Virginia is holding its sixth annual sales-tax holiday on energy-efficient products.  From Friday through Monday, residential consumers can save money by buying sales-tax exempt heat pumps, dishwashers, washing machines, insulation, toilets and other products. They must be $2,500 or less and certified as being energy efficient with the Energy Star and WaterSense designations. This is Virginia’s third tax-free holiday of the year. Hurricane-preparedness items get a tax-free weekend in May and back-to-school items get a similar weekend in August.

Click here for a full list of qualifying products.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The University of Virginia’s governing board has reinstated President Teresa Sullivan after outcry over her ouster earlier this month. The board’s 15 members voted unanimously Tuesday to reinstate Sullivan after two weeks of protests on the historic campus founded by Thomas Jefferson. Continue reading

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (AP)  — A judge has upheld a jury’s negligence verdict against the state from the 2007 mass killings at Virginia Tech, but has sharply reduced damages awarded to two families.

Franklin County Circuit Judge William Alexander II today reduced the jury’s damages awarded to each family to $100,000, the statutory cap on damages against the state. Jurors had awarded each family $4 million.

The lawsuit was filed by the families of two students who were among the 32 left dead on the Blacksburg campus after a rampage by a student gunman. Attorneys successfully argued the university waited too long before alerting the campus of the first two shootings.

The April 16, 2007, shootings were the deadliest in modern U.S. history.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s unemployment rate remained at the lowest rate in three years in May and is still below the national average.    The Virginia Employment Commission says Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed at 5.6 percent in May. That’s 0.6 percentage points lower than a year ago. Virginia’s jobless rate has been trending down since January 2010, when joblessness peaked at 7.3 percent.  Continue reading

 ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Annual tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students at Virginia Tech are rising by 3.9 percent next academic year. Meeting in Arlington on Thursday, Tech’s Board of Visitors approved the increase, which translates to an annual cost of $10,923. That’s up from $10,509 from the just-completed academic year.  Continue reading

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama says he now supports same-sex marriage, ending months of equivocation on a subject with powerful election-year consequences. Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends.

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