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July-August 2012


Cheat Sheet: August 31, 2012

Apartment fire in Chesapeake An apartment building caught fire this morning around 10:30 a.m. after a blaze which apparently began in a dumpster spread to the nearby building. Firefighters helped one person to vacate the building, and no injuries were reported. The blaze was extinguished by 11:05 a.m., and 16 people are being displaced as a result of the fire. (Source) U.S. Gulf Coast recovers from Isaac The first hurricane to hit the U.S. this year is remembered for striking on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and this time, the city of New Orleans prepared with their new $14.5 billion flood control system. Though the system proved to be a success, the hurricane caused widespread flooding and property damage after lingering near New Orleans for nearly two days....

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Cheat Sheet: August 30, 2012

Amtrak begins serving Norfolk in December Amtrak trains are set to begin serving Norfolk passengers on December 12, about 10 months ahead of schedule. Ticket sales commenced this morning with non-holiday tickets at $38 for a one-way trip to Washington D.C., $73 to Boston, $63 to New York and $51 to Philadelphia. The trains are set to leave Norfolk around 5 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends. They will return around 9 p.m. on weekdays, midnight on Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays. (Source)   American Music Festival taking place this weekend If you don’t have any Labor Day weekend plans, have no fear! The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is hosting many free concerts in the 19th annual Verizon Wireless American Music Festival. Over the course of Friday, Saturday...

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Cheat Sheet: August 29, 2012

NBC announces Fall hosts, musical guests for “SNL” “SNL” may have said goodbye to Andy Samberg and Kristin Wiig last season, but the show’s thirty-eighth season will be saying hello to popular hosts and musicians. Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the show “Family Guy” and director of the movie Ted, will be hosting the season premiere on September 15. Frank Ocean will be the musical guest. Also lined up for Fall appearances are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mumford and Sons, Daniel Craig and Muse. (Source) Hurricane Isaac makes landfall a second time One year ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall over Louisiana, breaking levees and devastating New Orleans. Today, Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the Gulf states. So far, more than...

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Cheat Sheet: August 28, 2012

Isaac now a Category 1 hurricane The city of New Orleans has prepared for what is now a Category 1 hurricane by installing pumps and outfall canals capable of pumping massive amounts of water from city streets into a nearby lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer recently installed the pumps that are built to pump out 19,140 cubic feet of rainwater per second—enough to fill an Olympic-sized pool in less than five seconds. (Source) Gabby Douglas tells Oprah she felt bullied at Virginia Beach gym Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s television show “Oprah’s Next Chapter” Sunday night and said that she felt isolated at Virginia Beach’s Excalibur Gymnastics and therefore left to train with coach Liang Chow in Iowa....

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Cheat Sheet: August 27, 2012

Rep. Scott hosts Medicare town hall forum Tonight, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott will host a town hall meeting in Newport News. He will discuss Medicare and the federal budget. There will also be a question-answer period with those attending the forum. Anyone is able to attend the event which is taking place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School. (Source)   World’s oldest person turns 116 One’s sixteenth birthday is often the most memorable and celebrated birthday. But it’s been 100 years since Besse Cooper had hers. The Georgia native turns 116 today and is one of eight people to have reached that age, according to Guinness World Records. Cooper was honored with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a bridge was named after her in...

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Cheat Sheet: August 25-26--Weekend Roundup

House Arrests Decline as Chesapeake Jail Remains Full In 2007, the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office attempted to make space by transferring up to 100 inmates to house arrest. Even though it was only built for 543 inmates, the jail was currently holding 1,400. Even now in 2012, the Chesapeake Correctional Center is still overcrowded by twice its capacity. Judges reject eight or nine of every 10 people recommended for house arrest. Why? For some, they claim it is out of fairness because only those with money can afford the steep home-electronic monitoring cost. For others, they fear an inmate is taking advantage of the system. For now, Chesapeake is negotiating with the company that leases the home-electronic monitoring equipment, iSECUREtrac, to lower the price. (Source)...

