School board seeks review of transgender bathroom ruling

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia school board will ask the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the court’s ruling that a high school discriminated against a transgender teen by forbidding him from using the boys’ restroom. In a statement presented at the Gloucester County School Board meeting Thursday night, Chairman Troy Andersen said the board decided unanimously to file a petition for an en banc hearing before the court. A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the policy is discriminatory. A federal judge had rejected a sex discrimination claim by Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male. After complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.

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McAuliffe to announce new milestone in restoring rights

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office says the governor plans to make a major announcement on his efforts at restoring certain civil rights of former felons. The governor has scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference Friday at the Capitol to make the announcement. McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said the governor had restored the rights of 18,000 Virginians, more than combined total of his seven predecessors, and Friday’s announcement would mark another major milestone. The Democratic governor has made restoring rights – including the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to serve on a jury – a top priority.

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Song released by musician honors slain WDBJ7 journalists

Alison Parker, Adam Ward (WDBJ7 photos)

Alison Parker, Adam Ward (WDBJ7 photos)

SALEM, Va. (AP) – A new song performed by Miss Virginia 2014 honors the memory of a reporter and videographer who were fatally shot during a live broadcast. The Roanoke Times reports that Salem-based musician and songwriter Tommy Holcomb recently released a song he wrote in honor of WDBJ’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward. The song titled “Forever On The Air” is performed by Miss Virginia 2014 Courtney Garrett. The proceeds from the sale of the song will go to a foundation established in Parker’s memory that supports the arts in southern Virginia. The proceeds will also support a scholarship fund established in Ward’s name. Parker and Ward were killed by former co-worker Vester Lee Flanagan in August. Flanagan later killed himself after a police chase.

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Attempt to override veto of coal mine tax credit fails in Senate

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYVirginia’s Coal Mine Tax credit will expire at the end of this year after efforts to extend it failed yesterday in Richmond. WLNI’s Ian Price has details:

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McAuliffe veto stands; bill designed to keep localities from removing Confederate monuments is killed

WLNI-GENERAL-ASSEMBLYLegislation that would have prevented local governments from removing Confederate monuments did not survive Governor McAuliffe’s veto. It was one of the many vetoes that were upheld yesterday in Richmond. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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State lawmakers vote to shield identities of companies supplying execution drug

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The General Assembly approved a controversial amendment involving the death penalty yesterday when they returned to Richmond for a veto session. WLNI’s Ian Price has details:

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State lawmaker sues Attorney General Herring over unmet request

Va. AG Mark Herring

Va. AG Mark Herring

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia lawmaker is suing the state attorney general for not providing a written opinion requested seven months ago. Loudoun County Republican Del. Dave LaRock claims Democrat Mark Herring is not doing his job as required by state law. He filed papers Wednesday asking the Richmond Circuit Court to order the attorney general to fulfill his request for an advisory opinion about laws against sex discrimination. LaRock says Tuesday’s federal appeals court ruling in favor of a transgender student who wants to use the boys’ restroom at school illustrates the urgency of his request. Herring spokesman Michael Kelly says that same ruling shows “the law in this area is developing very rapidly in very significant ways.” Kelly said lawyers are researching and LaRock will get a response “in due course.”

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Bedford home is a “total loss” after fire

Monte Video House Fire (7)From Bedford Fire Department: On April 20, 2016 at approximately 9:58 p.m. the Bedford Fire Department responded to 1972 Monte Vista Road for a report of fire in a private dwelling. The first arriving engine found a two-story wood frame home with heavy fire showing throughout.  Although units arrived just ten minutes after the initial 911 call, the amount of fire found on arrival along with a lack of water supply in the immediate area hampered efforts.  The original home, which had several additions, was made of wooden logs and according to the owner was constructed in 1765.  The home was a total loss.  No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.  Firefighters from the Town of Bedford, Moneta, Forest, and Huddleston operated on scene.  The fire is being investigated by the Bedford County Fire Marshall’s Office.

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Lynchburg Parks & Rec to host neighborhood meeting on recent Fairview shootings

City of LynchburgFrom the City of Lynchburg:  The Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with the Lynchburg Police Department and other City departments, will host a neighborhood meeting on Monday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairview Recreation Center, 3621 Campbell Avenue. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss recent criminal activity in the Fairview neighborhood including the incidents that occurred in Younger Park and on Maryland Avenue. Residents will hear what is being done to address these issues and will be given the opportunity to voice their concerns and to offer possible solutions to issues that are negatively affecting their neighborhood. This meeting is open to the public.

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Arsonists believed responsible for several large wildfires in SW counties

wlni-defaultWildfires are creating some big problems right in parts of southwest Virginia — and fire officials say arrests appear likely for some of them. One fire got close enough to Hurley High School in Buchanan County to keep it closed yesterday as a precaution. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more:

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