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State News
Posts from March 2013
by AP posted Mar 29 2013 10:38AM

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in St. Paul, Va. can burn coal from mines, coal left over and biomass, going into the fire as wood chips. The AP's Lee Powell says the utility running the plant is touting its advanced design.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
People : Lee Powell
by AP posted Mar 28 2013 10:26AM
     NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Navy spokesman says no one was injured when an E-2C Hawkeye made an emergency landing at Norfolk Naval Station.
     Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Mike Maus tells media outlets that the pilot noticed smoke coming from the turboprop aircraft's right engine shortly after it took off from Chambers Field at the naval station on Wednesday. The plane returned to the airfield.
     Maus says the plane was heading to Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake to conduct routine field carrier landing practice.
     The aircraft is being examined to determine what caused the smoke.
     Four people were on the plane at the time.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
People : Mike Maus
by AP posted Mar 27 2013 11:49AM

<VIDEO>      NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Two Newport News students who put hand sanitizer in their teacher's drinks are facing felony charges.
     Police spokesman Lou Thurston tells WAVY-TV the two have been arrested and each charged with attempted poisoning.
     The investigation began in late January when a school resource officer received a tip. The teacher was alerted and she called police.
     The intended target of the alleged poison attempt is a 66-year-old Hampton woman.
by Associated Press posted Mar 26 2013 6:19PM
  CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The parents of a Virginia Tech student who was killed after attending a Metallica concert in 2009 in Charlottesville are making new claims against a security company.
     The allegations are contained in an amended lawsuit filed by the family of Morgan Harrington, whose remains were found in January 2010 in a farm field. They are seeking $3.5 million from RMC Events Inc., which provided security for the concert at John Paul Jones Arena.
     In the amended claim released Tuesday, the Harringtons said their 20-year-old daughter suffered a head wound at the concert and was bleeding and disoriented when she left the arena during the concert. The lawsuit contends Harrington was refused re-entry even though she clearly needed medical attention.
     RMC did not immediately respond to the lawsuit.
by Associated Press posted Mar 22 2013 5:27PM
  CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A $5 million gift from a Washington-area financier and his wife will double help double the enrollment in the clinical nurse leader's program at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
     The gift announced this week is from Bill Conway and his wife, Joanne. To be paid out over five years, the gift will fund need-based scholarships for students in the program, increasing enrollment from 48 to 96. The gift will also provide faculty support and operational funding for the program.
     U.Va.'s clinical nurse leader program is the only master's entry program in the state that is open to students with a bachelor's degree in other field who are seeking a fast track into the nursing field.
by Frank Hammon posted Mar 21 2013 6:23PM
 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Before energy companies invest in developing wind energy off Virginia's coast, they'll need to know what's out there.
     That was part of the discussion Thursday at a meeting of the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority in Richmond. The authority is attempting to smooth and speed up the development of a vast federal leasing area into wind farms.
     But little is known about the area about 25 miles off Virginia Beach.
     Authority members discussed some efforts already under way to move along offshore wind development. One involves the placement of ocean platforms at the perimeters of the leasing area to gather information on winds and bird activity and another study of the ocean floor.
     The federal government expects to conduct an auction this year, perhaps as early as this spring.
Filed Under :
Location : VirginiaVirginia Beach
by Associated Press posted Mar 21 2013 6:22PM
  NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Flu cases in Virginia have dropped from widespread levels for the first time in 13 weeks.
     Virginia Department of Health statistics show flu cases have fallen to regional levels.
     Flu levels in most parts of the country dropped in late February.
     A teen in Northern Virginia was the only flu-related death in the state.
     The flu season may seem long but it hasn't been as bad as 2009, the pandemic year of the H1N1 strain, when widespread levels appeared in May.
     Deputy state epidemiologist Laurie Forlano tells The Virginian-Pilot that last year's flu season was particularly mild. Flu cases were at widespread levels for only three weeks and no children died of flu-related illness.
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
People : Laurie Forlano
by Associated Press posted Mar 19 2013 4:14PM
  WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Park Service is updating its predicted peak bloom time for the District of Columbia's cherry trees, now saying the peak bloom will come in early April.
     Officials had said the city's famous cherry tree blooms would be at their best between March 26 and March 30. On Tuesday the National Park Service updated its website to say the peak bloom dates would be April 3 through 6. Spokeswoman Carol Johnson says cold weather slowed the blossoms' development.
     The average peak bloom date is April 4, but last year's peak bloom date came earlier on March 20, due to the warm weather.  
     The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors to the nation's capital each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan. 
Filed Under :
People : Carol Johnson
by AP posted Mar 19 2013 11:22AM
     STERLING, Va. (AP) - The parents of a teenager who was fatally shot after he mistakenly entered a neighbor's home after a night of drinking say they forgive the shooter. 
     Shawn and Jennea Gordley remembered their 16-year-old son Caleb on Tuesday as a lover of music and sports. 
     Police say Caleb was fatally shot early Sunday after entering a neighbor's home through a back window. 
     Shawn Gordley said his son snuck out of the house Saturday night and went drinking with friends. They walked home from the party and Caleb went in through a back window, mistaking the neighbor's house for his own. Caleb had lived in his home for less than a year and the houses look similar. 
     On Tuesday both parents said they do not blame the shooter for what happened. 
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by AP posted Mar 19 2013 11:19AM
     NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Firefighters in Newport News are battling a fire at a gas station that began when a sport utility vehicle hit a pump.
     Newport News Fire Department Battalion Chief J. Douglas Carper says the fire was reported around 8:10 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters found heavy fire when they arrived at the scene.
     Newport News police spokesman Lou Thurston says the SUV's driver fled the scene on foot and was captured a short distance away. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
     Motorists are advised to find alternate routes around the area.
Filed Under :
Location : NewportNewsVirginia
by AP posted Mar 19 2013 11:17AM
     PARKSLEY, Va. (AP) - State police are investigating another suspicious fire on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
     Media outlets report that the fire occurred Monday night at an abandoned house. Arson is suspected.
     About 70 fires have been set in Accomack County since mid-November. No injuries have been reported.
     State police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Accomack CountyVirginia
by AP posted Mar 19 2013 11:15AM
     VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A man faces up to five years in prison for wearing a clown mask in a Virginia Beach theater.
     Twenty-year-old Jamar K. Washington Jr. also faces a $2,500 fine.
     The Virginian-Pilot reports that Washington pleaded guilty Monday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to wearing a mask in public.
     Prosecutors say Washington and 19-year-old Blake D. Newton caused a panic when they walked into the theater on Oct. 8, 2012 wearing clown masks.
     The incident occurred just months after a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others at a theater in Colorado.
     Washington told police the men weren't aware of the Colorado massacre. He said they had worn the masks at malls and on buses without any problems.
     Newton is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.
Filed Under :
by AP posted Mar 19 2013 9:33AM

