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Local News
8:14 am
Fri September 5, 2014

McDonnell's Attorney Vows Appeal of Corruption Convictions

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R)
Credit official state photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's attorney says his client didn't get a fair trial and will appeal his convictions on public corruption charges.

McDonnell was convicted Thursday on 11 of 13 counts in a case that derailed the career of the onetime rising Republican star. His wife, Maureen, was convicted of nine of 13 charges.

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Local News
8:03 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Virginia and Delaware Fail Standards for Protecting Children During Disasters

Hurricane Sandy
Credit noaa.gov

Delaware and Virginia along with 19 other states have failed to meet national emergency plan requirements for schools and childcare providers.

That’s the conclusion of the of Save the Children’s 2014 Disaster Report Card.

But the report found that 69 percent of parents in those 21 states mistakenly believe there are plans in place.

Virginia and Delaware failed to have a plan for children with disabilities.

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Local News
7:52 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Maryland/Virginia Boundary on Potomac Settled

Potomac River
Credit creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Maryland court has weighed in on a dispute over the state boundaries of Virginia and Maryland along the Potomac River.

At issue was whether the state line between the states moved over time as the profile of the shoreline changed through natural erosion and growth.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals court ruled Friday that the low-water-mark boundary in the Potomac River moves and isn't fixed where the mark was when the boundary was established in 1877.

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Local News
1:28 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

McDonnell Corruption Case in the Hands of the Jury

former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official state photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The public corruption case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, is in the hands of a federal jury.

The seven-man, five-woman jury left the courtroom to begin deliberations Tuesday after hearing nearly two hours of instructions from U.S. District Judge James Spencer. The jury heard from dozens of witnesses over a five-week trial.

The McDonnells are charged with doing special favors for Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.

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Local News
8:52 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Voters Casting Ballots in Two Separate States

Credit Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Advocacy groups say hundreds of Maryland and Virginia voters may have cast two ballots, one in each state.

The Maryland State Prosecutor's Office is investigating an allegation made by two groups, Virginia Voters Alliance and Election Integrity Maryland. Those groups say there is evidence of double voting among some Maryland and Virginia residents.

Virginia Voters Alliance says it found that 164 people cast ballots in 2012 in both Maryland and Virginia, which is illegal under federal law.

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Local News
11:26 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Prosecutors: "Corrupt Understanding" in McDonnell Trial

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R)
Credit official state photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors are asking jurors to focus on two questions at the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.

In their closing arguments Friday, prosecutors' asked the panel to think about why a Virginia businessman gave the couple more than $165,000 in gifts and loans, and why the McDonnells accepted.

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Local News
11:53 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Closing Arguments Begin in McDonnell Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in Ferrari
Credit court photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Testimony has wrapped up in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Closing arguments are set for Friday morning.

The last witness Thursday was an FBI agent who testified that the McDonnells were together 90 percent of the nights during the 22 months that were the focus of the investigation. The testimony is intended to undercut a defense claim that the McDonnells' marriage was so fractured they couldn't have engaged in a conspiracy.

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Local News
11:53 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Governor's Defense Rests in McDonnell Corruption Trial

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The defense for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has rested its case in his public corruption trial.

His lawyer, Henry Asbill, told the judge Wednesday that he would not call further witnesses in his client's defense. The move comes after McDonnell testified in his own defense for more than four days. The former governor  acknowledged bad judgment but firmly denied any criminal wrongdoing.

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Local News
8:55 am
Wed August 27, 2014

VA Labor Day Travel Up for Labor Day

Credit Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More Virginians are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend, reaching a new post-recession high for the state.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says that the number of people taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home is anticipated to increase slightly this year.

That's more than 964,300 Virginians traveling during the Thursday through Monday holiday weekend.

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Local News
11:33 am
Fri August 22, 2014

$50,000 Loan Not Inappropriate, says McDonnell in Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official state photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he did not think it was inappropriate to take a $50,000 loan from a Virginia businessman to help cover the ownership costs of vacation rental properties.

