The Latest

Friday, Sept. 4
– State News:
Alzheimer’s Association working on license plate

Thursday, Sept. 3
– Economy:
Initial unemployment claims down slightly

Wednesday, Sept. 2
– State News:
ACLU submits comments opposing proposed anonymous-juror rule
Local News: Free gas cards at Seventh-day Adventist Church

Tuesday, Sept. 1
– State News:
Lane closures lifted for Labor Day holiday weekend

Monday, Aug. 31
– Local News:
Progress Augusta meeting set for Tuesday
– Local News: Local road-work update

Friday, Sept. 4
State News: Alzheimer’s Association working on license plate

The four Virginia chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association have joined together to seek a new Alzheimer’s awareness license plate in Virginia.

The chapters must collectively gather 400 prepaid applications for the new colorful license plate by November 29 in order to begin the General Assembly and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) approval and production process.

“The Southeastern Virginia, Greater Richmond, National Capital Area and Central and Western Virginia chapters are encouraged by the citizen interest in a Virginia license plate to increase awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease, ” stated Sue Friedman, president and CEO of the Central and Western Virginia chapter.

“Our chapter will accept the applications and $25 checks in our statewide quest to collect 400 prepaid applications by Thanksgiving. We can then submit legislation to the Virginia General Assembly requesting approval of an Alzheimer’s license plate. ALL Virginians are invited to support our effort!”

Further information, instructions, a draft of the license plate, and the application form are available at www.alz.org/cwva or by calling 434.973.6122.  

 

Thursday, Sept. 3
Economy: Initial unemployment claims down slightly

In the week ending Aug. 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 570,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 574,000. The four-week moving average was 571,250, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 567,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.7 percent for the week ending Aug. 22, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 4.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug. 22 was 6,234,000, an increase of 92,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 6,142,000. The four-week moving average was 6,216,750, a decrease of 27,250 from the preceding week’s revised average of 6,244,000.

The fiscal year-to-date average for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all programs is 5.602 million.

  

Wednesday, Sept. 2
State News: ACLU submits comments opposing proposed anonymous-juror rule

The ACLU of Virginia has submitted comments to the Virginia Supreme Court asking it not to approve a proposed rule that would make jurors anonymous in all state court criminal trials. The civil liberties organization says the proposed rule is unconstitutional and that it is prepared to mount a legal challenge if it is adopted.

“Openness is essential to a fair judicial system, which is why U.S. courts have universally rejected anything that resembles Star Chamber justice,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis. “Simply put, trials must be open to the public and that includes knowing the identities of jurors who are deciding guilt or innocence.”

“There are certainly circumstances when the withholding of jurors’ identities is justified,” added Willis, “but those are the exceptions, not the rule. This proposal makes them the rule.”

The proposed rule is the result of a 2008 law that allows a court to protect the identities of jurors when it finds there is a likelihood of bribery, tampering, injury or harassment. The 2008 law directs the Virginia Supreme Court to issue rules for its implementation as regards the protection of jurors’ personal information. In April, the Advisory Committee on Rules of the Supreme Court issued proposed rule 3A:14.1, which would make all jurors anonymous. The Supreme Court is taking public comments on the Committee’s proposal through today.

In comments submitted on Tuesday, ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court requires the jury selection process and trials to be open to the public and that federal appellate courts have followed the high court’s reasoning in holding that names and addresses of jurors must be made available to the public. The appellate rulings, including one from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, “demonstrate that the presumption must always be in favor of keeping the identities of jurors open,” writes Glenberg.

“We’re stunned by the Advisory Committee’s proposals,” added Willis. “First, the committee members were surely aware of the court cases holding that jurors’ identities must be public information. Second, we still can’t figure out how the Advisory Committee concluded that a law allowing jurors’ identities to be shielded in limited circumstances should be interpreted to mean that jurors’ identities should be shielded in all circumstances.”

The ACLU does not know of any other state that shields jurors’ identities in all cases.

  

Local News: Free gas cards at Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Waynesboro Seventh-day Adventist Church knows times are tough so they want to help out by offering our community a special gas-card giveaway.

