Big Stone Gap, VA – The Pro-Art Association will present the Grammy nominated group The WannaBeatles on Saturday, September 11th at 7:30 p.m. at the Goodloe Center on the campus of Mountain Empire Community College as a part of the W. Campbell Edmonds Concert Series.
The group blends music and comedy to deliver a different kind of Beatles experience, one that receives standing ovations in theaters across the country. Using their impressive multi-instrumental skills, they re-create all eras of the Beatles' songbook as well as their contemporaries, including hits from The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Monkees.
Tickets are available at the door, and are free to students or $15 dollars to the general public. A season ticket to 20+ shows can be purchased for $40 – less than $3 per show. Season tickets can be purchased at www.proartva.org, in person at any show, or by calling 276-376-4520.
Please note that masks are currently required on the Mountain Empire Community College Campus. Pro-Art asks that patrons wear a mask for the duration of the performance.
Pro-Art partners with a variety of venues, therefore individuals with mobility issues are encouraged to call or email the Pro-Art office to make arrangements for parking.For evolving conditions related to the global pandemic, inclement weather, or similar unforeseen circumstances, patrons are encouraged to visit proartva.org or call 276-376-4520 for up-to-date information.
The United Way of Southwest Virginia is working with Buchanan County Emergency Management authorities to provide relief to victims of the floods brought by Tropical Storm Ida to the Hurley Community. The American Electric Power Foundation and the United Way of Southwest Virginia have created a dedicated emergency fund, with all proceeds to go to the effort.
"Today the United Way and the AEP Foundation purchased more than100 lanterns, more than 100 flashlights and the batteries needed to run them," said Travis Staton, president and CEO of the United Way of Southwest Virginia. "We're also looking at purchasing food vouchers, coolers and ice, hopefully in the next few hours as well."
The storm left more than 20 homes uprooted from their foundations, according to media reports. The Buchanan County Sheriff's Department said it rescued around 50 people during the storm.
The United Way and the AEP Foundation are working with Buchanan County authorities to identify unique needs of Hurley, Va., residents. "As the storm was passing over Buchanan County, some students were forced to spend the night at their school because there was simply no way for them to make it home," Staton said. "By working with our local partners in Buchanan County, we can make sure this assistance is distributed to those in greatest need first."
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds everyone that many locations are available throughout the region and across the Commonwealth for individuals seeking COVID-19 testing. Testing demand has recently increased across the western region, as cases of COVID-19 are rising due to the more contagious Delta variant.
All COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death. While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, families and communities, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness, protect those around them and monitor trends in COVID-19 infections.
"It's critical that we reserve our hospital emergency rooms and rescue squads for medical emergencies, so if you're seeking a COVID test and it is not an emergency, please utilize other testing locations," said Laurie Forlano, M.D., deputy director, VDH Office of Epidemiology.
VDH recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19:
Those with symptoms or signs of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
Those who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people should be tested three to five days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don't have symptoms.
People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure, and again five to seven days following exposure if the first test is negative. Those who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g. travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings).Those who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the health department. Those who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people. Those who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.Those who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and recovered do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms. VDH has partnered with Walgreens to provide Abbott BinaxNow Rapid antigen testing at no cost, at selected locations. Walgreens pharmacy team members will help you self-administer your COVID-19 test. Test results will be processed at the pharmacy and provided to patients within 24 hours. COVID-19 testing is available by appointment to adults and children ages 2 and older who meet screening criteria for testing. Make an appointment at Walgreens.com/COVID19Testing.Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, some testing locations may prioritize tests for symptomatic persons or persons with known close contact to a person with COVID-19.For questions about COVID-19 testing or a list of testing locations, visit the VDH website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.To schedule your vaccine, request a vaccination record or for more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov.
The Dickenson County Sheriff leaves Democratic Party. Sheriff Jeremy Fleming announced that he is changing his political affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Fleming is the fourth Southwest Virginia Sheriff to leave the party since 2020, joining Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt, and Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan. Two more local officials have left the Democratic Party as well, Russell County Commonwealth's Attorney Zack Stoots and Buchanan County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Addington. Fleming cites "far left-wing extremists" in the Democratic Party as the reason he is changing his political affiliation.
