Inmate mails infectious letters from prison
A Virginia prison inmate has been convicted of sending blood-smeared letters that threatened the president, judges and a federal agent. The Roanoke Times reports Richard Wayne Crowder was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Big Stone Gap on Friday. Crowder pleaded not guilty, but offered no defense during a two-day trial. He was an inmate at Red Onion State Prison when he mailed the letters to the Roanoke and Roanoke County circuit court clerks' offices last summer. The letters contained Crowder's claim to have hepatitis C and AIDS. Crowder later told federal agents he didn't have AIDS, but that he did have hepatitis and wanted to infect whoever touched his letters. Crowder faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced in January.
Governor takes trade mission to Israel and India
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell left Wednesday for a two-week trade mission to Israel and India. McDonnell is traveling first to Tel Aviv, where he will meet with executives from technology, agribusiness and manufacturing companies. He also is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. The trade mission will then continue in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi before returning to Virginia on Nov. 21.
Two retired research pilots at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Kenneth R. Yenni of Williamsburg and Lee Person of Yorktown, will be inducted Saturday into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame at the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond. Yenni and Person combined logged more than 17,000 hours of flight time at Langley. They're being honored in part for their contributions to improving aviation safety and advancing aeronautics research.
Authorities are investigating a fire at a poultry house near Swoope on Tuesday that killed at least 10,000 turkeys. Hilltop View Farm owner Jim Ruleman tells WVIR-TV that he discovered the fire when he went to the building to investigate an exterior light that was out. The fire caused at least a half-million dollars in damage. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.