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Controversial Va. lawmaker to resign over sex with teen charges, then run in special election

ABC 7 WJLA Politics - The Associated Press - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:53:40 EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state lawmaker who recently entered a plea in connection with accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a teenager said Thursday he will let the voters decide whether he should stay or go.

Democratic Del. Joseph D. Morrissey announced that he has submitted his resignation but said he plans to run for the same seat in a special election set for Jan 13.

"It is the voters and not political pundits and not partisan caucuses that should decide who serves in office," Morrissey said at a news conference in his Capitol office.

Morrissey's decision to run for re-election surprised many, including House Speaker William J. Howell, who called the move "deceitful, selfish and disrespectful."

"This is a despicable, arrogant political stunt that should disgust each and every citizen of Virginia," Howell said in a statement. He urged Morrissey's voters "to retire Mr. Morrissey permanently."

Morrissey struck a defiant tone, saying there is no precedent for a sitting lawmaker to be expelled from office for committing a misdemeanor crime.

He was sentenced to 12 months in jail with six suspended but will ultimately serve three months, according to one of his attorneys. Morrissey is in a work-release program that allowed him to work as a legislator and lawyer by day while spending nights in a Henrico County jail.

Morrissey's own caucus and several other high profile Democrats have called on him to step down after he entered an Alford plea last week in Henrico County Circuit Court on a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for a conviction but doesn't admit guilt.

According to prosecutors, Morrissey and a 17-year-old girl, who worked for him as a receptionist, had sex multiple times at his law office in August 2013 and texted their friends about it. Morrissey, 57, also procured a nude photo of the teen "to help him fantasize about their next encounter," according to special prosecutor William Neely, and sent the picture to a friend.

Morrissey has vehemently denied the allegations and claimed his cellphone was hacked.

One of the most colorful characters in Virginia politics, Morrissey has a long history of courting controversy.

A 1991 courthouse fistfight with a defense attorney earned Morrissey, then Richmond's chief prosecutor, a five-day jail sentence.

After losing his re-election bid in 1993 under the cloud of bribery and perjury charges on which he was later acquitted, Morrissey went into private practice. He capitalized on the widely reported courthouse brawl by calling himself a "fighter" for his clients on ads plastered on city buses and decorating his office with boxing gloves.

Fisticuffs with a building contractor led to a misdemeanor assault and battery conviction and suspension of Morrissey's law license in 2000. Three years later, the state bar revoked his license for failing to tell clients about the suspension. Unable to practice law, he taught in Ireland and then Australia before returning to Virginia in 2006 and winning four House elections in a row.



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NOVA Parks Honored for Top Employee, Volunteer

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:30:32 +0000

Two members of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s took home the top awards given to individuals at the 2014 Virginia Recreation and Park Society Conference in early December. Brian Knapp, the current chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, won the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award. Blythe Russian, who […:]

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McAuliffe proposes changes to Virginia state budget

Loudon Times News - -

Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to more than double the pot of money he can spend trying to lure companies to Virginia, ease school districts' teacher retirement burdens, and give raises to rookie deputy sheriffs.

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Native Run: Home in Leesburg for the holidays

Loudon Times News - -

The Northern Virginia band takes a break from Nashville to play to the people who gave them their start

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State Delegate Resigns After Teen Sex Case

WHSV - News - Headlines - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:08:12 GMT

A Virginia Democratic state lawmaker is resigning from office after recently entering a plea in connection with accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a teenager.

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Va. lawmaker says he's resigning after teen sex case

Fox 5 WTTG Virginia News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:59:00 EST

A Virginia Democratic state lawmaker is resigning from office after recently entering a plea in connection with accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a teenager.

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WATCH LIVE: Morrissey addresses calls for resignation

NBC12 News Richmond - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:59:00 EST

Del. Joe Morrissey will finally address the issue of his resignation from the Virginia House of Delegates.

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Virginia Tech's Foster says he's not talked to other schools about job openings

Richmond Times Dispatch - Sports - mbarber@timesdispatch.com(MikeBarber) - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:32:00 -0500

BLACKSBURG – Bud Foster said he’s focused on coaching Virginia Tech in the upcoming Military Bowl game against Cincinnati, not any other school’s defense.

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Virginia State Parks offering New Year's hikes

TriCities.com - news - arobinson@bristolnews.com(Allie Robinson) - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:42:00 -0500

Those who want to start the new year with a glimpse of nature can participate in New Year's Day hikes at Virginia's state parks.

