Saturday, September 26, 2020

Special Saturday Edition

September 26, 2020
Top of the News

Trump attacks Northam, pledges 'heavy play' for Virginia

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

In his first campaign appearance in Virginia this year, President Donald Trump told the state's voters Friday night that only by voting for him "can you save your country," and he launched a wide-ranging attack on Gov. Ralph Northam. Trump promised voters gathered at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport to more actively campaign in the state, where he has so far spent little time and money. "We're going to put a heavy play in for Virginia. We're going to win this state," he said.

Virginia governor, wife test positive for coronavirus

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife have both tested positive for the coronavirus, though he said he is showing no symptoms. He's among four governors around the country who have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, but one of the others turned out to be a false positive. Northam and his wife, who has mild symptoms, plan to isolate for the next 10 days, and the governor will fulfill his duties while working remotely, according to a statement from his office.

Fredericksburg officials who hosted first lady this week 'shell-shocked' to learn she tested positive for virus

By CATHY DYSON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Shawn Calaman wonders why Virginia first lady Pamela Northam was allowed to tour the preschool his son attends when parents haven't been able to enter the building since March, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "I guess the photo opportunity was worth more than protecting our kids," said Calaman, whose 3-year-old suffers from the aftermath of a respiratory viral infection. "I think the whole reason for her tour was just publicity and media attention."

Amid massive covid-19 outbreak, Virginia prisons accused of failing inmates again

By JUSTIN JOUVENAL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Askia Asmar has filled out request after request — roughly 15 in all — asking officials at Virginia's Deerfield Correctional Center for proper care for health problems including lung and liver cancer, diabetes and hepatitis C, according to a sworn statement. His treatment has not only been scattershot, Asmar says. The 67-year-old prisoner, who is in a high-risk category for ­covid-19, also claims in a statement provided to the American Civil Liberties Union that he was left in a unit where there was a coronavirus outbreak this month.

Virginia lawmakers weigh budget proposals


House and Senate budget writers presented their proposed amendments to Gov. Ralph Northam's retooled spending plan Friday. Here's a first look at where the two chambers landed on funding for schools, criminal justice reform, evictions and past-due utility bills. The legislation is on its way to the floor of each chamber for an initial vote then lawmakers from the House and Senate will meet to work out the differences between their proposals.

Mountain Valley Pipeline regains permit to cross streams, wetlands

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A path across nearly 1,000 streams and wetlands was cleared Friday for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reissued three permits for the natural gas pipeline being built in Virginia and West Virginia, nearly two years after they were invalidated by a federal appeals court. "Effective immediately, you may resume all activities being done in reliance upon the authorization" first given in January 2018, William Walker, chief of the Army Corps' regulatory branch in Norfolk, wrote in a letter to Mountain Valley.

The Cutty Sark, maybe the last great Ocean View waterfront dive, closes this week after 60 years

By MATTHEW KORFHAGE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

At the Cutty Sark Marina and Grill, it looks a little like everyone bought tickets to jump into the bay. On a Friday evening in the golden hour before twilight, there's a crowd lined up the whole length of a narrow dock in Norfolk's East Beach, booze invariably in hand. Even near low tide, the waters of Little Creek wobble perilously close to the boards. The old crowd has all come out to pay their last respects to the Cutty Sark, which will close after about 60 years of burgers and boats. But the Cutty is already too full to accept them, precisely half-packed with celebrants during the pandemic.

The Full Report
38 articles, 22 publications


From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pam, test positive for coronavirus

By MARIE ALBIGES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pam, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor said Friday. The two were tested Thursday afternoon after they learned Wednesday that a member of Northam's official residence staff, who works in the governor's mansion in Richmond, had developed symptoms and tested positive. Ralph Northam wasn't experiencing any symptoms, but Pam Northam was experiencing "mild" symptoms, according to a press release Friday morning.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, wife test positive for coronavirus

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pamela Northam, announced Friday that they both tested positive for the novel coronavirus and plan to isolate for 10 days in the governor's mansion, where he will continue working as the state's chief executive. Northam (D) is experiencing no symptoms and the first lady's are mild, his office said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, first lady Pam Northam test positive for COVID-19

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pam Northam tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday afternoon, the administration announced Friday. Northam, the only physician among the nation's governors, is experiencing no symptoms, while his wife is experiencing mild symptoms, the administration said in a news release. Both will isolate for the next 10 days.

Nelson officials who hosted governor this week say safety measures made risk of transmission 'negligible'

By NICK CROPPER, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

After the news Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pamela Northam tested positive for COVID-19, Nelson County officials said they took appropriate safety measures when hosting the governor at a ceremony for the nearly-completed Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel in Afton on Wednesday. Given the enforcement of safety protocols at the event, which included wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, Director of Economic Development and Tourism Maureen Kelly said she felt the risk of any transmission of the virus for the few Nelson County officials who interacted directly with the governor were "Negligible simply because those protocols were followed."


Assembly's money committees adopt competing spending plans amid pandemic

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

Almost six weeks into a special session of the General Assembly called to revise the state budget, the legislature's money committees adopted a pair of competing two-year spending plans on Friday that rely heavily on federal emergency aid for the COVID-19 pandemic, while proposing targeted investments in K-12 and higher education, child care, behavioral health, Medicaid services and protections for the most vulnerable Virginians.

