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    • Martinsville Daily
      High pressure over the Tennessee Valley today moves east to Virginia tonight. A cold front will approach the region later in the week, reaching the Mid Atlantic region on Friday and Saturday. There is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today with a high of 85. Sunny on Wednesday and 89. 20 percent chance of storms and rain on Thursday with a high of 90. 90 again on Friday with the chance of storms and rain increasing to 30 percent. For the weekend, 30 percent chance of storms and rain Saturday increasing to 60 percent on Sunday. The high will be near 87 both days. 

    • State police are investigating a crash that killed a Bassett man Sunday night. It happened around 10 a.m. on Oak Level Road, close to Philpott Drive in Henry County. State police say a 1999 Chevy Blazer was headed south when the driver ran off the road, hit a tree, and then hit a utility pole. The driver, 44-year-old Bassett resident Michael Todd Withrow, died at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to state police. The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

    • Police in Virginia are gearing up for an intense enforcement period to combat drunken driving during the end of summer. Beginning Friday and continuing through Labor Day, approximately 89 law enforcement agencies will operate 94 checkpoints and 612 saturation patrols around the state. In 2017, 248 people in Virginia died as a result of drinking-related incidents. During last year’s Labor Day weekend, Virginia roads saw 703 alcohol-impaired traffic injuries. The increased enforcement will be supported by the 17th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce outreach campaign. A 30-second advertisement called “Act Like It” debuted this week, reminding viewers that drinking and driving is irresponsible. The message is if you’re old enough to drink, act like it and get a safe ride home.

    • The City of Martinsville managed to thread the needle with Sunday afternoon storms. Rain fell through the area, but most of the thunderstorm activity split just to the north and south of the city as it passed through. Still, shortly after 3 AM, this morning power in several parts of the city went out according to the operator of the after-hours emergency line. Crews restored power by 4 AM. No word on how many people were affected. The operator stated the power was out due to “lines down.” No other details were available.

    • The 16th annual “Jennifer Short Memorial Bike and Car Ride” was held Saturday. It began and ended at the Victory Baptist Church in Fieldale and included a police escorted ride and ceremony to the bridge where Jennifer Short’s remains were found. Michael and Mary Short were shot and killed in their home and 9-year-old Jennifer was abducted. It was determined she had been shot and killed also. The murders remain unsolved. About $2,500 was raised.  

    • According to a release from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, on August 10, 2018, at approximately 1:20 AM, the Martinsville/Henry County 911 Center received a call from SOVAH Health Martinsville in reference to an individual that had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to the hospital and spoke with a male victim in the emergency room.
      Alvin Gregory Turner, 56, of 195 Lakewood Park Dr, Martinsville, Virginia was initially treated at SOVAH Health Martinsville and subsequently airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen. Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that the shooting occurred during an altercation between Turner and Raykwon Demon Hairston.
      Raykwon Demon Hairston, 23, of 110 Lakewood Park Dr., Martinsville, Virginia has outstanding warrants for one count of Malicious Wounding and one count of Use of a Firearm during a Felony, both charges are felonies.
      Raykwon Demon Hairston is currently wanted by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Hairston is described as a black male, 5’ 07”, brown hair and brown eyes. Hairston is believed to be armed with a handgun.
      Anyone having information pertaining to the whereabouts of Raykwon Demon Hairston 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.

    • According to the National Weather Service, clusters and bands of strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible through late this afternoon with damaging winds the primary threat. Very heavy rainfall within the stronger storms may be enough to result in localized flooding. A weak cold front will shift southeast across the area today beneath an upper-level area of low pressure that will sink into the mountains this afternoon and tonight. Added rounds of showers and stronger storms will accompany the front today with lingering scattered showers and thunderstorms into Monday. Weak high pressure builds in with somewhat drier weather for the middle of next week. In the forecast, there is an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today, 60 percent tonight, 40 percent Monday and Monday night, and 20 percent on Tuesday. Highs will be in the mid 80’s and lows in the mid 60’s. 

    • The owner of Clyde’s Discount Foods, Clyde Lavern Sparks of Ridgeway, was convicted in April of distributing uninspected meat products and related charges. On Wednesday, Judge David V. Williams found that Sparks violated terms of his plea agreement and reinstated 20 of the 90 days he had previously suspended. The 82-year-old man pleaded no contest to charges of distributing meat without a business license, failing to keep proper records, and failing to obey a warning about unsanitary conditions. According to Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Andrew Nester, Sparks was caught by regulators 3 weeks after he pleaded guilty repeating the same violations. 

    • According to the National Weather Service, scattered thunderstorms containing very heavy rainfall may occur in localized spots this afternoon due to a weak low-pressure system that slowly tracked across the northeast along a stalled front across the region this morning that will exit later today. An upper-level area of low pressure will then sink south tonight into Sunday resulting in additional rounds of showers and storms Sunday afternoon into Monday. Weak high pressure builds in with somewhat drier weather for the middle of next week.
      The forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms today with a high near 87. The chance increases to 60 percent Sunday and Monday with a high near 85. 
      The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight and Sunday night. Unless we get a break in the clouds, we may not get a view this time. If the clouds open up, find the darkest place possible, give your eyes time to adjust and look northward. Under ideal conditions, a meteor every minute is possible. 

