UPDATE:Investigators told Orlando shooter has no direct link to ISIS; Ex-wife calls him “mentally ill”

Orlando Shooting

AP photo

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting at an Orlando nightclub:

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The ex-wife of the Orlando nightclub gunman says he was “mentally unstable and mentally ill.”Sitora Yusifiy, speaking to reporters in Boulder, Colorado, says Omar Mateen was bipolar and also had a history with steroids.She says that in the four months they were together he cut her off from her family and regularly beat her. She says that her family visited her and saw she wasn’t OK and rescued her from the situation.Yusifiy says they literally pulled her out of his arms. She says she left all her belongings and has had no contact with him for seven or eight years.She says Mateen was religious, but she saw no signs of radicalism.Of the nightclub massacre she says, “there was no sign of any of this at all.”

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Officials have started removing bodies from inside an Orlando nightclub where 50 people were shot and killed. Sunday night, workers brought four bodies on stretchers out of club Pulse and loaded them into white vans. The action was repeated over and over. The bodies were then taken to the Orange County Medical Examiner’s office. Authorities say Omar Mateen opened fire at the nightclub, leaving 50 people dead and more than 50 others wounded before he was gunned down by police.

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The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee tells The Associated Press that investigators have not yet found evidence of direct communication between the Orlando nightclub gunman and Islamic State members overseas. Rep. Adam Schiff has been briefed multiple times by federal law enforcement. He says it is possible that Omar Mateen was self-radicalized but not “under the command and control of ISIS.” The California congressman says that could change and that it’s too early to know whether there was something that could have been done to prevent the attack. The FBI investigated Mateen in 2013 after he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists. The following year, the agency looked into potential ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria. He was cleared after both investigations.

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Goodlatte ready for primary tomorrow

Bob-GoodlatteHe’s considered a likely winner in tomorrow’s 6th District Republican primary but Congressman Bob Goodlatte is quick to defend himself against charges from his challenger. More from WLNI’s Gene Marrano:

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Virginia Lottery likely to meet last year’s profits — but it’s still partly up to chance

VA-Lottery-LogoIt’s unclear whether state tax revenues will reach projections for the fiscal year that ends June 30th, but the Virginia Lottery appears on track to meet or exceed expected profits. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, that could change — for reasons entirely out of the Lottery’s control.

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Lynchburg Police investigating robbery at gas station

wlni-defaultFrom Lynchburg Police Department: On June 11, 2016 at approximately 10:08 PM, officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to a report of a robbery at the Express Lane at 3001 Memorial Ave. Employees reported that an adult black male in his mid-30s, about 5’9” to 5’11” tall with a thin to medium build, entered the business, pointed a handgun at the clerk, and demanded money. The suspect then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured. This incident is currently being investigated by the Lynchburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. If anyone has any information related to this robbery, they are encouraged to contact the detective listed below.

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Four people injured in head-on collision in Bedford

From Bedford Fire Department: On June 11th 2016 at 1:50 pm the Bedford Fire Department responded to the 4000blk of Moneta Road for the report of a head-on collision with multiple injuries and possible entrapment. The first engine arrived at 1:57p.m. to find two vehicles heavily damaged with both drivers trapped.  A total of four (4) patients were taking to Roanoke Memorial Hospital; three (3) of which were in serious condition. One critically injured patient was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital by Carilion Life Guard 10.  Traffic on Moneta Road (Route 122) was detoured around the accident for an hour and half. VASP  is investigating the crash.

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Governor announces new grants for apprenticeships

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the U.S. Department of Labor has given $200,000 to the state to expand apprenticeships. McAuliffe’s office announced the award Tuesday, saying it’s part of an effort to double the number of apprenticeships nationwide by 2019. The governor said in a statement that every dollar spent on apprenticeships generates a $1.47 return for an employer. McAuliffe has made it a high priority to revamp Virginia’s public education system to put a greater emphasis on workforce training programs.

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SBA approves disaster loans for February tornado damage

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The U.S. Small Business Administration says businesses and residents affected by the severe storms and tornadoes in February can apply for low-interest disaster loans.The SBA said in a news release Thursday that businesses and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets damaged in the Feb. 24 storms.Homeowners and renters are also eligible for loans.The declaration covers Appomattox and Essex counties and the adjacent counties of Amherst, Buckingham, Campbell, Caroline, Charlotte, King and Queen, King George, Middlesex, Nelson, Prince Edward, Richmond, and Westmoreland. Residents can apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela 

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Photos: deputies seek man who broke into vehicle in used car lot

From the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: On 5-17-2016 around 0100hrs an unknown subject operating an extended cab light colored GM pick-up (older model) and pulling a trailer pulled onto the lot of Commonwealth Auto located Montvale, Virginia. The suspect broke into a vehicle on the lot and stole several items from the vehicle. The suspect then left heading westbound on 460. Anyone with information on the suspect vehicle is asked to contact Investigator Scott Arney or Lieutenant Jon Wilks of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-4800 or use our anonymous online contact form.

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Portion of downtown Church Street to be closed Thursday for Virginian Hotel renovation

City of LynchburgFrom the City of Lynchburg: On Thursday, June 9, motorists will need to be aware of a street closure in downtown Lynchburg. In order to accommodate construction work being done at the Virginian Hotel, 718 Church Street, it is necessary to temporarily close Church Street at 7th Street during the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Motorists will need to exercise caution, follow posted detour signs and obey flaggers. According to Lynchburg Public Works Department, local traffic will still have access to establishments like Anthony and Company and other Church Street businesses in the immediate area, as well as portions of the Allied Arts Parking Deck. The closure will allow The Virginian to use a large crane that will bring in an elevator for the building and place it in the shaft.   The City apologizes for the inconvenience.

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Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake kicks off

Take PrideTake Pride in Smith Mountain Lake is underway, and there’s still time to sign up for the community-wide cleanup effort. More details from WLNI’s Starr Anderson.

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