Virginia Withdraws from Lawsuit over Mississippi Abortion Law

Virginia’s new Attorney General has withdrawn the state from a landmark lawsuit that could determine the legality of abortion nationwide. 

“Following the change in Administration on January 15, 2022, the Attorney General has reconsidered Virginia’s position in this case,” Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office said in a letter addressed to the Supreme Court. “The purpose of this letter is to notify the Court that Virginia no longer adheres to the arguments contained in its previously filed brief. Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several States to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”

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John Fredericks NFL Picks Divisional Weekend: Home Sweet Home

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –The NFL Playoffs are here and DraftKings Sports-Book–an official betting partner of the NFL–is kicking things off with a huge offer! Counting down to Super Bowl 56, new customers can get 56-1 odds on any Divisional weekend team to win their game! Bet just $5 and win $280 in free bets if your team is victorious. Just use promo code GODZILLA! The magic promo code of all time!

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Prince William School Board Chairman Defends Ignoring Father’s Concern About Sex Abuse During Meeting

The Prince William County School Board (PWCSB) member is defending himself against claims that he ignored the concern of a father who said at a Thursday school board meeting that his daughter had been sexually assaulted in one of the county’s schools. 

“During our School Board meeting on January 19, a concerned father addressed the School Board during Citizen Comment time with questions about the way a situation had been handled by the School Division,” Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman of PWCSB told The Virginia Star in a statement. “Citizen Comment time is not structured to allow for the School Board to address a citizen’s questions immediately.”

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After Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Ivermectin Bill, Capitol Police Direct Upset Supporters to Leave

Virginia Capitol Police directed upset members of the public out of a Senate Education and Health Committee meeting after the committee killed Senator Amanda Chase’s bill aimed at protecting medical providers who prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19.

“This bill is about a patient’s right to life. A patient has a right to life and should not be prohibited from potential life-saving medication by a hospital, a pharmacy, or other administrative agency. Patients should be able to make decisions about their care and treatment in conjunction with the knowledge and expertise of their treating physician,” Chase told the committee on Thursday morning.

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Virginia Sens. Saslaw, Howell Help Republicans Kill Sen. Morrissey’s Parole Expansion Bill

Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) and Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) helped Republicans kill Senator Joe Morrissey’s (D-Richmond) SB 109, which would have expanded parole eligibility from people who were juveniles when sentenced to people under 21. Parole has been a key target of Virginia Republicans and tough-on-crime policy is a priority for them as they try to roll back criminal justice reforms passed by Democrats in previous years. Saslaw’s Thursday vote came the day after a committee meeting where he appeared flexible on instituting some mandatory minimums, also a Republican goal.

“Senate Bill 109 expands juvenile parole. During the 2020 General Assembly session, you all recall Senator Marsden’s bill that was Senate Bill 103 that allowed individuals who were sentenced as juveniles, and who have served 20 or more years, to be eligible for parole. That’s now the law. Senate Bill 109 expands  the definition of juvenile and it changes it to youthful offender, which allows individuals who were 20 years of age or younger and who have served twenty years to become parole eligible,” Morrissey explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 17.

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Virginia Public Universities Rescind Vaccine Mandates Following Youngkin’s Order

Some of Virginia’s public universities have rescinded their vaccine mandates after Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) took office this week and signed a flurry of executive orders on his first day. 

One of those orders banned vaccine mandates by employers. 

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Youngkin Urges Virginians to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19, Prioritize Tests for Students, Essential Workers, and Vulnerable Individuals

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a COVID action plan aimed at expanding healthcare facilities’ ability to respond to COVID-19 and coping with test shortages. The plan also includes COVID-19 vaccine outreach. Youngkin announced the plan during a stop in Roanoke.

“As your governor, I will not mandate the vaccine,” Youngkin said according to The Roanoke Times. “But as your neighbor and as your friend, I am strongly encouraging you to please get it.”

