This photo is of Connor Mitchell pitching for the Salem Allstar Youth Baseball playoffs. He played for the West Salem Dodgers this spring. They were playing the Glenvar Allstar team. The Salem team won 6-1.
Mr. and Mrs. William Todd O’Brien of Salem announce the graduation of their younger son, William Jordan O’Brien, from high school. He was home educated and became a dually enrolled student at Virginia Western Community College at age 15.
The graduation ceremony took place on June 14 in the presence of family in the Virginia Room at Hotel Roanoke.
Jordan is a guitarist and drummer who has made frequent appearances in productions of the Virginia Western Theater. He plans to major in music at Roanoke College after spending two more semesters at Virginia Western.
He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. William Conrad O’Brien of Daleville, Deborah C. Trolsen of Salem, and Mr. and Mrs. M. Dennis Reaser of Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Jordan will begin his college career in the fall with an accumulated 45 college credits.
Salem residents Wendy Delano and Kara Smith were honored to bring in the American and Virginia Flags during opening ceremonies of the 2009 Roanoke Valley Horse Show on their Racking Horses, which both happen to be named Rebel. Both of the girls also competed with success during the event on Monday night at the Salem Civic Center.
The rides are going up for the Salem Fair, which opens Thursday. Miranda Adkins supplies this photo gallery of what’s taking shape. You can view her photos in the slideshow above or in this gallery format.
The Rev. Brad Braxton, who grew up in the Roanoke Valley, resigned Monday as senior minister of New York City’s famous Riverside Church, the New York Times reported today.
The resignation follows two months of controversy stemming from a congregational disagreement over Braxton’s salary. He was installed despite protest in April after a New York State Supreme Court judge declined to rule on an injunction filed by some members of the congregation.
Congregants opposed to Braxton’s leadership complained in court filings and to the New York Times that his salary was too high and his theology too conservative.
For the third year in a row, Bethel Baptist held a Richard Kiser concert the night before Father’s Day, and this year there were over 600 folks in its sanctuary and balcony – not just for preaching’s sake, but for music ministry and a good cause.One could even say that the music was “the real McCoy,” because the legendary harmonica playing Charlie McCoy was there alongside longtime Salem resident and guitarist Richard Kiser. It was free to get in, and the good will offering minus expenses, nearly $2200, all went towards Renewanation mission.
If the event grows any more, Kiser said, they may have to have their event at the Salem Civic Center.
“Renewanation” is an effort by the Parkway House of Prayer to provide a Christian education for any child whose family wants them to have it. So far, Parkway Christian Academy is the first school, but they hope to expand their mission in time.
The first and last minutes of the show was filled with a wire choir – over 40 guitars all jamming to the same tune at the same time. The oldest participant was nearly 90, and the youngest was Kiser’s 6-year-old grandson, Aden Kiser, playing the mandolin. The rich notes of McCoy’s harmonica with Richard Kiser’s guitar filled up the rest of the night to an enraptured audience.
“I’m a local Christian recording artist, and course I tour all over the US. That’s what I do for a living – playing music,” Kiser said. He taught himself how to play the guitar at age 13 but he didn’t start a professional music career until thirteen years ago.
He plays for all kinds of venues – from high schools to nursing home, but no bars. His style ranges from country gospel to contemporary Christian and rock – no particular genre, just positive music, he said. Kiser plays around 150 dates a year, and his travel schedule is hectic but controlled. He’s won multiple awards from the Country Gospel Music Ministries and from the International Country Gospel Music Association.
Kiser and his wife, Esther travel in their motor home all over the United States, touching base at home at pretty fixed times. For the first few months of the year, they usually travel down to Florida and Georgia before crossing back through Virginia to head up North for a few months. They stay close to home in June, then in July and for the rest of the summer they’re back on the road. Then it’s two weeks back in Salem for Labor Day, and after that they’re out West to Colorado until Christmastime rolls around.
“We’ve had a fairly viable ministry, and I’ve been really fortunate and blessed to stay as busy as I do,” said Kiser. He got a special Father’s Day treat when his three grandsons, Aden, and Aden’s two older brothers, Elijah, 8, and Liam, 10, performed on stage for the first time at the concert that night before Father’s Day. And while McCoy’s harmonica had played alongside the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan, all eyes in the church were on three little boys with a very proud grandfather.
Roanoke County police have just released the following statement on this morning’s collision between a train and a tractor-trailer in western Roanoke County. No one was injured.
The full release follows:
Traffic Crash Involving Freight Train
• Type of Crash: Two Vehicle Crash
• Date of Crash: 06/29/09 Time of Crash: 08:15 a.m.
• Location of Crash: Garmin Road Railroad Crossing
• Investigating Officer: Officer R.J. Wygal
• Victim Name(s): N/A
• Suspect Name(s): N/A
• Charges if Applicable: Charges Pending
• The road was blocked to traffic
• Alcohol and/or drugs were not a factor.
• Seatbelts were worn by the victim(s).
• Weather was not a factor in the crash.
• Additional Remarks: On June 29, 2009 at approximately 0815 hrs. the Roanoke County Police Department responded to the 3600 block of Garmin road at the railway crossing in reference to a vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer and freight train. The subsequent investigation revealed that a 2001 Freightliner tractor/trailor was stopped on the south side of the West/East bound tracks headed north bound. The vehicle was stopped due to the crossing gate being down and a work crew working around the track. At some point the gate was raised and the tractor started across the tracks when it was struck by a west bound Norfolk Southern freight train. The force of the impact cut the empty trailer into two pieces. There were no injuries as a result of the crash and charges are pending. This release was prepared by Sgt. Mark F. Jervis.
Also, the Salem Police Department provides more detailed information than other localities — so in addition to the Roanoke Valley crime map, we have a more detailed Salem crime map you can search, as well.
Follow the links above and you can see where they were and what they were. Our data delivery editor, Matt Chittum, has more information how you can use the searchable crime maps.
Also on our Datasphere collection of searchable data: The biggest fish ever caught in Virginia.
On May 16, 2009, the Tap Class of the Roanoke County Department of Parks and Recreation, Salem Senior Citizens, performed in the Linda Watkins’ School of Dance Recital at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Led by instructor Sharon Dickson, pictured here are (from left) Charlotte Apgar, Kathy Dean, Lynn Reece, Jeanette Goldner, Stella Lindsey, Kathy Hall, Rick Schmidtt, Theresa Willis, Marie Bryant, Jack Peay, Sue Thompson, and Rose Marie Jones.
The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce welcomed in one of its newest members June 25, 2009 with a ribbon cutting. Nancy’s Candy Co. headquartered in Meadows of Dan, opened it’s newest store in Lakeside Plaza only a few weeks ago and has seen many sweet tooths through its door.After the official ribbon cutting, guests ventured around the store trying various samples of Nancy’s wonderful chocolates, fudge,and other sweet treats. Nancy was especially happy to sample one of her newest treats, the Aztec Gold Truffle, a dark chocolate truffle infused with cinnamon just like the Aztec’s used to do it. Other samples included a cayan pepper infused fudge, chocolate coated graham crackers with crumbled graham crackers on top, as well as chocolate covered rice crispy treats.
The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce wants to thank Nancy’s Candy Co. for their hospitality as well as members of the Chamber and surrounding community for coming out to share in this special occasion.
Submitted by the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce