Ultramarathoner a familiar face at Delaware beach races

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REHEBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — Michael Wardian has tackled world records and distances of 100 miles and more, but the ultramarathoner still enjoys running local 5Ks at the Delaware beaches.

Wardian, 43, lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his family, and his in-laws live in Rehoboth Beach. He’s been coming to the area and running 5Ks there since the late 1990s, he said.

The running community is great, both in Delaware and other places, he said.

“I think it’s really inclusive,” Wardian said.

Wardian’s weekly mileage ranges from about 70-110 miles, he said. He usually runs about a 10K, or 6.2 miles, to and from his job as an international shipbroker at Potomac Maritime LLC, and he exercises at lunch sometimes, too.

Some weeks, he logs even more miles than that. Earlier this year, he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in the World Marathon Challenge, a total of 183.4 miles. And he ran them in world record time — his average time for the seven marathons was 2:45:57, according to the World Marathon Challenge website.

But despite excelling at longer distances, he is also fast in the 5K, which is 3.1 miles.

This summer at the Delaware beaches, he ran Races2Run’s Outlet Liquors 5k at the Ivy and the Christmas in July 5k and Seashore Striders’ Beach Paper Firecracker 5k and the Run for JJ 5k.

His times, respectively, were 16:17, 16:20, 16:28 and 16:30, according to the race companies’ websites. He won this year’s Beach Paper Firecracker 5k and the Christmas in July 5k.

“I think it’s a great way to really kind of see where your speed is,” he said of the 5K distance.

Wardian is still fast enough to go up against much younger competitors, said Wayne Kursh, chairman/CEO of Races2Run.

And at the races, he’s friendly and talks with fellow runners, Kursh said. Plenty of them want to get their photo with Wardian, he said.

“He doesn’t say no to anybody,” Kursh said.

It’s clear from a post on the Certified Running Nuts Facebook group soliciting runners for this article that local runners see him the same way Kursh does. Several runners shared comments and photos of themselves with Wardian.

Jules Woodall is a local runner who said he met Wardian at the Beach Paper Firecracker 5k.

“What impressed me is at the next day Ten Sisters 5K, he remembered me on the way back from the turn around and shouted out my name,” Woodall wrote. “I am sure he had met plenty of people, but remembered me on the race course. Amazing!”

Carla Phillips Yngve shared a photo of Wardian with her daughter, Maya Yngve, at last year’s Red White & Blue 5k.

“Couldn’t ask for a nicer guy,” she wrote. “Gave my daughter, Maya, her birthday cake after a 5K!”

Sandra Waldee-Warden got the chance to run with him at 2016’s Outlet Liquors 5k. After finishing the race, Wardian came back to join Waldee-Warden, who had a broken kneecap, she wrote.

“(H)e said I was HIS hero for being out there like this!!!!” Waldee-Warden wrote. “He stayed with me the whole way in!!! Class act!”

Wardian emails Kursh when he’s planning to come to the beach races, Kursh said, and Kursh is happy to comp entries for him.

“I enjoy watching him interact with other runners,” he said.

Local runner Martin Rodriguez has run in races with Wardian this year and last year, and Rodriguez said they follow each other on Strava, a running social media app. Rodriguez volunteers with Seashore Striders and signed Wardian up for the Run for JJ 5k.

Rodriguez described him as a nice person and friend to everyone. He’s motivating for those finishing their races, too, he said.

“He’s a real gentle individual,” Rodriguez said.

Rick Poppleton, a runner who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, but is often at the beach, met Wardian on a track about 20 years ago. He spoke of Wardian’s running in a way that showed he’s impressed.

“He’s so fit it’s ridiculous,” Poppleton said.

And distance doesn’t seem to matter for Wardian, he said.

“He’ll do any kind of race,” Poppleton said.

Wardian always has a race on the horizon. On Aug. 1, he was looking toward his first beer mile over the weekend — a race that involves drinking four beers over the course of a mile — even though he doesn’t normally drink beer. The beer mile is at night, and that morning, he’s running a 50K.

The weekend after that, he’s running a 10K and a 100-miler — the Leadville Trail 100, he said.

Among the events on his race schedule for the rest of the year, which can be found on his website, http://www.mikewardian.com, are the Fenway Park Marathon, a charity event held inside Fenway Park, and the Ultra Gobi 400K in China.

Wardian, who has pending world records for the fastest marathon run in an Elvis costume and the fastest 50K run on a treadmill, likes to challenge himself. He plans to serve as a guide for a visually impaired runner later this year, he said, and in the past he’s run blindfolded.

“I’m always trying to evolve as an athlete and a person,” Wardian said.

