RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. George W. Huguely V of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is serving a 23-year prison term in Virginia for the May 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old from suburban Baltimore. According to court records, the justices refused without explanation to hear Huguely’s appeal Wednesday. The Virginia Court of Appeals previously declined to reconsider its decision upholding his conviction. In that appeal, Huguely’s lawyers raised issues involving jury selection and the absence of one of his attorneys when she fell ill during the trial.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The University of Virginia’s first choice as independent counsel to investigate how the school responds to rape allegations has been scuttled. Attorney General Mark Herring said Friday that the university agreed to withdraw its appointment of former federal judge and prosecutor Mark Filip. In college, Filip was a member of Phi Kappa Psi – the fraternity named in a Rolling Stone article in which a U.Va. student described being sexually assaulted by seven men in 2012. Herring said another investigator will be chosen because “the independence and objectivity of the review must be unimpeachable.” University President Teresa Sullivan also has asked Charlottesville police to investigate the alleged rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house. The fraternity has voluntarily surrendered its fraternal agreement with the university and suspended all chapter activities.
Roanoke County crews battled a housefire this morning in the 7700 block of Starlight Lane. Roanoke County Fire EMS says the owner called 911 to report heavy smoke and then evacuated. Fire crews got the call around 3:40 a.m. and had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. Two people were home at the time of the fire and safely made it out. No injuries were reported.
The deadline for runners to register on-line for this year’s “Drumstick Dash” in downtown Roanoke is midnight tonight. After that, runners may still register in person at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. The Thanksgiving morning event helps the mission feed its residents throughout the year. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe is creating a new panel aimed at reducing childhood hunger while promoting proper nutrition and Virginia agriculture. McAuliffe signed an executive order Thursday establishing the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide. He named his wife, Dorothy McAuliffe, as the new council’s chairman. The governor said the council will work to make sure that Virginia pursues every federal dollar currently available that promotes nutrition and healthy living. The council will serve an advisory role and meet at least four times a year.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ A new report says public school enrollment has steadily increased in Virginia in recent years. But the growth is uneven. Between 2008 and 2013, the report says less than a third of Virginia’s school divisions saw enrollment increases. Overall growth during the period was fueled by enrollment increases in Northern Virginia. This enrollment pattern is expected to continue over the next five years. The report says a substantial increase in annual births is the primary factor in Northern Virginia’s enrollment growth. Annual birth rates declined in most other localities during the five-year period. Northern Virginia also saw a larger in-migration of families with school-age children during the period. The report was released Thursday by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
Consumer sentiment remains strong in the Commonwealth. A new Roanoke College Poll reports 35 percent of respondents say their personal finances are better today compared to a year ago. Additionally, close to half believe that it is a good time to buy large durable goods due to improved income and low product prices. Coupled with the lowest gas prices recorded in almost four years, poll results suggests a strong holiday spending season. Strong sentiment in the Commonwealth is likely due to a variety of sources. Negative reports of international unrest and Ebola are balanced by positive reports of steady labor markets and low gas prices.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The University of Virginia’s president says she has asked Charlottesville police to investigate allegations that a female student was raped by several men at a fraternity house. President Teresa A. Sullivan announced the investigation in a statement posted Wednesday evening on the university’s website. She says she issued it in response to a Rolling Stone article in which a student describes an assault by seven men in September 2012. Sullivan says the article includes details that weren’t disclosed to university officials previously. The article says U.Va. administrators and students keep sexual assaults at the school quiet. Sullivan says the university takes sexual misconduct seriously. Charlottesville police Lt. Steve Upman tells The Daily Progress that the investigation is in in the preliminary stages. He declined to comment further.