Top 3 Headlines on WHSV.com January 6

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for Jan. 6. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Suspect Faces New Charges in Va. Missing Teen Case

LOVINGSTON, Va. (AP) -- The suspect in the disappearance of a Nelson County teenager is now facing murder charges.

Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin said Monday that Randy Taylor of Lovingston has been indicted by a special grand jury on charges including first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile.

Taylor is set to appear in court Monday afternoon.

Martin did not provide any further details, citing a gag order in the case.

Taylor is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 3 on an abduction charge stemming from the disappearance of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy of Shipman.

Murphy was last seen Aug. 3 at a gas station in Lovingston.

Authorities found her car several days later in a parking lot in Albemarle County.

Taylor has maintained his innocence.

Murphy's family didn't comment during a press conference Monday.

 

Keeping Your Pipes From Freezing

Reporter: Nicole DiAntonio

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- With the extreme cold coming, it could cause cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage to your home if you're not prepared.

One part of your home that could suffer is your pipes.

To prevent them from freezing, make sure they're insulated.

Steve Stroop, the service manager at American Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, said insulating the exposed part of the pipe can prevent the water from freezing.

Furthermore, Stoop said to make sure all your outside vents are shut.

He also said in our area, the weather is typically not cold enough to freeze your water pipes, but with these temperatures he said they are expecting an increase in bursting water pipes.

"With the temperatures this year, we are going to see way more, I would say probably this year we will see as many frozen pipes as we have seen in the last two years combined," said Stroop.

Stroop said the number one call comes from people forgetting to unplug their watering hose.

He said when that happens, the water gets backed up in the faucet and that's what causes it to freeze.

Fire Displaces Four in Rockingham County

Reporter: Estephany Escobar

A fire near Elkton left four people without a home on Saturday night.

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, Chief Jeremy Holloway, said the chimney fire started in the basement and made its way into the first floor.

He estimated damages to be close to $25,000 Marion Howdyshell has lived at the house for more than 50 years.

"We had this house built and it means a whole lot to me," said Howdyshell.

The living room, which sustained most of the damage was filled with rubble and smoke on Sunday afternoon.

"I had all kinds of dolls and all kinds of religious dolls I had bought through the years and all of that is gone," said Howdyshell.

The family was not home at the time of the incident; however, a family dog did not make it out.

"I feel sorry for the dog because we take in a lot of dogs," said Howdyshell.

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue Captain Jeff Werner said these types of fires are not uncommon.

"We do see an increase of these types of fires during this type of the year because that is when these items are in use the most," said Werner.

He said this week crews responded to four of five fires related to chimneys or wood stoves.

"That is significantly a lot in one week," said Werner.

He said it is important to not only check appliances before the burning season, but during it.

"As they continue to use these during the year and burning of wood that they need to maintain some certain level of vigilance and maintenance with these items," said Werner.

He recommends people keep about a three-foot diameter area clear around wood stoves.

In addition, people should check their chimneys during the burning season every three to four weeks for creosote build up.

Howdyshell said she did not expect her chimney to cause a fire and keep her out of her home.

"I am used to being home all the time. I don't work," said Howdyshell.

Howdyshell has insurance.

On Sunday, she did not know if she would be able to return to the home.

Howdyshell and the other three residents of the home are staying with family members.

On Monday, she will find out if the house only needs repairs or if it needs to be torn down.

If you would like to help, you can contact the Elkton Seventh-day Adventist Church at 540-298-1801.

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