Lawsuit Accuses Delegate Michael Mullin of Violating Separation of Powers

Delegate Michael Mullin (D-Newport News) is accused of violating the separation of powers by serving as an attorney in cases with justices he appoints. The lawsuit asks the court to “disqualify any judge(s) subject to review or reappointment” by Mullin, and to remove Mullin from prosecution of the case.

The suit contends that Mullin’s positions as both a Delegate in the House and an assistant attorney violates Articles III and IV of the Constitution of Virginia.

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Virginia Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Jury Trials With Judge Sentencing

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation Friday that allows those accused of a crime to receive a jury trial and a judge’s sentence, which proponents believe will reduce sentence lengths.

Under current law, a defendant must opt for a jury sentence if he or she requests a jury trial, which can often result in longer sentences than guidance normally would suggest. The law allows a judge to reduce the sentence, but this happens in only about 8.1% of cases.

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New Research Shows Excess of Non-COVID Deaths Increased Over Course of Pandemic

New research from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) shows that excess, non-COVID-19 deaths increased over the course of the pandemic. The authors theorized that the pandemic caused “disruptions” that led to these deaths.

Non-COVID deaths accounted for over thirty percent of the overall excess deaths. The most significant non-COVID causes of death were heart disease, Alzheimer disease, and dementia. 

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Coalition of Churches Opposes Bristol Casino

Eight churches in Bristol, Virginia are fighting against a proposed $400 million Hard Rock casino; residents will vote on the referendum this November. The coalition cites studies claiming that casinos prey on gambling addicts and questions whether a casino would draw high numbers of tourists as claimed by supporters of the referendum. Proponents say the casino would bring Bristol $15-$20 million a year in taxes and over 2,000 jobs averaging salaries of $46,500.

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Dr. Christine Hoffman of Job Creators Network Discusses Healthcareforyou.com, Voting Safety, and the Irrational Fear of COVID

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed Dr. Christine Hoffman, M.D. to the show to discuss HealthCareForYou.com, voting safety, and to explain the irrational fear of contracting COVID.

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Virginia Vote Counters: No Winners on Election Night

As November 3rd draws closer, general registrars and their staff in central Virginia are working extremely hard to get as many ballots counted as possible on election night, even though the results will not be official until Friday of that week.

On Monday, The Virginia Star spoke with registrars from Henrico, Hanover, New Kent and Goochland counties, and discussed the timing of ballot counts.

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Faith, Family, and Freedom: Republican Candidate for Florida’s Tenth Congressional District, Vennia Francois Pushes the Conservative Message to Oust Val Demings

Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host John Fredricks welcomed the 10th congressional district of Florida candidate (R) Vennia Francois to the show to discuss her ground game against Democratic incumbent Val Demings.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 20

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 14 days until the election on November 3 – and 11 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate THIS THURSDAY. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot in Virginia is Friday, October 23.

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Richmond Catholic Diocese Pays $6.3 Million to Sex Abuse Survivors

The Richmond Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is paying $6.3 million to 51 survivors of sexual abuse as minors. The announcement made last Thursday is the result of an Independent Reconciliation Program (IRP) called for by Bishop Barry C. Knestout after the diocese identified dozens of clergy linked to the diocese who face allegations of abuse.

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Trial to Decide Fate of Robert E. Lee Statue Underway in Richmond

The trial over a lawsuit aiming to stop Governor Ralph Northam from removing the statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee began Monday morning in Richmond.

After the death of George Floyd, the Lee monument and other Confederate statues throughout the city became a focal point of the summer protests over racial inequality and police brutality in Richmond.

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Progressive Activist Running For RVA Mayor Wants Equity

Alexsis Rodgers is running for mayor to bring equity to Richmond’s impoverished and minority communities, but she said that doesn’t leave behind other parts of the city.

“We all thrive and we all succeed when more of us are able to have access to economic opportunity, when more of us are able to be healthy, and lead healthy lives,” Rodgers told The Virginia Star.

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Virginia Board of Education Adds ‘African American History’ on 1619 and Lynchings to Curriculum

The Virginia Board of Education announced the implementation of new curriculum pertaining to African American studies.
The board’s decision reportedly follows recommendations from the Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth. Governor Ralph Northam created this commission last fall. 

