Latest Virginia news, sports, business and entertainment


Associated Press

Posted on June 3, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 3 at 9:00 AM


Va. soldier killed in Afghanistan

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A soldier from Virginia has died in Afghanistan from injuries caused by an improvised explosive device.

The Department of Defense said Monday that 21-year-old Spc. Kyle P. Stoeckli of Mosely died Saturday in Maiwand, Afghanistan.

Moseley was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in Texas.


Va. registrars open Saturday for absentee voting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Local registrar offices in Virginia will be open Saturday for eligible voters to cast absentee ballots in person for the June 11 primary elections.

To vote absentee, voters must meet one of 17 eligibility requirements. These requirements include any person who will be absent from the county or city where he or she votes because of a vacation, personal business or work-related reasons, and anyone who is unable to go to the polls on the day of the election because of a disability, illness or pregnancy.

Democrats will choose their candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general in a statewide primary election.

The State Board of Elections says there also will be primary elections for the House of Delegates and local offices.


Winchester trees destroyed by 2012 storm replaced

(Information in the following story is from: The Winchester Star,

WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — More than two-thirds of the trees destroyed by high winds in Winchester last summer have been replaced.

Three companies and numerous residents donated trees or money to replace the destroyed trees. The city lost about 90 trees during a severe windstorm in June 2012.

Two of the companies, Skyview Tree Experts of Augusta, W.Va., and Green Leaf Tree Services of Bloomery, W.Va., helped the city clean up after the storm. SkyView co-owner Shane Nickleson tells The Winchester Star that his company's donation of 10 trees is a way to give back to the community.

Green Leaf Tree Services donated five trees. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative donated enough money to buy 12 replacement trees. Another 38 trees were bought and planted with contributions to the city's adopt-a-tree program.


Petersburg cites post office for overgrown grass

(Information in the following story is from: The Progress-Index,

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) — A post office in Petersburg received a citation from the city after grass on the property grew to more than a foot high.

Public works director Steven Hicks tells The Progress-Index that the city had received numerous complaints about the grass from residents and business owners.

The city dropped the notice of violation after the grass was mowed last week.

U.S. Postal Service George Maffett couldn't say why the grass hadn't been mowed. But he says automatic budget cuts wouldn't affect contracts for grounds maintenance.

Hicks says the city has cited more than 70 properties for grass over 12 inches in height so far this year.


Groups plan barn quilt trail in Washington Co.

(Information in the following story is from: Bristol Herald Courier,

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Local groups are working to establish a barn quilt trail in Washington County.

The trail will be similar to one in northeast Tennessee. It will feature large wooden painted quilt squares on barns or other buildings. The squares will be visible from public highways.

Holston Mountain Artisans manager Donna Price tells the Bristol Herald Courier that quilts tell good stories. She says a lot of quilt squares already have been installed in the area, and the groups thought it was time to organize a trail.

The Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center will build squares for people interested in participating in the trail or who want them for personal use. Students will build both ready-made squares and squares with custom quilt designs.


Va. Beach, state partner to expand river access

(Information in the following story is from: The Virginian-Pilot,

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Virginia Beach and the state are working together to give boaters more access to the Lynnhaven River.

Construction of a floating dock and fixed pier is underway at First Landing State Park.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the city negotiated a land lease with the state and allocated $225,000 for the project. The city will maintain the dock and the pier and the grounds will be overseen by park personnel.

Park manager Bruce Widener says kayaks and canoes can be launched from the dock. Other boats can tie up to the dock.

Trailer-mounted boats will still use the park's boat ramps.

Virginia Beach parks and recreation senior planner Barbara Duke says the city is looking for other sites that can be developed to give nonmotorized boats access to the river.


Dave Matthews to speak at Va naturalization event

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Musician Dave Matthews will be the featured speaker at Monticello's 51st annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation president Leslie Greene Bowman says in a news release that Mathews is an advocate for human rights and the ideal person to inspire new citizens.

Matthews was born in South Africa and became a naturalized citizen in 1980.

The foundation owns and operates Monticello. It says that more than 3,000 immigrants have become U.S. citizens on the Fourth of July at Monticello since 1963.


2 Va. cities to commemorate War of 1812 battle

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Civil War isn't the only conflict being commemorated in Virginia this year.

Portsmouth and Norfolk are holding events to mark the 200th anniversary of a War of 1812 battle.

The Battle of Craney Island occurred on June 22, 1813, when a British force launched assaults on the island. The British abandoned the assaults after they encountered artillery fire by the Americans.

The battle's bicentennial will be commemorated at Fort Norfolk on June 22.

Battle of Craney Island Bicentennial Committee chairman Chris Melhuish says the event will include a victory ceremony, a wreath-laying and victory bell peal from participating churches in Norfolk and Portsmouth.

Other events include a public picnic June 23 at the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve.