Crews are still working to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Virginia following a wave of violent thunderstorms Friday night.
More than 900,000 customers had been reported without power with Dominion Virginia Power alone. In all, approaching 2 million were left in the dark. Officials say crews will work around the clock to restore service, but for some it could be several days. As of Sunday, half of Dominion's customers are back on line. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, who experienced the second highest outages, are at under 30,000 without service.
A cooling shelter is open at Rodney Thompson Middle School in Stafford County as long as needed. In Louisa, go to the Betty Queen Intergenerational Center located at 522 Industrial Drive from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday. The Company One Fire Station on Kings Highway in King George is open Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. For all shelters, Please bring needed amenities for your comfort, including any prescription medications you may require. No pets will be allowed, but water will be provided on site.
A State of Emergency issued for the Commonwealth by Governor Bob McDonnell Saturday and a local state of emergency declared t in Stafford County remain in effect. National Guard are being mobilized as needed and local governments have more power to make decisions about the health and safety of area residents. McDonnell says this is the largest non hurricane related power outage in Virginia's history.
Due to extreme temperatures over the next several days, Metro customers are again being allowed to carry and drink water on buses, trains and inside stations.
The exception through Monday night applies to water only. Customers are encouraged to use containers that tightly seal and to use trashcans to dispose of waste.
For now, there are no speed restrictions due to the heat, but extremely high temperatures can place a strain on rails. Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts to get updates on any delays.
Two local twin brothers are in custody in relation to five recent burglaries and thefts in Fredericksburg. Police Spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe says they all happened between June 14th and the 25th at Roxbury Mills, The Woherle & Franklin Law Firm and the College Heights Swim Club.
After a tip, police serve a search warrant on a Lafayette Boulevard home early Wednesday morning. While there, the collect evidence from the crimes.
Isaac and Joshua Franklin, both 18, are taken into custody and are at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. They each face ten charges.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An attorney for the national slavery museum proposed by former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder is heading to bankruptcy court in Richmond for a confirmation hearing on a plan to resurrect the debt-ridden museum.
Attorney Sandra R. Robinson is scheduled to present a reorganization plan Wednesday to pay off $7 million in debt so the museum can resume fundraising. The museum planned for Fredericksburg sought protection from its creditors last fall after donations dried up.
The city of Fredericksburg calls the plan unrealistic. It wants the bankruptcy judge to convert the case to Chapter 7, a liquidation of its assets.
Robinson has proposed a debt plan that relies on fundraising and the sale of more than half of the acres where the museum was to rise.
Virginia State Police are getting warrants for the arrest of a Dunn Loring man that leads police on a high speed chase in northern Virginia Tuesday afternoon. A trooper responded to a speeding motorcycle on I-495 south near Braddock Road. He attempts to stop its driver for excessive speed and reckless driving. The motorcycle refuses and instead sped away. While the trooper was chasing the bike, it struck his cruiser and causes some damage. After the bike gets back onto Backlick Road, the trooper stops because of heavy traffic.
The man will be charged with reckless driving, misdemeanor hit-and-run, and one felony count of eluding police.
In a ceremony outside the post headquarters at Fort Belvoir Monday morning, a new leader takes over command of one of the Army's most diverse installations.
Colonel Gregory D. Gadson has been lauded by the Army for his leadership skills. He comes to Belvoir after serving as the director of the Army Wounded Warrior program. Wounded in Iraq in 2007, Gadson is the first bi-lateral amputee to command an Army installation.
Outgoing commander, Colonel John J. Strycula commanded Belvoir during the final implementation of BRAC 2005.
CULPEPER, Va. (AP) - The Culpeper police officer charged with killing an unarmed woman has been fired.
Daniel Harmon-Wright was indicted late last month on murder and gun charges. At the time he was suspended without pay. Harmon-Wright was fired from his job on Tuesday after the completion of an internal affairs investigation.
Police have said Harmon-Wright was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a church parking lot when he fatally shot 54-year-old Patricia Cook. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond.
Harmon-Wright's mother, Bethany Sullivan, was charged with three counts of forgery of public documents for attempting to purge her son's negative records while she was an administrative secretary to the police chief.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia State Parks were a popular destination over the Memorial Day weekend.
