Va. agency tells APCo to refund $5.8m to customers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State regulators have directed Appalachian Power to refund more than $5 million to Virginia customers.

The money will be refunded as a credit on future bills over six months. The average residential customer will receive a total $6.85 credit.

The directive follows a rate review by the State Corporation Commission. The commission said Wednesday that the review found Appalachian Power’s return on equity for 2012 and 2013 exceeded its authorized level.

Appalachian Power’s maximum authorized return was 11.4 percent. During the two-year period, the commission says the company earned, on average, a return of equity of about 11.86 percent on its generation and distribution services.

SALEM DISTRICT: WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED TO IMPACT THANKSGIVING TRAVEL IN SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA

Drivers urged to monitor weather forecasts and watch out for changing conditions

From VDOT

SALEM – With winter weather anticipated to impact portions of southwestern Virginia in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 26, through the morning of Thursday, Nov. 27, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging motorists to monitor weather reports, adjust travel schedules and avoid driving in potentially slick and icy conditions.

Starting Wednesday night, VDOT snow plow operators and contractors will begin monitoring road conditions in many areas to treat or plow roads as necessary. Drivers should watch for icy spots or slick roads, particularly in the higher elevations, in the New River Valley and Hillsville area, and in the counties along the West Virginia border.

If temperatures drop below freezing, wintry participation could create slick roads and conditions could change rapidly. Motorists should pay particular attention to bridges, overpasses, curves, shaded areas, cooler spots and elevated surfaces that may become slick or snow-covered before other areas.

Crews will not be pre-treating roads with brine ahead of this storm because the weather event is expected to start out as rain before transitioning to snow.  With rain forecasted ahead of frozen precipitation, the brine would wash off roads and not be effective.

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 www.511Virginia.org 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.

National Weather Service Forecast

Detailed Forecast

  • Tonight – Rain, mainly after 2am. Low around 36. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Wednesday – Rain and snow, becoming all rain after 1pm. High near 39. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
  • Wednesday Night – A chance of rain before 9pm, then a chance of rain and snow between 9pm and 10pm, then a chance of snow after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Light southwest wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
  • Thanksgiving Day – A chance of snow showers before 11am, then a chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. West wind 5 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
  • Thursday Night – A chance of showers before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Friday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 36.
  • Friday Night – Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.
  • Saturday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 49.
  • Saturday Night – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36.
  • Sunday – Partly sunny, with a high near 59.
  • Sunday Night – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43.

Governor McAuliffe urges Virginians to get ready for winter weather

November 30 – December 6 is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia 

RICHMOND – Winters in Virginia often are cold, snowy and icy and bring extended power outages.  To highlight the importance of Virginia families and businesses being winter-ready, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside November 30 – December 6 as Winter Preparedness Week.

“We’ve had several record breaking winter storms in the past few years and they serve as good reminders that it’s smart to be prepared,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Everyone should take steps now to be sure families, homes and businesses are ready for whatever winter may bring us this season.”

Although the current National Weather Service winter outlook indicates Virginia could have a less severe winter than last season, people still need to be sure their emergency plans and supplies are in place.

Please click here to see the proclamation Governor McAuliffe issued.

“A significant winter storm is possible any winter in Virginia, even during those winters with overall temperatures near or above normal,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist.  “If the El Nino weather pattern happens as expected, then Virginia residents should anticipate storminess and a wetter than normal winter overall.  El Nino winters are generally not snowier, but they can be, if atmospheric conditions are right.  A recent example of that is the 2009-10 winter.”

An important part of winter weather planning is being prepared to stay where you are until conditions improve.  During Winter Preparedness Week, Virginians should take these steps:

  • Get a kit.  Basic emergency supplies include:

-Three days’ food that doesn’t need refrigeration or electricity to prepare it

-Three days’ water (a gallon per person per day)

-A battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries

– Add a first aid kit, supply of prescription medications, blankets and warm clothing, supplies for special members of your household and pet items.

-For businesses and offices, some bottles of water and food bars and a radio to hear local information about whether or not it is safe to travel.  Officials may advise staying in place until it is safe to travel.

-A power pack for recharging cell phones and other mobile devices

  • Make a plan.  Everyone needs an emergency plan:

-Decide who your out-of-town emergency contact will be.

-Where will you meet up with family members if you can’t return home?

-Get an emergency plan worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or on the new Ready Virginia app.

  • Stay informed.  Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:

-Listen to local media for information and instructions from emergency officials.

-Be aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions.

-Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad.

-Get road condition information 24/7 by calling 511 or checking www.511Virginia.org

  • Download the Ready Virginia app. This helpful emergency planning tool for iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices features:

-Location-specific weather watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service

– Disaster news from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management

-A customizable family emergency plan that can be easily shared

-A checklist for gathering emergency supplies

-Contact information for local emergency managers

– Links to register for local emergency alerts, and more

“One heavy snowstorm with power outages is enough to disrupt schedules and cause people to wish they had prepared better,” said Governor McAuliffe. “It’s much safer to take a little time now and get ready before a winter storm arrives.”

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from other objects. Never leave space heaters unattended. Install a smoke detector in every bedroom and on each level of your home. Check the batteries monthly, and replace them once a year at the same time every year.
  • In case of power outages, use flashlights instead of candles for light.
  • Use generators only outdoors and only in well ventilated areas.
  • Make sure outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.
  • If your household includes someone with special needs (has a disability, requires electricity to operate home medical equipment, needs to go to dialysis, etc.) call your local emergency manager to let them know where you live and what you will need during an emergency.
  • Driving is most dangerous when the temperature is at or under 32° F. If the road is wet, patches of ice are possible, especially on bridges and curves. Avoid using cruise control in winter weather conditions.
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
  • Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary. Treat these as you would emergency response vehicles.
  • Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car.

Visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov for more on preparing for winter weather.

 

Obituary for Eugene Walter (Big Horse) Chumbley

Eugene Walter (Big Horse) Chumbley, 89 of Pulaski, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 23, 2014.  He was born on September 15, 1925 in Draper, and was the son of the late Etta Lyons Chumbley and Boyd Mac Chumbley, Sr.  “Big Horse”, as he was known by many, was preceded in death by three sisters, Etta Sue Chumbley, Mable C. Chumbley Big Horse 11252014Peterson, and Nancy C. Harriman, and a half-sister, Ruby Huddle Hurst and a brother, Clyde L. Chumbley.  He was a veteran of WW II, having served in the U.S. Army.  He currently owned and operated Hayden Electrical Wholesale, Inc. in Pulaski, since 1960.  He attended First United Methodist Church, and thoroughly enjoyed his Sunday School Class.  He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mildred Keister Chumbley of Pulaski;  a daughter, Kathy Woolwine and her husband Jon of Pulaski;  a son, Boyd Chumbley and his wife Susan of Greensboro, NC;  a brother, B.M. Chumbley, Jr. of Draper.  He is also survived by his grandchildren;  Lara Frith, Margaret Woolwine and significant other Jeremy Poe, Sarah Chumbley, Katie Chumbley, great-grandson, Ronnie Frith, great-granddaughter, Joanna Frith along with numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.  Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 29, 2014            at Seagle Funeral Home with Rev. Hugh Kilgore officiating.  Interment will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.  The family will receive friends Saturday at the funeral home from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. service time.  Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.seaglefuneralhome.com   Arrangements by Seagle Funeral Home, Pulaski.  540-980-1700

 

Grand jury won’t indict Ferguson cop in shooting

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked weeks of sometimes-violent protests.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced the decision Monday evening. A grand jury of nine whites and three blacks had been meeting weekly since Aug. 20 to consider evidence. The panel met for 70 hours and heard from 60 witnesses.

McCulloch stressed that the grand jurors were “the only people who heard every witness … and every piece of evidence.” He said many witness presented conflicting statements that ultimately were inconsistent with the physical evidence.

“These grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process,” he said.

As McCulloch was reading his statement, a crowd gathered around a car from which it was being broadcast on a stereo. When the decision was announced, Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, who was sitting atop the car, burst into tears and began screaming before being whisked away by supporters.

The crowd erupted in anger, converging on the barricade where police in riot gear were standing. They pushed down the barricade and began pelting police with items, including a bullhorn. Police stood their ground.

At least nine votes would have been required to indict Wilson. The panel met in secret, a standard practice for such proceedings.

The Justice Department is conducting a separate investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges. The department also has launched a broad probe into the Ferguson Police Department, looking for patterns of discrimination.

The Aug. 9 shooting inflamed tensions in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb that is patrolled by an overwhelmingly white police force. As Brown’s body lay for hours in the center of a residential street, an angry crowd of onlookers gathered. Rioting and looting occurred the following night, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas.

Protests continued for weeks — often peacefully, but sometimes turning violent, with demonstrators throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails and police firing smoke canisters, tear gas and rubber bullets. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to briefly summon the National Guard.

Hours before the announcement, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon urged people to remain peaceful as he appeared at a news conference with the state’s public safety director and the leaders of St. Louis city and county.

“Our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint,” Nixon said.

Some black leaders and Brown’s parents questioned McCulloch’s ability to be impartial. The prosecutor’s father, mother, brother, uncle and cousin all worked for the St. Louis Police Department, and his father was killed while responding to a call involving a black suspect in 1964. McCulloch was 12 at the time, and the killing became a hallmark of his initial campaign for elected prosecutor.

Nixon declined to seek the removal of McCulloch in the Brown case, but he also called for McCulloch to vigorously prosecute Wilson, who had been on the Ferguson force for less than three years. Prior to that job, Wilson was an officer for nearly two years in Jennings, another St. Louis suburb.

McCulloch, a Democrat, has been in office since 1991 and was re-elected to another term earlier this month.

Among the cases that McCulloch’s opponents cited as examples of pro-police bias was the 2000 shooting death of two men in a fast-food parking lot by two undercover drug officers in the town of Berkeley, which like Ferguson is a predominantly black suburb in what locals call North County.

A federal investigation determined that Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley were unarmed and that their car had not moved forward when the officers fired 21 shots. But that inquiry also determined that the shootings were justified since the officers feared for their lives.

McCulloch opted to not prosecute the two officers and characterized the victims as “bums” who “spread destruction in the community” by selling drugs.

Obituary for J.B. Stanley “Jefferson Bevely”

J.B. Stanley “Jefferson Bevely”, age 83 of Dublin passed away Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the Lewis Gale Hospital-Pulaski.

Born October 22, 1931 in Giles County he was the son of the late John Albert & Ethel Morris Stanley. His sisters; Nancy Smith, Lucille Eaton and Ethel Banie Dowdy also Stanley,JB001preceded him in death.

He is survived by his 

Wife                Phyllis Lane Stanley – Dublin

Children          Beverly & David Farmer – Dublin

Diane Stanley – Dublin

Lou McPeak – Dublin

Robin S. & Bobby Martin – Barren Springs

Brian Epperly – Dublin

Casey Epperly – Dublin

9 Grandchildren         8 Great Grandchildren

 

Sisters             Alma Stump – Dublin

Sarah & Carl Neel – Zenith, WV

Special Pet Companion

Abbie

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at the Bower Funeral Home-Chapel, Pulaski with Pastor Ruth Anne Henley officiating. Interment will follow at the Highland Memory Gardens, Dublin.

The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 pm Tuesday evening at the Funeral Home.

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

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