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Cheat Sheet: August 24, 2012

Shooting Near Empire State Building Police have confirmed that Jeffrey Johnson, 58, was responsible for this morning’s shootings outside of the Empire State Building. Johnson had been laid off by apparel company Hazan Import Corp. a year ago, and today he shot and killed former coworker Steven Ercolino, 41, another employee at Hazan Import Corp. After fleeing the scene, Johnson shot and injured nine bystanders outside of the Empire State Building before being shot and killed by police officers. (Source) 19 people wounded in Chicago shooting Police said 19 people were injured in shootings across the South and West sides of Chicago last night. Eight victims were gunned down in a drive-by shooting. The victims are in stable condition. Five people were wounded in three...

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Cheat Sheet: August 23, 2012

Operation Blessing prepping Haiti for Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac is projected to make landfall on Friday. Unfortunately, the hurricane is expected to hit Haiti, a country still struggling to rebuild after the 2010 earthquake. Thousands of Haitians are still living in tents or makeshift shelters, and waterways are contaminated with cholera. Flooding from the storm could cause a cholera outbreak. However, the Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, is sending volunteers and supplies and is placing them in strategic places to combat the storm’s damage. (Source)   “LOLZ,” “Photobomb,” “Video chat” make it into Oxford Dictionaries Online LOLZ, mwahahaha, photobomb, tweeps, video chat and...

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Cheat Sheet: August 22, 2012

Air Force regulates tattoo sizes, religious proselytizing Days before Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Norton Schwartz retired, a document was issued dictating U.S. airmen’s conduct. The document includes regulations involving tattoo size and flag handling etiquette. Additionally, the document condemns religious proselytizing by Air Force leaders. As expected, the document has upset many First Amendment supporters of freedom of religion and speech. (Source)   Afghan war claims 2,000 Americans For nearly 11 years, American forces have been fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. An analysis released by the New York Times of Department of Defense reveals that 2,000 Americans have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the...

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Cheat Sheet: August 21, 2012

Norfolk eagles to be moved Bald eagles nesting at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens will be relocated following a decision made by Norfolk’s City Council. The three nests are situated not far from the Norfolk International Airport, leading to concerns for both the safety of the birds and of the passengers aboard nearby planes. (Source) Some Sentara doctors available for video diagnoses In October, Virginia residents will be able to speak with physicians and receive diagnoses and prescriptions without ever leaving their computers. Sentara has partnered with a telehealth company, MDLIVE, to provide a video service that allows patients to discuss minor ailments with doctors without traveling to a physician’s office. While the service is expected to save time and...

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Cheat Sheet: August 20, 2012

Virginia gas prices up 3 cents per gallon in 1 week Gasoline prices are steadily increasing in Virginia. Last week, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.58. Now it’s three cents higher and 12 cents higher than last year at this time. The Charlottesville area boasts the lowest average in the state at $3.46 a gallon. The Norfolk area has the highest average, costing $3.59 a gallon. Prices are expected to continue to rise through Labor Day. Still, Virginia’s gas prices are 14 cents below the national average. (Source) Food safety experts outraged at latest salmonella outbreaks After a salmonella outbreak killed at least 30 people and sickened 146 last year, grocery shoppers are again wary of cantaloupes. A year later, two people in Kentucky...

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Cheat Sheet: August 18-19--Weekend Roundup

No West Nile virus found in Hampton Roads Due to last week’s reports of West Nile virus found in the north and southwestern parts of Virginia, the Eastern Region of the state Health Department tested and found no traces of the mosquito-borne illness in the Hampton Roads area. This year, more than 690 cases of the virus have been detected nationwide, the highest number ever recorded since 1999. To lessen the chances of contracting the virus, avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn, apply repellent and utilize window screens. (Source) Cracking down on false IDs in Hampton Roads Officers at the Hampton Roads Regional Academy for Criminal Justice are routinely updated and trained to identify a false ID. Counterfeit IDs now have the ability to be scanned which...

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Cheat Sheet: August 17, 2012

Rite-Aid shooting results in one man dead and one charged with murder Police charged Bernell Duvall Benn, 41, of Norfolk, with murder for fatally shooting Ramon P.Colorado, 42, a former Norfolk deputy sheriff inside Norfolk’s Rite Aid in the 3600 block of Tidewater Drive. Benn said in an interview today that he was defending himself after he was pepper-sprayed and threatened by Colorado. Police issued a statement saying that Benn accused Colorado of cutting in front of him in line at the checkout counter, and they began arguing. Colorado sprayed Benn with pepper spray, and Benn drew a handgun and began firing at Colorado, who drew his handgun, returned fire and collapsed. Both men were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with gunshot wounds. Colorado died at the...

