Trial set for mom of 5-year-old found dead in septic tank

PULASKI, Va. (AP) — The mother of a Virginia boy who died in a septic tank is due in court on abuse and neglect charges.


Noah Thomas

Online court records show 31-year-old Ashley White’s jury trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court. The trail is scheduled to take up to five days.

White and 32-year-old Paul Thomas are accused of leaving their 5-year-old son, Noah Thomas, and infant daughter, Abigail, home alone on March 22 of last year. The boy’s body was found in a septic tank near the family’s home in Dublin four days later. The medical examiner determined that the boy drowned and that hypothermia contributed to his death.

Thomas also is charged with felony child abuse and neglect. His one-day bench trial is set for March 9.

Upcoming events at the Pulaski County Library

From Jena Hardy
Youth Services Librarian
Pulaski County Library
Just some updates on upcoming library events:
*Our Winter Reading Program is underway, but, you can still register!  The youth program is open to young children from birth through first grade.  Register any time in February at either library branch!  Participants who complete the program will receive a book to keep and a certificate!
*We also have a Winter Reading Program for adults!  For every book you read in February, visit the Pulaski Library to enter a prize drawing.  One book=one entry.  Prize drawing will take place the first week in March.
*We are offering a story time at the Pulaski Library on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. throughout February.  This Saturday, join guest reader Ms. Sally!
*Pokemon Club meets this Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Pulaski Library.  Children of all ages welcome; bring your Pokemon cards to trade!
*Lego Club meets February 16 at the Dublin Library at 5:30 p.m..  No need to bring anything–just show up!
*Our first Yoga Story Time is scheduled for Friday, February 26 at the Pulaski Library at 4 p.m. for ages 4-7.
*Starting in March (date TBA), we will offer two playgroups for infants and toddlers!  The Pulaski Library group will meet on Thursdays around 5 p.m. and the Dublin Library group will meet on Fridays at 10 a.m.  Meetings will be unstructured; we will provide the space along with toys, board books, etc.  This will be a great opportunity for infants and toddlers to play and socialize, as well as for parents/caregivers to mingle!
*Start working on your short stories!  Coming later this month, we will be offering our 4th Annual It’s All Write Short Story Contest, which offers cash prizes for the top stories in each age group.  This contest is open to children in third grade and up, as well as adults!
*The Book Belles (a book group for girls ages 8-11) will meet Monday, March 7 at 5 p.m. at the Pulaski Library.  Come prepared to discuss the book Matilda by Roald Dahl.  FYI: It’s not too late to sign up to participate; you can join us at any time.  Just contact me before the next meeting so we’ll know to expect you!  Each meeting lasts about an hour and will include book discussion and a craft activity.  Our April meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 4 at 5.  We will discuss The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
*We also have several other book clubs; please contact me for more info or to sign up!
The Page Turners– for advanced readers, ages 9-12, meets fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., Pulaski Library
Page Turners Jr.- for newly independent readers in 2nd and 3rd grade, meets fourth Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Dublin Library
The Spine Benders– for ages 13 and up, meets first Thursdays at 5 p.m., Pulaski Library
Hope to see you at the library!

VDOT: Wintry mix could bring slick roads

Drivers should monitor weather forecasts and expect possible changing road conditions

SALEM – With a wintry-mix weather system forecast to pass through western Virginia over the next couple of days, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising motorists to expect possible snow-covered, slick or icy road conditions.

Drivers are encouraged to monitor weather reports and plan travel accordingly.

Road conditions could change rapidly, especially if temperatures drop, and slick roads may impact travel, particularly during the afternoon commute on Monday, Feb. 8. 

VDOT crews and contractors are watching weather forecasts closely and will be monitoring conditions on Monday, Feb. 8, and Tuesday, Feb. 9, to treat or plow roads as necessary, but drivers should be ready for possible slick roads throughout the region.

Drivers should pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses, curves, shaded areas, higher elevations, cooler spots and elevated surfaces that may become slick or snow-covered before other areas.

Travelers are reminded that they can get real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads by using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the website and phone system, which can help travelers plan their routes accordingly.

The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, and Roanoke.

Amber Alert issued for missing girl


(2) Haven Moses

Haven Melina Moses


Fluvanna County Sheriffs Office IN Scottsville ON 02/06/2016 AT 08:30


THE Fluvanna County Sheriffs Office IS LOOKING FOR Haven Melina Moses,

White, female, AGE 3 years old, HEIGHT 3 feet 00 inches, WEIGHT 30 lbs,

WITH Blue EYES AND Straight  Blonde HAIR.


West River Road, Scottsville, VA.

(2) James Moses

James Arnold Moses, 3rd

THE CHILD IS LIKELY ABDUCTED BY James Arnold Moses, 3rd, White, male,

AGE 25 years old, HEIGHT 5 feet 04 inches, WEIGHT 130 lbs, WITH Brown

EYES AND Straight Black HAIR.

THEY MAY BE TRAVELING IN A Unk Light Honda Sedan, LICENSE Unk, State

Unk, Augusta County / Rockingham County Area.

PLEASE CONTACT THE Fluvanna County Sheriffs Office AT (434)589-8211 OR



P.S. May also be traveling in a Brown Ford Explorer VA Registration


Obituary for Terry Lee Darlington

Terry Lee Darlington age 67 of Dublin passed away Friday, February 5, 2016 in the Pulaski Health Care Center.

He was born December 11, 1948 in Powellton, WV, he was preceded in death by the late Thomas Darlington and Katherine Fraley Darlington, Donna Kesling and Garland “Neuner“ Collins.

He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps having served in Vietnam.


His companion of 31 years– Minnie Young Whitt- Dublin

Step-Daughter-Barbara Whitt Collins-Pulaski


Nat Kesling ( Krystal) and son, Kamden-  Riner, VA

Cody Kesling (Abilgail)- Danville,VA.

Son-in-law-Richard “Dickie” Kesling, Jr.-Pulaski

Biological Daughter– Rhonda Newhouse (Scott) & Granddaughters- Kayla and Madison-WV

Brother- Thomas Darlington, Jr.(Donna)-WV


Patsy Sams(Russ)-Michigan

Alice Pavlich (George)-OH

Charlotte Carmack-OH

Carol Rodriguez-(Chris) OH

Funeral services will be held Wednesday 1:00 p.m., February 10, 2016 in the Bower Funeral Home Chapel, Pulaski with V.F.W. Chaplain Bobby Ward officiating.

Interment will follow in Mt View Cemetery, Dublin with the military rites conducted by the Pulaski V.F.W. Post #1184.

The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Bower Funeral Home.

To sign the online guestbook, visit www.bowerfuneral

Arrangements by Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski 540-980-6160

Obituary for Johnny Sullivan

Johnny Sullivan, age 58 of Pulaski passed away Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Born August 21, 1957 in Grundy, Virginia, he was the son of the late Estel Sullivan and Johnna Elizabeth Chambers Viars. His sisters, Ann Simmons, Barbra Sullivan and Connie Sullivan also preceded him in death.

He was a veteran of the United States Army having served with the 82nd Airborne Division.



Autumn Dawn Sullivan-Wytheville,

Sara Elizabeth Lape-Pulaski.


Molly, Roxxanne, Jack, Maxx, and Lexxi


Peggy Sullivan-Wytheville

Mona Sullivan-Pulaski

Mechelle Osborne (Brian)-Wytheville


Billy Viars (Erica)-Austinville

Many nieces and nephews

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be sent to the “veterans  fund “at the VA Medical Center,1970 Roanoke Blvd, Salem, VA 24153

To sign the online guestbook, visit

Arrangements by Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski   540-980-6160


Woman charged in teen’s death says she, too, was bullied

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Natalie Keepers told a judge that she was bullied — just like the 13-year-old girl she is accused of plotting to kill.

And like seventh-grader Nicole Lovell, the 19-year-old Virginia Tech student had endured health challenges, though Keepers’ were of the emotional variety: suicidal thoughts, cutting herself, stress and anxiety that required medication.

The similarities emerged in a Blacksburg courtroom Thursday as Keepers and her lawyer argued that she should be released on bail while she awaits trial for allegedly helping plan Lovell’s slaying and then improperly dumping her body just across the state line in North Carolina, two hours south of Virginia Tech’s campus, where she was a student. Bond was denied.

Keepers’ classmate, 18-year-old David Eisenhauer, is charged with kidnapping and killing Lovell, who survived a liver transplant and other health scares only to have her life ended after apparently climbing out her bedroom window last week. Eisenhauer also is being held without bond.

In court, Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt described how authorities believe Eisenhauer and Keepers planned Lovell’s stabbing death but left key aspects of the crime a mystery. She did not suggest a possible motive nor describe the killing itself.

But the prosecutor said messages on the girl’s phone led to the suspects and accused the college students of deciding together in a fast-food restaurant that Eisenhauer would cut her throat.

Defense lawyers argued that Keepers’ mental health could unravel behind bars.

“We understand the allegations are disturbing and serious,” attorney Kristopher Olin said. “But they are just allegations.”

Keepers told the judge that she began cutting her body and had considered suicide “a few times” after being bullied in school five years ago. She said she’s been in therapy and taking Prozac since then.

She’s also allergic to the gluten in jail food, Olin added.

Judge Robert Viars Jr. decided Keepers should remain behind bars after Pettitt said she “is in the same position as the person who carried out the murder.”

The prosecutor said Eisenhauer initially denied his involvement when police found his messages on Nicole’s phone, but eventually he said he drove to the girl’s home, watched her climb out her window and greeted her with a “side hug” before they drove off to pick up Keepers.

Keepers insists she was not present at the killing itself but she went along for the ride, Pettitt said. And once Nicole was dead, Keepers helped load her body into Eisenhauer’s Lexus, the prosecutor added.

Pettitt said Keepers revealed the plot after officers tracked her down but that she first tried to warn Eisenhauer, sending him a one-word text message reading “Police.”

