Child injured in Lynchburg day care fire dies

Lynchburg Fire DepartmentLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ A fire official says a child has died from injuries suffered in a fire at a day care in Lynchburg. Media outlets report that the fire occurred Friday morning at a day care operated by Doris Lee in her home. Lynchburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Campbell tells The News & Advance (http://bit.ly/1tTEJHR) that the child died on Sunday. Campbell says two other children remain in critical condition at UVA Medical Center. Three children and Lee were treated at a Lynchburg hospital and released. City officials have said the day care didn’t have a license. The fire department has said the fire was caused by a food appliance.

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UPDATE: Man seen with missing UVa student faces reckless driving charges

Hannah Elizabeth Graham (Facebook.com/ FindHannahGraham)

Hannah Graham

Mon., Sept. 22 5:02 a.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Authorities are searching for a man believed to be the last person seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared on arrest warrants charging him with reckless driving. But they also want to talk to him about the missing teen. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Sunday that Virginia State Police issued warrants for Jesse Matthew on a charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. Matthew hasn’t been charged in the disappearance of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who was last seen early on Sept. 13. Longo said police want to talk to Matthew, who was seen with Graham before she disappeared. Longo says Matthew had stopped by a police station Saturday with several family members and asked for a lawyer. He was given a lawyer but left, driving at a high rate of speed.

(Continue for pictures of Matthew’s vehicle)

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Virginia Lottery Winner from Appomattox County

Curtis Mays (Virginia Lottery)

Curtis Mays
(Virginia Lottery)

Update: 9/22/14 2:58 a.m.

An Appomattox County man is the first $100,000 winner in the Virginia Lottery’s new $1 million Money Ball game. Curtis Mays of Concord received a free ticket during the “Money Ball Monday” promotion last Monday, when he bought some other lottery tickets. That free ticket matched all five winning numbers to win $100,000. Two other winning tickets, bought in Danville and Newport News, have not yet been claimed. Mays received his free ticket at the Sheetz on Lakeside Drive in Lynchburg.

(Continue reading for news release from Virginia Lottery)

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2 Va. retirement officials earn highest state pay

Virginia Retirement System (VRS)RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Retirement System’s chief investment officer and its second in command top a list of the highest-paid state employees. The list was compiled by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The newspaper says it used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain salary information for 104,722 state employees for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2013, and ended June 31, 2014. Virginia Retirement System chief investment officer Ronald D. Schmitz was the highest-paid employee, earning $786,596 in cash compensation thanks to a bonus. The system’s director of internal asset management, Charles W. Grant, earned the second-highest pay, $670,811. Virginia Retirement System board chairwoman Diana F. Cantor tells the newspaper that the portfolio’s performance has more than doubled its target rate last year.

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UPDATE: Guilty verdict in peanut trial should send warning

Peanut Corporation of AmericaSat., Sept. 20 12:20 a.m.

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Food safety advocates say a guilty verdict in a rare federal food-poisoning trial should send a stern warning to others who may be tempted to place profits over people’s welfare. Five years ago, hundreds of Americans got sick from eating salmonella-tainted peanut butter. The top executive at the Georgia plant where it was made was convicted Friday of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, wire fraud and other crimes. Former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell could face more than three decades in prison for the outbreak linked to nine deaths and prompted one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history. His brother and a second co-defendant could face 20 years in prison. Experts say it was the first time American food processors have gone to trial on federal charges in a food-poisoning case.

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Amherst Town Council Revisting Prayer

Town of AmherstAmherst Town Council is revisiting the topic of prayer at its meetings. The practice of prayer invocations being delivered at the beginning of each town council meeting was suspended earlier this year. Moments of silence were introduced instead, following uncertainties regarding a pending hearing. In May, the Supreme Court ruled that opening government meetings with sectarian prayers was constitutional within certain parameters. A written policy on prayer will be drafted by the town’s community relations committee and presented at a later meeting.

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Altavista Officials Working on Highlighting Report for Wastewater Treatment

Altavista_LogoAltavista 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.

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Heritage High project on track

Heritage High SchoolLynchburg officials said today that everything is on schedule for the multi-year reconstruction project at Heritage High School. WLNI’s Evan Jones took a tour this morning:

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Va.’s jobless rate rises to 5.6 pct in August

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)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.

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Former Va. governor, wife seek acquittal

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

 

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.

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