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VaNews

Friday October 19, 2018

FROM VPAP


VISUALIZATION: REASONS CITED BY ABSENTEE VOTERS

The Virginia Public Access Project

Virginia law requires people who cast ballots before Election Day to cite one of 20 specific reasons, such as illness or travel. See what reasons people are citing this year amid a surge in early voting in the midterm elections.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


GOV. RALPH NORTHAM VISITS T.C. TO OFFICIALLY OPEN HEALTH SCIENCE ACADEMY

By STAFF REPORT, Alexandria Times

Gov. Ralph Northam visited T.C. Williams High School on Oct. 5 to cut the ribbon and officiate the opening of the school’s new Governor’s Health Science Academy. The program welcomed its first class, consisting of a little more than 100 students, earlier this year


GOVERNOR COMES TO BREAKFAST IN FRANKLIN

By STEPHEN COWLES, Tidewater News

Those 150 people who reportedly attended the legislative breakfast with Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday got more than scrambled eggs, coffee and a pleasant speech by the state leader. They also received both a personal and personable encounter during the informal get-together. The event, which took approximately 60 days to arrange, occurred in the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


EXPERT WHO REDREW VIRGINIA'S CONGRESSIONAL MAP IN 2015 APPOINTED TO DRAW NEW VA. HOUSE DISTRICTS

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

A federal court has appointed the same expert who redrew Virginia’s congressional map in 2015 to draw new House of Delegates lines to address racial gerrymandering. Thursday’s appointment of University of California-Irvine political science professor Bernard Grofman was a victory for the Democratic plaintiffs


KIRK COX AND TEAM VOLUNTEER AT COLONIAL HEIGHTS FOOD PANTRY

By KELSEY REICHENBERG, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 5 free articles a month)

Kirk Cox, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, and members from his office spent a few hours Wednesday morning volunteering at the Colonial Heights Food Pantry.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


STEWART FUNDRAISING STILL FAR BEHIND IN U.S. SENATE RACE

By EMILY SIDES, Inside NOVA

With weeks left to reach undecided voters, Sen. Tim Kaine continues to outraise his opponent, Republican nominee Corey Stewart, according to campaign finance reports filed this month. Kaine, a Democrat seeking his second term, reported raising $2.4 million from July 1 through Sept. 30, according to his report filed this month with the Federal Election Commission. Of that amount, 73 percent of the contributions were from Virginians


PENCE COMES TO RICHMOND ON SATURDAY FOR THREE GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES

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

Vice President Pence will talk up tax reform in Richmond on Saturday and try to give a boost to Rep. Dave Brat and distillery owner Denver Riggleman, two Republicans running in close congressional races. The event is separate from an afternoon campaign rally and fundraising reception that Pence will hold in downtown Richmond that day for Ryan McAdams, a Republican minister challenging Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) for a Richmond-area seat.


BOB MCDONNELL, SISTER HELP MCEACHIN'S CHALLENGER LAND FUNDRAISER WITH PENCE

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

Rep. Donald McEachin’s 4th District seat is listed “solid Democratic” by The Cook Political Report. The election forecaster FiveThirtyEight, owned by ABC News, gives him a 99.9 percent chance of winning. Virginia has races that are more hotly contested, but McEachin’s Republican challenger, Ryan McAdams, landed a fundraiser with Vice President Mike Pence in Richmond on Saturday. He got some help from high-profile campaign consultants: former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his sister, Maureen McDonnell.


GETTING A JUMP: ABSENTEE VOTING IN VIRGINIA SOARS THREE WEEKS AHEAD OF ELECTION

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The number of voters in Virginia who have cast early ballots ahead of the November elections is dramatically up compared with last year, suggesting an electorate that is energized by several hotly contested races for Congress that are spread across the state


TWO PROGRESSIVES ARE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN VIRGINIA’S MOST CONSERVATIVE DISTRICTS. DO THEY HAVE A SHOT?

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

The crowd had just finished eating cake — decorated with blue icing that formed a wave crashing into the words “Bye Morgan” and “Happy Retirement” — when Anthony Flaccavento jogged on stage.


