On the one-year anniversary of a special session he convened last summer to address gun violence – one gaveled down by Republican lawmakers who then controlled the General Assembly – Governor Northam today signed a number of new measures dealing with gun control issues. There are new state laws to require background checks on all gun sales, that establish an Extreme Risk Protective Order, reinstate Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month policy, mandate the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and prevent children from accessing firearms.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday that they are canceling the multi-state natural gas project, citing delays and increasing cost uncertainty. Despite a victory last month at the United States Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a news release that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the $8 billion project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina.
In response, Clean Virginia Executive Director Brennan Gilmore said (in a Clean Virginia news release): “Today marks a huge win for Virginia. For years, communities across the Commonwealth have fervently opposed the unnecessary and dangerous Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the most acute manifestation of Dominion Energy’s commitment to putting its financial interests above the health and economic well-being of Virginians. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many Virginians, from community activists to environmental lawyers, who successfully fought this project. We also thank Virginia’s General Assembly, which unanimously passed a law this year that created serious obstacles for Dominion Energy to pass the ballooning cost of the pipeline onto Virginians.”
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A shooting at a nightclub early Sunday left two people dead and eight wounded in South Carolina, a sheriff’s official said. Two Greenville County sheriff’s deputies noticed a disturbance at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and saw a large crowd running out of the building, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said at a press conference. There was “active gunfire from inside the building,” Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in an initial statement, and Lewis said all the shots were fired inside.
Both Lewis and Bolt initially said 12 people had been wounded — with at least four in critical condition, Lewis said — but Bolt told The Associated Press that two victims were likely counted twice in the confusion at the hospital.
No one was immediately taken into custody. Bolt told the AP that the sheriff’s office was looking for two suspects, but couldn’t provide names or descriptions.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder is accusing the state’s library agency of racism for its slow pace in processing and publicly presenting records from his tenure as the nation’s first elected Black governor. Wilder, 89, says he doesn’t understand why the Library of Virginia has been processing papers from his gubernatorial successors before finishing work on his. “Why isn’t it racism?” Wilder asked.
State Librarian Sandra Gioia Treadway acknowledged that the processing of Wilder’s records had “fallen off the radar,” a lapse that she attributed to budget cuts and turnover in key positions, including the state archivist. Wilder, a grandson of slaves, served as Virginia’s governor from 1990 to 1994. He later served a term as Richmond’s mayor.
All of Wilder’s successors in the governor’s office have been white. The library agency has finished work on the collections of former Govs. George Allen, Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner. Former Gov. Tim Kaine’s remains a work in progress. Treadway said she didn’t know how few of Wilder’s papers had been processed and made public until Wilder’s son, Larry, contacted her earlier this year.
Wilder’s papers from his terms as governor and as the state’s first Black lieutenant governor can’t be made public until it is sorted, analyzed, indexed and reviewed for exceptions under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, according to Treadway.
Lexington City Council voted – after a four hour meeting yesterday – to change the name of the city-owned Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. The meeting was done by Zoom because of social distancing, but that didn’t limit the amount of response. “We got both sides,” Vice Mayor Marilyn Alexander told WDBJ-7. “But the majority of people were for making a change. We not only received letters, but we had some people to actually speak.” “It’s important for people to know what it really feels like to live here and how we can be more inclusive of all our young people so that they can thrive here,” Alexander explained.
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down an appeals court ruling that would have blocked construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline beneath the Appalachian Trail. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the court voted 7-2 to overturn the ruling by the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond. The ruling will allow construction of the 42-inch-wide pipeline to tunnel beneath the A-T in the George Washington National Forest. The decision will also enable Dominion Resources and its partners to cross the Blue Ridge between Augusta and Nelson counties to complete the $8 billion, 600-mile project.
RUSTBURG, VA – On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, through internal social media intelligence efforts, became aware of an apparatus on display appearing to resemble a noose in the Concord area of the locality. While staff did not receive any calls pertaining to this concern, as the residence is visible from the highway, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded with an investigation.
To resolve the issue expediently, deputies communicated with the resident on the matter and its’ public perception. During conversation with law enforcement, the resident conveyed the item in question was a seasonal prop for Halloween, which had not yet been removed (along with other seasonal items on the property), and there was no intention on their part to create any community upset. The resident immediately removed the apparatus. The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office remains dedicated to hearing and responding to the concerns of the people we serve, and preserving peace in our communities.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A small group of demonstrators toppled a statue of a Confederate general in the former capital of the Confederacy late Saturday, following a day of largely peaceful protests in the Virginia city. The statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham was pulled from its pedestal in Monroe Park, a Richmond police spokeswoman said. She said she did not know if there were any arrests or damage done to the statue.
A rope had been tied around the Confederate statue, which has stood since 1891, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, adding that someone urinated on the statue after it was pulled down. Photos and video from the newspaper showed the what appeared to be red paint splashed or sprayed on the statue. In 2017, some of Wickham’s descendants urged the city to remove the statue. Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that a state-owned statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed from its perch on the famed Monument Avenue “as soon as possible.”
(from VSP) Virginia State Police Trooper T.M. Wertz is investigating a two vehicle crash which resulted in a fatality. The crash occurred on Friday, (Jun 5) at 10:53 p.m. on Route 460, two tenths of a mile west of Dixie Lane in Bedford County. A 1993 Toyota Corolla was traveling east in the westbound lanes on Route 460, when the vehicle struck a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu head-on.
The driver of the Toyota was identified as Tyler Jacob Little, 23, of Hurt, Va. Mr. Little was wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital, where he later died. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.There is no information on the driver of the Chevrolet at this time.The crash remains under investigation.
At an hour-long news conference today Lynchburg Mayor Treney Tweedy, police chief Ryan Zuidema, other City Council members and community leaders address this weekend’s protest over the death of George Floyd and the violence that occurred in some cases. Here are excerpts from Tweedy and Zuidema wtih WLNI’s Gene Marrano: