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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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LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was honored by Virginia Military Institute, and she returned the favor by paying homage to a VMI alumnus. Clinton accepted the Distinguished Diplomat Award on Tuesday on VMI’s Lexington campus. During an address to students and faculty, she praised George C. Marshall, class of 1901.  Marshall was secretary of state from 1947 to 1949 and was among the architects of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II.

(Continue reading for a link to her full address.)

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s Senate expects to vote Monday to approve a version of the state budget, something it did not do during a 60-day regular General Assembly.
The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved its version of a new budget Thursday, incorporating some of the Democratic demands that had been made for advancing a new two-year state funding plan. One of the concessions was relief for tolls on a tunnel in Hampton Roads.
Another major concession may come Monday when a floor amendment requiring the state to pay for mandatory pre-abortion ultrasounds is offered.
The amendment would require insurers to pay the cost of the procedure mandated in a bill passed this year. The state would provide up to $3 million over the next two years to pay the costs for the uninsured.

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP)  A jury has found Virginia Tech negligent for delaying a campus warning of the first shootings in a 2007 campus massacre that left 33 dead.      Jurors returned the verdict Wednesday in a wrongful death civil suit brought by the parents of two students who were killed on April 16, 2007, in the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ On the evening of Jan. 11, with the 2012 General Assembly just seven hours old, Gov. Bob McDonnell advised his newly empowered Republican legislative allies “don’t overreach.”

And to Democrats, frozen totally out of power in state government for the first time in 10 years, he counseled, “don’t obstruct.” Continue reading

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Tech parents hoping to hear an apology for the actions of university officials for the campus killings nearly five years ago didn’t get one last week at a wrongful death trial.

The question of official accountability, however, still remains for jurors to decide.

The state begins its presentation on Monday when the trial begins its second week. Its list of witnesses tops 50.

Attorneys for the families of two students killed in the campus rampage are each seeking $100,000, but they say their primary interest is to hold Tech officials accountable for their actions on April 16, 2007.

University officials testified they acted with the best information they had when they delayed issuing a campus-wide alert of the first two shootings at a dormitory. Thirty more killings followed.