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VaNews

Friday August 17, 2018

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


SEN. BILL STANLEY PROPOSES MODERNIZING SCHOOLS WITHOUT RAISING TAXES

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

State Sen. Bill Stanley says he’s found a way to modernize Virginia’s crumbling schools — and it won’t include raising taxes. To address concerns about the condition of schools across the state, Stanley, R-Franklin County, in the spring created a school facility modernization subcommittee with a goal of coming up with funding to accomplish the upgrades. On Thursday at Virginia Tech, the subcommittee met before two dozen school administrators and local government officials to discuss how they’ll go about repairing schools


VIRGINIA SENATOR PROPOSES USING INTERNET SALES TAX WINDFALL TO UPGRADE SCHOOL FACILITIES

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A Virginia state senator wants to use an anticipated windfall from state taxes on internet sales to pay for school facilities improvements. Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, is proposing to use about half of what the state hopes to take in from taxing online sales — now a reality under a recent Supreme Court decision — to finance between $2 billion and $3 billion in bonds for K-12 school facilities across Virginia.


DEBATE DEVELOPING IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY OVER PROPOSED TAX CUT

By HEATHER SULLIVAN, NBC 12

Virginia stands to gain $500 million in extra revenue due to federal tax cuts, and a debate is brewing in the Capitol over how to use it. Gov. Ralph Northam said last week he wants to use half that money to make the state's Earned Income Tax Credit refundable to help low income taxpayers. ... But Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox favors a broader tax relief aimed at the middle class.


VA. HOUSE DEMOCRATS CAUCUS MEETING YIELDS NO CHANGE AT THE TOP

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

Minority Leader David Toscano of Charlottesville will remain the top Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates for now after his caucus opted against a new leadership election. The Democratic caucus held a closed-door meeting in Richmond on Thursday amid speculation that Del. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, was gathering support to try to replace Toscano as the Democratic leader.


MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENT COULD FACE TOUGH COURT TEST

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

Earlier this year, Republicans and Democrats finally cut a deal on expanding health insurance to people who live in poverty or with disabilities. But the key to cutting that deal is now at risk.


ABC OFFICIALS, LAWMAKERS PITCH REFORMS TO ARLINGTON BUSINESSES

By ALEX KOMA, ArlNow

Virginia lawmakers are considering loosening some state alcohol regulations in the coming months — and that could be good news for Arlington’s bars and restaurants. The General Assembly is weighing a bevy of changes to how the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control authority, commonly known as the ABC, hands out licenses and permits to better match the ever-evolving beverage business.

STATE ELECTIONS


FORMER NEW KENT TREASURER HERB JONES ANNOUNCES RUN FOR 3RD STATE SENATE DISTRICT

Tidewater Review

Former New Kent County treasurer and Providence Forge resident Herb Jones is a candidate for the 3rd Senatorial District of Virginia. Jones has filed paperwork to run as a Democrat against Republican majority leader Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City, according to Jones.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


STEWART SEEKS TO LINK KAINE TO RADICAL LEFT WITH PHONY IMAGE OF CONTRA COMMANDOS IN NICARAGUA

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

Corey A. Stewart, the Virginia Republican seeking to unseat Sen. Tim Kaine in November, tried Wednesday to paint the Democrat as a violent left-wing radical by tweeting a photo of Kaine as a young Jesuit missionary in Honduras posing with armed guerrillas. The problem: The image is a fake.


COREY STEWART USED RACIST STEREOTYPES TO DISPARAGE NFL PLAYERS IN 2017 CAMPAIGN EVENT

By NATHAN MCDERMOTT, CNN

Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Virginia, used racist stereotypes to disparage NFL players who protest during the National Anthem in an online exchange with his supporters last year.


ON RACE ISSUES, KAINE AND STEWART CHART DIFFERENT PATHS ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL

By EMILY SIDES, Inside NOVA

On the anniversary of a counter-protester’s death at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and as Northern Virginia communities were under a state of emergency as the same white supremacist group held a follow-up rally in Washington on Aug. 12, Republican Corey Stewart told a national audience on MSNBC that Virginias are “sick and tired” of talking about race.


