners

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts logo. Graphic taken from RCAHD’s Facebook page.

A virus that creates liver inflammation has already infected 50 more people this year than it normally does in an entire year in this area. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.

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Bedford County Sheriff’s Office looking for stolen truck, trailer.

Bedford County Sheriff’s Office looking for stolen truck, trailer.

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is looking for help in locating a stolen 2005 Ford F-150, VA plate 1513XJ, along with a black 18 foot Proline/Nexhaul Trailer, VA plate 55171TM (similar to pic). It was taken from the 200 block of Bowles Street in the Stewartsville area early this morning. The truck should have a sticker in the middle of the back glass that says “Modern Muffler Custom Exhaust”.

Anyone with information please contact Investigator Burnette at 540-586-4800, dispatch at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900 or enter your tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3TIPS app on your mobile device. Crime Stopper callers remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward up to $1,000.00.

 

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Delta Dental Pro-Am for Kids benefits Boys & Girls Clubs

Delta Dental Pro-Am for Kids benefits Boys & Girls Clubs

Michelle Davis

Federal feeding programs only provide two meals a day, but during its summer camp sessions Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia serves 3 to 4 meals to all day campers at multiple sites. CEO Michelle Davis says inflated food prices these days has only made things worse. Those summer campers often come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Tomorrow the 25th Annual Delta Dental Pro-Am for Kids at Roanoke Country club will benefit the local Boys & Girls Clubs; to date the annual golf tournament featuring regional PGA professionals has raised more than a million dollars.

5-25 Delta#2-WEB

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Roanoke City “leading the way” in gun lock safety messaging

Roanoke City “leading the way” in gun lock safety messaging

After an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas Elementary School, one parent says Roanoke City is leading the way in efforts to get people to lock up their guns. WFIR’s Ian Price has more.

5-25 Lock Up Guns WRAP

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More travelers will take to the road for Memorial Day weekend

More travelers will take to the road for Memorial Day weekend

Despite record high gas prices near 90 percent of all Memorial Day weekend travelers will be taking to the road over the next few days. An update from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

5-25 Memorial Travel Wrap#2-WEB

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Gunman kills 19 children, 2 adults in Texas school rampage

Gunman kills 19 children, 2 adults in Texas school rampage

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults as he went from classroom to classroom at a Texas elementary school, officials said, adding to a gruesome, yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools, and stores.

The attacker was killed by a Border Patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup, according to a law enforcement official.

Tuesday’s assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Hours after the attack, families were still awaiting word on their children. At the town civic center where some gathered, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wailing. “No! Please, no!” one man yelled as he embraced another man.

“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent. “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”

Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two adults killed was a teacher.

Adolfo Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, was still outside the school as the sunset, seeking word on his 10-year-old great-granddaughter, Eliajha Cruz Torres.

He drove to the scene after receiving a terrifying call from his daughter shortly following the first reports of the shooting. He said other relatives were at the hospital and the civic center.

Waiting, he said, was the heaviest moment of his life.

“I hope she is alive,” Cruz said.

The attack was the latest grim moment for a country scarred by a string of massacres, coming just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim, if not dimmer, than in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.

But President Joe Biden appeared ready for a fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

It was not immediately clear how many people in all were wounded, but Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo said there were “several injuries.”

Staff members in scrubs and devastated victims’ relatives could be seen weeping as they walked out of Uvalde Memorial Hospital, which said 13 children were taken there. Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.

Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but they identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio. Law enforcement officials said he acted alone.

Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in second, third and fourth grades, is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.

The attack came as the school was counting down to the last days of the school year with a series of themed days. Tuesday was to be “Footloose and Fancy,” with students wearing nice outfits.

Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, according to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police. He noted that the gunman “suggested the kids should watch out,” and that he had bought two “assault weapons” after turning 18.

Before heading to the school, Ramos shot his grandmother, Gutierrez said.

Other officials said that the grandmother survived and was being treated, though her condition was not known.

Investigators believe Ramos posted photos on Instagram of two guns he used in the shooting, and they were examining whether he made statements online in the hours before the assault, a law enforcement official said.

