The compromise struck in Thursday's fraught Virginia Senate GOP Caucus leadership decision was the product of weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner edged into the No. 4 spot — up from No. 5 last year — in Roll Call's annual rankings of the wealthiest members of Congress.
I visited Crystal Spring Baptist Church when polls first opened this morning at 6 a.m. and saw election officers dealing with computer laptop crashing issues. A handful of voters (about 5-6) waited in line.
At 10 a.m., we were seeing a turn-out in Roanoke that sharply favored Republicans — with the GOP-heavy precincts accounting for a higher-than-usual percentage of the vote.
Updated 2:23 p.m. — see note in bold below.
Voter turnout hit 8.5 percent in Roanoke and 12 percent in Roanoke County by 10 a.m., according to midmorning reports from local registrars.
Corey Fitzgerald saw his opportunity, and he took it.
The elections are just days away and if you're looking to do some last-minute boning up on the contenders for state Senate, WFIR has a new series of candidate interviews.
UPDATE (3:20 p.m. Friday):
On today's editorial page, we make the case that the infamous mailers from the conservative Middle Resolution PAC purporting to show Democrat John Edwards as a "conservative" go beyond being just a dirty trick to confuse left-of-center voters.
One week before Election Day, Sen. John Edwards rallied supporters and pledged to carry a bill next year to raise the minimum wage.
As a second wave of controversial mailers hit Roanoke, Virginia Democrats pressed Republican Nancy Dye on Wednesday to disavow The Middle Resolution PAC and return a $7,000 donation from the conservative group.
The controversial mailer that hit Roanoke mailboxes this weekend cost the conservative Middle Resolution PAC $6,008, according to finance reports compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.
Big money is flowing into the 21st District Senate race at a fast pace as the election enters its final days.
Independent candidate Donald Caldwell is rolling out a TV commerical — his first of the election — in the final days of the race to win the 21st District Senate seat.
The Republican State Leadership Committee just invested another $80,000 in Nancy Dye's bid to oust incumbent Democrat Sen. John Edwards in the 21st District race.
Since same-sex marriage was legalized a little over a year ago, Virginia has seen more than 3,500 same-sex unions take place, according to new data released this week by the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Vital Records.
Republican contender Nancy Dye has signed onto the anti-tax increase pledge created by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.
The Edwards for Virginia Senate commercial that Republicans blasted for missing a required disclosure statement also turns out to have misspelled the name of its chief spokesman — former Virginia Tech admissions staffer Allen Trigger.
In today's paper, we delved into some of the issues about energy policy and the federal Clean Power Plan being raised in the 21st District Virginia Senate race.
Independent candidate Steven Nelson won't appear at a forum tonight in Montgomery County, and he offered the following explanation to organizers in an email he shared with The Roanoke Times:
Public service announcement: Today is the deadline to get registered to vote if you want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 3 elections.
The Democratic contenders for president will gather for their first debate Tuesday night. Host CNN will air it live and stream it online for free. Questions from the public can be submitted via Facebook and Instagram.
Speaking to a crowd braving the drizzly Saturday weather, Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and Del. Joseph Yost (R-Pearisburg) said in strong terms that Virginia needs to prioritize its public schools over alternative ideas like charter schools and vouchers.
The surprising news that U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was dropping out of the speaker's race inspired an online rallying cry this week among Virginia Republicans who saw one of the commonwealth's own poised to fill the void.
Two of the three candidates for the 21st Senate District appeared before the Rotary Club of Salem on Thursday.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, will roll out a sentencing reform bill today as part of the committee's larger work on criminal justice issues.
In an effort to cater to our blog's target audience of policy and politics fanatics, here are a few odds and ends that didn't make it into the article about Tuesday night's candidate forum.
Roanoke Mayor David Bowers is joining up with Hillary Clinton's Virginia Leadership Council in the 2016 race for president, according to Clinton's camp.
Here's a little public service blog post to let you know about two candidate forums happening tonight:
In Sunday's newspaper, we touched on the long-brewing belief that Southwest Virginia is too often an afterthought for leaders in Richmond.
Saturday Night Live took aim at some of the low-polling presidential contenders last weekend — including former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Recently, Police Chief Chris Perkins said Roanoke may see around 73 ex-federal inmates return to the city in the coming year.
