Governor appoints Winchester woman to state committee

Governor Glenn Youngkin has appointed the executive director of the Laurel Center to a state committee.

Faith Power has been tapped to serve on the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Professional Standards Committee, the governor announced Friday. She was one of more than 20 appointments announced.

Also appointed was Stephanie Cornell of Nokesville, managing member of the Kettle Wind Farm LLC. She will serve on the Soil and Water Conservation Board.

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Capitals and Wizards move to Virginia falls through

The potential move to Virginia for the Washington Capitals and Wizards along with the construction of an entertainment district have been scrapped.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson released a video statement yesterday announcing they have ended all negotiations on the $2 billion complex.

A few hours later, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards through his organization Monumental Sports and Entertainment, announced a $500 million investment to modernize Capital One Arena and improve the surrounding areas.

Governor Glenn Youngkin, who advocated for the move, released a statement regarding his disappointment in the deal falling through.

Youngkin previously stated that the entertainment district could bring $12 billion and 30,000 jobs to the Commonwealth.

Opponents of the deal cited the $1.5 billion in bonds supported by Virginia tax payers and a recent announcement from DC’s Attorney General that found Monumental had previously agreed to stay in the city till 2047.

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New legislation could allow Virginia schools to ban cellphones

Legislation was passed through the Virginia State Senate yesterday that would allow school districts to ban cell phones during school hours.

The bill still requires the approval of the House of Delegates and Governor Glenn Youngkin before going into effect.

Several school divisions around the state and 76.9% of schools nationally have prohibited cell phone use during the school day according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Pouch pilot programs have been launched in Richmond which allows students to place their phone in a locked pouch that is then unlocked at the end of the day.

The topic was discussed at a national level after Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced a bill to study cell phone use in the classroom in November.

The legislation would also require $25 million in funding for five years of a pilot pouch program.

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Northrop Grumman invests $200 million in Waynesboro, creates 300 new jobs

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that Northrop Grumman Corporation, a global aerospace and defense technology company, will establish a new advanced electronics manufacturing and testing facility in Waynesboro.

Northrop Grumman will invest over $200 million in the state-of-the-art facility which will create more than 300 jobs upon completion over the next five years.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Waynesboro to secure the project for the Commonwealth.

Governor Youngkin also approved a $8.5 million grant from the Opportunity Fund to assist Waynesboro with the project.

Northrop Grumman will also receive support from the Virginia Talent Accelerator program to expedite the start up process with recruitment and training services at no cost to the company as an incentive for job creation.

Governor Youngkin said, “Northrop Grumman’s expanding Virginia footprint sends a powerful message that the Commonwealth is a magnet for investment underpinned by a next-generation workforce. This global leader’s cutting-edge facility in Waynesboro will provide job opportunities that attract and retain high-quality talent and create a transformational ripple effect for the entire region.”

To view the Governor’s full announcement, click here.

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Gov. Youngkin officially launches Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Last year almost 7,000 alcohol related crashes occurred on Virginia roads.

Those crashes resulted in over 4,000 people injured and almost 300 fatalities.

Those statistics show an 11 percent increase compared to 2021.

August 28 Governor Glenn Youngkin officially launched the 2023 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign in Virginia.

This is the twenty-second year of the campaign and is now in effect through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

The Governor wishes to remind Virginians of the consequences of impaired driving.

Youngkin reminds all drivers in Virginia that there will be an increased presence of law enforcement in all jurisdictions through at least the holiday weekend.

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Governor Youngkin urges Virginians to serve as Officers of Election

Governor Glenn Youngkin is urging Virginians to sign up to serve as Officers of Election this November.

Thousands of Virginians each year serve as Officers of Election, or poll workers, to ensure accurate and secure elections.

To become an Officer of Election, you must be a qualified voter in Virginia.

Officers of Election are compensated for their time and Virginia law requires employers to allow leave on Election Day without using vacation time or being subject to disciplinary action.

Early voting begins on Friday, September 22nd with Election Day on November 7th.

For more information on becoming an Officer of Election or to apply, click here.

