McDonnells’ corruption case goes to jury

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The public corruption case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, is in the hands of a federal jury. The seven-man, five-woman jury left the courtroom to begin deliberations Tuesday after hearing nearly two hours of instructions from U.S. District Judge James Spencer. The jury heard from dozens of witnesses over a five-week trial. The McDonnells are charged with doing special favors for Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. Bob McDonnell testified he did nothing other than extend routine political courtesies to Williams. Maureen McDonnell did not testify. Williams testified under immunity that he spent freely on the McDonnells only to secure help promoting his company’s chief product, the anti-inflammatory Anatabloc.

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Not much time to spare if a child is left unattended in hot car

Jan Null

Jan Null – meteorologist/consultant

There’s not much time to spare if a small child is left unattended in a hot car – as happened on Sunday in Roanoke with fatal consequences. Cracking a window open a few inches doesn’t make much difference. WFIR’s Gene Marrano has the story:

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Traffic pattern change for I-581 and Elm Avenue interchange project

VDOT-Elm-DesignAs part of Roanoke’s I-581 and Elm Avenue interchange project, crews will be putting a new traffic pattern in place. Beginning tomorrow morning, the eastbound lanes of Elm will be moved to the newly constructed portion of the bridge over I-581. Westbound lanes will remain the same. To achieve the new traffic pattern, left lane closures are planned for east and westbound Elm Avenue today and tomorrow from 8 p.m. each night until 6 a.m. the following morning. The southbound on-ramp to I-581 will be closed tonight from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. tomorrow.

(Continue reading for the full news release from the Virginia Department of Transportation)

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I-581 lane closures for Valley View interchange project

Road-Work-AheadThere are day and night-time lane closures scheduled again this week and next for the Valley View Boulevard interchange project in Roanoke. The right southbound lane of I-581 will be closed between Hershberger Road and Valley View Boulevard from noon today through Saturday and next Monday through Friday. The right and center lanes will be closed each night from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. the following morning.

(Continue reading for full news release from the Virginia Department of Transportation)

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Jury to begin deliberations in ex-governor trial

Bob and Maureen McDonnell (Associated Press photo)

Bob and Maureen McDonnell
(Associated Press photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal jury will hear instructions from a judge before beginning deliberations in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. U.S. District Judge James Spencer is to read his instructions to the seven-man, five-woman jury Tuesday morning. Prosecutors and defense attorneys wrapped up the five-week trial Friday. The McDonnells are charged with doing special favors for Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. Bob McDonnell testified he did nothing other than extend routine political courtesies to Williams. Maureen McDonnell did not testify. Williams testified under immunity that he spent freely on the McDonnells only to secure help promoting his company’s chief product, the anti-inflammatory Anatabloc.

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Salem High School students can now bring personal electronic devices to class

SalemPublic Schools open in the City of Salem today … and for the first time students at the high school can bring their phones and other personal electronic devices to class.  WFIR’s Gene Marrano has more:

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Fire officials: child’s death in hot car shows it can happen anywhere — even Roanoke

Heat-DangerRoanoke Fire-EMS officials don’t want us to pass early judgment on a young child’s death in a hot van, but they say it demonstrates this can to happen to anyone if we are not constantly mindful — especially in an era of more frequent distractions. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

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Police: two-year-old dies in Roanoke after parent leaves her in hot car

Roanoke-PoliceROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ Roanoke police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was left in a van for an extended period of time. Police spokesman Scott Leamon says in a news release that authorities received a report of an unresponsive child at 4:27 p.m. Sunday. Emergency responders pronounced the girl dead at the scene. Leamon says a preliminary investigation indicates that a parent accidentally left the girl in a car seat in the van. The van was parked in the driveway of a residence. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Roanoke reached 90 degrees Sunday afternoon. Leamon says the investigation is continuing.

(Continue reading for Roanoke Police Dept. news release)

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Yesterday was “International Overdose Awareness Day”

Health-NewsYesterday was “International Overdose Awareness Day” and people that have been impacted by drug use met at a local park. Garst Mill Park in Roanoke County was the gathering spot … there was a candlelight vigil for those lost to a drug overdose. WFIR’s Gene Marrano was there:

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Tobacco commission grants go to family connections

State-NewsRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A review by The Associated Press has found that a Virginia commission that invests money from a national tobacco settlement gave $21 million to an economic development group and a telephone cooperative run by family members of the commission’s powerful chairman. The grants are not illegal, but they are part of a rocky history of questionable spending of the Virginia Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. The commission controls about $600 million in cash and investments. The commission’s chairman is Terry Kilgore, a Republican state legislator from a powerful political family. He says his family relationships have not influenced the commission’s spending. The commission has long been under scrutiny from various state officials and is part of an FBI investigation into the resignation of a Democratic state senator.

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