Virginia lawmakers unveil new budget plans

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Virginia lawmakers unveiled budget proposals Friday aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus with funding for mental health services, high-speed internet access, and assistance for people behind on rent and utilities. The House of Delegates and the state Senate advanced their own spending plans out of committees that also included new funding for criminal justice proposals being considered in an ongoing special special legislative session that started last month.

General Assembly moves forward new budget priorities

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

More than six months after the General Assembly adjourned with a biennium budget, legislators are closer to adopting a new state spending plan to consider lost revenues and new priorities brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees tasked with writing the budget unveiled new and revised spending measures Friday, six weeks after the legislature went into a special session to primarily focus on coming up with a new budget.

Democrats Cancel Key Fundraiser Following Northam's Positive Test


Top Democratic lawmakers cancelled a marquee annual fundraiser set for Saturday following Gov. Ralph Northam's announcement that he'd tested positive for COVID-19. It's unclear if the event cancellation, which was relayed to lawmakers Friday afternoon, was related to the governor's positive COVID-19 test result. Spokespersons for the Democratic caucus in the Senate and House of Delegates declined to comment beyond confirming the cancellation.


Trump rallies thousands in Newport News: 'The best is yet to come'

By SARA GREGORY AND MATT JONES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Before a large crowd that gathered enthusiastically despite warnings from health officials, President Donald Trump made a pitch to Virginia and North Carolina voters for four more years. There has never been a more important election, he said. "The best is yet to come," Trump said. "Together we are taking back our country." Following an unexpected surprise appearance from Vice President Mike Pence, "the heavy artillery," Trump walked off Air Force One to address a crowd of thousands that gathered on the tarmac at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Friday night.

Trump Again Says He Would Welcome a 'Smooth' Transition. But He Has Conditions.

By MICHAEL CROWLEY, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 1 to 2 articles a month)

President Trump said Friday night that he would welcome "a smooth, beautiful transition" of power after the election in November but that he would lose only if Democrats cheated — and that "we're not going to stand for it" if they did. Mr. Trump's comments to cheering supporters at an outdoor rally in Newport News, Va., were his latest intimation that he might mount an unprecedented effort to stay in power after an electoral defeat and lead the nation into uncharted waters at a moment marked by civil strife.

Hundreds gather at Newport News airport ahead of Trump rally

By SARA GREGORY AND MATT JONES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

President Donald Trump was scheduled to arrive at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport at 8:50 p.m. Doors were set to open at 6 p.m. People started lining up long before that. Vance and Rose Field drove from their home in Yorktown around 10 a.m. to "scope out" the scene and get a good parking spot. So they did, then went about their day before taking an Uber to the airport and tailgating with a friend, Clay Schreiber.

At least 1,400 Virginia voters get duplicate absentee ballots amid rush to meet high demand, officials say

By ANTONIO OLIVIO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

At least 1,400 Virginia voters have received duplicate absentee ballots in recent weeks because of clerical errors, but election officials said Friday only one ballot per voter would be counted. Officials in Fairfax County, the state's largest jurisdiction, said a printing problem with absentee-ballot address labels led election workers to inadvertently mail out extra ballots to as many as 1,000 county voters.

Trump says he's extending offshore drilling ban off Virginia, North Carolina coasts


At a campaign rally in Newport News, President Donald Trump announced he would be extending a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. The move comes after Trump extended and expanded the ban on new offshore drilling sites off the Florida coast as well as Georgia and South Carolina, earlier in the month.

Trump signs 'born alive' executive order


President Trump signed an executive order Friday ordering the Health and Human Services Department to ensure that federally funded facilities provide life-saving medical care for infants who survive abortions....The issue featured prominently in Trump's political messaging after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam indicated in 2018 that doctors should be able to refuse life-saving care to infants who survive abortions. Focusing on abortion will likely boost Trump's standing among social conservatives as he prepares to nominate another Supreme Court justice.


Inmates, staff, quarantined in COVID-19 outbreak at jail

By EVAN GOODENOW, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Twelve inmates who tested positive for the coronavirus at the regional jail earlier this month are quarantining there with none seriously ill, according to Superintendent James F. Whitley. They are the first inmates at the jail to test positive since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March. Ten staff, all of whom were asymptomatic, have also tested positive at the jail, officially known as the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

New Boss at Embattled Jail Asks for More Time Before Review


The newest superintendent of the Riverside Regional Jail says he's turning the facility around after years of problems. In 2019, the Virginia Department of Corrections put the prison on a three year probation following two suicides in 2017. This past June, 35 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported at the jail. On Wednesday, Larry Leabough appeared before the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors to introduce himself and answer questions about the facility. He's the sixth superintendent in three years, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Lynchburg-area voices provide input on Virginia's African American history curriculum

By JAMEY CROSS, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Students across Virginia could soon see a more thorough and accurate education of African American history, thanks to recommendations made by the African American History Education Commission. Crystal DeLong, history teacher at Liberty High School in Bedford County Public Schools, served as a member of the commission, established in August 2019, and said she hopes changes to the state's African American history curriculum helps Black students across the commonwealth feel better represented. "No child should ever feel like their history is not represented," DeLong said.


