High court rejects GOP request to delay new map

Virginia state logoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request from Virginia’s Congressional Republicans to put a new congressional map on hold and allow the 2016 elections to proceed under the old boundaries. The high court issued its denial Monday. Republicans are also asking the court to reverse a decision by a three-judge panel that said lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District. The court is set to hear arguments on March 21. The new map could help Democrats win the 4th Congressional District, represented by Republican Rep. Randy Forbes. Democrats praised the court’s actions Monday, saying the decision was “encouraging.”

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Virginia spending more on development deals, GOP scrutinizes

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Republican lawmakers say it’s time for a comprehensive look at Virginia’s economic development spending as the state spends more on incentive programs aimed at luring companies to relocate or expand in the Old Dominion. A new report released Monday by the House Appropriations Committee shows that ongoing incentive programs have grown 84 percent since fiscal 2010. Both Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his GOP predecessor, Gov. Bob McDonnell, worked to develop new incentive programs and made economic development cornerstones of their administration. But several GOP lawmakers have suggested the state needs tighter controls on its economic development spending the wake of sour deal in the Lynchburg area.

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Details remain scarce in death of Nicole Lovell

Nicole Lovell

Nicole Lovell

David Eisenhauer

David Eisenhauer

Natalie Keepers

Natalie Keepers

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Police still aren’t saying exactly how the lives of a slain seventh-grader and two Virginia Tech students charged in her death intersected.  Investigators have released no details about what happened to 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell after she climbed out of her bedroom window last week. Her body was found Saturday after a four-day search just across the state line in Surry County, North Carolina. Eighteen-year-old David Eisenhauer is charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder. Nineteen-year-old Natalie Keepers is charged with improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony. The two students from Maryland made their initial court appearances Monday but said little. Eisenhauer is from Columbia and Keepers from Laurel. Their lawyers have declined to comment.

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Where should you retire?

WalletHubPersonal finance website WalletHub has released its 2016 list of the best and worst states to retire. WLNI’s Starr Anderson has more details on where Virginia ranks.

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For more about WalletHub’s findings click here.

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UPDATE: first court appearances for suspects in Nicole Lovell death

David Eisenhauer

David Eisenhauer

Natalie Keepers

Natalie Keepers

Nicole Lovell

Nicole Lovell

UPDATED 11:30 am —  The two Virginia Tech students accused in the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell made their first courtroom appearances today. 18-year-old old David Eisenhauer faces first-degree murder and abduction charges. 19-year-old Natalie Keepers is charged with improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact. No pleas were entered today, and the next court dates for both are  set for March 28th. So far, police have not indicated how Nicole was killed.

PREVIOUS: Police in Blacksburg have charged two Virginia Tech students in connection to the death of Nicole Lovell, who went missing on Wednesday. Officials confirm a search and rescue team were on the scene yesterday at a Virginia Tech pond near the Veterinary Medicine building and could continue those efforts today. More from WLNI’s Ian Price. 

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State seeks money back from incentive gone awry

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Most times you win but sometimes you lose. That’s the message from Governor Terry McAuliffe regarding a grant given to an overseas company for a new factory that never opened in Appomattox County. More from WLNI’s Gene Marrano:

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General Assembly ponders whether to designate Nelson County mineral as official state rock

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLY

The General Assembly is about two weeks away from reach this year’s session midpoint. Both houses must complete action on their bills by that time before taking up measures passed by the  other. And as WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, one of the bills that will head to the House concerns a mineral found in Nelson County.

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Lynchburg man dies in fatal Pittsylvania County crash

WLNI Fatal AccidentFrom Virginia State Police: GRETNA, Va. – Virginia State Police Trooper K. N. Isom is investigating a single vehicle fatal crash which occurred on January 30, 2016.  The crash occurred at 10:30 pm on Route 40, one tenth of a mile east of Pingy Road in Pittsylvania County. A 2006 Volkswagen Jetta was traveling east on Route 40 when it crossed the center line and ran off the left side of the roadway, lost control and overturned. The 2006 Volkswagen was driven by Cameron Nicholas Long, 19, of Lynchburg, VA.  Mr. Long was wearing his seatbelt and died at the scene. Alcohol and speed were not a factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

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Second Virginia Tech student charged in death of Nicole Lovell

Nichole Lovell

Nicole Lovell

David Eisenhauer

David Eisenhauer

Natalie Keepers

Natalie Keepers

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Two Virginia Tech engineering students have been arrested in connection with the death of a 13-year-old girl whose disappearance last week from her Virginia home set off a frantic, four-day search. Blacksburg Police say David Eisenhauer, 18, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder and abduction in the death of Nicole Madison Lovell, who disappeared from her home Wednesday. Natalie Keepers, of Laurel, Maryland, was arrested Sunday and faces charges of improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony. Both are being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail. “Based on the evidence collected to date, investigators have determined that Eisenhauer and Nicole were acquainted prior to her disappearance. Eisenhauer used this relationship to his advantage to abduct the 13-year-old and then kill her. Keepers helped Eisenhauer dispose of Nicole’s body,” Blacksburg police said in a statement.

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Lynchburg man faces child porn charges

Lynchburg PoliceFrom Lynchburg Police: The Lynchburg Police Department’s Forensic Unit, an affiliate member of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, conducted a proactive investigation into the online sharing of child pornography. In January 2016 a suspect was developed regarding this online sharing of child pornography at a residence in the 900 Block of Floyd Street in the City of Lynchburg. A search warrant was obtained and served at the residence on January 28, 2016. Detectives with the Lynchburg Police Department’s Forensic Unit performed a digital forensic examination on evidence seized from the apartment. As a result, Clifton Trent, a 41 year old male of Lynchburg, VA was arrested on January 29, 2016 and charged with 1 count of distribution of child pornography and 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

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