FLACCAVENTO, GRIFFITH SQUARE OFF IN DEBATE AT THE BRISTOL HOTEL

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The differences between the two 9th District congressional candidates seeking to represent Southwest Virginia became clear on Thursday evening during a lively debate at the new Bristol Hotel. Incumbent Republican Morgan Griffith, from Salem, and Democrat Anthony Flaccavento, from Abingdon, battled it out in their second debate of the campaign season on topics ranging from health insurance to a proposed Bristol casino.


BRAT TO INMATES: ‘YOU THINK YOU’RE HAVING A HARD TIME — I’VE GOT $5 MILLION IN NEGATIVE ADS.’

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

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) compared the struggles of jailed drug addicts to the heat he’s taking in his tight race with Democrat Abigail Spanberger. “You think you’re having a hard time — I got $5 million worth of negative ads going at me,” Brat told inmates at the Chesterfield County jail on Wednesday.


BRAT TAKES HEAT OVER COMMENT TO INMATES; RECOVERY ADVOCATES DEFEND HIM

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

Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, met with inmates in the Chesterfield County jail on Wednesday to talk about their problems with drug addiction. He told them he doesn’t have an easy life either, citing attack ads in a Democratic effort to unseat him as he seeks a third term. “You think you’re having a hard time — I’ve got 5 million dollars worth of negative ads coming at me,” Brat told the inmates, in audio recorded by WCVE public radio, which reported on the meeting.


DEMOCRAT VANGIE WILLIAMS HAS FUNDRAISING SURGE, BUT STILL TRAILS REPUBLICAN REP. ROB WITTMAN

By JEFF BRANSCOME, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Democrat Vangie Williams of King George County slightly out-raised her opponent, Republican incumbent Rob Wittman over the past three months, though she remains a significant underdog in the 1st District Congressional race. Williams raised $256,020 from July through September, with the vast majority of those donations coming from individuals, according to the Federal Election Commission. Wittman took in $238,152 over the same time period, with a little more than half coming from political action committees and the rest from individuals.


WITTMAN WANTS NAVY TO TAKE OVER PART OF BRIDGE COST

By QUINTON SHEPPARD, Gazette-Journal

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross) said local and national leaders are still working with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Defense to consider taking over a portion of the maintenance fees on the opening and closing mechanisms of the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge. The hope, he said, is if the federal government takes on some of the financial burden of these costs, tolls will be reduced for local residents.

STATE GOVERNMENT


ENROLLMENT IN VA.’S EXPANDED MEDICAID PROGRAM STARTS NOV. 1

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

Virginians who are newly eligible for government health insurance under the state’s expanded Medicaid program can enroll starting Nov. 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday. “It was a long time coming, but we’re glad it’s here,” Northam (D) said at a state office building in Richmond.


MEDICAID EXPANSION ENROLLMENT TO BEGIN NOV. 1

By BRIDGET BALCH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services will begin accepting applications Nov. 1 from residents who are newly eligible for Medicaid, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday. “It was a long time coming, but I’m glad it’s here,” Northam said at an announcement event

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


NORFOLK SOUTHERN TELLS EMPLOYEES: ATLANTA MOVE COULD HAPPEN

By ROBERT MCCABE, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Do they stay or do they go? A video from CEO Jim Squires posted Thursday for employees of Norfolk Southern Corp. offered strong indications that moving the company's headquarters to Atlanta is a go, even if a number of key details are yet to be worked out.


AMONG AMAZON HQ2 WATCHERS, NORTHERN VIRGINIA CHECKS THE MOST BOXES

By KAREN WEISE, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Amazon won’t say a word about where it plans to put its much-hyped second headquarters. Officials in the 20 cities and regions named as finalists say that they don’t know anything — and that even if they did, they wouldn’t share it publicly. But that hasn’t stopped investors, economic officials and developers from trying to reverse engineer the HQ2 search


RICHMOND, HAMPTON ROADS BUSINESS LEADERS TAKE STEP FORWARD FOR COLLABORATION

By NATE DELESLINE, Inside Business

By simply getting together, Hampton Roads and Richmond have taken a step toward greater economic collaboration. Over two days – Oct. 16-17 – business leaders from both areas took a firsthand look at each region’s assets with the goal of jump-starting conversations that could lead to the creation of a megaregion. Together, Hampton Roads and Richmond would be one of the top 20 largest metro areas in the U.S., a metric that would keep the region on the radar of companies that are looking to startup and grow, according to community leaders who champion both areas.


