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VaNews for Augusta County

US pipeline fighters unite at Augusta corn harvest

By GABE CAVALLARO , News Leader (Metered Paywall - 3 to 4 articles a month)

Pipeline fighters from across the US convened at the Stuarts Draft Farm Market Friday to harvest sacred corn planted back in June on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, strengthening pipeline opposition group ties from Nebraska to Virginia. Different communities coming together in opposition of pipeline construction is the key to protecting the Earth's land and water, said Mekasi Horinek of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma and Bold Alliance,

VaNews October 15, 2016

Attorney General nixes neutrality investigation of Augusta supervisors

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

The Virginia Attorney General's Office has told the Augusta County Electoral Board it cannot investigate a lack of neutrality by the Augusta County Board of Supervisors on the courthouse referendum. Virginia Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Hudson said in a Sept. 29 letter to Electoral Board Chair Ruth Talmage that the office cannot initiate an investigation because of "the limited information and documentation'' provided in the request from former Sen. Frank Nolen.

VaNews October 7, 2016

Attorney General asked to probe board of supervisors' referendum stance

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

Virginia's attorney general has been asked to investigate the way the Augusta County Board of Supervisors is distributing information on the county courthouse referendum. The request came after former state Sen. Frank Nolen filed a complaint with the Augusta County Electoral Board. Nolen has questions about the neutrality of statements the supervisors have made during recent town hall meetings and tours about the referendum, which, if passed by county voters on Nov. 8, would authorize the board to move the courthouse from Staunton to Verona.

VaNews September 27, 2016

Widow's appeal of Atlantic Coast Pipeline survey to test property rights amendment before state's highest court

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

An 83-year-old widow’s appeal of Virginia’s controversial pipeline survey law will come before the state’s highest court to test a constitutional amendment that voters approved almost four years ago to protect private property rights. The Supreme Court of Virginia agreed last week to hear an appeal of the 2004 survey law by Hazel F. Palmer, whose Blue Ridge mountain property in Augusta County lies in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, where it would tunnel beneath the Appalachian Trail into Nelson County near the entrance to Wintergreen resort.

VaNews September 22, 2016

County resident's pipeline appeal in Va. Supreme Court

By GABE CAVALLARO, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 3 to 4 articles a month)

The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from an Augusta County landowner addressing the issue of private property rights in relation to construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The fundamental question is whether the pipeline construction group, Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, should qualify under Virginia law as a public service company.

VaNews September 22, 2016

Forest Service wants re-evaluation of pipeline stream crossings

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

The U.S. Forest Service has written the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to express concerns about an Atlantic Coast Pipeline access a road in Bath County that parallels a stream channel and access roads and stream crossings of three tributaries in Augusta County. The letter from Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson of the Monongahela National Forest FERC was dated Thursday. Thompson asks that the pipeline re-evaluate the proposed stream crossings and locations of access roads while considering forest plan standards and best practices relating to soil and water.

VaNews September 5, 2016

Internet expansion in the works for Augusta County

By CLARISSA COOPER, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 3 to 4 articles a month)

Augusta County is working on a plan to help improve access to high-speed internet throughout the county. On Wednesday, the county brought together local service providers to talk about coverage and access, one of the last steps before finalizing plan for greater broadband. County Supervisor Marshall Pattie said working to provide better internet service won't just help people in rural and hard-to-access areas of Augusta County, but businesses and individuals near populated areas who still don't have good internet options as well.

VaNews September 2, 2016

More parents opting out of SOL tests

By MEGAN WILLIAMS, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 3 to 4 articles a month)

Ever since Standards of Learning tests were introduced in Virginia in 1995, there have been strong opinions on whether the tests are helpful or hurtful, especially when it comes to public schools' youngest testers — third, fourth and fifth graders. But there is one aspect of the tests that still remains largely unspoken about. Despite the polarizing opinions on the topic, many parents still don't know that they have options.

VaNews August 24, 2016

Rallies against gas pipeline plan in Deerfield, Afton

By GABE CAVALLARO, News Leader (Metered Paywall - 3 to 4 articles a month)

Citizens from across Virginia came together to rally against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline at events in Deerfield and Afton on Thursday. About 30 people voiced their dissent for Dominion Energy’s pipeline plan as part of a national day of action organized by Friends of Augusta County and Augusta County Alliance on a local level, and Hands Across Our Land on a regional level at the morning event in Deerfield. The afternoon rally saw about 75 people, including Kai Degner, who is running against Bob Goodlatte for Virginia's 6th Congressional District seat, convene in Afton near the Augusta and Nelson County line

VaNews August 19, 2016

Agency: pipeline build could start next year

By BOB STUART, News Virginian

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday issued a scheduled timeline for the environmental review of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a major step forward for the controversial project. Under the timeline released by FERC on Friday, the 18-month construction of the pipeline could start by late September of 2017. Dominion Resources Spokesman Aaron Ruby said that date would be the time when FERC gave its authorization and decision on the natural gas pipeline. The 600-mile underground pipeline would start in West Virginia, and flow through Virginia to North Carolina. Approximately 55 miles of the pipeline path is in Augusta County.

VaNews August 15, 2016