accomack county

Virginia State Police

Not Guilty.

That’s the plea entered by 38-year old Charles Smith III in an Accomack County Court this week after being charged with 67 counts of arson in the string of fires that struck the county beginning last November and ending earlier this year.

He is also facing one count of conspiracy to commit arson along with the second suspect 40-year old Tonya Bundick who is also facing one count of arson.

Mug Shot

Tonya Bundick charged in the string of 70 arsons in Accomack County is being released on $30-thousand secured bond after being incarcerated for almost five months.

But she is not to leave Accomack and Northampton counties except for a medical necessity.

Her attorney Shannon Dunham told the court that her client wanted to return to being a mother and visit her two sons who are currently in foster care.

Originally, she had been denied bond by a retired County Circuit Judge because he believed she would most likely face multiple additional charges in the near future.

Wicomico County Sheriff's Department

The Accomack County Sheriff’s office has arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of 32-year old James Wyatt of Tasley.

24 year old Jamar Hickman was taken into custody by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in Salisbury yesterday.

The Accomack County Sheriff’s office says that an investigation into the shooting found that there was dispute between several people at the same address where shots were fired that caused Wyatt’s death.

Hickman is being held in the Wicomico County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Virginia.

 

Don Rush

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors says the new state changes in the storm water regulations would doom the county and other localities with too much regulation.  

The Board is sending out a letter in which the local officials say that the definition of a measurable storm event is not appropriate for the Eastern Shore. 

The new regulations define it as a ¼ inch of rain within a 24 hour period which the Supervisors say disappears quickly into the ground because of the region’s lack of elevation and highly permeable soils among other factors. 

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The U.S. Supreme Court decision striking Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act will allow the Virginia Counties of Accomack and Northampton on the Eastern Shore to make electoral changes without getting pre-clearance of the federal government.

Before the ruling any such change such as redrawing electoral districts to the choice of voting machines had to wait 60 day for a decision from the U.S. Justice Department.

police mug shot

Charles Smith III and Tonya Bundick appeared in a Virginia Court yesterday…facing arson charges as a result of a series of some 70 fires that hit Accomack County late last year and earlier this year.

Judge Gordon Vincent certified the charges against the two Hopeton residents who face, for the moment, one count each of arson and conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the fire at an abandoned building in Melfa last April.

Virginia State Police

The search warrants in the case of some 70 arsons in Accomack County earlier this year appear to contain information about the motive for the fires.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that one of those charges in the string of fires 38 year old Charles Smith allegedly told investigators that he and her girlfriend 40 year old friend Tonya Bundick picked out one house because of comments made on Facebook about her.

The warrant said there was probably cause for searching two Facebook accounts belonging to Bundick.

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Virginia State Police are investigating another fire in Accomack County.   

It occurred last night at 9:15 pm when emergency workers responded to a blaze at the intersection of Drummondtown Road and Folly Farm Road near the town of Accomac.

Authorities say the fire took out an abandoned two-story wooden structure that was located off the roadway in the woods.

No injuries were reported.

WBOC reports that officials have not yet confirmed if this fire is part of a series of more than 70 arsons since mid-November.

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There has been a suspected arson fire in Somerset County.

It is the second such fire in the last two weeks.

But, the Maryland State Fire Marshall Office says the blaze in Eden does not appear to be connected to the more than 70 arson fires that have struck neighboring Accomack County since mid-November.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that no one was injured in the fire which only affected a small portion of the porch.

Authorities said that there was an odor from some kind of accelerant such as diesel or kerosene.

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There was another fire in Accomack County.

Virginia State Police said units responded to a blaze early Sunday morning at 1 a.m. at a single structure on Bullbegger Road in Withams.

Police say the building was not occupied and there were no injuries.

So far, police say they do not know if it is related to the recent series of more than 70 arson fires since last November on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

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The firefighters struggling with more than 70 arson fires in Accomack County are getting some help from community groups and even those outside the state.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that local residents have stepped up by gathering items that fire companies need to restock their rehab unit as they  find their resources strained by the string of blazes.

The offering range from things like hot chocolate and water to sports drinks and snacks that are coming through local businesses across the Eastern Shore.

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Virginia State Police are looking into whether a brush fire in Parksley early Saturday morning is connected to the recent spate of arsons that have hit Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

They say the blaze on Dennis Drive and County appears to be the result of arson.

Police are urging the public to come forward with any leads on the fires with a $25-thousand reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

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There’s been another suspected arson fire on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

A turn-of-the-century wooden schoolhouse went up in flames last night at around 10:30 pm.

The structure on Cashville and Evans Wharf Roads was built in 1923.

It was being used as a storage facility by a local farmer, but had also been the site of the Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church.

The structure was completely destroyed.

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Virginia State Police say they believe a fire at a motel last night was caused by arson.

Authorities say at least five fire companies responded to a blaze at the historic Whispering Pines Motel on Route 13 and Tasley Road at around 9:40 pm.

The motel is an abandoned building.

