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Local News.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 22 2015 10:58AM
The hunt for a suspect accused of killing a wealthy D.C. family is over. Members of the fugitive task force captured 34 year old Daron Dylon Wint last night. Wint is accused of last week's brutal murders of 46 year old Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their 10 year old son and their housekeeper. Police think the family may have been held hostage for up to ten hours before they were killed and the house was torched.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted May 22 2015 10:52AM
Arlington National Cemetery gears up for the Memorial Day holiday with a tradition of the "Old Guard" placing small American flags on graves there yesterday. It took them almost four hours to get all 28,000 placed. A spokeswoman says this will likely be the busiest weekend of the year at the cemetery, with about 150,000 people coming to honor their sacrifice.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted May 22 2015 10:43AM
A Stafford County military hero that served in the Army and Marine Corps and also fought in Korea is being honored on Memorial Day.
The Colonial Forge High JROTC Color Guard will present colors and Anita Dodd will talk about Master Sergeant David Gray during the event at the new plaza at the Stafford Courthouse at 2:00 p.m. Gray returned to Stafford from Korea and Japan and became a well known area realtor.
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Location : Stafford County
People : Anita DoddDavid Gray
by Deirdre Blake posted May 22 2015 10:40AM
The former Colonial Forge Math teacher charged with having sex with two students, and admitting to it with two more, is staying in jail.
Erica Lynne Mesa has already been in jail for eight months and had hoped to be released. Instead, the judge calls her actions "horrific" and gives her a three year sentence. Mesa has already served eight months and will have to be registered in Virginia as a sex offender for 15 years.
Filed Under :
Topics : EducationLaw_Crime
Location : Virginia
People : Erica Lynne Mesa
by Frank Hammon posted May 21 2015 3:03PM
Fredericksburg police have wrapped up an investigation regarding an incident earlier this month where the use of force was called into question.
The incident happened May 4 when the driver of a car was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Jefferson Davis Highway, struck a SUV and continued on.
The driver of the SUV and another witness followed the car a short distance to Cowan Boulevard where it stopped and they waited for police.
Two officers ordered the driver out of the car. The driver remained in his vehicle as a third officer, Shaun Jurgens, arrived and used a taser and pepper spray on 34-year-old David Washington.
It was later learned that Washington had suffered a medical condition some hours earlier.
After the investigation by police it was determined that the use of force was not appropriate.
Jurgens has resigned from the force.
Washington faces a number of pending traffic violations including driving on a revoked license.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 11:37AM
LATEST: The Jackson family is relieved today, after their 16 year old daughter Alyssa is found safe. Few details are being provided about where she was found or how she disappeared. Her Dad Greg sent WFLS a message on our Facebook page today to let us know she is safe and he was going to get her. Alyssa was believed to have been with another teen when she went missing.

5/21/2015: Some area residents tell us that a Stafford County family is worried sick, after their 16 year old daughter goes missing.
Alyssa Jackson is listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website as disappearing on May 15th. She has dark hair and brown eyes and about 190 pounds. She could be traveling with a young friend. A link to the missing poster:
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Stafford County
People : Alyssa Jackson
by Frank Hammon posted May 21 2015 11:22AM
A Smithfield, Virginia man was shot and killed in a McDonald's parking lot in Waldorf, Maryland, late Wednesday afternoon.
Dead is 25-year-old Michael Mange. Mange and a 24-year-old woman who was with him were allegedly shot by Caroline Conwayover an apparent child custody dispute. The female victim is expected to survive.
Conway has been arrested, but no charges have been filed as of yet.
The investigation is ongoing.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : MarylandWaldorf
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 11:03AM
We know VRE hikes are on the way on July 1st, but it could end up costing more to ride a local FRED bus then too.
Fredericksburg City Lawmakers will hold a public hearing on the proposal, during a meeting in the City Council chambers, on the 26th.If approved, it would cost ten bucks more a month, up to $40, and mean a $25 jump for a yearly pass, to $225.
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Location : Fredericksburg City
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:59AM
Big wins for three Stafford County schools. Colonial Forge High School in Stafford ranks 30th in the state at number 955 in the nation, in the 2015 "Best High Schools in Nation" report, according to U.S. News & World Report. It looks at math and readings scores from state tests and the amount of students taking AP classes.
If you are lucky enough for your kids to go to two other Stafford County's schools, they might be getting a little edge. Anne E. Moncure Elementary School's Principal, Greg Machi is picked as the 2015 Principal of the Year and Mark Hughes, from Mountain View High is named the 2015 Teacher of the Year. Machi previously taught at Hartwood Elementary and was assistant principal at Rocky Run Elementary. Hughes is an art and photojournalism teacher that started at Stafford High School before transferring to Mountain View in 2005.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:56AM
The Fairfax County and DC Health Department's are investigating a confirmed case of measles, in an adult with a history of international travel.
They say the person has been discharged from Inova Fairfax Medical Campus and is no longer contagious. Before being diagnosed, the person could have exposed others between May 10th and the 16th. If you were at Fairfax Inova, the DC Embassy Suites, the IFC Building or the Shelby Apartments in Alexandria, you could be at risk.
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Location : AlexandriaFairfax County
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:55AM
You're probably not used to seeing people in yellow vests, that look like they are directing traffic on the roads, at an area drive-thru, but it happens yesterday.
On the first full day of business for the new Cook Out in Fredericksburg yesterday, an employee there tells us cars started streaming in and just didn't stop. A few customers say they were willing to wait up to an hour, for a taste of some of its famous chargrilled burgers, North Carolina style barbeque and a shake.