A NC woman said Monday she wasn't surprised to learn that her child's father was the Air Force aviation mechanic whose rabies-infected organs were transplanted into other recipients, including a Maryland man who died. 
Filed Under :
Location : Maryland
by Associated Press posted Mar 15 2013 7:45AM
 WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro stands to lose $8 million in federal funding for capital projects because of automatic budget cuts.
     Metro receives $150 million a year in federal funds to match money contributed by the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia for capital projects. Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal says the reduction will affect long-term projects. 
     Some bus purchases and station improvements will likely be delayed. Also, plans to replace the electronic fare card system with one that would allow riders to pay with credit cards could be deferred and reduced in scope.
     Metro had expected to lose $12 million in capital funding. But the agency says it was notified March 1 that the cut would be less.
     Metro says it could lose an additional $10 million if federal worker furloughs decrease ridership. 
Filed Under :
People : Carol Kissal
by Associated Press posted Mar 14 2013 4:50PM
    HENRICO, Va. (AP) - A Henrico County man has been fined $100 for failing to secure a loaded handgun that his grandson took to school.
     Media outlets report that 78-year-old Harvey Lee Pleasant pleaded guilty Thursday in Henrico County General District Court to allowing children access to a firearm, a misdemeanor.
     Police say the 7-year-old Ratcliffe Elementary School student brandished the gun on a school bus on Feb. 4 and made a threatening statement. No one was injured.
Filed Under :
Topics : EducationLaw_Crime
by Associated Press posted Mar 14 2013 4:48PM
 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The federal government has cleared the way for Virginia to seek a research lease in Atlantic waters to measure winds, waves and wildlife and help speed development of offshore wind turbines.
     The announcement Thursday by U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was welcomed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, energy companies and proponents of clean energy.
     Bidding is expected later this year by up to 10 energy companies that have expressed an interest in building wind farms in the federally designated leasing area, which encompasses 133 square miles about 27 miles off Virginia Beach.
     The data collected by the research platforms positioned in the northern and southern portions of the leasing area are critical to developing wind energy.
Filed Under :
Location : VirginiaVirginia Beach
People : Bob McDonnell
by Associated Press posted Mar 13 2013 6:14PM
 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia general revenues declined by 2 percent last month compared to February 2012 largely because of downturns in income tax collections.
     It's the fifth month in the past 12 that revenues have dipped below their marks from the previous year and the second time since November's 3.3 percent decline.
     Finance Secretary Ric Brown wrote in his monthly revenue report to Gov. Bob McDonnell that income taxes withheld from salaries declined 5.7 percent, and estimated payments from investors and the self-employed decreased 14.5 percent.
     Brown says it's a reminder that future economic growth remains insecure and uncertain.
     The bright spot was a 10.3 percent jump in sales tax collections, representing the last post-holiday sales. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Business_Finance
Location : Virginia
by Associated Press posted Mar 13 2013 6:13PM
  WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is opening the door to the possibility of a resumption of White House tours, if it can be worked out.
     Obama says in an interview broadcast with ABC News Wednesday that the decision to cancel the tours in the wake of budget cuts was made by the Secret Service, citing the need to furlough some employees.
     Revealing he's trying to ease the no-tour policy, Obama says he's talked to the Secret Service about restoring some visits.
     He says, "What I'm asking them, for example, are there ways for us to accommodate school groups that may have traveled here" during spring break, which is drawing near. But Obama also says the question of resuming White House tours may hinge on "how deeply they have to furlough their staff."
Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : Washington
People : Barack Obama
by Associated Press posted Mar 12 2013 6:34PM
  STERLING, Va. (AP) - The Transportation Security Administration says it stopped a Virginia man from bringing a live smoke grenade on a flight at Dulles International Airport.
     The TSA says the Great Falls resident was not charged and was allowed to continue on his flight to Denver. The device was confiscated.
     The smoke grenade was concealed under the inner lining of the man's carry-on bag. Smoke grenades and stun guns are among the weapons prohibited in carry-on baggage.
     Smoke grenades are used to create smoke screens, allowing people to move while under fire. They are sometimes used in paintball games.
