RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he’s innocent of the federal corruption charges he’s facing. The former governor finished his third day of testifying Friday at federal court in Richmond by proclaiming his innocence and saying he would never corrupt his office in exchange for gifts. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products. McDonnell said he had thought Williams was a true friend and accused him of making false statements in court. The former governor is expected to resume testifying on Monday.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Appalachian Power is warning small business customers in Virginia about a scam. The utility says some businesses have received calls from scam artists posing as Appalachian Power representatives. The callers threaten to disconnect service if payment is not received. Victims sometimes are directed to buy prepaid debit cards to make the payment. Appalachian Power spokeswoman Jeri Matheney says the company does not demand payment in this manner. She says anyone receiving such a call should hang up and call the company at the toll-free number listed on their bill or call local police.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he took a second loan from a wealthy businessman because it was offered. McDonnell testified Friday about asking Jonnie Williams for a $20,000 loan two months after borrowing $50,000. He said Williams had told him that if he needed more money, he should just ask. McDonnell said he did so when he found two vacation rental homes he owned with his sister were still operating in the red. He said there was nothing inappropriate about either loan. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the former Star Scientific Inc. CEO in exchange for promoting his company’s dietary supplements.
The results of a recent study of College Lake, means Lynchbug College and the City of Lynchburg have some decisions to make regarding the lake’s future. The study was prompted after a previous survey revealed the spillway near the entrance of the college was not large enough to handle the flow of water during severe weather conditions. In July, environmental scientists gathered information on the lake…the dam, and underlying soil. Not only does the 80-year-old dam NOT meet State regulations; inspectors found a large amount sediment. The information will be submitted to the state in December; and a decision will likely be reached by the end of the year.
Two more Schools in Bedford County are being eyed for closure as a means for the district to save about $1.6 million. Bedford County officials met with School board members on Thursday to discuss work planned, completed or underway as part of a recently released efficiency study. The item that creates the greatest savings, and listed by the district as a high priority—according to sources, is to close more schools. A decision already has been made to close Body Camp Elementary School after this school year—The News & Advance reports, a choice soon will likely be made between closing Bedford Primary and Thaxton Elementary schools. Tours of both schools are planned for next Thursday.
A new bridge spanning Campbell and Pittsylvania counties will replace an existing bridge that has been in use since 1929. The project is still in the design stage; but last week, the Department of Transportation announced that construction of bridge, which will connect Altavista and Hurt is scheduled to start in 2017. The current bridge, is classified as “structurally deficient,”… but according to officials, is safe for cars and trucks to use for the time being. The new vehicle bridge is expected to be completed by 2019. Sources say, a pedestrian walkway will also be installed. The existing walkway, which was added in 1948, has been closed since 2010.
The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company has added 200,000 new riders over the last year thanks in large part to local colleges. The bus company spent several years planning and building it’s new transfer station. GLTC’s general manager, Karen Walton, credits a new contract with Central Virginia Community College, students on the campus can ride for free. Similar deals are in place with Lynchburg College and Liberty University. Walton tells WDBJ-7 that the schools provide a key source of funding, which has allowed for expanding several routes in the city and surrounding counties. Sunday service was cut in 2011 when the bus company was having money problems– Nighttime service was recently restored –GLTC hopes full weekend routes will return within the next one to two years.
Lynchburg and Bedford County are among several communities across state that will receive funding to help offer tutoring and other educational services to students and their families. The Virginia Department of Education is awarding 47 new grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 through the 21st-Century Community Learning Centers program. Officials say the money will allow school divisions, faith-based organizations and community groups to provide tutoring, enrichment activities and other services.
The deadline looms for the remaining residents of the Virginian apartments in Lynchburg. The section 8 housing for low-income housing complex on Church Street will close its doors Aug. 31 – In June an announcement was made that the 100-unit complex was closing. About 80 residents had two months to relocate. Most residents have found new homes, but a few still remain; as the city lacks more affordable housing options. Officials have been reaching out landlords in Lynchburg and surrounding areas and publicly requested more consider providing Section 8 housing vouchers.