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After emotional day, former governor back on stand

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - After an emotional day of testimony, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be back on the stand in his public corruption trial.

McDonnell testified Thursday about his strained marriage before answering questions about thousands of dollars in gifts and loans he and his family received from a wealthy vitamin entrepreneur.

He'll answer more questions from his lawyer Friday. It's unclear when prosecutors will begin cross-examination.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products. Their marriage is a key element to the defense, which has suggested the couple couldn't have conspired because they were barely communicating.


Ex-Va. sheriff indicted on felony charges

FINCASTLE, Va. (AP) - A former sheriff in Botetourt County has been indicted on felony charges related to his operation of a private investigation firm.

Media outlets reports Reed Kelly was arraigned this week on four counts of obtaining money under false pretenses.

The 61-year-old Kelly is a former two-term sheriff who retired in 1999.

State police spokesman Sgt. Rob Carpentieri says special agents had received complaints about Kelly's private investigation business. Carpentieri had no further information on the complaints.

The indictments say Kelly allegedly took money or property in excess of $200 from someone on four separate occasions from 2006 to 2011.

Kelly's attorney didn't immediately return a phone message left at his law firm Thursday.


Police investigate shooting near VSU campus

ETTRICK, Va. (AP) - Police are investigating a shooting near Virginia State University.

WTVR-TV reports school officials sent out an email to students notifying them of the shooting Friday morning.

The email says a 19-year-old freshman was shot in a leg and has been taken to a hospital. The email says the shooting originated at an off-campus location.

Chesterfield County police are investigating the incident. School officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


Warner agrees to campaign debates, forums

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Warner has agreed to appear in eight joint public forums with Republican rival Ed Gillespie.

Of those eight appearances, two of them will be televised debates.

The first debate will be sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 7. The other debate is sponsored by the League of Women Voters and American Association of Retired Persons. It will be held Oct. 13 in Richmond.

The other appearances will be in Newport News, Virginia Beach, Danville, Roanoke and northern Virginia.


Federal judge allows busking at Metro stations

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has issued a preliminary ruling allowing performers to work for tips outside Metro stations in the Washington region.

Street performer Alex Young challenged Metro's rules that bar buskers from performing at Metro stations. Young, represented by the Charlottesville, Virginia-based Rutherford Institute in federal court, argued that the rules were an illegal infringement of his free-speech rights.

The Washington Post reports that last week, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued a preliminary injunction against Metro that allows Young and others to work for tips while the lawsuit progresses.

The Rutherford Institute also successfully challenged rules restricting street performers from working for tips on the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland.


Judge rejects plea deal for ex-W&L student

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A Rockbridge County judge has rejected a plea agreement for a former Washington and Lee University student accused of killing another student and injuring others during a December crash.

The Roanoke Times reports Judge Michael Irvine rejected Nicholas Hansel's plea agreement on Thursday. The terms of the proposed agreement were not released.

Rockbridge County Commonwealth's Attorney Bucky Joyce says a new judge will be assigned and the case will be continued until Sept. 2.

A grand jury indicted has indicted Hansel on involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving charges.

State police have said Hansel was driving a sport utility vehicle carrying 10 other Washington & Lee students when the SUV flipped on Dec. 1, 2013. Twenty-one-year-old Kelsey H. Durkin was killed and several other students were injured.


Kings Dominion to expand water park

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Kings Dominion plans to expand its 20-acre water park for its 2015 season.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the amusement park will add a water-slide complex, a splash zone for small children and expanded cabanas.

The amusement park says the new Splash island area will double the size of the children's options now available.

The 65-foot-tall waterslide complex at the park will feature three new attractions. Paradise Plunge will drop guests into a series of loops and s-curves in a translucent flume, Aqua Blast will send riders through an enclosed chute with four 360-degree loops before dropping into a pool of water and Thunder Falls, where visitors will climb into single or double rafts before being launched down a series of drops and turns.


Va. education leader embarks on listening tour

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Board of Education's leader is embarking on a listening tour to hear about important issues facing the state's public schools.

Board President Christian Braunlich will travel to Bristol on Monday on the first stop of the tour.

There will be eight stops throughout the state. The tour is designed to give parents, teachers, local school board members and others an opportunity to express their views on public education.

There will be a special focus on changes in the Standards of Learning assessment system.


Convicted Va. arsonist's bid for new lawyer denied

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) - A woman accused of setting a series of fires along Virginia's Eastern Shore has been denied a request for a new court-appointed attorney.

Media outlets report a judge in Accomack County denied Tonya S. Bundick's request Thursday.

A jury last month convicted Bundick of setting a fire March 3, 2013, in Accomack County. In January, Bundick entered an Alford plea to arson and conspiracy stemming from an April 2013 fire in Melfa.

She'll be sentenced in both cases Sept. 4.

In April a judge ruled Bundick can have separate trials on each of 62 arson charges.

Co-defendant Charles R. Smith has pleaded guilty to 67 arson counts and a conspiracy charge. He's awaiting sentencing.


USS Cole to leave Va. on deployment

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The USS Cole is leaving Virginia on a six-month deployment.

The guided-missile destroyer is scheduled to leave Naval Station Norfolk on Friday.

The Navy says the ship will be operating in the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding waters. The Navy says the Cole will conduct maritime operations and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities.

Its last deployment occurred in 2012. It was originally scheduled to last six months, but that was extended to nine months. The ship returned to Virginia in 2013.

The Cole is named in honor of Marine Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

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

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