VaNews

Friday September 22, 2017


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General Assembly


VIRGINIA CHILD HEALTH CARE HINGES ON CONGRESS

By KATIE O’CONNOR AND K. BURNELL EVANS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

From a sunlit corner of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU on Thursday morning, Gov. Terry McAuliffe touted the state’s success in boosting health coverage for thousands of poor children. But just blocks away, one of the state legislature’s money committees heard different news: Many of those children and millions more across the country could lose health coverage within months if Congress can’t strike a deal.



IF CONGRESS DOESN'T ACT, 125,000 VA. KIDS MAY LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia could run out of the federal money that pays for the bulk of health care costs for nearly 125,000 children in March, unless Congress acts before the end of this month, Linda Nablo, chief deputy director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, told the state Senate Finance Committee Thursday.

State Elections


UVA-WISE TO HOST GOVERNOR'S CANDIDATES FOR DEBATE

By STAFF REPORT, Clinch Valley News

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council and the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy are co-hosting the last of three televised gubernatorial debates between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie on Oct. 9 in the David J. Prior Convocation Center in Wise, Virginia.



UVA-WISE TO HOLD LOTTERY FOR TICKETS TO FINAL GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE

By CARMEN FORMAN, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will meet for one final debate before the Nov. 7 election, this time in Virginia’s coalfields region, which has never before hosted a televised gubernatorial debate. The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will host the third and final gubernatorial debate Oct. 9.



VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE TO BE HELD OCT. 9

By ROBERT SORRELL, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

The final televised Virginia gubernatorial debate between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie will be held Oct. 9 at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Local NBC affiliate WCYB news anchor Paul Johnson will moderate the debate, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the David J. Prior Convocation Center in Wise. Carmen Forman, a reporter at the Roanoke Times, will serve as a panelist and pose questions to the candidates.



AG FACING COMPLAINT OVER STATE'S SETTLEMENT

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

Faced with a lawsuit over the death of a girl who drowned in Dominion Energy-owned Lake Anna, the monopoly filed papers in court saying the state government was responsible. Senior officials in the office of Democratic Attorney General Mark R. Herring chose not to fight that, saying a dozen lawyers and an outside firm all agreed the state should settle.



28TH DISTRICT HOUSE CANDIDATES DISAGREE ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, BUT AGREE ON TRANSPORTATION FUNDING

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

Candidates for a House of Delegates seat in the Fredericksburg region shared some viewpoints during a congenial debate Thursday night, but strongly disagreed on whether to expand a federal health care program for the poor. Democrat Joshua Cole called it “deplorable” that the General Assembly had turned down billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. His Republican opponent, Stafford Supervisor Bob Thomas, said he thought it would be irresponsible to expand a program he said “needs fixing as it is.”



IN STATEWIDE PUSH, JESSE JACKSON PRESSES CASE FOR VOTER REGISTRATION

By SCOTT MCCAFFREY, Sun Gazette

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. used a three-day trip across the commonwealth to push for voter-registration efforts in the run-up to the Nov. 7 general election. At a stop at Macedonia Baptist Church in Arlington Sept. 20, Jackson urged residents to have their voices heard in what he termed as a “tug-of-war for the soul of our nation.”

State Government


VITA SEEKS COURT RELIEF FROM POTENTIAL 'CATASTROPHIC' EMAIL SHUTDOWN BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Virginia is asking for emergency court relief to prevent Northrop Grumman Corp. from shutting down email service for more than 56,000 state employees less than two weeks before the election of a new governor.

Congress


REP. TOM GARRETT, NOW IN SUDAN, HELPS FAMILY OF REFUGEES REACH VIRGINIA

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

A family of seven Sudanese refugees arrived at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday with assistance from U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, who is now in Sudan helping secure release of two pastors who were serving prison sentences on political charges, according to Garrett's office. The family of seven refugees are ages 7 to 58 and will live in Virginia.