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Cheat Sheet: August 15, 2012

2012 predicted as most expensive year for motorists Gasoline prices have been rising sharply since mid-July. This drastic price hike will likely make 2012 the costliest year for Americans. The national average is up 30 cents since mid-July and is higher than the average was a year ago in 39 states. Some believe the national average will hit $3.90 before dropping off around Labor Day. (Source)   State workers to receive bonus in December They haven’t had a pay raise in five years, but this December, Virginia state employees will receive a one-time 3 percent bonus. The bonus is a result of the $448.5 million surplus Gov. McDonnell has reported. The 3 percent bonus comes as a reward for sound management and successful saving strategies. (Source)   New...

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Cheat Sheet: August 14, 2012

Former Norfolk police officer sentenced for drug charges Former Norfolk police officer Kristin Wayne Harris, 38, pled guilty in November to selling drugs including steroids, syringes and marijuana to an undercover Virginia Beach detective last summer. After prosecutors withdrew 11 related drug charges, a circuit court judge this morning sentenced Harris to 100 hours of community service for two felony drug charges. Harris resigned from the Norfolk Police Department, where he’d served 11 years, after his arrest. (Source) 46 killed in Afghanistan Suicide bombers launched several attacks in southwestern Afghanistan today, killing policemen and shoppers buying food to break their daily Ramadan fast. Combined with a market bombing in northern Afghanistan, this has been...

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Cheat Sheet: August 13, 2012

Hampton man fired over Facebook “Like” Hampton sheriff’s deputy Daniel Ray Carter Jr. and five others were fired for liking their boss’s political opponent on Facebook. Now Carter is firing back—with a lawsuit. Carter claims that his “like” on Facebook is protected under his First Amendment right to free speech. Although a District Court judge ruled that free-speech doesn’t apply to Facebook’s thumbs-up icon, Carter is appealing in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The sheriff’s lawyers will respond to the suit in the next month. (Source)   Death toll rises in Iran earthquakes aftermath Twin earthquakes shook Iran on Saturday, registering at magnitudes of 6.4 and 6.3. The quakes hit Iran’s mountainous...

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Cheat Sheet: August 11-12 Weekend Roundup

Romney Selects Ryan as VP Mitt Romney officially announced Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate during an appearance in Norfolk, VA in front of the USS Wisconsin on Saturday. The announcement was met by cheers from the crowd, and Romney said of the pairing: ‘We are offering a positive governing agenda that will lead to economic growth.” When Ryan took to the stage, he said, “Next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.” (Source)   U.S. Basketball Team Beats Spain The American men's basketball team bested Spain 107-100 on Sunday in one of the last events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. This is Team USA's second...

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Cheat Sheet: August 10, 2012

Raymond Perry says he didn’t murder Norfolk police officer in 2010 Raymond Lewis Perry, the 20-year-old man accused of killing Norfolk police office Victor Decker in Virginia Beach in 2010, said in a jailhouse interview today that he is innocent. He admits making some poor choices in his life but says he didn’t murder Decker. He said he believes someone lied about his involvement in exchange for a reduced jail or prison sentence on their own charges. Perry sends this message to the victim’s family: "For my victim's family, I didn't commit the crime and I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I feel like no family should have to endure that pain ... No family should have to go through that under any circumstances." (Source) CNU...

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Cheat Sheet: August 9, 2012

Online course required for Virginia high school grads Beginning with ninth-graders in the fall of 2013, all high school students pursuing a standard or advanced-studies diploma must take an online course to graduate. While the cost and preparation for implementing this program are still unknown, Virginia Beach has already implemented an online course this summer in which nearly 900 students enrolled in 34 sections of 10 courses. The goal of the program is to expose students to online learning often employed in college and the workplace. (Source)     July was hot! hot! hot! Federal scientists say July 2012 was the hottest month ever recorded in the continental United States, with records dating back to 1895. July 2012’s average temperature was 77.6...

