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This Hour: Latest Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment

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Former Va. governor's finances examined at trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A forensic accountant hired as a defense witness heads back to the stand as the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, resumes in federal court in Richmond.

The accountant testified Tuesday that the McDonnells and the former governor's sister were financially sound. He will answer more questions about his examination of financial records Wednesday.

The testimony is intended to counter the government's claims that the former first couple and a real estate partnership between Bob McDonnell and his sister were struggling financially. According to prosecutors, that financial desperation helped drive the McDonnells to accept more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for using their office to promote his company's dietary supplements.


Virginia prepares for possibility of gay marriage

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that gay marriages could soon be legal in Virginia.

The State Registrar of Vital Records is drafting a revised marriage license form that will be used if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order ending Virginia's same-sex marriage ban goes into effect Thursday morning.

Attorneys representing a county clerk in Virginia have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the appeals court's decision while it is appealed. Virginia is also supporting a delay to minimize disruptions while the issue is resolved. The Supreme Court has twice granted delays in related cases.

Meanwhile, clergy supportive of gay marriage are making plans to be at courthouses throughout the state Thursday morning to perform marriages for same-sex couples.


Court rejects class-action for Va. gas lawsuits

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court says five lawsuits filed by Southwest Virginia landowners against two energy companies don't qualify for class-action status.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Tuesday that the U.S. District Court abused its discretion when it certified the cases as class-action lawsuits. The ruling says the District Court's analysis lacked what the judges called "requisite rigor" to ensure the requirements for class-action certification were satisfied.

The lawsuits allege that EQT Production Co. and CNX Gas. Company cheated the plaintiffs out of royalties for coalbed methane gas on their properties.

Tuesday's ruling came in the companies' appeal of the lawsuits' class-action status. The appeals court sent the lawsuits back to the lower court for reconsideration of that issue.


ODU seeks $70M for science, health building

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Old Dominion University is seeking funding for a $70 million building to house science and health programs.

University President John Broderick is calling the push a testament to the school's commitment as the state's second-largest producer of graduates of science, technology, engineering, math and health.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Broderick gave his state of the university address on Tuesday. He also discussed the school's master plan approved last year by its board.

The plan calls for the university to add buildings for academics, student housing and dining along with additional parking spaces, as well as a new football stadium.

Broderick also said that in the next five years, the university will invest in programs including a public health initiative with Eastern Virginia Medical School and a graduate nursing consortium.


Police: Drunk, naked motorcyclist hits 2 cars

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Arlington County police say a drunk, naked man crashed into two cars while riding a motorcycle before fleeing into some woods.

The crashes occurred on Friday night in Arlington. Police say 42-year-old Roland Hitchens wasn't wearing any clothes when police found him close to the scene. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.

Police announced Tuesday that Hitchens has been charged with felony hit-and-run, indecent exposure, driving under the influence and other offenses. He was ordered held without bond.


Driver in fatal Va. wreck above alcohol limit

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Police say a driver's blood alcohol limit was more than twice the legal limit when her car collided with a pickup, killing her and three children.

The accident occurred in April in Virginia Beach.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Virginia Beach police released information this week showing 38-year-old Marlo Teofila Bayot's blood alcohol limit was 0.18 at the time of the accident. Virginia's limit is 0.08 percent.

Police say Bayot was driving a car carrying six passengers when she ran off the road and overcorrected. The car crossed the road and hit a pickup truck.

Bayot was killed, along with 14-year-old Cheyenne Gurney-Proctor and her sister, 10-year-old Cherish Gurney-Proctor, and 13-year-old Gabriel Jahsuhm Kalani Proctor. Three other people in the car were injured. The pickup's driver suffered minor injuries.


Virginia wildlife center to release 3 bald eaglets

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - Three bald eaglets rescued in May following storms are being released back into the wild.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia plans to release the eaglets on Wednesday at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

A storm blew two of the eaglets out of their nest near Chincoteague. The other eagle's nest near Tappahannock was destroyed by a tornado.

All three eaglets were taken to the wildlife center in Waynesboro.

The center says each eaglet has been fitted with a GPS transmitter to track its travel.


Virginia agents destroy illegal moonshine still

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says it has destroyed an illegal moonshine still in Franklin County.

Acting on a resident's tip, ABC special agents found the 50-gallon operational copper still in the Rocky Mount area on Monday.

Agents also seized 300 gallons of live mash, more than 40 gallons of untaxed liquor and distilling equipment and supplies.

The ABC says in a news release that charges against the property owner where the still was found are pending.


Rescued dogs from Miss. head north for adoption

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) - The Humane Society of the United States is bringing dozens of rescued dogs from Mississippi to its headquarters near Washington for care and adoption.

The organization says the arrival Wednesday in Gaithersburg of about 50 dogs from Tippah County, Mississippi, continues a process it began more than two weeks ago.

That's when the group helped to remove about 60 dogs from a property that lacked adequate food, water and shelter.

The organization says animal welfare groups in the D.C. area, northern Virginia, western Maryland and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will help find homes for the dogs.


17 ag operations in Virginia get federal funds

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Seventeen agricultural operations in Virginia will receive federal funding aimed at expanding their operations and creating new products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday it has awarded $25 million in grants to 247 businesses nationwide.

In Virginia, nine of the businesses will receive $200,000 apiece.

Among them, Claybrooke Farm of Louisa County will use funds to market Christmas trees and other products to a wider customer base, while Cobbler Mountain Cellars of Fauquier County will try to expand its customer base and buy operating supplies associated with processing grapes into wine.

Eight other Virginia businesses will receive smaller grants. Another Fauquier County business, Mary's Alpaca, will receive $50,000 to process, package and market Alpaca manure as plant fertilizer.

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