Showing posts with label State of Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State of Virginia. Show all posts

Monday, November 26, 2012

Accomack County Arsons- Virginia State Police


$5,000 Reward for Information
VSP arson investigators and the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office are working several new leads in their efforts to identify and apprehend a serial arsonist at work in Accomack County. Since Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, through the morning of Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, a total of 20 abandoned structures have been destroyed by fire at various locations within the Eastern Shore county. There were no fires set overnight Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, or overnight Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.

The locations of the arsons have ranged from Melfa to Parksley to Oak Hall. The fires target abandoned structures, to include vacated houses, abandoned barns and even chicken coops. The fires have been set any time between 8:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. in the morning. No injuries or deaths have resulted from the fires.

"The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police have received a significant number of tips related to these arsons," said Accomack County Sheriff Todd E. Godwin. "We want to thank the many residents who have reached out to us in the past week with information. As a result of the public’s overwhelming response and assistance, we have developed several strong leads we are currently pursuing at this time."

Investigators are still encouraging anyone with information about the fires or recalls seeing any vehicles or individual(s) near the destroyed structures is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Headquarters toll-free at 1-800-582-8350 or at (757) 424-6820; or contact the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office at (757) 787-1131.

"Based on our ongoing investigation, we feel certain that the person or persons responsible for these fires is a resident of Accomack County and is known to local residents," said Capt. Tim Reibel, Commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office. "This individual is going to be coming and going at different hours of the night, may be acting differently in his or her behavior, and will probably show an unusual interest in media coverage of the fires and/or consistently steer conversations to talking about the fires."

Information that leads to an arrest and conviction could result in an award of up to $5,000 from the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

State Wide Tornado Drill For Virginia Today


Virginians will conduct the annual statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 (today) at 9:45. Throughout the Eastern Shore and the rest of Virginia, emergency services staff, schools and hundreds of other state and county agencies will participate in the drill.

March 15 was designated by Governor McDonnell as Tornado Preparedness Day in Virginia. The state will send a test tornado warning that will trigger a tone alert and broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio, simulating what will be heard during a genuine emergency. That message will be broadcast on radio and tv stations across the Commonwealth.

Virginians are encouraged to use the test as an opportunity to rehearse plans of what to do to protect your family during an actual tornado alert, make sure you have adequate emergency supplies at hand and know where you will go quickly should a tornado approach.

In the past three years 62 tornadoes touched down in Virginia injuring 220 and causing nearly $50 million in property damage, according to the emergency management department.

For more information:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bill To Test Some Welfare Recipients For Drugs

Richmond,VA(AP) The Senate has passed legislation that would require drug screening for those receiving some welfare benefits.

Sen. Roscoe Reynolds' bill applies to the job-training program required to receive welfare. It passed 32-7 Monday.

The bill would require those who apply for, or already receive benefits, to answer questions regarding drug use.

If screeners have reasonable cause to believe the person is using drugs, they can require a drug test.

Individuals who fail a test or refuse to take one would lose their benefits for one year unless they participate in a drug treatment program.

Similar efforts have been unsuccessful in the past because it is estimated to cost more than $1 million for the program.

The bill goes to the House of Delegates.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Virginia Election 2010

Today's election will decide the next Congressman for Virginia's 2nd District, as well as Town Council positions for the localities of Parksley and Wachapreague in Accomack County.

In addition to these elections, there will be three referendums in both counties regarding amendments to the Commonwealth of Virginia's Constitution. The referendum's all regard taxation.

In Accomack County, there will a meal's tax referendum which was initiated by Supervisor Wanda Thornton. If the referendum passes, it will add a 4% tax to the purchase of prepared food from businesses not in incorporated towns. This tax already exists for prepared food purchased in incorporated towns.

Please be sure to take the time and vote today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Virginia's Unemployment Rate

Virginia's unemployment rate edged up slightly in August, but still remained well below the national average.

The Virginia Employment Commission said Tuesday its adjusted unemployment rate was 7 percent in August. That's up from 6.9 percent last August.

The agency says August is typically a transition month between summer and fall labor markets.

During the month, the labor force, total unemployment and the number of unemployed normally decline as students quit summer jobs and head back to school and local school districts see their lowest employment levels before school starts back up in the fall.

The agency said more than 61,930 people were receiving regular unemployment benefits in August, down more than 9,430 from July and down more than 30,980 from August last year.

The national rate stood at 9.6 percent in August, up slightly from July. The Labor Department said 27 states saw their unemployment rates rise in August, the largest number in six months, as hiring weakened across the country. The jobless rate fell in 13 states and was unchanged in 10 states and Washington, D.C.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steele Says Tea Party Won't Hurt GOP In Key Va. Races

RICHMOND, Va. — Independent conservatives running with tea party backing in key Virginia House races won't be spoilers for GOP challengers to freshmen Democratic congressmen, the Republican National Committee chairman said Wednesday.
Candidates on the party's right championed by tea party groups beat establishment Republicans in New Hampshire and Delaware primaries Tuesday. A day later, Michael Steele dismissed suggestions that tea party-backed candidates in the 2nd and 5th Congressional Districts would dilute support for GOP nominees.

