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    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin holds a basketball thrown to him by the Norfolk Academy Basketball Team during the 74th Virginia inaugural ceremonies on the steps of the State Capitol on Jan. 15, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia. Sure, he's just two weeks in office and being sued by seven school districts and a group of Chesapeake parents, but Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin is “having a ball” despite upending the state's education system with his order to make in-school masking optional. “The sense of purpose is overwhelming,” Youngkin told a friendly Virginia crowd Wednesday at the National Federation of Independent Business. “The first lady and I are absolutely having a ball.” Youngkin has injected sheer chaos into the state's education system with his executive orders banning the teaching of critical race theory and giving individual parents the ability to opt out of local school mask mandates. He has also set up a snitch line for parents to report the teaching of "inherently divisive concepts" such as racism. But Youngkin's effort to give parents unilateral control over whether they endanger the lives of their own children...
    Black parents need to flood these tip lines with complaints about our history being silenced. We are parents toohttps://twitter.com/rmc031/status/1485775829539991552\u00a0\u2026 — John Legend (@John Legend) 1643081795 Another outspoken critic of Youngkin's tip line was CNN personality Jim Acosta. "You know, I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia," Acosta said on Tuesday night during a CNN special titled "Democracy in Peril." "He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was going to be a vest, not a Soviet-style police state across the Potomac from Washington." Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares fired back at the comparison of the Virginia government to a Soviet-style police state. "I think what Jim Acosta said — listen, my family fled Communist Cuba. You want to talk about what 'Soviet-style' looks like? It's the opposite of freedom," Miyares said during a Wednesday appearance on "Hannity." "My mother has distinct memories of being forced to take classes in Marxist-Leninism," the Cuban-American AG explained. He noted that his uncle was arrested in the middle...
    A majority of Virginia public school districts are flouting Gov. Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinOvernight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch Lawmaker asks ex-EPA chief why he couldn't convince Trump climate change is real Virginia governor knocks school boards challenging order making masks optional MORE's (R) executive order that makes wearing masks optional for children in the state's schools, according to The Washington Post. In an analysis, the newspaper found that two days after the order took effect, 53 percent of the state's school districts are still requiring masks for all students, comprising 67 percent of the state's public school student population. The Post noted that the division in the state over the issue falls along partisan lines, as "almost every" district that complied with Youngkin's order voting for him in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Youngkin's office did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. Seven Virginia school boards are suing Youngkin in an effort to block his executive order making mask-wearing optional in the classroom. The plaintiffs, led by Fairfax County Public Schools, are requesting an immediate injunction of Youngkin's order, which gives Virginia...
    Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares responded Wednesday to CNN pundit Jim Acosta, who earlier in the day referred to the Commonwealth under Miyares and Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin as the "Soviet-style police state across the Potomac." Acosta, 50, spoke on Youngkin establishing a "Help Education" tipline for parents to report problematic school officials who make children or parents feel "their fundamental rights are being violated" — after the new administration enacted an executive order prohibiting mask mandates and stood against the indoctrination of critical race theory. MARK LEVIN CALLS FOR FIRING OF NAVAL CHIEF FOR FORWARDING ‘MARXIST’ TEACHINGS Gov. Glenn Youngkin. (Fox News/Charles Creitz) "You know, I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia. He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was going to be a vest, not a Soviet-style police state across the Potomac from Washington," Acosta said. On "Hannity," Miyares dismissed Acosta's characterization, suggesting that he read up on world history before declaring Virginia another version of the U.S.S.R. or Cuba. He told host Sean Hannity...
    CNN “Democracy in Peril” host Jim Acosta on Tuesday reacted to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) setting up a tip line for parents to report the teaching of “inherently divisive” rhetoric such as Critical Race Theory. Acosta noted that the GOP had recently been engaging in a culture war, which he warned “could be weakening our democracy.” He argued Youngkin went from “campaigning in a fleece vest” to running “a Soviet-style police state.” “The new culture wars are impacting our laws, and some experts fear they could be weakening our democracy just as badly as the ‘Big Lie,'” Acosta proclaimed. “You know, I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia. He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was going to be a vest — not a Soviet-style police state across the Potomac from Washington,” he added. Guest Molly Jong-Fast claimed Youngkin has “really gone full Ron DeSantis right away.” “And it’s not just Youngkin,” Acosta replied. “A recent report shows there are dozens of new proposals opening pathways to...
    CNN host Jim Acosta on Tuesday suggested Virginia was being run like a "Soviet-style police state" under new Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.  During a segment on his fill-in primetime show, Acosta, while making the comparison, cited an email tip line set up by Youngkin's administration in which parents can report teachers that teach "divisive" topics to their children, such as critical race theory, while also mocking the way Youngkin dressed.  Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, left, and CNN host Jim Acosta, right. (Reuters/Getty Images) (Reuters/Getty Images) LIBERAL MEDIA SCOLDS YOUNGKIN FOR FULFILLING CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO END MASK MANDATES IN SCHOOLS Acosta began the segment by criticizing Republicans for, what he referred to as, the "latest culture war obsession."  "In office less than two weeks and Governor Glenn Youngkin has already set up an email tip line for parents to report teachers for teaching divisive subjects," he said while claiming that the "tactic of pitting citizen against citizen" was also going on in other Republican-run states, such as Texas' new legal mechanism allowing lawsuits against those helping others obtain abortions....