Luria's bill to boost disabled veterans' benefits heads to President Trump for signature

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, to boost disabled veterans' benefits has passed the Senate and is on its way to the White House. Luria's bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase payments of veterans' disability compensation, as well as additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.


William & Mary president apologizes, plans to open a discussion about cut sports

By MARTY O'BRIEN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

College of William & Mary President Katherine Rowe and Rector John Littel sent a message to those in the college community voicing increasing opposition to the school's decision to eliminate seven varsity sports following the 2020-21 academic year: "We hear you." Rowe and Littel spoke at the Board of Visitors meeting Friday at the Alumni House. Two days earlier in the same room, 72 people — many of them student-athletes affected by the cuts — vented their disappointment at the decision, or vented their anger about a lack of transparency in its formulation, during a Board of Visitors Listening Session.

Trinkle and Maury halls at William & Mary to be renamed immediately

By ERIN ZAGURSKY & BRIAN WHITSON, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

William & Mary's Board of Visitors on Friday adopted a set of principles and imperatives for the naming and renaming of structures and spaces on campus. The principles were developed by a working group of students, faculty, staff and alumni that was established this summer by university President Katherine A. Rowe in response to a charge from Rector John E. Littel P '22.

Betsy DeVos announces $17.7 million for small business program at Hampton University

By MATT JONES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The U.S. Department of Education is setting aside $17.7 million in coronavirus relief funds for a new small business incubator at Hampton University. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the grant in a visit to campus Friday morning. Virginia is one of eight states that won part of over $126 million set aside for workforce programs as part of the federal government's COVID-19 response.

Liberty University plans to send 2,200 students to D.C. for prayer march

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Liberty University plans to send nearly 2,200 students to Washington, D.C., on Saturday to take part in a prayer march organized by Franklin Graham, an evangelical leader with close ties to the conservative religious institution. Acting Liberty President Jerry Prevo said the students will join about 50,000 marchers who will travel along the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol building, occasionally pausing at individual memorials to pray.

COVID tests show positive for 16 students at Hancock residence hall

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

More than a dozen students living in the Hancock Residence Hall at the University of Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be moved into isolation housing, university officials announced Friday afternoon. Officials said 16 students, including six pairs of roommates, tested positive.

U.Va. identifies 16 cases of COVID-19 in Hancock dorm, will retest Hancock and Balz-Dobie

By ZACH ROSENTHAL, Cavalier Daily

Residents of the Hancock residence hall were notified Friday afternoon that the University has identified 16 cases of COVID-19 in the building, per an email from Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis. According to a separate statement from the University, the cases were identified through a combination of wastewater testing, prevalence testing and testing at Student Health. According to Friday's email to residents, prevalence testing identified seven of the 16 cases, and 12 students were identified as roommates. 115 students live in the building, meaning 14 percent of residents tested positive.


Virginia COVID-19 cases rise by 941 from Thursday

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Virginia Department of Health reported Friday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 144,433 — an increase of 941 from the 143,492 reported Thursday. The 144,433 cases consist of 137,283 confirmed cases and 7,150 probable cases. There are 3,136 COVID-19 deaths in Virginia — 2,930 confirmed and 206 probable. That's an increase of 23 from the 3,113 reported Thursday.

Henrico is first Va. locality to hold jury trials after being halted statewide in March due to pandemic

By MARK BOWES, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

When a Henrico County jury was seated recently to decide a criminal case for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, the courtroom environment was vastly different from what their predecessors experienced before the pandemic triggered a statewide prohibition on jury trials more than six months ago. Each juror was outfitted with a cloth face mask and plastic face shield. toThey sat in a jury box with plexiglass barriers that walled off each seat.

St. Catherine's School to remain closed two weeks after party, two positive coronavirus cases

By ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

High school students at St. Catherine's School remained at home this week and won't return to campus for an additional week following an off-campus party attended by dozens of students, two of whom later tested positive for the coronavirus. Students enrolled in the upper school of the all-girls private institution in Richmond's West End will take their classes on Zoom until Oct. 5, when they are scheduled to return. Students in the lower school and middle school remained on campus.


Parents, students call on Virginia officials to allow for immediate return of HS sports


More than one hundred parents and student-athletes gathered in Loudoun County Friday afternoon to push the largest sports governing body in Virginia to restart high school sports. The Virginia High School League (VHSL) says games for fall sports, like football and volleyball, wlll not begin until late February and March due to COVID-19. The VHSL has also ruled student-athletes can play sanctioned games for winter sports, like basketball, gymnastics, and indoor track, in December.


Loudoun County apologizes to Black community for fighting school desegregation


It took Loudoun County, Virginia, more than a decade to desegregate its public schools after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it, and the fight to keep Black students out of classes with white students didn't stop there. On Friday, county and school officials issued an apology for those actions. On Friday afternoon, the Loudoun County School Board and administration, and the Board of Supervisors, issued "An Apology to the Black Community of Loudoun County," which detailed some of the ways county officials fought against desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s.