Law enforcement officers were serving multiple search warrants Tuesday night and gathering telephone and other records, the official said. Investigators were also attempting to contact Ramos’ relatives and were tracing the firearms.

The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The attack began about 11:30 a.m., when the gunman crashed his car outside the school and ran into the building, according to Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. A resident who heard the crash called 911, and two local police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter.

Both officers were shot. It was not immediately clear where on the campus that confrontation occurred or how much time elapsed before more authorities arrived on the scene.

One Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.

The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement official said.

Meanwhile, teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, including 10 to 15 members of a SWAT-like tactical and counterterrorism unit, said Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol.

He said some area agents have children at Robb Elementary.

“It hit home for everybody,” he said.

Condolences poured in from leaders around the world. Pope Francis pleaded that it was time say ”‘enough’ to the indiscriminate trade of weapons!” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine, which is at war with Russia after Moscow invaded, said that his nation also knows “the pain of losing innocent young lives.”

The tragedy in Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it added to a grim tally in the state, which has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years.

In 2018, a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. A year before that, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack targeting Hispanics.

The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. Abbott and both of Texas’ U.S. senators were among elected Republican officials who were the scheduled speakers at a Friday leadership forum sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying arm.

In the years since Sandy Hook, the gun control debate in Congress has waxed and waned. Efforts by lawmakers to change U.S. gun policies in any significant way have consistently faced roadblocks from Republicans and the influence of outside groups such as the NRA.

A year after Sandy Hook, Sens. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, negotiated a bipartisan proposal to expand the nation’s background check system. But the measure failed in a Senate vote, without enough support to clear a 60-vote filibuster hurdle.

Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases. One bill would have closed a loophole for private and online sales. The other would have extended the background check review period. Both languished in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome objections from a filibuster.

___

This story was first published on May 24, 2022. It was corrected to reflect that state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said the gunman shot his grandmother before going to the school; he did not say the gunman killed his grandmother. It was also updated to correct the spelling of the name of the 10-year-old great-granddaughter.

___

Eugene Garcia and Dario Lopez-Mills in Uvalde, Jake Bleiberg in Dallas, Ben Fox, Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington, Paul J. Weber in Austin, Juan Lozano in Houston, Gene Johnson in Seattle and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

___

More on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: https://apnews.com/hub/school-shootings

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Texas school shooting kills 18 children, 3 adults

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — The death toll from the shooting at a Texas elementary school has risen to 18 children and three adults, a state senator said.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez said he was briefed by state police on the latest fatalities at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a heavily Latino community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.

Three people wounded in the attack are hospitalized in serious condition, Gutierrez told The Associated Press.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old gunman opened fire Tuesday at a Texas elementary school, killing at least 14 children and a teacher and wounding others, Gov. Greg Abbott said, and the gunman was dead.

It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since a gunmen killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, almost a decade ago. And it came just 10 days after a gunman in body armor killed 10 Black shoppers and workers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities say was a racist attack.

Federal law enforcement officials said the death toll was expected to rise. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release investigative details.

The gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with a handgun and possibly a rifle, Abbott said. Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but the governor identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos and said he was a resident of the heavily Latino community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio.

A Border Patrol agent who was nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.

The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement source said.

Abbott said the shooter was likely killed by police officers but that the events were still being investigated. The school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, said that the attacker acted alone.

The massacre of young children was another gruesome moment for a country scarred by an almost ceaseless string of mass killings at churches, schools and stores. And the prospects for any reform in the nation’s gun regulations seemed at least as dim as in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.

The gunman in Uvalde “shot and killed, horrifically, incomprehensibly, 14 students, and killed a teacher,” the governor said, adding that two officers were also wounded but were expected to survive.

“Pray for the lost, their families, and Uvalde,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a tweet.

It was not immediately clear how many people were wounded, but Arredondo said there were “several injuries.” Earlier, Uvalde Memorial Hospital said 13 children were taken there. Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.

Robb Elementary School has an enrollment of just under 600 students, and Arredondo said it serves students in the second, third and fourth grade. He did not provide ages of the children who were shot. This was the school’s last week of classes before summer break.

