RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s energy vision for Virginia is stressing a familiar “all of the above” strategy that promotes greater use of renewable generation, efficiency and traditional sources of energy. The thick planning document was released Wednesday. In a cover letter, McAuliffe says the plan will diversify Virginia’s economy on several fronts. They include diversifying the state’s economy sector by including renewables such as wind and solar generation, as well as offshore energy development. McAuliffe also promotes the “cleanest and cheapest energy” — lower energy consumption. McAuliffe has said Virginia must be aggressive in developing an energy strategy and in pursuing new energy technologies, such as offshore winds. The governor’s office says he’ll formally roll out the plan on Oct. 14.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Morgan Harrington’s parents were so convinced that a serial offender was responsible for her 2009 killing, they started a nonprofit foundation aimed at protecting other young women. Five years later, the Harringtons are reacting with both sadness and relief to the news that police have found a “forensic link” to their 20-year-old daughter’s unsolved homicide with the arrest of a man in the recent disappearance of a University of Virginia student. But Morgan Harrington’s father, Dan Harrington, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the priority for authorities should be to find missing 18-year-old U.Va. student Hannah Graham, who disappeared on Sept. 13. The suspect in Graham’s disappearance, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., is scheduled for a bond hearing Thursday in Charlottesville.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The lawyer for the man charged in a University of Virginia student’s disappearance says police haven’t told him what evidence they have against his client in that case or another young woman’s disappearance and death. Attorney James Camblos said he met with his client, 32-year-old Jesse Matthew Jr., for about 2-1/2 hours Tuesday but still doesn’t know what police have on him. Matthew is accused of abduction with intent to sexually molest 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who remains missing. Virginia State Police said Monday that Matthew’s arrest provided a “forensic link” to the death of 20-year-old Morgan Harrington, who vanished while attending a rock concert at U.Va. in 2009.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The fastest and surest path to marriage for same-sex couples in some states would be for the Supreme Court to surprise everyone and decline to get involved in the issue right now. A Supreme Court decision to reject calls from all quarters to take up same-sex marriage would allow gay and lesbian couples in 11 more states, including in Virginia, to get married because appellate rulings affecting those states would take effect immediately. That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Yet legal experts think the court will step in and decide gay marriage cases this term. The cases were on the agenda for the justices’ private meeting Monday about new cases to hear this term. The court could announce a decision as early as this week.
Tues., Sept. 30 5:00 a.m.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. One was found dead nearly five years ago. The other is still missing. And now police believe they’ve found a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham — forensic evidence pointing to a 32-year-old man who fled the state when he learned police wanted to question him about the Graham case. Jesse Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach near Galveston, Texas, last week and was brought back to Virginia to face a charge of abduction with intent to defile the 18-year-old Graham. State police say the arrest has produced a forensic link to the Harrington case, but they’re not providing details.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A search team is working with canine units in attempting to find a University of Virginia sophomore who vanished more than two weeks ago. The search Saturday for 18-year-old Hannah Graham follows the return to Charlottesville Friday of a suspect arrested in her feared abduction. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was returned from Texas after he fled Virginia. The 32-year-old hospital worker is expected to make his first court appearance in Charlottesville on Thursday to face a charge of abduction with intent to defile — or sexually molest. Mark Eggeman is the search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He’s leading a team of about 20 trained search personnel and canine units. Eggeman says they have been searching for the northern Virginia woman since she was reported missing. Last weekend, more than 1,200 volunteers searched Charlottesville. The search area has widened to the rolling hills outside of town.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Travel is up on the Blue Ridge Parkway following the restoration of some funding that was cut in 2013. The Roanoke Times (http://bit.ly/1BuMlRp) says National Park Service data show that around 8.5 million visitors traveled the parkway through August. That’s an increase of about 800,000 from the same period in 2013. But this year’s numbers lag behind 2012, when the parkway drew about 9.9 million visitors through August. Several parkway sites closed in 2013 because of federal budget cuts. Parkway spokeswoman Leesa Brandon says services have been restored in many areas. She says parkway staff are looking forward to a continued increase in visitors through the remainder of the year. The 469-mile scenic byway connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Now that they’ve captured the man charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia student, police can focus on other major challenges. One is making the charge stick. But foremost is finding Hannah Graham. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Thursday he still has hopes of finding the 18-year-old sophomore alive. But he acknowledged that the hope grows dimmer as time passes. The search has expanded to rural areas in Albemarle County. The Department of Emergency Management says up to six two-person teams have spent about 44 hours searching since last weekend’s massive volunteer search. Meanwhile, Matthew has declined to fight extradition from Texas, where he was arrested on a beach Wednesday. He likely will make an initial court appearance in Charlottesville next week.
SALEM, Va. (AP) _ Highway crews are changing traffic signals on left-turn lanes at 91 intersections in parts of central, southwestern and southside Virginia. The Department of Transportation says the new signals will use flashing yellow arrows to advise drivers to yield to oncoming traffic before turning left. The department says the flashing arrows are more effective than circular green lights in conveying the need to yield. The signals will replace green lights at intersections in Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward and Roanoke counties. The department says the $1.6 million project begins next week and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The owner of a bar where a missing University of Virginia student was last seen with the man charged in her disappearance says his staff told him she could barely walk without the man’s support. Tempo Restaurant owner Brice Cunningham told The Associated Press on Thursday that his staff told police about Hanna Graham’s condition as she walked away with Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. that night. Cunningham said Matthew briefly entered the bar where credit card records show he ordered what appeared to be two beers before rejoining the teenager outside. His staffer then watched them walk off with Matthew’s arm around her. He said Graham never tried to come inside and that no one saw Matthew take any alcoholic beverages out to her. “She was not served” inside the restaurant, he said.