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Cheat Sheet: August 8, 2012

Tucson shooter pleads guilty After more than a year of treatment in a prison psychiatric hospital, a U.S. district judge determined that 23-year-old Jared Loughner was mentally competent to stand trial. Loughner was charged for killing six people and wounding 13 others, including then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona last year. On Tuesday, Loughner entered a guilty plea to 19 counts in order to avoid the death penalty. Loughner will be sentenced to seven terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Source)   Gun buying limit repealed in Va., sales on the rise The state’s law of purchasing one handgun a month has been repealed. As a result, gun sales are up. Firearm transactions rose by 17 percent in July compared to June....

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Cheat Sheet: August 7, 2012

Romney to Visit Nauticus Just weeks after President Obama’s visit to the battleground state of Virginia, Mitt Romney’s campaign has announced that the Republican nominee will speak at Nauticus this Saturday. The appearance is part of the “Romney for a Stronger Middle Class” bus tour. Doors will open at 7:45 a.m. and the rally will begin at 8:45 a.m. (Source) $3 Million Virginian Pilot Verdict Set Aside A circuit judge has vacated a $3 million libel verdict against The Virginian Pilot. Phillip Webb, assistant principal of Oscar Smith High School, filed the suit claiming that an article published on December 18, 2009 falsely accused him of abusing his power within the school system. According to Webb, the article erroneously implied that his son,...

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Cheat Sheet: August 6, 2012

NASA’s rover safely lands on Mars After eight months and a 352-million-mile journey, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover touched down on the red planet. Minutes after landing, the rover, called Curiosity, transmitted pictures from the planet’s surface. Those photos are already available for viewing online. The rover is designed to look for signs of life on Mars, such as water, food and energy that could support human visitors. Curiosity will explore the planet for nearly two years before its mission is complete. (Source)    Not all Chesapeake crimes will be prosecuted? Chesapeake is facing a budget deficit that could reach $6 million dollars. To alleviate the debt, the city of Chesapeake may not prosecute crimes such as habitual drunkenness,...

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Cheat Sheet: August 4-5 - Weekend Roundup

Seven dead in Sikh Temple shooting According to police, at least seven people, including the gunman, were shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. on Sunday. About 3 dozen people were injured, including the police officer who first responded to the attack. Police identified the suspect as Wade Michael Page on Monday - Page was killed by first responders outside the temple on Sunday.The shootings are being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism, and the FBI will take the lead on the case. (Source)   Jared Loughner to plead guity Jared Loughner, who killed six people in the Arizona shooting rampage that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is expected to plead guilty and agree to a life sentence Tuesday. (Source)   212K homeless...

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Cheat Sheet: August 3, 2012

Gabby Douglas to appear on Kellogg's Corn Flakes boxes this fall Not only has Gabby Douglas earned gold in the Olympics, but she’ll gain even more fame this fall when she appears on a special-edition box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The Kellogg Company is an official sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, and this week, Doug VanDeVelde, senior vice president of Morning Foods, Kellogg Company, said they were proud to support the potential of young athletes and the amazing team of U.S. gymnasts. (Source) Tunnel toll lawsuit needs more information to continue The people who are suing to stop the Midtown and Downtown tunnel toll project may have a case—but they’ll need to be more specific about it. A group including 31...

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Cheat Sheet: August 2, 2012

Portsmouth inmates to use video visitation For the first time in Virginia, inmates will be able to chat with friends and family online rather than face-to-face visitations in the jail. The Portsmouth sheriff implemented this program, set to begin on August 6, 2012. Although inmates will have a live video feed available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., all the calls are set to be monitored and recorded. Calls cost 50 cents a minute but come at no charge to taxpayers. (Source)   Underage tobacco sales at all-time low Fewer minors are being sold tobacco, according to a report released Thursday. In 2011, the violation rate of tobacco sales to underage youth was 8.5 percent. The rate is based on random inspections taken at stores to see whether or not a...

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Cheat Sheet: August 1, 2012

Michael Phelps breaks Olympics history Charlie Sheen may have coined the phrase “Winning!” but Olympic swimmer and star Michael Phelps is truly living it. After Tuesday night’s freestyle relay win, Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time. The swimmer boasts 19 medals, 15 of which are gold. With three events remaining in this year’s Games, Phelps may further distance himself from other competitors who are trying to catch up to his success. (Source)   Women take advantage of free healthcare today Birth control, Pap smears, mammograms and other preventative services will be free for millions of women, beginning August 1, 2012. The 2010 health reform law that was implemented today requires that private health insurance policies pay...