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Gov. Youngkin Designates Virginia State Pony

RICHMOND, VA – Surrounded by hundreds of visitors, locals, and dozens of ponies, Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin joined legislators, local leaders, first responders and Cabinet Secretaries as the Governor signed HB 1951 and SB 1478, to designate the Chincoteague Pony as the Official State Pony of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the 98th Annual Chincoteague Fireman’s Carnival.

“For 98 years, Chincoteague ponies has been a tradition of this community. Every July, over 47,000 people – from across the Commonwealth, the United States, and yes, the world, come travel to Chincoteague,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This little horse uplifts a huge portion of the eastern shore and provides valuable tourism for residents every single year. They represent the Virginia spirit and we can now proudly say that they are the Pony of Virginia.”

The Chincoteague pony holds a special place in Virginia history. These hardy and resilient ponies have roamed the marshes and beaches of Chincoteague Island for centuries and have become a permanent fixture of the region’s character. Their fascinating history can be traced back to the early colonial era when they were believed to have descended from shipwrecked Spanish horses.

One of the more anticipated events surrounding the Chincoteague ponies is the annual pony swim, a tradition that dates back to the 18th century. Each year, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company conducts the legendary pony swim, where a group of ponies is herded from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island, captivating spectators with its timeless beauty and cultural significance.

Through the passage of this legislation, the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes the historical and cultural significance of the Chincoteague pony, safeguarding their legacy for future generations. This momentous step demonstrates the commitment of Governor Youngkin and the state legislature in preserving Virginia’s natural wonders.

Governor Youngkin’s July 27 press release is here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Nanotechnology company expands in Charlottesville

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today that Laser Thermal will invest $2.9 million to expand in Charlottesville.

The Virginia-founded nanotechnology company aids manufacturers of semiconductors and other small electronics to innovate their product portfolio and improve quality control.

28 new jobs will be created by increasing the manufacturing, research and development at the facility.

The need for growth has come following the development of an innovative thermal metrology process and equipment that delivers thermal measurements quickly, reliably, and accurately at the nanoscale.

Governor Youngkin said, “Laser Thermal’s decision to expand its research and development generated from our world class universities like the University of Virginia and the innovation and talent they produce. The company’s success also showcases Virginia’s ongoing technology sector growth and we look forward to a continued partnership.” 

The announcement follows Governor Youngkin and Senator Mark Warner’s appearance together last week in support of bringing semiconductor businesses to the Commonwealth.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin announces establishment of Virginia Security Corridor

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the establishment of the Virginia Security Corridor along with two federal Sentinel Landscape designations in the Commonwealth.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership seeks to protect lands for military use in combination with combating climate change by protecting key habitats, threatened species, and improving water quality.

The Virginia Security Corridor will include 10 military installations and 2.9 million acres that mutually support military, agriculture, and recreational interests with the two newly designated areas named “Potomac” and “Tidewater”.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr supported the decision stating, “The Virginia Security Corridor partnership is home to some of the Commonwealth’s most abundant natural resources, which includes productive forests, open and active agricultural lands, and complex marsh and riverine systems that all connect to the nation’s largest estuary – the Chesapeake Bay.”

“Virginia now joins a network of similar commitments stretching from Delaware to Florida, creating a substantial opportunity for governments and the private sector to pool resources and collaborate regionally to support conservation, biodiversity, and military facility and mission readiness.” said Zack Greenberg, an officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts.

To view the full announcement, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Youngkin bans TikTok and more on state devices

Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order #24 on Friday which banned the use of certain Chinese owned mobile phone applications and websites in state government technology.

This order most notable bans the use of TikTok, WeChat, and any other applications developed by ByteDance Limited or Tencent Holdings limited on state government devices and WiFi networks.

Businesses contracting with the state are also prohibited from using those applications within the state’s IT infrastructure.

Among privacy and cybersecurity concerns, Attorney General Jason Miyares mentioned the ongoing investigation regarding TikTok’s effect on the mental health of our youth.

Senator Mark Warner also released a statement supporting the Governor’s decision.

To read Executive Order #24 in full, click here.

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