RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell is launching an ambitious campaign to match more than 1,000 children in foster care with 1,000 adoptive parents.
The "Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000" will get its official start Friday at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.
In advance of the event, Equality Virginia and the Family Equality Council are calling on McDonnell to open adoption to all qualified parents. A Virginia law allows private adoption agencies to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
Equality Virginia says the state has more than 4,000 children in the foster care system.
The McDonnell campaign launch comes during Foster Care Month in Virginia.
McDonnell urges anyone considering becoming a foster parent or adopting to visit: www.VirginiaAdopts.Virginia.Gov
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Lottery says someone bought a $1 million Powerball ticket in Christiansburg.
The ticket is one of more 64,000 sold in Virginia that won a prize in Wednesday night's drawing. The prize-winning tickets range from $4 to $1 million. They include two $10,000 tickets that were sold in Alexandria and Manassas.
No one won the jackpot, which is now an estimated $475 million for Saturday night's drawing. Lottery officials said Thursday that more than 4.7 million Powerball tickets are expected to be sold in Virginia on Saturday.
The $1 million winner hasn't yet claimed the prize.
In February, a Fredericksburg couple claimed a $217 million Powerball jackpot.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia farmers produce enough eggs to make more than 1 billion deviled eggs annually.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Wednesday that the state's farmers produce 696 million eggs a year. That's also enough to make 232 million three-egg omelets or 87 million pound cakes.
Each laying bird produces 280 to 320 eggs a year.
The department says cash receipts from eggs totaled $89 million in 2012. That makes eggs the 10th highest agricultural commodity in Virginia.
VIDEO - Video captured from the helmet of a worker shows the scaffolding being topped off at the Washington Monument on Monday. The scaffolding is needed to repair the 555-foot marble obelisk damaged in a 2011 earthquake. Video silent from source.
VIDEO - A drone the size of a fighter jet took off from the deck of an American aircraft carrier for the first time Tuesday in a test flight that could open the way for the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft from just about any place in the world.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Tech is being recognized for its efforts to encourage students, staff and visitors to ride bicycles.
The League of American Bicyclists has designated Virginia Tech as a bicycle friendly university. Virginia Tech received the league's bronze award, the third-highest designation.
The school is one of 58 colleges and universities in the nation to receive the designation.
Virginia Tech announced the designation Monday in a news release. The school says it has invested in nine miles of shared paths, three miles of bike lanes and several covered bicycle racks. Additional bicycle racks are planned, along with more bicycle repair services.
Also, the school and the Town of Blacksburg are building a connector to link the existing Huckleberry Trail with the Foxridge Trails.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington National Cathedral and George Washington's Mount Vernon estate have both won $100,000 grants among 24 sites around the nation's capital competing for historic preservation funds.
The earthquake-damaged National Cathedral won the most votes from the public over the past three weeks, earning nearly 1.4 million points in the Partners in Preservation program.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express announced the winners Monday, awarding $1 million in preservation funds to sites in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
The cathedral will use the funds to repair its nave vaulting, which has been draped with netting to catch falling debris since the earthquake. Mount Vernon won $100,000 to paint, plaster and restore Washington's dining room.
Eleven other sites also won grants ranging from $50,000 to $90,000.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Commonwealth University students will pay more for tuition and mandatory fees starting in the fall.
Returning students will continue to pay under a block pricing structure under the plan approved Friday by the Board of Visitors. New students will pay on a per-credit hour basis, with credits at 15 hours or more reduced to half price.
The increases are 4.19 percent for in-state undergraduate students and 3.98 percent for out-of-state undergraduates. The typical bill for returning students will be $10,299 for Virginians and $24,863 for out-of-state students.
For new students taking 30 credit hours per year, the cost will be $12,002 for Virginians and $24,473 for out-of-state residents.
Costs will be higher for students living in student housing with a meal plan.
Britain's Prince Harry is spending most of his week in the U.S. honoring those wounded and killed in war. On Friday, the prince visited Arlington National Cemetery and will then head to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling says he will not attend the state party convention where Republicans will pick their candidates for this fall's elections.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday (http://wapo.st/10qghMk) that Bolling would skip the convention in protest to the process that marked the end of his dream to become governor. Bolling dropped out of the governor's race after Republicans decided to pick their nominee in a convention rather than a primary, certain that such a process would favor his opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Bolling spokeswoman Ibbie Hedrick says he didn't support changing the nomination method and that it disenfranchises many in the party.
