Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Political Headlines from across Virginia

September 16, 2020
Top of the News

Senate passes legislation giving subpoena power to law enforcement oversight panels

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Senate lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation to further empower civilian panels tasked with overseeing local police departments, adopting a more moderate approach than the House and teeing up a reconciliation fight between the two chambers. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield, would allow localities to create oversight panels made up of civilians that would have subpoena power to investigate police agencies and issue binding disciplinary action against officers or department employees.

Students, parents and teachers in Northern Virginia adjust to online learning

By HANNAH NATANSON, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Teaching math this past week — a job he's had for nearly 30 years — Jay Bradley found himself recalling Isaac Asimov's 1951 short story, "The Fun They Had." The science-fiction tale, set in the 2150s, describes an education program in which children learn individually, at home, from robot teachers. Bradley, 51, last read Asimov's story in the '70s, but one scene stuck with him: The moment an 11-year-old enters her classroom.

Parents sound off on remote instruction model

By ROBIN EARL, Fauquier Times

Fauquier County School Board members heard from 24 parents and students Monday night about how the entirely remote instruction model is working out for their families. With a unified, adamant and at times angry voice, they expressed a clear message. "We are not OK. Open the schools."

Two weeks after opening schools, 43 Campbell County students and staff quarantined

By JAMEY CROSS, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Just two weeks after Campbell County Public Schools began bringing students back for both in-person and remote learning, 43 adults and students in the division are quarantined after potentially being exposed to COVID-19. At its meeting Monday night, the Campbell County School Board received an update from division staff regarding the opening of schools. Elementary schoolers in the division began attending school in person Sept. 1 and 2, while secondary students started the school year Sept. 8.

SCC grants Northam's bid to extend moratorium on utility disconnections

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

State regulators on Tuesday granted Gov. Ralph Northam's request to extend a moratorium on utility disconnections, which was set to expire Wednesday, until Oct. 5. Thousands of Virginians face possible disconnection when the moratorium expires, in large part due to the economic pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 30, Virginians owed more than $184 million in past-due utility bills, including electric, water and gas.

Virginia Lottery approves sports betting rules, leaves Olympics ban intact

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

The Virginia Lottery Board voted Tuesday to approve the state's first-ever regulations on sports betting, making some changes in response to feedback from big gambling platforms but maintaining a ban on wagers involving the Olympic Games. Tuesday's move clears the way for the state to begin accepting applications from sports betting operators in mid-October ahead of an anticipated launch in early 2021.

Electronic gaming machines proliferated in Virginia ahead of July placement deadline

By AMY FRIEDENBERGER, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

There are more than 9,000 electronic gaming machines in circulation in Virginia that legislators maintain they will ban next year after they collect tax revenue to support coronavirus relief efforts. The machines contributed about $12 million in tax payments in July, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation. Most of that tax revenue has gone into a newly established COVID-19 relief fund.

The Full Report
47 articles, 19 publications


From VPAP Now Live: Sept. 15 Campaign Finance Reports

The Virginia Public Access Project

Campaign finance disclosures filed overnight provide a look at July and August fundraising by local candidates on the November ballot, the statewide referendum on redistricting reform and local casino gambling initiatives. Users can see how much money each candidate has raised as well as how much remains on-hand, and browse a list of each committee's contributions and expenditures.

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. In-person visits to the DMV still account for half of voter registration activity. But iconic voter drive volunteers armed with clipboards have given way to online apps that steer people to state's Citizen Portal.


State considers $200 million aid request for K-12 as federal money fills gaps

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam is urgently reviewing a request of $200 million in federal funds to help Virginia public school divisions operate in a school year like no other, after the coronavirus pandemic forced most public schools in Virginia to rely on remote learning. Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne told state legislators on Tuesday that the governor's office received the request from the state Department of Education the previous evening, as the state considers using a big chunk of money it has received under the federal CARES Act to augment other federal emergency relief that has gone directly to the state public education system.


Loudoun Delegate's Hydroxychloroquine Push Finds Little Support in House

Loudoun Now

A resolution offered by Del. Dave LaRock (R-33) calling on Virginia Health Commissioner to retract his March directive urging doctors to limit the use hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 cases failed in the House of Delegates last week.


VCU polls show Biden, Warner with double-digit leads in Va.