The parks saw a record number of visitors over the May 25-28 holiday period, with attendance approaching 315,000. That's an increase of 16 percent compared to the Memorial Day weekend of 2011.
In fact, two parks - Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County and Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County - ran out of parking spaces and had to restrict access.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation says the holiday success is part of a trend this year. Through May 31, attendance in state parks totaled 2.6 million, up 13.7 percent from last year.
Parks officials say more people are looking for close-to-home, affordable vacations, and parks fill the bill.
Extreme heat Wednesday and Thursday means people are being allowed to drink water in Metro stations and on trains through the system closing Thursday night. They are encouraged to use tight sealing bottles and trash cans when they are done.
Children and adults with respiratory diseases, like asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities.
Try to avoid unnecessary car trips and excessive engine idling and combine errands. Also, consider sharing a ride or taking public transportation.
Just in time for the formal first day of summer, some oppressive heat to settle in over the region.
Kevin Witt with the National Weather Service in Sterling says there is a heat advisory in effect from noon until 8:00 p.m Wednesday. A high pressure sytem in control over much of the region is linked to sinking air. When you pair that up with no cold fronts available and weeks of dry conditions, it is a recipe for high temperatures.
Witt says they will look at conditions early in the day Wednesday and the advisory could be extended into Thursday. Though temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90's, it will feel like it is 100 to 105 degrees.
A scary hour for a Widewater Village Couple overnight Monday when they fall victim to a home invasion.
They are held at knifepoint, restrained and assaulted for an hour early Tuesday morning, after two teens and one adult force their way into their Widewater Village home. Stafford Sheriff's Spokesman Bill Kennedy says the male victim was able to get a kitchen knife in defense and stabbed the two teen suspects. One ran home and was taken to the hospital by his mother before being handed over to authorities. The second had a more serious injury and remained at the hospital.
An 18 year old, Terry Adolfo Welch was also involved and escaped but turns himself in Tuesday afternoon. The Two face juvenile petitions from breaking and entering to abduction. Welch faces adult charges and all three are being investigated for links to similar incidents in the area.
After a few years of legal battles between preservationists of the Battle of the Wilderness and Wal Mart, ground is broken Tuesday morning on a super center on Route 3 in Orange County.
Supervisor Chairman Teel Goodwin says the supervisors came up with a number of goals for the county and Wal Mart would play a part.
The supercenter comes after preservationists went to court to challenge Wal-Mart's original plan to build the store near the Battle of the Wilderness. All parties involved eventually agreed on the site further west from the battlefield on Route 3.
King George Animal Control and King George Health Officials are sending a warning to some county residents about dangerous animals.
It follows confirmed contact a small child had with a rabid cat near Lambs Creek Church Road and Deer Lanelast Thursday. If you live in the immediate area and notice any animals acting out of the ordinary, contact Animal Control at 540-775-2120.
ORANGE, Va. (AP) - Wal-Mart is preparing to break ground for a new Supercenter in Orange County that's expected to create about 300 jobs.
Tuesday's groundbreaking comes more than two years after preservationists went to court to challenge Wal-Mart's original plan to build the store near the Battle of the Wilderness. Wal-Mart abandoned that plan on the eve of the lawsuit's trial.
The new store will be located a few miles away from the Civil War battlefield.
A new store typically opens about a year after ground is broken.
HAYMARKET, Va. (AP) - Prince William County police say DNA from skeletal remains found in the Haymarket area have been linked to a teen missing since 1980.
Authorities say Wednesday that DNA samples collected from the family of Cynthia Joan Gastelle in 2011 matched the remains found by a hiker in 1982 in what was then a remote section of Prince William County. The match was produced by a type of test has only been used in Virginia since 2008.
Police say Gastelle left her Takoma Park home on April 3, 1980, to attend job interviews. The 18-year-old made it to one appointment at a delicatessen and then disappeared.
Police and the teen's family are now appealing to the public for leads in the long-standing mystery.
CULPEPER, Va. (AP) - Culpeper has settled federal environmental allegations stemming from a chlorine release from its water treatment facility in 2008.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that Culpeper agreed to pay a $27,420 penalty and spend more than $100,000 to upgrade the water treatment facility.
In May 2008, the facility released about 106 pounds of chlorine into the air. The consent agreement says the town failed to immediately report the incident to the National Response Center and didn't notify the state, as required by federal law.
