Roanoke seeks to permit homestay businesses like Airbnb — but not in all cases

airbnbThe number of Roanoke City homes applying for city permits for home-stay businesses like Airbnb is still small but growing. Two more applications are now before the city, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports.

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Cardboard watercraft to race Saturday at SML

SML50There’s a different kind of a boat race scheduled this weekend at Smith Mountain Lake; all the competing watercraft will be made of cardboard. WFIR’s Bob Clark has more on this story.

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NC GOP apologizes to Kaine for tweet about military pin

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Republican Party has apologized to the Democratic vice presidential nominee for mocking him for wearing what it thought was a lapel pin of the Honduran flag.

The pin was in fact a symbol worn by families of military service members and was worn by Kaine during his acceptance speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention. His son is deployed with the U.S. Marines.

The party tweet said the pin was “shameful.” It was later deleted.

State GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said in a statement Thursday that the party offered its sincere and unqualified apology to Kaine. He said the tweet was “wrong on the facts” and “wrong in tone.”

Kaine spent a year in Honduras as a missionary. A reporter in New York had pointed out the mistake on Twitter.

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Virginia touts federal rating on special education

State-NewsRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – State officials are touting Virginia’s compliance with a federal law designed to help students with disabilities.

State education officials said Thursday that the Old Dominion has earned the “Meets Requirements” rating from the U.S. Department of Education, which officials said was the highest possible rating.

Virginia is one of 23 states and territories to receive the designation.

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ranks states on a number of factors, including graduation rates of special education students.

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Vinton Police investigating possible murder-suicide

Vinton-WFIR

Vinton Police are investigating a possible murder-suicide.

Authorities say officers discovered two dead bodies in a home yesterday afternoon on a safety and welfare check in the 300 block of Raleigh Avenue in Vinton.

Officers arrived at the home but didn’t receive a response at the door. Police saw the couple’s cars in the driveway so the officers entered the home. The couple’s bodies were found in the upper level of the home.

Officers found the bodies of Arwen Harless, 39, and Randall Whetzel, 36 in the upper level of the home.

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Man dies in fall from bucket truck while trimming storm-damaged trees

wfir-defaultFrom the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office: Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle reports that the Botetourt County 911 Communications Center received a  call for service today at approximately 11:42 am to the 100 block of Taylor lane in Trouville in reference to a man having fallen  about 30 feet out of a bucket truck.  The man was trimming trees when he fell and was pinned by several logs that had fallen on top of him.   Botetourt County Fire, EMS and Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and found the subject was deceased.  The initial report says that the tree trimming crew was on the scene to trim trees that were damaged by lightening yesterday.  The investigation is still ongoing but at this time it appears to be an accident.  The body has been transported to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke.  The name of the deceased will not be released until the man’s family has been notified.

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Red Cross still facing critical blood shortage

American Red CrossThe American Red Cross hopes a small perk will motivate blood and platelet donors to give now and help put an end to a critical blood shortage. WFIR’s Starr Anderson has the story.

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Kaine speaks at DNC, accepts vice-presidential nomination

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine took the stage last night for the first time as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee at his party’s convention. WFIR’s Ian Price has details on Kaine’s speech:

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AC service calls spike when heat waves strike

Heat-WaveIt has been a busy two weeks for air conditioning service contractors who must deal not only with the barrage of calls but keeping their employees healthy as they work long hours in the heat. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.

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Roanoke delegate likens convention to football game

Mike HamlarHe calls it an emotional, uplifting experience akin to his experiences playing major college football at packed stadiums. WFIR’s Gene Marrano spoke with Mike Hamlar at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia:

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