Here come the annual spikes in gas prices, but there is a silver lining this year

Gas-Prices1It happens every year: gas prices go up as spring draws near, and we are likely to see some of this year’s sharpest price increases in the weeks just ahead. The story from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

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Deadline day for McDonnell appeal briefs to be filed

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

Today is deadline day for federal prosecutors and attorneys for former Governor Bob McDonnell — the final day to submit briefs in his appeal. McDonnell wants a federal appeals court to overturn his corruption convictions. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Lawmakers approve new subpoena powers against child porn suspects

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe General Assembly has passed a bill permitting new law enforcement measures as part of investigations into many sex crimes — notably child pornography. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

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General Assembly sinks effort to change boating safety course age requirement

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe House of Delegates has turned back efforts to change a boating safety law that was passed after several fatalities on Smith Mountain Lake. At issue is a proposed age limit for taking boater safety courses, as WLNI’s Evan Jones reports.

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Dominion, Apco customers both set electricity usage record

Appalachian PowerDominion ResourcesDominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power both say low temperatures over the past week led its customers to set a record for electricity usage. Appalachian Power Spokesperson Teresa Hamilton Hall says the utility set its unofficial all-time peak by supplying 8,697 megawatt hours of electricity Friday morning. Dominion officials say their usage also reached a peak at 8:00 Friday, a morning of countless record lows for the date and, in Lynchburg‘s case, the lowest temperature ever recorded.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Heading to the governor: bill to apply photo ID law to more absentee voters

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYA bill that would change Virginia’s voter photo ID law is now headed to Governor McAuliffe’s desk. Right now, anyone voting in person or applying in person for an absentee ballot must show a photo ID. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, the bill would require more people applying to vote absentee by mail to also submit a photocopy of their ID.

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Selling donuts at school fund-raisers may become legal again in Va.

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe General Assembly is a step closer toward passing a law that would permit public schools to hold some food fund-raisers that are currently banned. Federal law requires all foods sold during the school day must meet nutrition standards, but the law allows states to pass exemptions for fund-raisers. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Lawmakers consider exempting older Virginians from boating safety course

Smith Mountain LakeEfforts are underway in the General Assembly to exempt older Virginians from a boating safety law enacted after fatal accidents on Smith Mountain Lake. The bill’s sponsor says older boaters don’t need the course, but supporters of the current law say it makes boating safer in the commonwealth. WLNI’s Evan Jones has both sides of the Richmond debate.

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State lawmakers pass budget amendments, but some Democrats lament continued lack of Medicaid expansion

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe House of Delegates and Senate have both approved their amendments to the state’s two year budget. Both versions include pay raises for teachers and state employees. Democrats are unhappy the Senate budget does not include language that would enable Medicaid expansion as they and Governor McAuliffe have sought the last two sessions. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more on that side to the story.

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Lawmakers approve ethics reform bills, but with some deep reservations

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYThe House and Senate both passed ethics overhaul bills Tuesday, but many senators who voted “yes” expressed plenty of reservations. They’re concerned that the myriad of new proposed ethics standards could trap many honest colleagues in unwitting violations. WLNI’s Evan Jones reports on the ethics debate.

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