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Virginia Tag

Hate has consumed the news cycle since Charlottesville happened. But you know what's more affective? Stories of love. Yes, it sounds cliché, but it's true. Love and positive change. How about a story about a man who went from a member to the KKK to a Catholic priest? That's what happened to Father William Aitcheson of the Catholic Dioceses of Arlington in Virginia. The events in Charlottesville affected him on a personal level and he decided to use his past as teaching tool.

Virginia's governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency after violent clashes erupted between "Unite the Right," who were in Charlottesville to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, and counter-protesters. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency Saturday after violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Police ordered crowds to disperse as chaotic and violent scenes erupted around the city. Groups clashed in fist fights, with batons and threw newspaper boxes at each other. Some carried sticks and shields, and wore helmets.

U.S. District Judge James Cacheris in Alexandria, VA, ruled that politicians who block followers on social media violates free speech. From The Wall Street Journal:
A federal court in Virginia ruled that a local politician violated the free-speech rights of a constituent she banned from her Facebook page, in a case the judge said raises “important questions” about the constitutional restrictions that apply to social media accounts of elected officials.

The American press obsession with Russia is leaving vital news on the cutting room floor. For example, Judicial Watch is reporting that the state auditor of Mississippi is demanding that Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s former company, GreenTech, repay millions in public money because the electric vehicle company shut down and failed to deliver on its promises to create new jobs.

When a teenage Muslim girl was killed in Virginia recently, some people speculated that it could be a hate crime due to her religion. It turns out however that the suspect is believed to be an illegal immigrant who was triggered by road rage. The Fairfax County Police Department blog reports:
Road Rage Leads to Murder of Reston Teenager: Evidence in case does not point to hate crime An autopsy this afternoon revealed the body recovered from a pond in Loudoun County is that of a Reston teenager who went missing early Sunday morning. The victim has been identified as Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston. The autopsy results show Nabra suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body after a road rage incident. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, is charged with her murder.

Former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), decided to turn down a Distinguished Graduate Award from the Naval Academy Alumni Association. Webb graduated from the academy in 1968. According to the AP, Webb's sin was an article he penned almost forty years ago, "In 1979, Webb wrote an essay for Washingtonian magazine called "Women Can't Fight." In it, he said the presence of women "at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation.""

The head of America's "largest privately held" coal firm has expressed optimism for his industry under President Donald Trump after a meeting held last month. Murray Energy's CEO and founder Robert Murray spoke with The Guardian on Monday. He believes that Trump will stick to his campaign promises for the coal industry by reducing regulations and overturning a few of President Barack Obama's plans related to climate change. It's hard to deny his thoughts as coal communities in Virginia have seen a drastic positive change since Trump became president.

Some schools across the country will close on March 8,  the same day as the Day Without a Woman March, due to concerns they'll be short-staffed. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools in North Carolina will close. Durham Public Schools may close but have not reached a final decision. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Superintendent Jim Causby has decided to make March 8 a teacher workday and students will not have to make up the day:
“The expected absences would make it difficult to teach students on March 8 and to provide essential services including transportation and food service,” the school system said in an emailed statement Thursday.

The Supreme Court has chosen to send a Virginia transgender student's bathroom case back to the lower court after President Donald Trump's administration decided to do away with a directive from former President Barack Obama that stated students in schools can use which bathroom they want. The court should have heard the case later this month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had decided to allow transgender teen Gavin Grimm to use the bathroom of her choice.

As if we needed more proof that we do not fully own our homes or property! Virginia faced three bills to regulate Airbnb type rentals, but only one made it to the Senate floor. Yes, the Virginian government wants to regulate how YOU rent out YOUR property to someone because it's totally their business. The bill from Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-james City County) made it to the floor:
“The shared economy presents a 21st century challenge to the General Assembly,” Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City County, said . “Who would’ve thought it would be like this five years ago?”

The Accomack County Public Schools in Virginia has suspended the classics To Kill A Mockingbird and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn over racial slurs after a parent filed a complaint:
"I keep hearing, 'This is a classic, This is a classic,' ... I understand this is a literature classic. But at some point, I feel that children will not -- or do not -- truly get the classic part -- the literature part, which I'm not disputing," she said at a Nov. 15 school board meeting. "This is great literature. But there (are so many) racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can't get past that."

Del. Sam Rasoul, the only Muslim in Virginia's General Assembly, has lashed out at his party over its treatment of Republicans and the tone of fear during the presidential election:
“I feel as though the [leadership] right now is not committed to the radical changes we need to connect with the values of working class America,” said Rasoul, 35, the lone Muslim in the General Assembly. “We were sent a mandate on Election Day that we have to completely rethink the way we do business.” --- “Sure, we need to be super-strong in condemning acts of real hatred and bigotry and racism, but when people believe that all of Trump voters are racist, they really are not empathizing with the wants and needs of a lot of folks, and we are missing out,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that a PAC associated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a strong Hillary Clinton ally, handed over almost $500,000 to the 2015 state Senate campaign for Dr. Jill McCabe, wife of now FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He later became involved with the FBI's investigation into Hillary's email:
Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

Remember the whole Rolling Stone/University of Virginia/faux rape story?
An investigation conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department found no evidence of rape at the accused University of Virginia fraternity. Months ago, Rolling Stone broke Jackie’s story. Jackie claimed she’d been gang raped by members of Phi Kappa Psi in 2012. When the Rolling Stone article sparked national outrage, UVA’s administration acted swiftly and without facts, punishing Greek life on campus. Then the Washington Post began to dig deeper into the Rolling Stone shocker. And that’s when the story began to quickly unravel and was eventually debunked in entirety.

The Clinton campaign suffered a serious blow on Friday when the Virginian Supreme Court struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe's blanket reinstatement of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their time. (Opinion here) WaPo reported:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday, dealing a major blow to the Democratic governor with implications for the November presidential race in the crucial swing state. In a 4-to-3 decision, the court ruled that McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers by issuing a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.
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