McDonnell was back on the witness stand Friday for the third straight day as his public corruption trial resumed in federal court in Richmond.

The former governor and his wife are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements.

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Local News
12:16 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Wife Lived Separate Life, Says McDonnell in Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is telling jurors that his time in public office took a toll on his marriage.

Separate Lives

McDonnell went back on the witness stand Thursday as his public corruption trial resumed in federal court in Richmond. He said his wife, Maureen, developed something of a separate life from him as she raised their five children and he devoted time to being a state legislator, Army Reservist and lawyer in private practice.

Tension

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Local News
7:58 am
Thu August 21, 2014

No Same Sex Marriages in Virginia Today, Supreme Court Says

Equality Virginia Logo
Credit equality virginia website

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is delaying the start of same-sex marriage in Virginia.

The court on Wednesday granted a request from a county clerk in northern Virginia to block same-sex marriages across the state while the issue is being appealed to the Supreme Court. The court provided no explanation for its order.

Without court intervention, same-sex couples would have been allowed to wed as of Thursday.

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Local News
8:27 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Tomorrow Same-Sex Marriage Might Be Legal in Virginia

Credit equality virginia

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that gay marriages could soon be legal in Virginia.

The State Registrar of Vital Records is drafting a revised marriage license form that will be used if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order ending Virginia's same-sex marriage ban goes into effect Thursday morning.

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Local News
9:17 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Job Slump Last Month in Maryland and Virginia

Credit Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Maryland lost 9,000 jobs in July.

The government says the state unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent in July, up from 5.8 percent in June.

Some 5,500 of the jobs lost were in state and local government.

The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation reports that the manufacturing sector added about 400 jobs.

The Daily Record reports that Maryland was one of 30 states have an increase in the unemployment rate for July.

Virginia

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Local News
11:59 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Don't Delay End of Virginia Gay Marriage Ban, Courts Asked

Credit Equality Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The plaintiffs in a court case challenging Virginia's same-sex marriage ban have asked a federal appeals court not to stay its ruling striking down the law.

Last week, a county court clerk in northern Virginia sought to delay the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling while it is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. That 2-1 ruling upheld the decision by a lower district court in Norfolk. The appellate court ruling applies throughout the circuit that also includes West Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas.

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Local News
9:16 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Bottlenose Dolphin Deaths Down in Virginia

Credit creative commons

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Bottlenose dolphin deaths in Virginia are declining.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center says 52 bottlenose dolphin strandings have occurred between January and July, compared to 86 during the same period in 2013.

Overall, Virginia recorded more than 350 bottlenose dolphin deaths in 2013.

Aquarium spokeswoman Joan Barns tells The Virginian-Pilot that this year's figures are encouraging.

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Local News
8:40 am
Tue August 5, 2014

No Intimacy, Says Key Witness in McDonnell Corruption Trial

Former Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell
Credit former Virginia First Lady

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The prosecution's star witness in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has testified that he never had any intimate physical contact with McDonnell's wife.

Jonnie Williams said Monday that he didn't know Maureen McDonnell had any interest in him until last week. Maureen McDonnell's lawyer said in opening statements that the first lady developed a crush on Williams, who had deceived her into thinking he cared for her.

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Local News
9:10 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Cost of Higher Education Going Up in Virginia

Credit Lin Kristensen / creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The amount paid by students at public colleges and universities in Virginia is increasing.

The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia says undergraduates at public four-year schools will see an average increase of about 5 percent, or $544, in tuition and fees in the 2014-15 academic year.

Virginia community college students will pay about $180 more per year, or an increase of 4.6 percent.

Officials say tuition and fees also had increased more than 4 percent in the previous academic year.

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Local News
8:23 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Strictly Business, Says Key Witness in McDonnell's Corruption Trial

Former Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The government's key witness in the corruption trial for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has testified that he gave McDonnell and his wife money because it was a business relationship, not because they were friends.

Jonnie Williams took the stand Wednesday afternoon under the cloak of immunity. Williams is a colorful car salesman-turned-venture capitalist and the former chief executive of Star Scientific Inc., a Virginia-based company.