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Youngkin Shifts Northam Diversity Office Focus from Equity to Opportunity

Governor Glenn Youngkin is changing the focus of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, created by former Governor Ralph Northam in the wake of his 2019 blackface scandal. Youngkin issued his tenth executive order Wednesday and announced his desire for the General Assembly to change the office name to Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion Office. He also named former Heritage Foundation official Angela Sailor to head the office, moves that Democrats saw as direct efforts to gut the office of its core purpose.

“The people of Virginia elected the most diverse leadership in the Commonwealth’s history. Virginia is big enough for the hopes and dreams of a diverse people. Angela Sailor’s experience in government, nonprofits and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse Commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians,” Youngkin said in a press release.

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Virginia NAACP Chapter Accuses Parents of Racism for Trying to Recall School Board Members Who Covered Up In-School Sexual Assaults

Parents trying to recall members of a northern Virginia school board were accused of racism for these actions by a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Tuesday.

Michelle Thomas, a pastor and president of the Loudoun, Virginia, branch of the NAACP called the recall effort “a Jim Crow-esque effort of 2022 to suppress votes, and to silence the will of the people,” according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Thomas was announcing an effort to join the legal battle seeking to remove school board members Brenda Sheridan and Atoosa Reaser when she made the comment.

Thomas took aim at Fight for Schools, the parents group behind the recall effort, which began after a secret Facebook group targeting parents who opposed Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) came to light.

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Virginia Senate Committee Kills Sen. Chase’s Bills Banning Discrimination Against People Who Refuse to Mask or Get COVID-19 Vaccines

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee killed two of Senator Amanda Chase’s (R-Chesterfield) bills seeking to outlaw discrimination against those who refuse to wear masks or get COVID-19 vaccines.

“While we have many opinions about whether to wear masks or not, it should be an individual right. It should be an individual choice. I remember a period of time whenever that was not necessarily an option, and it impeded people who had disabilities from actually getting healthcare services because they could not wear a mask, not being able to go to the grocery store, shop. We cannot deny people a basic human right of being provided healthcare and basic human services,” Chase told the committee on Wednesday afternoon, arguing for her bill SB 582.

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Virginia General Assembly Continues to Debate Youngkin Critical Race Theory Ban

RICHMOND, Virginia – The General Assembly continues to debate Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order One banning Critical Race Theory and “inherently divisive concepts.” On Wednesday, legislators debated the policy in the House Education Committee, on the House floor, and on the Senate floor. The newly-Republican-controlled House of Delegates has been slow to hear bills in committee, which generated another House floor back-and-forth, but although key anti-CRT bills haven’t been heard in the Education Committee yet, delegates got a jump-start on debating the topic when interviewing Youngkin nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

Balow previously served as Wyoming’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she supported anti-CRT legislation.

“I share Governor Youngkin’s priorities for education,” Balow said.

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Youngkin Says It’s Time to ‘Turn Page’ on COVID Pandemic

Glenn Youngkin standing at podium

Newly inaugurated Gov. Glenn Yougkin (R) spoke about the future of Virginia Monday afternoon in his first address to the Virginia General Assembly. 

In his speech, Youngkin said the sate is ready to be finished with the pandemic, noting that he was elected to “turn the page” on COVID-19. 

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Chesapeake School Parents Sue Governor Youngkin Over School Mask Mandate Ban

Thirteen parents from the Chesapeake school district are suing Governor Glenn Youngkin over his Executive Order Two which requires districts to allow parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates, no reason required. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says Youngkin’s order violates of separation of powers, since it violates SB 1303, which requires schools to comply with CDC mitigation strategies.

“Executive Order Number Two purports to sweep aside masking mandates and other protections with little or no consideration of or respect for CDC guidance, actions taken by the Virginia General Assembly, or the powers vested in school boards,” the lawsuit states, according to a copy obtained by ABC7.

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Senate Committee Kills Republican Election Integrity Reforms, Obenshain-Chase Conflict Resurfaces, Surovell Criticizes Miyares for Firing 30 Attorneys

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections killed several Republican- sponsored elections integrity bills on Tuesday afternoon, including photo voter identification bills and a bill to repeal same-day voter registration. The committee also killed campaign finance reform bills from Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax.)