    • Gov. Ralph Northam wants to take roughly $250 million in extra state revenue caused by federal tax cuts and redirect it to low-income families through tax refunds.
      Northam said Friday that he’ll propose using about half of the $500 million the state expects to take in annually due to changes in federal tax policy to provide tax relief to an estimated 400,000 low-income workers.
      The governor said he intends to ask the General Assembly to make the state’s low-income individuals tax credit refundable. If the change is approved, someone who owes the state $800 but qualifies for a $1,000 credit would get a $200 refund.
      The credit, similar to the federal earned income tax credit, is available to tax filers whose gross income falls below federal poverty levels. The credit is currently nonrefundable, which means the state doesn’t pay the difference to a filer who qualifies for a credit worth more than their tax liability.
      The size of the refunds will depend on a person’s particular tax status, Northam said, but the refunds could amount to “several hundred dollars for some families.”

    • The Federal Government used to qualify students for free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch based on the need of the student’s family. Eventually, that system began qualifying entire schools that reached a minimum threshold of need. For a number of years now, the system qualifies entire school districts for free meals for all students regardless of individual need as long as the minimum threshold is met for the entire school system. Both the City of Martinsville and the City of Danville qualify are 2 of the 16 school divisions in Virginia that fully qualify. 34 divisions have at least one school participating and Henry and Pittsylvania Counties are in that group. To qualify for the program, 40 percents of the students must either live in households that receive SNAP, TANF or Medicaid benefits, be homeless or in foster care.

    • Senator Tim Kaine led GOP rival Corey Stewart by 23 percentage points in a July poll of likely voters released Wednesday. Kaine had 49 percent to 26 percent for Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, with 5 percent for Libertarian Matt Waters and 20 percent undecided, according to the survey from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. While Virginians do not register by party, the survey found that a third of self-described Republicans or Republican-leaning voters were not yet backing Stewart — with 20 percent undecided, 10 percent supporting Waters and 3 percent backing Kaine. While Stewart had backing from 66 percent of Republicans, Kaine had backing from 88 percent of Democrats. Kaine led in four of the five regions broken out in the poll — Northern Virginia, Tidewater, South Central and Northwest. Stewart leads in the Southwestern part of the state.

    • Today's Weather

      By Martinsville Daily, in News,

      A weak cold front will sag southeast across the area today before stalling south of the region overnight into Friday. Another weak cold front should then spill south toward the area by the weekend. This boundary combined with a slow-moving upper-level area of low pressure will again bring a return of unsettled weather into early next week. Look for sun and 89 today, more sun and 87 on Friday. Friday night there is a 40 percent chance of showers increasing to 60 percent on Saturday, and then 50 percent Saturday night and Sunday. Look for a high of 86 on Saturday and 84 on Sunday. 

    • It just won’t let up. The National Weather Service says strong to isolated severe thunderstorms containing primarily damaging winds will be possible in the afternoons and evenings. Locally heavy rainfall may also accompany some of the stronger storms. A weak cold front is upon us now which should bring drier air for our Thursday but a secondary cold front should spill into the region by the end of the week before stalling out into the weekend. Highs through Saturday should top out around 87. The chance of storms is 20% through Friday, 40% Saturday, and 70% Sunday. 
      An isolated thunderstorm hit Martinsville Tuesday evening and the result was another power outage for a large section of the city for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Fire Marshall Ted Anderson confirms another fallen tree was the source of the outage. This time it happened behind the Patrick Henry Mall. Power went out just as the annual National Night Out Event was about to begin at three separate locations in the City. Although the events were delayed, they were reportedly still well attended and enjoyed by many people. Utility lines travel along power poles throughout the City and are susceptible to trees and tree limbs that fall on them. With the excessive rains received lately, the ground has become so saturated that some trees simply fall because the ground can no longer support them. 

    • The City of Martinsville will be asking the state for $7.5 million dollars to build an Urban Development Area along Fayette Street from Roundabout Road to Market Street. The purpose of the project is to take the area (about 175 acres) and make it easier to walk as well as connecting the different areas where possible. The project would include building a bike lane for cyclists, extending the sidewalk for walkers, and putting in additional crosswalks for both. 

    • The Harvest Foundation administers an endowment that consists of 15 scholarships which were established by donors within the community. This week, 28 local students enrolled in social work and education programs through NCI’s partnerships with Longwood and James Madison University were awarded $46,000 in grants and scholarships.

    • UPDATE: According to the Henry County Sheriff's Office, Haley Horn had returned home safely about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. 
      The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the assistance of the public in locating a runaway juvenile that has been missing since August 5, 2018. Haley Grace Horn, 16, was reported missing on August 6, 2018, by her father, Kevin Horn. She was last seen at her residence located at 562 John Henry Rd., Bassett, VA. Haley Horn is described as 5’3”, 120 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes. Horns’ father advised that she has a history of running away and may have voluntarily left in a dark color sedan. There is no information to indicate that she is in danger at this time. Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of Haley Grace Horn 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.

    • In-state students across Virginia’s public colleges will pay an average of 5 percent more for tuition and mandatory fees this year. The least expensive public college in Virginia is Virginia State University at $9,056 a year. The highest is the College of William & Mary at $23,400. The average cost of room and board will rise an average of 3.5 percent. The cost of a community college is $4,620. With the increases included, a student will pay approximately 55% of the cost while the state pays 45%. On average 62% of students graduating from a Virginia college will start their careers with a $30,000 student loan debt. 

  • 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