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Local News

  • Big Island man faces up to 13 life sentences

    A Big Island man faces up to 13 life sentences after entering pleas Tuesday for having sexual acts with six children, some younger than 6 years old.

    Gregory D. Burton, 36, entered Alford pleas in Bedford County Circuit Court for 13 counts of forcible sodomy and one count of aggravated sexual battery. An Alford plea, which carries the same effect as a guilty plea, means Burton does not admit his guilt, but feels the plea is in his best interest.

  • Earnest's next court date set for October

    The murder trial of a Moneta man accused of killing his wife last December in Forest likely won't be held until 2009.

    Wesley Brian Earnest, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, in connection with the Dec. 19 death of his estranged wife Jocelyn Earnest at her home.

    Earnest had been scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but that court appearance was continued until October. That court date will likely be used to argue pretrial motions in the case with the actual trial set for a later date.

  • Two schools expected to fall short of AYP goals

    Students at two Bedford County Public Schools may be able to transfer to Big Island Elementary School if testing results come back as expected.

    Bedford Primary School and Bedford Elementary School will likely be required to offer public school choice to its students this year for failing to meet Adequate Yearly Progress numbers under the No Child Left Behind Act. Parents of students at those schools will likely soon receive letters informing them of the option to choose to have their children transferred.

  • Volunteer honored for his service

    A local Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) has been awarded a couple of special honors for his volunteer work.

    Leslie "Sandy" Morrissett won the top honor, this spring, among 10 Central Virginia CASAs who received a President's Volunteer Service award. This is a national honor that recognizes volunteer service and Morrissett, a Moneta resident, logged 313 volunteer hours with Bedford's CASA office last year.

  • Concert to benefit police, fire and rescue squads

    Bedford's parks and recreation department wants to honor some local people who help us all.

    Called the Hometown Heroes' Benefit Concert, the event will raise money for the Bedford City Police Department and Bedford's volunteer fire department and rescue squad, stated Shawn Duff, the administrative assistant for the city's parks and rec department. It all takes place from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Liberty Lake Park on Saturday, July 26.

  • New time set for Christmas parade

    The hot, humid days of mid-July don't put most people in a Christmas frame of mind. Bedford Main Street, however, has been thinking about the year-end holiday and a note at the end of its 2008 calendar of events on its Web site, indicates that the time of Bedford's annual Christmas parade has been moved to 7 p.m.

    Linda Exley, Bedford Main Street's director, said that there has been a conflict between the parade, which starts at 11 a.m. and a foot race, which starts at 10 a.m.

    "The police have to take care of the foot race,"Exley said.

  • The sky's not the limit

    While in the sixth grade, Sarah Vaden performed a science project trying to discover a way to decrease the impact of hurricanes.

    She set up a mock hurricane with a sprinkler and fan, dumping salt on the sprinkler to see if the water pressure could be reduced.

    She’s been involved in research ever since.

  • Breaking - Police: Victim in car died of smoke inhalation

    The yet-to-be identified person found dead inside a burned car off Ole Turnpike Road early Wednesday morning apparently died from smoke inhalation as the result of a traffic accident, according to a Bedford Police Chief Jim Day.

    Day said Wednesday afternoon that apparently the driver of the vehicle left the road and traveled 200 feet into brush. Excessive speed might have been a factor, he said.

    He said there wasn't any evidence of foul play involved.

  • Israeli company to purchase Barr

    Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an Israeli generic drug manufacturer, will purchase Barr Pharmaceuticals. The two companies announced the agreement Friday morning.

    Teva is the world's largest generic drug manufacturer and Barr is the fourth largest. Barr owns Barr Laboratories, in Forest. With 570 employees, the company is Bedford County's largest non-public employer and, county officials note, is a major contributor to the county's tax base.

  • Man pleads guilty to abduction, assault

    A Moneta man faces at least six years in prison for abducting and assaulting a woman last year.

    Robert Edward Bignall, 31, of Moneta pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court to abduction and malicious wounding charges. The abduction charge carries a sentence of between one and 10 years and the malicious wounding charge carries five to 20 years.

    According to Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Krantz, Bignall had an on-again, off-again relationship with the victim and had been staying in her home for a week prior to the incident that brought him to court.