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Commentary: Meritocracy Against the Wokes

Poor Democrats — they haven’t been this ruffled about Republicans taking over Richmond since 1865.

Truly, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for the Virginia Democrats, whose lust for power and the damage they did in just two years was something to behold. What they deemed progress consisted mostly of bulldozing history, embedding outright racism into our classrooms and bureaucracy, and institutionalizing mental illness to the degree where if such things are questioned you are swiftly beaten out of the public square — or worse, the Twitter mob is followed up by a media no one reads and you are marched off to your own private gulag.

Yet I digress.

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Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears Presides Over Senate for First Time on Martin Luther King Day

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears took up the gavel to preside over the Senate for the first time on Monday, Martin Luther King Day. Sears is the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Virginia. Senators spent the Monday session with Martin Luther King Day speeches and with ceremonial introductions, including of Attorney General Jason Miyares.

Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) introduced Sears: “It is wonderful to have Winsome Earle-Sears assume the gavel as the lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For those of you who do not know Madam President, she is a Marine Corps veteran.

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Gov. Youngkin Tells General Assembly, ‘The State of the Commonwealth Is Not What it Should Be,’ ‘We Have the Ability to Course-Correct’

Governor Glenn Youngkin used his first State of the Commonwealth address to describe a Virginia in need of reform, with underfunded schools whose leaders are out of touch with parents, rising crime rates, rising cost of living, and a stalled economy. The Monday message contrasted with former Governor Ralph Northam’s State of the Commonwealth delivered last Wednesday, where Northam highlighted economic success, education that reckons with Virginia’s past, and progress on equity.

“From the perspective of everyday Virginia families, times are tough and the State of the Commonwealth is not what it should be,” Youngkin said. “The good news is that we have the ability to course-correct before this poor performance becomes permanent.”

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Delegate Tim Anderson Commentary: A Legal Analysis of Executive Order Two – Masks in Schools

I have received many requests from you regarding how Gov Youngkin’s order applies to school masking requirements.

For private schools – the answer is easy. Private schools were ordered by the former health commissioner to require masking in schools. That order is rescinded. Private schools should rely on the parental choice option and create a policy allowing mask wearing to be optional.

Public schools: This is more complicated. Last year a law was passed (SB1303) that requires public schools (only public – not private) to be open for in-person learning 5 days weeks while requires “ii) provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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Four Major School Districts Plan to Defy Youngkin Mask Mandate Ban

After inaugurated Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) banned schools from establishing mask mandates on his first day as Virginia governor, four major school districts say they won’t abide by his new rule.

Executive Order Number Two (2022) and Order of Public Health Emergency One banned the mandates. 

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State Sen. Reeves Introduced Youngkin Legislation to Cut Virginia Veterans’ Income Tax, Expand Child Care Subsidy Eligibility

Governor Glenn Youngkin is enacting some of his policies by executive order, but he’ll have to work with legislators to get other initiatives passed. Senator Bryce Reeves has introduced two bills focused on the governor’s goal to make Virginia more veteran friendly.

“The bills, carried by Senator Reeves on behalf of Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, signal that Governor-elect Youngkin’s administration values military and veteran families across the commonwealth and recognizes that Virginia must compete to retain its recognition as one of the most military and veteran-friendly states,” a Friday Reeves press release said.

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Speaker Gilbert, Senator McDougle to Serve Again on Republican Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Committee

Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) and Speaker of the House of Delegates Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) will again serve on the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC) Executive Committee. Gilbert is also in a new role at the RLCC as finance chair.

“National Democrats proved in 2021 that they are willing to spend whatever it takes to win state-level races so they can turn the entire country into a socialist utopia,” Gilbert said in a RLCC release Wednesday. “Despite that obstacle, Republicans were able to flip the House of Delegates in the Commonwealth of Virginia while making significant gains in other liberal strongholds like New Jersey. I am excited to continue working with this incredible organization and to act as a resource for my colleagues trying to replicate the success we had in 2021.”

