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DON'T KEEP COURTS DATABASE UNDER WRAPS

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

It is the Code of Virginia that makes circuit court clerks responsible for the gathering and preservation of court records. The state law also says that FOIA requests should be made to the custodian of such records. So, it will now be up to the General Assembly to come up with new wording for the law that will explicitly make a database that contains the outcomes of nearly all criminal cases adjudicated in circuit courts in the commonwealth a public record.

VaNews July 21, 2017



GILLESPIE SHIFTS FROM AVOIDING TRUMP TO DROPPING THE PRESIDENT’S NAME

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Two little words are on Ed Gillespie’s lips of late: “President Trump.” Since launching his bid for Virginia governor, the establishment Republican had treated the man in the White House like a Voldemortian unmentionable. That was widely considered a smart strategy in a swing state that went for Hillary Clinton in November and where the president’s approval rating sat at 36 percent in a Washington Post-Schar School poll in May.

VaNews July 21, 2017



RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL RELEASE VALUE OF AUDITOR'S EXIT PACKAGE MONDAY

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Richmond City Council President Chris Hilbert said Thursday the precise cash value of former City Auditor Umesh Dalal’s compensation package has not yet been calculated, but he anticipates being able to provide the number publicly Monday. “I don’t want to give you a half-baked estimate of it,” Hilbert said in a phone call. “I could have done that. I want to get everyone the exact information. I don’t want it to be off by 5 cents. I can assure you, when I get this number, I will call you with it.”

VaNews July 21, 2017



VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT DISMISSES COMPLAINT ALLEGING IMPROPER POLITICAL ACTIVITY BY JUDGES

By FRANK GREEN , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A unanimous Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a complaint from the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission against two judges accused of improper political activity. The commission asked the justices to censure former Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rudolph Bumgardner III and former Circuit Judge Humes J. Franklin Jr. for campaigning against an Augusta County voter referendum question on moving the county courthouse from Staunton into the county last year.

VaNews July 21, 2017



DESPITE CRITICISMS, NEW STUDY FINDS METRO WORKERS’ PAY AND BENEFITS ARE TYPICAL FOR INDUSTRY.

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A new study shows Metro workers’ pay and benefits are in line with those of other major transit systems, blunting long-standing criticism of the agency’s labor costs. But Northern Virginia Republican lawmakers said it would still be necessary for Metro to restrain costs and weaken union powers to persuade the GOP-led General Assembly in Richmond to back increased funding for the transit system.

VaNews July 21, 2017



AHEAD OF FIRST NORTHAM-GILLESPIE DEBATE, ONE QUESTION LOOMS LARGE: SHOULD VIRGINIA WORK WITH TRUMP?

By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In a recent Facebook Live video by Ralph S. Northam’s campaign, Ed Gillespie appeared as a stiff cardboard cutout, showing no response as a parade of Northam aides read the text of a controversial Republican health care overhaul pushed by President Donald Trump. On a website created by Gillespie’s campaign, Northam’s policy agenda for Virginia was represented as a substanceless void of white pixels.

VaNews July 21, 2017



MORE INEXCUSABLE SECRECY FROM RICHMOND CITY GOVERNMENT

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Too many divisions of Richmond government think the citizens should be treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed a bunch of fertilizer. Now the City Council is refusing to release the details of auditor Umesh Dalal’s departure. That’s a public position. Public money is involved in his severance. And the public has every right to know the details.

VaNews July 21, 2017



VB REVIEW OF CONTRACTS COULD BE VALUABLE

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Given the city’s rather modest goal of awarding 10 percent of these contracts to minority businesses, it is reasonable to wonder how the actual figures have lagged behind. Is it a problem with the city, the vendors or a combination of the two? Are other factors involved? To answer these questions, the city commissioned a disparity study to examine contracting practices and procedures. It is a wholly worthwhile, if expensive and time-consuming, undertaking, but it should help the city chart a responsible path forward.

VaNews July 21, 2017



RURAL AMERICA GETS MICROSOFT'S ATTENTION

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Let’s give credit where credit is due: President Trump is responsible for bringing broadband Internet to two counties in Southside Virginia. Indirectly, anyway. He might also be responsible, again, indirectly, for extending broadband to lots of other places in rural America.

VaNews July 21, 2017



VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT CLEARS LOCAL JUDGES OF ANY MISCONDUCT

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

Two local retired judges have been unanimously cleared of misconduct by the Virginia Supreme Court in connection to their public opposition to the Augusta County Courthouse referendum last year. The Supreme Court's dismissal opinion by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, which was issued Thursday, involved the complaint against retired state Court of Appeals Judge Rudolph Bumgardner III of Staunton and retired Circuit Court Judge Humes J. Franklin, Jr., of Augusta County.

VaNews July 21, 2017