The city of Roanoke, originally known as “Big Lick,” is home to about 95,000 people. Roanoke is located just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains between the states of Tennessee and Maryland. Roanoke’s unique location has helped make it a social and business center for many Virginians. Roanoke’s rich environment also makes it a popular tourist destination. Visitors and residents alike enjoy outdoor spenders such as the Roanoke River, as well as nearby Mill Mountain, Jefferson National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail.
Roanoke’s economy grew up around the manufacturing industry, but over the years Roanoke has lost businesses that have outsourced to offshore locations. Today, Roanoke is primarily powered by the health care and retail sectors, and serves as headquarters for major auto parts retailer, Norfold Southern and Advance Auto Parts.
Recently, the Montgomery County Circuit Court heard the case of Christiansburg lawyer Gerard Marks, who forged a number of legal documents, including divorce and adoption orders. Marks’s case was originally set to be tried by a jury; however, Marks instead entered into to a plea bargain with Botetourt County Commonwealth Attorney Joel Branscom, in which Marks pleaded guilty to seven counts of forgery, and Branscom dropped 14 felony charges involving the same offenses. The Virginia State Bar has revoked Marks’ law license, and Marks is expected to serve a maximum of two years in prison.
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