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SEN. TIM KAINE OFFERS PROPOSAL TO STABILIZE HEALTH-CARE EXCHANGES

By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Sen. Tim Kaine proposes spending additional federal dollars on health care to entice private insurers not to abandon Obamacare's exchanges. The proposed change is intended to spark more competition and stabilize consumer insurance rates. Kaine's legislation seeks to address problems with the Affordable Care Act that led Aetna and UnitedHealth Group to announce they're pulling out of Virginia's insurance exchanges next year. The exchanges are where people without employer health insurance can buy coverage.

VaNews May 25, 2017



DECALS WITH BIBLE VERSE REMOVED FROM SHERIFF’S OFFICE CRUISERS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY

By DANA HEDGPETH, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A sheriff’s office in Virginia was ordered to remove a decal displaying a Bible verse from patrol cars in his department after a government attorney said they violated the separation of church and state. The small decals cited Matthew 5:9, which says in part, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” They were placed on the back of patrol cars belonging to the Montgomery County sheriff’s office in Southwest Virginia last week. They were removed within two days, however, after the county attorney issued an opinion to the board of supervisors saying the sheriff should remove them.

VaNews May 25, 2017



VA. ATTORNEY GENERAL URGES COLLABORATION IN BATTLING OPIOID CRISIS

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring came to Northern Virginia on Wednesday, a part of the state where the opioid epidemic has been relatively muted, to applaud efforts to prevent and treat addiction and encourage police and emergency workers to continue sharing information and strategies. Fatal drug overdoses in the commonwealth jumped 38 percent in 2016, with about 1,100 of the 1,400 overdoses caused by opioids, heroin or prescription or synthetic fentanyl, Herring (D) told a gathering of Alexandria police, paramedics and city employees.

VaNews May 25, 2017



MCAULIFFE PARDONS OLD DRIVING INFRACTION OF SALVADORAN WOMAN FACING DEPORTATION

By MARIA SACCHETTI AND ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday pardoned a Salvadoran woman with a conviction for a minor traffic offense, a largely symbolic move that he said he hoped would help her stave off deportation. McAuliffe (D) acknowledged that his pardon may not spare Liliana Cruz Mendez from expulsion from the United States because she has a deportation order. But he said the gesture makes clear that the 30-year-old mother of two from Falls Church does not pose a threat to public safety.

VaNews May 25, 2017



DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR VA. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR VOW NOT TO TAKE DOMINION MONEY

By FENIT NIRAPPIL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

All three Democratic candidates for Virginia lieutenant governor have pledged not to take campaign contributions from utility giant Dominion Energy, another sign of how some politicians are distancing themselves from the state’s largest political donor. The Democrats — former federal prosecutors Justin Fairfax and Gene Rossi and lobbyist Susan Platt — said Tuesday night that they were also skeptical about two planned natural-gas pipelines, one of which is a Dominion project and major priority for the utility.

VaNews May 25, 2017



MCAULIFFE SIGNS NEW LAW THAT TOUGHENS JAIL OVERSIGHT

By SARAH KLEINER , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Two signatures. Two cities. One high-profile death. In the name of Jamycheal Mitchell on Wednesday, the state’s highest elected official signed a bill in Richmond strengthening oversight of Virginia’s 60 local and regional jails, and a prosecutor in Portsmouth requested a special grand jury convene to investigate how the mentally ill 24-year-old wasted away behind bars.

VaNews May 25, 2017



RESEARCH EFFORT LINES UP FUNDS, AWAITS BUY-IN FROM OTHERS

By MICHAEL MARTZ , Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A powerful new state committee has committed $20 million to help build an advanced medical research center in Northern Virginia that will include scientists from the University of Virginia and George Mason University, but it is holding back up to $8 million to hire researchers until Virginia Commonwealth University and other institutions decide whether to join the initiative.

VaNews May 25, 2017



GRAB SOME POPCORN, DRAW UP A CHAIR, AND WATCH THE VIRGINIA ELECTIONS

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

“Guiding Light” holds the record for the longest-running U.S. soap opera, but that’s only because Virginia elections belong in their own special category. Think of George Allen’s “macaca moment” in the 2006 Senate race. Or Jim Miller’s 1994 attempt to shame Ollie North for having received mental-health care — which led to the admission that, come to think of it, he had too. Two years ago, then-Del. Joe Morrissey won a special election for his House seat — from jail. This year is shaping up like a ratings-booster for Sweeps Week.

VaNews May 25, 2017



WRONGLY CONVICTED “NORFOLK FOUR” THREATEN $68 MILLION IN LAWSUITS, AND THE CITY HAS NO INSURANCE

By ERIC HARTLEY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Lawyers for the “Norfolk Four,” the Navy sailors wrongly convicted in the rape and murder of an 18-year-old woman in 1997, have threatened to sue the city for $68 million or more – a potentially catastrophic threat to the municipal budget. Separate claims sent to the city over the past month say Norfolk police officers, including then-Detective Robert Glenn Ford, coerced false confessions from the men and hid evidence that could have kept them free.

VaNews May 25, 2017



NORTHAM PROPOSES NEW UNIVERSITY FOR SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA. IS HE RIGHT?

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

Political candidates work from a script. They rarely do improv. If you want to see improv, go check out Roanoke’s comedy improv troupe, the Big Lick Conspiracy. When candidates do go off-script, it usually results in what we call a “gaffe,” all the more reason for politicians to stick to their well-rehearsed lines. So when we find a candidate musing openly about an idea he has — but hasn’t fleshed out with policy details yet — well, that’s when our ears perk up. Is he about to say something interesting?

VaNews May 25, 2017