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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Conservative legislative leaders have sent Gov. Kaine a letter warning him not to end some tax breaks in the budget he submits next week. The two-page letter from Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, two Senate Republicans, the House speaker and the conservative independent who heads the House Appropriations Committee says a tax increase would be "counterproductive at best."

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Corporate titans, well-connected lobbyists and staunch conservatives share Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's transition team with some Democrats. McDonnell has 300 people on the team helping him put policies and appointees in place before his administration takes flight January 16th.

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) A court hearing has been scheduled for a former Virginia Tech student accused of killing another student in a campus eatery, and the man is expected to enter a plea in the case. Haiyang Zhu is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Xin Yang.

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) Appalachian Power customers will pay about 15.5 percent more a month as two rate increases go into effect. A 12.8 percent interim base rate increase and a 2.7 percent hike that's tied to a transmission surcharge are effective tomorrow.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NPR

In 'The Buried Giant,' Exhausted Medieval Travelers 'Can't Go On,' But So 'Go On'

Kazuo Ishiguro's latest recalls the plays and novels of Samuel Beckett. It's a masterful blend of fantasy, Arthurian romance, myth, legend and postmodern absurdity — and it's unforgettable.
NPR

Snow Is Delicious. But Is It Dangerous To Eat?

Some winter lovers see snow as a local and seasonal specialty that goes well with cream and sugar. But is it more like an adventure in extreme eating? As with many wild foods, it's a bit of both.
WAMU 88.5

Opposition To Kindergarten Testing In Maryland Gains Bipartisan Momentum

The state Senate's Republican leader and teachers unions agree on at least one thing: Standardized tests for kindergarteners are a problem.

NPR

Mass-Market Stocks In Hand-Crafted Goods: Etsy Preps To Go Public

The e-commerce site, which focuses on quirky, handmade goods, has filed for an IPO. The paperwork reveals a plan to focus more on manufacturing and marketing — but not much suggestion of big profits.

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