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News in Brief

Virginia lawmakers pass marijuana legalization bills

(AP) Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed legislation that would legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, with retail sales starting several years down the road. Work on the complicated legislation has been a priority for Democrats who ...

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House joins Senate in voting to end death penalty

(AP) Virginia moved another step closer to ending capital punishment when the state House joined the Senate Feb. 5 in voting to abolish the death penalty. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam supports the legislation, which would make Virginia the 23rd state ...

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KKK member pleads guilty to driving into crowd of protesters

(AP) A member of the Ku Klux Klan has pleaded guilty to charges that he drove his truck through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. Harry Rogers, 37, of Hanover County, pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to three counts of assault, ...

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Judge Jones to take senior status (access required)

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones of Abingdon has announced that he will take senior status effective Aug. 30. He intends to continue to perform judicial duties as a senior judge, according to a news release. In addition to his ...

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Northam calls special session to extend legislature’s work

(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam announced a move Thursday to effectively extend this year’s legislative session to its customary 46-day length after Republican lawmakers sought to cut it short. Northam signed a proclamation summoning lawmakers for a special session that would begin Wednesday. ...

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Court: Black man’s arrest for refusing to show ID improper

(AP) A federal appeals court has ruled  that sheriff’s deputies in Virginia violated the constitutional rights of a Black man when they arrested him for refusing to identify himself. The Feb. 4 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of ...

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Senate passes death penalty abolition bill

(AP) The Virginia Senate passed a bill Feb. 3 that would abolish the death penalty, a measure that if passed into law would mark a major policy change for a state that over its centuries-long history has led the nation ...

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Guilty plea after government contracts for masks go unfilled

ALEXANDRIA (AP) A Northern Virginia businessman who was awarded $38 million in federal contracts to provide high-quality masks during the coronavirus pandemic that he never possessed has pleaded guilty to fraud and making false statements. Robert Stewart, 35, of Arlington, ...

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Judges hope to keep bench seats (access required)

Two judges passed over for new terms in the first round of judicial elections at the General Assembly are hoping to win legislators’ favor when the Assembly takes up judicial selection again this month. Chesterfield County General District Judge Pamela ...

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Bank sued over ‘cult-like’ management (access required)

A former executive of a Southwest Virginia bank claims she was a victim of an evangelical religious culture at the bank.  Mary Trigiani has sued the Honaker-based New Peoples Bank for alleged discrimination and wrongful termination. The bank president denies ...

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