Virginia health officials are now actively monitoring all travelers arriving in the state from the three West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. So far, 53 travelers have been identified for monitoring. Health officials say most returning travelers will be considered low-risk. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ The suspect in the abduction of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham will be making an initial court appearance Friday in Fairfax in an unrelated case. Fairfax County prosecutor Ray Morrogh said Monday that 32-year-old Jesse Matthew will appear in court via video link from a jail in the Charlottesville area, where he is currently being held. Matthew was indicted last week in Fairfax on attempted capital murder and other charges for a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City. Authorities have said they have forensic links between the 2005 case, Graham’s abduction, and the 2009 disappearance and death of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. Graham’s remains were found Oct. 18 in Albemarle County after a month long search, but Matthew has thus far been charged only with abducting Graham.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments over the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors’ practice of opening meetings with a prayer. The county is appealing a judge’s ruling last year barring the board from opening meetings with prayers associated with a specific religion. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday in Richmond. Pittsylvania resident Barbara Hudson filed the lawsuit in 2011, claiming the Christian invocations violate the Constitution’s prohibition against government establishment of a religion. According to court records, the board has a 200-year tradition of allowing members to open meetings with prayers that sometimes mention Jesus Christ. The county argues that the Supreme Court has upheld such traditions as long as prayer isn’t used to proselytize or to disparage any faith.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Time is running out for Virginia voters to cast absentee ballots for the Nov. 4 general election. Tuesday is the deadline to submit an application to receive a ballot in the mail. Saturday is the deadline to vote in-person. The Virginia Department of Elections says an application to receive a ballot in the mail must be submitted to the voter’s general registrar’s office by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can mail, email, fax or hand deliver the applications. Voters must return completed absentee ballots to their voter registration office by 7 p.m. Nov. 4. In-person absentee voting is available daily through Saturday at local voter registration offices. Voters must meet one of the numerous eligibility requirements to vote absentee. Acceptable photo identification will be required for those voting in person.
VDOT has its initial budgets, materials, equipment and staffing in place across the state in preparation for whatever this year’s weather brings to keep your roads clear. Last winter proved that weather patterns pay no attention to the calendar, with snow on the ground in various parts of the state from late October into early April. VDOT’s estimated snow-removal budget is $145.5 million for the winter of 2014-2015.
Last winter, VDOT’s preseason snow-removal budget for 2013-2014 was $157 million, a figure based on the average expenditures from the previous five winters. The agency spent approximately $350 million by the end of the season.
Getting through the holidays can be tough –but Centra can help. The first of three grief sessions is being held today. The holiday season is nearly upon us for most, it’s a time of festivities and good cheer…but not for those who are missing a lost loved one. Two Grief Sessions are planned tomorrow; the first from 1 until 2:30 at Summit Independent Living on Enterprise Drive in Lynchburg the second, Tuesday evening from 6 until 7:30 in Amherst, at the Centra Fairmont Crossing Health & Rehabilitation Center. Attendees can bring a keepsake or a picture of their loved one and are encouraged to share their story.
Lynchburg-based Fleet Laboratories has been sold-the company has new owners after 145 years. Family-owned since it was founded in 1869, According to a press release, San Francisco based Gryphon Investors has acquired a majority stake. Fleet’s management team, along with several additional investors, will hold minority stakes. The company makes personal healthcare products; and is expected to remain in Lynchburg. The acquisition was announced this morning, but no other details were not disclosed.
A Liberty University search committee has a set of priorities in its search for a new dean of its law school. LU leaders are eager to hear from candidates about strategies to improve first-time pass rates for students on the Virginia bar exam. The News & Advance reports, the law School’s pass rate for first-time test takers of the July 2014 exam was only 50 percent. According to the article, the university credits earlier passing successes to a scholarship assistance which was offered to the first few law school classes to attract top students to a new program, but later dialed back the amount of assistance likely hurting the law school’s recruiting efforts.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia health officials are now actively monitoring all travelers arriving in the state from the three West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel and state Health Commissioner Marissa Levine announced the enhanced precautions Monday. Airport screeners are providing contact information for travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Those travelers are assessed for Ebola risks and are asked to sign an agreement to take their temperature at least twice a day. Low-risk travelers receive daily phone calls from health care workers, while those at higher risk receive personal visits and are told to stay home. Health care workers returning from West Africa are required to restrict activity based on their risk level. So far, 53 travelers have been identified for monitoring.