Archives for July 2017

Former U.S. Diplomat

A former U.S. diplomat has for the second time been found liable for enslaving and sexually trafficking a housekeeper while posted at the U.S. embassy in Yemen. The Washington Post reports that a Virginia jury on Monday agreed that Linda Howard and her husband Russell Howard forced an Ethiopian maid into sexual slavery in 2008. Linda Howard, who denied the allegations and left the State Department in 2013, was ordered to pay $3 million in damages to the woman. Howard’s husband died in 2012.

DuPont Settlement

Chemical company DuPont will pay about $50 million under an environmental settlement that aims to make up for decades of mercury pollution one of its factories released into the South River in Virginia. A federal judge approved the settlement between Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont Co. and the state and federal government last week. Court documents say it’s the largest natural resources damages settlement in Virginia history.

Motorcycle Crash

Henrico County Police are investigating a deadly motorcycle crash. The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. yesterday when the motorcycle went off southbound East Richmond Road. Authorities believe another vehicle may have been involved. The identity of the victim hasn’t been released pending notification of relatives.

Farmville Apartment Complex Plans Off The Table

A right hand turn plays a key role in the dismantling of plans to build an apartment complex in Farmville. Conditons for the construction of the one-hundred apartment complex proposed by developer Russell Farmer, would have required people leaving the complex to turn right onto South Main Street. That was a point of contention for Harper who pulled the plug for that reason, according to the Farmville Herald. The complex was slated to be located between Walmart and the Greens South subdivision in Farmville.

Should More VA ‘Lifers’ Get Shot At Release?

Court fights are ongoing in Virginia about whether more inmates serving life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles deserve a shot at release in light of Supreme Court rulings. The court in 2012 barred states from imposing mandatory life without parole on anyone under 18 convicted of murder. Later, the ruling became retroactive. Virginia’s juvenile capital murder inmates say their life sentences are now unconstitutional. But the state’s high court says the ruling doesn’t apply to them.

Chesterfield Project Approved

A proposed mixed-use development in Chesterfield County is moving forward. The Board of Supervisors approved the Winterfield Crossing project Wednesday night. Some neighbors had worried about the design not fitting in with the area. The Blackwood Development Company says the site on Midlothian Turnpike will create a village that is pedestrian-friendly.

Redskins Training Camp

Thousands of football fans are descending on Richmond as the Washington Redskins training camp is underway. Fans this year have to register their name and email address in an effort to get a better handle on crowd control and the number of people attending. The camp runs for the next two and a half weeks. This is the fifth year the training camp has been in the city.

Dog bites girl

A two-year-old girl is being treated at the hospital after she was bitten by a dog at the PetSmart in Colonial Heights. Police say the incident happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when the six-month-old pit bull mix slipped out of the ring during a training class. The dog ran around the store and jumped on a woman holding her daughter and bit the girl on the leg. The dog is quarantined at its home in Prince George County.

Fewer Gun Buys In VA

Fewer people are buying guns in Virginia. The Daily Press reports gun sellers have conducted 10 percent fewer background checks so far in 2017 compared to the same time period last year.
Experts say the decline follows a Republican being elected to the White House opposed to a Democrat. Johns Hopkins public health professor Cassandra Crifasi said fears have fallen over whether gun regulations will increase. The 12-month period leading up to the 2016 presidential election was a different story. Federal background checks jumped about 20 percent in Virginia.
Gary Dohey, owner of Hilton Sport & Hobby Shop in Newport News, said few gun owners, if any, are surprised. He told the newspaper that “it’s hardly worth writing about.”

Interpreter Charged

A former Louisa County High School interpreter could be sentenced to up to 230 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to multiple child sex charges. Court documents show 31-year old Amanda Nassar had an inappropriate relationship with a freshman student in September of last year. Nasser is scheduled to be sentenced October 2nd.