Filed Under :
Location : DenverSterlingVirginia
by AP posted Mar 12 2013 9:08AM
     CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Charlottesville Housing and Redevelopment Authority has until the end of the month to respond to a federal review that found nine serious violations of statute, regulations or practice.
     The review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cited poor financial oversight, inadequate internal and budgetary controls, and failures to collect on rent.
     In its report to the authority, HUD also expressed concerns about inexperienced and under-trained staff, overcharging some residents and undercharging others for rent, and high employee turnover.
     Authority Executive Director Constance Dunn tells The Daily Progress that she requested the review after she took over the agency in late April 2012.
     The authority manages 376 public housing units and serves about 2,000 low-income and elderly residents.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
People : Constance Dunn
by AP posted Mar 12 2013 9:06AM
     TOANO, Va. (AP) - A bull is no longer on the run in James City County.
     Media outlets report that a neighbor of the bull's owner captured the animal after it wandered onto his property Monday morning.
     The bull escaped from a fenced enclosure at a farm on Forge Road on March 4. Authorities put up an electronic highway sign advising motorists to be cautious.
     Another bull that escaped was captured and euthanized the day of the escape.
Filed Under :
by AP posted Mar 12 2013 9:05AM
     RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Richmond officials are stepping up efforts to collect delinquent taxes and fines totaling more than $39 million.
     A recent report says there were 162,130 delinquent accounts as of January. They include more than $19 million in personal property taxes and about $16 million in real estate taxes.
     Richmond spokesman Mike Wallace tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the city and two collection agencies it hired are working to collect the delinquent accounts. He says city officials believe many of these accounts will be collected.
     An audit released last year criticized the city's Finance Department for uncollected personal property taxes. And, residents were upset when the city mailed out thousands of incorrectly inflated personal property tax bills.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
People : Mike Wallace
by AP posted Mar 11 2013 11:37AM
     NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A hotel in Norfolk has been evacuated due to high levels of carbon monoxide.
     Norfolk Fire and Rescue Capt. Mike Hicks tells media outlets that employees of the Tazewell Hotel and Suites reported smelling gas early Monday morning.
     Hicks says firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide in the hotel's basement and lower levels of the gas in an alley behind the building.  Carbon monoxide also was detected in the lobby area.
     Air is being blown into the hotel to help dissipate the gas.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
People : Mike Hicks
by AP posted Mar 11 2013 11:35AM
     ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - NASA has launched a suborbital rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
     The space agency says the Terrier-Lynx suborbital rocket was launched for the Department of Defense on Monday morning.
     The launch originally was scheduled for Friday morning. NASA postponed it because of weather concerns.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by AP posted Mar 8 2013 12:02PM
     DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) - Virginia State Police have identified a suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of a trooper during a traffic stop.
     State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says 28-year-old Russell E. Brown of Chesterfield was found hiding at a business about a half-mile from where Master Trooper Junius A. Walker was shot off Interstate 85 on Thursday.
     Geller says Brown has been charged with one count each of capital murder of a police officer and two felony firearm counts.
     Brown is being held without bond at the Meherrin River Regional Jail in Alberta. It wasn't known whether he has an attorney.
     The 63-year-old Walker was a 35-year State Police veteran. 
Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : AlbertaVirginia
by AP posted Mar 8 2013 12:01PM
     RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Richmond woman has been sentenced 10 years in federal prison for defrauding an elderly woman.
     Fifty-eight-year-old Lenora Banks-Davis was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Richmond.
     Court records show Banks-Davis obtained the victim's bank credit card with the promise to consolidate and pay off the victim's obligations. 
     Instead, Banks-Davis charged more than $13,000 for her own use without the victim's knowledge in 2009. Among the purchases were thousands of dollars in pet care and more than $700 in berry juice.
Filed Under :
Location : Virginia
by AP posted Mar 6 2013 10:25AM

