Va. Tech president wants larger endowment

Timothy Sands

Timothy Sands

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands wants to double the school’s $800 million endowment and make the university one of the top 100 world research institutions. The Roanoke Times reports Sands made the comments Friday at his official installation, four months after taking the job. Sands also wants to make a Virginia Tech degree affordable for any Virginia student who can qualify for admission. The comments come as Virginia grapples with a $2.4 billion budget shortfall that has already led to $45 million in cuts to higher education. Sands is the school’s first president since James McComas to have no previous ties to Virginia Tech. He has spent much of his time in office meeting with students, faculty, staff and state and local leaders to listen to their concerns.

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Underdog Gillespie says he sees path to victory

CAMPAIGN-2014RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Senate candidate Ed Gillespie is behind in the polls and campaign cash with little more than two weeks before Election Day in Virginia. But the former high-powered Washington political operative says he’s enjoying his underdog campaign and feels that momentum is in his favor. The Republican Gillespie is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Warner, a popular former governor seeking a second term. Gillespie says the media and pundits are missing what’s happening on the ground, and that people unhappy with President Barack Obama’s energy, health care and tax policies — and Warner’s support for them — will help Gillespie win in November.

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McAuliffe embarking on trade trip to Asia

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is embarking on his second international trade trip with scheduled stops in Japan, China and South Korea. McAuliffe’s office announced Friday that McAuliffe would attend a welcome dinner Sunday hosted by Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan. Other planned stops on the week-and-a-half-long trip include a University of Virginia alumni breakfast in Japan, a Virginia wine event in China, and meetings with the president and prime minister of South Korea. McAuliffe went to China and England in July and has made luring international businesses to locate Virginia one of his top priorities.

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McAuliffe organizes new group to respond to Ebola

Undated file image from the  Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) shows Ebola virus

Undated file image from the
Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) shows Ebola virus

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is organizing multiple state agencies into a unified command group as part of an effort to safeguard against any spread of the Ebola virus in Virginia. McAuliffe announced Friday that the group will work to make sure first responders have adequate training to treat Ebola patients and that state hospitals are able to coordinate potential care. State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine said Ebola prevention efforts are based on the same principles and approaches Virginia’s health system uses every day, but the unique aspects of the virus required the state to make sure its plans are up to date. The agencies involved include the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, the state police, and the Virginia National Guard.

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Sentencing delayed for Maureen McDonnell

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has delayed the 2015 sentencing of former first lady Maureen McDonnell on nine public corruption convictions. Judge James R. Spencer granted a request Friday to push back McDonnell’s sentencing to sometime after Feb. 16. One of her attorneys had requested the change. The attorney said he had a conflict with the original Jan. 6 sentencing date. Former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were convicted in September of performing “official acts” to promote former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams’ dietary supplement products in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts, trips and loans. Bob McDonnell was convicted on 11 public corruption counts. His sentencing remains set for Jan. 6.

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US senators seek answers on Ebola prep in Va.

Undated file image from the  Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) shows Ebola virus

Undated file image from the
Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) shows Ebola virus

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are asking Virginia hospital and health officials how prepared the state is to deal with any patients who have symptoms of Ebola. The Virginia Democrats expressed their concerns in a letter to Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services William Hazel and the CEO of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, Sean Connaughton. In the letter released Friday, Kaine and Warner ask Hazel and Connaughton what is being done to ensure that Virginia hospitals and health care professionals have the supplies and training to deal with the deadly virus. They also ask whether additional resources are needed with preparedness efforts. The letter cites potential resources from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, among other federal agencies.

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Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Agent Orange Saturday

City of LynchburgThe lasting effects of Agent Orange will be the topic of discussion at a town hall meeting being held tomorrow. There were 30 million gallons sprayed during the course of the war. In Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, there are 5,000 Vietnam veterans. There are bills, currently, in front of Congress encouraging the continued funding and research into the effects of Agent Orange These facts and many others, will be part of a panel discussion, being held on Saturday, on the effects of the chemical. The town hall meeting will be at American Legion Post 16 on Greenview Drive from 9:00 til Noon; and will feature a question-and-answer session.

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Centra Launches Campaign Regarding Ebola

centra logoCentra officials have launched an educational campaign regarding Ebola. Although there have been NO suspected cases of Ebola reported to any of Centra’s facilities administrators have received a number of phone calls from citizens asking questions about the disease. Centra’s healthcare staff, while already trained in infection control practices is now receiving additional training; with healthcare system’s environmental services and facilities management departments establishing protocols for dealing with contaminated material. To learn more about Ebola preparedness locally, visit: http://www.centrahealth.com/ebolafacts.

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Bedford County investigators continue Lyon sisters’ probe in Maryland

Lyon sisters-thumbFrom the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: “Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz and investigators for the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police traveled back to Montgomery County Maryland this week. The team from Bedford County continues to work with Cold Case Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department interviewing witnesses and reviewing the large amount of case files in the Lyon Sisters’ case.”

10-year-old Katherine Lyon and 12-year-old Sheila Lyon vanished from a mall in Wheaton, Maryland, March 25, 1975.

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UPDATE: Gillespie temporarily ditches ads in Va. Sen race

CAMPAIGN-2014Updated: Fri 10/17/14 7:23 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie is temporarily ditching television ads in the state with less than three weeks before Election Day. Records posted on federal websites show Gillespie canceling or sharply reducing ad buys in multiple markets this week. A Gillespie campaign spokesman said Thursday that the campaign will launch a new $300,000 ad buy statewide starting on Saturday. Polls show Gillespie trailing his first-term Democratic rival, Sen. Mark Warner, who is blanketing the state with ads. Gillespie is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and one of its best fund raisers.

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