Agencies say wrong bear killed following attack on hiker

WLNI-SMILLBORO, Va. (AP) _ State officials say authorities killed the wrong black bear following an attack on a hiker at Douthat State Park. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation say DNA test results indicated that the bear’s DNA profile didn’t match the profile of DNA collected from the hiker’s clothing. The agencies said Thursday in a joint statement that the bear was found close to where the incident occurred in a remote section of the park. They say the bear matched the description of the animal that attacked the hiker on Aug. 8. The hiker, Laura Cooksey of Midlothian, was treated for injuries at a local hospital. The park has conducted information campaign since the incident to education visitors about bear safety.

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Lynchburg Police arrest three, seize $100,000+ in gang-relating shootings probe

Eric Payne

Eric Payne

Stephen Spinner

Stephen Spinner

Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas

From Lynchburg City Police: On August 19, 2015, the Lynchburg Police Department, with assistance from the Virginia State Police and the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office executed five search warrants at four separate locations in the City of Lynchburg and one location in Amherst County. During the execution of search warrants, the following items were seized: five firearms, $109,955 in cash, and a significant amount of gang-related paraphernalia from several locations. These search warrants and the arrests listed below are related to the gang-related shootings previously discussed during the 8/18 press conference.

(Continue reading for the full list of suspects and charges.)

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Lynchburg Police: suspect arrested for recent gang-related shooting

Orlando Oliver II

Orlando Oliver II

From Lynchburg City Police: On 8/18/2015 at approximately 1553 hours, several 911 calls were received about multiple shots being fired in the area of Floyd St. and Park Ave. Officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to the area and discovered that a bullet had struck a window in a dwelling in the 1300 block of Park Ave. No one was injured as a result of the shots being fired.As a result of the investigation, Orlando Roselle Oliver II, 18 years of age of Lynchburg was arrested and charged with six counts of maliciously shooting at a motor vehicle and one count of maliciously shooting into an occupied dwelling. The investigation into this shooting indicates that this incident is directly related to the gang-related shootings previously discussed during the 8/18 press conference.Additionally, Oliver was charged in connection to the shooting that occurred on 8/16/2015 at approximately 2355 hours in the 1100 block of Wise St. (This is one of the incidents discussed during the 8/18 press conference) During this incident, Oliver is believed to have shot multiple rounds into an unoccupied dwelling. In relation to this incident he was charged with two counts of attempted malicious wounding, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, reckless handling of a firearm, and willfully discharging a firearm in the city. Oliver was held without bond.

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Date set for Maureen McDonnell appeal

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A date has been set for when prosecutors and lawyers for former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell will argue over whether her corruption convictions should be reversed. The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday scheduled oral arguments in McDonnell’s appeal on Oct. 29. A jury in September found the Maureen and former Gov. Bob McDonnell guilty of doing favors for a nutritional supplements executive in exchange for $165,000 in gifts and loans. The former Republican governor, once considered a possible running mate to Mitt Romney in 2012, has been sentenced to two years in prison. His wife was sentenced on Feb. 20 to one year and one day in prison. Both are free on bond while they pursue appeals.

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Judge to consider pretrial motions in Hannah Graham murder case

Jesse Matthew  (Photo: Charlottesville PD)

Jesse Matthew, Jr.

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ A judge is set to consider several pretrial motions in the case of a man charged with abducting and killing a University of Virginia student. Jesse Matthew Jr. is charged with capital murder in the September 2014 disappearance and death of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. His trial is set for next summer. Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins is set to consider about a dozen defense motions at Thursday’s hearing. Among them is a request that she bar people in the courtroom from displaying any symbols supporting Graham. The county’s chief prosecutor has filed court papers opposing that motion and most others.

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Brad Paisley to perform free concert in Blacksburg night before VT-OSU game

Brad PaisleyFrom HokieSports.com: NASHVILLE, Tennessee (August 19, 2015) As the 2015 college football season kicks off, country music superstar Brad Paisley and IMG will be taking his show to select universities to provide free entertainment for the campus community. The tour kicks off September 6 at Virginia Tech. The “Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s” will roll into Blacksburg, Virginia on September 6 and set up on the Virginia Tech campus. Breakout country artist Eric Paslay will be the special guest.

(Continue reading for the full news release.)

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GOP warns McAuliffe against reappointing judge

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Republicans are warning Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe not to reappoint his pick to the Virginia Supreme Court next month when her initial appointment expires. Republicans issued a statement Tuesday suggesting such a reappointment would be “at best dubious and at worst unlawful.” But GOP leaders did not say what they would do if the governor does reappoint Justice Jane Marum Roush, as he has said he plans to do. Democrats foiled a GOP bid to unseat Roush Monday, and then unexpectedly adjourned the state Senate from a special session. McAuliffe believes the early Senate adjournment gives him the authority to appoint justices because the General Assembly is not in session. But Republicans said the legislature is still in session because the GOP-controlled House has not adjourned.

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Franklin County man pleads guilty to human trafficking

Gavel-Court-LegalROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ A Franklin County man who forced a woman to engage in prostitution has pleaded guilty to human trafficking. Tremayne Rontae Kirby entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Roanoke. Kirby also pleaded guilty to one count of using interstate commerce to promote an enterprise involving prostitution. Prosecutors said Kirby admitted to operating a prostitution enterprise involving women in Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey. Kirby used the money generated from the prostitution enterprise to pay for hotels, buy illegal drugs and food. Prosecutors said he hit, body-slammed, shook, and threatened one woman to get her to engage in prostitution. At sentencing, Kirby faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Lottery raises more than $500 million for Va. schools

New-VA-Lottery-LogoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Lottery says it raised more than $500 million during the last fiscal year for Virginia’s public schools. The lottery says it increased its sales to more than $1.84 billion in fiscal year 2015. More than $1 billion in sales were generated from Scratcher tickets alone, setting a record. The lottery says more than $12 million in unclaimed winnings were donated to state’s Literary Fund, which benefits education by assisting technology upgrades in schools and teacher retirement funding. By law, every dollar of Lottery profits benefits K-12 education in Virginia. Lottery profits make up about 8 percent of Virginia’s K-12 education budget.

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Listen: Lynchburg Police say Jessie Paige death is related to series of drug and gang-related shooting incidents

Jessie Paige (Photo courtesy WDBJ7)

Jessie Paige (Photo courtesy WDBJ7)

Lynchburg Police say the weekend shooting death of 16-year-old Jessie Paige is connected to a series of several other shooting incidents going back to last March. Lynchburg Police Captain Ryan Zuidema says all those incidents are drug and gang-related, and all are targeted attacks between specific groups and specific people. Zuidema says there is no threat to the community at large, but police are nonetheless concerned that an innocent citizen might become the victim of further incidents. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more:

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Here are Captain Zuidema and Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette at today’s news conference:

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