U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine joins bipartisan gun control bill

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine is among a group of lawmakers that introduced a compromise gun control bill they hope will pass in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando. WLNI’s Ian Price has details:

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LCS announces new principal at Dunbar Middle School

city schools logoFrom Lynchburg City Schools: Lynchburg – The Lynchburg City School Board has approved the superintendent’s recommendation to hire Mr. Derrick Brown as the new principal for Dunbar Middle School for Innovation.

Since 2012, Mr. Brown has worked as the Assistant Principal for Amherst Middle School where he served on the school improvement team, the student intervention team, the IEP committee, and safety committee.
Prior to his administrative experience, he served as a biology teacher at Amherst County High School.

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Help the SML YMCA break a Guinness World Record

YMCALeaders of the Franklin County Family YMCA’s Smith Mountain Lake location are looking for people to “float into history” with them. WLNI’s Starr Anderson has more on the story:

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To register for the event click here.

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US court rejects Libertarian Party ballot order challenge

Libertarian Party of Virginia

Libertarian Party of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal by the Libertarian Party of Virginia challenging the state’s policy of listing major party candidates first on ballots.

 

Virginia law provides that the first candidates listed on ballots are those who belong to parties that received at least 10 percent of the vote for statewide office in either of the two previous general elections. That currently applies only to the Republican and Democratic Parties.

 

The Libertarian Party argues that policy puts minor parties at a disadvantage and violates the Constitution. But a three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that it agreed with the lower court ruling dismissing the challenge. The appeals said the policy “imposes little burden” on the minor party candidates’ constitutional rights.

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Top Democrats line up behind Northam’s candidacy

Ralph-NorthamRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam now has the official backing of the Democratic Party’s top state officials for his 2017 gubernatorial bid.

Northam’s campaign said Saturday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Attorney General Mark Herring have all endorsed the lieutenant governor.

Herring announced last year he would run for re-election and not pursue the
Executive Mansion.

Northam, a doctor, is well positioned to have a smooth ride to be the
Democratic nominee for governor in 2017. The GOP nomination contest could be
more intense, with three candidates already vying for the spot.

Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman Corey Stewart has already been publicly critical of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. Republican U.S. Rep. Rod Wittman has said he’s also running.

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Latest Six-Year Improvement Program includes projects scored using SMART SCALE

VDOT-LogoFrom highway construction to rail and public transportation, the Six-Year Improvement Program provides funding to more than 3,200 transportation projects to improve the state’s infrastructure. WLNI’s Starr Anderson has more details:

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For more information about the Six-Year Improvement Program click here.

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Lyrics on the Lake is underway

wlni-fbThe five day songwriting festival Lyrics on the Lake is underway at Smith Mountain Lake. Singer/songwriters from all over the country are performing their works for a good cause WLNI’s Denise Allen Membreno has more:

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Virginia secretary of commerce leaving for new job

Maurice Jones

Maurice Jones

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – One of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top aides is leaving for a new job. McAuliffe’s office announced Thursday that Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones had accepted a position as CEO of a New York-based nonprofit that aims to help distressed communities.Economic development has been a top priority for McAuliffe and Jones has accompanied the governor on multiple trade missions abroad.Before joining the McAuliffe administration, Jones worked as deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also worked as publisher of the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Mark Warner.Jones plans to start at Local Initiatives Support Corporation in September.

 

 

 

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Environmental groups to protest McAuliffe’s energy policies

Virginia Executive Mansion

Virginia Executive Mansion

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Several environmental groups are calling on Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to do a better job protecting the environment and promote renewable energy sources. The groups released an open letter Wednesday and announced a protest at the Executive Mansion on July 23. McAuliffe, a Democrat, ran in 2013 with strong support from the environmental community. But several environmentalists have said the governor has grown too cozy with the state’s largest electric utility, Dominion Virginia Power, whose parent company wants to build a large natural gas pipeline that would traverse much of the state. The open letter calls on McAuliffe to reconsider his support for that pipeline, stop supporting offshore oil drilling and prevent Dominion from releasing treated coal ash water into the state’s rivers.

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ACLU: Most commonwealth’s attorney elections are uncontested

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia says that nearly three quarters of the commonwealth’s attorney elections held over a 10 year period were uncontested. The ACLU looked at every commonwealth’s attorney election held between 2005 and 2015. The group says that of the 381 total races during that period, 72 percent of them were uncontested. The ACLU says that means commonwealth’s attorneys’ broad powers often go unchecked. La Bravia Jenkins is the commonwealth’s attorney for the City of Fredericksburg and president of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys. She rejected the ACLU’s suggestion that local prosecutors have “unparalleled powers.”Jenkins also said that commonwealth’s attorneys may go unopposed in elections because the community thinks he or she is doing a good job.

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