GOODLATTE ADDRESSES ROLE OF JUDICIARY AT LU EVENT

By MARGARET CARMEL, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th District, and U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Steve Agee took the stage at Liberty University Wednesday to discuss their views on the role of the judicial branch of government for the university’s Constitution Week. Moderated by former U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt who now leads Liberty’s Center for Law and Government, the wide ranging discussion covered the founding fathers’ intentions for the judicial branch,

Economy/Business


HIGH-POWERED ‘SUPER REGIONAL’ BUSINESS GROUP WARNS AREA’S ECONOMY IS LAGGING

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY , Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A new “super regional” group of chief executives of large employers from Richmond to Baltimore has been studying the Washington area’s economy and has identified weaknesses it says are stifling growth. The region possesses valuable assets, including a highly educated workforce and the seat of the federal government, but its incomes and productivity aren’t keeping pace with other major metropolitan areas, the Greater Washington Partnership said in a report released Thursday.



CONSUMER GROUP URGES DOMINION TO ABANDON PLANS FOR THIRD REACTOR AT NORTH ANNA

By ROBERT ZULLO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A Virginia consumer group on Wednesday called on Dominion Energy to abandon its stalled plans to build a new nuclear reactor at its North Anna Power Station, the latest in a long-running campaign to convince the utility to shelve the expensive project for good.



NEWPORT NEWS SHIPYARD GETS SHARE OF $5.1B SUB CONTRACT

By HUGH LESSIG, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Navy on Thursday awarded a $5.1 billion contract to advance its No. 1 priority: construction of a new fleet of ballistic missile submarines, which will boost the fortunes of Newport News Shipbuilding.



WHAT DO MICROSOFT, FACEBOOK AND VIRGINIA BEACH HAVE IN COMMON? ONE HIGH-SPEED UNDERWATER CABLE

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Only one thing might bring the president of Microsoft, a Facebook executive, two U.S. senators, Virginia’s governor and the mayor of Virginia Beach to the same room. Each has high hopes for a new super-fast underwater data cable named Marea linking the coasts of Spain and Hampton Roads. The executives and government leaders meet Friday morning in Williamsburg to celebrate the cable project’s completion

Transportation


MARYLAND GOVERNOR PROPOSES WIDENING THE BELTWAY AND I-270 TO INCLUDE 4 TOLL LANES

By ROBERT MCCARTNEY, FAIZ SIDDIQUI AND OVETTA WIGGINS, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday proposed a $9 billion plan to widen three of the state’s most congested highways — the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — in what he said would include the largest public-private partnership for highways in North America.



VDOT LOOKING AT ADDING FOUR LANES, NOT TWO, TO HRBT

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Transportation is working on an idea to add four tunnel lanes, instead of two, to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to speed traffic between the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads.



MPO, VDOT EYE FIX FOR I-81 ISSUES

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

State officials say it will take huge amounts of money to fix traffic woes on Interstate 81. The Virginia Department of Transportation discussed traffic and problems with I-81 at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy board meeting on Thursday.



AIRPORT TAPS SKYWEST AIRLINES AS CARRIER

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily News Record (Subscription Required)

he Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission thinks it has found a near-perfect match. The commission eagerly endorsed a proposal from SkyWest Airlines to become the new regional carrier for the Weyers Cave facility at a special meeting Thursday.

Higher Education


AVERETT UNIVERSITY CONFIRMS LAYOFFS

By JOHN CRANE, Danville Register & Bee

Averett University laid off 12 employees in a cost-cutting measure that targeted staff and administrative positions, spokeswoman Cassie Williams Jones confirmed Thursday. The layoffs, which took place Monday, were done to address increasing competition for higher-achieving students applying for college and decreasing enrollment of adult students, Jones said.

Virginia Other


FOUNDATION TO DECIDE FATE OF EASEMENTS

By JOHN BRUCE, Highland Recorder

More than eight months after deferring a decision on a Dominion land deal, and what many view as the future of land conservation, Virginia’s open-space easement agency will revisit the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposal next month.

Confederate Statues


SUPERVISORS REJECT REQUEST TO ASK GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR GREATER DISCRETION OVER CONFEDERATE STATUE

By SYDNEY KASHIWAGI, Loudoun Times

History was confronted and old wounds reopened Wednesday night as the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and more than a dozen local residents grappled with what to do with the controversial 109-year-old Confederate statue in downtown Leesburg. Tensions were high and emotions raw. Descendants of both slaves and Confederate soldiers called on supervisors to carry out their version of a balanced history on the courthouse lawn.



