Javascript is required to run this page
VaNews

Friday September 13, 2019

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


JUSTIN FAIRFAX FILES DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST CBS NEWS

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

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a $400 million defamation lawsuit Thursday against CBS Corp. and CBS Broadcasting in New York, alleging the network published false statements by two women who have accused him of sexual assault. The lawsuit includes allegations — which Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney denies — that the mayor was part of a conspiracy to damage Fairfax politically,


LT. GOV. FAIRFAX FILES $400 MILLION DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST CBS IN REPORTING ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIMS

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

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a $400 million defamation lawsuit Thursday against CBS, saying the network recklessly disregarded the truth and hyped what the Democrat says are false sexual assault allegations against him.


JUSTIN FAIRFAX LAUNCHES DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST CBS

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

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a defamation lawsuit against CBS on Thursday over the network’s interview of two women who accused him of sexual assault. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, Fairfax’s lawyers wrote that the two accusers, Meredith Watson and Vanessa Tyson, intentionally fabricated false and politically-motivated statements about him


MARK HERRING VISITS FLUVANNA

By RUTHANN CARR, Fluvanna Review

Attorney General Mark Herring stopped in Fluvanna Monday (Sept. 9) to speak to two different groups – the Lefty Lunch Ladies and TRIAD.

STATE ELECTIONS


STURTEVANT TV AD MADE MISLEADING ATTRIBUTION TO THE RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

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

Two citations in an advertisement from Sen. Glen Sturtevant, R-Chesterfield, attributed statements to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that came from a letter written to the newspaper by a Sturtevant supporter in 2016. The Sturtevant campaign on Thursday acknowledged the error and said the ad, which ran on cable TV in August and also online, has been pulled.


MORRISSEY’S LATEST ARREST: TRESPASSING VIA PARKING

By RICH GRISET, Chesterfield Observer

Joe Morrissey, a Democratic politician running for office in Virginia’s 16th Senate District, was issued a summons in June for allegedly trespassing on private property in Chesterfield. According to a criminal complaint filed by a citizen, Morrissey parked his car in a private driveway in the 19600 block of Church Road on May 22 without permission.


MEET RGGI (PRONOUNCED “REGGIE”), THE LIKELY CAMPAIGN FLIER CHARACTER

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

Tis the season for glossy cardboard with lurid red-black-and-white photos of scowling politicos to land in your mailbox, but one face you won’t see (though you’ll hear a lot about him) is Reggie’s -- that is, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, says the northeastern states’ cap-and-trade agreement that Gov. Ralph Northam (who has said state revenues from participating would go to mitigate sea level rise in Hampton Roads) and Democratic legislators want to join will boost Virginians’ electric bills.


NORTHERN NECK DEMOCRATS FOCUS ON EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

Northern Neck News

When Virginia Delegate for the 99th District Margaret Ransone voted against Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, it drew the ire of many Democrats in the Northern Neck. After more than 40 years of work, Virginia would have added the amendment to the United States Constitution. All of the candidates at the Northern Neck BLUE Crab Feast on Saturday mentioned the ERA and how they would work to bring it to fruition were they elected. Francis Edwards, who ran against Ransone in 2017, is a strong supporter of the ERA.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


WOODBRIDGE ARMY OFFICER LAUNCHES BID FOR U.S. SENATE

By DANIEL BERTI, Prince William Times

Thomas Speciale, a U.S. Army reservist from Woodbridge, has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, joining an already crowded field of Republican primary candidates aiming to take down current U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat.

STATE GOVERNMENT


VIRGINIA HOSPITALS OPPOSE PLAN TO STOP SOME SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS

By NED OLIVER, Virginia Mercury

At this point, most people have either gotten stuck with a surprise medical bill they thought would be covered by their health insurance or know someone who has. And during a two-and-a-half-hour hearing on the issue before the State Corporation Commission on Thursday, Judge Mark Christie made clear he falls firmly within the latter category.


VIRGINIA GETS LOW MARKS FOR ETHICS ENFORCEMENT

WVTF

The Old Dominion ranks in the bottom third of states for ethics enforcement. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Coalition for Integrity. Shruthi Shah at the coalition says the General Assembly has ethics advisory panels, but they’re limited.


A FLUVANNA INMATE PLEADED WITH A JUDGE FOR EMERGENCY RELIEF. SHE DIED WHILE WAITING FOR A RULING.

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

In May, Margie Ryder pleaded with a federal judge for emergency medical relief, claiming Virginia prison officials were threatening her life by mismanaging essential medication at the Fluvanna Correctional Center where she was incarcerated. Less than two months later, she was dead while waiting for a ruling.

