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News in Brief

McAuliffe touts record, warns against conservative bills

(AP) Gov. Terry McAuliffe touted his record at growing and diversifying the state’s economy Wednesday while warning lawmakers that the state’s progress could be undermined by socially conservative legislation on abortion or transgender issues. Speaking to lawmakers at the annual ...

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$2M grant to help clear backlog of untested rape kits

(AP) Attorney General Mark Herring says Virginia will use a $2 million federal grant to continue clearing out a backlog of untested rape kits and improve the way the state handles sex assault cases. Herring announced the funding at a ...

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GOP keeps control of Senate with 22nd District win

(AP) A Republican attorney from Lynchburg defeated two challengers Tuesday in a special election for a central Virginia Senate seat, a victory that ensured the legislature’s upper chamber will remain in GOP control. Results in the 22nd Senate District race ...

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New legislative session to kick off Wednesday

(AP) The Virginia General Assembly is set to kick off its 2017 session Wednesday. The session officially starts at noon, though lawmakers and Gov. Terry McAuliffe will gather earlier for a prayer breakfast. McAuliffe will give his annual address to ...

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Federal judge refuses to halt execution

(AP) A federal judge refused Tuesday to halt the execution of a Virginia inmate who’s challenging the state’s plan to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy. Ricky Gray’s attorneys had asked U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson for ...

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Report warns of increasing vulnerability for coal ash pile

CHESAPEAKE (AP) Researchers have found that millions of tons of coal ash stored along the Elizabeth River will become increasingly vulnerable to flooding and other coastal risks. The Southern Environmental Law Center released the report Monday, The Virginian-Pilot reported. The ...

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Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty in toddler’s death

McLEAN (AP) Prince William County prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing his 1-year-old son for the insurance money. The agreement reached Friday between prosecutors and defense lawyers for Joaquin Rams also ...

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Legislative office building to be demolished

(AP) A much-maligned office building next to the Virginia Capitol has only one legislative session left. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the General Assembly Building, which houses lawmakers’ offices and staff, will be demolished later this year. The building is ...

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Four judicial candidates to be interviewed (access required)

Virginia legislators will interview four candidates for four trial judge vacancies on the opening day of the General Assembly this week. The candidates apparently have the backing of their legislative delegations for the open bench seats. “We will sometimes put ...

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Five vie for Comp Commission seat (access required)

Five attorneys are being interviewed this week for a seat on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The lawyers hope to succeed the late Roger L. Williams, an employer representative on the three-member Commission. Williams died Oct. 11. The candidates scheduled ...

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