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VaNews

Thursday August 16, 2018

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


AFTER 1,200 OPIOID DEATHS, NORTHAM TELLS EVMS STUDENTS TO THINK BEFORE PRESCRIBING

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam stepped into his alma mater and put on his figurative doctor’s hat Wednesday morning. He was in town to talk about the opioid crisis in Virginia – from the perspective of health providers. The governor spoke at Eastern Virginia Medical School during the second stop on a statewide tour of medical schools to discuss the issue.

STATE ELECTIONS


VA. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS APPROVES NEW ‘STAND BY YOUR AD' POLICY

By SARA MCCLOSKEY, WRIC

The Virginia State Board of Elections approved new guidelines for how to implement the “Stand By Your Ad Law” on Wednesday. The law was passed in 2002, requiring candidates to put information about who authorized or paid for an advertisement or poster. It lets voters know who is financially backing the candidate running for office.


CHECKING, RE-CHECKING AND RE-RE-CHECKING THE ELECTION NIGHT COUNT

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

The headline here probably misses a re-re or two, but some more post-election re-recheckings of various Election Day reporting are hinting at new ways to tighten up Virginia’s vote-counting procedures, election officials say. Looking at two different sets of numbers from the 2017 election a few months back, Dave Nichols, election services director for the state Department of Elections ran into some numbers that didn’t make mathematical sense.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


SEN. KAINE: TRUMP HAS ‘50-50 CHANCE’ OF FINISHING HIS TERM

By NICHOLAS F. BENTON, Falls Church News-Press

Virginia’s U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, in comments to the News-Press while at an appearance in Falls Church Monday, said that his colleague on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Mark Warner, has repeated his view that President Trump “has about a 50-50 chance of making through the end of his term.”


MORE THAN 50 VIRGINIA BEACH SHERIFF'S EMPLOYEES SIGNED TO GET INDEPENDENT ON CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office assisted Rep. Scott Taylor with a coordinated signature effort to get an independent spoiler candidate on the Nov. 6 ballot in his congressional race. At least 50 deputies and civilian employees of the sheriff’s office, headed by Sheriff Ken Stolle, a Republican, signed petition forms at work in June as Taylor’s campaign scrambled to help collect the 1,000 signatures that independent candidate Shaun Brown would need to be listed on the ballot. Stolle is an ally of Taylor, R-2nd.


SCOTT TAYLOR AND ELAINE LURIA AGREE ON 1 DEBATE, BUT NOT CERTAIN THERE WILL BE MORE

By BILL BARTEL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Setting up a single debate – let alone several – between U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor and Democratic challenger Elaine Luria is proving to be difficult. But there will be at least one. The two major-party candidates in the 2nd Congressional District have agreed to an Oct. 30 luncheon forum sponsored by the Central Business District Association in Virginia Beach.


COULD VIRGINIA'S 7TH DISTRICT TURN BLUE? HOTLY CONTESTED RACE A 'TOSS-UP'

By ALLISON NORLIAN, NBC 12

The eyes of the nation are on Virginia's 7th Congressional district that covers parts of Henrico and Chesterfield, among others. Four years ago, Republican Dave Brat pulled off a major upset when he beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary. Now, the same thing could happen to him, but this time it could be a Democrat taking the seat.

STATE GOVERNMENT


STATE SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD DECIDES AGAINST REMOVAL OF ROCKBRIDGE BOARD MEMBERS

By ALISON GRAHAM, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Social Services Board voted Wednesday not to remove any members of Rockbridge County’s local board following a 10-month investigation. The investigation, the first of its kind for the state board, began in October after Lexington residents Mark Reed and Susan Lawrence came forward with accusations that the local board knew of problems in the department and chose to ignore them.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


FORMER HDL CEO APPEALS $111M VERDICT

Richmond BizSense

The former head and co-founder of collapsed Richmond lab company Health Diagnostic Laboratory is renewing her fight with Uncle Sam. Tonya Mallory, who founded HDL in 2008 and resigned from the firm in 2014, is appealing a federal jury verdict that in May put her on the hook for a share of more than $100 million in damages and found her liable for defrauding Medicare and Tricare based on the company’s practice of paying what the government argued were kickbacks to doctors.

