Local Government, Civic Affairs and Education

Photo: Roanoke County

Former Roanoke County Attorney Paul Mahoney has announced his candidacy for the county’s Board of Supervisors. Mahoney says his 31 years as County Attorney — and his current work on the planning commission — give him a broad understanding of issues and challenges facing the county. Mahoney will run as a Republican in the Cave Spring District. Current Supervisor George Assaid is not running for re-election.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Restaurants in Virginia would have greater freedom to advertise happy hour drink specials under legislation that passed both chambers of the General Assembly.The House of Delegates and Senate each passed bills Wednesday that would allow Virginia restaurants to advertise the prices of happy hour drinks and use terms like “Thirsty Thursday” to promote their happy hours. Bars in Virginia are currently barred from doing so under state regulations designed to prevent excessive alcohol consumption.Those rules are currently the subject of a federal lawsuit challenging the restrictions as an unconstitutional free-speech restriction. Geoff Tracy, owner of Chef Geoff’s in Vienna, filed the lawsuit with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation. The foundation welcomed the legislation but still hopes for a favorable court ruling to establish a legal precedent.

The Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia has been issuing grants to worthy organizations and students for more than 30 years – under several different names.  Two officers from the Foundation joined us live in-studio to talk about their mission to support local communities this morning. Hear the extended conversation below:

Community Foundation 1-24

Gene Marrano photo

TSA workers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport who have been working without a paycheck for a month now received some support today from Feeding America-Southwest Virginia. The food bank delivered 50 large boxes of food that can feed a family for 3-4 days. Skip Burke with the union representing TSA workers helped unload those boxes. Burke said TSA security personnel at the airport went through another government shutdown a few years ago – but that only lasted several days before Congress passed a spending bill.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Legislation to legalize casinos in Virginia is advancing in the General Assembly, but the odds of passage are still unknown.A pro-casino bill was approved with bipartisan support Monday by the General Laws and Technology Committee in the state Senate.The legislation would allow developers to build casinos in Bristol, Danville and Portsmouth if residents approved local referendums. The legislation now also lets the Pamunkey Indian Tribe build casinos in Richmond and Norfolk with local approval.Supporters of casinos said yesterday’s vote was a good first step. But hurdles remain.It’s unknown if Republican leaders of the General Assembly will let the measure advance much further. And Gov. Ralph Northam has voiced concerns about casino legalization being rushed through without proper study.