Shannon Valentine named next Secretary of Transportation

Photo: shannonvalentine.net

Governor-elect Ralph Northam has selected Shannon Valentine of Lynchburg to be his next Secretary of Transportation. Valentine has represented the Lynchburg region in recent years on the Commonwealth Transportation Board. She also served two terms in the House of Delegates.

News release: Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon his selection of Shannon Valentine of Lynchburg as Virginia’s next Secretary of Transportation. Shannon Valentine currently sits on the Commonwealth Transportation Board for the Lynchburg District, having previously served as Co-Director for Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe’s Transition Council for Transportation Policy previously.

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Goodlatte: new text messages prove Trump investigators’ bias

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte took national center stage today as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee as he and other committee members questioned Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein. Goodlatte pointed to newly-released text messages from two people who had been part of Special Prosecutor’s Robert Mueller’s team looking into President Trump, saying the messages show extreme bias:

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Committee Democrats say the hearing is part of G-O-P efforts to discredit and undercut the investigation’s eventual outcome.

Click here to see Goodlatte’s full opening statement.

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Va. Dems, GOP blame each other of CHIP gamesmanship

Lawmakers from both parties accuse the other of playing gamesmanship with “CHIP”, the Children’s Health Initiative Program, as Congress has yet to reauthorize its funding. Virginia’s Medicaid program is notifying almost 70,000 families that their children’s health insurance coverage under CHIP might end January 31. CHIP provides health care funds for expectant mothers and children through age six in low-income families. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones.

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State board grants conditional OK on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A panel of Virginia regulators has granted a conditional permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline contingent on getting more information about the project’s water quality impacts. The Virginia State Water Control Board voted 4-3 Tuesday to approve a key Clean Water Act permit. The board is charged with determining whether there is “reasonable assurance” water along the route won’t be contaminated during construction. Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Bill Hayden says the permit won’t take effect until several additional studies are reviewed and approved by the department. They include soil and erosion control plans and stormwater management plans. Pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby says the company is evaluating some of the additional conditions and will have a full statement later Tuesday. Many opponents characterized the decision as a partial victory. Atlantic Coast officials call it “another major step forward toward approval.”

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APCO will buy power from solar facility in Rustburg

Appalachian Power has announced its first utility-scale solar project. The 15-megawatt “Depot Solar Center” will be built in Campbell County. APCO will purchase solar power via a 20-year renewable agreement with Coronal Energy. The Rustburg facility is expected to be operational by September 2019; it will be built near an existing APCO substation.

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Goodlatte: Trump is right in calling for end to “chain migration”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Bob Goodlatte says he supports President Trump’s call to end what is called chain migration. It’s the procedure that permits relatives to follow other family immigrants granted legal status in the U.S. Goodlatte chairs the House Judiciary Committee which oversees immigration law. He spoke this afternoon with Fox News:

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The man charged with yesterday’s pipe bomb attack in New York entered the U.S. legally through chain migration.

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