Governor Declares State of Emergency in VA

Feb 16, 2015

  With a major snowstorm blowing across the Commonwealth, Governor Terry McAuliffe says the declaration allows the Virginia Department of Transportation to mobilize its 12,000 pieces of equipment, and 2,500 workers and contractors to respond. 

The governor is also calling on Virginians to stay off the roads, if possible, in order to allow emergency vehicles passage and to cut down on the potential for accidents.

"Every part of the Commonwealth is going to be impacted by this storm," Gov. McAuliffe said. "Every single part of the Commonwealth."

When the federal government refused to issue a permit for the proposed Route 29 bypass, opponents in Charlottesville were relieved, but Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation says the idea is not dead.

Aubrey Layne is a businessman, but he served five years on the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and in that time he was convinced something had to be done about traffic congestion in Charlottesville.

“When I was a CTB member, I did vote for the bypass.”

Creative Commons,

Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have now approved bills that authorize ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber to operate in Virginia-but under greater scrutiny.  The legislation would apply standards to the companies that are similar to those governing the taxi industry.

The taxicab industry balked at the notion that these companies could not only set up shop and compete for the same customers, but could do so without paying set-up costs, getting insurance, or vetting drivers. House bill sponsor Delegate Tom Rust described the benefits.

Dangerous Cargo Riding the Rails

Feb 6, 2015
LuAnn Hunt, City of Lynchburg, via Associated Press

It’s been nearly two months since a train derailed in Lynchburg, sending a fireball into the sky above that city’s downtown and spilling oil into the James River. 

Experts said the accident could have been far worse, and many communities along the state’s 3200 miles of railroad face similar dangers. 

The city of Lynchburg grew and prospered for decades because freight moved easily here – first by river and then by rail.  Trains were a routine part of city life, but on April 30 that routine was shattered.