By SYDNEY LAKE, Va Business Magazine

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Warner are both ahead of their opponents by double-digit margins, according to a statewide poll conducted from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7 by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Northam: Trump's alleged comment about veterans 'turns my stomach'

By KATE ANDREWS, Va Business Magazine

During a brief COVID-19 update Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam blasted President Donald Trump's reported reference to wounded and killed U.S. veterans as "losers and suckers." Northam has occasionally criticized the federal government for leaving the responsibility of accessing COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment solely to governors and state officials instead of instituting a federal plan, but he appeared to take the president's alleged slights against military veterans more personally on a day when he mentioned the high suicide rates among U.S. veterans, close to 17 fatalities a day.

Freitas, in hometown rally, urges vigilance in GOP fight against Spanberger

By EMILY JENNINGS, Culpeper Star Exponent (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

Hailed as a hometown hero and cheered by more than 200 mask-free fans during a pandemic who crowded into a barn Saturday in Culpeper County, GOP 7th Congressional District candidate Nick Freitas said his opponent, Democratic incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger, is afraid of her own party. He said he's offered five debates to Spanberger, with no response. She put out a press release last week saying she had agreed to participate in five events, one of which Freitas said had already been canceled.

Northam seeks to reassure Virginians on early voting

By ALAN SUDERMAN, Associated Press

Gov. Ralph Northam is trying to reassure Virginians that voting by mail is safe and that election security is a top priority for the state. The Democratic governor made the comments Tuesday while highlighting steps the state is taking to protect absentee voting during the coronavirus pandemic, which include using drop boxes for early voting and putting barcodes on absentee ballot envelopes to track when they are delivered.


Virginia's utility regulator extends ban on shutoffs during pandemic, but says it's the last time

By MARIE ALBIGES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The moratorium that prevented utility companies from cutting off service for unpaid electric, gas, water and sewer bills during the pandemic will be extended for another 20 days. At a press conference Tuesday in Richmond, Gov. Ralph Northam said he asked the State Corporation Commission, the regulating body, to continue the ban on utility cutoffs until Oct. 5.

Virginia Lottery approves sports betting regulations

By WAYNE EPPS JR., Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

On Tuesday, the guidebook that will direct sports betting operations in Virginia received the green light. The Virginia Lottery Board, in its September meeting, moved to approve the regulations that will govern sports betting. Sports betting legislation went into effect July 1, and the lottery board was designated to regulate the activity.

Betting on college, pro sports could soon be legal

By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginians could begin legally wagering on most professional and college sports in January now that the state's lottery board has approved final regulations. The state will allow at least four and up to 12 online sports betting licenses to businesses operating online wagering sites and apps. Applicants will be accepted from Oct. 15 to Oct. 31. Those awarded a three-year permit will be required to pay the board a $250,000 fee.

Former state official named new leader at Center for Innovative Technology

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Bob Stolle, a former top state commerce official and member of a prominent Virginia political family, has been named the new president and CEO of the Center for Innovative Technology. Stolle, who previously has served as senior vice president of policy and regional initiatives at CIT, will succeed Ed Albrigo, who has led the state-supported technological research initiative for five years and will help the leadership transition through mid-October.

Norfolk will be the first city in Hampton Roads to restart jury trials

By JONATHAN EDWARDS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The jury is in again. Norfolk is holding jury trials once more, almost exactly six months after the coronavirus pandemic forced local judges to shut them down. The Norfolk Circuit Court is one of four places in Virginia that has won approval from the state Supreme Court to restart jury trials. Until then, the high court had, starting in mid-May, banned all lower courts from conducting them.


As Dan River Region bounces back, unemployment rates still more than double pre-pandemic times

By CHARLES WILBORN, Danville Register & Bee

Pittsylvania County, a vastly rural area deeply rooted in agriculture, didn't experience as harsh of a hit with job losses at the start of the coronavirus pandemic compared to Danville. The main reason, according to Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe, is because agriculture and forestry is the No. 1 industry. "Frankly, you can't shut that down," he told the Register & Bee.

Two-year-long tree protest against Mountain Valley Pipeline to continue

By LAURENCE HAMMACK, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The longest stand against the Mountain Valley Pipeline will likely last at least two months longer. A judge on Tuesday delayed a hearing on Mountain Valley's motion for an injunction that would force protesters from their tree stands in Montgomery County, where they have blocked the company from cutting some of the last remaining trees in the pipeline's path.

