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An American Flag flies in the distance as a rare snowy owl looks down from its perch atop the large stone orb of the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain at the entrance to Union Station in Washington, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Far from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, the snowy owl was first seen on January 3, the day a winter storm dumped eight inches of snow on the city. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rare snowy owl soars over Washington, thrills crowds

- Associated Press

A snowy owl apparently touring iconic buildings of the nation’s capital is captivating birdwatchers who manage to get a glimpse of the rare, resplendent visitor from the Arctic.

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Virginia Gov.-elect, Glenn Youngkin waves to the crowd prior to the start of an NCAA college football game Saturday Nov 27, 2021, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

New GOP leaders say Virginia to join vax mandate challenges

- Associated Press

Virginia will join other Republican-led states and business groups in challenging Biden administration mandates intended to increase the nation's COVID-19 vaccination rate once GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares take office, the two said in a statement Friday.

This Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, photo shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam during a news conference inside the Patrick Henry Building at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. About 20% of Virginia's funding from the latest federal coronavirus relief bill will help replenish the fund that pays unemployment benefits, staving off hefty tax increases for employers. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown) **FILE**

Virginia Guard mobilizing for upcoming predicted second snow

- The Washington Times

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was criticized for not calling out the National Guard for help earlier this week when icy conditions left hundreds of motorists stranded along a stretch of I-95 near Fredericksburg. Now, chastened state officials said they'll be ready as more snow and cold temperatures are predicted for the region.

Drivers wait for the traffic to be cleared as cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95 Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Uber rider gets $600 bill after I-95 shutdown

Associated Press

Hundreds of people were trapped on an icy stretch of Interstate 95 in Virginia this week, but after Andrew Peters of Richmond finally made it home, he was hit with a giant Uber bill.

Snow plows pushes snow to the side of northbound Interstate 95 in Spotsylvania County, Va., on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Hundreds of motorists were stranded on Monday, after a winter storm snarled traffic in Virginia and left some drivers stuck in place for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures along an impassable stretch of Interstate 80 south of the nation's capital. (Tristan Lorei

Virginia officials defend response to snowy gridlock on I-95

- Associated Press

A winter storm that started as rain -- meaning roads couldn't be pretreated -- followed by an unusually heavy snowfall and plunging temperatures resulted in the stranding of hundreds of motorists along a stretch of one of the nation's biggest interstate highways, Virginia officials said, as they defended their response to the gridlock.