Saturday in-person absentee voting set in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia voters eligible to vote absentee can cast their ballots in person the next two Saturdays.

The Virginia Department of Elections says offices of the general registrars will be open those two days. Voters can call their local registrar for exact hours.

Voters must meet one of the numerous eligibility requirements to vote absentee, and acceptable photo identification will be required for those voting in person.

A list of acceptable forms of ID is available at http://elections.virginia.gov.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

Remains belong to missing Virginia student

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a missing university student, authorities said Friday, as they turned their attention to filing possible additional charges against the suspect accused of abducting her.

University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. The remains were found Oct. 18 about 12 miles from the Charlottesville campus, in a heavily wooded area of Albemarle County that is home to rolling hills and horse farms.

The state Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that the remains were Graham’s, the Albermarle County Police Department said in a statement Friday.

The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham.

Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford said in a statement that the focus of the investigation now is to determine “what charges will be brought and the appropriate time to make those charges.”

Matthew’s attorney, Jim Camblos, said in a voicemail greeting that he is not answering questions about the case.

Graham’s remains were discovered roughly 6 miles from where the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was found after she vanished in 2009. Police have said forensic evidence connects Matthew to Harrington’s killing, which in turn is linked by DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in northern Virginia. Matthew has been charged in the 2005 case.

“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending,” Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement provided by the police department.

“Sadly that was not to be. … We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter. … Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished.”

Graham’s parents thanked those involved with the investigation and search efforts — singling out Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo for his “tenacity and determination” — as well as those who have sent messages of support. They said they don’t intend to make further statements or comment on the ongoing criminal investigation.

Longo, who became the public face of the investigation through his emotional pleas for the community’s help in finding Graham, did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.

Graham’s disappearance prompted many University of Virginia students to begin walking in pairs or groups at night. Also, the university expanded a ride service for its students.

“For Hannah’s young life to end so tragically, and for her destiny of promise to be left unfulfilled, is an affront to the sanctity of life and to the natural order of human events,” university President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a statement Friday evening. “This is a sorrowful day in the life of the university, and our entire community is grieving with the Graham family.”

Before the start of a men’s soccer game between Virginia and Wake Forest on Friday night, the announcer at Klockner Stadium asked everyone to observe a moment of silence to “remember a young life cut short.”

Michael Elliott, the Director of Enterprise Systems at U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce who helped run the replay video at the game, said workers flashed a picture of a vibrant Hannah on the screen.

Elliott and his wife, Gigi Elliot, are parents of a student who just graduated from U.Va. in May.

“It’s devastating, but at least there’s some peace knowing we found her,” Gigi Elliott said from her home in Crozet, Va., about 12 miles from Charlottesville. “It’s kind of a resolution for our community. I’m haunted by it. It’s so close to home. It’s just heartbreaking as a mother.”

Carli Sapir, a fourth-year environmental engineering student, lived only a half-block away from Hannah’s residence at U.Va.

“This conclusion wasn’t the conclusion we were hoping for,” she said. “Of course we all had a hope that even after all this time that they would find her living. It’s pretty devastating.”

Graham met friends at a restaurant for dinner Sept. 12 before stopping by two off-campus parties. She left the second party alone and eventually texted a friend saying she was lost, authorities said.

In surveillance video, she can be seen walking unsteadily and even running at times, past a pub and a service station and then onto a seven-block strip of bars, restaurants and shops.

Matthew was an operating room technician at the university’s hospital. He was also a former college football lineman and sometimes cab driver.

Friends have said they were shocked the “gentle giant” — he’s 6-foot-2 and weighs 270 pounds — could be suspected of such violence.

Matthew was co-captain of his high school football team and continued to play football in college, although he dropped out of two universities following accusations of sexual assault against him. He was never charged. Officials in both cases said the alleged victims declined to press charges.

The victim in the 2005 rape in the Washington, D.C., suburbs is cooperating with authorities, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh has said.

TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series

NEW YORK (AP) — The TLC network on Friday canceled its colorful series about child beauty pageant contestant Honey Boo Boo and her Georgia family.

The network had already completed filming of another season of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and was set to begin airing it at the end of this year.

TLC wouldn’t publicly cite a reason for the cancellation, but it said in a statement that “supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the childrens’ ongoing comfort and well-being.”

The cancellation came after published reports that June Shannon was dating a man with a criminal past.

June Shannon posted what she called a “truth video” on the Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo) fan page Friday morning denying the allegations. In the video, Shannon said she learned from TLC on Friday that the show would no longer be produced, adding that TLC had told her to be “hush-hush” about the situation.

“The statement of me dating a sex offender is totally untrue. Pumpkin (the nickname for the man she is reported to have dated) has openly said that I did not date him,” Shannon said in the nearly three-minute video which had more than 5,800 “likes” and more than 1,100 “shares” from the page’s 1.1 million fans within two hours after it was posted.

“I would not ever, ever, ever put my kids in danger. … That is my past. I have not seen that person in 10 years.

The series’ star was Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, one of four daughters of June Shannon from rural McIntyre, Georgia. “Honey Boo Boo” earned her own series after attracting attention in the TLC show “Toddlers & Tiaras,” and is known for coining catchphrases like “a dolla makes me holla.” She’s 9 years old.

“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” was such a fast hit for TLC that two years ago, the network ordered Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials surrounding the family. Viewership has fallen off sharply since then, but it still averaged 1.5 million viewers for its most recent season this summer and remains one of TLC’s most popular shows.

TLC is discussing ways to support the children following the cancellation, such as providing tutoring or counseling, said an executive at the network who spoke on condition of anonymity because the network didn’t want to publicly discuss those plans.

Obituary for Edward Kenneth Newton “Kenny”

Edward Kenneth Newton “Kenny”, 74 of Dublin, Va., passed away Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014.  Born April 21, 1940 in Pulaski, Va., he was the son of the late Charles William Newton “Shirl” and Rosella Taylor Marshall.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Helen Jennings Newton, great grandson Parker Kelly Bond and stepfather C.H. “Windy” Marshall.

Survivors include his wife Nancy Young Newton of Dublin, Va., daughter Cindi Newton Newton,E002Eastwood and Robert Eastwood of Draper, VA,  son, Keith Edward Newton and wife Carla Turner Newton of Glenvar, VA.,  stepson, Cliff Phillips and wife Kim Phillips of Draper, VA, stepson, Patrick Phillips and wife Amanda Phillips of Draper, VA,  grandson Chad Bond and wife Cady Bond of Pittsburgh, Pa, granddaughter Brittney Webber of Draper, VA, grandson Colin Newton of Glenvar, VA,  step grand son ,Samuel Laschkewitsch of Sebring, Fl, step granddaughter Madison Phillips of Draper, VA., Step grandson, Grayson Phillips of Draper, VA, Step grand daughter Sarah Phillips of Draper, VA, Step grandson, Josiah Phillips of Draper, VA and great grandson Karson Bedwell of Draper, VA,  step mother, Bess Newton of Pulaski, VA and two special Aunts Nancy Richardson and Jane Newton and special uncle, Charlie Richardson -all of Pulaski

Also survived by many friends at Wendy’s Coffee Club in Pulaski where he resided as “President”, also his special little dog ,Zoie.

The family will receive friends at Bower Funeral Home in Pulaski, Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00pm with the service immediately following.  Rev Dennis Martin officiating with Rev Jeff Curtis providing prayer and scripture reading.

Interment Service will be at 1:00 pm Sunday, October 26, 2014 at  Highland Memory Gardens in Dublin

To send online condolences to the family, visit www.bowerfuneralhome.com

Flowers are appreciated or donations can be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org

Bower Funeral Home, Pulaski is handling the arrangements for the Newton family.

In Virginia US Senate race, final candidate forum

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Republican rival Ed Gillespie made their final joint appearance Thursday, rehashing familiar talking points that largely focused on issues relevant to Hampton Roads.

