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VaNews

Tuesday September 17, 2019

FROM VPAP


NOW LIVE: POST-LABOR DAY CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

The Virginia Public Access Project

Which General Assembly candidates raised the most money this summer? The answer can be found in campaign finance disclosures due at midnight. VPAP ranks candidates by the most money raised in July and August and the most cash on hand. For each election contest, there is a side-by-side comparison. Die-hard political junkies can browse a complete list of each candidate's contributors and expenses.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


DEL. JONES CLOSING LOCAL PHARMACY

By TRACY AGNEW, Suffolk News Herald

Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy owner S. Chris Jones has decided to close his business after 34 years. Jones, 61, told his 17 employees in an emotional meeting on Monday night, he said Thursday afternoon. Storeclosing signs went up in the windows of the store, located on Bridge Road in the Food Lion shopping center, later in the week, and many customers were sad to learn the news.

STATE ELECTIONS


MORRISSEY TALKS POLICY, SAYS ‘NO SCORES TO SETTLE’ IN SENATE

By JIMMY O'KEEFE, VCU Capital News Service

When Joe Morrissey staged a primary challenge against Sen. Rosalyn Dance, he also faced off against the state’s top Democratic leadership -- Gov. Ralph Northam, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe -- who supported the incumbent.


JUDGE REFUSES TO TOSS CHARGE OVER THREAT TO MUSLIM CANDIDATE

Associated Press

A federal judge refused on Monday to throw out a case in which a North Carolina man is charged with anonymously threatening to lynch a Muslim-American man campaigning for a state Senate seat in Virginia. Joseph Cecil Vandevere is charged with interstate communication of a threat to injure a person in connection with a tweet directed at candidate Qasim Rashid. The tweet included a picture of a lynching and read, “VIEW YOUR DESTINY.”


‘NOBODY NEEDS A 100-ROUND MAGAZINE’: VA. GOP CANDIDATE BACKS GUN CONTROL

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

A Republican running for the Virginia House of Delegates is calling for stricter gun control, a message at odds with GOP leadership and virtually every Republican officeholder in the state. In a TV ad that begins airing Tuesday, Mary Margaret Kastelberg calls for more background checks, limits on magazine size and a “red flag” law that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.


VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS WORKING TO CATCH SECOND WAVE

By MORGAN EDWARDS, Capital News Service

When the ice cream came out, it felt like a party. But this wasn’t a party; it was a political event. Bursts of laughter peppered the air. The space on Parham Road that once served as headquarters for Abigail Spanberger’s 2018 congressional run bristled with excitement.


WITH DEADLINES APPROACHING, CAMPAIGNS USE TRICKS TO INFLUENCE FINANCE DISCLOSURES

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

Nothing inspires quick action and creative thinking quite like a deadline. Just ask candidates running for the 140 seats of the Virginia General Assembly this year. Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says candidates have all kinds of tricks to make sure their latest campaign finance disclosures makes them seem as flush as possible.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


VIRGINIA COUNTY GOP CENSURES LAWMAKER WHO OFFICIATED SAME-SEX WEDDING

By JULIEGRACE BRUFKE, The Hill

The Rappahannock County Republican Party in Virginia censured Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), accusing the freshman GOP lawmaker of “abandoning party principles,” including on fiscal spending and immigration.


SPANBERGER KEEPS VOW ON TOWN HALLS ACROSS 7TH DISTRICT

By CLINT SCHEMMER, Culpeper Star Exponent (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As soon as Rep. Abigail Spanberger began fielding questions Sunday at Germanna Community College’s Locust Grove Campus, it didn’t take five minutes for impeachment to rear its head. Marty Caldwell of Orange County asked her, in so many words: What’s it going to take to get you to back the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump?

STATE GOVERNMENT


VIRGINIA LOTTERY SAYS UNREGULATED SKILL MACHINES COULD COST AGENCY $140M A YEAR IN LOST SALES

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Virginia Lottery told state lawmakers Monday that an ongoing surge of unregulated gaming machines could cost the agency $140 million in annual sales, lowering lottery profits used to fund public education by almost $40 million.


