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News in Brief

Judge rescinds ruling against ‘physicians-only’ abortion law

(AP) A federal judge has rescinded his own ruling that struck down a Virginia law that said only physicians may perform first-trimester abortions. U.S. District Court Henry Hudson May 6 found that the law was “unduly burdensome” to women seeking abortions. ...

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Drug charge hearing delayed for 900-pound man

(AP) A hearing scheduled in Richmond federal court in a cocaine conspiracy case was delayed May 13 after the 900-pound defendant had to be taken to the hospital. U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak continued the hearing for 48-year-old Kenneth T. Hicks until May ...

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Judge orders psych evaluation for Appalachian Trail suspect

For the past couple of weeks, hikers along the Appalachian Trail had been warning each other about a hiker who was threatening other hikers with a large knife. The man, who used the trail nickname of “Sovereign,” was arrested in ...

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Ex-Somali colonel faces civil trial alleging torture

ALEXANDRIA (AP) A Northern Virginia man who served decades ago as a colonel in the Somali Army is facing accusations in a federal courtroom that he tortured and killed those perceived as enemies of the government. A civil jury in ...

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Last lawsuit in boy’s septic tank drowning settled

PULASKI (AP) A wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the drowning of a 5-year-old Pulaski County boy in a septic tank has been settled with a $200,000 insurance payment to his parents and sister. The order entered May 8 ...

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Lawyer charged with multiple courthouse lapses (access required)

A Blacksburg lawyer has run afoul of judges in three localities, but says he’s getting help. Court records show attorney Jonathan P. Fisher has four pending hearings for misdemeanor contempt of court in Salem, Roanoke and Montgomery County. Two of ...

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Doctor found guilty on 861 federal drug charges

ABINGDON (AP)  A doctor who practiced in Martinsville has been found guilty on 861 counts of federal drug charges, federal prosecutors say. Joel Smithers was convicted after a jury heard evidence that he “prescribed controlled substances to every patient in ...

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Chesterfield chosen for jail opioid treatment program

CHESTERFIELD (AP) Chesterfield County is one of 15 localities around the country chosen to participate in a national program to expand medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in jails. The county will receive scholarships for five staff members to attend ...

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Ex-intelligence analyst charged with leaks to reporter

ALEXANDRIA (AP) A former government intelligence analyst has been charged with leaking classified documents about military campaigns against terrorist group al-Qaeda to a reporter. Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville, Tennessee, was arrested May 9. An indictment in Alexandria federal ...

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Police officer indicted on charge of sexual battery

(AP) A Richmond police officer has been indicted on a charge of sexual battery. Officer Michael Bryson was indicted May 6, court records showed. The circumstances surrounding the charge and the allegations that prompted it were unclear, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Interim ...

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