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AP’s general news coverage in Virginia

Election volunteer Wenwu Mulbah, of Richmond, center,  hands out Republican sample ballots at a polling place in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.  Democrats look to regain control of the state Senate in today's with both parties spending huge amounts of cash in two key districts, one in Richmond and one in Northern Virginia.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Election volunteer Wenwu Mulbah, of Richmond, center, hands out Republican sample ballots at a polling place in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. Democrats look to regain control of the state Senate in today’s with both parties spending huge amounts of cash in two key districts, one in Richmond and one in Northern Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Hello! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Virginia. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to the Richmond bureau at 804-643-6646 or aprichmond@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

MINE EXPLOSION-TRIAL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was the kingpin of a massive conspiracy and had a “band of yes men” at the company, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday. “His method of operation was to violate nearly every law on mine safety in the book,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in closing arguments in Blankenship’s criminal trial. By Jonathan Mattise. SENT: 540 words, photos. Will be updated.

AP Photos NY112-1001151208.

IMMIGRANT CHILDREN-REUNION

BALTIMORE — For years, Brian Mejia begged for his father’s blessing to slip out of his village in El Salvador and make the perilous trek to the United States, away from the gang violence that drove his father across the border. For years, Gabriel Mejia said no, recalling his own days-long journey through the desert, his skin sore from the persistent pricks of cactus needles. Gabriel Mejia could no longer stand the persistent bloodshed in his homeland, 15 years after arriving in the U.S., and was beginning to come around to the idea of sending a smuggler for his 19-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter, Wendy. Then, they got word they wouldn’t need to sneak in, thanks to a State Department program aimed at helping children reunite with their families on U.S. soil. By Juliet Linderman. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

AP Photos MDPS203-1112151722, MDPS202-1112151701, MDPS201-1112151711.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

MEDICAID-VIRGINIA

RICHMOND— A new state forecast expects Virginia’s Medicaid costs to increase by nearly $1 billion through the next two-year budget. The $956 million increase is due primarily to a surge in enrollment by people who were eligible for program benefits but either did not know it or did not act on it until this year. Since July 1, more than 51,000 people have enrolled in the program, including 11,000 low-income parents who became aware they are eligible for Medicaid because of the debate over expanding the program and the requirement that individuals have some form of medical insurance under the federal health care law, the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kALtcY) report. SENT: 380 words.

IN BRIEF:

— PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS: A state report has recommended that Virginia lawmakers close Roanoke County’s Catawba Hospital and another state psychiatric hospital in favor of adding a wing to a newer facility and building a network of community services, especially those that care for people with dementia.

— MUSIC-COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT: A North Carolina man who owned a music-sharing website has been sentenced to three years in prison for copyright infringement.

— VA HOSPITAL-UNSAFE WORKPLACE: Federal regulators say Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center exposed workers to an unsafe workplace.

— FORMER GOVERNOR TRIAL: Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s appeal of his public corruption convictions has gotten support from former lawyers for Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

— RUSSIAN TALIBAN: A former Russian military tank commander has lost a bid to have his conviction on terror-related charges overturned.

— SANDWICH ASSAULT: Police say a drunken New Jersey man threw a sandwich at another man at a northern Virginia pizza restaurant and is now facing charges.

— MINACS JOBS: Minacs plans to hire 200 full-time workers and 150 seasonal workers at its new center in Richmond.

— SMITHFIELD FOODS-CEO: Smithfield Foods, Inc. CEO C. Larry Pope is stepping down at the end of the year.

— DOMINION-SOLAR ACQUISITION: An 80-megawatt solar energy project in Accomack County has been acquired by Dominion Energy.

— RICHMOND SLAYING: Richmond police are investigating a shooting that left one man dead and another man and a child injured.

— PROSTITUTION ARREST: Police arrested a man they say transported a teenage girl and a young woman to a hotel to have them work as prostitutes.

— OFFICER-JOB PROGRAM: A Richmond police officer is volunteering his time at a program designed to help participants land jobs.

— FOR-PROFIT SCHOOL-SETTLEMENT-VIRGINIA: About 2,000 former students in Virginia won’t have to pay $2.3 million in outstanding loans for online courses of a Pittsburgh firm that runs for-profit trade schools and colleges.

— HEROIN CHARGES: A Portsmouth man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in a heroin distributing operation.

— GAS DRILLING-DEMONSTRATIONS: Activists in about a dozen U.S. states are having a day of action to highlight concerns about potential environmental and health effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a high-pressure technique for extracting oil and gas from shale deposits.

— SOTOMAYOR-RICHMOND: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is set to speak at the University of Richmond School of Law.

— METRO MAINTENANCE: Metro says passengers traveling on three of its rail lines will wait longer for trains this weekend.

SPORTS:

VIRGINIA TECH-EMOTIONS

UNDATED — Virginia Tech heads into its final home game of the season against red-hot North Carolina with the Hokies needing one more victory to qualify for a bowl game. But it also will be the last time Frank Beamer runs out of the tunnel to “Enter Sandman” after 29 seasons as coach, and managing emotions will be paramount for him, his players and the coaching staff. By Hank Kurz Jr. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to aprichmond@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Virginia and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click “All” or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.

 

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