Proponents of a proposed high-speed roll road alongside US Route 460 through rural Southeast Virginia got a setback yesterday. The Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers released a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed 55 mile toll road detailing concerns over hundreds of acres of wetlands. Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane says it appears now the state likely would not get a permit to build it.
Articles by Charles Fishburne
Dominion Resources says it plans to put its most outage-prone power distribution lines underground. It was the Derecho of June 2012 that prompted Dominion to take another look. That powerful series of thunderstorms across five states killed 22 people and resulted in millions of people losing power, some for days.
Dominion says it now plans to bury some 350 miles of power lines annually over the next 10-12 years, with priority based on a 10-year outage history from all regions served by Dominion.
Henrico police are still investigating a traffic stop that resulted in a man killing himself early yesterday. Henrico police say it was a routine traffic stop that turned into a police pursuit that ended when the driver killed himself on a street in Highland Springs.
He had been stopped for speeding at Pleasant Street and Newbridge Avenue, but he sped off, initiating a chase that ended on Elm Street. The driver stopped, and according to police, fired two shots and died at the scene. Police have not yet released his name. They say the investigation is ongoing.
The Metro Richmond Zoo welcomed five new cheetah cubs this weekend (9/19). The cubs were born Friday morning at the zoo to Milani, a three year old first-time mom, and Kitu, a six year old Dad. The cubs will have their first veterinary check-up later this week and the Zoo says it will launch another 24-hour cheetah cam to keep up with the new arrivals.
The Wild cheetah population is in drastic decline and breeding them in captivity is challenging, but this is the 2nd cheetah birth at the Metro Richmond Zoo in the last 11 months, adding 10 cubs to the captive population.
Two VCU professors, Dr. Bryce McLeod and Dr. Kevin Sutherland, have been awarded a $1.6 million dollar grant to help improve services for preschool children.
By the end of this month, the Richmond City Health District will be opening a new Community Resource Center in Gilpin Court.
By a margin of more than 3-1, Virginia voters say the Washington Redskins should not change the team name.
The Hanover County Planning Commission has recommended approval of 68 new homes on Summer Duck Farm near Atlee Station Road and Deer Stream Drive. The project would include houses of at least 1800 square feet on approximately ¾ acre lots.
The developer has agreed to pay for road improvements, plant a buffer strip, and preserve a pre-Civil War House on the back of the property.
Neighbors said they were concerned about increased traffic, small lots and potential overcrowding at area schools.
The recommendation now goes before the Board of Supervisors.
Mayor Dwight Jones’ proposed tax cut has received a setback. It was a modest one, but city council’s finance and economic development committee has voted 3-0 to reject the proposed one cent reduction in property taxes next year.
The city is re-examining the tax rate because assessments rose by more than 1% and that triggers a state law requiring the city either roll back the tax rate or have a public hearing and vote to keep it the same.
Committee members suggested council consider spending priorities, including schools, before it goes before the full nine-member council.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is offering a storm surge map for coastal areas. The department has created a new tool to help coastal residents assess the risks of rising waters in a storm surge. Officials say the map presents a worst-case scenario, but is not a real-time tool.
Storm surge is the abnormal and dangerous rise of water over the tide. It is pushed to shore by high winds, typically a hurricane or tropical storm.