Authorities: Remains belong to Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

Hannah Graham

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Authorities say remains found Oct. 18 in a rural area are that of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. The remains were found about 12 miles from campus. The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. The remains were discovered roughly 6 miles from where the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was found after she vanished in 2009. Police have said forensic evidence connects Matthew to Harrington’s killing, which in turn is linked by DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in northern Virginia. Matthew has been charged in that case as well.

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Rail safety task force meets in Norfolk

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The Governor’s Rail Safety and Security Task Force is meeting today Norfolk. The task force was formed after a 17-car derailment in Lynchburg in April. Three cars carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota plunged into the James River and one caught fire, prompting a brief evacuation of parts of downtown. Nobody was injured. A meeting of the task force has been scheduled for Friday at the Virginia Port Authority’s headquarters. The task force includes state agency officials and subject matter experts. The governor’s office says members of the task force will be responsible for making recommendations to enhance Virginia’s ability to protect lives, property and the environment along the state’s rail lines.

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Appalachian Power proposes Va. efficiency programs

AEP-LOGORICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Appalachian Power is proposing ways for its Virginia customers to reduce energy usage and demand. The utility on Friday filed a request with the State Corporation Commission seeking approval for four residential programs and two for commercial and industrial customers. The residential programs would provide home assessments and incentives for long-term energy reduction; provide free pickup and cash incentives for removing second refrigerators or freezers from the power grid; give incentives if new manufactured housing is built to efficiency standards; and offer retail rebates and markdowns for high-efficiency lighting and appliances.  A financial incentive for commercial and industrial users would tie to specific results from installing high-efficiency lighting and heating and cooling equipment. Another would provide rebates for certain larger energy conservation projects. Appalachian Power has about 500,000 Virginia customers.

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Man who found critical Morgan Harrington evidence hopes its leads now to successful prosecutions

Morgan Harrington

Morgan Harrington

The man who discovered a key piece of evidence that links Morgan Harrington’s murder to a 2005 rape in Fairfax hopes it leads to successful prosecutions. That evidence is Harrington’s t-shirt. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Poll shows who “Millennials” likely to vote for in Senate election

ELECTION-2014A new poll of “Millennials”–those in the 18 to 35 age group shows a preference for Democrat Mark Warner in next month’s Senate election. Quentin Kidd does the polling for Christopher Newport University.  He says 47 percent of Virginians in the Millennial age group prefer Mark Warner.  The Libertarian Robert Sarvis is second with 24 percent.  Republican Ed Gillespie comes in third at 11 percent.  Kidd says the challenge for Warner is getting those “Millennials” out to vote, when 59 percent of them say they’re not paying much attention to the campaign.

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Woman sues Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Howl-O-ScreamBusch Gardens is being sued by a woman who says she was trampled during the amusement park’s annual Howl-O-Scream event. Brittany Lipscomb says that other patrons struck her from behind and knocked her down as they were being chased by costumed Busch Gardens employees carrying fake chain saw. She was pregnant at the time. Busch Gardens says it does comment on pending lawsuits.

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Feb. 20 sentencing set for former Va. first lady

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell’s sentencing on nine public corruption convictions has been set for Feb. 20.  McDonnell had originally been scheduled for sentencing Jan. 6, but she asked for a postponement because one of her attorneys has a scheduling conflict that day. U.S. District Judge James Spencer approved her motion last week and set the new sentencing date Thursday. 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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Lockn’ Festival May Be Adding Two-Day Country Music Lineup

lockn fest logoLockn’ Festival organizers are considering adding a two-day Country music event to the lineup. State and local agencies held a post-Lockn’ Festival briefing earlier this month all gave positive reviews from September’s event. With the success, Lockn’ staff plan to stay in Nelson County long-term. Organizers purchased a 385-acre farm adjacent to the Oak Ridge Estate where extra camping was held in its second year, in which an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people attended. Now planners are considering the financial feasibility of an additional two-day concert that would take place in mid-August of 2015 or possibly in 2016.

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Amherst County School Board Members Have Productive Gathering

amherst county logoIt was a productive retreat gathering last week for Amherst County School Board members. The board addressed; made progress on; and implemented processes on a number of issues, including the possibility of having new school board members seated in the future, through elections rather than appointments. The board took action on two recommendations affecting child nutrition and made headway on several other agenda items, including an online employee handbook being made as well as ensuring that administrative salary schedules correspond to current positions.

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Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Have Some Hunting on Sundays

Virginia Department of Game and Inland FisheriesThe Department of Game and Inland Fisheries believe outreach efforts related to the new Sunday hunting law have been successful. Virginia’s archery season started at the beginning of the month and firearms season will kick off on November 15 hunting season this year, now includes Sundays, well, for some hunters. The new law allows people to hunt on private land with written permission from the owner however, the extra day does not carry over to public lands, such as state-owned wildlife management areas. DGIF officials say it’s hard to tell how many people are taking advantage of the extra day though, so far, the department has encountered very few problems with people trying to hunt on public land on Sundays.

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