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July 31, 2012 - Cheat Sheet

Damaged lights in the Downtown Tunnel Lengthy morning backups in Norfolk’s Downtown Tunnel today were due to a dump truck that unintentionally smashed 38 lights and caused a 90-minute traffic stop. When the driver realized that a loose part on his truck was damaging lights and leaving debris in the path of other drivers, he stopped the truck and an electrician was called. The driver has not been charged with a crime. (Source) Olympics: the women’s gymnastics team results are in… SPOILER ALERT: The U.S. women’s gymnastics team clinched the team gold in the London Olympics, scoring 183.596, five points higher than the Russian’s silver medal score and seven points above the score that earned Romania a bronze. Two of the Russian competitors fell...

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July 30, 2012 - Cheat Sheet

NN Park pavilion destroyed in fire Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out at the pavilion adjacent to the Deer Run Golf Course in Newport News Park. Firefighters responded to the call around 5:45 a.m. and found the pavilion engulfed in flames. No one was hurt in the fire, and firefighters had the scene under control in about an hour. The estimated damage to this banquet hall and meeting place exceeds $500,000. The fire department is still looking into the cause of the fire. (Source)   Congress to fund flooding study in Norfolk Norfolk residents should get ready to hang up their umbrellas and put away their rain boots. On Friday, Congress agreed to back a plan that may solve Norfolk’s flooding problems. Norfolk city officials will be working with the Army Corp...

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Cheat Sheet: July 28-29 – Weekend Roundup

Gabby Douglas is one step closer to the gold The showdown between Virginia Beach native Gabby Douglas and reigning gymnastics world champion Jordyn Wieber came to an end Sunday when Douglas and Aly Raisman took the two U.S. spots for Thursday’s all-around competition. The results were shocking throughout the arena and for the U.S. team and left Wieber in tears. “It was hard because, of course, I wanted that spot,” she said in a statement. “But I also wanted Aly to do her best for the team.” (Source) Some Navy ships to be gone by 2017 Future plans for the Navy involve one of every five Navy ships in Hampton roads to be relocated or decommissioned by 2017, leaving the region with 5,400 fewer sailors. The vessels include an aircraft carrier, a...

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July 27, 2012 - Cheat Sheet

New retailer may help struggling Downtown Norfolk Urban Outfitters opened its doors yesterday on Granby Street. The three-story store offers much for shoppers, but also for the struggling downtown area. The Downtown Norfolk Council is hoping that Urban Outfitters will draw other businesses to the area. (Source)   Excessive heat warning in effect for the Southside of Hampton Roads With heat index values between 110 and 115 degrees, the area will be under a heat advisory from noon to 7 p.m. A cold front is expected later today, which may bring rain and a chance of severe storms. (Source)   Tonight’s opening ceremony will be a star-studded event 60,000 spectators are expected to be at London’s opening ceremony tonight. Queen Elizabeth II...

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July 26, 2012 - Cheat Sheet

Suffolk high schools may require community service to graduate On Thursday, Suffolk schools Superintendent Deran Whitney presented a plan to the state Board of Education which would require Suffolk high school students to complete at least 50 hours of community service or civics-related activities before graduating. The mandatory community service would be completed over the course of four years and would only apply to students earning an advanced studies or standard diploma. Suffolk schools are the first schools in Hampton Roads to consider implementing such a program. (Source)   Drought will drive up cost of food The severe drought that is plaguing the West and Midwest will likely drive up the price for staple foods next year. Milk, beef, chicken and pork prices...

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Cheat Sheet: July 25, 2012

Actor Sherman Hemsley dies at 74 Another iconic TV star has died this month. Sherman Hemsley, who starred as George Jefferson on the TV show “The Jeffersons,” died in his El Paso home on Tuesday. The comic’s death has not yet been attributed to a cause. (Source)   Al Qaeda claims responsibility for recent violence in Iraq Violent attacks have escalated in Iraq this week, leaving more than 100 dead and hundreds more wounded. On Tuesday, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating that it marks the beginning of a new wave of violence. Monday’s aggression is reported to have killed 116 people and wounded 300, making it the bloodiest day since U.S. troops withdrew from that area in December. (Source)  ...