LOTTERY POINTS AT UNREGULATED GAMING MACHINES, NOT NEW BETTING PARLORS, FOR DECLINE IN PROFITS

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Virginia Lottery told state legislators Monday that the agency could lose $140 million in sales because of the “proliferation” of unregulated gaming machines, but not due to this summer’s opening of betting parlors. In a presentation to legislators on the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee in Richmond, Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said with the increasing number of what he calls “gray machines,” lottery profits for public education have declined.


A MATH PROBLEM FOR VIRGINIA

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

In Virginia, says Secretary of Finance Aubrey, “we have a math problem.” The first part of the problem: the two biggest sources of state revenue – individual income taxes and sales taxes – account for about 80% of all the money Virginia takes in are growing at a pace of about 3.5% a year.


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BALKS AT PAYING FOR VIRGINIA MEDICAID WORK PLAN

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

President Donald Trump’s administration is balking at paying for Virginia’s plan to help low-income Medicaid recipients find work, reviving a political battle between Gov. Ralph Northam and General Assembly Republicans over the cost to the state of a work requirement for people covered by the health program.


STATE ANALYSTS: VA. INSPECTOR GENERAL FAILING TO FULFILL ROLE; JAIL DEATH REVIEWS ON RIGHT PATH

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Office of the State Inspector General is failing to fulfill its role as a state investigative agency and has inappropriately dismissed allegations sent to a state whistleblower hotline without gathering more information, according to a report from the Virginia General Assembly’s research arm.


VIRGINIA ATTORNEYS ARE GETTING A CRASH COURSE IN DNA TESTING TO HELP THEM IN THE COURTROOM

By MARIE ALBIGES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

It can be used to connect multiple victims to one attacker, like in the case of a man accused of raping six women from Virginia Beach to Williamsburg. It can uphold juries’ findings from decades ago, like when a test confirmed the attacker in a 1974 Virginia Beach rape case.


COUPLES SEEK FAST RESOLUTION ON MARRIAGE LICENSE RACE QUESTION

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Three couples who refused to answer the race question on their marriage license applications are now asking a judge to rule the requirement unconstitutional without a trial.


PETERSBURG JUDGE REMEMBERED AS ‘FAIR’ AND ‘HUMBLE’

By BILL ATKINSON, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)

Retired Circuit Court Judge James F. D’Alton Jr. is being remembered as a “fair judge” and a “humble man” who did not let his judicial robe get in the way of working with attorneys at both tables to ensure the best justice was served in the city. “He knew the law, and he made sure you knew the law, too,” Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cheryl J. Wilson recalled.

CONGRESS


CONNOLLY SPONSORS BILL TO KEEP MILITARY DOMESTIC ABUSERS FROM BUYING GUNS

By DANIEL BERTI, Prince William Times

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to keep military service members with felony-level domestic violence convictions from purchasing firearms. The bill, known as the Safe Homefront Act, aims to strengthen Department of Defense policies regarding the reporting of domestic violence convictions and military protective orders to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


NEW ECONOMIC INITIATIVE AIMED AT SOUTHWEST VA.

By MASON ADAMS, Virginia Mercury

Southwestern Virginia lawmakers are taking another swing at creating new economic growth in a part of the commonwealth that has lagged far behind Northern Virginia, metro Richmond and Hampton Roads in job creation. They were in Abingdon last week to announce InvestSWVA, a public-private partnership that ... will target advanced manufacturing, agriculture and forestry, food and beverage manufacturing, information and emerging technologies and energy and minerals.

TRANSPORTATION


SELF-DRIVING TRUCK FLEETS TO BE DEVELOPED IN VIRGINIA

By NEAL AUGENSTEIN, WTOP

It may not have been obvious, but for the past two years, self-driving cars have been tested on the Interstate 95 and 495 Express Lanes, including while regular toll-paying drivers and carpoolers are right nearby. Now, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will receive $15 million in federal funding to support research on safe automated driving integration, and how to develop self-driving trucks.