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Location : North Carolina
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:53AM
The clock is ticking of you plan to nominate someone in your community that you think's deserving of being named a "hometown hero."
Fredericksburg's Allen and Allen Law Firm will recognize them this year. They could be anyone from a local leader, nurse, firefighter or even member of the military. You've got until 5:00 p.m. Sunday at
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:50AM
Today it's just been some light rain falling across the region, but in the coming months, it could be a hurricane. Are you ready?
We've seen problems for days before with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Sandy. You can buy everything from cell phone batteries, flashlights and NOAA Weather Radios to portable generators, free from tax, during the annual Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. It runs from Monday through the 31st.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 21 2015 10:49AM
We already know traffic will be heavy for the rest of this week and over the holiday weekend, but if the Express Lanes were your backup plan, look out for some changes. Tomorrow, the reversible lanes will be southbound, starting at noon. They stay that way Saturday, until 2:00 p.m. and turn north by around 4:00 p.m. They will be closed from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., for the Rolling Thunder Bike Ride. They will stay north when they reopen and that continues all day Monday.
Even though all these people will be on the roads, don't think it will help you that much at Virginia airports. Be ready if you have a plane ticket, because Triple A says almost three million people will be flying out of Virginia. Prepare for some lines at TSA checkpoints, but know before you go. Follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and gels and download the My TSA mobile App. You can ask questions about what you can pack and what to do at the airport.
If holiday plans will take you to the water in a boat or on a jetski, make sure you have a lifejacket for every person that's with you. Like seatbelts in your car, they do save lives. Where the cause of death is known, 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned and 84% were not wearing a life jacket. You can also get more safe boating tips and learn about basic navigation rules at
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 8:18AM
Do you have a neighbor with a pet that annoys you? A woman in Tracy California sure does, but can't get any help to make it stop.
She tells a tv station there that her neighbor's parrot barks, meows and makes sounds like a drill. That's not the bad part though. It also allegedly squawks a dirty word all day, in Spanish. The bird's owner thinks it's just struggling to say it's own name, but it sounds like a bad word. The local Animal Services Department says they don't have anyone bilingual on staff to prove it, so the annoyed neighbor is on her own.
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Topics : Human Interest
Location : California
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 8:14AM
Don't panic this morning if you live within ten miles of the North Anna Power Station, in Louisa. The quarterly test of its' siren system is set for 11:10 a.m. this morning.
A steady three-minute tone will be sounded by 68 sirens in Caroline, Hanover, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties. If there were a real emergency, we would hear four separate three-minute activations, separated by a one-minute silence, every 15 minutes.
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Location : CarolineHanoverLouisaSpotsylvania
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 8:01AM
The record sell out of spots in the 31st annual Army Ten Miler on October 11th is more proof of people's support for the military and love of running. Priority registration opened May 5th and 15-thousand entries were snapped up in eight hours, even with some technical glitches with the website. If you want to run and missed getting a space, the Transfer Program opens on June 2nd and closes on
August 21st. Volunteer sign up also starts on the 2nd. Get more at
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:49AM
Even with the dreaded new drop off fees that residents in Fredericksburg and Stafford are paying to drop off trash at the Eskimo Hill and Belman Road landfills, there is still a problem.
The regional landfill will be out of room, if a new lined hole for trash is not built, by December. Last night, lawmakers in Stafford okay borrowing over two million bucks toward the cause. Fredericksburg lawmakers will consider how to help in an upcoming meeting.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:42AM
A large group of people will be part of the patriotism of the upcoming holiday this Sunday, for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride.
They will gather in the parking lot of the Pentagon and then ride into DC. Rolling Thunder has evolved intoa display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country. The ride will close the I-395 reversible lanes and 95-Express lanes from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:41AM
Are you heading out on a boat this holiday weekend? It does not matter if its' your own or a friend's, that you might be asked to drive, make sure it's done sober.
Boating under the influence can be as dangerous as drunk driving and the penalties if you're caught, could affect your driver's license on land. The Sea Tow Foundation wants you to boat sober, respect the legal drinking age and be responsible for your passengers. Take the pledge at
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:40AM
The committee in charge of finding the person that will replace retiring University of Mary Washington President, Rick Hurley, has rolled up its' sleeves and gotten down to work.
They met for most of yesterday, in a closed session. One member says they hope to announce a search firm to find candidates, by the end of this week. Hurley announced his retirement last month and will leave the school on June 30th.
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Topics : Education
People : Rick Hurley
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:34AM
If you drive a car that's equipped with airbags from Japanese maker Takata, you will likely find a recall notice in the mail soon. It will probably direct you to a local dealer, that's ready to make repairs, after the largest U.S. recall in history being announced yesterday.
It's declaring nearly 34 million of them defective because the chemical that inflates them can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicle. There have already been six deaths and more than 100 injuries because of the problem.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Airbag Recall
by Deirdre Blake posted May 20 2015 7:23AM
Triple A MidAtlantic says if you are driving this holiday weekend you will need a lot of extra time. It's expected to be the busiest Memorial Day on the roads in a decade. VDOT will try to help by lifting lane closures and construction on major roads in the region and state from noon this Friday, through noon next Tuesday. Expect some of the heaviest delays between noon and 7:00 p.m. Friday and again, after midday, on Monday.
