Governor advises Virginians to prepare for storm
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell is urging Virginians to prepare for a possible major ice storm.
McDonnell says the state could get slammed Sunday by a winter storm moving in from the west, resulting in widespread power outages and hazardous driving conditions.
The governor received a briefing Friday from the National Weather Service, various state agencies and Dominion Virginia Power. He said preliminary indications are that areas including Covington, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, Leesburg and Winchester appear most at risk for heavy ice accumulations.
McDonnell says Virginians should check batteries, flashlights and lanterns, and make sure their cell phones are fully charged.
Transportation crews are ready to pretreat highways when the rain ends Saturday, and tree removal contractors are on standby.
New president selected at Virginia Tech
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Timothy Sands has been named the 16th president of Virginia Tech, succeeding President Charles W. Steger (STEE'-gur).
Tech's Board of Visitors approved the hiring of the Purdue University provost Friday.
In June, Steger announced he was stepping down after 14 years at the helm of the Blacksburg university. He agreed to stay until his successor was named.
Steger was thrust into the national spotlight on April 16, 2007, when a student-gunman killed 32 students on the Tech campus in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Gunman Seung-Hui Cho (sung-wee joh) killed himself after the rampage.
During his tenure, Tech increased its enrollment, saw its research portfolio grow by more than 300 percent, and established a school of biomedical engineering and created a school of medicine.
Owner of Va. investment firm gets 12 years
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The owner of a northern Virginia financial firm has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to a wire fraud that prosecutors say cheated investors out of more than $35 million.
Forty-four-year-old William Dean Chapman of Sterling was founder of Reston-based Alexander Capital Markets. Prosecutors say 122 investors lost a collective $36 million over the years in Chapman's scheme. One investor, an elected official identified in court papers only by the initials A.G., lost $18 million.
Prosecutors say investors would transfer stock holdings to Chapman as collateral for loans. Chapman then sold the stocks, despite promising investors that they would get back the value of their stocks.
Chapman tried to withdraw his guilty plea before Friday's sentencing in federal court in Alexandria but was denied.
Va. Senate special election set Jan. 7
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A special election will be held Jan. 7 to fill the seat of state Sen. Ralph Northam, who was elected lieutenant governor in November.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the election date Friday. The General Assembly convenes Jan. 8.
Del. Lynwood Lewis of Accomac won the Democratic nomination for the 6th District seat last month. Republicans chose Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman.
The district includes Accomack, Northampton and Mathews counties and parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
US OKs offshore wind-testing lease to Va.'s DMME
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has taken a big step in its quest to collect data off the coast ahead of wind turbine development in Atlantic waters.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Friday there was no other competitive interest in the area of the Outer Continental Shelf where DMME proposes to design and develop a 12-megawatt offshore wind test turbine. BOEM must still approve the installation of the testing facility.
The information collected by the so-called demonstration project will ultimately be publicly available.
Dominion Virginia Power successfully bid on an expanse of ocean nearly 25 miles off Virginia Beach to develop one of the nation's first offshore wind farms. Development of the area isn't expected for at least five or six years.
Memorial for Mandela planned at National Cathedral
WASHINGTON (AP) - A memorial for former South African leader Nelson Mandela is being planned at the Washington National Cathedral.
The memorial will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95.
The National Cathedral has frequently served as a gathering place for mourners. It hosted funeral services for former U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. In 2012, it was the location for a memorial for astronaut Neil Armstrong.
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