Local News

No booster shots mass clinics at least for now in New River Health District

No booster shots mass clinics at least for now in New River Health District

Photo: Virginia Tech

The director for the New River Health District says they are in good shape if and when more people start looking for the third Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot; the booster if you will. More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano on where you might find it.

10-5 Bissell Wrap #2

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Council member Robert Jeffrey Jr. indicted on two felony counts

Council member Robert Jeffrey Jr. indicted on two felony counts

A Grand Jury in Roanoke has indicted Roanoke City Councilman Robert Jeffrey Jr. on two felony counts of obtaining money by false pretense from the Economic Development Authority for the City of Roanoke. The dates of the alleged offenses took place in November and December of 2020. Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell said in a statement today he does not consider Jeffrey to be a flight risk and will allow Jeffrey to turn himself in for processing. Caldwell is also recommending a $15,000 personal recognizance bond for Jeffrey, who also publishes the Colors Virginia magazine. Jeffrey is already indicted on two counts  of embezzlement from the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization while he had a relationship with the group.

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DMV adds back some in person options

DMV adds back some in person options

If you still go to the DMV in person for some functions beginning tomorrow Department of Motor Vehicles customers may choose to schedule an appointment for service or opt for walk-in service on alternating days at all 75 customer service centers. Appointment-only service will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; walk-in service only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Hours vary by office location.

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LU, UVA, WFT score wins over weekend

LU, UVA, WFT score wins over weekend

Liberty beat UAB 36-12 on the road Saturday in Birmingham. UVA topped Miami 30-28 after the Hurricanes missed a last second field goal. And a Taylor Heinicke touchdown pass in the last minute of the game rallied the Washington Football Team to a win over Atlanta.

WPLY-MIN

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Roanoke man cited after TSA catches him with loaded handgun at ROA

Roanoke man cited after TSA catches him with loaded handgun at ROA

ROANOKE, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a Roanoke resident from carrying his .45 caliber handgun onto an airplane at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Saturday, October 2. The handgun was loaded with six bullets.

TSA officials detected the gun in the man’s carry-on bag. They immediately alerted the airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and cited the man on weapons charges.

 

This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on October 2. (TSA photo)

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on itswebsite. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.

 

Nationwide, TSAofficers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.

 

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Carilion physicians on pregnancy, fertility and COVID vaccines

Carilion physicians on pregnancy, fertility and COVID vaccines

Drs. Evans-Hoeker (L) and Jaclyn Nunziato. (G Marrano photo)

The COVID-19 vaccine, fertility and pregnancy – and misinformation. It prompted Carilion Clinic OB-GYN physician Dr. Jaclyn Nunziato and Dr. Emily Evans-Hoeker, a Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Specialist for Carilion – to reach out to us, wanting to set the record straight. They spoke with WFIR’s Gene Marrano last week … here is a very important “Longer Listen.”

10-4 COVID-Pregnancy LL

 

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Man charged in fatal shooting of Virginia girl

Man charged in fatal shooting of Virginia girl

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The owner of the gun that authorities say a 14-year-old boy allegedly used to kill a 13-year-old girl has been charged with a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Richard M. Pierce appeared in the Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Thursday.

Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor announced the new charge in a news release Friday. Taylor didn’t detail Pierce’s connection to the boy, who has also gone unidentified. But she had previously said someone in the boy’s household had a handgun to which the boy got access.

Pierce will next appear in court Nov. 1

Last month, Taylor announced that she would be seeking to have the youth tried as an adult. A hearing is set for Nov. 22.

The boy is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Lucia Bremer. If tried in juvenile court, he could only be held until the age of 21. If tried as an adult, he could receive up to life in prison.

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Islamic State figure charged with supporting terrorist group

Islamic State figure charged with supporting terrorist group

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A leading Islamic State media figure and foreign fighter has been charged in U.S. federal court in Virginia with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death, federal officials said Saturday.

Mohammed Khalifa, a Saudi-born Canadian citizen who was a leading figure in the Islamic State of Iraq, was captured overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2019, federal officials said. He was recently transferred into FBI custody, at which point he was first brought to the Eastern District of Virginia.

“As alleged, Mohammed Khalifa not only fought for ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, but he was also the voice behind the violence,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Through his alleged leading role in translating, narrating, and advancing ISIS’s online propaganda, Khalifa promoted the terrorist group, furthered its worldwide recruitment efforts, and expanded the reach of videos that glorified the horrific murders and indiscriminate cruelty of ISIS.”

Khalifa, 38, served in prominent roles within the Islamic State starting in 2013 and continuing until his capture by the SDF in January 2019 following a firefight between Islamic State fighters and the SDF, officials said.

