RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s highest court has struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to more than 206,000 felons. The Supreme Court of Virginia issued the ruling declaring the order unconstitutional late Friday afternoon. In a 4-3 decision, the court says McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers.
The executive order, issued in April, restored voting rights of felons who completed their sentences and also allowed them to run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary public.
Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit challenging the order.
The court ordered the state to cancel the registration of all felons under the order. More than 11,000 felons have registered to vote under the action.
TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Hillary Clinton named Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate Friday, adding a centrist former governor of a crucial battleground state to the Democratic ticket. In a text message to supporters, the presumptive Democratic nominee said, “I’m thrilled to tell you this first: I’ve chosen Sen. Tim Kaine as my running mate.” Kaine himself tweeted, “I’m honored to be her running mate.” The two will make their first appearance together as a ticket Saturday at a rally in Miami. Clinton’s decision caps a highly secretive, months-long process to find a political partner. It’s also the final puzzle piece for the general election, pitting Clinton and Kaine against Republican Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence, the Indiana governor. Clinton called Kaine by phone around 7:30 p.m. Friday to offer him the job, and he accepted, according to a campaign aide. She then called President Barack Obama to inform him of the decision.
Man charged with attempted arson, attempted murder; second time deputies called to home in less than a week
From the Amherst County Sheriff’s office: On Wednesday July 20, 2016 Amherst County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence on Richmond Highway for problems with other subjects. David Tyson Ramsey was arrested for violation of a protective order, attempted arson of the residence and attempted murder. He is currently being held on no bond at the Amherst Adult Detention Center. This incident is the second time deputies have dealt with Mr. Ramsey this week. The first incident also occurred at the same residence on July 16, 2016 where he was arrested for simple assault, assault on law enforcement and resisting arrest. A protective order was also issued.
From the Virginia Department of Taxation: Legislation enacted by the 2015 General Assembly combined Virginia’s three sales tax holidays into one three-day holiday beginning the first Friday in August at 12:01 a.m. and ending the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. This year’s sales tax holiday is August 5-7. During the sales tax holiday period, consumers can purchase qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax. This includes qualifying items purchased online, by mail or over the phone. In addition to the specific items exempted, retailers may also choose to offer other items “tax-free” by paying the sales tax themselves during the holiday.
Click here for the Department of Taxation’s sales tax holiday web page
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A county prosecutor is suing Gov. Terry McAuliffe to force him to release the names of the felons whose civil rights have been restored.
Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman filed the lawsuit Wednesday in the Loudoun County Circuit Court.
McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights of roughly 200,000 felons who completed their sentences also allows them to run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary public. Plowman says he needs their names to determine whether someone is truly eligible to serve on a jury, among other things.
Plowman and media organizations have filed public records requests for a list of the names. McAuliffe’s administration denied them under a “working papers” exemption in state law.
McAuliffe’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Seven state legislators are asking the University of Virginia to explain how operating balances were transferred to create a $2.3 billion surplus.
Three senators and four delegates sent letters to UVA on Tuesday. The lawmakers say they have checked the investment reports, which seemed to indicate the balances were transferred to the fund a month before the board voted to create it in February.
According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch the lawmakers want a 10-year accounting ledger for the sources and originally approved uses for money in the operating fund and the Strategic Investment Fund.
Former rector Helen Dragas characterized the $2.3 billion fund as a “slush fund” in a column in The Washington Post. UVA says the fund is not connected to tuition or public funding.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s attorney general and federal officials are teaming up to fight human trafficking in the state.
Attorney General Mark Herring joined Maria Odom, chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, in Richmond on Wednesday to announce the new state-federal partnership.
Herring’s office says the partnership will mean that Virginia communities and local law enforcement agencies will have more resources and training to fight human trafficking. Officials will be providing training, resource and educational materials on combating human trafficking to school administrators and other members of the public.
The first trainings for law enforcement officials and community stakeholders are scheduled for August in Hampton Roads.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said was a sharp drop in homelessness in the Old Dominion in the last year.
McAuliffe said at a Capitol news conference Wednesday that overall homeless in Virginia had dropped 10.5 percent, from 7,001 to 6,268.
That’s compared to virtually no decrease between 2014 and 2015.
The figures are based on a count done in a single night in January each year. McAuliffe attributed the drop to work done by the state and nonprofit agencies to combat homelessness.
Since 2010, homelessness in Virginia has dropped by 31 percent, according to the McAuliffe administration.
From the Lynchburg Police Department: On July 20, 2016 at approximately 1515 hours the Lynchburg Police department responded to 203 Rowland Drive in reference to a possible electrocution incident. When Officers arrived on the scene they discovered two white male adults unresponsive and not breathing in the yard beside 203 Rowland Drive. LFD responded as well and declared the victims deceased. Upon speaking to several witnesses it was determined that the two W/M victims were doing maintenance work on a chimney at 203 Rowland Drive address. Preliminary investigation revealed that the two victims attempted to erect an extension ladder against the chimney at 203 Rowland Drive when the ladder came in contact with a high voltage primary powerline running between the two properties. The two victims appear to have been electrocuted and died at the scene. AEP and OSHA representatives responded and are currently investigating the incident as well.
The two victims are father and son and were identified as:
*Timothy Lee Chittum Sr. age 55 of Lynchburg VA
*Timothy Lee Chittum Jr. age 26 of Lynchburg VA
The victims have been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke for an autopsy and confirmation on the cause of death.
The Investigation is continuing. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Det. T.C. Barley at 434-455-6162 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900.
From Virginia State Police: The Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office has safely located the missing juveniles in neighboring Campbell County. The Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a Campbell County residence shortly after 5 p.m., Wednesday, where they located Calysta M.L. Tichenor, 17, and her 7-month-old son, Jason Tichenor. Chance Lobo, 16, was also located at the residence. Jason Tichenor will be turned over to the custody of the Appomattox County Social Services. Lobo and Calysta Tichenor are now in the custody of the sheriff’s office. “I especially want to thank the public for the information provided to us during the course of this search,” said Appomattox County Sheriff Barry Letterman. “The safe recovery of this infant and his mother were the direct result of the cooperative and dedicated efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies and the public coming forth with tips.” The investigation into the juveniles’ disappearance remains ongoing at this time.
(Continue reading for the earlier Endangered Missing Child Media Alert)