    CNN anchor Jim Acosta labeled Virginia, under Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a “Soviet-style police state.” On Tuesday’s Democracy in Peril, a new CNN’s prime time special, Acosta played a soundbite of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) railing at CPAC against the Mr. Potato Head brand becoming just Potato Head (Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys and names remain). “Maybe he shouldn’t be making comments about Mr. Potato Head,” Acosta cracked. “It’s just a thought there.” “Now, this is not just empty rhetoric,” the CNN host continued, before bringing up the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. “The new culture wars are impacting our laws and some experts fear they could be weakening our democracy just as badly as the Big Lie.” Bringing in writer Molly Jong-Fast, Acosta argued Youngkin has also embraced culture war issues in his first week and a half as Virginia’s governor. “I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia,” Acosta said. “He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was...
    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin took to the pages of The Washington Post on Tuesday to defend his ban on mask mandates in the commonwealth’s schools, a move which is being challenged in court by seven school districts and ignored by more. In his opinion piece on the battle that has dominated his first two weeks in office, Youngkin sought to redefine the word “mandate.” Families vent over Loudoun Co. schools upholding mask mandate More Virginia News More Education News “My executive order ensures that parents can opt out their kids from a school’s mask mandate,” Youngkin wrote. “It bans neither the wearing of masks nor the issuing of mask mandates. Parents can now choose whether wearing a mask at school is right for their child.” He added that it’s “time to adjust our approach to the coronavirus emergency” while adding Virginia “can keep kids in school, provide a parental opt out to mask mandates, and protect lives and livelihoods.” According to Virginia Department of Health data, more than 16,000 people have died from COVID in Virginia, and deaths continue...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow people to make liquor at home for themselves and for family members. According to West Virginia state law, it is already legal for people to make beer and wine at home. READ MORE: University Of Pittsburgh Warns Of Email Phishing ScamHouse Bill 2972 would allow people over the age of 21 to make up to 50 gallons of liquor at home in a year. If there are two or more people over 21 living in a household, families can make up to 100 gallons of liquor per year. READ MORE: Biscuit World Workers Say No To What Would’ve Been First West Virginia Fast-Food UnionThe proposal bans the sale of any liquor made at home. It passed the West Virginia House of Delegates on Monday and is now headed to the state Senate. A similar piece of legislation was introduced last year during the state’s legislative session, but it failed. It passed the House but stalled in the Senate. MORE NEWS: West Jefferson Hills School Board...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Tudor’s Biscuit World employees reject union for West Virginia franchise of fast-food chain; would have been state’s 1st. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order took effect Monday, allowing public schools to choose whether to enforce a COVID-19 mask mandate among students, despite several districts filing litigation challenging the order. Seven school districts sued to block the order on Monday, while an additional filing last week by 13 parents of students from Chesapeake City Public Schools is slated to be heard by the state's Supreme Court. The districts accused Youngkin of violating a state law requiring school boards to implement guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "to the maximum extent practicable." Following the initial lawsuit, Attorney General Jason Miyares filed a motion to the state Supreme Court to dismiss the case against Executive Order No. 2, which argues: "Recent government orders requiring virtually every child in Virginia wear masks virtually every moment they are in school have proven ineffective and impractical." VIRGINIA MOVES TO DISMISS MASK MANDATE LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY CHESAPEAKE PARENTS Miyares's office said it expected the state Supreme Court to take up the school mask debate on Monday, though no orders have been issued...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Signaling an eagerness to diversify its energy offerings, coal-dependent West Virginia would eliminate a ban on nuclear power plants under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday. The bill was approved on a 24-7 vote. Three senators did not vote. A similar bill is pending in the House of Delegates. The state’s ban on nuclear plants was enacted in 1996, but nuclear power has in recent years gained support as a tool to keep climate change under control, with proponents noting that it emits few planet-damaging emissions and is safer on average than nearly any other energy source. “All this bill does is simply says we’re open to discussion. That’s it,” said Kanawha County Republican Sen. Tom Takubo, the bill’s sponsor. “We’re not close minded. “I think it’s important for West Virginia to be looking forward to the future, looking forward to diversify, and simply say to the rest of the world we are open for discussion should this technology come to our mountain state.” West Virginia is the nation’s second-largest coal...
    Virginia's new Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin has set up a tip line for the parents of children being taught at schools in the state, to report any teachers that teach 'divisive' subjects. The tip line is specifically for parents to come forward and report any state schools they believe to be 'behaving objectionably'.  'We're asking for folks to send us reports and observations,' Youngkin said. 'Help us be aware of … their child being denied their rights that parents have in Virginia, and we're going to make sure we catalogue it all. … And that gives us further, further ability to make sure we're rooting it out.'    Education issues were central to Youngkin's campaign, as he ran pledging to do away with Covid-related school closures and fighting back against critical race theory and other progressive ideologies in schools.  Youngkin said that he believed the teaching of critical race theory to be a 'divisive concepts' in the classroom, although he didn't state it specifically during Monday's radio interview,    Virginia's new Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin set up a tip line for parents...
    The Loudoun County School District - which has been plagued by scandal after scandal over critical race theory-inspired 'equity' lessons and transgender issues - is now at the center of fresh wave of controversy after schools prevented pupils from going into their classrooms if they were not wearing a facemask on Monday. Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin had signed an executive action within hours of him taking office on January that aimed to let parents opt out of school mask mandates. The order was supposed to take effect on Monday but confusion has swirled over the implications since then. His instructions were either interpreted differently by some districts or plainly ignored with schools continuing to keep pre-existing mask mandates in place for students.  Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order within hours of entering office rescinding mask mandates for schools from Monday, but it appears the policy has been met with confusion Republican J.P. Freire, Director of Communications on the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means tweeted that children were being 'punished' and kept outside classrooms or...
    Virginia's Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares told the Supreme Court the state would no longer oppose Mississippi's 15-week ban on most abortions in a letter, adding that the Constitution is "silent" on abortion. "Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several States to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion," Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson wrote in a letter on Friday. The letter also cited a "change in Administration," referring to Gov. Glenn Youngkin's recent inauguration on Jan. 15. The letter marks an about-face from former Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who signed on to a legal brief in September with 24 state attorneys general to urge the Supreme Court to uphold the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that provided the legal justification for pre-viability abortions. Roe effectively blocks states from banning abortion practices before fetal viability, which is at around 24 weeks of gestation. Last month, the 6-3 conservative majority on the highest court appeared poised to...
    Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin campaigns in northern Virginia.Brian Cahn/ZUMA Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.The day Glenn Youngkin assumed office as the governor of Virginia, he signed an executive order allowing parents to circumvent local school district requirements and send their children to school unmasked. The order immediately sparked pushback from some parents, public health experts, and Virginia pediatricians, who issued a collective statement urging continued mask-wearing in schools.  The controversy came to a boil on January 24, the day the order was scheduled to come into effect, when seven Virginia school districts filed suit, asking an Arlington court to declare that Youngkin’s order violated the state constitution.  “Without today’s action, school boards are placed in a legally untenable position—faced with an executive order that is in conflict with the constitution and state law,” the complaint reads. The executive order, the plaintiffs argued, has created “a situation in which the School Boards face the real and imminent threat of having COVID-19 outbreaks occur at multiple schools, endangering the health of...
    Virginia’s newly elected Republican attorney general has urged the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade and hand authority over abortion to the states, reversing the commonwealth’s legal position in a landmark challenge now pending before the court. Under the state’s previously Democratic-led administration, Virginia had joined 21 other states in urging the justices to invalidate Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and reaffirm the core holding of the court’s 1973 decision in Roe. But in his first week on the job after defeating the state’s Democratic incumbent in a November election, Virginia’s new attorney general Jason Miyares (R) announced a dramatic shift in course. “The [new] Attorney General has reconsidered Virginia’s position in this case,” Miyares told the justices in a letter last Friday. “Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on the question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several states to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”  Roe prohibits states from banning abortion before fetal viability, which occurs around 24 weeks.  A decision over the...
    ELKVIEW, W.Va. (AP) — While making biscuits and meatloaf at a fast-food restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic, 64-year-old Cynthia Nicholson often thinks back to her husband’s coal mining days in West Virginia. In that job and in his time as a pipefitter, she said, the work was grueling and sometimes dangerous — but there were standards for safety, working conditions and wages, and people felt they were treated fairly. She said that was because he belonged to unions. At Tudor’s Biscuit World in Elkview, a franchise of a regional chain that serves comfort food, Nicholson says workers have no such protection. With the coronavirus surging, she doesn’t feel safe. So, a few months ago she did the only thing that makes sense to her: She reached out to her late husband’s union friends and asked for help. On Tuesday, after months of organizing, National Labor Relations Board officials will count votes cast by some of the franchise’s roughly two dozen workers to find out if it will become the first unionized fast-food restaurant in the state. The push for a...
    For the second straight game, Jakia Brown-Turner had to save the day for No. 4 North Carolina State. She scored 10 fourth-quarter points Thursday to help the Wolfpack beat No. 3 Louisville. On Sunday, after not scoring for about 35 minutes, Brown-Turner made two shots with less than 90 seconds to play to push the Wolfpack’s lead back to two possessions. N.C. State ended up beating Virginia Tech 51-45 for its eighth straight win, limiting Virginia Tech to 29.3% shooting from the floor. "We put her back in mainly to get a little bit of length and defense out there," N.C. State coach Wes Moore said. "She made some big plays for us down the stretch." CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitle , left, battles with North Carolina State's Elissa Cunane, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker) Brown-Turner powered the offense for N.C. State (18-2, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), scoring 10 of her 14 points in the...