TRANSPORTATION


VDOT ADJUSTS TRAFFIC LIGHTS AFTER COMPLAINTS OF ROUTE 17 CONGESTION

By REEMA AMIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Traffic complaints have become so frequent about Route 17, south of the James River Bridge, that Suffolk Republican Del. Emily Brewer asked the Virginia Department of Transportation to step in.

VIRGINIA OTHER


DOMINION, ENVIRONMENTALISTS BATTLE OVER SCOPE OF STOP-WORK ORDER FOR PIPELINE

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

Dominion Energy is pushing federal regulators to allow continued work on portions of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia and North Carolina while awaiting new federal permits to resolve concerns the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals raised in a ruling that triggered a stop-work order on the $5.5 billion project.


HEAD OF JEFFERSON NATIONAL FOREST TEMPORARILY REASSIGNED AS PIPELINE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A switch is coming to the Jefferson National Forest’s top leadership, a job complicated by conflict over plans to run a natural gas pipeline up and down mountainsides and under the Appalachian Trail. Forest supervisor Joby Timm has been temporarily assigned to the U.S. Forest Service’s regional office in Atlanta, according to an agency spokeswoman.

LOCAL


DENSITY, DEVELOPMENT DEBATES TAKE CENTER STAGE AS LEE HIGHWAY PLANNING NEARS

By ALEX KOMA, ArlNow

In many ways, the Lee Highway corridor is the last part of Arlington that looks like the rest of the Northern Virginia suburbs. With high rises coming to define both the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and Crystal City, and neighborhoods along Columbia Pike becoming ever more dense, Lee Highway has remained persistently suburban in character with its procession of low-slung shopping centers and vast parking lots.


MANASSAS PARK CANCELS VARSITY FOOTBALL SEASON, CITING LACK OF INTEREST

By JACOB BOGAGE, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Another Northern Virginia high school is suspending its varsity football program for the 2018 season due to a lack of participation. Manassas Park High School will play a junior varsity schedule, principal Pamela Kalso wrote in a letter to parents Tuesday. Team practices were routinely drawing only 15 players, she said, which raised safety concerns.


THREE VIRGINIA SCHOOLS, INCLUDING CHARLES CITY, CANCEL FOOTBALL SEASON, CITING LACK OF INTEREST

By STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Three Virginia high schools are canceling their varsity football program in 2018, citing a lack of interest from students. Charles City will be canceling its entire program, and has notified the VHSL it will not be playing any games.


HHHUNT WANTS TO TAKE BATTLE WITH HENRICO TO STATE SUPREME COURT

By JONATHAN SPIERS, Richmond BizSense

The local developer behind Wyndham and a planned community next door is resuming its legal fight with Henrico County over a disputed connector road – this time with legal backing from state real estate trade groups. Glen Allen-based developer HHHunt is petitioning the Supreme Court of Virginia to hear an appeal challenging a judge’s ruling in March that upheld the county’s removal of a planned extension of Dominion Club Drive – a road HHHunt has said is essential to develop a new project next to Wyndham in Hanover County.


REPUBLICANS PICK CHILDREY TO RUN IN COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY’S RACE

By JIM MCCONNELL, Chesterfield Observer

In the eight weeks since former Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney Billy Davenport delivered his retirement letter to the chief judge of the county’s Circuit Court, a veritable “who’s who” of state and local Republican politicians have endorsed a bid by Davenport’s hand-picked successor to serve out the remainder of his final term in office.


TEACHER SHORTAGES ARE LOWER THAN EXPECTED IN HAMPTON ROADS THIS YEAR

By SARA GREGORY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

To recruit teachers , Hampton Roads school districts have traveled to neighboring states and as far away as Houston. There are still dozens of vacancies to fill with three weeks until students head back to class, and districts find themselves competing to lock in the best candidates. For a licensed teacher amid a statewide and national teacher shortage, it’s a buyer’s market.


JUDGE DISMISSES CUMBERLAND REFERENDUM REGARDING LANDFILL

By LAURA MCFARLAND, Powhatan Today

The same specially appointed judge who recently denied an injunction brought by a Cumberland County resident to stop further movement on a proposed landfill project last week also granted a motion to dismiss a referendum spearheaded by the same citizen. Retired circuit court Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. presided over the hearing held on Tuesday, Aug. 7 regarding a referendum created and championed by Bill Bruce of Cumberland.