The latest information on congestion, wrecks and alternate routes will be available through a few VDOT resources. You can download the mobile VDOT 511 app, call 511 from your cell phone or check out 511-virginia on-line for all the info. Normal HOV restrictions in northern Virginia on Friday, but the reversible lanes point south, starting at noon.
You should consider downloading the free mobile VDOT 511 app now if you plan to drive to the Memorial Day celebration spot this weekend. More cars will be on roads across the region and state than in a decade. The app is free for apple and android devices. It shows a travel trend map for peak congestion, with a bar under the date. Just slide it and you can see the most recent traffic predictions. It will be updated every 30 minutes, from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily.
A large group of people will be part of the patriotism of the upcoming holiday this Sunday, for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride. They will gather in the parking lot of the Pentagon and then ride into DC. Rolling Thunder has evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country. The ride will close the I-395 reversible lanes and 95-Express lanes from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
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by Frank Hammon posted May 19 2015 1:14PM
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Three people safely escaped from their burning home in Stafford Couty early this morning.
The fire happened minutes before 4 a.m. at 121 Olympic Drive.
Nonwe of the residents or firefighters were injured as a result of the blaze.
The cause remains under investigation.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 19 2015 12:05PM
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If you have a hankering for a char-grilled burger and chicken or North Carolina style barbeque nearby and fast, your chance is here this week.
There is no formal grand opening date yet, but the new Cook Out restaurant is open for business today. It's on Route 3 in Fredericksburg near the Friendlys and Big Lots and is one of 197 locations for the chain in eight states. See the full menu at
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Location : North Carolina
by Deirdre Blake posted May 19 2015 11:51AM
Minor League Baseball gives the nod for negotiations, to bring a stadium and the Hagerstown Suns to Spotsylvania, to continue.
They have until July 31st to decide if a publicly funded stadium, in Southpoint Two, could be a reality. The deal proposes that the county's Economic Development Authority build the 55-hundred seat stadium and lease it to the Suns for $150,000 a year. The Suns would pay some of the construction costs too.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 19 2015 11:28AM
The folks at VRE say the new mobile ticketing app is an overwhelming success, so far.
You are able to use your government SmartBenefits to ride and it is set up to work. Once you allocate the money, don't panic if you don't see the resultsthough. The money will not show up on the app until the 1st of the month. That's when WMATA send the latest updates file of the benefits' users to VRE. Send any questions to
by Frank Hammon posted May 18 2015 12:04PM
The Town of Port Royal in Caroline County is among Virginia's most endangered historic places, according to a preservation group.
The designation was announced today by Preservation Virginia in the 11th edition of its annual list of the state's most-endangered historic places.
Also on the list is Sweet Briar College. The college announced in March it would close because of crushing financial challenges. The 114-year-old women's college held what could be its final commencement over the weekend.
The former plantation has 21 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus also includes a slave cemetery.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:33AM
Usually the Red Cross asks you to donate blood, but this time it wants hugs and cash.
It will follow in the footsteps of the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region's Community Give Day, next month. The Red Cross is asking you totake a pic hugging someone and e-mail it, as a promise to donate on the June 2nd "Giving Day." Find out more at
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:29AM
The Spotsy Sheriff's Office needs your help to find the man accused of a hit and run accident last on April 16th on Couthouse Road, near the Marshall Center.
They say "Ricky" Thomas Fenton is identified in the near head-on crash. A woman and her grandaughter were left behind, injured. They say he is know to hang out in the Marye Road area of the county and has ties to Caroline County too. If you know anything, contact their office.
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Location : Caroline County
People : Thomas Fenton
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:25AM
Scary moments for a young person living with a married couple on Garrison Woods Drive in North Stafford late Friday night. They ran to a nearby relatives house when shots were heard in the house and they called 911. The Stafford Sheriff's Office saysit appears to be an isolated incident. The victims are 32 year old Ashley Deanna Hoffman and 34 year old Ramon Deandre Williams.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:22AM
It was a million dollar boxing match Friday night, but not long and between two unlikely challengers.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and five-time heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield went at it for two rounds. There were not and real punches though, just lots of dancing around and sweat. The 68 and 52 year olds teamed up to help raise the cash for Utah-based CharityVision. It helps doctors in developing countries perform surgeries to restore sight in people with curable blindness.
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Topics : PoliticsSports
Location : Utah
People : Mitt Romney
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:21AM
This should be music to the ears if you live in Spotsylvania and own a pooch.
The leader of the non profit Spotsy Dog Park Inc. says a South Carolina company has donated almost three acres to them. It's next to the corner of Smith Station and Gordon Roads. Now the group is trying to raise $7,500 bucks to pay for required county permits, engineering and other work, to may the park a reality. Members of the group meet on the second Wednesday of each month at the Salem Church Library.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Gordon Roads
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:14AM
Even if you didn't see all the people running from Central Park to Route 1 in Fredericksburg early yesterday, you knew it was Historic Half weekend if you went out to dinner Friday or Saturday. The nearly ten thousand runners in the main and two other two races and supporters crowded Fredericksburg restaurants, stores and roads. Tourism officials in Spotsy and the Burg' expect a big economic boost from the weekend.
Flags waived and cheers could be heard for blocks away and supporters cheered on their friends, loved ones and even people they didn't know, yesterday. Security was tight again, after the Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy too. Even though it was humid, most made it through with few problems. One 15 year old cross country runner did have to be taken out by ambulance though, likely because of the humidity making the 70s feel much hotter.