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Pa. man charged with 1990 slaying of Virginia Beach woman

Virginia NBC29 News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:23:00 EST

Police have charged a Pennsylvania man with the slaying of a Virginia Beach woman more than two decades ago.

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AAA says Virginia to have busy holiday travel season

The Daily Progress - news - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:10:00 -0500

RICHMOND — More than one-third of Virginians are expected to travel this holiday season.

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VA Groups get Funding for Youth Anti-Smoking

Charlottesville NBC29 Local News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:20:00 EST

The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is awarding grants to groups across the state for youth tobacco-use prevention programs.

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Top Virginia House Republican to seek university athletic fee cap

Wdbj 7 Sports - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:09:22 GMT

Virginia state House Republican Majority Leader Kirk Cox says he wants to limit the amount of mandatory fees public universities can collect from students to pay for athletic programs.

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Suspect sought in Wythe break-ins

SWVa Today - news - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:48:00 -0500

The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the person in this surveillance photo from Virginia Recycling on Chapman Road at Fort Chiswell. The suspect broke into the business during the early mornin

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Top Va. House Republican to seek university athletic fee cap

Fox 5 WTTG Virginia News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:47:00 EST

Virginia state House Republican Majority Leader Kirk Cox says he wants to limit the amount of mandatory fees public universities can collect from students to pay for athletic programs.

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2 N.Y. residents face charges in Va.-to-W.Va. cigarette smugling

Roanoke Times Dispatch - News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:58:00 -0500

Two New York residents face charges of illegally transporting cigarettes from Virginia to West Virginia.

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City of Bristol, Virginia releases agenda for 2015 llegislative session

TriCities.com - news - llowery@bristolnews.com(Lurah Lowery) - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:53:00 -0500

BRISTOL, Va. — The General Assembly of the Commonwealth will convene its 2015 legislative session on Jan. 14, 2015 and the city of Bristol, Virginia has released its agenda of items to bring before le

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VRE riders give to Toys for Tots

INSIDENOVA.COM - Manassas - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Virginia Railway Express riders gave from their hearts and wallets recently and donated a truck full of toys and nearly $19,000 in the commuter rail agency’s annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots

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Guest Commentary: Response to Rolling Stone Article Lacked Integrity

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:44:54 +0000

By Joe Green As a graduate of the University of Virginia (College ‘93) and a Phi Kappa Psi brother, the last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion and reflection. My recent relief over the revelation that the horrible event recounted in Rolling Stone did not occur at […:]

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Under McAuliffe, flow of gifts to Virginia's governor's mansion slows

ABC 7 WJLA News - The Associated Press - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:49:57 EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The days of Virginia governors taking big-ticket gifts - like a Caribbean vacation or a suite at a Redskins game - appear to be over.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe instituted a $100 gift cap when he took office in January as a way of trying to restore Virginia's reputation after a gift scandal enveloped his predecessor. He recently submitted his annual statement of economic interest showing he's received gifts of only limited value.

They include dozens of mostly trinkets related to trade missions and other official duties. McAuliffe's list does not include access to posh vacation homes or tickets to high-priced sporting events that were frequently given to previous Virginia governors.

For instance, McAuliffe reported receiving a $50 ":corporate mascot figurine": from the China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba during a trade mission. Stone Brewing Co., one of the nation's top craft breweries that is receiving a $5 million grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to relocate to Richmond, gave McAuliffe a case of IPA beer worth $76.88.

":Transparency and accountability in government are central to Governor McAuliffe's vision for a new Virginia economy,": said Brian Coy, the governor's spokesman.

Virginia politicians are still reeling from the fallout of former Gov. Bob McDonnell's federal corruption conviction. The trial highlighted how a wealthy businessman lavished the McDonnell family with expensive gifts. Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of a dietary supplement maker, gave the McDonnells designer clothes, a Rolex and access to his Ferrari, among other things. A jury found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of illegally helping promote Williams' products in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. They are set to be sentenced next year.

McDonnell also reported accepting large gifts from others besides Williams. They include tickets to sporting events worth thousands of dollars, including a reported $19,000 gift from the Washington Redskins for a suite at a game.

As part of their defense, McDonnell's legal team focused on gifts received by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who was Virginia's governor prior to McDonnell. According to court records and published news media accounts, those gifts included use of a free vacation home on a private Caribbean island called ":Mustique": from a businessman, a gift valued at $18,000.

Lawmakers have pledged to tighten gift rules following the guilty verdict in the McDonnell trial, and House Republicans recently said they support a $100 gift cap similar to what McAuliffe has imposed on himself.



