Virginia

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12-Year-Old Uses Van's Safety Feature to Stop Carjacker

Maddie Weiler put van in drive, then started pummeling 21-year-old suspect

(Newser) - Maddie Weiler has been given explicit instructions from her mom and dad on what to do if anyone ever tried to abduct her. The 12-year-old from Williamsburg, Va., got to put that advice to good use on Saturday when a man tried to carjack the van she and her younger... More »

Employee Accidentally Shoots Self at NRA Headquarters

The 46-year-old's gun went off during firearm training

(Newser) - An NRA employee was hospitalized Thursday after accidentally shooting himself during firearms training at NRA headquarters in Virginia, NBC Washington reports. According to the Fairfax County Police Department , the 46-year-old man was holstering his pistol when it fired. He suffered a minor injury to his lower body. Officers discussed the... More »

iPhone Thief Gets Creative Inside a Target Store

Cops: She dressed as employee, stole $40K worth of iPhones

(Newser) - She wasn't a Target employee, but a woman who sure seemed like one allegedly made off with around $40,000 worth of iPhones from a Virginia store. NBC Washington reports Fairfax County cops are looking for the retail impostor, who they say donned attire resembling a worker's getup,... More »

Dog Owner Says Alleged Animal Cruelty Was Actually Kindness

'If your animal needs you, you gotta be there for her'

(Newser) - A Virginian man charged with animal cruelty for allegedly shooting his dog of 15 years says it was an act of kindness, not abuse, WTKR reports. Michael Whalen says his dog Allie was one of his best friends. "We did everything together," he says. Last year, Allie was... More »

Joker Arrested in Virginia, Batman Nowhere To Be Found

Jeremy Putman was nabbed for wearing a mask in public, a felony in Virginia

(Newser) - Police in Virginia have arrested a man who was dressed as comic book villain the Joker and reportedly carrying a sword, the AP reports. Winchester Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Hall said in a news release that the department got several 911 calls Friday afternoon reporting a man made up as... More »

Sailors Convicted of Rape, Murder Get Full Pardons

The 'Norfolk Four' were convicted 20 years ago

(Newser) - Virginia's governor pardoned four former sailors who became known as the "Norfolk Four," ending a decades-long fight to clear the men of rape and murder convictions based on intimidating police interrogations, the AP reports. A spokesperson for Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the governor has granted absolute pardons... More »

Cops: Burglar Broke Leg, Left Tracks in Snow

He was arrested after calling 911 for help

(Newser) - A robber in Virginia ruined his own getaway—first by breaking his leg in a jump off a balcony, and then by calling the authorities to help him. Police say 21-year-old Leoul Yosef will be charged with burglary for robbing an Alexandria apartment on Wednesday and then jumping off the... More »

Cops: Dad Gave Shot Daughter First Aid Instead of Calling 911

Va. man faces child abuse charges

(Newser) - A Virginia man was arrested after treating his daughter's gunshot wound with a first aid kit instead of calling 911, police say. Newport News resident Maurice Jones, 30, was jailed Sunday on child abuse and gun charges, the Daily Press reports. Police spokesman Brandon Maynard says Jones told police... More »

Gamer Dies 22 Hours Into Marathon Stream

Brian Vigneault, a 35-year-old father of 3, was on Twitch at the time

(Newser) - It started as just another day at the office for Brian "Poshybrid" Vigneault, a 35-year-old gamer known to spend multiple days in a given week live-streaming himself playing the game World of Tanks for 20-plus hours straight. This time, however, the Virginia Beach father of three got up to... More »

Cops: Florida Man Had Bizarre Plan to Tank Target Stock

Mark Charles Barnett allegedly planned East Coast bombing campaign

(Newser) - A Florida man is in custody charged with plotting a bombing campaign as part of a bizarre investment strategy. Investigators say Mark Charles Barnett, 48, planned to put at least 10 bombs disguised as food items on the shelves of Target stores along the East Coast, NBC News reports. Court... More »

