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Daily Bacon's | October 19, 2009

Today’s Topics

Economy
More grim news on Virginia’s cash picture | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia’s cash picture continues to darken.
The latest snapshot of state revenue collections shows that general fund collections dropped 7.5 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago.

30,000 Stimulus Jobs, Many in D.C. Area, Reported | The Washington Post

Businesses that received federal contracts from stimulus spending reported creating or saving about 30,000 jobs, according to figures released Thursday. The reports also suggest that the program has been particularly beneficial for the Washington region.

Education

Fairfax school officials submit preview of cuts | The Washington Post

The Fairfax County School Board is bracing for the most dramatic reduction in services in more than 20 years as it attempts to bridge a projected $176 million budget shortfall with cuts that could extend to closing schools, increasing class size, ending summer school, discontinuing most full-day kindergarten classes and eliminating foreign language instruction in elementary schools.

Virginia Finds South County Failed Student with Disabilities| The Connection

On the first day of his senior year at South County Secondary School, Cory Nelson introduced himself to a fourth-period automotive technology class. Almost immediately, another student blurted out “retard,” prompting the rest of the room to break out in snickers.

Education Notebook: New Horizons partners with public works for program | The Daily Press

This month, New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center started its partnership with the Hampton Roads Public Works Academy cadet program, according to a New Horizons principal.

‘Green’ is the theme at Roanoke’s Fishburn Park Elementary School | The Roanoke Times

A steady stream of traffic along Roanoke’s Colonial Avenue muffles the playful screams of children romping on the playground at Fishburn Park Elementary School.

Transportation

18 Feet Done, Many More to Go | The Washington Post

Cars crawl down Route 123 in the afternoon rush. Forty feet below them, giant machines and men wearing yellow hard hats begin their advance under Tysons Corner to bring Northern Virginia commuters their holy grail: a new subway.

Legal

Dec. hearing set in Tech civil suits | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

CHRISTIANSBURG — Oral arguments in two $10 million civil lawsuits brought by families of two women killed in the Virginia Tech massacre are scheduled for Dec. 14.

Court figures show jury use declines in Virginia | The Virginia Pilot

Virginia court figures show the use of juries in criminal cases continues to decline in the state.
The Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission reports that juries were responsible for 1.3 percent of 27,195 felony convictions in the 12 months that ended June 30, 2008. The commission says that’s the lowest percent so far recorded.

Roush heads bars’ lists for high court seat | Virginia Lawyers Weekly

Fairfax Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush received the top rating from the eight statewide bar groups that evaluated candidates for a possible opening on the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Couple free after police botch meth bust in Abingdon, Va. | The Bristol Courier

ABINGDON, Va. – On a lonely stretch of road on the far outskirts of Abingdon, a brown single-wide trailer is hidden behind a tree line up a bumpy gravel drive. The yard is littered with overturned scooters, stray tires and a miniature plastic John Deere tractor.

Prisons

Fundraiser to examine state of prisons | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The state of the nation’s prison system will be the topic of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s annual fundraising event tomorrow night.
“Incarceration Nation” will feature a panel discussion about the prison reform movement and an episode of the documentary series “30 Days” featuring filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s month in jail.

Study: Jail re-entry program working | The Daily Progress

The eight-week re-entry program for inmates at the Albemarle-Charlot-tesville Regional Jail has had a positive impact on the recidivism rate, according to a University of Virginia study.

Military

Military Update: VA, lawmakers share blame for new GI bill payment delay | The Daily Press

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki got a bipartisan hug from the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday as lawmakers accepted his plan to fix Post- 9/11 GI Bill payment delays, and blamed their own rush to enact the complex education benefit last year for some of the challenges VA now faces.

Change of command for the 29th Army Band with armory closing | The Roanoke Times

The crisp, clean notes of a military brass band filled the big drill floor/basketball court at Roanoke’s Virginia National Guard Armory at midday Sunday.

Transparency

Virginia Coalition for Open Government Annual Conference FOIA 101 – video | The Roanoke Free Press

If you are too intimidated by your government that you shy away from poking into what they are doing and how they are doing it then VCOG membership is for you. For just $30 a year you can support those who pry open doors, expose government secrecy and educate the public on their “right to know.”

Economic Development

Power line project on schedule | The Star Exponent

Construction is under way on a 500-kilovolt regional power line that’s sparked powerful protests from area residents and environmental groups.

Danville OED: Entrepreneurs could be key in developing city | GoDanRiver.com

Danville’s Office of Economic Development continues to find ways to meet the city’s needs and challenges in industry and job growth.

Rolls-Royce Expands US Capability; Begins Construction on New Manufacturing Facility in Virginia | Reuters

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has begun construction at Crosspointe, its new aerospace facility in Prince George County, Virginia. Crosspointe is the first Rolls-Royce manufacturing facility built from-the-ground-up in the US. Located on over 1,000 acres, it is the largest
Rolls-Royce site by area in North America with ample space to accommodate suppliers’ and partners` co-location in the future.

Va ag commissioner leads delegation to Cuba | The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. – Agriculture leaders from Virginia are heading to Cuba to promote the state’s offerings.

Virginia Lottery launches gift card program | The Washington Business Journal

The Virginia Lottery will launch a gift card pilot program next month to expand its retailer distribution network.

Local

State budget woes hit foes of bootleg whiskey in Southwest Va. | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

ROANOKE — Virginia’s one-of-a-kind Illegal Whiskey Unit — a team of agents dedicated to busting up bootleg stills — has fallen prey to state budget woes, leaving Southwest Virginia’s elusive moonshiners without a full-time, dedicated foe for the first time in decades.

No Reimbursement, Yet, for Inaugural Costs | The Sun Gazette

County government officials report that, as of yet, they have not received federal reimbursement for funds expended as part of inauguration activities in January.

Slutzky eyes land use tax restriction | The Daily Progress

The chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors may propose major reforms to a county program that gives tax breaks to owners of rural undeveloped land.
Under David L. Slutzky’s idea, rural landowners would be given a choice: They could pay real-estate taxes based on the land’s fair market value just like the vast majority of county landowners, or they could get massive land use tax breaks by agreeing to keep their land permanently undeveloped through conservation easements.

Mansion, Park Service Link Sought | The Washington Post

Two lawmakers have launched an effort to partner Leesburg’s Dodona Manor with the National Park Service, a move they said would boost the visibility of the historic mansion, which was once home to Gen. George C. Marshall.

Colonial Williamsburg offering eMuseum | GoDanRiver.com

Colonial Williamsburg’s collection of historic pieces is going high-tech.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is making images, descriptions and object histories of all 60,000 of its pieces available on the Web in a new eMuseum. So far, about 3,200 objects are available, with more being added monthly.

Homeless on the Peninsula: Life on the streets is tough but hope still remains |The Daily Press

Life on the streets can be a hardscrabble fight for the homeless.

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