Child Neglect

Majority of Calls Deal with Child Neglect

VERONA – Nearly two thirds of the calls received last year by the local Social Services office dealt with the physical neglect of a child. That was the report delivered by the staff of the Shenandoah Valley Social Services office Wednesday, sharing information on child abuse and neglect, legal definitions and caseloads in the service area of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County

The symposium was requested by Augusta County Supervisor Tracy Pyles, who said “people need to know what to do” when confronted with reporting such incidents. He described Wednesday’s program as offering strong information, but said “it is a beginning not an end’’ in the fight to protect area children.

The Social Services staff offered data showing that nearly two thirds of the calls they received during the last fiscal year in child protective services involved reports of physical neglect of a child.

The category is a broad one involving inadequate food, shelter, clothing, supervision and hygiene.

Amber Martino, the supervisor of child protective services for Shenandoah Valley DSS, said the physical neglect can mean a parent has a substance abuse problem and that the child lacks the supervision to be safe. She investigated a case where a child was crossing Hopeman Parkway in Waynesboro on foot unsupervised, putting the child in danger.

Part of the responsibility for reporting child abuse or neglect falls to mandated reporters. Those include law enforcement, school personnel, medical and mental health professionals and probation officers.

James Glick, the counsel to Shenandoah Valley DSS, said the failure of a mandatory reporter to disclose an incident can result in a class 2 misdemeanor.

Glick also talked of the nuances of the law regarding abuse. He said DSS is not legally able to investigate the abuse of a child by a non-caretaker.

Staffing is a concern for the local DSS agency. But Director Anita Harris said as of mid-April, the agency would have a fully staffed child protective services unit.

Still, estimates are that local CPS workers have a caseload that can range from 30 to 50 at any time. And Martino pointed to the difficulties of covering a county like Augusta, where cases can be located from one end of the county to the other.

Juvenile and Domestics Relations Judge Anita Filson of the 25th Circuit, was in the audience for Wednesday’s presentation. Filson will become a circuit judge in July.

She told the Shenandoah Valley DSS staff that “I appreciate what you do.”

Filson said the community is much better off for the work of DSS personnel.

Credit:

Bob Stuart is a reporter for the News Virginian. You may contact Bob at (540) 932-3562 orbstuart@newsvirginian.com.

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Domestic violence

Wings Of Courage Benefit- In Memory of Those Lost to Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a real and heartbreaking truth, for men and women alike. Shelter for help in Emergency has provided services for 37 years, it has aided in empowering victims of domestic violence and created a community of support. Shelter Staff and trained volunteers help more than 200 women and children annually and assist many others through its outreach services. For more information on the Shelter please call 434-963-4676. This year the Program is having a Wings Of Courage Benefit In Memory of those lost to Domestic Violence and we encourage everyone in the area to consider attending. Let us band together as a community and support the amazing efforts of this outstanding organization.

Where: Courthouse Cafe & Pub

Address: 209 W Main St Louisa, VA 23093 (540) 967-9966

When: April 3rd, 2016

Time: 12:00 pm (noon) to 4:00 pm

This event will be benefiting The Shelter For Help in Emergency, and will be hosted In memory of the following individuals.

  • Rhonda Rowe
  • Carol Setchfield
  • Stacey Collins
  • And All of those Lost due to Domestic Violence

There will be a live Auction every 30 mins! 50/50 Drawings, Door Prizes throughout the day! And of course FOOD!

 

This article was posted on the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page to see original post please click here.

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Body Found

Body Found in Woodbridge

Police today found a body underneath a bridge that carries traffic on Route 1 over Powells Creek in Woodbridge.

Stated Prince William police:

 Death Investigation – On March 30 at 12:51PM, officers responded to investigate human remains located along the creek bed in Powells Creek near Jefferson Davis Hwy in Woodbridge (22191). Detectives with the Homicide Unit are currently working to recover the remains which will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for further examination and identification. The identity of the deceased will be released once confirmed and next of kin notified. More information will be released when available. One lane of northbound Jefferson Davis Hwy is currently closed between Powells Creek Blvd and Celestial Dr but is expected to reopen as soon as the roadway is cleared. The investigation continues.

