accomack county

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Get ready, Accomack County for a chicken house invasion.

A new report says that there are 84 applications now pending for new poultry houses.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that’s in addition to up to 72 that an out-of-state producer has asked about building.

The new report from the County Planning Department found there has been a dramatic rise in the number of new poultry houses since 2014.

The paper says that the report found only 16 houses had been built between 2010 and 2014.

But, in November of 2014 it said 12 applications were approved.

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Accomack County officials want Virginia transportation officials to put up a sign with a minimum speed for the Chincoteague causeway.

Supervisor Wanda Thornton whose district covers the highway wants the minimum speed of 45 mph for the road that goes to Chincoteague Island.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Thornton said the problem was that there are people using mopeds who are traveling much slower than that.

The Accomack County Board approved a resolution making the request to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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The famed Amazon Company best known for ordering books and other things off online will be putting its name on a solar project in Accomack County.

It’s called the Amazon Solar Farm US East.

The web services company has joined the developer Community Energy Incorporated based in Pennsylvania under a long term power purchase agreement.

The $150 million project will provide 80-megawatts of power.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it will feed the electrical grids that power the current and future Amazon data centers.

Don Rush

Those on the Virginia Eastern Shore could find themselves stranded by water according to a new study on sea level rise of one foot or more.

The survey done with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Transportation found that some areas where there are now roads could be flooded out between 2025 and 2050.

The study found that around 25 percent of the roads along with communities and their facilities could be hit by sea level rise.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 80 percent of the roads affected by the flooding are located in Accomack County.

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The Wallops Flight facility is looking at the possibility of landing reusable booster rockets and manned spacecraft.

An environmental study is now underway that could lead to manned space flights coming to Accomack County.

Bruce Underwood, Wallops’ deputy director, told the Salisbury Daily Times that there are no plans at present to land spacecraft at the facility.

But he adds there have been several government agencies and private space companies that have expressed interest.

Virginia State Police

Charles Smith has been sentenced to 15 year in prison for string of arson fires that hit Accomack County in 2012 and 2013.

He had pled guilty to 65 counts of arson late last year and had testified against his ex-fiance Tonya Bundick.

She has entered an Alford plea to 61 counts for the string of blazes.

Bundick will be serving 17 and a-half years in prison for the crime.

The vast majority of the fires were set in Accomack County but there were no injuries from the blazes.

The Snow is Falling

Feb 26, 2015
Angela Byrd

The snow is coming down.

And forecasters say we should expect 4 to 6 inches of accumulation with the heaviest in Accomack County.

The Maryland Lower Shore is expected to get up to 3 to 4 inches while Sussex County could see up to 3 inches.

There’s also a winter storm warning in effect until around 4 p.m. this afternoon.

Temperatures should remain in the upper 20’s with some north winds of 20 mph.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is warning travelers to be cautious, especially on bridges, overpasses and at intersections.  

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More snow is on the way.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning beginning at 10 p.m. tonight and ending 1 p.m. Thrusday.

Accomack County is expected to get 2-to-5 inches while the Maryland Lower Shore could see 2-to-3 inches.

In Sussex County there is an expectation of 1-to-3 inches.

And, expect more school delays and closings as Delmarva braces for another blanket of snow.

Law enforcement officials are warning to be careful with county roads expected to be slick.

Don Rush

The cold snap has left many on the islands that dot the Chesapeake Bay a bit stranded.

Tangier Island has been iced in with the low temperatures.

And, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources complaining that the agency did not send an ice-breaking ship to the island.

Supervisor Wanda Thornton called this an emergency situation.

A spokesman for the state agency told the Salisbury Daily Times that DNR was ready to send supplies by boat if it is needed.

Don Rush

Snow has swept across Delmarva bringing as much as 6 inches to some parts of the region.

Schools have been closed and government offices have shut their doors as residents begin to assess the damage.

