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VaNews

Friday May 25, 2018

EXECUTIVE BRANCH


CHESTERFIELD SUPERINTENDENT JAMES F. LANE NAMED STATE'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS CHIEF

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Chesterfield County schools chief James F. Lane has been named Virginia’s new head of public schools. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Lane, 40, as the new superintendent of public instruction on Thursday, citing his experience in the classroom and central office as reasons for tapping him for one of the administration’s most critical appointments. The appointment is effective June 1.


NORTHAM NAMES VIRGINIA’S NEW PUBLIC SCHOOLS CHIEF

By DEBBIE TRUONG, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The superintendent of Virginia’s fifth-largest school system is becoming the state’s public schools chief. James Lane, who leads Chesterfield County’s schools, was appointed state superintendent of public instruction Thursday by Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Northam said Lane’s experience as a superintendent, school administrator and teacher have given him a “deep grounding” in education.


GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM STOPS IN TAZEWELL

By JIM TALBERT, Richlands News-Press

Governor Ralph Northam brought two pieces of good news to Tazewell May 18. The Governor was in town to sign House Bill 222 but he drew his biggest applause when he announced he had signed the bill reenacting the coal tax credits. Northam said his administration is committed to bringing prosperity to all parts of Virginia said House Bill 222 will help bring that about.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY


VIRGINIA HOUSE TO RECONVENE NEXT WEEK FOR BUDGET WORK

Associated Press

The Virginia House of Delegates plans to reconvene next week with plans to finalize a state budget. GOP Speaker Kirk Cox announced Thursday that the House would gavel in on May 30.


QUARTET AT RECENT CBA BANQUET HAVE HELD DELEGATE SEAT FOR 55 YEARS

By BILL STERLING, Eastern Shore Post

The four delegates who have served the 100th District and the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the House of Delegates for the past 55 years were all gathered at the Eastern Shore Christian Businessmen’s Prayer Breakfast recently to hear Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, another native son of the Shore. Starting in 1963 with the election of George N. McMath at the age of 31, then the youngest member of the House of Delegates, the seat has been held continuously by the quartet

STATE ELECTIONS


REDISTRICTING WORKSHOP FOCUSES ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES

Salem Times Register

You’ve Been Gerrymandered! was the theme of a League of Women Voters meeting held in Salem on Saturday, May 19. OneVirginia2021 brought their Deep Dive into Redistricting workshop to Southwest Virginia, led by Executive Director Brian Cannon.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS


REP. TOM GARRETT AFFIRMS HE WILL CONTINUE REELECTION BID IN VIRGINIA

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

In less than 24 hours, Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.) took Virginia political watchers on a bumpy ride that finished right where it started: He’s running for reelection. Garrett affirmed his plans to seek a second term Thursday after an online news report said he might drop out of the race. His seat has been targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he has raised less money than his Democratic challenger, journalist and author Leslie Cockburn.


IN ‘STRANGE’ COMMENTS, GARRETT SAYS HE’S STILL RUNNING

By CHRIS SUAREZ, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Despite news reports to the contrary, Virginia 5th District U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, said Thursday that he is indeed running for re-election. Before addressing the speculation about his re-election campaign at a news conference broadcast on Facebook Live, Garrett spoke about his work in Congress, frustration with federal bureaucracy and his admiration for former University of Virginia women’s basketball coach Joanne Boyle.


DESPITE REPORT, REP. TOM GARRETT WILL SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

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

U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, dispelled rumors and a media report Thursday and said he will seek re-election. “There is no way in heck that I’m not going to be back here in 2019 as a member of the Congress representing the 5th District of Virginia because too darn much is at stake,” Garrett said in a 25-minute news conference.


REP. TOM GARRETT SAYS HE CONSIDERED QUITTING CONGRESS IN FRUSTRATION, BUT WILL RUN

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Rep. Tom Garrett said Thursday that his frustration with the legislative process and Washington bureaucracy led him to consider quitting Congress, but he has decided he’ll continue running for re-election in November.


FELLOW DEMOCRATS TARGET WEXTON OVER CORPORATE MONEY IN HOUSE PRIMARY

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

Two of the six Virginia Democrats vying to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock are criticizing their party’s apparent front-runner, state Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton, because she hasn’t pledged to forgo corporate donations

STATE GOVERNMENT


LAWSUIT CLAIMING VA. SUSPENDS DRIVER’S LICENSES IN ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL SCHEME’ IS REVIVED

By JUSTIN WM. MOYER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A federal class-action lawsuit that claims Virginia suspends the driver’s licenses of some poor people in an “unconstitutional scheme” will proceed after an appeals court overruled a lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit Wednesday. In 2016, the Legal Aid Justice Center, which represents low-income Virginians, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Western Virginia claiming that more than 940,000 people in the state had their licenses suspended for nonpayment of fees and fines.