SIGNER TO CHAIR POST-AUG. 12 ANTI-EXTREMISM GROUP

By STAFF REPORT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Several notable Charlottesville-area residents are heading a project to help communities combat the rise in extremism and intolerance observed since last year’s white supremacist Unite the Right rally. The project, called Communities Overcoming Extremism: The After Charlottesville Project, has been organized by the Anti-Defamation League, a group committed to fighting anti-Semitism.


SPOTSYLVANIA APPROVES REZONING TO END ISLAMIC CENTER CONTROVERSY

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

Things went a lot better this week than they had in the past for the trustees of a mosque seeking to expand in Spotsylvania County. Three years ago, the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg ran into heated opposition when it sought to build a new mosque at the corner of Andora and Old Plank Road. A sheriff’s deputy halted a public meeting on the center’s plans after tensions flared and a man proclaimed, “Every Muslim is a terrorist.”


STATE GROUP TO PROBE PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD MEMBER

By ALISON GRAHAM, Danville Register & Bee

The Virginia Department of Social Services Board, at the request of Commissioner Duke Storen, decided Wednesday to move forward with an investigation into Pittsylvania County social services board member Ronald Scearce, who also serves on the county’s board of supervisors.

EDITORIALS


HOW TO PAY FOR REFORMS TO INSURANCE?

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

It’s not surprising that the administration of Gov. Ralph Northam would dive into the problems of the health insurance market: Mr. Northam is a physician in his non-political life. What might stump the reformers, however, is how to pay for a solution. Insurance premiums are expected to average more than $833 a month next year.


AS THE WATER RISES, ALL HANDS ON DECK TO SAVE OUR BASES

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Among the many serious concerns regarding sea-level rise and the existential threat it poses to Hampton Roads is the possibility that the encroaching waters will compromise one or more of the military installations here. Officials in and out of uniform might take comfort that another round of base closures is not underway, or even the subject of concerted discussion, but the region can ill afford to be complacent.


RYAN APOLOGY SHOULD ASSIST UVA TO HEAL

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

For the past year, some critics have condemned University of Virginia leadership for failing to acknowledge just how it failed students and staff on Aug. 11, 2017. Their wait is over. New President Jim Ryan offered an apology for officials’ failure to deal adequately with the possibility that white supremacists, in town for the scheduled Unite the Right rally, might also converge on UVa.


STANLEY'S PLAN TO PAY FOR MODERNIZING VIRGINIA SCHOOLS

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

In Halifax County, the school board faces a no-win situation. The county’s high school has some serious structural issues. The cost of fixing them is put at $88 million. The cost of building an entirely new school is $100 million. The $12 million difference might be worth debating, except it’s hard for Halifax to afford either option. This is one of the poorest counties in the state (median household income $37,001), with population that is both shrinking and aging. Halifax is hardly alone in being unable to afford to fix deteriorating schools.

OP-ED


STANLEY AND GOLDMAN: NO NEW TAXES NEEDED: $3 BILLION TO MODERNIZE CRUMBLING SCHOOL FACILITIES

By WILLIAM STANLEY AND PAUL GOLDMAN, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

We write today to ask for your help in forming a historic educational coalition between rural Republican communities and metropolitan Democratic neighborhoods. Because of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, our Commonwealth faces a defining moment on Virginia’s commitment to equal educational opportunity for all.

Stanley is a Republican state senator from Franklin County. He is the head of the Senate Subcommittee on School Facility Modernization. Goldman is a former Chairman of the Virginia State Democratic Party.


KARP: GOVERNOR, WHY AREN’T YOU WITH US ON THE PIPELINE ISSUE?

By MARILYN KARP, Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

I’m a resistance leader here in Virginia. The resistance worked on Medicaid expansion which brought health care to 400,000 Virginians. Our movement represents a new kind of advocacy. We speak from the heart, don’t care about traditions. We say Virginia is our district. Legislators deliberate on laws effecting all Virginians.

Karp was one of the leaders of the Medicaid Warriors who lobbied for Medicaid expansion. She lives in Prince William County.