    Seven Virginia school boards are suing Gov. Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinVirginia's new AG sacks lawyers at University of Virginia, George Mason Virginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media Los Angeles school district to require students to wear 'non-cloth masks with a nose wire' MORE (R-Va.) in an effort to block his executive order that makes mask wearing optional in the classroom. The plaintiffs, led by Fairfax County Public Schools, are requesting an immediate injunction of Youngkin’s executive order, which gives Virginia parents the authority to choose whether or not their children should wear a face covering in classrooms. The school boards are arguing that Youngkin’s order violates a section of the state constitution, which says “The supervision of schools in each school division shall be vested in a school board.” They are also contending that the new governor’s order is in breach of a law former Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.), Youngkin’s predecessor, signed in March, which says schools in the state should abide by federal health recommendation to the “maximum extent practicable.” For kindergarten through twelfth grade, the Centers for...
    Fauquier County Sheriffs say that three people were shot and two have died in Bealeton, Virginia. The department said that officers responded to a reported shooting just before 8:45 p.m. in the 7500 block of Hancock Street More Crime News More Virginia News Officers said that they arrived and discovered two people who had been killed and a third victim with apparent gunshot wounds. Police said the third victim was transported to INOVA Fairfax Hospital for treatment, but their condition was not confirmed. They also said that the county’s investigative division is working alongside the Virginia State Police criminal investigation unit.   The county said that the event was isolated and that there is no threat to the community. Police are still investigating the incident.
    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced dozens of bills and budget amendments he’s supporting to further what he calls his Day One Agenda. In a statement on Friday, the Governor said they reflected “bipartisan priorities.” “These initiatives will make Virginia’s communities safer, restore academic excellence, lower the cost of living, and I look forward to seeing these bills come to my desk,” Youngkin said. The bills include substantial tax cuts such as doubling Virginia’s standard income tax deduction to $9,000 for single tax filers and $18,000 for married couples filing jointly, sending out a one time tax refund of $300 to $600 dollars, a new requirement that voters approve local property tax hikes and tax cuts for veterans. He’s also supporting bills that suspend a recent state gas increase and eliminate Virginia’s 2.5% grocery tax. Youngkin campaigned on sweeping tax cuts. At one point on the campaign trail he said he was considering getting rid of the state income tax, though he later walked that back. Left leaning groups have criticized Youngkin’s tax plans arguing it would hurt public school...
    Andrew Wheeler testifies before a House subcommittee in April 2019.Patrick Semansky/AP Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Federal employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are fighting to keep Andrew Wheeler, Donald Trump’s controversial second head of the EPA and a former coal lobbyist, from becoming Virginia’s top environmental official. Earlier this month, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced Wheeler as his pick to serve as secretary of natural resources. The choice outraged state Democrats and environmental groups, who described Wheeler as “the absolute worst pick” for the post. ​​AFGE Council 238, a union that represents more than 7,500 EPA employees nationwide, has joined the effort to block Wheeler’s nomination. In a letter to Virginia state senators on Thursday, Marie Owens Powell, the union’s president and a longtime EPA employee, wrote that Wheeler “destroyed or weakened dozens of environmental safeguards at EPA, with the sole intention of bolstering polluting industries’ profit margins.” They warned that Virginia could expect the same...
    NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Several schools have canceled classes in coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia and authorities are urging drivers to stay off potentially icy roads amid forecasts of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency ahead of the latest winter storm system sweeping into the region Thursday and a round snow expected to follow Friday night into Saturday. The winter blast could ice over a large swath of eastern North Carolina and the northeastern corner of South Carolina, while dumping snow around Norfolk, Virginia, the National Weather Service said. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Thursday that will remain in effect through Saturday, saying his executive order allows for greater flexibility in mobilizing people and resources to respond. “I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take personal safety precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families,” Youngkin said in a statement. He urged people to stay off roads during hazardous conditions. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper...
    The Carolinas and Virginia are bracing for more winter weather, which forecasters predict will arrive as mixed precipitation on Thursday, followed by a round of snow on Friday night into Saturday. The winter blast could ice over a large swath of eastern North Carolina and the northeastern corner of South Carolina, while dumping snow on the Norfolk, Virginia, area, according to the National Weather Service. The forecast prompted Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to declare a state of emergency Thursday that will remain in effect through Saturday. His executive order allows the state greater flexibility in mobilizing people and resources to prepare and respond. “I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take personal safety precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families,” Youngkin said in a statement that called on Virginians to stay off the road during hazardous conditions. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a state of emergency Wednesday ahead of the storm, the second to hit the state in a week. Last week’s storm’s impacts were felt most in western and central...