In addition to allegedly serving as an Islamic State fighter, Khalifa allegedly served as a lead translator in the group’s propaganda production and the English-speaking narrator on multiple violent recruitment videos.

The complaint in federal court also alleges Khalifa traveled to Syria in the spring of 2013 with the intent of becoming a foreign fighter and ultimately joining the Islamic State. He joined the group in or around November 2013 and swore allegiance to then-Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In early 2014, he was recruited to join the group’s Media Bureau partly due to his linguistic capabilities as a fluent English and Arabic speaker.

Prosecutors say Khalifa played an important role in producing and disseminating Islamic State propaganda across multiple media platforms targeting Western audiences. He focused primarily on enticing supporters to travel to Islamic State-controlled areas to join or to conduct attacks in the West, including in the United States, on the group’s behalf. He also actively participated in armed hostilities on behalf of the Islamic State, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges Khalifa assisted in the translation and narration of approximately 15 total videos created and distributed by the Islamic State. The productions narrated by Khalifa include two of the most influential and exceedingly violent propaganda videos, the complaint said.

The videos, containing English narration by Khalifa, were part of a media campaign promoting violence committed against U.S. citizens and other countries’ citizens in order to incite further violence against the United States, allied nations, and their citizens.

The videos depict glamorized portrayals of the Islamic State and its fighters as well as scenes of violence, including depictions of unarmed prisoners being executed, depictions of Islamic State attacks in the United States, and footage of attacks and fighting in what is described as Syria and Egypt, a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office said.

If convicted, Khalifa faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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A small Fire at CIA headquarters injures 2

A small Fire at CIA headquarters injures 2

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — Two people were injured after a small fire at CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the Fairfax County fire department said Saturday.Capt. Steven Bonkoski told The Washington Post that a small fire in a building was put out by sprinklers about 12:30 a.m.Two agency employees were taken to a hospital for evaluation of possible smoke inhalation.The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Virginia seeks disaster declaration after extreme rainfall

Virginia seeks disaster declaration after extreme rainfall

Virginia’s governor is asking for federal assistance to help Buchanan County recover from extreme rainfall that destroyed homes and caused an estimated $13.8 million in damage to public infrastructure in August. According to a news release, Gov. Ralph Northam requested Thursday that President Joe Biden approve federal assistance through a major disaster declaration to help the county and residents recover after a storm dumped 8 to10 inches of rain in the Hurley area, causing flash flooding and landslides. Virginia officials say in addition to the damage to infrastructure, such as roads and water lines, assessments found 31 homes were destroyed, 27 sustained major damage, and eight had minor damage from this extreme rainfall event.

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Pat Robertson steps down as host of long-running ‘700 Club’

Pat Robertson steps down as host of long-running ‘700 Club’

The Christian Broadcasting Network says Pat Robertson is stepping down as host of the long-running daily television show the “700 Club. “The 91-year-old televangelist says Friday was his last show as host of the weekday program, and his son, Gordon, is taking over as full-time host. CBN began airing in 1961 after Robertson bought a bankrupt UHF television station. The “700 Club” began production in 1966. The network is now based in Virginia Beach. And its outreach extends to more than 100 countries and territories in dozens of languages. The “700 Club” talk show can be seen in the vast majority of U.S. television markets.

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Man wanted for murder in North Carolina captured in Virginia

Man wanted for murder in North Carolina captured in Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man wanted for first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend has been apprehended in Virginia. Police in Newport News, Virginia, say 27-year-old Travis Jefferson was taken into custody around 2 p.m. on Thursday. A news release says local officers along with the U.S. Marshal Service and Virginia State Police had been looking for Jefferson. News outlets report 21-year-old Nicoda Melvin was shot in the head in a home that the couple shared. The shooting happened on Sept, 19, three days before two of her relatives were shot and killed.

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Shots fired on Melrose

Shots fired on Melrose

(from Roanoke PD) On October 1, 2021 at approximately 3:30 p.m., Roanoke Police were notified of shots fired in the 3100 block of Melrose Avenue NW. As officers were responding to that location, they were notified that an adult male with a non-life threatening gunshot wound had arrived via personal transport to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Officers who responded to the scene located evidence of a shooting, but no further injuries were reported to police. No suspects were located on scene. Preliminary investigation indicates the victim was in a vehicle traveling West when he was struck by gunfire. The victim then drove to Salem Turnpike/Melrose Avenue NW where he left his personal vehicle and was transported to the hospital in another vehicle.

