Altavista officials are working on a report highlighting ways the town has been working on resolving the PCB Problem at the wastewater treatment plant. Following a recent inquiry by the Department of Environmental Quality, regarding the PCB contamination at the plant’s emergency overflow pond, Town Council met this week. In 2010, the town indicated it would complete the project in 31 months; but according to the Altavista Journal, “DEQ has not received any updates in the last couple of years. The report will include some history of the town’s efforts and possibly a timeline. It will also tell the state that it will stay in the VRP.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Employment Commission says the state’s jobless rate rose to 5.6 percent in August. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up from 5.3 percent in July and the same rate as a year ago. Virginia’s jobless rate has increased for the past four months. The largest jobs decrease was seen in professional and business services, an area which had seen gains over the previous four months. Decreases also were seen in trade and transportation as well as private education and health services. The largest increase was in leisure and hospitality. The Labor Department says unemployment rates rose in 24 states and Washington, D.C., fell in 15 and was unchanged in 11 states. The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are asking a judge to toss out their convictions on public corruption charges. Defense lawyers filed motions Thursday asking U.S. District Judge James Spencer to acquit them, or at least order a new trial. Spencer presided over the nearly six-week trial that ended Sept. 4 when the jury convicted Bob McDonnell on 11 counts and his wife on eight. The McDonnells were convicted of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company’s dietary supplements. They claim in the new motions that prosecutors failed to prove they performed any “official acts” for Williams. The government has not yet responded. Sentencing is set for Jan. 6.
A newly released poll shows strong support in Virginia for the Washington Redskins keeping that name. The poll conducted by the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University found 71 percent favor keeping the name, and 68 percent do not believe the name is racially offensive. More on the story from WLNI’s Jim Kent:
Liberty University says a graduate and former ROTC professor was killed this week in Afghanistan, the result of Taliban attack. The university issued a news release saying that Major Michael Donahue, 41, died from wounds suffered in a suicide bombing at a base outside of Kabul. Donahue’s numerous decorations include the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Senior Parachutist Badge. Donahue is survived by his wife, Sherri, and their children Victoria, Seamus, and Bailey.
(Continue reading for full news release from Liberty University)
A Campbell County man charged with trying to remove tattoos from two young girls with a razor blade has pleaded guilty. Daniel Janney, 32, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a pair of lesser charges just as his trial was set to begin. A Campbell County judge then sentenced Janney to 14 months. The girls’ mother is already serving 18 months for making no effort to stop the removal. The man accused of tattooing the girls still awaits trial.
The General Assembly special session began Thursday with Democrats repeatedly asking Republicans to present some sort of plan to provide health insurance to about 400-thousand lower income Virginians, and Republicans saying the Affordable Care Act has failed in so many ways that Virginia would be foolish to opt into it. As WLNI’s Evan Jones reports, Bedford Delegate Kathy Byron presented one of the day’s most impassioned speeches.
Here is Byron’s entire floor speech:
Update: Fri., Sept. 19 5:20 a.m.
An Amherst County jury recommends 53 years in prison for a 50-year-old Lynchburg man, after finding him guilty of killing the mother of his son. The jury convicted Cordell Carter on Thursday of first-degree murder in the January shooting death of 30-year-old Jennifer Johnson in her home. Sentencing is set for November.
Original story: Thurs., Sept. 18 1:45 p.m.
A Lynchburg man is now on trial for allegedly killing his child’s mother at her Amherst County home last January. Cordell Carter, 50, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in the shooting death of 30-year-old Jennifer Johnson. Carter faces a first-degree murder charge. The prosecution suggested that the victim may have been holding sex tapes of Carter as blackmail. The News & Advance reports that may have been what prompted an argument between the two that led to the murder.
Update: Fri., Sept. 19 5:11 a.m.
The owner of a Lynchburg consignment shop is facing more charges in the Boonsboro-area residential break-ins from the last two weeks. After searching The Burnt Orange on Fort Avenue, police found items believed to have been stolen from Lynchburg and Appomattox County homes. Lynchburg police charged store owner Katie Hyatt, 38, of Concord earlier this week on one count each of breaking-and-entering and grand larceny. The department said on Thursday she’s charged with four additional counts each of breaking-and-entering and grand larceny. Hyatt is still being held in jail. The News & Advance reports that authorities in Campbell and Appomattox counties suspect Hyatt in additional burglaries in their localities.