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Court Orders General Assembly to Redraw Congressional Maps

Advocates for non-partisan redistricting were pleased with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Friday (6/5) that the General Assembly must redraw congressional lines by September 1st.

The court found that the legislature packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District, represented by Democrat Bobby Scott.

Brian Cannon, Executive Director of One Virginia 2021, says the court’s action puts new pressure on the General Assembly to redraw the 3rd and it’s surrounding districts using a non-partisan process.

Jones Says Not His Fault There is No Stadium Progress

Mayor Dwight Jones says the lack of a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Flying Squirrels is not his fault.

Jones says the open letter to the “Greater Richmond Community” from Flying Squirrels President Lou DiBella was the wrong way to address his frustrations and that he should have called.

Jones and members of City Council have tried to get Henrico and Chesterfield to pitch in for a new stadium but the surrounding counties are not interested.

The Squirrels have one year left on their current lease with three one year renewal options.

SCOVA Hears Sweet Briar Arguments

The Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments June 4 from attorneys arguing for and against the closure of Sweet Briar College.  Its board says it will take $250 million to save.

William Hurd, who represents a group of alumnae and advocates, argues the college is both a corporation and a trust. He says the current board mismanaged the school and did not give supporters enough time to raise money to save it. He’s asking for a special fiduciary to be appointed to run Sweet Briar.   

Sweet Briar Students and Faculty Face Uncertain Future

Students and faculty at Sweet Briar College face an uncertain future as courts decide whether the 114-year-old institution can remain open next fall.

Supporters chanted outside the Virginia Supreme Court after oral arguments for and against an injunction to keep the school open.   

Tristin Burke, a rising Junior at Sweet Briar says she’s applied to multiple other schools, but she’d rather finish her education at the college she calls home.  

Incumbents Have Cash Advantage In Next Week’s Primary

Challengers who want to knock off incumbent state lawmakers during next week’s primary will have to do so at a large cash disadvantage. 

Democratic House Speaker William J. Howell has a 12-1 advantage over his opponent, Susan Stimpson.

Democratic Incumbant State Senator Rosalyn Dance has a 20-1 advantage over her opponent Joe Preston in the 16th district.

And Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment has $1 million dollars in campaign cash, and he doesn’t even have a primary opponent.

4 Republicans Seek 12th Senate District Seat

The 12th district Senate race is one of the most competitive primaries in central Virginia. Four Republicans are seeking the nomination to succeed retiring Senator Walter Stosch of Henrico.

Siobhan Dunnavant is a physician and the sister of Delegate Chris Stolle and former Senator Ken Stolle.

Bill Janis is the former Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs. He’s also an attorney and former Delegate.

Both have raised over $100,000 for their campaigns.

McAuliffe Signs Education Bills

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed several education reform bills in Charlottesville today (6/3).

Two bills will expedite the SOL retake process to two days for children who fail to pass the test by a close margin.

A third bill will reward schools who have narrowly fallen short of accreditation if they’ve made significant progress.

McAuliffe says he now wants his SOL Innovation and Reform Commission to look at improving how the tests measure critical thinking and workforce skills.

Howell Has Large Cash Advantage Over Opponent In Primary

Virginia House Speaker William Howell has a dominant cash advantage over his tea party rival in the June 9th primary election.

Howell’s campaign said yesterday (6/1) that it had raised more than $550,000 this reporting period.

A spokesman for his opponent, Susan Stimpson, says she has raised about $28,000.

Stimpson is a former political protégé, who has accused Howell of abandoning his conservative beliefs in favor of serving deep pocketed special interests.

Should ABC Enforce Alcohol Laws?

In March, ABC agents violently arrested Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old black student at UVA, outside of a Charlottesville bar. He was charged with misdemeanor counts of obstruction, using profane language and public intoxication.

According to data from the ABC department, 85% of the suspects in such cases were taken into custody. For incidents of marijuana possession, suspects were taken into custody only 11% of the time.


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