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Virginia Catholics will receive a letter from their Bishop when they attend services this weekend, part of the Chuch’s ongoing battle over federally-mandated birth control coverage for its workers — even if the Church does not pay for it directly. As WFIR’s Steve Mabry reports, US Catholic bishops still call it an assault on religious freedom.

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The latest statewide poll from Quinnipiac University finds 76% of Virginians support requiring drug testing for welfare recipients. Peter Brown is Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  He told WFIR, “across all demographic and political lines there is support for the idea of drug testing for welfare recipients.”

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The continued lack of snow may force some area school systems to open after Labor Day in future school years — unless the General Assembly changes current state law. The 2012-13 school year would not be affected, but as WFIR’s Steve Mabry reports, late August openings may be in jeopardy after then.

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Image courtesy: Donkey-Hotey

From the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute:

For the first time in this election cycle, President Barack Obama inches ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the leading Republican candidate, 47 – 43 percent in Virginia, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Romney has a commanding lead among likely Republican primary voters in the state’s no-Newt Gingrich presidential primary.

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With a recent firing of its General Manager following a DWI charge, Mountain Valley Transportation is reaffirming its commitment to student safety. Mountain Valley transports Roanoke City school students under a contract with the city’s school system.  More from WFIR’s Steve Mabry.

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Richard Kwiatkowski (VaSeniorAlert.com)

Virginia State Police have issued a senior alert on behalf of the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office at 4:59 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 18, 2012.

The Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Richard Joseph Kwiatkowski, a white male, age 67, 6’1”, 206 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen on Thurs., Jan. 12, 2012 on Route 15 in the Bremo Bluff area of Fluvanna County.

The missing senior suffers from a cognitive impairment and the disappearance poses a credible threat to his health and safety.

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Rev. E.W. Jackson

A man seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate brings his campaign to Roanoke Tuesday night. Rev. E.W. Jackson a minister in Chesapeake, but says he has strong support from this area, with two key members of his campaign staff from Roanoke. Jackson is one of several candidates vying with former Governor George Allen for the Republican nomination.

“A lot of people have the theory that in order for anybody but George Allen to win all the other candidates but one has to drop out,” Jackson told WFIR News. “We have a different view.” Continue reading

“Come Early.” That’s the advice for people who want to bring items for appraisal by Harry Rinker, host of HGTV’s “The Collector Inspector.” He’s making a return visit this weekend to the Greater Roanoke Home and Garden Show at the Roanoke Civic Center. Rinker will look at up to two items per person. Also making appearances will be Roger Hazard of A-&-E’s “Sell This House.” He’ll give advice on how to stage your home if you’re trying to sell it.

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