RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal court has appointed a special expert to assist it in redrawing Virginia’s congressional boundaries. Judge Albert Diaz of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a court filing Wednesday that a judicial panel has selected Dr. Bernard Grofman, an economics and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine. In June, the panel concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into one district in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents. The three-judge panel ordered the General Assembly to redraw new maps by Sept. 1, but lawmakers balked and the court is going to redraw the boundaries itself.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Court of Appeals has dismissed prosecutors’ efforts to retry a felony case against a former Virginia state lawmaker who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in a sex scandal involving a teenager. The court upheld Tuesday an earlier dismissal of four felony counts accusing ex-Virginia Del. Joseph D. Morrissey of fabricating court documents. The appeals court said it lacked the authority to review the immunity provisions that were part of the plea deal Morrissey signed in December. A Henrico County judge also dismissed perjury charges in June against the mother of the young woman. Morrissey, who fathered a child with the young woman and said he intends to marry her, recently dropped out of a state Senate contest for health reasons.
Here’s the news release from the department: The Lynchburg Police Department has been awarded $205,486 to assist us with the purchasing and implementation of a body worn camera system. This grant will require a $213,692 match for a total of $419,178. Though these funds have been awarded by the Office of Justice Programs/Department of Justice they still need to be accepted which will require City Council action. It is slated to be brought to Council on Tuesday, October 27th. If this award is accepted it will assist the Lynchburg Police Department with the purchase of 175 camera systems, mounting kits, docking stations, assurance program and storage fees. This will allow for every Lynchburg Police Department officer to be assigned a body-worn camera.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A panel formed after the violent arrest of a student by Virginia’s liquor agency has declined to recommend stripping the agency of its arrest powers. Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed the panel after a March arrest by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents left a college student bloodied. Video and photos of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson were widely distributed on social media. Johnson, who is black, could be heard on the video calling the officers racist. Charges against him were dropped. One of the issues considered by McAuliffe’s panel was whether ABC’s law enforcement powers should be shifted to state or local police. In its report issued Tuesday, the panel said “the public safety of Virginia is best served by Virginia ABC.” However, the panel recommended that the agency emphasize regulatory activities over law enforcement.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Forty-five local tourism initiatives will share more than $796,000 in state matching grants. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program on Monday. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of two to one. The governor’s office says the result will be more than $3.3 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia. Grant amounts range from $1,700 for the Southwest Virginia Lavender Trail to $50,000 for six programs: The Half-Mile of Mayhem at Martinsville Speedway, The Lynchburg Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau Website Development, Wytheville … There’s Only One, New Ways to Market America’s Historic Triangle, Millennial Marketing Campaign in Abingdon and Mercy Street in Alexandria.
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Military Institute says a cadet died after he collapsed during routine physical training. The Lexington school says the first-year cadet collapsed on Monday afternoon. He was treated at the scene by emergency medical technicians and taken to the VMI Infirmary. He then was taken to Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. The cadet’s name hasn’t been released, pending notification of family members. VMI says in statement posted on its website that the cadet’s death is under investigation.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Two Powerball tickets bought in Virginia each have won $2 million. The Virginia Lottery says each ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball number in Saturday’s drawing. Each ticket’s $1 million prize was doubled because the purchasers paid an extra dollar for Power Play. The winning numbers were 12-17-26-43-48 and the Powerball number was 24. One ticket was bought at Mick or Mack IGA in New Castle. The other ticket was bought at a Wawa store in Virginia Beach. Each store will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery. No ticket sold for Saturday’s drawing matched all six numbers. The Lottery says the Powerball jackpot will grow to an estimated $235 million for Wednesday’s drawing.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The University of Virginia will request about $140 million in additional state funding over the next two fiscal years. The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1Kq5Cay ) reports that the university’s Board of Visitors on Thursday approved the request, which includes $90 million in operational funds and $50 million in capital funds. University Vice President for Management and Budget Colette Sheehy says neither financial aid nor faculty salaries were included in the request. About $13 million of the requested funds would go toward improving the university’s information technology security. The university is also hoping to receive $21.5 million to renovate a medical research building. The requests will go to the office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, which will release a formal budget recommendation in December. The General Assembly will evaluate the recommendation next year.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ A Lynchburg woman faces charges of bringing a loaded gun to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The Transportation Security Administration says a TSA officer staffing a checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun on Wednesday. The TSA said Thursday that the gun was loaded with seven rounds, along with one round in the chamber. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police cited the woman on a weapons charge and confiscated the gun. The TSA says in a news release that the airport’s operations weren’t affected.
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) _ About 20 students at a Virginia high school received a one-day suspension for wearing clothing displaying the Confederate flag. Montgomery County Public Schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake says the clothing violated Christiansburg High School’s dress code. Drake says the students refused to comply with the dress code after they arrived at the school Thursday in the clothing. They were given one-day in-school suspensions. But she says a majority of the students didn’t follow in-school suspension rules and were given out of-school suspensions. Confederate symbols have come under increased public scrutiny since the June 17 massacre of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The man charged had been photographed holding the Confederate battle flag.