Poll: Majority oppose Va. Medicaid expansion
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new poll shows that the majority of Virginians oppose a plan favored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to use federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to low-income residents.
A poll from Christopher Newport University's Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy poll released Thursday shows that Virginia voters oppose Medicaid expansion 53 percent to 41 percent. In February, the university found the majority of voters favored Medicaid expansion 56 to 38.
The shift in the public's views suggests that Republican lawmakers are winning the long-running public relations over McAuliffe and Democratic lawmakers.
Lawmakers have been deadlocked on Medicaid expansion for several months. The impasse led the General Assembly to adjourn in March without passing a $96 billion two-year budget, which could lead to a potential state government shutdown.
RICHMOND RAPID BUS
Officials seek grant for Richmond rapid bus system
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State and local governments are applying for a federal grant to pay for a new 7.5-mile rapid bus transit system in Richmond.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office announced Thursday it was seeking federal help to pay for the $49.8 million proposal.
The envisioned rapid bus line would run down Broad Street, between downtown and just over the border with Henrico County.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the city of Richmond and Henrico County would pay for half of the project.
A Richmond rapid bus project has been in development since 2009. The governor's office says it should be ready for the design phase in the near future.
DEATH PENALTY TRIAL
Prosecutors urge death penalty in sailor's slaying
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors have urged a federal jury to impose the death penalty on an ex-Marine who murdered a Navy sailor, saying it's the only adequate punishment for a man who has committed a series of sexually motivated attacks.
The jury heard closing arguments Thursday in federal court in Alexandria in the trial of 25-year-old Jorge Torrez.
That jury found Torrez guilty of the 2009 murder of sailor Amanda Snell on an Arlington base.
After his conviction, Torrez ordered his lawyers not to make any defense on his behalf in the sentencing phase.
Prosecutor James Trump told jurors that execution is the only adequate punishment for a man who not only murdered Snell but killed two girls in his Illinois hometown. Torrez is charged but has not been convicted in those slayings.
TRAVELER'S CASH SEIZED-DOG
Dog alerts customs officers to undeclared cash
CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) - Officials say a detection dog at Washington Dulles International Airport alerted them to a large amount of undeclared cash a traveler was carrying.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say a U.S. citizen arriving from Qatar declared $8,000 on Monday when he landed. But when an officer in the inspection area led a dog over to sniff the man's luggage, officials say the dog alerted the officer.
Officials say the man stated again that he was carrying $8,000, but when officers examined his luggage they found an envelope containing nearly $25,000.
There's no limit to how much cash travelers can carry, but they must declare amounts larger than $10,000.
Officers seized the cash and told the traveler how to petition to get it back. The man was not charged.
MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
'Voice' winner to perform for Memorial Day in DC
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2013 winner of TV's "The Voice" will perform at this year's National Memorial Day Concert on the Capitol lawn in Washington.
Organizers are announcing plans Thursday for the Memorial Day festivities on May 25. The lineup this year includes Colin Powell along with Danielle Bradbery from "The Voice."
Other entertainers performing include actress Dianne Wiest, Broadway star Megan Hilty, bandleader Doc Severinsen and singers Jackie Evancho and Anthony Kearns. They will perform with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the program again this year. The concert will be televised May 25 on PBS.
This year's concert will welcome home service members returning from Afghanistan and honor those who were killed or critically wounded. This marks the concert's 25th anniversary on the National Mall.
Marlboro maker Altria 1Q profit falls
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Altria's first-quarter profit dropped 15 percent as the Marlboro maker sold fewer cigarettes and its year-ago results benefited lower expenses from a longstanding legal settlement.
The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, posted earnings Thursday of $1.17 billion, or 59 cents per share. That's down from $1.38 billion, or 69 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding one-time items, earnings were 57 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations.
Altria Group Inc., based in Richmond, Va., said that revenue, excluding excise taxes, increased less than a percent to $4.01 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $4.03 billion.
Cigarette shipments fell 2.5 percent to 29 billion cigarettes. Volumes of its premium Marlboro brand fell about 2 percent. Smokeless tobacco volumes grew about 6 percent.
Autopsy: Martinsburg police shot Va. man 23 times
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - An autopsy report says Martinsburg police officers shot a Virginia man 23 times during an altercation in 2013.
The report says Wayne Arnold Jones died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The 50-year-old Stephens City, Va., man's brothers are suing the city over the shooting on behalf of his estate. The wrongful death lawsuit seeks $200 million in damages.
Media outlets report that the family's lawyer, Sherman L. Lambert Sr., filed a copy of the autopsy report in federal court in Martinsburg on Tuesday. Lambert also filed an amended lawsuit that adds the officers as defendants.
Police have said Jones drew a knife and stabbed one officer during a scuffle.
Last week, a judge ordered the city to provide the autopsy report and a state police report to the plaintiffs.
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