In the News

Local News: Waynesboro PD investigating cab burglary, posted Monday, 10:35 a.m.
Economy: Gas prices stable, posted Monday, 10:15 a.m.
State News: Blogger can complain about dirt pile on developer’s property, posted Monday, 10:10 a.m.
Local News: VDOT road work schedule, posted Monday, 10:15 a.m.

 

Local News: Waynesboro PD investigating cab burglary, posted Monday, 10:35 a.m.

The Waynesboro Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred in the 200 block of Shiloh Ave. over the weekend.

Police were called to the area at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2009 by a cab driver who had been dispatched to the area to pick up a fare and then robbed at gunpoint. The driver told officers he had arrived and observed three male subjects flag the cab. Two of the suspects entered the rear seat and one of them produced a silver in color handgun and demanded money. The third suspect opened the front passenger door and took the money(less than $200) from the driver. One of the suspects in the rear seat then reached over the driver and put cab in park and removed the keys, taking them as all three fled on foot in a south-westerly direction. The driver was not injured in the incident.

The three suspects were described as follows:

– Black Male, 20-25 years of age, small build, gray hoodie, blue bandanna.

– Black Male, 20-25 years of age, small build, gray hoodie, blue bandanna.

– Black Male, 30-35 years of age, large build, gray hoodie, No bandanna.

This case remains under investigation and anyone with information about it is asked to call the department at 540.942.6675 or Crime Stoppers at 800.322.2017.

 

Economy: Gas prices stable, posted Monday, 10:10 a.m.

The good news for consumers is that gasoline prices have remained relatively stable this week with the national average price of gasoline settling at $2.05 Friday, which is virtually unchanged from earlier in the week, according to a report from AAA Mid-Atlantic. For the 11th time in the last 14 weeks, gasoline prices continued to increase, albeit slightly. This puts the price of gasoline just about 10 cents higher than it was last month.

After last week’s rapid price swings, oil prices fell to open the week on continued uncertainty over which direction the US economy was heading. Lingering doubts over whether demand for oil and gasoline will pick up later this year, coupled with weak consumer spending, continue to keep prices right around $50 per barrel, closing at $52.24 Thursday (the NYMEX was closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday). Oil prices have been in a relative holding pattern for the past couple of weeks as investors try to discern the direction of the US and global economies. U.S. demand for oil has continued to remain relatively low – a byproduct of the slow economy – and inventories of crude oil continue to build despite both OPEC and domestic oil producers slowing oil production. The U.S. government recently announced crude oil inventories are as high as they have been in 16 years.

Also this week, the general consensus in the market is the U.S. refinery utilization rate is expected to rise over the next few months in line with the higher gasoline demand during the peak summer season. However, the uptick will likely be capped by the expected lower demand amid the economic downturn. Some experts expect the rate to top about 84 percent this summer before tapering off, compared to a high of 89.5 percent in July 2008.

 

State News: Blogger can complain about dirt pile on developer’s property, posted Monday, 10:10 a.m.

The Virginia Supreme Court has rejected developer Roger W. Woody’s appeal of a Montgomery County Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss his libel suit against Terry Ellen Carter, a Christiansburg resident who complained on her website about a large mound of dirt on one of Woody’s properties.

“What Mr. Woody did was wrong. He attempted to use the courts, wasting taxpayer dollars, to silence people who disagree with him,” said Carter. “Mr. Woody created problems where none existed. I had faith in the legal system, even under the pressure of this frivolous lawsuit, to support what is truly right. The Virginia Supreme Court clearly saw that Mr. Woody never had a case at all.”

Woody sought more than $10 million in damages from Terry Ellen Carter, Tacy Newell -Foutz and two other Christiansburg residents who had been critical of the dirt pile and other debris. In his lawsuit, Woody claimed that Carter’s website, ThinkChristiansburg.com, injured him by referring to the dirt pile as ” Mount Woody” and by publishing a picture of the pile on which the word “Woodyville” was superimposed.

Woody claimed that Carter and the others illegally conspired to undermine his business, that they purposely interfered with his business operations, and that they committed libel. The ACLU of Virginia, which represented Carter, argued that Woody’s claims were groundless and that the First Amendment protects Carter’s right to criticize the dirt pile.

Woody’s case is what is commonly referred to as a SLAPP suit, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, wherein wealthy individuals or corporations sue persons who criticize them in public. The goal is not necessarily to win the case, but to intimidate the speaker.

“Censorship typically involves direct government suppression of speech — a public library removing a book or a local government shutting down a demonstration — whereas SLAPP suits indirectly employ the government by using the judicial system to accomplish the same goal,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis. “The average person simply does not have the financial ability to fight these kinds of cases in court-so they capitulate by censoring themselves.”

