June 19th, 2017
A man hunt is still underway for three men who escaped from the Duffield Regional Jail last week on three different days.
Cody Robert Ray of Wise County, 30, Marcus Ray Johnson of Ewing, 31, and Jeremy Michael Boggs of Wise County, 36, left during different work assignments.
Ray escaped on June 13 after failing to return to the jail after work release. He was serving 11 months and 29 days for distributing Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, according to Maj. George Hembree.
Two days later, Johnson was assigned to do some trimming on the grounds of the jail when he escaped. Johnson was serving a year and seven months on charges of felony eluding and two counts of driving on a suspended license.
Boggs escaped on Friday after walking awa from work detail while working with Natural Tunnel State Park employees. He was serving four years for contempt of court, property damage, reckless driving and distribution of Schedule I or II drugs.
Hembree said he does not think any of the inmates are dangerous but advises the public to call the local sheriff's office if anyone spots them.
All three have escape warrants out for their arrest.
June 14th, 2017
Rumors amoungst partners of Americore Health have prompted Cheif Operating Officer Travis Roderick to reaffirm the company's commitment to partnering with the LCHA and other community hospitals to preserve healthcare services. A recent landlord/tenant dispute involving Americore CEO Grant White has called into question Americore's ability to assist with the reopening of the Lee County Hospital. Roderick asserts that this issue has no bearing on Americore's business.
Americore is currently partnering with Pineville Community Hospital to help strengthen hospital operations, implementing new policies and procedures. CEO Grant White says Americore has spent over $700,000 to ensure both hospitals have a chance to survive.
June 13th, 2017
Individuals who are looking for a job or who are interested in improving their resume and interview skills are invited to attend a Career Symposium to be held Wednesday, June 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mountain Empire Community College's Holton Hall. Employers and career counselors will be on hand to review and improve your resume, upgrade your application, and practice interview skills. The event is sponsored by the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, and MECC. Attendees are asked to register for the event at http://www.mecc.edu/events/career-symposium/. For more information, contact Beth Boggs, MECC Career Counselor at 276.523.2400 ext. 324.
June 12th, 2017
A Norton man is facing 20 years in prison after he was found guilty last week on child sex charges.
According to Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp, 36-year-old William Richard Shockley was found guilty on Friday in the Wise County Circuit Court for producing child pornography of a child less than 13 years of age, sodomy of a child less than 13 years of age, and aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years of age.
Shockley was sentenced by a judge to forty-five years in the penitentiary with twenty-five years suspended, meaning he will spend twenty years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. He must also complete forty years of supervised probation after his release and must register as a sex offender.
Norton police said in June of 2016 they received a complaint about ongoing sexual abuse of a child. An investigation lead to charges against Shockley in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court of Wise County.
Those charges were dismissed according to Slemp due to a lack of evidence.
Slemp said he worked with investigator Matt Hubbard at the Norton City Police Department and the Southwest Virginia Child Advocacy Center to continue investigating the case — leading to an indictment and, eventually, a conviction.
June 7th, 2017
Scotty County farmer Robin Robbins and Appalachian Harvest, one of the oldest food hubs in the nation, will be the subjects of an upcoming "Champion for Change" spotlight to air on "At This Hour with Kate Bolduan," a news program produced by Cable News Network (CNN).
The program, set to air at 11 a.m. EST on June 14, will showcase Robbins, who is also general manager for Appalachian Harvest in Duffield. The segment will also air on June 17 at 9 p.m. EST as part of an hour-long special of "Champions of Change" spotlights previously aired on the network.
CNN journalist Kate Bolduan chose to feature Robbins and her family farm after talking to Farm Aid, an organization known for its interest in strengthening family farm agriculture. The segment touches on the important work of food hubs, which help connect farmers in Central Appalachia with food retailers and brokers seeking to purchase healthy, farm-grown produce.
Appalachian Harvest was founded in 2000 by the nonprofit organization Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), which serves farmers in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and parts of West Virginia. More information about ASD can be found at http://www.asdevelop.org.
June 7th, 2017
A Virginia man will spend five years in prison for making methamphetamine. In November 2015, police were called to a home in Pound, Va. where they saw what appeared to be chemical smoke from making meth. Officers secured a search warrant for the home and found multiple items used to make meth as well as a "shake n bake" meth lab in progress.
Alex Plaine Senter, 26, of Clintwood, Va., was one of the people inside the home making the meth. Senter was found guilty Monday in the Wise County/City of Norton Circuit Court on charges of manufacturing meth.
Senter was sentenced to 15 years in prison with 10 years suspended upon the condition of successful completion of 4 years probation. He will serve a total time of five years in prison.
June 6th, 2017
A Clintwood man faces prison time for manufacturing methamphetamine at a residence in Pound.
Alex Plaine Senter, 26, was found guilty Monday in Wise County circuit court on charges of manufacturing meth, according to a release from Slemp.
Senter was sentenced to 15 years, with 10 years suspended upon condition of successful completing four years of probation.
According to Slemp, Pound police arrived at a Pound residence on Nov. 7, 2015 and saw what appeared to be chemical smoke from meth manufacturing. They got a warrant and searched the premises along with the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and county sheriff’s deputies. Officers found multiple items used in the process, as well as a “shake n’ bake” meth lab in progress. Senter was one of the individuals involved.
Slemp and Chief Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Steven Davis prosecuted the case.
June 5th, 2017
Myers Lumber & Supply was Broken Into with an undisclosed amount of merchandise stolen. Lee County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating this and has several strong leads but is still asking for your help. If you have any information you can leave an anonymous tip by calling 276-346-7756 or go to the website at https://www.leecountysheriff.net/submit-a-tip