A Suspended Norton Virginia High School Football Coach Continues To Receive Pay Despite Being On Suspension. Virginia State Police Are Investigation Norton High School Coach James Adams On A Sexual Harassment Complaint. The School Board Met This Week But Took No Action On His Status. Adams Has Been Suspended Since June Of This Year.
(WISE, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health’s LENOWISCO Health District will begin offering seasonal flu vaccine in September on a walk-in basis, and at special offsite clinics in schools, businesses and organizations.
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.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the timing and duration of flu seasons vary, from early fall to late spring. Receiving an annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of becoming sick with the flu and spreading the virus to others. It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine’s full protection. It is no longer recommended to take the vaccine as soon as it is available, but now recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October. This recommendation is due to evidence that immunity to some strains of the flu virus in the vaccine decline more rapidly than thought in the past. If you have already taken the vaccine this year, there is no need to take another one in the same year.
All persons aged 6 months or older who do not have contraindications should be vaccinated against influenza each year. Particular effort should be made to vaccinate people at higher risk for influenza complications, including:
· Adults and children who have chronic lung disorders (including asthma), heart disorders (not including high blood pressure), kidney, liver, neurologic, hematologic or other metabolic disorders, including diabetes;
· Persons who are immunocompromised due to any cause;
· Residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities;
· Health care personnel;
· American Indians/Alaska Natives;
· Persons who are extremely obese (body mass index 40 or higher for adults); and
· Household contacts and caregivers of those in other high risk groups.
For more information, or to schedule an offsite flu vaccination clinic, call the LENOWISCO Health District at 276-328-8000.
The man who caused a two-hour manhunt and lockdown of Mountain Empire Community College earlier this year appeared in the Wise County Circuit Court this morning on the day he was scheduled for a jury trial.
David Dewayne Scott, age 44 of Big Stone Gap, entered a plea of guilty today to all counts of an Indictment against him in the Wise County Circuit Court. He admitted guilt to various weapons charges including possession of a weapon by a violent felon, stealing the firearm, brandishing the weapon, recklessly handling the gun, and discharging it in an occupied dwelling. Scott further pled guilty to resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He offered his plea without an agreement from the Commonwealth's Attorney's office, meaning a judge will determine his sentence after listening to the testimony of witnesses from prosecutors and the defendant at a sentencing hearing.
On March 30, 2019, Scott, a convicted violent felon, stole a firearm from a vehicle parked at 1803 Lenora Road in Big Stone Gap. Shortly thereafter he pointed the firearm at his sister and then shot through a window at a residence. Scott then fled the home and entered the wooded area near the Mountain Empire Community College campus, pursued by officers from Big Stone Gap, the Wise County Sheriff's Office, and the College itself. His proximity to the college resulted in its temporary closure, evacuation, and lockdown. He was eventually arrested on campus. Scott later admitted that he was under the influence of drugs.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Dan Fast and Sarah Childress successfully prosecuted the case.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "This frightening incident was every police officer's nightmare: a violent felon, under the influence of heroin and other drugs, deranged for unknown reasons, armed with a loaded firearm and headed for a college campus. We are so grateful to the officers of the Big Stone Gap Police Department, Wise County Sheriff's Office and campus police at Mountain Empire Community College for their quick and professional response. I also want to commend the good work of our prosecution team for securing these convictions."
A sentencing hearing in the case is now scheduled for January 7, 2020. Scott faces up to 39 years behind bars as total possible maximum punishment.
The Virginia Department Of Game And Inland Fisheries Is Offering Free Fishing Days At The End Of The Month. In Conjunction With National Hunting And Fishing Day The Free Fishing Event Will Be Held On September 29 And 29th. Anyone Can Fish Free In Public Fresh Waters Around The Commonwealth Without Having To Buy A Fishing License. However, All Fishing Regulations Still Apply.
Food City to award $700,000 to local schools
Are you up for the challenge? Food City has pledged $700,000 in contributions for the upcoming school year. With Food City’s School Bucks Challenge, it’s easy to earn reward points. For every $1 you spend, using your Food City ValuCard, you’ll receive 1 point.
“Our Food City School Bucks Program has provided much-needed support for thousands of schools throughout our market area. Our School Bucks Challenge makes points collection easier than ever,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
The 2019-2020 School Bucks Challenge begins Wednesday, September 4, 2019 and continues through May 5, 2020. Simply link your Food City ValuCard to the school of your choice online at www.foodcity.com/schoolbucks or at the checkout of area Food City locations. Area students will also receive barcoded school ID’s to provide to friends and family. When scanned at checkout, the barcode designates the school to credit with your purchases. The barcoded school ID’s are also available online at www.foodcity.com/schoolbucks for customers preferring to sign-up in-store.
Food City has pledged $700,000 for the upcoming school year. School allocations are based upon the percentage of customer purchases assigned to each school. Schools can monitor their progress biannually online at foodcity.com.
