Dominion announces alternate routes for proposed pipeline

Dominion ResourcesRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Dominion Resources Inc. says it has come up with alternative segments for a proposed natural gas pipeline in two Virginia counties where many local landowners have been fighting the project. The company announced Monday it had identified several alternate routes that may have less of an environmental and cultural impact than the initially proposed route in Augusta County and Nelson County. Dominion said details about the proposed alternative routes would be made public in a report filed with federal regulators later this month. Dominion and its partners are proposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline run from West Virginia, through Virginia and into North Carolina. It would deliver natural gas from West Virginia and other states to the Southeast.

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First Lady Presents National Medal to Amazement Square

Amazement HonorFrom the Institute of Museum and Library Services: First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Institute at the White House to present the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Amazement Square. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. Mort Sajadian, PhD, Amazement Square President/CEO, and community member Pastor Shirley Hunter accepted the National Medal.  In 2009, Shirley Hunter, assistant pastor at Dominion Now Word Ministries, started a social services-sponsored daycare called Dominion Kidz Child Development Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. Through a partnership with Amazement Square, the daycare presents low-income, at-risk children with literacy-based early learning programs including American Sign Language, Spanish language, reading, and arts-based curricula.

(Continue reading for the rest of the news release.)

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Virginia Beach tourism industry opposes planned offshore drilling; petroleum industry says fears are unfounded

Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

With the summer season just about to begin in Virginia Beach, the tourism industry there is lining up in opposition to planned offshore oil drilling. But the petroleum industry says the reasons given are unfounded. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Sweet Briar College among ‘most endangered’ Va. places

Sweet Briar CollegeRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Sweet Briar College is among Virginia’s most endangered historic places, according to a preservation group. The designation was announced Monday by Preservation Virginia in the 11th edition of its annual list of the state’s most-endangered historic places. Sweet Briar College announced in March it would close in August because of crushing financial challenges. The 114-year-old women’s college held what could be its final commencement over the weekend on its historic, 3,250-acre campus in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The former plantation has 21 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus also includes a slave cemetery. Besides Sweet Briar, other endangered places include the Gibson Cottage at the Warm Springs Hotel and the town of Port Royal on the Rappahannock River.

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Trial delay denied for man charged in U.Va. student’s death

Jesse Matthew  (Photo: Charlottesville PD)

Jesse Matthew
(Photo: Charlottesville PD)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — A judge has rejected a request to delay the attempted murder trial of a Charlottesville man who is also charged with the murder of a University of Virginia student. Lawyers for Jesse Matthew said Friday that they needed more time to prepare for his case in Fairfax County, where he is charged with a 2005 attack and sexual assault on a woman. Matthew is also charged with capital murder in student Hannah Graham’s death last year. Prosecutors in Fairfax opposed the delay, noting the trial was already delayed once. Matthew’s public defender, Dawn Butorac (BOOT’-eh-rack), said that going forward with the June 8 trial date will “obliterate” Matthew’s right to a fair trial. In court papers, she said she needs time to investigate about 40 suspects in the police file.

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Madison Heights woman claims big Va. Lottery prize

Jacqueline DuvallFrom the Virginia Lottery: When Jacqueline Duvall scratched her Money Money Money ticket from the Virginia Lottery, she saw a money bag icon, so she knew she’d won something. The Madison Heights woman thought maybe she’d won her money back and not much more, so she finished eating her lunch before scratching the rest of the ticket. When she finally did scratch to reveal the amount she’d won, she saw something she’d never expected: the $4 million top prize.  “I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “It feels so surreal. It’s so unbelievable!”  She bought the winning ticket at Quik-E Foods #8, 4380 Waterlick Road in Forest. On May 15, she returned to the store to receive her check from the Virginia Lottery. She had a choice of taking the full $4 million over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $2,149,572 before taxes. She chose the cash option.  The store received a $10,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.

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Lynchburg native named to lead Virginia tobacco commission

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe has appointed a new executive director to the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. Evan Feinman, a Lynchburg native, was tapped for the post on Friday. Feinman previously served as deputy secretary of natural resources and as deputy policy director for the governor’s post-election transition team.The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is the new name for the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The name was changed during the recent legislative session. The commission was created 16 years ago to spend Virginia’s portion of the national tobacco settlement, but has come under scrutiny for how it’s spent the money. The legislation also requires a dollar-for-dollar match for all economic development grant awards, creates an online database of all commission awards and requires a biennial comprehensive strategic plan process.

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Sweet Briar president will stay away from Saturday commencement

Sweet Briar CollegeThe President of Sweet Briar College says he will not participate in tomorrow’s commencement ceremony. In a statement released today, James Jones says some faculty and alumnae have threatened to disrupt the ceremony if he presides. The college has announced plans to close this summer, citing declining enrollment and unsustainable debt. Many college supporters are fighting that in court.

(Continue reading for President Jones’ full statement.)

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Sweet Briar commencement speaker: alum who opposes its closing

Teresa Pike Tomlinson

Teresa Pike Tomlinson

Tomorrow’s commencement speaker at Sweet Briar College faces an enormous and highly unusual challenge. The college plans to close down this summer — but Teresa Pike Hamilton, class of ’87, supports the legal challenges aimed to preventing the closure. She says tomorrow’s commencement address will be respectful but candid, as WLNI’s Evan Jones reports.

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Here is an extended-length version of our telephone interview with her:

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Madison Heights woman wins $4 million lottery prize

VA-Lottery-LogoA Madison Heights woman will claim the top prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Money Money Money game. Her prize is a choice of $4 million over 30 years or a cash option of more than $2.1 million. The Virginia Lottery will present her with an oversized check today at the Quik-E Foods on Waterlick Road in Forest. That’s where she bought the winning ticket. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

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