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Governor Ralph Northam Pardons Sen. Morrissey for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he has issued more than 1,200 pardons during his term in office. That includes a January 13 pardon for Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), who was sentenced in 2014 of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a relationship with a 17-year-old employee who is now his wife.

“Both Myra and I are extremely pleased and are grateful for the governor’s pardon. And the people who will be most grateful and most appreciative will be my four young children in the ensuing years,” Morrissey told The Virginia Star.

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Governor Youngkin Issues Executive Orders Banning CRT, Ending Mask Mandate Shortly After Taking Office

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed nine executive orders and two executive directives on Saturday shortly after the inauguration. Three of the orders focus specifically on school policy, banning the use of “divisive concepts,” allowing parents to opt their children out of school mask policies, and requesting Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the Loudoun County Public Schools.

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Governor Glenn Youngkin Takes Oath of Office, Promises 11 Immediate Executive Actions on CRT, Masks, Vaccines, and Other Campaign Commitments

Governor Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears took their oaths of office on Saturday afternoon, followed by a howitzer salute from the Army National Guard. Then, Youngkin gave his first speech as governor, with an emphasis on a “common path forward” and with renewed promises from his campaign.

“Our politics have become too toxic. Soundbites have replaced solutions — taking precedence over good faith problem-solving,” he said. “My fellow Virginians, I come to this moment, and to this office, knowing we must bind the wounds of division. Restore trust. Find common cause for the common good.”

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Dominion Energy Seeks to Halt Virginia Rate Increase, Citing Youngkin Energy Plan

Dominion Energy, which is the largest energy company in Virginia, is asking the state to halt the next scheduled rate increase because Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s energy plan would make the hike unnecessary.

On Jan. 1, Dominion began implementing the state-approved rate increase to recover costs associated with purchasing allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is a carbon-trading initiative designed to gradually reduce carbon emissions. The initial increase for 2022 cost a residential customer nearly $30 over the year, but those costs would continue to go up if Virginia stays in the compact. According to the State Corporations Commission (SCC), RGGI would cost about $5.9 billion between 2019 and 2043 and would lead to a rate increase between $84 and $144 annually.

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Delegate McGuire Introduces Repeals of Democratic Criminal Justice Reforms

Delegate John McGuire (R-Henrico) has introduced several bills that would repeal Democratic criminal justice reforms. McGuire’s proposals include bills to lower thresholds for felony larceny, make it easier to execute search warrants, and end local governmental authority to establish law enforcement civilian oversight bodies. Chief on the list is HB 59, which requires school principals to report misdemeanors to law enforcement and to the victim’s parents.

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General Assembly Session Day Two: Filler-Corn Criticizes Speaker Gilbert for Tweet About Northam State of the Commonwealth

Eileen Filler-Corn

In a Wednesday tweet, Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert blasted Governor Ralph Northam’s final State of the Commonwealth address, leading House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn to respond in a floor statement on Thursday.

“Ralph Northam is leaving office as his own lost cause, condescendingly lecturing us all from some assumed moral high ground because he read the book ‘Roots’ and then went on a non-stop reconciliation tour. Saturday can’t come fast enough,” Gilbert wrote.

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Report: Youngkin Will Appoint Anti-Critical Race Theory Former Trump Official to Education Role

According to a report in Daily Wire, Virginia’s Gov. Elect Glenn Youngkin (R) will appoint a staunch opponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to his education team. 

Elizabeth Schultz will become the state’s Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, according to the report. 

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Tina Ramirez Announces Run for Senate District 12, Setting Up Likely Nomination Battle with State Sen. Amanda Chase

Tina Ramirez has scrubbed her campaign for the GOP nomination for congressional district seven, due to redistricting. On Wednesday, she announced that she will run for state Senate District 12 in 2023. That sets her up for a primary battle with self-proclaimed Trump-in-heels Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), whose own CD 7 ambitions were smashed by redistricting.

