Winter weather creating slick roads in western Va
SALEM, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Transportation says a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is creating slick roads in part of western Virginia.
Officials said early Friday that snow plow operators have been responding overnight in affected counties in the department's Salem district. Crews are currently focusing efforts on primary roads.
The 12-county district includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Franklin, Floyd, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski and Roanoke.
VDOT is encouraging drivers to delay travel until the winter weather has passed and crews have had time to treat roads. Real-time road condition information is available at www.511Virginia.org .
STRAY BULLET DEATH-BILL
Bill aimed at celebratory gunshots heads to Va gov
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A celebratory gunfire bill inspired by the tragic death of a Virginia boy last summer is heading to Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
The practice involves firing a weapon into the sky, often on New Year's Eve and July Fourth.
The Virginia Senate on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that provides stiffer penalties for those who maim or injure others with stray bullets.
The bill called "Brendon's Law," was named after 7-year-old Brendon Mackey, who died after being struck in the head by a falling bullet at a fireworks show in central Virginia.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the bill raises the penalty to a Class 6 felony, eligible to receive up to five years in prison.
The current law provides a penalty of up to one year and a $2,500 fine.
TRIPLE A CALLS
Triple A warns Va. motorists of potholes
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - If potholes are any measure, it's been a hard winter in Virginia.
Triple A reports that it responded to nearly 9,000 tire-related calls in January and February, up 10 percent from those two months in 2013.
Triple A Mid-Atlantic says the snow and cold have created vehicle-jarring potholes on road surfaces around Virginia. In February alone, the auto club fielded nearly 4,000 calls from drivers who blew a tire or reported other damage because of potholes.
Triple A advised motorists to slow down so they can detect and avoid potholes.
ST BONAVENTURE-STAFFER DIES
NY college employee dies unexpectedly in Va.
OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) - Officials at a western New York college say an employee of the sports information office has died of an apparent heart attack in Virginia while traveling with the women's basketball team.
St. Bonaventure University says 26-year-old Brian Moretti died Wednesday night in Richmond. The Richmond Times report that Moretti was stricken while visiting with friends at a downtown restaurant.
Moretti began working at the private Catholic college in Olean (OH'-lee-an) in September after spending two years in the athletic department at Canisius College in Buffalo.
The native of Cranston, R.I., received his undergraduate from Johnson & Wales University in Providence and a master's in sports administration from Canisius.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
Bonaventure's women's team is in Richmond for the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament. The Bonnies play La Salle in Friday's quarterfinals.
K-9 VETERANS DAY
Va. plans 1st K-9 Veterans Day observance
RICHMND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is planning its first official commemoration of K-9 Veterans Day.
The event March 15 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond recognizes the contributions of the dogs who have served side by side with soldiers and with police and other first-responders.
After an opening ceremony, K-9 units from Fort Lee, the Richmond Police Department, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Hanover Hounds Search and Rescue Team will perform demonstrations.
In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly joined 13 other state legislatures in designating March 13 as K-9 Veterans Day. Officials say Virginia is holding its ceremony on a Saturday so more people can attend.
Feds: Dominion nuke plants operated safely in 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal regulators say Dominion Virginia Power's two nuclear power plants operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety in 2013.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it sent year-end inspection letters for Dominion's North Anna and Surry nuclear power stations.
The Surry Power Station is located 17 miles northwest of Newport News. The North Anna Power Station is located about 40 miles northwest of Richmond.
The NRC told Dominion that both plants met all of its cornerstone objectives and that the plants' performance was within the expected range.
Officials plan to conduct baseline inspections at the facilities going forward and will hold a public meeting this spring and summer in the vicinity of each plant to discuss the details of the annual assessment results.
MANUFACTURING RESEARCH CENTER
Va manufacturing research center gets new partner
PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (AP) - An advanced manufacturing research center in Prince George County is partnering with the Defense Department.
Officials say the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing will partner in the new public-private Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.
It's one of two new manufacturing innovation institutes being led by the Department of Defense. The industry, university and non-profit consortium was recently launched by President Barack Obama. It aims to advance manufacturing technology developments to meet national security and energy needs.
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing does research for a group of manufacturing companies under a partnership with Virginia Tech, Virginia State University and the University of Virginia.
The consortium that supports the center's research includes Rolls-Royce, Newport News Shipbuilding and Siemens.
Joint chiefs chair to speak at VMI commencement
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will speak at Virginia Military Institute's spring commencement ceremony.
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey will address the approximately 315 graduating cadets at 11 a.m. May 16 in Cameron Hall. About half of those graduates are expected to enter the military.
As chairman of the joint chiefs, Dempsey is the nation's highest ranking military officer. He previously served as the Army's 37th chief of staff.
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