The right lane of northbound Route 1 was closed while police conducted an investigation.

This is the second time in two days a body has been found in Prince William County.

A body was found in a retention pond off Route 234 near Manassas on Tuesday afternoon. Police are still working on identifying the victim.

This article was written by Potomac Local, to see original article and other related news please follow link.

Any Information Regarding the body found is asked to be reported to the local authorities.

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Staunton

Weyers Cave Man Receives Two Life Terms

STAUNTON — A Weyers Cave man was sentenced to two life terms Tuesday for his role in the 2014 murder of his former father-in-law.

Richard Clay Smith, 49, told the family of the late Richard Orebaugh he was sorry for the August 28, 2014 shooting death of Orebaugh. “I could never ask you to forgive me,” Smith said to family members during his plea and sentencing in Augusta County Circuit Court. Smith further said he took “full responsibility for my actions” and said “I loved Dick (Orebaugh) like a daddy.” Orebaugh was 80 years old and lived in Mount Sidney when he died.

For Smith’s pleas to capital murder, robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms and 5 years by Judge Victor Ludwig.

Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said he spent extensive time with the Orebaugh family discussing Smith’s plea. “Mr. Orebaugh’s family members, in particular, expressed their desire for a guarantee that Mr. Smith would never be in a position to inflict harm on another family. Further, they wish to avoid the risks inherent in criminal trials,” Martin said in a statement.

He said Smith’s plea and sentencing assures that “he will never see the light of day.” Martin said his primary concern is the safety of the community, and that Smith’s imprisonment assures that safety.

A statement of facts provided by Martin shows that on Aug. 28, 2014 Smith showed up at Orebaugh’s Mount Sidney home asking for help. He claimed his car was having mechanical problems. Orebaugh was able to get the car started. But later, Smith and his two accomplices, Laura Lee Williams and Andrea Mullan showed up at Orebaugh’s house under the false problem of his car again not working.

Smith told Orebuagh he needed money and then pulled a .38 caliber pistol and fired a shot into Orebaugh’s spinal cord. The defendant dragged Orebaugh by his ankles about 20 feet, positioning him in front of a vehicle where he remained until found. He took Orebaugh’s wallet out of his pants pocket and took a credit card and cash.

He also went into Orebaugh’s residence and took a .380 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and the keys to Orebaugh’s truck. He left in Orebaugh’s truck toward a meeting with Williams and Mullan.

Orebaugh died hours after the shooting. But he was able to tell current Sheriff Donald Smith, then a deputy, what happened before his death.

Along the way, Richard Smith traded both the stolen Smith and Wesson and his gun for drugs, and attempted to use the credit card. Four days after the killing, Mullan was caught in Washington Township, N.J. The following day, Smith was caught in Page County driving a different stolen vehicle. After being advised of his rights, Smith confessed to robbing and killing Orebaugh.

Article written by Bob Stuart to see original article click here

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Hackers

Hackers Target Central Virginia Tax Payers

Lynchburg, VA – If you haven’t already filed your tax return, there’s a chance someone else has already filed in your name. Each year, millions of Americans fall victim to tax-refund fraud, including taxpayers right here in our area.

Just one week after the deadline for employees to receive their W-2s, six people in Lynchburg filed police reports claiming their tax-refunds had been fraudulently filed.

Good news is every single one of those people will get their refunds back, bad news is that the IRS pays out billions of dollars each year due to tax refund fraud.

Each year millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft, most often due to large scale data breaches. “In IT we take data security very seriously” said Randolph College IT director Vicor Gosnell.

That’s why Gosnell uses the latest firewall technology to ensure staff and students’ information stay private. “My job here at Randolph is to basically oversee the set-up of all computer systems, phone systems, basically anything that has to do with technology” said Gosnell.

But at the same time he was working to keep predators out of Randolph’s system…His private information was already on the black market. He didn’t discover it until his tax refund came in the mail last summer. “I got a check from the IRS, from the federal government for just over $7,000 dollars” said Gosnell.

The only problem was, Gosnell hadn’t filed yet. “When I got that then obviously, I knew something was wrong” said Gosnell.

