McAuliffe says he’s restored voting rights to 156,000

Governor Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he’s restored voting rights to more felons who have completed their sentences than any other governor.McAuliffe announced yesterday he’s restored voting and other civil rights to 156,000 felons, surpassing a total set by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s administration.Last April McAuliffe issued an executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons at once. But the Virginia’s Supreme Court struck down that order months later, ruling that governors cannot restore rights en masse but must handle them on a case-by-case basis.After the ruling, McAuliffe began restoring individual rights under a new process.The governor, a Democrat who is set to leave office in January, has said he views his rights restoration efforts as one of his most important legacies.

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Republican candidate wants rival deposed over email

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia wants a rival deposed in a bitter fight over an anonymous email alleging an adulterous relationship.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports an attorney for state Sen. Bryce Reeves is asking a judge to allow state Sen. Jill Vogel and her husband be deposed by May 24. Reeves has previously said there is strong evidence the Vogels, or someone at their direction, sent an email to state Republicans alleging Reeves was having an affair with a campaign staffer.Vogel has denied any connection to the email and said in court filings that Reeves is trying to abuse the legal process.The lieutenant governor is a largely ceremonial position often used as a springboard to run for governor.The Republican primary is June 13.

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Audio of Trump travel ban hearing to be broadcast live

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – People across the country will get to listen in real time to arguments over President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban before a federal appeals court.The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said yesterday that C-SPAN will get to carry live audio of the May 8 arguments in Richmond, Virginia. The 4th Circuit doesn’t typically post audio of arguments until after the hearing.The Trump administration is appealing a ruling in Maryland that blocked the part of the travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled on May 15 to examine another lawsuit blocking Trump’s revised travel ban. Video of that hearing will also be broadcast live on C-SPAN.

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City could officially declare that it’s not a sanctuary city

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) – One of Virginia’s largest cities could officially declare that it’s not a “sanctuary city” for immigrants. A Hampton Roads newspaper reports that city officials in Chesapeake are considering drafting a resolution.City Councilman Robert Ike says it would send a message to undocumented workers. Others say it’s unnecessary and could send the wrong message to immigrant communities.Sanctuary cities limit their cooperation with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration laws.A federal judge in California ¬†yesterday ¬†blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut off federal funding to such jurisdictions.A City Council vote would be required to adopt such a resolution in Chesapeake.

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Special education teachers are biggest need in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A new report from Virginia Department of Education says the biggest shortage of teachers is in special education.The department recently released a report to state lawmakers saying the biggest critical shortages include special education teachers, elementary school teachers and middle school teachers.The report did not say how many teachers were needed fill the shortages.Gov. Terry McAuliffe and state lawmakers have tried to retain teachers by increasing pay. Last year the governor asked retired teachers to consider coming back to work to help fill critical teaching gaps.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorses Perriello in Virginia

Tom Perriello

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has endorsed Tom Perriello in the Virginia governor’s race.Warren’s endorsement means Perriello now has two of the leading progressive voices in the Senate backing his campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Perriello earlier this month. Perriello is running an insurgent campaign against the state party’s establishment pick, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and has sought support from prominent national Democrats. The two will face off in a June primary. Virginia and New Jersey are the only states set to elect governors this year.Warren made her endorsement in an interview with the Huffington Post ¬†yesterday. Both Perriello and Northam have been critics of President Donald Trump, but Perriello has made opposition to Trump a focal point of his campaign.

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McAuliffe announces funding for 3 projects, including hotel

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced $1.5 million for three new projects in struggling areas of the state, including money for a brewery and hotel renovation.McAuliffe announced yesterday that he’d approved funding to restore derelict structures in Big Stone Gap, Cape Charles and South Boston.That includes a $500,000 award for the Cape Charles Brewing Company and a $475,000 award for a project in South Boston to revitalize the John Randolph Hotel.The Industrial Revitalization Fund provides funding for construction projects aimed at areas with a high level of blight and community distress.

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Obama to visit Richmond this fall as part of speaker series

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Former President Barack Obama will visit Virginia’s capital city this fall.Obama is scheduled to speak at the Richmond Forum on Nov. 18. Organizers say Obama will present remarks and participate in a question-and-answer session.The former president’s speech will open the 32nd season of the Richmond Forum, a speaker series held at the Altria Theatre.Other speakers next season include Glenn Close, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers and MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.

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Governor McAuliffe honors volunteers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is praising nine individuals or organizations he says have made outstanding efforts to volunteer.The governor recently honored recipients of the Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards at the executive mansion.They include GrandInvolve of Fairfax County, which pairs older adults with elementary school students and Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries of Chesterfield County, which provides free meals to the hungry through a mobile food cart.Other winners include SunTrust bank and Pepicelli’s Pizza in Ashland.

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Conservative group challenges abortion regulation changes

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The conservative Family Foundation of Virginia is filing a legal challenge over the way the state did away with restrictive regulations for abortion centers. The group said Friday it filed an administrative appeal in Henrico County Circuit Court over the health and safety regulations, which were updated in October. Foundation President Victoria Cobb says the administration violated state law in a “desperate attempt to pay back the abortion industry.” The Board of Health voted to do away with hospital-style regulations for abortion clinics imposed by the General Assembly in 2011. The vote came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down tough abortion restrictions in Texas. Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said the lawsuit was a “last-ditch attempt” to impose unnecessary restrictions on Virginia women.

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