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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Supreme Court will meet Tuesday to hear arguments in a Republican lawsuit trying to block more than 200,000 former felons in the state from voting in November.
At issue in the case is whether the state’s constitution allows governors to restore voting rights to ex-felons en masse or requires them to be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Republican lawmakers who sued McAuliffe say the governor clearly violated the constitution and ignored decades of practice with his April executive order. McAuliffe says he’s confident he’s on firm legal ground. But he has said he will restore all roughly 206,000 former felons’ political rights individually if he has to.
As of July 11, 9,500 ex-felons whose rights were restored by the governor since April 22 had registered to vote.
From Virginia State Police: State Police were notified Thursday afternoon there was a unresponsive male on the north side of the roadway on Route 122 near Bowyers Loop. The Male was identified as Robert Daniel Miller, Jr. 23, of Moneta, VA. Mr. Miller was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment. The Virginia State Police opened the investigation as a Hit and Run by a vehicle. Through the investigation, involving the Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, it has been determined that Mr. Miller was not struck by a vehicle and was not a victim of a criminal act. Medical personnel have stated that Mr. Miller was most likely struck by lightning while walking in the storm Thursday. Mr. Miller is currently at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
NICE, France (AP) — The Latest on a truck that drove into the crowd in Nice:
Two French police officials say identity papers found alongside the attacker behind a killing spree in southeastern Nice belonged to a 31-year-old Frenchman of Tunisian descent with previous misdemeanor convictions but no known link to extremist groups.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Friday that the papers were those of Nice resident. They cautioned that DNA and identity checks with acquaintances were pending to fully verify the identity.
The suspect died in a shootout with police after mowing down dozens of people with a truck on Nice’s seaside Promenade des Anglais during national Bastille Day revelry Thursday.
The Paris prosecutor’s office, which is leading the investigation, declined to comment.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby says two Americans were among those killed in Nice on Thursday when a large truck plowed through a crowd gathered for fireworks.
Kirby didn’t identify the individuals by name, citing privacy concerns.
He says the U.S. is providing assistance to those affected by the attack, while the embassy tries to account for all Americans in the Mediterranean city.
The French Interior Ministry has raised the death toll to 84 from the attack on people celebrating Bastille Day in the Riviera city of Nice. The additional four deaths were apparently from the 18 people who were seriously injured when a truck slammed into the crowds. Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said extra medical-legal police were being sent to Nice to speed the identification process so bodies can be returned to families.
LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) – An internal review has found reports of child abuse and neglect that were ignored by Rockbridge social services.
The review identified 41 problems, including evidence that a former Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services supervisor shredded reports before they could be investigated. Other problems cited in the report include slow responses to emergency calls, missed deadlines, altered documents and low staff morale.
The review also cites one case in which a child later died. Police are investigating that case as well as others. Susan Reese, head of the social services’ Piedmont Regional Office, says the three-month review, which was completed in May, is “very concerning.”
The regional office conducted the review after receiving several complaints from the county sheriff’s office and other state agencies.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Two Virginia state senators are calling for an investigation into a $2.3 billion University of Virginia surplus.
Sens. Chap Petersen and Bill DeSteph said in a statement Thursday that they intend to formally call for an audit into the fund, which former university board member Helen Dragas called a “slush fund.”
The two senators say the fund should be used for lowering student tuition and fees. They also accuse the university of overcharging for its services.
The university said in a statement Tuesday that the Strategic Investment Fund is not connected with tuition or public funding. The school also says that the money came primarily from additional returns on the university’s $7.5 billion endowment since 2009.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s advisory council on open records has argued that Gov. Terry McAuliffe shouldn’t keep secret a list of felons whose voting rights are believed to have been restored.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council issued the opinion Tuesday, arguing that the list doesn’t qualify as an executive working paper.
The list contains roughly 206,000 felons believed to meet the criteria of McAuliffe’s rights restoration order.
The council also says that exemption doesn’t apply to the list since it was distributed to the Virginia Department of Elections for voter registration purposes.
McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy says the administration disagrees with the council and will continue to keep the list confidential until an official clemency report is made to the general assembly next year.