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Cheat Sheet: July 24, 2012

Search for Earhart Wreckage Unsuccessful A marine expedition hoping to locate the remains of Amelia Earhart’s plane on a Pacific reef has returned to Hawaii, unsuccessful. The $2.2 million project battled equipment mishaps and rocky underwater terrain to record video and sonar information that searchers will analyze in the coming weeks. The search was prompted by the examination of a 1937 photograph that some experts believe could depict parts of the missing Lockheed Electra plane. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared in 1937 while trying to locate tiny Howland Island in adverse conditions. Had they completed the voyage, Earhart would have been the first woman to fly around the world. (Source)   Philadelphia Church Official Sentenced Monsignor...

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Cheat Sheet: July 23, 2012

NCAA punishes Penn State severely Today the NCAA issued several punishments against Penn State’s football program, after the child molestation scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The NCAA stopped just short of delivering the death penalty, or completely shutting down the university’s football program. The reparations include a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, the loss of several scholarships over the next four years and the revocation of all Penn State victories from 1998-2011. As a result of these penalties, Joe Paterno no longer holds the title of most college football career wins. It is expected that it will take the university’s program many years to recover from these sanctions. (Source)   NASA’s runs...

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Cheat Sheet: July 21-22 - Weekend Roundup

AMC Theaters will no longer allow masks or fake weapons in theaters In reaction to Friday's shooting at a The Dark Knight Rises screening, AMC theaters is reinforcing its security procedures. While their circuit-wide show schedules will not change, the theater will no longer allow any guests into theaters wearing costumes that may make other guests feel uncomfortable. Additionally, they will no longer allow face-covering masks or fake weapons inside AMC buildings. (Source)    Joe Paterno statue removed from Beaver Stadium  Former PSU coach Joe Paterno has been damaged irreparably, but the symbolic end of his legacy came Sunday when workers remove the statue of his likeness from outside Beaver Stadium. The decision to remove the statue had been the...

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Cheat Sheet: July 20, 2012

Colorado movie theater shooter identified and in custody Twelve moviegoers are confirmed to be dead and dozens are injured in Aurora, Colorado after a gunman opened fire at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. The alleged shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, is now in police custody. Holmes entered the theater with a gas mask, and threw an explosive device before he started shooting. President Obama and the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, are expected to give statements on the shooting. (Source)   George Zimmerman says shooting was part of “God’s plan" In a televised interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, George Zimmerman apologizes for the shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman is out on $1 million bail, and says...

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Cheat Sheet: July 19, 2012

Mach Tower closed to riders indefinitely It’s been open for less than a year, but persistent maintenance and technical problems have resulted in the temporary closing of one of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s newest attractions. Mach Tower, the ride that shoots passengers skyward at six feet per second and then plunges them 240 feet toward the ground, closed July 12, 2012, to review manufacturer-recommended changes to the ride. Although Busch Gardens has no official date for the ride to reopen, it is hoped that these changes will alleviate the down-time and service repairs that frequently shut down this attraction. (Source)   Obama campaign opens two more offices in Hampton Roads With recent polls showing the race for the presidency as a dead-heat, the...

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Cheat Sheet: July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela Former South African president, Nelson Mandela, turns 94 today. As a result of his imprisonment and work to end apartheid in South Africa, Mandela is honored with an international holiday on his birthday. July 18, 2012, is known as International Nelson Mandela Day, a United Nations backed event that encourages all people to dedicate 67 minutes of service to others in recognition of Mandela’s 67 years of public service. (Source)   Candy maker Mars Inc. donates $5 million to Smithsonian The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a sweet donation for its upcoming exhibit on American business and innovations. Today Mars Inc., the McLean, Virginia, creator of candies such as M&M and Snickers, decided to...

