In the News

Local News: Da Bears wreaking havoc in Da ‘Boro
Politics: Shannon gets public-safety endorsement
State News: AG announces price-gouging settlement
Local News: Clean Streams Initiative among conservation grant recipients

 

Local News: Da Bears wreaking havoc in Da ‘Boro

The Waynesboro Police Department has responded on two occasions for bear-related problems in the eastern residential areas of the city over this past weekend. In one incident a bear had gotten into a resident’s trash and wreaked a little havoc. In another, the bear had been sighted and called in by a passerby.

Both incidents were resolved when the bear ran back into the wooded areas adjacent that lead to the mountains with no injuries to bears or citizens.

The department frequently receives calls for bears at this time of year due to the city’s proximity to their natural habitat and certain feeding behaviors and wanted to make our citizens aware of useful tips or information to minimize the likelihood of human/bear confrontations.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website has just such information and interested readers may follow the link below to learn how to prevent and/or handle bear encounters – www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/living-with-black-bears.asp.

 

Politics: Shannon gets public-safety endorsement

Public-safety and public-service workers came together today to support Steve Shannon to be Virginia’s next attorney general.

“Both as a prosecutor and as delegate, Steve has been a champion for public safety, child protection and has a proven record of protecting our communities,” said Kevin Pittman, a Fairfax County deputy sheriff and president of the Fairfax Deputy Sheriff’s Coalition.

He was joined by Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Ray Morrogh, Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney Richard Trodden, Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry, members of the Fairfax Coalition of Police, Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, Fairfax Deputy Sheriffs Coalition, and the Fairfax County Government Employees Union, SEIU Local 5.

“I’m honored to receive the support of the men and women who keep our community safe,” said Steve Shannon. “These folks know that as a private citizen, a prosecutor, and a delegate I have worked day and night to keep Virginians safe, and I’ll keep working just as hard as Attorney General,” Shannon continued.

 

State News: AG announces price-gouging settlement

Attorney General Bill Mims today announced a price gouging settlement with L. V. Stone, Incorporated d/b/a Bucko’s Pantry, a gasoline retailer with stations in Radford and Dublin.

The settlement relates to allegations that Bucko’s Pantry violated the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act by charging unconscionable prices for gasoline after Gov. Kaine declared a state of emergency on Sept. 10, 2008, as Hurricane Ike approached the Gulf Coast. The settlement, technically known as an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, has been filed with the Circuit Court for the City of Radford.

“This settlement will send a strong message that Virginia intends to enforce our Anti-Price Gouging Act,” Attorney General Mims said. “Those who would take advantage of Virginians by price gouging for gasoline or other necessities will not be tolerated.”

In the complaint filed along with the Assurance, the attorney general alleges that certain prices Bucko’s Pantry charged for gasoline on the evening of Friday, Sept.12, 2008, and the morning of Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008, were unconscionable as grossly exceeding the prices the station charged during the 10 days immediately before the declaration. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the following prices charged during these periods at three retail locations were unconscionable: Bucko’s Pantry #1, 7554 Peppers Ferry Road, Radford, Regular ($5.799), Mid-Grade ($5.899), and Premium ($5.999); Bucko’s Pantry #2, 629 E. Broad Street, Dublin, Regular ($5.699), Mid-Grade ($5.799), and Premium ($5.899); and Bucko’s Pantry #4, 1700 First Street, Radford, Regular ($4.99), Mid-Grade ($5.099), and Premium ($5.199). The Complaint further alleged, as an example, that the Regular gasoline price of $5.799 charged at Bucko’s Pantry #1 represented a 61 percent increase over its Sept. 8 price of $3.599.

The settlement enjoins Bucko’s Pantry from engaging in any of the practices alleged to violate the Virginia Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and requires Bucko’s Pantry to set aside $400 for consumer restitution. This amount is based, in part, on sales transaction receipts Bucko’s Pantry provided identifying the individual gasoline transaction and/or shift sales made Sept. 12 and 13 at the prices deemed unconscionable.

