Sources: Layoffs at WDBJ7 as new owners reduce staff size

WDBJ Updated LogoSeveral sources tell us that WDBJ7 laid off a sizeable number of employees today. We do not have word on exactly how many, and from all indications, most or all of them involve off-camera personnel.   Gray Television purchased the station last winter, and sources say company officials told employees there from the start to expect staff reductions.  When contacted, WDBJ7 General Manager Matt Pumo said in a statement: “Gray does not comment on staffing or individual employee matters”.

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TAP to receive $2.7 million federal grant for Early Head Start programs

TAPFrom Senator Mark Warner’s office:  U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) announced today that Total Action for Progress (TAP), a local non-profit community action agency, will receive $2,717,445 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support Early Head Start programs in the Roanoke Valley. TAP’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) program provides comprehensive high-quality child care services to up to 148 income-eligible children, up to age three, in partnership with 11 community childcare centers in the Roanoke and New River Valleys, the Alleghany Highlands, and the Rockbridge area. The programs work to ensure that income-eligible children receive education and child care in partnership with existing child care providers, and families receive comprehensive family and health services. Through this grant, TAP and local community partners will provide ongoing intensive support to center directors and teachers in areas such as curriculum, assessment of children’s development, professional development, and recruitment of eligible children.

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McDonnell case put on hold after Supreme Court ruling

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has put former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption case on hold to give prosecutors and defense attorneys more time to analyze the Supreme Court ruling. The high court overturned McDonnell’s corruption conviction in June, saying his actions were distasteful but didn’t necessarily violate federal bribery laws. The case was returned to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether there’s enough evidence for another trial. Prosecutors and McDonnell’s attorneys recently asked the appeals court for a 30-day delay to allow both sides time to decide what to do next. The court agreed to that Friday, giving both sides until Aug. 29 to file a proposed briefing schedule or joint status report. McDonnell was convicted for doing favors for a wealthy businessman in exchange for gifts and loans.

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Feds open new probe of UVA over sexual assault handling

UVA-LogoCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The federal government has once again opened a civil rights investigation over issues of sexual violence on the University of Virginia campus. U.S. Education Department spokeswoman Dorie Nolt confirmed to news outlets Thursday that the department’s Office for Civil Rights opened a Title IX investigation at the university on July 22. It is the second such probe to occur at UVA within the past five years. The university says it’s cooperating with the investigation. UVA last year pledged numerous steps to prevent sexual violence and improve its handling of those cases, following a lengthy federal investigation. Title IX is the federal civil rights law that prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. It has increasingly been used by sexual assault victims who say their schools didn’t protect them.

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Basketball tourney to honor slain photojournalist Adam Ward

Adam Ward

Adam Ward

From the City of Salem: Salem High School, the Western Virginia Basketball Officials Association and the City of Salem have joined forces to honor the memory of Adam Ward by establishing a Basketball Classic in his honor. The 2007 Salem High School alumnus, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011, played football at Salem High School, but was an avid fan and supporter of all types of athletic events his entire life. “Adam Ward personified the true meaning of a student-athlete,” says Grant Smythers, Salem High School Teacher and Tournament Co-Founder. “He was a huge sports fan who loved high school basketball and the Adam Ward Basketball Classic will highlight some of the best teams in the state of Virginia each season.

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Health Focus holds annual Salem Distance Run and 3-Mile Walk

Health FocusHealth Focus of Southwest Virginia is hosting its annual Salem Distance Run and 3-Mile Walk. WFIR’s Starr Anderson has more details on the event now in its 42nd year.

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