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Local News
8:51 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Sales Tax Free Weekend for School Supplies in Virginia

Credit Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is giving shoppers a break on buying back-to-school supplies.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office says the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday will begin Friday and run through Sunday.

During the three-day holiday, shoppers at retail stores statewide won't have to pay sales tax on notebooks, pens, calculators, binders and other school supplies priced up to $20.

Shoes and most clothing items priced up to $100 also will be exempt from the sales tax.

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Local News
9:54 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Appeals Court Rules Virginia's Same-Sex Ban Unconstitutional

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An appeals court's decision to strike down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban adds to the growing list of decrees on a hot-button issue that will likely end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Monday ruled that state laws barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution.

It's the second federal appellate court to overturn gay marriage bans, after the Denver circuit.

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Local News
7:44 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's Jury Selected

Former Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A jury has been selected for the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife.

The jury of eight men and four women was seated Monday evening for the trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell. Opening statements are set for Tuesday.

The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company in exchange for helping promote his products. Their trial is expected to last at least five weeks.

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Local News
8:37 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Overhauling Mental Health System in Virginia

State Senate Creigh Deeds (D-Va)
Credit officiakl photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are promising a top-to-bottom review of the state's mental health system with the goal of making it a model for the rest of the country.

A new mental health reform panel met for the first time Monday in Richmond.

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Local News
12:35 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Shortfall in Virginia State Budget

Credit Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia ended fiscal 2014 with a $438.5 million shortfall, a 1.6 percent drop from the year before.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration announced the shortfall Thursday. His office did not say whether the shortfall would lead to budget cuts.

The governor signed a budget last month that had anticipated a smaller budget shortfall for fiscal 2014 of about $350 million.

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Local News
9:06 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Virginia GOP Calls Special Session on Medicaid Expansion

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican legislative leaders are scheduling a special session in September to debate whether to expand Medicaid eligibility, something GOP lawmakers have already made clear they oppose.

House Speaker William J. Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment announced Wednesday the General Assembly will be back into session during the week of Sept. 22.

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Local News
7:45 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Virginia, Providing More Info on Alzheimer's

Credit creative commons

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia is revamping its Alzheimer's initiative website to provide more information to patients, physicians and caregivers.

The retooled website will be launched this summer. The News & Advance reports that the website will include an Alzheimer's database with information on everything from care giving to cognitive impairment.

The website also will give primary-care physicians access to lists of Alzheimer's specialists and clinics that can do memory assessments.

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Local News
8:31 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Virginia Re-Examines Restrictive Building Codes for Abortion Providers

Credit woman symbol

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The debate over new abortion clinic regulations is restarting at the Virginia Board of Health.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe last month directed the board to review the regulations and appointed five new board members who support abortion rights. The board meets Thursday for the first time since receiving the order. Activists on both sides of the abortion issue say they plan to speak during a public comment period.

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Local News
8:16 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Virginia Inches Toward Medicaid Expansion

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A proposed small procedural change to a legislative commission may be the starting point of a compromise that ends a months-long impasse over the Virginia state budget.

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Local News
10:56 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Marriage Equality Could Bring Big Dollars to Virginia

John and Tommy Fisher-Klein ceremony
Credit equality maryland

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A report by a think tank at UCLA says legalizing gay marriages in Virginia could generate up to $60 million in spending in three years.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that about 7,000 same-sex couples may choose to get married in Virginia within three years of a change in law. In February, a federal judge in Norfolk struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages. The decision has been stayed pending an appeal, and a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Richmond on May 13.

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Local News
8:14 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Extra Time for Public Input on Atlantic Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

Credit virginiaplaces.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The federal government has added 30 more days for the public to weigh in on its guidelines for seismic testing in Atlantic waters for oil and gas reserves.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says the public now has until May 7 to comment on the rules.

Earlier this year, the agency outlined environmental guidelines intended to protect marine life if the government allows the testing, which would be a first step in the development of an offshore oil industry off Virginia and other states in the Mid-Atlantic and off the southern coast.

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