RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Elementary and middle school students who fail this spring’s Standards of Learning tests by narrow margins or because of extenuating circumstances can retake the exams before the end of the school year. The Board of Education approved a resolution Thursday allowing the expedited retesting in grades three through eight, with the exception of the eight-grade writing test. Board president Christian Braunlich says these aren’t high-stakes tests, but the board wants to be responsive to students who want a second chance before the end of the year. Expedited retakes have been allowed since 2000 for high school students who barely fail end-of-course exams linked to diploma requirements.
This Friday, as part of First Friday, the Lynchburg Museum on Court Street will be open free of charge from 5:00 p.m. until 8 p.m. and will feature artifacts highlighting the history of the Lynchburg Police Department. Objects on display will include uniforms from Captain Rick Scalf and Detective Charlie Snow, a bulletproof vest, historic photographs, newspaper clippings, nightsticks, and a mug shot sign. The artifacts will remain on display throughout the weekend.
Beginning Wednesday, and continuing through Wednesday, April 8, milling and paving operations will be conducted on Boonsboro Road between Irvington Springs Road and Meriwether Road. Traffic will be restricted to one lane. Motorists should use caution while traveling though the work zone. The work will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Residents in Danville and Lynchburg woke up to record cold temperatures on Sunday morning. The National Weather Service says the temperature in Danville dropped to 21 degrees. That broke the old record of 23 degrees in 1982. Lynchburg’s low temperature was 17 degrees, which also broke a record set in 1982. The old record was 23 degrees. The weather service says a Canadian high pressure system over the southern Appalachian mountains produced a hard freeze over most of the region early Sunday morning. Temperatures were expected to remain 10 degrees to 25 degrees below seasonable levels on Sunday from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Ohio River Valley.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants a $100 aggregate gift cap for state lawmakers and is vetoing several pro-gun bills. McAuliffe told reporters at a Capitol news conference Friday that he was amending a last-minute ethics package lawmakers passed last month. The governor said he wants lawmakers to be barred from accepting repeated gifts from lobbyists. Lawmakers wanted gifts capped a $100 per gift rather than an aggregate limit. The Democratic governor said he’s also vetoing a handful of pro-gun bills. The Republican-controlled General Assembly defeated several gun-control bills the governor supported in this year’s legislative session, which ended in February. State lawmakers are due back in Richmond to consider McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments on April 15.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is launching an effort aimed at combatting predatory lending. Herring announced the move Thursday at a field hearing of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Richmond. The agency announced proposed rules to set standards for the industry. Herring’s office is aiming to develop a plan to revitalize consumer protection efforts by May 1. Critics of payday lending say short-term, high-interest loans prey on the poor. Defenders counter that they offer an option for people who find themselves in a desperate financial fix. Virginia’s efforts in regard to predatory lending will focus on enforcement actions, education and prevention, strengthening and expanding partnerships with other groups and examining new laws. Herring’s strategy also will include alternative lending solutions for consumers.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ State education officials are developing regulations to limit the use of restraint and seclusion to discipline unruly students. Signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia legislation requires the state Board of Education to develop the statewide regulations governing the use of those disciplinary practices. Critics say such techniques are almost always unnecessary to keep order in the classroom. The law was passed over the objections of lobbyists for school boards and principals who said it would allow school administrators too little discretion. The regulations will be drafted by November. Then they will be presented for public comment at a minimum of two hearings. Virginia is the 33rd state to govern the use of seclusion and restraint in schools by law or regulation.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ One charge filed against the suspect in the slaying of a University of Virginia student has been dropped in Charlottesville because the same charge is being pursued in Albemarle County, where the woman’s body was found. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. appeared by way of video feed into Charlottesville General District Court on Thursday as a charge of abduction with intent to defile was dropped. He is being held for trial, which is scheduled for June. The 33-year-old Charlottesville man has been charged in Albemarle County with first degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. He also is charged with abduction with intent to defile. Graham disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. The remains of the northern Virginia woman were found Oct. 18.