Virginia’s attorney general calls for cash bail reform

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s attorney general has called for reforms to the state’s cash bail system. Mark Herring says the current practice of seeking cash bail leaves many nonviolent defendants unable to afford to get out of jail while they are awaiting trial. Herring said the practice raises possible constitutional concerns and puts an undue burden on low-income defendants. Herring said the state has other ways of keeping communities safe and ensuring that defendants show up in court, including pretrial supervision. The move away from cash bail has gained support at the state and national level. In New Jersey, cash bail was all but eliminated in 2017. In April, Richmond’s top prosecutor said he would no longer seek cash bail for defendants who do not appear to pose a risk to the community.

Kaine’s other campaign: to help Democrats flip VA House seats

Senator Tim Kaine continues to hold a comfortable lead in all statewide polls, and that helps him campaign for something else in next month’s elections — control of the House of Representatives. His campaign is running ads aimed at black and Hispanic voters as part of the effort to boost turnout in several Virginia Congressional districts Democrats hope to flip this year. WLNI’s Evan Jones has the story:

10-23 Kaine-House Wrap-WLNI-WEB

Deadline approaching to request an absentee ballot by mail

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia voters have just over a week left to request an absentee ballot to complete by mail.The state doesn’t have early voting but allows absentee voting if you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day for a variety of reasons. The deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is 5 p.m. Oct. 30. You can do so online or by contacting or visiting a registrar’s office.Absentee ballots must be returned to your local general registrar’s office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, which is Nov.  6. Voters can also complete an absentee ballot in person through Nov. 3. Qualifying reasons for absentee voting include pregnancy, a religious obligation or personal business or vacation outside where you live on Election Day.

No jackpot, but Franklin Co. ticket is a $1 million winner

As those big lottery jackpots keep growing, one ticket bought in our area is presumably a pretty good consolation prize — a $1 million winner. The Virginia Lottery reports it was a MegaMillions ticket purcased at the Whistle Stop along Route 40 east of Rocky Mount in Franklin County. And somebody bought a ticket at the Towne Square Kroger in Roanoke worth $10,000.

From the Virginia Lottery: More than 336,000 tickets bought in Virginia won prizes in the Friday, October 19, Mega Millions drawing. But no ticket in Virginia or anywhere else matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, so the jackpot for the Tuesday, October 23, drawing grows to a jaw-dropping $1.6 billion.

Two Virginia tickets each won $1 million in Friday’s drawing. Those tickets were bought at:

  • Gum Spring BP, 911 Cross Country Road in Mineral
  • Whistle Stop, 11729 Old Franklin Turnpike in Union Hall

Read the rest of this story »

High winds knock out power to 60,000+ Apco customers

From Appalachian Power Noon Sunday: The power is out for more than 60,000 Appalachian Power customers after an unexpected wind storm swept through the service area late Saturday into early Sunday morning. The storm, which was not forecasted, included gusts of almost 60 MPH, which impacted electric service. The hardest hit areas are in West Virginia where more than 46,000 customers are currently without power. In Virginia, more than 14,000 customers do not have electric service. Our employees are assessing the situation this morning to determine the full impact on transmission stations and distribution lines.  As outages are cleared, crews will move into these more heavily damaged areas to assist in restoration. Customers in these areas should check the Outage Map at www.AppalachianPower/OutageMap for the most up-to-date restoration times.

Read the rest of this story »

In Virginia, Pence stumps for 3 GOP congressional candidates

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has stumped in Virginia with three Republican congressional candidates ahead of midterm elections 2½ weeks away. He traveled to Richmond to rally Republican voters with Rep. Dave Brat, Ryan McAdams and Denver Riggleman. The candidates met Pence at Richmond’s international airport.

Read the rest of this story »