"Our folks don't need to run around being scared or afraid of the tea party," Steele told reporters before a rally with Chuck Smith, a longshot Republican challenger to nine-term Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.

"A lot of these folks were card-carrying Republicans four or five years ago who felt that the party had walked away" from core principles including the Contract With America, Steele said.

The contract was a series of conservative reforms proposed in 1994 during a midterm election two years into Democrat Bill Clinton's presidency when Republicans gained control of the House and Senate.

But in the two House races Republicans are targeting in Virginia, there are tea party candidates on the ballot alongside the Democratic and Republican nominees.

Kenny Golden, a longtime Republican activist, is competing with Republican Scott Rigell to unseat Rep. Glenn Nye, a moderate Democrat, in the Hampton Roads 2nd District.

In central and Southside Virginia's 5th District, Jeff Clark, a poorly funded tea party favorite, is vying with state Sen. Robert Hurt to deny Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello a second term.

Asked if the tea party candidates could split the Republican and conservative vote, Steele shot back, "We don't know that."

"We'll see what happens. Everybody's got to state their case with the American people, the people in the various districts in the state," Steele said. "We don't get to pick and choose who represents the American people. Guess what? They do."

Democrats control six of Virginia's 11 U.S. House seats. The GOP took aim at Perriello and Nye from the moment they ousted Republican incumbents in the 2008 Democratic landslide led by Barack Obama, the first Democrat to carry Virginia in a presidential race since 1964.

Steele and Smith addressed about 100 people in a renovated art deco movie theater in a middle-class Richmond suburb.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Virginia's Fiscal Year Turns Out To Be Better Than Anticipated

Virginia's battered state budget ended a turbulent 2010 fiscal year on June 30 with a surprise surplus of about $220 million, government figures show.

That exceeds forecasts of a month ago anticipating a $140 million unspent balance and guarantees a September bonus for state employees, the first pay boost in years for most.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration is expected to formally announce the figures in a late morning news conference.

The surplus ended a dire budget year in which official revenue forecasts were lowered three times and raised once as policymakers struggled to reconcile a nearly $2 billion shortfall.

Preliminary June revenue figures show that the larger-than-expected year-end balance resulted mostly from strong collections of individual and corporate income taxes, said Finance Secretary Richard D. Brown.

Taxes withheld from individual wages barely topped $820 million last month, up 2.5 percent from June 2009. That brought final annual collections of the tax that accounts for two-thirds of the state's general operating budget to nearly $9.2 billion by the time the fiscal year ended on June 30.

It was an increase of just 0.4 percent over total withholding income tax collections for the previous fiscal year, but it beat the official forecast which was for an increase of only 0.2 percent, and that made the difference, Brown said.

Corporate income tax receipts of $157 million for June increased by 14.2 percent over the same month the year before, and collections of about $806 million for the full year were nearly one-fourth greater than the previous fiscal year.

Sales tax collections for the most recent month doubled what they had been in June 2009. In a bid to generate a cash boost, the state accelerated the schedule for retailers to turn in taxes collected on sales. But Brown said the accelerated sales tax generated less than expected and did not boost the final surplus figure.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well,.... I Would Hope So..............

McDonnell Condemns Obama's Healthcare Plan

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is calling the newly passed health care overhaul an "unprecedented expansion of federal power" that threatens to bleed states dry.

McDonnell issued a more than 700-word statement Monday saying the bill that passed Sunday would cost Virginia an additional $1.1 billion by 2022, dramatically increase the federal deficit and jeopardize the coverage many already have.

McDonnell says that while every American should have reasonably priced, quality health care, allowing the federal government to exercise control over one-sixth of the economy is "shocking to the American system of federalism."

Earlier in the day, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he would challenge what he called an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Virginia - Cuccinellli Will File Suit

Less than eight hours after Congress passed sweeping health care reforms, Virginia's attorney general announced a legal challenge.

Republican Ken Cuccinelli said early Monday that he will invoke the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act in challenging what he and other conservatives decry as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority.

Cuccinelli joins several other conservative state attorneys general from the region promising fast legal pushback after the House of Representatives finished passage of the legislation Sunday night.

Cuccinelli said he would file the action as soon as President Barack Obama signs into law the bill in the U.S. District Court.

Virginia became the first state to enact a law that bucks any effort by the federal government to impose federal health care mandates in the states.

Similar measures were filed or proposed in 34 other state legislatures.

The Virginia law says that no resident of the state can be compelled by the federal law to have health insurance, nor can any Virginian be forced to pay a fine or penalty for refusing health coverage.

While enactment of the Virginia law is complete, it doesn't take effect until July 1.
That doesn't prohibit the attorney general from using it as the basis for his lawsuit, said Cuccinelli's spokesman, Brian Gottstein.

"The courts allow you to take a law into court ahead of time if there is what's called an actual controversy. Even though the law does not take effect until July, we know it will take effect and we know it will conflict with another law, in this case the federal health care law, and it is in the best interest to resolve it sooner rather than later," Gottstein said.

Supporters of the Virginia law say it underscores protections the state should already enjoy under the U.S. Constitution. The 10th Amendment gives states any powers the Constitution doesn't either forbid or reserve for the federal government.

