Virginia lawmakers sustain McAuliffe vetoes
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has successfully vetoed two religious expression bills and legislation that would have granted people who receive red-light tickets the right to contest citations in circuit court.
The Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to uphold McAuliffe's vetoes during a one-day legislative meeting commonly referred to as the "veto session."
McAuliffe had vetoed a bill that would have codified a student's right to pray at school. Another would have prohibited censorship of sermons given by chaplains of the Virginia National Guard.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia praised the Senate's votes, while the conservative Family Foundation condemned them.
The General Assembly did not take up the state's proposed $96 billion two-year budget. Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on whether the budget should include expanding Medicaid eligibility.
POSTAL WORKER PROTEST-VIRGINIA
Postal workers to protest in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Postal workers are planning a protest at a Staples store in Richmond.
It is part of an American Postal Workers Union protest spanning 27 states Thursday. The workers are opposing the opening of postal counters in Staples stores that are staffed with store employees.
Last year, Staples office supply stores began providing postal services under a pilot program that now includes about 80 stores. The postal workers union objects because the program replaces well-paid union workers with low-wage nonunion workers.
The union says that could lead to layoffs and the closing of post offices. It wants the counters staffed by uniformed postal workers.
The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service has been working to form partnerships with private companies as it tries to cut costs and boost revenues.
Ex-coach in Va. enters lesser plea
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - A former Blacksburg High School assistant softball coach accused of having a sex with a 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, avoiding a prison term.
Amber Nicole Holdaway pleaded guilty Wednesday to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. She received a 12-month suspended sentence after entering her plea in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
The Roanoke Times reports that the 24-year-old Holdaway originally faced one count of felony indecent liberties.
A prosecutor said the victim and the victim's family were satisfied with the plea.
As part of the terms of the plea agreement, Holdaway cannot have any contact with the victim.
ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY-SENTENCE
Serial bank robber sentenced in latest crime
WASHINGTON (AP) - A man who prosecutors say was on supervised release after being convicted in 19 bank robberies has been sentenced for trying to rob a bank.
Thirty-three-year-old Calvin Kinard Adams of Washington pleaded guilty in January to attempted bank robbery. He was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday in federal court in Washington.
According to court documents, on July 3, Adams handed a note to a teller at a Wells Fargo Bank, but fled when the teller tried to activate the silent alarm.
Prosecutors say Adams served time after his conviction in 2003 for a string of bank robberies he committed that year in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. Authorities say Adams had been on supervised release for less than six months when he tried to rob the Wells Fargo Bank.
Court upholds NC gang member's death sentence
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a gang member's death sentence for killing two brothers at a North Carolina restaurant.
A divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday rejected several claims by Alejandro Enrique Ramirez Umana. The MS-13 gang member claimed his statements to police were coerced, that the prosecutor made prejudicial remarks and that his mental retardation defense at sentencing was improperly rejected.
In a dissenting opinion, Judge Roger Gregory said the introduction of transcripts of police interviews with accomplices linking Umana to two murders in Los Angeles violated his rights.
Umana was convicted of the 2007 murders of Ruben Garcia Salinas and Manuel Garcia Salinas in Greensboro. He was the first MS-13 member sentenced to death in the United States.
Judge dismisses case against Blackwater defendant
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says it might seek new criminal charges against one of four former Blackwater security guards in the shootings of dozens of Iraqi citizens at a traffic circle in Baghdad in 2007.
On Wednesday, a federal judge dismissed an indictment against defendant Nicholas Slatten after a federal appeals court said the statute of limitations had lapsed before the government filed the case against Slatten last October.
Slatten had been charged with manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and using a firearm in a crime of violence.
The government says it might seek to bring new charges against Slatten that could become part of a scheduled June 11 trial of the other three Blackwater guards in the case.
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