September 27th, 2016
The Wise County Sheriff's Office is one of three Virginia counties set to receive about $160,000 in federal funding in return for accepting firearms from people subject to permanent protective orders.
The new law says that individuals who are subject to final Family Abuse Protective Orders are prohibited from possessing firearms and must surrender those guns within 24 hours of being charged or face a Class 6 felony.
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that $28,045 will be issued to the Sheriff's Office to help prepare their offices to store those weapons.
The grants will also go to sheriffs' offices in Dinwiddie County and Franklin County.
McAuliffe and Republican state lawmakers agreed to compromise gun legislation earlier this year that prohibits people from carrying a firearm if they are subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense.
September 26th, 2016
A convicted murderer serving 6 life sentences in Wallens Ridge State Prison has told a North Carolina newspaper he knows details about two local cold cases that have long stumped investigators. Freddie P. Hammer Hammer wrote them a letter alluding to the murders of Timothy Shatley and Julie Lovette. In a correspondence with his attorney, Hammer confirmed his desire to meet with the Ashe County Sheriff’s office to discuss details that could bring closure to the families of the victims.
Shatley was found shot in his vehicle in November of 2005. Lovette has been missing since 2001, but her body was never found.
Hammer was convicted of the 2008 shooting of Ronald Hudler, 74, his son Frederick Hudler, 45, and employee John Miller, 25, during a robbery on Hudler’s Tree Farm just across the Ashe County line into Grayson County, Va. He was later convicted in 2010 for the shooting murder of his nephew, Jimmy Blevins of Crumpler, who had been missing since 2007. Hammer confessed and told authorities where to find Blevins’ body in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said investigators have spoke with Hammer before and question his sincerity in actually divulging any worthwhile information about the two cases, as they have already met with him multiple times, but have not found a shred of credible information to link him to either death. They are, however, still willing to talk to Hammer.
Hammer wrote in the letter, "I have nothing left to live for."
September 26th, 2016
A new call center in Wise County will bring 500 new jobs to the area. Frontier Secure, a company based in the growing field of cyber security, is opening a customer call center.
Wise County Economic Development Director Carl Snodgrass says Wise and the surrounding area hopes for major growth in this sector.
The work will include customer service involving security issues and technical support for companies.
Entry level employees for frontier are earning around $12 an hour.
Snodgrass even says if an adequate talent pool can be developed, even more than 500 jobs could be possible.
September 25th, 2016
One person is dead after a fire broke out in Big Stone Gap on Saturday morning.
The victim has been identified as 51-year-old Pamela Neece.
Firefighters from Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire on Skeens Ridge Road in Big Stone Gap just after 6:00 Saturday morning.
The call came in as a structure fire with a possible entrapment.
Virginia State Police and the Wise County Sheriff's Office are investigating the case.
September 22nd, 2016
WEEKLY PRESS RELEASE
September 21, 2016
The Wise County Sheriff’s Office reports the following activities for the period of 09/12/2016 through 09/18/2016.
Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,667 calls for this seven-day period.
Of the total calls received 369 were dispatched to the Sheriff’s Office
Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 1.
Criminal Process for this period: Served 12 Felony Warrants, 19 Misdemeanor Warrants, 2 DUI Arrests.
Civil Process Served: 419 Civil Papers
Traffic Accidents: 6
7 Additional Criminal Investigations were initiated and 7 Cleared by Arrest.
Sheriff’s Office provided 256 man-hours of Court Room Security.
Unlocked Vehicles: 15
Escorted Funerals: 7
The Sheriff’s Office Total Transport for this period: 5
Total Transport Hours: 41.75
2,064 Visitors to Courthouse.
September 21st, 2016
The Stickleyville Community Center will host the Klondike Hollow Haunted House located at the old Stickleyville school beginning Saturday, October 1 at 7 p.m. and continuing every Saturday in October & the 28th, 29th ending on Halloween. Admission is $8.00, non-refundable. Snacks will also be available for purchase. The family-oriented attraction serves as a fundraiser for the school association which funds operations at the center.
They are also looking for volunteers. If you would like to work in the Haunted house message the Stickleyville School Community Center Association on Facebook.
September 21st, 2016
IDA Excutive Director has submitted his resignation to Lee County Administrator Dane Poe, effective Thursday, September 15. James gave no reason for the resignation, simply saying he is looking at other opportunities and is not sure if he will stay in Lee County. He gave no further comment.
September 21st, 2016
The Senate Finance Committee voted 18-8 to pass the Miners Protection Act. Senator Mark Warner said in a statement, "Coal companies and the government made a promise to these miners many years ago that we would take care of them and their families after a lifetime of difficult, dangerous work." This is only the first step in a long congressional march as both sides of the aisle are looking for a solution "to the pending crisis in the United Mine Workers health and pension plan."
Several busloads of Southwest Virginia retired miners marched in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to encourage lawmakers to preserve the health care of workers by funding the pension plan first penned in 1974.
Officials with the United Mine Workers of America said the bill will likely be taken up in November following the national elections.
September 20th, 2016
Governor Terry McAuliffe today awarded $6 million in School Security Equipment Grants to protect students and education professionals across the Commonwealth. The grants will pay for video monitoring systems, metal detectors, electronic-access controls, visitor-identification systems, direct communications links between schools and law enforcement agencies, and other security upgrades in 434 schools and instructional facilities.
$57,682 was granted to Lee County for Dryden Elementary, Elydale Elementary, Flatwoods Elementary, Jonesville Middle, Pennington Middle, Rose Hill Elementary, St. Charles Elementary and Thomas Walker High
Wise received $70,036 for six schools in the county.