It passed comfortably in the Republican-controlled House and on a 23-17 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In both chambers, Democrats supported the measure.

Opponents called it a vain and partisan effort by Virginia's new Republican leaders to shake a fist at Washington before this year's midterm races for Congress.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Body May Be of Missing VT Student

Police say they are confident that skeletal remains found on a Virginia farm are likely those of a Virginia Tech student who vanished after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville.

State Police Superintendent Steve Flaherty says an autopsy will be conducted to confirm that the remains are those of Morgan Harrington, who disappeared on Oct. 17.

The 20-year-old Roanoke woman became separated from friends after she left a concert arena and was denied re-entry.

The skeletal remains were found Tuesday morning by a farmer surveying his farm. The farm is about 10 miles from where Harrington attended the concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

State Police crime scene technicians arrived at Anchorage Farm and are searching for evidence using a grid mapping technique.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Virginia's New Governor Sworn In Today

written by: Julian Walker

Minutes after being sworn in Saturday as the state's 71st governor, Bob McDonnell assured Virginians that an economic revival lies ahead.

"I've listened to people tell me they fear that America may no longer be the land of opportunity it has always been, and that Virginia's history in playing a leading role in the life of our nation may be just that - history. They are wrong," McDonnell said, enunciating each word for emphasis.

The new governor's address blended allusions to the state's past as the "Cradle of Democracy" and the home of civil rights advances with a sobering but optimistic assessment of its prospects, while laying out a vision for the commonwealth's next chapter.

He promised better roads, more energy resources, an improved educational system, and perhaps most importantly, a climate that will foster economic growth.

"Where opportunity is absent, we must create it," McDonnell told an estimated crowd of 7,000. "Where opportunity is limited, we must expand it. Where opportunity is unequal, we must make it open to everyone."

It was a heady day for euphoric Republicans, who roared approval after many of the stanzas in McDonnell's speech.

Later, as the inaugural ceremony came to a close Saturday afternoon, McDonnell scooped first lady Maureen McDonnell into his arms and carried her across the threshold of the governor's mansion, where the family will live for the next four years.

For Republicans, that literal gesture was also a symbolic one that crystallized their optimism.

It signaled the end of eight years of Democratic rule and, they hope, a sign that McDonnell's November election is the start of a national resurgence for a sometimes fractious GOP.

While Republicans, including McDonnell, had much to celebrate Saturday, the unabashedly conservative new governor eschewed fiery partisan rhetoric in his inaugural speech.

Instead, he hewed to the economic growth theme that was a central component of his campaign pitch.

"The creation of new job opportunities for all our citizens is the obligation of our time, so all Virginians who seek a good job can find meaningful work and the dignity that comes with it," he said.

His initial steps in that direction were executive orders signed moments after he officially become governor.

The first establishes a job creation task force and installs as its leader Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was sworn in alongside McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Saturday.

The second created a commission charged with finding ways to reduce government redundancy and downsize the state bureaucracy.

The most pressing task confronting McDonnell is steering the state out of a dismal economic downturn that has left the state with a $4.2 billion shortfall that must be plugged to balance the budget. The new governor wants the budget work to be completed within the 60-day General Assembly session and without new taxes.

Democratic lawmakers offered praise of McDonnell's tone Saturday. That may not be true of their reaction to the proposal he is to make in a speech Monday evening.

"His remarks here today were light and were not laden with policy," said House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, D-Henry. "I am pleased that he led with economic development. My region of the state has been so hard hit. But all of Virginia is hurting."

One early flash point with the opposing party is the pending battle over McDonnell's pick for commerce and labor secretary, Robert Sledd.

Sledd's service on three corporate boards has raised conflict of interest concerns among some lawmakers.

Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax, said Saturday that she has the votes to block Sledd's confirmation if he doesn't give up those board seats.

For the day, however, future skirmishes were a distant concern for McDonnell backers excited to see their man take office.

His victory in November, coupled with dominating wins by Bolling and Cuccinelli, consolidated Republican political power in Virginia and gives McDonnell a mandate to push his agenda.

"I think the campaign itself began to bring the party elements together," former U.S. Sen. John Warner, a Republican, said after the inauguration.

If McDonnell follows those principles, Warner said, "he'll be a good, strong governor."

McDonnell began the day with a prayer breakfast.

"As I embark on this journey I just want to say... I do pray for the wisdom of Solomon," he said. "Last year, I prayed for votes and money. This year it's wisdom and money," he continued to laughter.

One recognizable face at the prayer breakfast was religious broadcaster Pat Robertson.

The Virginia Beach televangelist drew rebukes last week when he said that the island nation of Haiti was cursed after it was struck by a massive earthquake.

Robertson didn't want to discuss the controversy Saturday, telling reporters who approached him "This is Bob's day. I'm talking about Bob McDonnell, OK?"

Less controversial local faith leaders participated in the afternoon inauguration: Rabbi Israel Zoberman of Congregation Beth Chaverim gave a scripture reading, and Bishop B. Courtney McBath of Calvary Revival Church delivered the benediction.