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First vehicles in 7 years cross the Waterloo Bridge

Fauquier Now

For the first time since January 2014, vehicles rolled across the historic Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday afternoon. Once slated for abandonment or replacement with a modern structure, the 143-year-old span underwent a $3.65-million restoration over the last 10 months. The project began last April to strengthen the Rappahannock River bridge that stands south of Orlean and about seven miles west of Warrenton.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Out of prison, former state delegate Ron Villanueva speaks to 10 On Your Side


A former Virginia lawmaker is now out of prison and looking to start a new life. 10 On Your Side has been covering Ron Villanueva’s story — and conviction — for a couple of years. The former Virginia Beach city councilman and state delegate was sent to prison in 2019 after pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. government. He served less than a year due to COVID-19 and is now released from prison. 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox sat down and talked exclusively with Villanueva about the path forward.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Newport News, rest of Peninsula area get 8 new judges as General Assembly fills open seats

By PETER DUJARDIN, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday selected eight new judges to fill open seats in Newport News and a wide-ranging judicial district that spans from the Peninsula to the Middle Peninsula. Newport News — which is losing three of its 13 judges to retirements this year — got four of the state legislature’s new appointments: A lower court judge elevated to Newport News Circuit Court, and three local attorneys becoming judges for the first time.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Alumnus runs for governor: Pete Snyder launches gubernatorial bid


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, Pete Snyder ’94 saw small businesses struggling to stay afloat. Using his background in business, he started the Virginia 30 Day Fund, aimed at providing short-term, forgivable loans to small businesses throughout the commonwealth. But as the pandemic raged on, the scope of the project grew, and with it, his ambitions. Now, the 48-year-old College of William and Mary alumnus is running for governor of Virginia, hoping to secure the Republican nomination in 2021. At the College, Snyder was a walk-on wrestler, a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, class president and a government major who studied abroad in Moscow. Snyder speaks fondly about his time in Williamsburg. “It was awesome,” Snyder said in a phone interview. “I absolutely loved being in the ‘Burg. It truly changed my life, and I’m not being hyperbolic about that.”

VaNews February 24, 2021

CVEC, Sun Tribe seek permit for solar installation in southern Albemarle

By ALLISON WRABEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Sun Tribe Development and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative want to build solar panels and a battery energy storage system south of Batesville in Albemarle County. Representatives from CVEC say the project will produce enough energy to power approximately 2,600 homes for a year, but will help control costs for all of CVEC’s customers. The companies are applying for a special use permit from Albemarle County to build a 8-megawatt solar-energy electrical generation facility and 4-megawatt battery energy storage system on about 80 acres of a 136-acre parcel, almost two miles south of Batesville along Craigs Store Road.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Four women of color named judges in Chesapeake, Norfolk and Suffolk

By JONATHAN EDWARDS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Linda Bryant has touched just about every aspect of the state’s criminal justice system in her career: local prosecutor, deputy attorney general, administrator of Hampton Roads Regional Jail and member of the state’s parole board. Now she’ll be a judge. Bryant, who will sit in Chesapeake General District Court, is one of four new judges — all women of color — appointed Tuesday to preside in courtrooms across South Hampton Roads.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Advanced recycling bill goes to governor after ‘Great Polystyrene Compromise of 2021’

By SARAH VOGELSONG, Virginia Mercury

Legislation to classify chemical recycling as manufacturing rather than solid waste management is on its way to the governor despite early resistance from the House of Delegates. The hotly contested bill, which supporters say will encourage the repurposing of plastic waste while creating jobs and opponents say will allow the fledgling industry to sidestep regulation, passed the House Monday on a 90-8 vote. Key to its success was a move by lawmakers to yoke the advanced recycling bill to a proposal from Del. Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, that would ban all food vendors from using plastic foam food containers starting in 2025.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Late change in bill could result in more electronic General Assembly meetings, even after pandemic

By PATRICK WILSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Virginia House Democrats approved a late change to a bill Tuesday that an open-government advocate said could result in more electronic General Assembly meetings even when the pandemic is under control. The change, pushed by Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, was controversial, drawing rebukes from Republicans. Six Democrats didn’t vote, and what had been an innocuous Senate bill on electronic meetings nearly died.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Construction of Virginia Beach’s new City Hall building expected to conclude by fall

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginia Beach is scheduled to finish construction of a new $50 million City Hall building by fall. More than 300 employee workspaces are scheduled to shift to the new site between November and January of next year, said Tom Nicholas, public works facility engineer, who briefed the City Council on the issue on Tuesday afternoon.

VaNews February 24, 2021

Goldschmidt: What Virginia owes nurses

By MARY KAY GOLDSCHMIDT, published in Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Nurses have been at the forefront of caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Virginia, working long, arduous hours, day after day for almost a year now. We have often done so under dire circumstances, lacking sufficient personal protective equipment, working while sick and battling near-constant fatigue. Still, we have risen to the challenge.

Goldschmidt is Commissioner on Government Relations for the Virginia Nurses Association

VaNews February 24, 2021