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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Gov. Bob McDonnell has vetoed a bill that would have required Virginia's public school divisions to require physical education in elementary and middle schools. McDonnell on Thursday called the measure an unfunded mandate on localities. He said he agrees that exercise and physical activity are important but that "government cannot just pass legislation and make this problem go away."

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) Soldiers in an Army unit based in Petersburg are expected to arrive tonight from a yearlong deployment to Iraq. Officials say 84 soldiers are due back at Fort Lee. They're with the Army's 240th Quartermaster Battalion.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Virginia is looking for companies that want to pay to sponsor, advertise in and sell snacks and merchandise in the state's 42 rest stops and welcome centers. Governor McDonnell says partnering with the private sector would save taxpayer dollars and help keep the rest areas and welcome centers open.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The state board of education has given the OK to overhaul the approval process of school textbooks. The board voted today to install more safeguards in the review process as a result of the discovery last fall of a multitude of factual and typographical errors in two state-approved elementary social-studies textbooks.

STAUNTON, Va. (AP) More than 170 members of the Virginia Army National Guard are being mobilized for duty in Afghanistan. The Staunton-based 116th Brigade Combat Team Headquarters will serve as a command and control headquarters for counter-insurgency operations.

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) Federal officials say most of the turbines at a proposed wind farm in Roanoke County won't be a hazard for airplanes.

The Federal Aviation Administration approved 14 of the project's 18 turbines yesterday.

Chicago-based Invenergy wants to build the wind farm atop Poor Mountain.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Virginia Employment Commission says the state saw a steeper decline in jobs in 2010 than first estimated. The state agency says Virginia's nonfarm employment declined by 15,000 jobs in 2010 after annual revisions. It was originally estimated that the state lost 5,200 jobs for the year.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Virginia is honoring civil rights matriarch Dorothy Irene Height on what would have been her 99th birthday.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has designated today in commemoration of Height. McDonnell's proclamation praises the Richmond native for fighting to desegregate America's armed forces and to end lynching, a crime sometimes left unpunished the South into the 20th century.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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