Across Virginia

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to Virginia’s decades-old ban on uranium mining. The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear the challenge to the ban, which has been in place in 1982. The ban’s challengers are the owners of a massive uranium deposit in the state’s Pittsylvania County. It is the largest known deposit of uranium in the United States. The deposit’s owners had attempted to get state lawmakers to overturn the ban between 2008 and 2013. When that failed, they challenged the ban in federal court. But lower courts sided with the state. The federal government had urged the Supreme Court to take the case. Virginia asked it not to.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court says a man who received two partial pardons from Virginia governors is not entitled to further judicial review.

Travion Blount was initially sentenced to six life terms for his role in a 2006 Norfolk house-party robbery he committed when he was 15 years old.

But then-Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a partial pardon reducing the prison sentence to 40 years. Earlier this year, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe cut the sentence even further, to 14 years.

In a decision issued Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled the pardons Blount received render his request for a new sentencing hearing moot. Blount initially sought the resentencing following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring life sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of protesters are seeking answers about the death of a northern Virginia man who was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police after a brief car chase.

Family and friends of 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar of McLean marched in Washington Saturday and rallied outside the Justice Department. Saturday marked six months since Ghaisar was shot after a minor car crash on the George Washington Parkway followed by a police chase.

Park Police and the FBI have released few details about the incident. Fairfax County Police released dashboard video taken by officers who played a supporting role in the chase. It showed a brief stop-and-go chase in which Park Police officers pulled up on Ghaisar’s car with guns drawn.

The Ghaisar family’s lawyers say police overreacted and did not follow policy.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter started his commencement address at Liberty University in Virginia with a gentle jab at President Donald Trump.

Carter’s speech Saturday came a year after Trump spoke to Liberty graduates.

Carter began by noting the crowd was even bigger than 2017.

Carter said, “I don’t know if President Trump would admit that.” The remark harkened back to controversies over Trump’s claim of a massive inauguration crowd exceeding 1 million, despite photographic evidence suggesting otherwise.

Carter is the third president Liberty has hosted for commencement. The university is a hub for conservative politics, often frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Carter is an evangelical as well, but with a more progressive view of Christianity.

The bulk of Carter’s speech emphasized broad themes of human rights and equality.

It’s now official: the International Mountain Bicycling Association has named the Roanoke Valley as a preferred destination for mountain bikers. WFIR’s Lillian Boyd has more on the decision making process.

5-18 Mountain Bike WEB Wrap 1

From Press Release: Virginia’s Blue Ridge has been awarded a Silver-Level Ride Center™ designation by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) elevating this region to a whole new level as a mountain biking destination. David Wiens, Executive Director of IMBA, made a special trip from Colorado to officially announce the Ride Center™ designation. Wiens stated, “Virginia’s Blue Ridge IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center status solidifies the enthusiasm for mountain biking along the East Coast and puts Virginia on par with some of the greatest mountain bike destinations. We look forward to the many ways Virginia’s Blue Ridge will thrive with its new Ride Center designation.”

The designation did not happen overnight. “It took nearly two years of hard work by many people throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge to get to this point.  This announcement is a real game changer.” stated Lee Wilhelm, Chair of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The Ride Center application criteria served as a blueprint for achieving and improving the trail systems. “We see it as a catalyst for increased investment in our current trail systems and it will help develop new trail projects similar to those at Explore Park as well as throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge.” said Kristine McCormick, President of Roanoke IMBA.

With only fifteen Silver-Level Ride Centers in the world and the only Ride Center on the East Coast, we are ready to stake our claim as “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital.”  The growth and expansion of mountain biking in Virginia’s Blue Ridge will attract biking enthusiasts of all levels to experience a Metro-Mountain Adventure through the variety of trails and destination amenities.

VBR Mountain Biking Website – www.visitvbr.com/mtb and video – https://youtu.be/fb-KMnn9qns

Contact information
Catherine Fox, Vice-President of Public Affairs & Destination Development, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
cfox@visitvbr.com or (540) 342-6025 Ext. 114 (o) or (540) 494-0514 (c)

IMBA 2018 RIDE CENTER FACT SHEET

Announcing Virginia’s Blue Ridge IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center™

May 17, 2018

The IMBA Ride Center designation recognizes the pinnacle of mountain biking communities. These are communities with something for every rider, from a variety of mountain biking experiences for locals and visitors alike, to robust local accommodations for visiting mountain bikers. 