A Scott County man has been sentenced for indecent acts against children. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney reports that 46-year-old Thomas D. Shortt has been sentenced in two different districts after pleading guilty to reproducing child pornography and "taking indecent liberties" with male children, including an eight-year-old in 2012. In Wise County, Shortt pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent liberties with a minor child and received a 40-year sentence in the penitentiary with 15 years suspended. In Scott County, he pleaded to six counts of reproducing child pornography and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, receiving another active term of 25 years in prison. Shortt will be on probation for 50 years following his release and must register as a sex offender. He remains in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, awaiting transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Active shooter call at Volunteer High School appears to be a hoax. The Hawkins County Sheriff's Office reports that person claiming to be inside a bathroom at the school came called. The person said that they had been bullied and planned to begin shooting a handgun in the school gym. Volunteer was placed on lockdown. As many students as possible were evacuated on the initial search and the rest of the students were evacuated on a second search. The HCSO says that at this time it appears that the call was a hoax as no shots appeared to have been fired. There was one student transported by Hawkins County EMS, but it was unrelated to the report, as a student had a seizure. The school is safe and did resume today. The Church Hill Police Department says that the caller did not provide their name, but the call has been recorded. The investigation is ongoing.
Ku Klux Klan flyers have appeared in Wise County. The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports that several flyers were found on Sunday, including in Sheriff Grant Kilgore's driveway. The flyers are packed in a plastic bag along with some birdseed for weight. According to Kilgore, the WCSO were dispatched to residences in the Pole Bridge Road area. The Coeburn Police Department also received reports about flyers. The flyers refer to Mexican drug cartels, critical race theory, Antifa, 100% Americanism, and pray for white Americans. They also contained the name of a Pelham, North Carolina-based Klan chapter along with hotline phone numbers, a podcast, and website information. The flyers have been referred to the state's law enforcement and Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center. If anyone has information on the flyers, they are asked to call the WCSO at 276-328-3566.
Gate City, VA -- On Friday July 9, 2021, after a four-day trial, a jury returned guilty verdicts for First-Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony regarding a series of incidents that happened on May 3, 2018. The Commonwealth presented evidence that John Robert Martin, Jr. of Hawkins County, TN, murdered Nicholas Pierce aka Nicholas Salerno after he discovered that Nicholas was in a relationship with Martin’s wife, who had filed for divorce. The Commonwealth proved that Martin shot Nicholas multiple times in the Yuma section of Scott County. Martin and his wife testified that he took a photograph of Nicholas after the murder. Martin then drove back to his home in Hawkins County, TN, where he tied up his wife with zip ties and showed her the photograph of Nicholas. Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots indicated, “The conviction in this case was obtained due to the hard work of multiple law enforcement agencies over two states and the victim’s family is very appreciative.” Stoots also said, “Our office hopes this conviction will allow the healing process to begin for the family of Nicholas Salerno.” This case was investigated by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, the Hawkins County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, and the Virginia State Police. Martin previously pled guilty to the abduction of his wife in Hawkins County, Tennessee. The case was prosecuted by Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots and Chief Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jessica Jackson. Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots was appointed special prosecutor by the Circuit Court in Scott County, Virginia. Martin is scheduled to be sentenced for the murder on November 3, 2021, in the Scott County, Virginia Circuit Court. ###
One person is dead after a crash in Lee County. Virginia State Police reports that a driver ran off the right side of Route 58A in Ben Hur. The car then went airborne and struck unoccupied parked cars and an unoccupied single-wide trailer. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected. Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash. The name of the person who died has not been released. The crash remains under investigation.
A fire kills an 8-month-old infant girl in Appalachia Monday morning. Virginia State Police reports that the Appalachia Fire Department responded to the fire in the 1300 block of Lower Exeter Road at 6:09 a.m. Monday. A 30-year-old woman and 3-year-old boy were able to escape the burning house, but the remains of an 8-month-old girl were found after the fire was put out. The remains have been taken to Lonesome Pine Hospital, where she has been released. According to the VSP, the fire does not appear to be suspicious, but it remains under investigation.