___

Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://ift.tt/J8IoxK

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The Latest: SC senator says Trump can regain moral authority

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

Sen. Tim Scott says President Donald Trump can regain his moral authority on the issue of race by spending time with people who have lived through the nation’s difficult racial past.

The South Carolina Republican said last week that Trump’s moral authority had become comprised after the president made comments that appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who came out to oppose them in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Scott says what’s important at this point is not what Trump says next, but what he does.

Scott says that without a personal connection to the pain that racism has caused, he thinks it will be hard for Trump to regain that moral authority.

___

11:10 a.m.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump needs to stop the staff chaos at the White House and “settle it down.”

Strategist Steve Bannon last week became the latest top White House official to be shown the door. In seven months in office, Trump has dismissed a national security adviser, a chief of staff, two communications directors and a press secretary, among others.

Kasich is among those who fear the staff churn is hampering Trump’s ability to notch a major legislative victory.

Kasich, who challenged Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, says: “You can’t keep putting new people in the lineup and think you’re going to win a world championship.”

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1979 Klan-Nazi attack survivor hopes for a ‘justice river’

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — It’s been almost 40 years since five people marching through a black neighborhood in Greensboro were killed by Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis.

The Rev. Nelson Johnson still has a faded scar on his left arm, left by a Nazi who attacked him.

Now the violence surrounding the march by Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the death of a young woman hit by a car, have brought the events of Nov. 3, 1979, in sharper focus for Johnson.

He says he hopes tragedy will be transformed into triumph and form a ‘justice river.’ One sign of that is an apology that the Greensboro City Council issued last week after the attack in Virginia.

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Who can change the names of roads in Virginia?

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WASHINGTON — There has been renewed interest in Virginia to rename Confederate-named roads in the commonwealth after the violent protests broke out in Charlottesville earlier in the month.

So, who decides whether a road can have a new name?

It is a bit complicated in Virginia, even though the state owns almost every road.

The only streets it doesn’t own are those inside city limits or local streets in Arlington and Henrico, which did not turn over control of its roads to the state when the Byrd Road Act passed the General Assembly in 1932.

In cities, city hall controls what roads are called. That’s why the City of Alexandria can rename U.S. 1 — currently signed as Jefferson Davis Highway — without any approval needed from the state.

In every county — including Arlington and Henrico — interstates, U.S. highways, and primary roads, noted by their shield-shaped route markers, are named by the General Assembly.

A bill must be passed for U.S. 1 to be renamed in Arlington.

The Virginia Department of Transportation handles the numbering of state routes.

Although the state does own every road in each county — with the earlier exceptions noted in Arlington and Henrico — counties have been ceded the power to name secondary roads.

Those roads are noted with circle-shaped route markers.

“Every time a house goes up, there’s not a bill that goes to the General Assembly that says the street in front of your house is now going to be called Smith Avenue,” said Virginia delegate Dave Albo.

Albo and Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey both admit the arrangement is unusual compared to other states.

Dorsey said Arlington has long wanted to change the relationship. Ideally, he said, the county wants to control the names of all of its roads. The board member also stated that counties across the state should be treated to the same privileges as cities do.

“We definitely believe that it’s inconsistent, doesn’t really make any sense that we wouldn’t have that authority,” Dorsey said.

The county said attorneys are looking to see if the law is clear enough about what the name of a road should be and who has the authority to name it.

“Arlington is not looking to do anything different or special,” Dorsey said. “It is just to have the same authority that our neighbor — Alexandria — has.”

On Thursday, board chairman Jay Fisette wrote in a statement that the recent events in Charlottesville highlight the need for local control of renaming roads like Jefferson Davis Highway and Lee Highway — U.S. 29. He lauded the county’s effort in removing every other Confederate symbol in the county.

Dorsey said there is no current plan to rename Lee Highway, but the county would like to retain the right to change the name if it wished.

There are 14 roads in the county that are owned by the state and thus cannot be renamed without a law passed by the General Assembly.

Beyond the obvious ones, like the interstates and U.S. highways, some of the affected roads include Glebe Road (Route 120), Old Dominion Drive (Route 309), stretches of Washington Blvd./Fairfax Drive/10th Street N. (Route 237) and even Spout Run Parkway (Route 124).

It’s the same case throughout the state.

Fairfax County can’t rename Fairfax County Parkway without state approval because it is a primary state route. However, Loudoun County can rename Loudoun County Parkway and Spotsylvania can rename Spotsylvania Parkway because those are secondary routes.

All three, though, are owned and maintained by VDOT.