Conventions is expected to be named the party's candidate at the convention, which will be held in Richmond next weekend.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Taxicabs in the District of Columbia will be required to accept credit and debit cards by the end of August.
The D.C. Taxicab Commission approved the requirement on Wednesday. It's part of a broad package of reforms to the taxi industry that city government leaders have been pushing.
The implementation of the credit-card requirement has been beset by a series of delays. But the commission says the rules requiring installation of the credit-card readers will take effect on May 31. Drivers will then have three months to comply.
Fares will increase slightly to offset the cost to drivers of installing the new equipment.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican Ken Cuccinelli is proposing to slash taxes by $1.4 billion, including cutting corporate tax rates by one-third if he's elected governor.
He said in his first policy news conference at a Richmond yogurt store on Tuesday that he'd offset the individual and business income tax cuts by eliminating a broad range of exemptions and other incentives.
Cuccinelli also said he wouldn't repeal the first transportation funding reform law in 27 years passed this year, even though he consistently opposed it and almost derailed it with a legal opinion in February.
The Republican attorney general's event comes amid a statewide "official launch" of Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe's campaign, done six months after he declared his candidacy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tourism officials say Washington saw an increase of about 1 million visitors last year, counting a record 18.9 million tourists visiting the nation's capital.
Statistics released Tuesday by the tourism bureau Destination D.C. show a 5.5 percent increase in total visitors. A study found domestic visitation grew by 4.2 percent from 2011 to reach 16.8 million U.S. visitors.
There was also an increase in international visitors. Officials estimate Washington had 2.1 million international tourists in 2012.
Destination D.C. CEO Elliott Ferguson says tourism officials are encouraged by the growth. He says it translates into a stronger local economy and job market.
Figures show visitor spending increased to an estimated $6.2 billion in 2012. Destination D.C. says more than half of the city's sales tax revenue is generated by visitor spending.
SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - Two Suffolk second graders have been suspended for making shooting noises while pointing pencils at each another.
Media outlets report the boys were suspended for two days for a violation of the Suffolk school system's zero-tolerance policy on weapons. They were playing with one another in class Friday at Driver Elementary.
One of the boys' fathers says he believes school officials overreacted.
But Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw says a pencil is considered a weapon when it's pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made.
Bradshaw says some children would consider the incident threatening.
She says the policy has been in place for at least two decades. It also bans drawing a picture of a gun and pointing a finger in a threatening manner.
ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A judge has denied bond for a woman suspected of setting a string of arsons on the Eastern Shore.
Tonya Bundick had appealed a judge's decision to deny her bond after her arrest last month. She appealed, but media outlets report she was denied again on Monday in Accomack County Circuit Court.
Police suspect the 40-year-old Bundick and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Charles R. Smith III, are responsible for most of the 77 arsons on the Eastern Shore since last fall. Both are charged with setting one fire, but more charges are expected.
Court documents show Smith told authorities that he set 52 unoccupied buildings on fire and that Bundick torched another 15.
Bundick and Smith are both being held without bond in the Accomack County Jail.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new advisory group will offer guidance to the governor and Department of Education secretary on Virginia's teaching policies.
An executive order issued Wednesday by Gov. Bob McDonnell establishes the Governor's Teacher Cabinet.
McDonald says the cabinet's members will be teachers from across Virginia. They will make both long-term and short-term recommendations on ways to enhance teacher leadership, quality and professionalism.
The cabinet's responsibilities include identifying additional resources, learning tools and professional development opportunities that could be made available to local school divisions.
McDonnell encouraged full-time teachers to apply to serve on the cabinet.
WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray wants people living in the country illegally to be able to get driver's licenses in the nation's capital.
The mayor's office says Gray and other city leaders will introduce a bill on Thursday. It would allow district residents to get a license or a city identification card regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
As with all legislation in the district, it would only become law after a period of review by Congress.
Four states allow people who don't have legal permission to live in the United States to obtain driver's licenses: Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington state. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber plans to sign a bill Wednesday that would make his state the fifth. Colorado is also considering it.