AAA: Thanksgiving holiday travel will be busiest in ten years

Thanksgiving is still six days away, but for many people, the holiday travel season begins today. And AAA says if you are on the move in coming days, you can expect plenty of company. The agency expects the busiest highway travel in Virginia since 2007. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story:

11-17 Holiday Travel Wrap1-WEB

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Lea, Rasoul among 85 appointed to Northam transition team

Sherman Lea, Sr.

Del. Sam Rasoul

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea and Delegate Sam Rasoul are among several people from our area who have been named as a member of Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s Transition Committee. There are 85 committee members in all, most of them Democrats, but there are some Republicans.

Here is the governor-elect’s full news release: Today, Governor-elect Ralph Northam announced his bipartisan Transition Committee, consisting of Virginians from across the Commonwealth who will join him over the course of the next two months to lay the groundwork for a successful administration.

“This bipartisan group of community leaders reflects the diversity that makes our Commonwealth a wonderful and inclusive place to live,” said Governor-elect Northam.

“I am honored to have the help of such a great group of Virginians as we build an administration that reflects Virginia and takes our Commonwealth to the next level. We have a tremendous opportunity over the next four years to make a positive difference in the lives of Virginians, and to create opportunity for every Virginian, no matter who you are, no matter where you live. I look forward to hitting the ground running to do just that.”


Northam Transition Committee Members

Jonathan Aberman
Managing Director, Amplifier Ventures

Kim Adkins
Marketing Director, Carter Bank & Trust

Stephen R. Adkins
Chief, Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia
Charles County

The Honorable Kenneth “Kenny” Alexander
Mayor, City of Norfolk

The Honorable Lamont Bagby
House of Delegates
Henrico County

Andrea Bailey
President, Prince William County NAACP
Prince William County

Brian Ball
Partner, Williams Mullen

Mark Bowles
Executive Vice President, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC

Jennifer Bowles
Vice Mayor, Martinsville City Council

Robert Bragg III
President, Virginia Professional Fire Fighters

Jeffrey “Jeff” Breit
Attorney, Breit, Drescher, Imprevento
Virginia Beach

David Broder
President, SEIU Virginia 512

Carlos Brown
Member, Commonwealth Transportation Board

The Honorable C. William “Bill” Carrico
Senate of Virginia
Grayson County

Keyanna Connor
State Director, Office of United States Senator Mark Warner

Henry “Hap” Connors, Jr.
Member, Commonwealth Transportation Board

Vanessa Crawford
Sheriff, City of Petersburg

The Honorable Barbara A. Favola
Senate of Virginia
Arlington County

The Honorable Eileen Filler-Corn
House of Delegates

The Honorable R. Creigh Deeds
Senate of Virginia
Bath County

The Honorable Adam P. Ebbin
Senate of Virginia

The Honorable Jay Fisette
Chairman, Arlington County Board of Supervisors

Jay Ford
Executive Director, Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper

Steven Gould
Member, City of Danville School Board

Lori Haas
Virginia State Director, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Mike Hamlar
President, Hamlar Enterprises

The Honorable Eva T. Hardy
Former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources

Margaret Nimmo Holland
Executive Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children

The Honorable Anne Holton
Former Virginia Secretary of Education, former First Lady of Virginia

The Honorable Mike Hymes
Member, Tazewell Board of Supervisors

Allison Jones
HosPAC Director, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Reverend Kelvin F. Jones
Director of Ministries, Blue Water Development

Tarina Keene
Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia

Jack Kennedy
Clerk of the Court, Wise County Circuit Court

Dr. Babur Lateef
Ophthalmologist, Advanced Ophthalmology Inc.

Dr. Michelle LaRue
Virginia State Director, CASA

Dr. Jennifer Lee
Former Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources

The Honorable Sherman P. Lea, Sr.
Mayor, City of Roanoke

Harry T. Lester
Chairman, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Virginia Beach

Jim Livingston
President, Virginia Education Association

The Honorable Mamie Locke
Senate of Virginia

The Honorable Alfonso H. Lopez
House of Delegates

The Honorable Chris Lu
Former United States Deputy Secretary of Labor

Leopoldo Martinez
Board Chair, Latino Victory Project
Washington, D.C.

Dennis Martire
Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager, LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic Region

The Honorable Andria McClellan
Member, Norfolk City Council

The Honorable Jennifer McClellan
Senate of Virginia

Sanjay Mittal
CEO, eHealthObjects

The Honorable Ross Mugler
Commissioner of the Revenue, City of Hampton

Janet Muldoon
Legislative Assistant, Office of State Senator Richard Saslaw

Edward Mullen
Partner, Reed Smith

William L.”Bill” Murray
Member, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Reverend Tyrone Nelson
Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church

Tram Nguyen
Co-Executive Director, New Virginia Majority
Washington, D.C.

