UVA to make public reviews of response to rape allegations

UVA-LogoCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan says the school will make public reviews of how it responds to sexual assault allegations. The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1r2m0Lf ) reports that Sullivan announced the move Wednesday at a Faculty Senate meeting. Sullivan established an ad hoc group to conduct a review of the school’s policies and practices. She also asked the Charlottesville police to conduct a review. Another review will be done by an independent counsel. The reviews follow a Rolling Stone article describing an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house. The magazine has since apologized for what it calls discrepancies in details of the account. The university also is being reviewed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ Title IX.

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Investigation underway at Lynchburg Hospital pharmacy

WLNI-MLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Federal authorities are investigating possible thefts at Lynchburg General Hospital’s pharmacy. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents served a warrant at the pharmacy on Wednesday. Special agent in charge Gregory Cherundolo tells The News & Advance(http://bit.ly/1wOF8M7 ) that the warrant is related to an investigation of possible prescription drug thefts. He says thousands of pages of records for the last two years were copied. Cherundolo didn’t provide specifics about the investigation. But he says it includes thefts from ambulance drug boxes. No charges have been filed. Centra owns the hospital. Centra spokeswoman Diane Riley tells the newspaper that she wasn’t aware of the warrant.

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Department of Social Services May Get Expansion

Amherst CountyThe Amherst County Department of Social Services, may be in store for an expansion in workspace. The department has seen a dramatic increase in requests for services within the last decade, the New Era Progress reports there has been 310 percent increase in food stamps alone. According to the article, in a space study made in 2007, the department had already maximized its existing workspace—that study suggested an additional 5,000 square feet. The County Administrator revisited the issue of expansion recently and earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors approved an additional 10,000 square feet, to satisfy the department’s long-term needs.

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Officials Meeting Tonight for Overflow Pond

Altavista_LogoAltavista officials are slated to meet this evening for a discussion regarding the PCBs in the wastewater treatment plant’s emergency overflow pond. According to the Altavista Journal, the Town Manager recently received a letter from the DEQ asking for a plan for resolving the longstanding issue with PCBs; and has requested a timeframe submission by March 31, 2015. In a meeting about a month ago, council asked consultants to evaluate all of the options and report back; the work session today will dedicated to reviewing those remediation alternatives. Whether any action comes is uncertain, according to the Altavista Journal as council has been divided on how to handle the contamination.

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McAuliffe Wants to Require State License for Day Care

Virginia-flagVirginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to require day care providers that receive public subsidies to acquire a state license. In an announcement form the governor’s staff yesterday, McAuliffe will seek the new regulations during the 2015 legislative session. The measure is in response to recent tragedies including a Sept. 19 fire, that critically injured three children two of whom died from their injuries in Lynchburg. A grand jury indicted Doris Lee Thompson last month on one count of unlawfully operating an unlicensed daycare facility. The measure could affect 1,920 day care providers across the state that currently operate without a license.

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McAuliffe proposes Virginia state budget changes

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to more than double the pot of money he can spend trying to lure companies to Virginia, ease school districts’ teacher retirement burdens, and give raises to rookie deputy sheriffs. The governor unveiled these and other proposed changes to the state’s biennial budget Wednesday at a Capitol briefing to state lawmakers. To help pay for the Democratic governor’s priorities, McAuliffe wants to limit tax credits designed to bolster the coal industry and sell off $250 million worth of unclaimed property that’s been turned over to the state. The governor is renewing his push to expand Medicaid, a top legislative priority that’s been blocked by Republican lawmakers who control the General Assembly. Lawmakers will take up the governor’s proposal in January when the 2015 legislative session begins

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Virginia awarded health care grant

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia has been awarded a $2.6 million federal grant to develop new statewide health care models. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the grant on Tuesday. The models will be built around a series of public health goals ranging from reductions in tobacco use to improved mental health care. The one-year grant was awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It will provide financial and technical support beginning in January to develop the Virginia Health Innovation Plan. The goal of the plan is to improve health outcomes for Virginians, regardless of insurance status. The Virginia Health Innovation Plan will be developed by the Virginia Center for Health Innovation in collaboration with public and private stakeholders.

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State alcohol agency fines music festival concessionaire

lockn fest logoLYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ State regulators have fined the concessionaire for a music festival at least $10,000 for license violations. The Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control found that San Diego-based Best Beverage Company violated two conditions of its license for the 2013 Lockn’ Festival in Nelson County. The violations included allowing illicit drug use and inadequate illumination that prevented enforcement officers from identifying participants and their activities. The fines are listed in a final order issued by the ABC last week. Lockn’ Festival organizer Dave Frey tells The News & Advance that the company admitted no wrongdoing. The ABC had revoked the company’s concession license in July. The company appealed the decision and its license remained in effect for the 2014 festival.

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Governor McAuliffe wants to regulate day care centers

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to require day care providers that receive public subsidies to acquire a state license. The governor’s staff told reporters in a press briefing in Richmond late Tuesday that McAuliffe will seek the new regulations during the 2015 legislative session.The measure could affect 1,920 day care providers that currently operate without a license. The governor’s staff said the measure is in response to recent tragedies involving unlicensed day care providers, including an Oct. 21 fire at an in-home day care in Chesterfield County that killed a 1-year-old boy. McAuliffe is set to unveil a proposed budget Wednesday morning that will include $2.7 million for 28 additional licensing staffers to handle the extra workload.

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Salem lawyer confirmed to serve as federal judge

STATE-NEWSThe Senate confirmed last night Elizabeth Dillon for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Dillon is the first woman to serve as a federal judge in the Western District, which stretches from Lynchburg to Lee County and extends north to Winchester. Dillon, a former assistant city attorney for Roanoke, was recommended by Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and nominated by President Obama to fill the vacancy left by Judge Samuel Wilson, who retired in August.

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