Virginia Department of Health LENOWISCO Offering REVIVE! Classes Locally

The Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) LENOWISCO health district is offering REVIVE! Training. This is Virginia’s Opioid and Naloxone education provide that will provide Narcan aka Naloxone to individuals completing the short training session free of charge.

REVIVE! Classes are scheduled in February at local health departments in Lee, Scott and Wise counties that are intended to reach professionals, stakeholders and concerned community members on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency by administering Narcan which is a brand name for Naloxone.
Naloxone reverses the effects of opiates on the brain, allowing time for emergency services to respond and provide medical services. The training also includes information on risk factors for opioid overdoses. These classes are offered free to the public and only last thirty minutes or less. No preregistration is required.

The classes are available at:
Lee County Health Department located in Jonesville, Wednesday February 21st, from 8a.m. until 4 p.m.
Wise County Health Department located at 134 Roberts Avenue in southwest Wise. Thursday February 15th from 12 noon until 7 p.m. Then again on Tuesday February 27th from 8a.m. until 4 p.m.
Additional information is available by contacting District Health Educators Dan Hunsucker at 276-386-1312 or Melanie Deel at 276-328-1904.

A Very Important Message from Dr. Marissa Levine; the Virginia State Health Commissioner and the Virginia Department of Health

Lee County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

The latest Press Release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office concerns a search that happened in Pennington Gap, Virginia on Friday that led to the discovery of Methamphetamine and resulted in the arrest of five Lee County residents.
Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons reports that deputies from his office, along with an officer with Pennington Gap Police Department responded to a call at the Old Mill Apartments of a person intending to harm themselves. Once at the apartment building a lady stopped Deputy Chad Rouse and informed him that there were people in her apartment with drugs.
Parsons said that Deputy Rouse along with Deputy Mark Vanhuss and Officer Matt Johnson proceeded to search the apartment after being given consent. Upon entering the apartment they smelled a strong chemical odor. They quickly located 3.5 grams of methamphetamine along with digital scales, suboxone, and a smoking device laying inside a child’s playpen. Officers with the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force also responded to the scene.
According to Sheriff Parsons five individuals were arrested. 38 year old Michael Thacker of Pennington Gap, 33 year old James McQueen of Keokee, 37 year old Gary Napier of Pennington Gap, 35 year old Margaret Potter of Pennington Gap and 28 year old Amanda Newman of Jonesville.
Parson said all were charged with Possession of a Schedule 1 or 2 narcotic and Possession of drug paraphernalia. Parsons commended all of the officers involved for their work and the excellent spirit of cooperation between agencies.

Widespread Flooding in Southwest Virginia

This steady heavy rain has led to quite a bit of local flooding across Southwest Virginia with shelters opening because of mudslides, rockslides and impassable roads. With Flood Advisories issued for Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Letcher, Hancock counties and beyond. The waters have receded but caution is still advised when travelling.

Fatal crash in Wise County

Locally in the news, over in Wise County, Virginia the State Police are currently investigating a fatal crash that happened just before six a.m. along US 23 near the Indian Creek Flea Market.
Virginia State Police released the name of the woman killed as being Michaela S. Maine, age 41, of Pound, Virginia. Maine was driving a 2006 Toyota 4Runner north on Route 23 when it ran off the right side of the highway. Maine overcorrected which then caused the SUV to cross over into the northbound lanes and run off the left side of Route 23. The Toyota then continued thru the median and struck a 2010 Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck head on, which caused the Toyota to go off the southbound land and continue down an embankment. The Chevrolet then collided when a 2016 Kia that was southbound.
Both drivers of the other vehicles, the Chevrolet and the Kia, were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.. The cause of the crash continues to be under investigation with the Southbound lanes of US 23 still closed at this time. Meanwhile accident reconstruction teams will be at the scene.