LOCALS TAKE WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH AS SUPREME COURT DIVES INTO URANIUM DEBATE

By CEILLIE ​SIMKISS, Danville Register & Bee

Few people are betting on how the question of uranium mining will play out in the halls of the United States Supreme Court, which agreed earlier this week to take up the issue. “We have to wait and see what the Supreme Court has to say,” said Pittsylvania County activist Anne Cockerel, who opposes mining the radioactive ore. “I hope that our guys in the Virginia legislature go to bat for us.”

TRANSPORTATION


DEDICATED FUNDING LAW SIDELINES HALF OF THE METRO BOARD

By FAIZ SIDDIQUI AND MARTINE POWERS, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Nonvoting Metro board members were barred from participation in Thursday’s meeting, the first time alternates have been sidelined as part of restrictions tied to Virginia’s commitment to provide its share of dedicated funding for the agency.


WITH QUIET FORMALITY, METRO CONTINUES ANOTHER YEAR OF LATE-NIGHT SERVICE CUTS

By MARTINE POWERS, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

With little comment or fanfare, the Metro board voted Thursday to continue the existing schedule of reduced late-night hours, a legal formality as the region enters its second year of codified service cutbacks. It’s been two years since the region had regularly scheduled late-night service, when the system closed at midnight on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.


ARLINGTON METRO RIDERSHIP DROPS IN EARLY 2018, AS RIDERS FAIL TO RETURN AFTER SAFETRACK

By ALEX KOMA, ArlNow

Nearly a year after Metro’s “SafeTrack” maintenance blitz wrapped up, Arlingtonians still haven’t returned to the transit system, new data show. An ARLnow analysis of figures compiled by WMATA and released to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission shows that ridership at Arlington’s 11 Metro stations fell by about 4.1 percent in the first three months of 2018 when compared to the same time frame last year.


NOHE: STATE FUNDING LIKELY FOR VA. 28 BYPASS

By JILL PALERMO, Prince William Times

It won’t be official for a few more weeks, but additional state funding is likely coming for a $190 million bypass to one of Northern Virginia’s most congested roadways: Va. 28 through Manassas. A project to build a bypass to Va. 28 by extending Godwin Drive has become the “preferred alternative” for getting traffic moving again on the 3.5-mile stretch of roadway

HIGHER EDUCATION


W&L COMMISSION CALLS FOR CHANGING THE WAY SCHOOL PRESENTS ITS HISTORY

By DARRYL WOODSON, News-Gazette

Washington and Lee University President Will Dudley on Friday released the report from the Commission on Institutional History and Community that he had impaneled last August to study how the school represents its history. Among its 31 recommendations, the commission urged that the school de-emphasize its connection with Robert E. Lee and give more emphasis to other parts of its history.

VIRGINIA OTHER


JUDGE SAYS POWER LINE PROJECT OVER JAMES RIVER CAN CONTINUE

Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that a power company can continue constructing controversial power line towers that will cross the James River near historic Jamestown Island in Virginia. In an opinion published Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ruled against conservation groups who sued to stop the project.


ROSENSTEIN'S CHIEF OF STAFF, ZACH TERWILLIGER, APPOINTED INTERIM U.S. ATTORNEY IN VIRGINIA

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger was appointed the interim U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, effective Friday, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


SESSIONS TAPS ZACHARY TERWILLIGER TO LEAD HIGH-PROFILE VA. U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

By MATT ZAPOTOSKY, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided to name Zachary Terwilliger — a career federal prosecutor who most recently worked as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — to serve as the interim U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, Justice Department officials said. The move will put Terwilliger, 37, at the center of some of the Justice Department’s most high-profile cases,


PUBLIC HEARING SET ON WATER SALE AS SERVICE AUTHORITY, ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE NEAR $3.5M DEAL

By EMILY BROWN, Nelson County Times

A meeting of the Nelson County Service Authority’s Board of Directors last week yielded no final decisions on a contract to provide water to Atlantic Coast Pipeline for construction of the project, but the potential approval process moved forward with the scheduling of a public hearing.


