RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Gov. Terry McAuliffe is warning Virginia lawmakers to brace for “tough decisions ahead” to address a roughly $1.5 billion budget shortfall. The Democratic governor told the General Assembly’s money committees Friday that budget woes are being driven by lower income and sales tax revenue collections than anticipated. The projected shortfall for the current-two year budget is $1.2 billion. That’s in addition to shortfall of about $280 million carried over from the budget year that ended June 30. McAuliffe said the state will fill some of the gap in the current fiscal first year with about $125 million that was supposed to cover raises for state employees, teachers and other state-supported workers. He proposed using another roughly $378 million from the state’s rainy-day fund; lawmakers would have to approve that.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia television station is marking a year since two journalists were fatally shot during a live broadcast watched by thousands of viewers. The Roanoke Times reports the television station, WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, plans a moment of silence during Friday’s “Mornin” newscast. Friday marks one year since 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old Adam Ward were killed. Parker was a reporter and Ward a cameraman. They were killed by a former co-worker who later turned the weapon on himself.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to update Virginia lawmakers on the state budget. The Democratic governor will address a joint session of the House and Senate
money committees at the Capitol on Friday. McAuliffe’s budget update comes nearly two months after his administration said that it would have to hold off on giving planned raises to state employees and others because the state ended last fiscal year in June with roughly $266 million less revenue than expected. McAuliffe’s administration said that total general fund revenues grew just 1.7 percent over the fiscal year, which was far short of the 3.2 percent that officials had projected.
Lynchburg Police say nine people are now charged for a series of armed robberies in July, two of them on Euclid Avenue and one on Fillmore street. Two of holdups involved pizza delivery drivers and one was a woman whose car had become disabled. The suspects range in age from 12 to 24, and most of the suspects are minors.
(Continue reading for the full Lynchburg Police news release.)
From Lynchburg Police: The Lynchburg Police Department’s Forensics Unit received information from the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force regarding the online sharing of child pornography at a townhome in the 3600 block of Old Forest Rd. A search warrant was executed in the 3600 block of Old Forest Rd on August 17, 2016 that resulted in electronic evidence, including computers and cell phones, being seized from the townhome. Detectives with the Lynchburg Police Department’s Forensics Unit performed a digital forensic examination on evidence seized from the townhome. As a result of the collaborative investigation Shawn Kearns, aka “DJ Rant”, a 39 year old male of Lynchburg, VA was arrested by the Lynchburg Police Department on August 25, 2016 and charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. The Lynchburg Police Department is an affiliate member of the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Off-track betting may soon be coming to the Richmond area. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the Virginia Equine Alliance recently won approval from the Virginia Racing Commission to open a satellite wagering facility in Henrico County. The alliance says it also hopes to open an off-track betting site as part of a planned brewpub in downtown Richmond. The facilities would be the first to operate in the state since Colonial Downs closed its track and off-site betting sites in 2014. Debbie Easter is president of the equine alliance, which will operate the new sites. She says they could bring in $5 million or more per year in gross revenue. The alliance hopes that will revive the industry in the state.
From the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office: On August 24, 2016 at approximately 20:23 hours, deputies with the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Triangle Market in Madison Heights for shots fired. Upon the deputies’ arrival, an unidentified male was laying in parking lot with a gunshot wound to the chest. The unidentified male has been transported to Lynchburg General Hospital. The extent of injury is unknown. The deputies are still on scene investigating. We have nothing further to report at this time.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A spokeswoman for Richmond Public Schools say the district has already made efforts to address many of the concerns laid out in a federal complaint alleging the schools more frequently and harshly punish black students and students with disabilities than their classmates. Kenita Bowers said in a statement Wednesday that the district is “working diligently to ensure that all disciplinary actions are fair and consistent.” She says the district has moved away from “zero tolerance-based discipline.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Legal Aid Justice Center filed the complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. They’re asking federal officials to investigate Richmond Public Schools’ disciplinary policies and force the school system to make changes.Bowers says the district will fully cooperate in the investigation. She says the Richmond Public Schools system wants to find disciplinary measures that “balance safety and instruction” and welcomes the dialogue.