McAuliffe to call special session on budget
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is telling lawmakers that he plans to call a special session on March 24 devoted to passing the state's budget.
The governor met with Republican leaders Friday afternoon at the Capitol to present his plan.
The General Assembly is currently divided on whether to expanded Medicaid eligibility to 400,000 low income residents. The deadlock is preventing the legislature from passing a budget by Saturday's scheduled end of the regular 2014 session.
McAuliffe said he wants lawmakers to return home to hear from their constituents on the importance of expanding Medicaid eligibility.
House Republicans, who opposed Medicaid expansion, said the delay could hurt local governments' ability to prepare their budgets.
JAMES RIVER-POWER LINE
Va. ruling intersects history, power demands
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Virginia Power's preferred route for a high-voltage power line over a historic stretch of the James River has won state regulatory approval.
The decision by the State Corporation Commission leaves to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the final say on the 500-kilovolt line between Surry County and a new switching station in James City County.
More than half of the 8-mile transmission line would span the James River.
The debate over the transmission line has centered on a growing demand for power amid the retirement of coal-fired plants and concern about the visual impact of towers rising to a height of 300 feet over the river.
Preservationists argue the transmission line would mar the vista of some of the state's most historic attractions, including Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
GRAPHIC ART JOBS
Graphic art company to open Va facility
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Graphic art company Green Applications is planning to open a facility in Orange County, creating more than 320 jobs.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday that the company plans to invest $9.75 million to establish its first Virginia operation in Gordonsville.
Officials say the company will design, screen print, produce and distribute graphic art on heat transfers and apparel.
Green Applications is a division of Green Distribution, one of the largest printers and distributors of textile merchandise and heat applied graphics on the East Coast. It was founded in 2009 in Secaucus, N.J.
McAuliffe approved a $540,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund for the project.
Survey: Navy Exchange stores rate well
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Navy says customers at its exchanges are giving them high marks for customer satisfaction.
The Virginia Beach-based Navy Exchange Service Command released the results of an annual customer satisfaction survey on Thursday.
On a 100-point-scale, customers gave Navy exchanges an 85. That Navy says that puts its stores on the same plane as stores such as Nordstrom and Kohl's.
The Navy says more than 13,000 customers around the world were asked to participate in the survey. Customers in the Mid-South region gave their exchanges the highest score, at 90. The region includes exchanges in Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and western Florida. The lowest average score was for the Europe region, at 85.
The Navy says about 12.4 million people are eligible to shop at its exchanges.
Judge: Navy deal for rifle silencers may be legit
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A judge has questioned the viability of a prosecution against a man accused of illegally building hundreds of untraceable rifle silencers under what had been a secret contract with the Navy Seals.
At a pretrial hearing Friday, Judge Leonie Brinkema suggested that there may be classified evidence in the case that shows California race-car mechanic Mark Landersman had legitimate - but off-the-books - authorization to build the silencers from the Navy. If so, she said, she doubted that prosecutors could win their case.
Prosecutors Friday disagreed with Brinkema's assessment of the case.
Landersman's lawyers maintained that his actions were lawful and authorized.
Court records indicate that Landersman was paid $1.7 million in 2012 to build 349 suppressors.
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