A heavy police presence surrounded the school Tuesday afternoon, with officers in heavy vests diverting traffic and FBI agents coming and going from the building.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting on Air Force One as he returned from a five-day trip to Asia. Biden was scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday evening at the White House.

Uvalde is home to about 16,000 people and is the seat of government for Uvalde County. The town is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.

The tragedy in Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it added to a grim tally of mass shootings in the state that have been among the deadliest in the U.S. over the past five years.

In 2018, a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. A year before that, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack.

The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. Abbott and both of Texas’ U.S. senators were among elected Republican officials who were the scheduled speakers at a Friday leadership forum sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying arm.

In the years since Sandy Hook, the gun control debate in Congress has waxed and waned. Efforts by lawmakers to change U.S. gun policies in any significant way have consistently faced roadblocks from Republicans and the influence of outside groups such as the NRA.

A year after Sandy Hook, Sens. Joe Manchin a West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, negotiated a bipartisan proposal to expand the nation’s background check system. But as the measure was close to being brought to the Senate floor for a vote, it became clear it would not get enough votes to clear a 60-vote filibuster hurdle.

Then-President Barack Obama, who had made gun control central to his administration’s goals after the Newtown shooting, called Congress’ failure to act “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases. One bill would have closed a loophole for private and online sales. The other would have extended the background check review period. Both languished in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome objections from a filibuster.

___

Associated Press writers Jake Bleiberg in Dallas, Ben Fox in Washington, Paul J. Weber in Austin and Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.

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Possible exposure to Hepatitis A at Tuco’s

Possible exposure to Hepatitis A at Tuco’s

MGN

(ROANOKE, Va.) – On Monday, May 23, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCHAD) received a new report of an employee of a local food establishment who has been infected with hepatitis A. The local health department dispatched the environmental health team to Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje, 416 Salem Ave. in Roanoke to conduct a comprehensive inspection and to interview key personnel. The restaurant’s management team is fully cooperating with the investigation. Based on the inspection and interviews, it was determined that there is no significant risk of exposure to the public since it was determined the individual did not directly handle food.

Out of an abundance of caution and given the high level of sensitivity to the current hepatitis A outbreak in our community, the Roanoke City Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje between May 3-15, 2022. Hepatitis A vaccines will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last at the Roanoke Health Department, located on the 2nd Floor at 1502 Williamson Rd:

  • Thursday, May 26, 3-6p.m.
  • Friday, May 27, 8:30-11:30a.m.
  • Friday, May 27, 1-4p.m.

“While we are saddened to announce another case connected to a current hepatitis A outbreak in our area, we believe this potential exposure is low risk for the public. Still, the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all, and may be available through your provider or pharmacist. Individuals who are uninsured or underinsured are encouraged to reach out to RCAHD local health departments for vaccine opportunities,” said RCAHD Health Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

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Downed tree causes major structural damage

Downed tree causes major structural damage

Roanoke Fire-EMS was dispatched to the 2500 block of Creston Ave SW at 9:14 a.m. for a report of a tree falling on a house. Crews arrived to find major structural and property damage. Fire-EMS personnel performed hazard and structural stability assessments before turning the property over to the property owner. Two residents have been displaced. No injuries were reported.

(No cause given yet, although prolonged heavy rain can uproot trees from saturated ground and bring them down)

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Boy Bands Through the Ages at MMT this weekend

Boy Bands Through the Ages at MMT this weekend

Mill Mountain Theatre is hosting a concert called Boy Bands Through the Ages, highlighting some of the biggest hits by boy bands over the past 6 decades.. WFIR’s Alex Powell has more:

05-24 MMT Boy Band Concert Wrap-WEB

More information here on Boy Bands Through the Ages

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Local R&B artist releases song about mental health, “Okay”

Local R&B artist releases song about mental health, “Okay”

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Its no secret that many have struggled with those issues over the past two years. Now a Roanoke musician has collaborated on a new song about mental health and learning to cope. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more on “okay,” In Depth:

5-24 In Depth Okay Song

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Guns and Hoses Charity Softball Game this Friday

Guns and Hoses Charity Softball Game this Friday

Picture taken from the Salem Red Sox’ Facebook page.

Area police and fire departments will be in a league of their own later this week at Salem Memorial Ballpark. WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more.

 

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