Despite US setback, Virginia moving forward on `Clean Power’

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia is moving forward to reduce carbon emissions linked to climate change amid uncertainty over the future of the Obama administration’s landmark environmental initiative. Despite a legal challenge, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the state’s largest power company and environmentalists all agreed Wednesday that work on Virginia’s share of the nation’s Clean Power Plan should continue. In fact, a group of power company executives, environmentalists and others working on the plan are to meet as scheduled Friday. A coalition of 27 primarily Republican-led states and industry opponents swayed a divided Supreme Court to grant a lower court hearing on the claim the proposed regulations are “an unprecedented power grab.” The justices issued the temporary freeze Tuesday.

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Madison Heights man wins $1 million Virginia Lottery prize

Christopher ParrishFrom the Virginia Lottery: Christopher Parrish of Madison Heights was on his way home when he stopped and picked up a pair of 20X the Money Scratcher tickets from the Virginia Lottery . When he got home and scratched the tickets, he discovered that one of them was a $1 million winner. He bought the ticket at Triangle Market, 100 Wright Shop Road in Madison Heights. The prize was a choice between $1 million over 30 years or a cash option of $537,393. He chose the cash option. The odds of winning the top prize in this game are 1 in 1,305,600. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 3.55. He’s not the only winner. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.  20X the Money (game #1545) features prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million. Mr. Parrish is the third player to claim the $1 million top prize in game #1545, which means the game has ended. It’s the Virginia Lottery’s policy to close games when the final top prize is claimed. Mr. Parrish said he has no immediate plans for his winnings, except to pay bills.

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Senate votes to raise speed limit for reckless driving

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would prevent some drivers from being charged with reckless driving for going 11 miles over the speed limit. The legislation passed Wednesday with bipartisan support that raises the threshold for charging drivers with reckless driving from 80 miles an hour to 85 miles an hour. The current reckless driving law applies to anyone going 20 miles an hour over the speed limit or 80 miles an hour. Virginia raised the speed limit in 2010 for some highways to 70 miles an hour, and supporters of the measure said drivers going 81 shouldn’t face potentially harsh penalties. Opponents said the higher limit for reckless driving would make Virginia’s roads less safe.The bill is authored by first-term State Senator David Suetterlein.

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Virginia House OKs electric chair as backup in executions

Virginia Electric ChairRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s Republican-dominated House of Delegates has approved a bill that would allow prison officials to execute inmates in the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are unavailable. The bill sailed through the House with a 62-33 vote Wednesday. Its real test will be in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a similar bill stalled two years ago. Supporters have been using the impending execution of a convicted murderer to make their case for the electric chair. The state says it doesn’t have enough pentobarbital to carry out the execution. Companies have blocked the use of their drugs in executions, forcing many states to consider other methods. Virginia is one of at least eight states that allow electrocutions, but it currently gives inmates the choice of lethal injection or the electric chair.

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Show featuring Virginia made beer and wine is in the works

wlni-defaultA man known as The Dive Whisperer is working on a cooking show featuring Virginia’s breweries, vineyards and distilleries. WLNI’s Starr Anderson has the details.

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Friend says slain Blacksburg teen talked of running away with alleged killer

nicole-lovell-435BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ A friend of the 13-year-old Virginia girl who was killed after climbing out of her bedroom window says the seventh-grader talked of running away and starting a family with the man now charged in her slaying. Natasha Bryant told The Washington Post that Nicole Lovell said 18-year-old Virginia Tech student David Eisenhauer was her boyfriend. She says Nicole described Eisenhauer as “funny and really nice” shortly before her Jan. 27 disappearance in Blacksburg. Eisenhauer is charged with abduction and first-degree murder. Another Virginia Tech student, 19-year-old Natalie Keepers, is charged with accessory before and after the fact and with illegally dumping Nicole’s body just across the state line in North Carolina.

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