    Two residents of Richmond, Virginia, have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the state Supreme Court that allowed officials to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. A petition was filed Wednesday by the residents who live near the site where the statue was removed, arguing then-Gov. Ralph Northam did not have the proper authority to revoke an agreement to keep the statue erected on state-owned land. An attorney for the petitioners, Patrick McSweeney, said the impact of the statue's removal order "will be widespread and significant." “If this Virginia decision is followed, every contract entered into by a state government can be abrogated when a governor or a court — not the legislature — decides that the contract violates public policy. This would leave those who contract with state governments at the mercy of judges and executive or administrative officials who have no legitimate role in setting the Commonwealth’s public policy,” the petition read. VIRGINIA INTERS TIME CAPSULE WITH COVID-19, CIVIL UNREST ARTIFACTS IN BASE OF REMOVED ROBERT E LEE STATUE Virginia promised...
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two Richmond residents living near the site where a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee stood for more than a century have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the Supreme Court of Virginia that let state officials remove the towering monument. In a petition filed with the high court Wednesday, lawyers for the landowners argued that former Gov. Ralph Northam did not have the authority to revoke an agreement to maintain the statue on state-owned land on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Virginia promised to forever maintain the statue in 1887 and 1890 deeds transferring its state ownership. But the Supreme Court of Virginia sided with Northam last year, ruling that obligation no longer applied as “values change and public policy changes too” in a democracy. The statue was removed in September. In their petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, the residents argued that the the decision by Virginia’s Supreme Court has implications beyond just the Lee statue. “The impact of the decision of the Supreme Court of Virginia...
    As Virginia’s new Republican governor faced pushback from some school systems over his executive order that gives families the ability to opt out of school-issued mask mandates, other school systems decided to follow the order scrap their requirements. The public school systems in both Spotsylvania and Culpeper chose to make masks optional in school buildings. Biden to give away 400 million N95 masks starting next week Website for free virus tests is here. How does it work? More Virginia News More Coronavirus News Steve Knotts, chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, urged his county to do the same Tuesday, despite Fairfax County Public Schools saying that it would not follow the order. “It’s putting the decision and the authority back with the parent,” said Knotts. “There is nothing to preclude a parent from saying ‘I would prefer my child to wear a mask.'” “Parents should be able to decide what’s best for their children and not necessarily the state or the school system,” Knotts said. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order said parents of any child in elementary or...
    Thirteen parents from Chesapeake, Virginia, filed a legal challenge Tuesday against Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order rescinding the state's school mask mandate. The group of parents of children in Chesapeake City Public Schools, part of a local advocacy group called Chesapeake Advocates for Responsible Return to School, filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court that accuses the new administration of violating a Virginia law that requires each school board to implement guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "to the maximum extent practicable." "They are seeking to have Executive Order #2 declared void and unenforceable because the Governor does not have the power to use an Executive Order to overturn or override established state law. Further, they are petitioning the Court to enforce Chapter 456, which states that all Virginia school districts 'shall' follow all CDC mitigation measures," the group wrote in a statement to 13News Now. YOUNGKIN BATTLE WITH SCHOOL DISTRICTS OVER MASKS SET TO ESCALATE The lawsuit also names other state and Chesapeake officials as defendants. A spokesperson for the...
    A safety report card that grades states on the number of deadly crashes and their traffic laws shows that Virginia is lagging behind other states. Watchdog group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety tracked a nearly 20% increase in the number of deadly accidents nationwide in the first six months of 2021. It is the largest boost of this type on record, said Cathy Chase, the group’s president. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report card, called “Out of Control: 2022 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws,” discovered that Virginia is among 11 states with a poor record for creating new, tougher laws to keep roads safe. “States are overdue in enacting on lifesaving proposals,” Chase said. “Allowing this carnage to occur year after year, when solutions are readily available, is simply unacceptable.” The group looked at several road-safety issues, including distracted driving, teen drivers and seat belt use. It found that in 2019, Virginia saw more than 800 traffic fatalities. The group is asking state lawmakers to make Virginia a primary enforcement state, which allows a police officer...
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s new Republican governor was facing pushback from Democratic lawmakers, school districts and a group of parents who sued him Tuesday over an executive order that aims to create an opt-out for classroom mask mandates. The order issued Saturday and set to take effect Monday was among Glenn Youngkin’s first acts after he was sworn in as Virginia’s 74th governor. The move both fulfilled a campaign pledge and inserted Youngkin, a political newcomer working with a divided legislature, into a divisive issue that’s generated legal challenges in other states. Youngkin’s order said parents of any child in elementary or secondary schools or a school-based early childcare or educational program “may elect for their children not to be subject to any mask mandate.” In part because of a state law passed last year dealing with classrooms and pandemic policies, school districts in many of the state’s most populous localities have since told parents they planned to keep existing mask mandates in place, at least temporarily. The 2021 law says each Virginia school board is required to offer...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban abortion after 15 weeks — a proposal nearly identical to the Mississippi law currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. As the nation waits for the court to make a decision later this year in the abortion case that could overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, at least two states — West Virginia and Florida — have introduced bills mirroring Mississippi’s. Both the Florida and West Virginia bills would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks except in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality. Neither would provide exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Republican Del. Ruth Rowan, lead sponsor of the West Virginia bill, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that West Virginia has an obligation to protect the unborn as “a Christian state where people care about their families and their children.” Rowan carries two wallet-sized photos around with her in the Capitol: One is of her 17-year-old grandson, a junior at the West Virginia Schools for the...