Alexandria and Falls Church can rename Route 7 — which they each call King Street and Broad Street, respectively — without approval by the General Assembly since they are cities, but Fairfax County can’t ditch the name Leesburg Pike and Loudoun County can’t unload the name Harry Byrd Highway without state legislation.

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Gillespie says conservatives must reject “evil” hate groups

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Republican candidate for governor in Virginia is telling conservative activists they need to stand up against the “twisted mindset” of the hate groups that were part of a deadly rally a week ago in Charlottesville.

Ed Gillespie made the remarks Saturday in Richmond at a summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity. It’s his first major speech since last week’s violence.

The Republican nominee for governor has taken fire from Democrats for not specifically condemning racially fraught comments made by President Donald Trump following the Charlottesville rally, in which woman was killed after a car plowed into a group of protestors.

Gillespie did not mention Trump by name during his speech Saturday, but said it was important for conservatives to reject the “evil” that the hate groups represent.

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Colleges grappling with balancing free speech, campus safety

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — When Carl Valentine dropped off his daughter at the University of Virginia, he had some important advice for the college freshman: Don’t forget that you are a minority.

“She has to be vigilant of that and be concerned about that, always know her surroundings, just be cautious, just be extremely cautious,” said Valentine, 57, who is African-American. A retired military officer, he now works at the Defense Department.

As classes begin at colleges and universities across the country, some parents are questioning if their children will be safe on campus in the wake of last weekend’s violent white nationalist protest here. School administrators, meanwhile, are grappling with how to balance students’ physical safety with free speech.

Friday was move-in day at the University of Virginia, and students and their parents unloaded cars and carried suitcases, blankets, lamps, fans and other belongings into freshmen dormitories. Student volunteers, wearing orange university T-shirts, distributed water bottles and led freshmen on short tours of the university grounds.

But along with the usual moving-in scene, there were signs of the tragic events of last weekend, when white nationalists staged a nighttime march through campus holding torches and shouting racist slogans. Things got worse the following day, when a man said to harbor admiration for Nazis drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others.

Flags flew at half-staff outside the university’s Rotunda, and a nearby statue of founder Thomas Jefferson was stained with wax from a candlelight vigil by thousands of students and city residents in a bid to unite and heal. Some student dormitories had signs on doors reading, “No Home for Hate Here.”

In an address to students and families on Friday, UVA President Teresa Sullivan welcomed “every person of every race, every gender, every national origin, every religious belief, every orientation and every other human variation.” Afterward, parents asked university administrators tough questions about the gun policy on campus, white supremacists and the likelihood of similar violence in the future.

For Valentine, of Yorktown, Virginia, the unrest brought back painful memories of when, as a young boy, he couldn’t enter government buildings or movie theaters through the front door because of racial discrimination. “We’ve come a long way, but still a long way to go for equality,” he said.

His daughter Malia Valentine, an 18-year-old pre-med student, is more optimistic.

“It was scary what happened, but I think that we as a community will stand together in unity and we’ll be fine,” she said.

Christopher Dodd, 18, said he was shocked by the violence and initially wondered if it would be safe at UVA.

“Wow, I am going to be in this place, it looks like a war zone,” Dodd, a cheerful redhead, remembered thinking. “But I do think that we are going to be all right, there is nothing they can do to intimidate us. I am not going to let them control my time here.”

Others feel less confident.

Weston Gobar, president of the Black Student Alliance at UVA, says he’ll warn incoming black students not to take their safety for granted. “The message is to work through it and to recognize that the world isn’t safe, that white supremacy is real, that we have to find ways to deal with that,” he said.

Terry Hartle, president of the American Council on Education, said colleges are reassessing their safety procedures. “The possibility of violence will now be seen as much more real than it was a week ago and every institution has to be much more careful.”

Such work is already under way at UVA.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Sullivan said the university will be revamping its emergency protocols, increasing the number of security officers patrolling the grounds and hiring an outside safety consultant.

“This isn’t a matter where we are going to spare expense,” Sullivan said.

Hartle said some universities may end up making the uneasy decision to limit protests and rallies on campus and not to invite controversial speakers if they are likely to create protests. “There is an overarching priority to protect the physical safety of students and the campus community,” he said.

Student body presidents from over 120 schools in 34 states and Washington, D.C., signed a statement denouncing the Charlottesville violence and saying college campuses should be safe spaces free of violence and hate.

Jordan Jomsky, a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, said his parents had advice he plans to follow: “They told me to stay safe, and don’t go to protests.”

“I wish people would just leave this place alone. It’s become this epicenter. We’re just here to study,” said Jomsky, an 18-year-old from a Los Angeles suburb.

