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This Hour: Latest Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment

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Former Va. governor wraps up his trial testimony

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's public corruption trial is winding down in federal court in Richmond.

McDonnell testified in his own defense for more than four days. He wrapped up his time on the witness stand Tuesday by acknowledging using bad judgment but firmly denying criminal wrongdoing.

McDonnell 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 former governor's lawyer told the judge that he has just one more witness to call Wednesday.

Then Maureen McDonnell will present her case. Her attorney said that should take about three hours, leaving only closing arguments and instructions from the judge before the case goes to the jury.


Judge OKs sale of 3 James River Coal mines

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of three James River Coal Co. mining complexes to a subsidiary of Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining LLC.

The sale includes the Hampden complex in West Virginia, including the assets of Logan & Kanawha Coal Co. LLC; the Hazard complex in Kentucky, excluding the assets of Laurel Mountain Resources LLC; and the Triad Mining complex in Indiana.

Blackhawk subsidiary JR Acquisition LLC will pay $20 million in cash and assume $32 million in liabilities.

The operations employ about 900 workers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports U.S. Bankruptcy Kevin R. Huennekens approved motions enabling James River to sell the mines on Tuesday. The company plans to complete the sale by the end of the week.

Richmond-based James River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.


Buckingham man sentenced in girlfriend's slaying

BUCKINGHAM, Va. (AP) - A Buckingham County man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing his girlfriend.

Christopher Jerel Moseley was scheduled to stand trial beginning Tuesday. The Daily Progress reports that Moseley pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Monday in Buckingham Circuit Court.

As part of a plea deal, an abduction charge was dropped.

Prosecutors say Moseley stabbed 18-year-old Alexis Artice Rose 15 times in a grocery store parking lot on April 30, 2013. Rose died at the University of Virginia Medical Center.


Danville building damaged by explosion coming down

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) - An apartment building in Danville damaged by an explosion and fire will be demolished.

City inspections supervisor Charles Fulcher tells The Danville Register & Bee that Marshall Construction has applied for a demolition permit.

Fulcher says a crew will have to check the building for asbestos before it can be torn down.

A car ran off the road and hit the building at the Royal Terrace Apartments complex on Aug. 16. The crash severed natural gas lines and the resulting leak filled the building with gas. The gas ignited and exploded, causing a fire.

The car's driver, 35-year-old James T. Barksdale of Danvile, was charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license.


Mountaintop winery in Roanoke Valley up for sale

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A mountaintop winery in the Roanoke Valley has been put up for sale.

Valhalla Vineyards is listed for $3.5 million. The winery is located atop Chestnut Mountain in Roanoke County.

Real estate agent Zack McCoy tells The Roanoke Times that the winery has been on the market since last November. But agents couldn't publicly advertise the property because of a non-disclosure agreement.

McCoy says the sale went public last month.

Owners James and Debra Vascik bought the property in 1993 and opened the winery in 1999. James Vascik declined to comment on the sale.


State investigates Fairfax voter fraud allegations

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Election officials say more than a dozen people in Fairfax County voted in both Virginia and Maryland in 2012.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Attorney General's Office is investigating allegations of voter fraud in the county.

The Virginia Voters Alliance identified 17 people who voted in both Fairfax County and various localities in Maryland during the 2012 general election. Fairfax electoral board secretary Brian W. Schoeneman tells the newspaper that in some cases, individuals voted in both states in elections dating back to 2004.

State Board of Elections chairman Charles E. Judd tells the newspaper that election officials have also found dual registration in other localities. But he says officials haven't yet determined whether these individuals voted in both locations.


Ex-Christiansburg officer accused of embezzlement

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - A former police officer in Montgomery County has been indicted on embezzlement charges.

The Roanoke Times reports ex-Christiansburg officer Stephen Kilby was indicted on charges that he stole $34,000 from the Virginia Bloodhound Search and Rescue Association.

Court records show Kilby was elected in June 2010 as treasurer of the association, which holds training seminars for law enforcement agencies and search-and-rescue units.

According to search warrants, several unauthorized transactions were made between October 2010 and April 2014 with a debit card issued in Kilby's name on the association's account.

Kilby was a Christiansburg officer from July 2005 until September 2013.


AAA projects increase in Labor Day travel in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More Virginians are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend, reaching a new post-recession high for the state.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says that the number of people taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home is anticipated to increase slightly this year.

That's more than 964,300 Virginians traveling during the Thursday through Monday holiday weekend.

The majority of Virginians are expected to travel by car and gas prices have brought a welcome relief to motorists. Prices in Virginia are down about 4 percent per gallon compared with the same time last year.

Motorists are being reminded to buckle up and drive sober and distraction-free while traveling for the upcoming holiday.


Dominion awards $1.3M in education grants

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Resources' charitable arm is awarding more than $1.3 million in grants to schools and educational institutions in nine states and Washington.

The Richmond-based energy provider says more than 100 schools and educational institutions have been chosen for the grants for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Officials say the Dominion's K-12 Education Partnership program will give 77 schools up to $10,000 each to fund projects related to energy and the environment. The Higher Education Partnership program will award 39 college and post-secondary schools up to $50,000 each for projects in energy, environmental studies, engineering and workforce development.

The schools and educational organizations receiving the grants are in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.


'Threatened' status sought for monarch butterfly

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Three conservation groups and a butterfly expert are asking the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species.

The News-Journal of Wilmington, Del. reports the petitioners blamed farming practices Tuesday for a loss of milkweed, a plant the butterflies rely on for feeding and breeding.

The petitioners are the Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society of Portland, Oregon, and monarch scientist Lincoln Brower of Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

Threatened-species status would allow federal officials more latitude to help the populations rebuild, but would not be as restrictive as endangered species status.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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