A Nelson County man convicted of abducting and murdering a county teenager has been sentenced to two life terms in prison. Forty-nine year old Randy Taylor was convicted of killing 17-year old Alexis Murphy in a rare murder trial in a case where the body was never found. The only words he spoke during his May trial were “not guilty,” and yesterday he said again, “I did not kill Alexis Murphy.”
Articles by Charles Fishburne
Chesterfield County Supervisors will begin their meetings with prayers once again. But with a change. Instead of inviting guest ministers to pray, they will do it themselves. The county’s previous policy required ministers who delivered the opening invocations be ordained religious leaders of monotheiestic religions that follow Judeo-Christian traditions, but they were instructed to keep the prayers generic.
The ACLU said that wasn’t good enough and also unconstitutional. They demanded in a letter that people of all faiths be allowed to participate.
There is a new report out on racial injustice in the Richmond region that is both provocative and hopeful. The project took seven years, 15 volunteers and a federal education grant, to produce four video programs on education, transportation, housing and economic development, and the legacy of racial injustice.
The videos are available at the Richmond Peace Education Center website at rpec.org.
Fort Lee could lose half of its permanently assigned soldiers and Army civilians by 2020 according to a report just released by the Army. The projections are part of an Army review of possible realighments across the country as it seeks to reduce its standing army from 562 thousand to as few as 420 thousand by 2020.
Triple A reports pump prices continue their mid-summer slide, despite world problems. Gasoline prices continued to tick lower last week due primarily to lower crude oil prices as the situation stabilizes in Iraq. The national average at $3.59 per gallon Friday is the lowest since April 8. Virginia was 3.39, Richmond 3.35, compared with 3.49 this time last year. Triple A says prices should continue to slide or remain flat in the near future, barring any geopolitical concerns, major hurricane or refinery disruptions.
A federal judge has denied a Virginia inmate’s request to function as his own attorney in his death penalty appeal. William Morva, convicted of killing a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy during an escape in 2006, said he was horrified by the contents of the filing of his court-appointed attorneys and asked the judge to let him represent himself.
The Roanoke Times reported Morva spoke in a loud, assertive tone and wore an enormous beard with hair descending below his shoulders during the two-hour hearing conducted by two-way television from prison.
Portsmouth has created a museum of local black history in a building that once was a Jim Crow era library. The City of Portsmouth has agreed to fund the Portsmouth Community Colored Library Museum’s operation, maintenance and management and also to insure the 900 square foot building and exhibits while they are on display.
The African-Americn Historical Society spearheaded the effort to create the museum and retains ownership of all the artifacts. It will also provide volunteers, raise funds, and promote museum programming, exhibits and events.
The US Department of Agriculture is guaranteeing a $40 million loan for Southside Electric Cooperative for system improvements. Southside Electric is based in Crewe and serves more than 45,000 members thoughout Southern and Central Virginia.
The loan will be used to build or improve more than 1,300 miles of line and it includes more than $8 million for smart grid projects.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the USDA has awarded loan guarantees totally more than $263 million to rural electric systems in eight states to modernize systems and to improve their reliability.
About 130 local volunteers are leaving July 17th for a medical mission in Southwest Virginia that will serve some 2,500 people this weekend. They will be among the 1,300 volunteers who will join physicians, dentists and other health care professionals, making their annual trek to help people who may have no other access to medical care.
One of the Civil War’s Most violent and least understood battlegrounds has just acquired 285 new acres and will come under federal protection. United States Interior Secretary Sally Jewell came to Richmond Battlefield Park in Hanover to participate in the transfer.
Jewell accepted the transfer of the 285 acres on the Gaine’s Mill Battlefield from the Civil War trust for $400,000. The trust purchased the land for $3.2 million, about half from the Commonwealth of Virginia, about half from its members, and literally gave the land to the National Park Service.