News Journal

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 • USPS 387-780 • • 75 cents Plea agreement reached in Radford case of non-licensed holistic practitioner RADFORD - A Rad- ford man who faced a lit- any of sex crimes avoided conviction of those crimes through a plea agreement Friday, and will instead be jailed on misdemeanor counts for operating a health care facility with- out a license. Martin Riding, 67, was arrested in June 2019 on dozens of charges stem- ming from his running of a clinic called Renew For Life holistic medicine out of his home on Eighth Street in Radford. Friday, a plea agreement accepted in Radford Circuit Court included his convic- tion on 16 misdemeanor counts of practicing a profession or perform- ing acts without proper license. Riding was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail with no time suspended and was fined $3,200. He was ordered to have no contact with the vic- tims and cannot perform health care work or health related businesses. Riding had faced a total of 73 charges, in- cluding 32 felony and 32 misdemeanor counts of performing procedures without a state license, one felony charge of tak- ing indecent liberties with a minor, seven felony charges of animate object sexual penetration and one misdemeanor count Heather Bell Radford Skeet and Trap Club wins Virginia shooting tournament The Radford University Skeet and Trap Club, pictured here, hosted the annual Virginia Own the Trophy Shoot for the first time in the past five years on Feb. 22. SUBMITTED PHOTOS (From left) Will Rapadas, Thomas Armel, and Parker Heptinstall, all students at Radford University and members of the Radford University Skeet and Trap Club, celebrate their win at the recent Virginia Own the Trophy Shoot hosted by RU. The Radford University Skeet and Trap Club hosted the annual Virginia Own the Trophy Shoot for the first time in the past five years on Feb.22. Shooters from Radford University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, James Madison University, and Hamp- den-Sydney College competed in a two- day competition at Radford’s home range in Pulaski. The competition consisted of four events for a total score of 250. The events were being: sporting clays, skeet, super sporting clays, and 5-stand. Radford Highlanders Thomas Armel and Will Rapadas took first- and second- place overall with scores of 234 and 227 respectively. Armel also placed first in skeet and second in sporting clays. Ra- padas won third place sporting clays and first place in 5-stand. Freshmen Parker Heptinstall took third place in Super Sporting Clays. Radford took first place in this tour- nament with a total score of 1134/1250. The Skeet and Trap Club with be trav- eling to Jacksonville, FL for a regional championship in two weeks and then to San Antonio, TX to compete in the Na- tional Championships next month. Christiansburg’s New River Health District updates coronavirus status: health risk low The New River Health District (NRHD) is com- prised of the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgom- ery, Pulaski and the City of Radford, Virginia. District Office headquarters are lo- cated in the Montgomery County Health Department in Christiansburg. As of February 26, 2020, 15 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the U.S. One of the 15 cases is in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel his- tory or exposure to another COVID-19 patient. It’s possible this could be an in- stance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time that has happened in the United States. It’s also possible, how- ever, that the patient may have been exposed to a re- turned traveler who was in- fected. Additionally, 45 cases of COVID-19 have been detected among the 1,100+ people repatriated from Hu- bei Province, China, and the Diamond Princess back to the United States. The current risk of CO- VID-19 infection to the American public is still con- sidered low. As of today, there are no COVID-19 cases in Virginia. The New River Health District continues to work with the Virginia Depart- ment of Health (VDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to respond to the expanding global outbreak of CO- VID-19, caused by a new coronavirus. The vast major- ity of cases have occurred in China. However, communi- ty spread is being detected in a growing number of coun- tries. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of in- fection is unknown. Desti- nations with widespread or sustained community spread of COVID-19 include Chi- na, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Other destina- tions with instances of ap- parent community spread include Hong Kong, Singa- pore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The New River Health District’s public health re- sponse focuses on multiple areas, including daily coor- dination with VDH and CDC, internal NRHD preparation, working with community partners (lo- cal governments, hospitals, etc.), and traveler monitor- ing. Local health depart- ments coordinate disease surveillance with CDC for travelers returning from China and people who may have had contact with a known COVID-19 patient. All flights from China are being funneled to 11 U.S. airports where on-site pub- lic health screening is con- ducted. Health district staff contact U.S. citizens and permanent residents from China who return to their health district and complete a risk assessment. Based on the risk level, the traveler may be asked to self-quaran- tine, practice social distanc- See Coronavirus , page 5 See Plea Agreement , page 5 Tow-truck driver seriously injured, state trooper struck by speeding car at accident scene A tow-truck driver and a Virginia State Police trooper were injured Sat- urday while they were working the scene of an accident at mile marker 118 on Interstate 81. Trooper R.D. Alley was working a prior crash that occurred at 7:10 a.m. on the left shoulder. Tow-truck driver Eugene Thomas Alls, 31, of Narrows, Va., was clearing the crash. Jean Luc Fortner, 26, of Lebanon, Tenn., lost control of his vehicle, a 2003 Ford Expedition traveling in the far right lane, on the snow-covered roadway. The Ford crossed several lanes and struck Trooper Alley’s vehi- cle while he was seated in it. The crash propelled the state police vehicle into Alls, who was working to recover the vehicle damaged in the prior crash. Trooper Alley was transported to a local hospital and treated and released. Alls was admitted to the hospital with what were described as serious, but not life-threatening injuries. He did undergo at least one surgery. Fortner was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. Three passengers in the Ford, two male juveniles and one female juvenile, were transported to the hospital with non-life-threaten- Marty Gordon Contributing writer See Speeding , page 5 Radford Chamber welcomes new business to Radford SUBMITTED PHOTO Radford Chamber of Commerce board members and staff join city officials and well-wishers at Professional Rehab Associates on Tyler Avenue recently for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Professional Rehab Associates offers wellness services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology. “They are a family owned and operated rehab facility that provides services for all ages of life,” said Ciara Harris, Executive Director of the Radford Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited and thankful they’ve chosen Radford as their new home.”