“The 12th Senate District is a wholly new district, which is exciting because we need new voices and fresh ideas,” Ramirez told The Richmond-Times Dispatch. “This is what I bring to the conservative movement.”

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Speaker of the House Gilbert Takes the Dais, Republicans Preview Agenda on First Day of 2022 General Assembly Session

Virginia House Republicans took power on Wednesday with the formal election and swearing-in of Speaker of the House Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). The first day of the 2022 General Assembly session was marked by ceremony and by minor squabbles between Democrats and Republicans over House rules. In the morning, Gilbert and other Republican leaders previewed their legislative goals for the session in a press conference.

“Our agenda for 2022 is a direct response to what we heard from voters on the campaign trail,” Gilbert said. “Throughout the campaign, voters consistently told us they were worried about their children’s education, inflation was making it harder to take care of their families, and they wanted to see the safety of their communities improved.”

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In Final State of the Commonwealth, Northam Says His Administration Focused on Helping People

In his final State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Ralph Northam said that his administration had been focused on helping people. He highlighted economic success, investment in skills training, education that reckons with Virginia’s past, clean energy, criminal justice reform, election law changes, and infrastructure investment.

“We are leaving this Commonwealth better than it was when we came into office. We have built a state that does a better job of treating people right. It’s more welcoming, more open, more fair and equitable. We have built a state that helps people who need it—whether they need health care, or cleaner water, or to keep a roof over their head during a global pandemic,” Northam said.

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Parents Group Claims Documents Show Anti-Asian Bias by Virginia School Board

A parents group is claiming documents obtained in a lawsuit over admissions policies to an elite high school prove that a northern Virginia school board had a bias against students of Asian descent.

Purported discussions among members of the Fairfax County School Board mentioned “an anti asian feel underlying” the pursuit of changes to the admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), according to emails, texts, and other documents published by Parents Defending Education (PDE). TJHSST is considered the number one high school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

“In fall 2020, Fairfax County, Va., school board members said the quiet part out loud,” PDE Vice President for Strategy & Investigations Asra Nomani, wrote in an article on Substack discussing the comments in the alleged discussions.

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As Virginia Legislative Session Begins, Bills to Increase School Security Weighed

As the 2021-2022 legislative year begins in Virginia, one bill would mandate security protocols for school board meetings statewide.

HB 12 says schools would be required to “limit to the lowest feasible number the entry points in each public school building in the local school division” and “ensure that each individual who seeks to enter any school building in the local school division is screened with a handheld metal detector wand by a school security officer or another appropriate school board employee who is appropriately trained in such method of screening.”

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Youngkin Finishes Cabinet Nominations with Sec. Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Sec. Health and Human Resources

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin completed his cabinet nominee picks on Monday with the announcement of Fauquier County Sheriff Robert Mosier to be Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and recent Magellan of Virginia President John Littel to be Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on Virginians across the Commonwealth, and John will play a pivotal role in overseeing our efforts in protecting Virginians’ lives and livelihoods. Starting on Day One, John’s experience will be an asset as we fix our broken mental and behavioral health system, ensure Virginians have access to affordable, free-market healthcare options, and reform our healthcare safety net to save taxpayer dollars and improve healthcare outcomes,” Youngkin said in the announcement.

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Norfolk Elects Jackie Glass to Fill House District 89 Vacancy

Democrat Jackie Glass will represent Virginia’s 89th house district. According to preliminary results in a Tuesday special election, Glass received 75.11 percent of the votes while Republican Giovanni Dolmo got 24.68 percent in a battle to replace former Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk), who announced his resignation in December.

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Afghan Refugee at Quantico Commits ‘Unlawful Act with a Child’

Another alleged refugee from Afghanistan has committed a crime since being brought over to America, while living at a Marine Corps base, with this incident involving a child.

As the Daily Caller reports, the incident occurred last year at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, located in Virginia, and was only recently revealed in an Inspector General report. The report states that there was a “major criminal security incident” involving a refugee, one of thousands who was imported into the United States after the fall of Afghanistan last August.