U.S. SEN TIM KAINE AND REPUBLICAN CHALLENGER COREY STEWART DROP BY FREDERICKSBURG

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

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and his Republican opponent, Corey Stewart, avoided direct criticisms of each other in separate speeches Thursday in front of a bipartisan Fredericksburg audience. But they offered some clear political differences during the Virginia Association of Counties summit at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.


A ‘KILLER CAMPAIGNER’ FOR THE GOP SWIMS AGAINST A BLUE TIDE IN VIRGINIA

By ANNA EDGERTON, Bloomberg News

Republican U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock is trying to hold back the tide in northern Virginia. She’s known as an advocate for her constituents and a relentless campaigner, but Comstock represents an area that has all the ingredients Democrats hope to exploit this year in order to flip Republican seats and retake control of the House: a wealthy, educated suburban electorate that’s increasingly diverse.


SCOTT TAYLOR AND ELAINE LURIA AGREE TO 2ND DEBATE

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

A second debate in the 2nd Congressional District election has been organized, a spokesperson for the Hampton Roads Chamber said Thursday. U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Elaine Luria have agreed to debate Oct. 23 at a Chamber luncheon, said Priscilla Monti, the organization’s communications vice president.


CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES VISIT FARMERS MARKET

By DAVID BROYLES, Carroll News

It was a red-letter day for the Hillsville Farmers Market on August 9 with Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith and Congressional candidate Anthony Flaccavento both visiting in a show of support for the effort.

STATE GOVERNMENT


AN UNHAPPY IT MARRIAGE ENDS - STATE AND NORTHROP GRUMMAN SPLIT AT MIDNIGHT FRIDAY

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

At midnight Friday, the split will be final between the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and Northrop Grumman, the company the state hired 13 years ago to equip and run a vast information technology network for state government. The state’s new partner, Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, will take control of a system that serves 63 state agencies and more than 56,000 state employees

ECONOMY/BUSINESS


THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT'S OWNER CONSIDERS SALE OF NEWSPAPER'S HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HEADQUARTERS

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

Tronc executives said the media company will consider selling The Virginian-Pilot’s properties, including its historic West Brambleton Avenue building. Though the Chicago-based firm has hinted at the possibility since it bought The Pilot from Landmark Communications in May, company representatives were direct when speaking to shareholders recently about their desire to capitalize on the newly acquired land holdings.


HEALTH CARE FIRM MOVES CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS TO INNOVATION PARK; PLANS $2.4M INVESTMENT

Inside NOVA

Health care firm Medliminal will move its corporate headquarters to Prince William County’s Innovation Park, according to an announcement from county economic development officials. The company plans to invest $2.4 million and will initially bring 10 employees to the county with plans to hire up to 70 more.


PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY NABS ANOTHER CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

By KATISHI MAAKE, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles)

Medical billing service Medliminal LLC is moving its corporate headquarters, but it's not going far. The company is shifting from 9720 Capital Court in Manassas to Prince William County's Innovation Park in a $2.4 million move expected to eventually bring in up to 70 new jobs.


WAGE GROWTH IS WIDELY UNEVEN ACROSS VIRGINIA

By MICHAEL POPE, WVTF

So, first the good news. Wages have climbed 22% in Virginia since the recession. Now the bad news. That’s only true for urban parts of Virginia. In rural parts of Virginia, wages have only grown 11%. In other words, the wage growth in rural Virginia is half of what it is in urban Virginia.


OMEGA PROTEIN SPEAKS OUT ABOUT NON-COMPLIANCE

Northumberland Echo

After a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Menhaden Management Board on Tuesday, August 7, Reedville’s industrial menhaden operations at Omega Protein will be able to continue fishing for the rest of the year and its 300 employees will be able to keep working. There had been some question about that.