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 19

Welcome to the Saturday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 15 days until the election on November 3 – and 12 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate THIS THURSDAY. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot in Virginia is Friday, October 23.

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Progressive Activist Running For RVA Mayor Wants Equity

Alexsis Rodgers is running for mayor to bring equity to Richmond’s impoverished and minority communities, but she said that doesn’t leave behind other parts of the city.

“We all thrive and we all succeed when more of us are able to have access to economic opportunity, when more of us are able to be healthy, and lead healthy lives,” Rodgers told The Virginia Star.

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VCU To Students: Zoom Time – No In Person Classes

As the fall semester begins to enter its final weeks, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announced Thursday that the spring 2021 term will look very similar with most classes online and schoolwide health and safety protocols still enforced.

VCU president Michael Rao published an online message to students Thursday providing an update for the upcoming semester and highlighting some of the changes being made.

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Juneteenth Is Now a Legal Holiday in the State of Virginia

Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation this week passed during the General Assembly 2020 special session into law making Juneteenth an officially recognized holiday in the Commonwealth.

Juneteenth will now be a permanent, statewide holiday allowing all state employees to get a paid day off from work.

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Virtual Learning Workload Overwhelms Loudoun County Students

Citing overwhelming virtual education workloads, over 13,000 people have signed a change.org petition asking Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to reduce the amount of work the students have to do. Unlike school districts in other parts of the states, LCPS is still using a fully virtual model, driving some parents to private schools.

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Loudoun County Schools Turn to Black Lives Matter for Curriculum, Tries to Hide It

Several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests reveal Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) reliance on material from Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other similar organizations.
One parent issued a FOIA request to LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard. Specifically, the FOIA request concerned any LCPS collaboration with Southern Poverty Law Center and BLM.

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Lynchburg Registrar’s Office on Allegations of Improper Absentee Ballot Counting: ‘We Will Do Better in the Future’

The Lynchburg Registrar’s Office maintains that allegations of improper absentee ballot counting were a result of an unintentional oversight of ballot law. No Republican officials were present per The Code of Virginia.
On Monday, the only workers present to process absentee ballots were “non-party affiliation.” Emails shared with The Virginia Star reveal that some of these workers had identified as Democrats up until last year.

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Senate Lawmakers Pass Conference Report for Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

During potentially the final day of the lengthy 2020 special session, Senate legislators adopted and passed the conference committee report on a bill that allows judges in certain criminal cases to issue the sentences instead of the jury. 

The conference report that was unanimously agreed upon by the six conferees, two Republicans and two Democrats, passed the Senate by an almost exact party line vote of (Y-22 N-16). 

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Alleged MS-13 Members Charged in Random 2019 North Virginia Murders

The Prince William County Police Department (PWPCD) has charged 12 people for the 2019 murders of four men. The murders were linked to MS-13 drug trafficking operations bringing cocaine from New York to local vendors in northern Virginia. According to a press release, 11 of the 12 suspects are in custody.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest from the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 17

Welcome to the Saturday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 17 days until the election on November 3 – and 14 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate five days from today.

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Eight Commonwealth’s Attorneys Pledge to Not Enforce Pro-Life Laws

Eight Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys pledged that they will not enforce any laws criminalizing abortions. The pledge was signed by over 60 prosecutors and state attorneys general and expresses concern over attempts to pass laws limiting abortion. The Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) organization published the pledge on October 14, as Congress holds confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

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Legislation Allowing Localities to Establish Law Enforcement Civilian Review Boards Heads to Governor’s Desk

Compromised legislation that gives localities the authority to establish law enforcement civilian review boards (CRB) successfully passed final votes in the Senate and House of Delegates Wednesday afternoon, and now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Joint conference committee reports for Senate Bill 5035 passed the Senate (21-Y 17-N) and for House Bill 5055 passed the House (53-Y 35-N), mostly along the party lines of both chambers.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest from the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 16

Welcome to the Friday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 18 days until the election on November 3 – and 15 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate six days from today.

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JMU History Professor Puts a Death Wish on Republicans: They ‘Can Die For All I Care’

James Madison University (JMU) Associate Professor of History Mary Gayne tweeted a death wish for the Republican Party.
“I’m not linked to a party but, this year, I’m just straight up voting the Democratic ticket. Not even going to think about other variations. The Republican Party can die for all I care. They’ve demonstrated lack of loyalty to democracy & the US Constitution. F*** ’em all.”