The agreement says Culpeper also didn't give the state or local emergency planning committee follow-up reports about the incident.
An EPA inspection of the water treatment facility found other alleged violations, including failure to implement safe work practices to maintain equipment.
Spotsylvania Deputies say they felt their skin burning as they went into a home used as a meth lab in Spotsylvania County Wednesday afternoon.
Two people ran from the house when the door was opened, followed by a cloud of white smoke. Once inside, the deputies smelled chemicals, saw something on the stove and called the local hazmat team.
In all, four are in custody for manufacturing methamphetamine: Randolph Scott Rusk Jr., Paul Andrew Lowe Jr., Erin Foster, and Sara Jane Reese. Twenty two year old Tavis Reese is also charged, but is still on the run.
A Fredericksburg man is jailed on a charge of illegal manufacturing of marijuana and ten felonies of possession of child pornography.
Police got the tip that the pot was being grown in the basement of a Devonshire Drive home. While there, they seized the plants and computers. They found multiple images of explicit sexual material involving kids on the machines.
Louise Philip Cox IV was arrested at his Caroline Street job and is in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Virginia's low-key republican primary Tuesday attracts a light to moderate turnout.
University of Mary Washington Political Analyst Dr. Steven Farnsworth says with polls showing a 50-50 split between GOP nominee George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine, it will likely be a very different picture in November, even attracting attention from casual voters.
Both Kaine and Allen's campaign are closely tied to the presidential race in a battleground state both parties consider vital for victory. A win for either in November could determine the balance of power in the Senate next January.
Farnsworth says name recognition, experience and the ability to raise money helped lead to Allen's win. Six years ago, Allen had been heavily favored for re-election and a possible GOP presidential hopeful until his chaotic campaign against Democrat Jim Webb self-destructed.
Officials spent more than three hours during the overnight Monday containing a hazmat spill on Balls Ford Road in Manassas.
Fire and rescue units found an 80 pound propane cylinder aboard an RV/motor home that was leaking and could not be stopped.
The incident was upgraded and a hazmat unit was notified. They decided the safest method to stop the leak was through flaring operations. The "burning off" of the propane is a quick and safe way to evacuate tanks and uses of a flare stand or propane torch that stops raw propane from getting into the atmosphere.
Monitoring was conducted to ensure the hazard was no longer present and the road was cleared around 3:30 a.m.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - House Majority Leader Eric Cantor easily won his Republican primary race in Virginia, brushing aside a challenger he had trounced in the November election two years go.
Cantor is second only to Speaker John Boehner in the leadership of the House's large Republican majority. He had 79 percent of the vote over Floyd Bayne.
Bayne got less than 7 percent of the vote in 2010 election when ran as the Independent Green nominee against Cantor.
Cantor faces Democrat Wayne Powell this November in Virginia's heavily Republican 7th District. Powell, a Richmond lawyer and retired Army colonel, clenched his party's nomination after other Democrats dropped out.
DAHLGREN, VA. (AP) - Dominion Virginia Power is proposing a $36 million high-voltage power line in Dahlgren.
The 10-mile overhead transmission line would extend from an existing line on State Route 3 to a new substation at the Navy base in Dahlgren.
Dominion officials say the line is needed to support the growing needs of the Navy base and economic development in the area around it. The utility says demand for electricity in the Dahlgren area has grown 55 percent since 2001.
King George County Administrator Travis Quesenberry tells the Free Lance-Star he will attend a hearing in Richmond on Tuesday to deliver the county's support for the new line.
The hearing will be conducted by the State Corporation Commission.
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Prince William County police say a Warrenton woman has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter in a crash that killed a woman and her dog.
Police say 52-year-old Lori Love Shipe was initially charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after the crash Saturday night in Manassas. She is now also charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter and maiming by DUI.
Authorities say Shipe ran a red light in a Lexus SUV and crashed into a Ford Focus turning left from Prince William Parkway onto Dumfries Road. The impact sent the Focus into another vehicle.
Police say 57-year-old Judith Ann Meyer of Powhatan, a passenger in the Focus, was killed. A 58-year-old man driving the Ford suffered life-threatening injuries. Authorities say a family dog was also killed.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board has released hundreds of documents in its investigation into a bus crash on Interstate 95 in Virginia that killed four people and injured dozens.
