Transparency News 12/6/19



December 6, 2019


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There was no issue of Access News yesterday, Dec. 5.



state & local news stories


"Rejected Nationals plates included two that seemed to target Bryce Harper."

As the Washington Nationals made their World Series run this fall, Virginia vanity plates told the tale. There was “NTSW1N,” “WCHMPS” and “SER1ES.” There was “BABSRK” and “BABYSK” and, not to be outdone, “MMSHRK” — references to “Baby Shark,” the unofficial theme song of the season and World Series run. There was even “MAXS31,” a reference to pitcher Max Scherzer. These are some of hundreds of messages celebrating victory in Houston that are emblazoned on the commonwealth’s boutique Nationals plate, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles via a Freedom of Information Act request. The Post sought lists of plates that were approved or denied by the DMV between Oct. 1, when the Nationals won a wild-card game against the Milwaukee Brewers to advance to the National League Division Series, and Nov. 14, two weeks after Daniel Hudson struck out Michael Brantley to clinch the championship. Rejected Nationals plates included two that seemed to target Bryce Harper.
The Washington Post

A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether he should toss out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Justin Fairfax sued CBS in federal court in Alexandria after it aired interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault. Fairfax has said the sexual encounters were consensual. He argues that the CBS interviews were one-sided and reported the allegations in a way that implied his guilt. CBS said its reporting was fair and called the lawsuit an attempt by Fairfax to silence his accusers.
AP News

An exchange of letters about reversion between leaders of Martinsville and Henry County appears as of Thursday to have brought the two governments no closer to a working relationship on the topic. Martinsville City Council had scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday night to consider input on reverting from a city to a town and folding government services into Henry County. That hearing could be followed by a vote to begin that process.
Martinsville Bulletin

A Shenandoah County Circuit Court judge made clear on Wednesday he would not change his mind about which attorneys the courts appoint to cases. Richard Orndorff Jr., the mayor of Strasburg, was told by Judge Kevin C. Black that he would not create a precedent of allowing individuals to request which attorney the court appoints to represent them if they qualify for a court-appointed attorney. Orndorff appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of fraud that he was indicted on in October. At his first appearance, Orndorff said he could not afford to hire an attorney and requested the court appoint one for him. Orndorff also asked the court to appoint Phillip S. Griffin II as his attorney. On Nov. 6, Orndorff appeared in court and told the judge he had retained Griffin, an attorney who represents Orndorff in two other cases — one regarding a petition to have him removed from office as the mayor and the other a DUI case dating back to May.
The Northern Virginia Daily