Jump to content

    • Martinsville Daily
      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. 

    • Death Still a Mystery

      By Martinsville Daily, in News,

      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. 

    • WMVA Off the Air

      By Martinsville Daily, in News,

      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.

    • The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a robbery that occurred at Robert's Bestway located at 1706 Dillons Fork Rd., Fieldale, Virginia on May 15, 2018, at 9:13 pm. An unknown 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.  The suspect was wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and a light colored ball cap. He is described as being 6’00 tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. After taking an undisclosed amount of U.S. Currency the suspect fled the store in a light colored 4 door sedan.

    • In the early morning hours of May 16th, Martinsville Police investigators received information about a possible location of Brandon Thomas and Adrian Watkins in Roanoke, Virginia. The US Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Roanoke Police Department were contacted and immediately went to the location and arrested both individuals without incident. Both Brandon Thomas and Adrian Watkins are being held without bail in Roanoke and arrangements are being made to transport them back to Martinsville City Jail. The Martinsville Police Department would like to thank the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Roanoke Police Department, Virginia State Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the public with their assistance in bringing both individuals safely into custody. The case continues to be under investigation. If anyone has any information regarding this crime, contact Sergeant Ratcliffe at 276-226-0218 or Crime Stoppers at 276-63-CRIME. More information will be released when available; however, for now, no further information will be released.

    • After a sticky session in Richmond, Patrick County managed to get an extension on the shuttered Patrick County Hospital to reopen the facility without having to get it recertified. Now, the company that owns it, is asking an unfair price according to Patrick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dr. Lock Boyce. According to Boyce, the County could build a new hospital and lease it to someone for less than what Virginia Community Capital wants. VCC says they’ve priced the property based on the data they have. Meanwhile, residents in Patrick County in need of emergency care are on average more than half an hour away from an emergency room.

    • The Martinsville Area Community Foundation awarded more than $240,000 worth of scholarships to area students at an event at New College Institute Tuesday evening. Founded in 2005, MACF is a publicly-supported non-profit philanthropic organization with over 1,600 community foundations around the world. With 42 named endowment funds, the foundation administers more than $18 million in assets. Since its inception, the group has invested over $7 million back into the community with more than $3.2 million in educational scholarships.

    • Clearview Early Childhood Center is taking applications for preschool programs as it prepares to add two new classrooms. The locally-funded center, operated by the Martinsville City Public Schools, offers educational programs for 3- and 4-year-olds not mandated by the state but designed to help students be successful at learning once they start kindergarten. One extra classroom for each age group is planned for the new school year that will start on Aug. 8. About 115 students are enrolled in the city schools’ prekindergarten programs now with about 30 on the waiting list.

    • Earlier this evening, HCPS superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton was appointed to serve as the next superintendent for Chesapeake Public Schools. It is anticipated that he will begin his tenure in Chesapeake in July 2018.
      Dr. Cotton has proudly served as the superintendent for Henry County Public Schools since January 2012. During that time, the school division has experienced many successes, including implementing research-based reading interventions in all elementary schools that has led to an increase in the number of students reading on grade level, implementing the first “New Tech” high school programs in Virginia at Magna Vista High School and Bassett High School to focus on relevant project-based learning experiences and a global studies curriculum, partnering with local colleges to create “career pathways” for students with special emphasis in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and revising the assessment program in HCPS to include student growth measures to provide more accurate data related to student achievement, with special emphasis on literacy and mathematics.
      Cotton’s current contract began on July 1, 2017, and was set to expire June 30, 2021. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve this great school division and community,” stated Cotton. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished together and I know that the high quality staff across the division will continue to inspire hope in students for years to come.”
      School Board Chairman Dr. Joseph DeVault said, “Dr. Cotton’s tenure with Henry County has been marked with great progress in our school system. His leadership and ability to inspire those around him - including his staff, building administrators and teachers - has led to many improvements in our school system and led to Henry County Public Schools being recognized around the state and across the nation as an
      outstanding school system. We are grateful for the years he has given to Henry County and the successes our students have had due to his innovation.”
      The School Board will begin the process of selecting a new superintendent as soon as possible.

    • As part of the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of Arthur OBrian Anderson this morning, a warrant for possession of a firearm by a violent convicted felon was obtained for 30-year-old Diairion Marqui Davis, of Reidsville, NC. Davis is a person of interest and is considered armed and dangerous.
      During the day Investigators worked diligently to locate Davis and received information that he may be in Greensboro, NC. Danville Police Investigators went to Greensboro this afternoon to coordinate efforts with the Greensboro Police Department and ultimately, to arrest Davis. He was located in Greensboro and will be extradited back to Virginia at a later date.
      The homicide investigation is active and ongoing. The Danville Police Department and Greensboro Police Department continue to work together in this investigation.
      Anyone with information about this incident 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.

    • Average retail gasoline prices in Virginia have risen 4.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.67/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 4,081 gas outlets in Virginia. This compares with the national average that has increased 5.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.86/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com. 
      Including the change in gas prices in Virginia during the past week, prices yesterday were 52.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 14.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 15.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 53.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
      According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on May 14 in Virginia have ranged widely over the last five years:
      $2.15/g in 2017, $2.06/g in 2016, $2.45/g in 2015, $3.46/g in 2014 and $3.37/g in 2013.
      Stores in Martinsville with the least expensive gas:
      Valero, 1118 Memorial Blvd S, Martinsville, VA, $2.47
      Marathon, 101 Commonwealth Blvd W, Martinsville, VA, $2.49
      Kroger, 240 Commonwealth Blvd W, Martinsville, VA, $2.49
      Daytona, 1315 Memorial Blvd S, Martinsville, VA, $2.49
      Sun Peak Fuels, 1496 Memorial Blvd S, Martinsville, VA, $2.49
      "Gas prices saw among the larger weekly increases since Hurricane Harvey in the last week as oil prices continued to surge, leading to sharply higher prices at the pump, putting the U.S. in peril of striking the $3/gallon level for the first time since 2014," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Some of the factors at play in the rising prices: President Trump's U.S. withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran and oil supplies that have continued to drop as U.S. exports surpass Venezuela- a surprising feat given Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. In addition, as money continues to flow into commodities as bets for higher oil prices rise, there's a strong chance of seeing crude oil prices continue to rally in the weeks ahead, with odds of hitting $3/gallon nationally now better than 65% just in time for the summer driving season."

    • On May 14, 2018, at approximately 2:00 AM, the Martinsville/Henry County 911 Center received a call in reference to a walk-in patient with a gunshot wound at Sovah Health Martinsville. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to the hospital and spoke with a female victim in the emergency room that had a gunshot wound to the left leg. 
      Shawna Dawn Beamer, 27, of 1268 Reed Creek Dr., Bassett, Virginia was treated and released from Sovah Health Martinsville for a non-life threatening gunshot wound. 
      David Charles Donavon Jr., aka “Lobo”, 30, of 164 Price Hairston Ln., Axton, Virginia has been charged with one count of Malicious Wounding, one count of Discharging a Firearm Inside a Residence, one count of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in reference to this incident. Donavon is currently wanted by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office in reference to this incident. 
      Anyone with information pertaining to the whereabouts of David Charles Donavon Jr. (aka “Lobo”) or this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or the Crimestoppers Program 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.

  • 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
    • 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