According to a letter the IRS sent Gosnell, the fraudulent account number on the check had exceeded the number of refunds that can legally be deposited into one account, “instead they sent me the check” said Gosnell.

Gosnell says this was the just the beginning of a long, drawn-out process to clear his name. “You have to fill out a crime report. They have a couple of forms on the IRS.gov site that you have to download, fill out and mail in” said Gosnell.

It took Gosnell until the beginning of this year to complete the process.

According to the IRS, tax refund fraud is expected to hit $21 billion this year, that’s up from $6.5 billion two years ago. Mainly because it takes so little to file electronically, hackers just need your name, date of birth and social security number.

“This has affected 30,000 Virginians, it’s costing taxpayers about 6 billion dollars” said Senator Mark Warner.

Senator Mark Warner says the problem stems from a tax loophole, where employers don’t have to provide the government W2s until the end of March. Warner called on the IRS, last year, to investigate this loophole. That was the same year that Congress made further cuts to the IRS’ budget, forcing it to reduce its workforce. “Candidly, the IRS doesn’t have the resources they need to upgrade their technology and to make sure they can enforce the rules and laws on the books” said Warner.

While Warner admits they need to change laws to combat this problem, he says the IRS can also do more. “They need to notify taxpayers on the front end if it appears they’ve been victims of fraud” said Warner.

This brings us to the letter Gosnell got in the mail last month from the IRS. It reads in part “We are contacting you to report on the status of the request we received we apologize… but we are unable to process your request at this time.

“Well I had not contacted them. So that was my clue that again someone had accessed my account” said Gosnell.

The ‘tax loophole’ refers to the two month window with the W-2 forms, between when employers give them to employees and the government.

But even after the March deadline, in most cases, the IRS doesn’t double check the information until July.

Senator Warner says the IRS needs to move up the March deadline for employers, and close the window. “Ultimately that means Congress has to make legislative changes, but we’ve also got to make sure that the IRS has the resources so they can respond in a timely manner” said Warner.

Warner says it is during tax season that we notice the importance of cyber security and the effects of large scale data breaches.

Article written by Mona Abdi, click here to see original article.

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Manassas Collapse

One Killed, Seven Injured in Manassas Reinhart Warehouse Collapse

A massive shelving unit holding thousands of pounds of boxed frozen foods collapsed at the Reinhart Foodservice warehouse in Manassas Tuesday afternoon, killing one worker and injuring seven others.

Prince William Fire Department’s technical rescue team worked for hours to remove the body of the worker killed after the catastrophic collapse of a shelving unit inside the 100,000 square-foot storage freezer at 11777 Balls Ford Road.

Fire crews were able to get to the victim and “confirm that he had passed,” but were not able to get him out, said Prince William Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Jarman.

The 3:40 p.m. collapse shut down operations at Reinhart, which normally operates on a 24-hour schedule to receive and deploy shipments of commercial foods. The distributor serves several restaurants and commercial food operations in the area, Jarman said.

The fire department’s technical rescue team members were working to shore up the shelving unit so that the building could be entered safely. The collapse left several boxes of food precariously hanging over entryways into the building, Jarman said.

Officials were not releasing any identifying information about the man who was killed or those who were wounded, five of whom remained hospitalized this evening. A coworker said the man killed was in his 20s and had a young daughter.

The workers trapped in the collapse were driving two forklifts or standing on the ground inside the freezer when the shelving unit gave way.

The injured workers were freed about 15 minutes after rescue team members arrived, Jarman said.

Two of the most seriously injured were taken via helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital’s trauma center. One suffered critical injuries, the other “serious” injuries, Jarman said.

Three other workers were taken to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. Two workers were treated on the scene, Jarman said.

Rescuers with the fire department’s Station 4 in Gainesville used air jacks and air bags to free workers who were trapped beneath the fallen boxes.

It’s not known what caused the shelving units to collapse, though a worker at the plant said the shelving seemed to be unstable. The incident left boxes of debris piled 12 to 15 feet high in storage area, which Jarman described as a “drive-in freezer.”