CONGRESS


REP. MCEACHIN REMAINS HOSPITALIZED FOLLOWING SURGERY

By JENNA PORTNOY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) is in the hospital recovering from two surgeries to address a condition that is not considered to be life-threatening, his spokeswoman said. The two-term congressman from the Richmond area missed more than a dozen votes this week, including ones to ban offshore oil and gas drilling, which is one of his top priorities.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


MANUFACTURER OF STORE FIXTURES ABRUPTLY CLOSED THREE PLANTS IN HENRICO, LAYS OFF 190 EMPLOYEES

By JOHN REID BLACKWELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Nearly 200 people have been abruptly let go from their jobs at three Richmond-area facilities operated by a New York-based maker of store fixtures and merchandise displays. PremierXD, which is based in Hauppauge, N.Y., notified its employees on Wednesday that its three manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities in Henrico County were closing effective immediately.


THE NEWEST MEGA-CONTRACT AT HUNTINGTON INGALLS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SHIPBUILDING

By HUGH LESSIG, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The Defense Intelligence Agency recently announced that 16 companies will share in a potential $17 billion contract that covers a broad range of work involving highly sensitive information and missions. The winners include Huntington Ingalls Industries, which might not be an easy guess.


VIRGINIA TECH AND CARILION HOST FIRST FORUM FOR 20 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SEEKING TO WORK TOGETHER

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

Leaders from 20 local governments on Thursday gathered for the first time on the Virginia Tech Carilion campus to learn about the partnership driving regional economic development. ... Tech is expanding the research institute that is projected to have a $500 million annual impact on the economy, and Carilion recently announced it will invest $1 billion in capital improvements over the next seven years including an expansion of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.


AIRBNB SITES IN VIRGINIA SEE NEARLY 372,000 SUMMER VISITORS

By STAFF REPORT, Virginia Business

Nearly 372,000 people stayed at Airbnb sites in Virginia this summer. San Francisco-based Airbnb Inc., an online lodging marketplace, said Virginia hosts earned a total of $60.3 million in supplemental income in accommodating 371,900 guest arrivals between Memorial Day and Labor Day.


PARTNERSHIP TO FOCUS ON BRINGING MORE TECHNOLOGY JOBS TO SW VA.

By JOE TENNIS, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Regional business leaders and legislators touted a new partnership announced Thursday, seeking to lure more technology jobs to Southwest Virginia. “It’s committed to advancing big ideas,” said Will Payne, managing partner of Coalfield Strategies LLC, a marketing firm based in Bristol, Virginia.


NEW MARKETING INITIATIVE SETS GOAL FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

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

Legislators and local officials have launched a marketing campaign for Southwest Virginia aimed at supporting economic development in the region. At the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon on Thursday, Southwest Virginia legislators and business leaders described how InvestSWVA will bring together state and local leaders, economic development agencies and corporate stakeholders to attract new jobs to the region.

HIGHER EDUCATION


UVA DROPS 14 MEDICAL DEBT LAWSUITS FOLLOWING REPORT

By RUTH SERVEN SMITH, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Three days after a report revealed that the University of Virginia Medical Center sued patients 36,000 times over six years to collect on overdue hospital bills, the university moved to dismiss 14 existing cases in Albemarle General District Court.


EFFORT TO ATTRACT OUT-OF-STATE APPALACHIAN REGION STUDENTS TO UVA-WISE OFF TO SLOW START

By ROBBY KORTH, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise enrolled 23 out-of-state, Appalachian students who will pay in-state tuition this fall. The students are taking advantage of a new law signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in March that allows students who live within the Appalachian Regional Commission territory — stretching from rural New York to Mississippi — to pay in-state tuition to attend the school.


FALWELL WON'T 'TURN THE OTHER CHEEK' ON MEDIA REPORTS; STUDENT PROTEST PLANNED AT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Thursday evening he has the full confidence of the school’s board of trustees and the university is moving forward with legal action against leakers who have helped fuel a cascade of recent media reports alleging misconduct under his stewardship. “If it was me, I’d turn the other cheek but this is not me,” Falwell said. “This is Liberty University and I have no choice but to do what is in the best interest of the university

LOCAL


EX-VIRGINIA BEACH TEACHER SUES FOR FIRING AFTER RACIAL STEREOTYPES LESSON

By GORDON RAGO, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A former Kempsville High School teacher is suing the School Board for firing her because of her race after she taught a lesson last year about racial stereotypes. The lawsuit centers around two days of Deborah Smith’s 10th grade English class in May 2018. Her sophomores wrote down stereotypes and slurs about different groups of people including jocks and “courtyard kids” as well as racial groups like black, Hispanic and Asian people, and hung them on large notes around the classroom.


LOUDOUN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS CONFRONTS RACE-RELATED CONCERNS; NAACP SPEAKS OUT

By JOHN BATTISTON, Loudoun Times

A superintendent-commissioned report on issues dealing with race and racism in Loudoun County Public Schools found students complaining about frequent use of the N-word and teachers lacking racial literacy. Earlier this year, LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams announced that he had hired national consulting firm The Equity Collaborative to draft a systemic assessment of racial equity within the school system.


ASHWORTH, MAY SPAR ON COUNTY’S ICE AGREEMENT IN FIRST DEBATE

By DANIEL BERTI, Prince William Times

Amy Ashworth, the Democratic candidate for Prince William County commonwealth’s attorney, said Wednesday she believes the county’s agreement with U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants booked at the local jail does not ensure residents’ safety.


