Transparency News 5/9/18



May 9, 2018


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state & local news stories


A recap of the upcoming meetings scheduled for the FOIA Council & its subcommittees. Click here for more details on the subcommittees and the agendas.

May 21 at 10 p.m.            remedies subcommittee

May 21 at 1:30 p.m.         records subcommittee (data collection)

June 4 at 10 a.m.            remedies subcommittee

June 5 at 10 a.m.            meetings subcommittee

June 27 at 10 .m.            records subcommittee (trade secrets)

July 18 at 10 a.m.           meetings subcommittee

Aug. 8 at 1 p.m.              records subcommittee (custodians)

Aug. 22 at 10 a.m.           meetings subcommittee

Aug. 22 at 1 p.m.             full council

Except for 8/22, all meetings will be held in the Pocahontas Building. The Aug. 22 meetings will be in the Capitol.


Overriding objections from both the prosecution and the defense, a Bedford County judge on Tuesday granted a motion by The News & Advance and other Central Virginia media outlets to allow cameras in the courtroom during the capital murder trial of an alleged MS-13 gang member. Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance and defense attorney Neil Horn both argued allowing still photography and video of the proceedings would place those involved, especially witnesses, in danger of retaliation by MS-13.  Nance said “numerous witnesses” have voiced concerns about testifying but have not refused to testify. Attorneys David Lacy, representing The News & Advance, and John Falcone, representing four TV news stations, both said they did not want to minimize Nance’s safety concerns.  Noting the court had other measures it could take in allowing cameras in the courtroom, Lacy asked Updike not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” by banning all cameras outright. Under Virginia law, presiding judges may permit cameras in the courtroom with a few caveats — for instance, cameras can’t capture footage of police informants or jurors in a case, two groups defense attorney Neil Horn voiced concern over in coverage of his client’s case. Updike said one benefit he’s found to allowing cameras in the courtroom is court proceedings are “much more orderly.”
The News & Advance


stories of national interest

Aldermen on Evanston's (Illinois) Human Services Committee urged staff this evening to prepare plans to sharply restrict access to police arrest reports. Led by Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, the four aldermen present for the meeting called for development of a plan that would completely eliminate access to arrest reports on the city's website. Fleming also suggested that she would prefer eliminating distribution by email of the Daily Crime Bulletin -- a service to which more than 5,000 residents currently subscribe. But she indicated she wasn't sure other committee members were prepared to go that far. "People get arrested all the time and wish they hadn't, and I just don't see the purpose of putting it online," Fleming said.
Evanston Now