LGBTQ flag flies over Richmond's City Hall for the first time

By SABRINA MORENO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

As Mayor Levar Stoney gripped the intertwined rope outside City Hall on Friday and hoisted a flag that's never before flown in front of Richmond City Hall — one of unity that reflects the intersections of race, gender and sexual orientation — Zakia McKensey looked up in awe. No words were needed. In her 48 years in Richmond, this is what the longtime LGBTQ activist has fought for. Unity. Visibility.

Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will be televised only this year due to the pandemic

By COLLEEN CURRAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will be a televised-only event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade will be broadcast on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon and viewers can watch it on WTVR. The parade will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day. The event typically draws a crowd of more than 100,000 onlookers on Broad Street and is a holiday tradition for many families. An additional 250,000 watch the parade on TV.

City police issue summonses during Fredericksburg protest

By KEITH EPPS, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Ten people were issued summonses during a protest Thursday in downtown Fredericksburg. A group of protesters gathered Thursday night primarily to protest a grand jury's decision not to file murder charges against police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in March in Louisville, Ky. About 40 people were marching in the early portion of the protest, which got underway shortly before 7 p.m. The crowd steadily grew as the night went on, police said, before dispersing about 10:30 p.m

City, County Exceed 2010 Census Response Rates

By JESSICA WETZLER, Daily News Record (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

With the deadline to complete the 2020 census closing in, response rates in Rockingham County and Harrisonburg are exceeding those from 2010, and four incorporated towns are in the top 25 for highest response rates in Virginia. As of Friday, 71.4% of Rockingham County households and 65.3% of Harrisonburg households have completed the census, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed the Valley region above the statewide self-response rates. In 2010, the county had a response rate of 66.8% and the city's was 65.1%.

Rappahannock taxpayers footing the bill in Bragg lawsuit

By JOHN MCCASLIN, Rappahannock News (Metered Paywall)

Rappahannock County taxpayers aren't off the hook by any stretch despite Judge Designate Jeffrey W. Parker awarding attorney David Konick a mere $6,250 of the $132,769.46 in attorney's fees he claimed he was owed in representing Marian Bragg v. The Board of Supervisors of Rappahannock County. That said, the lawsuit filed by Bragg could have been far more costly to taxpayers. While an exact dollar amount has yet to be calculated by the Rappahannock County government, Treasurer Debra Knick said this week, it is safe to assume the county has already paid $50,000-plus in outside attorneys' fees to defend itself in the FOIA-related case ...

With pandemic stretching on, wheels of justice slowly turn with backlog in Pittsylvania County, Danville

By PARKER COTTON, Danville Register & Bee

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its seventh month, its effects continue to seep into everyday life, including how cases are processed through the court system. Across the state and the Dan River Region, jury trials are mostly on hold because jurisdictions do not yet have permission from the Supreme Court of Virginia to resume them.

Henry County School Board votes to send students back to classroom two days a week

By KIM BARTO MEEKS, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

After nine weeks of all-virtual learning, Henry County students will head back to the classroom on a part-time basis starting Oct. 12. During a special meeting Thursday night, the Henry County School Board voted 5-2 to resume in-person classes on a hybrid schedule. Students will be required to wear masks all day while in school buildings.



Virginia lurching toward a full-time legislature?

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

This falls under the broad heading of the Virginia lawmaking process. File it under "things thought about, but yet to be acted upon." That's a little cryptic but keep reading. An explanation requires some history on how Virginia structures its legislative work. "In the beginning" (after the American Revolution), Virginia harbored no enthusiasm for a strong executive and the "citizen" legislature annually met to keep a firm hand on the tiller. The passage of time brought new thinking, based on changing circumstances.

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Virginia Public Access Project · P.O. Box 1472 · Richmond, VA 23218 · USA

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fwd: Graphics for Poker Run

Hey Rob,
 I'm forwarding the graphics for the Tim's customs playing cards.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Tims Custom Painting <>
Date: Wed, Sep 23, 2020, 12:49 PM
Subject: Re: Graphics for Poker Run
To: Marci Hunt <>

Does this work?

On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 8:01 AM Marci Hunt <> wrote:
Hi Brittany,

Just a quick reminder about the graphics that we will use on the playing card for Tim's poker run stop.  When you get a chance, if you could send me the original graphics for the business card, and a version on a white or transparent background, that would be great.  Or if there is something else that y'all decided on, that would be great too.

Virginia Fall Classic Committee



Tel: (757)595-5058
Fax: (757)595-5876

Tims Custom Painting & Collision Repair
Monday-Friday 7am-4pm
208 Production Drive
Yorktown VA, 23693

Political Headlines from across Virginia

September 23, 2020
Top of the News

Bill to end mandatory jail time for assaults on police fails

By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press

Virginia lawmakers on Tuesday killed legislation that called for eliminating mandatory jail time for assaulting a police officer, a bill that drew heated opposition from Republicans who said it would send the wrong message at a time when law enforcement has come under attack during nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice. The bill proposed by Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell passed the Senate last month, but was rejected Tuesday after several Democrats on the House Courts of Justice Committee raised concerns about how certain terms were defined in the bill and whether juveniles should be exempted from the charge.