“Food City is committed to supporting the education of our youth,” said Smith. “Since the program’s inception, we’ve awarded over $19,300,000 in much-needed educational equipment and tools to more than a 1000 participating area schools”.
For more information about the new Food City School Bucks Challenge, please contact your local school, visit foodcity.com or contact the Food City School Bucks Coordinator, Lisa Johnson at 1-800-232-0174.
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 132 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, Chattanooga and north Georgia.
Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. and to 4:00 p.m. The Clinch Coalition (TCC)
presents the 13th annual High Knob Naturalist Rally at High Knob Recreation Area.
Registration begins at 9:30 for the family friendly event that includes hikes, presentations,
kayaking, fly fishing, nature arts and crafts throughout the day. Lunch is provided and people
are encouraged to bring chairs.
The High Knob Naturalist Rally participants discover and learn about the unique natural world of
southwest Virginia. Experts, educators and knowledgeable naturalist present programs about,
wolves, visit the world of beavers, butterflies, mushrooms, mussels, salamanders, edible plants,
medicinal plants forest ecology and regional geology. Special programs focus on wilderness
survival, High Knob's climate, making maple syrup, solar energy, and backyard birding.
The. U.S. Forest Service works with the Clinch Coalition to make the High Knob Naturalist Rally
possible. All activity is free, open to the public and the day use fee is waved. The High Knob
campground is closed however camping available at Flag Rock located approximately two miles
from the Naturalist Rally.
The Clinch Coalition formed in August 1998 when a small group of concerned citizens
organized to protect southwest Virginia's great natural resources. The group endeavors to
make the public aware and actively involved with the environment through educational
programs, guided hikes, trail work and the High Knob Naturalist Rally.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp announced today lengthy prison sentences for a Norton couple will put the relationship of two 'ice' dealers on ice. Grover Jenkins, age 37, and Amber Jenkins, age 33, of Norton were recently sentenced by the Wise County Circuit Court for charges related to the distribution of methamphetamine, a drug commonly referred to as 'ice'. These convictions stem from a drug distribution ring operated by the husband and wife couple out of their residence in Norton, Virginia.
On May 17, 2019, Gromer Jenkins was convicted of six counts of distribution of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute. On August 19, 2019, Mr. Jenkins was sentenced by the Court on July 11, 2019 without a plea agreement from prosecutors to ten years in prison with five years and nine months suspended. Thus, Mr. Jenkins will serve an active sentence of four years and three months in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. He will have to complete ten years of probation following his release.
On May 3, 2019, Amber Jenkins was convicted of two counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of conspiring to distribute, and one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. On August 19, 2019, Mrs. Jenkins was sentenced by the court without a plea agreement from prosecutors to six years with two years and six months suspended. Thus, Mrs. Jenkins will serve an active sentence of three years and six months in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. She will have to complete two years of supervised probation following her release.
In the spring of 2018, law enforcement began investigating Gromer and Amber Jenkins upon suspicion that the two were working together to distribute methamphetamine in Wise County. In June and July 2018, on more than one occasion, the pair sold methamphetamine at their residence to undercover agents working for the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force. The investigation culminated with officers serving a search warrant at the Jenkins residence on July 23, 2018. While searching the residence, officers found methamphetamine, digital scales, and small clear baggies. All of these items were consistent with distribution of methamphetamine.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Steven Davis was the lead prosecutor in the case. Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "Methamphetamine is a dangerous, highly addictive, and destructive drug. We are thankful for the hard work of the Southwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force and the DTF's member agencies. Their diligence made these convictions possible and illustrate our ongoing efforts to eradicate the scourge of methamphetamine across southwest Virginia."
James Orza Miller, age 51, of Coeburn appeared today in the Wise County Circuit Court for crimes he committed while perpetrating construction fraud against five different victims in 2018. Miller pleaded guilty under the Alford rule in June 2019 to five separate counts of Construction Fraud and a probation violation. At today's sentencing hearing, the court imposed a lengthy prison sentence after hearing evidence from prosecutors, victims, and the defendant.
Miller was sentenced to 35 years in prison with 30 years suspended. Thus, he will serve an active term of five years within the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. He will be required to complete indefinite years of probation for at least 20 years following his release and pay restitution to the victims. Miller's sentence in Wise will run consecutively with over two years of additional prison time he received on a Lee County construction fraud case earlier this year.
At the hearing today, Miller admitted that he "got too big for my britches," was "in over my head," and started "robbing from Peter to pay Paul."
Between February and August 2018, Miller unlawfully and feloniously obtained advances of money from the five different victims and promised to perform construction work that he was paid in advance to perform. At the time of these new offenses, Miller was on probation in Wise County for similar crimes he committed against a group of property owners in 2010. Several of the victims from the 2010 case testified that they had not been paid restitution Miller owed and called him a "predator."
