Jan 14

Richard Earl “Ricky” Witcher Jr. of Gloucester had speculated about various ways of killing Karen Kay Kelly prior to her murder according to court testimony, and after his arrest in July 2011 bragged to three fellow inmates about some of the gruesome details, even boasting how he felt no remorse and was glad he had done it. Witcher’s guilty pleas averted a two-day trial scheduled to start on Monday. Witcher’s guilty plea to second-degree murder Friday morning means he faces up to 40 years in prison for Kelly’s slaying.
Hampton Roads Transit issued more than 1,000 warnings and summonses last year to people caught riding Norfolk’s light rail system without paying. Tom Holden with the transit agency says that fare inspectors check riders every day to make sure they’re paying. He says most customers are law-abiding and they pay for their rides. Those caught without paying face a higher cost than the price of a ticket. They could be fined $250 and charged with a misdemeanor.
With the General Assembly just beginning its deliberations on how much money to spend on schools, local school divisions are bracing for budget shortfalls expected to run into millions of dollars. Superintendent of Gloucester County Public Schools Ben Kiser, estimates an $850,000 gap due to a loss of the stimulus funds and declining enrollment. Kiser said more information will be available at the district’s Jan. 24 work session. Mathews County Public Schools is the only division not expecting a significant shortfall. Superintendent David Holleran said decisions last year, which included laying off 30 employees and implementing the entire 5 percent contribution into the retirement system, put the division in a better position this year.
A 49-year-old Newport News man was charged in connection with threatening to “blow up” a woman’s car and a woman’s home on Thursday. The man’s former girlfriend told police she went to his residence on Cameron Drive Wednesday to retrieve her property when he took her car keys and drove off. On Thursday, the woman came with two other women to the man’s home to get the car when he came out and made threats to blow it up, He also threatened to “blow up” one woman’s home. All three women told police the man had been calling them repeatedly. 49 year-old William Haden was charged with two counts of threats to burn and one count of trespassing and was placed in the Newport News City Jail on Thursday.
Dominion Virginia Power officials say plans are still on track for a third nuclear reactor at the company’s North Anna Power Station. Critics of the plan are doubtful that the reactor will be built. They cite low natural gas prices, delays in the approval process and the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Dominion vice president Eugene Grecheck acknowledges that demand for electricity has dropped due to the economy and natural gas is a more attractive fuel due to falling prices. He says Dominion officials believe it’s not in the company’s interest, or the nation’s interest, to be dependent on one fuel.
Gov. Bob McDonnell says he will not block next week’s scheduled execution of a Virginia man who strangled two other prisoners and vowed to keep killing unless he was put to death. McDonnell said Friday that 42-year-old Robert Gleason Jr. had shown no remorse for the slayings. Gleason is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, He has chosen to die by electrocution. Gleason was serving life in prison when he killed his cellmate in 2009. He vowed to keep killing unless given the death penalty, then in 2010 he strangling another inmate as he awaited sentencing.

January 14, 2013 |

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