The forum was hosted by the Central Business District Association, with each candidate answering questions on stage separately. The candidates received the questions in advance. Topics included sea level rise and military spending cuts.

Warner touted endorsements from Republicans, including Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms. Meanwhile, Gillespie noted Warner usually sides with President Barack Obama.

Before the election, Warner and Gillespie agreed to eight joint public forums throughout the state. Two included recent debates that were televised statewide. Their first debate was held in July in West Virginia.

Gillespie is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and is considered an underdog in his bid to unseat Warner.

SEQUESTRATION

The Hampton Roads economy depends heavily on military spending, and Gillespie faulted Warner for allowing automatic spending cuts known as sequestration to take place. Warner said the only other option was for the nation to go into default. He noted that Republican leaders also voted for sequestration.

Warner said sequestration still is a bad policy, calling it “stupidity on steroids.”

To strike a budget deal and end sequestration, Warner said the country needs to take on entitlement spending and revisit the tax code.

Gillespie said that sequestration should be replaced and that the only way it can happen is for Republicans to take control of the Senate.

SEA LEVEL RISE

The Hampton Roads region routinely floods during even minor storms, and flooding is expected to worsen because of sea level rise. Warner said that sea level rise and man-made climate change are clearly linked. He said Gillespie doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans.

Gillespie denied that characterization. He said in two debates that he’s had with Warner that he believes there’s ample evidence of climate change and that man contributes to it. Gillespie said sea level rise is a major concern and that he believes the federal government has a role to address it, including seeking funding.

BIPARTISANSHIP

Warner repeatedly cast himself as someone who works well with Republicans and reaches across the aisle anytime he develops legislation. He said he starts from the center and works his way out, rather than working from the extremes. He called Gillespie a partisan.

Gillespie said that while Warner talks a lot about bipartisanship, his votes are routinely in alignment with Obama. Gillespie said that if he’s elected, his view on partisanship would be to support anything that will “ease the squeeze” on Virginians, regardless of the sponsor’s party.

“If it doesn’t, I will fight against it. I don’t care what any president says of either party, any Senate leader says of either party,” he said. “If the bill doesn’t ease the squeeze on hard working Virginians and make it easier for the unemployed to find work, I will fight it.”

Hidden Valley High says bring a canned food item to the game Friday night, get $1 off your ticket price

According to Scott Vest, Athletic and Activities Director at PCHS, Hidden Valley High School (where the Cougars play Friday night) says that anybody who brings a canned food item (Feed America Program) to the game tomorrow night will get one dollar off the purchase price of a ticket. This is for the varsity football game Friday night at Hidden Valley.

NEW RIVER HEALTH DISTRICT OFFERS SEASONAL FLU VACCINE, FREE TO UNINSURED!

The New River Health District will hold walk-in flu vaccine clinics at each of its local health departments on Friday, Oct. 24. No appointments are necessary. For those with vaccine coverage, the health department will bill your insurance carrier. For those without such coverage, the vaccine is free. Supplies of free vaccine are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clinic hours are as follows:

8 – 11:30 a.m.             Floyd County Health Department

123 Parkview Rd., SE

Floyd, VA 24091

8 – 11:30 a.m. Giles County Health Department

120 North Main Street

Pearisburg, VA 24134

8 – 11:30 a.m. Radford City Health Department

212 Third Avenue

Radford, VA 24141

8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.       Montgomery County Health Department

210 South Pepper Street, Suite A

Christiansburg, VA 24073

1 – 4:00 p.m.              Pulaski County Health Department

170 Fourth Street, NW

Pulaski, VA 24301

“We’ve already documented cases of influenza this season in the New River Valley, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health recommend vaccination each year for everyone 6 months and older,” said Margaret O’Dell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications, and this unique ‘drive-thru’ approach is proven to be a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of folks in a short time.”

“The timing and duration of flu seasons vary – they can occur from early fall to late spring – so you should get the vaccine as soon as it’s available,” said Brenda Burrus, RN, MSEd, nurse manager senior for the New River Health District. “It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine’s full protection, and the benefits last for up to a year.”

