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Local News

  • Defense asks for mental evaluation

    A mental evaluation will determine whether a man accused of holding a Bedford County woman hostage for more than 36 hours and assaulting her will be competent to stand trial on the charges.

    George Leroy Keaton Jr., 30, of Vinton, is charged with one count of malicious wounding, rape and abduction with the intent to defile and three counts of forcible sodomy in connection with the case. The evaluation was ordered during a hearing in Bedford County General District Court Monday.

  • Staunton River Middle School student works as House page

    Julia Goad, a seventh grader at Staunton River Middle School, is getting a special civics lesson this winter.

    She was selected as a page in the House of Delegates during this year's General Assembly. Her mother, Michele Goad, takes her to Richmond every Sunday and she stays there, in Richmond's Omni Hotel, with the other pages during the week. She comes home Friday evenings.

  • Investigation leads to closing of Wakefield Inn

    The Bedford County Sheriff?s Office with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted a five month long joint investigation involving criminal charges against designated managers of ABC licensed businesses in Bedford County.

    The investigation led to numerous criminal indictments against ABC managers at the Sky Mart Store located at 7865 Jordontown Road, Vinton, and the Wakefield Inn located at 10190 Stewartsville Road, Vinton.

  • Cases advance

    A continuance was granted Friday in Bedford County Circuit Court in the case against a Moneta man accused of holding a woman as a prisoner at her Bedford County home last February.

    Robert Edward Bignall, 41, is charged with robbery, abduction and malicious wounding in the incident which allegedly occurred on Feb. 27, 2007.

    According to Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Krantz, the victim claims Bignall tied her up, assaulted her and stole her vehicle, and then fled to North Carolina. The victim was able to free herself and call 911, Krantz said.

  • Book helps women deal with loss

    A new book, called "Faces of Grief," is aimed at helping women deal with grieving.

    Written by Marian Talley-Cunningham, the book consists of a series of 12 Bible studies, each building on the previous one, that progresses from dealing with "why?" to dating and remarriage. Although the book is a women's Bible study, Cunningham said that she has had men use it. It's currently being used by local hospice chaplains.

  • Family readiness group leader honored for work

    According to Sergeant First Class Howard Holt (U. S. Army, ret.), a family readiness group leader is only supposed to serve in that role for three or four years. He noted that that was the pre 9/11 standard. Janine Fowler did it for six. This included the company's deployment to Afghanistan.

    Recently, Bedford's National Guard company gave her a plaque honoring that work. It was a surprise. Two sergeants, in camouflage, showed up at Bedford's H and R Block office where Fowler works as the office manager.

    How did she start doing that volunteer job in the first place?

  • Calf marked with perfect heart born to Bedford County farm family

    Mother Nature decided to deliver an early Valentine?s Day gift to one Bedford County family this year.

    It did not, however, come in the holiday?s traditional pink or red packaging. This bundle was black and white and shaped like a calf. A calf, that is, with a perfect white heart marking an otherwise solid black flank.

    ?We were so excited about the new baby that we didn?t even notice it at first,? said owner Elizabeth Akenhead, describing the calf?s Jan. 16 birth. ?We thought the mom was only eight months along, so we weren?t expecting him until late February.?

  • Forest Fire Department plans to build fire house

    The Forest Volunteer Fire Department plans to build a new fire house on county-owned property near the intersection of Va. 122 and Va. 811, near the Forest Library.

    According to Monty Coleman, the Forest fire chief, the current firehouse is 50 years old and only has three bays for firetrucks. Forest has grown significantly in the past half-century and the fire department has grown to meet the increased need for fire protection. The department now has six trucks shoe-horned into this space.

  • Project serves dual purpose

    A project carried out by Bedford Science and Technology Center (BSTC) students at the end of last year served two purposes.

    A low concrete wall in front of Washington Street Baptist Church, between the sidewalk and the church building, had deteriorated. The BSTC students replaced it, building the new wall out of split-face concrete masonry units, that emulate stone. The church provided the material, which they got at a discount from Masonry Mart. The students, all in their second year of the school's masonry program, provided the skilled labor.

  • Local singer appears on Apple Idol

    Terry Day is living his dream.

    This week Day appeared with five other contestants vying for Apple Ford's Apple Idol title. The show is part of WSET-TV's "Living in the Heart of Virginia" program, aired daily at 12:30 p.m. on local channel 13.

    For Day, singing on television is a dream-come-true.