The hoofers who took to the stage last weekend to raise some much-needed money for the Salvation Army's Turning Point shelter included Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, and his wife, Layaly.
Want to see a debate between the Democratic and Republican leaders of Virginia's state Senate? You can on Monday, and all you need is a computer.
UPDATE (5:30 p.m. Tuesday):
Could Roanoke County's own Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) be tapped to succeed soon-to-retire House Speaker John Boehner?
The National Rifle Association is backing Sen. John Edwards in his bid for re-election — a typically attractive political plum in the conservative Southwest; but one that's grown dicier for the Roanoke Democrat amid the emotional debate spurred by last month's WDBJ7 shooting.
In the days after the WDBJ7 shooting, Alison Parker's father highlighted a General Assembly bill — sometimes called the gun violence restraining order bill — in an impassioned column criticizing the region's pro-gun lawmakers.
Some random political thoughts:
Scott Walker dropped out too soon.
Frank Roupas waited patiently for the clock to strike 8.
UPDATE (8 p.m. Friday):
PEARISBURG — A forum that organizers intended to be low intensity and low confrontation took a turn Tuesday night when Republican activists squared off with the Democratic and independent candidates for the 21st District Senate seat.
Poor Jim Gilmore isn't doing so well. Some candidates are bummed when they didn't make the cut for the "big" debate. Gilmore didn't even qualify for the "kids table" debate this time around.
As you've probably heard by now, CNN is hosting a presidential debate for Republican Party hopefuls on Wednesday night.
Preserve Giles County, an anti-pipeline citizens group, is kicking off a series of candidate forums tonight with the 21st District Virginia Senate seat.
Walter Brice, 83, of Roanoke, passed away Thursday, November 24, 2015. Arrangements by Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
Sanford Reed Bohon Sr., 93, of Roanoke County, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Thursday, November 19, 2015. He was born on August 28, 1922, the second of seven children of the late Benjamin Harris Bohon and Vera Minnie Reed Bohon. He was preceded in death by his son, Jeffrey Ferguson Bohon; brother, Carl Shelton Bohon; and sisters, Merlo Nadine Bohon Werner and Kathryn Sue Bohon Black.Sanford is survived by his wife of 71 years, Eula Marie Ferguson Bohon; his children, Roger Lee Bohon and wife, Donna, of Roanoke, Elaine Bohon Buzzell and husband, Jon, of Wichita, Kan., Sanford Reed Bohon Jr. and wife, Cathlene, of Roanoke, Cynthia Jane Bohon Forth and husband, Richard, of Roanoke, and Darlene Bohon Spencer and husband, Randy, of Roanoke; 15 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; brother, Benjamin Harris Bohon Jr. of Roanoke; sisters, Lillie Marie Bohon Bowles and Nelda Vera Bohon Christean, both of Utah; and numerous nieces and nephews. Sanford was a hard worker and active in many areas. He faithfully served in the military during World War II until he was severely wounded and returned home. He was an auto-parts sales person for Auto Spring and Bearing Company in Roanoke with 39 years of service. He worked his own farm and raised cattle. He served in various leadership roles of his church and was a "jack of all trades," as he built several homes in the area.A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 28, 2015, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5836 Cotton Hill Road, Roanoke, with Elder Neil Bohon conducting and President Roger L. Bohon speaking. Interment will be held at Ferguson Family Cemetery, Roanoke County with Military Honors. A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2015, at Oakey's South Chapel, 4257 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke. Online condolences may be sent to www.oakeys.com.
