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DEVELOPERS SUE PORTSMOUTH FOR $25 MILLION, CLAIMING CITY CONSPIRED AGAINST THEM

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Following through on a threat from last year, the businessmen behind a long-stalled mixed-use development is suing the city for more than $25 million. The developers of The Commons at Portsmouth Center – also known as Victory Village – claim the city conspired against them as they tried over eight years to build a 5-acre project off Victory Boulevard. They acknowledged that the recession played a role in the development’s many delays but argued city staff “acted deliberately” to prevent them from succeeding.

VaNews January 20, 2017



IN VIRGINIA, REPUBLICAN-LED COMMITTEE KILLS TRANSGENDER ‘BATHROOM BILL’

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post

A Virginia lawmaker blasted fellow Republicans as “disgusting” cowards Thursday for rejecting his bill to regulate the use of bathrooms and locker rooms in schools, highway rest stops and other government-owned buildings. “You campaign one way and come down here and kill things silently,” Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William) fumed at members of a GOP-controlled House subcommittee after they used an unrecorded voice vote to dispatch with his bill.

VaNews January 20, 2017



ALEXANDRIA MAYOR BALKS AT STATE SENATE DEADLINE FOR STOPPING SEWAGE OVERFLOWS

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post

The Virginia Senate on Thursday voted to give the city of Alexandria almost eight years to stop its antiquated sewer system from sending raw sewage into the Potomac River, stepping back from a demand that the city act by 2020 or lose all state funding. The compromise, which must also pass the House of Delegates, was forged between Sens. Richard H. Stuart (R-Stafford) and Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria).

VaNews January 20, 2017



PERCENTAGE OF VIRGINIA SCHOOL DIVISIONS WITH HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS JUMPS OVER 25 PERCENT

By LOUIS LLOVIO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The percentage of Virginia school divisions that have access to high-speed internet grew to 72 percent last year, up from 46 percent in 2015, according to a national report. EducationSuperHighway’s State of the States report found Virginia to be among the five states that showed the most improvement last year, trailing only North Carolina, Delaware, Tennessee and Nevada.

VaNews January 20, 2017



SUFFOLK CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO LET PLANNERS DRAFT AN ORDINANCE ON BACKYARD HENS

By VICTORIA BOURNE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

There was a lot of clucking, but City Council ultimately gave the green light for the drafting of an ordinance that could allow chickens in more areas of the city. “Council knows how I feel,” Councilman Tim Johnson, an early advocate for the backyard hen movement in Suffolk, said prior to the decision. “This is something that’s going to make our city better. ... It’s going to make more people want to come here.”

VaNews January 20, 2017



RICHMOND MAYOR LEVAR STONEY APPOINTS FORMER MAYORAL CANDIDATE JON BALILES TO POLICY POST

By NED OLIVER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Thursday that he’s appointed former West End Councilman Jon Baliles to serve as senior policy adviser for innovation in his administration. In last year’s mayoral contest, Baliles ran against Stoney before dropping out of the race and endorsing him in the final week before Election Day.

VaNews January 20, 2017



RICKY GRAY'S LEGAL TEAM RAISES 'GRAVE CONCERN' WITH EXECUTION PROCEDURE THAT TOOK MORE THAN 30 MINUTES

By FRANK GREEN , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A delay in the execution of Ricky Javon Gray on Wednesday night was due to difficulty in placing the IV line in a vein, officials with the Virginia Department of Corrections said Thursday. Gray’s lawyers, however, questioned the department’s explanations.

VaNews January 20, 2017



GOP-LED PANEL VOTES DOWN MARSHALL'S TRANSGENDER BATHROOM BILL

By GRAHAM MOOMAW , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Virginia won’t be following North Carolina’s lead on transgender bathroom laws after a Republican-controlled House of Delegates subcommittee voted Thursday to kill one of the most controversial bills of the 2017 session. Sponsored by conservative Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, House Bill 1612 would have required schools and governments to keep bathrooms, locker rooms and showers strictly segregated by birth sex rather than gender identity or run the risk of being sued.

VaNews January 20, 2017



SENATORS SKEPTICAL OF NEED FOR NEW VIRGINIA ABC WAREHOUSE

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

A proposal to replace Virginia’s central liquor warehouse in Richmond faces opposition from key members of the Senate Finance Committee who are skeptical about issuing $104.8 million in state debt to pay for it. Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, who co-chairs the committee, told the top administrator of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Thursday morning to provide estimates of land and engineering costs to plan for a new facility before asking for money to build one.

VaNews January 20, 2017



RICKY GRAY'S LAWYERS SAY HIS EXECUTION MAY HAVE VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTION

By GARY A. HARKI , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

The lawyers for Ricky Gray said there is “grave concern” that the procedure used to execute him Wednesday night violated the U.S. Constitution by causing him pain and suffering. The curtain that hid Gray from view while IVs were inserted in his arms was closed for 33 minutes – far longer than in a typical execution, the lawyers said in a statement Thursday. Gray was healthy and there was no reason for the delay, they said.

VaNews January 20, 2017