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23 Feb 2012 10:26


U.S.: Virginia lacrosse murder case: George Huguely sentenced to 26 years

George Huguely was convicted of second-degree murder for the murder of fellow University of Virginia lacrosse player (and his ex-girlfriend) Yeardley Love. Juror Ian Glomski on the final verdict: “We all really believe justice was served.” source

21 Feb 2012 14:51


Politics: Democrats liken Virginia ultrasound bill to sex crime with bill set to pass

  • Object sexual penetration is a serious sex crime in Virginia. It is very difficult to look at the bill and look at the OSP statute together and think that you are not asking doctors to commit a sex crime. …Consent is a key element in the criminal statute, and there is no consent required in the ultrasound statute.
  • David Englin, Democratic delegate from Virginia • Explaining the new tactic taken by Democrats in Virginia, in their effort against a bill expected to pass the state legislature that could mandate unwanted, penetrative ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. That happening under any other circumstance would, as Englin suggested, be considered a sex crime in Virginia, carrying a prison sentence of five years. The ultrasound mandate in the eyes of its supporters bears no inherent medical relevance, exactly – the logic seems to be to try to dissuade women from having abortions by forcing them to look at their own ultrasounds. The bill is currently opposed by 55% of Virginians, according to recent polling, but is expected to pass the legislature and be signed into law by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, one of the most conservative governors in the country. source

27 Dec 2011 22:28


Politics: Rick Perry sues Virginia GOP over ballot exclusion

  • SUE ’em if they don’t let you on the ballot! source
  • » That’s Rick Perry’s calculus: A total of five Republicans won’t appear (also including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman) on the ballot in Virginia’s presidential primary, having failed to collect the 10,000 signatures required by state law, but Rick Perry is the only one to react with a lawsuit (so far). He’s suing the Virginia Republican Party, and the state board of elections, claiming that the state’s signature requirements — in particular, the provision that bans out-of-state circulators from gathering signatures — are unconstitutionally restrictive. Of course, he’s seeking retroactive change in the law, one that would allow him to appear on Virginia’s March 6th ballot after all. We agree with Talking Points Memo that suing one’s own party, even at a statewide level, isn’t normally the best move for a presidential candidate, but then again, what does he have to lose?

24 Dec 2011 11:09


Politics: Gingrich’s campaign manager blasts Virginia over primary exclusion

  • Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates.
  • Newt Gingrich’s campaign director, Michael Krull • Criticizing Virginia’s primary system, which decided that Gingrich didn’t have enough signatures to show up on the ballot. He joins Rick Perry (who didn’t have enough signatures for the ballot, either), and three GOP candidates who passed on getting signatures altogether: Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. He has a very strong point here. However … we’re not going to spell this out specifically, but do you see the slight Krull’s slight of Huntsman in his quote? source

23 Dec 2011 19:51


Politics: Not enough signatures: Rick Perry will remain off Virginia ballot

  • misery A day after frantically attempting to get himself on the primary ballot in Virginia, Perry was told he did not fit the requirements — 10,000 signatures, including 400 from each congressional district. Perry’s camp claimed it submitted 11,900. That sound you hear is Perry beating his head against a table.
  • company Perry wouldn’t be alone amongst those not on the ballot — Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum passed on the opportunity to gather signatures, and Newt Gingrich is still waiting to find out if his passed muster. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney met the requirements. source

22 Dec 2011 11:28


Biz: Christmas miracle: Why Virginia farms plant lots of evergreens these days

  • cause Tobacco has long been a key crop for farmers in Virginia, and until the early 2000s, it was a heavily-regulated industry, with quotas and price supports for farmers. However, in 2004, the industry was largely deregulated.
  • reaction After the deregulation happened, farmers got money from the federal government allowing them to focus on new kinds of crops. One of the big ones? Christmas trees, which are hard to smoke but pretty easy to decorate. source

06 Dec 2011 00:29


U.S.: Storytelling through acronyms: A top bureaucrat’s bad weekend

  • FAA the head of this agency received a …
  • DUI while driving in the area nicknamed the …
  • DMV D.C., Maryland and Virginia corridor source
  • » At least he wasn’t flying while drunk, right? After being a pilot for Eastern Airlines for 25 years, Randy Babbitt became the Federal Aviation Administration’s head in 2009. This weekend, he was arrested for driving on the wrong side of the road in Fairfax, Va. He has since asked for a leave of absence from his office.

03 Jun 2011 13:43


U.S.: Sky Express bus crash: Driver charged with manslaughter

  • crash Early Tuesday morning, a major bus crash killed four people in Virginia, and many others on the 58-passenger bus had to go to the hospital after the bus they were on flipped over.
  • company The government shut down the bus company that owned the vehicle, Sky Express, after the crash; it had garnered many federal safety violations in the past, including driver fatigue.
  • chargesToday, officials charged the driver behind the wheel during the crash, Kin Yiu Cheung, with involuntary manslaughter for the passenger deaths. Fatigue played a role in the crash. source

31 May 2011 21:19


U.S.: Company involved in deadly bus crash barred from operating

  • Inside this bus, which crashed in Virginia this morning, were dozens of people — 58 to be exact. Four of those people were killed. Most of the others suffered severe injuries and had to go to local hospitals. This is despite the fact that Sky Express, which operates throughout the Southeast and mostly takes people to New York City, had been cited for numerous safety violations in the past — particularly driver fatigue, which was part of the reason for this morning’s crash. (Vehicle maintenance issues were also an issue.) Now the regulatory body that follows bus companies like Sky Express, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has issued an out-of-service order barring SkyExpress from interstate travel. Bus services like these can be sketchy — but some of them are quite good. It’s good to know that one of the bad ones is off the road until they can get their act together. source

28 Apr 2011 10:29


U.S.: Death toll from tornadoes, storms in South absolutely insane

  • 213+ people killed by storms throughout the South
  • 131+ were killed by severe storms in Alabama alone
  • 32+ were killed by severe storms in nearby Mississippi
  • 12+ people were killed by storms in Georgia
  • 30+ people were killed by the storms in Tennessee
  • 8+ people were killed as far north as Virginia source
  • » An unprecedented toll: In Alabama in particular, where Tuscaloosa took incredibly strong damage from the storm and many died in Birmingham, officials were still trying to wrap their heads around the disaster. “I would be pretty sure about saying we’ve never had 128 people die in one day,” said Yasamie August, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency’s information manager. (The number’s jumped since she spoke.) “It’s going to be difficult to get an accurate count of damage or injuries at this point. Many people can’t get to a hospital.”