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    Thursday's Headlines

    The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 90 today. Tomorrow it should top out at 87. Saturday and Sunday will be between 81 and 82 degrees. Then the hot temperatures return with 87 on Monday, 92 on Tuesday and 93 on Wednesday. So… you might want to keep the folding funeral home fans nearby. 

    The Bedford County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing two-year-old boy from Rosewood Lane in Huddleston. The 911 call came in Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m. According to deputies, the child has long brown hair, blue eyes and is wearing dinosaur pajama pants and a yellow shirt. The family is from Texas and is renting a house at Smith Mountain Lake.

    The Danville Police Department is investigating a body found behind an apartment complex on Clement Avenue. Officers responded to the area of Clement Avenue at about 7 a.m. where police found an unidentified man dead behind Wendy's Apartments. There were “no visible wounds,” according to Danville Police Department Maj. Chris Wiles. “Right now, we’re working on identifying him,” Wiles said. As of 8:30 a.m., police had not moved the body.

    An early morning fire leveled a home in Pittsylvania County. Units from Riverbend, Mt. Cross Tunstall, Bachelor’s Hall, Brosville and Cascade all responded just before midnight to 461 Washburn Drive, which is off the Vandola Road. The home was fully involved when the first units arrived and had spread to the power lines and the woods behind the house. State Police were called to the fire. It is being reported that investigators are calling it a “crime scene.”

    Danville Police responded to a stabbing call in the 300 block of Old Riverside Drive just after 10:00 Wednesday night. Officers found a 32-year-old Danville man suffering from stab wounds to both his arms and upper chest area. The victim was transported to SOVAH Health’s Emergency Department for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.  After further investigation, Danville Police charged Asiania Monique Morris, 20, of Lynchburg with malicious wounding. Morris was arrested and is currently in the Danville City Jail under no bond.

    It can start with a couple of traffic tickets. Unable to pay the tickets right away, a driver becomes saddled with late fees, fines and court costs. Soon, the driver may be taken off the road indefinitely. More than 40 states allow the suspension of driver's licenses for people with unpaid criminal or traffic court debt. But now, advocates across the country are pushing to change that, arguing that such laws are unconstitutional because they unfairly punish poor people and violate due process by not giving drivers notice or an opportunity to show they cannot afford to pay the fees. Lawsuits have been filed in at least five states over the past two years. In Virginia, nearly a million people currently have suspended driver's licenses at least in part because of unpaid court debt, according to the Legal Aid Justice Center, a nonprofit that is challenging the practice in a federal lawsuit. Millions of drivers nationwide have lost licenses because of such laws. In a study released in September, the justice center estimated that 4.2 million people then had suspended or revoked licenses for unpaid court debt in five states alone: Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan, North Carolina and Texas. Lawsuits are pending in North Carolina, Montana and Michigan, in addition to Virginia and Tennessee. In California, legislation enacted last year prohibits state courts from suspending driver's licenses simply because of unpaid traffic fines.

    Across the land, the scanners are going dark. Several law enforcement agencies in Virginia have moved recently to encrypt the messages they send over the radio, leaving dead air for listeners of police scanners — long the source of information for the news media and titillation for thrill-seekers. On Monday, police in Richmond and surrounding Henrico and Chesterfield counties encoded their radio signals. Virginia Beach has proposed a nearly $5 million encryption project. And soon, police and firefighters in Roanoke County and Salem will encrypt radio traffic, both as part of a shift to new technology and as a reflection of trends nationwide. Law enforcement agencies in Nevada, Ohio, Iowa and elsewhere have already encoded channels. Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers struck down a bill that would have banned departments from encrypting radio signals. The move toward encryption is setting up a debate over who should control the flow of information, and when.

    A Pittsylvania County man is being held in jail on abduction and weapon charges after 13-hour manhunt Wednesday, authorities report. At about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, members of the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in the 12000 block of Rockford School Road in Gretna of a woman being held at gunpoint, Devin Taylor, an investigator with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a news release. The caller was a family member, Taylor reported. Deputies arrived to find what Taylor described as a frightened woman inside. The suspect, identified as Randy Wade Francis, ran from the home when authorities got there and had a handgun. Following a 13-hour manhunt that also involved the Halifax County K-9 team and the Virginia State Police aviation unit, Francis was arrested. Taylor did not disclose where the suspect was found. Francis, charged with one count of abduction and one count of brandishing a firearm, is being held in the Pittsylvania County Jail without bond. 

    Martinsville drops back to 500 with a 5-3 loss to High Point last night. The Mustangs take their 15 and 15 record back to first Peninsula tonight. Martinsville is on the road for an extended 7-game road trip. They won’t play at Hooker Field again until Friday, July 13th. 

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  • 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