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    • Martinsville Daily
      The National Weather Service says showers and thunderstorms into next week will bring a return of a heavy rain threat with localized flooding possible. The track of a tropical system may have major impacts on how much rain we get and the overall flood threat next week.
      There is a 60 % chance of showers and thunderstorms from 2 pm today until midnight tonight, 40% chance on Sunday and Sunday night. 50% on Memorial Day, increasing to 60% by Tuesday night and then 80% by Wednesday, reducing to 70% on Thursday, 60% Thursday night, and 40% Friday. 
       

    • Shortly after 1 PM today the driver of a moped ran off the road and wrecked near the intersection of Franklin and Depot Streets in Martinsville. 

      There were no other vehicles or victims involved. No word on the condition of the driver at this time. The moped appeared to be totaled. Martinsville Police blocked the road for about 45 minutes while they investigated the incident.  


    • In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, Henry County Administration and Public Services Authority offices will close at 3:00 pm today, and remain closed on Monday, May 28, 2018.  Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Convenience Centers for Garbage Disposal and Recycling will operate on its regular schedule of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.
      The City Municipal Building and administrative offices along with constitutional offices will be closed Monday, May 28, 2018. Employees in essential operational positions (Police, Fire, EMS, water/sewer plant operations) will continue on their normal schedule. There will be no bulk, brush, or garbage pick-up on Monday, May 28th. 
      On Monday, May 28th, three services are planned at local cemeteries in recognition of the Memorial Day holiday:
      At 10 am, the 4th Annual Memorial Day Service will be held at the entrance to People’s Cemetery, located at the end of Second Street in Martinsville.  At 12 noon, the 71st Annual Memorial Day Service will be held at Roselawn Burial Park on Clearview Drive in Martinsville.  At 6 pm, a Memorial Day service will be held at Carver Memorial Gardens located at 2256 Carver Road, Martinsville.  All services will feature a short program and guest speaker, and all are open to the public.

    • Acting against the recommendation of the Planning Commission and a complaint by zoning administrator Susan McCulloch that a new “open space” ordinance will give her too much authority, City Council approved the measure by a 4-1 vote. 
      The ordinance is the result of Henry County’s construction of the Dick & Willie walking trail in Martinsville. Basically, any future plans similar to the Dick & Willie will have to go before McCulloch for review. She can either grant the intended use, or require an application for a special use permit be submitted. 
      A request for a permit goes before the Planning Commission first, and then to Council. Councilwoman Kathy Lawson was the only one that voted against the new rule. 

    • According to a release from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, on May 23, 2018 at approximately 11:25pm, the 911 Center received a call that an individual had been stabbed at King’s Court Motel, 6570 Greensboro Rd., Ridgeway, VA.
      Deputies arrived and spoke with the victim, Joseph Cody Bowers, 29, of 61 Kilarney Ct., Ridgeway, VA. Bowers told police he was riding in a vehicle with Justin Wingfield when an argument ensued. As the vehicle arrived at the King’s Court Motel, Wingfield stabbed Bowers multiple times in the upper chest and arm. Bowers was transported to SOVAH Health Martinsville where he was treated and released for non-life threating injuries. 
      Justin Gregory Wingfield, 26, of 12 Essex St., Bassett, VA was arrested at the scene and charged with malicious wounding. He is in the Henry County Jail without bond.

    • Latest Flood News

      By Martinsville Daily, in News,

      The city of Martinsville has now joined Henry County is seeking disaster relief following record flooding last week. Both issued declarations of emergency after flash flooding damaged homes, businesses and roads. Officials estimate the damage in excess of $7 million in Henry County. 
      The emergency declarations give both jurisdictions authority to ask for outside help with clean-up and repairs but do not cover loss to residents or businesses. 
      A Hooker Furniture warehouse is open again after officials say heavy rains caused the roof to collapse causing more than $1 million in damage. There were no injuries. 
      Cherokee Trail, between Root Trail and Sam Lions Trail washed out due to a culvert pipe failing. The city manager says replacing that culvert could cost around $100,000. 
      Another flash flood Monday afternoon caused one section of the Joseph Martin Highway in Martinsville to flood and then washout likely due to a culvert pipe. That part of the highway will be closed until further notice according to VDOT.



