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Daily Bacon's | October 26, 2009

Today’s Topics

Transparency


Va. lawmakers’ state pay exempt from disclosure | The Virginia Pilot

The 2009 General Assembly was a fiscal nightmare. The national recession had left Virginia a record $3.7 billion short of revenue needed to balance its two-year budget, and everything was on the chopping block.

Hamilton’s ODU deal spurs state ethics inquiry | The Virginia Pilot

Ranking GOP leaders formally requested an ethics investigation into the actions of Newport News Republican Del. Phillip Hamilton on Monday in the face of growing outcry about the influential legislator’s $40,000-a-year job at Old Dominion University.

Energy


North Anna nuke reactor shut down by ‘unusual event’ | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Dominion Virginia Power shut down one of its two nuclear reactors at its North Anna power station Friday because of what the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission later deemed “an unusual event.”

AES taps into China’s rush to wind power | The Washington Post

HUANGHUA, CHINA — Along the flat shoreline of the Bohai Sea, 33 new Chinese-made wind turbines jut up into the hazy sky, forming a line more than six miles long amid the shrimp farms here.

Transportation


Fairfax County Parkway extension project hits ‘mega’ status | The Washington Post

Completion of the parkway is one of a handful of road construction programs the Virginia Department of Transportation designates as its Northern Virginia Megaprojects. Many of those other big efforts, including the high-occupancy toll lanes and the Telegraph Road interchange, already are having a high impact on drivers who pass through the work zones. The parkway project is about to join their ranks.

County agrees to allow new VRE member | The Washington Post

Prince William County officials have signed off on an agreement that would lower the county’s subsidy to Virginia Railway Express and welcome a new jurisdiction to the commuter-rail system.

Radical alternative makes toll lanes look like a bargain | The Washington Post

The biggest change for Washington area drivers in coming years can be summed up in a single word.

Education


Couple donates $5M to U-Va. for diabetes research | The Washington Post

A couple with a record of philanthropy has donated $5 million to fund diabetes research at the University of Virginia Health System.

Cameras will remain as cafeteria monitors | The Washington Post

Surveillance cameras installed to keep hungry high school students from stealing sandwiches and snacks will keep rolling for at least one more year, the Fairfax School Board voted Thursday night.

VCU board may shift some hiring decisions to president | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia Commonwealth University’s governing board is considering a change in its bylaws that would let the new president sign off on most hiring and compensation decisions — unless they’re politically sensitive or involve large bonuses.

Education Notebook: Hampton superintendent named education fellow | The Daily Press

Hampton schools Superintendent Linda Shifflette is one of six Old Dominion University alumni named a 2009 Darden College of Education Fellow by ODU.

School officials look at ways to help students graduate on time | The Daily Press

WINDSOR — Windsor High School will begin holding after-school tutorials for students twice a week next month, an initiative aimed at helping boost a graduation rate that dipped slightly — from 80 to 78 percent — last year.

Crunch time: Improving middle school math scores | SWVA Today

The Wythe County school system unveiled its latest battle plans Wednesday morning to conquer middle school math scores that again fell short of minimum state standards during the 2008-09 school year.

Elections


Tuesday is first absentee voting deadline | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Tuesday is the deadline to apply to your local voter registrar for an absentee ballot if you want to cast such a ballot by mail. The deadline is 5 p.m.

Shipping


Hearings begin today in Norfolk on RMS Titanic’s salvage claim | The Virginia Pilot

The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic is planning a possible expedition to the world’s most famous shipwreck in 2010.

Agriculture


Va. officials order quarantine for ‘coastal kudzu’ | The Virginia Pilot

State agriculture officials today announced a quarantine on beach vitex, a woody plant from Asia found growing in Norfolk and they recently discovered in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach.

Economy


Warner meets with paper mill employees | The Virginia Pilot

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s plans to help the community devastated by International Paper Co. ‘s decision to close its paper mill outside Franklin include trying to convince company officials they’re doing the wrong thing.

Military


Wittman to aid Marine landing | The Virginia Gazette

YORK — Momentum is building to shift 800 counter-terrorist Marines to Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

CNU hosts first-ever cyber security conference | The Daily Press

The threats to American security have expanded well beyond guns and bombs to include someone at a computer screen.

Legal


Judicial selection works … can be improved | Virginia Lawyers Weekly

STAUNTON—Virginia may be one of only two states where the legislature appoints the judges, but most participants at a recent conference agreed the system works well in the Old Dominion, at least for now.

This week is Pro Bono Week | Virginia Lawyers Weekly

This week marks the first National Celebration of Pro Bono, and it’s easy to take part in the observance if you’re near Richmond.

Local


Tax increases, service cuts expected in Arlington | The Washington Post

Arlington County residents who have weathered the economic downturn should prepare for tax increases and cuts to schools and county services, school and county officials said.

Man disputes indecent-exposure charge | The Washington Post

The way Eric Williamson tells it, he might have been making coffee or flipping eggs or taking a picture down from the wall when a woman and her 7-year-old son walked by his Springfield house and saw him, through the window, naked.

County Police Win National Traffic-Safety Award | The Sun Gazette

The Arlington County Police Department has been awarded first place in a national traffic-safety competition, taking top honors among agencies of between 200 and 500 sworn officers.

Richmond area gets grant for emergency communications | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Eight local governments in the Richmond area will have a new way to talk to one another in an emergency, with no telephone wires attached.

In struggle to control geese, fewer holds barred | The Washington Post

The end is near for five dozen resident Canada geese that make their home in a park near a Fairfax County landfill.

Demand for food bank services is up in Richmond area | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

The economy may be improving, but many people continue to seek help through the Central Virginia Foodbank.

RRHA to request loan from Richmond for rent subsidies | The Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority will make a public pitch today for a city loan to prop up its ailing voucher program, but the authority still doesn’t know how much it will need or how it will repay the money.

Financial hurdles fail to stop Crozet development plan | The Daily Progress

A plan that would refurbish business buildings in the heart of Crozet — connected to or within walking distance of new apartments — might begin within several months, despite major financial stumbles.

Trail blazing | SWVA Today

You probably don’t notice them or even know they exist but once a week a group of dedicated hiking enthusiasts set out on the Appalachian Trail and take care of it. Someone has to.

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