Bad week in court for two Virginia public officials and other news from around the state

BY: - July 19, 2018

The trials of two public officials, one current, one former, wrapped up this week. —In Portsmouth, a jury found Councilman Mark Whitaker guilty of falsifying signatures on financial documents but recommended he serve no jail time, the Virginian Pilot reports. —In Danville, former School Board Chairwoman Sharon Jones was sentenced to serve 60 days in […]

Fox-hunting pens shut down

BY: - July 18, 2018

Six fox-hunting pens have been shut down in Virginia following a two-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. Nine people pleaded guilty to a range of charges, mostly misdemeanors but also a few felonies. “Fox penning can become unlawful when operators put illegal foxes and coyotes into a fenced-in area and allow dogs […]

Virginian-Pilot stonewalled on tax information

BY: - July 18, 2018

Virginian-Pilot reporter Ana Ley got an earful from Portsmouth’s elected commissioner of the revenue while she was trying to pry loose neighborhood-specific information on meal, beverage and retail tax revenues for a story published Wednesday. “You’ve taken up a lot of time – taxpayer dollars – trying to respond to your request because you want […]

Business down at Virginia Papa John’s amid fallout from founder’s slur

BY: - July 18, 2018

Alexandra Cline at the Richmond Times Dispatch reports that a Virginia Papa John’s franchiser with 21 locations in Richmond, Hampton Roads and Charlottesville is taking steps to distance itself from its corporate parent after the pizza company’s founder used a racial slur in a conference call. “We’re of all walks and creeds,” Matt Sanders, a […]

Follow the money

BY: - July 18, 2018

The Virginia Public Access Project has the breakdown of mid-year campaign finance reports that were due in by midnight Monday. With a whole year to go before the 2019 state Senate and House elections, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, a Republican from James City County, who has been in the Senate since 1992, had $843,596 […]

VCU president is highest-paid public college president in the state

BY: - July 17, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education released its annual ranking of executive compensation of the country’s public and private colleges universities over the weekend. The highest-paid public college president in the state, Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao, came in at 43 on the list with a compensation package totaling $690,943. Behind him on the list […]

Members of Va. gun rights group call for leader’s resignation after he was tricked into recording training video for toddlers

BY: - July 17, 2018

Philip Van Cleave says he suspected he was being set up just five minutes into a multi-hour interview earlier this year with a supposed Israeli anti-terrorism expert. But the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the state’s top gun advocacy group, said he pressed on, ultimately agreeing to record a firearms-training video for toddlers […]

A long walk off a short bridge?

BY: - July 17, 2018

Dominion Energy, Virginia’s biggest utility with about 2.5 million customers, is banking big on natural gas, in the near future at least. The company has two big new combined cycle gas plants in Greensville and Brunswick counties, one already finished and the other scheduled to begin operation this year. Another eight smaller gas plants were […]

From the state government to the ‘shadow government’

BY: - July 17, 2018

Mega-lobbying firm McGuireWoods Consulting added a major player to their formidable bench Tuesday, signing up former GOP House Speaker Bill Howell. “Since it was founded 20 years ago, McGuireWoods Consulting has earned a well-deserved reputation for consistently delivering successful outcomes for clients. Many of my new colleagues there have been friends for years, and I […]

Virginia, ‘do not eat this cereal’

BY: - July 17, 2018

Five of the 100 people recently sickened in a salmonella outbreak are Virginia residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only four of the 33 states affected by the outbreak — tied to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, the 65-year-old sweetened puffed wheat cereal — have more cases. “Do not eat this cereal,” the […]