I will miss Clarine's smile every morning after walking to the mailbox to get the newspaper. She would report the day's weather, comment on which birds were singing for her and what new flowers were coming up. She developed such an acute awareness of the joys in every day events since being diagnosed with a glioblastoma over 3-1/2 years ago.Clarine, 66, of Roanoke, passed away Tuesday morning, November 24, 2015. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Lois Dinges; her parents-in-love, August and Maria Spetzler.She is survived by her husband, Dr. Bertram Spetzler; son, Matthew; daughter, Dr. Karli Griffeth; and her daughter and son in-loves, Jacqueline Saleh Spetzler and Dr. Will Griffeth; her foster daughter, Dr. Nhung Vu and foster son, Chinda Sourinho; her grandson, Nathaniel Robert Spetzler; and her siblings, Steve Dinges and Geri Halboth. She had many Spetzler, Dinges, Halboth and Read in-loves (she didn't like the word in-laws), numerous nieces, nephews, and their children.Clarine was happiest and proudest when she was helping others. She dedicated her life to this until the end, including setting up cancer wellness classes in her last year of life. She was the first person in her family to attend college and graduated with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's in Social Work, and received her Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois, Chicago.She moved to the Roanoke valley in 1980 and focused on being part of the community, helping pass the first seatbelt legislation, establishing the Children's Trust, helping children as a CASA advocate and being on the board of numerous charities. She was also completed by the many friends she made in the Roanoke Valley, without whom she would have had much less Joy and sharing in her life.We are honored, humbled, and grateful for all of your support and thoughts through this difficult time.There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at the Covenant Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Children's Trust, Apple Ridge Farm, or another charity of your choice in Clarine's memory. We will miss her. Simpson Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family. 540-366-0707.
James Oliver (Jim) Holton passed away unexpectedly at his home in Basalt, Colo. on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 in the company of those he loved. Jim was 59 years old and was born on May 4th, 1956 in Roanoke, Va. His two sons, Jonathan and Jason Holton as well as two brothers, William "Bill" and Charles "Van" and sister, Jessie Graybill, survive him. Jimmy was preceded in death by his brother, Edward and parents, Jessie Carpenter and Charles VanGorder Holton Sr.Jimmy was an artist, loyal friend, beloved father and a source of strength and inspiration for the many people that knew him. In his youth, Jim was an avid reader, outdoorsman, swimmer and football player. He traversed the Blue Ridge and Great Smokey Mountains with his sister, brothers, and friends on many fishing and camping trips. Jim was also a gifted artist; he developed talent in woodworking, metalworking, carving, jewelry making, engraving, and many others throughout his life.Jim moved to Colorado as a young man and settled first in Denver where he attended Metro State College and the Culinary Arts Institute. Jim worked in Denver as a chef and his love for the mountains eventually drew him to the Roaring Fork Valley. Jim's cooking talents led to jobs at the Copper Kettle in Aspen, DiMaggio's At The Frying Pan and Chefy'sin Basalt. While working at the Frying Pan he met his future wife, Jennifer Terrell Deweese. They were married in 1983, and settled in to the Cap-K Ranch outside of Basalt. Jim then began to rebuild the North Fork Timber Company harvesting timber from White River National Forest in the upper Frying Pan drainages. Work was often interrupted by mushroompicking excursions in search of chanterelles and king boletus. The following year their first son, Jonathan Carpenter Holton, was born and in 1987 Jason James Holton followed.The family began building Jim's dream, a log home on 40 acres with workshops, a barn and outbuildings. It was his greatest delight to teach his young sons the wonders of the mountains. The Father's Day camping trip and hunting seasons were some of his favorite times. He hunted all over the Roaring Fork Valley and it's various tributaries, creating lasting friendships throughout the community. There are many that will miss chasing Jimmy and the elk overthe highest ridgelines surrounding the Frying Pan River Valley. After the North Fork Timber Company closed its doors, Jim pursued a career with the Aspen Skiing Company at Snowmass Ski Resort. Jim began grooming at Snowmass and eventually ended up helping to expand and improve the snowmaking program. He worked tirelessly every season to ensure the best possible conditions and served as a leader and role model for countless people over his tenure there. Snowmakers, Cat Drivers and many others often arrived at the compressor building to find homemade feasts prepared for them on the long, cold nights leading up to opening day.Jim eventually went on to work for the Town of Basalt as the Streets Foreman. Friends would often receive a wave and a big smile from Jimmy as he rolled by in a plow truck on snowy winter days. His free time was often spent honing his skills on the wood lathe,experimenting with new artistic mediums, or cooking wonderful meals for friends and family at his home on the banks of the Roaring Fork River.A celebration of Jim's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 17948 Highway 82 (just off of the frontage road near the Alpine Animal Hospital). All are welcome to attend, and to share their favorite memories of Jimmy. Feel free to bring a potluck dish.