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2 NY residents face cigarette transport charges in W.Va.

Fox 5 WTTG Virginia News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:51:00 EST

Two New York residents face charges of illegally transporting cigarettes from Virginia to West Virginia.

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U.Va. to make public reviews of response to rape allegations

Virginia NBC29 News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:55:00 EST

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan says the school will make public reviews of how it responds to sexual assault allegations.

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Wallops launch pad where Antares rocket exploded should be repaired by next year

Virginia WJLA - The Associated Press - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 04:58:43 EST

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Despite a massive explosion in October, authorities say a state-owned launch pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility should be repaired and ready for testing late next year.

Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff from Wallops Island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Oct. 28. The rocket was carrying a cargo ship that was bound for the International Space Station.

The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority on Wednesday provided news media outlets a tour of the damage from the explosion. Two lightning towers at the launch pad were knocked down by the blast while the two others suffered damage and will need to be replaced. A water tower next to the launch pad was slightly charred and had exterior lighting damaged, but otherwise withstood the blast. A large crater was created in the sand next to the launch pad from the blast where the rocket came down.

Two nearby buildings scheduled to be removed prior to the explosion were also damaged, but the vast majority of the complex was unscathed.

":This pad has come through in very good shape. It's still some significant repairs, but it's a $120 million pad and the repairs are less than $20 million,": said Dale Nash, executive director of the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority.

ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION

NASA says no environmental hazards were discovered in the air following the explosion. The space agency says the water-retention basins at the launch pad have been pumped dry and will be cleaned to prevent future contamination. The impact crater was pumped dry five times to remove what NASA describes as significant levels for perchlorate. Additional pumping will continue, and water samples will be taken each time. The pumped water is being kept in large, enclosed storage tanks and will be taken to an off-site treatment facility. Soil near the crater is also being excavated to remove any residual chemicals, which will also be taken to an off-site disposal facility.

FUTURE LAUNCHES

Orbital Sciences plans to launch its next Antares rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station in 2016. The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority says the launch pad should be able to conduct what's known as a hot-fire test at the launch pad by the end of 2015 in anticipation of the launch.

REPAIR COSTS

The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority has said repairs to the launch pad should not exceed $20 million. Congress has agreed to pick up the tab for those costs. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., toured the launch pad on Wednesday and said it is of national interest to see the facility repaired as quickly as possible.

":This infrastructure survived remarkably well, given the magnitude of the challenge,": Kaine said. ":But there's obviously a cost to repair. The missions that are flown here are very necessary. The mission that is being done serving the space station and other missions here definitely have a public component.":



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Obama commutes sentence of Va. woman on drug charges

Virginia NBC29 News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:15:00 EST

President Barack Obama is allowing a Virginia woman sentenced to more than 21 years in prison on drug charges to get out of prison early.

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Va. groups get funding for youth anti-smoking

Fox 5 WTTG Virginia News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:11:00 EST

The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is awarding grants to groups across the state for youth tobacco-use prevention programs.

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No. 6 U.Va. hoping Anderson stays hot after long layoff

Richmond Times Dispatch - Sports - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:45:00 -0500

CHARLOTTESVILLE Virginia coach Tony Bennett has used the words “continuous” and “efficient” to describe Justin Anderson’s play.

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Field Reports: Big drop in West Virginia buck season

Roanoke Times - sports - billkatcochran@gmail.com(Bill Cochran) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:00:00 -0500

West Virginia wildlife officials are blaming bad weather for a steep, 34-percent drop in the state’s deer kill during its two-week, buck’s-only season.

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UVa basketball schedule boosts Cavaliers' reputation

Roanoke Times - sports - Doug.Doughty@Roanoke.com(Doug Doughty) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:43:00 -0500

Nowhere is the Virginia men’s basketball team getting as much respect these days as it is in the computer rankings published by USA Today.

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Kevin Dresser, Virginia Tech wrestlers ready to pin down success

Roanoke Times - sports - Mark.Berman@roanoke.com(Mark Berman) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:15:00 -0500

The Hokies are ranked sixth in the USA Today poll.

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Virginia Peninsula residents have mixed views on renewed Cuba-US relations

Daily Press Peninsula News - Ryan Murphy and Andrea Castillo - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:46:00 GMT

As Cuban-born Newport News businessman Al Guerra sees it, the decision by the Obama administration to restore diplomatic relations with the island nation is a step in the wrong direction.