House committee kills two Senate bills that would have required greater Parole Board transparency

By MARK BOWES, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

In a party-line vote, the Virginia House of Delegates' Courts of Justice committee effectively killed two Senate bills that would have required greater transparency of decisions made by the Virginia Parole Board, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for the controversial release of convicted killers.

Legislator who tested positive for coronavirus warned his church, but House colleagues say they weren't informed

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The day after Thomas C. Wright Jr. tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his office sent an email to Victoria Christian Church, warning fellow worshipers that the Republican state legislator from Lunenburg might have unwittingly exposed them. "Because he was in church this past Sunday, he felt it necessary to inform you of his positive test results," Wright's legislative assistant, Tammy Brankley Mulchi, wrote on Aug. 26.

Officials: Most new virus cases occur when people relax precautions to be near others

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Six months into the pandemic, people are craving time with others and are placing themselves at risk of getting the coronavirus. Dr. Molly O'Dell, who is leading the pandemic response for the Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts, said most new cases can be traced to weddings, funerals, baby showers, parties and co-workers dropping their guard. "By and large people are getting exhausted from COVID behaviors. People are just tired of this, from the constraints. There is no question about that," O'Dell said Tuesday during her weekly update with the media.

U.Va. restricts gatherings to five people, prohibits travel and visitors for next two weeks

By EVA SUROVELL, Cavalier Daily

University President Jim Ryan announced further restrictions for students, faculty and staff living both on and off Grounds in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region in a University-wide email sent Tuesday. The guidelines — which go into effect Wednesday — prohibit gatherings of more than five people, reinforce constant use of face coverings and ban travel and visitors for at least the next two weeks. "Over the last few days, we've become more concerned about the spread of COVID-19 within the U.Va. community," Ryan said in the video message.

Trump schedules rally in Virginia to reach rural North Carolina


President Donald Trump is slated to hold a Friday evening rally in Virginia — but the trip is really about the next state over. Advisers say the idea behind Trump's event in Newport News at the end of the week is to woo voters in neighboring North Carolina, a key battleground where absentee balloting has begun.

A Virginia City's Playbook for Urban Renewal: Move Out the Poor

By CALEB MELBY, Bloomberg News

The contours of inequality in Norfolk, Va., a city of 240,000-plus people at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, are clearly visible from atop the 26-story Dominion Tower. The tallest building in town houses its economic development office, a choice spot for officials to show off their city and to encourage visitors to envision its future. Look west, and you see a 300-room Hilton, a hockey arena, corporate offices for PNC Financial and payment processor ADP, restaurants and bars, a light rail station, and a one-million-square-foot mall. To the east is St. Paul's, a 200-acre area north of the Elizabeth River that's home to three public housing developments dating from the 1950s.

The Full Report
45 articles, 17 publications


VPAP Visual In August, Biden Outraised Trump 4:1

The Virginia Public Access Project

Last month, Biden raised almost $4M in Virginia, four times the amount Trump reported. Caveat: Trump's total may be under-counted because of a joint fundraising agreement with the Trump Make America Great Again PAC, which files its next quarterly report in October.

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.


Northam proposes saving colleges $300 million by restructuring higher education debt

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam is throwing a lifeline to Virginia's public colleges and universities, which would save $300 million over the next two years through the proposed restructuring of their debt for capital projects as they struggle with the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Northam unveiled the plan at George Mason University on Tuesday.

With costs up and revenue down for public colleges during coronavirus, one governor has a plan: Refinance

By SUSAN SVRLUGA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam offered relief to public colleges and universities in the state Tuesday with a refinancing plan that could save the institutions more than $300 million over the next two years. With colleges across the country battered by the increased cost of operating during a pandemic, public schools in particular are bracing for government funding cuts that could further damage their finances. By using the state's AAA bond rating to obtain favorable interest rates, Virginia is using an innovative approach to helping to ease the strain.

State refinancing plan could save Virginia Tech $40 million, Radford University $5 million

By SAM WALL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam unveiled a plan Tuesday that will allow the state's public universities to potentially save more than $300 million over the next two years. Northam announced the plan from George Mason University in Fairfax. It will allow the state to refinance education bonds due to the record low interest rates that are advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic — and comes at a time when state institutions are trying to figure out ways to deal with that impact.

Virginia's first lady visits Fredericksburg during Back to School tour

By ADELE UPHAUS-CONNER, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia first lady Pamela Northam's annual Back to School tour of the state is a little different this year. "We're usually bringing books to schools and this time we're bringing PPE—masks and hand sanitizer," Northam said. Northam made two stops in Fredericksburg on Tuesday, one at Kids' Station, a day care, preschool and after-school facility on the Mary Washington Hospital campus, and the other at Downtown Greens, a community garden on Charles Street. The purpose of the tour is to highlight the importance of early childhood education, Northam said.