ACLU cooperating attorney Jonathan Rogers of Floyd and ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca K. Glenberg represented Ms. Carter. The case was heard in Montgomery County Circuit Court in July 2008, and the Montgomery County Circuit Court issued its ruling in October 2008. Woody appealed the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court shortly thereafter.

A copy of the ACLU’s brief in opposition that was filed with the Virginia Supreme Court is available at www.acluva.org/docket/pleadings/carter_briefinopposition.pdf.

 

Local News: VDOT road work schedule, posted Monday, 10:10 a.m.

Ongoing road projects in the Augusta Free Press area include:

 

Rockbridge County

Interstate 64

* Mile marker 41 to 57, eastbound and westbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* (NEW) Various roads – Bridge sweeping, Wednesday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. Mobile operation.

* (NEW) Various roads – Litter removal, Tuesday to Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Various roads – Cleaning ditches, drop inlets. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Interstate 81

* Mile marker 174 to 205, northbound and southbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* Mile marker 195, northbound and southbound – Roadway lighting construction. Shoulder closures, Monday to Friday, flagger traffic control.

* Mile marker 195 to 203, northbound – Survey work. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.* Mile marker 200, northbound and southbound – Roadway lighting construction. Shoulder closures, Monday to Friday, flagger traffic control.
* Mile marker 237 to 173, northbound and southbound – Crossover repair. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* (NEW) Various roads – Bridge sweeping, Thursday to Friday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Mobile operation.

* (NEW) Various roads – Litter removal, Tuesday to Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Various roads – Cleaning ditches, drop inlets. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Primary Roads

* Route 11 – Roadway lighting construction. Shoulder closures, Monday to Friday, flagger traffic control.

* Route 130 (Glasgow) – Bridge construction at Route 501. Periodic single-lane traffic with flagger traffic control, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Completion is in September 13, 2010.

 

Secondary Roads

* Route 710 – Roadway lighting construction. Shoulder closures, Monday to Friday, flagger traffic control.

* Various roads – Brush cutting, shoulder work. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., flagger traffic control.

* Various roads – Grading dirt roads. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

* Various roads – Litter pickup.

 

 

Augusta County

Interstate 64

No lane closures reported.

 

Interstate 81

* Mile marker 205 to 237, northbound and southbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* (NEW) Mile marker 210, southbound – Bridge over Route 675. Bridge overlay evaluation. Single-lane traffic, Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

* Mile marker 237 to 173, northbound and southbound – Crossover repair. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* (NEW) Various roads – Bridge sweeping, Thursday to Friday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Mobile operation.

* (NEW) Various roads – Litter removal, Tuesday to Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Various roads – Cleaning ditches, drop inlets. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Primary Roads

* Route 11, southbound (Lee Jackson Highway) – Street entrance installation from Route 694 to Route 701. Shoulder closure and lane shift, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 252 – Brush cutting from Route 802 to Route 603. Monday to Tuesday. Flagger traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 256 – Bridge over I-81, .15 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

* Route 340, northbound and southbound (Eastside Highway) – Stripping and pavement marking from Route 672 to 1340. Alternating lane closures, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 340, Waynesboro – Construction from Route 250 to Delphine Avenue for railroad bridge replacement and roadway widening, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Expect minor delays from Broad Street to Sixth Street for construction work. Sixth Street closed for sanitary sewer replacement, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Estimated completion is November, 2011.

* Various roads – Debris cleanup.

 

Secondary Roads

* (NEW) Route 605 – Machining dirt roads. Monday to Friday. Traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 612 – Machining dirt roads. Monday to Friday. Traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 612 – Bridges over I-81, .30 mile west of Route 792. Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 652 – Pipe replacement from Route 654 to Route 831. Monday to Friday. Flagger traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 669 – Machining dirt roads. Monday to Friday. Traffic control.

* Route 701, westbound (Howardsville Road) – Sewer line work from Route 11 to Route 613. Shoulder closure. Work is 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Flagger traffic control.

* Route 701 – Shoulder repair, Wednesday to Friday. Flagger traffic control.

* Route 721 – Brush cutting from Route 677 to Route 603. Wednesday to Friday. Flagger traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 736 – Shoulder repair from Route 42 to Route 250. Monday to Friday. Flagger traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 750 – Bridge over I-81, 1.02 miles east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 772 – Machining dirt roads. Monday to Friday. Traffic control.

* Route 774, northbound and southbound (Cline River Road, New Hope) – Bridge replacement activities from Route 608 (Battlefield Road) to Route 775 (Craig Shop Road). Road closed from Mar. 30 to Nov. 13. Suggested detour: Northbound traffic take Route 608 to Route 778 (Knightly Mill Road) to Route 775 to Route 774. Southbound traffic take reverse of northbound detour.