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Morrissey to address calls for resignation Thursday

NBC 12 News - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:47:00 EST

Del. Joe Morrissey will finally address the issue of his resignation from the Virginia House of Delegates.

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Virginia Tech DC Bud Foster says he's not been contacted by any other schools

Roanoke Times - sports - Andy.Bitter@roanoke.com(Andy Bitter) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:55:00 -0500

BLACKSBURG — As is the case every offseason, Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s name has been rumored for plenty of jobs.

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UVa cell biologist to lead Seattle-based cell science institute

The Daily Progress - news - cvilledailyprogress@gmail.com(Daily Progress Staff Reports) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:41:00 -0500

Cell biologist Rick Horwitz will be on extended leave from his post at the University of Virginia School of Medicine after being named executive director of a new $100 million institute created by phi

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Holston High School students place seventh in nation on finance test

TriCities.com - news - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:07:00 -0500

Students at Holston High School placed first in the state in Virginia and seventh in the nation in financial literacy certification testing and their teacher was named a Gold Star teacher.

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Priscilla Grey Waller

Martinsville Daily - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:28:08 +0000

Priscilla Grey Waller, age 76 of 910 Bethel Lane, Martinsville, Virginia passed away Sunday, December 14, 2014 at Martinsville Memorial Hospital. She was born January 26, 1938 in Martinsville, to the late Metore Hall Grey and the late John W. Grey, II. Priscilla is survived by two daughters: Jennifer A. Grey of Axton, Va., Metore […:]

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6 charged in contaminated West Virginia water

WDBJ 7 National News - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:14:53 GMT

Almost one year after water for more than 300,000 West Virginia residents was contaminated because of a chemical spill, six former officials for the company responsible for the leak are facing federal charges.

Seven-thousand gallons of a toxic chemical called MCHM leaked into a West Virginia river on January 9, 1½: miles upstream from a water treatment facility. For more than a week, residents couldn't drink, bathe or cook with the water.

The chemical MCHM is commonly used in the coal mining industry for cleaning, and was kept in tanks next to the Elk River by the company Freedom Industries Inc. Several holes were found in the tank that leaked into the river.

The Freedom Industries president at the time was Gary Southern, 53, who was indicted on charges of negligent discharge of a pollutant in violation of the Clean Water Act, among other alleged violations. He also faces separate federal charges of wire and bankruptcy fraud. If convicted on all charges, he could face nearly 70 years in prison.

Three former owners of Freedom Industries were also indicted. Dennis P. Farrell, 58, William E. Tis, 60, and Charles E. Herzing, 63, were indicted on charges of negligent discharge of a pollutant and negligent discharge of refuse matter. They face up to three years in prison.

The indictment for Southern, Farrell, Tis and Herzing alleged that their company failed to make sure the tank holding MCHM was inspected for cracks and to keep it maintained. The indictment alleges that these four men approved funding "only for those projects that would result in increased business revenue for Freedom, or that were immediately necessary for required equipment maintenance."

Two other men who worked for Freedom Industries at the time -- Michael Burdette and Robert Reynolds -- also face charges that they violated the Clean Water Act.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice was committed to vigorously enforcing the Clean Water Act.

"...The conditions at the Freedom Industries facility were not only grievously unacceptable, but unlawful," Holder said in the statement. "They put an entire population needlessly at risk."

An attorney for Southern, Robert Allen, said it was inappropriate for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia Booth Goodwin to prosecute this case, because he, his colleagues and family were affected by the water contamination.

"If my family's a victim, how can I prosecute somebody for causing that spill or allegedly causing that spill?" Allen said. "How can I be fair or impartial?"

Goodwin said he would address Allen's concern "in due course."



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Anderson elevates his game for Virginia

The Daily Progress - Sports - wreid@dailyprogress.com(Whitey Reid) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:00:00 -0500

“Continuous” and “efficient” are the words that Virginia coach Tony Bennett has used to describe Justin Anderson’s play to date. Awesome would probably be the word of choice for UVa fans.

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Federal Government Downsizing Sends D.C. Region Tailspining, Fuller Reports

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:01:11 +0000

Confirming in spades the dreary economic outlook for the region presented by Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields to a budget visioning work session earlier this month, Dr. Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, painted a grim picture for the D.C. Metro area including Northern Virginia for the next five years going forward in a two-hour talk to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors in Merrifield Tuesday.