We heard many of the runners talking about the addition of the "Wear Blue: Run to Remember Mile" on part of Cowan Boulevard. The American flags flying and pictures of fallen military are the brainchild of two Army wives that lost their husbands in Afghanistan. One of them, a single 30 something now single Mom of three, says running is a stress relief. This year there were also two live bands to encourage runners up the last stretch of the dreaded hospital hill.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 7:11AM
Members of Fredericksburg's City Council are bowing out of a dispute about Happy Endings Bar and Grill on Princess Anne Street.
There have apparently been numerous noise complaints from nearby neighbors. The lawmakers say they can help with medication between the bar's owners and them, but that's all. The neighbors' only other option is to file a lawsuit. In the past year, Fredericksburg Police show nine arrests, 12 warnings given and 301 arrests from the business.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 18 2015 6:59AM
Amtrak trains traveling between Philadelphia and New York start up again this morning for the first time since last Tuesday's deadly derailment.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators continue the probe into why the train was going over double the speed limit. The Commuter Action Group says the accident happened along a section of track that alreay gets a lot of maintenance attention from Amtrak.
A speed-control system for northbound trains in the area of the crash will also be up and running today. It had already been working on the southbound tracks.
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Location : New YorkPhiladelphia
by Deirdre Blake posted May 15 2015 8:27AM
How do you feel about a minor league baseball stadium, that would host the Hagerstown Suns, coming to Spotsylvania?
The latest proposal would put it on land owned by the Vakos Companies, near the CarMax in Southpoint II. County officials want yourhelp in making a final decision and a "survey form" is launched. Visit and click on the "Baseball Information" item in the center column.
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Topics : Sports
by Deirdre Blake posted May 15 2015 8:26AM
A grand jury in Essex County will get the case of a 33 year old man accused of first degree murder in his girlfriend's death, back in February.
The charge against Benjamin Matthew Gray is approved to go to the them on July 22nd. He is accused of brutally beating 36 year old Yolanda "Greenie" Smith, in Tappahannock, while she was driving. After she fell out the door, a witness says Gray ran over her twice with the SUV she had been driving.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Essex County
by Deirdre Blake posted May 15 2015 8:25AM
Are you ready to get your boat in the water? The Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron will help make sure you are safe, this weekend.
Boat inspections will be held tomorrow in Stafford, at Hope Springs Marina from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Others, from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., are at Hope Springs Marina, Aquia Harbor Marina, Aquia Bay Marina, Holiday Harbor, Willow Landing. In Fairview Beach, it's at Aquia Boat Storage.
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People : Willow Landing
by Deirdre Blake posted May 15 2015 8:24AM
The Nepalese army says a rescue helicopter has located the wreckage of a missing U.S. Marine chopper in the mountains northeast of Kathmandu. The Nepal's Defense Secretary says three bodies have been found. The chopper was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers when it went missing on Tuesday. There is no word yet on whether any of the victims were stationed here in Virginia.
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Location : KathmanduVirginia
by Deirdre Blake posted May 15 2015 8:23AM
The first of eight funerals for victims of the tragic Amtrak Crash on Tuesday is being held today. The service for U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Justin Zemser is in a chapel on Long Island. He was traveling home to New York from the Annapolis Academy before the crash.The last of the deceased victims was identified yesterday and some are still recovering in hospitals. Now the 32 year old engineer of train 188 says he is willing to talk to federal investigators.
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Location : New York
People : Justin Zemser
by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 8:09AM
If you are looking for an alternative to get to work that's cheaper and better for your health and the environment, tomorrow's your chance.
Commuter Connections wants you to take part in the annual Bike to Work Day. Some ten-thousand commuters have already signed up. There will be 80 pitstops for riders in the northern Virginia and DC region tomorrow morning.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 8:08AM
The operators of The Michah Ecumenical Ministries hospitality center in Fredericksburg will wait a little longer to see if it could move to a larger facility on Charles Street.
It's already been held up since last Spring, because of the lack of what defines a social service delivery use. Some residents have complained about how some people at a Salvation Army and Homeless shelter spot have behaved outside, around their homes.
The latest proposed definition would exclue Michah, because it does not house people overnight. That would mean a $300 special use permit be requested and could take another six months to get an answer. Planning Commissioners will discuss it again on May 27th.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 8:01AM
Even though Spotsylvania County lawmakers could not afford more money for schools for next year,
The School Board is still making some additions. Thanks to more state money, next year's budget adds 59 employees, from teachers and bus drivers to psychologists. It also gives all employees a 3 percent raise, lowers the parent paid athletics fee by $25 and give a pay bump to substitute teachers.
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Topics : EducationLabor
Location : Spotsylvania County
by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 7:59AM
I-295 at the James River was closed for most of yesterday, after a man threatened to jump from the Varina-Enon Bridge.
The man survived the jump from the 157-foot tall span at 12:35 p.m., about 13 hours after it started. He was apprehended by authorities as he swam to shore and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. His identity has not been released.
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Topics : Environment
People : Survives Jump
by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 7:58AM
Expect a brief delay if you need to driver over the Machdoc Bridge, on Route 218 in King George today.
VDOT says flaggers will be on hand to get you through a construction zone from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Crews will shift the lane patterns so they can start working on the eastbound side of the bridge. They are replacing the bridge deck and new guardrail. All the work is expected to wrap up in July.
Filed Under :
Topics : Human Interest
People : George
by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 7:57AM
The newest local distillery is opening in Culpeper. The owners of Old House Vineyards will open it on their family farm and invest over $220,000 in the operation.
