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ABINGDON, Va. (AP) A Virginia couple is charged with stealing catalytic converters from about 50 cars in three states. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that Washington County authorities arrested 31-year-old James Edward Eskridge and 29-year-old Jessica Lynn Lampkins of Lebanon on Monday.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Nine Virginia counties have been designated as federal disaster areas due to drought and excessive heat that harmed crops and livestock. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the counties are Botetourt, Charles City, Craig, Gloucester, Henrico, New Kent, Mathews, Prince George and Sussex.

BLUEFIELD, Va. (AP) Dominion Virginia Power's new five-year investment plan includes preliminary development funds for a proposed wind farm in Tazewell County. A Dominion spokesman says the company considers the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm a viable long-term project.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) Virginia Railway Express is operating on a limited schedule and will not run trains over the New Year's holiday. On Thursday, VRE was only operating four trains on each of the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines for the morning and afternoon commutes. Service on Friday and Saturday has been canceled. Regular service resumes Monday.

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

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