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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House fire in Cave Spring area, no injuries

From News Release: Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded at about 6:05 p.m., on Thursday, November 16, 2017 to the 3500 block of Forester Road in the Cave Spring area for the report of a structure fire. First arriving crews did find smoke showing from the front of the house. Crews from Cave Spring, Clearbrook, and Back Creek responded to the fire. There are no injuries. There are 5 adult occupants of the home and three of them were at home at the time of the fire. One cat was rescued from inside the house, a dog was also found safe. The fire was mostly confined to the kitchen, however there is smoke damage throughout the home. The fire marshal’s office is on scene to investigate a cause. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

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Goodlatte, Griffith, Garrett praise tax reform plan; Warner pans it

The Roanoke region’s three Republican congressmen are praising House passage of a tax reform bill. Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Tom Garrett say in statements the bill will simplify the tax code, make it fairer and create more jobs and bigger paychecks.

But on the Senate side, Democrat Mark Warner expressed frustration at a Finance Committee meeting over the GOP’s Senate version of the bill: WFIR’s Ian Price has more:

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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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Senator Kaine: Roy Moore “unfit” to serve

Sen. Tim Kaine

Members of his own party have come out against him – and now Virginia’s junior Democratic U.S. Senator speaks about about Alabama’s Roy Moore. WFIR’s Gene Marrano asked Tim Kaine about it this morning:

11-16 Kaine-Moore Wrap#2-WEB

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UPDATE: Virginia regulators approve carbon-reduction plan

UPDATE: The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board today approved regulations to limit carbon emissions from Virginia electric utilities. The rule approved today intends to cap emissions from most power plants starting in 2020 and then require a 30 percent reduction over a decade. It could also open the door to Virginia joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among mostly northeastern states.

PREVIOUSLY: RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Regulators are set to vote on a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in Virginia and allow for participation in a regional carbon-trading network. The proposed regulation is up for a vote Thursday before the Air Pollution Control Board. It would cap emissions from most power plants starting in 2020 and then require a 30 percent reduction over a decade. It could also open the door to Virginia joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among mostly northeastern states. Gov. Terry McAuliffe directed his administration to develop the regulation in May, saying Virginia can’t afford to sit by as President Donald Trump rolls back efforts to battle climate change. If the board approves the proposal, it’s subject to a public comment period and possible further changes.

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Review: Poor communication hampered Charlottesville response

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A review commissioned by Virginia officials found poor communication between state and local responders during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville led to confusion about the “rules of engagement” with protesters.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police conducted the review for a state task force convened after the August violence. Jim Baker, a consultant with the association, presented the findings Wednesday.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch , Baker said state and local police had separate response plans, which should have been unified.
Though the review cites confusion about the “rules of engagement,” it doesn’t address what they entailed. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran says that’s outside the scope of the state’s work.
Both rally attendees and counter-protesters have criticized the law enforcement response as too restrained.

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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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CCAP registration for 2018 underway at Virginia Western

Its been a game-changer for some high school students who struggle to pay for education after they graduate – WFIR’s Gene Marrano spoke to Virginia Western’s president recently about the CCAP program:

11-16 CCAP Wrap#2-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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