Governor signs bills aimed at stemming opioid epidemic

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a set of bills that aim to stem Virginia’s growing opioid epidemic. McAuliffe’s office said in a statement Thursday that among the measures he signed into law is one allowing community organizations to possess and dispense naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug. Another measure mandates that all opioid prescriptions be transmitted to pharmacies electronically by 2020. The statement says that while final numbers aren’t yet available, the Virginia Department of Health projects that more than 1,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016. If those projections hold, it would mark a 33...

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Woman attacks professor with box cutter

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police say a central Virginia community college professor is expected to survive after being attacked on campus by a woman with a box cutter. Police said in a statement that the attack happened inside the professor’s office at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College on Thursday afternoon. The statement says a 24-year-old woman cut a male professor with a box cutter and was attempting to leave the building when she was apprehended. Police say she was taken into custody without incident. The professor was taken to VCU Medical Center with injuries that are not...

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European grocery store chain to begin hiring in Virginia

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Lidl, the German no-frills supermarket chain, is set to begin hiring in Virginia for some of its first stores in the U.S. The chain announced Thursday that it would begin hiring 800 store associates for locations in 12 Virginia cities. Spokesman Will Harwood tells the Free Lance-Star the hires will take place over the next four months in 12 Virginia localities, including Fredericksburg, Culpeper, Hampton, Norfolk, Richmond and Virginia Beach. The company says wages for associate positions will start at $12 an hour plus health benefits and a 401k retirement plan with matching...

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Supreme Court could decide transgender case. Or not.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both the transgender teen who sued to use a boys’ bathroom and the Virginia school board that won’t let him still want the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling in their ongoing dispute. The Trump administration has retreated from an Obama-era policy on bathroom use. That gives the high court an easy out if it is seeking to avoid a major ruling on transgender rights. The big issue for both sides is whether the main federal law barring sex discrimination in education protects high school senior Gavin Grimm and other transgender students. Grimm was born...

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Virginia lawmaker leaves gun in General Assembly room

(Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia state senator says she found a colleague’s loaded handgun unattended on a chair in a conference room in the General Assembly building. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch she found the holstered gun on Monday. She says she showed the gun to members of a subcommittee, and a state trooper there returned the weapon to its owner, Republican State Sen. John Cosgrove Jr. Cosgrove tells the Times-Dispatch that he had clipped the new holster next to his pants instead of his belt. He says...

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Virginia bill would empower board to investigate jail deaths

(Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The House Appropriations Committee has approved a compromise that would empower the state Board of Corrections to investigate inmate deaths in local and regional jails. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the panel unanimously approved the bill Monday. If the General Assembly adopts the bill, it would allow the Board of Corrections to ask the Office of the Inspector General to conduct jail death investigations. Earlier this month, lawmakers refused to reappoint Inspector General June Jennings because they were dissatisfied with her investigation into the 2015 death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell,...

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Boy dies after starting blaze with lighter

LORTON, Va. (AP) — Fire officials say a 5-year-old Lorton boy is dead after he accidentally started a fire while playing with a lighter. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue officials said in a statement Wednesday that firefighters called to a home in Lorton around 5 p.m. Tuesday found fire and smoke coming from the garage. Two adults told firefighters that the boy was in the garage. After crews put the fire out, officials say they found the boy’s body. The two adult residents and neighbors, retired and off-duty firefighters who tried to rescue the boy, were taken to hospitals...

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Virginia Senate passes anti-sanctuary cities bill

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have approved legislation banning localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to approve the measure after a contentious debate about what kind of message it would send. Republicans said the bill is needed to show that Virginia respects the rule of law and undocumented immigrants are not entitled to special privileges in sanctuary cities. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has promised to veto the bill, saying it stokes fear among the state’s immigrant communities. Since President Donald Trump signed an...

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Woman sentenced to 22 years for running over friend with SUV

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Beach woman has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for fatally running over a friend with a SUV. Local news outlets report that a judge on Tuesday sentenced 42-year-old Sarah Flanders on second-degree felony murder and hit-and-run charges in the death of 47-year-old Richard Pentz. Police responded to a dispute between Flanders and the victim on Sept. 18, 2014. Two days later, authorities say Flanders struck Pentz with her Dodge Durango in the parking lot of Plaza Middle School. She then left the scene. Pentz later died at a hospital. DNA...

