McDonnell defense fund raises another $93,000

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The legal defense fund for former Gov. Bob McDonnell is reporting that it raised $93,000 during the second quarter of this year. The fund’s quarterly report to the IRS was made public Tuesday. The McDonnells spent Tuesday morning in federal court attending a pre-trial motion hearing. The fund, called the Restoration Fund, has raised more than $250,000 since it was created by McDonnell supporters last year. The former Republican governor and his wife, Maureen, are set to go to trial later this month on corruption charges. The former first couple have pleaded not guilty. The fund has reported spending more than $170,000, mostly to the couple’s attorneys.

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Former Va. governor opposes witness limit

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s former governor has urged a federal judge to allow him to call up to 10 character witnesses in his corruption trial.  Prosecutors want to limit Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, to three character witnesses apiece.  The McDonnells are charged in 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products. Their trial is set for July 28.   In court papers filed Tuesday, the former governor’s lawyers say the case boils down to “a credibility contest” between McDonnell and Williams, who is expected to testify for the prosecution. They argue that as many as 10 witnesses are needed to provide a complete picture of McDonnell’s character.  Prosecutors have argued that any more than three would be unnecessarily repetitive.

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Time running out for $1 million lottery winner to claim prize

New-VA-Lottery-LogoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Lottery says time is running out for the winner of a $1 million prize to cash in. The person who bought the winning ticket in Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle still hasn’t claimed the prize. The deadline is 5 p.m. June 30. Ticket number 092069 was purchased at a 7- Eleven on Occoquan Road in Woodbridge. It was one of three $1 million prizes in the Jan. 1 drawing. The other two prizes were promptly claimed by John Humphries of Danville and Amy Lloyd of Martinsburg, West Virginia. Unclaimed lottery winnings go to the state Literary Fund, which is used for public school projects and teacher retirement.

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Panel aims at making UVA more affordable

UVA-LogoCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The University of Virginia is launching an effort to keep the university affordable. The work begins Friday in northern Virginia when a Board of Visitors charged with that task meets. Rector George K. Martin has said the goal is to have a new tuition and financial aid plan to bring to the full board in the fall. The Daily Progress reports that U.Va.’s tuition and fees have nearly doubled in the last 10 years. The Charlottesville school is one of the most expensive public institutions for out-of-state students in the country. Part of the upward tuition spiral has been driven by a decrease in state appropriations. They fell about 32 percent, or $51.5 million, from 2007 to 2012, according to the school.

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VDOT lifting lane closures for July 4th travelers

VDOTRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Temporary highway lane closures will be suspended across Virginia to help Independence Day travelers reach their holiday destinations. The Virginia Department of Transportation says lane closures in temporary work zones will be lifted from noon Thursday until noon Monday. Travelers can check road conditions and traffic incidents on VDOT’s travel information website, ww.511Virginia.org, or the mobile version for handheld devices, mobile511virginia.org. The service also can be accessed by telephone calling 511.  Officials are encouraging Virginians to plan for a safe trip by avoiding distractions, wearing your seat belt, obeying the speed limit and being courteous to other travelers.

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McAuliffe: Fewer Va. inmates returning to prison

PrisonRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Fewer Virginia inmates are being sent back to prison for new crimes committed after their release. Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the state’s recidivism rate has dropped to 22.8%, the state’s lowest rate on record. He says this means Virginia’s prison system is returning offenders to their communities better prepared to be productive citizens. Virginia calculates its official recidivism rate as the percentage of offenders who return to prison within three years of being released. The latest figure counts inmates who were released in 2009 and were back in prison in 2012. The previous year’s recidivism rate was 23.4%.

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Va. lawmakers return to consider line-item vetoes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia lawmakers are returning to the Capitol to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s line-item budget vetoes. Most prominent is the Democratic governor’s veto of a Republican-backed amendment aimed at preventing him from expanding Medicaid without legislative approval. The House GOP majority blocked McAuliffe’s top legislative priority, leading to a protracted budget stalemate that threatened to shut down government. Now the governor is examining ways to expand Medicaid on his own.  It takes a two-thirds vote of both legislative chambers to override a governor’s veto. Republicans hold more than  two-thirds of the House seats but have only a one-seat advantage in the Senate. The House convenes at 5 p.m. Monday, the Senate at 7.

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Official: Plan to house immigrants in Va. scrapped

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ An elected official says federal officials are scrapping plans to shelter hundreds of Central American children in rural Virginia amid fierce local opposition.  The elected official spoke on condition of anonymity because U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials were still delivering the news to officials in Lawrenceville, Virginia. He says he was briefed about the decision in a phone call with the health department.  A health department spokesman said an announcement was expected Friday but would not elaborate.  The decision came after a public meeting in Lawrenceville, where hundreds of people attended and an overwhelming number spoke out against the proposal.  The Administration for Children and Families had planned to temporarily shelter the Central American children and teenagers at St. Paul’s College, which has been closed for one year.

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McAuliffe to unveil budget plans Friday

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

 

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has scheduled a news conference to outline his plans for the state budget recently passed by the General Assembly. McAuliffe is set to address reporters Friday at the Capitol. The governor has not indicated whether he’ll sign, veto or try to amend parts of the budget. He has until Sunday to decide.

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Judge adds to sentence in Doughboy Statue defacing

Jessica McCrickard (Lynchburg Jail)

Jessica McCrickard
(Lynchburg Jail)

 

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ A judge has added to the sentence of a woman who broke off the bayonet of a Lynchburg statue paying homage to World War I veterans. Under a plea deal, Jessica McCrickard was to spend four Fridays downtown with veterans during weekly rallies for defacing the landmark Doughboy Statue downtown. But veterans said she had a disrespectful attitude and they asked the court to end her court-ordered visits. Under a modified sentence Tuesday, the judge told her to write by hand all 276 names on the monument. He also piled on an additional 100 hours of community service. McCrickard was given an Aug. 31 deadline to complete the terms of her plea deal. The bayonet was broken off in October 2013. It was recovered.

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