Northam says he will not resign

(from Virginia AP) After ignoring calls for his own resignation, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is declining to weigh in on whether the state’s embattled lieutenant governor or its attorney general should step down.

Northam said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that it’s up to Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring to make their own decisions. All three Democrats are embroiled in controversies involving race or sex.

Northam said he supports Fairfax’s call for an investigation into allegations of sexual assault by two women. Fairfax has vehemently denied the allegations. Herring admitted to wearing blackface in college. Northam said of Herring, that, “just like me, he has grown.”

The governor has ignored calls to resign since a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced. He denies being in the photo. But he admitted to wearing blackface in 1984.

Virginia Dare Marina destroyed in fire

WDBJ-7 photo

(from WDBJ-7) Bedford County is investigating what caused an overnight fire on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake.Crews were called to building along Airport Road in Huddleston around 3:45 Saturday morning.

Flames destroyed a restaurant and marina associated with the Virginia Dare lake cruise. The cruise ship was not damaged, but the main building attached to the business is a total loss.

Lynchburg cabbie robbed early this morning

(from Lynchburg PD) Lynchburg Police are looking for two men who may be responsible for the robbery of a cab driver in the city. Today  around 2:40 a.m., officers responded to the 1800 block of Bedford Avenue for the reported robbery of a cab driver.

When the driver drove two men to the above location, the men got out of the car. Shortly after, one man approached the driver, produced a firearm and demanded money before fleeing the scene in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of money. The first suspect is a black male; between 30 and 40 years of age. He is about 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 200 to 220 pounds with his hair in dreadlocks. He was wearing all black clothing.

The second suspect is a black male; between 30 and 40 years of age. He is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds. His hairstyle in unknown and he wore all black clothing and eyeglasses. If you have any information, call police.

Fairfax says he will not resign

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia’s embattled lieutenant governor is urging authorities to investigate sexual assault allegations made against him, but he is not heeding calls to resign and it’s unclear what comes next for the once-rising star of the state Democratic Party. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Saturday issued a statement repeating his strong denials that he had ever sexually assaulted anyone. He also made clear he does not intend to immediately resign.

At least one state lawmaker is calling for impeachment proceedings to begin, but there’s little sign of a broad appetite for impeachment. Lawmakers are set to finish this year’s legislative session by the end of the month. If an impeachment hearing does occur, though, an attorney for one of Fairfax’s accusers says her client is willing to testify that Fairfax raped her while they were college students in 2000.

Assembly Dems, both VA U.S. Senators call for Fairfax to step down

(from AP and Democratic Party of Virginia releases) Late Friday night, the House and Senate Democrats released the following statement: “Due to the serious nature of these allegations, we believe Lieutenant Governor Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties to the Commonwealth.  He needs to address this as a private citizen. The time has come for him to step down.”U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) also released the following statement: “Today’s news is devastating. Sexual assault is never acceptable, and survivors of violence and harassment deserve to be heard. ​If these allegations concerning Lieutenant Governor Fairfax are accurate, then they are clearly disqualifying and he must resign. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is calling on Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign after two women went public with allegations of sexual assault against Fairfax.

Fellow U.S. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine also says his fellow Democrat cannot effectively serve and should step down. A second woman came forward Friday to accuse Fairfax, a Democrat, of sexual assault. She said the attack took place when she and Fairfax were students at Duke University. Earlier this week, California college professor Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 in a Boston hotel room during the Democratic National Convention. Fairfax has denied wrongdoing, called for investigations and said he won’t resign.

Update: schools closed tomorrow; roads improving

LYNCHBURG –  (update 6:30pm) The News & Advance reports that Lynchburg City Schools will be closed on Monday for staff and students. The maintenance, grounds and custodian workers will report at 10.a.m. School divisions in Campbell, Bedford, Amherst, Appomattox and Nelson counties also will be closed on Monday. Some side streets remained icy Sunday, though main thoroughfares like the Lynchburg Expressway were generally clear.


A good shutdown story for a change

(Fox News)  A Virginia woman whose husband is currently furloughed by the government shutdown has won $100,000 and a new Ford SUV thanks to the lottery. “I cried. I couldn’t believe it,” Carrie Walls, of Ashburn, told the Virginia lottery of her win. Walls, who worked for the U.S. Air Force for more than 13 years, drew the winning ticket in a Dec. 4 drawing that was a part of the “Ford Expedition Plus $100K” promotion. Hers was one of 554,000 entries, the lottery said. Walls said the win came at an ideal time because her husband, who the lottery did not identify, is a federal worker who has been furloughed by the partial government shutdown.

Former Governor McDonnell files for divorce

AP 2014 photo

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has filed for divorce from his wife Maureen. That actually happened in November but is just being reported now by WTOP radio in Washington. McDonnell was seen as a rising star in the Republican party before being convicted of public corruption in 2014 for taking gifts and loans – that conviction was later thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stewart stepping back

Stewart Campaign photo

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Republican who lost the U.S. Senate race last month and also lost primaries for two statewide races in recent years says he’s stepping back from statewide elections. The Washington Post reports that Corey Stewart announced his decision to Republican Party activists and leaders at a weekend retreat in Norfolk. About 350 people attended the gathering, down from about 500 in recent years. Republicans haven’t won statewide since 2009.

Stewart lost to Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine last month. Previously, he ran unsuccessfully for Republican nominations for governor and lieutenant governor. During his campaigns, Stewart embraced Confederate monuments and associated with white supremacists. Stewart says he’s stepping back from statewide races for at least a couple of years. He hasn’t ruled out a re-election bid for the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

LPD has new Deputy Chief

Lynchburg Police Department Capt. Ken R. Edwards was promoted to Deputy Chief Thursday, rounding out the department’s senior command staff after former Police Chief Raul Diaz resigned in August. The News and Advance reports that current Police Chief Ryan Zuidema, who preceded Edwards as deputy chief, made the announcement Friday at the department’s swearing-in ceremony for new officers. Zuidema said he tapped Edwards for the role based on his lengthy experience with the LPD