The settlement requires Bucko’s Pantry to provide notice to its customers that they may be eligible for restitution by posting signs on its front door and on each individual gas pump. It also requires the company to identify credit and debit card customers who purchased gasoline at the prices and on the dates noted above and to credit a refund to their credit or debit cards for the appropriate amount of the overcharge.

The settlement further requires Bucko’s Pantry to pay $2,800 to reimburse the Commonwealth for its costs, investigative expenses, and attorneys’ fees in this matter. And the settlement requires Bucko’s Pantry to make a contribution of $800 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This payment is in lieu of a payment of civil penalties.

The attorney general notes that Bucko’s Pantry cooperated with his office and with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and its Office of Product and Industry Standards, throughout the investigation of this matter.

 

Local News: Clean Streams Initiative among conservation grant recipients

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today joined Congressman Bobby Scott, Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant and representatives from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency to announce federal grants awarded to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The grants, totaling $2,423,986, will fund four projects in the Commonwealth that focus on innovative techniques and technologies to address nonpoint source pollution and environmental education related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“As residents of both the Commonwealth and the Bay’s watershed, we have a stake in the health of these waters as well as a duty to protect them,” Gov. Kaine said. “These grants will help to change the way we think about our actions and their impact on our waterways.”

The announcement, presented at the Bell Tower on the grounds of the State Capitol, follows a recent meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council. During that meeting, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order directing all federal agencies to work together to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Nonpoint source pollution remains the leading source of nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

“Our staff has worked very hard to pull together partners for an array of innovative projects,” said DCR Director Joseph H. Maroon. “While these grants address both agricultural and urban pollution sources, each of them also focuses on the fact that we all make decisions daily that affect our water quality, and that we all have a role in keeping our rivers and the Bay clean.”

The DCR grants awarded today are part of $6.1 million in grant money awarded to twelve projects in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The four DCR projects receiving grant money are:

– Shenandoah Valley Clean Streams Initiative ($799,998):

The Shenandoah Valley Clean Streams Initiative will harness the collaborative efforts of state, local and national organizations to support the Natural Resources Conservation Service in delivering targeted Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill funding to high-density animal production watersheds in the Shenandoah Valley. Participating organizations include the Virginia Waste Solutions Forum, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Virginia Tech, Environmental Defense Fund, as well as community organizations and local governments in the Valley.

– Greening of Virginia’s Capitol ($798,988):

The project will partner with numerous local, state, federal and non-profit organizations to create a highly visible greening of Virginia’s state capitol and a green corridor from the Capitol grounds toward the James River. The project will install a combination of innovative stormwater management practices along 9th and 10th Street from Bank to Cary, and at two alleys within blocks of the Square. On Capitol Square, the terraced brick steps will be replaced with permeable pavers, a rain garden will be installed to collect and filter rain water and prevent erosion, and rain water collected in the StormTrap at the south corner of the Square will be reused to irrigate the grounds. As a result, the “Greening the Capital” project will reduce the amount of nutrients and sediments entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed from these sites, with an estimated combined reduction of phosphorus by 69%, nitrogen by 70%, and stormwater runoff entering the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system by 64%. Additionally, the City of Richmond and DCR will develop an appropriate approach to “green” the City’s organizational and administrative structure necessary for the continued creation and maintenance of long-term sustainability programs in the City of Richmond.

– Community Solutions to Stormwater Pollution – Blacks Run ($325,000):

This project focuses on reducing stormwater pollution and enhancing stormwater management on three scales in the Blacks Run Watershed: the neighborhood/individual, the institutional, and the community/watershed scale. This project will result in the installation of more than 200 best management practices. Partnering organizations include The Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Harrisonburg, the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

-Chesapeake Club ($500,000):

This grant will provide funding to work with experts to use a social marketing research approach to update the successful Chesapeake Club campaign, one of the only nonpoint source outreach campaigns with scientifically documented behavior change. The Club has run campaigns in Richmond, Hampton Roads and Washington, D.C. and will continue to focus on these areas through a partnership between Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

Today’s announcement comes as Gov. Kaine continues to move his “Renew Virginia” initiative, a series of legislative and administrative actions to promote renewable energy, create green jobs, and encourage preservation of the environment.


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