Senior Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ken Lammers was the lead prosecutor on this case. Lammers is the chief prosecutor of serious fraud and larceny cases at the Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "Your house is more than just your home. It is your single biggest investment. That's why crimes like these are so offensive. Mr. Miller is a predator who used a position of trust, holding himself out to be a contractor, to steal thousands of dollars from innocent victims and homeowners who just wanted to improve their property. Wise County homeowners are safer with Mr. Miller behind bars. We hope that these convictions will serve to provide justice and restitution to the victims and safeguard the public from ongoing schemes to defraud homeowners in our region."
Slemp praised the efforts of the Wise County Sheriff's Department investigators for making the convictions possible.
RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Richmond Field Office continues to pursue new leads and tips connected to the 1999 unsolved homicide of a Mechanicsville teenager in New Kent County. To date, state police is still working to identify the male suspect who fired several rounds into the 1999 Nissan Altima Sara Bruehl had rented to drive to Virginia Beach with her two close friends on Aug. 8, 1999.
It was 20 years ago on the Sunday evening of Aug. 8 that Sara Bruehl and her two friends were shot at while traveling along Interstate 64 near Exit 205 for Bottoms Bridge. Tragically, Sara, who was driving, was shot and killed prior to her vehicle crashing off the right side of the interstate. Her 18-year-old female front-seat passenger was also shot, but survived her injuries. The 17-year-old female backseat passenger survived injuries resulting from the vehicle crash. All three were recent graduates of Atlee High School in Hanover County.
The suspect was described as a light-skinned African-American or Hispanic male, with dark eyes and a goatee. The suspect vehicle was described as a small, red car with tinted windows and halogen lights. Based on witness statements and other information gathered during the course of the investigation, it is believed that Sara and the driver of the red car had engaged in a “cat-and-mouse” game of speeding up, slowing down and changing lanes over about a 20-mile stretch of I-64. Both vehicles were heading eastbound when the other driver pulled up in the right lane next to Sara’s vehicle, rolled down the driver’s side window, and shot four times into the Nissan Sara was driving. The suspect sped away in the eastbound lanes of I-64 as the Nissan ran off the right side of the interstate at Exit 205 and struck a tree. The shooting occurred at about 9:10 p.m.
“We know there are people out there today, even 20 years later, who know who was responsible for taking this young girl’s life and injuring her friends,” said Captain Tim Ring, VSP BCI Richmond Field Office Commander. “State police is still committed to identifying this individual and bringing him to justice. We owe it to Sara and her family to solve this case once and for all. That’s why we are still pursuing leads and still asking for people to come forward with any information they may have to share on this drive-by shooting.”
Anyone with information related to this case is encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at #77 on a cell phone or 1-800-552-9965 or by email to email@example.com.
(RICHMOND, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health has issued a health advisory for the lower (eastern) areas of John W. Flannagan Reservoir in Dickenson County due to a bloom of harmful algae. People and pets should avoid swimming, wading or bathing in these affected areas of the lake until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. This includes windsurfing and stand-up-paddle-boarding; any activities which pose a risk of skin contact or accidentally ingesting the water.
The reservoir also serves as the raw water source for the John Flannagan Water Authority, which provides public drinking water to Dickenson and Buchanan counties and parts of Wise and Tazewell counties, serving some 37,000 customers. Since the bloom was discovered, the Authority has adjusted the treatment protocol and increased monitoring. VDH has observed no evidence of impacts to drinking water at this time.
The 1,143-acre reservoir, formed by a dam on the Cranesnest and Pound Rivers, is a popular local recreation area for boating, swimming and fishing, with public access at five boat ramps, three campgrounds, two fishing piers and a marina.
Signs will be posted at the shoreline in affected areas. The signs read, in part: “WARNING: Harmful Algae Present. People and animals should avoid swimming and wading until further notice. Exposure to algal toxins may cause illness. … While fish consumption is not affected, thoroughly cleaning the fish, discarding the carcass and guts, and washing hands and surfaces afterward with soapy water is advised.”
The affected areas -- below Lower Twin Branch to the dam, including Skeetrock Branch -- are illustrated on an interactive map at www.SwimHealthyVA.com.
Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Everyone should take the following steps to prevent illness:
Algae blooms can occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. Most algae species are harmless; however, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water or scums that are green or blueish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.
Routine monitoring occurs monthly with Flannagan Reservoir. Test results indicate samples collected Wednesday, July 31 near the dam and boat ramp of the lower reservoir contained potentially harmful algae (cyanobacteria) which exceeded safe swimming levels.
Additional sampling was collected Wednesday, August 7 to further establish the extent of the bloom. This advisory will be updated when test results are available, usually about a week later.
The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force, which includes the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Old Dominion Phytoplankton Lab monitor water quality in the lake.
In general, advisories may be lifted following two consecutive test results with acceptable levels for algal cell counts and/or toxin concentration. An advisory may be lifted or maintained at the discretion of the health department. For example, after one test an advisory may be lifted if results are below safe levels for swimming, if other information indicates exposure or human health risk is low.
For more information visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com or see the Advisory Report at www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/12/2019/08/Flanagan_8_8_19_final_report.pdf