Press Release for Lee High School

The Lee County Public School division is informing parents and guardians that a student or staff member at Lee High School has been diagnosed with COVID19. This person was on school premises on February 15, 2021.
They are working with staff from the LENOWISCO Health District to identify anyone who had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed to the COVID19 virus. If you or your child are identified as having been potentially exposed, then the Lee County Health Department will contact you to determine if you need to quarantine.
If a quarantine is ordered, then please follow related guidance. This guidance includes staying home and monitoring for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature higher than 100°, and practice social distancing for fourteen days from your last contact. If you are not contacted by the Health Department, then you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.
Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of their families for COVID19 symptoms. Children with COVID19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children.
If your child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID19, please report this to your school. This information is necessary and will be kept confidential.
Remember to do your part by:
Staying home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
Wear the mask correctly! In order to be effective it much cover your mouth and your nose.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for twenty seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
Take care of your health overall. Eat well and exercise to help your body stay resilient.

Lee County Domestic Violence Officer Wanted

Locally, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is currently accepting applications for the position of Domestic Violence Officer. Duties include, but are not limited to: assisting victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Person must be on call 24 hours a day to respond to such victims, write grant proposal and file all quarterly reports with the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Will assist in obtaining warrants and protective orders related to domestic violence, also testify in court, transport victims to court and to homeless shelters.
Minimum of Associate’s Degree is required. Some law enforcement or military experience is preferred. Candidate must attend and complete an 18 week law enforcement training academy course after employed or provide proof of current certification. The position is grant funded and contingent upon the grant being approved by the DCJS and the Lee County Board of Supervisors.
Applications should be completed using the Commonwealth of Virginia Application form, which you can find online or in the Lee County Sheriff’s Office located in Jonesville, Virginia.
Deadline for filing for this position is March 12, 2021. All applications can be submitted at the front office of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or by mail at PO Box 177, Jonesville, Va 24263.

Correl Iraq Baker Arrested in Pennington Gap

Earlier we brought you a story of a man that was being sought in connection with a stabbing incident in Wise County, and that man has been safely taken into custody after a brief ‘barricade’ situation that took place at a home in Pennington Gap, Virginia.
Baker was being sought on charges relating to a stabbing incident that left the victim in ‘serious’ condition. At this time he is being held without bond in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail located in Duffield Virginia.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

Sheriff Gary B. Parsons reports that on February 23, 2021 Deputy S. Scott conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for Improper Registration at the Woodway Convenience Center in the Woodway area of Lee County. Upon asking the driver for her and the passenger’s information, nothing came back in the DMV system on the information they provided.
K9 Sgt. M Cook arrived on scene to assist Deputy Scott, K9 Sivy was utilized on the vehicle with positive alert on the passenger side door. The driver identified herself as Ms. Nancy Beverly and the passenger as Mr. Billy Womble who then presented a Virginia Driver’s License.
Upon search of the vehicle, methamphetamine was located and the driver was placed under arrest for possession of a stun gun by a convicted felon. The driver was later identified as M. Jessica Hobbs age 35 of Big Stone Gap Virginia. Ms. Hobbs had an active warrant out of Wise County and the passenger was identified as Mr. Shane Holbrook, age 50 of Big Stone Gap, who had an active warrant out of Scott County.
Ms. Hobbs was charged with Possession Schedule I/II, Improper Registration, Expired Inspection Sticker, False Identify to Law Enforcement, Operate Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and the Capias from Wise County. Ms. Hobbs was held on a $5,000 secured bond on the charges from Lee County Sheriff’s Office and held without bond on the Capias from Wise County.
Mr. Holbrook was charged with Credit Card Larceny, Possession of Stun Weapon by a Convicted Felon, Obstruction of Justice Without Force, False Identify to Law Enforcement, ID Theft and the Capias from Scott County. Mr. Holbrook did not participate in a bond hearing and was sent to Duffield Regional Jail.

Mark Payne Honored

Wise County Reserve Officer, Mark Payne has been awarded the Health Care Heroes Award. Mark has been working for Frontier Health on the Crisis Intervention Team as Coordinator and Operational Supervisor since March of 2019. Thanks to his dedication to the program, he has been the perfect fit for the Crisis Intervention Team.
According to Mary Fields, LPC who said “He is well respected by officers and mental health staff alike, and he is willing to do whatever is necessary to see that the needs of those with mental illness are met.”
Mark is solely responsible for establishing, staffing and creating all policies and procedures for the new 24 hour Crisis Intervention Therapeutic Assessment Center or CITAC. Congratulations Mark!

