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News in Brief

Northam asks lawmakers to pass progressive agenda

(AP) Saying voters sent a clear message in last November’s election, new Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking the Republican-backed General Assembly to pass a progressive agenda that includes expanding Medicaid, stricter gun regulations and protecting abortion rights. The Democratic ...

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Senate panel votes to raise felony theft threshold

(AP) A bill designed to soften penalties in Virginia for stealing smaller dollar items is moving through the state Senate. A Senate panel voted Monday for a bill to raise the felony threshold from $200 to $500. Virginia has kept ...

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Chesterfield judge pledges to improve demeanor (access required)

A Chesterfield County juvenile and domestic relations judge said he was “devastated” by surveys indicating problems with his patience, courtesy and respect on the bench and promised legislators he would do better. Seeking election to a second 6-year term, Judge ...

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House ends secrecy in committee votes

(AP) Advocates for government transparency are applauding the House of Delegates for ending its practice of allowing committees and subcommittees to kill legislation on unrecorded voice votes. In adopting rules for the legislative session that began Wednesday, the House voted ...

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City repeals begging ban following court ruling

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) Officials in Virginia’s largest city have repealed a ban on panhandling in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The Virginia Beach City Council repealed the law last week, The Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday. City attorneys cited a ...

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Governor conditionally pardons 6

(AP) Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted conditional pardons to six people serving what he termed excessive and unjust sentences. McAuliffe signed the pardons on Jan. 12, his final day in office. A statement from his office said the six are ...

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Alston nominated for federal judgeship (access required)

President Donald Trump has nominated Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. for a U.S. district court judgeship in the Eastern District of Virginia. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Alston would succeed Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, who ...

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2 face life in prison for sex trafficking teenage girls

ALEXANDRIA (AP) Two men face up to life in prison for trafficking teenage prostitutes across the Washington area. A federal jury in northern Virginia found 28-year-old Ivan Williams and 26-year-old Dennis Davis guilty Wednesday, The Washington Post reported. Several former prostitutes ...

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Police chief credits new strategy for city’s crime drop

NORFOLK (AP) One Virginia city has recorded its lowest level of violent crime in nearly two decades. Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said in a statement on Wednesday that 2017 was Norfolk’s safest year in 17 years, with the city ...

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Justices asked to toss conviction in noose case

(AP) A Virginia man who was sentenced to six months in jail for hanging a black-faced dummy by a noose in his front yard asked the state Supreme Court Jan. 11 to overturn his conviction, arguing that his free speech ...

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