 IMBA Ride Centers will be extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trail builders and local volunteers. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only trails to family-friendly riding, mountain bikers can expect the best the sport has to offer at an IMBA Ride Center.

What it means to be a Ride Center: The Ride Center designation recognizes progressive trail communities that value mountain biking and have a trail-forward approach that serves their community members alongside recreational tourism. A Ride Center designation will bring major economic benefits to a community. Helena, a Silver-Level IMBA Ride Center, saw 63,000 visitors in the summer of 2017, who generated $4.3 million in economic activity and supported 60 jobs.

What it takes to be a Ride Center: This designation is just as much about the process as the award itself. The application criteria serves as the blueprint for achieving and improving a trail system and is comprised of multiple factors with both trail experience and surrounding community amenities being measured. This designation is designed to support local stakeholders and land managers in their effort to create the ultimate mountain biking destination trail system.

Quick stats on IMBA Ride Centers:
There are currently 39 IMBA Ride Centers—30 in the U.S. and 9 international. For a full list of individual Ride Centers, see the bottom of this document.

6 Gold-Level Ride Centers

  • 15 Silver-Level Ride Centers
  • 18 Bronze-Level Ride Centers
  • 9 of those are international Ride Centers (two gold, three silver, four bronze)
  • The Teton Ride Center spans Wyoming and Idaho. With this, Idaho has four Ride Centers.
  • Four U.S. states now have three Ride Centers: Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota and Virginia.
  • Arizona and Michigan have two Ride Centers.
  • Internationally, New Zealand has three Ride Centers. British Columbia (Canada), and Czech Republic have two Ride Centers. 

Current IMBA Ride Centers, by level and alphabetical order by state/country:

Gold-Level Ride Centers:

  • Boise-Eagle: Boise, Idaho, USA
  • Duluth: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
  • Oakridge: Oakridge, Oregon, USA
  • Park City: Park City, Utah, USA
  • Nelson: Nelson, New Zealand
  • Rotorua: Rotorua, New Zealand

Silver-Level IMBA Ride Centers:

  • Bentonville: Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
  • Tucson: Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • Steamboat Bike Town: Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA
  • Vail Valley: Eagle County, Colorado, USA
  • McCall: McCall, Idaho, USA
  • Sun Valley: Sun Valley, Idaho, USA
  • Bike Taupo: Taupo, New Zealand
  • Livingo: Livingo, Italy
  • Silver Star Resort: Silver Star, British Columbia, Canada
  • Copper Harbor: Copper Harbor, Michigan, USA
  • Cuyuna Lakes: Crosby, Minnesota, USA
  • Helena: Helena, Montana, USA
  • Santa Fe: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
  • Virginia’s Blue Ridge: Roanoke, Virginia, USA
  • Teton Region: Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Driggs, Idaho, USA

 Bronze-Level IMBA Ride Centers:

  • Coldwater Mountain: Anniston, Alabama, USA
  • Fayetteville: Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
  • Hot Springs: Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
  • Valley of the Sun: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • Roaring Fork/Aspen Snowmass: Aspen, Colorado, USA
  • Santos: Ocala, Florida, USA
  • Central Savannah River Area: Central Savannah River Area, Georgia/South Carolina, USA
  • Brown County: Nashville, Indiana, USA
  • Burns Lake: Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada
  • Rychlebské Stezky, Černá Voda: Černá Voda, Czech Republic
  • Singltrek pod Smrkem: Singltrek pod Smrkem, Czech Republic/Poland
  • Mt. Buller: Mt. Buller, Victoria, Australia
  • Marquette: Marquette, Michigan, USA
  • Twin Cities: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Reading: Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Harrisonburg: Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
  • Richmond: Richmond, Virginia, USA
  • Chequamegon Area: Cable, Wisconsin, USA

How to reference the Ride Center designation in materials:

Always include “IMBA” and “Ride Center.” Hyphenate the designation level. Ride Centers can be attributed to locations such as the city, local region, or state if referencing multiple Ride Centers. Here are examples of how the designation can be written, using Roanoke as an example:

IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center™ or Silver-Level IMBA Ride Center™

Virginia’s Blue Ridge IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center™

Virginia’s Blue Ridge IMBA Ride Center™

 

IMBA and Ride Center should always be capitalized. On the first instance of the designation in any written material (press release, web page, etc.), Ride Center should appear with the trademark symbol (Ride Center™.) After the first reference, the symbol is not needed.

