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    • Martinsville Daily
      The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating an individual that has been missing since April 23, 2018. Kaitlin Sierra Noe, 20, of Bassett, VA was reported missing on April 23, 2018 by a family member. She was last seen at Patrick Henry Community College on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 2:30pm. Miss Noe is a white female, 5’1”, 160 pounds, long brown hair with green eyes. It is unknown at this time if Miss Noe is in danger. Her whereabouts are sought to check her wellbeing. Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of Kaitlin Sierra Noe is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or call 9-1-1.

    • Matching grants are a big thing with non-profit groups. If you can raise enough money to qualify for the match, you double your income. If you fall short of the goal, the deficit becomes twice as big also. Such is the case with Piedmont Arts. The city has reduced funding for the facility by over $5,000 for next year, but the group will have to budget for less than twice that much, because of matching grants it received. The group pleaded with council to keep level funding and received support from Vice Mayor Chad Martin and Councilwoman Jennifer Bowles, but Mayor Gene Teague, Councilwoman Sharon Brooks Hodge, and Councilwoman Kathy Lawson voted for reduced for funding.

    • Mike Seidle, former supervisor for Henry County, spoke before the board Tuesday telling them they should not listen to board member Dr. David Martin, former superintendent of Henry County Schools, and his urging they consider consolidating the schools with the city. He cautioned the board that any kind of a merger, consolidation, or contract for services would come at a financial cost to the county because of the cash-strapped circumstances of the city. In other matters, the board approved the new 143.5 million dollar budget, a 1.6 percent increase over the prior year. 

    • Virginia State Police is investigating a motor vehicle crash that ended in a fatality. According to police, the crash occurred on Sunday, April 22 at 11:45 a.m. on Route 57 in Henry County. Police say a 1996 Chevrolet S-10 was driving west on Route 57 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the road and struck a detached trailer. According to police, the trailer was illegally parked on the shoulder of the road. Police have identified the driver as Brian Lane Bates, 55, of Martinsville, Va. He was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene. The crash is still under investigation.

    • On December 30th last year, just after midnight, police responded to the Valero station on Brookdale Road in reference to a fight in progress. They found 34 year-old Tyrone Herndon at the scene with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. 24 year-old Terrell Martin had fled the scene and it took several weeks for police to find him. A charge of first-degree murder has now been sent to Martinsville Circuit Court against Martin along with several other charges.    

    • Twenty-year-old Mackenzie Leigh Baker, who was charged with felonious animal cruelty of a companion dog, pleaded guilty in that case to misdemeanor cruelty to an animal, as well as two other charges of misdemeanor cruelty to an animal (involving alleged deprivation). A judge sentenced her to a total of 36 months in jail with all but 15 days suspended. As a condition of the parts of her sentences that were suspended, she was placed on supervised probation.

    • Plan includes no rate increases
      HENRY COUNTY, Va. – The Henry County Public Service Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget at a work session Monday. For the fifth year in a row, the approved budget includes no rate increases.
      The budget totals $13,095,161, which includes $4,578,426 in capital projects and debt payments.  This compares with the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget of $12,723,858.
      Residential rates are proposed to remain at $30 a month for a minimum of 4,000 gallons of water and $30 a month for sewer service, which is based on water use. 
      “The budget demonstrates our continued commitment to responsible financial management,” said Gerald Lawicki, PSA Board Chairman.  “It allows us to fulfill our day-to-day mission of providing quality water and sewer services to our customers without having to raise rates.”
      The budget includes a two percent cost of living raise for PSA employees.  Additionally, the budget document calls attention to the fact that the PSA has been able to control the cost of providing employee health insurance - increasing only one percent in the last four year.
      During the next fiscal year, the PSA will continue its efforts to complete the Redd Creek waterline, expand the Philpott Water Treatment Facility, and replace service lines in the Fieldale area.
      Copies of the PSA Budget are available through the General Manager’s Office at the County Administration building and on the website at www.henrycountyva.gov.

    • According to figures released by the Virginia Employment Commission, Martinsville's unemployment rate now stands at 5.9 percent, down from 7.6 a year ago. Henry County is at 4.5 percent, down from 5.7. Danville has dropped from 6.3 percent to 5.9. Surrounding counties show Pittsylvania County down from 5.2 percent to 4.2, Franklin County down from 4.4 percent to 3.4, and Patrick County down from 5.1 to 5.0.

    • Ben Cullop announced this week that he is ending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Cullop, of Earlysville, was among four Democratic candidates challenging incumbent Congressman Tom Garrett for the 5th District seat. The other three candidates are Leslie Cockburn, Roger Dean Huffstetler and Andrew Sneathern. As of Tuesday afternoon, preliminary Democratic caucus results indicate that Cockburn is carrying a strong lead, followed by Sneathern, Huffstetler and Cullop, in that order.

