After federal rollback, Virginia offers new bird protections
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials are announcing plans to create a new habitat for about 25,000 seabirds that lost their nesting site when it was paved over by crews working on a state tunnel expansion project. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's office said Friday that officials will create a new nesting habitat for the birds by preparing an artificial island adjacent to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and take other steps to protect migratory birds. Northam's administration said the state was acting because of the Trump administration's new interpretation of a federal law that removes some protections for more than 1,000 migratory bird species.
Bloomberg to speak to Virginia Democrats
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is set to address Virginia Democrats at their biggest fundraising event of the year. The billionaire former New York City mayor is set to be a featured speaker at the Democratic Party of Virginia's annual gala Saturday. His campaign is also listed as a top donor to the event on the party's website. Bloomberg had made multiple visits to Virginia, which is part of a group of Super Tuesday states that will hold their primary elections on March 3. Bloomberg is skipping the early voting states and focusing on later delegate-rich contests like Virginia, California and Texas in his bid for the Democratic nomination.
Wind delays Northrop Grumman's supply run to space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — High wind has delayed Northrop Grumman's supply run to the International Space Station. While the weather was OK Friday at Wallops Island, Virginia, upper-level winds exceeded safety limits. The company will try again Saturday afternoon. It will be Northrop Grumman's third attempt in under a week to launch its Antares rocket with a Cygnus capsule on top. Sunday's try was foiled by equipment concerns at the pad, then bad weather moved in. The delivery includes nearly 4 tons of experiments and gear, as well as candy and cheese for the three station astronauts.
Governor: strong economy means more money for state budget
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is telling lawmakers that a stronger than expected economy means they will have an extra $180 million to spend when crafting a state budget. Northam said in a letter to lawmakers Friday that new revenue estimates for fiscal year 2020 shows an expected increase of almost $300 million over previous estimates. By law, about $112 million of that extra money is designated for the state's reserves. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are set to unveil their proposed $135 billion two-year state budgets on Sunday.
AP-VA-JAIL SUPERINTENDENT RESIGNS
Superintendent resigns from beleaguered jail in Virginia
PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (AP) — The superintendent of a jail in Virginia has resigned after only nine months. She had been hired to lead the jail in the wake of scrutiny over inmate deaths and allegations that it mistreated prisoners. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Col. Carmen DeSadier appeared to fail to overcome internal staff resistance to her management practices at the facility in central Virginia. She surprised board members of the Riverside Regional Jail Authority when she submitted her resignation last week. DeSadier's management practices had become the subject of an investigation by an outside law firm. The investigation began after the board said it received “numerous concerns" from senior staff members.
UVA says Chesapeake is now Virginia's 2nd most-populous city
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The southeastern Virginia city of Chesapeake has surpassed Norfolk to become the state's second most populous city. The Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday that Chesapeake has reached an estimated population of 245,745 people. That's according to estimates from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Norfolk's population is just over 245,000 residents. Chesapeake's population has grown by more than 10% in the past decade. Norfolk’s ticked up by less than 1%. Hamilton Lombard, a demographer with the Cooper Center, said one reason behind Chesapeake's growth is that the city has lots of space for new homes. Norfolk does not.
Marine Corps Museum commemorates Iwo Jima anniversary
TRIANGLE, Va. (AP) — The National Museum of the Marine Corps is marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The museum along Interstate 95 in Triangle, Virginia, is hosting a series of events the weekend of Feb. 22. Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody" Williams will share his memories of Iwo Jima during a presentation on Feb. 22. The next day will feature an Iwo Jima-themed Family Day, and a concert by the Marine Band. The 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima is best known for the photo showing six Marines raising the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi. That flag is on display at the museum.
SBA: Loans available for Virginia businesses hit by drought