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First booster-focused clinic at Berglund Center is a “sell out”

First booster-focused clinic at Berglund Center is a “sell out”

(File photo) Photo: Ian Price

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts held its first mass clinic focused on that 3rd Pfizer “booster shot” at the Berglund Center today. Communications officer Christie Wills says they filled all 1400 slots available – and they will schedule another one at the Berglund Center next week. Wills also says if you show up not sure of booster shot eligibility they can pull up vaccine records to confirm that.

10-1 Wills-Booster#1-WEB

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Cline: Dems not willing to give enough for bipartisan support

Cline: Dems not willing to give enough for bipartisan support

Rep. Ben Cline

An area GOP Congressman says Democrats are not willing to give enough for bipartisan support of President Biden’s social agenda. WFIR’s Clark Palmer has that story.

10-1 Cline Spending Wrap-WEB

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New show: Buzz 4 Good comes to WFIR tomorrow at 4pm

New show: Buzz 4 Good comes to WFIR tomorrow at 4pm

Michael Hemphill on location

Calling radio another platform on which to showcase the good work of non-profits in the region, the creator of the BUZZ TV show that airs on Blue Ridge PBS is launching a radio program Saturdays at 4-pm – on WFIR. Gene Marrano has more on “Buzz 4 Good.”

10-1 Buzz Wrap -1

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Roanoke Roots and Reggae Fest

Roanoke Roots and Reggae Fest

After taking a year off because of covid The Humble Hustle is back to bring you The Roanoke Roots and Reggae Fest..WFIR’s Rob Ruthenberg has this report

10-1 reggae wrap 1-WEB

CLICK HERE for more info and to get tickets

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Accident on Orange Avenue proves fatal today

Accident on Orange Avenue proves fatal today

(from Roanoke PD) An accident that shut down the exit from I-581 to Orange Avenue earlier today was due to an accident that led to a fatality. Roanoke Police were notified of a motor vehicle crash involving a moped at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Williamson Road just after noon. They found an adult male lying in the roadway with critical injuries. He was pronounced deceased a short time later at the hospital. Preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the moped was traveling East on Orange Avenue and attempting to turn up Williamson Road when he struck a vehicle that was stationary in the turning lane. The driver could not recover control of the moped and fell into the nearest lane of travel, where he was struck by a tractor-trailer. No charges have been filed at this time.

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Update: victim identified in Moorman Ave. NW murder

Update: victim identified in Moorman Ave. NW murder

UPDATE 10/1): The victim of this incident has been identified as Basil Hubble, 31 of Roanoke.

(from Roanoke PD) On September 29 at approximately 9:00 p.m., a Roanoke Police Officer was patrolling in the area of 6th Street/Moorman Avenue NW. Roanoke Police analysts have identified this area as one that has shown a recent increase of violent crime. Roanoke Police direct targeted enforcement to these areas when possible in an attempt to interrupt acts of violence or organized crime.

As the Officer passed one of the convenience stores on Moorman Avenue, he noticed a subject enter the store. The Officer parked his vehicle across the street from the store. Within seconds, he heard the sound of gunshots coming from inside the business and observed a subject exiting the store and attempting to flee on foot. Officers were able to apprehend the suspect and take him into custody. Officers located a firearm and an undisclosed amount of currency in the suspect’s possession.

Officers discovered that an adult male victim inside the store had been struck by gunfire. Roanoke Fire-EMS pronounced the man deceased on scene. His identity will be released after next-of-kin is properly notified. The suspect is identified as Jamerius Crennell, 20 of Roanoke, and is charged with second-degree murder. This remains an ongoing homicide investigation.

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RPD arrests a murder suspect last night while patrolling targeted area

RPD arrests a murder suspect last night while patrolling targeted area

(from Roanoke PD) On September 29 at approximately 9:00 p.m., a Roanoke Police Officer was patrolling in the area of 6th Street/Moorman Avenue NW. Roanoke Police analysts have identified this area as one that has shown a recent increase of violent crime. Roanoke Police direct targeted enforcement to these areas when possible in an attempt to interrupt acts of violence or organized crime.

As the Officer passed one of the convenience stores on Moorman Avenue, he noticed a subject enter the store. The Officer parked his vehicle across the street from the store. Within seconds, he heard the sound of gunshots coming from inside the business and observed a subject exiting the store and attempting to flee on foot. Officers were able to apprehend the suspect and take him into custody. Officers located a firearm and an undisclosed amount of currency in the suspect’s possession.

Officers discovered that an adult male victim inside the store had been struck by gunfire. Roanoke Fire-EMS pronounced the man deceased on scene. His identity will be released after next-of-kin is properly notified. The suspect is identified as Jamerius Crennell, 20 of Roanoke, and is charged with second-degree murder. This remains an ongoing homicide investigation.

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