The shelving units measured 200 feet long, 30 feet tall and 10 feet deep, Jarman said.

This article was written and posted by Inside Nova.

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Waynesboro Suspect

Waynesboro Police On a Roll Arresting Skimming Suspects This Year!

WAYNESBORO-Yet another skimming case hit Waynesboro and Augusta County Sunday night, as officers arrested a man near Dollar General.

Augusta County deputies put out a broadcast Sunday afternoon, warning local residents to be on the lookout for a skimming suspect after an incident at the Dollar General in Verona. Minutes later, an employee of the Dollar General on W. Broad Street in Waynesboro noticed a vehicle and suspect matching the description and called police.

Waynesboro officers arrived at the store soon after, noticing the vehicle and suspect. When officers walked up to the 2012 Mercedes, they saw several gift cards inside, along with a laptop and credit card skimmer being operated on the passenger seat.

Officers arrested the suspect in the parking lot and identified him as 24-year-old Quintin Wells, from Miami Lakes, Florida. Wells was charged with five counts of credit card forgery and two counts of possession of a credit card forgery device. The Mercedes was also seized by police.

Less than five days ago, Waynesboro police located another skimming device being operated at Union Bank and Trust. Fortunately, the automatic teller machines are designed to shut down after being tampered with, so no information was stolen.

Skimming happens when a criminal somehow gets your credit card information, copies it onto another fake card and begins spending. It’s a way for criminals to forge cards without ever having to steal the original.

Waynesboro Police Capt. Kelly Walker would not say if Wells is linked to that previous incident, except to say additional charges are possible in the case.

This article was written by the Daily Progress.

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Earthquake

Small Earthquake Recorded 13 miles from Louisa

Small Earthquake-

Did you feel a slight tremble during the night? Probably not. The earthquake was actually so small that you should not have felt anything at all, and given the fact that the majority of people tend to be asleep during the time the quake does not help. Either way it did take place and was recorded. Professionals are monitoring the quake as they think that it will lead to more coming soon, as they discovered a new fault zone in the area. They are thinking the next quake might be a little more significant then this one.

The following article was written and released by Inside Nova.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 2.3 earthquake 13 miles south of Louisa early Sunday morning.

The quake occurred at 4 a.m. about 39 miles northwest of Richmond.

Last year, the USGS announced it had located a new fault zone in the aftermath of the Aug. 23, 2011 Virginia earthquake that rattled the entire East Coast. (Click below for video from inside the Washington Monument during the quake.)

The magnitude 5.8 temblor marked the first time that a fault zone in the eastern United States produced a magnitude 5 or higher earthquake “clearly delineated by aftershocks,” according to the USGS report.

The newly-discovered fault lines have been named the “Quail” fault zone.

 

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Hoops Fest

Hoops Fest To Support Daughter of Hylton Teacher

Hoops Fest 21

When: Wednesday, March 30

Where: Hylton High School

Time: Event starts at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.

Admission: $10 (all tickets sold at the door)

 

Ayza Noor Qamar is a “vivacious and bouncy toddler,” her mother says.

She laughs easily and often, she loves Elmo, and, at almost 3 years old, she has undergone more surgeries and medical procedures than most adults.

“Ayza is such a strong person,” her mother, Sofhia Qamar said. “I can’t imagine an adult going through all she has gone through and being as strong as she is.”

Ayza has Trisomy 21, also known as Down Syndrome, and Hirschprung’s disease, a condition that effects the colon. She has had multiple surgeries, her first at 1 week old, and has fought off numerous infections and other complications in her young life, her mother said.

Proceeds from the 21st annual Hoops Fest, to be held March 30 at Hylton High School, will go to Ayza’s family to help pay for her medical expenses. The annual fundraiser is a skills competition for local high school basketball players and is sponsored by Battlefield Ford, Prince William Today and InsideNoVa.com. The event begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and all tickets are sold at the door.

Ayza’s medical journey began almost as soon as she was born, Qamar said.

Within minutes of her birth, on May 25, 2013, Ayza was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Within 24 hours, she was also diagnosed with Hirschprung’s disease. She had her first surgery to correct the colon disease when she was 1 week old and what should have been her final surgery in December 2013, when she was 7 months old.

