VIRGINIA BRIEFING

VIRGINIA BRIEFING

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

POWER LINES

State Fights Energy Department Over Rights

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R) are urging the federal government to pull back on a new program allowing some companies to build power lines despite the objections of the states.

One project that might be affected by the program is a controversial 64-mile transmission line through sensitive parts of Northern Virginia planned by Dominion Virginia Power.

In a strongly worded letter to the U.S. Department of Energy and dated yesterday, Kaine and McDonnell asked that Virginia be excluded from a list of states where the power companies have those special rights. They said that the law favors building unsightly power lines over solutions that might be more environmentally friendly.

They also said the state government is best suited to determine what is built within its borders that might affect areas of historic, environmental or cultural significance. The program "ignores these legitimate state interests entirely and would permit decisions based solely on the energy needs of a region," the letter states.

-- Sandhya Somashekhar

LOTTERY

'Lucky 7' Numbers Sell Out but Don't Pay Out

There was nothing lucky about the number seven for Virginia Lottery players on 7-7-07.

Saturday was July 7, 2007, and it came as no surprise to state lottery officials that the 7-7-0-7 combination sold out for both the night and day Pick 4 drawings.

It's not unusual for certain popular Pick 4 combinations to sell out, lottery spokesman John Hagerty said, and it seemed likely that the "unique date" would result in a sellout Saturday.

But officials were surprised that 7-7-0-7 sold out again for Sunday's drawing. Even more astonishing, Hagerty said, was that the combination 7-7-7 sold out for both day and night Pick 3 drawings Friday and Saturday. The Virginia Lottery limits specific number combinations to 16,000 in Pick 3 and 12,000 in Pick 4.

The numbers drawn came nowhere near matching the sold-out combinations.

-- Associated Press

BUCHANAN COUNTY

Coal Mine Evacuated After Roof Collapse

A Buchanan County coal mine was evacuated and shut down yesterday after a roof collapse and possible underground fire, according to state officials and the company that owns the mine.

No injuries were reported at Consol Energy's Buchanan No. 1 mine, said Mike Abbott, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

The department issued an order closing the mine indefinitely and sent a team to join the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the company in sampling for gases.

Thomas Hoffman, a vice president at Pittsburgh-based Consol, said about 120 miners were working at Buchanan No. 1 when the incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. About 450 people work at the southwestern Virginia mine, which was closed for several months in 2005 because of a fire.

-- Associated Press


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