It was confirmed that the crime “appeared to be an unlawful act with a minor,” although the report did not divulge the nature of the crime itself. Following an internal investigation, the culprit was handed over to the FBI.

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Outgoing Attorney General Herring Says Governor-Elect Youngkin Can’t Pull Virginia from Key Environmental Initiative

Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion Wednesday saying that Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin cannot pull Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI,) a program where utilities have to bid for carbon dioxide emissions allowances. Youngkin has said he would use executive action to leave the RGGI. Herring’s opinion says that since Virginia entering the initiative was the result of laws passed by the General Assembly, Youngkin can’t use executive action alone to pull Virginia from the program.

“Climate change remains an urgent and ever-growing threat to Virginians, their safety, their health, and their communities. Virginia’s participation in RGGI is crucial to reducing our carbon pollution, while simultaneously investing hundreds of millions of dollars in mitigation and resilience efforts,” Herring said in a press release

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Portsmouth Settles Sen. Lucas’ Lawsuit Against Ex-Chief Greene, Greene Not Happy With Decision

The City of Portsmouth has settled with Senator Louse Lucas (D-Portsmouth) in her lawsuit against former Chief Angela Greene and Sergeant Kevin McGee, with the city agreeing to pay Lucas $300,000, according to a Greene press release. In June, Lucas sued Greene and McGee for $6.75 million after the police department filed felony charges against Lucas over her alleged involvement in the destruction of the Portsmouth confederate monument in June 2020.

A court dismissed the charges and Portsmouth fired Greene. Lucas’ lawsuit alleges that Greene and McGee committed malicious prosecution, defamation, false imprisonment, and gross negligence. In a statement Friday, Lucas said she’d donate the funds to charity.

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Exclusive: Cyber Ninjas CEO Says Arizona Senate Shut Down Firm Not Leftwing Judge

The Founder and CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the cybersecurity firm tapped by the Arizona State Senate to audit Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential election tallies, told The Star News Network his company shut down because the Republican-controlled State Senate did not fulfill its contractual obligations to the firm.

“At the end of the day, this is the call of Senator Fann,” said Doug Logan, speaking of Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann. Logan told employees in early December that the company would close its doors unless the State Senate fulfilled its contractual obligations.

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Virginia GOP Committees Prepare to Nominate Candidates to Flip Second, Seventh, and Tenth Congressional Districts

Republicans in Virginia’s newly-redistricted seventh congressional district voted to hold a primary for the nomination of their candidate to challenge likely Democratic nominee incumbent Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia-07.) At the Saturday morning meeting, the Seventh Congressional District Republican Committee also adjusted their leadership to compensate for shifts due to redistricting; they picked Caroline County GOP Chairman Jeff Sili to lead the committee until they elect a new chairman in the spring.

“It’s like offering the vote to the whole state. Also, a primary provides lots of data to both parties,” Susan Sili told The Virginia Star.

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Virginia’s Incoming Governor and Attorney General Say They Will Fight Biden Vaccine Mandates

A week before the inauguration, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares are signaling that challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandates will be an early priority.

“After the January 15th inauguration, the Commonwealth of Virginia will quickly move to protect Virginians’ freedoms and challenge President Biden’s unlawful CMS, OSHA, and Head Start vaccine mandates,” a Youngkin press release states.

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John Fredericks NFL Picks Week 18: Last Week of Regular Season

Well, here we are! Week 18 at last! With Wild-Card weekend next Saturday we need to get our momentum going into the playoffs. The marquee match-up is Sunday night with the Chargers traveling across the desert to take on Raider Nation in Vegas. Its a playoff game in and of itself: the winner makes the dance, the loser plays golf.