    • Martinsville Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge submitted her resignation Tuesday, effective July 31st. She said she plans to move to Atlanta. 
      Hodge is halfway through a second 4-year term. She says the consulting firm she works for was awarded a contract that will require her to move. 
      Council can either appoint someone to fill Hodge’s unexpired term or call for a special election. That decision will not be made until Hodge’s resignation becomes effective. 

    • Brandi Beckelheimer, 17, has died as the result of injuries sustained when she fell out of a moving SUV driven by another 17-year-old who has been charged with underage DWI. 
      The name of the driver was not released. According to a statement from police, there were no signs of foul play. It appeared she was having fun and fell out of the window. Beckelheimer was a senior at Tunstall High School. 
      The incident occurred in Semora, North Carolina on Sunday.

    • In Baldwin County, Georgia, a grand jury has ruled unanimously that police officers were justified in using lethal force in an October encounter that resulted in the death of 32-year-old Sanders Surber of Martinsville last October. 
      The incident began with a report of two suspicious men looking into vehicles at a Walmart on the afternoon of Oct. 27. Officers detained 27-year-old Jesse Harris of Martinsville at the scene; Surber fled in a vehicle. After wrecking the car, Surber fled into a neighborhood and broke into a home where a woman was babysitting three young children. Officials said he threatened the babysitter with a gun to get her keys and then fled in her car. He was again spotted by officers and eventually wrecked that car as well. After the second wreck, Surber emerged from the car armed with a shotgun, and two officers opened fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
      Surber later was found to have active warrants in Virginia for armed robbery and auto theft.

    • At 8:01 am today the National Weather Service in Blacksburg issued a Flood Warning for Small Streams in the City of Martinsville and Henry County. This warning will remain in effect until 10 am. At 7:55 am, river gauges indicate flooding across the northern half of Henry County. This has resulted in excessive runoff into creeks such as Blackberry Creek near Bassett. Minor flooding is also occurring on the Smith River just below the Martinsville Hydroelectric plant. Minor to moderate flooding may continue across parts of the warned area for a few more hours. In hilly terrain, there are hundreds of low water crossings which are potentially dangerous in heavy rain. You are advised to not attempt to cross flooded roads. Find an alternate route.
      There does not appear to be an ending to the rain we’ve been getting. The latest forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today, 30 percent tonight, 70 percent Monday and Monday night, and between 30 and 40 percent Tuesday through Saturday. 

    • Larry Hinchee died of hypothermia with no signs of foul play according to the official release by the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke. His body was found almost 2 months ago in a wooded area not far from his home. His death has been ruled accidental. The death remains a mystery. The 54-year-old left work at 1:30 in the morning, when home, and then disappeared. His car was parked in his driveway, his wallet and cellphone in the house. Neighbors confirmed seeing him walking on the street around 2 am as was his custom after getting off work. 7 days later his body was recovered in the woods about 1 ½ miles from his house. 
       

