Virginia Beach police say one of former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s sons has been arrested for driving under the influence. Police say 23-year-old Robert Ryan McDonnell was arrested in the Sandbridge section of Virginia Beach early Thursday morning. Police say he refused a breath test and is not currently in custody. Police say Ryan McDonnell lives in Glen Allen, a suburb of Richmond. Last year, McDonnell’s other son, Sean McDonnell, was found guilty of public intoxication in Charlottesville near the University of Virginia.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia is taking additional steps to make it easier for convicted felons to regain their voting rights. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced policy changes Thursday that will shorten the application process for people convicted of more serious crimes. The changes include eliminating notarization, letters to the governor and other requirements. The application was reduced from 13 pages to one. In April, McAuliffe reduced the waiting period for violent felons to apply for restoration of rights from five years to three. He also removed drug offenses from a list of violent crimes that are subject to the waiting period. McAuliffe says more than 5,100 ex-offenders have regained voting rights this year. The Virginia Department of Elections says 71 percent of Virginians who regained their voting rights this year have registered to vote.
From Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office: – Governor McAuliffe announced today that Seven Hills Food, LLC will revitalize and open a meat processing facility in the City of Lynchburg. The company, a locally-sourced meat processing operation, will invest $3 million and create 43 new jobs in Lynchburg, while committing to purchase 100 percent Virginia-grown beef and pork. The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with the City of Lynchburg and Seven Hills Food on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund. Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am pleased to announce Seven Hills Foods’ new investment in Lynchburg, which creates new jobs and provides an important new market for agricultural producers across the state. It also allows a long-shuttered meat processing facility to come back to life, generating additional tax dollars for Lynchburg and new revenue streams for the region. Indeed, this operation and its statewide impact represent the type of investments we continue to leverage to build the New Virginia Economy and capitalize on the significant economic impact that Virginia agriculture has throughout the Commonwealth.”
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia Democratic state lawmaker is resigning from office after recently entering a plea in connection with accusations that he had an improper sexual relationship with a teenager. Del. Joseph D. Morrissey sent a letter Thursday to the House speaker saying he will resign, effective Jan. 13. Morrissey entered the Alford plea last week in Henrico County Circuit Court on a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for a conviction but doesn’t admit guilt. According to prosecutors, the 57-year-old Morrissey and a 17-year-old girl who worked for him had sex multiple times at his law office in August 2013 and texted their friends about it.
Governor McAuliffe will once again attempt to tie Medicaid expansion to the state budget, setting the stage for another likely bitter and partisan General Assembly session. Last year’s battle nearly shut down state government until Republicans regained control of the Senate. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he has not received any big-ticket gifts since taking office this year, a notable departure from what was commonplace under past administrations. A list of gifts received by McAuliffe was included in the governor’s recently filed statement of economic interest. The list shows the governor accepted mostly trinkets related to trade missions. The statement says he didn’t receive access to vacation homes or tickets to sporting events that were frequently given to previous Virginia governors. McAuliffe instituted a $100 gift limit shortly after taking office. He said it was part of an effort to clean up Virginia’ reputation. McAuliffe’s predecessor, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, was found guilty in September of illegally accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans in exchange for promoting dietary supplements.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is awarding grants to groups across the state for youth tobacco-use prevention programs. The foundation says the $9.2 million in funding over the next three years for 62 groups will fund classroom-based prevention programs for preschool through high school students. Officials also say 24 other groups will share $48,000 to start or support chapters of its teen volunteer group that promotes healthy, tobacco-free lifestyles for youth. Y Street was named the top youth advocacy group for tobacco-use prevention in the nation in 2011 by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. In 2013, the group added 527 new members, who collectively completed nearly 1,000 projects and volunteered more than 3,000 hours. Since 2004, more than 7,000 teens statewide have participated in Y Street.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan says the school will make public reviews of how it responds to sexual assault allegations. The Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1r2m0Lf ) reports that Sullivan announced the move Wednesday at a Faculty Senate meeting. Sullivan established an ad hoc group to conduct a review of the school’s policies and practices. She also asked the Charlottesville police to conduct a review. Another review will be done by an independent counsel. The reviews follow a Rolling Stone article describing an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house. The magazine has since apologized for what it calls discrepancies in details of the account. The university also is being reviewed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ Title IX.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Federal authorities are investigating possible thefts at Lynchburg General Hospital’s pharmacy. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents served a warrant at the pharmacy on Wednesday. Special agent in charge Gregory Cherundolo tells The News & Advance(http://bit.ly/1wOF8M7 ) that the warrant is related to an investigation of possible prescription drug thefts. He says thousands of pages of records for the last two years were copied. Cherundolo didn’t provide specifics about the investigation. But he says it includes thefts from ambulance drug boxes. No charges have been filed. Centra owns the hospital. Centra spokeswoman Diane Riley tells the newspaper that she wasn’t aware of the warrant.
The Amherst County Department of Social Services, may be in store for an expansion in workspace. The department has seen a dramatic increase in requests for services within the last decade, the New Era Progress reports there has been 310 percent increase in food stamps alone. According to the article, in a space study made in 2007, the department had already maximized its existing workspace—that study suggested an additional 5,000 square feet. The County Administrator revisited the issue of expansion recently and earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors approved an additional 10,000 square feet, to satisfy the department’s long-term needs.