Daily Press' parent company to close Newport News office

By JOSH REYES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Tribune Publishing will close the Daily Press' office in Newport News' City Center. Par Ridder, the general manager of the Daily Press and several Tribune newspapers, said Tuesday the office will close permanently by the end of September and the company will "evaluate our workplace needs."

Daily Press office set to close in Newport News at end of Sept.

By KATE ANDREWS, Va Business Magazine

Daily Press and The Virginian-Pilot staff members were notified Tuesday that the newspapers will not have an office in Hampton Roads as of Sept. 25, when The Tribune Publishing Co. plans to close the Newport News newsroom — a property the Daily Press has not paid rent on in more than a year, according to court documents. Pointe Hope LLC, owner of the Daily Press' office at the City Center at Oyster Point office park, sued the newspaper for $110,018 in June, according to Newport News Circuit Court records.


Richmond mayoral candidates support move to free public transit

By C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The leading candidates for Richmond mayor — including the incumbent — are turning their attention to issues of transit equity as Election Day bears down. As GRTC bus fares remain suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, policy discussions about the possibility of free transit service beyond the health crisis are turning into commitments from candidates.


Virginia Student Power Network criticizes 'disastrous' reopening of state colleges, universities

By LUKE STONE, Cavalier Daily

As coronavirus cases on Virginia campuses surpassed 2,100 and the number of cases at U.Va. ticked above 300, the Virginia Student Power Network held a virtual press conference Monday morning to express concerns about coronavirus conditions at colleges and universities across the state. Current students and alumni from George Mason, William and Mary, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and U.Va. shared their stories in the hopes of showing a pattern of imprudent behavior from administrators since the pandemic forced students home in mid-March.

Liberty University misses self-imposed deadline to launch COVID-19 dashboard

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Liberty University, now three weeks into the fall semester, has yet to publish coronavirus figures on its website despite promises to do so by mid-September. The university Tuesday missed a self- imposed deadline to launch a data dashboard, an increasingly popular digital tool used by large colleges and universities to disclose the number of COVID-19 cases among its students and employees to the public.

'Meet the Greeks' event disrupted by unidentified individual shouting racial slur

By EVA SUROVELL, Cavalier Daily

An unidentified user interrupted a "Meet the Greeks" information session yesterday held by the University's National Panhellenic Council — an umbrella organization for historically predominantly Black Greek organizations — and repeatedly shouted a racist slur, according to a University-wide email sent Tuesday morning by Dean of Students Allen Groves, Kevin McDonald, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and community partnerships, and Maurice Apprey, dean of the Office of African-American Affairs. When the student host of the meeting tried to remove the individual, the same racist message appeared on the screen in red letters.

Va. attorney general secures $15.3M settlement for former ITT Tech students

By SYDNEY LAKE, Va Business Magazine

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring secured an agreement to obtain $15.3 million in debt relief for at least 1,840 former ITT Tech students in Virginia as part of a settlement including 47 additional attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, his office announced Tuesday. The entire settlement is approximately $330 million for 35,000 borrowers who have outstanding balances.


As schools weigh a return to in-person learning, health officials won't release details on COVID-19 outbreaks

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

The majority of Virginia's local school districts started the year remotely. But as divisions across the state weigh a return to in-person learning over the next few weeks, the Virginia Department of Health is still providing limited information on COVID-19 cases linked to K-12 schools. At a news conference Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said the department had no plans to launch a dashboard with site-specific data on school outbreaks — similar to the state's data on nursing homes and assisted living centers, which since June, has identified the names of facilities with outbreaks of disease.

Virginia reports 943 new coronavirus cases Tuesday

By SALEEN MARTIN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported 943 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing the state's tally to 135,514. At least 2,839 Virginians have died from the virus, up 96 from Monday.

School divisions begin to report isolated COVID-19 cases with students, teachers returning to the classroom

By CLAIRE MITZEL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Roanoke and New River valleys school districts have started to report a handful of COVID-19 cases as students and staff settle back into the classroom. Classrooms have remained open in nearly every instance. Botetourt County's Buchanan Elementary School on Monday moved one class online until Sept. 28 following a probable COVID-19 case that has "the possibility of multiple close contacts within the classroom," according to a letter sent to parents. Also, Montgomery County Public Schools has moved fourth through 12th grades online through Sept. 28, not as a result of positive cases but to preempt a projected spike in the area.

Southwest region's daily COVID-19 cases are higher than elsewhere in Virginia

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

New daily cases of COVID-19 are coming in now at a faster pace in Southwest Virginia than any other region in the state. Gov. Ralph Northam said during a news conference Tuesday that he doesn't intend to impose any new restrictions and that he thinks Radford University, Virginia Tech and the local communities are doing a good job of addressing the surge.

Southwest Virginia's coronavirus increase concerning, Northam says

By SHEN WU TAN, Washington Times

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday said while the Eastern region of the state has shown improvement, the uptick in coronavirus cases in the Southwest is cause for concern. The Southwest region of the state has an average daily new coronavirus case count of 229 and a positivity rate of 8.1%, according to the Democratic governor. While the positivity rate has been decreasing in recent days, it is still the highest rate in Virginia.

Two more die at Piedmont, as COVID-19 outbreaks hit young and old in state mental institutions

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

Two more patients have died of COVID-19 at Piedmont Geriatric Hospital, a state psychiatric institution in Nottoway County that has lost nine patients to the disease but appears to have the outbreak under control. State behavioral health officials said Piedmont had no positive cases of COVID-19 among its employees or patients on Tuesday, but 13 employees and 21 patients have recovered from infection by the virus in an outbreak that began in mid-July.

Officials confirm COVID-19 outbreak at CCCA in Staunton


The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) confirms a COVID-19 outbreak at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents (CCCA). As of Tuesday, September 15, 25 staff members and 12 patients have tested positive at the Staunton-area facility.


Officers: We gave 'chance after chance' before 2017 Ghaisar shooting

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Two U.S. Park Police officers say they gave "chance after chance" to a northern Virginia man in a stop-and-go police chase before firing 10 shots that killed the unarmed driver in 2017, according to court records. Documents made public late Monday in a civil suit filed by the parents of 25-year-old Bijan Ghaisar of McLean provide the first real insight into the thought process of officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard, who shot and killed Ghaisar.

Confederate monument yet to find new home

By JOSH REYES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Newport News will take down its Confederate monument this week — and then put it in storage because nobody seems to want it. The City Council voted Aug. 11 to remove the monument from its spot next to the historic Warwick County Courthouse in Denbigh, where it's stood for 111 years. That activated a 30-day period to solicit bids for the monument, and the city asked five organizations if they wanted the monument.

Clarke County to form committee to help determine Confederate monument's fate

By MICKEY POWELL, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The public's help is being sought in determining the fate of a Confederate monument outside the Clarke County Courthouse. Tuesday afternoon, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors announced that a citizens committee will be formed to explore options for the monument. The announcement came after a presentation about the monument's history and a 35-minute private meeting with the county's part-time attorney, who told the board it has no power to do anything to the memorial on its own.

Smoke from western wildfires causing hazy sky in Hampton Roads

By SALEEN MARTIN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Folks in Hampton Roads are seeing the effects of the western U.S. wildfires this week as smoke gets pulled towards the East Coast, as well as the remnants of Hurricane Sally, the National Weather Service said Tuesday morning. "Notice that hazy, milky sky this morning?" the weather service asked on Twitter. "The haziness may increase later today."


School system touts change to elite magnet school admissions

Associated Press

Virginia's largest school system is proposing a radical overhaul of how it admits students to an elite magnet school in an effort to develop a more diverse student body. The proposal touted Tuesday by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand would eliminate a high-stakes admissions test used to judge applicants for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Group of Prince George elementary students might have contracted COVID-19

By JEFF MILBY, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 10 articles a month)

A person who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 has come in to contact with 24 students at North Elementary School in Prince George County, Prince George County Public Schools confirmed on Tuesday. The 24 students have been moved to online classes to allow for a 14-day self quarantine, and PGCPS has advised them to monitor symptoms, such as shortness of breath and temperature.

Some Virginia Beach students could return for in-person learning on Sept. 29, superintendent says

By PETER COUTU, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginia Beach students in younger grades could return for in-person learning on Sept. 29, a week earlier than officials said was possible last week. The school system informed parents in an email Monday night but did not offer a reason for the change.