The school has become a target of far-right speakers and nationalist groups because of its reputation as a liberal bastion. In September, former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak on campus. Right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos has vowed to return for a “Free Speech Week” in response to violent protests that shut down his planned appearance last February.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ told incoming freshmen last week that Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement in the 1960s was a product of liberals and conservatives working together to win the right to hold political protests on campus.

“Particularly now, it is critical for the Berkeley community to protect this right; it is who we are,” Christ said. “That protection involves not just defending your right to speak, or the right of those you agree with, but also defending the right to speak by those you disagree with. Even of those whose views you find abhorrent.”

“We respond to hate speech with more speech,” Christ said to loud applause.

At the same time, though, she said, there’s also an obligation to keep the campus safe. “We now know we have to have a far higher number of police officers ready,” she said.

Concerns for safety are compounded for international students, many of whom have spent months reading headlines about the tense U.S. political situation and arrived wondering if their accents or the color of their skin will make them targets.

“It was scary taking the risk of coming here,” said Turkish international student Naz Dundar.

Dundar, 18, who considered going to university in Canada but felt relief after attending orientation at Berkeley. “So far, no one hated me for being not American.”

She plans to stay away from protests. “Especially as a person of another race — I don’t want to get stoned,” she said.

______

Gecker reported from Berkeley, California. Associated Press writers Sally Ho in Nevada and Kantele Franko in Ohio contributed to this report.

___

This story has been corrected to say that the daughter’s name is Malia not Emilia.

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‘Near and present danger’: Virginia nonprofits offer Narcan, training

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Oakton, Va. — A law passed this year in Virginia allows nonprofit groups that train people how to administer the drug Narcan to actually give it out now too.

Thanks to an order from the Virginia department of health, you no longer need a prescription. That’s how dozens of people who showed up at a church in Oakton were able to walk out with a two-pack of the overdose-reversal drug.

“So easy,” is how Ginny Atwood Lovitt described using the nasal spray.

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“It’s so easy to use there’s really not a whole lot to demo,” she told the crowd at the start of her demonstration.

Her lesson started with a demonstration on what to do if you find someone who may have overdosed, including positioning and how to provide emergency breaths.

“You want to get it all the way up there,” said Lovitt as she demonstrated with a spring-loaded canister meant to simulate a real dose. “When you push a live dose it makes a little popping noise.”

The Narcan dosages distributed come in packs of two, and while they normally retail for about $75, a donation from the tech company Leidos is the reason everyone was able to walk out with one for free Saturday.

Leidos CEO Roger Krone said he first learned about the problem with opioid addiction from an employee who lost a son.

“The numbers are just astounding,” Krone said. “More people in 2016 will die (sic) from opioid addiction than the total number people who died in the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.”

“We really partner with organizations who are making a difference,” he added.

Members of the Virginia legislature who helped lead the bill that allows the Chris Atwood Foundation, and other groups like it, the ability to pass out Narcan were also on hand.

“This is a near and present danger,” said Virginia Delegate John Bell. “It affects every income group, every ethnic group, every part of Virginia, every part of America. This is not something that is just some people under a bridge somewhere. It’s everyone. And we need to fight it.”

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Funeral for Virginia trooper, “silent giant,” killed in helicopter crash

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WASHINGTON — “This is a sad day for the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during Saturday’s funeral for the second Virginia State Police Trooper who died in a helicopter crash during the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville last weekend.

The Saturday service for 48-year-old Lt. Pilot H. Jay Cullen with the Virginia State Police was held at the Southside Church of the Nazarene in Chesterfield, Virginia.

McAuliffe said that as governor, presiding over a funeral for a state police officer is “by far the most difficult task.”

He said Friday’s funeral for State Trooper Berke Bates and Cullen’s funeral are hard on the McAuliffe family too.

”These were state police officers who we were very close to with, our family,” said McAuliffe. Dorothy and I are heartbroken.”

For the last three years, Cullen was the pilot for the governor and his family.

McAuliffe said that the 23-year veteran of the force was a quiet man who was always ready to talk about his wife and two sons.

“He was the most serious safety-conscience pilot I have ever had.”

The next time he has to step into a helicopter, the governor said it won’t be the same and he’ll think of Cullen.

“And I’ll think what a silent giant he was. He was the best of the best of the Virginia State Police.”

Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said that Cullen was always about his wife and two sons. Despite all of his accomplishments, Flaherty said of Cullen, his two boys were the world to him.

“You, he would always say, were his proudest achievements,” Flaherty said at the funeral while looking at Cullen’s two sons.

Flaherty thanked Cullen’s wife Karen and his two sons, Max and Ryan “for sharing Jay with us.”