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Editorial: The Falls Church Advantage

Falls Church News-Press Online - - Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:48:34 +0000

The regional forecast delivered by George Mason University’s Dr. Stephen Fuller to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Tuesday did not paint a rosy picture, despite his best efforts to plant some lipstick on that pig for the edification of an audience thirsty for any good news. Coming away from […:]

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Fairfax, Prince George's counties competing fiercely for new FBI headquarters

ABC 7 WJLA Politics - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:29:40 EST

WASHINGTON (AP/Washington Post) - The battle between Fairfax and Prince George's counties over which will build a new FBI headquarters is being fought inch by inch through the long, tedious process of vetting sites and proposals.

Then there is the behind-the-scenes politicking, and on that point Virginia officials think last month's elections gave the commonwealth a level playing field.

While two veteran Virginia lawmakers will step down when the new Congress begins in January, it is Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland's loss of control of the powerful Appropriations Committee that may help the commonwealth land the largest federal campus since the CIA's Langley headquarters was completed in 1961.

"I think the recent election bodes well for Virginia," Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay (D) said. "I wish it didn't, but in the real world I think it does, at least when it comes to the FBI."

At issue is an attempted swap by the General Services Administration of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, one of the most valuable development sites to become available in downtown Washington in decades, for a new 2.1 million-square-foot campus that will consolidate 11,000 FBI workers from 20 locations around the region.

While the GSA has initiated several such swaps to get around congressional spending restrictions, this one takes place on an unprecedented scale and under the scrutiny of local lawmakers. Three sites have been chosen by the GSA as finalists: Springfield in Fairfax and Greenbelt and Landover, both in Prince George's.

Virginians claim that Maryland lawmakers in general and Mikulski in particular have exerted political pressure for the headquarters to be moved to their state. Although the decision rests with the executive branch, Mikulski, as appropriations chairwoman, may have had particular influence in the case of a swap that did not cover the full cost of the new building.

"They want everyone at GSA to know that if they pick Virginia there's going to be pain later," one Virginia Democratic staffer said.

Now Mikulski will hand over her gavel to a Republican, and nearly the entire Maryland delegation will sit in the minority. Virginians hope that shift will blunt the argument from state and local officials that Prince George's deserves this project after being repeatedly passed over by the federal government. But Maryland lawmakers also say the Greenbelt site should win on its merits.

"I personally advocate for Maryland," said Mikulski, but "I don't think it's about Democrats or Republicans. I think it's about the FBI."

Likewise, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) said "the politics always cuts multiple ways," and he is confident Prince George's will prevail thanks to "the best location," not clout.

Despite Mikulski's diminished role, Maryland's chances are probably improved by a more organized, concerted effort from Prince George's officials than was ever assembled under previous county executive Jack B. Johnson, incarcerated after a corruption conviction.

Working closely with state officials, Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) has put together a subsidy package that could be worth as much as $190 million to support the Greenbelt proposal.

County officials say they are arranging similar support for a bid to bring the FBI to the former Landover Mall, and they are confident that the FBI would boost the economy.

A report commissioned by the county's partner in Greenbelt, Renard Development, and produced by Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute, determined that the FBI headquarters could produce $1.1 billion in economic output. And if Renard adds 2 million square feet of offices, housing, hotels and retail, it could bring the total to $3.5 billion and 21,000 jobs.

Fairfax has not done an economic assessment for the site, as Prince George's has, maybe in part because the FBI, unlike Defense Department units, does not attract a lot of private contractors and the associated property taxes. Aside from a poorly received joke about crime in Prince George's, Fairfax Economic Development Authority chief Gerald Gordon has not been prominent in the FBI effort.

"The EDA fills office buildings: they don't really do land-use stuff," McKay said. Should the Springfield location be chosen, he said, the EDA's role "traditionally would be to work with the private-sector land around the site."

Virginians have expressed concern in the past that a classified CIA facility on the Springfield property will scuttle their bid. Officials say it's an added financial concern, not an insurmountable obstacle.

"There's costs involved with the current tenants," Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said.

Maryland lawmakers have said that a plurality of FBI employees live in their state, relying on a report from their own economic development department. But those numbers are extrapolated from general census data: the FBI has refused to say where its employees reside. Virginia officials argue that FBI workers would rather be close to Quantico, where their training academy is located.

Once two Maryland sites were named, politicking between the two developers that control them picked up steam. Lerner Enterprises, the company led by Washington Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner, and its co-owners of the Landover Mall property have spent $143,000 this year with Dickstein Shapiro to employ a pair of former Maryland members of Congress, Sen. Joseph Tydings and Rep. Albert Wynn, to lobby on GSA issues, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Locally, the Lerners have also enlisted the help of Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George's), the former candidate for lieutenant governor. Renard has employed Manis Canning & Associates to win support.