Newport News School Board votes 5-1 to find new names for four schools with ties to Confederates or segregation

By MATT JONES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The Newport News School Board voted Tuesday night 5–1 to start a renaming process for four schools. One board member, Gary Hunter, abstained. Rebecca Aman voted against. However, the schools — Epes Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Lee Hall Elementary and Dozier Middle — will likely not have new names until next spring. Tuesday's vote gave district staff the directive to start work.

A Rosie's slots parlor, a hotel and more are no longer headed to Chesapeake's Greenbrier Mall

By GORDON RAGO, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Chesapeake won't be getting a Rosie's gambling parlor after all. For now. The company seeking to bring the satellite wagering facility to the now-shuttered Sears store at Greenbrier Mall, along with a bowling alley, a hotel and more, withdrew its application ahead of a City Council meeting on Tuesday night. The move comes after several months of discussion at the planning commission level, where some members raised concerns over traffic impacts.

Independent reviewer seeking public input about Fredericksburg's handling of protests

By CATHY JETT, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

An outside consultant is seeking feedback from the public about the Fredericksburg Police Department's response to demonstrations in the city between May 31 and June 2. The Police Executive Research Forum is asking people email their thoughts, perceptions, eyewitness accounts and general impressions of the events to now through Sept. 30.

Spotsylvania School Board sticks with plan to begin hybrid model in October

By ADELE UPHAUS–CONNER, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The Spotsylvania County School Board is standing by its plan to continue full virtual learning until bringing students back to school for two days a week in October. Competing motions made by board members to either extend full virtual learning through the end of the semester or move to the option of 100 percent in-person instruction both failed at Monday night's board meeting.

Martinsville schools will remain all-virtual at least into October

By BILL WYATT, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Learning for Martinsville City Schools students will remain virtual through at least the first quarter of the year. Superintendent Zeb Talley Jr. told school board members at their regular meeting Monday night that his administration is assessing the safety of bringing students back for face-to-face learning, but the schedule in-place now will not change until after the first nine weeks of the school year have been completed.



Virus lessons from Israel for Virginia

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Israel is about to begin a three-week lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, returning to many of the strict conditions first imposed back in April and becoming the first country in the world to impose a second round of lockdowns. CNN reports the new rules like this: "Schools, restaurants (except delivery), and entertainment venues will all close, as well as other businesses, for an initial period of three weeks. The public sector will operate with a limited workforce, while private sector businesses can operate as long as non-employees do not enter the workspace.

Banning qualified immunity is complicated

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

A bill to ban qualified sovereign immunity for police officers appears to have hit a dead end in the Virginia General Assembly. Qualified immunity is the legal doctrine that shields misbehaving cops from civil rights lawsuits. The bill, sponsored by Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D–Richmond, died once in the House of Delegates, was revived, but then was killed on the House floor. On Sept. 10, it was tabled by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan 12–3 vote.

Poultry plant outbreaks show need for greater transparency

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Health officials understood early in the pandemic that highly populated indoor spaces would be ground zero for transmission, knowledge that helped guide safety protocols for schools, long-term care facilities and prisons. But when poultry plants on Virginia's Eastern Shore began reporting outbreaks, state health officials were cautious to react. Worse, they kept from the public data that would have provided a clearer picture of the dire situation unfolding there.

ABC adjustment is a well-deserved break for restaurants

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have had to make significant adjustments to stay afloat. In a late June fact sheet, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) explained how restaurants and bars have been "staggered" by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Chwalowski: Can Republicans win statewide offices again?

By MATT CHWALOWSKI, published in Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Our conservative values are universal human values, the left has gone completely crazy, but our party failed in state elections over the past decade. Where is the disconnect? While there were some exogenous conditions, much of what happened was due to the party's center of gravity getting stuck 30 years back.

Chwalowski is a Virginia Tech and Catholic University graduate, decades-long international business consultant, and a Republican activist who resides in Loudoun County.

McAuliffe: Virginia's children and school nutrition heroes need our support

By DOROTHY MCAULIFFE, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

When schools closed in March due to COVID-19, the buses continued to roll with carefully packed bags of sandwiches, fruits and snacks replacing rows of students. From Arlington to Abingdon, the routes have been different, but the destinations are the same: the homes of families in our communities facing food insecurity.

Dorothy McAuliffe is chair of the No Kid Hungry Virginia campaign, national policy adviser for Share Our Strength and former first lady of Virginia.

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