It will source more than 8% of its grain, grapes, and honey from Virginia producers.The Virginia Department of Tourism's blog has already listed Culpeper on the list of 22 Virginia Small Towns You're going to love.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 7:54AM
The celebrated kickoff to Marine Corps Historic Half Weekend in Fredericksburg is tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the Expo Center in Central Park.
"NCIS" actor David McCallum, a.k.a Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard speaks outside first, to open the Healthy Lifestyle Expo. The 60 exhibitors will be on hand until 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night and again from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Saturday. McCallum will also see the runners off on the course Sunday morning.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 14 2015 7:46AM
If you need to buy a VRE ticket, get your smartphone ready to do it, starting tomorrow morning. The new mobile ticket app launches and will let you buy and validate tickets, get parking updates, train arrival times and see available seats. It will also be integrated with the federal employee "smart benefits," stipend program.
For now, it will work on iPhones and Android smartphones and will eventually be developed for Blackberry and Windows-based phones.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 11:50AM
LATEST: 5-14-15 An ipad video that captures Nathan Anthony Barton hitting the ground, near the Four Mile Fork ABC store in March, is being handed over as evidence in the case.
Fifteen year Spotsy Sheriff's veteran David Schmidt Jr. had already resigned from the force. He is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and Spotsylvania General District Court records show he will be back there on June 23rd. A special prosecutor from Henrico is now in charge of the case.
This was not Barton's first run-in with authorities though and eight days after the March incident, he had another altercation with a deputy. He will also be back in court in July, for failing to finish a court ordered alcohol substance abuse class.

5-13-15 A 15 year veteran of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office has resigned, after being accused of excessive force, during an arrest at the Four Mile Fork ABC store in March.
Former Deputy David Schmidt Jr. is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, accused of throwing the man to the ground, after he tried to resist arrest a second time. Spotsylvania General District Court records show his next court appearance as June 23rd.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 11:41AM
LATEST: Seven people are killed on an Amtrak train headed north from DC to New York, when it appeared to go off the tracks in Philly. Some passengers on train 188 say it was about to make a turn when the front shook and appeared to leave the tracks and then it was chaos. They say everything from food and cellphones to people went flying. Officials say 200 people were taken to six hospitals across that region. Doctors at Temple University Hospital say they called in extra trauma surgeons and most people there are being treated for broken bones. In all, eight of the victims were listed in serious condition.
The Federal Railroad Administration has at least eight investigators on site, but the National Transportation Safety Board is the lead investigator. Another train headed for New Orleans crashed into a truck Sunday night, killing its driver and injuring two passengers.
Amtrak is making arrangements to accomodate passengers that have been holding tickets for rail travel along the northeast corridor over the next couple days. An NTSB spokesman tells WFLS that they could be on the crash scene investigating for up to five days. Some of the seven dead are identified and their families say their loss is almost unimagineable.
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Location : New OrleansNew York
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 7:26AM
Lawmakers in Spotsylvania hope to know by the end of the month if the proposal to bring minor league baseball to the county is still alive.
They already pitched the publicly financed stadium to the Hagerstown Suns and extended their own deadline to pass or nix the deal. Now minor league baseball has to extend its May 31st deadline, for the Suns owner to negotiate with the county. It could be built on 9 acres, south of CarMax in Southpoint II.
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Topics : Sports
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 7:18AM
A dean at UVA is filing a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone.
It claims the magazine falsely portrayed her as unresponsive to the explosive rape allegation at the center of a now-retracted article. Nicole Eramo's suit seeks almost $8 million in damages. It characterizes the false statements as the work of a wanton journalist and malicious publisher.
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Topics : Human Interest
People : Nicole Eramo
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:59AM
Army helicopters are in still in the air, scouring an area nearly 50 miles northeast of Kathmandu, for a missing U.S. Marine Corps helicopter. Pentagon officials say it was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers, delivering disaster aid. Many residents there are still living outside today, after yesterday's second major earthquake in weeks, that killed at least 65 people.
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Location : Kathmandu
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:56AM
The pilot of an ultra-light aircraft is lucky enough to walk away from a crash, just south of Warrenton Monday night.
The Fauquier Times Democrat says the pilot made an emergency landing and crashed through a fence. He refused medical treatment and called a tow company to take the plane away. It was then that it apparently fell from the truck onto Route 29 and caught fire. Warrenton's Volunteer Fire Chief says they found the plane fully engulfed, but put it out after a few minutes.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:51AM
Some passengers at Richmond International Airport get delayed for about an hour yesterday, after a concession employee let a passenger bypass a security checkpoint.
Then passengers at eight airline gates had to go back through boarding procedures and TSA checkpoints. An airport spokesman says the employee and the passenger were also questioned by airport police.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:47AM
Another perk of working at a Wegmans store, more than 1,700 of its' employees are being awarded almost $5 million in new and returning scholarship tuition assistance. Seventeen of them work at the Fredericksburg store. Since the program started in 1984, Wegmans has doled out $100 million for workers to pursue a higher education.
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Topics : EducationLabor
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:46AM
Local police are ready to provide security and direct traffic for the massive Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg this weekend.
Downtown merchants are ready for a big boost in business too. Some of them will be handing out promotional coupons and flyers at the Expo Center and 30 businesses will stay open late on Friday and Saturday. There will also be cheering stations on William, Caroline and Sophia Streets, manned by residents and local business owners, on Sunday morning.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted May 13 2015 6:03AM
Make sure you review your wireless bill each month to make sure it's right.