    Democratic Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas accused Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R., of referring to historically Black colleges in the state as the "entertainment industry," although Youngkin didn't say that during his address Monday to the General Assembly. "HOW DARE YOU," she tweeted. "HBCU STUDENTS ARE NOT THE "ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY. As a graduate of Norfolk State I can not believe this came out of the mouth of a Virginia Governor. @GovernorVA owes us an apology immediately." Lucas, the president pro tempore of the state Senate, later added: "We are not your minstrel show @GovernorVA. Time for you to learn how to be a Governor for ALL of Virginia!" The video of Youngkin's address to the Joint Assembly on Monday, where he discussed the development of Virginia’s higher education and suggested partnerships with schools in various concentrations, didn't back up her words.  LIBERAL MEDIA SCOLDS YOUNGKIN FOR FULFILLING CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO END MASK MANDATES IN SCHOOLS "We’re going to build partnerships between the commonwealth and our great universities," he said. "It could be an entrepreneurship or entertainment industry focused-school partnering with one...
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Maryland policymakers and transit advocates are contemplating a bigger and better future for the state’s MARC commuter rail service. And with billions of dollars eventually heading the state’s way in new federal infrastructure funding, they hope some of their ambitions can be realized in the not-too-distant future. But it’s also apparent, as lawmakers heard Monday during a virtual briefing on MARC, that several obstacles remain to fully realizing goals for the railroad’s expansion. And some transit advocates in the General Assembly believe the Hogan administration hasn’t outlined an expansive enough vision for improving commuter rail service. They look grudgingly to Virginia, which is in the early stages of a multibillion-dollar years-long buildup of its commuter rail system, as a model. “It’s a little concerning that we have so few concrete [rail expansion] projects that are ready to take advantage of these [federal funding] opportunities,” Del. Marc Korman (D-Montgomery), chair of the House Appropriations Transportation & the Environment subcommittee, said Monday....
              by Eric Lendrum   On Friday, one day prior to being sworn in as Virginia’s new Attorney General, Jason Miyares (R-Va.) fired 30 employees in the Virginia Attorney General’s office, including the entirety of the Civil Rights Division. As reported by the Daily Caller, 17 of the 30 employees who were fired were attorneys. Following the mass firing, Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said that the new Attorney General was “restructuring the office, as every incoming AG has done in the past.” She noted that Miyares and former Attorney General Mark Herring (D-Va.), whom Miyares narrowly defeated in November, “have very different visions for the office.” In response, Herring’s former spokeswoman Charlotte Gomer criticized the move, claiming that the fired employees were “dedicated and professional public servants who do important work, like investigate wrongful convictions, protect Virginians’ civil rights, help to ensure free and fair elections, and prevent human trafficking and opioid abuse.” “Their absence will be a significant loss to the mission of the Office of Attorney General,” Gomer continued. State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Va.), President Pro Tempore of the Virginia...
                 Governor Glenn Youngkin used his first State of the Commonwealth address to describe a Virginia in need of reform, with underfunded schools whose leaders are out of touch with parents, rising crime rates, rising cost of living, and a stalled economy. The Monday message contrasted with former Governor Ralph Northam’s State of the Commonwealth delivered last Wednesday, where Northam highlighted economic success, education that reckons with Virginia’s past, and progress on equity. “From the perspective of everyday Virginia families, times are tough and the State of the Commonwealth is not what it should be,” Youngkin said. “The good news is that we have the ability to course-correct before this poor performance becomes permanent.” That messaging contrast is reminiscent of the 2021 gubernatorial campaign. Youngkin’s speech echoed many of the promises he made on the campaign trail, including increased funding for police, cutting cost of living, improving Virginia’s business environment, and improving government through business-style leadership. He stirred in a unity message for legislators: “Let’s set aside petty divisions, ego, self-advancement, and let’s join together to make the Virginia that...
    In his first State of the Commonwealth address, Virginia Gov. Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Psaki claps back at Youngkin over school mask mandates Why our parties can't govern MORE (R) asked the divided General Assembly to help enact his “vision of change," The Associated Press reported.  “I’m asking each of us in this body, Republicans and Democrats alike, to come together,” Youngkin on Monday told the Republican-majority state House and Democratic-majority state Senate. “To rise above the Richmond of division, special interests, the small and the parochial and to usher in a sweeping vision of change. And to put this commonwealth on a pathway to prosperity.”  Youngkin reiterated many of his campaign pledges and offered some new specifics on issues including firearms and abortion policy, according to the AP.  He also called on the House chamber to allocate $150 million to meet his goal of creating 20 new charter schools in the state.  Youngkin mentioned dedicating $126 million to training and equipment grant programs for law enforcement and state funding for law enforcement...
