FORMER GOVERNOR TRIAL
McDonnell lawyer makes final defense at trial
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife took bribes and used their political muscle to promote a sketchy nutritional supplement because they were in deeply in debt and couldn't refuse the more than $165,000 in loans and gifts. That's what prosecutors said yesterday in closing arguments.
The defense, meanwhile, said McDonnell made a bad decision but never gave any special treatment to former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. They said Maureen McDonnell's acceptance of the gifts may have been "tacky," but it was not illegal because she was not a public official.
McDonnell and his wife are charged with taking more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for touting Star's tobacco-based health supplement, Anatabloc.
McDonnell took the stand in his own defense, and said what he did for Williams was no different than what he would do on behalf of any Virginia-based business.
The jury is expected to begin deliberating after Labor Day
METRO-THREAT AWARENESS BULLETIN
DC transit police chief urges vigilance
WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro Transit Police are urging officers to be vigilant to threats from jihadist terrorism.
However, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority emphasizes that there are no current threats known against the subway and transit system.
Metro on Friday released a redacted copy of a threat awareness bulletin dated Aug. 21. In it, Chief Ronald Pavlik says that recent events overseas, including recent slayings by Islamic State militants, show the need for the force to stay alert.
The memo also says the coming anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, requires increased vigilance.
A spokeswoman for Metro says there is no threat currently against the system.
MILITARY JET CRASH-VIRGINIA
Military pilot in Virginia F-15 crash identified
WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The pilot who was killed in the crash of an F-15 jet this week in the remote Virginia mountains has been identified as Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr.
Officials with the Massachusetts Air National Guard say Fontenot was the inspector general for the 104th Fighter Wing and had had more than 2,300 flight hours of experience.
He was flying the plane to New Orleans for a radar system upgrade when he crashed Wednesday in western Virginia. Officials say he reported an in-flight emergency before losing radio contact. The cause remains under investigation.
Col. James Keefe of the Massachusetts air guard said Friday that the death was announced with "profound sadness."
Fontenot was a 1996 Air Force Academy graduate. Officials say he was an F-15 instructor pilot with more than 17 years of experience flying the jets.
Newport News man arrested following pursuit
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - A Newport News man has been arrested after speeding off from a traffic stop and then fleeing on foot.
Virginia State Police say 42-year-old Jeremiah Gibson was observed at an authorized vehicles only crossover on Interstate 64 near the 252 mile marker around 6 a.m. Friday.
Police say Gibson stopped, but then sped away from a trooper on Interstate 64. Police say Gibson was followed to an apartment complex, where he got out of his car and fled on foot.
State police and Newport News police caught Gibson within several minutes. One trooper was taken to a hospital with serious injuries sustained during the foot chase.
Police say Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence, eluding police and marijuana possession, among other things.
WORKFORCE TRAINING GRANT
Va. gets grant for education, workforce training
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has been selected to receive a $170,000 grant to help better align education and workforce training with economic development priorities.
In addition to the grant from the National Governor's Association, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Friday that Virginia also has been selected to participate in an 18 month national policy academy focused on the same goals.
Officials say the grant activities will focus on increasing the attainment levels of science, technology, engineering, math, and health credentials needed for the state's current and emerging businesses and industries.
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones says the grant will allow Virginia to take a big step forward in terms of workforce development.
The grant will support development of a statewide marketing campaign and encourage new and expanded public and private partnerships.
Feds reviewing Reynolds' deal to buy Lorillard
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal regulators are putting Reynolds American Inc.'s planned $25 billion takeover of rival cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. under the microscope.
The nation's second-biggest tobacco company said Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has asked for additional information as part of an antitrust review of the deal.
In July, Reynolds announced the deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.
Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.
The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.
ALCOHOL EDUCATION GRANTS
Va. agency awards money for alcohol education
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is doling out more than $81,000 in grant money to support alcohol education and prevention efforts.
Officials say the grant money is being given to 11 organizations throughout Virginia as part of its inaugural Education & Prevention Grant Program.
The agency presented checks to grant recipients this week at an event in Staunton.
Officials say the funding will be used to support programs that prevent underage drinking, driving under the influence and high-risk drinking.
Va. AG commits to hiring, protecting veterans
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is taking steps to hire more veterans in his office and protect them from fraud.
Herring announced Thursday that he'll sign "The Patriot Pledge" and begin the process of making his office a certified "Virginia Values Veterans" employer.
During remarks at the 2nd Annual Virginia Values Veterans Summit, Herring also signed a Defense Department pledge to support the men and women of the guard and reserve working in his office.
Herring called Virginia's military connections and veteran population a tremendous resources.
Additionally, Herring pledged to use his office's consumer protection and enforcement operations to protect veterans. His office says active duty service members and their families are attractive targets for predatory lending, identity theft, illegal foreclosure or repossession, and credit card fraud.
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