Transparency News, 9/22/20


 September 22, 2020
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state & local news stories
"The policy 'cannot apply to delay or deny access to a school board member' under FOIA."
The attorney general's office issued an opinion on the appropriateness of the Suffolk City School Board's policy that required board approval before a member could seek information that would require "considerable work or time." The AG said the policy "cannot apply to delay or deny access to a school board member" under FOIA.
Read the opinion on VCOG's website

Less than a week after Patrick County Public Schools reopened classrooms to students for in-person learning, the district has reported an unspecified number of COVID-19 exposures at Stuart Elementary School. Superintendent Dean Gilbert said he could not give further details about the individuals involved “for confidentiality reasons,” but added, “Those students and staff that were affected have been quarantined. We did move the seventh-grade class back to virtual instruction for the next couple of weeks, but the rest of the school is in session.”
Martinsville Bulletin

A person at Beazley Elementary School in Prince George County has contracted COVID-19, the school division confirmed on Monday, September 21. Prince George County Public Schools confirmed that a person "in the Beazley Elementary School community" has been positively diagnosed with COVID-19. The school division declined to identify the individual, or the individual's role within that community (i.e. student, teacher, custodian, etc.), citing privacy reasons.
The Progress-Index

The Roanoke City Council will select a replacement for council member Djuna Osborne by interviewing candidates in public and allowing citizens to comment during the process. The council chose that course Monday, as it also approved giving the fallen Lee Memorial to Evergreen Burial Park and promoting Tim Spencer to the job of city attorney. Monday was the first regular meeting since Osborne announced her resignation last week after more than two years on the job. Following the city’s charter and state law, the council opted to appoint a replacement following a process that includes applications, public interviews and a comment period.
The Roanoke Times

The Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday addressing how the county should spend its second round of federal COVID-19 funds. The board meeting starts at 6 p.m. Residents can attend the meeting in person, but it also can be seen live online and on local television. Those who want to offer a comment for the public hearing can do so online by visiting this county link:
The Free Lance-Star
stories of national interest
"Legislators have scheduled fewer interim committee meetings than normal and have held most virtually."
When New Mexico Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena logs into virtual committee meetings from home, she knows she might only be able to stay on until 10 a.m. That’s because her children start their online classes then and her internet connection can’t support all the activity. Her video cuts out repeatedly, and the legislator either keeps trying to sign back in or gives up completely. “I live in Mesilla, 10 minutes outside our state’s second-biggest city, and the only internet I can get comes through a phone line,” the Democrat said, referring to her town near Las Cruces. “There’s no broadband, no fiber optics.” Her struggles are just one example of the challenges legislators have faced as the abnormalities of life during the coronavirus pandemic in New Mexico have extended to lawmaking. This year, legislators have scheduled fewer interim committee meetings than normal and have held most virtually. They say both of those developments have made it more difficult to get their legislative work done ahead of next year’s session.