FORMER GOVERNOR TRIAL
Ex-Virginia governor talks about troubled marriage
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Jurors saw a forlorn email former Gov. Bob McDonnell wrote to his wife three years ago trying to save his marriage, telling her she was his "soulmate."
McDonnell testified extensively about his troubled marriage Thursday at his corruption trial in Richmond. He and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements.
The McDonnells say their marriage was broken, they were barely speaking and they couldn't have engaged in a criminal conspiracy.
McDonnell choked up as he described Labor Day 2011, when his wife rejected his efforts to spend the weekend with her. He wrote he was at a loss to deal with his wife's anger.
SEXUAL ASSAULT-TASK FORCE
Sexual assault task force created for Va. colleges
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A task force to combat sexual assaults on Virginia's college campuses has been created by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe signed an executive order Thursday creating the Governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence.
The task force will include campus administrators, advocates, law enforcement, higher education attorneys, health professionals and others. The task force will be chaired by Attorney General Mark Herring.
Herring's office will also begin a training program with college and university staff who are involved in the prevention of and response to reports of sexual violence. A statewide summit will be held in Richmond in October to bring together campus leaders to discuss ways to prevent and respond to sexual violence.
The task force will provide a final report to the governor by June 1.
MINE SAFETY GRANT
Va. agency gets $269K in mine safety funding
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is receiving nearly $269,000 in health and safety training grants from the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The funding is part of $8.3 million in grants for 47 states and the Navajo Nation in fiscal year 2014. The state funds are being given to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy in Big Stone Gap.
Officials say grantees will use the funds to provide federally mandated training and retraining to miners. Some states use these grants to support their mine emergency response efforts and other functions.
MSHA chief Joe Main says the grants will enable miners to better prepare and arm them with the proper knowledge to avoid accidents and injuries.
Va-area artifacts vie for 'endangered' designation
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Time is running out to vote for some of the area's most unique relics that 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 ends on Saturday, 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.
Liberty U reaches record on-campus enrollment
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Liberty University says has reached record enrollment for on-campus students.
The Lynchburg school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell says more than 13,800 students are studying on its campus this semester.
The surge in enrollment includes more than 7,700 students living on campus. The record figure also means nearly every student housing facility is at capacity.
Officials say that Liberty is continuing a $500 million campus rebuilding, which includes more residence halls as well as new and upgraded academic, recreation and athletic facilities.
The university expects to reach a residential population of 16,000 by 2020.
VIRGINIA CRAFT BREWERS FEST
Va. craft beers to be showcased at Saturday event
ROSELAND, Va. (AP) - More than 50 breweries from across Virginia are showcasing their beers at the 2014 Virginia Craft Brewers Fest in Nelson County.
The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild is hosting the event Saturday at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, which includes the third annual Virginia Craft Brewers Cup competition.
The event is part of the state's third annual craft beer month.
Tourism officials say craft breweries are a growing tourism attraction opportunity statewide with an economic impact of more than $622 million.
A study by the Brewers Association found that the industry in Virginia employs more than 8,000 people with an average wage of $33,541 and total labor income of more than $273 million.
Officials say many more communities are targeting brewery businesses to compliment other tourism economic development efforts.
Woman delivers infant along I-66 in Arlington
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Fire officials say a woman gave birth to a baby girl in a car along eastbound Interstate 66 in Arlington.
Arlington County Fire Department Capt. Bill Shelton says crews were called to the highway around 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The baby was born before medics arrived.
Medics treated the mother and baby and took them to a hospital. Both are reported to be in good health.
Redskins' RG3 stands by latest social media post
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Robert Griffin III stands by his latest retort against naysayers and says he has no plans to shut down his social media presence.
Griffin said Thursday his latest postings reflect what he and his family believe.
Griffin has regularly rebuffed doubters on Twitter and Facebook, but his latest words were more defiant than usual, including: "They doubted in High School ... They doubted a turnaround at Baylor ... They doubted a Heisman was possible ... Keep doubting. It's nothing New." He then referenced a Bible verse.
Asked if he has considered shutting down social media to avoid negative feedback, he referenced his 1.17 million followers.
Said Griffin: "There are 1.1 million people on Twitter that want to hear what the quarterbacks and guys have to say."
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