NEW COLISEUM COULD ANCHOR HAMPTON ROADS-RICHMOND MEGAREGION

By NATE DELESLINE III, Inside Business

A new coliseum could be an anchor element of a Hampton Roads-Richmond megaregion. A Richmond-based development group wants to make a 17,500-seat arena, a 527-room hotel, a historic former military armory and 3,000 residential units the core elements of an ambitious $1.4 billion downtown redevelopment project.


THE BUSINESS OF GROWING POT, LEGALLY

By LAURA PETERS, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Staunton is close to getting its own medical cannabis manufacturing and dispensary. The Illinois-based medical cannabis company PharmaCann will open a facility at Green Hills Industrial Park off Technology Drive and Commerce Avenue. Staunton will be home to one of five medical cannabis companies licensed to operate marijuana growing facilities in the state


WALLOPS RESEARCH PARK GETS FIRST TENANT IN 'BIG WIN FOR ACCOMACK'

By CAROL VAUGHN, Eastern Shore News (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Accomack officials approved leases with Virginia Space for space at Wallops Research Park, where a private aerospace company will locate. Michael Mason, Accomack County administrator, announced Wednesday that Rocket Lab, headquartered in California, will be the first tenant at Wallops Research Park.


SPACEPORT LANDS NEW CUSTOMER, RESEARCH PARK GETS FIRST TENANT AND 30 JOBS

By LINDA CICOIRA, Eastern Shore Post

Rocket Lab, a New Zealand-based enterprise known in the aeronautics world for delivering “small satellites to low Earth orbit at an unprecedented frequency,” will be blasting off its spacecrafts from Wallops Island by next year.

TRANSPORTATION


VIRGINIA COULD KILL PLAN TO PUT HUNDREDS OF CONDOS ON WILLOUGHBY SPIT

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

An ambitious plan that would have put 300 condos, a marina, a restaurant and shops on Willoughby Spit a decade ago has been revived by a new developer. Problem is, the new plan may be a goner as quickly as the original one. Just for a different reason.


VDOT UNVEILS PACKAGE OF I-81 UPGRADES TO ANSWER GENERAL ASSEMBLY STUDY MANDATE

By STAFF REPORT, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

VDOT rolled out its proposed list of upgrades to help ease traffic on Interstate-81 on Wednesday. In and near Staunton, VDOT proposes widening the interstate in spots, extending entrance and exit ramps and creating truck climbing lanes. Specific recommendations:


$2B UPGRADE TO I-81 REQUIRES TOLLS OR TAX HIKES

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

State transportation officials have prioritized $2 billion in improvements that can be made to the Interstate 81 corridor in Virginia, and have proposed different methods for funding the upgrades.


NOVA TRANSPORTATION EFFORTS RUNNING OUT OF GAS, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY SAYS

By ANGELA WOOLSEY, Fairfax Times

The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance’s 14th annual “What You Need to Know about Transportation” breakfast and seminar primarily focused on what has been going well. As Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine noted in her keynote speech, the state has seen a transformation of its transportation system over the past four to five years in terms of both how it looks and how it is funded.

VIRGINIA OTHER


CHESAPEAKE BAY SURVEYS SHOW STRIPED BASS DOING JUST FINE

By TAMARA DIETRICH, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The data are in and the results are official: Juvenile striped bass numbers are healthy in the Chesapeake Bay and its major tributaries. Virginia and Maryland say seine surveys conducted over the summer show young-of-year stripers – those spawned this past spring – top historic averages and signal good fishing for commercial and recreational anglers in a few years.