The bus bound for New York overturned about 30 miles north of Richmond on May 31, 2011.
Court records show driver Kin Yiu Cheung admitted to police that he fell asleep at the wheel. He is set to go to trial in Caroline County later this month on four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Dispatcher Zhao Jian Chen is set to face the same charges in October.
The docket includes about 630 pages of interview summaries, investigative reports, more than 65 photographs and other documents.
Officials say the likely cause of the crash will be made available when the investigation is complete.
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - A man accused of being the East Coast Rapist, allegedly responsible for 17 sexual assaults over a decade, will not be evaluated again for competency to stand trial.
Defense attorneys for Aaron Thomas had sought a second report after they say Thomas began trying to injure himself and stopped speaking to them. But a judge in Manassas denied the request Friday, agreeing with prosecutors that there was no reason for a new evaluation.
A prior report concluded Thomas was feigning mental illness. The judge warned Thomas he needs to cooperate with additional mental health evaluators. Otherwise, he risks not being able to present an insanity defense at trial.
Thomas attempted to speak out multiple times during the brief hearing, telling the judge he wanted to talk and was bleeding.
(Get a link to maps of the run through this region)
Officers throughout Virginia are helping carry the "flame of hope" to the kick-off of the Special Olympics Summer Games in Richmond Friday night.
Stafford Sheriff's spokesman Bill Kennedy says members of their department get the torch at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Their runners are accompanied by special olympians. They use the right lane on Route 1 and pass through intersections within about three to four minutes. Kennedy says they are accompanied by sheriff's deputies in cars for the sake of safety.
The torch is passed off to Fredericksburg officers by 8:30 a.m. at the Falmouth intersection. It continues to be handed off to law enforcement officers in Spotsylvania and the Caroline County. Again this year the torch goes through the town of Bowling Green by mid-day and is then driven to the next hand off point at the Hanover County line.
The torch finally reaches Richmond by Friday evening. Carried in by an olympian and officer, it is then used to light the cauldron at the University of Richmond. Once it is lit, at 7:00 p.m., the 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games are officially underway.
The man whose truck struck and killed long-time WFLS radio personality Brian Strobel in March is cleared of a criminal charge.
It happened when 43 year old Ralph Thomas Rapillo was driving down Kingswood Boulevard and hit Stroebel as he was walking a dog. Strobel died at the scene and Rapillo was later charged with reckless driving.
A Spotsylvania Judge also rules Tuesday the evidence does not support the reckless driving charge either and found Rapillo not guilty. The only legal remedy left for Strobel's family now is to file a civil suit.
The State Fair of Virginia and the Meadow Event Park could have a new owner...again.
The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the present owner, Universal Fairs LLC, is in discussion to sell the intellectual property and the Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. Universal Fair's Mark Lovell says since he bought the the property at auction on May 22 he has been contacted by an interested buyer.
He says there has been an offer and a counter offer that exceeds $10-million.
Lovell purchased the property for more than $5.6-million.
A judge Monday sentenced a Stafford County teenager to 48 years in prison for the shotgun killing of her mother.
18 year-old Ashleigh Dye pleads guilty last fall to first-degree murder in the July 5 death of Brenda Dye. The 62-year-old woman was shot in the face and chest with a 12-gauge and stabbed multiple times.
She had been dead about four hours when her husband and son discovered her body in their south Stafford home.
Dye, who was 17 at the time of the slaying said her boyfriend Eddie Chewning threatened to break up with her if she didn’t kill her mother. 19 year-old Chewning is convicted last month of being an accessory to first-degree murder in the slaying. He faces life plus three years in prison when he is sentenced in July.
The Charles County Ssheriff's Office is investigating a motor vehicle crash that occurred Thursday at the White Plains Dash-In on Crain Highway.
Preliminary information showed the driver of a Mazda pulled up to a gas pump but lost control of his vehicle and accelerated directly toward the food mart.
The Mazda first struck an Audi which was parked out front and then continued through the front plate glass window, coming to a stop about 25 feet inside the store.
There were customers inside but no one was injured.
The 82-year-old driver and his 78-year-old wife were not injured.
A building inspector responded and the business is temporarily closed.
The investigation is continuing.