    • The Virginia Department of Health reminds people to take precautions to avoid flooded areas, and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities.
      Heavy rains can increase the risk of exposure to animal waste and inadequately treated wastewater from sewage treatment plants. Bacteria, debris and other pollutants are collected by rainwater as it travels over the land and ends up in rivers, lakes and streams. This mix of rain and pollution can pose risks to human health and safety. Rain events also cause flooding and fast-moving waters, especially in low-lying areas.
      The most common illnesses from contaminated water are gastrointestinal illnesses. This may cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or fever. These illnesses result from swallowing water contaminated by disease-causing microbiological organisms. Additionally, contact with contaminated water has the potential to cause upper respiratory (ear, nose, throat) and skin infections.
      Use the following recommendations from VDH to keep you and your family safe following heavy rain events:
      Use extreme caution and avoid unnecessary risks if you encounter covered roads or fast-moving waters. The water may be deeper and moving faster than you think.
      Floodwaters may contain debris that can break the skin or entrap legs and arms.
      Avoid swimming or wading in ditches, streams, and rivers for at least three days following a typical rain event. During flood events, avoid swimming and wading until waters return to normal levels.
      Do not swim or wade if you have broken skin. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms can infect wounds causing more serious illness.
      Avoid getting water in your mouth. Never swallow water from an untreated water source.
      Shower with soap and water after swimming or wading in natural waters. Floodwaters are more likely to contain high levels of bacteria and other pollutants.
      If you have an underlying illness like diabetes, liver disease, or cancer, you are more vulnerable to infections. Consider avoiding swimming or wading in natural waters and avoid floodwaters.
      Avoid swimming if dead fish are present.
      Residents or facilities that provide water to the public including campgrounds, restaurants, summer camps, or daycares with private wells or septic systems submerged by floodwaters should also take extra precautions.
      To find the location of local sewer treatment facilities, contact your local public works department.

    • With flooding rampant in the region, the current forecast is calling for more rain through Wednesday of next week. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for our region including Martinsville and Henry County through this evening. The National Weather Service is calling for an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain in spots within a very short period of time. We should expect flash flooding in these areas. Flooding of small streams, creeks, and smaller rivers may occur. Flooding along the Dan River will also occur today. More specifically, showers are likely before noon, the showers with a thunderstorm afternoon. Between a quarter and a half inch is possible. Showers are thunderstorms will likely continue through 2 am Sunday, then back to showers. Showers mixed with thunderstorms are possible again after 11 am Sunday with new rainfall of less than a tenth of an inch. Thunderstorms should end by midnight Sunday night, but showers will continue through 2 am. By 8 am Monday, more showers and thunderstorms are possible through Monday with another tenth of an inch expected. Monday night there is a slight chance of showers, Tuesday showers and are expected in the morning combining with thunderstorms in the afternoon. Showers could continue through Tuesday night before tapering off after midnight. Some sunshine is expected to return by Wednesday next week. 

    • Flooded areas include Wal-Mart at 220 and Commonwealth. A partial collapse of the roof occurred at Roses across the street. Two people were taken to the hospital with scrapes, but no serious injury. The Collinsville Library, Advance Auto, and Aaron Furniture in Collinsville all report flooding. Portions of Sam Lions Trail at Lake Lanier collapsed. Flooding of Forest Park Country Club Golf Course has caused the entire facility to be closed. A portions of earth near the 220 Hydro Electric Dam collapsed. Activities at all Henry County Schools and the Smith River Sports Complex have been canceled. 
       

    • Our Chatham Heights facility suffered considerable roof damage and flooding during the most recent torrential rains we have received. Five rooms have been damaged to the extent they are currently unusable. Our transmitter room was flooded, causing WMVA to go off the air. We suspect that water has gotten in the transmission line and is shorting out the transmitter. This will take some time to pinpoint and repair. We ask for your patience. 

    • Troy Jerome Watkins, 45, of 303 Honeysuckle Dr., Martinsville, Virginia turned himself in at the Henry County Magistrates Office on May 17, 2018, at approximately 10:32 pm. Warrants for robbery and grand larceny were served on Watkins. Watkins is alleged to have robbed Robert’s Bestway in Fieldale at gunpoint earlier this week. He is currently jailed in the Henry County Jail with no bond.
       

    • At approximately 6:02 pm yesterday afternoon, Danville Police responded to Tobacco and More located on Franklin Turnpike for a report of a robbery. 
      The victim reported that two males dressed in black and wearing hoodies entered the store. One was carrying what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of money and property before fleeing the scene. They were observed by a witness getting into a vehicle described as a black Chevrolet Impala. The vehicle was last seen traveling west on Franklin Turnpike. 
      Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call 911, Danville Crime Stoppers at (434) 793-0000, the Danville Police Department at (434) 799-6508, or via our crime tips line on your computer at crimetips@danvilleva.gov. Information given will remain confidential.

