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VaNews

Thursday May 23, 2019

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


EVMS PROBE COULD NOT DETERMINE WHETHER NORTHAM WAS IN RACIST PHOTO, BUT SCHOOL KNEW ABOUT IT FOR YEARS

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

Lawyers hired to investigate racist content in Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbooks could not definitively say whether Gov. Ralph Northam appeared in the infamous blackface and KKK picture in the 1984 edition. But a report released Wednesday says two EVMS presidents, including current president Richard Homan, were told about the racist photo while Northam was running for political offices and decided not to make it public.


BLACKFACE PHOTO INVESTIGATION IN VIRGINIA HITS A DEAD END

By BEN FINLEY AND ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

The mystery of whether Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was in the racist yearbook photo that nearly destroyed his career remains unsolved. A monthslong investigation ordered up by Eastern Virginia Medical School failed to determine whether Northam is in the picture published in 1984 of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.


PROBE INCONCLUSIVE; EVMS PRESIDENT KNEW OF RACIST PHOTO ON NORTHAM'S PAGE AND SAID NOTHING

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

A months-long investigation into a racist photo that appeared on Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page could not “conclusively” determine who is in the photo or how it ended up there. The report also says the current and previous presidents of Eastern Virginia Medical School had known about the photo for years


INVESTIGATORS COULD NOT DETERMINE IF VIRGINIA GOV. RALPH NORTHAM IS IN RACIST YEARBOOK PHOTO

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

A four-month investigation into a racist picture on Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page wrapped up with the central mystery unsolved, as investigators announced Wednesday that they have not determined whether the governor is in the photo.


EXCERPTS FROM MCGUIREWOODS' REPORT TO EVMS ON NORTHAM PROBE

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

Below are key findings from the report. Read the entire report here. *** On February 1, 2019, an online media outlet published a photograph of an individual in blackface and another individual in Ku Klux Klan robes and hood. This photograph appeared on the personal page of Governor Ralph S. Northam’s 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School (“EVMS”) yearbook.


VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE LITTLE TO SAY ABOUT FINDINGS IN NORTHAM INVESTIGATION

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

An inconclusive investigation into the racist photo on Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 yearbook page elicited few responses from state Democratic leaders, who initially had demanded answers and urged the governor to resign, but on Wednesday declined to acknowledge the report’s findings. The House and Senate Democratic caucuses declined to offer comments on the report.


NORTHAM COULD RETURN TO TEACH AT EVMS: “WE’RE MORE FORGIVING THAN MOST PROFESSIONS”

By ELISHA SAUERS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

With the investigation into the racist photo behind it, Eastern Virginia Medical School may be poised to welcome Gov. Ralph Northam back to the faculty after his term in Richmond ends in 2022. In an interview with The Virginian-Pilot following a news conference Wednesday, Dr. Richard V. Homan, president and provost of the school, said Northam could return to his clinical appointment.


VIRGINIA FIRST LADY FOCUSES ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION DURING VISIT TO FLOYD

By JOE DASHIELL, WDBJ

Virginia's First Lady Pam Northam focused on early childhood education during a visit to Floyd Wednesday morning. We caught up with her at Milestones Childcare, where she spent time with students and their teachers. Northam was highlighting a $10 million federal grant that will help improve early childhood programs and prepare children for kindergarten.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE VIRGINIA MEDICAID PROGRAM MAKES PEOPLE WORK, AND REPUBLICANS AREN’T HAPPY

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

It’s been a year since Virginia lawmakers agreed to expand the state’s Medicaid program on the condition that the people getting the benefits would have to be working or show they’re trying to get a job. But there’s no word on when those newly eligible low-income Virginians will be required to show proof of work to get the federal health insurance.

STATE ELECTIONS


DANCE: OPPONENT HAS SPREAD ‘LIES! LIES! LIES’

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

A joint appearance Monday night by the candidates in the 16th Senate District Democratic primary may not have been a debate, but there was definitely tension in the room as each participant used their five minutes to not only tout their own campaigns but also zing each other over their service.


WOMAN WHO QUESTIONED MUSLIM DELEGATE ABOUT SHARIA LAW IN VIRGINIA SAYS HE'S PLAYING THE 'VICTIM CARD'

By LORENZO HALL, WUSA

Virginia Delegate Ibraheem Samirah said he felt targeted at a recent town hall event because he’s Muslim. Samirah was asked about Sharia Law during the question and answer session. Virginia resident, Catharine Trauernicht posed the question, “I’m wondering what would be the most accommodating way of introducing Sharia Law in the Commonwealth of VA? Should it start in the family court system, or some other venue?”

