Nov 2

Two proposed amendments to the Virginia constitution will be on the ballot this November—one concerning eminent domain and the other dealing with the timing of the general assembly’s veto session. Del. Keith Hodges (R-Urbanna) co-sponsored the amendment proposed for the statute on eminent domain, which is the government’s right to take property. The second proposed constitutional amendment would delay by up to one week the start of the veto session that the General Assembly holds after every regular legislative session. Tune in to our Focus on the Middle Peninsula this Sunday at 10am when I’ll be speaking to Del Hodges more about the amendments.
 
 
A jury sentenced 59 year-old Athur Sanford of Hampton to 40 years in prison Thursday evening in the 2003 stabbing death of his girlfriend. Sanford was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of death 41-year-old Towanna Brinkley in December of 2003, he was accused of stabbing Brinkley multiple times and setting the apartment they shared on fire. Sanford was convicted of killing a previous girlfriend in 1983 and served 19 years in prison. Sanford was released from prison eight months before Brinkley was killed.
 
 
A man wanted on charges of detonating pipe bombs in Virginia led police on a chase across the Montana plains Thursday during which he threw several bombs at his pursuers before he was captured. 25 year-old Laurence Stewart II was initially pulled over for speeding but sped away where a 40 miles chase ensued before he was captured. Stewart is suspected of detonating pipe bombs in the homes of his ex-girlfriend and two investigators handling an indecent exposure case that involves him. Stewart faces charges in Virginia that include attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, manufacture or possession of a weapon of terror, and arson.
 
 
After 31 years, a woman who was the victim of a violent sexual assault as a teenager in 1981 finally got justice Thursday when her attacker was sentenced to 10 years in prison. York-Poquoson Circuit Judge Richard AtLee Jr. sentenced 71-year-old Franklin Gootee to 10 years in prison with another 10 years suspended on a charge of aggravated sexual battery. The woman reported the assault last December after she saw a news report about Gootee’s arrest two months earlier on a charge of allegedly kissing a 9-year-old boy.
 
 
Metal grid deck replacement work at the James River Bridge will resume tonight after being delayed last weekend by Hurricane Sandy. Work on the $3.8 million project has been ongoing for several weeks but has been suspended several times due to foul weather and the fallout from a massive traffic jam that occurred when the Virginia Department of Transportation simultaneously closed the JRB and Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel in September. This weekend, the JRB will be reduced to one lane in each direction from 9 p.m. tonight until Monday at 5 a.m. to accommodate work on the southbound side of the bridge.
 
 
About 6,190 utility customers in Virginia remain without electricity as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Dominion Virginia Power says about 700 customers are without service mostly in northern Virginia.
Appalachian Power is reporting about 5,040 outages, mainly in southwest Virginia. The utility says significant damage occurred to its transmissions lines. The company had no estimate for restoration in other areas where damage was still being assessed.

November 2, 2012 |

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