CONSERVATION GROUP SEEKS TO HALT CONSTRUCTION OF SURRY-SKIFFES CREEK TRANSMISSION LINE

By JACK JACOBS, Virginia Gazette (Metered Paywall - 5 Articles per Month)

The National Parks Conservation Association intends to sue the Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service, saying the agencies’ review of the Dominion Energy’s Surry-Skiffes Creek transmission line project failed to adequately consider the project’s effects on local wildlife.

LOCAL


ACLU FILES COMPLAINT OVER ALLEGED RETALIATION AGAINST FEMALE FIREFIGHTERS IN FAIRFAX COUNTY

By JUSTIN JOUVENAL, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The Fairfax County Fire Department retaliated against two top-ranking female firefighters for speaking out against the mistreatment of women in its ranks, according to a federal complaint filed by the ACLU.


LOVETTSVILLE CHANGES NAME TO CAPITALSVILLE

By BRUCE LESHAN, WUSA

Everyone has their own way of celebrating the big win. But a small Loudoun County village is taking it to another level. The town council voted on Thursday night to change the town name to honor the Caps. After 182, the town founded by tradition bound German immigrants is shaking things up.


AT NEW KENT MEETING, COLONIAL DOWNS DRAWS APPLAUSE AND TRIBAL CASINO STIRS FEARS

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

As New Kent County residents filled an auditorium to capacity Thursday night, a pair of tribal gaming lawyers said it could take the Pamunkey Indian Tribe eight years or more to get federal approvals to build its planned casino in eastern Virginia. The New Kent Board of Supervisors had to set up an overflow room to accommodate the crowds that showed up


NORFOLK HAS $1.1 BILLION IN DEBT, LIKELY DELAYING MAJOR PROJECTS

By RYAN MURPHY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

City officials have big hopes for the coming decade, including building new defenses against Norfolk’s ever-worsening flooding and redeveloping a 200-acre swath east of downtown that contains aging public housing communities. But mounting debt that will eat up larger chunks of municipal budgets for the next several years could delay those and other high-profile projects. That’s likely to have the city tightening its belt until it can pay down some of the bills it’s racked up over the past 10 years.


NEWPORT NEWS LOOKS TO RICHMOND FOR NEW POLICE CHIEF

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

Newport News’ newly announced police chief wants to make some changes in the department. The announcement came Thursday that Steven R. “Steve” Drew, currently the deputy chief of patrol and business services in Richmond, would lead the Newport News Police Department.


COURTHOUSE ONE STEP CLOSER TO A REVAMP

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

Plans are moving forward for a new courthouse design, after the Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a request for proposals for a new architectural design.


COUNTY BOARD VOTES TO DEMOLISH COURTS BUILDING

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

Augusta County supervisors voted 6-1 Wednesday to seek proposals to demolish the 65-year-old district courts building in downtown Staunton and build a new facility that would house all county courts.

EDITORIALS


NOTE TO THE VA. SENATE: DO YOUR JOB

News & Advance Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

It’s the end of May, and Virginia — which once had the reputation as the best-managed state in the nation — still has no budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. It’s the General Assembly’s most important job. The municipal budgets of Virginia’s cities, towns and counties are in abeyance, waiting on final figures from Richmond.


WHAT GARRETT REALLY SAID. HE CALLS OUT A TRUMP CABINET SECRETARY

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

That was the most extraordinary political event we’ve seen in a long time. By “that,” we mean the news conference Thursday where Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham County, announced that he is — well, we’ll get to that in time. First, let’s rewind how we got here. On Wednesday, a report broke out of Washington that Garrett might not seek re-election to his seat


DON’T COUNT NUCLEAR POWER OUT YET

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

DOMINION Energy Virginia plans to produce more electricity from solar power and clean-burning natural gas over the next 15 years as it continues to wean itself from coal and reduce its carbon footprint. But another controversial source of electricity isn’t going away anytime soon. If Dominion gets its way, nuclear power—which is currently used to produce about one-third of all the electricity the utility produces—will be an integral part of the energy mix for at least the next four decades.

THE FRIDAY READ


JACK JOHNSON’S BIGGEST CRIME WAS BEING BLACK

By TIM DAHLBERG, Associated Press

Jack Johnson’s biggest crime was being an unrepentant black man who beat up white men for a living. High-flying and flamboyant, he refused to live by the unwritten rules of American society in the early 1900s. That made him a target, and that eventually cost him his freedom after being convicted of squiring a white woman — his girlfriend at the time — across state lines.