A former Hanover County youth minister, caught up in a sexual blackmail scheme, has been sentenced to five years in prison. Fifty-one year old Chris Allen Phillips was sentenced to five years, with four and a half suspended, and ordered to repay more than 87 thousand dollars he embezzled from the Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church where he was youth minister.
Charles Fishburne is a correspondent for WCVE Public Radio. He brings over 40 years experience as a broadcast journalist and news executive in Richmond, Washington D.C. and New York. Charles was also a long-time television news anchor and news director in Richmond.
Articles by Charles Fishburne
Richmond school students will no longer be automatically expelled for first-time drug offenses. The school board voted 7-1 yesterday for a new code of conduct that gives principals and other administrators some discretion in dealing with students caught with drugs. It reflects a change in the Code of Virginia that goes into effect today, that modifies the state’s zero-tolerance policy. Until now, expulsion was recommended no matter what the circumstances. School districts now have the option of lesser penalties.
Mopeds will have to be titled and registered beginning tomorrow. The new law that goes into effect tomorrow will require a $20.25 registration fee and another 10 dollars for a title. Owners will get one plate to put on the back of the back. It stemmed from a 2012 DMV study that noted growing safety concerns from the public, law enforcement and lawmakers as mo-ped use rose with gas prices. Last year, there were more than 600 reported crashes and 12 fatalities involving mopeds.
Triple A says gasoline prices are the highest in six years. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The prices were supposed to drop. But instead the national price of a gallon rose to 3.68, highest price for early summer in six years. Virginia is 3.48, Richmond is 3.45. Triple A says it probably won’t affect the number of motorists on the highway this holiday weekend, but it will cost them more. The average price at the pump had increased for 12 consecutive days through last Monday, and Friday’s average was 15 cents more than a year ago.
The July Fourth holiday weekend officially begins at midnight tomorrow (July 2) and the National Weather Service is predicting thunderstorms and warning about safety. Charles Fishburne talked with Chief Meteorologist Jeff Orrock, at the National Weather Service in Wakefield. Seventy-percent of lightning deaths occur in the months of June, July and August. The National Weather service survey says fisherman accounted for almost half the fatalities, boaters 23%, people relaxing on the beach 21%, and swimmers eight percent.
Newly released emails show the interim director of the Virginia tobacco commission was uneasy about the timing of a potential job offer to former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett, whose recent resignation has been investigated by the FBI. The emails were obtained by the Associated Press and show the GOP controlled commission appeared to create a position solely for Puckett and even solicited his input in crafting the job description.
Triple A predicts 41 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home during the July 4 th holiday weekend and it will be an extended one for many vacationers.
The weekend officially starts next Wednesday at midnight, and more people will be on the road planning to spend more money - much of it on credit.
Triple A has a news conference scheduled this morning to talk about Virginia but if those numbers approach the national projections they will be the highest level for Independence Day Travel since 2007.
The Hanover County Board of Supervisors has approved a large residential and commercial development at one of the county’s busiest intersections. The board has voted to rezone 25 acres at Bell Creek and Pole Green roads from agriculture to multifamily residential and business where Hanover Land Investors LLC plans to build 48 single family homes, 73 townhouses and businesses.
Virginia is receiving more than six million dollars in federal funds for job training programs for laid-off workers. The money is going to the Community College system to enhance job training services for the long-term unemployed. Officials say the funds will be used to train workers who lost a job through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries. It is part of a larger 155 million dollar package nationwide in a grant through the US Department of labor and will create or help to expand employer partnerships and provide career counseling and job placement.