LOCAL NAACP BRANCH WANTS SLAVE AUCTION BLOCK REMOVED

By CATHY JETT, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The controversial slave auction block at the corner of William and Charles streets in downtown Fredericksburg has haunted many black area residents for years. The knee-high stone has been stepped on, spit on, had cigarettes put out on it, and even had people stand on it for photographs, which the Fredericksburg Branch #7069 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People finds disrespectful of black history. That’s why it is urging city officials to find a new location for the block.



KKK FLYERS LAND ON GORE-AREA DRIVEWAYS

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Subscription Required)

The Ku Klux Klan has been sending flyers to Frederick County residents in an attempt to recruit members. On Monday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Parishville Road resident in western Frederick County who found a clear plastic sandwich bag in a driveway. The bag contained birdseed and a flyer that said “JOIN THE KU KLUX KLAN,” with contact information for the KKK.

Local


CHARGING ETHICS VIOLATIONS, PRINCE WILLIAM SCHOOL BOARD CENSURES CHAIRMAN RYAN SAWYERS

By JILL PALERMO, Prince William Times

Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers was censured by four of his fellow school board members Wednesday for allegedly violating the school board’s Code of Ethics by making public, as part of his recent court filing, emails written by the school division attorney.



PRINCE WILLIAM SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO CENSURE ITS CHAIRMAN OVER ETHICS

By ALEX KOMA, Sun Gazette

Four members of the Prince William County school board voted Wednesday to publicly rebuke At-Large Chairman Ryan Sawyers, charging that he revealed legally privileged information in his latest legal action that targets a school division official.



LOCAL CANDIDATES STUMP AT LYNCHBURG VOTERS LEAGUE FORUM

By ALISSA SMITH, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Only five local candidates attended the Lynchburg Voters League public forum Thursday night. Out of 12 candidates running for various positions in the state invited to the forum, Lynchburg commonwealth’s attorney candidates Republican Bethany Harrison and Democrat Carlos Hutcherson; Republican Interim Lynchburg Sheriff Don Sloan; House of Delegates 23rd District candidate Democrat Natalie Short; and Independent Treasurer Robert Bailey came out



SUPERVISORS FURTHER CLARIFY POLICY ON CONTROVERSIAL COURTROOM LETTERING

By EMILY BROWN, Nelson County Times

Controversial religious lettering in the historic Nelson County Circuit Courtroom will be covered during court, but only if the judge explicitly issues such an order, the Board of Supervisors decided last week.



BRISTOL VIRGINIA'S LOW STATE AUDIT SCORE TIED TO DEBT LEVEL

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 12 articles a month)

Bristol, Virginia’s, low state audit score is primarily tied to the city’s general obligation debt but doesn’t reflect recent improvements, the city manager said Thursday. The city is currently in conversation with the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts over a recent report that assigned Bristol Virginia a score of 4.25 — the lowest of all cities and counties in the state — and deeming it Virginia’s most financially stressed locality.



TOWN TO HELP WITH HOSPITAL BID

By DEBBIE HALL, Enterprise

The Stuart Town Council approved a motion Wednesday to help in the bid to find a buyer for the hospital. Following a motion by John “Mac” Deekens, council members approved granting authority to Mayor Ray Weiland, Terry Tilley, town manager and Chris Corbett, town attorney, to make legal and needed concessions to water and sewer rates to enhance negotiations with potential buyers.

TV/Radio


CERTIFIED-ORGANIC CIGARETTES? TOBACCO IS BIG ORGANIC BUSINESS IN VIRGINIA

By JEFF CLABAUGH , WTOP

Anything a farmer grows can be certified as organic, if it meets the criteria. And in Virginia, tobacco is the largest organically-certified commodity in the state. In 2016, Virginia’s USDA-certified organic farms produced $18.5 million in certified-organic tobacco, according to the The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That accounts for 33 percent of the state’s organically produced commodities.



CONGRESSMAN BRAT SAYS HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL HAS MERIT

By JOHN OGLE, WCVE

On Monday, there’ll be a US Senate committee hearing on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal that Republicans would like to bring to a vote next week. 7th District Congressman Dave Brat says the plan has merit. Congressman Brat said in general he’s all in favor of the move toward federalism and block grants to the states where politicians are more receptive to the people. It will depend on how much latitude they’re given.

