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Gene Marrano

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Thousands of gun-rights activists from Virginia and from around the country rallied peacefully in Richmond today, protesting plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. Richmond police now say an estimated 22,000 people showed up – far less than the 50,000 that had been predicted by some. Concerns about violence from possible clashes with gun law supporters were allayed. Proponents of gun control legislation are calling for bills that address issues like universal background checks and red flag laws. The description of who was expected to attend today’s Lobby Day rally in Richmond for gun rights did not sit well with an African American protester who was there in support, as he said in a video that was was posted on the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League Facebook page.

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(news release) The Supreme Court of Virginia [has] denied a court challenge to Governor Ralph Northam’s decision to temporarily ban firearms on Capitol grounds from 5:00 PM on Friday, January 17, 2020 until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. The Supreme Court ruling keeps this policy in place and comes one day after the Richmond Circuit Court ruled to affirm the order. Governor Northam issued the following statement: I am grateful that this executive order stands, and that it will help to ensure the safety of all Virginians on Monday [a gun rights lobby day when as many as 50,000 are expected in Richmond’s Capitol Square]. I am confident that the majority of those attending Monday’s rally will be peaceful. I have full respect for their fundamental American right to voice their opinions. But over the past few days, the news has confirmed that that this rally is attracting extreme individuals and groups—including national hate, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups—who are threatening violence and looking to advance a violent agenda.

Meanwhile House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement: “Lobby Day is a time for people to peacefully assemble and petition their government. It is not a place for hate or violence. Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here. Thousands of law-abiding Virginians simply want to have their voices heard at the seat of government. “House Republicans reject any attempt by any group to infuse any kind of twisted or extreme worldview into this fundamentally democratic exercise. So there’s no mistake, this is my message to any group that would subvert this event: you are not welcome here. While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.”


Chris Faraldi- FB photo

(News release) This afternoon at Fort Early in Lynchburg, Councilman Turner Perrow announced his desire to step down from Lynchburg City Council and endorse his replacement. “It has been a rewarding and humbling experience to represent Ward IV for the past 12 years. In doing so, I have taken a pragmatic approach based on my conservative principles as to how the city is best run.” said Councilman Perrow.

“As I step down, I can think of no one better to continue representing Ward IV than Chris Faraldi. Chris lives in the Fort Hill area and has been engaged with the business community throughout his career. He has a passion for the work, to get into the details, and contribute to solving our city’s problems. He’s young and energetic, bringing new ideas representing the changing demographics in Ward IV, founded on his conservative principles. I know he will support our public safety personal, fight to keep taxes low, promote economic development, and continue to support our quality of life. Chris understands that strategic investment in our infrastructure promotes long term economic expansion funding the city’s future needs without raising taxes” he said.

“Chris will do well on City Council, and I heartily endorse him for the seat. I regret that I cannot be there in person to support his campaign announcement, but I am certainly there to support you in spirit. He has my full endorsement I and thank him for the courage to step into the public arena” he said.

“I am excited to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination to serve on Lynchburg City Council as the representative of Ward IV,” said Chris Faraldi. “Our campaign will be one that seeks to bring City Council Conservative Principles; prioritize our Public Safety; Financial Accountability; a devotion to Economic Development; and, an attentive ear. With my legislative experience at the local, state, and federal level, as well as a diverse private sector background, we believe this campaign will be very successful and excite the voters of Ward IV.”

The campaign has filed the proper paperwork and other requirements with the Lynchburg City Republican Party and is excited to earn their nomination. Early campaign endorsements include Councilman Turner Perrow and Jeff Helgeson, Former Congressman Bob Goodlatte, President Garren of the University of Lynchburg, Former Lynchburg City Republican Party Chair Brian Triplett, Delegate Wendell Walker, Cham Light of the Lynchburg Planning Commission, Karl Miller, George Caylor, and Curt Diemer.

Abe Loper-FB photo

At the bottom of the Monument Terrace steps this morning local entrepreneur and wealth advisor Abe Loper announced that he will run for Lynchburg City Council on May 5. Loper has served on numerous boards and committees including the Lynchburg Regional Alliance, CASA of Central Virginia and the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce:

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Loper said education, economic development, and support for arts and culture at the top of his agenda if elected.

A long fourth quarter drive and a last minute touchdown by the Kentucky Wildcats led the team to a 37-30 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte today. Both teams finish at 8-5. The Wildcats rushing game led the attack; ‘Cats quarterback Lynn Bowden had 233 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns to win the game MVP trophy.  It was also the last game for Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who is retiring. Tech head coach Justin Fuente afterwards on what could have been:

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(from HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison football used 212 yards on the ground and 467 yards overall to defeat No. 3 Weber State 30-14 on Saturday evening in Bridgeforth Stadium. The Dukes improved to 14-1 on the season and are heading to their third National Championship (against North Dakota State in Frisco, Texas), while the Wildcats finish the season 11-4 overall. Ben DiNucci led JMU’s passing attack with 255 yards through the air, tossing two touchdowns without throwing an interception. The signal caller also added 62 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
To go along with DiNucci’s showing, Latrele Palmer added to the Dukes’ rushing attack by racking up 53 yards in the game, picking up 4.4 yards per carry. Jawon Hamilton chipped in with 50 yards as well. Riley Stapleton reeled in nine catches for 162 yards and two scores. Brandon Polk got in on the action in the passing game as well, hauling in five balls for 52 yards. Adeeb Atariwa stayed strong for the JMU defense, collecting four tackles and 1.5 TFL. Wayne Davis added four tackles and 1.0 TFL and D’Angelo Amos had four tackles and 1.0 TFL in the win. JMU had a stellar outing on the ground, racking up 212 rushing yards while averaging 3.9 yards per carry and out-rushing Weber State by 142 yards.

(from In a season that saw the offense grab most of the attention with its gaudy numbers, it was the Liberty defense that show up in its biggest game. A stout defensive effort led Liberty to a 23-16 win over Georgia Southern, Saturday afternoon, in the 2019 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. With the win, the Flames cap off the most memorable year in program history with an 8-5 record. Liberty completed its FBS reclassification process in August, received its first-ever bowl game invitation on Dec. 8 and walked away from Exploria Stadium with a bowl game trophy in hand, this afternoon.
Georgia Southern came into the game ranked No. 8 in the country in rushing offense, averaging 261.5 yards per game. Liberty came into the game ranked No. 100 in the nation in rushing defense, surrendering 192.7 yards per game on the ground.
Liberty’s defensive effort held Georgia Southern to 154 rushing yards, a single rushing touchdown and three field goals in the victory. On the day, the Flames outgained the Eagles in total offense (402 to 249).

In response to an inquiry from a House of Delegates member, Attorney General Mark Herring released a statement today declaring that localities in Virginia that have passed resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries “have no legal effect.” In all localities says Herring, local constitutional officers and other local officials “are obligated to follow duly enacted state laws.” Local governments do not have the right to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them says the Democratic Attorney General. See a link to AG Herring’s full statement below:

Virginia beat #23 Virginia Tech 39-30 in Charlottesville after a late field goal today, snapping a 15-year losing streak in that intrastate rivalry on the football field – helping to erase a late game UVA collapse in Blacksburg last year. A contest that was a largely defensive battle in the first half today became more of a back and forth offensive showdown after the break. With the win the 9-3 Cavaliers and head coach Bronco Mendenhall earned the right to play Clemson for the ACC championship in Charlotte next Saturday, after topping the Hokies for the Coastal Division crown. The last score came when UVA fell on a Hendon Hooker fumble in the Hokies own end zone with 1:01 left in the game. It was Virginia’s first Coastal division title.

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