Roanoke artists conduct home and studio open house weekend

Artists are opening their homes and studios to the public this weekend for the 2017 Roanoke Open Studios Tour. You are welcome to venture into the work spaces of 25 artists at eight different studios in the area. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has the story:

4-28 Open Studios Wrap 1-WEB

Click here for full Open Studios Tour information.

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UPDATE: Roanoke County Police, FBI operation into second day

UPDATED FRIDAY: Roanoke County Police say officers and the FBI are into the second day of a joint investigation along Crowell Gap Road, which is near the Roanoke/Franklin County Line. Police are not releasing any further information, but officials say there is no danger to the public.

PREVIOUSLY: All lanes on Rt 657 in Roanoke County – Crowell Gap Road – have been closed for several hours now due to an “incident” according to VDOT. A county spokesperson says there’s a joint investigation between Roanoke County police and the FBI underway  but could not provide any further details. Crowell Gap Road is often used as a shortcut between US 220 and State Route 116, Jae Valley Road.

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Juvenile charged with threat to Northside High School

Roanoke County Police say a juvenile has been charged with posting a threat on social media last night to harm the Northside High School campus. Police say the boy confessed to making the post, and faces charges that include threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property. Because he is underage, there is no name released. There is no indication that anyone was ever in any actual danger.

From Roanoke County Police: April 28, 2017 – A juvenile has been charged following a threat posted late Thursday evening on social media to harm the Northside High School campus. Police investigated through the early morning hours Friday and were able to identify the person who posted the threat. He confessed to making the post and it was deleted. The juvenile has been charged with Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property; penalty (Code of VA Section 18.2-60).

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Spring Wildfire Season comes to an end at midnight Sunday

State officials say they battled 411 wildfires and protected more than 2,500 homes or structures during the Spring Wildfire Season that ends this weekend. WFIR’s Ian Price has details:

04-28 Spring Wildfire Season WEB-WRAP

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UPDATE: Police continue search for Roanoke woman, missing since March

UPDATE – From Roanoke Police Department: On April 20th the Roanoke Police Department asked for the public’s assistance in locating Edme Merle-Perez, age 38, of Roanoke. At this time in the investigation, detectives do not believe Merle-Perez left on her own accord and have still not been able to locate her. Detectives have conducted numerous interviews regarding her whereabouts and have executed several search warrants involving items belonging to Merle-Perez. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the RPD tip line at 540-344-8500. Callers can remain anonymous. Anonymous text messages can be sent to 274637. Please begin any text message with the keyword “RoanokePD:” to ensure that it’s properly sent.

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In reversal of recent trend, Norfolk Southern reports big increase in coal traffic

(AP photo)

Norfolk Southern  reports its coal shipments rose significantly for the first three months of the year, and it expects the rise to continue through 2017. First quarter coal earnings rose 20% from the year before, driven largely, the railroad says, by increased demand in foreign countries. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Norfolk Southern expects the trend to continue through the year.

04-28 NS Coal Wrap1-WEB

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