Inmate Rodney Jones Indicted

Nearby in Wise County Virginia, a Grand Jury returned a ‘True Bill’ against a man who is accused of murdering his Red Onion Prison cell mate in Pound Virginia. Rodney Jones, age 54 is facing charges of Capital Murder in the death of fellow inmate Antonio Jarrett.
Currently Rodney Jones is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a conviction of First Degree Murder of an Acquaintance. According to Commonwealth Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton, Chuck Slemp III, his office has no plans to seek the death penalty in this case.

American Pickers Returns to Virginia

Fans of the History Channel’s American Pickers show, will be pleased to hear that they will be returning to the area this April 2021. Spokesmen for the show say they’re looking for leads throughout the commonwealth and specifically interesting people with interesting items. The more the better, so that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through your treasures.
Never forget that the pickers only pick from private collections so no stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions, businesses or anything else that is open to the public. The show’s Pickers have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always on the lookout to discover something they’ve never seen before.
Because of the current pandemic, the show’s spokesperson would like to reassure everyone that they will be taking the COVID19 pandemic very seriously and will be adhering to all guidelines and protocols for safe filming as outlined in each state and the Center for Disease Control. They did add that while they plan to be in Virginia in April, they will reschedule if conditions call for it.
Interested individuals or those with tips on unique items or individuals please contact the show directly at 1-855-OLD-RUST that’s 1-855-653-7878 and leave your name, city and state, along with your contact information and a brief description of the item or collection you’re calling in reference to. Their contact info is available on our website ( or phone 855-OLD-RUST and on social media @GotAPick).
American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on the History Channel. The show’s skilled pickers hunt for America’s most valuable antiques and are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

Spring Fire Season 2021 4pm Law in Effect

Spring is the time of the year for wildfire season in Virginia, according to the Department of Forestry. Lasting until April 30th, Virginia residents are reminded that they are allowed controlled fires only between the hours of 4pm until midnight. The law prohibits anyone from burning if the fire is within 300 ft. of fields containing brush, dry grass, wooded areas or any other type of flammable material.
According to the Forestry Department, daytime winds are usually higher and combined with decreased daytime humidity it makes controlling fires much harder. Waiting until later in the day, allows humidity to rise and temperatures are on a downward path. Usually winds are much calmer as well.
Burning fires is a Class 3 Misdemeanor which could result in a $500 fine, along with being held liable for any damage caused by your fire, including the cost of putting it safely out. While there is no permit requirement in the state of Virginia, just across the state line into Tennessee, a permit is required for burning between October 15th and May 15th. Burning permits in Tennessee are usually granted a couple of days in advance, with the issuance based on the local weather.
For those needing or wanting to build an open fire within 500 ft. of grassland, forest or woodland, a daily numbered permit is required. These permits are free of charge and may be obtained in the county where the burning is planned by call calling the Division of Forestry, or by visiting their website online to fill out an application. The person creating the fire is required to keep the permit with them each day at all times.
Since cities and counties in both states may have varying burning ordinances, individuals are encouraged to check the ordinances for their locale. The Division of Forestry cautions against complacency. 95% of forest fires are caused by people, with more than half of them caused by individuals burning trash and yard debris. Even though we have had some wet weather so far, forest fires can still begin quickly.
Additionally if people would wait until May before creating controlled fires, the green grass and leaves help to keep forest floors from drying and aids in the spread of uncontrolled fires.

Press Release Virginia Department of Emergency Management

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is urging residents to take special precautions while using portable generators and heaters. Many across the commonwealth have experienced power outages and over the past several days, there have been numerous house fires and carbon monoxide related illnesses reported throughout the Commonwealth due to portable generators and heaters.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management would like to share these safety tips for residents as they use portable generators or heaters.
• Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside at least 20 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings. Measure the 20-foot distance from the generator exhaust system to the building.
• Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building. The exhaust must be directed away from the building.
• Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is hot.
• Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
• Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people.
• Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
• Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
• Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
• Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit.
• Keep children away from the space heater.
• Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
• Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.

LENOWISCO Health District Announcement

“The Virginia Department of Health has directed local health districts to close their vaccination pre-registration forms Friday evening, in preparation to shift to a statewide system next week. During this time, existing waiting lists will be imported to the new system and pre-registration will be temporarily unavailable throughout Virginia. Pre-registration, through the new statewide system, was available again on Tuesday, February 16.
Anyone who has previously filled out a survey or form or signed up for a waitlist to be vaccinated through their local health district, will be automatically imported into the new statewide system. Individuals will maintain their current status in the queue.
The statewide vaccine pre-registration system will provide a unified and comprehensive process for people in Virginia to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Local pre-registration forms closed at 5 p.m. Friday, February 12. During the weekend, the Commonwealth has de-duplicated, cleaned, and consolidated the data from the local health district systems. In addition, data from the Virginia Immunization Information System has been used to remove individuals from the pre-registration list that have already been vaccinated.”