FORMER GOVERNOR TRIAL
Key prosecution witness heard in ex-Va. gov trial
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - It was strictly business.
That's what the former CEO of a dietary supplements company is saying about his relationship with former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, who are on trial on corruption charges. The McDonnells are accused of taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products.
Williams is testifying for the prosecution under immunity. He said Wednesday that he sought to cultivate a business relationship with the McDonnells because he believed their influence would lend credibility to his products and help him obtain research studies at Virginia medical schools.
He testified about a $20,000 Manhattan shopping spree for Maureen McDonnell and two checks he wrote totaling $65,000 to help them deal with financial problems and pay for catering of a daughter's wedding.
Man fatally shot after striking Va. police vehicle
BEDFORD, Va. (AP) - Bedford County police say an officer fatally shot a man who led him on a chase in which the suspect struck a police cruiser.
The Roanoke Times reports the Bedford County sheriff's office did not release the name of the man or the deputy involved.
Sheriff's Maj. Ricky Gardner says a deputy spotted a vehicle driving recklessly on a dead-end road Tuesday night.
Gardner says the suspect's vehicle struck the front of the deputy's vehicle, the suspect got out and shots were fired. The man was pronounced dead at Bedford Memorial Hospital.
The deputy has been placed on administrative leave. State police are investigating.
Gardner says the suspect also was believed to be involved in a home invasion earlier Tuesday.
Virginia, student settle ABC lawsuit for $212,500
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says a $212,500 settlement has been reached with a University of Virginia student who was arrested after her purchase of water was mistaken for beer.
Mark R. Herring announced the settlement Wednesday night with Elizabeth Daly. She had filed a $40 million lawsuit against agents with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Herring says the settlement was reached after careful consideration of the potential significant costs of going to trial.
Daly fled in terror in April 2013 in Charlottesville when her vehicle was swarmed by state ABC agents who mistook her just-purchased carton of sparkling water for beer.
Daly was charged with eluding police and assaulting a police officer after her SUV grazed two of the agents. The arrest provoked a public outcry, and the charges were dropped.
Va. woman admits to concealing stepsister's body
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A woman has admitted helping cover up the slaying of her stepsister in Richmond.
Forty-year-old Yvette Hairston pleaded guilty Wednesday in Richmond Circuit Court to concealing a dead body.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports a judge then sentenced her to the maximum five years in prison but suspended all but five months of that.
Hairston also was ordered to make restitution of $2,200 to help cover the burial costs for 20-year-old Samantha Myers.
Police found Myers' body stuff in a drain pipe in a ravine March 24. She had been struck in the head with a hammer.
Jamarr Hursey agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the case in return for a 20-year sentence. His girlfriend, Selena Y. Hairston, was sentenced to 17 years on the same charge.
Dominion gives grants to Va environmental groups
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Resources' charitable foundation is awarding grants to 33 environmental organizations in Virginia.
The Richmond-based energy provider says the groups will share $500,000.
The grants support projects that protect and preserve natural habitats, prevent pollution, make nature accessible and educate the public about environmental stewardship.
Friends of First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach will create an exploration lab to teach visitors about the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Friends of the Lower Appomattox River will enhance accessibility to a canoe and kayak launch along the Appomattox River.
The Fairfax County Park Foundation will build a new trail connecting existing trails to the forest in southwest Lake Fairfax Park.
A Charlottesville program will cultivate community gardens with more than 110 edible and native species of plants and vegetables.
Va-area artifacts vie for 'endangered' designation
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Some of the area's most unique relics are vying for the title of Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.
The program sponsored by the Virginia Association of Museums is designed to create awareness of the importance of preserving artifacts.
While the designation doesn't come with award money, officials say it has helped some of those previously listed apply for grants and help with fundraising efforts.
Using input from public online voting that begins in August, an independent panel of experts will select the top artifacts in mid-September.
The nominees include regalia of the Pamunkey Indian tribe, a 1930s German Box Car, a 1905 Steinway piano, a skeleton tank, and the tombstone of the founder of Virginia Tech.
Costs for higher education in Virginia rise
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The amount paid by students at public colleges and universities in Virginia is increasing.
The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia says undergraduates at public four-year schools will see an average increase of about 5 percent, or $544, in tuition and fees in the 2014-15 academic year.
Virginia community college students will pay about $180 more per year, or an increase of 4.6 percent.
Officials say tuition and fees also had increased more than 4 percent in the previous academic year.
The council is the coordinating body for Virginia's system of higher education.
Grants available for vets, minority farmers in Va.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Grants are being made available for minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans in Virginia who are new to farming and ranching.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says more than $9 million in federal funding is available.
Officials say the funds are to help community-based organizations and others work directly with veterans and minority farmers to successfully acquire, own and operate farms and ranches.
According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, minority and historically under-represented communities are part of the continued growth among new and beginning farmers and ranchers.
The census shows 22 percent of all farmers were beginning farmers in 2012.
Applications are being accepted through Aug. 25 and must be submitted through www.grants.gov.
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