    • A grand jury has indicted a 36-year-old Ringgold suspect on sex crime charges including rape, Pittsylvania County authorities report. Franklin Eugene Dalton was first arrested on Nov. 29 after a sexual assault was reported, Devin Taylor, an investigator with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a news release Thursday evening. At that time, he was charged with one count of rape and one count of forcible sodomy of a child under the age of 13.

    • A Winston-Salem man was arrested Thursday in connection with a Virginia man being shot in the ankle by someone he had beaten in a gambling game. Isiah Donaki Osteen, 22, of Woodcote Drive was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a weapon into a moving vehicle, an arrest warrant says. Osteen is accused of shooting and wounding Bobby Haislip, 46, of Martinsville, Va. on April 11, assaulting Haislip and two other people with a 2004 Hyundai Accent by ramming and colliding with the victims' car on that same day and shooting inside a car with the three people inside it, according to the warrant. Winston-Salem police responded about 3:45 p.m. on a report of a shooting. The victim told officers that he was outside of a local business and asked a man for change for a $100 bill.

    • According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Rockingham County authorities are investigating an apparent road rage incident in Reidsville Tuesday.  The victim told sheriff’s deputies that he was driving down US 158 near Strider Mountain Road about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, when he passed a white Honda Civic.  After getting back into his original lane, the victim says the driver of the Honda shot at him, hitting his tire and his car’s back windshield. The second shot, through the windshield also grazed the top of the victim’s head.  He described the shooter as a white male with dark hair. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office or their Crime Stoppers unit.

    • The Henry County Board of Supervisors meet next Tuesday, April 24th at 3 PM. Former Supervisor, Mike Seidle is on the agenda to speak on an undisclosed matter. The upcoming budget is expected to be approved. The Board will also proclaim May 15, 2018 at "National Police Officers Memorial Day" in Henry County. The Board meets at the County Administration Building on Kings Mountain Road. 

    • Average retail gasoline prices in Virginia have risen 5.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.53/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 4,081 gas outlets in Virginia. This compares with the national average that has increased 5.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.71/g.
      Including the change in gas prices in Virginia during the past week, prices yesterday were 30.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 17.0 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 17.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 30.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
      According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on April 16 in Virginia have ranged widely over the last five years: $2.23/g in 2017, $1.94/g in 2016, $2.20/g in 2015, $3.48/g in 2014 and $3.44/g in 2013.
      The least expensive places in Martinsville to purchase gas today:
      Kroger, Commonwealth Boulevard, $2.39.
      Exxon, East Church Street, $2.39.
      CITGO, Liberty Street, $2.39.
      "The seasonal surge at gas pumps is in full motion, causing the most dreaded time of year for fearful motorists, especially of what may still be coming," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "With the national average gas price now at its highest since July 26, 2015, I can't immediately allay all fears of a continued spike in gas prices, however, we're likely in the closing innings of the seasonal rise- let's just hope we don't go to extra innings. In the past few years, the average date that gas prices have peaked is mid-May, which is just around the corner, and by all metrics, that could be very close to what we expect this time around. Refinery maintenance has gone well thus far, and gasoline supply has continued to push higher as more refiners conclude their work. With the transition to summer gasoline also wrapping up, the reasons gas prices to rise will shrink."

    • The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a flash flood watch until midnight tonight and a tornado watch until 11 PM this evening for Martinsville, Henry County, and the surrounding region. 
      At 4:56 PM, severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from near Stuart to Dillard, moving northeast at 55 mph with 60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail. Hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees. Locations impacted include Martinsville, Mayodan, Madison, Stuart, and Danbury.
      A tornado watch remains in effect for the warned area. Tornadoes can develop quickly from severe thunderstorms. Although a tornado is not immediately likely, if one is spotted act quickly and move to a place of safety inside a sturdy structure, such as a basement or small interior room.
      Prepare immediately for large hail and damaging winds. For your safety, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Stay away from windows.
      Heavy Rainfall Possible This Afternoon and Evening
      A strong cold front will approach the area from the west this afternoon and pass across the region tonight. Deep moisture ahead of this boundary will lead to bands of showers and heavier thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening. The potential exists for 1 to 3 inches of rainfall with locally higher totals from the Blue Ridge foothills westward into southeast West Virginia.
      Excessive rainfall may lead to flash flooding in urban areas such as Roanoke and Martinsville, and along creeks, streams and low lying areas.
      You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

  • Blog Entries

    • By Martinsville Daily in Bill Wyatt 0
      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
    • By Martinsville Daily in Bill Wyatt 0
      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