The fire comes in the wake of 65 arson fires in Accomack County since mid-November.

And they are taking a toll on the local firefighters.

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Another fire in Accomack County.

This time Virginia State Police say it occurred around 10 pm last night at the intersection of Paige Fisher Road and Nocks Landing Road in Oak Hall.

Police say they suspect arson caused the blaze, if so it would be the 65th such fire in the region since last November.

Authorities have set up checkpoints and are handing out flyers with information about a tip line and the $25-thosuand reward leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for the arsons.

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The Virginia State Police have set up a checkpoint in Accomack County hoping to catch those responsible for 64 arson fires in the region.

On Saturday the police say that they had divided the county in half creating only one way in and out.

Officers are handing out flyers with the tip hotline and an explanation of the reward for those who help lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

There have been no arson fires since the stepped up surveillance.

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There’s been another fire in Accomack County.

This time it was in Melfa where a blaze engulfed an abandoned two-story structure on Sunday night.

Virginia State Police Investigators were notified around 9:25 pm.

The structure was located in the 2800 block of Beacon Road.

No injuries were reported.

There have been around 50 arson fires since last November and a $25-thousand reward has been posted for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved the arson cases.

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Two more blazes hit Accomack County over the weekend.

On Sunday evening, Virginia State Police report that an abandoned two story building on Saxis Road in Termperanceville was on fire around 9:30 p.m.

Another fire broke out in Nelsonia around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

Virginia State Police said it occurred when a wide metal trailer caught fire on Lankford.

Police said the single trailer was unoccupied and used by the owners to block the public from looking into the back of their property. 

No injuries were reported.

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HALLWOOD, Va. (AP) - The authorities are investigating another fire on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The Virginian Pilot reports that the fire was reported Thursday night in Hallwood. No one was injured in the structure fire, which was described as minor.

Investigators have not said whether the fire is linked to the nearly 50 that have been set since November.

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There’s a new report out of Accomack County the Virginia State Police are investigating an attempted arson.

Authorities say evidence points to someone yesterday trying to set fire to a church located on Deep Creek Road in Onancock.

WBOC reports that police say they were called to the scene at around 2 p.m. and that it appears the attempt was made within the 24 hours.

Damage to the church was reported to be minimal and no one was injured.

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Its fire number 46 in Accomack County.

Last night, Virginia State Police were sent to a fire at 11:30 p.m. on route 13 in Nelsonia where an abandoned two story commercial building was ablaze.

No one was injured.

This followed a fire on February 9th in Temperanceville where police said a storage barn was burned down.

WBOC reports that preliminary investigations reveal that it appears to be arson.

A $5-thousand reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons who  are responsible the crime.

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Virginia State Police say those arson fires on the Eastern Shore are the work of several people not just one person.

They believe they are from Accomack County and are familiar with the lay of the land.

Police also say they have several leads but are keeping the information from the public

There have been 44 such blazes since last November.

WBOC reports that state police have stepped up patrols called in extra investigators and are working closely with local law enforcement.

All the structures that have been hit have not been occupied.

There’s been another fire in Accomack County.

This time it occurred on Saturday night in Parksley at around 11 pm.

Police say the fire was set intentionally to an abandoned barn.

This is the 44th such arson since November.

Few details are being released by police except that a criminal investigation is ongoing.

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Another blaze has broken out in the recent spate of arson fires in Accomack County.

Virginia Police say they are investigating a suspected arson…that occurred around 12:30 am yesterday morning at an abandoned home in Wachapreague at the intersection of Drummondtown and Chancetown roads.

Local resident LaDawn Logan told the Salisbury Daily Times that she opened her door to see the old house go up in flames.

The latest blaze has caused concern in the community with Logan saying the authorities need to catch the arsonists.

wall-of-fire, Junior Libby

In Accomack County, Virginia, the number of arsons has reached the two dozen mark with three more fires set over the weekend in both the north and south of the county.

An abandoned residence on Church Road near Accomac was set afire Friday evening followed by another blaze shortly after midnight Saturday at another abandoned structure on Saxis Road.

A third suspicious fire destroyed a portable catering trailer on Boston Road.

For the second time this week yesterday funnel clouds were seen in Accomack County.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that around a half a dozen residents called 911 who said they saw a large waterspout in the Guard Shore area late in the morning.

There were other sightings from Bayside Road near Parksley to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Accomack County director of Public Safety C. Ray Pruitt told the paper that a waterspout came ashore in a marshy area but dissipated without causing damage.

There was also a tornado warning in Accomack yesterday.  

 

             The decision by the Accomack County Board of Supervisors to impose a fire and emergency medical services tax on Chincoteague is getting some fierce blowback.

            By late last week more than 100 people had indicated their disapproval of the measure…through a new Facebook page called Save the Chincoteague Taxpayer.

            And the Salisbury Daily Times reports that there is talk among Chincoteague residents to withhold payment of county real estate and personal property taxes in June…to protest the action.

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