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The past is still present in a changing Virginia

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — When 92-year-old Dr. Fergie Reid was a young man growing up in Richmond, he resented the massive statues of Confederate leaders lining Monument Avenue. But Reid says black people knew better than to speak out.

“If you complained, they’d probably put you in jail,” said Reid, who was Virginia’s first black state lawmaker since Reconstruction.

Virginia has come a long way since then. Once the home of the capital of the Confederacy and the hub of the segregationist movement known as massive resistance, Virginia has been eager to reinvent itself as a more diverse, tolerant and welcoming place.

It’s changed much like the rest of the country: more people living in cities and suburbs, more jobs working behind computers than laboring in the fields, and a growing portion of the population who moved here from somewhere else.

But difficult racial issues persist — visible in fights over illegal immigration policy in Northern Virginia or the unofficial segregation in some parts of the state that divides where people live based on the color of their skin. And how Virginia chooses to remember its past is still a highly combustible issue, as shown by the deadly violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last weekend over plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Similar disputes over memorials to the Lost Cause have been playing out in other parts of the country over the past few years, but because of Virginia’s deep ties to the Confederacy, the past is never very far from the surface here, and passions run high.

Much of the Civil War was fought in Virginia, and its history is embedded in much of the state’s landscape, from the Battle of Bull Run to Appomattox. In Richmond, state lawmakers meet in the same Capitol where the Confederate government assembled, and a statue of Lee inside the building stands in the spot where the general took command of the Confederate military.

And then there’s Monument Avenue, lined with five soaring Confederate statues, including ones of Gens. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

“History is one of our most valuable resources. I think that’s why you get a lot of passion around here,” said Elliott Harding, a Charlottesville attorney who represents a group of people suing the city to keep the statue of Lee but emphasized he was speaking only for himself.

Well before the bloodshed in Charlottesville, the debate over the monuments was heating up and becoming more polarized.

Corey Stewart, President Donald Trump’s former state campaign chairman, used his defense of Confederate statues to springboard to political prominence earlier this year in Virginia’s Republican primary for governor. Long before Trump warned that those who want to dismantle Confederate statues may move on to monuments of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Stewart was making the same point and managed to elevate it into a major topic of discussion.

Stewart eventually lost — by a surprisingly tiny margin — but forced the eventual Republican nominee, Ed Gillespie, to come out forcefully in defense of Confederate monuments. (The Democratic candidate in the November race, Ralph Northam, has said he would work with local governments to take down such memorials.)

“To be honest with you, I really didn’t think it was going to become the huge issue that it became,” Stewart said. But he said people have an “instantaneous revulsion” to removing statues, and “that also makes it a great political issue.”

As for the other side of the debate, in the span of two days since the violence in Charlottesville, Levar Stoney, the young black mayor of Richmond, went from saying his city’s monuments should stay to saying they need to go.

“These monuments should be part of our dark past and not of our bright future,” Stoney said on Twitter. “I personally believe they are offensive and need to be removed.”

Stoney, whose fast-gentrifying city of about 220,000 people was majority black as of a few years ago but is now about 49 percent black, had originally tried to find common ground on the issue. He appointed a commission of historians, experts and community leaders in June to study either adding context to the statues or building new ones. Such context might include an explanation that many Confederate monuments were built decades after the Civil War, when Jim Crow laws were eroding the rights of black citizens.

“There’s no way to get us to that final result — a full understanding of who we are, where we’ve been and where we will go — without telling the whole entire truth. The complete story of all sides. The good, the bad, the ugly,” Stoney said as recently as Monday, before changing course.

Reid, the civil rights veteran, said he wants the statues gone as well. He added that he’s proud of the progress Virginia has made since he was a boy — it was the first state to elect a black governor and was the only Southern state last year to vote for Hillary Clinton — but said he’s concerned about the political climate promoted by Republicans like Trump and Stewart. He said Virginia and the country need an immediate course correction.

“Otherwise,” he said, “there’s going to be another civil war.”

___

Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin contributed to this report.

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Funeral held for Virginia trooper killed in helicopter crash

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Mourners have gathered for the funeral of a Virginia state trooper who died in the fatal crash of a helicopter that had been monitoring a violent, white nationalist protest in Charlottesville.

Police officers from around the country honored Lt. Jay Cullen on Saturday at Southside Church of the Nazarene near Richmond.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called Cullen, who frequently piloted the governor around the state in a police helicopter, a “silent giant.”

Authorities say Cullen was the pilot of a helicopter providing video to police of activities in downtown Charlottesville last Saturday before it broke off to lend support to a motorcade for the governor. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

The funeral for the other trooper killed in the crash, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, was held Friday.

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