Local News

Children’s Miracle Network set for 21st Radiothon

Children’s Miracle Network set for 21st Radiothon

One week until the annual Dick and Dave’s Miracle Day Radiothon. WFIR’s Ian Price has more about how a new sponsor is giving parents another tool to prepare for their children.   Click HERE to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network  The post Children’s Miracle Network set for 21st Radiothon first appeared on News/Talk 960-AM… ... Continue Reading
Festival in the Park will go After Dark with more concerts

Festival in the Park will go After Dark with more concerts

Roanoke Festival in the Park, Inc. and Berglund Center are pleased to announce the 54th Annual Festival in the Park happening May 23rd – 26th! Festival in the Park Volunteer Board of Directors have planned an event that provides something for everyone! Art, Crafts, Children’s activities, the Best Food Trucks in Roanoke and live music… ... Continue Reading
Roanoke County broadband survey deadline extended

Roanoke County broadband survey deadline extended

Roanoke County has extended the deadline for its broadband survey. As WFIR’s Denise Allen Membreno reports the county wants to hear from residents so it can improve internet access.

 

Roanoke County residents have more time to fill out a survey requesting information on their broadband service, or lack there of…As WFIR’s Denise Allen Membreno reports the information helps providers know where to expand their services.

www.roanokecountyva.gov/connected

 

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More threats cause Roanoke City Schools to close again

More threats cause Roanoke City Schools to close again

Statement From Superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools Verletta White: The Roanoke Police Department investigated a credible threat, and we have been notified that they have arrested and charged an adult in connection with making the threats. Please visit www.rcps.info to read the police department’s full statement. We appreciate their diligence in investigating all threats and for keeping us informed throughout their investigation. We will continue to work with them as they investigate additional “copycat” threats. Always know that the safety and security of our students and staff is my top priority and, certainly, that of our school division. I want to thank everyone who spoke up and reported these threats to the police and our 24/7 tipline, SpeakUp for Safety. This allowed the police to quickly investigate and find the person responsible. In times of crisis, we know you want answers and so do we, and I want to thank you for your patience, as the police investigated this matter. It is important to note that there are times when we are limited in what we can share so we do not compromise the police department’s investigation. For instance, when we had numerous threats reported throughout the night and as police learned more, we had to pivot and make the decision to close schools Thursday morning.
To that end, several threats have come in since the arrest and we need additional time to work with police to determine the credibility of these threats. Therefore, schools will be closed again  Friday, February 23rd. 12-month staff should report on time. I am asking all parents to talk with your children about the consequences of making threats, which may include their arrest. Tomorrow, we will do our due diligence in working with the police on this matter so we can be fully ready to welcome everyone to school on Monday in a safe and welcoming learning environment. Thank you for all you do, and for partnering with us to keep our schools safe

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Man arrested after online threats closed Roanoke City Schools

Man arrested after online threats closed Roanoke City Schools

Stephen Karl Johnson

A Roanoke man, whose online threats posted this week to a Snapchat group used by students at Patrick Henry High School caused public schools in Roanoke to close Thursday, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint.

Stephen Karl Johnson, 35, was arrestedThursday after an investigation by the City of Roanoke Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Johnson was federally charged with one count of communicating in interstate commerce a threat to injure another person.

“This defendant caused fear and emotional distress to the parents and students of the Roanoke City Public School system and for those actions he has been justly charged,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “If anyone communicates a threat to our schools, our public servants, or our public institutions in the Western District of Virginia, we will seek to hold them accountable under federal law. I am grateful to Chief Booth, the Roanoke City Police Department, and the FBI for their diligence in bringing a peaceful end to this situation.”

“The FBI will vigorously investigate and bring to justice those individuals who threaten to do harm to our communities,” said Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. “We will continue working with our local law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe.”

According to court documents, on the evening of February 21, 2024, several threatening messages were posted to a Snapchat group used by Patrick Henry High School students. Those messages included but were not limited to:

“Im done bro fr on some real sh** I’m pulling up to school with a ak and any kid I see that’s in my sight I shooting fr.”

In order to join the Snapchat group reserved for Patrick Henry High School students, users must register with a Gmail addresses. Investigators were able to trace the threatening messages to a Gmail address used by the defendant.

The FBI and the City of Roanoke Police Department are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Brett is prosecuting the case.

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Confrontation this morning leads to non-fatal shooting

Confrontation this morning leads to non-fatal shooting

(from Roanoke PD) On February 22, 2024 at approximately 10:00 a.m., Roanoke Police were notified of a person with a gunshot wound in the 2400 block of Hanover Ave NW. Responding officers located two adult women victims outside a residence with what appeared to be non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. Both women were transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital by Roanoke Fire-EMS.

