More than $2 million in economic development and infrastructure funds are headed to ten different southwest Virginia localities. Among the recipients of the federal funds include: two $500,000 water and sewer projects in Lee and Wise Counties as well as another half million dollars earmarked for the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon.
Good news for drivers as gas prices continue to drop. East Tennessee AAA says prices fell an average of 5 cents per gallon last week and a total of 13 cents in the past 21 days. Experts say it should be even less by the end of the week. Although prices are still inflated due to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, they will continue to decrease as refineries become operational again and supplies return to normal levels.
Two people are dead in SWVA following a tractor crash Sunday afternoon. Authorities say Gary Lee McMurray and Lois Lucille McMurray (both 68 years of age) were killed when the tractor they were riding in overturned on a embankment and ejected the couple. The accident happened in Hiltons, Virginia near Hensley Hollow Road.
Many people in Southwest Virginia locked their doors Sunday as a Coeburn murder suspect was on the run. Todd Richardson admitted to police dispatchers that he shot his estranged wife at their Grace Covenant Road home around 10:00 Sunday morning. Richardson then took off but was found in Scott County and was involved in a high speed police chase. That chase ended in Weber City just before 8:00 Sunday night where police say Richardson died of a self-inflicted gunshot.(WFHG)
Big Stone Gap – The Mountain Empire Community College campus will come alive with spirits, curses, and sacrifices this October as the college hosts the annual Haunted Forest every Friday and Saturday from 7 – 11 p.m., Oct. 6 - 27.
When the nights grow longer and the leaves start to change in the chill of autumn air, the woods take on a sinister tone. As the barrier between this world and the spirit world grows thinner, the true inhabitants of the forest come out until the whole campus is crawling alive ... with the dead.
MECC's Haunted Forest was recently voted one of Virginia's top ten haunted attractions by The Scare Factor, available at www.thescarefactor.com.
Admission is $10 per victim. All proceeds will go to benefit scholarships for MECC students. This event is recommended for ages 10 and up. This is an outdoor event and guests are asked to wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
Two southwest Virginia localities are vying for a proposed Hydroelectric pumped storage facility in their county. And for good reason. A recent study shows the project could result in more than 300 milion dollars in investments to the region and would create thousands of jobs during the construction phase. Tazewell and Russell Counties are both being evaluated by Dominion Energy as potential sites for the water pumped electricity producing facility. Its estimated the infrastructure investment alone could reach two billion dollars and would bring in twelve million dollars a year in county taxes.
Police in Lee County, Virginia had to use rubber bullets to finally end a standoff with an erratic and irate woman. Police initially responded to an erratic driver and pursued Melissa Holmes of Big Stone Gap before she crashed into a police cruiser. Holmes then pulled a handgun and knife on officers, who then fired rubber bullets to force her to drop her weapons. Holmes eventually had to be tackled by the officers and then arrested.
A state health actuary says health plan premiums are set to rise by an average of nearly 60 percent in Virginia's 2018 individual marketplace. Next year, average monthly premiums will range from roughly $500 to $1,050 and the rise will come as many residents see their options for plans dwindle to one insurer. State insurance commissioner Jacqueline Cunningham told legislators she's had no indication that any carriers plan to drop out before today's deadline by which insurers must submit their rates and agree to participate in next year's market.
WISE COUNTY, Va. (WYMT) - A Wise County man was sentenced on Monday for his role in the attack on a Southwest Virginia police officer.
The Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney said in a news release that Derek James Bise, 38, of Coeburn, was sentenced to five years in prison, with four of those years suspended. Bise will still serve one year.
Back in July of 2016, officials say Bise attacked a Norton police officer who had responded to a report of a missing patient at Norton Community Hospital.
Police say Bise, the missing patient, saw the officer and then took off running until he fell. When the officer approached, Bise punched him in the head, which led to a concussion. The officer then attempted to use pepper spray to subdue Bise, leading the suspect to charge the officer and forcing the spray into the officers face.
More officers arrived and took Bise into custody.
Southwest Virginia residents will get two more chances to learn about a proposed pumped hydroelectric storage facility being studied for the coalfield region. The proposed project is expected to create new jobs for the region if it becomes a reality. Mountain Empire Community College is holding a meeting to discuss the issue on October third, while Tazewell High School is set for a meeting on October fifth. Dominion Energy is considering sites in Tazewell and Wise Counties for the project.