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Virginia COVID-19 Hospitalizations Beat January 2021 Record

Virginia COVID-19 hospitalizations of confirmed and pending COVID-19 cases climbed to 3,329 on Friday and to 3,478 on Saturday, beating the previous daily record of 3,329 set on January 13, 2021, according to data from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA). That’s part of a broader trend of higher-than-before COVID-19 daily case counts in Virginia. On January 2, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 19,506 cases, over twice as much as the previous high of 9,914 on January 17, 2021. On Friday, the VDH reported 18,309 new cases, with a seven-day average of 14,645.

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Northam Says Virginians Should Thank Government After 24 Hour Traffic Jam

Days after blaming Virginia motorists for a more than 24 hour pileup on I-95 in the northern part of the state, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) now wants Virginians thank the state government for the pleasure. 

“I hate to vent on you right now, Matt, but I am getting sick and tired of people talking about what went wrong. I think we ought to be very thankful that nobody got hurt, nobody lost their lives, Interstate-95 is up and running, and people are back at home and back at work,” Northam told WRVA reporter Matt Demlein.  

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Youngkin Picks Conservative Policy Leader Kay Coles James for Secretary of the Commonwealth

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced that former Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James is his pick for Secretary of the Commonwealth. James has experience in the administrations of both Bushes as well as Reagan. She also served as Former Governor George Allen’s Secretary of Health.

“Secretary James will be a true asset to the administration. Our shared vision combined with her tremendous experience will pave the way for a new day in Virginia. Kay has an extensive public service background; she has always been a leader and innovator in Virginia government. Kay has worked tirelessly as my transition Co-Chair, advising on personnel, policy, and strategic planning,” Youngkin said in a Friday evening press release.

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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine Blames Capitol Protestors for Officers’ Suicides

A U.S. Senator from Virginia, known for his far-left anti-police sentiment, finally began supporting police officers Thursday. 

“Officer Howie Liebengood and Officer Jeffrey Smith, Virginians who died because of the insurrection, deserve the official officer’s line-of-duty death designation,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said on Twitter, attaching a column from The Washington Post.

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Youngkin Picks Trump Department of Labor Official for Secretary of Virginia Department of Labor

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin tapped former Trump Department of Labor (DOL) Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management George “Bryan” Slater to serve as Virginia secretary of labor.

“Workforce development will play a crucial part of jumpstarting our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Bryan’s experience and leadership will be critical to the development of talent, training of workers, and protection of Virginia’s right-to-work laws that will attract investment to Virginia,” Youngkin said in the Thursday announcement.

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Virginia Senate Bill 1303 Complicates Roanoke County School Board Effort to Make Masks Optional After Youngkin Takes Office

The Roanoke County School Board voted Tuesday to make masks optional once Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin takes office. On Thursday, they reversed that decision, citing potential legal complications.

“Upon Governor-elect Youngkin’s administration’s canceling of the current VDH public health order, Roanoke County Public Schools will immediately become mask optional and return to pre-COVID medical policies, leaving medical decisions such as testing, quarantining, contact tracing between the doctor and their student patient or the student’s parents and guardians,” Board Member Cheryl Facciani said in her motion.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Blames Drivers for Days-Long I-95 Traffic Jam

Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has not taken any responsibility for Monday and Tuesday’s massive pileup on I-95 in the northern part of the state, choosing instead to blame motorists. 

“We gave warnings, and people need to pay attention to these warnings, and the less people that are on the highways when these storms hit, the better,” Northam told The Washington Post.

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Freshman Virginia Delegate Tim Anderson Aims at Gun Control

Freshman Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) has pre-filed a suite of bills that, if enacted, will roll back many of Democrats’ gun control initiatives from recent years. Anderson’s four bills would eliminate fees for concealed handgun permits; reduce penalties for carrying concealed weapons without permits; remove the one handgun-a-month purchasing limit on people who don’t have permits; and remove authority for localities to implement their own gun bans on municipal property.

“As far as the Second Amendment bills, I am seeking to revoke the nonsensical one-gun-a-month bill for non-concealed carry holders because there is no evidence to support that someone is more dangerous without a concealed carry permit than someone who has one,” Anderson said.

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