Virginia lawmakers put off budget, Medicaid debate

Virginia senators are putting off debate on the state budget and whether to expand Medicaid. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has more on where lawmakers stand.

5-23 Senate WLNI WEB Wrap 1

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At GOP Senate debate Liberty, one question is who is most loyal to Trump?

Virginia Republicans hoping to upset Hillary Clinton’s former running mate in a U.S. Senate race are clashing over who is most loyal to President Donald Trump. WLNI’s Lillian Boyd has highlights from last night’s debate at Liberty University:

4-20 Debate WEB Wrap-WLNI

Virginia court rejects appeal of Lynchburg man convicted in child sex case

SALEM, Va. (AP) — A Virginia appeals court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of using a computer to solicit a minor and taking indecent liberties.

The court this week ruled against Major Lance Hillman of Lynchburg, who is serving a six-year sentence.

Authorities say a 14-year-old girl who attended a church where Hillman was a volunteer youth pastor sought him out for counseling in 2015 because of prior sexual abuse. The two later exchanged nude images of themselves.

Hillman argued that the judge erred in finding that the evidence proved that he knew or should have known that the girl was under 15, and that he had exposed himself to her.

The appeals court rejected the idea that exposure requires a person to be in the physical presence of someone else.

 

Two get jail for removing Confederate statues’ mourning tarps

(AP photo)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Two men have been convicted of removing multiple times the tarps that covered Confederate statues to mourn the counterprotester killed during last August’s violent white nationalist rally in Virginia.
The Daily Progress reports Brian Roland Lambert and Christopher James Wayne were sentenced to eight months and five months, respectively, on trespassing and vandalism charges related to removing tarps from Charlottesville’s statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

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Wason Center: 50% believe Trump campaigners colluded with Russia

From Press Release: Energized by backlash to President Trump, Virginia Democrats head into the 2018 midterm elections with significant advantages, according to a new voter survey by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. “The question is no longer whether there is a Blue Wave coming, but rather, how high the storm surge will get,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center.

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Lynchburg: Avoid driving through standing water

From News Release: Due to the recent rain in Lynchburg and more in the forecast, residents are being strongly advised to avoid driving through standing water and to exercise caution when driving on low lying roads. Additionally, do not go around or remove barricades, and avoid flooded spaces in the City parks and other areas.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers these suggestions:

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Historic Albemarle inn searched for paranormal activity

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Despite being a believer in the paranormal since childhood, Terry Petrovits, owner and manager of the Silver Thatch Inn in Albemarle County, has never encountered a spirit. However, over the nearly 20 years she has managed the inn, Petrovits has heard more than her share of ghost stories from guests.

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Perriello launches new PAC to help Democrats

Tom Periello Twitter Photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Former gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello is starting a new political action committee he says will help a new generation of progressive leaders.
Perriello said Thursday the New Virginia Way PAC’s first project will be to re-elect freshman Democratic state House members. Democrats harnessed voter antipathy of President Donald Trump to make major gains in the state House last year.
A former congressman and State Department official, Perriello mounted an unsuccessful insurgent campaign against now-Gov. Ralph Northam in last year’s Democratic primary.
Northam also has a PAC that will likely raise money to support Democratic candidates.
The next statehouse elections are set for 2019, when both House and Senate seats will be contested.

UPDATE: Missing Lynchburg man is found

UPDATE from Lynchburg Police: On February 1, 2018 Detectives with the Lynchburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit were able to locate Steven Gerald Atkinson in Lynchburg. He was found to be in good health.The Lynchburg Police Department is seeking information in reference to a reported missing adult.

PREVIOUS: On January 31st, family members of Steven Gerald Atkinson reported him missing to the Lynchburg Police Department. Atkinson is described as a 59 year old black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 180 pounds. Officers responded to Atkinson’s home and have been unable to locate him. Atkinson last spoke to family on January 27th. Atkinson went to work on January 29th and worked his normal shift leaving work at 12:30 pm. Atkinson has not returned to work since. Mr. Atkinson’s normal mode of transportation is a bicycle which was not at his home and has not been located at this time.

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Evington man wanted for shoplifting alcohol in Bedford Co. shopping center

From Press Release: Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies have obtained an arrest warrant for Stephen M. Sutphin, age 37, of Evington. The warrant charges him with shoplifting a bottle of alcohol from the ABC Store located in the Graves Mill Shopping Center on January 24, 2018. The warrant in a felony for third of subsequent offence of larceny.

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