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

Northam wants more money for broadband access

Gov. Ralph Northam

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants lawmakers to approve spending $50 million to make it easier for people to get faster internet service. Northam said Friday [at an event in Bedford County] that his forthcoming state budget plan will include adding $50 million to the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. The program encourages internet service providers to expand broadband access to underserved areas. Northam said he wants the money to be part of a multi-year commitment of $250 million to boost broadband access. Lawmakers in both parties have long said that expanding high-speed internet to rural communities is a priority. The Democratic governor will present his full budget next week. The Republican-controlled General Assembly will take up Northam’s spending plans next year.

Herring to run for Governor in 2021

Its official – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says he’s going to run for governor. That from the Associated Press, after the Democrat told the Washington Post he’s planning to run in 2021. Virginia does not allow governors to seek consecutive terms, meaning current Gov. Ralph Northam cannot run for re-election. Herring became attorney general in 2014. He easily won re-election last year and has been a frequent critic of the president and a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, immigrant-friendly policies, and stricter gun control. Other Democrats who may run for governor in 2011 include Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.