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Cheat Sheet: July 17, 2012

Residents in a Virginia Beach neighborhood awake to vandalism Several residents of the Charlestown Lakes neighborhood awoke to black spray paint on their cars and fences. Families who have lived in the neighborhood awhile say that vandalism is common on the backs of fences and businesses in the area. Those whose property was affected face hundreds of dollars in repairs, and it’s still unknown who was behind the vandalism. (Source)   Woman sentenced to 16 years for embezzling more than $1 million from Chesapeake company A former employee of Higgerson-Buchanan Inc. was sentenced to 16 years in prison Monday. Shelly Annette Spencer, who worked with the company for 23 years, has embezzled almost $20,000 a month since 2004. Spencer spent the money on trips to...

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Cheat Sheet: July 16, 2012

African Union elects first female leader On Sunday, Ethiopia hosted a summit for heads of state and government to elect a leader for the African Union. After months of deadlock, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s home affairs minister, became the first female chair of the African Union Commission. The 63-year-old is not only the first woman to lead the continent, but also the first politician from South Africa to hold this prominent position. (Source)   Virginia to implement NCLB waiver Virginia is leaving behind No Child Left Behind. Well, for the next two years anyway. Education officials are working on a two-year waiver from NCLB, a federal program that currently sets precedents for and tracks student achievement across the country. Education officials...

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Cheat Sheet: July 14-15 - Weekend Roundup

Norfolk Tides and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia bring home the bacon The Norfolk Tides ball club broke a world record Friday night, as they built the world's longest BLT sandwich, measuring at 308 feet and 6 inches of bacon, lettuce, tomato and of course, mayo. This measurement bested the previous record of 244 feet and 3 inches in St. Louis last year. The sandwich was constructed out of 206 loaves of French bread, 120 pounds of tomamtoes, 40 pounds of lettuce and 40 bottles of mayonnaise. After the official measurement by the World Records Academy, the sandwich was cut into 720 slices and sold for a $1 a piece. The proceeds went to benefit the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. (Source)   Beach Family Safety Expo educates families on beach safety and risk...

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Cheat Sheet: July 13, 2012

Obama makes stops in Virginia Beach and Hampton President Obama will visit two local high schools to host grassroots events. The president’s first stop was Green Run High School in Virginia Beach, which started at 12: 45 p.m. Later today, he will be at Phoebus High School in Hampton, with the event scheduled to begin at 4: 25 p.m. It is believed that Obama will focus on the economy and compare his plan to Mitt Romney’s during the events. (Source)   Congress outraged that 2012 Olympic uniforms were made in China Much debate ensued Thursday the 12, after designer Ralph Lauren released his designs for the 2012 opening ceremony of the Olympics, which were made in China. The U.S. Olympic Committee Spokesman, Patrick Sandusky, stated that Ralph Lauren is an...

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Cheat Sheet: July 12, 2012

DirecTV, Viacom unable to resolve dispute DirecTV customers may still have access to hundreds of channels today. However as of midnight, popular channels such as Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central will not be among them. DirecTV and Viacom could not reach an agreement over a new carriage contract for the Viacom-owned channels. Although DirecTV and Viacom are still negotiating the terms of the new contract, DirecTV customers can expect to miss episodes of Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and MTV’s Teen Mom for one to four weeks. (Source)   Amazon to introduce smartphone? Move over Apple. Step aside, Samsung. Amazon is finding another way to heighten technological competition by developing a smartphone. Officials who are supplying Amazon’s...

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Cheat Sheet: July 11, 2012

James City County man hit by train A 22-year-old man was hit by a train in James City County early this morning. Police believe the man had been drinking and passed out on the tracks. A CSX train struck the man near the 1600 block of Richmond Rd. The crash severely injured the man’s leg; however, he was able to call 911 himself. He has since been transported to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond for treatment. (Source)   Chesapeake city council sets and raises tolls Make sure you keep some spare change in your car if you are planning a drive through Chesapeake. On Tuesday, the city council set the toll rate for Dominion Blvd./Steel Bridge and unanimously approved of increasing toll rates for the Chesapeake Expressway. The new toll rates will take...

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Cheat Sheet: July 10, 2012

Obama Campaign Trail Includes Green Run High School The Obama campaign has confirmed that the president will speak at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach this Friday, July 13, as part of a two-day visit to Virginia. Tickets will be required for the event. While a spokesperson has not confirmed the campaign’s exact itinerary, President Obama will also be speaking at Firehouse #1 in Roanoke, and potential other stops include other cities in Hampton Roads along with Roanoke, Richmond and Northern Virginia. (Source) Apartment Proposal for Wainwright Building Newport News developers have proposed that Norfolk’s historic Wainwright building, formerly medical offices, be converted to 119 apartments. The nine-story building, which overlooks the light rail, could...