Teens' Punishment for 'White Power' Graffiti: Book Reports

They vandalized black schoolhouse; now they have to read tomes about oppression

(Newser) - Some say don't judge a book by its cover, but a Virginia attorney's office will be judging the progress of a group of teenagers by their book reports. The five teens pleaded guilty to vandalizing the Ashburn Colored School, a historic black schoolhouse, by spray-painting it with swastikas... More »

Windy Day Leads to Tragedy on Virginia Bridge

47-year-old Joseph Chen didn't survive after his rig plunged into Chesapeake Bay

(Newser) - A blustery day on a Virginia bridge led to a truck driver's death Thursday, the AP reports. Joseph Chen, a 47-year-old employee of Evans Transport, was crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in his tractor-trailer around 12:30pm, shortly after weather reports had indicated a Level 1 wind advisory, meaning... More »

Hubby's 20th Anniversary Gift for Wife: 'Life'

Scott Chafian donated a kidney to his wife on Tuesday

(Newser) - Cindy and Scott Chafian might have spent their 20th wedding anniversary renewing their vows on a beach in the Bahamas. Instead, the pair sat side-by-side in a hospital room drinking from champagne flutes and eating cake. And they wouldn't have had it any other way. "I can't... More »

Red Panda Escapes Zoo, May Be Roaming Neighborhoods

Sunny hasn't been seen since Monday evening

(Newser) - Someone get Tommy Lee Jones. A manhunt—er, pandahunt—is underway in Norfolk after a 19-month-old red panda named Sunny slipped out of its enclosure and may have escaped from the Virginia Zoo, according to a statement from the zoo. Sunny was last seen Monday evening and was discovered missing... More »

Virginia Executes Man Who Saw Open Door, Killed Family

Ricky Gray killed couple, 2 daughters who were prepping for New Year's party

(Newser) - A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats, and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday. Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42pm following a lethal injection... More »

Man Butts Heads With DMV, Gets the Last Laugh

Nick Stafford dropped off 1,548 pounds of pennies on Wednesday

(Newser) - "If they were going to inconvenience me then I was going to inconvenience them," says Nick Stafford of employees at his local DMV, which received 298,745 unrolled pennies weighing 1,548 pounds on Wednesday. Stafford's payment came after months of butting heads with DMV workers. The... More »

His Wife in Labor, Husband Jumps in Front of Snowplow

Hugh Dawson did what he had to do to get his wife to the hospital

(Newser) - A winter storm led to icy, snowy conditions throughout much of the South over the weekend, and for one North Carolina couple it proved more than a minor inconvenience, the AP reports. Stephanie Dawson, 28, went into labor at around 3:30 Sunday morning at her home in Moyock,... More »

Contractor Claims He Was Attacked, Injured by Pet Squirrel

Now he's suing

(Newser) - A contractor is suing a Virginia couple for $90,000 for injuries he says were caused when their pet squirrel attacked, the AP reports. According to the Virginian-Pilot , Daniel Felice says he was doing contract work this summer when Deborah and Paul Desjardin's squirrel bit and scratched his leg... More »

Major Crashes, Some Fatal, as Winter Weather Hits Eastern US

Two were killed in a fiery crash on Baltimore highway

(Newser) - A blast of cold air caused rain and wet roads to freeze across the Eastern US, triggering major traffic pileups in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, the AP reports. Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark said two people were killed and at least 15 were injured in a 55-vehicle accident... More »

Parents Say Counselor Knew Teen Was Suicidal, 'Kept It a Secret'

Erin and Timothy Gallagher allege negligence in son's death

(Newser) - Erin and Timothy Gallagher were heartbroken by their son's suicide on Feb. 3, but their pain only grew when they discovered his school counselor knew he'd had suicidal thoughts and "kept it a secret from us." That's the claim made in a $5 million wrongful-death... More »

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