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

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Ex-Va. Gov says he knows in heart he's innocent

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he's innocent of the federal corruption charges he's facing.

The former governor finished his third day of testifying Friday at federal court in Richmond by proclaiming his innocence and saying he would never corrupt his office in exchange for gifts.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products.

McDonnell said he had thought Williams was a true friend and accused him of making false statements in court.

The former governor is expected to resume testifying on Monday.


Va. man sentenced in visa scheme

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A third person involved in a scheme to create fraudulent transcripts so that foreign students would appear eligible to retain their student visas has been sentenced to almost two years in prison.

A federal judge in Virginia sentenced Mohamad Tellawi of Falls Church, Virginia, to 22 months in prison Friday. Tellawi pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit immigration document fraud. Two co-conspirators have already been sentenced.

Prosecutors say Tellawi was a manager at Virginia-based Integrated Academics, a company that caters to international students. Prosecutors say Tellawi and another manger conspired with a Strayer University admissions official to create at least 58 fraudulent transcripts to help clients retain student visas.

Tellawi's attorney Jonathan Simms says his client will focus on bettering himself when he is released from prison.


No charges against Va. deputy who shot daughter

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors say no charges will be filed against a Virginia deputy sheriff who shot his 16-year-old daughter after mistaking her for an intruder.

The Frederick County Commonwealth Attorney's office said in a statement this week that an investigation determined there was no evidence Loudoun County Sheriff's Sgt. Easton McDonald committed a crime.

Frederick County Sheriff's Capt. Donnie Lang has said an alarm sounded at McDonald's Winchester home on Aug. 12. McDonald saw the dark shape of a person advancing through the garage door and fired.

Lang said McDonald then recognized the voice of his daughter, who was returning home after apparently sneaking out. McDonald crashed his car as he rushed her to the hospital. An ambulance then took the teen to Winchester Medical Center.

Media outlets report she remains hospitalized.


15K voter registrations challenged in Fairfax

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - A watchdog group supported by Fairfax County Republicans has challenged the registrations of nearly 15,000 voters in Fairfax County, saying they may also be registered to vote in Maryland.

A group called Virginia Voters Alliance that seeks to uncover voter fraud has asked the county clean up its lists as a result of its findings. On Thursday the Fairfax County Republican Committee issued a statement asking the county registrar, Cameron Quinn, to pursue the issue vigorously.

Fairfax County is the state's largest jurisdiction and questions over its lists and voting procedures have been subject to intense scrutiny by both parties in recent years.

Brian Schoeneman (SHAY'-neh-menn), a Republican who serves on the county's electoral board, said the county will reach out to voters in question and seek to verify residency.


Ex-congressman Davis to lead George Mason board

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Former Republican congressman Tom Davis has been elected to serve as George Mason University's rector.

Davis, who represented parts of northern Virginia from 1995 through 2009, was elected Thursday by fellow members of the school's 16-member governing board. Davis has been on the Board of Visitors since 2013.

He succeeds Daniel Clemente, a lawyer.

More than 34,000 students are enrolled at George Mason.

Also Thursday, the board elected Stu Mendelsohn, a former Fairfax County Republican supervisor, as vice rector.


USS Cole leaves Va. on deployment

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The USS Cole has left Virginia on a six-month deployment.

The guided-missile destroyer departed Naval Station Norfolk on Friday.

The Navy says the ship will be operating in the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding waters. The Navy says the Cole will conduct maritime operations and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities.

Its last deployment occurred in 2012. It was originally scheduled to last six months, but that was extended to nine months. The ship returned to Virginia in 2013. Between maintenance periods, the crew was underway for certification exercises, participation in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior, and Fleet Week New York earlier this year.

The Cole is named in honor of Marine Sgt. Darrell S. Cole, who was awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.


Snowy owl that survived bus hit dies in Minnesota

WASHINGTON (AP) - The snowy owl that captured the nation's capital attention when it perched at The Washington Post building and survived being hit by a bus has died.

The University of Minnesota's Raptor Center in St. Paul says on its website that the owl, which had undergone rehab there, was found dead on the shoulder of a Minnesota highway.

The owl was seen in downtown D.C. in January, drawing crowds as it perched for several hours on a ledge outside The Post's headquarters.

A few days later, the owl was apparently hit by a bus, and was taken to the National Zoo for treatment.

The bird was sent to the Raptor Center and was returned to the wild in April.

The bird's body was identified by a band placed on its leg.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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