Top 3 Headlines on WHSV.com November 5

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for November 5. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Mother Responds to Controversy After Son Dresses as Klansman for Halloween

Reporter: Anna-Lysa Gayle

CRAIGSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) -- Halloween is over, but the controversy surrounding a costume is continuing after a Craigsville boy dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Jessica Black, whose son dressed as a Klansman for Halloween, said the costume is seen as a family tradition.

"My brother has when he was in Kindergarten and when he was 13."

When Black's 7-year-old son asked her if he could also dress as a member of the white supremacist group, she made him the costume.

"It was cool," said Jackson Black, when asked why he wore the controversial costume.

"I did tell him that if you do it, you know there's going to be people talking about you, there's going to be people saying bad things about you when you do wear it," said Jessica Black.

Neighbors said they were shocked when they saw Black's costume.

"I just think it's really sad that a kid is being taught that. That young, because they don't know any better. You don't hear that much about it," said Wendi Sprouse, who saw Black dressed as a Klansman.

When asked where he learned about the costume, Jackson said he saw it in the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes.'

His mom maintains there is nothing wrong with the costume or the Ku Klux Klan, which she says still exists in Craigsville.

"It's supposed to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that. That's what the KKK stands for. The KKK every year, raises money to donate to the St. Jude's," said Jessica Black.

Knowing that it upsets people, Jackson said he will still wear the costume.

Sprouse doesn't believe the costume is acceptable, "It's not okay, you're offending a lot of people by one little action." Jessica Black said she has received several threats via Facebook, because of the Jackson's photo posted by a viewer to WHSV's Facebook page.

CRAIGSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) -- Halloween is over, but the controversy surrounding a costume is continuing after a Craigsville boy dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Jessica Black, whose son dressed as a Klansman for Halloween, said the costume is seen as a family tradition. "My brother has when he was in Kindergarten and when he was 13."

When Black's 7-year-old son asked her if he could also dress as a member of the white supremacist group, she made him the costume.

"It was cool," said Jackson Black, when asked why he wore the controversial costume.

"I did tell him that if you do it, you know there's going to be people talking about you, there's going to be people saying bad things about you when you do wear it," said Jessica Black.

Neighbors said they were shocked when they saw Black's costume.

"I just think it's really sad that a kid is being taught that. That young, because they don't know any better. You don't hear that much about it," said Wendi Sprouse, who saw Black dressed as a Klansman.

When asked where he learned about the costume, Jackson said he saw it in the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes.'

His mom maintains there is nothing wrong with the costume or the Ku Klux Klan, which she says still exists in Craigsville.

"It's supposed to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that. That's what the KKK stands for. The KKK every year, raises money to donate to the St. Jude's," said Jessica Black.

Knowing that it upsets people, Jackson said he will still wear the costume.

Sprouse doesn't believe the costume is acceptable, "It's not okay, you're offending a lot of people by one little action." Jessica Black said she has received several threats via Facebook, because of the Jackson's photo posted by a viewer to WHSV's Facebook page.

 

Page County Teacher Arrested For Indecent Liberties With Child

PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Christopher Robert Ritchie Jr, a Page County High School teacher, was arrested Monday on one felony count of taking indecent liberties with a child.

In a press release from Page County Investigator Mike Wagoner, the investigation into the alleged offense started in Page County but was later found to have taken place in Rockingham County.

Wagoner said the offense was not affiliated with any school function.

At this time, there is no evidence of any other victims, but the investigation will continue until all known leads are exhausted.

The Page County Sheriff's Office is working with the Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office.

 

Accident on Interstate 81 Causes Delays for Hours

Reporter: Anna-Lysa Gayle

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Things are back to normal on Interstate 81, but on Monday evening, things were chaotic after a tractor trailer hit a number of power lines near mile marker 243.

"We had to implement the Traffic Management Plan. The interstate was shutdown for about seven hours," said Ian Bennett, deputy fire chief of operations of the Harrisonburg Fire Department. Commuters were forced to find alternative methods to get to their destination.

"I usually ride the bus home, but I had to come call [a friend], and she had to take a couple back roads to pick me up," said Hannah Aloumouati who was traveling near Reservoir Street.

Aloumouati does not believe the Traffic Management Plan actually does anything to help when there are major delays on Interstate 81.

"I just don't understand why they made a national college the detour of 81. So, I feel like they could've planned that a little better," said Aloumouati.

To add to the traffic issues, the tractor trailer caused several power outages in the area. The power lines hit belonged to Harrisonburg Electric Commission, Dominion Virginia Power and Verizon Wireless.

The Virginia State Police said the driver of the tractor trailer involved in the accident is 53-year-old Hassan Taher from Kentucky.

He was transferred to Rockingham Memorial Hospital for treatment. Taher is charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle.

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