Free $10 gas cards will be given to the first 100 cars to come to the Waynesboro Seventh-day Adventist Church at 1700 Lyndhurst Road this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Be one of the first 100 cars to drive through the parking lot of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and receive your free gas card good at Hess gas stations.

    

Tuesday, Sept. 1
State News: Lane closures lifted for Labor Day holiday weekend

To ease travel during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open those lanes temporarily closed for construction or maintenance on major highways and roads.

The lanes will be open from noon Friday, Sept. 4, until noon Tuesday, Sept. 8. Long-term construction zones with concrete barriers and orange barrels will remain in place.

VDOT reminds motorists to avoid distractions and to prevent accidents and fatalities during this last official weekend of summer as well as any time they are behind the wheel. Virginia law now prohibits driving while sending a text or an e-mail. Exceptions are for emergency vehicle operators, drivers reporting an emergency or a driver who is parked.

Some colleges in Virginia hold classes on Labor Day, so motorists should pay close attention to pedestrians and other vehicles when driving near or through these campuses.

  

Monday, Aug. 31
Local News: Progress Augusta meeting set for Tuesday

Progress Augusta is set for its September monthly meeting Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 6-9 p.m. at Irish Alley Restaurant & Pub, 19 W. Johnson St., Downtown Staunton.

Progress Augusta gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics.

The group is affiliated with the national Drinking Liberally organization.

 

Local News: Local road-work update

The latest on ongoing local road projects from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Rockbridge County
Interstate 64
* Mile marker 41 to 57, eastbound and westbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
* (NEW) Various locations – Mowing, Sunday to Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
* Various locations – Shoulder repair, ditch cleaning, mowing. Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Interstate 81
* Mile marker 174 to 205, northbound and southbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
* Mile marker 182.3, northbound and southbound – Bridge painting. Alternating lane closures, Sunday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Estimated completion is late September.
* Mile marker 195, northbound and southbound – Roadway lighting construction. Work will resume with power supply connection from power company.
* Mile marker 200, northbound and southbound – Roadway lighting construction. Work will resume with power supply connection from power company.
* (NEW) Mile marker 219.1, northbound and southbound – Bridge painting. Alternating lane closures, Sunday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Estimated completion is late September.
* (NEW) Various locations – Mowing, Sunday to Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
* Various locations – Shoulder repair, mowing, ditch cleaning, herbicidal spraying, litter and debris removal. Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Primary Roads
* Route 11 (Fancy Hill) – I-81 bridges. Bridge painting. Alternating lane closures, flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday at noon.
* Route 11 – Roadway lighting construction. Work will resume with power supply connection from power company.
* Route 130 (Glasgow) – Bridge construction at Route 501. Periodic single-lane traffic with flagger traffic control, signs posted Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to noon. Use extreme caution as motorists become acquainted with new traffic pattern. Completion is in September 13, 2010.
* Various roads – Mowing, litter removal.

Secondary Roads
* Route 710 – Roadway lighting construction. Work will resume with power supply connection from power company.
* (NEW) Various roads – Brush cutting. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control, Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
* Various roads – Grading, mowing.

Augusta County
Interstate 64
No lane closures reported.

Interstate 81
* Mile marker 205 to 237, northbound and southbound – Litter and debris removal. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
* Mile marker 210 to 229, northbound and southbound – Bridge deck maintenance. Possible single-lane traffic, Monday night to Friday morning, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
* Mile marker 218, northbound and southbound – Bridge over Route 654. Bridge painting. Alternating lane closures, Sunday to Thursday, 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Estimated completion is late September.
* (NEW) Various locations – Mowing, Sunday to Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
* Various locations – Ditch cleaning, mowing, litter and debris removal. Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Primary Roads
* Route 11 (Greenville) – Sweeping from Route 662 to Route 1210. Mobile operation, Monday to Friday.
* (NEW) Route 250 – Mowing from Staunton City limits to Waynesboro City limits. Mobile operations, Monday to Tuesday.
* (NEW) Route 250 – Pulling shoulders from Highland County line to 3 miles east of Highland County line. Flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday.
* Route 250 – Shoulder reconditioning from Route 358 to Staunton City limits, westbound. Mobile operations, Wednesday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
* Route 262, westbound – Construction of acceleration lane extension from Middlebrook Avenue to Route 262. Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Estimated completion is October.
* Route 340 (Waynesboro) – Construction from Route 250 to Delphine Avenue for railroad bridge replacement and roadway widening, Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to noon. Expect minor delays from Broad Street to Sixth Street for construction work. Seventh Street closed from Winchester Avenue to Commerce Street, June 1 to January 2010, and Sixth Street closed from Delphine Avenue to Commerce Street, July 6 to late January 2010, for retaining wall construction, bridge and utility work. Estimated completion is November 2011.
* Various roads – Litter and debris removal.

