D-Day Memorial prepares for thousands of visitors

dday.org

dday.org

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) _ Organizers are expecting up to 10,000 visitors to attend the National D-Day Memorial’s events marking the invasion’s 70th anniversary. Today is the D-Day anniversary. Nicole Johnson with the National D-Day Memorial Foundation says event organizers have been working with local tourism groups to ensure visitors have a place to stay. There are only two hotels in Bedford, where the memorial is located. Johnson says some visitors are staying in hotels as far away as Botetourt County. The Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center is expecting 400 people to attend its annual dinner for the D-Day anniversary. Sales associate Heather Massey says guests are flying in from as far as France, Ireland and England.

 

For more information on the events for the 70th anniversary commemoration at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, CLICK HERE.

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Warner to discuss Va. rail safety

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark Warner is holding a meeting in Richmond today to discuss rail safety. The conversation will focus on the status of proposed regulations and initiatives to improve the safety of transporting crude oil by rail in Virginia. It comes in the wake of a train derailment and fire in downtown Lynchburg on April 30. Scheduled participants include representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Lynchburg Fire Department and CSX.

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$300 million budget gap possible for Va. budget

virginia-general-assembly-logoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A possible $300 million gap is adding a new wrinkle to state budget impasse that threatens a possible state government shutdown.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with key lawmakers Monday at the Capitol to tell them about lower-than-expected tax revenues that could leave a $300 million budget hole for the current fiscal year.

McAuliffe said he told lawmakers that the budget gap shows the need for compromise on passing a state budget for the next two years.

Republican and Democrats haven’t been able to pass a roughly $96 billion biennial budget for several weeks because of disagreements over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 400,000 low income residents.

Republicans said the new revenue numbers bolster their case for passing a budget without Medicaid expansion.

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Randy Taylor wants new trial in different location

Randy Taylor (FBI photo)

Randy Taylor
(FBI photo)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — A 48-year-old man convicted in the abduction and slaying of a Nelson County teenager says he plans to seek a new trial in a different county. Jurors found Randy Taylor guilty May 8th in the death of 17-year-old Alexis Murphy. Her body has never been found.

The News & Advance interviewed Taylor in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He has been held there since his arrest Aug. 11, 2013, eight days after Murphy disappeared. Taylor declined to answer questions about the night Murphy vanished. Surveillance video from a gas station in Lovingston shows Taylor holding the door for Murphy. He blames his conviction in part on jurors who were influenced by Murphy supporters in the courtroom. They wore pink ribbons and clothing in her memory. Taylor’s sentencing is July 23.

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School presents slain Nelson County teen’s diploma to family

Alexis Murphy

Alexis Murphy

LOVINGSTON, Va. (AP) — Nelson County High School officials have presented a slain teen’s diploma to her family. Alexis Murphy’s family attended the school’s graduation ceremony Saturday in Lovingston. School officials gave the family Murphy’s diploma during a special presentation.

Murphy’s aunt, Angela Taylor, says the family plans to create a scholarship program in Murphy’s name for a graduate of the school. They hope to present the scholarship next year. Taylor says receiving Murphy’s diploma is bittersweet. On May 8, 48-year-old Randy Taylor was convicted in Murphy’s abduction and slaying. Her body has never been found.

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Downtown Lynchburg street closures

lynchburg - emergency logo

 

Downtown Lynchburg street closures are set to take effect tomorrow and last about two and a half weeks. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones…

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Former Va. governor due in court for dismissal hearing

Former Virginia  Gov. Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife are due in federal court for a hearing on whether to dismiss most of the corruption charges filed against them.

Judge James R. Spencer will also hear arguments Monday on whether McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, should receive separate trials. Prosecutors oppose separating the cases.

The Republican former governor and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for helping promote his products. They have pleaded not guilty. A jury trial that is expected to last at least five weeks is scheduled to begin in late July.

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Around 30,000 guests expected for Virginia Tech graduation

Virginia-Tech-LogoBLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ About 5,000 students are set to receive diplomas at Virginia Tech’s spring commencement. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the keynote speaker for the main ceremony Friday morning at Lane Stadium.

The graduate school commencement will follow at Cassell Coliseum. Twenty-eight college and departmental ceremonies are set for later Friday and Saturday.

The university expects about 30,000 guests for the festivities.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger will preside over the Blacksburg ceremonies for the last time. He is retiring effective May 31.

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McAuliffe to be briefed on train cleanup

Train-Fire-thumbRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to meet with responders from last week’s Lynchburg train derailment.

The governor is traveling to Lynchburg this morning to thank officials for their work and receive a briefing regarding ongoing cleanup efforts.

Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused the 17-car derailment of a CSX train carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota.

Three of the cars plunged into the James River and one caught fire, briefly causing parts of downtown to be evacuated.

The Department of Transportation issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring that railroads inform state officials about the movement of large shipments of crude oil through their states and urged shippers not to use older model tanks cars that are easily ruptured in accidents.

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Most new Liberty graduates took at least some courses on-line

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About 34,000 people are expected for tomorrow’s commencement ceremony at Liberty University’s Williams Stadium. More than 85% of Liberty’s newest graduating class took at least some courses online. The school’s director of online admissions, Steve Peterson, says its not just far-flung students who use distance learning. WLNI’s Gene Marrano has more:

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