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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Could “big, honkin’ grandma oysters” rejuvenate the stock?

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – A researcher at William & Mary says that “big, honkin’ grandma oysters” could improve the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster stock. Geology Professor Rowan Lockwood says in a university press release that larger, older oysters produce more offspring. And some studies suggest they’re more tolerant to disease. Lockwood is recommending a change in regulations that would protect the larger, more fertile oysters from harvest. The university says current rules protect the younger, smaller ones. Lockwood also suggests increasing the size and number of oyster sanctuaries in the bay. Lockwood works in a sub-discipline known as conservation paleontology....

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Anne Holton named to state Board of Education

From the Richmond Times Dispatch Gov. Terry McAuliffe has named his former secretary of education, Anne Holton, to a four-year term on the state Board of Education. Holton served as Virginia’s secretary of education from January 2014 until last July. She stepped down when her husband, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., became Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate. McAuliffe also named Jamelle Wilson, Hanover County’s superintendent of schools from 2011 to 2015, to a four-year term on the board. Wilson is now dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond.  Holton and Wilson...

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Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Legislation on School Sports Eligibility

Today Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 1578, which would open interscholastic programs in public schools to home-schooled students, without subjecting those students to the same academic or attendance standards as public school students. The Governor’s full veto statement is below: February 20, 2017 Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1578, which prohibits public schools from joining any organization governing interscholastic programs that does not allow home-schooled students to participate. More than 300 public schools belong to the Virginia High School League (VHSL), an organization through which member schools have...

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Former EHS standout passes

The University of Virginia is reporting that former defensive back/wide receiver Darryl Hammond, who went on to become a Arena Football League Hall of Famer passed on Sunday at the age of 49 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Hammond, a former Essex High School star who played at Virginia from 1984-87. Hammond attended Ferrum for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Uva was the Wahoos leading receiver in 1985. In 1991 he debuted with the Arena Football League and was inducted into the Arena Football League Hall of Fame in 2013. Among the many things that Hammond did...

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GOP gubernatorial hopefuls play nice at first debate

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia Republican hopefuls for governor have played nice during their first debate. The candidates avoided attacking each other Saturday at an event in Charlottesville and instead stuck largely to GOP talking points. Corey Stewart, a one-time chairman of President Donald Trump’s campaign in Virginia, has blasted former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie several times in interviews and social media accounts. But Stewart ignored Gillespie during the debate, which only featured a handful of questions and speaking opportunities. State Sen. Frank Wagner and distillery owner Denver Riggleman are also running. Virginia’s widely watched contest for...

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Virginia man dies in accident while working on car

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say a man has died after an accident while working on his car. Fairfax County Police say they were called Saturday to Prince Way in Centreville for a report of an unresponsive man and a car that struck a townhouse. Police say a preliminary investigation determined that 29-year-old David Sifuentes was repairing his Volkswagen sedan when he asked an 8-year-old boy inside the car to start it. Police say Sifuentes was standing outside the driver’s side door when the car started moving in reverse. Police say Sifuentes tried but failed to stop...

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Police: man fatally stabbed woman in domestic dispute in VA

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say a woman is dead after apparently being stabbed by a man in a domestic dispute. Police say they were called Friday night to a home in Manassas. Police say when they arrived they found an adult male and an adult female suffering from stab wounds. Police say an investigation revealed that they were involved in an altercation inside the home and that the man apparently stabbed the woman before stabbing himself. Police say the woman, 40-year-old Silvia Patricia Ramos Guillen, was pronounced dead at the scene and the man, who they...

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  Route 3 will be reduced to a single lane during daytime hours between Lancaster and Middlesex counties on Feb. 20 −25 FREDERICKSBURG – Motorists can anticipate brief delays on Route 3 at the Robert O. Norris Bridge over the Rappahannock River next week. Preparation work continues for an upcoming $12.8 million painting project of the bridge’s three center spans. The project contractor has started installation of the platform system required to paint the bridge. Route 3 will be reduced to one lane on Norris Bridge from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20 through Saturday, Feb....

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2017 General Assembly Update – Week 6

We are now only one week away from the scheduled end of our 45-day legislative session. This week was a productive week for the House of Delegates. We are finishing committee work, reviewing amendments from the Senate, and continuing to finalize the budget. Additionally, several of my bills have passed the House, Senate, and have been sent to the Governor to be signed into law this week. Brief summaries are listed below. HB 1727 –  Provides that Northern Neck school divisions are not subject to the prohibition against hiring school division employees who are related to a member of the school...

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  FREDERICKSBURG –  Motorists should anticipate overnight travel delays next week on Interstate 95 at Fredericksburg, as crews continue to work on the new Fall Hill Avenue overpass.   Crews will continue to clean and stain the new bridge, which is located at mile marker 131 in Fredericksburg, as part of the Fall Hill Avenue widening project.   Lanes on I-95 will be closed on the following schedule, weather permitting.   Monday, Feb. 20   I-95 Northbound at mile marker 131 (Fall Hill Avenue) Double lane closure 9 p.m. ˗˗ 1 a.m.   I-95 Southbound at mile marker 131...

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Upcoming Events

all-day Lancaster Library Lottery @ Lancaster Community Library
Lancaster Library Lottery @ Lancaster Community Library
Dec 13 all-day
The Lancaster Community Library Lottery is going on now until January 20th. Buy your ticket early this year and get in on the Early Bird Drawing of $1,000 plus you only pay $95. December 22nd[...]
4:30 pm Degree Information Sessions @ Rappahannock Community College - King George Site
Degree Information Sessions @ Rappahannock Community College - King George Site
Dec 13 @ 4:30 pm
Rappahannock Community College will be hosting a series of informational sessions over the next few weeks. They are designed to give information to those who are considering starting a degree or for those who would[...]
6:30 pm Winter Concert @ Essex High School
Winter Concert @ Essex High School
Dec 13 @ 6:30 pm
Essex High School’s Music Department presents their Winter Concert on Wednesday December 13th beginning at 7pm. The theme for this year is “Out of this World” and feature performances by the Chorus, Percussion Emsemble, and[...]
4:30 pm Degree Information Session @ Rappahannock Community College
Degree Information Session @ Rappahannock Community College
Dec 14 @ 4:30 pm
Rappahannock Community College will be hosting a series of informational sessions over the next few weeks. They are designed to give information to those who are considering starting a degree or for those who would[...]
4:30 pm Visit Santa @ Richmond County Public Library
Visit Santa @ Richmond County Public Library
Dec 14 @ 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the Richmond County Public Library at Rappahannock Community College on Thursday, December 14th from 5 – 8pm. Everyone is welcome to meet and talk with Santa and children[...]

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