Virginia Tech

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A lawsuit from a former Virginia Tech student who was accused of overseeing a ceremony that violated the school's hazing policy has been settled.

The Roanoke Times reports a university spokesman said Wednesday that the matter had been mutually resolved. Darrien Brown had filed a federal lawsuit last month alleging he was denied due process when administrators suspended him for two semesters.

He was accused of overseeing a blood-pinning ceremony in which the sharp ends of military pins are pushed into the chests of cadets.

Virginia Tech website

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia Tech student is suing the university after he was accused of overseeing a ceremony that violated the school's hazing policy.

Darrien Brown alleges the university denied him due process when administrators suspended him for two semesters for allegedly participating in a Corps of Cadets blood-pinning ceremony in October.

During the ceremony, the sharp ends of military pins are pushed into the chest. Brown's lawsuit describes the ceremony as "a Corps tradition.”  

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Two Virginia universities are collaborating to offer a professional certificate in the craft beer industry.

The yearlong noncredit program will guide students through the craft brewing business, including selecting high-quality ingredients, brewing, packaging and distribution.

The Virginia Tech Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement and the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies are working together on the program.

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Tech has named its second-oldest building for an enslaved family whose history was in danger of being forgotten.

The Roanoke Times reports a three-room, white home near the Duck Pond is now named the Fraction Family House. Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors voted unanimously on the name in early April.

Historians believe the Fractions had the most family members who lived at the Smithfield, Solitude and Whitethorne plantations on land that's now part of Virginia Tech's campus, as well as the Hethwood area of Blacksburg.

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A study by Virginia Tech has found that state parks in Virginia contributed about $267 million to the economy in 2018.

The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg reported Sunday that Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business had focused on the economic impact of visitors to the state's 38 parks.

The study found the economic activity supported nearly 4,000 jobs in Virginia. It was also responsible for about $133.2 million in wages and salary income in 2018.

The report looked at money spent on things such as hotels, campgrounds and restaurants

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Three small satellites that were developed at public universities in Virginia will be lifting off into space next month.

Old Dominion University in Norfolk said in a press release that the satellites will be aboard Northrop Grumman's Antares launch to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for April 17 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - The incoming freshman class at Virginia Tech will be the most diverse in the school's history.

The Roanoke Times reports that 34 percent of the Blacksburg school's 6,400 first-year students are classified as either as first-generation, low-income or minority students.

The school's goal is to reach 40 percent by 2022.

Virginia Tech will next year begin using a simplified, streamlined application designed to make applying for financial aid more accessible.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democrats say their major Election Day gains in November have boosted the odds of passing new gun control measures.

Democrats in the swing state swept three statewide offices and picked up at least 15 House seats, nearly erasing Republicans' lead in Virginia's lower chamber. Republicans narrowly lead the Senate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he and his wife are "shocked and saddened by the senseless violence" at a gay nightclub in Florida that killed 49 people.

Hogan said in a statement Sunday that they offer their condolences to the family and friends of "the innocent victims of this act of terror" and gratitude to first responders and law enforcement who responded with "bravery and courage."

Authorities say Omar Mateen opened fire early Sunday at the club before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A charter bus carrying college students to three Virginia campuses overturned, leaving one person seriously injured and 35 others aboard with minor injuries near the close of the holiday weekend.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told The Associated Press there were no reported fatalities after the bus overturned Sunday evening on an exit ramp of the Powhite Parkway in North Chesterfield County just south of Richmond, the state capital.

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Some independent clubs at Virginia Tech say they're worried that they may have to disband when the school starts charging them rental fees.

The Roanoke Times reports that Virginia Tech's recreational sports department will begin for the first time in January to charge hourly rents for using rooms in the War Memorial Hall.

Joshua Kim, lead instructor for the martial arts Kendo Club, says he's concerned that the group will lose members or possibly have to shut down. The room that the club uses will cost $10 an hour, eventually doubling to $20.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An optional retirement plan for about 5,000 Virginia higher education employees is getting new management.

The Virginia Retirement System plans to switch the plan's management from TIAA-CREF and Fidelity to International City Management Association - Retirement Corp. The change will be effective in fall 2016.

Retirement system spokeswoman Jeanna Chenault told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the change is expected to reduce beneficiaries' fees and improve the plan's management.

Lucio Eastman / Free State Project

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Days after two journalists were fatally shot during a live broadcast at a Virginia resort, several Democratic legislators have produced a petition with nearly 28,000 signatures supporting expanded background checks for gun buyers.

The northern Virginia lawmakers unveiled the petition Thursday at a news conference in Arlington, signaling a likely push for universal background checks in the next legislative session. Currently, private sales - including those conducted at gun shows - are not subject to background checks.

There was a first at Nandua High School in Onley this year.

Kedanta Chandler became the first African American male student to become valedictorian of his class.  

He had facetiously predicted that he would be on that big night of graduation.

And, after graduating at the top of his 2015 class his dream came true.

Kedanta told the Salisbury Daily Times that he just tried to do whatever he had to do but added it was a “good feeling.”

On graduation night several weeks ago he was one of 142 seniors at the school.

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia Tech has banned travel for university business to three West African countries because of the Ebola virus.

President Timothy Sands announced the ban on travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia late Monday in a letter posted on Tech's emergency management website. The across-the-board ban includes travel for research, educational purposes and outreach.

Sands also discouraged employees and students from taking personal trips to the countries.