Nov 8

A Virginia judge on Thursday found a bus driver guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter in a wreck along I-95 last year, that killed four people and injured more than 50 others. According to testimony, the defendant, Kin Yiu Cheung, was drinking coffee and Red Bull energy drinks during the overnight trip, acting angrily toward passengers and driving erratically. Last week, all charges were dismissed against a bus dispatcher for the company, Sky Express Inc., after his attorney found a witness to refute Cheung’s claim that he had told the dispatcher he was too tired to drive but that the dispatcher told Cheung he would be fired if he didn’t drive.
 
 
The Coalition for Justice for Civil Rights filed a motion Tuesday in Hampton Circuit Court requesting that a special grand jury look into a police sting that saw more than $3 million pass through its private account. During the 19-month operation, not a single arrest was made. The petitioner contends that the Police Division and City Manager … egregiously misused and misappropriated taxpayer monies in the operation of Blue Water Tobacco Company without the expressed permission of the City Council of Hampton, thereby committing a criminal act. The commonwealth’s attorney will decide if a criminal prosecution is necessary and present it to a grand jury.
 
 
Citing a looming federal fiscal crisis and its potential to devastate a lagging recovery, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday ordered Virginia state agencies to immediately draw up plans to pare their budgets by 4 percent. The memo by McDonnell’s chief of staff, Martin Kent, cites the “fiscal cliff,” the prospect that Congress won’t agree on debt reductions in time to avert automatic, across-the-board cuts starting Jan. 1. The potential cuts are part of a 2011 budget compromise that averted a default on the federal debt.
 
 
The College of William and Mary has been chosen to lead a federal project that will allow the U.S. to better track the aid it gives to other countries. School officials say that could help reduce fraud and better target regions of the world that need assistance. The school was awarded $25 million by the U.S. Agency for International Development. That makes it the single largest financial award in school history. The new AidData Center for Development Policy will be a joint venture between William and Mary, Brigham Young University in Utah and the University of Texas at Austin. The center will create maps and tools that will allow the U.S. to see which areas inside of a country are getting what types of aid.
 
 
Suffolk has stopped a leak that spilled more than 9 million gallons of raw sewage into a creek. Sewage began spilling into Shingle Creek last week after a 9-inch section of a main ruptured during Hurricane Sandy. The city says a section of Wilroy Road will be closed until at least late November while the damage is repaired.
 
 
Gov. Bob McDonnell says Virginia will default to a federal health insurance exchange to meet its obligations under the federal health care overhaul. McDonnell had been holding out in hopes that President Barack Obama would be defeated and the reforms would be repealed. With Obama’s re-election, McDonnell acknowledges that’s unlikely. But he’s unwilling to expand the state’s Medicaid program or establish a state-based benefits program. States face a Nov. 16 deadline to decide what kind of exchange to establish. The exchanges help people shop for private health insurance policies.

November 9, 2012 |

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