CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ The president of the University of Virginia’s Inter-Fraternity Council says he was sickened by a female student’s account of being gang-raped by seven men at a fraternity. Tommy Reid discussed the account, published recently in Rolling Stone magazine, during a news conference called by student leaders at the campus Monday. The school suspended activities at all campus fraternal organizations on Saturday in response to the Rolling Stone article, which claimed the school had a hidden culture of sexual violence. The president of the Student Council, Jalen Ross, called the story a “wake-up call” for the university. The student leaders called for solutions but offered few specifics. Ashley Brown, president of One Less, a sexual assault education group on campus, says change won’t happen overnight.
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office: Timothy J. Heaphy announced today that he will step down as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia at the end of 2014, after serving more than five years in office. Mr. Heaphy has informed President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder of his decision. After leaving office, Mr. Heaphy will become Chair of the White Collar Defense and Government Investigations practice at an international law firm based in Richmond, VA. First Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Giorno will become Acting United States Attorney on January 1, 2015.
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Virginia’s economy is in a “very perilous” situation with potential federal defense cuts looming. McAuliffe says he’s open to considering eliminating tax relief programs in order to balance the state budget. He and state lawmakers met with heads of several large companies Monday to discuss the state’s economic outlook. House Appropriations Committee Chairman S. Chris Jones says the executives told lawmakers to be cautious in their budgeting for next year. The governor is set to introduce next month a spending plan to bridge a $322 million budget gap. He says he is open to rolling back a program that partially offsets Virginia’s car tax.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) _ Dominion Transmission is seeking the dismissal of a federal lawsuit challenging the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. A lawyer for the company, John D. Wilburn, says in a court filing that the lawsuit is premature and unfounded. Five Nelson County residents filed the lawsuit in late September. They say a Virginia law relevant to the pipeline project is unconstitutional. The law allows natural gas companies to enter private property without the owner’s written permission, if the company has requested permission to inspect the property and given advance notice to the owner. Wilburn’s filing says the ability to conduct preliminary surveys isn’t unlawful or novel. Plaintiffs’ attorney Neal Walters tells The Nelson County Times (http://bit.ly/1usX8Hr ) that he and the plaintiffs expect the court to allow their claims to proceed.
The University of Virginia has suspended activities at all campus fraternal organizations amid an investigation into a published report in which a student described being sexually assaulted by seven men in 2012. President Teresa Sullivan said in a letter to the university community on Saturday that the Board of Visitors is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the allegations contained in a Rolling Stone article, along with the university’s policies and procedures concerning sexual assaults. She says groups of students, faculty, alumni and others will hold similar discussions.Sullivan has asked Charlottesville police to investigate the alleged rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house. The fraternity has voluntarily surrendered its fraternal agreement with the university. Sullivan says the suspension of all fraternal groups is effective until Jan. 9.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. George W. Huguely V of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is serving a 23-year prison term in Virginia for the May 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old from suburban Baltimore. According to court records, the justices refused without explanation to hear Huguely’s appeal Wednesday. The Virginia Court of Appeals previously declined to reconsider its decision upholding his conviction. In that appeal, Huguely’s lawyers raised issues involving jury selection and the absence of one of his attorneys when she fell ill during the trial.
Improvements are forthcoming for the Town of Appomattox. Officials are ready to make some changes and have already identified top major stepping stones for the economy such as enhancing shopping, downtown revitalization and developing the Route 24 corridor. Now Council members will direct their focus on objectives such as improving the esthetics of the town, enhancing overall tourism, and creating a “Welcome Center” on U.S. 460. According to the Times Virginian, Mayor Paul Harvey will present the council with a priority list of actionable objectives in January.
Lynchburg humane society has announce a challenge grant. More than 2,150 animals have come through the doors of the Lynchburg Humane Society so far in 2014 which means higher medical bills and food expense for the facility. An anonymous group of local professionals have pulled together resources to donate up to $11,000 matching dollar for dollar for any amount given funds that will be allocated for animal needs; the $22-thousand dollars when raised, will go directly into the operational budget. To learn how to help visit: www.lynchburghumane.org
The City of Lynchburg has posted holiday scheduling changes AND a notice for meeting cancellations for next week. Lynchburg City Council’s meeting set for Tuesday at City Hall has been canceled due to the of lack of agenda items. Council’s finance committee set for earlier in the day, also has been scrapped. Council is expected to hold its next regular meeting on Dec. 9. As far as holiday closings city Municipal Offices will be closed on November 27 and 28. Trash will not be collected on Thanksgiving Day but will be collected on Friday. To view the city’s calendar posted online visit: http://www.lynchburgva.gov
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The University of Virginia’s first choice as independent counsel to investigate how the school responds to rape allegations has been scuttled. Attorney General Mark Herring said Friday that the university agreed to withdraw its appointment of former federal judge and prosecutor Mark Filip. In college, Filip was a member of Phi Kappa Psi – the fraternity named in a Rolling Stone article in which a U.Va. student described being sexually assaulted by seven men in 2012. Herring said another investigator will be chosen because “the independence and objectivity of the review must be unimpeachable.” University President Teresa Sullivan also has asked Charlottesville police to investigate the alleged rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house. The fraternity has voluntarily surrendered its fraternal agreement with the university and suspended all chapter activities.