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TEVFD To Receive Award

The Governor’s Fire Services Awards for 2016 will be presented to recipients in eight categories during the Virginia Fire and Rescue Conference opening ceremonies on Saturday, February 26. The event will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center starting at 8:30 a.m.  The Governor’s Fire Services Awards for Excellence in Virginia Fire Services is presented to The Tappahannock-Essex Volunteer Fire Department. On February 24, 2016, An EF-3 Tornado affected over 28 miles within Essex County. Dozens of homes were damaged with 26 individuals sustaining injuries from minor to life threatening.  The Tappahannock-Essex Volunteer Fire Department (TEVFD) proactively using...

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Appeals court upholds law barring party ID for local races

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a Virginia law allowing only federal, statewide and General Assembly candidates to be identified by party affiliation on the ballot. The Powhatan County Republican Committee sued the Virginia State board of Elections over the law in 2015, arguing that it was unfair that candidates for local offices can’t be identified on the ballot as Republicans, Democrats or other parties. But a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously upheld a decision from a lower court, which found the state’s law to be constitutional....

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Supreme Court rejects appeal from Virginia death row inmate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a Virginia death row inmate who killed two people during an escape in 2006. William Morva argued that he should have been allowed to present evidence that he wouldn’t pose a risk of future violence if he was spared the death penalty. But the justices on Tuesday left in place an appeals court ruling that rejected those claims. Morva was in jail awaiting trial on attempted robbery charges in 2006 when he overpowered a deputy sheriff during a trip to the hospital. He used the deputy’s pistol to...

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Regulators seek citizen input on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Federal regulators are seeking input from people in central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. WVIR-TV reports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has the final say on interstate pipelines, is holding a public hearing Wednesday night in Nelson County and Thursday night in Staunton. The proposed 600-mile pipeline would carry natural gas and serve public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina, including Dominion and Duke Energy. Proponents say the pipeline will generate thousands of jobs, enrich local tax collections and attract businesses seeking relatively cheap natural gas. Opponents worry...

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Wrongfully imprisoned man could get $1.55 from Virginia

(Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit could be getting $1.55 million from Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a bill to provide compensation to 60-year-old Keith Allen Harward is awaiting Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s signature. Harward was released from prison in April 2016 after DNA evidence proved he’s innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News. Harward was a sailor on the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed at the shipyard...

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Grants for dam owners in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia is handing out more than $1 million in grants to local governments and private dam owners for dam safety and flood prevention efforts. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is seeking applicants for the $1.2 million in grants by March 31. The grants will localities and dam owners for projects and recipients must put up a 50 percent...

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Upcoming Events

8:00 am Hunter Education Course @ Westmoreland Vol. Fire Dept.
Hunter Education Course @ Westmoreland Vol. Fire Dept.
Feb 25 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
A Hunter Education Course will be offered at the Westmoreland Vol. Fire Dept. in Montross on Sat., Feb. 25th from 8am to 3pm. Register online at WWW.DGIF.VIRGINIA.GOV. For more information call 456-2830 or 450-9082.
10:00 am Bake Sale Fundraiser @ Rice's Hotel/Hughlett's Tavern
Bake Sale Fundraiser @ Rice's Hotel/Hughlett's Tavern
Feb 25 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Historic Rice’s Hotel / Hughlett’s Tavern in Heathsville will hold a Bake Sale on Saturday, February 25th, 10 am to 2 pm. Proceeds will help the Tavern pay for needed equipment updates to their commercial[...]
12:00 pm Brunswick Stew Fundraiser for Bo... @ Tappahannock-Essex Volunteer Fire Dept.
Brunswick Stew Fundraiser for Bo... @ Tappahannock-Essex Volunteer Fire Dept.
Feb 25 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Boy Scout Troop #316 of Tappahannock is cooking up Brunswick Stew just for you for just $8 a quart. Swing by and pick some up at the Tappahannock-Essex Fire Department on Airport Rd, between Noon[...]
2:30 pm N.N. Titans Basektball Tryouts @ A.T. Johnson Building
N.N. Titans Basektball Tryouts @ A.T. Johnson Building
Feb 25 @ 2:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Northern Neck Titans AAU Basketball team will have tryouts on  Saturday Feb. 25th @ AT Johnson, in Montross Schedules includes the following: 2:30pm-3:45pm=7th & 8th Grade Girls 3:45pm-5:00pm= 9th & 10th Grade Girls BOYS 5:00pm-6:15pm=11U[...]
4:00 pm African March @ New St. John's Baptist Church
African March @ New St. John's Baptist Church
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
The Deaconess Ministry of New St. John’s Baptist Church, Kilmarnock will have an African March on Sat., Feb. 25th at 4pm. Music will be rendered by various singing groups from the Northern Neck. For more[...]

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