Dry, Warm Weather Causing Some Leaves to Turn Brown and Fall Off Early

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

16In case you haven't noticed, we've gone from too much moisture earlier in the summer to not enough rain recently. And while we wait on the weather pattern to change, our trees are starting to let us know they are literally getting stressed.

Looking around outside, you'll see some trees, especially poplar trees, already shedding their leaves. 

Normally in the fall, as days get shorter and the sun angle decreases, and the tree responds by reducing their amount of chlorophyll, allowing other pigments already in the tree to turn the colors we see to yellow, orange, red and even purple. It's a gradual process when the weather is bahaving, with colors peaking in early October in the mountains of Virginia to late October in the piedmont. During dry and warm weather, though, the tree is put under extra stress and can go dormant early.

In Roanoke, the months of June, July, and August were all ended above normal for precipitation. Then the weather turned dry. So far for September, Roanoke is 1.42" below normal. In Lynchburg, it has not rained over a trace in 24 days.

On top of that, our temperatures have been very warm - even hot - for this time of the year. Normal highs are supposed to be around 79 degrees in the Roanoke Valley. Wednesday afternoon temps were around 90 as of this writing. This year, we've had 37 days where the temperature has reached 90 or above.

Granted, not all of the trees have gone brown, but you can spot a few out there already. There's still time over the next few weeks for us to pick up some much-needed rainfall and hopefully reverse the trend we're seeing. Cooler temps and clouds are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday behind a cold front that will be moving through Wednesday evening. Right now there are hopes that another cold front will help focus some showers and storms over Virginia by Sunday and Monday. 




Driver of Pick-Up Truck Charged After Hitting School Bus

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

buscrashFRANKLIN CO. - State police have charged the driver of a Ford pick-up truck after it hit a school bus Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at 7:37 a.m. on Bethlehem Road, police say. 

Stephen Yopp, 50, of Boones Mill was driving the truck, which hit the bus as it was slowing and coming to a stop, according to State Police Sergeant Richard Garletts. Yopp was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.

None of the 19 students on the bus were injured. 

The driver of the bus, Jonathan Hubbard, 22, of Rocky Mount, was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.



Boones Mill Man Arrested Following Rocky Mount Shooting

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

turnerROANOKE - Virginia State Police have identified the man they say rammed police cars while a Rocky Mount police officer and a Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy were trying to pull him over near McDonalds on Tanyard Road Saturday Night. 

Gary Turner, 37, of Boones Mill was arrested Monday after being released from the hospital and taken to the Roanoke City Jail. He has been charged with one felony count of attempting to elude police and two misdemeanor counts of destruction of property.

State police say local law enforcement spotted Turner and the older style Ford pickup truck he was driving from a "be on the lookout" or "BOLO" that had just been broadcast over the police radio. Around 11:20 p.m. a deputy and a Rocky Mount officer tried to stop Turner. 

Turner refused to stop and rammed the police cars, police say, which were trying to block the truck. That's when a Rocky Mount officer fired at the truck. 

Turner was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A female passenger was not injured.

State Police are still investigating the incident. More charges are pending. 

Stay with Cable 12 for further updates on this story.