Virginia Employment Commission Unemployment Data

Locally in Southwest Virginia in our designated market areas saw a percentage drop in area unemployment in 2017, according to data collected by the Virginia Employment Commission.
Overall ten localities saw an average drop in unemployment numbers of 1.95%. Buchanan County led with the biggest percentage of a 3.2% drop in unemployment but were tied with Dickenson County for the highest unemployment rate in the region for December of 6.6%.
Data was collected and compiled for Bristol, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Norton, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington and Wise Counties.
Scott County had the lowest unemployment rate in the region last December with 3.4%. Lee County unemployment rates went from 5.0% last December to 6.8% in January 2018. As of today's date the National average is 4.8 % with Lee County Unemployment rates at 5.3%.

Discounted Annual Permits for Spearhead Trails

Norton residents along with county residents of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Wise and Tazewell are now eligible to receive discounted trail permits from their respective counties.
Those counties along with Norton have generously contributed to the operational funds as well as providing maintenance services for Spearhead Trails, the organization announced.
Residents of these counties or of Norton are eligible to buy an annual permit for Spearhead Trails normally $60 for the discounted price of $25. All permits expire at the end of the year on December 31st, 2018.
Spearhead Trails stated they hope to make this discount a yearly event and that eventually the discount program could expand into other counties as more new trails are created in other areas.

Rick Cooper Murdered in St. Charles

Investigators in Lee County continuing to follow up on several leads after finding a man murdered in his home. Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons stated that his deputies arrived at 2058 St Charles Road and discovered Rick Cooper, age 59, dead from a gun shot wound.
Parson stated they were alerted by a friend who hadn't heard from Cooper in the past few days. While the discovery was made just before noon on Monday, as yet there are still no suspects in custody at this time but they are following up on multiple leads.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office is working alongside the Virginia State Police in this murder investigation. Anyone with information concerning this matter may call 276-346-7777.

Lee County Sheriff’s Dept January 2018 Stats

The Lee County Sheriff's Office reported the following activities for the month of January 2018
Total calls received by Dispatch: 5567
Total calls received that Deputies responded to: 961
There were 440  calls dispatched to other agencies.
There were 255  Rescue Squad calls and 23  Ambulance calls.
There were  28  Fire Department calls dispatched.
27  escorted Funerals.
63 vehicles were unlocked for citizens.
Deputies served 114  warrants and processed 69  people.
Deputies served 118  subpoenas, 26  show cause summons and   other various civil papers.
2  search warrants were executed.
Deputies traveled a total of 59,528 miles with 3,093 miles being on transports.
Deputies transported 1  juveniles, 5  mental health patients and 6  prisoner from other jurisdictions.
Inmates from the Duffield Regional Jail, along with Deputies picked up 146 bags of trash from Lee County roadways.
Lee County Reserve Officers volunteered 96  hours to the community last month.

Department of Environmental Quality Meetings

The Department of Environmental Quality the DEQ is planning two public meetings to present the Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation Plan for the Powell River Watershed in Lee and Wise counties.
The first meeting will be tonight Tuesday, February 6th beginning at 6p.m. at the Pennington Gap Community Center located at 41670 West Morgan Avenue. The second meeting will be held Thursday evening, February 8th from six til eight p.m. at the Big Stone Gap Visitor Center located at 306 Wood Avenue East. In case of inclement weather you may phone 276-6764803 to verify postponement of the meeting.
The DEQ hopes to attain written and oral comments from interested individuals. There are ten different impaired stream segments in the area including Butcher Fork, South Fork Powell River, North Fork Powell River, and Powell River. According to Virginia’s 303(d) TDML Priority List and Report all segments are listed as impaired due to violations of the State’s water quality standard for bacteria and aquatic life.
The Implementation Plan will provide verifiable goals, corrective actions needed along with their associated costs, benefits, and environmental impacts. Written comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the individual submitting comments and be sent to

Stephanie Kreps

Southwest Regional Office

Department of Environmental Quality

355A Deadmore Street

Abington, Va 24210

or emailed to