STATE GOVERNMENT


VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS HEAR THAT MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN IS LACKING, BUT REFORM IS UNDERWAY

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Lawmakers studying mental health reforms in Virginia heard Wednesday that most children in need of services do not get them. Virginia’s behavioral health care system for children is more complex than that for adults but is dogged by the same problems, with overcrowding at the state hospital, an increase in readmissions and a lack of services in the community.


LAYNE: WASHINGTON MOVES — FEDERAL DEBT, TARIFF — COULD WHACK VIRGINIA

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

It was the kind of financial report any CFO likes to give, but Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne’s update the Senate Finance Committee that state revenues are growing at the pace needed to pay for promised tax credit checks this fall also came with a warning: Factors outside anything anyone in Richmond can control (thank you, Washington, D.C.) could mean budget headaches later this year.


JUDGE ORDERS STATE POLICE TO RELEASE REDACTED AUG. 12 PLANS

By TYLER HAMMEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Virginia State Police again have 30 days to release a redacted copy of its Aug. 12, 2017, operational plan to a freelance journalist after a Charlottesville judge decided some of the information would not be a risk to the police or the public.


BEDFORD PROSECUTOR SWORN IN AS JUDGE

By RACHEL MAHONEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The first of four area attorneys to don the black this year, Stephanie Ayers was sworn in as a Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court judge on Wednesday. Ayers will move to the bench after 12 years as a prosecutor at the Bedford County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney,

CONGRESS


WARNER LOOPS THROUGH LOUDOUN, HEARS CONCERNS ON SAFETY AND TARIFFS

By NATHANIEL CLINE, Loudoun Times

Peace, equality and regulatory reform on craft beverages were among the topics faith leaders and business owners shared with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) during his visit to Loudoun County last Friday.


BOBBY SCOTT PUSHES FOR MORE ACCURATE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS

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

What he describes as serious problems with the FBI crime database are prompting Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Newport News, to introduce legislation to tighten rules for the criminal records potential employers can see.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


ANOTHER 48 JETS, 760 PEOPLE COULD MOVE TO LANGLEY AFB

By HUGH LESSIG, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Moving an F-22 training unit from Florida to Langley Air Force Base would add 48 jets and 760 personnel to the Hampton installation, officials said Wednesday. About 40 people attended a briefing at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center to hear details about the proposed move. The Air Force expects to make a decision by February 2021.

TRANSPORTATION


OFFICIALS WARN RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR 15-WEEK METRO SHUTDOWN THAT STARTS SATURDAY

By LUZ LAZO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Officials are urging Washington-area residents to plan ahead to avoid nightmare commutes when the longest shutdown in Metro history begins Saturday, affecting six stations and an estimated 17,000 riders daily.

LOCAL


ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST JEFF MCKAY TO BE SENT TO POLICE, ATTORNEY GENERAL

By ALLY SCHWEITZER, WAMU

A Democratic candidate in the contentious race for chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is stepping up his pursuit of an ethics complaint against rival Jeff McKay. Tim Chapman, an affordable-housing developer, is one of four Democratic candidates running for Fairfax County’s highest elected office. Chapman for Chair Tim Chapman, a newcomer to county politics, tells WAMU he plans to take the complaint to Virginia state and county police, after the office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney reportedly declined to accept the complaint Tuesday, saying it must first be brought to county police for an investigation.


SPECIAL ELECTION SET FOR NOV. 5 TO FILL AGELASTO'S 5TH DISTRICT SEAT ON RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Voters in Richmond’s 5th District will elect their next City Council representative on Nov. 5, the same day as the general election. A Richmond circuit judge has approved the council’s request to hold a special election on that date to replace Councilman Parker Agelasto, who is resigning.


GROUP CONTENDS CHESTERFIELD IS TOO ACCOMMODATING TO DEVELOPERS

By SEAN GORMAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Chesterfield County’s leaders are too lenient on developers, contends a group of residents who rallied outside the county Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday. About 20 people gathered shortly before the board’s meeting, holding silver-colored trays and plates. As supervisors walked by, the residents implored them to not give the county over to developers on a silver platter.


HANOVER SUPERVISORS APPROVE REZONING FOR ABC RELOCATION

By C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Hanover County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a rezoning that will allow the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority to move forward with plans to uproot its central operations in Richmond. The state liquor monopoly’s move to Hanover is expected to make way for Virginia Commonwealth University to build new athletics facilities — which could include a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Flying Squirrels — where ABC offices and a warehouse are currently located.


NEWPORT NEWS POLICE ABLE TO DETECT GUNSHOTS EVEN WHEN NO ONE CALLS 911 WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY

By JESSICA NOLTE, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Beginning next month, Newport News police will know if shots are fired in parts of the city even if no one calls 911. Newport News Chief of Police Steve Drew and Mayor McKinley Price on Tuesday unveiled plans to use technology that can detect gunfire and alert police within 60 seconds.