Many folks may start seeing some credits though, if they didn't catch some bogus charges. Verizon Wireless will pay back $90 million and Sprint will pay $68 million, to settle charges they let companies put phony charges on their customers' bills. They range from services like daily horoscopes, trivia and sports scores that customers didn't sign up for, but got billed anyway.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Frank Hammon posted May 12 2015 4:05PM

Two Caroline County residents face charges of stealing commemorative signs from Capitol Square during a Civil War sesquicentennial event.

Capitol Police say in a news release that 63-year-old Kenneth W. Proctor and 54-year-old Jeanne E. Proctor, both of Ruther Glen, are each charged with misdemeanor petit larceny.
They are accused of taking two commemorative signs on April 4 during a historical event. The signs displayed reproductions of antique photos.
Capitol Police say the suspects are scheduled to appear in Richmond General District Court on May 29.

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Topics : Law_CrimeWar_Conflict
Location : Caroline County
by Frank Hammon posted May 12 2015 4:01PM

Two Caroline County residents face charges of stealing commemorative signs from Capitol Square during a Civil War sesquicentennial event.

Capitol Police say in a news release that 63-year-old Kenneth W. Proctor and 54-year-old Jeanne E. Proctor, both of Ruther Glen, are each charged with misdemeanor petit larceny.
They are accused of taking two commemorative signs on April 4 during a historical event. The signs displayed reproductions of antique photos.
Capitol Police say the suspects are scheduled to appear in Richmond General District Court on May 29.

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Topics : Law_CrimeWar_Conflict
Location : Caroline County
by Frank Hammon posted May 8 2015 2:30PM
Lance Buckley has been located in Frederick County by the Brunswick Police Department and Rangers from the National Park Service at the Brunswick Family Campground, near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.
The agencies were responding to tips that an individual meeting Buckley's description was seen in the area.
"We are truly pleased that Mr. Buckley was found safe and in good condition," states Sheriff Charles Jett. "The partnership between the law enforcement agencies, the media and citizens in this region were critical to locating Lance Buckley."
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Deirdre Blake posted May 7 2015 4:58PM
A bus fire along I-95 Southbound Thursday afternoon has sent one person to the hospital with life threatening injuries.
The Greyhound bus pulled over to the shoulder at mile marker 144 when the driver saw and asmelled smoke in the cabin of the bus. All 28 passengers were able to get off safely.
Stafford County Fire and Virginia State Police discovered the fire coming from the baggage compartment below the passenger compartment.
Inside the compartment was a man severely burned. He was taken to INOVA Fairfax Hospital.
State police are investigating the incident, to include the circumstances of how the individual got into the luggage compartment.
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by Frank Hammon posted May 7 2015 4:39PM
Authorities in Charles County, Maryland are investigating a fatal stabbing that happened Thursday Morning in Waldorf.
An 18-year-old victim had been stabbed after he and two friends went to a nearby apartment of a friend with whom they had a dispute. That person answered the door and an altercation followed. Officers have located the subjects who are undergoing questioing.
The name of the victim has not been released.
by Frank Hammon posted May 7 2015 2:51PM
A Gainesville home was extensively damaged by fire Wednesday afternoon during a thunderstorm.
The two story home on Adirondack Court had been struck by luightning according to fire officials.
Upon arrival, fire and rescue crews observed fire blazing through the roof of the home. As firefighters commenced defensive operations, the fire began to engulf the second floor causing a portion of that floor to collapse.
Two adults were displaced by the blaze. There were no injuries.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 7 2015 5:04AM
The Stafford County Sheriff's Office needs your help to find a 33 husband and father of two that was reported missing by his family, just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night.
Lance Calvin Buckley was last seen around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, being dropped off at the Staffordboro Commuter Lot. The last contact with him was a text from his phone, from the Howard University area, at about 10:16 a.m. yesterday morning.

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by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 11:43AM
If you are already dreaming of screaming down the hill on a roller coaster, a rare chance is here to do it a little cheaper at two Virginia theme parks.
Thanks to a $25,000 state tourism grant, Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens are teaming up to sell the first ever joint ticket. The Virginia Thrills Ticket will cost $106 and be valid for a single-day admission each park, within seven consecutive days. Add another $29, to add both of their water parks too.
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Location : Virginia
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 10:17AM
One of the pools and swim centers in the Stafford area will keep the name of a famous local Olympian and a new one opening with get the name of another.
A $13 million facility will be named the Jeff Rouse Sport and Swim Center, after the gold and silver medalist. The existing Woodlands Pool will be renamed after Mark Lenzi. He won a gold and bronze in diving events in 1992 and 1996 and passed away unexpectedly in 2012.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:30AM
Make sure you know where you pooch is so it doesn't get loose and you might want to leave it at home if you're heading somewhere that could be dangerous.
Just after noon yesterday the Spotsy County Fire and Rescue Department got called to the Hunting Run Dam for an animal rescue. A dog was walking along the top edge of the dam when it slid part of the way down and got stuck. It took rescuers and equipment about an hour to get it free, but it's unhurt and happily reunited with its owners.

by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:29AM
Moving a minor league baseball team to Spotsylvania from Maryland will wait a little longer, again. The county Board of Supervisors votes to table a decision on whether to finance the $33 million stadium, for another 60 days. The decision comes after some local residents speak out over fears that paying off the debt to build it would fall partly to taxpayers.