To get the complex built, the GSA has initiated two overlapping competitions: one for the best piece of land and the other for the best development deal it can get in exchange for the Hoover building, which is crumbling and dated but sits on 6.7 acres of highly valuable land.

All three finalists, chosen after more than a year of vetting and consultation, have different forms of ownership. The GSA owns the Springfield site, Metro owns the site in Greenbelt but has partnered with a private developer, and Lerner Enterprises and other private parties own the Landover site.

Next month, the GSA will begin seeking developers interested in building an FBI headquarters on any of the sites in exchange for the Hoover building. In a best-case scenario for the GSA, competition for the Hoover building will be so intense that it will be able to complete a straight swap. In that case, Norman Dong, commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service, said he may not need Congress to act.

Major pitfalls remain, however. House Republicans have questioned whether the GSA's proposed swap is appropriate, and real estate professionals who are closely studying the proposal say the GSA is unlikely to reap enough money from Hoover to pay for a new FBI campus. One executive closely tracking the deal estimated that a new FBI campus could cost $1.2 billion while the Hoover building could fetch about $500 million, leaving a $700 million funding gap.

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Virginia lawmakers eliminate five SOL tests for elementary students

WDBJ 7 Lynchburg News - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:38:16 GMT

For almost 20 years, schools in our state have tested students on the Standards of Learning. : Now, some of those tests are being eliminated.

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Independent review of UVa's sexual assault policies and procedures to be made public

The Daily Progress - news - cvilledailyprogress@gmail.com(Daily Progress Staff Reports) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:21:00 -0500

The University of Virginia will make public an international law firm’s review of the school’s handling of sexual violence and gang rape allegations published in a Rolling Stone story last month, Rect

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Man wanted for attempted robbery

Martinsville Daily - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:20:13 +0000

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a robbery that occurred at Hardee’s located at 2927 Virginia Ave., Collinsville, VA. On December 16, 2014 at 5:28 am, a male approached an individual who had placed an order and was waiting in the drive through line. The suspect produced a handgun and demanded the victim […:]

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Robberies on VCU campus decrease

NBC12 News Richmond - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:15:00 EST

There has been a double-digit decrease in robberies on Virginia Commonwealth University's campus between the semester that just ended and the same time period last year.

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Leona V. “Dolly” Napier

Martinsville Daily - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:52:36 +0000

Leona V. “Dolly” Napier, 92, of Bassett, died Monday, December 15, 2014 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. She was born in Virginia on September 21, 1922 to the late John and Sue Sarver Mitchem. Leona was also preceded in death by her husband, Herman A. Napier: two sons, Raymond Napier and Carl Napier: two grandchildren, […:]

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Attorneys for Shawn Berry's family set up tip line for information about his death while in custody in Orange

The Daily Progress - news - cvilledailyprogress@gmail.com(Daily Progress Staff Reports) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:23:00 -0500

HARRISONBURG — The family of Shawn Christopher Berry, an inmate who died in August while in custody at Central Virginia Regional Jail, is seeking information about his death.

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Virginia Tech linebacker Chase Williams works his way back to play

Richmond Times Dispatch - Sports - mbarber@timesdispatch.com(MikeBarber) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:06:00 -0500

BLACKSBURG – Chase Williams won’t say.

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Kendall Fuller named an All-American

Wdbj 7 Sports - - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:26:32 GMT

Virginia Tech sophomore, Kendall Fuller, was named as a 3rd Team All-American cornerback by the Associated Press. This season, Fuller had 15 passes defended, 14 pass break-ups, 50 total tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery, and one interception he returned 47 yards for a touchdown.

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Madison Heights man enters guilty plea in sodomy case

NewsAdvance.com News - bmohrmann@newsadvance.com(Barrett Mohrmann) - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:55:00 -0500

A Madison Heights man pleaded guilty Wednesday to allegations of a 2011 sexual assault at Virginia Baptist Hospital.

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U.Va.'s Anderson expands his game, finds his long-range shooting touch

Daily Press Virginia Tech Sports News - Norm Wood - Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:50:00 GMT

Just a few hours before tipoff Dec. 6 in Virginia's eventual 74-59 win at Virginia Commonwealth, Justin Anderson sat in a hotel bathroom with his left ankle submerged in a sink of hot water.

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