    • The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a robbery that occurred at Roberts Bestway located at 1706 Dillons Fork Rd., Fieldale, Virginia on May 15, 2018, at 9:13 pm. A male subject entered the store and attempted to make a purchase. During the transaction, the male subject reached under his shirt and the store clerk observed what appeared to be a firearm. The male subject reached into the cash register and grabbed an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency. Troy Jerome Watkins, 45, 303 Honeysuckle Dr., Martinsville, Virginia has been identified as the suspect. Watkins has been charged and is currently wanted for one count of Robbery.
      The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the assistance of the public in locating Troy Jerome Watkins. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of this individual is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 276-638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2500.00 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.

    • Martinsville Police have arrested 33-year-old Corey Vershawn Johnson, no address listed, for the murder of Sean Goddard that occurred on May 13, 2018. Johnson is currently in Henry County Jail and is being held without bail. Johnson becomes the third person arrested for the murder of Goddard. Brandon Tarall Thomas of Martinsville and Adrian Eugene Watkins of Bassett were both arrested in Roanoke earlier this week. The 20-year-old Goddard of Axton was shot in the 1000 block of Askin Street in Martinsville shortly after midnight on May 13, 2018.

  • Blog Entries

    • By Martinsville Daily in Bill Wyatt 1
      Our network programming for radio and television has been provided to us almost exclusively by means of C-band transmission. The transmissions originate from orbiting satellites at very low power, therefore, it takes a very large dish to receive these small signals for re-transmission. Over the past ten years, interference has become more prevalent at our satellite farm on Chatham Heights Road. Now it has reached the level where many of our receivers no longer are able to provide reliable service. For those of you interested in a more technical explanation, here is one source. 
      The source article points out the "services in large areas covering intercontinental and global communications provide a wide range of services for distance learning, telemedicine, universal access, disaster recovery, national security, air navigation and safety, e-government. We have been able to determine the interference we are receiving is sporadic (not constant), and very strong. The spurious emission splatters across almost the entire C-band spectrum, rendering filters useless. We have not been able to determine the source of this interference, despite concerted efforts to do so. We have been able to determine the signature produced would indicate it is a ground-to-ground transmission and not listed in any databases confirming its use. I have talked with a number of experts in this field and the consensus is we are likely the victim of some government use, be it national security or the like. Regardless, there is no viable solution to our problem, at least not one that restores reliable C-band reception.
      Fortunately, we have been able to restore most of our network programming services with an IP solution. In some instances, an IP solution doesn't exist, and in those cases we have had to provide alternate programming. thisTV Network provides no alternative to C-band at this time, and the interference has rendered this source no longer viable during daytime hours. For whatever reason, the interference only occurs during the daylight hours. Our C-band reception is unaffected during the overnight hours. 
      Until a solution is found, our programming of thisTV Network will be limited to midnight to 6 AM. Should the interference become present during the overnight hours, we will be left with no recourse, but to discontinue thisTV Network.   
      Bill Wyatt
      WHEE, WMVA, WYAT
    • By Martinsville Daily in Bill Wyatt 1
      This morning around 10 AM our audio line that feeds the transmitter at Koehler from our studios went dead. You may recall we experienced some damage during storms last month causing the top portion of a utility pole to break off and fall to the ground. This same pole feeds our transmitter building. The pole was replaced today, and apparently, the workers did not reconnect the line. We reported the problem and CenturyLink has indicated they would have someone out within 24 hours. Given their word, WHEE should return to the airwaves sometime tomorrow.

      New utility pole

      What used to be our smooth and level entrance way

      Partial damage from last month's storms

      The broken utility pole that was replaced


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