Transparency News, 4/21/21


 April 21, 2021
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state & local news stories
The FOIA Council has scheduled a meeting for April 28 at 3 p.m. No agenda has been posted yet, but you can still register to provide public comment here. Or you can simply watch the meeting here.

Also, take note that there's a virtual meeting of the Redistricting Commission Monday, April 26, at 10 a.m., during which they will consider creation of a Citizen Engagement Subcommittee.
Here's the meeting agenda

Lorenzo Coles Wheeler was gunned down on a public street, but key witness testimony about the man accused of killing him will occur in private. Judge Brian M. Madden is barring the public from a portion of a pretrial hearing on Friday in Winchester Circuit Court in the case of homicide suspect Adam Marcus Griffin. Griffin, 35, of the 900 block of North Braddock Street, is accused of shooting the 30-year-old Wheeler in front of 312 N. Kent St. on June 30. He also is accused of trying to have a witness in the case murdered. He faces charges of first-degree murder, solicitation of murder, use of a firearm in a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon. Madden on Tuesday ruled in favor of a defense motion to allow a witness to privately testify because the testimony would reveal details previously told to a grand jury. "Once we're done with that, it will be open," he said.
The Winchester Star

Charlottesville City Council on Monday voted to re-enact the city’s ordinance to assure continuity of government during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance, which was initially enacted in March 2020, temporarily changes certain deadlines, modifies public meeting and hearing practices and procedures and authorizes other emergency actions necessary to assure safe and efficient government operations. The ordinance allows the council to operate and hold its meetings electronically. According to the ordinance, any meetings or activities that normally would require the physical presence of a quorum of members of a public body may be held only through “real time electronic means.” The City Council currently meets via Zoom webinar, which is made available to the public on the city’s website. Tanesha Hudson, a community activist, urged the City Council to open its chambers so the public can attend council meetings in person. The last time the council met in person was March 25, 2020.
The Daily Progress
stories from around the country
Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would restrict state agencies from sharing salary data and other typically public information about government employees with the public in a bill that experts say is overly broad. Senate Bill 16, filed by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would require an individual’s written consent for a state agency to share their personal information. The bill defines the protected information to include “one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of the individual,” in addition to location or identification numbers, but does not define what information meets that criteria. Nelson declined to answer questions for this story but said in a statement that the legislation comes in response to an increase in cases of personal data being compromised.
Texas Tribune