VIRGINIA BEACH SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTEE WON'T TAKE SEAT AFTER RACIST, SEXIST FACEBOOK POSTS SURFACE

By MIKE CONNORS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

School Board members on Wednesday acknowledged they made a mistake after their top choice to fill a vacancy backed out over racist and sexist posts on his Facebook page. Board members said they did not become aware of the offensive content on social media until after they appointed Mike Mullins, a 62-year-old retired firefighter, to the Rose Hall District.


LYNCHBURG SCHOOL BOARD SEEKS PLAN FOR A 'LIVING WAGE' FOR LOWEST-PAID EMPLOYEES

By LIZ RAMOS, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Seeking a path to raise salaries for dozens of Lynchburg City Schools’ lowest-paid employees to a “living wage” threshold drew support from several school board members during a work session Tuesday night.


AUGUSTA COUNTY VOTES DOWN PROPOSED SOLAR FACILITY

By JULIA FAIR, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The solar facility proposal failed Wednesday night. The Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted 4-3 to deny a special-use permit for a 940-acre solar facility project that would have been constructed in Stuarts Draft and Lyndhurst. The decision follows months of debate on how the project may impact the county and its residents.


ALTAVISTA TOWN COUNCILMAN ARRESTED ON CHARGES RELATED TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN

By SARAH HONOSKY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

An Altavista Town Councilman is charged with two felony counts related to his election, according to Virginia State Police. Timothy H. George, 57, turned himself in to police Tuesday, according to an email from VSP spokesperson Corinne Geller.

EDITORIALS


IT'S PROBABLY NOT NORTHAM IN THAT PHOTO, BUT NOBODY LOOKS GOOD IN CULLEN'S REPORT

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

We now have in hand Virginia’s version of the Mueller Report — the investigation that Eastern Virginia Medical School ordered into the racist photo on Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page, and its culture in general. The headline you already know: Inconclusive.


QUESTIONS ABOUT NORTHAM YEARBOOK PERSIST

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

There were no firm conclusions from an investigation into a racist photo appearing on the personal page of Gov. Ralph Northam in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, the school announced on Wednesday. That’s hardly surprising


INCONLUSIVE: REPORT INTO RACIST PHOTO OFFERS NO CLARITY

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

The only clarity in a report released Wednesday about a racist photo that appeared on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page is that there’s no clarity over who’s pictured. The photo is jarring for what it shows in the modern era: one person in blackface and the other draped in full Ku Klux Klan robes, both holding cans of beer.


THE REPORT ON THE NORTHAM BLACKFACE SCANDAL IS A BIG FAT SHRUG

Washington Post Editorial (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

After his initial, unequivocal statement of admission and contrition, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has strained credulity with his subsequent, turn-on-a-dime insistence that he was neither of two figures depicted in the racist photograph that appeared on his medical-school yearbook page in 1984. Since that head-spinning reversal over the course of less than 24 hours at the beginning of February, very little has emerged to shed light on that photograph,


BETTER SOLUTION TO PANHANDLING PROBLEM

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

The Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on May 14 to repeal the county’s panhandling ordinance after county staff reported that such laws are increasingly being challenged in court on First Amendment grounds. The repealed ordinance had prohibited “the solicitation of contributions of any nature from the occupants of motor vehicles,” or the distribution or sale of any items “on the highways, public roadways and medians within the county.”

COLUMNISTS


SCHAPIRO: NORTHAM BLACKFACE REPORT - SOME ANSWERS, MORE QUESTIONS

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Never again in Virginia will the public and press overlook a politician’s high school, college or graduate school yearbook. Never mind, such often-forgotten publications can be more curiosities than controversial. But never overlook how individuals and institutions manage the response — feared or actual — to anything on those yellowing pages deemed embarrassing.

OP-ED


HILEMAN: MVP RENDERS THE LAW MEANINGLESS

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

“To hell with your permits.” These five words recently adorned a non-violent protest that temporarily halted construction along a portion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Alarmingly, this phrase is likely the exaggerated pretense for bringing the felony charge of “threats of terrorist acts” against the protester, 22-year-old Holden Dometrius. While the threat of felony charges may ultimately prove to be only an intimidation tactic, this phrase will be used to paint a picture of reckless and steadfast disregard for authority by protesters, and perhaps even a call to lawless and violent actions.

Hileman is an environmental hydrologist with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. He was raised in the Catawba Valley of Virginia, and is presently a researcher at Stockholm University working on global water sustainability issues.