Reports of a firearm near the UVA Wise campus Saturday were a false alarm. The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports that they received a call about a male making threats with a firearm at the Walk2Campus apartments, near UVA Wise, at around 10 p.m. Saturday. The WCSO found that the reports of a firearm were unfounded after they made contact with the male who was making the threats. The sheriff's office said that there was no safety issues to the public, the residents of the apartment complex, or anyone on campus at UVA Wise.
Man charged with second-degree murder after female found dead in Norton early Saturday morning. The Norton Rescue Squad was called at around 4 a.m. Saturday due to an unresponsive woman at an address on Petrey Street. Upon arrival, a 61-year-old female was found unresponsive and after being transported to Norton Community Hospital, she was pronounced dead. The woman was found to have had traumatic injuries to her body. The Wise County Sheriff's Office interviewed 60-year-old Danny Sturgill, of Norton, in relation to the death. The interview, along with corroborating evidence, led to Sturgill's arrest. He has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated malicious wounding and is being held at the Duffield Regional Jail.
Advisory issued after around 438,000 gallons of sewage released into South Fork Powell River around big Stone Gap. The Virginia Department of Health reports that a sewage release occurred from a Big Stone Gap Department of Public Utilities sewer force main on Thursday into the Powell River. The advisory is for the South Fork Powell River near East Stone Gap to the Powell river at Big Stone Gap. The VDH added that no impacts to drinking water have been observed. People are advised to avoid recreational activities like swimming, wading, kayaking, tubing, or any other activity where submission in the water is likely. Activities like boating, fishing, and canoeing are allowed to continue with caution to avoid contact with the water.
WISE COUNTY EMERGENCY AGENCIES GO TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING TO SAY THAT THEY ARE A NECESSITY, NOT A BURDEN
Wise County emergency agencies made their case that they are a necessity, not a burden to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night. Fire departments from Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Norton, Sandy Ridge, St. Paul, and Wise and the Big Stone Gap and Norton Rescue Squad were represented at the meeting to express concerns about a letter from County Administrator Mike Hatfield on July 13. Hatfield had issued conditions for departments in the Wise County Fire and Rescue Association to meet by August 10 before receiving county funds. The agencies were to provide fiscal account balances and income reports, lists of outstanding checks and bills, individuals' payrolls and hours worked, numbers of volunteers, and call information, including type, en route times, and incident totals. The letter was in reference to requests by the departments for the county to increase their annual funding per agency from $28,000 to $50,000 annually. Hatfield said in the letter that the units are important, but put a financial burden on the county. He and the chair of the board, J.H. Rivers, apologized to the departments at the meeting on Tuesday. Hatfield added that he and the board were seeking more accountability in a situation where county money was being spent. The departments added that they do not have the accounting or administrative resources to meet the letter's requirements.
Abandoned land mine emergencies declared in Wise County. Recent heavy rainfall has caused two emergencies after problems with subsidence and drainage from historic coal mining operations. An underground mine subsided, causing a 15-foot-deep void close to two homes on Sunnydale Farm Road in Pound. A grant of $137,700 will help fill the void on Sunnydale Farm Road and stabilize the surrounding area. Concrete and gout will be used to fill the hole. The mine was active from 1950 to 1960. An access road to two homes on Bowser Hollow Road in Pound was washed out after erosion from a coal surface mine that operated in the 1970s. A crew is working to make the road accessible again and a $65,000 grant has been awarded to build drainage controls, add two culverts, and upgrade an existing ditch to better control erosion from the mine. Stone will be added along the streambank and the road will be graded and resurfaced, as well.
Pedestrian trying to help an injured driver seriously injured after crash in Wise County on Friday. Virginia State Police reports that a Jeep Grand Cherokee heading west on State Route 58A ran off the right side of the road, hit an embankment, overturned, and came to rest in the right lane at 10:21 p.m. Friday. While a pedestrian was helping the driver, a Jeep Renegade hit the overturned Cherokee causing the pedestrian to be thrown into the embankment as the Renegade overturned. Both drivers received minor injuries, while the pedestrian was seriously injured in the crash. The driver of the Renegade, Kristin Calton, of Pound, was charged with following too closely. The crash remains under investigation.