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Day 2 Courtroom Bombshell
4:57 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Opening Statements in Corruption Trial

Maureen McDonnell arrives at the courthouse.

The second day of the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, began with instructions to the jury that they must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt by the evidence—and not by leaks or media accounts.

Prosecutor Jessica Aber  recounted the indictment’s theory that the McDonnells exchanged official acts for gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.  But  the bombshells hit when the couple’s defense attorneys spoke.

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Unearthing Artifacts
4:23 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Slaves of the Great Dismal Swamp

Great Dismal Swamp
Credit Dan Salyers/Archeology Archives

Most Americans have heard of the Underground Railroad - a trail that allowed Southern slaves to escape to the North, but there were other escaped slaves who stayed in the South, living in a place their masters feared - Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp.

Archaeologists are now digging there - finding proof of sizable communities where defiant people found freedom. 

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The Definition of Biomass
8:50 am
Tue July 29, 2014

A Question of Language for Dominion Power

Pittsylvania Power Station
Credit Dominion

Environmentalists are calling on the federal government to investigate the language used by Virginia’s largest utility - Dominion Power. 

The company invites customers to support green power by paying an extra fee, but critics say one source of energy included in that program causes more air pollution than coal.  

Dominion’s Pittsylvania Power Station is the largest biomass plant in the East - burning 150 truckloads of wood each day.  The company has a smaller plant in Wise County and has switched three others from burning coal to biomass. Dan Genest speaks for Dominion. 

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Federal Courthouse in Richmond
4:53 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Jury Selection Begins in McDonnell Corruption Trial

Jury selection began today in the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.

Prosecutors allege that the former first couple promoted Star Scientific’s products in exchange for gifts and mortgage loans from the company’s former CEO, Jonnie Williams.  But the first step on Monday was to try and choose a fair and impartial jury.

The former governor greeted reporters outside the courthouse with “Good morning,” and inquired how they were doing. One asked McDonnell if he was optimistic.

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4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
4:34 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Court Strikes Down VA's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Virginia and three other states may soon be allowing gay marriage after a federal appeals court ruling in Richmond, but supporters of a ban are expected to ask for a Supreme Court hearing.

 

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage denies gay couples equal protection under the law.  The decision also makes similar prohibitions in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia unconstitutional, but at Equality Virginia, director James Parrish says those states probably won’t be issuing marriage licenses yet.

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