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WASHINGTON (AP) Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor says he'll see to it that all House committees devote more time and effort to overseeing and exposing problems in the federal government. Cantor is expected to be the majority leader under the new Republican-led House.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A panel has recommended that the New College Institute in the economically struggling Martinsville area should become a branch campus of one of Virginia's existing public universities. The recommendation will be forwarded to Gov. Bob McDonnell and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Ten businesses in Hampton Roads have been declared off-limits to U.S. military personnel because they sell a product called "Spice" that mimics marijuana's effects. Two businesses are in Hampton, four are in Newport News, two are in Norfolk and two are in Virginia Beach.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Virginia Supreme Court says a defendant can be forced to admit guilt as part of his probation even if he's allowed to withhold such an admission at a plea hearing. James Carroll had entered an Alford plea on a rape charge. The court said someone who enters an Alford plea is treated like any other convicted defendant.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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