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Gene Marrano

(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.

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.


(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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

Image: LU Athletics Facebook

JMU is not the only college in the state looking for a new head football coach after he left the Dukes this weekend for East Carolina – Liberty University head coach Turner Gill announced today he is retiring after 7 seasons. The former Nebraska quarterback helped oversee Liberty’s transition to full FBS football status this past season

(from Lynchburg PD) On November 24, 2018, at approximately 01:40 a.m., Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services dispatchers received a call into 9 -1-1 about a group of about 15 people acting disorderly and getting ready to fight in front of the Dish Restaurant at 1120 Main St. Patrol officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to the area and observed the group as it transitioned into a physical fight. In order to maintain the safety of the those in the area, including the officer, OC pepper spray was deployed by the officer to break up the fight. By that time, the crowd had grown to around 50-60 people in front of the business and in the street.

As a result, the officers shifted their focus to the crowd in order to restore peace and safety to the immediate area. Most of the crowd complied with the officers’ orders to disperse and cease any disorderly activity. However, two individuals were taken into custody during the incident. After having received several verbal warnings, Veshawn Darrell Fuller, 30 -year -old of Lynchburg, was arrested for Public Intoxication, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, and Loitering. While that arrest was taking place, Donald Jamal Lipford III,28 -year old of Lynchburg, aggressively approached officers on the scene and assaulted one of them when he was told to get back. Lipford then resisted as the officers attempted to take him into custody and a police K9 was deployed to help them gain control of Lipford.

The officers were eventually able to do so, and Lipford was subsequently charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstruction of Justice. Additionally, Lipford was already wanted on an outstanding Capias of Failing to Comply with a Court Order. During the two arrests, 3 of the officers received minor injuries, all of whom have returned to full duty. Any injury to the suspects also appeared to be minor. As with all LPD use of force incidents, an administrative internal investigation will be conducted. This will include a review of the officers’ use of force through the chain of command and our Professional Standards Unit. Additionally, the Department is constantly reviewing and analyzing

Our policies and procedures to ensure we are following best practices and conforming to updated legal standards. Large groups of disorderly and unruly people present a significant safety risk to the community and our officers. Therefore, it is important that our law enforcement officers establish peace and order to incidents like this before the situation escalates and become more violent and uncontrollable. During this incident, Lynchburg Police Department officers exercised restraint and provided opportunities for those arrested to choose a different outcome for themselves. We strive to work cooperatively with all members of the community whenever we can, and we will not be deterred from that mission based on the actions of a few nor will we neglect our essential responsibility to keep the peace and maintain order in our community.