* Route 792 – High shoulder removal from Route 254 to Route 250. Monday to Thursday. Traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 794 – High shoulder removal from Route 254 to Route 642. Thursday to Friday. Traffic control.

* (NEW) Route 830 – Machining dirt roads. Monday to Friday. Traffic control.

* (NEW) Various roads – Bridge maintenance, Monday to Thursday.

* Various roads – Machining dirt roads, Monday to Friday. Mobile operation.

 

Rockingham County

Interstate 81

* Mile marker 237 to 263, northbound and southbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* (NEW) Mile marker 247, southbound – Milling and paving work. Exit 247 on-ramp at Route 33 interchange closed, Tuesday and Thursday, from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

 

Primary Roads

* Route 11 (North Valley Pike) – Waterline installation from Route 765 (Gravels Road) and Route 963 (Windy Knoll Drive). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 11 (North Valley Pike) – Gas line installation between Route 718 (Old Furnace Road) and the Harrisonburg City Limits. Right shoulder closure, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 33 – Bridge over Muddy Creek (Hinton), .15 mile west of Route 752. Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday.

* Route 33, eastbound and westbound (Market Street) – Safety upgrade at Route 33 and I-81 interchange. Single-lane traffic on Route 33, Monday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. I-81 exit 247 on-ramp at Route 33 interchange closed due to milling and paving work. Tuesday to Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

* Route 253 (Port Republic Road) – Sewer line installation from Route 704 (Osceola Springs Road) to Route 276 (Cross Keys Road). Westbound lane shoulder closure. Occasional single-lane traffic with flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 256 (Third Street, Grottoes) – Commercial entrance and directional bores from Route 825 (Dogwood Avenue) and Forest Avenue. Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 257 (Mason Street, Dayton) – Entrance construction from Route 1204 (Ashby Street) to Route 1203 (Westview Street). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 259 – Bridge over North Fork Shenandoah River, .07 mile west of Route 613. Bridge maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 259 (Brocks Gap Road) – Directional bore from Route 820 (Bergton Road) to West Virginia State line. Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Secondary Roads

* Route 641 (Cave Hill Road) – Road work from Route 843 (Cemetery Road) to Route 991 (Jacob Burner Road). Intermittent lane closures. Flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* (NEW) Route 649 – Bridge over Shenandoah River. Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday.

* Route 679 (Pleasant Valley Road) – Sewer line installation from Route 689 (Spaders Church Road) to Route 898 (Pleasant Drive). Shoulder closures controlled by flaggers. Blasting may occur. Work is Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 689 (Shen Lake Drive) – Sewer line installation from Route 253 (Port Republic Road) to Route 1030 (Lucy Long Drive). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorists should use caution and expect delays, especially at the intersection of Route 689 and Route 253.

* Route 704 – Bridge over I-81, .6 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 704 (Cecil Wampler Road) in conjunction with Route 679 work – Sewer line installation from Route 679 (Pleasant Valley Road) to Route 704 (Cecil Wampler Road). Occasional blasting may occur. Shoulder closure. Single-lane traffic controlled by flaggers. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 704 (Cecil Wampler Road) – Sewer line work from Route 679 (Pleasant Valley Road) to Route 705 (Cottontail Trail). Shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 709 (Autumn Lane) – Sewer line installation from Route 704 (Osceola Springs Road) to Route 710 (Greendale Road). Westbound shoulder closure. Occasional single-lane traffic with flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 710 (Greendale Road) – Aerial crossing from Route 253 (Port Republic Road) to Route 709 (Autumn Lane). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 721 – Bridge over I-81, .42 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 724 – Bridge over I-81, .24 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 726 (Stone Spring Road) – Aerial crossing from Route 253 (Port Republic Road) to Route 726 (Peach Grove Avenue)/Harrisonburg City Limits. Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 794 (Canery Island Road) – Overhead line installation from Route 11 (North Valley Pike) and Route 620 (Mount Valley Road). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 820 (Crab Run Road) – Aerial line installation from Route 865 (Bergton Road) to West Virginia State line. Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 826 (Criders Road) – Aerial line installation from Route 820 (Bergton Road) to Route 700 (Trailer Park Road). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 865 (Bergton Road) – Aerial line installation from Route 820 (Bergton Road) to Route 823 (Overly Hollow). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 867 – Bridge over I-81, .75 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 981 (Rockingham Pike) – Sewer and drainage work from Route 33 to Route 829 (Independent Road). Possible road closures with detour and night work. Monday to Tuesday.

* Route 990 – Bridge over I-81, .26 mile east of Route 11. Bridge deck maintenance. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Route 996 (McGaheysville Road) – Directional bore from Route 842 (Slate Road) and Route 998 (Fairyland Lane). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Route 1304 (Sunset Drive, Dayton) – Sewer line installation from Route 257 (Mason Street) to Route 1209 (Thompson Street). Road closed. Flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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