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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Virginia's governor says he'll seek $50 million in new funding to kickstart an overhaul of Virginia's higher-education system. Gov. Bob McDonnell says he wants more residents in the state to earn degrees but says more funds are needed to reach that goal.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) New signs raising the speed limit to 70 mph on many interstate stretches in Virginia are now in place more than a month ahead of schedule. Gov. Bob McDonnell says the speed limit is now 70 mph on 61 percent of Virginia's interstates.

APPOMATTOX, Va. (AP) The man accused of killing eight people in Appomattox has been found mentally competent to stand trial. Christopher Speight is charged with capital murder in the January slayings. He was sent to a state mental hospital for treatment in June.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) The Navy has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to a Northrop Grumman Corp. subsidiary for work on cargo and weapons handling systems. Northrop says engineering and logistical work will be carried out on ships on both coasts and in Japan.

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) A Chesterfield County school bus driver has been charged with following too closely in triggering a chain-reaction wreck involving three buses. Police say the third bus in line, driven by Robert Mondziel, couldn't stop when the first bus stopped for traffic. Mondziel's bus hit the middle bus.

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) Work is under way on the second phase of a $20 million upgrade of U.S. 58 in Washington County. VDOT is widening the highway to four lanes between Abingdon and Damascus. The project includes replacing a bridge over the Middle Fork of the Holston River.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) A nonprofit group says it's collected enough prepaid applications to start production of a Virginia specialty license plate with a Blue Ridge Parkway theme. Friends of Blue Ridge Parkway President Richard Wells it could be sometime next year before the plates are available.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) Police say a woman robbed a bank in Spotsylvania County the other day and shouted "Merry Christmas" before she left. Police say the woman walked up to a teller at the Virginia Commerce Bank and demanded money. No weapon was displayed. Police are searching for the woman.

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

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