TRANSPORTATION


NORRIS BRIDGE TRAFFIC REDUCED TO 3 TONS

Rappahannock Record (Paywall)

The vehicle weight limit on the Robert O. Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties is being reduced to 3 tons effective immediately for motorist safety while Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) bridge inspectors check the structure for damage. During a milling and paving operation on the bridge today (8/16/18), a VDOT construction inspector reported an abnormal sound that could potentially indicate a safety concern


LABOR UNION DEMANDS METRO GM'S RESIGNATION

By JULIA AIREY, Washington Times

Metro’s largest labor union is demanding the resignation of General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, accusing him of lying to the public about not providing a special train for attendees of Sunday’s white nationalist rally in the District. Thursday’s protest by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 came one day after an arbitration panel ordered Metro to award employees $82 million in wage increases within two years.

VIRGINIA OTHER


ENVIRONMENTALISTS ASK 4TH CIRCUIT TO INVALIDATE FERC PERMIT FOR ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE

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

Environmental organizations have widened their legal assault on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the federal permit that authorized construction of the 600-mile natural gas pipeline through three states. The Southern Environmental Law Center and Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed suit in the 4th Circuit on Thursday, less than a week after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied their longstanding request for a rehearing


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ASK COURT TO REVIEW PIPELINE APPROVAL

By DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press

A coalition of environmental groups asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Southern Environmental Law Center and Appalachian Mountain Advocates petitioned the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of 13 conservation and environmental groups.

LOCAL


LOUDOUN CO. SUPERVISOR CHAIR OPPOSES NEW ROCKWOOL FACTORY IN NEARBY W.VA.

By NEAL AUGENSTEIN, WTOP

Though the construction of a new, round-the-clock insulation factory is happening in Ranson, West Virginia, the uproar it has created among some concerned citizens has reached Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall in Virginia.


STONEY: MORE NEGOTIATIONS NEEDED IN ARENA DEVELOPMENT PLAN

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The $1.4 billion proposal to replace the Richmond Coliseum and redevelop a valuable swath of downtown real estate will not land in front of the City Council next month, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said Thursday. The plan — put forth by a nonprofit development group led by Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II — is the subject of ongoing negotiations between Stoney’s administration and Farrell’s group, the NH District Corp.


RICHMOND SHUTTING DOWN UNSANCTIONED SCOOTER SHARE SYSTEM

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

The unsanctioned scooter-share system that arrived in Richmond before sunrise Thursday is getting shut down. Dozens of electric scooters were scattered throughout downtown and Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus. The scooters belong to a California-based company called Bird Rides Inc. The company did not inform the city before plunking the scooters on the street, a tactic it has taken in cities across the country to mixed results.


FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS 2 FORMER ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY JAIL OFFICIALS

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

A federal grand jury has charged the former Rockbridge Regional Jail superintendent with violating the civil rights of inmates under his watch. John Marshall Higgins, 61, is charged with four counts of deprivation of rights. The indictment, which was handed down Tuesday and unsealed Thursday, alleges that he failed to protect inmates from physical abuse and failed to provide them with medical treatment, resulting in bodily injury. Higgins also serves as vice chairman of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors.

EDITORIALS


LAWMAKERS SHOULD CONSIDER TAX CHANGES

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

When Congress approved sweeping changes in federal tax policies in late 2017, many Americans and corporations received tax cuts. But the changes also created increases for some residents of states, such as Virginia, that collect income taxes.

THE FRIDAY READ


ARETHA FRANKLIN HAD POWER. DID WE TRULY RESPECT IT?

By WESLEY MORRIS, New York Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Officially, “Respect” is a relationship song. That’s how Otis Redding wrote it. But love wasn’t what Aretha Franklin was interested in. The opening line is “What you want, baby, I got it.” But her “what” is a punch in the face. So Ms. Franklin’s rearrangement was about power. She had the right to be respected — by some dude, perhaps by her country. Just a little bit. What did love have to do with that?