Headlines for Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Martinsville City Council has reached out to the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to craft a five-year plan to repay an $800,000 grant, according to Mayor Gene Teague. At Tuesday evening’s city council meeting, Teague said that city council is awaiting a response from the Tobacco Commission regarding the details of the repayment. On Wednesday, Tobacco Commission Public Relations Coordinator Jordan Butler acknowledged that the city staff had been in touch and that the two groups are working to finalize a payment plan. (Source: Martinsville Bulletin)

A new director has been hired for Henry-Martinsville Social Services. Amy Rice, who currently is assistant director at the Campbell County Department of Social Services, will start her new job in Martinsville on Oct. 23, according to Leigh Cockram, chairwoman of the Henry-Martinsville Social Services Board. Rice succeeds Tanya Verlik, who left the local agency during the summer to work in human resources for the Henry County Public Schools. (Source: Martinsville Bulletin)

Eden Police are still searching for four men who fled into the woods following a shooting Monday night. Police responded around midnight after receiving a report of shots fired on Willow Street. They found a black Ford Fusion with the windows shot out. Officers spotted a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood and pursued a tan Ford Taurus. They attempted to stop the vehicle, which eventually turned onto a dead end road. Four men fled on foot into the woods and have yet to be identified. Police seized an AK-47 left in the back seat. Officers then learned there was a gunshot victim at Morehead Hospital. The victim was questioned by detectives and has since been released from the hospital. (Source: WBTM)

Henry County School officials say that by the end of next month, all of their public schools and their central offices will be a lot safer because of a computer software program called “Ident-a-kid.” Visitors to any of the schools or offices will have to scan their driver’s licenses through a computer near the front door, which will automatically run a background check on the visitor, and then print out a photo ID for that person to wear. (Source: WBTM)

A mental evaluation has been ordered for a Martinsville man charged with murdering his estranged girlfriend. A judge approved a defense motion following a psychiatric evaluation of Robert Wayne Reynolds. The 52-year-old is charged with the first-degree murder in the beating death of 53-year-old Katherine White Likens. Likens’ body was found on July 13 in a wooded area behind a BB& T bank between Ellsworth Street and Cleveland Avenue. An autopsy showed she died of blunt force trauma to the head. Likens was killed the night of July 12. A hearing to review Reynolds’ mental competency has been set for April of next year. (Source: WBTM)