RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Most Virginia voters aren’t paying attention to upcoming legislative elections in November that will determine which political party controls the state Senate, according to a new poll. The poll released Friday from the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows 39 percent said they weren’t paying close attention and 27 percent said they were paying no attention. Only 34 percent of respondents said they were paying attention to the campaigns. Professor Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center, said the poll suggests only about 26 percent of registered voters will turn out on Election Day. Virginia is among a handful of states that have off-year legislative elections, when turnout is usually lower. “These results demonstrate a classic pattern in Virginia’s off-off-year elections,” Kidd said. “A far greater proportion of voters say they intend to vote than are actually paying attention to news about the elections or paying attention to candidates for office.”
HOUSTON (AP) _ Texas prison officials are helping Virginia carry out a scheduled execution next week by providing that state with the lethal drug pentobarbital that corrections agencies nationwide have had difficulty obtaining. The disclosure, confirmed Friday by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, has surfaced in court documents in an Oklahoma death penalty case. Lawyers for Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossi also said in a federal court filing Thursday that Texas is “compounding or producing pentobarbital within its department for use in executions.” Texas prisons spokesman Jason Clark said the Texas agency gave Virginia three vials of the drug, but said the state does not have a license to manufacture its own pharmaceuticals. He said Virginia provided Texas with a backup pentobarbital supply in 2013.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the following statement on the announcement that Speaker John Boehner will resign from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of October: “Speaker Boehner has been a tireless public servant for his constituents. I respect his courageous decision to step down at the end of October in an effort to unite the Republican Conference, and thank him for his leadership in the House, as well as for his personal friendship over the years. I wish John and Debbie the best as they start a new chapter in their lives. The fight for the conservative cause must go on. Now is the time for House Republicans to renew our resolve to unite and plot a path forward to address the issues facing the American people today.”
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Fifty-four schools in 10 districts will share $5.3 million in state funding to develop and implement year-round instructional programs. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the Extended School Year Grant Program awards Thursday. The General Assembly created the program in 2012 in response to a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission report on the effectiveness of year-round instruction in raising student achievement. School divisions receiving funding are Bristol, Charlottesville, Henrico County, Loudoun County, Lynchburg, Manassas Park, Newport News, Petersburg, Radford and Roanoke.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia has joined a multi-state investigation into Volkswagen’s emissions scandal. Attorney General Mark Herring said Thursday that Virginia is one of 28 states participating in a probe into VW’s use of secret software to thwart diesel smog tests on nearly a half million vehicles in the U.S. Herring said in statement that he will ensure that all Virginia consumers impacted by the company’s actions will receive what they are owed. The Environmental Protection Agency has accused VW of installing a so-called “defeat device” to foil emissions inspections in 482,000 cars sold in the U.S. VW later acknowledged that similar software exists in 11 million diesel cars worldwide.
Local TV reporter gets protective order against man who yelled “You’re dead” at him near Smith Mountain Lake
A local TV reporter sought a protective order — and he got it — against a Franklin County man who told him “You’re dead” not far from the spot where Alison Parker and Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live broadcast. It happened earlier this month as WSLS10’s Duke Carter was covering a fund-raising event near Smith Mountain Lake — an event for Vicki Gardner, who survived the televised shootings. The Roanoke Times reports Carter told a judge yesterday that 28-year-old Donald Visel yelled at him from a nearby truck: “You’re dead” and then made a shooting motion with his hands directly at Carter. Carter told the judge he was frozen in fear, coming as this did shortly after the Smith Mountain Lake shootings not far away. He asked for a protective order that would keep Visel away from him, and the Times reports the judge granted one. Visel must avoid contact with the reporter for two years, and he cannot own a gun during that time. Visel has not been criminally charged in the case.
FARMVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s Longwood University will host the 2016 vice-presidential debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that the sole vice-presidential debate will be held Oct. 4, 2016, at the small public school in Farmville, which is in central Virginia. School president W. Taylor Reveley IV said Longwood’s selection was a “proud juncture” for the university, which was founded in 1839. The school said its efforts to host the debate received strong support from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia’s congressional delegation. Other Virginia schools have hosted similar events. The University of Richmond hosted a presidential debate in 1992 and the College of William and Mary hosted one in 1976.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the state has received a $300,0 federal grant to help implement his administration’s energy goals. One of those goals is to lower energy consumption in Virginia by 10 percent in 2020. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the grant to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The money will provide additional expert support for the work of a 12-member panel the governor appointed in May to work toward achieving the energy reduction goal.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Attorney General Mark Herring says Virginia has joined a seven-state task force to combat heroin distribution and overdose deaths. The other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force are New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Maine. Herring says that by sharing information and collaborating on leads, authorities in the participating states will be better equipped to dismantle large-scale drug operations that are trying to profit off of addiction. According to the attorney general, Virginia’s geographic location and makeup of large cities, ports, and busy highways and transportation hubs make it vulnerable to drug trafficking.