Bill that would have eliminated automatic felony for assaulting officers fails in House committee

By PETER DUJARDIN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

A House of Delegates committee on Tuesday killed a bill that would have eliminated a law that makes assaulting a police officer an automatic felony. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, would also have eliminated the minimum 6-month sentence for such an assault. The proposal was part of a slate of public safety reforms introduced in a special session of the General Assembly in recent weeks.

House Democrats kill Senate's parole board transparency bills

By NED OLIVER, Virginia Mercury

Two bills aimed at bringing more transparency to the Virginia Parole Board won bi-partisan support in the Senate but died Tuesday at the hands of Democrats in the House of Delegates. The bills, proposed by GOP senators upset by the board's recent parole decisions, would have required board members to begin voting publicly and begin releasing monthly reports detailing who the board considered for release and why they decided to grant or not grant parole.

Va. Senate panel votes to keep public hearing rules for Confederate statue removals

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

A proposal to eliminate the legal hoops Virginia cities and counties have to go through before taking down Confederate monuments failed in a state Senate committee Tuesday after several Democratic legislators said they were uncomfortable rewriting the law to make public hearings optional. The bill, which had already passed the House of Delegates, was presented as a way to give local governments more flexibility to remove Confederate statues quickly in response to public safety concerns.

House speaker faults 'troubling' lack of transparency on delegate's reported illness, absence

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, slammed House Republicans and Del. Tommy Wright, R-Lunenburg, on Tuesday for failing to disclose that he had reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 a week after the House met in Richmond to open a special session on responding to the pandemic. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Wright, 72, in his 20th year representing a Southside district in the House, had returned to his legislative duties on Monday after a publicly unexplained absence that began a week after his aide notified his church in Victoria that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

State delegate joins several business owners in lawsuit against Virginia's workplace safety regulations

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

A state delegate joined the Virginia Manufacturers Association and other business owners to challenge emergency COVID-19 safety regulations adopted by the state's Safety and Health Codes Board in July. In a Sept. 15 filing with the Richmond Circuit Court, Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, argued that he has been "uniquely harmed" by executive actions taken by the board, Gov. Ralph Northam, and state Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver.


Local Democratic, GOP committees split on redistricting amendment

By DANIEL BERTI, Prince William Times

The Prince William and Manassas Democratic committees are asking Democrats to vote "no" on "Constitutional Amendment 1," while the local Republican committee is encouraging voters to vote "yes." The amendment, which will be on ballots in November, aims to address Virginia's history of political gerrymandering by creating an independent redistricting commission.


Trump to visit blue Virginia — but advisers say he's eyeing North Carolina

By LAURA VOZZELLA AND JOHN WAGNER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

President Trump, who lavished time and money on Virginians as he sought the White House four years ago, will make his first 2020 campaign appearance in the state Friday night — largely to court North Carolinians. Trump's rally in Newport News is intended to reach voters in the swing state next door, according to a Trump campaign official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss strategy.

Trump to hold campaign rally in Newport News on Friday

By MARIE ALBIGES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

President Donald Trump will be in Newport News Friday, holding a rally as part of his re-election campaign. The rally will be at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The president's stop in Newport News will come in between campaign stops in two battleground states: Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday and Middletown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.

Good, Webb polar opposites in closely watched 5th District race

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The 5th Congressional District race between Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb is expected to attract political excitement as the GOP fights to keep the seat red. The two are seeking to succeed Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, after Good defeated him in a convention earlier this year.

Rep. Wexton's virtual town hall focuses on pandemic relief

By NATHANIEL CLINE, Loudoun Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Americans are watching Congress and the Trump administration closely as many feel the need for further federal assistance is heightening with the coronavirus pandemic about to enter its eighth month. Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.-10th) addressed this and other issues during a virtual town hall meeting with constituents Sept. 18. Joining Wexton for the call were Dr. Alison Ansher, health director in Prince William County, and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large).

In debate, Rashid accuses Wittman ad of 'tying him to Islamic terrorism'

By JILL PALERMO, Prince William Times

Rep. Rob Wittman and his Democratic opponent Qasim Rashid sparred on climate change, Social Security, rural broadband and other issues during a sometimes contentious debate Monday night. But the exchange became most heated when Rashid accused Wittman of a campaign ad "attacking" his Muslim faith and "tying him to Islamic terrorism," a claim that Wittman denied. Rashid, 38, a human rights lawyer who lives in Stafford County, was referring to a 30-second television spot Wittman, 61, released last week that criticizes six of Rashid's tweets, two of which dated back to 2015.

Almost a million Virginians have already asked for a ballot — far more than voted absentee in 2016

By RYAN MURPHY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginia voters aren't waiting around to make their picks for the 2020 election. While Election Day is still technically not until Nov. 3, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompted state elections officials to clear the way for early and mail-in absentee voting for all voters in an effort to stave off potential outbreaks related to busy polling places.


Virginia and North Carolina reach settlement over 2014 Dan River spill


Virginia and North Carolina have reached a settlement over the Duke Energy Spill that dumped tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River in 2014. On February 4, 2014, a stormwater pipe underneath the primary coal ash basin at the Duke Energy Dan River Steam Station failed, which resulted in the spill of approximately 27 million gallons of coal ash wastewater and between 30,000 and 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River.