UVA LAUNCHES FIRST LADY’S FOOD LAB AT MORVEN

By JOSH MANDELL, Charlottesville Tomorrow

Former Virginia first lady Dorothy McAuliffe was honored Thursday for her work to end childhood hunger at the launch of the First Lady’s Food Lab, a new program and facility at the University of Virginia’s Morven Farm.

LOCAL


14,000 PRINCE WILLIAM RESIDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID

By KAREN CHAFFRAIX, Prince William Times

The commonwealth has launched a campaign to spread the message far and wide: An estimated 400,000 Virginians will be eligible for free health insurance under Medicaid beginning Jan. 1, and an estimated 14,000 of them live in Prince William County.


VIRGINIA BEACH HAS "SUBSTANTIAL DISPARITIES" IN MINORITY AND WOMEN-OWNED CONTRACTS, REPORT SAYS

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

An in-depth review of city contracts has revealed that businesses owned by minorities or white women are not getting enough opportunities to work with Virginia Beach. Last summer, the city hired a consultant to independently analyze the demographics of the firms that it contracted with over a five-year period.


LAWYERS IN LOUISA CAPITAL MURDER CASE: TAKE DOWN COURTROOM’S LEE PORTRAIT, OTHER CONFEDERATE MEMORABILIA

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

Lawyers for a man facing a capital murder charge in Louisa County are asking that the trial not take place in the county’s Circuit Court courtroom unless a portrait of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate memorabilia are removed.


AS LOUISA COUNTY PONDERS MEGASITE, WHAT ROLE DOES AGRICULTURE PLAY?

Central Virginian

While county leaders want to attract outside companies to the proposed 1,600-acre business park near Interstate 64, some residents think their leaders should focus more on the promise of small businesses that are already here. In particular, these residents point to farm-related enterprises, and the local people who operate them, as a good bet for long-term growth. They say while the county touts its rural beauty and agricultural character, it should do more to help people make a living from those elements.


SUPERVISORS CONSIDER NEW PLAN TO REVIVE PIONEER HOSPITAL

Martinsville Bulletin

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Patrick County’s shuttered hospital, according to Patrick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dr. Lock Boyce. At Monday’s meeting of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, Boyce said that a representative from Virginia Community Capital, the current owner of the Pioneer Hospital building in Stuart, contacted him Oct. 10 with an offer to lease the hospital to the county for an insignificant cost through May 2020 and then sell the hospital to the county at appraised value.

EDITORIALS


THE CURIOUS LEGAL SILENCE ON STANLEY'S QUESTION TO HERRING

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

Somewhere on Attorney General Mark Herring’s desk — figuratively, if not literally — is a letter that poses a provocative question. State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, wants to know if Virginia is violating the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education by allowing some of Virginia’s oldest schools to deteriorate.


CHESTERFIELD TRIES TO BE MORE LIKE RICHMOND

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

The simmering feud between Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors and its School Board has us wondering if anyone ever learns anything in politics. The county has long been among the state’s best-managed localities, but it now could be slipping into the pedestrian territory of allowing perceived slights and hurt feelings to override commonsense governance.

OP-ED


GILMORE: DOMINION SHOULDN'T MAKE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

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

The Oct. 11 editorial “Five modern myths” uses a recent study to praise Dominion Energy’s transparency before drawing a false equivalency between the political activities of regulated utility monopolies and environmental groups. Both assertions warrant closer examination:

Gilmore is Executive Director of Clean Virginia

THE FRIDAY READ


‘YOU ARE STILL BLACK’: CHARLOTTESVILLE’S RACIAL DIVIDE HINDERS STUDENTS

By ERICA L. GREEN AND ANNIE WALDMAN, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Zyahna Bryant and Trinity Hughes, high school seniors, have been friends since they were 6, raised by blue-collar families in this affluent college town. They played on the same T-ball and softball teams, and were in the same church group. But like many African-American children in Charlottesville, Trinity lived on the south side of town and went to a predominantly black neighborhood elementary school. Zyahna lived across the train tracks, on the north side, and was zoned to a mostly white school, near the University of Virginia campus, that boasts the city’s highest reading scores.