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Cheat Sheet: July 9, 2012

Smithfield Foods to open restaurant The popular pork producing company, Smithfield Foods Inc., is set to open a restaurant in Smithfield on Tuesday. The grand opening will feature its own products and offer items such as sandwiches, salads, ribs and burgers. The restaurant will share the building with the company’s retail shop, the Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe, on Main St. (Source)   Snake on the loose in Yorktown  Local officials don’t typically search for lost dogs and stray cats. Today, however, authorities and Animal Control officers are on the lookout for a Burmese python that may have escaped its enclosure. The 10 foot snake is believed to be near the Blackwell Trailer Court area of Oriana Road. Though it is not reported as being dangerous,...

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Cheat Sheet: July 7-8, 2012 - Weekend Roundup

Second Oceanfront Death A middle-aged man drowned at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Saturday, July 7. This incident follows shortly on the heels of a previous drowning, that of a 10-year-old Chesapeake boy whose body was located on July 2. Emergency personnel responded to the most recent incident a little after 4 p.m. at the 33rd Street, but the man was later pronounced dead at a hospital. (Source)   Virginia Reduces Bay Pollution Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that Virginia has reduced nitrogen and phosphorous pollution with wastewater facilities surpassing previous reduction goals. The conclusion of the two-year program has left Virginia with the second best record nationwide for preventing nitrogen from seeping into waterways. Environmentalists applaud...

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Cheat Sheet: July 6, 2012

Steps forward in bringing The Tide to Virginia Beach Move Hampton Roads, a political action committee, has recently raised $300,000 to help a referendum that will be proposed to voters in November regarding the expansion of the light-rail system. On Thursday, the PAC received its largest contribution so far from Townebank for the amount of $25,000. Although this is a step forward, the light rail may not come to Virginia Beach even if the referendum is passed. It will mostly be determined by federal funding, Mayor Will Sessoms stated. (Source)   80,000 jobs added in June The U.S. job market was weak for the third straight month, with only 80,000 jobs added for the month of June and an unemployment rate remaining at 8.2 percent. When compared to the 150,000 jobs...

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Cheat Sheet: July 5, 2012

Poquoson deputy attacked by boaters On Wednesday, an off-duty York-Poquoson sheriff’s deputy was attacked by at least three people while trying to refuel at Owen’s Marina Restaurant. The confrontation took place some time after the deputy and his friend asked a boat with about 10 people onboard to move so that they could get fuel. Three of the boaters attacked the deputy’s friend and then the deputy, even though he showed them his badge. The boaters fled the scene and have yet to be found. Anyone with information should contact the Poquoson Police Department. (Source)   July 9: “Internet doomsday” for thousands The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns that thousands of people may lose Internet access on July 9 because of a virus...

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Cheat Sheet: July 4, 2012

Apple to release smaller iPad this fall One of Apple’s best-selling products is supposedly getting smaller and cheaper. Come September, we may see another generation of the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that the new tablet’s screen will likely be 7 or 8 inches, about 2 inches smaller than the first three generations. It is believed that offering a smaller iPad may increase competition between similar tablets, such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. (Source)   Chestnut chows down in Coney competition Five-time champion Joey Chestnut has claimed another victory in the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. The 28-year-old swallowed down 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes, taking home the $10,000 prize and...

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Cheat Sheet: July 3, 2012

London calling, Hampton Roads athletes answer Two local athletes will compete for the gold in this year’s London Olympics. Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach and T’erea Brown of Hampton will represent Hampton Roads from across the pond. Douglas earned the number one spot on the women’s gymnastics team while Brown took third in the 400-meter hurdles. Both athletes have been training for the Olympics for several years and are excited for the chance to compete. (Source)   Solar Fireworks for the Fourth On Monday, the sun sent out a flare that disrupted radio communications in Europe. Tomorrow, electrically charged particles colliding in the sky may cause an aurora, or natural light display. So whether you leave home to watch the fireworks or set them...

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