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

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Attorneys for ex-first lady make final arguments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawyers for the wife of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell are telling jurors in her corruption trial that her interactions with a businessman who showered her with gifts may have been "tacky" but they are not illegal.

Jurors heard closing arguments Friday. Bob and Maureen McDonnell are accused of taking more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for using the governor's office to tout a tobacco-based health supplement, Anatabloc.

Maureen McDonnell's lawyer, William Burck, argued the former first lady couldn't have carried out any official acts to help Williams because she was not a public official. He said the McDonnells' broken marriage showed she was operating independently of her husband in her dealings with Williams.


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.


VDOT seeks to smooth Labor Day weekend travels

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Transportation is smoothing the way for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

From noon Friday until noon Sept. 2, VDOT will suspend most road work and lift lane closures on most interstates to ease the travel woes of Labor Day travelers.

By suspending road work, VDOT will be eliminating potential bottlenecks during the heavily traveled holiday.

VDOT also encourages motorists to dial 511 to get up-to-the-minute information on traffic accidents and congestion.


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.


Tribe, QB face stiff test in opener with Hokies

William & Mary's Jimmye Laycock could surely have come up with a better scenario for the start of his 35th season as coach at his alma mater. Since it's too late for that, he can only laugh, and hope.

Laycock named inexperienced Steve Cluley as his starting quarterback this week, and will rely on the sophomore to weather a defensive storm when the Tribe opens the season at Virginia Tech on Saturday.

The Hokies should have one of the nation's top defenses again this year.

Laycock says he's not even sure how much of the offense will be available on game day. He says the coaching staff has been trying not to overwhelm Cluley.

The Hokies have a new quarterback, too - Michael Brewer, a transfer from Texas Tech.


No. 23 Tar Heels host Flames in season opener

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - The week started at North Carolina with the focus on who would start at quarterback for the No. 23 Tar Heels in Saturday night's opener against Liberty.

By midweek, the attention had shifted to the suspension of four defensive players, which overshadowed the preseason optimism for a team aiming to play for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

The suspensions came a day after a Yahoo Sports report of an alleged hazing altercation that left a redshirt freshman walk-on receiver with a possible concussion. The school has said it is investigating an incident involving team members, though it hasn't confirmed it was a hazing incident.

Fedora hasn't said whether junior Marquise Williams or redshirt freshman Mitch Trubisky will start at quarterback for UNC. Williams started six games last year.


NASCAR will let Tony Stewart in Chase with win

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) - NASCAR says Tony Stewart will be allowed to compete in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship if he qualifies despite missing three races following the death of a sprint car driver at a New York track.

NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday that Stewart would need to win at Atlanta on Sunday night or at the regular-season finale next week in Richmond to lock up a spot in the championship.

Stewart will race this weekend for the first time since the Aug. 9 death of Kevin Ward Jr. at an upstate New York dirt track. He was struck and killed by Stewart's car as he walked on the track during the race to confront the NASCAR veteran over being spun one lap earlier.

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

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