Jeff Novak
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – Ethics and Compliance, Oath Incorporated

Arnold Outlaw
President, United Steelworkers Local 8888 – Newport News
Newport News

The Honorable Edward “Ed” Owens
Mayor, Town of South Boston
South Boston

James Parrish
Executive Director, Equality Virginia

The Honorable L.F. Payne
President, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC
Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Tom Perriello
Former Congressman

Chris Petersen
Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

The Honorable Todd Pillion
House of Delegates

The Honorable Evans Poston
Commissioner of the Revenue, City of Norfolk

he Honorable Marcia “Cia” Price
House of Delegates
Newport News

Atif Qarni
Math Teacher, Prince William County

The Honorable Phyllis Randall
Chairwoman, Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Sam Rasoul
House of Delegates
Roanoke City

Alexsis Rodgers
Director of Communications, Planned Parenthood Virginia

Nikki Rovner
Associate State Director of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy

Jeff Rowe
President, Virginia Association of IBEW
Newport News

Anna Scholl
Executive Director, Progress Virginia

The Honorable Mark D. Sickles
House of Delegates

Aimee Perron Siebert
Partner, Commonwealth Strategy Group

The Honorable Levar Stoney
Mayor, City of Richmond

The Honorable Richard Stuart
Senate of Virginia
Westmoreland County

Walter Tejada
President, Virginia Latino Leaders Council

Michael “Mike” Town
Executive Director, League of Conservation Voters

Pia Trigiani
Attorney, MercerTrigiani

Ed Turner
Disability Policy Consultant, Turner & Associates

The Honorable Shannon Valentine
Former Member of the Virginia House of Delegates

Dr. Alan Wagner
Ophthalmologist, Wagner Macula & Retina Center
Virginia Beach

The Honorable Molly Ward
Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources

The Honorable John Watkins
Former State Senator

Katharine Webb
Member, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Matthew “Matt” Yonka
President, Virginia State Building & Construction Trades Council


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Garrett nears end of first year in Congress unhappy with inaction

Rep. Tom Garrett

As 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte prepares for his final year at the Capitol, his next-door colleague in the 5th District is nearing the end of his first. And as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Tom Garrett agrees with those who say things get done much better in Richmond than in Washington.

11-16 Garrett-First Year Wrap1-WEB

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WFIR’s Gene Marrano honored for media excellence

Gene Marrano

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America honored WFIR Anchor-Reporter Gene Marrano Wednesday night with its annual “Adam & Alison Award for Media Excellence.” The award was presented at the annual PRSA awards gala at the Hotel Roanoke. It is named in memory of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the WDBJ7 reporters killed during a live telecast in 2015. This is the second year for the award; the first was presented to long-time WDBJ7 Reporter Joe Dashiell.

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Owners of six Roanoke restaurants must pay workers $3 million

WSLS10 reports the owners six Roanoke-area Mexican restaurants must pay $3 million in back wages and damages to almost 150 workers. It is included in a consent judgment filed late last month in federal court; the defendants own El Rodeo and El Toreo restaurants. The U.S. Department of Labor found the restaurants filed to pay their workers overtime for a three-year period between early 2012 and early 2015.

Click here for the full WSLS10 story.

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GOP worries Northam may offer jobs to Republicans, flip party control

A Richmond newspaper reports Virginia Republicans are worried that Democratic Governor-elect Ralph Northam might offer a few GOP legislators administration appointments – and by so doing, potentially flip party control in both General Assembly houses to Democrats through special elections. As things stand now, Republicans hold very narrow majorities in both the State Senate and House of Delegates.

Click here for the Richmond Times-Dispatch story.

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Distracted driving license plate contest: $1,000 prize

A Virginia high school student will see his or her work appear on state license plates in coming years, part of state efforts to bring greater awareness to distracted driving. The state’s DMV is conducting the competition, a design for a “Take Action Against Distraction” license plate. The winner also gets a $1,000. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

11-15 License Plate Wrap-WEB

Click here for full contest information.

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With vote count now complete, GOP retains of House of Delegates control

Elections officials in Stafford County near Fredericksburg have certified the vote totals from last week’s election. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star’s web site reports that with all the provisional ballots counted, the Republican candidate for House of Delegates won the seat by 82 votes, which means the GOP maintains House control 51 seats to 49. However, several of the closest races face recounts.

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Three years into job, Roanoke airport director still works for top goal

RBRA photo

The Director of Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is nearing three years on the job, and while one of Timothy Bradshaw’s main goals remains unfulfilled, he says this is a marathon effort, not a sprint. The top goal remain Dallas, already a top-five destination for Roanoke air travelers. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:

11-14 Roanoke Air Service Wrap-WEB

Bradshaw spoke live Monday on the Roanoke Valley’s Morning News. Here is the full conversation:

11-13 Bradshaw LIve-WEB

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UVA believes summer white nationalist rallies impact black applications

The University of Virginia reports the number of black high school students applying for early action this fall is slightly lower than last year, and UVA officials think it is related to the summer white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the university’s admission officials say it is the only group for which early action applications are down.

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