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Newport News Public Schools Superintendent Delays Students’ Return to Classrooms

The Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) superintendent George Parker announced Tuesday that he was postponing the plan that would have brought students back to the classroom for the first time since March.

The delay comes after the Newport News School Board voted 5-2 during its meeting last week to allow for a phased return to in-person instruction for K-12 students.

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Lynchburg Registrar Accused of Counting Absentee Ballots Illegally Without Republicans Present

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) and the Lynchburg Republican City Committee are accusing the Lynchburg Registrar’s Office of violating election laws by counting absentee ballots without Republicans present. Individuals who previously registered as Democrats for years assisted in counting ballots, this time registered as “non-party affiliation.”
65 of the “non-party affiliation” individuals were Democrats last year.

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Richmond Police Investigate Potential Burglary at Mayor Stoney’s Campaign Office

Officers responded to a break-in at Mayor Levar Stoney’s campaign office on Tuesday morning after they found a broken door, according to The Associated Press. A TV was missing and documents were displaced, but no campaign paperwork was taken.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest from the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 15

Welcome to the Thursday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 19 days until the election on November 3 – and 16 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate one week from today.

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Senate and House Advance Budget Legislation to Conference Committee

Lawmakers in the Senate and House of Delegates advanced their biennial budget to a formal conference committee on Wednesday and assigned conferees to represent the bodies, but much of the work on compromising has already been conducted.

Before the two legislative bodies agreed to send the budget to a joint conference committee, however, the Senate first had to adopt a batch of seven committee amendments to the budget legislation. 

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Activist Faces Misdemeanor Charges After Protest at Acting ICE Director Pham’s Home

The Henrico County police have charged a protestor with misdemeanors related to the September 8 protest at acting ICE Director Tony Pham’s home. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nancy Nguyen, executive director of VietLead, was arrested and released on her own recognizance last week in Philadelphia.

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Loudoun County School Board Backpedals on Policy Limiting Free Speech Indefinitely After Public Outcry

Loudoun County School Board voted this week to revise their “Professional Conduct” policy governing employee speech off of school property. Up until the latest meeting, members recommended to approve and accept the policy.
Apparently, public outcry from teachers unions and community members led to this decision.

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Judge Extends Virginia’s Voter Registration Deadline Until Midnight Thursday

A federal Judge extended Virginia’s voter registration deadline Wednesday morning after the system experienced statewide outages from a severed fiber cable on Tuesday.

The deadline for Virginians to register to vote is now Thursday at 11:59 p.m. 

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Richmond City Council: No Ban on Police Non-Lethal Weapons

The Richmond City Council voted 7-2  Monday against a ban on police non-lethal weapons including rubber bullets, tear gas, and flashbangs. Council members Stephanie Lynch and Michael Jones proposed the ban in June after protests where Lynch and Jones had to run from teargas, according to reporting by ABC8 News.

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Gade and Warner Debate ACA, Social Security

Senator Mark Warner (D) and challenger Daniel Gade debated health care and social security at a Tuesday debate hosted by the AARP and WTKR News 3. Warner stressed his record including support of the American Care Act (ACA) and criticized the Republican Party for trying to dismantle it. Gade described some potential compromises to the ACA and repeatedly called Warner a career politician.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest from the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 14

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 20 days until the election on November 3 – and 17 days until early voting in Virginia closes. President Trump meets Joe Biden in the final presidential debate in eight days.

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VA Democrats Want To Issue Mandatory ‘Vaccination Cards’ Costing $121 Million

Virginia plans on spending nearly $121 million on CARES funding for COVID-19 vaccine equipment and advertisement. This according to a proposal draft, reportedly submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week.

Nearly $6 million will be spent on equipment: over $111 million on administration and staffing and $3 million in a “public education campaign.”

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Severed Fiber Cable Causes IT Issues for Department of Elections on Last Day to Register to Vote

A severed fiber cable in Chesterfield County caused Virginia’s voter registration system and other systems used by state agencies to fail Tuesday. 

The outage came on the final day Virginians can register to vote for the upcoming November election.

