Archives for May 2018

NHRA Drag Racing Returns

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is headed back to Virginia Motorsports Park. The inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals take place June 8-10, marking the first NHRA race at the facility since 2009, and the longtime Funny Car star is anxious to see the reception from the massive fanbase in the area.
The top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle will all try to pick up wins at a race that will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including finals coverage beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. It is the 10th of 24 events during the 2018 NHRA season and comes as the second stop in a string of four consecutive race weekends.

VA Sets Five Year Record Low For Memorial Day Traffic Deaths

Virginia experienced its fewest number of traffic deaths during the 2018 Memorial Day weekend – the lowest within at least the past five years. Preliminary reports indicate six traffic deaths occurred on Virginia highways during this year’s statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 25, 2018) and concluded at midnight Monday (May 28, 2018). There were six fatal crashes. Also, 99 impaired drivers were arrested and charged with DUI. In addition, state troopers cited 8,004 speeders and 2,360 reckless drivers.

Man Arrested For Allegedly Assaulting State Trooper In Kenbridge

A man is under arrest after an incident in Kenbridge during which he allegedly assaulted a state trooper. Police say the driver of a car was pulled over on the 2000 block of South Hill Road for speeding and became combative with the officer. 27 year old Johankneckt tried to set the trooper’s uniform on fire and punched the trooper in the face. He was taken into custody and charged with reckless driving, resisting arrest and attempted wound of a police officer. Additional charges are pending.

Colonial Heights Seeks ‘Clean The Bay Day’ Volunteers

Colonial Heights Recreation & Parks, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other partners across Virginia are recruiting volunteers for “Clean the Bay Day” scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. The City of Colonial Heights clean-up location for adults 18+ is Appamatuck Park located at 151 Archer Ave. Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. Thirty years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

This short, three-hour annual event has a massive cumulative impact. Since 1989, Clean the Bay Day has engaged over 152,000 volunteers, who have removed approximately 6.4 million pounds of debris from nearly 7,390 miles of shoreline in Virginia!

Man’s Cop Killing Conviction Upheld

A state appeals court has upheld the capital murder conviction of a Chesterfield man in the 2013 slaying of a state trooper who was gunned down along an interstate highway. A three-judge panel of the Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of Russell E. Brown III in the fatal shooting of Trooper Junius Walker. Prosecutors said Walker was shot after he pulled alongside Brown’s disabled vehicle on Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County to see if he needed help.

Money For Southside Job Growth

The Virginia Tobacco Commission says it will give $6 million in new funds for 27 projects designed to spur job growth in Southwest and Southside Virginia.

The commission met Tuesday in Farmville to approve the project funding.

The commission approved $2.8 million for workforce development, $2.2 million for education programs and $1 million for a business park development.

The Tobacco Commission was created nearly 20 years ago to spend Virginia’s portion of the national tobacco settlement. The commission has doled out more than $1 billion on a wide range of projects designed to benefit economically depressed areas of the state.

VDOT Suspending Most Highway Work Zones For Holiday Weekend

VDOT will help make travel easier by suspending most highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Friday, May 25 until noon Tuesday, May 29.
While the lane closure lift is in effect for most areas, motorists may encounter semi-permanent work zones that remain in place during this time.
VDOT’s online, interactive travel-trends map shows peak congestion periods on Virginia interstates during the three previous Memorial Day holidays (2015-2017). While it can’t precisely predict when congestion will occur this year, it can help you plan travel around those times when roads have historically been busiest.

Charges Dropped Against Former Colonial Heights Police Officer

Charges have been withdrawn against a police officer in Virginia who was accused of transmitting sexually explicit videos from an arrestee’s phone to the officer’s personal phone.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the misdemeanor embezzlement and obstructing execution of legal process charges levied against Bryan G. Drake were withdrawn Tuesday as the case’s special prosecutor and an unidentified key witness were not available for trial.

The charges can still be reinstated, as they were not dismissed.

The 31-year-old resigned from the Colonial Heights police force last June after he was accused of transferring the videos from the confiscated phone of a man arrested on drug charges.

Defense attorney Peter Eliades says Drake acknowledged a lapse of judgment, but deleted the videos hours later and didn’t share them.

Piedmont Health District Warning About Mosquitoes, Ticks

Warm weather and recent rains are sure to increase mosquito and tick activity in Central and
Southside Virginia. Nearly everyone has been bitten by a mosquito or tick; they can be vectors for
spreading pathogens (germs). A person who is bitten by a vector and gets sick has a vector-borne
disease, such as West Nile virus or Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that
between 2004 and 2016, more than 640,000 cases of vector-borne diseases were reported, and nine
(9) new germs spread by bites from infected mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced in
the United States. The Piedmont Health District is urging the public to take preventive measures
against the health threats posed by these biting pests.

Senators To Hash Out Medicaid Expansion

Virginia senators are set to debate on the state budget plan and whether to expand Medicaid.

The full Senate is set to meet Tuesday afternoon in Richmond.

Republicans are currently split on whether to expand Medicaid, after years of near unified opposition. The disagreement has led to a stalemate on the state budget.

Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger released a new budget proposal Monday that includes Medicaid expansion, raises for state workers, and a boost to the state’s rainy-day fund.

Two Republicans and all 19 Democrats publicly support Medicaid expansion. That gives pro-expansion lawmakers a majority in the Senate.

But Republican Senate leaders oppose Medicaid expansion and could try to block passage of a budget that includes it.