The freshly-nominated statewide Republican ticket touched down in Roanoke today as part of a three-day fly-around tour of Virginia. GOP convention delegates selected Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain as the party nominees for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General over the weekend. WFIR’s Evan Jones reports on their Roanoke visit.
Virginia’s new transportation funding bill appears ready to speed up VDOT plans for new safety measures on Fancy Gap Mountain on Interstate 77, where heavy fog sometimes leads to big pileups. VDOT wants to install a variable speed limit system to slow traffic when fog moves in, but it never had the funding. Now, pending final approval next month, VDOT will be able to advertise bids for such a system by June of next year. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
DAMASCUS, Va. (AP) _ Witnesses described a frantic scene and close calls after an elderly driver plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a small Virginia mountain town’s parade.
Investigators say they are looking into whether the man had suffered a medical emergency before the accident. The driver was being treated and hasn’t been identified.
About 50 to 60 people suffered injuries ranging from critical to superficial, but no fatalities were reported. Three of the worst injured were flown by helicopter to area hospitals.
It happened during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line.
The Republican candidates for Virginia governor, lieutenant Governor and attorney general will campaign together in a statewide fly-around Sunday through Tuesday. Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Obenshain and E.W. Jackson will visit ten cities in those three days. It is their first series of first joint campaign appearances since their nominations Saturday at the Virginia GOP convention in Richmond. The events include a 10:30 a.m. appearance in Roanoke at Landmark Aviation’s outdoor courtyard at Roanoke Regional Airport, and an 8:45 a.m. Tuesday appearance at the Lynchburg airport general aviation terminal.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Republicans have chosen firebrand conservative minister E.W. Jackson’s for lieutenant governor, the first black candidate the party has nominated for statewide office since 1988.
Jackson provoked the loudest ovation of the day at from the tea party-dominated Republican Party convention in Richmond on Saturday, declaring in an impassioned speech, “I am not an African-American, I am an American!”
He won the nomination on the fourth ballot over six rivals. As the only black candidate, he becomes the first black Republican nominee since the party nominated Maurice Dawkins in 1988.
Jackson heads a nondenominational church in Chesapeake and credits his religious background for his shift from the Democratic Party. His first GOP bid for office came last year when he lost the U.S. Senate nomination to former Sen. George Allen.
Obenshain was nominated by acclamation on a voice vote after his rival, Del. Rob Bell, conceded defeat after the first ballot at the Virginia Republican Convention on Saturday.
Obenshain’s father, Richard Obenshain, won the party’s U.S. Senate nomination in the same building in 1978, but was killed in August of that year when a small plane carrying him home from a campaign event crashed when Mark Obenshain was 16. John W. Warner took his place on the ballot and won the first of five U.S. Senate terms.
Onstage with Obenshain when he accepted the nomination was his mother and Richard Obenshain’s widow, Helen Obenshain.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s conservative activist attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, has been nominated by acclamation for governor at a statewide Republican convention dominated for the first time by the tea party.
Cuccinelli was unopposed for the nomination. Several thousand delegates to the convention will also choose their nominees for lieutenant governor from seven candidates, and choose between Del. Rob Bell of Albemarle and state Sen. Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg.
In remarks to the convention Saturday, Cuccinelli tacked to the center in a speech that stressed mainstream themes and fought back against Democratic attacks portraying him as a right-wing extremist.
He made scant mention of his support for abortion restrictions and instead noted his crackdowns on Internet predators and human traffickers, to exonerate the wrongly convicted and aid the intellectually disabled.
FARMVILLE, Va. (AP) _ A Mega Millions ticket sold in Farmville has matched all six numbers in the latest drawing and will split the estimated $190 million jackpot with the holder of another winning ticket bought in New Jersey.
Virginia Lottery officials said Saturday that one of the winning tickets from Friday night’s drawing was bought at the Farmville Food Lion. The winner has yet to claim the ticket, which is worth $95 million.
The numbers drawn were 11, 15, 35, 43, 49. The Mega Ball was 41.
The Virginia winner has 180 days to claim the prize and can choose to take the $95 million in 26 annual payments or a one-time cash option of $70.3 million before taxes.
It’s the eighth time there has been a Mega Millions jackpot winner in Virginia.
Dollar General stores are looking for new employees for its stores in the Roanoke area and across the country. A career fair in Roanoke tomorrow is one of 170 they’ll hold in 40 states as the growing chain seeks to hire 10,000 new employees this month. The local career fair runs from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at the Dollar General at Orange Avenue and Gus Nicks Boulevard. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.
Click here for more Dollar General Career Fair information