Delegate-elect Chris Head has just over two weeks left to prepare for his first General Assembly session. Head owns a small businesses, and so do many of his incoming freshman colleagues. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, Head believes they can make a difference in the way Richmond works.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-27-Delegate-Head-Wrap2-WEB.mp3|titles=12-27 Delegate Head Wrap2-WEB]
This is a quiet week in many workplaces, but not where they care for your dogs and cats. As WFIR’s Evan Jones reports, veteranarians are typically quite busy this week — often the result of holiday distractions.
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Congressman Morgan Griffith offers no apologies for his Republican House colleagues’ reluctance to vote on the Senate-passed two-month payroll tax cut extension. Late last night, a deal was reached on the matter. A vote will likely come today. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-23-Griffith-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=12-23 Griffith Wrap1-WEB]
Virginia Tech has indefinitely suspended placekicker Cody Journell after police charged him and two other men with breaking and entering. Police say all three face a felony breaking and entering count because the incident involved alleged use of a dangerous weapon. More from WFIR’s Bob Clark.
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(Continue reading for the full Blacksburg Police news release.)
Roanoke’s Police Chief says an officer’s decision to fatally shoot two dogs this week appears to be the right one under the circumstances, even though police try to avoid it when possible. Perkins says his officers train to handle various kinds of animal situations — anything from pets to exotic wildlife — and what to consider when making on-the-spot decisions. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones…
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Roanoke Delegate Onzlee Ware isn’t taking sides in the budget back-and-forth between Governor McDonnell and former Governor Tim Kaine. At issue is the level of state funding for a pre-school program that Governor Kaine championed, one now in for some big cutbacks in next year’s proposed budget. Ware says Kaine is right in saying the program is valuable, but he is not disputing the current governor’s figures. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-12-Ware-Pre-School-Wrap2-WEB.mp3|titles=12-12 Ware-Pre-School Wrap2-WEB]
Federal prosecutors in western Virginia say they had a good year collecting assets forfeitures, court judgments, and restitution — but there is no set annual goal. U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy says his office collected $15.5 million in the most recent fiscal year, three times his offices’ entire budget. Heaphy says it is mostly the result of concentrating on cases with significant community impact. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-20-Collections-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=12-20 Collections Wrap1-WEB]
Some of the earliest reaction to Governor McDonnell’s biennial budget proposal came from former Governor Tim Kaine concerning and a school program that started while he was governor. Kaine views the Virginia Pre-school Initiative as one of his most valued accomplishments, but McDonnell administration officials say the cut simply reflects lower students numbers than first projected. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-20-Budget-Folo-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=12-20 Budget Folo Wrap1-WEB]
Gas prices may be down in recent months, but they are still at record highs for December — and that doesn’t bode well for what you will pay next year. The people at GasBuddy.com, which operates all those gas price-tracking web sites, say prices typically rise 93 cents a gallon from year-end lows to peak prices the following year. More on that from WFIR’s Evan Jones.[audio:http://wfirnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/12-19-Future-Gas-Wrap1-WEB.mp3|titles=12-19 Future Gas Wrap1-WEB]
Governor McDonnell will present his two-year budget proposal today to House and Senate money committees as the General Assembly prepares for next year’s session. Many lawmakers are also pre-filing legislation for consideration, and Delegate Greg Habeeb wants to see changes in convicted felons’ voting rights. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.
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