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Topics : Sports
Location : Maryland
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:28AM
How do you feel about young people being tried for crimes as an adult?
It could happen to a 15 year old from Caroline County, after murder and attempted murder charges were certified against Ahmad Spencer Goodall next month. A Circuit Court grand jury meets on the case today. The gun used to fatally shoot Elijah "Buck" Hall the fourth, in March, was later found in a car with Goodall.
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Topics : Law_Crime
Location : Caroline County
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:27AM
You might have celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday, but you can get your fill of tacos, nachos, fajitas and Lime-a-ritas and Dos quis, today at Pfizner Stadium.
The Potomac National are celebrating "Seis de Mayo," after it's plans and a series game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks got rained out yesterday. It's all for seven bucks on top of your ticket price. The game is rescheduled as part of a doubleheader with the first pitch in of Game One at 4:00 pm. Gates will open at 3:00 pm.
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Topics : Sports
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:26AM
If you were stuck in the more than two hour delay to get back home to Fredericksburg on VRE late yesterday, it was first caused by a power outage at Union Station.
Then a freight train with equipment issues, just before Leeland Road in Stafford, was stopped on the tracks and backed up trains even longer . Some others were stuck earlier for an unattended bag on a Manassas line train. Monday evening heat restrictions delayed the trip for even more riders.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 6 2015 9:24AM
You could come across many more young people on foot and on bicycles during your drive to and from work today, so be careful.
It is part of the annual Bike and Walk to School Day, aimed at teaching kids healthy habits. The goal is also to raise community awareness about the importance of bike and pedestrian safety and ways to lessen traffic in your neighborhoods. Schools in Woodbridge, Springfield, Fairfax, Alexandria and Centreville are among the ones taking part.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 8:09AM
Do you have plans to visit DC this weekend? Then get ready for delays on some lines, but longer hours overall, for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Metro says track work will mean trains running every 18 minutes on the orange, blue, yellow andgreen lines. Some will be out of service altogether too on the yellow and green lines too. On Saturday, the entire system will open at 5:00 a.m. to get runners and supporters to the race.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 8:03AM
Be careful with propane outside your house and make sure all of your wiring is safe at home. They are likely causes in two Spotsylvania house fires, Sunday and yesterday, but nobody was hurt. The tank in the Massaponax Church Road blaze is still being examined. The fire on Log Cabin Road started in the crawl space of the house. Up to $28,000 in damage is reported in the two homes.
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Location : Spotsylvania County
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:54AM
We are feeling a little more pain at the gas pump this week, as the summer blends start hitting the market. Prices in the DC metro area are up eight cents a gallon from a week ago, sitting at $2.58 a gallon for regular. A small silver lining though, it is still four cents below the national average of $2.62 a gallon.
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:48AM
Get your credit card ready, find your favorite area charity online and donate today.
It's easy to support the cause or organization you feel most passionate about, during the second annual Community Give Day. It's put on by the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region and runs through tonight at 11:59 p.m. An entire list of causes it at
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:42AM
If you were among the folks that had to wait longer to get home on VRE yesterday, more of it could be on the way in the coming months.
CSX officials force speeds to drop on their tracks and heat restrictions start when it's warm enough to cause dangerous sun links in the rails. When they are in effect, it adds about eleven minutes to get all the way back to Fredericksburg.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:41AM
Be careful when you take the kids out and about in downtown Fredericksburg and other spots to enjoy the nice weather and keep an eye on your surroundings.
Fredericksburg Police are still looking for the man accused of exposing himself to a family at Hurkamp Park, around 6:30 p.m. last Friday. He's described as black, in his 30s wearing jeans and an afro type hairstyle.
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Topics : Human Interest
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:33AM
Officials were on hand at the Lorton VRE station this morning for a demo of the new mobile ticketing App, on the way.
Don't worry though, more sessions are still coming. They will show you how easy it is to just click for buying a ticket and then show it for rides at the Quantico station on May 12th. They will be in Manassas on the 19th and Broad Run on the 26th. The new app goes live on the 15th.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:27AM
Many farmer's market are already open around the region for the long local growing season and another one is added to the mix tomorrow. It opens in the parking lot of the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. each week. Get more details at
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Topics : Business_Finance
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:26AM
Do you have a little one that is ready to head to kindergarten this fall?
This week the Children's Museum of Richmond's Fredericksburg branch, in Eagle Village, can help. It's bringing in teachers, crossing guards and other staff to teach them everything from how to hang up their coat and backpack to raising their hand to ask questions. Thursday evening's event is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
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Topics : Education
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:25AM
If your parents are older and still licensed drivers, they could get some help from an event from 9:00 a.m. to noon today in the Career Training Solutions Parking lot in Spotsylvania.
Nancy Lo with Virginia GrandDriver says it helps them adapt their car to the changes that happen as we age. The placement of the steering wheel, rear and sideview mirrors and seats are important to make sure they can see out. The "12-point CarFit checklist" is aimed at keeping older drivers safe on the road.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 7:22AM
President Barrack Obama and a University of Mary Washington International Affairs Professor have warned that one of our biggest post 9-11 threats is homegrown terror.
Today, ISIS claims responsibility for the weekend attack outside the Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Texas. In a radio broadcast, it refers to gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi as its' brothers. The announcement ends with a warning that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. A security guard was shot outside the event, before Simpson and Soofi were gunned down by police.