EDA LOAN DRAW REMAINS A MYSTERY

By JOSH GULLY, Northern Virginia Daily

Officials have not been able to answer who requested an unnecessary $1.1 million draw from a United Bank loan on Jan. 30, which was over a month after the resignation of Jennifer McDonald, the EDA's former executive director who has been charged with alleged illicit financial conduct.


SAYRE WINS DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST MCDONALD

By JOSH GULLY, Northern Virginia Daily

Judge Ian Williams on Wednesday ruled in General District Court that former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer McDonald defamed Supervisor Tom Sayre and that he is entitled to $20,000 in damages. Sayre’s defamation case centered around his phone number being listed on a note that was discovered in McDonald’s yard during the investigation into a June 2017 incident in which a rock was thrown through her home’s front door.


FEDERAL AGENCY ADDS WARREN COUNTY TO OPIOID CRISIS PROGRAM

By ALEX BRIDGES, Northern Virginia Daily

Warren County can now benefit from a federal program aimed at tackling the opioid epidemic. The Office of National Drug Control Policy announced this week that it added Warren County to the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program. The office added 13 counties across the country to the program in this round, with Warren County as the only locality in Virginia making the list.


WAIVE THE FOIA FEES IN AN ELECTION YEAR?

By DIANA MCFARLAND, Smithfield Times (Paywall)

A well-known Isle of Wight County government detractor used the threat of an upcoming election to try and get a lengthy Freedom of Information Act request filled without having to pay for it. Herb DeGroft specifically targeted Isle of Wight County School Board Chairperson Vicky Hulick with his request, stating, ”Since this is an election year, will you Madame Chair provide me the information free of charge or will you try and keep the information from me by charging an excessive fee? Time will tell,” wrote DeGroft.


PATRICK COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD VICE CHAIR INDICTED ON CHARGES OF ELECTION FRAUD, FORGING PUBLIC RECORD

By PAUL COLLINS, Martinsville Bulletin

Ronnie Neal Terry — the vice chair and a former chair of the Patrick County School Board — was indicted Monday by a grand jury on one charge each of election fraud and forging public record in what he calls “a foolish mistake.” The charges apparently are because of the way Terry gathered and attested to signatures on the petition required for him to seek re-election in November.


BRISTOL VIRGINIA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES INCENTIVES FOR PIZZA HUTS

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A divided City Council approved a pair of incentives totaling $700,000 Tuesday to attract two Pizza Hut locations to the city, including one near The Falls. The council voted 4-1, with Councilman Kevin Mumpower sharply criticizing the deal, to share tax revenues with GC Pizza Hut

EDITORIALS


UVA MUST FIX HOSPITAL BILLING POLICIES

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

Recent reports of aggressive debt collection by the University of Virginia Medical Center deliver a black eye to the university. The reports by Kaiser Health News and The Daily Progress detail the stories of people who were forced into bankruptcy, marriages that crumbled under the stress of debt collection, and education plans put on hold as the Medical Center even went after UVa’s own students.


RED FLAGS ON RED FLAG LAWS

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

In the wake of the mass shooting by a Virginia Beach city employee earlier this year, and a special session on gun control called by Gov. Ralph Northam, the General Assembly asked the Virginia State Crime Commission to come up with recommendations for preventing future gun violence in the commonwealth. The commission is currently reviewing more than 70 bills filed by state legislators and various gun control measures requested by the public.


WHERE’S PLAN TO REPLACE AGING BRIDGES?

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

The Virginia Department of Transportation maintains an inventory of 21,154 bridges spanning rivers, streams and culverts throughout the commonwealth. Nearly half of these structures (10,399 or 49.2 percent of the total) were built prior to 1968. At more than 50 years old, they have either reached or exceeded their anticipated useful lives.


WHY INVESTSWVA MATTERS

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

Something happened Thursday in Abingdon that might turn out to be very important. To explain it, though, we need to rewind back to early 2017 and a curious political dispute that baffled many. The Republican legislators who represent the Southwest persuaded their colleagues in the General Assembly to put language in the state budget requiring the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to give $500,000 to the Lenowisco Planning District Commission to fund a new marketing initiative for the entire region.

THE FRIDAY READ


HE WALKED INTO A 7-ELEVEN FOR A BIG GULP. HE ENDED UP SHOOTING 2 ROBBERS, KILLING 1.

By JANE HARPER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

It had already been a long and emotional day for the Virginia Beach man when he walked into a 7-Eleven store to buy a Big Gulp. He’d just been involved in a heated argument with his stepfather, and police had been called to the house. After talking to officers, it took him more than an hour to walk back to his conversion van, which was parked near his work. The vehicle wasn’t working at the time, but he’d been living in it for a few weeks. Once he got there, he realized his canteen was empty. “I said, ‘Well, it looks like you’re going to 7-Eleven.’”