Virginia ABC Removes Russian-Sourced Vodka After Youngkin Calls for State, Local Governments to Break Ties with Russia

The Virginia ABC is removing seven Russian-sourced vodka brands from its shelves, although Stolichnaya and Smirnoff, which aren’t produced in Russia, will remain on shelves. That’s a response to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Saturday directive to the Department of General Services to review Virginia’s procurement of goods and services involving Russian companies.

“The invasion of Ukraine by Soviet dictator Vladimir Putin cannot stand, and the people of the Commonwealth are ready to rally in opposition to this senseless attack on a sovereign nation and Western ideals,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Today, we are acting to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country. And while these are important steps, it is incumbent upon President Biden to take a stronger, more decisive leadership position to end this war.”

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Study: Virginia Has High Amount of Bad Drivers

Virginia has a high concentration of bad drivers, according to a recent study from Insurify, which found that 26.52 percent of the commonwealth’s drivers have a past traffic citation. With a national average of 21.34 percent, Virginia ranks fourth place on the list — only Ohio, Iowa, and Nebraska have a higher percentage of drivers with past traffic citations.

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Newport News Moves Elections to November Under Duress

Downtown Newport News

The City of Newport News has voted to move its municipal elections from May to November, but even as they passed the ordinance, the city council members made it clear that they don’t think the change is a good idea. The change is required by legislation passed in the 2021 General Assembly session that goes into effect January 1, 2022.

“I think it really puts us in a tenuous situation. We have always worked as a council without being concerned about party lines and it seems like something of this nature may cause us to begin to look at things based on  party and not based on what’s best for the City of Newport News,” Vice Mayor Saundra Cherry said.

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Virginia Newspaper Apologizes for Whiteness Before Reporting on Discrimination

A Virginia newspaper apologized for the racial makeup of its reporters who are publishing a series on post-Jim Crow housing discrimination in Norfolk. 

“For full disclosure, the people behind this reporting are white and benefit from numerous privileges that the disadvantaged populations highlighted in this project do not, ‘So we have blind spots,'” The Virginian-Pilot said in a Thursday tweet. “Meet the ‘Dividing Lines’ team here:” 

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Bristol, Virginia Takes Next Step Towards a Hard Rock Casino

The Bristol City Council unanimously approved naming HR Bristol LLC the city’s preferred gambling operator. The Friday city council decision confirms what voters asked for in a November 2020 referendum – a Hard Rock Casino to be built in Bristol. The decision wasn’t a a surprise, and the council didn’t bother discussing the motion before voting.

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Norfolk Second Amendment Preservation Coalition Wins Court Case, Achieves 4K Signatures, Awaits City Council

The Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition achieved all necessary signatures required to have the city council review its petition. This followed last Friday’s court decision to award the coalition as much time necessary to gather signatures.

“We think a decision like this is too important to let seven partisan city council members decide,” Republican Party of Norfolk Chairman and Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition Founder Robert “Bob” Brown said.

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Virginia Gets Four Casinos

Four cities have voted to bring casinos to Virginia for the first time, according to unofficial results reported on The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). Although Norfolk City is only reporting 93.9 percent of its votes, over 42,611 of those votes are in favor of the initiative versus 22,822 against.

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Coalition of Churches Opposes Bristol Casino

Eight churches in Bristol, Virginia are fighting against a proposed $400 million Hard Rock casino; residents will vote on the referendum this November. The coalition cites studies claiming that casinos prey on gambling addicts and questions whether a casino would draw high numbers of tourists as claimed by supporters of the referendum. Proponents say the casino would bring Bristol $15-$20 million a year in taxes and over 2,000 jobs averaging salaries of $46,500.

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