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Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
Location : Texas
by Deirdre Blake posted May 5 2015 6:50AM
5/6/15: Newly released forensic evidence will lead the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney to seek the death penalty in the death of UVA student Hannah Graham.
Denise Lunsford says she got the compelling evidence in February, but won't say what it is exactly. Jesse Matthew Jr. is already charged with abducting and killing 18 year old Graham. A hearing is now on June 25th to set the date for his trial, which could last about three weeks.

5/5/15: The man charged with abducting and killing UVA student Hannah Graham is set to find out the date of his trial today, from an Albemarle County Circuit judge. Jesse Matthew Jr. faces up to life in prison, if convicted. He has another trial that starts on June 8th, on charges of attempted murder and sexual assault in an unrelated case in Fairfax.
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Topics : Law_Crime
by Frank Hammon posted May 4 2015 1:36PM
A King George woman was killed in an early morning crash in Westmoreland County.
The accident happened at 12:35 a.m. along Stratford Hall Road when an SUV driven by 22-year-old Taylor N. Paire drove off the right side of the road, over correceted and ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree. Paire, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:29AM
The Virginia-based ACLU is happy that Governor Terry McAullife supports a plan to protect our privacy rights when it comes to drone use. The legislation, signed last week, will requires police to get a search warrant to use drones in investigations. The new law adds Virginia to the list of only 11 states with the requirement.
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Location : Virginia
People : Terry McAullife
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:29AM
State ABC Department police go under the microscope, starting today.
The 20 member panel, appointed by the Governor, is set to meet for the first time this afternoon in Richmond. It comes after the public uproar over an ABC agent's arrest of black UVA student Martese Johnson, outside a bar. He needed 10 stitches to close a gash on his head. Many officers might be required to get more training to stay on the job.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:28AM
More than 60% of 800 people recently surveyed say they think the demostrating and rioting in Baltimore, after Freddie Gray's death, is mob violence and criminal. The Rasmussen report shows that only 25% think it's justified. Only 14% think the violence is likely to improve the criminal justice situation in the city.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:27AM
If you live in Fredericksburg, Stafford or Spotsylvania, here's some good news. A new study by the Social Science Research Council shows that people that live there will likely live to the ripe old age of 80.2 years.
The data puts residents ofthe 1st congressional district in the top third for life expectancy among all of them in the U.S. The average U.S. life expectancy is now 79.1 years. The longest life expectancyis in California, at 83-point-nine years old.
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Location : CaliforniaFredericksburg
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:26AM
You might want to look to the sky in our region or head to DC on Friday, if you want to help remember the 70th Anniversay of Victory in Europe Day.
The Capitol Flyover campaign starts at Culpeper Regional Airport. Almost 60 World War Two vintage aircraft take off from Culpeper Regional Airport Friday morning and head to the nation's capitol. About noon, they start flying over the Potomac River and National Mall as part of a three-day commemoration. of the Allied victory over Germany in World War II.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:25AM
Whether you like paying tolls and gas taxes or not, it provides part of the money needed to help maintain and build roads and bridges, but it's running out.
Congress has less than 30 days to refill the federal government's fund before it goes broke. It both sides don't meet in the middle, it will have to cut back on payments to state and local governments who are banking on federal dollars to help with large scale projects.
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by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:24AM
The death toll is still rising in hard earthquake struck Nepal, but the country's government says go home.
It's urging foreign rescue workers to leave, saying the major rescue work in Kathmandu is done and can be handled by local workers. The information minister says foreign aid volunteers are still welcome to help in villages and remote mountain areas though. Sixty search and rescuers from Fairfax are among the boots still on the ground.
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Location : Kathmandu
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:23AM
Are you wishing you had enough cash in the bank to have slept in this morning?
A new Virginia Lottery game that launches this week could help make your dreams come true. The Cash4Life draw game debuts today, with weekly Monday and Thursday drawings. It offers a top prize of a grand a day for the rest of the winner's life. A ticket costs two bucks each and the drawings are at 9:00 p.m.
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Topics : Sports
People : Virginia Lottery
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:22AM
You may have seen all the crowds in downtown Fredericksburg yesterday morning for the Free Lance-Star's 21st annual Great Train Race.
More than 1600 kids came out for the half mile and mile long races. Even more running fans return to the region in just 12 days for a weekend of events for the annual Marine Corps Historic Half. David McCallum, famous as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, of NCIS fame will also be in town, to see the runners off that Sunday.
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Topics : Human InterestSports
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:22AM
Look for more changes to your drive through and around the Falmouth Intersection in Stafford this week.
The folks at VDOT tell us that one lane of Route 1 south will be closed from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. today, through Thursday. You will also find one open on Butler Road, headed west, from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Cars will also be rotated north and south on Route 1 in the area at night , during the same times. Look for flaggers and electronic signs to direct you.
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:21AM
Five people that face murder and gang-related charges that come after a fatal stabbing at a Halloween party in Culpeper County head to court this week. They range in age from 18 to 25 years old. Police tell the Culpeper Star-Exponent that 19 year old Corey Clanagan was stabbed two dozen times at that party, last November.
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Location : Culpeper County
People : Corey Clanagan
by Deirdre Blake posted May 4 2015 6:20AM
Since the massive demonstrations and protests started in Baltimore, to demand justice for Freddie Gray's death, police have been busy.
They have made nearly 500 arrests and more than 100 cops have been hurt. A citywide curfew was lifted last night, but not before another 46 people are taken into custody. Protests have been mainly peaceful, since criminal charges were announced against the six cops involved, last Friday.

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