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News in Brief

Virginia House Democrats pick new leader

(AP) Virginia House Democrats have picked Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Springfield to be their new leader, a move that could help pave the way for her to become the state’s first female House speaker. House Democrats announced Dec. 8 they ...

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Man who drove into crowd convicted of first-degree murder

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) A man who drove his car into counterprotesters at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia was convicted Dec. 7 of first-degree murder, a verdict that local civil rights activists hope will help heal a community still scarred ...

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Virginia files lawsuit against Mountain Valley Pipeline

(AP) Virginia’s attorney general and its Department of Environmental Quality have filed a lawsuit against the Mountain Valley Pipeline for what they call repeated environmental violations. Attorney General Mark Herring’s office said in a statement Dec. 7 that the lawsuit ...

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Teacher fired for refusing to use trans student’s male pronouns

WEST POINT (AP) A high school teacher who refused to use a transgender student’s new pronouns has been fired. The West Point School Board voted unanimously Dec. 6 to dismiss Peter Vlaming after a four-hour hearing that drew an overflow ...

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Supreme Court rejects appeal of deaf, mute defendant

(AP) Virginia’s top court says it doesn’t have jurisdiction in the appeal of a deaf and mute man who has been confined for 13 years despite never being tried for the 2005 slaying he is charged with. Oswaldo Elias Martinez, 43, ...

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Jury to deliberate over Charlottesville fatal car ramming

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) A jury is set to begin deliberating in the murder trial of an Ohio man accused of intentionally driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally, killing one woman and injuring dozens. A ...

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Teacher fights for job over transgender controversy

WEST POINT (AP) A high school teacher is fighting a recommendation to be dismissed in the wake of controversy involving a transgender student. West Point High School French teacher Peter Vlaming was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 3, news ...

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Closing arguments expected in white nationalist trial

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) Jurors in the trial of a man accused of killing a woman and injuring dozens at a white nationalist rally are expected to hear closing arguments in the case after testimony from final defense witnesses. James Alex Fields ...

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Cyanide killer’s sentencing is delayed

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) The sentencing hearing for a man who poisoned his former girlfriend with a cyanide injection was postponed because he was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth when he was wheeled into a Virginia Beach court. Joseph Merlino ...

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Virginia man admits pretending to be doctor

NEWPORT NEWS (AP) A Glen Allen man has pleaded guilty to posing as a doctor and treating patients in a Newport News clinic. Vishal Patel, 31, admitted to providing false information in a Drug Enforcement Administration record and aggravated identity theft, ...

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