Libertarian Party is fielding a candidate for 6th District Congressional race

Will Hammer6th District Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte doesn’t have a Democrat challenger on November 4th … but the Libertarian Party is fielding a candidate. WLNI’s Gene Marrano spoke with Will Hammer:

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Va. joins higher ed distance learning agreement

Education-News1RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia higher education officials are making it easier for students to take online classes and for universities to offer them. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia announced the joining of a multi-state reciprocity agreement on Monday that deals with authorization and payment for distance learning courses. Colleges and universities that offer distance learning to students in other states were previously required to seek authorization from those states. Officials say that process is both costly and complex. The pact addresses those issues by automatically allowing schools to offer those classes to out-of-state students if the courses are approved by another state’s higher education organization. Officials say the hope is to have all 50 states and the District of Columbia ultimately participate in the agreement.

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Va. continues meetings on transportation plans

Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ The Commonwealth Transportation Board is holding public meetings this week on the state’s six-year highway improvement plan. One meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northside High School. The other meeting will be held Wednesday in Bristol at the Holiday Inn Bristol Conference Center. Similar meetings have been held in Lynchburg, Chesapeake, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Weyers Cave, Fairfax and Culpeper. The board allocates funding for essential highway, bridge, rail and other transportation projects. In June, board members approved a final $13 billion transportation blueprint for Virginia over the next half-dozen years.

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Va. health agency launching quit smoking campaign

QuitNowVirginiaMastheadRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia health officials are launching a campaign to help cigarette smokers kick the habit. The Virginia Department of Health says it is counting down to Virginia Quit Day on Nov. 20. Tips and support will be posted on the agency’s Facebook page every day leading up to the event. The agency also is including information for people helping support friends and family in their decision to quit smoking. State Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine says quitting tobacco is the single most important step a person can take to improve their health and quality of life. The Virginia efforts are being done in concert with the Great American Smoke Out campaign.

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Va. crime panel looks at police ID procedures

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia State Crime Commission is examining whether police are doing enough to ensure the accuracy of eyewitness identifications. The commission is set to hear a report on the issue Tuesday. Thirteen of the 16 people wrongly convicted in Virginia and later exonerated by DNA evidence originally were misidentified by eyewitnesses. A study released last year by a University of Virginia law professor found that most law enforcement agencies in the state are using outdated eyewitness identification procedures. Only 6 percent of the 144 agencies responding to a survey had implemented a model policy recommended by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services in 2011. A new study by the National Academy of Sciences reinforces the need for the type of policy recommended but not fully implemented in Virginia.

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Gilmore’s PAC aims to boost Gillespie

CAMPAIGN-2014RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Former Gov. Jim Gilmore’s super PAC is paying for new ads in support of Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and other Republicans. Gilmore announced Monday that his political action committee will air radio and TV ads in support of Gillespie, who is facing Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner. The super PAC is also paying for radio ads in support of GOP Senate candidates Joni Ernst in Iowa and Scott Brown in New Hampshire. A spokesman for Gilmore declined to say how much the ad buy would be in Virginia, but said the entire buy for all three states is in the low six figures. The Growth PAC reported raising only $7,500 from two donors in its most recent quarterly campaign finance report. Warner easily defeated Gilmore in the 2008 Senate race.

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Potential Improvements Depend on Utility Replacements

City of LynchburgUpcoming utility replacements, could bring potential for a host of associated improvements to Lynchburg’s down-town streetscape maybe even, the return of two way traffic. As a major water line replacement looms, the city is considering the project as an opportunity to revert back to two-way traffic on heavily traveled Church and Main Streets. The one-way traffic configuration has been in place, in several locations for decades. Some officials believe the change back is an idea that could bring many benefits to downtown. The city is planning a public outreach campaign in coming months to gauge the input of residents and business owners.

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Appomattox County Hiring a New County Administrator

Appomattox CountyAppomattox County officials, this week, will be deciding on a hiring process for a new County Administrator. Aileen Ferguson announced last month that she would retire in June of next year. The Board of Supervisors plan to meet on Wednesday to discuss options for filling the position. Suggestions already presented, include contacting Campbell County to request specifics on how that locality replaced its County Administrator; another option, is to have supervisors write down ideas and bring them to the meeting, which replaces the originally scheduled Oct. 25 retreat, that was removed from the county’s schedule.

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Crafters to Connect Throughout the State

Town of BedfordThe Artisan Trail network is working to connect crafters throughout the state. Bedford, featuring 86 members, is the newest of the 16 trails. Nelson and Albemarle counties, could eventually connect with Bedford if localities in between, were to get involved and that’s just what the Artisan Center of Virginia hopes will come to fruition. Franklin County’s Southwest Virginia trails, borders Bedford’s, leaving open, a possibility for collaboration with that group as well. ACV is working on an economic impact study of artisan member on the trail, to gauge their success.

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Central Va. apple growers adjust to rising costs

WLNI-MLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Rising costs have prompted some Central Virginia apple growers to change their production methods. The Nelson County Times (http://bit.ly/1usDNqw) reports that many orchards have bought smaller trees or dwarf trees, which are easier to prune and harvest. The smaller trees reduce labor costs and require fewer ladders. Saunders Brothers owner Jim Saunders says the orchard wants to harvest fruit as close to the ground as possible. The family-owned Drumheller’s Orchard reduces labor costs by putting family members to work. Morris Orchard has begun planting more varieties of apples and apples that are more resistant to disease. Owner Judy Barnes says people want newer varieties of apples in addition to traditional varieties.

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