    Virginia's new attorney general Jason Miyares announced investigations into the Virginia Parole Board and Loudoun County schools, the center of a sexual assault case that dominated the gubernatorial and attorney general's races.  'One of the reasons Virginians get so fed up with government is the lack of transparency - and that's a big issue here,' Miyares said in a statement. 'The Virginia Parole Board broke the law when they let out murders, rapists, and cop killers early on their sentences without notifying the victims. Loudoun Country Public Schools covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain, leading to an additional assault of a young girl.'  A 14-year-old boy, who identifies as non-binary, was arrested and found guilty of raping a girl in a school bathroom that allowed students to use the restroom of their gender identity.  The student was transferred to another district where he allegedly raped another student and the district was accused of covering up the incident.    Indeed, Virginia's Loudoun County was a focal point in Youngkin's gubernatorial race against former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe...
    Newly elected Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin could turn to the courts or restrict state education funds to achieve compliance from school districts defying his executive order allowing parents to opt out of school mask mandates for their children. Less than two days into his term, Youngkin vowed to use the full extent of his authority to ensure that all schools were compliant with his day-one executive order that would allow parents to opt out of school mask mandates. WATCH: YOUNGKIN SAYS WE WON’T TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO VIEW EVERYTHING THROUGH A ‘LENS OF RACE’ Hours after the governor signed the executive order, several major Virginia school districts, including Fairfax County Public Schools, Arlington Public Schools, and Prince William County Public Schools announced there would be no change to their mandates. Youngkin, in comments to WTOP on Sunday, was clear he would push back. “It is clear under law that parents have a fundamental right to make decisions for their children's upbringing, their education, and their care, and so we are providing parents an opt-out, providing...
    AT least two people have died as winter storm Izzy continues to wreak havoc across the East Coast. More than 50million Americans are under winter weather alerts and motorists have been warned to not travel as up to 10 inches of snow was dumped in North Carolina. 1More than 50million Americans are under winter weather warnings as storm Izzy barrels throughCredit: Getty Images - Getty Freezing rain hit Durham and Raleigh on Sunday as temperatures plunged to bitter lows of 25F. Latron K Williams and Katie Jo Brainard were killed on i-95 when a blue Honda CRV went off the road and hit trees in Raleigh, WPDE reports. According to the state highway patrol, the preliminary cause of the crash was “exceeding safe speed for the conditions”. And at the time of the incident, troopers said the weather was a “mixture of wintry precipitation”. A tractor-trailer slid off the Highway 147 bridge in Durham on Sunday. The cab appeared to land up-right while the trailer leaned onto the road, WRAL reported. Most read in The US SunLOTTO LUCK I'm so...
                 Governor Glenn Youngkin is enacting some of his policies by executive order, but he’ll have to work with legislators to get other initiatives passed. State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) has introduced two bills focused on the governor’s goal to make Virginia more veteran friendly. “The bills, carried by Senator Reeves on behalf of Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, signal that Governor-elect Youngkin’s administration values military and veteran families across the commonwealth and recognizes that Virginia must compete to retain its recognition as one of the most military and veteran-friendly states,” a Friday Reeves press release said. SB 528, if passed, would make up to $20,000 of military benefits exempt from Virginia income tax in 2021, $30,000 in 2022, and $40,000 in 2023. Most laws take effect in July following a legislative session, but SB 528 includes an emergency clause that would cause the bill to go into effect as soon as it is passed; however, the emergency clause requires four-fifths approval from the General Assembly. Cutting veterans’ retirement income tax was one of Youngkin’s campaign promises. SB 529 would allow...
    Steve Helber/AP Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Glenn Youngkin, the first Republican governor of Virginia since 2014, is wasting no time enacting policies that will harm the state’s people of color. On Saturday, his first day in office, he signed 11 executive actions that, among other things, will make it harder for schools to teach kids about racism. The orders also scrap rules that slowed the spread of the coronavirus amid a pandemic that the state’s health department says has hit Black and brown families the hardest. “The spirit of Virginia is alive and well,” Youngkin said in his inaugural address. “And together we will strengthen it. Together we’ll renew the promise of Virginia, so it will be the best place to live, work and raise a family.” Youngkin, a political newcomer and former private equity executive, was endorsed by Donald Trump. His victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe was one of the most closely watched elections since President Joe Biden took office, giving more power to Republicans in...