Officers quickly located and detained two adult men. Preliminary investigation indicates this altercation started with a verbal confrontation that escalated to the shooting. All parties involved are known to one another and this appears to be an isolated incident. Charges are pending,

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WFIR tours Good Sam’s new Center for Caring

WFIR tours Good Sam’s new Center for Caring

G Marrano photos

Roanoke-based Good Samaritan Hospice says its new Center for Caring on Cove Road northwest that expects to provide in-patient services by late summer includes “serene design elements” – as they showed WFIR during an exclusive tour yesterday. More from Gene Marrano:

 

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Roanoke City Schools closed today as authorities investigate threats

Roanoke City Schools closed today as authorities investigate threats

Statement from Roanoke City Public Schools: We are aware of threats toward multiple schools that have been circulating on social media since last evening. Police are investigating and are working with the social media companies in their investigation. To that end, there will be no school or afterschool activities today, February 22nd, so police can continue their investigation. 12-month employees should report on time

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Altercation leads to shooting incident last night

Altercation leads to shooting incident last night

(from Roanoke PD) n February 20, 2024 at approximately 8:10 p.m., Roanoke Police were notified by the City of Roanoke E-911 Center of reports of shots fired in the 700 block of 29th Street NW. As officers were responding to the scene, they were advised that a person with a gunshot wound had been located inside a vehicle in the area of 10th Street and Orange Ave NW. Responding officers found a juvenile male with what appeared to be a non-life-threatening gunshot wound in the backseat of the vehicle. Roanoke Fire-EMS transported the teen to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment.

As officers were continuing their investigation, officers located two teenage males who had been involved in the shooting on 29th Street NW. Preliminary investigation indicates that several teenagers were involved in a brief physical altercation at a residence in the 700 block of 29th Street NW that led to the shooting. Officers did recover a firearm at the residence. All involved parties have been identified and this appears to be an isolated incident.

No arrests have been made regarding this investigation

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Wasena bridge demolition/rebuild gets underway in May

Wasena bridge demolition/rebuild gets underway in May

G Marrano photos

By May the 85-year-old Wasena Bridge demolition will get underway. At a ceremonial groundbreaking this morning Roanoke City Councilman Peter Volison says supporting Wasena neighborhood businesses during the two years there will be no connection to old Southwest is an imperative. (Volosin also recalled the community engagement process the city undertook when the Franklin Road bridge to Old Southwest was torn down and replaced in 2019.)

 

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Haley says she will stay in race; VT political analyst explains why

Haley says she will stay in race; VT political analyst explains why

Nikki Haley is vowing to stay in the Republican contest for President past this Saturday’s primary in her own state – and at least through Super Tuesday. A Virginia Tech political analyst comments on what her end game may be. WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:

 

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The Look of Love and Swoon tours in exhibition’s final weeks at the Taubman

The Look of Love and Swoon tours in exhibition’s final weeks at the Taubman

From the WFIR News room this is your Culture Calendar – With a look at some of the local events coming up this weekend and in the near future. Sponsored by the Roanoke Cultural Endowment.

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Roanoke City Council votes to approve  Evans Spring Master Plan

Roanoke City Council votes to approve Evans Spring Master Plan

Members of Roanoke City Council have voted to approve adoption of the Evans Spring Master Plan despite opposition from some residents. WFIR’s Clark Palmer has that story.

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‘Tri-demic’ is still a concern despite Winter soon ending

‘Tri-demic’ is still a concern despite Winter soon ending

Spring is less than a month away, but the flu season is far from over, WFIR’s Alex Torres has more on the so-called tri-demic:

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One person dead and ten others displaced following Roanoke fire

One person dead and ten others displaced following Roanoke fire

Roanoke Fire-EMS responded to a structure fire yesterday in the 500 block of Campbell Ave SW. First arriving crews found smoke coming from the second floor. Upon entry, crews located a victim that was removed from the structure and transported to the hospital by Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel. Despite all efforts by Roanoke Fire EMS personnel and hospital staff, the individual passed away. Fire investigators are working diligently to determine the cause and origin of this fire. Also, 10 occupants were displaced and Roanoke Emergency Management Staff worked to relocate these individuals

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Mark the date: St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival returns March 16

Mark the date: St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival returns March 16

After Valentine’s Day, the countdown to St. Patrick’s Day festivities begins for many. Downtown Roanoke Inc. is already releasing details, as WFIR’s Ian Price reports.

(WFIR and our sister stations K92, Star Country, Q99 and The Rock Channel are co-sponsors of the Parade and Festival this year)

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Roanoke College gets down to business with new majors

Roanoke College gets down to business with new majors

Alice Kassens Roanoke College photo

The latest majors at Roanoke College to focus on business and finance at the school most well-known for its liberal arts programs arrive this Fall – in large part due to demand. The story from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

 

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TAP offering free homebuying classes for first-time buyers

TAP offering free homebuying classes for first-time buyers

Total Action for Progress, also known as TAP, is offering a free housing seminar for first-time homebuyers, WFIR’s Alex Torres has more on that:

[Click here to register]

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Commonwealth Clash: Cavaliers face Hokies tonight once again

Commonwealth Clash: Cavaliers face Hokies tonight once again

After dropping the first of two games in this season’s “Commonwealth Clash,” the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will seek revenge tonight. More from WFIR’s Alex Torres:

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CCS exec. also hoping for more affordable housing in Roanoke City

CCS exec. also hoping for more affordable housing in Roanoke City

Anne Marie Green – submitted photo

The latest allocation from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund Homeless Reduction Grant for 12 million dollars includes funds for a Roanoke-based non-profit that works with other local agencies to battle the homeless issue. More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

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