Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric physician, started off the discussion Wednesday morning with a chilling statistic – there have been 860 deaths so far this year due to opioid overdoses. Virginia is on par to reach 1000 deaths by year end he said.
Dr. Northam, met with leaders at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital to discuss the opioid public health emergency and to highlight policy solutions he will push for in the 2017 General Assembly session and beyond.
Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Steve Arner, President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center, Nancy Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic, Dr. Willia
Just down the road from where I live the Virginia State Harley Owners Group were starting their “Parade of Flags at Frontage Road. The road was closed off at 3:30 PM. I expected to be the only one waiting at the intersection of Laurel Ridge and Frontage with camera in hand. On the corner lives my neighbors the Stuarts. There was Mr. Stuart taking a chair down to the corner to sit and wait at the “road closed” sign.
A suspicious gray vehicle sitting at the corner I thought just might be an unmarked State Patrol car. Then the door opened and out stepped my neighbor’s daughter. Tonya said her parents; Mark and Mary Young were sitting under a tree at Parker’s Seafood on Peters Creek Road.
Tonya with her son Josh in tow, me and Mr. Stuart waited for a bit as cars came down Frontage Road. Everyone quizzed us on why the road was closed. Some moved the blockade and drove through and some turned around. Did we look like traffic cops?
It was now after 4:00 PM and it was steamy hot and we were really getting tired of our unpaid traffic cop duties. The bill to the City for our services is in the mail.
One “peddle” biker came by saying that there were people waiting at the Girl Scout headquarters at the intersection of Frontage and Peters Creek. We piled in the car and drove up to stand under some great big shady trees.
Joined by others in short order we were a nice little gathering of diversity. We kept thinking they would be coming up Frontage road any minute. We waited and waited – we saw Harley’s driving down Peters Creek and we wondered if they had taken another route.
We were hot, tired, and hungry. Tonya bravely drove down Frontage Road to check on what was keeping them. I speculated that Mayor Bowers who would be on a “hog” was “speechifying” to the weary road warriors. Tonya returned shortly and said they were lining up so we waited some more. A Goodfellas car drove down toward where the Harley’s were lining up. We knew he’d be turning around shortly. No way he would be able to traverse the hogs lining up. We grappled with the thought of jumping in front of his car offering him a big tip to sell us what he was trying to deliver. Alas, we had no money. Around 5:30 PM the State Patrol rumbled in and began to set up road blocks on Peters Creek. Traffic came to a crawl.
Shortly after 6:00 PM we heard them coming. Their flags were flying, one of which was a Roanoke City flag. I don’t know who the lucky Harley owner was that hosted Mayor Bowers on his bike but Bowers was waving merrily. Not only was Bowers on a Harley but unexpectedly Councilman Rupert Cutler was riding one too.
All riders waved and honked their horns. There were people waiting all along Peters Creek. It took no longer then 10 minutes for them to pass and it was over. Tonya and I looked at each other not believing we spend 2 ½ hours waiting for 10 minutes.