Any resident living in the Greater Richmond area has to admit that Virginia is almost equally divided among conservative and liberal, small businesses and large businesses, arts and academics, urban and rural living. Currently, there are some paradoxical news stories in and around Richmond that are changes to the norm and have or are on the break of setting set new precedencies.
• No one thought that Former Governor and Maureen McDonnell, would be in court right now for receiving unaccountable gifts that were over $165,000 that were in exchange for political privileges. His election campaign hinged on the strength of having a strong family. Contrarily, the prosecution team has painted this case of spousal infidelity, and support of a drug called Anatabloc that had not been approved by the FDA. Currently, according to Johnny Williams, CEO of Star Scientific, and, on whose testimony is the crux of the case, there was no personal relationship between Maureen McDonnell and himself that he was aware of. Also, Maureen offered the information on the drug to Mitt Romney’s wife for multiple sclerosis. The prosecution has rested its case and the defense team will begin on August 18th. Now the question is if a promising future Republican representative’s integrity should be questioned due to financial difficulties before he was elected.
• Two of Petersburg city schools returned to school on August 4, 2014, a month early, and are now considered year around schools, the first public schools to do so. The two schools, Peabody Middle and A.P. Hill Elementary School have had problems with low test scores and were in danger of losing their accreditation. Goochland County Schools will also operate on a 180 day school calendar and will begin schools on August 18th. Schools with higher status are not being approved for year around schools, only those who “have a high percentage of students who would benefit” (www.doe.virginia.gov/) from the extra days.
• American Idol visited Richmond for the first time on the bus tour. It was suspected that American Idol Elliott Yamin, who placed 3rd on American Idol’s fifth season. was the motivator behind this decision. Potential candidates stood in line early morning outside of the Capital Building, waiting for their chance to be an American Idol contestant, and to be appear on Season 14 of the American Idol Show.
• Flying Squirrels have had controversy around the baseball park since their beginning. Initially, The City of Richmond lost their minor league baseball team, the Richmond Braves, due to not make a decisive plan to build a new stadium. Although fans tried to rally to keep them here, they had plans for a new stadium in Georgia. We then received the new team, Flying Squirrels from Connecticut, who settled for playing in the prior stadium, The Diamond. Since then the City of Richmond has had a new mayor, Mayor Jones and the question still remains, whether to update the stadium, build a new one and where it will be built. The Mayor had planned to fight for plans building the stadium in Shockoe Bottom, when controversy arising not just from businesses, and residents, but from a slave museum that would have to be torn down. At the last minute, Mayor Jones decided to withdraw the plans for the new stadium., Now recently another historical monument, needs a new home, and plans are where it should be located, including moving the museum. More recently, the City Council will be re-looking at plans to rebuild in Shockoe Bottom, or rebuilding a new stadium next to the current one.