All persons aged 6 months or older should be vaccinated against influenza each year. Particular effort should be made to vaccinate people at higher risk for influenza complications, including:

  • Pregnant and postpartum women, or those who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • Persons over 65 years of age, including residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
  • People who have chronic lung or heart problems, including asthma; and
  • People who have other serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, anemia, cancer, weak immune systems (including those with HIV) or a seizure disorder.

To help prevent the spread of influenza to people in high risk groups, those who live with people in a high risk group and healthcare workers should also receive an annual influenza vaccine. Travelers to countries outside of the U.S. may also need to consider influenza vaccination, even at different times of the year.

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by the influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms appear. A person usually becomes sick one to three days following exposure to the virus. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, follow these simple steps:

  • Get vaccinated;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds;
  • Cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand; and
  • Stay at home when you are sick.

For more information, call the New River Health District at 540-585-3300 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.

2014 Southern Christmas Show Trip Announced­­

The Radford Parks and Recreation Department is offering a Sunshine Tours bus trip to the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday, November 19th.  The bus will depart at 6:00 a.m.

The fee will be $28.00 per person based on a full bus load and advance reservations are required.  Please note, the fee per person is subject to change depending on the amount of participants.

The Southern Christmas Show is a festive way to kick off the holiday season.  The show features Christmas Tree Lane with dozens of Fraser firs and holiday designer rooms decorated by top interior designers.  In addition, there will be tiny trains and miniature villages and The Enchanted Village with marvelous doll houses and miniature scenes, all created by the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (N.A.M.E.)  Over 500 merchants are set up to help you find something for everyone on your shopping list!

Cafeteria-style food, as well as concession-style food will be available and popular choices are roasted nuts and piping hot strudel as well as hand dipped chocolates.

Standard size push wheelchairs are available on a first-come basis at the front entrance coat check.  Rental is $1.  Over 150 benches are available to sit and rest throughout the show, and seating is available at many of the food areas.

More information is available by calling 540-731-5517.

Searchers rescue lost hiker in Montgomery County

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — Police say a hiker is in good condition after being rescued from a heavily wooded area in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says searchers found the 76-year-old woman around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Bottom’s Creek area near the borders of Floyd and Roanoke counties. It took rescue teams another hour and a half to get the woman out of the woods due to the density of the area.

The sheriff’s office says the woman called dispatchers around 5:30 p.m. Monday and reported she was lost.

Assisting in the search were numerous fire departments, rescue squads, search and rescue teams, and law enforcement agencies.

First Lady Helps Virginians Stay Warm This Winter

~ 2014 Fuel Assistance Application Deadline Is Nov. 14 ~ 

RICHMOND, Va. – First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is leading efforts this fall to make sure there is help available for low-income Virginians who have difficulty paying their heating bills.

The First Lady appears in a new Public Service Announcement encouraging individuals and families to apply for fuel assistance through the Energy Assistance Program, which is implemented by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Applications are being accepted now through Friday, Nov. 14.

“No Virginian should have to face the winter months without heat, so I’m encouraging them to submit an application, as soon as possible, to their local department of social services,” said Mrs. McAuliffe.

The program assists with various types of energy sources, including electricity, natural and liquid propane gas, oil, kerosene, coal and wood. Families and individuals must apply through their local department of social services office.

“Last year, Virginia experienced a pretty harsh winter, and we anticipate similar conditions this year. This program is designed to ensure eligible citizens have access to the heating assistance they need,” said Margaret Ross Schultze, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services.

To qualify for Fuel Assistance, the maximum gross monthly income for a one-person household cannot exceed $1,265.  For a household of four, the maximum gross monthly income is $2,584. Nearly 126,000 households received assistance last year.

The VDSS Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant. LIHEAP provides funds to states to assist low-income households in meeting their home energy needs.

“This program is essential to many Virginia families who struggle to pay their winter heating bills,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “We appreciate this federal program, which helps Virginia meet the needs of thousands of Virginians.”

For more information on the EAP, visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi, to screen for services, or to apply online, visithttps://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access/.