Danville official says tornado caused $2.4M in damage

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) – A Danville official says a tornado earlier this week caused $2.4 million of damage to the Virginia city.
The Register & Bee reports City Manager Ken Larking gave the estimate during a city council meeting Tuesday.
Larking says the damage includes $800,000 to public infrastructure and $1.6 million to private infrastructure.
The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado with winds of 110 mph (180 kph) touched down Sunday in the southside city. Storms also struck Lynchburg and Campbell and Amherst counties on Sunday, leaving significant damage.

Police: University students, professor sold drugs

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – Police say they’ve arrested eight students and a professor at William & Mary on drug charges.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Wednesday that 10 people were charged with narcotics distribution at the school in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Authorities said they seized LSD, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, opioids, amphetamines, steroids and marijuana. About $14,000 in cash was also recovered.  Williamsburg police said the investigation began after they heard about sexual assaults that occurred on or around campus because of increased drug use. They said more arrests and charges are possible. Police said they have no indication the suspects worked together.  Police said the 10th person facing charges is a William & Mary employee.  Most of the people charged are in their early 20s, but two are 18 years old
and one is 40.

Plane makes emergency landing at Dulles airport in Virginia

DULLES, Va. (AP) – A Delta Connection flight has made an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport after the pilot reported landing gear problems.  The Washington Post reported that the plane was flying from New York to Richmond, Virginia, when it landed Tuesday afternoon. The plane was carrying 46 passengers and four crew members.  Officials said they will be bused from the airport in northern Virginia to Richmond.  The plane had flown out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The emergency landing at Dulles followed two others. A flight from New York to Dallas made an emergency landing at Philadelphia’s airport Tuesday morning after the crew reported damage to an engine, fuselage and window.  A United Airlines plane made an emergency landing Monday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to repair a mechanical problem.

McAuliffe to receive ‘pioneer award’ at film festival

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Richmond International Film Festival has named former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as the recipient of its 2018 Pioneer Award for Excellence in Public Service & Leadership.
Each year, the festival honors state and national leaders who are paving a future path in leadership and evoking change in communities.
This year, McAuliffe was chosen for effectively ending homelessness among the state’s military veterans.
The award will be presented to McAuliffe by Gov. Ralph Northam during the festival’s Military Spotlight on April 29.
More than 150 award-winning films from 35 countries will be screened at the festival, which runs from April 23-29.

Democratic challengers find success in fundraising

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Democratic challengers to sitting members of Congress are having success raising money.
Campaign finance reports released on Sunday show Democrats outraised incumbent GOP Reps. Dave Brat and Tom Garrett during the first three months of this year.
Several other Democratic challengers also posted strong fundraising totals.
Fundraising among incumbent Republicans was mixed. GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock raised the most money last quarter, followed by Republican Rep. Scott Taylor.
Republicans currently hold 7 out of eleven U.S. House seats in Virginia, but Democrats are hopeful they will gain seats thanks to voter antipathy toward President Donald Trump. Democrats easily won all three statewide offices last year and made major gains in the state House.

University to host forum on school safety

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Commonwealth University and state Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran are set to host a forum on school safety.  The April 23 event in Richmond will focus on how officials can assess and investigate potential threats at schools. Moran will also moderate a panel about the roles of school resource officers.  Robyn McDougle, the interim director of the Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, said school safety is an important and timely topic.  A 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is accused of bringing an assault rifle to the school in February and killing 17 students and staff members.

Crews search for 2 men after boat capsizes in Potomac

QUANTICO, Va. (AP) – Authorities have launched a search for two men after their boat capsized in the Potomac River in northern Virginia.  Coast Guard officials say a tugboat crew saw the boat capsize Sunday about a mile south of Leesylvania State Park but could not locate the men by the time they got to the area where the boat capsized.  Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Washington, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, and three area counties were searching the 47-degree water.  A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Atlantic City, New Jersey, also joined the search.

California man charged with threatening Congressman Garrett

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Federal authorities have charged a California man with threatening a Virginia congressman in Facebook posts. Authorities say 28-year-old Eun Soo Lee of Cypress, California was arrested Thursday in California and charged with threatening Republican Rep. Tom Garrett.

According to an affidavit, Lee admitted sending threatening messages when he was interviewed by an investigator last year, saying he was frustrated with Garrett’s political views. According to the affidavit, Lee called Garrett several derogatory names and told him that he wished him “a truly painful, bloody, gory, and agonizing death.”

Lee is scheduled to appear in court in Virginia on April 23. It was not immediately clear whether he has a lawyer.

‘Racist + rapist’ scrawled on UVa’s Thomas Jefferson statue

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A University of Virginia statue of Thomas Jefferson was vandalized with the words “RACIST + RAPIST” as the university commemorates the 275th anniversary of its founder’s birth. The Washington Post reports that the words were spray-painted on the base of the statue on the university’s lawn and discovered Friday on Founder’s Day. Virginia spokesman Anthony de Bruyn said “acts of vandalism do not contribute to meaningful discussion” as the university reckons with the complexities of the slave owning Founding Father’s legacy. Statues of Jefferson on campus have been flash points in recent months. During last August’s deadly white nationalist rally, community members surrounded a statue to protect it as torch-bearing white supremacists circled them. The next month, community members shrouded a statue in black, with signs labeling Jefferson a racist and rapist.

The latest: Trump claims success in Syria, but chemical weapons remain

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday declared “Mission Accomplished” for a U.S.-led allied missile attack on Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the Pentagon said the pummeling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.

“A perfectly executed strike,” Trump tweeted after U.S., French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles nearly unopposed by Syrian air defenses. “Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

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