FBI AGENT-WIFE'S DEATH
Charges against Va. FBI agent going to jury
STAFFORD, Va. (AP) - Charges against an FBI special agent accused of killing his estranged wife in Stafford County are going to a jury.
Arthur Gonzalez is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. A Stafford County Circuit Court jury heard closing arguments in the 43-year-old Gonzalez's trial on Tuesday. Deliberations are scheduled to begin Wednesday.
The Free Lance-Star reports that Gonzalez testified Tuesday that he shot his wife, 42-year-old Julie Gonzalez, in self-defense after she attacked him with a knife during an argument.
The couple was in the process of getting a divorce.
Gonzalez has been suspended from his job pending the outcome of the case.
Va. lumber company to move manufacturing to W.Va.
RUCKERSVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia wood products company is moving its manufacturing operations to West Virginia.
Ruckersville-based Mountain Lumber Co. merged with Renick Millworks in Renick, W.Va., in 2013.
Mountain Lumber CEO Bill Stone tells The Daily Progress that the company will maintain its headquarters, sales and administration in Ruckersville, along with a mill shop and sample shop.
Stone says about 15 of the company's 65 employees will remain in Ruckersville once the relocation is completed. About 10 others are taking jobs in West Virginia. Those who didn't want to leave Central Virginia were offered equitable positions with other companies.
Mountain Lumber's products include reclaimed antique, prefinished and engineered wood flooring and paneling.
Delaware traffic stop turns up untaxed cigarettes
NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Delaware authorities say state troopers found hundreds of cartons of untaxed cigarettes from North Carolina when they stopped a Virginia man.
State police say 38-year-old Elebechir Lehreitani of Alexandria, Va., was stopped for speeding near Newark on Tuesday and consented to a search that turned up 402 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in the trunk of his Chevrolet Impala.
The state Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement says an agent determined that Lehreitani bought the cigarettes in North Carolina, but his destination remains unknown.
Authorities seized the cigarettes and $269 in Lehreitani's possession.
Lehreitani was charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes and attempting to evade Delaware excise tax and cited for speeding. He was released on $6,100 unsecured bail.
State investigates fish kill in Bland County creek
ROCKY GAP, Va. (AP) - A state environmental official says water and foam used by firefighters to extinguish a vehicle fire went into a creek in Bland County and killed hundreds of fish.
Anglers discovered the fish kill in Laurel Creek on Tuesday morning.
J. Alex Sneed with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the vehicle fire occurred along nearby Interstate 77 on Monday. About 5,500 gallons of chlorinated tap water and firefighting foam went down a highway drain and into the creek.
Sneed says the dead fish included trout that the state had stocked in the stream on Monday.
The fish kill zone extends about a mile and a half from an I-77 bridge near the East River Mountain Tunnel to where Laurel Creek meets Wolf Creek.
Baltimore woman slain during trip to Va.
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - Authorities in northern Virginia say a Baltimore man has been charged in the shooting death of his wife during a trip to Loudoun County.
The county sheriff's office says Kelvin and Ruby Forde were on their way to visit relatives on Tuesday. That's when the sheriff's office says the couple got into a fight and 50-year-old Kelvin Forde pulled into Woolsthorpe Drive in Leesburg, where the shooting took place.
The sheriff's office says deputies responding to a report of gunfire found 55-year-old Ruby Forde dead in the vehicle and Kelvin Forde was arrested.
Forde is charged with first-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He's being held without bond.
Va prepaid college tuition deadline approaching
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia families have until the end of the month to enroll in the state's prepaid college tuition program for this year.
Officials say the annual enrollment period for Virginia529 prePAID ends March 31. The enrollment allows families to purchase at this year's pricing future in-state tuition and fees at Virginia public colleges and universities.
Contracts are available by the semester at different pricing levels and families or individuals may purchase contracts for newborns up to children in ninth grade.
Officials say that tuition at four-year institutions has increased an average of 7 percent a year in Virginia over the last decade.
Program CEO Mary Morris says enrolling in a plan now gives parents and grandparents confidence against future uncertainty about tuition increases.
Poplar Forest to resume daily operations
FOREST, Va. (AP) - Thomas Jefferson's Popular Forest is resuming daily operations after a winter of weekend-only hours.
The News & Advance reports that daily operations at the historic attraction will resume Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Over the last few weeks, employees have tidied up the residence, including refurbishing floors and pulling old stumps for a season focused on telling a more inclusive story of Jefferson's personal retreat.
With the help of Randolph College, organizers also plan to draw more attention to telling the history of the slaves who lived there year round.
Poplar Forest will hold guided house tours along with self-guided grounds exhibits and special events throughout the spring.
VOTING RIGHTS RALLY
Activists plan voting rights rally in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group of activists will hold a rally in Richmond to protest last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
They're calling it "The Caravan for Democracy," and it's stopping at the state Capitol on Wednesday morning on its way to Washington, D.C. The caravan previously stopped at capitols in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
The event is sponsored by the Saving OurSelves Movement for Justice and Democracy, a regional association of 40 organizations and activists. Virginia Organizing is the local host.
In a 5-4 decision last June, the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act's requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination get Justice Department approval before changing the way elections are conducted.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.