News to Know for Jan. 24: Police say massive Bedford fire was intentionally set; Flu leads to leg amputation for Petersburg man; Back to above-freezing temperatures

News to Know for Jan. 24

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Great news as you wake up this morning – it’s above freezing for the first time this week!

But Don’t Get Too Excited

Okay… you can get a little excited. Rain doesn’t arrive until later this evening into early Saturday morning.

Cloudy Friday with rain likely overnight

Why Were Flags Lowered?

Today, Governor Northam has ordered all flags across the commonwealth to fly at half-staff in respect and memory of a fallen Virginia soldier.

Army Staff Sergeant Ian Mclaughlin, 29, of Newport News was killed this month by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin, the combat engineer assigned to Company B, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division who was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan last week.
Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin, the combat engineer assigned to Company B, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division who was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan last week. (Source: Fort Bragg, N.C.)

The father of four was laid to rest Tuesday. Another soldier from Illinois was also killed in that bombing.

Crash Near Pulse Stop

The crash happened around 12:45 a.m. on West Broad Street, near the Allison Street Station by Hermitage Road.
The crash happened around 12:45 a.m. on West Broad Street, near the Allison Street Station by Hermitage Road. (Source: NBC12)

Broad Street was closed between DMV Drive and Allison Street for more than an hour but has since reopened.

Virginia Officer Killed

A Newport News police officer has died after she was dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop on Thursday evening.

“At some point during the encounter with the driver, he accelerated, dragging the officer. The vehicle fled the scene and crashed nearby in the area of 16th Street and Walnut Avenue,” Newport News Police Department said in a release.

The driver was arrested after the crash. Police will be holding a news conference Friday at 10 a.m.

March for Life

Today, hundreds from the Richmond-area will head to the nation’s Capitol for the March for Life rally.

It will be a historic day because President Trump will be the first president to appear and speak at the rally.

The march will come just two days after a senate committee in the Virginia General Assembly advanced bills that undo laws requiring a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and requirements for ultrasounds and counseling.

Legislation to reverse abortion restrictions in Va. moves forward

Bedford Fire ReKindles

Fire crews are back on the scene at the old Bedford Middle School after flames rekindled overnight.

And now, officials believe it was intentionally set, releasing these surveillance photos of a person of interest:

FLOOD YOUR FEEDS: The massive fire at an old school in Bedford rekindled and police believe this man intentionally set the fire.

Posted by NBC12 on Friday, January 24, 2020

The fire is hitting the Bedford community hard: “I compare the loss of this school to the loss of Notre Dame in Paris. That’s what it meant to the Bedford people."

A Petersburg company that owns the property was turning the old school into apartments before the fire - they will continue to do so.

Chesterfield House Fire

Another massive fire - this one in Chesterfield - destroyed a home.

It happened on North Donegal Drive around 8 p.m. Thursday.

Fire crews had a hard time putting it out because there weren’t any hydrants in the area. Luckily, everyone made it out safely.

Flu Leads to Leg Amputation

A Petersburg family is opening up about a severe case of the flu, that left their loved one getting his leg amputated.

When what appeared to be a simple cough took a turn for the worst, they rushed the 20-year-old Deante ROss to urgent care. Once there, doctors ordered he be airlifted to VCU Medical Center.

"It was like it hit him out of nowhere,” Diesha Ross said.

20 year old Petersburg man has leg amputated after severe complications of the flu
20 year old Petersburg man has leg amputated after severe complications of the flu

A massive infection spread throughout his body, forcing doctors to amputate one of his legs. He remains on a ventilator, and an online fundraiser is in place to help support the family - Donate here.

Gun Found on Playground

Police are trying to figure out how a gun ended up at a school playground. A student found it yesterday afternoon at Salem Church Elementary while a fifth-grade class was at recess.

School officials called police, and the principal messaged parents to let them know what happened and that no one was hurt.

The principal also applauded the student who did the right thing - telling an adult when they saw something strange.

Impeachment Trial Continues

Democrats argued that President Donald Trump sought a phony investigation of a political rival and pursued a discredited conspiracy theory about Ukraine, while restless senators played with a toy passed out by a colleague Thursday during Trump’s impeachment trial.

Democrats focus on Trump's 'dangerous' abuse

Today, the Democrats will press their final day of arguments before skeptical Republican senators on the other charge against the president, obstruction of Congress.

“Right matters,” lead prosecutor Adam Schiff told senators in a late-night speech.

Meanwhile, Republicans complain they’re not learning anything new from opening arguments.

New Downtown Apartments

Richmond’s apartment boom continues in downtown. Permits have been approved for a complex called “Centennial Terrace," which will be targeted to young professionals.

Permits have been approved for a downtown Richmond apartment complex called, “Centennial Terrace”, which will be targeted to young professionals.
Permits have been approved for a downtown Richmond apartment complex called, “Centennial Terrace”, which will be targeted to young professionals. (Source: Jeff Kelley)

The building will be a six-story building with 53 luxurious units in the Central Business District of the city - built on a vacant lot off east main between 5th and 6th streets.

So Cool!

Check out this stunning image of a “sundog” a Virginia Tech student captured in Alaska!

Kerrie Simmons is a meteorologist now who works at the national weather service in Fairbanks. She caught the image Wednesday of a well-defined sundog.

Sundogs are colored spots of light that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals.

Final Thought

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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