Secondary Roads
* Route 626 – Patching from Route 11 to Route 612. Traffic control, Monday to Friday.
* Route 774, northbound and southbound (Cline River Road, New Hope) – Bridge over Middle River. Bridge replacement activities from Route 608 (Battlefield Road) to Route 775 (Craig Shop Road). Road closed from Mar. 30 to Nov. 13. Suggested detour: Northbound traffic take Route 608 to Route 778 (Knightly Mill Road) to Route 775 to Route 774. Southbound traffic take reverse of northbound detour.
* Route 794 (Sangers Lane), eastbound and westbound – Bridge over Christians Creek, from Route 792 (Basley Road) to Route 642 (Barren Ridge Road). Bridge replacement. Road closed, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, April 27 to Dec. 16. Suggested detour: Westbound traffic, take Route 792 south to Route 250 (Jefferson Highway) east to Route 642 north to Route 794. Eastbound traffic, take reverse of westbound detour.
* Route 802 – Rural rustic from Route 252 to Route 693. Road closed to thru traffic. Flagger traffic control, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Estimated completion is Sept. 15.
* (NEW) Route 804 – Patching from Route 732 to Route 616. Traffic control, Thursday to Friday.
* Route 1103 (North Church Street), northbound and southbound – Bridge deck replacement from Route 1105 (First Street) to Route 1106 (Third Street). Road closed 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, Aug. 24 to Sept. 1. Signs posted.
* (NEW) Various roads – Bridge maintenance, Wednesday to Thursday.
* (NEW) Various roads – Machine dirt roads, Thursday to Friday.
* Various roads – Mowing, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Signs posted.
* Various roads – Brush cutting, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Signs posted.
* Various roads – Pothole repair, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Signs posted.
* Various roads – Pavement markings. Expect minor delays.

Rockingham County
Interstate 81
* Mile marker 237.51 to 263, northbound and southbound – Sign and fence repair, litter and debris removal. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Primary Roads
* (NEW) Route 42 (Main Street, Broadway) – Autumn Days Craft Show. Road closed from Route 259 (Broadway Avenue) to Route 259 (Lee Avenue). Sept. 19, 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
* Route 42, northbound and southbound – Plant mix application from Route 1151 to 2.23 miles north of Route 778. Single-lane traffic, Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to noon.
* Route 211 (New Market Road) – Cable installation from Route 960 (Water Wheel Road) to Shenandoah City limits. Right shoulder closure, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Secondary Roads
* Route 724 (Trinity Church Road) – Road widening from 0.7 mile east of Buffalo Drive (Route 238) to 0.2 mile west of Route 717 (Indian Trail Road). Single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* (NEW) Route 727 (Airport Road) – Grade/slope work from Route 11 (Main Street, Mount Crawford) to Route 696 (Kiser Road). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Route 743 (Honey Run Road) – Pipe installation from Route 734 (Lumber Mill Road) to Route 752 (Keller Road). Road closed, Monday to Thursday.
* Route 843 (Cemetery Road) – Road work at Route 641 (Cave Hill Road) and Route 650 (Power Dam Road). Intermittent single-lane traffic, flagger traffic control. Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* Route 867 (North River Road) – Construction entrance from Route 11 (Main Street) to Route 693 (Fairview Road). Right shoulder closure, Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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