An 8-year-old girl who a prosecutor says was kept penned in a filthy, modified cage for months or even years by her parents may have to testify at their trials. Circuit Judge R. Bruce Long had ruled on Feb. 11 that the girl wouldn’t have to testify at the joint trials of her parents, Brian and Shannon Gore. But Long has reversed his ruling, saying it would “invite reversal if appellate review of a jury verdict occurred on the aggravated malicious wounding charge. Commonwealth’s Attorney Holly Smith has filed a motion requesting that the girl testify via closed-circuit television. Smith said the girl should not have to testify in open court in the presence of the defendants, the jury, the judge and public “due to a substantial inability to communicate about the offense and the concern that the child will suffer severe emotional trauma from so testifying,”
28 year-old Stephanie Bozarth will appear in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court for the alleged 2011 murder of Tabitha Russell. Bozarth allegedly stabbed Tabitha Russell to death Aug. 26, 2011, in a fight. A 12 year-old witness said he saw the women run toward each other and start fighting. He said he could not clearly see what happened and could not make out what they were saying, but when he realized Russell was hurt, he ran away because he was scared.
PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS AT THE NEWPORT NEWS SHIPYARD TUESDAY AFTERNOON TO ARGUE AGAINST THE SEQUESTER CUTS. THE PRESIDENT TOLD THOSE IN ATTENDANCE THAT THE CUTS, BECAUSE THEY AREN’T TARGETED, COULD COST TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VIRGINIANS THEIR JOBS. 90-THOUSAND DEFENSE DEPARTMENT WORKERS COULD FACE UNPAID LEAVE. HE ALSO SAYS HE HAS A PLAN, BUT THAT IT ALSO RAISES REVENUE BY GETTING RID OF SOME TAX BREAKS AND TAX LOOPHOLES. THE CUTS GO INTO EFFECT MARCH 1 IF NOTHING IS WORKED OUT BY THEN.
The Gloucester county School Board approved Tuesday night a request for $2.6 million from the Board of Supervisors to prepare Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center to be home to administrative offices. The School Board’s request chopped about $900,000 off the amount the work was expected to cost to prepare the education center for administrative staff following a competitive bidding process. The request is a reversal of a vote two weeks ago when the board rejected asking the supervisors for money to remodel and refurbish the former elementary school. The board’s action followed last week’s deadline imposed by the supervisors for the school system to vacate its administrative offices in a county building by Dec. 31.
Virginia college students attending public four-year institutions graduate at a rate that exceeds the national average. The average six-year completion rate for Virginians is 76 percent, compared with a national average of nearly 61 percent. Only students from Iowa and New Hampshire had higher completion rates. The report looks at how first-time, degree-seeking students fared by their home states, rather than where they attended school. As such, the report speaks highly for Virginia’s K-12 school system.
Officials say suspicious letters sent to two Virginia congressmen Friday were harmless and were sent by the same person, who is cooperating with police. Authorities reported Friday that letters containing a white, powder substance were sent to the Virginia Beach office of Rep. Scott Rigell and the Chesapeake office of Rep. Randy Forbes. On Monday, they said instead that it was a red, waxy substance found in the letters. Initial tests determined they were harmless, but samples were sent to a lab in Richmond for testing and confirmed to be non-hazardous. Authorities say the substance likely was red sealing wax.