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At the State Voter Registration Deadline, Almost One Million Virginians Have Already Cast Their Ballots

With Tuesday’s voter registration deadline having now passed, the Commonwealth is entering the final stretches before the general elections in November and Virginians have been feverishly casting their votes with nearly 1 million in-person and absentee ballots already submitted.

Specifically, 532,983 in-person votes and 444,390 votes by mail have already been cast in the state with an additional 642,687 absentee ballot applications that have not yet been returned to general registrars, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) early voting dashboard.

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City of Richmond Will Use Group Initiative to Shelter Homeless Population This Winter

In the effort to combat homelessness and provide adequate inside sheltering options amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Richmond is contracting with faith-based groups in the area and the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC), a network of service providers that aid the homeless population.

In past years Richmond has used the Anne Gile Center, located in Upper Shockoe Valley just north of downtown, as the city’s primary Cold Weather Overflow Shelter (CWOS), but it was closed down this year in part because of COVID concerns and partly in favor of the new plan.

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Letter to the Editor: What it Means to be a Republican to Me

House with flag

I grew up in a Democratic household and strongly supported the ideals and platform of the Democratic Party: free speech, racial equality, and social justice, and empathy for the common man.  Quite frankly I have recently become disillusioned with the progressive direction that the Democratic Party has taken and have seen firsthand outside the borders of the United States the dismal failure of the well-intentioned results of progressivism and socialism. 

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Gade: Democrats Will Destroy America as We Know It

At the 41st annual GOP Pig Roast U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Gade warned that American values are at risk if the Democrats gain power.

“The Left in the United States have decided that now is the time when they come after our values. And they’ve openly said what they’re going to do if, God forbid, they win the presidency and if, God forbid, they win and they take the Senate,” Gade said in his speech.

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Latest Poll: Gray Drops to 16 Percent, Stoney Stays Stable

Kim Gray’s support has plunged from 33 percent to 16 percent, just ahead of Alexsis Rodgers at 15 percent, according to a new poll from the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Incumbent Mayor Levar Stoney stayed solid at 36 percent. Justin Griffin dropped to 3 percent, and Tracey McLean got 1 percent. 30 percent of Richmond’s voters are undecided about the mayoral election.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 13

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 21 days until the election on November 3 – and 18 days until early voting in Virginia closes. The deadline to register to vote in time for the 2020 election is TODAY!

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Newly Proposed Law to Reduce Traffic Stops Relating to Marijuana and Other Traffic Offenses, Law Enforcement in Opposition

A bill that aims to reduce unnecessary and targeted traffic stops by limiting what police officers are lawfully allowed to pull drivers over for recently passed the General Assembly and is now awaiting a decision from the governor. 

Nevertheless, law enforcement opposes the legislation on the grounds that it would hurt public safety and lead to more dangers while driving. 

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Virginia Attorney General Candidate Chuck Smith: The Constitution is at Risk

Chuck Smith has been a marine, a U.S. Navy JAG corps commander, and a lawyer. Now, he wants to be an Attorney General.

“Never before in the history of the United States has the Constitution been more at risk,” he told a crowd at the 41st annual GOP Pig Roast on Saturday.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 12

Welcome to the Monday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 22 days until the election on November 3 – and 19 days until early voting in Virginia closes. The deadline to register to vote in time for the 2020 election is TOMORROW, October 13.

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With Another Monument Vandalized, Richmond Residents Ask if Graffiti Will Ever Be Cleaned

One of the last remaining city-owned Confederate statues in Richmond was vandalized recently, raising questions about how long the graffiti littered throughout downtown and other prominent areas will remain.

After a summer of civil unrest, graffiti on monuments, buildings, sidewalks and even some houses has become a normal sight for those who visit or live in the city of Richmond.

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Richmond Mayor Candidate Tracey McLean Calls for Cohesive Community

Candidate for Richmond mayor Tracey McLean laid out her vision for Richmond on Stacey Thomas’ Facebook Live talk show on Friday evening. McLean explained her background and a platform calling for reparations and racial equity in Richmond.

“I have a calling to the city of Richmond from God,” McLean said. “As I go out into the community they express that they couldn’t talk to the Mayor, nobody will help them. [They describe] things that they actually had to face alone, especially now since we have COVID. We’re in a mode of desperation.”

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