McEachin casts doubt on Census Bureau's plans for population count data

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Rep. Don McEachin, D-4th, is asking the Census Bureau to reconsider its plans for analyzing data from the 2020 population count, echoing concerns from researchers at the University of Virginia that argue the agency's mathematical procedure will distort the data.


Huntington Ingalls to build manufacturing facility for undersea drones in Hampton, create 250 jobs

By JOSH REYES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Huntington Ingalls Industries plans to build undersea drones at a facility in Hampton, anticipating greater demand for the unmanned submarines by the Navy. Tuesday, officials from Hampton and Huntington Ingalls, along with Gov. Ralph Northam, broke ground on the Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence near the intersection of Commander Shepard Boulevard and North Campus Parkway.


Metro has made some progress in correcting safety lapses, commission says

By JUSTIN GEORGE, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Metro has made "substantial progress" in addressing some of the more than two dozen safety issues identified in an audit of its rail operations center, the panel responsible for safety oversight said Tuesday. The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission said it has approved two of the transit agency's corrective action plans in response to a withering review by the panel that found that Metro's Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) was a "toxic workplace" where procedures put riders and employees at risk.

Amtrak, which shrunk service to 2 roundtrips in Norfolk and Newport News, has revived routes

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Amtrak, which went from offering four roundtrip train routes out of Hampton Roads before the pandemic to just two since April, has revived its Northeast Regional routes. Earlier this month, Amtrak restored an additional round trip to route 47 out of Newport News and route 50 out of Norfolk, bringing service back to pre-pandemic levels


UVa Pres. Ryan announces new COVID-19 restrictions at university

By TYLER HAMMEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

University of Virginia President Jim Ryan on Tuesday announced three new COVID-19 restrictions that will begin Wednesday, which inlcude limiting travel and reducing gatherings to no more than five people. In a video, Ryan addressed students and reassured them that the new restrictions are mostly preemptive. Students have, for the most part, been doing the right thing, Ryan said, though the university has received some reports of large gatherings.

Hancock residents selected for prevalence testing following positive case, wastewater indicators

By SEVY VAN DER WERF, Cavalier Daily

Residents of Hancock dormitory were sent an email Tuesday informing them that all residents are required to participate in asymptomatic prevalence testing Wednesday. There is currently one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the residence hall, but wastewater indicators suggest other possible infections. . . . This comes less than a week after the detection of possible COVID-19 outbreaks in Balz-Dobie, Lefevre, Echols and Kellogg dorms.

Petition to save W&M swim team raises more than $1 million just weeks after the program was cut

By JULIA MARSIGLIANO, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

After the William & Mary announced the decision to cut seven varsity sports because of budgeting concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, at least one sports team is raising money to save their program: The men's and women's swim team.

The New York Times files to dismiss Liberty University's defamation lawsuit

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

The New York Times is asking a Lynchburg judge to dismiss a defamation suit filed by Liberty University over the paper's coverage of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school. In July, the conservative religious institution sued the outlet, accusing the paper and a reporter of crafting a "clickbait" story intended to mislead the public about an outbreak on the school's sprawling campus.

Virginia college Greek life changes in the face of COVID-19

By MEGAN LEE, Capital News Service

There are no dodgeball games, cookouts or other rushing events at Virginia Commonwealth University's campus in Richmond, but fraternities and sororities are still recruiting new brothers and sisters. The Greek chapters at VCU, and many other Virginia schools, are using Zoom to recruit new members. Some fraternities and sororities believe the challenge of social distancing has strengthened bonds amongst each other as well as their philanthropy efforts.


Virginia health care workers reminded to wear masks

By ELISHA SAUERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia Health Commissioner Norman Oliver has a message for health care workers slacking on a critical new rule: Masks aren't just for patients. In a letter sent to clinicians Friday, Dr. Oliver stressed that face coverings are required by law. Numerous citizen complaints, some of which pertained to health care practices licensed by the Department of Health Professions, prompted the reminder.

Virginia COVID-19 cases increase by 872 from Monday

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported Tuesday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 142,010 — an increase of 872 from the 141,138 reported Monday.

Caroline's ICE facility has 25 detainee and 12 staff COVID cases

By SABRINA MORENO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is withdrawing its motion to lift the ban on transfers into the Farmville Detention Center following a spike in COVID-19 cases at the ICE facility in Caroline County, where the federal agency proposed to isolate Farmville transfers for 14 days prior to intake as part of its response to an ongoing lawsuit. The agency also requested the cancellation of an Oct. 6 court hearing meant to discuss lifting the ban on transfers.


SAT test centers cancel dates, frustrating students and parents


Preparing for college during the pandemic has already presented a number of challenges for students, and now, access to SAT testing is limited, as test centers close — some without notice. According to the College Board, test centers have closed or rescheduled at the last minute in some cases, which has made rescheduling difficult for students. Thirty Maryland test sites listed on the College Board website for Saturday's testing are closed. In Virginia, 29 of the 40 listed locations are closed.


