If you thank a teacher this week, he or she might win a nice reward

Education-News1This is “National Teacher Appreciation Week”, and here in Virginia, a first-time effort is underway to to thank public school teachers — and help a few of them win some nice rewards. WL NI’s Evan Jones has more.

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Click here for full Thank a Teacher program information

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Poll director: winter Virginia poll results mirror current partisan divide over felons’ rights executive action

STATE-NEWSThe partisan divide over Governor McAuliffe’s recent executive action restoring felons’ rights comes as no surprise to the Director of Polling at Christopher Newport University. The question now is what do Virginians think of the way it was accomplished. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

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Statewide survey shows teen tobacco, hard drug use declining

wlni-defaultA new statewide survey of Virginia middle and high school students shows significant decreases in those practicing risky behaviors — especially smoking. The survey results show  smoking among Virginia high school students is down to just about 8%, and student use of harder drugs like heroin cocaine and meth is down significantly. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.

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McAuliffe veto stands; bill designed to keep localities from removing Confederate monuments is killed

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYLegislation that would have prevented local governments from removing Confederate monuments did not survive Governor McAuliffe’s veto. It was one of the many vetoes that were upheld yesterday in Richmond. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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Arsonists believed responsible for several large wildfires in SW counties

wlni-defaultWildfires are creating some big problems right in parts of southwest Virginia — and fire officials say arrests appear likely for some of them. One fire got close enough to Hurley High School in Buchanan County to keep it closed yesterday as a precaution. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more:

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Court overturns Virginia school’s transgender bathroom rule

wlni-defaultRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has overturned a policy barring a transgender student from using the boys’ restrooms at his Virginia high school. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Gloucester County School Board policy is discriminatory. A federal judge had rejected Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm’s sex discrimination claim. The appeals court’s ruling establishes legal precedent in the five states in the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender public school students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate. Grimm was born female but identifies as male. After complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.

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As SOL testing nears, state expands use of “computer adaptive testing”

Education-News1SOL testing for Reading, Mathematics and Science, begins later this month, and this year, the Virginia Department of Education has expanded its use of computer adaptive testing. Using this method is less time consuming for students because it allows educators to streamline the tests. More from WLNI’s Denise Allen Membreno.

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UPDATE: Teen charged in Younger Park shooting; victims in stable condition

wlni-defaultUPDATE: Lynchburg Police say a 16-year-old boy is facing charges after two people were shot yesterday at Younger Park in Lynchburg. The victims are 19-year-old Tyrik Barbour and a 16-year-old boy, both of Lynchburg. Officials say they are both in stable condition.

Two people were shot today at Younger Park in Lynchburg, and police tell us they hope to make a quick arrest. Sources tell us one of the victims gave them the shooter’s name, but we have no confirmation yet from city police. The shootings rattled some park neighbors like Justin Peters, who lives right across the street from Younger Park and spoke with reporter Andre Whitehead:

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Police did not immediately release the victims’ names or conditions.

(Continue reading for the initial Lynchburg Police news release.)

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Kaine: president needs to propose IS battle plan, Senate needs to debate and vote on it

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

Senator Tim Kaine is continuing his campaign for a Senate debate and vote on authorizing military action against the Islamic State. Kaine says without  a debate and vote on fighting IS, there is no clear message to Americans or anyone else as to what exactly our mission is — or the means intended to carry it out. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story:

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Anheuser-Busch to purchase Devils Backbone Brewing

Devils Backbone logoAnheuser-Busch is purchasing Devils Backbone Brewing Company, the  fast-growing craft brewer based in Nelson County. Devils Backbone is best known for its Vienna Lager, and officials there say they will retain a high level of autonomy.  It is the latest of several such craft brewer purchases for AnheuserBusch.

(Continue reading to see the full news release.)

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