About IMBA – The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational association established in 1988. Its mission is to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes. IMBA believes mountain biking changes lives and improves communities, and works to influence more places to ride mountain bikes close to home. 

The International Mountain Bicycling Association is the leader in mountain bike advocacy, education, promotion and trail creation. Since 1988, IMBA has taught and encouraged low-impact riding, grassroots advocacy, sustainable trail design, innovative land management practices and cooperation among trail user groups.

IMBA is led by Executive Director Dave Wiens, six-time Leadville 100 champion, a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, Founder of the Mountain Sports program at Western State Colorado University and legendary mountain bike advocate and race promoter in Gunnison, Colorado.

 About Roanoke IMBA – The local chapter was chartered in 2012 by a group of dedicated and passionate volunteers with the mission to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers in the valley and the surrounding areas.  Current President – Kristine McCormick – president@roanokeimba.org or http://www.roanokeimba.org/

Contact information

For more information about the destination contact Catherine Fox, VP of Public Affairs & Destination Development at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge – cfox@visitvbr.com www.visitvbr.com/biking/mountain-biking/

For further IMBA questions on media and announcements, please contact Eleanor Blick, IMBA Communications Manager, eleanor.blick@imba.com.

For further questions on IMBA Ride Center designations, please contact Shane Wilson, IMBA Trail Solutions Project Manager, shane.wilson@imba.com.

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia man has been charged with lying to federal authorities after they say he made up a story about being kidnapped, drugged and held against his will by members of a motorcycle gang. The FBI says he fabricated the story and was actually trying to start a new life with his mistress. After Larry Wayne Price Jr. was reported missing by his wife last month, authorities launched a massive search. The 38-year-old businessman from Bluefield, Virginia, was found later that day. Police say he claimed he was kidnapped at gunpoint by two men who stole his 9mm pistol, then threw him out of a van. The FBI says that was the first of several lies. Price is currently being held on $500,000 bond. His lawyer declined to comment.

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) – The Mountain Valley Pipeline project has been cited for failing to control erosion at two work sites just two months after construction started on the more than 300-mile (483-kilometer) pipeline through Virginia and West Virginia.
The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that an inspection found flaws in erosion and sediment control measures last month at two sites in Wetzel County. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation April 25, saying work crews failed to prevent sediment-laden water from leaving a site where a compressor station is under construction before first passing through a control device.
At another site, erosion wasn’t properly channeled down a hillside, causing a portion of the slope to give way.
Sediment released from the areas didn’t impact nearby streams.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Three militia groups and their commanding officers who participated in a white nationalist rally last summer in Charlottesville have agreed not to return to engage in coordinated armed activity during another such event. A law center representing the city of Charlottesville and other plaintiffs announced the consent decrees Wednesday. Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection says the development brings to 11 the number of defendants who have entered into consent decrees resolving the claims against them in the lawsuit. The case aims to prevent the type of violence that broke out at the August “Unite the Right” rally from happening again. Of the 25 defendants named in the lawsuit, the law center says six are actively litigating the case. A hearing has been scheduled for June 12.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The mother of an unarmed hit-and-run suspect who ran naked onto an interstate highway and was fatally shot by a police officer says the behavior described by police was completely out of character for her son. Marcus-David Peters died early Tuesday. Barbara Peters said her son was a high school science teacher who graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond police said an officer saw Peters strike a vehicle and then flee. The officer pursued him onto Interstate 95, where police say his car hit two more vehicles and went off the road. Police say Peters ran onto the highway before he “charged” the officer. They said the officer shot at Peters after a stun gun “proved ineffective.” Barbara Peters said that behavior “was not who my son was.”

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