    Virginia’s freshly inaugurated governor, Glenn Youngkin, signed executive orders removing school masking requirements across the state on Saturday afternoon. Since that moment, Arlington’s school system has joined Fairfax County Public Schools in reminding families that masking policies remain in place. Youngkin’s list of day one executive orders put the power to decide if students should wear a mask squarely into the hands of parents across the state. More Virginia News More Education News “A child whose parent has elected that he or she is not subject to a mask mandate should not be required to wear a mask under any policy implemented by a teacher, school, school district, the Department of Education, or any other state authority,” the order said. Less than 12 hours after Virginia’s first Republican governor since 2009 entered office and signed those executive orders, Arlington Public Schools announced that their mask mandates are still in effect. Citing the state’s bipartisan Senate Bill 1303, the school system said that students would remain bound to mask requirements within their bounds. The bill, signed into law in...
    Virginia's Republican Gov. Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinSunday shows preview: Democrats' struggle for voting rights bill comes to a head Youngkin inaugurated as first GOP Virginia governor in over a decade Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks MORE signed 11 executive orders on his first day in office, including one lifting a mask mandate in public schools and another banning the teaching of critical race theory, both issues Youngkin campaigned on. "Executive Order Number One delivers on his Day One promise to restore excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education," a press release from Youngkin's office read. "Executive Order Number Two delivers on his Day One promise to empower Virginia parents in their children’s education and upbringing by allowing parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school," the release continued. The governor also signed an executive order announcing the state was "open for business"; two orders establishing a state effort to combat anti-semitism and human trafficking, respectively, and another promising to investigate an alleged sexual...
    Four states on the East Coast have declared a state of emergency ahead of a large snowstorm expected to hit southern and eastern states Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia all declared a state of emergency on Friday in advance of the storm. Winter storm warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS) will remain in effect for multiple states into Monday. The snowstorm is expected to bring "widespread and significant snow and ice up the Eastern Seaboard," according to the NWS. The NWS is forecasting up to 12 inches of snow in Virginia, depending on the region. Virginia was slammed by a winter storm earlier this month, which caused an overnight gridlock on a 50-mile stretch of the I-95 highway. Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Friday declared a state of emergency, which he said will assist the state response under the new governor sworn in on Saturday, Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinSunday shows preview: Democrats' struggle for voting rights bill comes to a head Youngkin inaugurated as first GOP Virginia governor in over a decade Overnight Energy &...
    Newly-inaugurated Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin began his term Saturday by issuing a batch of executive orders reflective of the conservative — and sometimes controversial — positions he campaigned on. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin prepares to sign executive orders in the governors conference room at the Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Richmond, Va. (Photo AP/Steve Helber) Though many of the executive statements are symbolic and do not carry the force of law, others will have the weight to direct state policy on divisive issues, such as the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public education, the use of mask and vaccine mandates to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and withdrawing Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a major climate change framework for Virginia and neighboring states. Ok a lot has happened in the past couple of hours. Governor Youngkin celebrates, then gets to work. @WTOP pic.twitter.com/XnNbpQjz1R — Nick Iannelli (@NickWTOP) January 15, 2022 Consistent with campaign promises concerning COVID-19, one of Youngkin’s orders removes state mask mandates for students at public schools. Within his second executive directive, Youngkin...
    Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin started his term with a slew of executive orders Saturday to address key campaign issues. After being sworn in as the 74th governor of Virginia, Youngkin signed 11 executive orders, a handful of which were aimed at allowing parents to exert control over their children's education by ordering schools to stop teaching critical race theory and implementing mask mandates in public schools. "Parents should have a say in what is taught in school because, in Virginia, parents have a fundamental right to make decisions with regards to their child’s upbringing, education, and care," Youngkin said in his inauguration speech Saturday. "To parents, I say we respect you. And we will empower you in the education of your children." 'A NEW AND BETTER DAY': GLENN YOUNGKIN OFFERS SUNNY OUTLOOK IN INAUGURAL REMARKS AS VIRGINIA GOVERNOR Youngkin, who made education a focal point of his campaign, also issued an executive order directing officials to "investigate wrongdoing in Loudoun County." This alluded to the scandal in which the school board was accused of covering up...
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Striking a tone of bipartisanship and optimism, Virginia’s new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, pledged to “restore trust in government and to restore power to the people” as he was sworn in to office Saturday in Richmond. “Today we stand together on behalf of Virginians who’ve never lost faith, even when they suffered loss. Of Virginians who have not stopped dreaming of a better life, even in the midst of trials and tribulation,” he said in front of the historic state Capitol to thousands of enthusiastic spectators. “My fellow Virginians, the spirit of Virginia is alive and well. And together we will strengthen it.” “No matter who you voted for, I pledge to be your advocate, your voice, your governor,” he said, Youngkin’s inaugural speech marked a weekend of pomp and circumstance as Virginia’s newly elected Republican leaders took office. In addition to Youngkin, Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares and Lieutenant Gov.-elect Winsome Earle-Sears were sworn in during an outdoor ceremony The moment opens a new chapter of governance in a state where Democrats spent the past two...