Stockley, Delaware received 6 inches of snow while Millsboro experienced 4.7 inches.

New Castle saw got 2.2 inches while Greenville received 2.6 inches.  

DART First State has suspended its fixed route, flex service and paratransit service.

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The Virginia Senate has approved a measure that would keep a Norfolk-based animal rights group from carrying out euthanization of pets.

The measure is aimed at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and got an overwhelming vote of 33-to-5.

The measure amended a section of Virginia law that would define a private animal shelter as a facility operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes and facilitating other lifesaving outcomes for animals.

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WYE MILLS, Md. (AP) - Police say a pregnant woman was behind the wheel of a car that hit a tractor-trailer on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The woman, her unborn child and four other people – all from Accomack County -- were killed in the crash.

State police said Sunday that 30-year-old Zarissa Ayres was driving the car when it hit the tractor-trailer early Saturday morning on Route 50 in Wye Mills.

accomack county sheriff

A dozen dogs were seized by the Accomack County Sheriff's deputies from a property on Bayside Road yesterday.

Residents had called in expressing their concern about a dead dog and other possible indications of animals being mistreated on the property.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a search warrant issue after the Sheriffs learned of the dead dog along with other problems from a large number of dogs at the location.

Jayanne Walker and Jim Mason told the paper that they had become aware of the situation noting that the dogs were chained up and had no food.

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Eastern Shore Solar LLC is hoping to build a solar power farm on nearly a thousand acres near Oak Hall in Accomack County.

The company has applied for a permit from County Planning Development.

If approved the project would generate around 80 megawatts of electricity using ground-mounted solar panels.

This would be the equivalent of a small power plant.

A hearing on the facility is set for December 10th at the Metompkin Elementary School in Parksley.

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - Another trial has been scheduled for a woman charged in an arson spree on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

WAVY-TV reports that Tonya Bundick's third trial will be held Dec. 15 in Virginia Beach. The trial was moved from Accomack County because of difficulty finding impartial jurors in the county.

A judge ruled in April Bundick can have separate trials on each of 62 arson charges.

Don Rush

46-year old Michael Press has been arrested and charged with the murder of 61-year old Accomack County school bus driver Leon Harmon.  

Harmon was found dead  outside his home with wounds to his body after the sheriff’s office got word of an assault and possible death on Cold Kall Lane in Horntown.

The bus driver was much beloved among local residents.

Harmon had been returned to the northern Accomack County bus route he had driven for nearly four decades after a brief suspension in 2012.

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Accomack County Sheriffs are investigating the killing of a man by a shotgun.

It’s the second shooting in five weeks.

The body of 53-year old Roland Reid was found in the yard of his home on Friday.  

In late September another Accomack County man was found dead from gunshot wounds at a home near Atlantic.

That victim was 35 year old Duvual Flauntleroy.

Enterovirus 68 Shows Up in Accomack County

Oct 1, 2014
creative commons

The Enterovirus 68 has shown up on Delmarva.

Roberta Webb with the Accomack County public Schools says there has been one confirmed case among its 5-thousand students.

And Superintendent Kregg Cuellar has sent a letter to staff members and families about the efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports no other cases have shown up so far on Delmarva.

The Wicomico County Health Department says they have not encountered any documented cases yet.

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of participating in an Eastern Shore arson spree is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday on charges stemming from two of the fires.

A jury convicted 41-year-old Tonya Bundick in August of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa.

Thursday's sentencing will be held in Accomack County Circuit Court.

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting a series of fires along Virginia's Eastern Shore has been denied a request for a new court-appointed attorney.

Media outlets report a judge in Accomack County denied Tonya S. Bundick's request Thursday.

A jury last month convicted Bundick of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa. 

She'll be sentenced in both cases Sept. 4.

Virginia State Police

Tonya Bundick’s former fiancé testified that she drove him to the scene of a March 3rd fire last year at an empty house in Keller.

