The candidates for Henry County sheriff will face off at the old Henry County Courthouse uptown tonight from 6-8pm. The event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and moderated by Martinsville lawyer, Phil Gardner. Lane Perry, the incumbent, is running for his 4th term in office, John Cassell is recently retired from the Sheriff’s Department, and Jerry Farmer is running a second time, having failed in his bid to unseat Perry last election.
A federal trial involving a group of suspected gang members from Danville is on hold in Roanoke and charges could be dismissed when the case reconvenes on Wednesday.
Eight defendants are accused participating in gang-related violence, including a 2016 murder in Danville. Four have reportedly reached plea deals that will be presented to Judge Michael Urbanski on Wednesday. Many of the defendants had faced the possibility of life without parole.The trial has been in a recess after some grand jury transcripts weren’t provided to defense attorneys. Urbanski has said he doesn’t think the violation merits dismissal of the charges, although he could declare a mistrial.
On Monday, Danville city officials announced that the citywide burn ban has been lifted noting the recent rainfall has lowered the risk of a fire hazard. Henry County, along with Patrick and Floyd counties are keeping the burn ban in place, but more rain is on the way. The National Weather Service says there is a 100 percent chance of new rainfall today with an inch possible. A thunderstorm is possible before 2 PM.
Fire destroyed an out building in the Westover Hills community Monday night. The Danville Fire Department was called to the 1700 block of Blair Loop Rd around 8:20 p.m. Firefighters found heavy fire showing from the building, which was located about 1,000 feet off the roadway. The fire was knocked down in about 25 minutes and was under control in just over an hour. 15 firefighters responded. The building was a total loss. A cause has not been determined.
Martinsville Speedway is gearing up for some NASCAR racing this weekend and the winner will leave with nothing but time. The trophy is a big grandfather clock, considered one of the most coveted prizes in all of motorsports. Clay Campbell, the track president at Martinsville Speedway says the tradition of awarding the winner with a clock started in the 1960’s with his grandfather, Clay Earles, who founded the speedway and was head of it at that time. Earles partnered with Ridgeway Clocks to produce the clock. The clock manufacturer has long since been sold out and production in Henry County ceased, but the tradition of a grandfather clock trophy at Martinsville Speedway continues.