The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

State, national news

April 2, 2013

Woman charged for 70 Virginia arsons

woman arrested near arson scene

NORFOLK, Va. —

A woman has been charged in connection with the latest of more than 70 arsons on Virginia's rural Eastern Shore, an official said Tuesday.

Tonya S. Bundick was arrested early Tuesday following a traffic stop near a vacant residence that had been set on fire in the town of Melfa, said state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Bundick, 40, was being held Tuesday at the Accomack County Jail without bond on arson and conspiracy charges. It was unclear if she had an attorney.

Bundick is a resident of Parksley, a small community where the first of 77 arsons state police have been investigating since Nov. 12 was lit. Of those, 16 were set in Parksley.

Geller said it was too early to say if the latest arson is linked to the others or if Bundick is a suspect in the others. Authorities scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon.

All of the arsons have been set in Accomack County, which borders Maryland and encompasses more than half of Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The county doesn't have an arson investigator, so state police have taken the lead and have spent thousands of man-hours working on the case since Dec. 1.

Sometimes multiple fires miles apart were set on a single night, and state police have previously said they believed at least two people were working together to set them. Police have also said there was no discernible pattern about where they were set, although each fire was set at night. During the evenings, the county is dependent on volunteer firefighters who typically have day jobs to respond to the fires.

Nearly all of the structures that were set on fire were abandoned or unused buildings, and there have been no reports of injuries.

The fire Bundick was charged in connection with was reported at 11:40 p.m. Monday. It was quickly extinguished and damage was minimal, Geller said.

"I'm glad they caught her if she really set the fire at the house last night," said Donald Varney, who runs a fishing tackle shop in Wachapreague, a town on the Eastern Shore about six miles northwest of Melfa.

But the arrest did not ease Varney's mind about the string of arsons.

"I'm expecting tonight to see another one go up somewhere," he said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Hypersonic jets, lasers future for Air Force researchers WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Air Force hypersonic weapons and fighter jets with lasers could fly in the skies of the future. Air Force Research Laboratory researchers have made top priorities of hypersonics, directed-energy weapons and au

    April 16, 2014

  • Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014

  • On Vegas Strip, the Harmon tower set to fall -- with a whimper LAS VEGAS — One by one, the grand old dames of the Strip outlived their charms — the Dunes, Stardust and Aladdin — and down they came, thanks to some well-rigged dynamite, in a booming flash of bravado and showmanship that became this city’s staple —

    April 16, 2014

  • Man accused of abusing 2 girls in 'Maidens Group' MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a "Maidens Group" at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota, where he told one victim she would remain a virgin

    April 15, 2014

  • Deputy shot, wounded in Norman County PERLEY, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old man from Fertile is under arrest for shooting a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in northwestern Minnesota. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the Norman County deputy was wear

    April 15, 2014

  • Red River Valley touted as drone industry center THIEF RIVER FALLS (AP) — Dozens of representatives from agriculture, aviation and higher education are meeting in northwestern Minnesota to discuss ways to promote the region as a center for development of the aircraft industry which produces unmanne

    April 15, 2014

  • Balancing Act: The secret weapon behind work life balance We all struggle for work life balance, but most of us don’t realize that sometimes the path toward achieving might be something so simple. Some of the most successful people I know are sharing their secret weapon for remaining strong and finding bal

    April 15, 2014

  • Police: Suspected killers wore GPS devices ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two convicted sex offenders dutifully checked in with police every month and wore their GPS trackers around the clock — the rules of parole that are designed to tip off authorities if a freed felon backslides. Yet for at least

    April 15, 2014

  • More US consumers are seeking medical care, report shows A historic slowdown in U.S. health care spending in recent years may be drawing to a close. An industry report published this week and health care experts point to a steady rise in medical care being sought by consumers seeing specialists, getting m

    April 15, 2014

  • Man sentenced to 20 years in synthetic drug case FARGO, N.D. (AP) — One of 15 people to plead guilty in a synthetic drug conspiracy that resulted in the overdose deaths of two teenagers has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Casey Rosen (row-ZEEN') pleaded guilty in January 2013 to conspiracy to

    April 14, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video