On the first day of her trial on one count of arson Charles Smith III told the court yesterday that as soon as "the coast was clear", he got dropped off by Bundick, entered the house and set the attic on fire. 

Smith has pleaded guilty to 68 counts – 67 of which are for arson in Accomack County -- in late 2012 and early 2013.

In one twist in the trial came when Smith said he still loved her.

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The trial for Tonya Bundick on one count of arson is set to get underway in a Virginia Beach courtroom today.

It’s just one out of 62 counts the 42-year old from Hopeton faces.

She has already entered an Alford plea to two counts related to a fire in April in of last year.

She is set to be sentence on those counts in September.

Her fiancé, Charles Smith III, pleaded guilty in October to 68 counts – 67 of those for arson in Accomack county in late 2012 and early 2013.

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With the opening statements in the trial of Tonya Bundick who faces one count of arson the judge told the attorneys he could not yet grant or deny a motion that would allow evidence of other fires.

The charge is being referred to by law enforcement as count 52 which refers to a fire that took place on March 3rd of last year.

That blaze destroyed a labor camp near Keller owned by Richard Hall III and was one of more than 70 arson reported in Accomack County between November of 2012 and April of last year.

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Tonya Bundick could get separate trials on 62 counts of arson.

A judge signed the order on Friday saying that the offenses are not based on the same act or transaction and therefore do not constitute a common scheme. 

But that does not mean that there will be 62 separate trials since the prosecutors and defense attorneys have not agreed on whether any might be tried together.

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Tonya Bundick will get a change of venue for her trial on 62 counts of arson for a series of blazes that struck Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

If she goes to trial the judge said her case would be moved to Virginia Beach.

But the judge did not make a decision on Bundick’s request for separate trials on each of the 62 counts.

The judge said that he wanted to reread testimony by her fiance' Charles Smith, a co-defendant during her last trial.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A mobile food pantry serving Virginia's Eastern Shore has received a $10,000 grant from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

The gift to the Mobile Pantry Program run by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore was announced Tuesday. Perdue Farms is also generating 20,000 pounds of products.

The combined contribution will enable the food bank to distribute nearly 40,000 meals to children, seniors and families in Northampton and Accomack counties.

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The April 10th trial date for accused arsonist Tonya Bundick has been continued.

She waived her right to a speedy trial on 62 counts of arson.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports a date has Not been set.

She did enter an Alford plea in January on two other counts related to an April 1st arson in 2013 in Melfa which means she did not admit guilt but accepted there was enough evidence to convict.

That was the last of the arsons in a string of more than 70 in Accomack County.

police mug shot

A two day trial is set to begin today for Tonya Bundick who faces two counts involving arson for the fires set at abandoned buildings in Accomack County in late 2012 and early 2013.

In addition, Bundick will also face another 64 counts at a second trial.

Her fiancé Charles Smith has already pleaded guilty to 67 arson charges and potentially faces 500 years in prison.

Smith says in a videotaped confession to police that he set the fires for Bundick because he was in love with her.

Virginia State Police mugshot

There are new details about the fires among the 62 new arson charges handed down by a grand jury against Tonya Bundick in Accomack County.

The indictment said she played a role in setting the very first fire on November 12th in Parksley.

WBOC reports that other fires included the blaze at the Leatherbury United Methodist Church and the Whispering Pines Motel.

During an interrogation by police her fiancé Charles Smith said that the fires were originally Bundick’s idea.

Virginia Police Mug Shot

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting fires to abandoned structures on Virginia's Eastern Shore is facing new arson charges.

Media outlets report that an Accomack County grand jury indicted Tonya Bundick of Parksley on 62 arson counts on Monday.

Bundick was indicted earlier this year on one arson count and one conspiracy count.

Her boyfriend, former volunteer firefighter Charles Smith III, pleaded guilty in October to 67 arson counts and one conspiracy count.

The charges stem from a string of fires in 2012 and 2013.

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