COMMUTER FERRY EYES WOODBRIDGE LAUNCH IN 2021

By EMILY SIDES, Inside NOVA

During the partial Metro shutdown this summer, Alexandria officials worked with a local business to offer a commuter ferry that began moving an average of 5,000 passengers daily. ... The Potomac Riverboat Company started offering commuter ferry service May 28. The six Metro stations that service communities south of Reagan National Airport have reopened, but Potomac Riverboat plans to continue service through the end of the year.

VIRGINIA OTHER


PIPELINE PROTESTER FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ASSAULTING SECURITY GUARD

By MIKE GANGLOFF, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

An assault charge against a Giles County man involved in protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline was tossed out Monday after a judge watched a video of the man’s encounter with a security guard at a construction site — and ruled there was no attack.

LOCAL


ARLINGTON GOVERNMENT PREPS FOR CASH INFUSION FROM BOEING

Inside NOVA

Arlington County leaders are expected to finalize the details of a nearly $10 million bequest from Boeing in support of Long Bridge Park and its now-under-construction aquatics center. The agreement between the county government and aerospace giant, reached in February but kept quiet before being publicly announced in June, would include a total of $9.985 million in funding spread over several years.


PRINCE WILLIAM LEADERS AIM TO HALT ACTION ON RURAL CRESCENT

By URIAH KISER, Potomac Local (Subscription Required)

They don’t often vote together on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, but the issue of preserving the Rural Crescent brought them together Monday at Stonewall Jackson Senior High School. Supervisors Jeanine Lawson (R-Brentsville), Frank Principi (D-Woodbridge), and Peter Candland (R-Gainesville) denounced a plan by county staff to create a transition ribbon, where about 10,000 new homes could be built along the boundary of the Rural Crescent.


DANVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SEEK HELP FROM STATE'S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

By CALEB AYERS, Danville Register & Bee

The superintendent of Danville Public Schools has asked the state to review the school division to determine its strengths and areas for growth following the steady decline of city students' standard of learning test scores.

EDITORIALS


THE LAW IS THE LAW

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Off Riverside Drive in Richmond’s Westover Hills neighborhood is a paradise where, as Carrie Rogers puts it, you can “fulfill your childhood dream.” Her “Trailside Treehouse in RVA” is a $150-per-night urban retreat. Up to eight guests can “Glamp w prvt bath!” removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.


PROFANITY AND THE PUBLIC

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Coarse language is everywhere nowadays. No longer confined to the gutter, four-letter words abound on social media and over the airwaves. Watch almost any trendy new series on Netflix and you’re likely to hear as many f-bombs in an hour as you would on a six-month Navy deployment. Saturday’s news story by Patrick Wilson about the obscene Twitter account run by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s former associate Gordon “Max” Heyworth is a prime example.

COLUMNISTS


EMBA: THE TIDE IS SHIFTING IN VIRGINIA

By CHRISTINE EMBA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

“Virginia is for Lovers,” as its famous slogan goes. Lovers of all colors! White, Black, Quadroon and even Moor. Yes, that’s Moor, not “more.” If that clarification leaves you queasy, you’re in good company. Earlier this month, three Virginia couples filed suit against the state to challenge Virginia’s requirement that they identify their race in order to obtain a marriage license.

OP-ED


ELMORE: A RURAL, ENVIRONMENTAL TRAVESTY

By CINDY ELMORE, Published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

When English settlers arrived to America in the late 16th century, old growth longleaf pine trees towering as tall as 100 feet covered up to 90 million acres of the southern U.S. These ramrod-straight trees made an ideal ship’s mast and, according to the University of Florida, many of the best specimens were cut down for use by the British navy.

Cindy Elmore is a journalism professor at East Carolina University and a former journalist who has reported from 18 different countries.