Local Government, Civic Affairs and Education

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has scheduled a special session of the General Assembly so lawmakers can comply with a court order to redraw the state’s legislative map. The governor announced Monday that he had signed a proclamation calling lawmakers back to Richmond on Aug. 30. The special session will come after a federal court in June found that 11 House of Delegates districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered and ordered lawmakers to redraw the state map by Oct. 30. Virginia Republicans have appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox said in a statement Monday that the chamber would convene as constitutionally required, though he said the appeal effort would continue. Northam says it’s “in the public interest” to finalize constitutional maps as soon as possible.

Judging from our on-line traffic numbers today there is plenty of interest in the flap about the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke County – and whether it is zoned properly. Neighbor Stan Seymour claimed on WFIR yesterday it is not – but Wildlife Center director Sabrina Garvin said today that’s not true. Garvin says the Wildlife Center is NOT a boarding facility as Seymour has claimed – saying no one is permitted to keep pets there for a fee. Seymour – a local Bojangles franchise owner – claimed that was also a zoning violation. Seymour is also opposed to the location Garvin has proposed near his property line for a new “raptor house;” that issue goes in front of the Planning Commission.

8-17 Sabrina#1-WEB