Statues Staying

Virginia Military Institute has no plans to remove its Confederate statues. The Lexington school released a statement yesterday saying the past defines what the school is today. At the same time, school leaders say hate, bigotry and discrimination are wrong and will be addressed.

Football Players Suing School

Two more former Liberty University football players are each suing the school for 50-million-dollars. Avery James and Kyle Carrington claim they were falsely accused of sexual assault. The two are also suing the woman who made the claim for 50-million-dollars. She did not file a report until eleven months after the alleged incident. Cameron Jackson had earlier filed a lawsuit against the school.

Local Goodlatte Office Hours

Office hours locally for Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s staff on Thursday. They’ll open the doors between 11:30am and 12:30pm in the Bath County Courthouse. Hours in Monterey Thursday will be from 2:30 to 3:30pm.

Individual Marketplace Could Leave Tens Of Thousands Without Coverage

About 70,000 people in Virginia could lose the option of buying individual health insurance plans next year. The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday that the marketplace for individual insurance is collapsing in Virginia. Three insurers say they plan to pull out of Virginia’s individual market next year. Last week, Optima Health said it will only offer individual plans in some parts of the state. The changes affect all individual plans, not just those sold through the Affordable Care Act.

Military College Keeping Statues

A Virginia military college has decided to keep its Confederate statues but consider adding more historical context in light of a violent white nationalist rally last month. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the board of the Virginia Military Institute met Tuesday and decided to keep its statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and another meant to honor VMI cadets who fought and died for the Confederacy.

Trumbo Retiring

Circuit Court Judge Malfourd “Bo” Trumbo is set to retire. The Virginian Review reports that he will retire January 1st. He is optimistic that the General Assembly will appoint a successor in its upcomimg session, which will begin in January. Trumbo is 62, and said he is ready to retire of spending 13 years on the bench. Trumbo serves counties, including, Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Highland, Rockbridge and Augusta, which is the state’s 25th Judicial Circuit. A Circuit Court Judges serve eight year terms.

Irma Will be Felt Here

Irma will be felt right here in Southwest Virginia. The region can expect to be hit with rain and windy conditions. Winds could reach up to 40-miles-per-hour along the I-77 and in higher elevations. One to two inches of rain can be expected. Rains could continue throughout the week.

What’s The Status Of Community Colleges In VA?

State lawmakers are taking their first hard look at Virginia’s community college system in 25 years.
A report to lawmakers details several problems within the system of 23 community colleges, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  For instance, more than 60 percent of students don’t complete two-year degrees or short-term certificates. Four-year schools don’t always accept credits from students who take community college courses in high school. Some universities don’t allow community college students to transfer, despite agreements designed to ensure they can.

Will Prayer Continue At Local Meetings?

Government meetings in the Alleghany Highlands could be impacted by a US Supreme court ruling regarding public prayer. The high court may be hearing an appeal of two lower court rulings split on the issue of have prayer at those meetings. The Alleghany Highlands County Board of Supervisors meeting along with Covington, Clifton Forge and Bath County all use invocations at the beginning of their meetings. A recent appellate court ruling determined that a Michigan county could use such prayers at its meetings.

Making Your Vote More Secure

The Department of Elections today called for the immediate decertification of Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting equipment in Virginia, and the State Board of Elections approved the request in an effort to increase the security and integrity of Virginia’s voting systems ahead of the November election. The vote to decertify the DRE, or touchscreen, voting equipment is effective immediately and means that DREs may no longer be used for elections in Virginia. DREs are used in 22 localities across the Commonwealth. 
The Department of Elections had requested a security assessment by the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) of various paperless voting systems in use in Virginia and determined that decertification was necessary to safeguard against unauthorized access to the machines.