Former VT President Paul Torgersen dies

Paul Torgesen

Paul Torgesen

From Virginia Tech: Paul Torgersen, Virginia Tech’s president from 1994-2000 and a member of its faculty since 1967, died Sunday at age 83.  “As a professor, a dean, and a president, Paul Torgersen has made a tremendous impact upon our institution,” Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands said. “We are deeply saddened to lose him, but will always remain inspired by his legacy.” The Virginia flag outside the university’s main administrative building, Burruss Hall, was lowered to half-mast in memory of Torgersen. The university’s governing Board of Visitors observed a moment of silence in his honor during its March 30 meeting.

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Community conversation on suicide tomorrow

WFIR Health NewsA joint initiative of Carilion Clinic Hospice and Family Service of Roanoke Valley wants to talk about a tough subject – suicide and its impact on families … WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more on a “Community Conversation” tomorrow:

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Penelope Kyle to step down as Radford President

Penelope Kyle

Penelope Kyle

From Radford University: President Penelope W. Kyle and Board of Visitors (BOV) Rector Michael A. Wray announced today that the BOV approved on March 28, 2015 President Kyle’s plan to retire as president, effective June 30, 2016. Kyle, who was appointed in 2005 as Radford University’s sixth president, is also RU’s first female president.”I am proud to have played a part in the transformation of Radford University since my arrival nearly a decade ago,” said President Kyle. “After much deliberation and looking back on the tremendous accomplishments we have achieved together for Radford University and our students, I have given consideration to identifying a good time frame for transition of the presidency.”

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Vinton Town Council to vote on tax rate

Vinton-WFIRThe real estate tax rate in Vinton could go up for the first time in about a decade – to more than double – at a special Town Council meeting tomorrow night … more from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

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Va. toxic emission rise in 2013, but they’re way down from the late 1980’s

State-NewsToxic emissions in Virginia rose 10% in 2013, but that increase runs counter to the longer-term trend. These are state-permitted releases of industrial toxic emissions that enter the atmosphere or waterways or are buried in landfills. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Roanoke Police Department investigating deadly shooting

Roanoke-PoliceOn Saturday at approximately 3:27 a.m., Roanoke Police responded to a shots fired call with a person down in the 3000 block of Ordway Drive NW. When they arrived, they found an adult male and adult female lying in the parking lot with apparent gunshot wounds. They were both taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where the male, 35-year-old Gerald Daran Hairston, was pronounced dead. The woman’s name has not been released but police say she is 31-years-old and from Roanoke. At last word she was still in the hospital. The incident is under investigation. Police are asking anyone with information to call them at (540)853-5959 or the Roanoke Valley Crime Line at (540)344-8500.

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State education board votes to expand SOL retesting

Education-News1RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Elementary and middle school students who fail this spring’s Standards of Learning tests by narrow margins or because of extenuating circumstances can retake the exams before the end of the school year. The Board of Education approved a resolution Thursday allowing the expedited retesting in grades three through eight, with the exception of the eight-grade writing test. Board president Christian Braunlich says these aren’t high-stakes tests, but the board wants to be responsive to students who want a second chance before the end of the year. Expedited retakes have been allowed since 2000 for high school students who barely fail end-of-course exams linked to diploma requirements.

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McAuliffe vetoes gun bills, proposes lower gift limits

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants a $100 aggregate gift cap for state lawmakers and is vetoing several pro-gun bills. McAuliffe told reporters at a Capitol news conference Friday that he was amending a last-minute ethics package lawmakers passed last month.  The governor said he wants lawmakers to be barred from accepting repeated gifts from lobbyists. Lawmakers wanted gifts capped a $100 per gift rather than an aggregate limit. The Democratic governor said he’s also vetoing a handful of pro-gun bills. The Republican-controlled General Assembly defeated several gun-control bills the governor supported in this year’s legislative session, which ended in February. State lawmakers are due back in Richmond to consider McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments on April 15.

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PH forensics team seeks another crown

Education-News1The Patriots of Patrick Henry High School battles for another forensics team championship tomorrow … as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:

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Investigation into Noah Thomas’ death “moving forward”

Noah Thomas

Noah Thomas

Pulaski County authorities this morning said they’re moving forward with the investigation into the death of five-year-old Noah Thomas. Five days of searching for young Noah came to a tragic end yesterday with the discovery of his body in a septic system near his home in Dublin. Assistant Pulaski County Administrator Anthony Akers this morning read a statement from Sheriff Jim Davis.

“This investigation will be focused on facts and physical evidence and will not be driven speculation nor rumors,” the statement said. The sheriff did not appear at the news briefing, and Akers said he could not answer questions about the investigation. The sheriff yesterday said that Noah’s body was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke for an autopsy. He said the family has been cooperative in the investigation.

 

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