Fairfax's top prosecutor says staffing 'crisis' will hurt county's ability to seek justice

By JUSTIN JOUVENAL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Fairfax County's top prosecutor said Tuesday that his office is facing a staffing "crisis" that will keep it from carrying out basic functions needed to put criminals in jail and ensure justice for victims unless many more prosecutors can be hired. Commonwealth's Attorney Steve T. Descano told a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors committee that staffing is so short, his office won't be able to prosecute some lower-level crimes, properly review evidence, handle juvenile offenses or ensure cases are resolved in a timely fashion without approval of new positions.

Fairfax Co. votes to allow some in-person classes starting in October


The Fairfax County School Board voted Tuesday night to allow some students in the Virginia county to resume in-person learning in October. The plan, which Superintendent Scott Brabrand introduced, calls for about 3.5% of students and teachers to participate in what the county is calling in-person "cohorts."

Loudoun County students urge education officials to reopen schools soon


Loudoun County, Virginia, students implored education officials to reopen classrooms at a school board meeting Tuesday night, invoking the stresses of distance learning since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the kids needed step stools to reach the microphone during the school board's public comment period, but their words were clear and their pain apparent.

School Board Backs Expanded In-person Learning Plan

Loudoun Now

Many of Loudoun's youngest grade-school students should be headed back to class on Oct. 27. The School Board on Tuesday night was presented with the next phase of the school division's back-to-school plan. Members unanimously backed a proposal by Superintendent Eric Williams to allow kindergarten, first and second graders to begin hybrid learning by late October. Administrators envision third, fourth and fifth graders beginning hybrid classes by early December.

Families stage 'Honk for Back-to-School' protest outside LCPS building

By JOHN BATTISTON, Loudoun Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Dozens of cars blared their alarms for nearly an hour outside the Loudoun County Public Schools administration building Tuesday afternoon as part of a "Honk for Back-to-School" protest demanding immediate, more specific plans for returning students to in-person learning. "We collectively thought that enough is enough and we wanted to do something different," Jonathan Buckley, one of the event's organizers, told the Times-Mirror.

Stoney to pitch Richmond City Council on dedicated revenue for affordable housing

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

To meet growing needs, Mayor Levar Stoney said Tuesday that he will pitch the City Council on dedicating millions more annually to Richmond's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. If approved, his proposal would lockbox new tax revenue from properties with expiring real estate tax abatements. The mechanism would generate $2 million to start, and rise to a projected $10 million annually by 2025, Stoney said.

GRTC to launch special shuttle service for early voting in Richmond,

By C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Starting Wednesday, Richmond residents will be able to board GRTC shuttles to access the city's new election office where early voting for November's election already is underway. The public transit company announced the new free shuttle service Tuesday in response to concerns about accessibility to the new election office in a remote industrial area at the end of West Laburnum Avenue near the Acca rail yard.

Hanover County reports new cases of COVID-19 among school teacher and on two school buses

By ABBY CHURCH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Two people on two Hanover County school buses tested positive for COVID-19, according to school district public information officer Chris Whitley on Tuesday. The school system also confirmed that a teacher at John M. Gandy Elementary School tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an email from the school's principal, Leigh Finch.

Hackers Zoom bomb WJCC high school classes with porn

By JULIA MARSIGLIANO, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

Some high school students at Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools were exposed to "inappropriate content" during a Zoom class on Friday.

Lawyers suing Stafford over cemetery setback blast recent revision to ordinance

By JAMES SCOTT BARON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The U.S. Justice Department says a recent change to Stafford's cemetery ordinance does not resolve the federal government's lawsuit accusing the county of violating a Muslim group's religious freedom rights. The Justice Department and the All Muslim Association of America filed amendment complaints last week in their suit over the county's handling of the association's plan for a proposed new cemetery on Garrisonville Road.

Botetourt to push federal coronavirus aid toward broadband expansion in rural areas

By MIKE ALLEN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors has been steadily beating the drum about the need for more broadband coverage, and the call got louder when the coronavirus pandemic resulted in households handling business matters, health consultations and school work remotely. The federal aid known as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding, intended to help localities cope with pandemic-related costs, has given Botetourt the opportunity to get ahead in its broadband goals.



Larkins: Stand strong, Virginians, and vote 'Yes" on Amendment 1

By FRAN LARKINS, published in Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Every ten years following the U.S. Census, Virginia's Constitution mandates that legislative districts are redrawn by the General Assembly. More specifically, it's done by the party in power. Politicians in the majority have free rein to pick their own voters, protecting incumbents or ousting political opponents. No wonder our representatives are unable to work together across the aisle.

Larkins is a volunteer for OneVirginia2021 and FairMapsVA

McAuliffe: A federal privacy law Is essential to economic recovery

By TERRY MCAULIFFE, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

COVID-19 has hit the U.S. economy hard, and the road to recovery will not be easy. The worst might still be ahead. Congress must do everything in its power to help the country recover from this crisis, and that includes passing a federal data privacy law. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated America's digital transformation, moving more commerce and other activity online than ever before. We're using data-driven online services not only for essentials like shopping, work and education, but also increasingly for our social interaction.

Terry McAuliffe is global strategy adviser at the Center for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton Andrews Kurth and was the 72nd governor of Virginia

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