Nicole’s parents, David Lovell and Tammy Weeks, attended the bail hearing but made no comments before leaving for their daughter’s private funeral, where several hundred mourners paid their respects.

Friends and neighbors have described Nicole as a lovely if awkward girl, clinging to childhood ways while exploring older behaviors.

A neighbor said she told 8-year-old friends before she vanished that she planned to sneak out to meet her 18-year-old “boyfriend,” a man she said was named David, whose picture she displayed on her phone. Authorities have not confirmed that this was Eisenhauer’s photo.

A 911 call on Jan. 27 alerted police that Nicole was missing, Pettitt said. Weeks discovered that the door to her daughter’s bedroom had been barricaded, and that her phone and her “Minions” blanket also were gone.

An examination of emails and social media showed that Eisenhauer and Nicole last made contact at 12:39 that morning, shortly before she disappeared, the prosecutor said.

Like others her age, Nicole was tech savvy, posting on Facebook and chatting using the Kik messenger app. Unlike other young teens, she had to take daily medicine to keep her transplanted liver from failing and endured bullying over a disfiguring tracheotomy scar in her neck, a reminder of the months she spent in a coma.

Keepers told the judge that she has problems, too. Shackled, handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit, she said she’s not getting her full dosage of anti-anxiety medicine in jail.

“I’ve learned how to love myself and to take care of myself and deal with any stress that I have,” Keepers said, describing how she had promised a friend that if she stopped cutting herself, she would get a tattoo of a semicolon, representing that her life was not ending, but taking a new path.

Her father, Tim Keepers, said he and his wife, Sara, first heard of Eisenhauer in October. He said the young man had “dropped everything” last year to rush their daughter to a hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

Eisenhauer and Keepers went to high schools five miles apart in Columbia, Maryland. Excelling in the classroom and on the track, Eisenhauer was focused on competing with top college runners while pursuing a career as an engineer.

Keepers, for her part, displayed a packed resume on her LinkedIn profile, including a summer internship with NASA, where she made how-to videos for engineers. Her father choked up in court Thursday when he said she had planned to follow his footsteps into aerospace engineering.

Lawmakers Honor Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer


Frank Beamer

Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe presents former Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer with a resolution honoring his achievements. (VCU Captal News Service photo)

By James Miessler

Capital News Service

RICHMOND – After a successful career at Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer won’t be forgotten any time soon. On Thursday, both houses of the General Assembly honored the recently retired football coach with a center-aisle ceremony.

Legislators presented Beamer with a resolution to express their “admiration for his achievements and best wishes on a happy retirement.”

“We’re here today to honor one of the greatest football coaches in all America on his retirement,” said Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, whose district includes the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.

With the former coach and his wife Cheryl standing by, Edwards delivered a speech praising Beamer.

“He is one of the most successful and respected college football coaches in the entire country,” Edwards said. “He coaches the way that he is as a person – with character and decency – which is part of the reason for his remarkable success.”

Edwards shared the accolades that comprise Beamer’s illustrious career at Virginia Tech.

“At Virginia Tech, he’s had 23 consecutive winning seasons and Bowl game appearances and a national championship football game appearance,” Edwards said. “The team’s very first season with the ACC in 2004, the Hokies won the ACC title and an appearance in a Bowl championship series game, and Frank Beamer was named the ACC Coach of the Year. Altogether, the Hokies have won four ACC championships since 2004.”

Beamer was well known for getting all of his players involved in scoring. This style of play was successful enough to garner its own nickname.

“Coach Beamer pioneered an aggressive style of special-teams play that has come known far and wide as ‘Beamer Ball,’ ” Edwards said.

But Beamer didn’t just see success on the field. Throughout the years, he saw many of his players earn their degrees.

“Of particular pride to Frank Beamer and to Virginia Tech is that over 94 percent of his senior football players from 2001 to 2014 earned their college degrees,” Edwards said.

Edwards drove home Beamer’s impact on college football at the end of the speech: “Frank Beamer has finished his career as the winningest active football coach in all of the NCAA.”

Lawmakers presented Beamer with House Joint Resolution 75, which they had passed last month. The primary sponsors of the resolution were Republican Dels. Joseph Yost of Pearisburg, Greg Habeeb of Salem and Nick Rush of Christiansburg.

Obituary for Heather Katana O’Dell

Heather Katana O’Dell, age 57 of Pulaski passed away Thursday, February 04, 2016 at her home.

Born March 1, 1958 in Pulaski she was the daughter of Patrick Leon O’Dell and the late Ramona Jean Thompson O’Dell.

She was a veteran of the United States Air Force.

She is survived by her


Patrick Leon O’Dell – Pulaski


Breon (Sherry) O’Dell – Pulaski


Travana (Jason) Wyatt – Springfield, MI

Michele S. Edmonds-Pulaski

Nephew- Jared Wyatt,

Niece- Kara Wyatt

A graveside funeral service will be held 2:00 PM – Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the O’Dell-Smith Family Cemetery (Hiwassee) with Pastor Marcus Harrison officiating.

To sign the online guestbook, visit

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider adopting one of her many cats.

Bower Funeral Chapels, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the family.