Online News


JACK EVANS: ‘NO PLAN B’ FOR METRO FUNDING

By DEBORAH SIMMONS -, Washington Times

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan got a backhand on Thursday regarding their positions on a new 1 cent regional sales tax to fund the D.C. region’s Metro transit system. “There is no Plan B,” Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said in a phone interview Thursday morning.


Today's Sponsor:

CGI

As a trusted IT Partner and top Virginia employer for 40+ years, CGI offers deep experience, fresh perspective and proven commitment to the Commonwealth. cgi.com/virginia

Editorials


SWEET BRIAR'S NEXT CHAPTER

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Today, Sweet Briar College formally inaugurates Meredith Woo as its 13th president. This, of course, was a day that wasn’t supposed to happen. If Sweet Briar’s board — the old board, that is — had its way, the women’s college in Amherst County would have closed in 2015 and the expansive 3,250-acre campus today would be . . . well, who knows? Not a college, that’s for sure.

Columnists


MAYFIELD: IS HAMPTON ROADS THE 2ND MOST VULNERABLE METRO AREA FOR SEA LEVEL RISE? PROBABLY NOT, BUT WE’RE STILL AT RISK.

By DAVE MAYFIELD, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Since I started covering the environment beat two years ago, I’ve relied on a trusty shorthand reference to summarize Hampton Roads’ vulnerability to sea level rise. You can boil it down to: “We’re No. 2.” Among U.S. metro areas, I’ve written, only New Orleans is at greater risk. There’s a good chance I’ve been wrong.



HOHMANN: GILLESPIE KEEPS THE DOOR OPEN TO CAMPAIGNING WITH TRUMP. WOULD IT HELP OR HURT?

By JAMES HOHMANN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The big idea: With the Virginia governor’s race neck-and-neck, whether Republican Ed Gillespie chooses to campaign with President Trump could be determinative. The perennially cautious Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and top official in George W. Bush’s White House, has carefully kept his distance from Trump, avoiding clean breaks but never fully embracing him either.



WILLIAMS: IS RICHMOND READY TO COMMEMORATE NAT TURNER?

By MICHAEL PAUL WILLIAMS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

If you don’t think these are interesting times in Richmond, consider this: We’re debating the removal of Confederate statues as a state panel plans to erect a monument that would include Nat Turner.

Op-Ed


MORSE: WITH FORCE OF WILL, FORMER JMU PRESIDENT STEERED GROWTH

By GORDON C. MORSE, Published in the Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

By the time I joined Gov. Jerry Baliles’ staff in late 1985, Dr. Ronald E. Carrier, who died Monday night, had already adjusted the landscape of Harrisonburg and what was then Madison College, a small but attractive women’s college straddling the Old Valley Road, otherwise known as Route 11. Installed as president in 1971 and having seen the school renamed James Madison University in 1977, Carrier kept pushing ever relentlessly outwars. One academic building after another. Dorms. Athletic fields. Stadiums.



DECKER: KAINE LIED TO ME ABOUT HIS OWN PERSONAL OBAMACARE BAILOUT

By JON DECKER , Published in the Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Recently Anthem, Virginia’s largest health insurer, reversed course and decided to stay in the individual market. But that hardly solved the state’s Obamacare crisis, because they are back in with massive 42 to 64 percent premium hikes for next year. But while Virginia residents on Obamacare, including myself, are set to be crushed by rising insurance costs, a small subset of residents will be shielded from this financial pain — politicians such as Senator Tim Kaine.

Decker lives in Alexandria and is the membership director of American Commitment, a free-market policy and outreach organization.

The Friday Read


5 THINGS VIRGINIA SCHOOLS TAUGHT ABOUT SLAVERY DURING THE CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS BOOM

By MATT MCKINNEY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Cities across the country – including several in South Hampton Roads – are debating the future of their Confederate monuments. Many of the public symbols went up between the late 1890s and 1920s, according to a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ,,,The Virginian-Pilot dug into what the state's public schools taught about slavery and the Civil War during that period, using century-old books housed at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

From vpap.org


VISUALIZATION: AIR WAR IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE

The Virginia Public Access Project

In August, Republican Ed Gillespie outspent Democrat Ralph Northam nearly 2:1 in broadcast TV ads. But the trend in airtime changed during the first two weeks after Labor Day.