<VIDEO> After pummeling the nation's midsection with heavy snow, a late-winter storm made its way Wednesday to the nation's capital, where residents braced for the possibility of power outages.
Filed Under :
Location : Washington
by AP posted Mar 6 2013 10:13AM

<VIDEO> A fierce winter storm is turning its fury on the Mid-Atlantic states after dropping huge amounts of snow on the Midwest.
Filed Under :
Topics : Weather
Location : Mid-atlantic
by Associated Press posted Mar 5 2013 8:36PM
 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Under fire from the conservatives in his own Republican Party, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent the Obama administration a letter ruling out Medicaid expansion in the 10 months left in McDonnell's term.
     McDonnell lectures U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the expansion of the federal-state health program for the poor, elderly and disabled is his prerogative, not that of a commission.
     McDonnell agreed just before the legislature adjourned to let a commission assess whether daunting reforms necessary to expand Medicaid had been met. Without it, Senate Democrats would have doomed his signature transportation funding legislation.
     Governor's spokesman Tucker Martin said the letter was to clarify what McDonnell feels has been widely misreported as an imminent Medicaid expansion to 400,000 Virginians.
by AP posted Mar 4 2013 7:35AM

<VIDEO> Parishioners at St. Matthews in Washington consider a wide range of variables in the future pope and the Vatican future.
by Associated Press posted Mar 1 2013 5:28PM
 WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of the Army private who sent hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks are energized by his statement in court that he did it to clear his conscience. 
     But it's not clear whether pleading guilty to reduced charges in his court-martial will be an effective legal strategy for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Regardless of his motives, he appears likely to spend many years in a military prison. 
     The 25-year-old Manning has been called a whistleblowing hero and a symbol of the misplaced priorities of the U.S. military and the Obama administration. Others consider him a traitor who should be punished. 
     Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network says it was "inspiring" to hear Manning say in his own words what supporters have long believed about his motives.
Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : Washington
by AP posted Mar 1 2013 8:12AM

<VIDEO> The threat of automatic government spending cuts, or sequestration, that could start March 1 is affecting employees at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard submarine repair facility in Maine. They say they will be furloughed one day a week for 22 weeks.
Filed Under :
Location : Maine
by Associated Press posted Mar 1 2013 4:15AM
BUCKINGHAM, Va. (AP) - A veteran in Buckingham County has been awarded the medals he earned during World War II.
     Eighty-nine-year-old Charles Lewis received two Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight Air Medals on Wednesday during a ceremony at the Buckingham Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall.
     Lewis tells WSET-TV ( ) that the long delay in receiving the medals doesn't bother him. He says it was difficult for the military to keep track of who earned what because so many service members got out at once at the end of the war.
     Lewis served as a radio gunner after joining the Marines at age 18. He sent a copy of his log book to the government to prove he deserved the medals.
Filed Under :
People : Charles Lewis
by Associated Press posted Mar 1 2013 4:00AM
  FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - A U.S. Army judge has accepted an offer by a private to plead guilty to violating military regulations in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history.
     Pfc. Bradley Manning admits to sending hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables and other files to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. 
     An Army judge accepted the pleas to 10 charges at a hearing Thursday. Manning could face a maximum of 20 years on those charges alone. 
     Prosecutors say they plan to move forward with an additional 12 charges against him, including aiding the enemy. That charge could carry a life sentence.
Filed Under :
Location : BaghdadMaryland
People : Bradley Manning

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