But, after that surgery, more medical problems ensued.

Ayza was “in constant pain and drastically losing weight,” Qamar said, and doctors didn’t know why.

Her family consulted doctors in Virginia, Ohio and Maryland, and after about five months, doctors determined that her colon had become infected after the second surgery. In June 2014, at 1 year old, Ayza had her third surgery, an emergency procedure.

She had two more surgeries, one in June 2015 that resulted in another infection that put Ayza first in the hospital and then on home nursing care for several months. Ayza’s final surgery was in October and she is “healing beautifully from it,” Qamar said, but the medical issues “have taken a toll on Ayza in many forms.”

“It’s just been constant and these are not small procedures,” Qamar said. “The surgeries, all the times she has been poked and prodded, Ayza just went through it all in the strongest way possible, smiling and laughing whenever she could.”

When doctors realized that Ayza had been suffering from a painful infection for several months after her surgery, they were surprised, because of her cheerful demeanor throughout it all, her mother said.

“When the doctors figured out what was going on and how much pain she should have been in they were just flabbergasted, kind of, that she could be so giggly and happy.”

Ayza still has some struggles, she has yet to learn to walk because her abdominal muscles were cut so many times in surgeries, she requires speech therapy and has developed an oral aversion because of the medicines she had to take and the pain food caused her stomach while she had the infection, Qamar said.

But Ayza remains a happy toddler who can sign more than 30 words, loves to giggle and is described by her mother as “a little diva with a very bright personality.”

“She won’t be 100 percent… as a person with Down Syndrome, you don’t really know what’s coming, but she’s amazing,” Qamar said. “She’s giggly and bubbly. For her, this is a small thing.”

Qamar, who has taught at Hylton High School for six years, said her school community has been supportive of her and her family since Ayza’s medical problems began. They’ve understood as she needed to take time off, they’ve sent cards and have supported her in countless other ways, Qamar said. When she found out the proceeds from this year’s Hoops Fest would be donated to her family, Qamar said she couldn’t believe it.

“I just don’t know how I can ever thank everyone enough,” Qamar said. “We’re just unbelievably thankful and grateful for the support of the community. I can’t even put into words how much it means to have the community supporting us and supporting Ayza like this.”

In 20 years, Hoops Fest has raised $148,147 for area families in need. Last year, Hoops Fest was held at Potomac High School, where $9,815 was raised through ticket sales and an anonymous donation for the family of Isla Lucks, a then 22-month-old girl battling stage 4 neuroblastoma.

Article written and posted byInside Nova

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Henrico

Car Carrying Family of 3 Struck with Bullets on I-295

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police are seeking information regarding a shooting incident that took place over the weekend on Interstate 295 in Henrico County.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, Virginia State Police were notified of a suspicious vehicle described as a silver sedan being involved in a shooting incident on I-295 near the 22-mile marker and Route 5.

Troopers arrived at a parking lot along Route 5 where they found a black 2011 Honda Accord with two bullet holes in the driver’s side door. The driver of the Honda said a silver sedan pulled up alongside the Honda and then there was a loud bang. The silver car then sped off.

Drivers at nearby gas station exit were alarmed to hear about the shooting.

“You never know what to expect in this world today, people are crazy and you don’t know what they’re going to do,  and that’s anywhere,” said Mitch Dunkum of Varina. “Could be right here could be right over there, so being right here in your backyard makes you feel uneasy but it could happen anywhere.”

Added Monica Taylor, “It’s scary, we have a two-year-old child in the car and we travel this route a lot of times to go to my mother-in-law’s house in Prince George so it’s scary that would happen.”

The driver of the Honda, an adult male from Richmond, was looked at by Henrico rescue at the scene but did not require additional treatment. The driver’s wife and child were passengers at the time of the shooting, but were not injured.

At this time the incident remains under investigation and anyone with information about the suspect vehicle – a silver sedan – or shooting is asked to contact the Virginia State Police at 804-553-3445 or #77 on a cell phone or questions@vsp.virginia.gov.

This article was written by ABC News 8, to see original article and more local news click here.

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